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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Northwest Iowa — The Iowa Transportation Commission has approved funding for improvements at railroad crossings in O’Brien County and in Lester, along with 11 others around the state.

Kris Klop in the D-O-T Office of Rail Transportation says the latest projects are for the 2019 fiscal year and total $853-thousand.

The money is allocated by the state and helps take the rough crossings and make them new again.

Klop says the crossing improvement program helps bridge the difference between the two forms of transportation.

Klop says the projects approved now will take a year-and-a-half to two years to get completed, as there is a lot of planning to get both sides to fix the crossing.

The state funding pays for 60 percent of the project, while the railroad and the highway authority each pay 20 percent. Klop says after the latest round of funding, they still have 55 requests for funding. He says those requests will remain in line for funding in the next year.

The projects here in northwest Iowa include $55,327.80 for the Clinton Street crossing in Lester, in Lyon County, as well as $40,590 for a railroad crossing in O’Brien County.

Other fiscal year 2019 projects financed by the Transportation Commission include:
$ 83,812.20 – Black Hawk County – City of Cedar Falls – Center Street
$ 65,400.00 – Linn County – Linn County Central City – Road E-16
$ 74,400.00 – Linn County – Linn County Central City – Road E-16
$ 58,200.00 – Linn County – City of Cedar Rapids – McCloud Place NE
$ 80,400.00 – Buena Vista County – City of Storm Lake – Oneida Street
$ 60,600.00 – Buena Vista County – City of Storm Lake – Cayuga Street
$ 128,400.00 – Buena Vista County – City of Storm Lake – West 5th Street
$ 57,600.00 – Clarke County – City of Osceola – S. Ridge Road
$ 57,600.00 – Clarke County – City of Osceola – 240th Avenue
$ 75,000.00 – Wright County – City of Goldfield – East Cedar Street
$ 71,794.20 – Blackhawk County – City of Waterloo – Franklin Street

November 24, 2017 - 10:26 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Rapids woman faces a charge of Felony OWI following her arrest Wednesday afternoon in Rock Rapids.

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, one of their deputies made contact with 57-year old Catherine Peterson of Rock Rapids in the 200 block of South Story Street, in Rock Rapids shortly before 4:00 Wednesday afternoon (November 22nd). During the contact, authorities say Peterson was allegedly found to be under the influence of alcohol, as well as reportedly having a suspended Iowa driver’s license. As a result, officials say Peterson was placed under arrest for 3rd Offense OWI, a Class D Felony, along with driving while suspended, a simple misdemeanor.

Authorities say Peterson also had a valid arrest warrant from Osceola County, that was also served. Deputies say that warrant was for Failure to Appear in court on a previous OWI charge.

November 22, 2017 - 3:06 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa (Radio Iowa) — Thanksgiving weekend is easily one of the busiest periods of the year on Iowa roads, and traditionally, the deadliest.

Patrick Hoye, chief of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, says the congestion increases the risk for crashes.

Over the past decade in Iowa, the state’s Department of Transportation reports the Thanksgiving weekend has produced 25-percent more fatal crashes than any other holiday weekend. The night before Thanksgiving is a particularly dangerous time because of alcohol-impaired drivers.

Hoye says if alcohol is in your celebration plans, plan ahead and name a designated driver.

Last year in Iowa, five people were killed in traffic crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday period – which began Wednesday evening and continues through Monday morning.

Northwest Iowa — Students who are on the Free & Reduced Lunch Program here in northwest Iowa, and across the state, will be the beneficiaries of a new program that aims to feed protein-packed sandwiches to needy children.

Allyson Ladd is marketing specialist for Iowa’s largest pork producer, Iowa Select Farms, which is starting what it’s calling the Power Snack program.

The program is now going statewide after it had been tried as a pilot program in several Iowa communities and Ladd says the coupons were a success.

She says recent studies find one in eight children in Iowa are food insecure, meaning they’re not sure where their next meal may be coming from.

To learn more visit the Iowa Select Farms Facebook page or their website at

November 21, 2017 - 10:37 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The Lyon County Riverboat Foundation — the nonprofit license-holder for Grand Falls Casino near Larchwood — has decided not to give any new grants in the spring of 2018.

Riverboat Foundation president Jerry Keizer of Doon tells us why this decision was made.

He says this will give the new board members a chance to come up to speed and it will mean they will be able to give away grants based on the amount they know they have to give away rather than what they think they might have. He says they’re talking about paying down some of the multi-cycle grants — projects to which they have committed a large sum of money given over the years rather than a lump sum.

He says that idea is still in the discussion stage, however. Keizer says that the elimination of the 2018 spring grant process in no way reflects the health of the casino or foundation.

State law mandates a certain percentage of the casino’s gaming take has to go back to the community. The agreement between the casino and the Riverboat Foundation stipulates that for the first $20 million the casino collects in gambling winnings in a year, they will give the foundation 4.5 percent. When they get up to $20 million, the percentage goes up to 4.75 percent; and when they get up to $30 million, it goes to 5 percent.

The Lyon County Riverboat foundation is set up to give half of the money in grants to county government subdivisions and schools, and the other half to non-profit projects.

Keizer says the next grants given will be the mini-grants, which have been given away in past years in July. These are grants of up to $2000, given to non-profit projects in Lyon County and beyond.

November 20, 2017 - 6:09 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The Rock Rapids City Council met in regular session on Monday night, November 20th at 5:45 p.m.

No subcommittees met since the last meeting. The council approved the Forster Court Project final contract documents. The Annual Financial Report was reviewed and will be published. It was approved by the council. They also approved the Annual Urban Renewal Report and the Annual TIF Certifications.

