Home News KLEM News for Tuesday, May 21

KLEM News for Tuesday, May 21


Water and Sewer rates are going up in Le Mars, after the city council this afternoon approved third and final readings of amendments to the city ordinance. The rates will increase yearly for both utilities, in order to pay for capital projects at the water treatment and serwer treatment plants. The water plant is istralling a reverse osmosis system, and rates will rise each year through fiscal 2027. The sewer utility is building an Industrial Pretreatment Facility and a treat plant expansion. Sewer rates will increase yearly through fiscal 2029.


Lifeskills Training Center in Le Mars has a new CEO and a new building to house their programs.
Jessica La Fleuer has been on the job for just a couple of weeks at Lifeskills. They have recently purchased the former Plumbing Supply building on Second Avenue NE, north of the county emergency management agency. Lifeskills purchased the building because they are running out of room for new programs at their current facility, located next door to the Fareway Grocery on 1st Avenue NE. Lifeskills is a non-profit training center for persons with disabilities.



Primary ballots from Sioux County indicate several local races of note.
There are three Board of Supervisors seats up for election. In district 1, the largest Supervisor District which covers an area from Hawarden to Alton, three people week election in the Republican Primary, including incumbent John Degen of rural Hawarden. Challengers include Mark Pottebaum of Alton and Stanley Hoekstra. There’s also a race for County Auditor. Incumbent Joe Van Tol was appointed to the position in 2023, after Ryan Doktor stepped down to take a job in the private sector. Doktor is now running for election to his old job. Two Supervisors are seeking nomination to the board, without competition. Dan Altena of Sioux Center in District 3 and Craig Hoftyzer in District 5 are both incumbents. County Sheriff Janie Van Voorst is also on the primary ballot, running unopposed for another term. There is one Democrat listed in the Sioux County primary election. Emma Bouza of Hawarden seeks the nomination to run for Iowa House, District 3. That seat is currently held by Republican Tom Jeneary of Le Mars. Republican incumbent Skyler Wheeler of Hull seeks the nomination in House District 4. He’s running unopposed.



The Le Mars Area Childcare Center has announced they will receive an investment from Wells Enterprises in the community daycare. The Childcare Center has raised 1.6 million dollars, and the Wells Investment will bring their building fund over their 3 million dollar goal.  More details will be released at a gathering today.  The Childcare Center purchased the former Building Blocks Child Care Center at the corner of 12th Ave. and 6th Ave. SW. They also contracted with the Critendon Center in Sioux City to provide programming at the facility.



The Sioux Center-based Midwest Honor Flight is taking some 255 veterans to Washington D-C today to visit armed forces memorials. They’re from northwest Iowa as well as South Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota. Since its launch in 2017, Midwest Honor Flight has flown more than 16-hundred veterans to D-C. The tour includes stops at Arlington National Cemetery to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as well as the Iwo Jima, Air Force and Navy memorials. The World War Two, Korean War, and Vietnam War memorials complete the tour. An organizer says the goal is to let each veteran see the memorials, reflect, visit, “and be honored as the heroes that they are.”



A Sioux City man wanted on vehicular homicide charges dating back to a fatal downtown accident last October has been arrested in Alabama.  31-year-old Wesley Louis Staten was arrested around 1 p.m. last Thursday by a U.S. marshal in Alabama. The marshal is a member of the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Staten is charged locally with two counts of vehicular homicide stemming from a two vehicle crash last October 13th that claimed the lives of 51-year-old Terry Alan Frisbie of Sioux City and 50-year-old Judith Lee Jordan of Le Mars at the 6th and Wesley Parkway intersection.

Authorities say Staten allegedly was driving a Ford Expedition westbound on 6th Street at a high rate of speed and ran a red light, striking a northbound Ford Fusion occupied by the two victims in that intersection.  Staten is being held without bond in the Jefferson County jail in Birmingham, Alabama awaiting extradition back to Sioux City.



An eight year old child was among six people rescued Saturday afternoon on the West Fork of the Des Moines River, north of Estherville. Travis Sheridan, Estherville’s Fire Chief, says a 9-1-1 call indicated a kayak flipped over, a woman and child were in the water, and the child’s life jacket was caught on a log jam in the river. Sheridan credits the girl’s aunt for keeping the eight year old’s head above water for half an hour, until firefighters arrived and were able to cut the life jacket off the girl and pull her and five others into a rescue boat. The names of the people who were rescued have not been released.