Home News KLEM News for Tuesday, April 23

KLEM News for Tuesday, April 23


The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will consider action on behalf of an expansion project at Happy Siesta in Remsen. Administrator Jennifer Kuiken appeared before the board to describe the project. They plan to expand the dining room at their nursing home facility. Some of the remodeling will include turning two “quad” rooms into individual residence rooms. The nursing home owners have asked bond council, Dorsey and Whitney LLC, to issue bonds to raise construction funds for the project. Their representative, David Grossklaus, explained to the Supervisors that federal tax law requires that non-profit entities, such as Happy Siesta, need to issue their bonds through a government agency. The city of Remsen was approached, but since they had no experience with this type of bonding, didn’t want to take it on. Plymouth County has previously issued bonds on behalf of non-profits, and were asked to issue up to 5.4 million dollars in bonds on behalf of Happy Siesta. The bonding places no obligation on Plymouth County taxpayers. The Supervisors will consider the matter further at their next meeting.



Contracts for several culverts and a road resurfacing project were approved by the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors this morning.
The culvert projects involve replacing old bridges with box culverts. The locations of the projects include two east of Remsen, on 185 St and 140th Street. One is located on Roosevelt Ave northeast if Kingsley, and a fourth is located two miles west of Le Mars on 190th Street.
The road resurfacing project was held over from last year’s plan. This will take place on C44, between K18 and the city of Merrill, a distance of 10.8 miles. Henningson Construction of Atlantic, Iowa, was the low bidder among two companies competing for the project. The low bid was 2.8 million dollars. The Iowa Department of Transportation bid the project in their Ames headquarters. The Supervisors approved the contract this morning. This project will be paid for through the DOT’s Farm to Market road fund.
Construction on these projects will take place this spring and summer.



Farmers got the rain they’d been hoping for last week, but it cut down on the time they could be planting.
The U-S-D-A crop report shows there were only three days suitable for fieldwork due to the weather. Corn planting hit 13 percent complete by the end of the week — up from four percent last week. That is three days ahead of last year and the five-year average. Eight percent of the bean crop is now in the ground, which is four days ahead of last year and six days ahead of the five-year average.
The highest weekend precipitation total for the week was at Remsen, registering 4 inches of rain. There was a variety of weather during the week, from severe thunderstorms, heavy rain and a few tornadoes, to strong winds and below freezing temperatures by week’s end.



A study by the Iowa Food Bank Association finds more than 27-million pounds of food was “rescued” last year by the six Feeding America food banks that serve Iowa. Annette Hacker, spokeswoman for the Des Moines-based Food Bank of Iowa, says they work with grocery and convenience stores, manufacturers, growers and restaurants to rescue that food and get it to people who need it. A report from the U-S-D-A says up to 40-percent of the U-S food supply is wasted every year. Hacker says the Food Bank of Iowa distributes more than 22-and-a-half million pounds of food every year, and seven-million pounds, about a third, is rescued from retailers, manufacturers and grocery stores.


Teens as young as 14 and a half could get a permit to drive to and from work if a bill headed to the governor becomes law. It would be similar to school permits that let 14 and 15 year olds legally drive to and from school as well as to school activities. If the bill becomes law, any teen under the age of 16 with a permit for work, school or farm work who’s caught driving elsewhere would lose their driving privileges for three months — and when they turn 16 they won’t be able to get an intermediate permit for three months. Senator Adrian Dickey, a Republican from Packwood, led development of the bill.
[minorsdriving2] :07 :their allowed designations.”
A 14 or 15 year old with one of these “special minors restricted licenses” would only be able to drive an hour before work or a school event and get home within an hour of their work shift or the end of the school activity. Once they’re at work, they won’t be able to drive. Dickey says that means they cannot be asked to be delivery drivers.
[minorsdriving3] :14 :the permit.”
Teens under the age of 16 who have a permit for farm work will have a little more driving freedom as current rules are preserved, letting them drive to pick up parts, for example. Senator Todd Taylor, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, says having young teens drive for work early in the morning or late at night isn’t a good idea.
[minorsdriving1] :07 :are not ready.”
Representative Mary Madison, a Democrat from West Des Moines, says letting inexperienced drivers drive themselves to work increases the likelihood they’ll be involved in an accident.
[minorsdriving4] :06 :never will be.”
Representative Elinor Levin (L-ih-nor luh-VIHN), a Democrat from Iowa City, says letting 14 and 15 year old drive to and from work as well as school will increase the number of very inexperienced drivers on the road.
[minorsdriving6] :12 :supervised driving practice.”
Representative Brent Siegrist, a Republican from Council Bluffs, says the proposed 25 mile radius for each trip made by young drivers going to work or school makes sense.
[RIkayminorsdriving5] :13 :or farm activities.”
A temporary 10-member conference committee was convened to resolve an impasse between House and Senate Republicans on some sections of the bill and the committee’s agreement won final legislative approval at 3:30 a.m. Saturday.



