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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Statewide Iowa — State officials are launching a digital ad campaign about the dangers of “vaping” with electronic cigarettes, hoping to get the message to both teenagers and their parents. Governor Kim Reynolds says one out of four high schoolers vapes — and the most recent data indicates 29 percent of 11th graders vape on a daily basis.

Reynolds says research indicates many of teenagers have no idea the vaping pods they’re using contain nicotine.

Reynolds says nicotine use while the body and brain are still developing is harmful. According to the governor, many parents may not know their kids are using vaping devices.

Reynolds says executive actions by governors in other states to ban or limit the sale of vaping pods are tied up in legal challenges, so she’s opted to launch a public relations campaign aimed at both parents and teenagers. Reynolds held a news conference at a middle school in Johnston late Wednesday morning to discuss the topic.

Two digital ads produced with state tax dollars are being placed on social media sites like SnapChat, Instagram, and Facebook as well as sites like YouTube and Hulu. Officials did not provide information about how much was spent or how often the ads may be seen. The governor says if the Iowa legislature votes to raise the age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21, she’s willing to consider that move as well.

State officials are also reaching out to school nurses with information about what e-cigarette devices look like and advice for counseling students about the negative impact of vaping has on their health.

Sioux Falls, SD — In the past, if the wind chill was going to get down to 20 below, the National Weather Service would have issued a Wind Chill Advisory. Well now that won’t be the case.

Andrew Kalin, a meteorologist with the Sioux Falls office of the National Weather Service tells us more.

Kalin says that offices to the south of our area will still use 20 below as their threshold for issuing a Wind Chill Advisory. He says it’s a regional thing.

He says since it happens more often up here, people who live in the northern areas are better equipped to handle low windchills and expect them more often. Weather Service officials say they are also doing this to reduce the number of advisories issued. They feel that will help show the public the severity of the issue when the windchills are expected to be quite low.

Spirit Lake, Iowa — A memorial celebration for former Iowa Congressman Berkley Bedell will be held next summer in the Spirit Lake area. The 98-year-old Bedell died December 7th, three days after suffering a massive stroke in Naples, Florida.

Bedell represented the former Sixth Congressional District in northwest Iowa for six terms. Iowa District Court Judge Jeff Neary interned for Bedell when Neary was a senior at Westmar College. He later worked part-time for the congressman in his Sioux City office.

Neary says Bedell was not perceived as a “traditional Democrat” by district voters and was good at getting things done that were important for northwest Iowans.

Bedell last appeared in Sioux City last July to campaign with Senator Elizabeth Warren, who he supported for president. A visitation for Bedell will be held at Peace Harbor on Highway 86 in Spirit Lake, on Friday, July 24th at 5:00 p-m. A memorial celebration is planned for July 25th at the Spirit Lake United Methodist Church at 11:00 a-m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine, P.O. Box 2860, Loveland, Colorado, 80538.

Iowa’s senior Senator, Republican Chuck Grassley, took to the Senate floor to pay tribute to Bedell. Grassley’s comments may be viewed below…………………

Photo: Berkley Bedell with Elizabeth Warren, photo courtesy Radio Iowa

Video courtesy of Senator Chuck Grassley

December 10, 2019 - 12:56 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, has announced that they have accepted two oil pipeline amendments aimed at moving additional propane to Iowa and the Midwest.

That agreement was reached as a result of Iowa officials’ recent call for an Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR, to prioritize pipeline shipments to Iowa.

The shortage of propane in Iowa was brought on, at least in part, by the need to dry grain harvested from the damp fields this fall.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassxley says the shortage of liquid propane in Iowa has affected people from every corner of the state. He says farmers, propane marketers, co-ops and manufacturers all felt pressure from lack of access to liquid propane this harvest season. Grassley says he’s happy to see FERC has taken this issue seriously and addressed the shortage in a timely manner.

Over the last several weeks, Grassley has monitored the situation and been in contact with FERC. He joined Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst in urging FERC to address the Iowa shortage in a letter on Nov. 15th. FERC Chairman Chatterjee then announced on Nov. 19 the ADR process and has now granted two requests following a shortened comment period.


December 10, 2019 - 12:30 pm - Posted in News

Washington, D.C. — A deal has reportedly been reached in the case of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA.

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Energy & Rural Development, released a statement regarding the announcement of a deal on the trade agreement.

Senator Ernst said, “Iowans in every corner of our state have been waiting far too long for Congress to act on the USMCA and now, after months of delay, House Democrats are finally coming on board. President Trump and our Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer negotiated this modernized agreement with our nation’s farmers and workers in mind–knowing the USMCA will provide an economic boon and certainty to folks back home. I’ll be reviewing the updated language, and I’m hopeful we’ll be able to put politics aside and give the hardworking men and women across Iowa and this great nation a huge win.”

