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

Heard on KIWA-AM 1550 every weekday morning at about 8:50 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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July 28, 2016 - 3:14 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A building that started as an automobile dealership over 100 years ago in Rock Rapids has undergone some major renovation and will soon house some upscale downtown offices.

Worthmore building - new Home Warranty and DeNoble Austin & Co

Current building – click to enlarge

The building was originally built as Watson’s Garage in about 1907. The Lyon County history book Buncombe to Twenty-Two says Watson’s was a dealer of the Mitchell automobile line.

The building, on the corner of Story Street and South Second Avenue, across from the courthouse, has housed a number of businesses over the years. In fact some of them have some historical significance. Building owner Doug Van’t Hof says at one time it was owned by C. W. Swanson — they believe that’s the same Swanson that developed Swanson’s Foods, of TV dinner fame. For a time it was owned by a Campbell’s Creamery and Produce that was related to Campbell Soup, which had a facility in Worthington, Minnesota in past years. In the 1930’s and 1940’s, it was the Worthmore Creamery. Many Rock Rapids residents still refer to it as “The Worthmore Building.”

RR Worthmore building - Watson's Garage 1912

Soon after it was built — in early 1900’s

Van’t Hof says it was rumored that the freight elevator in the building was used to transport cars to the second floor when it was Watson’s Garage. But he says they discovered a tag on the elevator that said it was manufactured in the 1940’s. Plus, Van’t Hof says they don’t think even the early, small automobiles would have fit in the elevator.

RR Worthmore building - before

Before renovations

In more recent years, it has been a farm supply store, a Coast-to-Coast hardware store, a Family Drug store and a production facility for Simply Said, among several other things.

He tells us that among the first projects in the major renovation of the building were gutting the old renovations and working on the roof.

He says they would have liked to leave the building concrete color, but he says they would have had no way to match the color of concrete that’s over 100 years old when they did repairs and renovations, so they decided to use a dark grey concrete stain.

Van’t Hof says they wanted to return the outside of the building to as much of the original form factor as they could, and that included the big windows, which over the years had been boarded up or reduced considerably to make the building more energy-efficient.

He says the tint accomplishes several purposes. It protects the contents of the building from fading, eliminates the need for window treatments, and provides privacy, especially for their ground floor tenants, which will be DeNoble, Austin & Company Certified Public Accountants.

Van’t Hof says the upper level will be occupied by his business, Home Warranty, Incorporated. He tells us what they do.

He says many people also extend the warranty after the first year.

Van’t Hof gave local dignitaries, the media, and Congressman Steve King a tour of the facility on Wednesday, July 27th.

Van’t Hof says his business plans to move in by the end of August or early September. Dave DeNoble of DeNoble, Austin says they hope to move in by September 1st.


Rock Rapids Economic Development Director John Hulshof speaks with Congressman Steve King about the building (Hulshof in center of photo wearing blue shirt, King to his right [your left] crossing arms)


View from one of the upper level offices


View to the south from the upper level


Front (east) side of the building


South side of the building


July 27, 2016 - 5:09 pm - Posted in News

Dallas, Texas — Dakota Access, a division of Energy Transfer Partners has received permits from the Army Corps of Engineers to install the 350-mile long Bakken Oil pipeline, which will run southeast through Lyon, Sioux, and O’Brien Counties on its way to Illinois.
Army Corps
According to Dakota Access spokesperson Lisa Dillinger, on Monday, July 25th, the company received the Nationwide Permit 12 from the Army Corps of Engineers for all four states. She says that means Dakota Access can now move forward with construction in all areas. The action was the last official regulatory hurdle Dakota Access faced. She says they want to proceed as quickly as possible in order to limit construction activities to one growing season and have construction completed by the end of this year.

Dillinger says that in Iowa, the Army Corps of Engineers permits cover 63 wetlands and bodies of water. However, she says the Big Sioux River crossing between South Dakota and Iowa had already been approved when they received a Sovereign Lands Permit in March. She says that’s due to the fact that the pipeline will be installed by directional boring, deep under the river.

She says Dakota Access has signed easement agreements on 96% of the properties along the route in Iowa, and that they have signed 100% of the properties in North Dakota, South Dakota and Illinois.

Groups opposed to the pipeline have challenged the permit authorization. Bold Iowa, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and other groups in the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition say they remain steadfast in their opposition to the pipeline for environmental, social and moral reasons. They say direct action, rallies, and events continue to mobilize more Iowans who are opposed to the pipeline.

The groups say a lawsuit filed by ten landowners alleging that Dakota Access cannot legally be given the authority to use eminent domain is still active in the court system.

July 27, 2016 - 1:57 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Rapids man was jailed Tuesday (July 26th) on weapons-related charges.

Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep says the arrest of 45-year old Bryian Keith Hamilton came as the result of a search warrant served on his Rock Rapids residence earlier this month.  The Sheriff says deputies obtained that search warrant after they were given information that a person had seen Hamilton, and others, outside his residence, holding firearms.

Vander Stoep says a background check on Hamilton showed him to have a felony conviction for burglary in the state of Colorado, as well as two convictions for Domestic Abuse, one in Texas, and one in Colorado.  Iowa law prohibits convicted felons from possessing firearms,  and persons with Domestic Abuse convictions are prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms, according to the Sheriff.

Vander Stoep says evidence obtained during the execution of the search warrant led to an arrest warrant for two counts of Possession of a Firearm By a Felon, and one count of Possession of a Firearm By a Domestic Abuse Offender.

At last report, Hamilton was lodged in the Lyon County Jail, with bond set at $10,000.

July 26, 2016 - 5:10 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Rapids native is coming back to Rock Rapids to help the town land new businesses, find housing for employees, and help retain current businesses.
Micah Freese RREDC
The Rock Rapids City Council wrapped up their search for a new development director a while back, and the man who is going to take the reins — Micah Freese — has been working with Rock Rapids Economic Development Director John Hulshof for the last month.

Hulshof has been instrumental in several development projects since taking the position in August, 2008. Before that, Hulshof worked for Frontier Bank. Hulshof announced in March that he intends to retire in August after eight years at the helm of the Rock Rapids Development Corporation.

Freese says he’s really looking forward to helping out his hometown.

Freese says he has a degree in business administration and has been working for Walmart Corporation.

He says his focus will be primarily on following through on the projects that Hulshof started at first, but he will be working to promote the community to businesses and industries, develop housing opportunities, and work to retain current businesses.

Freese says that being available is important, and he plans to do that. He says he knows the job comes with continuous research.

The new economic development director says that he and soon-to-be-retired director Hulshof will work together until the end of the month. At that point, Hulshof will be available for consultation, but Freese will be flying the economic development ship “solo” at that point.

Freese says he’s looking forward to moving back “home” to Rock Rapids and being able to enroll his kids at Central Lyon. He says he’s very grateful for the education he received there and wouldn’t be where he is today without it.

July 23, 2016 - 8:49 am - Posted in News

Larchwood, Iowa — Over $100,000 in damage occurred to a truck and trailer and nearly 40 head of hogs were destroyed in an accident near Larchwood on Wednesday, July 20, 2016.
Lyon County Sheriff Car Door 60-8
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that 28-year-old Allen Leekley of Kingsley was driving a 2007 Peterbilt pulling a 2016 Wilson stock trailer southbound on Ashley Avenue and stopped at the stop sign at county road A18, five miles west of Larchwood’s south side.

According to the report, the tires began to sink into the road, and eventually the truck and trailer tipped over onto its side into the west ditch. The driver of the truck was not injured.

They say the Peterbilt received $20,000 damage. The trailer, owned by Franken Transfer of Sioux Center was estimated to be a total loss, worth $80,000.

Thirty nine head of hogs, belonging to Farmer’s Co-op Society in Sioux Center, and estimated to be worth $12,000, were destroyed in the accident, says the report.

The Sheriff’s Office says the Larchwood Fire Department and Larchwood EMS crew responded to the scene to assist, along with many local farmers.

Spencer, Iowa — The organization that provides leadership and management for the regional system of care for mental health and disability services for six northwest Iowa counties has switched providers for their crisis line.
telephone no message light
Northwest Iowa Care Connections serves residents of Clay, Dickinson, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, and Palo Alto Counties. They report that they have recently switched providers for the region’s 24/7 crisis phone line from Foundation 2 in Cedar Rapids to Spencer-based Seasons Center for Behavioral Health.

Bill Leupold, Northwest Iowa Care Connections’ Goverance Board Chair and the official spokesperson for the region, says that the Regional Governance Board felt that the $60,000 annual cost of Foundation 2’s service was exorbitant for the number of calls received by Foundation 2.

Northwest Iowa Care Connections Region Chief Executive Officer Kim Wilson says that Seasons Center, as a private, non-profit organization, provides a safe, confidential option for people to seek assistance with social, emotional, behavioral and family issues. Since a crisis can come in many forms, Seasons Center seeks to empower people to develop their own skills and confidence in meeting life’s challenges.

Leupold says that there should be no impact to those who call the crisis line as the phone number will remain the same, the only difference being the clients will now be speaking with Seasons Center personnel.

They say the Northwest Iowa Care Connections toll free crisis line,( 844-345-4569) is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with Seasons Center, whose emergency services are accredited by the Iowa Department of Human Services Chapter 24. Callers can expect to receive assistance from trained staff who help to develop a collaborative safety plan, arrange follow-up, and make referrals to local providers as needed.

