Home News KLEM News for Wednesday, June 19

KLEM News for Wednesday, June 19



Sioux City’s police department is the latest in the state to acquire license plate reading cameras. Captain Ryan Bertrand says the cameras are not used to write tickets like speed cameras.

He told the city council this week the cameras will help them find targeted vehicles.

Bertrand says there are currently 13 departments in Iowa that use plate reading cameras. South Sioux City, Nebraska uses them, and they recently helped find a suspects who crossed the border out of Sioux City.

Sioux City police received an 85-thousand dollar grant to purchase the Flock System cameras along with Woodbury County. The city council in Sioux City approved a one-year contract to use the cameras.



A man from Pocahontas has been charged with stealing livestock and a number of other felonies after an investigation involving law enforcement agencies in eight northwest Iowa counties. Brian Wilson reports.



The latest state transportation plan in fiscal 2025 includes two projects in Plymouth County.  One is a paving project along Iowa Highway 3 in Remsen.  Cost of the project is 925-thousand dollars.  There’s also a project to reconstruct U.S. Highway 75 between Merrill and Hinton, at a cost of nearly 30 million dollars. Construction is to take place in the next road construction season.  Other projects this year include improvements on the Gordon Drive viaduct along US 20 in Sioux City, and repaving US 75 in Sioux County, from Sioux Center north to the US 18 Junction. Future DOT projects in Plymouth County in the latter part of the 5-year transportation plan include two bridge projects along Iowa Highway 12, bridge projects along US 75 at Hinton, and at the north end of Le Mars.



The Le Mars city council Tuesday approved interfund transfers in the current budget.  394-thousand dollars was shifted to the Water Fund to repay expenses for the RO Water Treatment Project.  There were eleven transfers, totaling 2.15 million dollars, to repay interest and principal on an internal loan for the 2021 Industrial Park Land Purchase. All of these monies came from the city’s Highway Bypass Urban Renewal Special Revenue Fund.



A legislative priority of State Senator Jeff Taylor is now a reality.  Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird Tuesday urged Iowans to call in tips to a new cold case unit in her office.


Iowa briefly had a cold case unit to examine unsolved murders, but it was financed with a federal grant and closed down more than a dozen years ago. The legislature has provided Bird’s office with over half a million dollars and she’ll be hiring three investigators to review the more than 400 unsolved murders or missing person cases in Iowa. Steve Ponsetto, a retired state trooper and Division of Criminal Investigation agent, will lead the office. He says they will review homicides and cases involving unidentified human remains as well as people who’ve gone missing under suspicious circumstances if local investigators have exhausted all leads.


The attorney general held a news conference Tuesday at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to preview the project, which will be launched July 1st when the next state budgeting year starts.

Bird says her office has prosecuted two cold cases in the past 18 months.


There are more than a quarter of a million unsolved murders in the U-S and most states have a cold case unit.



More than seven inches of rain have fallen from Sunday night through Monday in the Iowa Great Lakes area, causing lake levels to get near records. Dickinson County Emergency Management  implemented a five mile-an-hour rule for all watercraft starting Tuesday. Captain Greg Harson of the D-N-R Law Enforcement Bureau says they hope to reduce the wake impact against the shoreline. Harson says the change from drought to excess rain has already impacted boaters as the docks were put in at the spring water level and are now underwater as the rain caused the lakes to rise some 20 inches. Dickinson County Emergency Management reports Big Spirit Lake and East and West Okoboji are about a half foot away from that level as of Tuesday morning.



The principal of Perry High School, who was killed while trying to protect students during a shooting rampage at the school in January, is being honored with a posthumous award for his actions. Dan Marburger is being named Iowa’s Character Champion for 2024 by the state program that recognizes individuals and organizations for their role in the six pillars of character. Iowa Character program coordinator Hilary Ortman says Marburger was a hero. The program, based at Drake University, is honoring others, including this year’s Citizens of Character, Alan Steckman of Mason City and Carter Hammer of Sioux City; and Katie Hoover of West Des Moines as the Educator of Character.