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

Click or tap the play button or link below to listen to KIWA’s Lyon County Daily News:

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September 21, 2018 - 2:56 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The heavy rains this week were not good news for area farmers, many of whom had been on the verge of beginning the harvest.

Iowa State University Extension Agronomist Joel De Jong says the recent rains will keep farmers out of the fields for some time.

De Jong says how much of a delay in harvest the weather has caused will vary from field to field.

He says this year’s heavy rains have come at the worst possible time for farmers.

Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate in helping fields dry out as quickly as possible, and hold off with anymore rain.

September 20, 2018 - 4:21 pm - Posted in News

Spencer, Iowa — Following heavy rains and extensive flooding in northwest Iowa, the DNR encourages Iowans to stay out of floodwaters until after the waters recede.

About 18 communities from Alton to Sioux Center have reported discharges from their wastewater treatment plants due to intense rains, according to Lois Benson, environmental specialist at DNR’s Spencer field office.

She added that 26 livestock operations reported their manure storage systems were overflowing. They are reporting they’ve received from 7 to 12 inches of rainfall, with more expected tonight, according to Benson. She says the vast majority have a national pollution prevention discharge elimination system or NPDES permit. In essence, this permit allows them to overflow in heavy rains.

Most of the discharging livestock facilities are in Lyon, Sioux, O’Brien and Clay counties. She says the DNR is telling them to hold the overflow as best they can and try to prevent it from reaching a stream. Some are transferring it to other areas. Some are trying to contain it behind terraces.

Producers who expect to discharge need to call the Spencer DNR field office at 712-262-4177.

While fast stream currents are the biggest risk for people, high waters can also carry debris and bacteria. Benson says the safest course is to stay out of the waters until several days after streams return to normal depths.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Rapids man has been sentenced to ten years in prison after he used a hidden camera to record naked girls in his bathroom.

According to court records, 31-year-old Demitrias Jamal Webster of rural Rock Rapids was charged in June with ten counts of invasion of privacy, all aggravated misdemeanors. He was also charged with four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a class C felony; and another four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, an aggravated misdemeanor.

Court records said Webster recorded people in his bathroom — ranging in age from eight years of age to adult — without their knowledge or consent.

After originally pleading not guilty in July, Webster agreed to plead guilty as part of a plea bargain and was sentenced this week.

Two of the four felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, three of the four misdemeanor counts of sexual exploitation, and nine out of ten counts of invasion of privacy were dismissed as part of the plea bargain.

On the remaining felony counts of sexual exploitation, Webster was sentenced to 10 years in prison on each count, to be served at the same time as well as a one thousand dollar fine, which was suspended, a civil penalty of $250, and life as if he were on parole. If he violates the conditions of the parole he could be sent back to prison. He must also complete a sexual offender program and submit a DNA sample.

On the remaining invasion of privacy count, he was sentenced to two years in prison, but the time is to be served at the same time as the 10-year sentence), and a $625 fine. On the misdemeanor count of sexual exploitation, Webster was sentenced to 88 days in jail, a $625 fine, and a civil penalty of $250.


Original story, posted July 23, 2018 at 10:48 a.m.:

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Rapids man has pleaded “not guilty” to multiple felony charges after being accused of using a hidden camera to spy on others.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that they arrested 31-year-old Demitrias Jamal Webster of rural Rock Rapids on June 20th, and charged him with ten counts of invasion of privacy, all aggravated misdemeanors. He was also charged with four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a class C felony; and another four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, an aggravated misdemeanor.

Sheriff’s officials say Webster is being accused of using a hidden camera to invade people’s privacy.

According to court records, Webster is accused of taking photographs of people in his bathroom — ranging in age from eight years of age to adult — without their knowledge or consent.

Lyon County Jail officials say that at last report he was still being held in the Lyon County Jail in Rock Rapids in lieu of a $50,000 cash or surety bond.

September 20, 2018 - 2:49 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Area hardware stores were kept busy Thursday as residents dealt with flooding from the torrential rains that fell Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

KIWA talked with several businesses in the area that sell sump pumps, and we found out there had been a BIG run on the devices at most stores throughout the area.

Downtown Hardware and Neal Chase Lumber in Sheldon report having several sump pumps and sump pump hoses go out the door Thursday, with Sheldon Power and Equipment selling some sump pumps as well. At Bomgaars in Sheldon they went through their entire supply of sump pumps quickly Thursday morning, and had to go to their warehouse in Sioux City to get another shipment.

In George, Heartland Hardware tells KIWA that they have gone through several sump pumps, as well as hoses and accessories Thursday morning. At M&H True Value Hardware in Rock Valley, they say they not only sold several sump pumps, but also several sump pump hoses and shop vacs, as well. M&H says the volume of sales wasn’t as big as they experienced during the June flooding, but it was substantial.

