Home News KLEM News for Tuesday, October 10

KLEM News for Tuesday, October 10


An open house Thursday in the Hinton School District will provide information on their school expansion plans.  School District voters will have four issues before them at the ballot box on November 7:
The first would authorize 16.15 million dollars in bonds to fund school improvements.
The second would increase the maximum debt levy amount by one dollar, 34 cents per thousand property valuation to cover payment of the bonds.
The third would increase the amount of the Voted PPEL (Physical Plant and Equipment Levy) levy to $1.34 per $1,000 in taxable property value. This increase will support ongoing maintenance of the facilities.
The fourth initiative calls for extension of the new PPEL levy for an additional ten years to 2035.
The open house info night is Thursday, October 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Hinton Middle School/High School Library.

DIGESTER PROJECTA Plymouth County road project which received a DOT RISE Grant has been changed.  Plymouth Dairy proposed installing a biodigester, to create and capture methane from manure collected from three dairy farms.  The county successfully filed for a RISE grant that would cover some of the costs of a paved half-mile-long road to Plymouth Dairy.  This was in anticipation of 30 plus trucks a day hauling manure to Plymouth Diary.  But plans have changed.  How, there will be biodigesters installed at all three dairy farms, substantially reducing the amount of truck traffic.  Plymouth County Zoning Administrator Alan Lucken and the zoning department determined that road no longer has to be upgraded, as part of the Conditional Use Permit  covering the project.  The county will no longer use the RISE grant awarded for the project.


Plymouth County’s Board of Supervisors approved first reading of their amended zoning ordinance.  This ordinance addresses new structures, solar energy systems, digital or electronic signs and billboards, and new setbacks distances for wind generators.  The discussion this morning centered on the definition of special events.  This was included at the suggestion of the zoning board’s consultant, saying if an activity is not recognized in the zoning ordinance, it can’t be regulated.  This allows for temporary activities such as weddings, concerts, or carnivals, in areas that don’t include such activities in a particular zone, such as a pasture or a rural home.  Such activities could occur through a conditional use permit.  Three readings are required before passage.


Iowans who want to participate in early voting can begin casting ballots for the 2023 City-School Election on Wednesday, October 18. This marks the start of the absentee voting period and the first day Iowans can vote in person at their county election office. October 18 is also the first day County Auditors can mail absentee ballots to voters who requested them.  More than 5,500 Iowans have requested an absentee ballot so far. The deadline to request one to be mailed is 5:00 p.m. CT on Monday, October 23.
Iowans can vote in person at their county auditor’s office beginning Wednesday, October 18. Iowans can also vote absentee by mail or in person at the polls on Election Day. Absentee ballot request forms are available at VoterReady.Iowa.gov. You can also track the status of your request and ballot at that site. County auditors must receive your absentee ballot by 8 p.m. on Election Day, which is Tuesday, November 7.


A-A-R-P Iowa and the Alzheimer’s Association are holding a joint statewide tour to present educational workshops focused on the importance of cognitive health.  A-A-R-P State Director, Brad Anderson says they want to be sure that older Iowans are doing all they can to stay healthy.  They have has identified six pillars of brain health, that are healthy habits people can implement every day, to boost brain health.  He says they are things like the importance of being social, and the danger of social isolation. He says the Alzheimer’s Association is there to talk about support for people with dementia and people who have died been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. You can go to AARP.org/IA and register for a stop near you. They are free and and you don’t need to be an A-A-R-P member to register.


 An Iowa school is being singled out by the U-S Department of Education. The 225-student Grundy Center Middle School is the only middle school in the state to earn the department’s Blue Ribbon Award for the year. Principal Michael Vokes says earning the honor for exceptional academic achievement is as much a result of what’s taught outside the curriculum as what’s taught within. Vokes says his staff has an “unwavering commitment” to do what’s best for their students. The department uses state assessments and national tests to determine school rankings. The school’s 5th through 8th grades placed in the top 15-percent of Iowa testing. The school’s 7th and 8th grades both tested near 100-percent proficiency at the state level, which helped secure the nomination.


