Home News KLEM News for Monday, April 22

KLEM News for Monday, April 22


It was a memorable night Saturday for the 2024 Friends of Gehlen Catholic Ball.  Gehlen Development Director Amy Jungers described the evening.


The event raised a grand total of 397-thousand dollars to benefit the school. One of the fundraisers was for improvements to the school’s bandroom, That was aided by an anonymous, 30-thousand dollars matching grant.


For the first time, Friends of Gehlen honored a Teacher of the Year, Beth Schlichte


The Spirit of Peter and Catherine Gehlen Award was presented to Carolyn Bickford


The ball was themed “Night in Nashville”.  The event featured a banquet, a silent and live auction, and a live auction. Entertainment featured the band Not Quite Brothers.There were several auctions during the event, live and online.



There will be a public hearing at noon Tuesday before the Le Mars city council, to approve the city’s 2024-25 fiscal year budget.  Property taxes raised under the new budget is estimated at 6.3 million dollars, based on a tax levy of 12 dollars, 78 cents per thousand.  Beginning balance on July 1 will be 24.2 million, with an ending balance in June 2025 of just over 24 million dollars.



A Sioux Center man was sentenced last week on an assault conviction.
47 year old Onofre Bernardo Mendez was sentenced in Sioux County District Court for Assault with Intent to Commit Sex abuse. Mendez was charged after an incident which occurred on February 2 in a rural area near Sioux Center. Mendez was the victim’s supervisor at work and assaulted the victim in his vehicle while driving her home. He was arrested February 22, and Mendez posted bond. Instead of being released, Mendez was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for removal. Last week, the suspect agreed to plead guilty to the amended count, and was sentenced to 25 days in the county jail, after which he was returned to ICE custody, for removal proceedings from the United States.



An Orange City woman was arrested early Sunday morning due to a domestic disturbance.  Raeleen Romano, 32, was charged with Domestic Abuse Assault and Child Endangerment.  An investigation revealed Romano assaulted her husband during an argument. She also was alleged to have placed their young daughter in danger during the incident. Romano was booked into the Sioux County jail.



The E-P-A issued an emergency waiver to allow the E-15 blend of ethanol fuel to be sold nationwide this summer. Iowa’s Congressional delegation, and the governor praised the announcement. They have been pushing the E-P-A for years to make the sale of E-15 permanent throughout the year.  Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig also welcomed the announcement.  He says “Iowa and seven other Midwest states will never again have to deal with this summertime E15 uncertainty. Ultimately, though, we continue to need a permanent federal solution to allow year-round E15 sales”.



Lawmakers sent the governor a bill to cut Iowans’ income taxes by a BILLION dollars next year, they set up the framework for a nearly nine BILLION dollar state budget and then concluded the 2024 legislative session this weekend. The tax plan accelerates the cuts approved in and will make Iowa’s income tax rate the sixth lowest in the nation. A few other issues popped up in the closing moments of the 2024 legislative session. Republicans voted to reassign Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agents to work on cases related to the law Governor Reynolds signed to have Iowa’s legal system arrest and deport immigrants who are in Iowa illegally. The House voted to extend a moratorium on new casinos, but the Senate adjourned for the year without taking action on the measure.



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.



The four Republicans who represent Iowa in the U-S House have voted to send 95 BILLION dollars of emergency assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.  In written statements, Congressman Randy Feensta said while some want us to turn our backs on an ally like Israel, he will not and Congressman Zach Nunn said America must be unwavering in its support of Israel. Congresswoman Ashley Hinson of Marion said in her written statement that President Biden’s foreign policy has shown weakness to our adversaries and the package would keep America out of conflict. In a video statement after Saturday’s votes, Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks said supporting our allies against dictators and communist governments is completely necessary.