Home News KLEM News for Monday, September 18

KLEM News for Monday, September 18

Thursday is the deadline to file for Le Mars city, hospital board and school board elections.

Valid petitions of candidacy for the mayor and council and hospital board must be returned to the County Auditor’s office by 5 pm Thursday. Candidacy petitions for school board must be returned to the Le Mars school board Secretary by 5 pm Thursday. Those petition must then be filed with the auditor by noon Friday.

The auditor’s office says Mayor Rob Bixenman has filed for re-election. He seeks a second two year term as mayor.  Ward 2 councilman Steve Wick is seeking re-election.  Mark Lindsay has filed for an at-large seat on the council. This seat is held by Mike Donlan, who has indicated he is not seeking re-election. The council terms are four years.

Floyd Valley Healthcare Hospital Trustees who have filed for the election include incumbents Janelle Bixenman and Dana Schuester.   Christy Calhoun and Douglas Carlson have also filed for the election. These are four-year terms. Current trustee Ralph Klemme earlier announced he was not seeking re-election.

Four seats on the Le Mars Community School Board are up for election, Two board members indicated they were seeking re-election, and two were not.  Kyle Plathe, who is an at-large board member, and District 5 board member Jill Feuerhelm will seek re-election.. Jane Arnold, who represents District 3, and Angela Catton, an at-large member, said they would not seek re-election.

Election day is Tuesday, November 7.



The Le Mars Community School Board approved updates of policies in several categories. Under Business Procedures, the board approved new, higher thresholds for purchasing goods and services and public improvements. The last time these thresholds were set was ten years ago. The board also updated language in policies covering sale or disposal of buildings and sites, and obsolete equipment. These reflect increases in thresholds by which property and equipment can be disposed of. In the case of razing a school building, the board will advertise and take bids for the work. Policy covering public complaints about curriculum or instructional materials was changed to meet legal council recommendations of the Iowa Association of School Boards. In case of such complaints, The Board “may”, not “will” review the materials in question.



Iowa ranks first in the country for tractor rollover deaths, and a rebate being offered through a University of Iowa program aims to make farmers safer. Brandi Janssen is director of the U-I-based I-CASH, the Iowa Center for Agricultural Safety and Health. A properly-maintained tractor can be a workhorse across several generations of farmers, and Janssen says the older machines are more deadly in rollovers as they lack ROPS, or rollover protection systems. Almost half of all tractors in operation don’t have ROPS, as they weren’t required until 1985. A ROPS is a metal bar or frame that attaches to the tractor. In a rollover, the ROPS — when used with a seatbelt — prevents the operator from being crushed under the machine. Sadly, many Iowa farmers don’t shell out the money to retrofit their tractors, and rollovers claim up to 15 lives a year statewide, on average. The rebate pays 70-percent of the cost to install a ROPS or all but 500-dollars, whichever works to the farmer’s favor. For information about the rebate, visit “ROPSr4u.org” or call (877) 767-7748.



Iowa’s unemployment rate increased slightly in August, the first uptick in several months. Iowa Workforce Development executive director, Beth Townsend, says conditions on the national level factor in.

Iowa’s unemployment rate rose from two-point-seven percent in July to two-point-nine percent in August, while that national rate increased from three-point-five percent to three-point-eight percent . She says those national economic factors can impact the decisions of Iowa businesses.

Townsend says there were gains in some areas.

Townsend says Iowa’s job market remains very strong.

Some critics says the jobs people are getting are not paying enough for them to live on. Townsend says there are good wages being paid in a lot of areas.

Townsend says for example, health care and social assistance jobs are starting at 20 to 25 dollars an hour. And manufacturing saw an increase of 600 jobs with pay in those jobs starting well above 15 dollars an hour.



Governor  Kim Reynolds has ordered all flags in Iowa to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset Friday in honor and remembrance of the Algona Police officer killed in the line of duty Wednesday. A spokesman with the Iowa D-C-I says 33-year-old officer Kevin Cram was shot and killed while trying to serve a warrant just before 8 p-m Wednesday. The man wanted in the harassment warrant, 43-year-old  Kyle Ricke was arrested near Sleepy Eye Minnesota just before midnight Thursday. Ricke has been charged with first-degree murder and will be brought back to Iowa.



Haley, who served as U-S Ambassador to the United Nations for two years, has called China the most disciplined enemy of the U-S and she says Chinese ownership of the world’s largest pork producer is a big concern. A Chinese tycoon bought Smithfield Foods a decade ago and 80 percent of the U-S farmland now under Chinese ownership was part of that deal.

China increasingly depends on imported food and purchased a record 41 billion dollars worth of U-S food and agricultural products in 2022.  Haley, who is 51 years old, served as governor of South Carolina from 2011 to 2017.  She entered the presidential race in mid-February and has argued the G-O-P should choose a presidential nominee who’s from a new generation.

On Saturday, Haley was among nine G-O-P presidential candidates who’ll be speaking at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s fall fundraiser in Des Moines.



Nearly a century after she first appeared in print, girl-detective Nancy Drew is still thrilling young readers — and the original writer of the mystery series was an Iowan. Mildred Augustine Benson was a Ladora native who had a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa. Barbara Lounsberry, a retired University of Northern Iowa English professor, has researched Benson’s life and career. Lounsberry says Benson was a ghost writer and she created the character and personality of Nancy Drew. The first book, “The Secret of the Old Clock,” was released in 1930 under the pen-name Carolyn Keene. The collection of Nancy Drew books continued to grew well into the 1980s and eventually encompassed 78 separate mystery stories. Benson wrote 23 of the first 30 volumes. Benson died in 2002 at age 96.



Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s seen political bias in the U-S justice system over the past eight years, but Grassley is rejecting proposals from fellow Republicans who’ve called for shutting down the F-B-I.

G-O-P candidate Vivek Ramaswamy this week said as president he’d fire two-thirds of F-B-I employees and shift the rest to other federal agencies, like the U-S Marshals Service and the Drug Enforcement Agency. Last year, Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus began calling for defunding the F-B-I. Earlier this year, former President Trump said it was time to bring the justice department to its senses and he called on congress to withhold funding from the agency, which includes the F-B-I.

Grassley HAS clashed with the F-B-I over documents related to an investigation into Hunter Biden and Grassley accuses the agency of a consistent disregard for congressional oversight. He also suggests the House impeachment inquiry into President Biden will show why F-B-I reform is necessary.