Home News KLEM News for Wednesday, March 27

KLEM News for Wednesday, March 27

Plymouth County’s Engineer briefed the Board of Supervisors Tuesday on road and bridge projects planned for the 2024 construction season. Engineer Tom Rohe says There are six federallly funded projects on the list, including several resurfacing projects: One is the three miles of C80, west of US 75. Another is two miles of Iowa 140 south of Kingsley; four miles of C44 south of Le Mars, and 7 miles of K42, from Merrill to C60.
There are two federally funded bridge projects, one on K42 near C60, and another northwest of Remsen, and two locally funded bridge projects. There are four locally funded bridge projects, and :two state-funded ones. and there are 12 culvert replacement projects. Total estimated cost of these projects is 15.8 million dollars, in a roughly even split between local, state, and federal sources.


Ready to etch your mark in history? Organizers of RiseFest, an annual Christian music festival held in Sheldon, want to break a 100-year town attendance record and take a dark day and turn it into light. Rob Roozeboom, Founder and President of Rise Ministries, says the previous record of 25,000 people was set in 1924 with a gathering of the Ku Klux Klan….


Roozeboom wants to erase that hated-filled record from Sheldon’s past during this year’s RiseFest Christian music festival…


This year’s RiseFest music line-up includes Ben Fuller, Skillet, We Are Messengers, and Phil Wickham. The two day festival on June 7 and 8 also includes speakers, seminars, and activities for kids.


Iowa Pulled Pork Madness has reached its championship round.
The Iowa Pork Producers Association is seeking the best pulled pork sandwich in Iowa. Each of the IPPA’s eight districts had two restaurants nominated for the competition.
Online voting determined which restaurant would advance. The northwest Iowa bracket had Iowa BBQ Company of Le Mars pitted against The Roadhouse of Orange City. The Roadhouse won that first round, but was eliminated in the next round’s online vote by the Smoke N Firehouse No. 20 of Ringsted. That northwest Iowa restaurant was eliminated in the semifinals. The finals feature two southern Iowa eateries: Barrel Smoke BBQ of Templeton, and Skinny’s BBQ of Muscatine. The winner earns a cash prize, a plaque, and bragging rights.



A state panel has rejected challenges that sought to disqualify two candidates for a northwest Iowa House seat from the June Primary. Republicans Noah Wieseler of Sioux City and Travis Sitzmann of Le Mars are running for the seat in the June Primary. The secretary of state’s office received challenges alleging neither candidate was qualified to run because they don’t live in the district. The State Objection Panel rejected those claims and cited both the Iowa Constitution and state law. State Auditor Rob Sand is one of the three members of the State Objection Panel.


Candidates for the Iowa legislature do have to be Iowa residents for at least a year before the General Election, but only have to live in the district they’re running in for 60 days before he November election. Iowa candidates for the U-S House of Representatives have to be Iowa residents, but do NOT have to live in the congressional district they seek to represent.



Severe Weather Awareness Week is underway in Iowa, highlighting the importance of being aware of, and prepared for severe weather.

Today your weather radio will sound starting at 10 a.m. for the annual statewide tornado drill.

That will be during the weekly NOAA weather radio test that sounds weather alert tones and this time will include mock watch and warning alerts.

It is also an ideal time to review your family’s emergency plan, check the contents of your emergency kit, and sign up to receive alerts to stay weather aware.



The Iowa Senate has given final approval to a bill that makes changes in Iowa’s Area Education Agencies, raises teacher pay AND increases general state education spending. Governor Reynolds says she’ll sign the package into law. The starting salary for teachers will rise to 50-thousand dollars within two years. There are raises for paraeducators along with a two-and-a-half percent increase in the state’s per pupil spending for public school students as well as the thousands of private school students who’ll get state-funded Education Savings Accounts this fall. Republican Senator Lynn Evans, a retired superintendent from Aurelia, added up all additional spending in the bill.


A dozen Republicans joined Democrats in the Iowa House and Senate to vote against the package because of the A-E-A changes. Republican Senator Charlie McClintoch of Alburnette says he’d been holding out hope there might be enough votes to block it.


Governor Reynolds proposed an major overhaul of A-E-As in January. The legislature’s plan does not go as far as the governor’s, but does shift A-E-A oversight to the Iowa Department of Education. Schools eventually will have the authority to spend funding for special education, teacher prep and other A-E-A services outside of the A-E-A system.

Under the bill, 43 percent of Iowa school districts will get less state support for the next academic year because their enrollment is shrinking.



Iowa House Republicans are proposing a constitutional amendment to set a higher threshold for any future state income tax hike. If Iowa voters approve the change, two-thirds of the members of the Iowa legislature would have to vote to raise the state income tax on individuals or corporations. Democrats like Representative Dave Jacoby of Coralville oppose the move.

Democrats say the proposal would give veto power to 17 of 50 senators and 34 of the 100 state representatives and hamstring the ability of Iowa General Assemblies to respond to conditions in the future. Republican Representative Bobby Kaufmann of Wilton says other states led by Democrats have similar policies in place for decades.

A similar proposal has been introduced in the Iowa Senate. Proposed amendments Iowa’s Constitution must be approved by two General Assemblies before going on the ballot for Iowa voters to have the final say.



A senate committee will likely vote on the governor’s nominee to lead the Iowa Department of Education tomorrow (Wednesday). McKenzie Snow took over as acting director of the department in late June, but she must win 34 yes votes in the Iowa Senate to be confirmed for the role. Taryn Frideres (TAIR-un FREE-ders), the governor’s chief of staff, was the first person to testify in favor of Snow at a subcommittee hearing Tuesday morning.


Critics say Snow is not qualified for the role and its 200-thouand dollar salary because she has never been a licensed teacher or school administrator — at a time when the department is absorbing other agencies. Jackson Kleinmeyer, a student at Kirkwood Community College, is urging senators to reject Snow’s nomination.


Jessica Roman of North Liberty, a special education consultant with the Grant Wood A-E-A, says Snow’s experience lies in policy writing, in four different jobs over the past seven years.

Snow was the deputy director of Virginia’s Department of Education when Governor Reynolds hired her.