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

Heard on KIWA-AM 1550 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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June 15, 2018 - 1:36 pm - Posted in News

Lester, Iowa– A a side by side utility vehicle and a pickup were destroyed in a fire on Thursday, June 14, 2018, near Lester.

According to Lester Fire Chief Morris Metzger, about 4:15 p.m., the Lester Fire Department was called to the report of a side by side utility vehicle on fire close to a couple buildings and gas tanks at 1334 Dove Avenue, about a mile north of Lester.

The chief says the fire department saw the side by side and the pickup on fire as they approached the scene. He says they used water and foam to fight the fire.

Metzger says no injuries were reported.

He says the cause of the fire is undetermined, and that the utility vehicle and pickup were both totaled in the fire.

He says they used about 1,000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and the seven firefighters who responded were on scene for about an hour.

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Rock Rapids, Iowa — A new incarnation of the Lyon County American Cancer Society Relay For Life will be unveiled this Thursday evening (June 14th) in Rock Rapids. Called “Carnival For A Cure,” the new event takes the place of the more traditional Relay For Life events of the past.

Ronda Ahrends, who is one of the people in charge, tells us what to expect at the event, which will be held in conjunction with Rock Rapids’ Heritage Days.

And then, she says they’ll have a local talent show.

Ahrends gives us an idea of the kinds of acts that will be showcasing their talent.

She says that to go along with the carnival theme, they’re changing the luminarias to pinwheels.

Ahrends says you can buy pinwheels from any Cancer Society volunteer, including Rochelle Herbert, Kathy Van Berkum, Jill Funke, or Ahrends. Or you can buy them at the event.

She says they’ll also have raffle items, as usual.

Ahrends reminds people to bring their lawn chairs, as the event will be on the courthouse square.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The Community Foundation of Lyon County has been in place for several years, giving their first grants to nonprofit projects in 2006. However, one of the revenue streams for the foundation was ended when a gambling facility began in the county seven years ago in June of 2011.

Iowa counties’ community foundations are given some money if they do not have a casino or betting track in the county. The law stipulates that such counties are eligible to receive one-half of one percent of the state’s gross gambling receipts.

If the county DOES have a gambling facility, the community foundation does not receive those state dollars. However, the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation, which is the nonprofit license-holder for the Grand Falls Casino, gets a certain percentage of the casino’s gaming take and gives it back to the community in a similar grant process.

So the Community Foundation of Lyon County doesn’t get any gambling money, but private donations to the foundations are also accepted and encouraged, and that is how the Community Foundation is able to give out grants. In fact, they recently awarded six grants totaling $24,000 to nonprofit organizations in support of projects and programs throughout Lyon County. The dollars granted and distributed are made possible by the annual distribution from the Community Foundation of Lyon County’s Endowment Fund.

The CFLC was formally established in 2005 through affiliation with the Siouxland Community Foundation and is governed by a local nine-member advisory board composed of representatives, with one at-large member, from each of the eight communities in Lyon County; Alvord, Doon, George, Inwood, Larchwood, Lester, Little Rock, and Rock Rapids.

Foundation officials tell us that their mission is to enhance the overall quality of life in the county for present and future generations by providing opportunities for donors to leave a legacy, by building a permanent collection of endowment funds, and by making grants in response to priority community needs. They also tell us that a decision has been made that they will give grants every two years instead of annually so that larger sums may be given out.

The following are recently awarded grants from the CFLC:

Fellowship Village Community Integration $6,000.00
Granite Threshermens Association Inc. Train Depot Restoration $6,000.00
Inwood Trails Committee Bike and Walking Trail $6,000.00
Kingdom Kids Community Daycare Update Needed Storage $1,000.00
Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital New clinic & hospital $2,000.00
Rapids Theatre Preservation Society, Inc. North and West Tuck Pointing $3,000.00

Rock Rapids, Iowa — This Friday is the third Friday of June. That means this is Heritage Days Week in Rock Rapids — the next entry on the list of northwest Iowa summer festivals.

As usual, Heritage Days will feature both old favorites and some new and different ideas.

