Home News KLEM News for Saturday, April 20

KLEM News for Saturday, April 20


The 2024 Iowa legislative session ended overnight. The Senate adjourned just before 3:30 a.m.  And the House wrapped up the year at 4:23 a.m. today. The final day of decisions and votes stretched over 20 hours. Lawmakers approved a billion dollar cut in the state income tax that will take effect next year. A nearly nine BILLION dollar state spending plan was finalized. The final bill sent to the governor calls for redeploying a dozen Division of Criminal Investigation agents who work at the state casinos to a task force that will work on illegal immigration cases. The governor recently signed a bill into law that authorizes law enforcement to arrest undocumented immigrants — and gives Iowa judges authority to issue deportation orders. It’s similar to a Texas law that hasn’t taken effect due to a legal challenge. Early this (Saturday) morning the House voted overwhelmingly to extend a moratorium on new casinos in Iowa, but the bill didn’t come up for a vote in the Senate.



Richard Ziettlow is the 2024 Le Mars Community High School Distinguished Alumni of the Year.

He is from the Class of 1967 and nominated by Mary Reynolds. She stated, “Rich is a leader in the community and a believer in teamwork. He is creative, innovative and always has a positive attitude. Rich is an inspirational role model for our community.”

Rich graduated from Westmar College and worked in the field of information technology until his retirement. He was a project manager for American Airlines in Tulsa, OK. While living there, he was involved in the Tulsa community and in his church. He and his high school sweetheart, Rev. Dr. Jean Engelbrecht Ziettlow (1968) moved back to Le Mars in 2012, to be close to their aging parents. It was now his time to be involved in projects that interested him and not able to do in depth before his retirement.

In his free time he plays golf (and was on the high school golf team), is active in his church, musically and in the praise band, as well as the LCHS Alumni Notables. He and Jean enjoy traveling. They have two children and five grandchildren.

His project management experience has been very helpful as he worked on various City projects to keep them structured and on track. He has been active in numerous groups.

  • Serves as President of the non-profit Le Mars Community Day Care Center board of directors; • He serves as President of the Le Mars Historic Preservation Commission until 2025;
  • Chair of the Chamber Design Committee; they are responsible for the historical signs and markers around town;
  • Served as 1 of 4 co-chairs for the Le Mars Sesquicentennial;
  • Served as President of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce in 2019;
  • Has worked with the Alley Art program and gives guided tours;
  • Serves on the City of Le Mars Tourism Committee;
  • Involved in the Youth on Main Street program and continues to work with the group of high schoolers;
  • He co-writes grants that the City of Le Mars has received for various projects; In her nomination, Mary wrote, “The LCS Distinguished Alumni award is a very special honor, not just for the recipient, but also for the community at large, as it reflects the values of the people who have graduated from LCS. Rich Ziettlow exemplifies these qualities through his true spirit of serve and community improvement. He volunteers for the benefit of the community of Le Mars and its future.

Zietlow will be honored at the LCHS Foundation banquet.



The Brunsville Son of the American Legion post 724 presented a check for over 21-thousand dollars to Midwest Honor Flight.  The veterans support group held a pancake breakfast fundraiser on March 24.  While there was unfavorable weather that day, donations were received at the April fundraising breakfast. Midwest Honor Flight sends military veterans to Washington, D.C.  They visit memorials which are dedicated to honor veterans for their service.



U.S. Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa will host a roundtable in Woodbury County on Morningside University’s campus Monday. Senator Ernst wants to hear from students and families about how they have been impacted by what she calls the botched rollout of the Department of Education’s new Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

The FAFSA form is typically accessible to students on Oct. 1 of each year, to allow for ample time to submit financial information in advance of both state and school-specific deadlines for aid eligibility. However, due to incomplete planning measures, the Department of Education released this year’s version three months late, condensing the timeline for families to submit for aid. The delay along with additional actions by the Biden Administration regarding ownership of farmland values have put farm families at a disadvantage.



A bill that will help hundreds of Iowans get a full payment from a legal settlement for victims who were abused by Boy Scout leaders is on the way to the governor. The bill provides an exemption to the Iowa law that requires child sex abuse victims to file lawsuits by the time they reach the age of 19 — or within four years of when they realized they’d been abused. Without the bill, Representative Ann Meyer of Fort Dodge says the settlements paid to as many as 700 Iowa men will be reduced by up to 70 percent. The governor says she’ll sign the bill into law today (Friday).



Entries are now being accepted for this year’s Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin in Iowa. Kelsey Sutter with the Iowa Pork Producers Association says nominations had slowed down during the pandemic, but have really picked up once again. This is the 22nd year for the contest. You can nominate your favorite pork tenderloin by going to iowapork.org Last year’s winner was Cliff’s Place in the western Iowa town of Manning. The winner will be announced in October as part of Iowa Pork Month.