This (Monday) is Indigenous Peoples’ Day and some activists in Iowa’s Native American community want the holiday to permanently replace Columbus Day on the calendar. Trisha Rivers, Siouxland project director of the Great Plains Action Society, says the annual celebration of Columbus Day perpetuates a false narrative. Rivers calls it “the start of our genocide.” Rivers, who is based in Sioux City, is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. Indigenous Peoples’ Day was recognized by Iowa’s governor five years ago, however, neither it nor Columbus Day are official state holidays. The Native American Student Association at the University of Iowa plans a rally today on campus.


The Iowa Bicycle Coalition is under new leadership. Luke Hoffman is replacing Mark Wyatt as the statewide non-profit organization’s executive director. Hoffman says he has lofty goals for the future, starting with getting the Safe Routes to School program in every school and in every school district in Iowa so kids can experience the joys of alternative transportation, instead of riding a bus or in their parents’ car. Hoffman says he’s dedicated to uniting all cyclists across the state through fun events, major rides and bike clubs. He also wants to develop a powerful lobby that will work with state legislators on behalf of all cyclists. One goal is to eliminate distracted driving by passing legislation requiring drivers to use hands-free cell phone technology.


Republican Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis made a campaign swing through Northwest Iowa Monday, including a stop in Le Mars where he spoke to over one hundred people at the Wells Visitor Center and Ice Cream Parlor.

The Florida Governor told the crowd in order to restore the American economy, secure the border, and improve national security, it is critical to elect a President who can serve two terms.

When asked how he plans on “draining the swamp,” DeSantis outlined several steps including reducing the number of bureaucrats in Washington.

The “Never Back Down” bus tour has visited 74 of Iowa’s 99 Counties.



Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis says the terror attacks in Israel deserve a swift and lethal response. DeSantis says Israel has a responsibility to not just defend themselves, but to use overwhelming force to wipe Hamas off the face of the earth. DeSantis, who visited Israel in April, campaigned in northwest Iowa Monday. DeSantis blasted President Biden for hosting a picnic for his staff at the White House this weekend and for a recent prisoner swap that freed five Americans but also gave Iran access to six billion dollars in frozen oil revenue. Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley campaigned in Boone Monday. Haley, who served as United Nations Ambassador during the Trump Administration, is calling for an end to taxpayer support of any country that sides with Hamas or fails to denounce anti-Semitic activity.



A “Go Fund Me” Account has been started for funeral expense for a Sioux City boy killed in a accident involving a dirt bike and a semi on Saturday.   The mother of 11-year-old Jace Terreault says that Jace loved laughing and telling jokes, fishing, Pokemon, video games, and riding bikes with friends. She describes Jace as an “all American boy,” and says she just wants a nice memorial and funeral for her son.  The accident occurred in the 22000 block of C38 in Plymouth County. The driver of the semi-tractor trailer was Jason Combs, age 45, of Akron. Combs was not injured.



The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors today hold a public hearing on the first reading of county zoning ordinance amendments.  The Plymouth County Sheriff and County Recorder give quarterly reports.  The county Engineer has two action items for the board.



Le Mars water dept. will be closing 3rd Ave SE between Plymouth St & 1st St SE starting this morning.   We are adding 2 valves & replacing a fire hydrant & some of the water main.  The road will be closed for a week.



One driver was serious injured when two pickups collided at a rural O’Brien County gravel road intersection.  The accident occurred at the intersection of 310th and Tanager, 3 miles northw-est of Hartley.  One vehicle, driven by 61 year old Jeffrey Gerritson of Sanborn, failed to yield at the intersection and crashed into a vehicle driven by 55 year old Kevin Gonnerman of Sanborn.  Gonnerman was transported to Sanford Sheldon, then flown to Sanford Sioux Falls with serious injuries.  The crash is under investigation.



Iowa Democratic Party chair Rita Hart says their plans for the 2024 Iowa Caucuses have been found in conditional compliance with the national party. The National Democratic party moved Iowa out of its first spot for 2024, and the plan is designed to keep Iowa Democrats on the same night as Iowa Republicans without going against the national party.

Hart says they believe this delegate selection plan meets the requirements of the national party for the timing of the results, and for the Iowa law that requires caucuses to be held in person. Hart also says Iowa Democrats will get a chance to move back to the front of the line in four years.

Scott Brennan, and Iowan who is on the Democratic National Committee says he is confident Iowa will get another shot as well.

Hart says the whole goal of Iowa Democrats is to create an inclusive and accessible caucus process.