In the old favorites category, a classic activity has made a comeback in recent years and is back again — the Heritage Days medallion hunt, which will be on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Dad’s Belgian Waffles will be coming back for the classic waffle breakfast on Friday morning from 7 to 9 at the Forster Community Center. An activity that may date back to the beginning of Heritage Days is happening again — the Friday Methodist Church Salad Luncheon. It includes a craft sale and runs from 11 to 1. The River Valley Players will again perform a Heritage Days Revue on Friday night at Forster Auditorium at Central Lyon High School. The Road Race will make a repeat appearance on Saturday morning starting at 8. There’s a 10K, a 5K, a 1-mile, and a half-mile kids’ fun run. This year the starting line moves to the Central Lyon High School. The parade will be at 11 downtown, or at 4 if it’s raining at 11. The kids’ activities and inflatables will be in Island Park again from noon to 4. There will be an all-school reunion again from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Forster Community Center. A street dance will again be held Saturday night downtown. And the annual community church service will again be held Sunday morning at 10:30 at Island Park. Plus, there will be racing both Friday and Saturday nights.

Some newer activities include the new incarnation of the Lyon County Relay For Life. It’s a circus theme this year called “Carnival for a Cure.” It’s from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday night at the courthouse square. There will be a movie in the park that night when it gets dark. It’s put on by the Rapids Theatre Preservation Society and will be the Lego Batman Movie. Some other newer activities include karaoke at Sporty’s and a cruise night downtown, both on Friday night. A newer activity on Saturday is popcorn and root beer available at the Rapids Theatre downtown, put on by the Rapids Theatre Preservation Society. The Lyon County Historical Society is doing their Cowpie Bingo fundraiser again at the Depot Museum on Saturday. Also, the firefighters are doing water wars again Saturday on South Story Street. And back once again on Sunday is the Soapbox Derby at the swimming pool parking lot.

These and many other activities are all this weekend at Heritage Days in Rock Rapids.

June 11, 2018 - 2:15 pm - Posted in News

Little Rock, Iowa– A house was damaged in a fire on Saturday, June 9, 2018, in Little Rock. But the fire chief says it could have ended differently.

According to Little Rock Fire Chief Joe Schilling, about 12:30 a.m., the Little Rock Fire Department was called to the report of a house full of smoke at 126 Third Avenue in Little Rock.

The chief says the fire department saw flames coming from the front of the house as they approached the scene. He says they used water and foam to fight the fire.

Schilling says no injuries were reported.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be electrical in nature. Chief Schilling reports that there was extensive heat and smoke damage.

The chief tells us that they were assisted by firefighters from the George Fire Department, and personnel from Little Rock EMS and the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.

He says they used about 4,000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene three and a half hours.

Schilling says that this fire call is a good example of why smoke alarms are so important. He says the occupant woke up due to smoke alarms going off. He says without smoke alarms, this fire could have had a very different outcome.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A winner has been chosen to be the Republican candidate in November in a county supervisor race in northwest Iowa.

Lyon County saw a few contested races in last Tuesday’s Primary. On the Republican ticket for Supervisor District 5, there was a tie. Both candidates, Steve Herman and Kirk Peters received 255 votes each.

At the Lyon County Board of Supervisors meeting and official vote canvassing on Monday, June 11th, a name was picked out of a hat to be the Republican candidate in November. Steve Herman’s name was drawn. Kirk Peters has until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday to request a recount.

No Democrats filed for that party’s nomination, and no Democratic write-in votes were received either during the primary. But the Republican candidate would face any challenger from the Democratic or any other party, or any independents during the general election on November 6th. Candidates can file between August 6th and August 29th.

Supervisor District 5 includes the area from north of Lester to the eastern border of the county east of Little Rock. For the most part, it’s all north of Highway 9 except in the city of Rock Rapids, where the line dips to the southern city limits in the eastern part of town.

June 8, 2018 - 9:46 am - Posted in News

Alvord, Iowa — Lyon County authorities say that shortly before 10:00 pm Thursday, one of their deputies made a traffic stop on an unusual vehicle, that led to the arrest of an Alvord man.

According to authorities, a Lyon County deputy initiated a traffic stop on a golf cart that was being operated on an Alvord city street. Authorities say that the deputy suspected alcohol use by the golf cart’s driver, 27-year old Bailey Grotewold, of Alvord.

Deputies say that after further investigation, the deupty placed Grotewold under arrest on a charge of 1st Offense OWI, which is a Serious Misdemeanor. Grotewold was additionally citer for Unlawful Operation of a Golf Cart on City Streets, a Simple Misdemeanor, according to authorities.

