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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October 21, 2017 - 8:28 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Rapids woman who was charged with a drug-related crime has been sentenced.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office advises that the case arose when their office received a call in February alleging the theft of medication. During the course of the investigation, investigators from the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals- Medicaid Fraud division charged 30-year-old Cassandra Joy VanBerkum of Rock Rapids with prohibited acts – schedule 1, 2, or 3 controlled substance, a class C felony. She was also charged with tampering with records, an aggravated misdemeanor.

VanBerkum originally pled not guilty but changed her plea to guilty in a plea agreement. This past week Judge Carl Petersen sentenced VanBerkum to a deferred judgment and three years of probation. A civil penalty of $1000 was suspended, and VanBerkum will have to provide a sample for DNA profiling. She was also sentenced to “other miscellaneous” penalties. The charge of tampering with records was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

October 21, 2017 - 1:55 am - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math — known by the acronym “STEM” — has been a hot topic in recent years. Twice each year, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has been partnering with area colleges to hold a “STEM Fest” for area youth. And it’s time for another one — at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon.

We talked to O’Brien County Extension County Youth Director Sarah Fiddelke about the upcoming event on November 4th, which she says is a little different this time.

She says online registration for the event, which is for fourth through eighth graders, begins on Sunday.

She says that while the focus will be on the science behind health and healthy living, registration is the same as in past years. Participants pick the color track that best matches the four presentations in which they want to participate.

In past years, STEM Fests have filled to capacity, so it might be a good idea to have your kids register as soon as they are able.

Northwest Iowa — The company that built the Dakota Access oil pipeline that runs diagonally across Iowa, from the northwest to the southeast, is making donations to emergency responders in Lyon, Sioux, and O’Brien counties. In fact, they’re making the donations in every county the pipeline crosses in Iowa and three other states.

Mike Futch, vice president of Energy Transfer Partners, explains the motive.

The pipeline crosses 18 counties in Iowa and also carves a path across Illinois and North and South Dakota. Futch says they want to be good corporate partners with every county the pipeline touches.

In Iowa, the total donation is $360,000 to units in 18 counties. The total donation in the four states adds up to one-million dollars as the pipeline covers 50 counties. Chuck Fry, vice president for liquid pipelines at Energy Transfer, says the pipeline passing through Iowa is now fully assembled and carrying petroleum.

The company is also giving the state of North Dakota 15-million dollars for protest-related expenses.

October 20, 2017 - 12:11 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The warm temperatures we’ve been experiencing the past few days are forecast to continue for at least the next few days. But we know we’re just playing a game with mother nature trying to guess when we’ll see the first snowfall. And that means snow removal.

Several cities in the KIWA listening area have ordinances regarding overnight parking, especially during the snow removal season. So if you routinely or occasionally park a car on the street overnight, here’s fair warning that you’re soon going to have to come up with a different place to park in most cases.

In Sheldon, Police Chief Lyle Bolkema says that motorists are not allowed to park on any street in the city between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. from November 1st to April 1st.  Violation of Sheldon’s overnight parking ban will be subject to a citation that carries a $10 fine.  Chief Bolkema also urges Sheldon residents to advise any overnight guests of the ordinance, especially during the upcoming holiday season.

In Sanborn, no parking is allowed from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m., year-round, on Main Street. In addition, from November 1st through March 31st, no parking is allowed on any city street in Sanborn from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Violation of Sanborn’s overnight parking ban carries a $15 fine.

According to Sibley city officials, their overnight parking ban calls for no parking on any city street between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., from November 1st through April 15th.  The fine for violating Sibley’s overnight parking ban is $25.

Orange City officials say that no parking is allowed on any of their city streets between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., from October 15th through April 1st.  The fine for noncompliance in Orange City is $10.

There are a couple of cities in our area that don’t have an actual overnight parking ban, but do have an ordinance that’s effective when snow falls. So motorists who park on the street need to keep up-to-date on the weather forecast.

Hartley City officials tell us there is no overnight parking ban in that city. However, their ordinance says that vehicles must be off the streets when snowfall begins and must remain off the streets until the streets are cleared of snow.  Failure to do so will result in a $15 fine from the City of Hartley.

Rock Rapids officials say their ordinance bans parking on all city streets and alleys from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. during snow removal operations. The fine for non-compliance in Rock Rapids is $25.

Motorists should be aware of the ordinance in whatever town they are parking their vehicle. Again, if you have overnight guests for the holidays, please be a gracious host and advise them of your city’s ordinance, so they don’t end up with a citation and fine.

Larchwood, Iowa — Over $284,000 in grants were given to non-profits and government entities Tuesday night, October 17th, by the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation.

The foundation is the non-profit license holder for the Grand Falls Casino near Larchwood. 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 non-profit 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.

Over $2.69 million was requested by those seeking grants. Nine entities received grants at the ceremony.

One was the first installment of 20 installments of $50,000, totaling a million dollars for state-of-the-art technological medical equipment at the Rock Rapids hospital, which is being built.

