Home News KLEM News for Tuesday, May 28

KLEM News for Tuesday, May 28

After a public hearing this morning, the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution allowing the sale of not to exceed 5.6 million dollars in revenue bonds to raise construction funds for a project at Happy Siesta in Remsen.
The nursing home, through its management group, asked that the county be the bonding authority for the project, as by law, a government entity must authorize bonding for projects of private entities. The county does not repay the bonds, and there’s no obligation to county taxpayers.
Bruce Mehlhop, who has managed Happy Siesta for twenty years, says this is the first major project at the nursing home since they built a memory unit in 1997. Mehlhop says this project modernizes the facility, in that it will create a gathering spot for meals and will create common areas for activities. The project will also expand and update the nurses station; and will renovate space to create four new single living spaces.



After a public hearing this morning, the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved a budget amendment for the current fiscal year. There was no public comment on the amendment, which adds 435-thousand dollars in expenditures to the county budget. 420-thousand of the total is spent in the Secondary Road Fund, for construction of a salt shed and cement work related to the project. The rest of the expenditures, 15-thousand dollars, is for dirt work for construction of a shed for the county Conversation Department.



A project to repave county road C44 west of Merrill has begun, with the closure of the road between Merrill and K18. Over the next ten weeks, road construction crews will work from Merrill west, completing the project in mid August. A detour is marked from Merrill north on K42, west of C38, and south on K18. An Atlantic, Iowa, firm won the bid for the project, at some 1.185 million dollars. This project is paid for through the Iowa DOT’s Farm to Market account.



Starting Wednesday, two street closings will take place in Le Mars.
Holzman Construction will close a section of Lombardi Rd. due to some street undermining and rebuilding of two storm sewer intakes. This project should take about 1 week to complete, weather permitting.
Also Wednesday, the Le Mars Street Dept. will close part of Holton Dr. so sanitary sewer can be tied in from an apartment complex to the main . The street should be reopened to traffic on Friday, May 31. Weather permitting.


A former Storm Lake resident will be featured on the season premiere of “America’s Got Talent.” Amy Freese will be on the show tonight with her basset hound Daisy, who does obstacle course runs.

Freese says one of her social media followers works on the show.

She decided to do it.

Freese says you face a lot of competition to get on the show.

Freese’s act also includes her other dog, a bloodhound named Clifford. Her audition will be part of the “America’s Got Talent” season premiere tonight. Freese graduated from Storm Lake High School in 1993, and graduated from Buena Vista University in 1997. She lives in Chicago and works as a special education administrator.



The city of Le Mars has approved submission of an application to the Iowa Department of Transportation, for state funding assistance for projects at the municipal airport.  The funding would cover some of the costs for taxi lane extension, site improvement, and utilities.  This project is estimated to cost 500-thousand dollars.  The application requests the Iowa DOT cover 70% of the cost, or 350-thousand dollars, and the local share would be 30%, or 150-thousand.


Manufacturers say it’s becoming difficult to find the components for smokeless gunpowder and Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says the Biden Administration should conduct an inventory of the gunpowder supply.
So-called smokeless gunpowder is more efficient and produces less smoke that black gunpowder. The Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas Wars have increased demand and depleted supplies of smokeless gunpowder, which is the propellant used to hurl artillery shells. Ernst says President Biden should exercise his full authority to secure the supply chain and ensure our military and U-S allies have what they need.
A key ingredient in smokeless gunpowder is a certain type of cotton, which comes from China. This spring, the European Union offered grants to companies that develop a substitute ingredient.



The Federal Emergency Management Agency has opened a Disaster Recovery Center in Greenfield, where at least 150 homes were heavily damaged or destroyed in last week’s tornado. FEMA spokesman John Mills spoke with Radio Iowa from the center, which is located in Greenfield’s City Hall.

Last Tuesday’s tornado cut a mile long path through Greenfield, plus a spin-off tornado struck other areas of Adair County. Mills says 14 FEMA staffers are going door to door, canvasing neighborhoods in Greenfield and going to other locations where storm victims are getting help.


Mills says FEMA is part of a large team of organizations working to provide help to Greenfield residents who need it. FEMA’s Disaster Recovery Center in Greenfield will be open every day of the week, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. until further notice. FEMA opened two Disaster Recovery Centers in Minden and Harlan last week to help residents affected by the severe weather that struck April 26th. Those FEMA sites in Pottawattamie and Shelby Counties will reopen this  morning.



Long-time Minden mayor Kevin Zimmerman says recovery from the tornado that hit one month ago continues. Several large piles of debris have been hauled away and they and getting ready to either rebuild or leave empty lots. Zimmerman says some older residents with destroyed homes have decided not to stay, while others wait for their insurance claims to kick in. He advises you to check your insurance to make sure you have enough coverage on your property, as some found out they didn’t. Zimmerman says it was hard to see the devastation in Greenfield from another twister that hit last Tuesday, leveling homes and killing four people. He says both storms have left him shell-shocked.



An Iowa State University researcher credits the 1972 federal law that bans discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities for not only increasing interest in women’s sports, but for changing career choices for women. Karen Kedrowski (kehd-ROW-skee, the “ow” rhymes with how) is director of I-S-U’s Center for Women and Politics. She says the law, called Title NINE, changed the make-up of college campuses because it led to more women getting academic scholarships — and now women earn a majority of all college degrees. Kedrowski says it’s had an impact on politics, too, since a college degree is often considered an essential part of a candidate’s resume. All six members of Iowa’s congressional delegation have college degrees and all but one have advanced degrees.