Northwest Iowa — Buy locally-grown food or grow it yourself. That’s the advice being given by some experts — and some people are following that advice.
Flavors of Northwest Iowa
Recognizing the growing interest in fresh, locally-produced food, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach county offices in Northwest Iowa launched Flavors of Northwest Iowa, a regional food project to build a network of support for growers and consumers.

Extension experts have created the Local Food Road Show to meet local growers and learn how people are working together to supply the region with locally-grown food.

Several events are planned during the road show. One of them is tonight, July 19th. Extension Consumer Horticulture specialist Margaret Murphy tells us about the ISU Research and Demonstration Garden Tour and Local Food Tasting going on tonight during the Lyon County Fair at the Lyon County Fairgrounds.

The tour is free and open to the public, she says. Murphy and some other master gardeners will be available if you have questions. It starts at 6, but at 5:30, some socializing and local food treats will be available, such as salad on a stick.

Murphy says the next event on the Local Food Road Show will be this coming Monday, July 25th at the O’Brien County Fair in Primghar. She says it’s called “Gardening with Herbs”.

Then, on August 9, Extension is hosting “Cooking with Garden Vegetables” at the Forster Community Center in Rock Rapids from 6 to 8 PM.

If you’d like to attend that workshop, it is free, but they ask that you register by August 5th by calling the Lyon County Extension Office.

That will be followed by the “Cooking with Herbs” class to be held at the Sutherland Fire Rescue and Ambulance building on Thursday, August 11th.

She says you need to register for that by August 9th by calling the O’Brien County Extension Office.

There are other tour events going on in the wider northwest Iowa area as well. She says you can learn more at www.flavorsofnorthwestiowa.orgg or find all the details on Facebook. Look for “Flavors of Northwest Iowa”.

July 19, 2016 - 2:29 pm - Posted in News

Lyon County, Iowa — The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office had a busy weekend, including a minor accident and numerous arrests.

Early Saturday afternoon, deputies were called to a two-vehicle accident in the parking lot at Slade’s Drive-In at Rock Rapids.  According to the report, the accident happened when 87-year old Priscilla Spykerboer, of Ellsworth, Minnesota, backed her 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer into a parked 2005 Cadillac SRX, owned by 63-year old Esther Masselink. of Edgerton, Minnesota.

Damage to the Masselink Cadillac was estimated at $1,500, while Spykerboer’s Trailblazer sustained an estimated $800 damage.  No injuries were reported.


Also on Saturday, a Lyon County Deputy conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle for an equipment violation.  Authorities say that, during the course of the traffic stop the deputy discovered open alcohol containers.  As a result of the stop, deputies say 20-year old Devin Hoekstra of Ocheyedan, was charged with Person Under Legal Age in Possession of Alcohol.  Cops say he was also served with a .02 administrative violation.  The report also states that two passengers in the vehicle were also cited for having open alcohol containers.


On Sunday, July 17th, the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says their deputies made contact with people camping in Island Park.  During the contact deputies say they discovered alcohol, drugs, and drug paraphernalia.  As a result, they arrested an 18-year old Rock Rapids man, Dylan Robertson, on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Alcohol Under Legal Age, both serious misdemeanors, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.  Authorities say that, during the incident, they also arrested 21-year old Paige Johnson of Luverne, Minnesota, on two counts of Supplying Alcohol to Persons Under Legal Age, and Possession of a Controlled Substance, all serious misdemeanors, along with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.  Additionally, deputies say a 17-year old female from Rock Rapids was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Underage Possession of Alcohol.

July 19, 2016 - 8:54 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Miss Lyon County, 2016 was crowned Monday night, July 18th at a ceremony at the Lyon County Fair in Rock Rapids.
Miss Lyon County Crowning 2016
Winning Miss Congeniality was Miss George, Megan Krull.

First Runner-Up is Miss Larchwood, Kamryn TeGrootenhuis.

Miss Lyon County 2016 is Miss Lester, Grace Rens.

Congratulations to the winners and all the girls who participated in the Miss Lyon County Contest.

July 16, 2016 - 12:45 am - Posted in News

Inwood, Iowa– An Inwood teen has died as the result of an accident near Inwood.
fatal ambulance II
The Iowa State Patrol reports that about 2:55 PM on Friday, July 15, 2016, 16-year-old Logan Kruse of Inwood was driving a 1999 Pontiac northbound on Highway 182, a mile north of Inwood. Fifty-five year-old Dan Olson of Marshall, MN was southbound on 182 in a 2016 International semi.

The report says that Kruse drove onto the east shoulder, then crossed left of center into the southbound lane and into the path of the semi. The vehicles collided head-on in the southbound lane. Both units came to rest in the west ditch.

Kruse was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The Canton-Inwood Ambulance took Olson to Canton-Inwood Hospital.

The State Patrol says the crash remains under investigation.

The Canton-Inwood Ambulance, the Inwood Fire Department and Rescue Squad, the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office and additional state troopers assisted at the scene.