Another grant will go to build a new Alvord Fire Station. The Alvord Fire Department received a grant of $135,000 toward a new 6-bay fire station. Fire department officials say it will allow each truck to have a door instead of having to have the trucks double deep and move trucks around when one in the back is needed. They say they hope to break ground in two weeks.

Other smaller grants went to these entities:

1. The Jack Sauter American Legion post in George, who received nearly $3025 to help them replace flags in their Avenue of Flags and helped buy jackets and winter gloves for use during military funerals.

2. The Granite Thresherman’s Association for $25,000 toward the purchase of a train depot.

3. The Immanuel Lutheran Church of Rock Rapids for over $19,000 to fix moisture damage to their church

4. The Larchwood United Church of Christ for $10,000 to buy meat for their food pantry.

5. The Lyon County Courthouse for $20,000 to fix mold and moisture damage to their murals. It will go toward the $48,000 project in anticipation of the facility’s centennial celebration.

6. The City of Inwood for $3000 for new roll-up doors for their kitchen in the community center.

7. The City of George for $19,000 for the second phase of improvements to their campground.

October 17, 2017 - 8:02 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Rapids woman was taken to a hospital after an accident on Monday, October 17th.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 11:20 a.m., 29-year-old Maria Abigael Acaxtenco of Rock Rapids was driving a 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix westbound on 130th Street, four miles west and two north of Rock Rapids. They say she failed to stop for a stop sign at Fir Avenue and struck northbound a 2014 Chevy Malibu, driven by 24-year-old Kirk Smith of York, Nebraska.

Acaxtenco was transported to Sanford Rock Rapids Hospital. Her four passengers were uninjured. Smith was also uninjured.

The vehicles sustained approximately $4,000 in damages, each.

Acaxtenco was cited on charges of not having a valid driver’s license and failure to obey a stop sign.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that the Rock Rapids Fire Department & Lyon County Ambulance Squad assisted them on the scene.

October 13, 2017 - 11:34 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Rapids woman charged with a drug-related crime faces a plea-taking and sentencing this Monday.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office advises their office received a call in February alleging the theft of medication. Investigators from the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals – Medicaid Fraud division charged 30-year-old Cassandra Joy VanBerkum of Rock Rapids with prohibited acts – schedule 1, 2, or 3 controlled substance, a class C felony. She was also charged with tampering with records, an aggravated misdemeanor.

She originally pleaded “not guilty” but is expected to change her plea in what appears to be a plea bargain at the hearing.

October 13, 2017 - 11:32 pm - Posted in News

George, Iowa — A man facing a felony firearms charge in Lyon County is scheduled for a preliminary court hearing this Monday, October 16th.

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.

Judge Carl Peterson scheduled the preliminary hearing for this Monday, October 16th. Seivert’s arraignment has been set for Monday, October 30th.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The Rock Rapids City Council met in regular session on Monday, October 9th, 2017 at the Forster Community Center.

The Finance and Administration committee had recently met, and one of the items they approved was the draft of an organizational chart of the City, and the city council approved that draft document.

The council voted to make payment number two for the Forster Court project in the amount of $44,398.01. They also approved an engineering agreement for the Aiport Project.

The council then held two public hearings regarding changes to Urban Renewal Area language. No written or oral comments were received.

The first change was to allow Forster Trust to make a contribution to the hospital project. The contribution would be made through the City. According to the document, the City is currently considering a proposal that would involve borrowing up to $1.5 million from a local financial institution in the form of a capital loan note or urban renewal revenue bond. The Forster Trust would make payments to the city to repay the loan on a 10-year period. City Administrator Jordan Kordahl says that the Forster Trust may or may not utilize the plan. He says the hospital project needs the money up front, but this agreement would allow it to be paid over time. In order to do this, he says there needed to be an update to the language of Urban Renewal Area 8, which the council passed unanimously.

The second language change — to Urban Renewal Area 10 — will allow tax increment financing or TIF funds to pay for Greene Street realignment east of Holy Name Catholic Church if that happens, according to Kordahl. An ordinance was also required, which was approved. The council waived the three readings and passed the ordinance directly.

In the Public Works Committee minutes, it was stated that the reason that the sidewalk work had stopped on First Avenue downtown was that the city was made aware that sidewalk work on Highway 9 requires a permit from the Iowa Department of Transportation. So work was stopped until the permit can be obtained.

Some council members may attend the Thursday, October 19th Lyon County League of Cities meeting in Doon. The next regular meeting of the Rock Rapids City Council will be on Monday, October 30th. It was rescheduled from October 23rd, due to unavailability of the mayor.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is urging residents to be on high alert for scams.

The Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating cases of a scammer saying they work for “the Warrant Division of the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.” The scammer is advising the individual to stay on the line and drive to a location other than the jail and send money to them or they will be immediately arrested and put in jail.

The Sheriff’s Office says, “Please be aware that our office does not contact people by phone in regards to arrest warrants.” They say that if you receive such a call, please hang up and immediately notify the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.