Home News KLEM News for Wednesday, March 20

KLEM News for Wednesday, March 20


A man charged with vehicular homicide in a 2022 crash in Plymouth County has agreed to a plea deal in the case.  32 year old David Diaz will be sentenced on May 13th in Plymouth County District Court in Le Mars.  A third charged was brought against Diaz – operating while intoxicated causing serious injury.  He’ll be arraigned on that charge April 1.  He’s also charged with vehicular homicide and operating a motor vehicle under the influence.  Authorities says on June 7, 2022, Diaz was driving south on U.S. Highway 75 at a high rate of speed when he crashed into the rear of a car that had slowed to turn at C70.  A rear seat passenger received fatal injuries in the crash.  45 year old Ermiohne Hoswa of Sioux City was pronounced dead at the scene.  The other driver, 22 year old Uzael Abraham of Sioux City, was also injured.


The Hinton Community School District will change their extracurricular policies, after a controversy involving their wrestling team. Police in Coralville investigated after a video emerged on social media showing Hinton wrestler being forced into a hazing incident during the state duals tournament last month. During Monday’s school board meeting Superintendent Ken Slater says the district met with parents to come up with suggestions to improve the district’s handbook. Slater says the new changes will likely be finalized this summer. Holly Keegan is one of the parents who met with administrators and told the board she wants to make sure a wrong is made right. The high school principal and athletic director both said earlier this month they are stepping down at the end of the school year. And the school board accepted the resignation of head wrestling coach Casey Crawford at Monday’s meeting. Crawford will stay on as a math teacher.


The Le Mars city council Tuesday approved the use of Economic Development funds for the Main Street Facade Program. The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce requested the city contribute 50-thousand dollars to the fund. The program has been in effect since 2003, and the last time 50-thousand dollars was contributed to the program was in the year 2020. Funding for the program is to come from Local Option Sales Tax proceeds. There is one project that has been approved for funding, at the Le mars Community Theatre. There are four potential grant requests pending.


The Iowa House has sent the governor a bill giving state and local law enforcement officers authority to arrest undocumented immigrants and have them deported. The vote came two hours after the U-S Supreme Court allowed a similar Texas law to take effect — at least temporarily — while an appeals court reviews the policy. Republican Representative Steven Holt of Denison says Iowa must act because the federal government isn’t doing its job.

Holt says the bill pushes the envelope when it comes to state authority to enforce immigration law, but he says that’s what is required to address a clear and present danger.

The bill passed with the support of nearly all Republicans and a couple of Democrats in the House. Representative Sami Scheetz, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, says this bill may put the state in a legal quagmire because immigration policy is constitutionally reserved for the federal government.

Governor Reynolds says the Biden Administration has failed to enforce immigration laws and she looks forward to signing the bill into law.


Pointing a laser at an aircraft has been a federal crime since 2018 and it is likely to become a state crime soon. A FEDERAL conviction carries a prison term of up to five years and an 11-thousand dollar fine for a single incident. The Iowa legislature has unanimously approved STATE penalties that range from a simple misdemeanor to a Class C felony, which means a judge could sentence someone to up to a decade in prison. In 2021, a laser was aimed at an Iowa National Guard helicopter flying in the Waterloo area and this year U-S pilots reported over 13-thousand laser incidents to the Federal Aviation Administration. Officials say if a laser hits the windshield of an aircraft, it can flood the entire cockpit with light and temporarily blind a pilot.



The Le Mars city council Tuesday awarded a contract for the Le Mars Interchange Track Project.  Four bids were received for the project, which includes constructing a new spur at the track interchange.  Musselman ahd Hall Contractors LLC of Overland Park, Kansas was awarded the contract.  They had the low bid at 1 million, 11-thousand dollars.  The bid was 15 percent above the engineer’s estimate of 858-thousand dollars, but a change order is already in the works that would lower the project bid by some 15-thousand dollars.  The project cost would be paid through tax increment financing.  The construction is to be completed by mid-October.



The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee celebrated National Agriculture Day Tuesday with their 27th Agri-business luncheon at the Le Mars Convention Center.  There were several people honored at the luncheon.  They include Albert Schultz, who was presented the Outstanding Service to Agriculture.  Brady Allen of the Le Mars FFA received a scholarship from the Chamber Ag Committee.  Special recognition was given to Jim De Boer, for his display of handmade farm toys that’s on display at the Round Barn during the Plymouth County Fair.  The event featured a presentation on the emerald ash borer by Mike Kintner, an entomologist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.  Key note speaker was Dr Larry Tranel, a Field Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.  He spoke on Understanding Farm Personalities.



A House committee has approved a bill that outlines a new legal avenue for landowners who don’t want a carbon pipeline to run through their property. Representative Bobby Kaufmann of Wilton said it’s the fifth time the House has introduced a bill to address the ability of developers to gain eminent domain authority to seize ground from unwilling property owners. The bill would give the Polk County District Court authority to review claims from landowners or developers about whether eminent domain authority may be used for any project — including the proposed Summit Carbon Solutions Pipeline. The bill cleared the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously today (Tuesday) and it’s now eligible for House debate. Earlier this year the House passed a different bill about carbon pipelines, but it never came up in the senate before last week’s deadline for action on the bill.



A bill that could potentially ban TikTok which passed the U-S House last week is now arriving in the Senate, where some observers say it faces a graveyard. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, says he’d like to see restrictions placed on the popular social media app and he believes the legislation -will- pass in the Senate, eventually. The House passed the bill last Wednesday that would force ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok, to sell the app or face being banned across the U-S. Grassley says TikTok is a threat and could compromise national security, especially if the Chinese mine data from the phones of 170-million American users. He calls China “a potential danger to the world.”