Home News KLEM News for Wednesday, May 1

KLEM News for Wednesday, May 1


The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved an agreement with the Hungry Canyons Alliance to assist three culvert projects in the county. Hungry Canyons will provide 53-thousand dollars in improvements to culvert projects east of Akron, southwest of Le Mars, and east of Westfield in this construction season. The funds will be used to build structures in these projects to reduce erosion. of stream beds. Hungry Canyons operates in 23 Iowa counties, extending from Plymouth County to the Missouri border.
The Supervisors also approved right of way purchases for two other culvert project, one west of Le Mars, and another northeast of Remsen. Between the two projects, the Supervisors approved a purchase of 51-hundred dollars around the two culvert sites.
The Supervisors also approved a permit with the cit of Sioux City for maintenance of a portion of the PlyWood Trail along Frelon Drive and county road C80 in Plymouth County.



The Plymouth County Drainage Board met Tuesday to consider permits for a couple of projects.
The Board approved a permit for the City of Sioux City, for drainage work along a small portion of the bike trail at Lone Tree Road. They propose extension of a drainage culvert under the trail at that location. The city will also include some work south of that point, where a swale will be be installed to allow water to flow over the bike trail.
The Drainage Board also approved a permit for the city of Akron. A town house development is planned for an area along Hardy Street and Tenth Street, on the east side of the city. Plans call for extension of storm sewer to a drainage channel southeast of the development. There will also be extension of a service line, stubbed near the channel, that will eventually cross the channel. The board approved the permit, with the stipulation that the county engineer oversee the lines leading to the channel.
There was also discussion before the Board concerning assessments to parcel owners in the Akron drainage district, This is for tree removal done last year. The cost of the project was some 34-thousand dollars. The discussion concerned the amount of the assessment, done over a multi-year period. The matter will be brought up as an action item at a Drainage Board meeting next week.



The latest economic survey for the midwest and Iowa shows growth in the economy, but also inflationary growth. This is the survey author, Dr Ernie Goss.


Dr Goss says don’t expect inflation to fall while the government continues its level of spending.


Goss says for most of the midwest, there has been a loss of manufacturing jobs.


Iowa was one of only three midwest states to see job growth.

The overall index was 52.5, rising above growth-neutral from March’s reading of 49.6 Iowa’s growth index rose to 55.3 in April from 51.8 in March. Iowa was one of only three states in the midwest survey to see hiring increase in the past month.


A new budget for Plymouth County has been adopted by the Board of Supervisors.  This estimate will raise some 11.9 million dollars in property taxes, 7.1 million across the county,  and 4.8 million from rural areas.  The tax levy for rural property will be $7.26 per thousand valuation, and $3.43 for urban properties.

The Supervisors Tuesday also passed a resolution setting salaries for the next fiscal year.  All elected officials except the Board of Supervisors will receive 3.75% salary increases, including longevity payments.  The exception is the Board of Supervisors, who will each receive a 2.75% increase, with no longevity payment.  Also, the county auditor will receive an additional 42-hundred dollars payment for additional workload while administering the budget in the county. The salaries approved by the resolution range from 38-thousand dollars for each Supervisor to 164-thousand for the county attorney.


There will be a public hearing before Plymouth County’s Board of Supervisors on May 28, to consider passing a bond issue to benefit Happy Siesta nursing home in Remsen.  A bond attorney representing the nursing asked the supervisors to approve the sale of 5.6 million dollars in Nursing Home Revenue Bonds to finance an expansion and renovation project at Happy Siesta.
Under this proposal, the county would issue the bonds on behalf of Happy Siesta. There is no obligation to county taxpayers under this action.



A Hospers man was sentenced Monday on conviction of sexual abuse in Sioux County District Court. The Sioux County Attorney’s Office says Andrew Michael Joslin, 36, was found guilty of two counts of 3rd degree Sexual Abuse, and Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, all felony offenses.

Joslin was arrested on September 5, 2023, after the Sioux County Sheriffs Office received a report that Joslin solicited a minor female for inappropriate sexual content.  Their investigation determined that Joslin had sexual contact with a minor and possessed a minor’s sexually explicit material on his cell phone.

Monday, Joslin was sentenced to a total prison term not to exceed 30 years.  As he had previously been convicted as a felon twice, he was sentenced as an habitual offender.  Joslin was ordered to register as a sex offender for life, and to lifetime supervision for sex offenders.  A no contact order entered in the case was extended for the maximum 5 year period.



The Iowa Supreme Court has directed a lower court to do more fact finding to determine if State Auditor Rob Sand violated Iowa’s public records law. The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously reversed a district court ruling that Sand was legally justified in denying a public records request for email communications between two reporters and the state auditor’s staff. The Kirkwood Institute, a conservative law firm, sued Sand, a Democrat in 2011. The lawsuit challenged Sand’s explanation that the emails were part of an audit. Sand says the Supreme Court’s ruling is disappointing, but his office has an obligation to protect whistleblowers and others who provide tips related to audits. The Kirkwood Institute’s founder says the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling paves the way for holding Sand accountable.



The effort to sell off the assets of Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant will fall short of the amount needed to pay off the 26 million dollar loan it took from the U-S Ag Department in 2016. The school was closed last year and the sales of the real-estate thus far have generated three-point-six million dollars. The chair of Iowa Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees, Bob Miller, says the buildings did not bring the value that they were appraised at when the loan was taken out in 2016. The board aims to close its books of the school by the end of May.



The man accused of killing an Algona Police Officer last September is asking for his trial to be moved out of Kossuth County. Forty-three-year-old Kyle Lou Ricke is asking for a change of venue for his first-degree murder trial, which is scheduled to begin in late June. In his motion, Attorney Matthew Pittenger states that media coverage of the case was intense following the shooting death of Officer Kevin Cram on September 13th, 2023. He says that publicity has created a substantial likelihood that a fair and impartial jury can not be impaneled from Kossuth County or any surrounding county. The state will file a written response to the motion before a judge makes a ruling. Ricke is currently scheduled to have a pretrial conference on May 31st. His trial is scheduled to begin on June 25th, pending the outcome of this motion.