Home News KLEM News for Monday, May 13

KLEM News for Monday, May 13


A disagreement between Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate has been resolved. That means five million dollars in state gambling taxes will be used to complete renovations of the Lucas State Office Building at the capital complex in Des Moines
The building, opened in 1952, and is located east of the Iowa Capitol. Republican Representative Jacob Bossman of Sioux City says the original plan House Republicans developed for spending gambling taxes did not include funding for the Lucas Building upgrades, while Senate Republicans suggested spending 10 million dollars on the building.

In 2022, lawmakers approved the governor’s plan to merge the Departments of Human Services and Public Health — but the agencies were housed in two different state office buildings. The Department of Health and Human Services is the largest agency in state government, with over five-thousand employees. The Lucas building has six floors of office space and is named for Iowa’s first territorial governor, Robert Lucas.



Iowa Congresswoman Ashley Hinson is predicting the U-S House Ag Committee will approve a Farm Bill with a provision that ensures Iowa hog confinement operators can sell their pork nationwide. Voters in Massachusetts and California have approved regulations that require pork sold in their state to come from the offspring of sows that have at least 24 square feet of space in their pen. Iowa pork producers say it will cost millions to expand hog confinements to meet those space requirements.


The U-S Supreme Court has upheld California’s animal welfare law and other federal courts have issued rulings on the Massachusetts regulation. Hinson expects a solution to be attached to the Farm Bill that overrides both states’ laws.


Hinson has twice introduced a bill in the U-S House that would prohibit states from imposing standards on the production of food sold over state lines. The Pennsylvania Republican who’s chairman of House Ag Committee has said a fix is needed to address California’s Proposition 12, which took effect January 1st.



The governor has another week to sign or veto the remaining bills passed by the 2024 Iowa legislature. She’s already approved a billion dollar tax cut AND the state spending plans for the fiscal year that begins July 1st. Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson reports.




The Le Mars Community Schools Board of Directors meets tonight at 6.  There will be a hearing on a budget amendment for the current fiscal year.  The amendment includes additional expenditures of 300-thousand dollars.  These are to cover additional food costs and technology upgrades.

Action items on the agenda tonight include several personnel items, a list of classification changes for certified teachers, approval of repairs to the district’s tennis courts, approval of the list of 2024 graduates, and student handbook changes.



One person has died in a weekend motorcycle crash in Union County.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol says the driver was southbound on I-29 around 5:45 p.m. Saturday when for an unknown reason he drifted off the left side of the highway and into the median.

The 66-year-old driver was thrown from the cycle when it crashed.

He was not wearing a helmet and sustained serious injuries.

The unidentified driver was taken to a local hospital by ambulance where he died from his injuries.

Speed and alcohol are not believed to be factors in the crash.

The accident occurred about a mile south of Beresford.



An Onawa, Iowa man was arrested Friday following a shooting which left another person dead.

The Iowa D-C-I says 48-year-old Jamie Allen is charged with first degree murder in the death of his wife, 47-year-old Stacie Allen.

Monona County’s Communication Center received a 9-1-1 call around 5:45 p.m. Friday for a shooting that occurred at an Onawa address.

Deputies found a body in the home, who was later identified as Stacie Allen.  Jamie Allen was taken into custody without incident.

He is being held in the Monona County Jail.



Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird has assembled a task force of law enforcement officials and members of Iowa’s Jewish community to address acts of antisemitism in Iowa.


Bird says the task force will help train law enforcement and county attorneys to respond to reports of antisemitism and encourage victims to come forward.


Jarad Bernstein, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines, says groups on the far right and far left are stoking harassment, vandalism and assault of Jews and there have been dozens of recent complaints in Iowa.


I-S-U professor Christina Gish Hill says the expression of hatred toward Jews is growing bolder throughout the United States and Europe, especially on college campuses — and in Ames.


Bird says the task force will work with Iowa’s college and universities so students understand what antisemitism is.


Bird and other members of the task force spoke Friday afternoon at a news conference staged at the Holocaust Memorial near the Iowa Capitol.



The names of two Iowa policemen were added to the Iowa Peace Officer Memorial on the state capitol grounds in a ceremony at the site this (Friday) morning. Algona Police Officer Kevin Cram was shot to death last September as he was serving an arrest warrant on a suspect who’s now charged with Cram’s murder. Des Moines Police Officer Phoukham Tran died in November after a decade-long struggle to recover from being struck by a drunk driver. Tran was directing traffic just outside the Iowa State Fair when he was gravely injured.



The Board of Regents heard the first reading of proposed tuition increases for the three state schools and approved increases in room and board rates at their meeting today (Friday.) Brad Berg from the Regents office says the proposal for undergraduate resident tuition includes a three-percent increase for the University of Iowa and for Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa has proposed a two percent increase. Berg says they have the second an final reading of the proposed rates, and will hear from students at their June meeting. The tuition increase comes after the Regents requested 14-point-eight million more dollars in state funding and the Legislature approved a 12-point-three million dollar increase. The Board took a final vote on the proposed increase room board rates. The rate for a double room at the University of Iowa is increasing by four-point-eight percent (4.8%), Iowa State University’s rate is going up five-point-eight percent (5.8%) and there’s a three-point-five percent increase at the University of Northern Iowa.



Iowa is joining 20 other states in a lawsuit over the Biden Administration’s move to expand Title Nine protections for women to ban discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird says the new rule violates the U-S Constitution as well as a federal law that requires agencies to fully consider the costs of complying with new regulations. The new restriction would apply to all schools — from preschool through college — and schools that fail to comply could lose federal funding. Governor Kim Reynolds says there are important biological differences between males and females and she asked the attorney general to join the lawsuit.