December 9, 2019 - 3:50 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Sioux Center man who faces two felony charges was, by his own admission, “too drunk to take [sobriety] tests,” according to his arrest report.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that they arrested 57-year-old Randy Nuzum of Sioux Center on Saturday. The report says that the sheriff’s office had received two reports of an erratic driver regarding Nuzum’s vehicle. It also says that his pickup was missing the right front tire and was riding on the rim, and that at first, he wouldn’t stop for the officer. It says when he did stop, he stumbled from the vehicle and admitted that he was drunk and should not be driving.

Nuzum was charged with Operating While Intoxicated, Third or Subsequent Offense, and Eluding both Class D Felonies. Nuzum was additionally charged with misdemeanor offenses of Operating Without an Ignition Interlock Device and Open Container.

December 9, 2019 - 1:27 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — A winter storm that brought freezing rain, snow and howling winds to northwest Iowa during the early morning hours Monday caused major headaches for some area residents.

Most area schools had two-hour late starts Monday morning, as the brisk winds caused blowing snow that made it difficult, if not impossible, for buses to pick up their rural students.

Before 5:30 Monday morning Sioux County authorities announced that roads in that county were snow and ice covered, and that visibility was reduced in some areas. Just over 30 minutes later the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office advised that visibility was down to zero in some places. Other counties in our area reported similar conditions.

Many vehicles went into the ditch due to slippery roads and limited visibility, keeping law enforcement officers and tow truck drivers running from one location to the next with no break in the action until late morning.

By late morning clouds had given way to mostly sunny skies, while temperatures had begun to fall.

Many people in the area are already tired of winter after Monday morning’s tribulations, even though winter doesn’t actually begin until Saturday, December 21st.

Below are a couple of images of Monday morning’s difficulties for area drivers. Both photos from Highway 18 east of Sheldon.




Statewide Iowa — (RI) — Iowa farmers could again be facing costly delays in planting early in 2020 as forecasters warn the chances are rising for another cold, wet spring ahead — and more flooding.

Meteorologist Dennis Todey, director of the U-S-D-A’s Midwest Climate Hub, based in Ames, says conditions are setting up in a familiar pattern.

Wet soil and flooding forced many Iowa farmers to push back planting this year and the harvest has lasted into December for some growers. Based on the latest data, Todey says farmers could be in for another difficult planting season.

Winter arrives on December 21st this year, so we’re a good three months from the start of spring. Radical shifts in weather patterns before then are possible, though unlikely. Todey says the trends into early spring will be the ones to watch.

Severe and record flooding hit much of the Northern Plains this year and many of the region’s rivers are still near, at or above flood stage.

Dennis Todey photo courtesy of Radio Iowa

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — The top Republican in the Iowa Senate says GOP lawmakers are considering a tax package that may raise the state sale one percent, with part of the money financing water quality efforts and the rest used to replace taxes that are cut.

Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver says Republicans want to cut income taxes, property taxes AND corporate taxes. That conversation is now merged with discussion of raising the sales tax. In 2010, Iowa voters approved a new state natural resources fund — to be filled with the first three-eights of a cent of any future sales tax increase.

Whitver says the preference of Senate Republicans would be to cut income taxes to offset the sales tax increase.

Republican lawmakers passed a significant income tax reduction in 2018, but it’s not fully phased in yet. The 2020 Iowa legislative session starts January 13th.

Photo courtesy of Radio Iowa

December 7, 2019 - 8:07 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Here in northwest Iowa we’ve seen our first blast of winter weather, and it seems as though each year we have to re-learn how to drive in wintry conditions.

We asked Iowa State Patrol Trooper Kevin Krull to share a few winter driving safety tips. Trooper Krull says the first tip he’d give is to slow down.

He says it’s also important to remember that stopping your vehicle is more of a challenge on slippery roads.

Krull says many people put too much faith in four-wheel drive vehicles to take them anywhere through all kinds of snow. He reminds us that, even in a four-wheel drive vehicle it’s still possible to get stuck.

He says when snow and blowing snow reduce visibility, don’t blindly follow the tracks left by the last vehicle in front of you. All too often you’ll simply follow those tracks into the ditch, right behind the vehicle that left them.

He had one final thought about traveling in bad winter weather.

Trooper Krull urges you to stay on top of the latest weather forecasts, and plan accordingly. When you’re driving in wintry conditions he says you should slow down, and if you can postpone your trip until after the weather improves, that will be your safest course of action.