Home News KLEM News for Thursday, January 4

KLEM News for Thursday, January 4


Authorities say a 6th grader was shot to death and five other people were wounded during a shooting this (Thursday) morning in Perry High School — and the 17-year-old suspect, who was a student at the school, died of a self-inflicted gunshot. Four students and a school administrator are hospitalized. One of them is in critical condition, but is expected to survive. During a news conference this (Thursday) afternoon, Perry Police Chief Eric Vaughn was emotional as he praised teachers, staff and students for acting bravely and heroically during a tragic situation.


Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, says the suspect has been identified as Dillon Butler and he was armed with two weapons — a pump action shotgun and small caliber handgun.


Mortvedt says all evidence at this time suggests the 17-year-old acted alone.


Mortvedt said he had not seen a TikTok video allegedly recorded this (Thursday) morning by Brooks that has been reposted on social media platforms. A reporter at the news conference asked Mortvedt if investigators have determined a motive for the shooting.


Governor Kim Reynolds opened this (Thursday) afternoon’s news conference with a message to the Perry community.


Reynolds has ordered all flags in the state to be lowered to half-staff until sunset on Sunday in support of the students, families, teachers and staff of Perry schools and the Perry community.



Republican legislative leaders aren’t sure about how to proceed on tax cuts in the next session which begins on Monday. State Representative Tom Jeneary of Le Mars will take a deliberate approach on the issue.


Rep. Jeneary says Iowa isn’t in the same economic position as other states which have eliminated income taxes.


Jeneary says it’s too soon to eliminate the state income tax.


The state is sitting on a 3 billion dollars budget surplus. Jeneary says some of that surplus can be returned to taxpayers, but some could be used for other needs


That tax surplus can be used for some future issues.

and helping nursing homes


Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds will outline her tax cut plan in her condition of the state address Tuesday night.



Florida Governor Ron Desantis campaigned in Sioux City Wednesday.  The Republican Presidential Candidate says he is for fracking as part of a national energy policy, despite what a TV commercial opposing him says:


Desantis took GOP frontrunner Donald Trump to task for refusing to debate him or other Republican presidential candidates:


Desantis spoke on KSCJ’s “Open Line” before an appearance at Johnnie Mars Restaurant Wednesday afternoon.  He also spoke at the American Legion Hall in Sioux Center.



Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle says three Hawarden men were recently sentenced in three separate incidents.
28-year-old Richard Samuel Addink, was sentenced last month to up to five years in prison. Addink was found guilty of Second Degree Criminal Mischief, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Addink’s arrest also cleared up an outstanding warrant for the suspect in a previous firearms offense. That warrant was able to be served on Addink and he is currently serving that prison sentence as well. Addink was on probation previously and had a previous felony conviction that prevented him from possessing a firearm.

Another Hawarden man, 24 year old Eric Misael Topete, was sentenced last week for Operating a Motor Vehicle Without Owner’s Consent, an Aggravated Misdemeanor, and Possession of a Controlled Substance-Fentanyl, a Class D Felony. Topete’s probation was also revoked and he was ordered to serve another two-year prison sentence for violating his probation.

A third Hawarden man, 19 year old Devin Lee Short, was sentenced for 3rd degree burglary. On August 29, the Hawarden Senior Center reported a burglary. Hawarden Police identified the suspect at Short, who later admitted to the crime. Earlier, Short was placed on probation for other crimes, and failed to report the new charge to his probation officer. Short was sentenced to a suspended five-year prison term, and placed on two years probation. He was also ordered to serve 60 days in jail for contempt for violating probation, which will be served at the Department of Corrections Residential Treatment Facility in Sioux City. Short was lastly ordered to pay criminal fines and restitution to the facility he burglarized.

Assistant County Attorney Lori Ehlers prosecuted the cases on behalf of the State of Iowa, cooperating with the Hawarden police Department.



Iowa’s top election official is proposing uniform rules for election recounts and is asking legislators to beef up his training budget for election workers. Secretary of State Paul Pate says Iowa is one of the top states in election integrity and random audits in all 99 counties of the 2023 city-state elections found results were 100 percent accurate — but he says you can’t just rest on your laurels. Thirty of Iowa’s 99 county auditors will be overseeing their first election in 2024 and Pate wants uniform training for them AND for the roughly 10-thousand Iowans who will be working in their local precincts this year. He’s asked lawmakers to provide more money so he can hire more staff. Pate’s recount changes would allow more than just three people on a county’s recount board — and the board would have to declare before the counting begins whether ballots will be processed by hand or run through a counting machine. Pate says the recount of a congressional race in 2020 showed changes were necessary to prepare for a possible statewide recount.



A Sheldon man was injured in an accident early Wednesday morning .  The Sioux County Sheriffs Office says the accident occurred  just before 6 a.m. on McKinley Avenue, three miles north of Sheldon.  23 year old Edwin Castro lost control of his vehicle while driving north on McKinley, entered a ditch and struck a tree.  The vehicle came to rest on its top.  Castro was taken to Sanford Sheldon Medical Center for treatment of injuries.  He was cited for failure to maintain control and operating a motor vehicle without a valid drivers license.  Sheldon Fire and Ambulance, and the O’Brien County Sheriffs Office assisted



The final tallies are in, and state climatologist Justin Glisan says 2023 is going down as one of Iowa’s warmest and driest years in more than 150 years of record keeping. Glisan says when you average out the temperatures over 365 days, it’s rare for Iowa’s year-long average temperature to vary by even one-degree above or below the previous year, but that changed during 2023. We ended the year more than two degrees above average, which puts 2023 in the top 20 warmest years on record. As 2023 concluded, he says it ended 182 consecutive weeks of at least D-1 moderate drought in some part of the state. That’s more than three-and-a-half years of continuous drought and some sections of the state have exceptionally dry conditions. Iowa only saw about 27 inches of rainfall statewide, well below the average of nearly 36 inches, ranking 2023 among Iowa’s 25 driest years on record.