Home News KLEM News for Wednesday, April 3

KLEM News for Wednesday, April 3


The details of a plea agreement for a Sioux City man charged with vehicular homicide and other counts in a Plymouth County fatal accident in June of 2022 have been filed.
32-year-old David Diaz will plead guilty to the amended charge of homicide by vehicle, reckless driving, a class C felony, and operating while intoxicated resulting in serious injury, a class D felony.
Diaz will serve up to ten years in prison on the first count and up to five years on the second count. The terms will be served consecutively.
He is also ordered to pay restitution of $150,000 and pay a fine of $2395.00.
Charges of OWI-1st offense, reckless driving and speeding will be dropped.
Authorities say Diaz was driving south on US Highway 75 at 81 miles an hour when he crashed into the rear of a car that had slowed to turn at C-70.
The crash resulted in fatal injuries to a passenger in the back seat of that car.
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.



There will be public hearings before the Le Mars city council on proposed increases in water and sewer rates.  The city’s Public Utilities Committee recommends yearly increases in water rates for the next four years, and yearly increases in sewer rates over the next six years. Under this plan, minimum water rates will increase from 14.33 cents per thousand gallons to 24 dollars by the year 2027.  This is done in order to pay for water treatment plant improvements.  Minimum sewer rates will increase from the current 9.36 per month to 26.46 in 2029.  Public hearings on both rate amendments will take place on Tuesday, April 16.



The Plymouth County Road Department has given notice that it will close a rail crossing at Hinton beginning Monday.  The repairs to the crossing east of US 75 along C60 will require closing the crossing to vehicle traffic for two weeks.  Traffic will be detoured along 75 south to C70, east to K42, and north to C60.  The project will be completed by Monday, April 22.



Sioux County authorities say a semi with a loaded livestock trailer crashed Tuesday morning.  Dylan Coyle, 30, of Manly Iowa, was driving southbound on Iowa 60 two miles south of Hospers, when he lost control of the vehicle, entered the median and rolled onto its side.  The truck and trailer sustained 350-thousand dollars in damages.  There were no injuries reported.  The Sioux County Sheriffs Office was assisted by Hospers Fire and Ambulance, Iowa DOT Highway Department.  Several area farmers assisted in rounding up loose pigs.


The governor’s plan to merge the 13 regional systems for mental health services and 19 substance use treatment regions has won bipartisan support in the Iowa House. The bill would establish seven behavioral health districts in Iowa. Iowa Department of Health and Human Services director Kelly Garcia says the plan does not call for additional state spending, but will free
up 23 million dollars in state funds for mental health services that haven’t been spent.

Supporters of the merged system say it will ensure Iowans have access to similar substance abuse and mental health services no matter where they live. A House Democrat who backed the bill called it a good start, but she says the state will have to provide more incentives to get more people in the mental health care workforce. Under the bill, the redesigned and merged behavioral health system would not start operating in its seven regions until July 1st of NEXT year.


A bill that’s passed the Iowa Senate would block lawsuits against farm chemical companies based on how the products are labeled. It means the companies couldn’t be sued for failing to warn of potential health risks if product labels meet federal guidelines. In February a federal appeals court refused to dismiss a lawsuit claiming Roundup causes cancer and the C-E-O of Bayer, the company that produces Roundup, recently told investors lawsuits are a huge burden for the company. Thirty Republicans in the Senate voted for the bill, while four other Republicans joined Democrats in the Senate in voting against it. Critics say the legislature should be looking out for farmers who get cancer rather than for corporations.


Iowa now has a law modeled after the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Governor Kim Reynolds signed the bill into law last (Tuesday) night at an event sponsored by The Family Leader, a Christian conservative group. In a written statement, Reynolds said religious rights have increasingly come under attack and this law uphold ideals that are the very foundation of our country. Critics say the law will let some Iowans weaponize and misuse religion to discriminate against others. The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act was approved in 1993. According to the governor’s office, 26 other states have adopted similar laws in the past three decades.



Iowans who were sexually abused by Boy Scout troop leaders decades ago could get much less money from a national settlement than victims in other states unless state lawmakers act this month to change Iowa law. Iowa’s current time limit on suing perpetrators of childhood sexual abuse means hundreds of Iowa victims could get as little as 30 percent of the money they’re entitled to from the settlement. Republican Senator Tim Kraayenbrink of Fort Dodge is sponsoring a bill to ensure the victims in the Boy Scouts settlement get full compensation. Kraayenbrink has a constituent in Fort Dodge who’s entitled to money from the settlement and will get far less if the law isn’t changed.



Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird is joining counterparts in 26 other states in urging the U-S Supreme Court to reject what she calls Illinois’ unconstitutional ban on AR-15s and other semi-automatic rifles. Bird calls the Illinois law “an outright assault on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.” U-S Senator Chuck Grassley says he always tries to “find a balance between A-R-15s or any Second Amendment right and protecting the people.” Grassley says states can, in 50 different ways, try to regulate guns but it’s got to be within the law, and the Supreme Court will “make that determination of constitutionality.” Grassley says the A-R-15 is the most popular rifle in the U-S.