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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Des Moines, Iowa — (RI) — Republican lawmakers are proposing an amendment to the Iowa Constitution, in response to Iowa court rulings that struck down abortion restrictions.

Republican Representative Steven Holt of Denison gave a loud Marine Corps “hoorah” on Tuesday when Governor Kim Reynolds mentioned it in her Condition of the State message.

A subcommittee in the Iowa Senate gave its approval Thursday to a proposed amendment that states Iowa’s Constitution does not “recognize, grant or secure a right to abortion.” Senator Jake Chapman, a Republican from Adel, says the amendment will over-rule the decisions of unelected judges.

If this year’s Republican-led legislature endorses the language, it must also be approved by the legislature sometime in the following two years. That means 2022 is the earliest Iowans could vote on the amendment. Chapman says there’s no way voters will not understand what’s being proposed.

Critics like Reverend David Sickelka of the United Church of Christ in Urbandale say the amendment would set a dangerous precedent.

Jamie Birch Elliott of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa also testified at Thursday’s statehouse hearing.

The proposal cleared the first hurdle in the legislative process. It will now be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

January 17, 2020 - 10:46 am - Posted in Community Calendar, News, Podcasts, Sports

There are a number of closures and delays for today and this weekend. Please visit the Closures and Delays page on our main website, for that information.

January 16, 2020 - 3:54 pm - Posted in News

Larchwood, Iowa — A call of a vehicle stopped and facing the wrong way on the road turned into a felony arrest near Larchwood on Tuesday.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office tells us they received a report of a vehicle stopped facing the wrong way in the traveled portion of the roadway in the 1600 mile of county road A-18, or 140th Street, two miles west of Larchwood. When the deputy got there, they discovered the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Sioux Falls. The driver initially refused to identify herself and tried to drive away. The driver was eventually identified as 19-year-old Kara Greger of Lake Andes, South Dakota. Greger was charged with Possession of Stolen Property 2nd Degree, a Class D Felony. She was additionally charged with a laundry list of misdemeanor counts, including Interference With Official Acts, Providing False Identification Information, Driving Without a License, Violation of Financial Liability, Stopping on the Paved Portion of a Roadway, Reckless Driving, and Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device.

Sheriff’s officials say the investigation continues and more charges are pending. They tell us Larchwood EMS, the Lyon County Ambulance Squad, the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation’s Drug Recognition Expert, Avera Rock Rapids, K9 Athos, and Trackside Towing assisted them with the response to the incident.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The Rock Rapids City Council met in regular session at the Forster Community Center on Monday night, January 13th.

At the end of the last meeting, council member Scott Schneidermann tendered his resignation from the council, due to changes at his place of employment. The council heard from two former council members who were interested in taking Schneidermann’s spot. Matt Oedekoven served about ten years ago, and Rollie Vander Lee served in the 1990s.

Vander Lee was appointed to the council Monday night on a 3 to 1 vote. Council members indicated that it was a difficult decision.

The council also voted to create a new Urban Renewal Area called the Hawkins Urban Renewal Area, which will include the Hawkins subdivisions.

Among other issues, council members also approved a construction project on South Second Avenue, west of Union Street and going to Fairlamb. All of the pavement will be removed, and it will be replaced with portland cement. There will also be related work on Dickinson and Bradley Streets.

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Legislature is getting ready to start work on the people’s business in Des Moines, and a representative from our area is in a leadership role.

According to Iowa House Republicans, District 1 State Representative, Republican John Wills from Spirit Lake has been elected Speaker Pro Tempore of the Iowa House of Representatives. Following his swearing-in, he delivered opening remarks for the 2020 session.

In his speech, Wills said that it is an honor to serve as Speaker Pro Tem. He thanked his constituents for the opportunity to serve them. Wills represents Lyon and Osceola counties and the northern two-thirds of Dickinson County, and has represented that area for the last five years.

Wills also thanked his wife and family for their support and for their “tremendous sacrifices.”

The Representative says he wants to work to accomplish goals in a “bipartisan fashion.” He also says he hopes for “government that is smaller and smarter.”

According to Wills, his goals are to “wisely spend the taxpayer’s dollar, provide efficiency of government services, advance our freedoms and liberties, and ensure our government works for the people, not the other way around.”

Statewide Iowa — Making sure kids are growing up at a healthy weight from their very first days is a critical way to prevent obesity among adults. Most kids entering adolescence with obesity will still have obesity as an adult, so starting early is key. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) will be participating in a Learning Collaborative Partnership with the Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HPRC), along with other state and local health departments. All agencies will explore strategies to encourage healthy weight among children in their communities.

