Lyon County, Iowa — Weather facts, community announcements, church announcements, menus, school activities, and more.

Heard on KIWA-AM 1550 and FM 100.7 every weekday morning at 9:00 AM, and available here for 24 hours afterwards. (Friday edition is available until Monday edition is uploaded.)

As reported by KIWA News Director and Rock Rapids resident Scott Van Aartsen

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September 22, 2020 - 10:40 pm - Posted in News

George, Iowa — The body of a George resident has been found in that town.

According to Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep, the body was found along a waterway in the victim’s backyard in the Lyon County community on Tuesday, September 22nd. Vander Stoep says no foul play is suspected.

While the sheriff’s office cannot comment on open investigations, Vander Stoep says it may have been a suicide, but the body has been sent to the University of Iowa State Hygienic Laboratory in Ankeny for an autopsy.

No further information is available, according to the Sheriff.

September 22, 2020 - 3:39 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — A total of fifty-three new COVID-19 cases were reported on Tuesday in the four northwestern-most Iowa counties, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Sioux County reports a total of 1387 cases, after a rise of 28 cases. O’Brien County is at 316, which is up nine cases. Lyon County was up nine cases at 264, and Osceola County was up 7 at 134.

As far as active cases, Lyon County has 92, Sioux County has 546, O’Brien County has 130, and Osceola has 40.

Fifteen northwest Iowans have died in connection with COVID-19 since the pandemic started. Nine in O’Brien County and three each in Lyon and Sioux Counties.

No Lyon or Osceola county residents were in hospitals with COVID on Monday. But Sioux and O’Brien county hospitalization numbers are up, with O’Brien at 7 and Sioux at 13.

Recovery rate:
Out of the 264 Lyon County residents who have had COVID-19, 169 of them have recovered, for a recovery rate of about 64%.
Out of the 1387 Sioux County residents who have had COVID-19, 838 of them have recovered, for a rate of about 60%.
Out of the 316 O’Brien County residents who have had COVID-19, 177 of them have recovered, for a rate of about 56%.
Out of the 134 Osceola County residents who have had COVID-19, 94 of them have recovered, for a rate of about 70%.

Total numbers of cases from other counties around the area and their change from the previous report:

Iowa counties:
Plymouth 1059, up 5
Cherokee 204, up 6
Buena Vista 1953, up 2
Clay 297, up 2
Dickinson 486, unchanged

September 22, 2020 - 12:13 pm - Posted in News

George, Iowa — The City of George is recommending that residents boil their water before drinking it, or to use an alternative water source until further notice.

According to a release from the City of George, their water supply had a pressure loss when a contractor hit a water line. Due to the potential for bacterial contamination, they recommend that water be boiled, or an alternative water source be used, for drinking or cooking.

They advise you to bring all water to a boil, let it boil for one minute, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. According to the City of George, boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water.

Officials say the water may be used for bathing and other similar purposes.

The City has re-pressurized the system, flushed it and will collect bacteria samples. Officials say the boil advisory is a precaution until bacteria sample results are available. They say residents will be notified when those results are available and the advisory is lifted.

Statewide Iowa —  Congressman Steve King says he’s written a book about his political career in Washington.

(as said) “It is due to be published,” King says. “We don’t have the hard date, but within weeks.”

King says he’s been keeping notes for years and started writing in earnest in June. After 18 years in the U.S. House, Primary voters chose Randy Feenstra rather than King to be the GOP nominee for Iowa’s fourth district congressional seat.

(as said) “Couldn’t find the uninterrupted time to do it until after the Primary,” King said, “and then I sat down and I’d be out there when the sun would come up in the morning and I would just write and the rest of the world would wake up after a while and start to interrupt that and when I could no longer produce something, I’d just stop and start the next day.”

The title of King’s book is “Walk Through the Fire” and King says it was inspired by the late Andrew Breitbart.

(as said) “Andrew would say: ‘Walk towards the fire. Their bullets aren’t real…Have the courage to do that because they want to shut you up and they want to diminish your message by calling you names,'” King says, “so I start the book out by using that narrative, but then the title of the book is ‘Walk Through the Fire,’ because I didn’t get to stop at the fire. I had to walk through the fire.”

King was a stalwart opponent of immigration reform efforts in congress, which he called amnesty. King says his book will correct the record about his career and address the attacks he’s endured from critics who called him a racist and a xenophobe.

(as said) “It’s the only thing that the folks that lined this all up against me, the only thing that I can produce that they don’t have their fingers on to edit or censor is my book,” King says. “That’s the only place where you’re going to get the truth.”

Once his 9th term in the U.S. House is over at year’s end, King is planning to establish an international organization to restore western civilization.

(as said) “I can see that our civilization is under assault and it starts with our churches being turned into museums and the secularization of our society,” King says. “It started in Europe and it’s washed over into this country.”

King, who is 71 years old, was born in Storm Lake and graduated from Denison High School. He and his wife live on a farm near Kiron. King owned a construction company when he was first elected to the IOWA Senate in 1996. He was elected to the U.S. House in 2002.

