Home News KLEM News for Friday, September 22

KLEM News for Friday, September 22


Today is the final day to apply for the Citizens Police Academy in Le Mars.  Le Mars Police Assistant Chief Justin Daale says this is the fifth year of the Citizens Academy.  It’s open to residents of Plymouth County over the age of 21.

it’s a chance for officers to show the specialty training they’ve received.

Daale says the sessions involve hands-on instruction led by officers who have expertise in the subject matter.

The purpose of the Citizens Academy is to develop relationships throughout Plymouth County. Assistant Chief Daale says these students will help law enforcement at community functions.

They also offer a version of Citizens Academy to high school students.

Curriculum includes: firearms training; Law, and the use of force; drug enforcement, including a K9 demonstration; interview and interrogations; police investigations; operating while intoxicated; and crime scene investigation.  Citizens Academy is joint effort of the Le Mars Police Department and the Plymouth County Sheriffs Office.  Classes begin Monday, October 9, through Thursday, Nov 2.


A central Iowa Boy Scout has accomplished something only four other Scouts in state history have achieved — he’s earned every single merit badge — from Astronomy to Wilderness Survival. Charlie Stevens, of Ankeny, only needed 21 of the badges to earn the top rank of Eagle, but decided to broaden his experience by working to acquire every one — all 138 merit badges. Stevens, who’s 17, says it took him almost nine years to finish the feat. Stevens learned a wealth of life skills during his quest to earn every possible patch, including becoming a certified SCUBA diver. He should earn the Eagle rank next month. After he graduates from Ankeny Centennial High School next year, Stevens plans to attend the University of Iowa and major in computer science engineering.



As farmers in many parts of Iowa launch into the harvest, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says there’s good news for producers who might need to dry their grains using heaters fueled by tanks of liquid propane. While L-P supplies have been tight in recent years, Naig says that doesn’t appear to be the case this season, as fall arrives on Saturday. Naig says L-P supplies are well above the five-year average while prices are down about 40 cents a gallon from a year ago. He remains optimistic prices will hold steady as we head into the cold weather months. It’s also a plus for Iowans who heat their homes with L-P. Estimates show about 67 percent of Iowans use natural gas to heat their homes, 15 percent use electricity, and 14 percent use liquid propane.



General Randy George of Alden, Iowa has been confirmed by the U-S Senate as the new Army Chief of Staff. Iowa Senator Joni Ernst spoke in favor of George’s nomination on the Senate floor, calling him a “decorated war fighter with extensive combat service including in the Gulf War, the Iraq war, and the war in Afghanistan.” George joined the Army out of high school and later went to the Military Academy at West Point and graduated with his commission in 1988. He is married to his West Point classmate, Patty. They have two children, Grant and Andrea.



A report of an impaired driver in Sioux County led to two arrests this week.  The Sheriffs Office says the reportedly impaired driver  was leaving Ireton Wednesday afternoon.  The vehicle was tracked down in Hawarden.  Deputies stopped the car.  They suspected the driver was under the influence of a drug.  While being placed under arrest, he tried to flee on foot, but was quickly apprehended.  The driver was identified as Jordan Holmes, 27 of Sioux City.  A passenger, Heriberto Armenta-Robles, 26 of Hawarden was found in possession of a controlled substance and a firearm.  He was determined to be a felon.  Holmes was charged with OWI, interference, and motor vehicle violations.  Armenta-Robles was charged with felon in possession of a firearm, and two drug charges.  There were also three outstanding arrest warrants.  The investigation continues and additional criminal charges are possible.



A raffle is underway to help support a special cause in Plymouth County.  Through the donation of an e-bike from Total Motors, representatives of Josh’s Ride are raising funds to continue gifting custom tricycles to special needs individuals.

Beth Meyer, one of members of the Josh’s Ride “mom squad” told KLEM that eighty of these special bicycles have been given away since the first one was given to Josh Koons in 2015.  Josh passed away almost two years ago, but his legacy continues.   Meyer said the origin of this program began when Josh’s mom, Kim, entered a contest to win one of these adaptive bikes.

Meyer says each bicycle is ordered for the size and needs of the recipients after consulting with family members, teachers, and therapists.

Raffle ticket are selling for $10 each for a chance to win the e-bike.  Tickets are available from businesses including Total Motors, Exit Realty, Bellissimo Coffeeworks, & American Bank in Le Mars or from members of the “mom squad.”



A new national health study gives Iowans poor marks for their efforts to try and keep in shape. According to the report from Trust for America’s Health, Iowa’s adult obesity rate is 37 percent. Nadine Gracia, director of government relations for the Trust, says Iowa is among 22 states with an adult obesity rate at or above 35 percent. While there were 19 states in that category last year, including Iowa, a decade ago, there were -no- states at that level. She says it’s a dangerous trend for the nation, and for Iowa, as obesity increases the risk of other health conditions like type two diabetes, heart disease, many forms of cancer and stroke. The Trust’s “State of Obesity” report shows West Virginia has the highest rate of adult obesity at 41 percent, while Colorado has the lowest rate at 25 percent.



Private colleges in Iowa have been cutting their tuition costs in an effort to retain students. Graceland College in Lamoni is the latest, with president Pat Draves says they’re adjusting tuition from 32-thousand-500 to 19-thousand-500 dollars starting in the fall of 2024. She says cost has become one of the biggest factors for students in selecting a school. Wartburg College in Waverly recently announced it was reducing its published tuition price by more than 45 percent to 25-thousand dollars. Wartburg president, Rebecca Ehretsman says that is part of an overall plan to bring the sticker price down. Ehretsman says scholarships and other programs sometimes don’t get figured in when students are searching for a school.



Kevin Reynolds, the husband of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, has been diagnosed with lung cancer. The governor issued a written statement Thursday revealing her husband’s diagnosis. Reynolds says the couple has every reason to be optimistic, as their doctor has assured them there have been significant advancements in lung cancer treatment. Kevin and Kim Reynolds have been married for 41 years. She describes her husband as her anchor throughout their marriage and Reynolds says she will be the same for him as he begins treatment. The governor says she and her husband are blessed to e surrounded by a loving family and a community of prayer warriors — and they know God is with them on this journey.