While collective bargaining was on the agenda, there was not time available for meeting with the arbitrator as he needed more time with the council than the council had at this time.

The Rock Rapids City Council also discussed updating the strategic plan. More information was requested about available options before the council was ready to move forward. They also discussed comprehensive land use planning and how to move forward with that. The last time it was updated was in 2004. Again, the council requested more information before they proceed.

Also, among the items on the consent agenda was an application by the Sno Lyons for a snowmobile trail. It was approved with the other item on the consent agenda.

The next Rock Rapids City Council meeting will be on Monday, November 27th at 5:45 p.m.

November 20, 2017 - 2:16 pm - Posted in News

Larchwood, Iowa — Authorities are advising of a possible kidnapping attempt that allegedly ended near Grand Falls Casino in the extreme northwest corner of Lyon County.

According to Sam Clemens, the Public Information Officer with the Sioux Falls, South Dakota Police Department, they received the report of a kidnapping on Friday morning, November 17th. The alleged victim in the case reported that he had been in a vehicle with some other people and some remarks were made that made him feel uncomfortable. He says he wanted to get out and they wouldn’t stop and let him out, according to the Sioux Falls Police. They say that the victim told them that his alleged abductors eventually dropped him off at Grand Falls Casino. The time frame for the alleged crime was between 8:30 and 10:00 a.m., according to Clemens.

Law enforcement officers in Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota, — which come to a point three miles east of the casino — were notified and began searching for the vehicle in which the alleged crime was said to have happened.

Clemens says that they really don’t know who the suspects were as the victim had few details about them. He says that no threats were made and no weapons were displayed. The victim just says they just wouldn’t let him out of the car.

Clemens says the investigation continues.

Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep says that since the alleged crime was all but finished by the time it crossed the state line, his office would not be releasing any information on the event, and referred all questions to the Sioux Falls Police Department.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The pretrial conference for a man facing a felony firearms charge in Lyon County has been continued

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, they received a complaint of a suspicious person sleeping in a car at the intersection of 190th Street and Kingbird Avenue, northeast of George on September 26th, 2017.

When deputies investigated they say they discovered 39-year old Samuel Henry Seivert was carrying a weapon. Further investigation allegedly discovered that Seivert, as a convicted felon, was banned from possessing firearms.

Deputies say they arrested Seivert on charges of Carrying Weapons, an Aggravated Misdemeanor, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm, a Class “D” Felony.

Seivert filed a written arraignment and plea of “not guilty,” according to Lyon County court officials. His pretrial conference was to have been this past Monday, but court records indicate it has been postponed to December 11th. The trial was to have started on December 5th. No new date has been scheduled for the trial, according to available court records.

Orange City, Iowa — Three northwest Iowa entrepreneurs will get some much-needed capital for their businesses after competing in an idea pitch-off contest Thursday night in Orange City.

Northwest Iowa Development board member and Lyon County Economic Development director Steve Simons says that the Dream Big Grow Here competition is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to sharpen their business focus and showcase their business in a competition for prize money to put back into their young businesses. He says that those competing all presented their business plans, successes, strategies, and how they would utilize funds from the program to grow their businesses, and he says they all did a great job.

Breann White of Lester, owner and operator of Small Batch home bakery, received the top prize of $4,000 which she will use in expanding her kitchen facility. Leann Kruger of Rock Rapids, owner and operator of Creative Edge, received the second prize of $2,000 for equipment and her move to a storefront in Rock Rapids. The third prize of $1,000 was earned by Nicole Rozenboom of Hull, who is moving her B. Fierce Boutique to a storefront in Hull.

Other finalists in the contest who did not win prize money included Carroll Street Treats from Rock Rapids and Twin Flames Massage & Wellness Centre from Akron.

The pitch-off was held at the Prairie Winds Event Center in Orange City.

Photo caption: Entrepreneurs earning prize money in the Dream Big Grow Here competition were Nicole Rozeboom of Hull, B. Fierce Boutique ($1,000), Breann White of Lester, Small Batch ($4,000) and Leann Kruger of Rock Rapids, Creative Edge ($2,000).

Washington, DC — Although the cause of a recent helicopter crash in Lyon County that injured two has yet to be released, the National Transportation Safety Board or “NTSB” has released a few more details about the mishap.

The crash, on Monday, November 6th, near the West Lyon School happened about ten minutes into the flight, which took off at about 1 p.m.

The details that were known previously are that those in the helicopter, which was owned by Ride The Sky Helicopters, were looking for 300 lost cattle. Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep says that the pilot was Robert Krier of Sioux Falls, and the passenger was Steve Ahrendt of rural Inwood, who was the owner of the cattle. The victims were taken to Sioux Falls hospitals with serious, but non-life threatening injuries. Witnesses said that the tail of the helicopter struck the power lines.

Here are the new details that were released this week by the NTSB.

The model of the aircraft was a Robinson Helicopter R44, with a tail number of N7085M.

Pilot Robert Krier is a commercial pilot. The NTSB calls the weather conditions at the time, “marginal visual meteorological conditions.” No FAA flight plan was filed.

The NTSB says that witnesses on the ground observed the helicopter hovering and as it started to turn the “tail” of the helicopter hit the power lines. The helicopter descended to the ground and came to rest on its right side in a cornfield. The tail boom separated from the fuselage and both main rotors were substantially damaged.

An NTSB investigator tells KIWA that the full report including the cause of the accident probably won’t be available for six months from the crash date, putting it sometime in May, 2018.