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — A group that promotes trade is urging Iowa farmers to call the White House and speak out against tariffs on imported phosphorus.

Florida, Morocco and Russia are the primary sources of the mineral and Kent Kaiser of the Trade Alliance to Promote Prosperity says a Florida company has asked the Trump Administration to impose tariffs on phosphorous shipped into the U.S.

(as said) “We oppose this because it would increase costs for farmers and, ultimately, for consumers,” Kaiser says. “…We estimate it would be about $72 million for Iowa corn growers alone.”

Phosphate fertilizer is spread on 60 percent of U.S. cropland planted with corn, soybeans, sugar beets, cotton and fruits and vegetables. Kaiser says it’s used by home gardeners as well.

(as said) “If you go out and buy fertilizer for your garden, you’ll see there are three number on there and they are called N, P and K. You might see 10-10-20. It’s that middle number — the P — that stands for phosphorous,” Kaiser says, “so it’s actually much more common than one might realize.”

Officials in the U.S. Commerce Department announced they’ll make a preliminary recommendation on the proposed tariff on imported phosphorus as early as this week. The Mosaic Company, based in Tampa, Florida, is the largest producer of phosphorus in the United States and is seeking the tariff on imports from Morocco and Russia. The main ingredients in commercial fertilizers are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Phosphorus assists a plant’s development and ability to use and store energy.

Northwest Iowa — It’s a different kind of STEM festival. For two reasons — one, it will be online, due to COVID; and two — it talks about specific opportunities with specific manufacturers in northwest Iowa.

We talked with the Northwest STEM Regional Manager of the Northwest Iowa Region Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, Mary Trent, and she tells us about the Northwest Iowa Advanced Manufacturing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (or STEM) festival.

(as said:) “Because of COVID issues we decided to take it virtually this year and because it’s “virtually,” we were able to offer some advantages as well to our folks signing up for it. First of all, we’re opening up to our 22 counties in Iowa and we have capacity of up to 500 students to join and so that’s the largest we’ve been able to offer from what we’ve been able to do in the past so we’re super excited about that.”

She tells us about the other thing that makes this opportunity unique — the partnerships with manufacturers.

(as said:) “We have 12 manufacturers that have joined our festival that are partnering with us… that are teaching our youth in grades five through eight all about some great career opportunities that are available in northwest Iowa, especially in the advanced manufacturing sector. And so we have partnered up with them and created special activities and STEM challenges that coincide with the skills and the products and the happenings that are going on in their companies and so the kids experience a direct connection to what’s going on in the companies with the skills they’re learning with the STEM challenges. So it’s a really great opportunity.”

Many northwest Iowa manufacturers, and some just outside of our area are participating. Some of them include AGCO of Jackson, Minnesota; Diamond Vogel of Orange City; Interstates of Sioux Center; Pella Corporation of Carroll and Sioux Center; Polaris of Spirit Lake; Rosenboom of Spirit Lake and Sheldon; Sekisui Aerospace of Orange City; and Wells Blue Bunny of Le Mars.

Trent tells us more about the STEM Fest.

(as said:) “It’s open the entire month of October and it’s absolutely free to anyone that registers. And as soon as they register we’re going to be sending out some stem kits to them up to 500… as I said before is what we have our capacity… and everything in those STEM kits are the materials they’ll need to do the STEM challenges. So we’re excited. We’ve got several registrations coming in today. So that’s very exciting. If you’re interested sign up.”

According to Trent, it’s a great opportunity to make connections and to build the future northwest Iowa workforce. She says parents and teachers can register their students online from September 21 – September 25, 2020, at http://bit.ly/NWADManFest.

September 21, 2020 - 4:06 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — A total of forty-one new COVID-19 cases were reported on Monday in the four northwestern-most Iowa counties, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Sioux County reports a total of 1359 cases, after a rise of 20 cases. O’Brien County is over the 300 mark now, at 307, which is up nine cases. Lyon County was up ten cases at 255, and Osceola County was up 2 at 127.

As far as active cases, Lyon County has 83, Sioux County has 560, O’Brien County has 129, and Osceola has 34.

Fifteen northwest Iowans have died in connection with COVID-19 since the pandemic started. Nine in O’Brien County and three each in Lyon and Sioux Counties.

Lyon County Public Health Nurse-Administrator Melissa Stillson reports that the three people in that county that have died have all been elderly. She also says that since the beginning of September, “We have seen an increase in long-term-care testing due to new testing requirements, Post Labor Day activity testing, and post-social/mass gathering testing.

Also, the hospitalization numbers were updated on Sunday. As of then, no Lyon or Osceola county residents were in hospitals with COVID. But 9 Sioux County and 6 O’Brien County residents were in hospitals with COVID.

