Home News KLEM News for Wednesday, May 15

KLEM News for Wednesday, May 15


The Le Mars Community Schools have launched a survey to seek public response to the district’s facilities needs.
The survey presents several facilities options to district residents. These include replacing the current elementary schools, Clark and Franklin, due to their age and state of repair. One option presented in the survey is to turn Kluckhohn Elementary into a Pre-K through Grade 1 school, and build a new grade 2 through 5 elementary school on district-owned property. The second option is to build one new school to house all the elementary students at one site. The first option would cost 46 million dollars, the second 67.6 million dollars.
The survey asks which building option district residents prefer, whether to place a bond issue before voters to pay for it, and what funding level can be afforded. The survey also asks about three other facilities options: improved school security and accessibility at the Le Mars Middle School and High School; expansion of the career and technical education spaces; and expansion of the district’s bus garage. Total cost of these additions is 8.4 million dollars.
The survey can be found at www.lemarscsd.org. It can be taken online, or you can print it out and return to the school district office. Completed surveys must be returned by June 1.



The Plymouth County Fair Board reviewed safety procedures for the fair grounds this summer.  Board President John Ahlers says the plan was put in place a few years ago.


Some situations can be handled by fair volunteers, but sometimes emergency personnel need to be called.


With new members on the fair board, Ahlers said it was important to review the plan.

Parking lot projects are being completed in advance of the Plymouth County Fair.
Ahlers explains the work that was done at the site, adjacent to the Century Hall.


There remains some work in the parking lot to control storm water runoff.  There’s also come concrete work to do before the fair.


Spruce-up jobs on the fair grounds will get underway soon.


This year’s Plymouth County Fair runs July 24 to 28.



Legislation which Governor Kim Reynolds recently signed into law expands the definition of “pedestrian” in Iowa, which a safety expert says is a big win for everyone who uses a crosswalk. Cara Hamann, at the Injury Prevention Research Center based at the University of Iowa, says the law broadens pedestrian to include people on bicycles, in wheelchairs, babies in strollers, rollerbladers and skateboarders. The law won’t instantly make crosswalks safer, but Hamann says it -will- make drivers legally liable for anyone they may strike. Under the old law, only a person on foot was protected by the law, and a motorist who hit a cyclist, for example, might face no consequences in court.



President Biden has issued a federal disaster declaration for eight counties that were struck by tornadoes on April 26. The presidential disaster declaration triggers assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration. The western Iowa community of Minden, in Pottawattamie County, was hard hit on April 26th, with dozens of homes and businesses damaged or destroyed. Pottawattamie County is now covered by this federal disaster declaration, along with Clarke, Harrison, Mills, Polk, Ringgold, Shelby and Union Counties. The National Weather Service has confirmed the weather system that moved into Iowa on April 26th spawned 24 tornadoes.



Residents in the Sioux City area say Western Iowa Tech Community College needs to be more transparent about a three MILLION dollar settlement with 13 Chilean students who accused the school of human trafficking. Three other international students have not yet settled with Western Iowa Tech. Dave Bernstein, the president of State Steel in Sioux City, says there are likely to be more settlements and area residents deserve to know if tuition OR local property taxes will go up to cover the costs. The students who sued say the college promised a free two-year program with internships, but they were forced into manual labor jobs at a dog food factory and a food processing plant to pay off tuition.



A Spencer teacher and coach is being praised for saving two boys who’d been swept into the Little Sioux River. Evan Scheck, a coach for the girl’s tennis program in Spencer, was near the river in Spencer for a Thursday afternoon tournament.


The two boys were riding their bicycles on a flooded trail and were swept away in the current. When Scheck got to the scene, he told one boy who was closer to shore to get out of the water.


Scheck says the hardest part was trying to calm the boy.


Scheck tried to swim to shore with the boy on his back, but they sunk in the water. Scheck says at that moment, police arrived to join the rescue. Scheck took the boy back to the pole, then swam to an officer who was in the water with a flotation device attached to a rope.


Scheck caught the boy and they were pulled ashore by police.



Highway 20 east of Sioux City was closed for most of the day Tuesday.  Around 9 a.m.  a semi trailer truck caught fire and burned up.  The Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office says an empty side dump semi-tractor-trailer hit the jersey barrier in the construction zone in the 1700 block of Highway 20 east of Sioux City, jack knifed and started on fire.

The driver was able to get out of the vehicle without injury and the burning truck and trailer became fully engulfed.  The semi-tractor is a total loss and the accident caused damage to a portion of the roadway. The damaged portion was evaluated and was expected to be patched.

No other vehicles were involved, and the highway was shut down.  Detours were posted around the accident site. The highway reopened at 5:10 p.m. Tuesday



Iowa is among a group of states suing the State of California and the Biden Administration over rules that critics say will force the trucking industry to convert to electric semis before the power grid can support the transition. Two dozen states, including Iowa, are going to court to try to block E-P-A rules about emissions from semi tractors’ tailpipes. A separate legal action involving Iowa and 17 other states is challenging California’s plan to require zero carbon emissions from semis operating in California that come from trucking companies with over 50 trucks. That rule would go into effect in 2036. Iowa Motor Truck Association chairman Scott Szymanek says it’s unrealistic to think the trucking industry can convert to electric semis as quickly as the regulations require.