The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors meet today at 9-30.  The board will receive information about a proposal for a bond issue to benefit Happy Siesta in Remsen.  The county engineer will also bring forward contracts for several culvert projects, and a road resurfacing project.  The board will also consider the hire of an equipment operator at their Hinton facility.



There will be a public hearing at noon today before the Le Mars city council.  They will consider approval of the city’s new 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 Hawarden resident has filed to run for election in Iowa House District 3.   Emma Bouza filed for candidacy in the Democratic primary election.  Bouza, in her announcement for candidacy, says she has a “steadfast commitment to education and disability rights”.  She’s served on a number of boards and councils, including the Hawarden Regional Healthcare board, the Iowa Developmental Disability council, the Governor’s Early ACCESS council.  She’s a parent of a child with disabilities, and “has a proven record of advocacy for her child, and all individuals with disabilities”.  She says she has a commitment to education in Iowa, specifically special education.



Two people sought medical attention after a two vehicle collision in Plymouth County last weekend.  The Plymouth County Sheriffs Office says the accident occurred Friday morning at the intersection of K30 and C44.  A pickup driven by Darrel Newberg, 75, of Merrill, was driving south on K30 and drove into the path of a pickup driven by Daniel Wagner, 45, of Sioux City.  Both drivers sought medical attention. Both pickups received extensive damage.



Also Friday, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office responded to a motor vehicle accident south of Orange City,  The accident occurred around 10-15 pm at the intersection of K64 and B58.  A vehicle driven by 20 year old Guillermo Gonzalez of Fremont, Nebraska was travelling northbound on K64.  As Gonzalez slowed to turn onto B58, his vehicle was struck in the rear by a vehicle driven by 17 year old Angelina Nelson of Alton.  Nelson was transported to Orange City Area Health by Orange City ambulance for medical treatment.  Nelson was cited for following too close.  Gonzalez was cited for operating a vehicle without a valid drivers license.



The investigation into a weekend rollover accident in Harrison County, Iowa, has resulted in a man’s arrest for murder, with more charges pending. Twenty-two-year-old Sebastin O’Brien, of Little Sioux, was arrested for first-degree murder in connection with the death of a the truck’s registered owner. O’Brien was driving a vehicle that crashed at around 4:30 p.m., Sunday, south of Modale. During questioning, authorities say he became combative and was taken into custody after a brief struggle. Upon further investigation, it was learned the truck did not belong to O’Brien. Harrison County deputies went to the residence of the vehicle’s registered owner and located the owner dead inside the home. That person’s name was being withheld pending notification of family. An autopsy will be performed at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny.



Governor Kim Reynolds has signed a bill into law that lets school boards choose to have teachers and other staff volunteer to carry a gun on school grounds. Lawmakers who worked on the bill say at least 20 school districts have been planning to take that step. A 2021 law let Iowa schools authorize staff to carry a weapon, but school districts were unable to get insurance. The new law provides qualified immunity to schools, meaning the school and the employee would be protected from criminal charges and civil lawsuits over the use of reasonable force.