June 5, 2018 - 10:12 am - Posted in News

Lyon County, Iowa — A Doon man suffered mnor injuries when his pickup was struck by a tractor-trailer rig Monday morning.

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, the crash happened on 260th Street, when an eastbound Freightliner tractor-trailer rig, driven by 54-year old Dale Timmerman of Boyden, attempted to pass an eastbound 2006 Chevrolet pickup, driven by 56-year old Dale Fick of Doon, as Fick attempted a left turn into a farm driveway. Deputies say the semi struck the pickup, causing an estimated $12-thousand damage. The semi then reportedly entered the north ditch, striking a fence belonging to Bruce Fick.

The semi, owned by Rick’s Custom, Inc. sustained an estimate $12,500 damage.

Fick suffered minor injuries in the mishap.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by troopers from the Iowa State Patrol.

May 31, 2018 - 3:38 pm - Posted in News

Lyon County, Iowa — A four-vehicle crash Wednesday morning sent a Rock Rapids woman to the hospital.

According to a report from the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, the crash happened about 7:30 Wednesday morning near the intersection of Highway 75 and 210th Street, about 5-miles south of Rock Rapids.

Deputies say the mishap began when a southbound Buick Century, driven by 63-year old Mary Abrahamson, of Rock Rapids, struck the back of a 2013 Mercedes Sprinter van, which was then pushed into the back of a 2016 Kia Sportage, which was, in turn, pushed into a flat bed trailer hooked to a 2015 Ram truck.

According to authorities, the Mercedes, which was owned by Avera McKennan of Sioux Falls, and driven by 27-year old Brendan Kelly Goetzinger, sustained approximately $11-thousand in damage in the incident. Deputies say the Kia, which was owned and operated by 45-year old Christopher Jay Stanga of Sioux Falls, received an estimated $8-thousand in damage. The flatbed trailer being pulled by the Ram truck, both owned and operated by 49-year old Salem Mujic of Sioux Falls, cane away with about $11-hundred in damage. No damage estimate for Abrahamson’s Buick was immediately available.

Deputies say that Abrahamson was transported to Sanford of Rock Rapids by the Lyon County Ambulance for non-life-threatening injuries.

Abrahamson was reportedly cited for following too closely, a simple misdemeanor.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Lyon County Ambulance, the Rock Rapids Fire Department, and the Iowa State Patrol.

Ocheyedan, Iowa — A state senator who left the Republican Party in 2016 to protest Donald Trump being the GOP’s presidential nominee has ended his bid for reelection in November.

David Johnson of Ocheyedan was the only independent in the state legislature for the past two years. Johnson announced in December he would run as an independent and seek another term in the senate.

Three Republicans are running in Tuesday’s Primary for Johnson’s spot in the state senate. He’s been a legislator for nearly two decades but, as an independent, he faced a tough run for another senate term in the northwest Iowa district where Republicans far outnumber both independents and Democrats. Johnson had a long history in the Republican Party before he left it nearly two years ago. His father was a Republican candidate for governor in 1968. Johnson hints he’ll be back at the statehouse next year.

There are more than 20-thousand Republicans, about 13-thousand independents and 73-hundred Democrats in the district Johnson has represented. There is no Democratic candidate in the Senate District One, but a Democrat could be nominated by convention before the ballot deadline in August.


Original Story posted May 31, 2018 – 12:31pm

Ocheyedan, Iowa — Iowa Senator David Johnson will not seek reelection this fall, according to published reports.

In 2016, Johnson, who was a Republican at that time, resigned from the Republican party when Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican Presidential nomination. At that time, Johnson changed his registration from Republican to Independent.

Since resigning from the Republican party, Johnson has had difficulties landing committee slots. Coincidentally, Johnson’s Senate District is the single most Republican district in the state. He serves the 1st District, which is comprised of Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Clay, and Palo Alto counties.

Three Republicans will have their names on the ballot for this coming Tuesday’s pimary election for Senate District 1, the seat currently held by Johnson. They are: Jesse Wolfe, of Emmetsburg; Zach Whiting, of Spirit Lake; and Brad Price, of Spirit Lake.

KIWA has reached out to Senator Johnson for comment, and will bring his comments to you once he returns our call.