Home News KLEM News for Wednesday, February 14

KLEM News for Wednesday, February 14

The second of two sessions to consider improvements in Le Mars parks takes place later today.  Dustin Wright, president of the Le Mars Area Betterment Foundation, says they are interested in supporting parks and recreation in the community


Wright says a number of ideas were brought up at yesterday’s session.


The Foundation is considering support for projects in specific parks in Le Mars.


The Le Mars Betterment Foundation has been involved in a variety of projects, from recreation trails to building renovations


The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved a permit for buried cable along several roads west of Kingsley. Northwest REC will service various locations along 310th, 320th, and County Road C70, and several roads between them. The area is in Elkhorn Township.


Governor Kim Reynolds has requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration for eighteen southern and eastern Iowa counties following the storms in early January. The governor is requesting funding under the FEMA’s Public Assistance Program
for Adair, Black Hawk, Cedar, Clinton, Davis, Delaware, Dubuque, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Lucas, Montgomery, Polk, Scott, Story, Wapello, and Washington counties
after record-breaking snowfall from January 8th through January 14th. A joint federal, state, and local damage assessment estimated the significant snowfall resulted in more than eight million dollars worth of damage. The Public Assistance program would help those counties recover costs related to snow removal, de-icing, salting and sanding of roads.


Republicans in the Iowa House are proposing joint training of state nursing home inspectors and nursing home staff. The twice-per-year training would have to include a review of the most frequent complaints about care from the previous year. Republican Representative Ann Meyer of Fort Dodge says she wants nursing homes to stay open and the policy would make sure complaints are addressed, while building a more collaborative relationship between inspectors and facilities. Democrats in the Senate say there are too many cases of abuse and neglect of nursing home residents and it’s time to hire more nursing home inspectors.



The Le Mars man accused of causing fatal injuries to a Merrill man last month has now been charged with second degree murder and attempted murder.  Reese Harms, 24, is accused of assaulting 44 year old Michael Gomez on January 19th at a Le Mars apartment.

Court documents state that Harms and Gomez were in a dispute.  Harms placed Gomez in a choke hold, rendering him unconscious, and caused him to stop breathing.  Gomez later died of his injuries.

Arraignment for Harms will be February 26 at the Plymouth County Courthouse in Le Mars.



The second of two meetings about city parks will take place this afternoon in Le Mars.  The city’s consultant on the Vision 2045 development plan lead a discussion on what amenities citizens want in Le Mars city parks.  Tuesday, ideas for park improvements were discussed.  Today, these ideas will be presented as a plan for citizen reaction.  The meeting is from 4 to 6 p.m at the Wells Visitor Center and Ice Cream Parlor.



Local artist Annie Laursen brought her work into the third and fourth grade classrooms at Franklin Elementary School in Le Mars.  We caught up with Laursen in the midst of teaching third grade students of Nikki Hoss and Shawnee Herbold.


Laursen talked with students about careers in art, and showed them how to work with clay.


What opportunities are available in art?


Laursen was asked to come in and work with the students


Laursen’s work at Franklin Elementary is funded by a grant from the Music Boosters at Le Mars Community High School.


Laursen is thrilled to share her work with young students.




US Representative Randy Feenstra voted with the majority to impeach the US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.  Feenstra says Secretary Mayorkas has failed to uphold his oath of office to protect our nation from foreign threats.  Feenstra refers to the open southern border, where thousands of illegal immigrants cross into the US every day.  He says border patrol agents lack the support needed to do their jobs.  The vote in the House last night was 214 in favor of impeachment, 213 against.  All four Iowans who serve in the House voted for impeachment.



A bill that would have required state-issued serial numbers on so-called “ghost guns” has been permanently tabled in the Iowa House. Republican Representative Phil Thompson of Boone says the logistical framework for registration is terrifying and the bill will not be considered by the House Public Safety Committee. Gun rights groups opposed the bill, saying registration has led to gun confiscation in other countries. Supporters of the bill say it’s time to regulate guns made from a kit or a 3-D printer the same way guns produced by a licensed manufacturer are regulated.



Senate Democrats are calling for a state minimum wage just for direct care workers in nursing homes. By July of next year, all nursing home direct care workers would have to be paid $15 an hour and Senate Democrats propose that it ratchet up to $20 an hour by the middle of 2030. Senator Claire Celsi, a Democrat from Des Moines, says staffing shortages are a huge issue in the nursing home industry and it’s led to tragic circumstances for some residents. According to state data, the average pay for direct care workers in nursing homes was $13 an hour in 2022. Republicans in the Iowa House say they’re concerned agencies supplying temporary employees to nursing homes are exploiting recently boosted state funding for nursing home care.