Home News KLEM News for Tuesday, October 24

KLEM News for Tuesday, October 24

The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors waived third reading and passed amendments to the County zoning ordinance. The ordinance adds rules for the installation and use of digital signs and electronic message boards in Plymouth County. These rules also regulate the messages and images placed on these electronic message boards. The amendments that were altered pertain to solar arrays, and private and commercial solar arrays. The rules limit the size of private solar energy systems to 20 acres or less. Setback rules for wind generators were also amended, to now 3.5 times the height of apex of the tower blade of a wind generator tower to a residence. The minimum setback with a waiver would be 16-hundred feet.



Patrick Renken is one of four candidates for an at-large seat on the Le Mars City Council. His Wife Naomi is a nursing supervisor at Floyd Valley Healthcare.  He has three stepchildren.  Renken has been in the hog feed business for most of his working life, except for a brief period as an ag loan officer in Le Mars.


Renken is running for city council to maintain oversight of city spending.


Renken’s campaign for city council is driven by his love for the city and his desire to make a great place greater.


Is concerned that as Le Mars grows, that it continues to be a safe place to live.

Renken wants to maintain a strong and dedicated city workforce.

He says city employees need to be rewarded for their work and dedication.

As for thoughts on the city’s development plan, Vision 2045, Renken senses Le Mars residents may be hesitant about the plan.

Renken agrees that there is a need for more housing in Le Mars, as outlined in the plan. He likes the ideas in the Vision 2045 for senior housing, but objects to one particular type of housing.

Renken’s highest priority as a city councilman is to be a watchdog over city spending. He also wants to maintain, if not improve public safety and support the city’s employees.

KLEM News is highlighting candidates for city council and school board in Le Mars.  One candidate will be introduced each day over the next two weeks.



Wells Enterprises is celebrating its 110th anniversary today (Tuesday) with contributions to several of the communities where it operates. This includes the Le Mars Betterment Foundation. The company is designating a 50-thousand dollar gift to renovations of O’Toole Park in Le Mars. O’Toole Park is noted for improvements under the city’s Vision 2045 Plan. A major renovation proposed for the park including a splash pad, a new and expanded park shelter, a new playground, and preserving existing trees. Wells officials will outline their gifts today.



The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors meets this morning.  A public hearing is scheduled on a revised code of ordinances.  This includes new rules on Solar arrays, electronic signs, and new setbacks for wind generators.  Also on the agenda is the annual report from the Plymouth County Veterans Affairs Director.  Action items from the county engineer will also be considered.



U.S. Senator Joni Ernst’s office will be holding traveling office hours in every Iowa county during October and November.  A representative will at the Cherokee Economic Development Corporation in Cherokee County today, October 24, from 11 am to 12 pm; and at the Kingsley Community Center in Plymouth County today, October 24, from 1 to 2 p.m.

Representatives from the Senator’s office will be available to assist Iowans with problems or questions about issues involving Social Security, veterans’ benefits, military affairs, passports, immigration issues, and other federal programs.



Three people were injured Sunday afternoon when an SUV collided with a motorcycle on a travel road north of Alton.  The Sioux County Sheriffs Department says 64 year old Alan Woudstra of Hospers was leaving a driveway along Jefferson Avenue, a mile north of Alton, when his vehicle struck a motorcycle ridden by 30 year old Samuel Reinders of Alton.  Woudstra, Reinders, and a passenger in Woudstra’s vehicle were taken to Orange City Area Health for treatment of injuries suffered in the accident.  Woudstra was cited for failure to yield when entering the roadway.  Assisting at the scene of the accident were Alton Fire and Ambulance, Orange City Police and Ambulance.



Authorities have identified the Spirit Lake man who was shot Saturday morning while hunting in Dickinson County.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says 18-year-old Joseph Salmon was injured while waterfowl hunting along the shore of a slough at the Spring Run Wildlife Area.

Salmon was hunting with friends when he was shot in the head.

He was airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital where he remains hospitalized.

Salmon attends Okoboji high school, which has established a go-fund-me page for him.

He is considered a local hero after he and several others saved a man whose vehicle fell through the ice on East Lake Okoboji last February.

Okoboji High School activities director Nick Mulder is also the school’s football coach.

Mulder says Salmon is an outstanding young man.

Besides the go fund me page, there are two local fundraising efforts created to support Salmon and his family.

The incident remains under investigation by the DNR’s law enforcement bureau.



The first of three days of hearings began (Monday) last night on a proposal for wind turbines in the Iowa Great Lakes area.  Invenergy is asking Dickinson County for a permit to build up to 101 turbines. A large turnout is expected, so the hearing was expanded to three nights, and they will be held at the courthouse in Spirit Lake. The company says the turbines will bring in millions in tax revenue. Residents are concerned about the impact on their homes and properties in the area where tourism is a major part of their economy.



A Chickasaw County firefighter died in an accident involving two department vehicles Sunday. A report from the Iowa State Patrol says an Ionia fire truck and a U-T-V  converted for firefighting were trying to pass a slow moving tractor as they responded to a fire call around 4 p-m. The fire truck struck the back of the U-T-V, causing it to roll. The driver 43-year-old Anthony Hoffman of Ionia was ejected. Hoffman was flown to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota where he later died.