Home News KLEM News for Monday, March 18

KLEM News for Monday, March 18


Iowa Republican Joni Ernst is seeking the number three leadership position among her G-O-P peers in the U-S Senate.

Ernst is currently the fourth-ranking G-O-P Leader and her title is Senate Republican Policy Committee chair. Her decision to seek a higher rung on the leadership ladder in the next congress comes after Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell announced he would step down as Senate Republican leader at the end of the year. As G-O-P conference chair, Ernst would help guide the message Republicans present to voters.

Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton is seeking the same position as Ernst.

Ernst was reelected to a second term in the U-S Senate in 2020. She has not announced whether she’ll run for reelection in 2026.


State Senator Jeff Taylor says state aid to schools, and a teacher pay increase, are tied up because of the Area Education Agency proposal in his chamber.

He says the three issues cannot be deliberated separately.


Taylor is chair of the Senate Education Committee. He says the  Governor’s proposal has been modified in the Senate, but he still prefers the House version.

The Governor wants to place AEA’s under the authority of the Iowa Departlment of Education.  Taylor would prefer that AEAs remain under the control of their own elected boards.



Le Mars Fire Rescue held its annual awards and appreciation banquet Saturday.

Awards were given to Dr. Ghaffari and Rob and Joyce Scheitler.  The Scheitlers donated over 9-thousand dollars from Christmas Acres to Le Mars Fire Rescue.

Ken Ernst was named firefighter of the year.

Service awards were presented to Don Bockelman for 10 years

Nita Dreckman and Ethan Mitchell for 15 years

Kevin Bolton for 20 years

Kevin Ernst and Steve Ahrendsen for 30 years



A Le Mars area man has filed to run for the Republican nomination for Iowa House District 13.
Travis Sitzmann was born and raised just south of Le Mars.

He attended Gehlen Catholic school and then the University of Northern Iowa, where he graduated with a degree in political science.

Sitzmann has worked in manufacturing and the insurance industry, as well as his father and grandfather’s farms for over 20 years.

He says he is pro law enforcement and is a former reserve Plymouth County Sheriff’s deputy.

Sitzmann will run against fellow Republican Noah Wieseler of Sioux City in the June primary for the Republican nomination.

Ken Carlson of Onawa, the current Republican serving in the district 13 seat, is retiring after one term in office.

District 13 covers the southern half of Plymouth County, southwest Cherokee County, 2/3 of Woodbury County, and all of  Monona County.



Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate is launching a new series of videos designed to give Iowa voters an in-depth look at the state’s voting process. Pate says the series will cover a variety of topics, including voter registration, registration management, absentee voting, and more.


Pate says the video series is part of an ongoing effort to ensure Iowans turn to his office as the trusted source of all things elections. With a rise in misinformation on social media, Pate says it’s important that Iowans understand Iowa’s elections process and stay alert for false claims.


The series includes 18 separate videos about Iowa’s voting process, while more videos covering topics like Election Day and the tabulation process will be released in the coming months. Find the series here: VotingProcess.Iowa.Gov.