Home News KLEM News for Friday, April 19

KLEM News for Friday, April 19


The Le Mars Police Association awarded Sgt. Dawn Fifita the Association’s 2023 Blue Line Award.  The award recognizes Sgt. Fifita’s positive influence on the community.  Sgt. Fifita is recognized for her willingness to help, no matter the time or situation.  Sgt. Fifita works at the Plymouth County Jail.



The National Weather Service office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, put out an analysis of the severe weather that occurred in Plymouth County and the surrounding area Tuesday afternoon.  There was some pea to quarter size hail in and near Sioux City, but the storms mainly produced widespread rain and brief tornados or funnel clouds. Five tornado reports were received in northwest Iowa. The first touched down at 1:46 p.m. a mile northwest of Hinton in an open field.  The second touched down at 1:58 p.m. three miles SW of Struble.  An outbuilding was destroyed, and there was some tree damage.  The storm path was about 1.3 miles long.  A third tornado report came from 2 miles north of Struble.  This one occurred at 2:11 p.m., The next report came from an area 2 miles north-northwest of Sioux Center.  Peak winds from the storm was estimated at 85 miles per hour, and traveled along the ground for almost 9/10 of a mile. It collapsed a barn at a rural residence.  The last report came at 2:29 p.m. from an area 4 miles north-northwest of Matlock.  Peak winds were estimated at 100 miles per hour, and the tornado traveled about 2/3 of a mile, through Otter Valley Golf Course, and causing some damage to a farm north of the golf course.  In all these instances, there were no injuries reported.



Iowa Workforce Development executive director Beth Townsend says March unemployment was down a little bit from the revised February number of three-point-oh percent to two-point-nine (2.9) percent. The workforce participation rate dropped slightly as well. Townsend says there were four-thousand new jobs in March to go along with the 11-thousand jobs added in February. Townsend says there are some big layoffs coming in May in June with the Tyson plant closing and John Deere, so it’s a good sign that jobs were added in February and March. Townsend says Iowa’s economy continues to be resilient despite the inflation worries that we’re seeing nationally and the changes in the national unemployment rate. The U-S unemployment rate fell in March to three-point-eight percent.



The Iowa legislature has approved the governor’s plan to create a combined system to help Iowans with a mental illness as well as those with addiction issues. Republican Representative Joel Fry of Osceola says it’s the culmination of many years of work to improve services  There are currently 13 mental health regions and 19 separate substance use treatment regions in Iowa. On July 1st of next year, they’ll be combined into seven behavioral health districts. Advocates say it will be particularly helpful for people who have a mental health diagnosis and also need treatment for substance abuse. The bill does not provide a new source of funding for the system, but state officials say after the merger, they’ll be able to use 23 MILLION dollars that hasn’t been spent in some of the mental health regions.



The Rural Midwest economy continues below growth neutral, but shows signs of growth this month.  The monthly rural Mainstreet Index was below growth neutral for an 8th straight month.  While the region’s index rose from 38.0 in March, it registered 45.8 in April. Survey author, economist Ernie Goss at Creighton University, says weaker commodity prices, and higher grain storage costs pushed the index below growth neutral.  Iowa’s rate was 36.7 in April, up from 34.5 in March.  All ten states saw their April index rise.  Two states, Colorado and Texas, had rates above growth neutral.



The maker of a well-known brand of sour cream and cottage cheese is planning to build a production facility in Boone. The Boone City Council has voted to submit an application for Daisy Brand to the Iowa Economic Development Authority. The application is for tax incentives from the state’s High Quality Jobs program. Boone Mayor Eli Stine says the 708 million dollar project is the largest capital investment ever in Boone and a state board is expected to approve the application Friday. Once completed, the Daisy Brand plant in Boone is expected to employ 250. Daisy currently operates plants in Texas, Ohio and Arizona.



This spring will be the first time in about two centuries that the U-S will see the emergence of two different broods of cicadas. One brood of insects emerges from the ground every 17 years and the other every 13 years. University of Iowa biology professor Andrew Forbes stood in a forested area near Coralville and told K-C-R-G T-V that the cicadas will emerge sometime within the next month. Forbes says Iowa is only going to see one brood emerge and Illinois is about the only place in the Midwest that will see both at the same time. Forbes says for a biologists like him, this is his eclipse. You will have to travel a bit if you want to hear the full effect of the double emergence, and Forbes says it’ll be worth it. The last time both cicada broods emerged at the same time was in 1803 when Thomas Jefferson was President.