Home News KLEM News for Tuesday, July 9

KLEM News for Tuesday, July 9


The Plymouth County Dive Team was honored today with commendations from the county Board of Supervisors. The Board’s resolution, passed on June 25, recognizes the efforts of the dive team on June 22, and 23. The dive team rescued a total of 36 people who became trapped in cars and homes that were rapidly filling with flood water.

Cole Heissel says they were initially called out to rescue a truck driver.


One rescue led to another


Pat Heissel says this was their biggest call ever.


They used their boats to approach the flooded homes.


Cole says much of their work was removing people who were trapped in their homes


Pat Heissel says there is really no training for this kind of operation.


The eight include Pat, Cheryl, and Cole Heissel, Jamie Vander Helm, Tom Mullaly, Matt and Hunter Fedders, and Joel Johnson. Pat Heissel is with the Plymouth County Sheriffs Office. The rest are civilians. All of them volunteer their services to the dive team.




FEMA is opening two more Disaster Recovery Centers in northwest Iowa.  One will open today in Estherville, in Emmet County.  It will be located at St Patrick’s Catholic Church Gym in Estherville.  A Disaster Recovery Center will open tomorrow in Rock Rapids, in Lyon County.  This one is located at the Forster Community Center in Rock Rapids.  These offices will provide one-on-one help to people affected by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding this spring.  Recovery specialists from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration will provide information on available services, explain assistance programs and help survivors complete or check the status of their applications.  FEMA funding is available to homeowners and renters in Plymouth, Sioux, O’Brien, Cherokee, Buena Vista, and Clay counties,



State officials are urging northwest Iowans who’ve lost food, appliances or a job due to recent flooding to check to see if they qualify for federal food assistance. Erin Drinnin is community access coordinator for the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services.


It’s called Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance or D-SNAP.  Drinnin says Iowans who live or work in five northwest Iowa counties can apply for it this week.


The toll free number is 1-877-828-5648. The U-S-D-A approved D-SNAP benefits for victims of severe weather than hit Iowa in april and May, including devastating tornadoes in Greenfield and Minden, but Drinnin says very few people applied and only 15 households were deemed eligible for the expanded food assistance.

Flood victims can apply for D-SNAP benefits this week at the Le Mars Bible Church,  Main Street Plaza in Rock Valley, the Forster Community Center in Rock Rapids, the Crosswinds Church in Spencer, and the Emmet County Fairgrounds,.



The new executive directors of the Le Mars Historical Museum want to use the arts to tell Plymouth County’s story.  Dr. Harry Dunstan says he and Kay Krekow have a long range vision to build a cultural center that extends beyond Plymouth County.


Kay says the museum is a place to tell stories, and the newly-named Central Arts Space at the Historical Museum will be a place where those stories can be shared.


Dunstan anticipates the Central Arts Space will host artisans, artists, musical concerts, dance recitals, and even culinary events, to tell a new generation what life in Plymouth County is all about.



One of the Republican leaders in the state senate who faced a strong challenge in June’s G-O-P Primary is resigning. Waylon Brown of Osage is a farmer and owns a construction company. He’s been a state senator since 2017. He’s been the majority whip for Senate Republicans, too. In a written statement, Brown said his “departure” from the Iowa Senate would be effective on Wednesday, but offered no other explanation for his resignation. Brown had been running for reelection in a district that covers all of Cerro Gordo, Mitchell and Worth Counties and a small part of Floyd County. Doug Campbell, a former Mason City school board member, finished about five points behind Brown in the June Primary. Campbell made opposition to the carbon pipeline project a main issue in the primary campaign.  Under state law, Republicans in Brown’s state senate district may hold a convention and nominate someone to run for the seat.



Delay Jury selection is underway in the Dickinson County Courthouse for the trial then man who’s accused of murdering a policeman. Fourty-four-year-old Kyle Ricke of Algona is charged in the fatal shooting last September of Algona Police Officer Kevin Cram. Cram was serving an arrest warrant to Ricke when Ricke allegedly pulled a gun and shot the policeman. The trial was moved to Dickinson County on a change of venue, but the start was delayed until Monday due to recent flooding in the Spirit Lake area.



The Orange City Tulip Festival Steering Committee has announced the Night Show musical production for the 84th Annual Tulip Festival as The Wizard of Oz. Directing this year’s show will be Todd Vande Griend, along with co-director and choreographer Becky Donahue. Susan Henrich will serve as producer, Amanda Haverdink will be the vocal director, and Dan Mangold will direct the orchestra. Information on auditions, show times, tickets, and more will be announced in the months to come! Tulip Festival news, event information, and more can be found on the festival’s website at www.octulipfestival.com. THE WIZARD OF OZ is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Tams-Witmark LLC. www.concordtheatricals.com