Home News KLEM News for Wednesday, March 6

KLEM News for Wednesday, March 6


After a public hearing Tuesday, the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved a budget amendment for the current fiscal year. The amendment reflects 657-thousand dollars in additional revenue, 565-thousand of it from interest income and use of property.
Expenses under the amendment total 216-thousand dollars. Nearly half of it is applied to administrative expenses, the rest toward jail equipment and repairs, landfill expenses and additional expenses in additional drivers license wages, and election expenses.’


Two measures before voters in the Hinton School District failed in a special election Tuesday.

Proposition RS, which would increase the district’s bond levy to 4 dollars, 5 cents per thousand property value, gained 197 yes votes, and 296 no votes.  The measure needed a 60% majority in order to pass.

Proposition RT, which would extend the school district’s PPEL levy to ten years, and increase the levy to a maximum one dollar, 34 cents per thousand, gained 217 yes votes, and 277 no votes.  The measure needed 50% plus one yes votes in order to pass.



The Le Mars city council Tuesday agreed to extend a tax rebate an extra three years.  Joe Galles applied for the extension on two properties he’s developing.  The city’s policy is to provide 7-year tax rebates for new development.  Iowa Code allows up to ten years of tax abatement in an urban renewal area.  Over the years, Le Mars property owners have requested an additional three years tax abatement.  City staff recommended the council approve the three year extension, and that they should decide either to end the practice of granting extensions, or adopt a ten year abatement.  The council passed a motion to authorize the extension, on a 4-1 vote.  The abatement for the properties over the next three years totals around 26-thousand dollars.



Joe Biden easily won the Iowa Democratic Party mail-in system with 91 percent of the votes. The mail-in system replaced the delegate math that determined which presidential candidate won Iowa Caucuses of the past. Iowa Democratic Party chairwoman Rita Hart says the new system addresses complaints that the Caucuses were not very democratic, since you had to be present on Caucus Night to participate. About 20-thousand Iowa Democrats requested what the party called “presidential preference cards.” More than 12-thousand were returned by Tuesday. Nearly four percent of Iowa Democrats indicated they were uncommitted to a presidential candidate at this point in the race. Over 19-hundred Democrats in the 4th Congressional District mailed in their votes,including 39 from Plymouth County, and 175 from Woodbury County.



The Woodbury County Attorney has ruled that the fatal shooting of a suspect by Sioux City Police at the parking ramp of Sioux City’s Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on January 8th was justified.
County Attorney James Loomis says 55-year-old Salvador Perez-Garcia of Sioux City deliberately rammed two patrol cars with his pickup and then attacked officers while brandishing a weapon on a steel chain:



Loomis says Perez-Garcia had been banned from the Hard Rock Casino in June of 2023 because of thefts.
On January 8th he drove his pickup into the Hard Rock parking garage’s second level at 1:08 a.m.
Surveillance video shows him talking into the security camera and smoking what was believed to be meth from a glass pipe.
He drove to the Sioux City Police parking lot at 2:36 a.m. and then immediately returned to the Hard Rock ramp where he slowly drove into the glass doors to the elevator area on the 2nd level, and then drove up and down the ramp for the next 50 minutes until a police officer drove into the ramp for unrelated surveillance


Loomis says Perez-Garcia then rammed the patrol car again, and the officer radioed for assistance.
Officers arrived within minutes and Perez-Garcia drove down the ramp where the situation escalated with a parked second patrol car:


Loomis says within seconds, Perez-Garcia got out of his pickup and swinging a steel chain with a metal weight on the end of it, advanced on the responding officers.
Officers ordered him to stop and drop the weapon, then tried physically disarming him, but were unsuccessful:


Perez-Garcia was struck nine times and the officers rendered medical aid, but Perez-Garcia died at the scene.
Police Chief Rex Mueller says the officers involved in the incident have returned to duty:


Chief Mueller says Perez-Garcia conducted a deliberate and pre-meditated ambush on officers and he forced the confrontation with them..
He and Loomis extended their condolences to Perez-Garcia’s family.



Summit Carbon Solutions has announced a partnership with ethanol producer Valero for use of its proposed carbon pipeline. Valero has five Iowa ethanol plants in Albert City, Charles City, Fort Dodge, Hartley and Lakota, along with others in Nebraska, Minnesota, and South Dakota. They produce one-point-one BILLION gallons of ethanol ever year. Summit says the company would capture three-point-one million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually that would be shipped through the pipeline that will run through Iowa. The Iowa Utilities Board held an eight-week public hearing on the pipeline permit that ended in November, and Summit is waiting for the I-U-B decision on the issue.



The Iowa House has passed a bill that makes several changes to election rules. It would to require new absentee ballot envelopes, ban ballot drop boxes at county auditors’ offices, and require that absentee ballots be in election offices the day before an election instead of at the time the polls closed. Republicans voted for the bill. Representative Bobby Kaufmann of Wilson says it allows 504 hours to vote, which is enough time. Democrats in the House voted against it. Representative Austin Baeth of Des Moines suggests the changes are fueled by paranoia and there is no organized conspiracy to tamper in our elections. Kaufmann, in response, said no one said there’s a conspiracy here and the bill is about election integrity.