Home News KLEM News for Wednesday, March 13

KLEM News for Wednesday, March 13

The Le Mars Community School Board has set a public hearing to consider the proposed property tax levy for the 2024-25 fiscal year, and the proposed certified budget for the next year. The tax levy hearing will take place Tuesday, April 2, at noon, at the district offices. The budget hearing will be April 8, at 6 p.m,
For next year, the proposed property tax rate is 9 dollars, 97 cents per thousand valuation. That’s .17 cents lower than the current rate. Superintendant Dr. Steven Webner says that’s based on a 2% allowable budget growth rate. Most likely, he says, the actual growth rate, set by the Legislature, will be between 2.5 and 3%. This is the first time such a hearing is required, separate of the budget hearing.
In the next fiscal year, the proposed budget includes 33.6 million dollars in revenues, and 33.1 million dollars in expenditures. The ending budget balance would be some 500-thousand dollars above the current fiscal year.


There was a sendoff yesterday for the 42 missioners who will take part in the Gehlen Mission Honduras. The sendoff took place at St. Joseph Church in Le Mars
Ann Oloff, along with Theresa Berg, are the new co-leaders of the Gehlen Mission Honduras, after Carolyn Bickford stepped back.


The learning curve was steep, but so far smooth


Oloff describes the work they will do at the mission outside the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa.


Some of the work includes building three homes for Honduran families.

Oloff anticipates a life-changing impact on the student missioners.


Teresa Berg says she didn’t have the opportunity to take part in Mission Honduras as a student…


This is the second time Berg is able to join the mission trip

It should be an exciting time for the missioners.


Another missioner – Spanish teacher Beth Ebert – like Berg, is on her second Honduran Mission trip


She sees Mission Honduras as an extended classroom for her students.



The State Transportation Commission approved millions of dollars Tuesday for economic development road projects, including one for a Sioux City project.
Sioux City was approved for an award to build a roadway along Highway 75 on the northeast side of the city for the proposed Siouxland Splash Waterslide Park development. An economic impact study says more than 150-thousand visitors will be attracted annually by the third year of operation, with 12-thousand-547 overnight visitors and the project will create 55 jobs. The Transportation Commission approved the request of more than one-point-two million dollars, or 50 percent of the project for Sioux City. Design of the roadway is expected to be complete by July 2024, with construction completed by December.



There are more details available about the plan to increase teacher salaries in Iowa.

State Representative Tom Jeneary of Le Mars says the bill will increase minimum teacher salaries to 50-thousand dollars over a two year period.  It will provide 14 million dollars to bring educational support staff pay up to 15 dollars per hour.  The bill will also provide 22 million dollars in supplemental support to help school districts reach those pay levels.

The Iowa Senate has drafted its own plan for A-E-As and teacher pay, but hasn’t voted on it.



Plymouth County’s Board of Supervisors approved the canvass of election returns in the Hinton Community School District.

Last week, two measures before voters in the Hinton School District failed in a special election.

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.

Turnout in the election was 21.5%.  The cost of the election to the county auditor was 2890 dollars.



The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors gave final approval to plans for a bridge removal project in Meadow Township.  The plans include removal of a bridge across a creek along 140th Street, a mile east of L14, northeast of Remsen.  This is one of four bridge removal projects that will be let on March 26, and completed in this construction season.

Also, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution placing an embargo on heavy trucks traveling along Marble Avenue near the county landfill.  Trucks will be restricted to a maximum 6 tons per axle.



Two people were arrested Monday afternoon following a disturbance inside a courtroom in the Sioux County courthouse.  The Sioux County Sheriffs Office says 45 year old Jaramie Davies, and 38 year old Ashley Schoppman, both of Hawarden, were arrested.  Deputies acted on a report that Davies created a disturbance in a hearing inside the courtroom.  Davies was described as extremely agitated and demanding to speak with a judge.  He was using profane language, and would not stop when ordered to do so by the judge.  Schoppman was video-recording the incident, and would not stop when ordered to do so. The Judge ordered both held in contempt of Court.  The two were transported to the Sioux County Jail as they were both ordered by the Court to be confined to jail for 24 hours; additionally, Davies charged with disorderly conduct. The sheriff’s office was assisted by the Orange City Police Department.



The Iowa Pork Producers Association is once again staging their version of March Madness.  IPPA has a bracket challenge called Pulled Pork Madness.  IPPA is asking the public to decide the state’s best pulled pork sandwich.  The bracket, with 16 contenders, was posted late Monday.  In the first found, Iowa Barbeque Company of Le Mars is up against The Roadhouse of Orange City.  Fans nominated their favorite restaurants earlier this month, and the bracket is divided by region.  Seeding was based on the two restaurants with the most votes in each of the IPPA’s eight districts.  Pork lovers have until 10 a.m. Friday to whittle the list down to eight.  Those restaurants will then compete in the next round of voting that ends March 20 to decide the final four.  The deadline to choose the championship bracket is March 25.  The title round ends March 29, with the winner announced later that day.  The winner receives 250 dollars and a Pulled Pork Madness plaque.  The public can vote through IPPA’s Facebook page or the Pulled Pork Madness web page during each round.  You can keep up with the contest using the #PulledPorkMadness hashtag.



The Iowa Department of Transportation will be closing down westbound lanes of US 20 leading into Sioux City.  Starting Monday, crews will shift westbound US 20 traffic onto the eastbound lanes in a head-to-head traffic pattern.  This will allow work on Stage 2 of reconstruction of the westbound lanes of US 20.  There will be no left hand turns allowed along the construction corridor.  The project is to be completed by November.



U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra issued a statement on President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2025 budget.  He says the 7.3 trillion dollars proposal continues the administration’s “reckless spending policies that fueled 40-year high inflation and left American families with less money in their pockets”.  He adds that the budget would raise taxes on families, farmers and businesses, and raise the national debt, and leave the country with a 1.8 trillion dollars budget deficit in fiscal year 2025. He says American families are spending an extra 1-thousand dollars a month to keep up with rising prices.,



The Iowa House Ethics Committee has unanimously dismissed a complaint alleging Republican Representative Dean Fisher of Montour has violated House rules by voting to commit state funding to private schools and helping start a new school. Fisher backed last year’s law that created state-funded Education Savings Accounts to cover private school tuition and other expenses. He’s board president of the Tama Toledo Christian School that’ll open next year. All six Republicans and Democrats on the ethics panel agreed Fisher has not violated the House code of ethics. The woman who filed the complaint says the committee is letting Fisher get away with self-dealing behavior. Fisher says the complaint was a politically-motivated effort to try to smear him because of a policy disagreement.