Home News KLEM News for Thursday, February 22

KLEM News for Thursday, February 22


Reese Harms, charged in the death of a Merrill man last month, has entered a plea of not guilty, and has demanded a speedy trial in his case.  Court documents filed yesterday in Plymouth County District Court indicate a pretrial conference in the case is set for March 4, at 2-30 p.m. A trial date has not been set.  Harms is charged with second degree murder in the death of 44 year old Michael Roy Gomez of Merrill on January 19.  Harms assaulted Gomez in a Le Mars apartment.  Gomez later died of injuries sustained in the assault.



A Le Mars woman who conspired to steal firearms and other valuables from a family member’s home was sentenced Tuesday, to more than 7 years in federal prison.

Tresa Fiedler, 24, received the prison term after a September 28, 2023, guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to possess stolen firearms and one count of possession of stolen firearms.

Fielder was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand to 87 months’ imprisonment adjusted for time served.  She must also serve a 1-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

The crime occurred October 1, 2021, when Fiedler participated in a home burglary where she and coconspirator, Ian Bigler stole 10 guns. The burglary was planned in advance, and Fielder used diversions to insure the home was empty when the burglary was committed.  The two were arrested within two weeks of the crime.

Bigler, was sentenced last July, in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand to 15 years imprisonment. He must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term.

Fielder is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until she can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was investigated by LeMars, Iowa Police Department, Sioux City, Iowa Police Department, and ATF, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild.



The Le Mars Street Dept. will allow a street closure on Saturday, February 24.  Well’s South Ice Cream Plant will shut down part 18th St. S.W. between 6th Ave. S.W. and 12th Ave. S.W.  Saturday February 24th, 2023, between 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. They will be installing another new crane rail in the freezer which requires them to pull it out of the freezer and across 18th St. S.W. . There will be detour signs set up during the hours listed.



A public hearing at the statehouse gave over two dozen parents and educators an opportunity to share their opinions on proposed changes in how Iowa’s nine Area Education Agencies operate. The governor released her proposed overhaul in January. Republican senators have made some adjustments to the governor’s bill. Republicans in the House have their own alternative.
Spirit Lake Superintendent David Smith called the House plan a watered down bill and he urged lawmakers to make most of the changes Reynolds has proposed.

David Tully of Adel, a former deputy director of the Iowa Department of Education, says his local A-E-A has been a safety net for his daughter who has a disability.

Doug Glackin, the superintendent of Woodbury Central Community School District, supports some of the changes that have been proposed, including a reduction in the salaries for top A-E-A managers, but he’s urging lawmakers to slow down the timeline.

Jacob Bolsom, a member of the Hubbard-Radcliff Board of Education, says if the plans as proposed are adopted, A-E-A services will be degraded and the state will be sued.

The chairman of the House Education Committee says Wednesday night’s testimony was similar to previous input lawmakers have received about A-E-As and House Republicans will continue their conversations about the bill.



A candidate from O’Brien County is seeking the Republican nomination to Congress in Iowa’s Fourth District.  Kevin Virgil announced his candidacy early in January to face incumbent Randy Feenstra for the GOP nomination.


Virgil got into politics over pipeline issues.


Virgil didn’t like the incumbent’s stance on carbon capture pipelines.


He’s heard from 4th District voters about several issues, but his main focus is big government.


He wants to cut back the scope of Washington power.


Virgil has scheduled two events to meet with voters. Sunday at 4 p.m. he will be at Tucker Hill Winery near Hinton. Monday he will be at Iowa State Bank in Orange City at 4:30 p.m.

You can find out more about Kevin Virgil and his campaign for Congress at virgilforcongress.com or follow on Twitter/X @kvirgil



The Teamsters have staged an hour-long protest outside the Iowa Capitol over a bill about certification votes for unions representing state and local government workers. The Teamsters represent public sector workers who drive school buses and snow plows and work at water and sewage treatment plants. The bill that sparked today’s (Wednesday’s) protest would decertify union representation for public sector workers if their manager fails to send a list of local union members to the state. Republicans who back the bill say some managers haven’t been following that requirement and some recertification votes haven’t been held.



A University of Iowa study suggests breast milk donations are helpful and can even provide potentially life-saving benefits, for extremely premature infants. U-I professor and lead researcher, Tara Colaizy, tells K-C-R-G T-V that premature infants fed donated breast milk were found to acquire less than half of the life-threatening diseases than those who were fed formula. Doctor Colaizy says researchers found that extremely preterm infants are at a higher risk for neurodevelopmental impairment that could affect their memory, speech and motor abilities later in life. The team considers extremely preterm infants to be those born before 29 weeks. Doctor Colaizy says the infants only eat a teaspoon at a time and a breast milk donation as small as three ounces can feed like five or six tiny babies. The research project has been going on for more than a decade and has involved data from hospitals around the country.