The project will include modeling two strategies related to helping children move more in school physical education classes and utilizing electronic decision support for pediatric medical providers to recognize and treat childhood obesity. As part of this project, IDPH will leverage existing policies and community-based efforts that help children be more active, eat well and grow up at healthy weight. IDPH partners in the project include the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Medical Society, Iowa Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Blank Children’s Hospital, Iowa Heathiest State Initiative and United Way of Central Iowa.

The Learning Collaborative Partnership (LCP) began in 2015 as part of the Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study (CHOICES) Project, one of the HPRC’s key projects. The CHOICES Project is working to help reverse the national obesity epidemic by identifying strategies to reduce childhood obesity that have strong evidence for effectiveness and offer the best value for the money invested.

Ames, Iowa — It’s been a difficult year for farmers, the planting season saw an overabundance of rain and delayed planting, the United States’ trade war with China persisted, skewing both commodity prices and demand, and farm bankruptcies rose to the highest level since 2011. However, favorable interest
rates, strong yields, and limited land supply combined to help drive Iowa’s farmland values up for only the second time in six years.

The statewide value of an acre of farmland is now estimated to be $7,432, which represents an increase of 2.3 percent, or $168, since 2018. The $7,432 per acre estimate, and 2.3 percent increase in value, represents a statewide average of low-, medium-, and high-quality farmland.

Once again this year northwest Iowa farmland is some of the most valuable in the state of Iowa. In fact, only one county reports land values higher than our four northwest Iowa counties of Lyon, Sioux, O’Brien and Osceola. Leading the way in Iowa is Scott County in far eastern Iowa, along the Mississippi River. Scott County’s average farmland value this year is $10,837 Second in the state is O’Brien County, with an average farmland value of $10,411 an acre, followed by Sioux County at $10,297, Lyon County at $9,451, and Osceola County at $9,119.

For more in-depth information on Iowa farmland values, CLICK HERE.

January 11, 2020 - 3:51 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — The changes continue for the state’s highest court.  Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins has announced that he will retire on March 13th.

The 68-year-old Wiggins has been the Acting Chief Justice since the death of Chief Justice Mark Cady in November. Wiggins is a Chicago native who got his law degree in 1976 at Drake University in Des Moines. He began practicing at a West Des Moines law firm after graduation, and also served as chairperson of the Judicial Qualifications Commission from 2000 until he was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2003.

The retirement of Wiggins will give Governor Kim Reynolds a chance to name a replacement. It will be the fourth justice she has appointed to the seven-member high court.

The Judicial Nominating Commission just sent three names to the governor to select a replacement for Justice Cady.

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — The five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer was raised this week from nine to ten-percent. While that still means a devastating nine out of ten people who are diagnosed with that form of cancer won’t beat it, the single-percentage uptick represents significant progress.

Pam Anderson is one of the rare Iowa survivors, who volunteers with the Des Moines affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

The survival rate for pancreatic cancer remains the lowest of all cancers, but reaching the ten-percent milestone is quite encouraging, according to Anderson, who says people in her circle are overjoyed.

Statistics find about 580 Iowans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year and 430 of them will die from it. It’s the third-leading cause of cancer death in the United States and it’s expected to become the second-leading cause of cancer death this year. Knowing she’s among the very fortunate few, Anderson says being a pancreatic cancer survivor has granted her a new perspective.

The fast-moving disease is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can be vague and are often ignored until it’s too late. They include abdominal pain and back pain, changes in stool, yellowing skin, weight loss, appetite loss, and a feeling of being full after only eating a little food.

For more information visit

Image courtesy of Radio Iowa.

January 10, 2020 - 3:48 pm - Posted in News

Spirit Lake, Iowa — Use caution if you’re going to be on the lakes enjoying winter activities like ice fishing this weekend. That’s from the Iowa DNR.

Mike Hawkins, Iowa DNR Fisheries Biologist says that ice conditions vary among northwest Iowa lakes, and are poorer south of our area.

But he says even around here, be prepared for ice conditions to vary, and test the ice in front of you.

Since West Lake Okoboji is a little more variable, he gives us some specifics.

He tells us no car or pickup traffic is safe at this time, and he’d even use extreme caution with ATVs. Hawkins says whenever you’re on the ice, carry your picks on a rope and always wear a life jacket or floatation device.

Caption: An example of what is NOT safe at this time, according to Hawkins.