Home News KLEM News for Saturday, December 30

KLEM News for Saturday, December 30


There is a new doctor in general practice in Le Mars.

Dr Sean Sutphen is with the Floyd Valley Clinics.  He is from Virginia, and has no previous connections to Le Mars


Dr. Sutphen says Floyd Valley Healthcare is a great setting to carry on a general practice.


Dr. Sutphen wanted to come to a new place after his residency


In time, he might explore some specialties within his current practice


He is a Massachusetts native, and was raised and schooled in Virginia.  In his spare time, he enjoys the outdoors, and is looking into activities including hiking and biking.  His biggest surprise so far is that the Iowa winter he was bracing for hasn’t yet arrived.

Dr Sutphen began work at the Floyd Valley clinic on December 11.



The holiday season will wrap up at the Plymouth County Historical Museum with the Father Paul Eisele Memorial Epiphany Concert at 2 p.m., Friday, Jan. 5, in the Museum’s Study Hall.

Due to the unexpected death of Father Eisele on April 24, the Gehlen Catholic High School Choir is stepping up to sing at the concert. The beloved priest had presented six Epiphany concerts at the Museum, starting in 2017.

Terra Falkena, who worked closely with Father Eisele in the Gehlen Vocal Music Department, will direct the choir.

Approximately 70 fifth and sixth graders from Gehlen will attend with their teachers. The public also is welcome to listen to the choir and see the Nativities as the season closes.

Included in the afternoon’s program is the display room on the east side of the Study Hall where Father Eisele’s nativities are found. The priest gave the Museum a collection of 80 nativities from all around the world in 2016.

The Floyd Valley Model Railroad Club Room in the Museum’s basement where John Schneider is the conductor.

No admission will be charged at the Museum, although freewill donations are welcome. All five floors of the Museum will be open.



A northwest Iowa professor has been awarded a grant to study the mental health of Ukrainian refugees.  Dr Rachael Wittern is an assistant professor of psychology at Northwestern College in Orange City.  She will spend the next year collecting data on the mental health state of Ukrainian refugees living in the United States.  Wittern holds A free, bi-weekly therapy group open to the more than 100 Ukrainian refugees living in Sioux County.  She says there is no baseline data available for Ukrainian refugees in the United States.  Wittern and her research team will develop an online survey with mental health screening and quality of life measures that have been translated into Ukrainian.  They will then assess potential factors related to mental health outcomes, such as demographics, feelings of loss and guilt, and spirituality/religiosity.  These will give psychologists a greater understanding of refugees’ needs, allowing for more specialized treatment.  A 3-thousand dollars Early Career Global Psychology Grant from the American Psychological Association will help fund the study.  Four Northwestern senior psychology majors will assist Dr Wittern in the study.



The Iowa chapter of the American Red Cross is wrapping up 2023 much as it always does, with a critical need for blood donors as supplies are dangerously low during the holidays. Agency spokeswoman Sue Thesenga says she’s hoping the blood shortage in the new year makes people stop and think about what they can do to help year-round. She says you can safely donate blood every 56 days, but a lot of times donors donate once or twice during a year. Thesenga says if they donated more regularly and more often, that would probably help them avoid shortage situations. To find a place to donate, visit redcrossblood.org.



One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to quit smoking, and a survey finds 70-percent of Iowa smokers -want- to quit, while 50-percent will -try- to quit in 2024. There are mixed messages circulating about how vaping might be able to help smokers to kick the habit, messages that are blatantly false, according to Erika Sward, spokeswoman for the American Lung Association in Iowa. She says the U-S Food and Drug Administration has not found any e-cigarettes to be safe and effective in helping smokers quit. Sward says the Lung Association is urging smokers to step away from all tobacco and nicotine products, and not switch to vaping. Smokers can call and to talk to their doctors or call 800-LUNG USA or call 800-QUIT NOW to develop a plan to quit.