Recovery rate:
Out of the 255 Lyon County residents who have had COVID-19, 169 have recovered, for a rate of about 66%.
Out of the 1359 Sioux County residents who have had COVID-19, 796 have recovered, for a rate of about 59%.
Out of the 307 O’Brien County residents who have had COVID-19, 169 have recovered, for a rate of about 55%.
Out of the 127 Osceola County residents who have had COVID-19, 93 have recovered, for a rate of about 73%.

Total numbers of cases from other counties around the area and their change from the previous report:

Iowa counties:
Plymouth 1054, up 8
Cherokee 198, up 12
Buena Vista 1951, up 8
Clay 295, up 5
Dickinson 486, up 3

Sheldon, Iowa — So, your worst fears have been realized. You were tested for COVID-19, and your test has come back positive. Now what?

Of course, the first thing you need to do is stay away from others. Sanford Sheldon physician Dr. Amy Badberg explains.

(as said:) “After you get your positive test, we recommend that you quarantine in your house for 10 days if you’ve had symptoms. we recommend that you are able to control your cough and not have any fevers. So then you can go back to work after those 10 days are up.”

Just to emphasize, Badberg is saying all three of those things have to have happened before you should be in the public at all. Any cough should be controlled, you should have no fever — without the use of fever-reducing medications, AND 10 days need to have passed since your first symptoms.

We asked Dr. Badberg if you’ve had COVID, how long you are contagious. She says everything is somewhat of an educated guess right now, but she tells us what they are doing at this time.

(as said:) “They’re not really sure how long you’re contagious but what they found is that during those 10 days that most of the contagious part of it goes away during there.”

Then we asked her a question for which many people are seeking answers. Does having had COVID make you immune — like when you’ve had the chickenpox — you don’t get it again. Does it work that way with COVID-19?

(as said:) “We don’t really know for sure. We know that if you have tested positive, even if you had contact [again] you would not have to quarantine for 90 days afterwards, and we would not test you. But we’re really not sure yet on what long-term immunity, how long it’s going to last, are there multiple strains… And so that’s really still up in the air… that we’re learning as people are recovering more from COVID.”

We asked Dr. Badberg if that means that any vaccine would have a limited effectiveness time period.

(as said:) That’s some of the things that they’re looking at when they’re researching these vaccines is you know, how long are they good for and a lot of that we won’t know until the vaccines are out for a while. Is it something that we have to give every year? You know, it just needs long-term. It’s just not been here long enough for us to know how long it’s going to work.”

Everyone wants to know how long it will be until there is a vaccine and we can supposedly go back to something that resembles normalcy. Again, she says, they don’t have that answer yet, but it’ll probably be at least six months yet, which would be towards the end of March.

(as said:) “They’re in Phase 2 and 3 of most of the vaccines that are promising. They have to go through four phases before they can be released to the general public. They’re not sure when it comes out if it’ll be a general-public-type release or if it’ll be for high-risk people. So they are looking at probably another six months or so. It depends on how fast some of these vaccines can go through research, but there are some very promising vaccines out there.”

Dr. Badberg reminds us that if someone with whom you have close contact has tested positive, you need to quarantine for 14 days, even if you test negative — because no one knows how long it will be before you may show symptoms or might be spreading COVID-19 unknowingly.

September 21, 2020 - 12:02 pm - Posted in News

Lyon County, Iowa — A George local was arrested and was taken to the Lyon County Jail on Sunday, September 20th.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that 20-year-old  Matthew Blochowitz, of George Iowa, was arrested for allegedly operating a motor vehicle while impaired (OWI). Authorities say this is Blochowitz’s third offense, which makes it a Class D felony. Blochowitz was also charged with speeding for allegedly going 108 mph in a 55 mph zone, as well as careless driving, reckless driving and eluding.

According to authorities, Blochowitz was transported to the Lyon County Jail.

September 20, 2020 - 4:56 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — A total of twenty-three new COVID-19 cases were reported on Sunday in the four northwestern-most Iowa counties, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Sioux County reports a total of 1339 cases, after a rise of 19 cases. O’Brien County is at 298, which is unchanged. Lyon County was up four cases at 245, and Osceola County was unchanged at 125.

As far as active cases, Lyon County has 73, Sioux County has 542, O’Brien County has 121, and Osceola has 33.

Fifteen northwest Iowans have died in connection with COVID-19 since the pandemic started. Nine in O’Brien County and three each in Lyon and Sioux Counties.

Recovery rate:
Out of the 245 Lyon County residents who have had COVID-19, 169 have recovered, for a rate of about 69%.
Out of the 1339 Sioux County residents who have had COVID-19, 794 have recovered, for a rate of about 59%.
Out of the 298 O’Brien County residents who have had COVID-19, 168 have recovered, for a rate of about 56%.
Out of the 125 Osceola County residents who have had COVID-19, 92 have recovered, for a rate of about 74%.

Total numbers of cases from other counties around the area and their change from the previous report:

Iowa counties:
Plymouth 1046, up 12
Cherokee 186, up 1
Buena Vista 1943, up 2
Clay 290, up 2
Dickinson 483, unchanged