Home News KLEM News for Tuesday, April 16

KLEM News for Tuesday, April 16


Severe weather struck Plymouth County this afternoon.  The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning for southwest Plymouth and adjacent counties around 1-30 p.m.  The storm moved north-northeast into western Plymouth County.

A funnel was sighted outside of Le Mars…

(Josh Langel photo)

(Candice Nash photos)

At 1:59 p.m., a tornado warning was issued for northern Plymouth County and southern Sioux County, as a tornado was confirmed by spotters near Le Mars at Brunsville. A tornado was sighted at 2:11, two miles north of Struble. A tornado was also sighted at Sioux Center, in Sioux County, around 2:29 p.m. Storms also struck Plymouth County earlier this morning, producing mainly heavy rains.  Between 7 and 7:15 a.m., there was 2.66 inches of rain reported at Remsen, and 2.35 inches of rain at Le Mars.  This afternoon, Merrill had 2.25 inches of rain.

Storms today also caused problems for KLEM’s broadcast signal.  A lightning strike caused damage at our transmitter site.  We were on and off the air during the day as engineers repaired the damage.


The Le Mars city council today passed a motion to authorize the sale of Park Place Estates, an assisted living facility operated for 25 years by Floyd Valley Healthcare. The motion sets a public hearing on the sale for May 7, Floyd Valley Healthcare requested the sale earlier this month. They are partnering with Accura Health Care, a firm which operates assisted living facilities in four states, including 21 in Iowa. At a public hearing today, CEO Dustin Wright says Accura Healthcare specializes in assisted living care, and is a good fit for the community. Wright says Floyd Valley Healthcare insists on Park Place Estates remain an assisted living facility, that a high-quality living environment be maintained, and that the new owner recognize that resident satisfaction is tied to team members. Council member Brian Bruns read a statement from an annonymus citizen concerned about a for-profit firm taking ownership of Park Place Estates. The statement also said that losing local control and oversight would be a significant loss to the community, and would signal a decline in qualify of care. In the end, the council voted unanimously for the authorization to sell Park Place Estates.  A public hearing will take place May 7 to finalize the sale.


The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved a contract for a bridge replacement project near Remsen. Dixon Construction of Correctionville had the lowest of three bids at 617-thousand dollars, and were awarded the contract for construction. The engineers estimate is 803-thousand. The construction site is on Shamrock Ave. north of C16. The old bridge there will be removed, and a 120 by 30 foot concrete slab bridge will be built. The contractor must start the project by mid-July, and be finished by mid-October.
This is one of four local bridge projects to take place in Plymouth County this construction season.


The Iowa Senate has sent the governor a bill to set up state regulations for traffic cameras that generate tickets for speeding. Cities and counties will have to get a traffic camera permit from the Iowa Department of Transportation. Municipalities will have to supply information to justify the speed limit in the area where a camera is placed, along with data about the number and severity of traffic accidents in the area. The fines from traffic camera tickets must be used on law enforcement budgets, plus tickets may only be issued to vehicles caught going at least 10 miles over the speed limit. Legislators have been debating whether to ban or regulate traffic cameras since 2011 and this is the first time the House and Senate have agreed on a plan.


The legislature has passed a bill requiring motorists in Iowa to yield not just to pedestrians in crosswalks, but to bicyclists, skateboarders and people on scooters or in wheelchairs. It expands current state law, which says drivers face criminal charges if they injure or kill a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Representative Jon Dunwell of Newton says it’s important to protect others using a crosswalk to navigate traffic. The bill is headed to the governor’s desk. It passed the House at the end of February on an 84 to eight vote and the Senate approved it unanimously last week. The neighboring states of Nebraska, Minnesota and Illinois have similar laws.



Barricades are going up along Plymouth Street in Le Mars for a major paving project this season.  Between now and the end of May, street crews will be patching and laying new sidewalk ramps on parts of the Plymouth Street between 5th Ave and 14th Ave.  In mid-June, a contractor will mill and repave the street.  There will be detours placed where needed, and, during paving, pilot cars may be used.



The Iowa House yesterday passed a Senate bill which would allow immunity for school staff who carry guns.  State Senator Jeff Taylor of Sioux Center supported the bill when it came up for a vote in his chamber last week.


The bill allows concealed weapons permits for school staff.  The bill went to the House this week, and was passed in that chamber Monday.



The Le Mars city council meets in regular session at noon today.

The meeting will begin with three public hearings – one for the sale of property administered by Floyd Valley Healthcare. The other two hearings will be for amendments to the city water rate and sewer rate ordinances.  Action items include assistance requests from two developers, a grant application for an Environmental Protection Agency grant, and project details of an airport paving project.



Plymouth County Deputies arrested a man last weekend on an assault charge.  Deputies were dispatched to a rural Le Mars address for a possible assault. When arriving it was made aware to deputies the victim had been assaulted and was in fear of their safety.  Michael J Milledge, age 41, was placed under arrest for assault with intent to cause bodily injury and assault while impeding airflow/blood flow. He was transported to the Plymouth County Jail for booking under those offenses.



The Sioux County Sheriffs Office is announcing a new road safety  effort. Each week, deputies will be focusing on a STEP (Special Traffic Enforcement Project) on various county roads and in the cities they are contracted to provide law enforcement services.

The Sheriff’s Office will announce the STEP area locations the morning of day of the project on their social media platforms so everyone is aware of their presence. They will even take suggestions from the public of places where they could step up their presence.  The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement services for seven communities in the county.

City of Boyden Iowa
Chatsworth Iowa
Granville, Iowa
City of Hospers
City of Hull Iowa
Matlock, Iowa
City of Maurice Iowa



U-S Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican, says it’s time for congress to pass the Expanding Agricultural Exports Act she’s co-sponsoring with an independent senator from Maine and a Minnesota senator who’s a Democrat. The bill would double federal funding for marketing campaigns that promote the sale of U-S agricultural products in foreign countries. The U-S-D-A projects the United States will have an agricultural trade deficit this year. Ernst says the Biden Administration should do more to promote the sale of U-S agricultural goods.



The Hoosier State is now banking on its own Caitlin Clark Effect, as the Indiana Fever last night picked the University of Iowa star basketball player during Monday’s W-N-B-A draft. Cathy DuBois, dean of the College of Business at Ball State University in Muncie, says Clark is an absolute national phenomenon and the sky’s the limit for the West Des Moines native, wherever she goes.


A Ball State study predicts Clark’s addition to the Fever roster will bring another 12-hundred fans to each game in the upcoming season, many of whom will be coming from outside the region. That means plenty of dollars spent in hotels, restaurants, and other entertainment venues during their stay.


Clark led the Hawkeyes to two consecutive national championship games, including the match with South Carolina which set a record for television viewers.

Clark’s number, 22, was retired during a celebration last Wednesday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on the U-I campus, after a season during which she racked up a long series of awards and national records. With the new countrywide focus on women’s basketball, DuBois predicts the entire professional league will benefit as Clark joins its ranks.