Home News KLEM News for Wednesday, May 29

KLEM News for Wednesday, May 29


The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors gave approval to amendments to the Plymouth County Handbook and an updated Courthouse/Annex Security policy.
There are two new sections proposed for the handbook. One adds what’s called a Respectful Workplace Policy, including provisions to protect whistleblowers. There’s also a new section of the handbook concerning telecomuting and telework.
The Security policy is not a public policy document.



The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved a permit or MidAmerican Energy to extend service into several sections in Perry Township, west of Hinton. These service extensions are located along C80, Hedge Ave and Lone Tree Road.
Plymouth County Engineer Tom Rohe informed the Supervisors of a local bridge replacement project that will take place later this summer. The bridge is located in the Hinton Drainage District, just north of C60, across the rail line at Hinton. Rohe says the county and a contractor will remove a timber bridge and replace it with a 41 by 24 foot steel beam bridge.



One of the races in next week’s Primary Election is in Iowa’s fourth congressional district, where Kevin Virgil is challenging Republican Randy Feenstra of Hull, who’s seeking a third term in the U-S House. Virgil is a former Army captain, a former C-I-A officer and an entrepreneur who launched a software company that has won U-S military contracts. He grew up near Sutherland, on an O’Brien County farm.


Virgil supports 12-year term limits for members of congress, a 50 percent reduction in the federal workforce and a hard closure of the U-S-Mexico border.


Virgil, who criticizes Feenstra for supporting construction of a carbon pipeline, says eminent domain should not be used for the project.


Feenstra’s campaign manager says Feenstra delivers conservative results and Iowans will reject Steve King’s effort to send a New Yorker to congress to represent Iowa’s 4th Congressional District. Former Congressman Steve King, who lost to Feenstra in a G-O-P Primary four years ago, encouraged Virgil to run and has endorsed him.

Feenstra and Virgil wll appear tomorrow at a Renewable Fuels Issue Forum in Cherokee. They will also address issues of rural Iowa, such as livestock production, farming and rural life.



A two-car, head on accident Tuesday afternoon caused one person to be sent to the hospital.  The Iowa State Patrol is investigating the accident, which occurred around 1:15 p.m. at the intersection of C44 and K22, 3 miles west of Merrill.  First responders were dispatched to the scene.  One of the vehicles was fully engulfed in flames by the time Le Mars Fire Rescue arrived.  Le Mars Fire Rescue Chief Dave Schipper says everyone was out of the vehicles upon first responders arrival. Of the three people involved in the accident, one was transported to Floyd Valley Healthcare in Le Mars. The other two were treated at the scene and released.

The State Patrol was assisted at the scene by Le Mars Fire Rescue, Merrill Fire and Ambulance, the Plymouth County Sheriffs Office, and Merrill Police Department



The USDA has confirmed a positive case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in commercial layer chickens in Sioux county.

State officials say the recent bird flu detections do not present an immediate public health concern, and it remains safe to eat poultry products.

If producers suspect signs of HPAI in their flocks, they should contact their veterinarian immediately.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has issued a disaster proclamation for Sioux County because of bird flu effective immediately through June 27th.

The proclamation allows state resources from Iowa Homeland Security, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and other agencies to assist with tracking and monitoring, rapid detection, containment, disposal, and disinfection.

This is the first reported outbreak of avian influenza in Iowa in 2024.  There was an outbreak in Sioux County and two in Woodbury County reported last November.


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.



The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors also 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.



Starting today, 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.



South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says a Centerville man has been charged with three counts of first degree murder in connection with the shooting deaths of three people Monday night in Centerville.

64-year-old Jay Ostrem is being held on a million dollar cash only bond in the Minnehaha County Jail.

The incident was reported around 10 p.m. Monday night at a residence in Centerville.

Jackley says law enforcement has secured the scene and there is no further threat to the public.

The names of the three victims have not been released pending notification of next of kin.

South Dakota’s Division of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation.



Iowa’s top election official says Iowans can be assured their votes in next Tuesday’s Primary Election will be counted accurately. Secretary of State Paul Pate hosted officials from key state and federal agencies at the Iowa National Guard’s headquarters to discuss election security. Iowa uses paper ballots and Pate says that means the ballots can’t be hacked, plus every ballot tabulator is tested to make sure it’s functioning properly before every election — and the tabulators are not connected to the internet. Many Iowa counties have been hit with storm damage this spring, but Pate says polling sites are set in areas where tornadoes destroyed homes and businesses.