Here in Sheldon, one KIWA employee who says he’s never had a drop of water in the basement of the home he’s inhabited for 22-years, is one of two KIWA staff who spent their Thursday dealing with flooded basements. Another KIWA employee who has lived in their current home for six years reports the first episode of water in the basement came Thursday morning.

The good news is, according to the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, Friday will bring partly sunny skies, with no chance of rain in the forecast through the weekend. There is, however, a chance of more rain beginning early next week.

September 20, 2018 - 1:15 pm - Posted in News

Washington, DC — (RI) — Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says negotiations on the next Farm Bill have “taken a turn” in the wrong direction.

Ernst is the only Iowan on the committee of House and Senate members assigned to come up with a new five-year Farm Bill by the end of the month.

That means the current Farm Bill provisions would be extended through 2019, giving congress 12 more months to negotiate.

The main sticking point is whether to enforce new work requirements for Americans who receive government nutrition assistance — commonly referred to as “food stamps.” The proposal was included in the version of the Farm Bill that cleared the U.S. House, but not the one that passed the Senate. Ernst says conference committee members have worked through other points of friction. If the debate over work requirements for nutrition assistance continues into 2019, it could occur in a reorganized committee with new members and, perhaps, under Democratic rather than Republican control.

Ernst spoke in the U.S. Capitol, near the Senate floor.

September 20, 2018 - 11:22 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The heavy overnight rains, combined with the rains that came Tuesday have caused many flooded basements, flooded roadways, and even one school closure here in northwest Iowa.

At the KIWA Studios in Sheldon we measured 5.3-inches of rain in the 24-hour period ending at 7:00 this morning. When combined with the 1.24-inches that fell Tuesday, Sheldon’s total for this rainfall event is 6.54-inches, with the rain continuing to fall as of mid-morning. That gives us a total for the year of 43.81-inches of precipitation, or some 21.15-inches…nearly 2-feet….more than the precipitation received at this point in a normal year. In Ashton, one listener even reported that he had so much water in his basement that his basement stairs were floating.

We had several listener reports of rainfall totals Thursday morning: 4 miles east of Sanborn, 5.6-inches of rain fell; George had 3.96-inches; a listener at Luverne, Minnesota measured 2.5-inches in their rain gauge Thursday morning; 2 miles south of Sanborn 7.00-inches of rain was reported; with 8.00-inches reported at Hartley; 4.5-inches in northern Hull, 3.75-inches of rain was reported by a listener 4 miles south of Paullina; Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities report 3.5-inches; and the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at Sibley reported 4.00-inches of precipitation.

Kerry Hanko is a Meteorologis with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, and she tells us there is some light at the end of the rainfall tunnel.

She says that, contrary to the question they’ve repeatedly been asked this morning, this rainfall event is NOT because of Hurricane Florence, the storm that recently walloped the Carolinas.

Images of area flooding can be viewed below……………

Sheldon Country Club – Drone image courtesy Dean Hansen

Floating Basement Stairs in Ashton Residence – submitted by listener

Flooding North of Sanborn – submitted by listener

Road Flooding – submitted by listener

Kennedy Avenue, North of B-40 – submitted by listener

Road Flooding – submitted by listener

Flooded Field – submitted by listener

Water Standing in a Field – submitted by listener

Mill Creek Golf Course, Paullina – submitted by listener

Walmart Parking Lot in Spencer – submitted by listener

September 19, 2018 - 3:02 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — This week, September 16 through 22, is National Farm Safety & Health Week, a time for farmers to be mindful of the potential hazards they encounter each and every day.

Beginning in 1944, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety & Health Week. This recognition has been an annual promotion, first initiated by the National Safety Council and has been proclaimed as such by each sitting U.S. President since Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the first document.

This year, National Farm Safety & Health Week celebrates its 75th year milestone and is dedicating each workday to relevant topics facing agriculture. Monday’s focus was Rural Roadway Safety. On Tuesday the focus was on Health, Suicide, and Opioids. Wednesday’s focus if Children and Youth Health and Safety. On Thursday the emphasis will be placed on Confined Spaces In Agriculture. And Friday is devoted to Tractor Safety.

This year’s theme for National Farm Safety & Health Week is, “Cultivating the Seeds of Safety.”

For more information on National Farm Safety & Health Week, CLICK HERE.

September 19, 2018 - 12:47 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for the KIWA listening area, beginning at 7:00 Wednesday evening.

The National Weather Service says Thunderstorms are expected to develop Wednesday evening and continue through Thursday morning, with the potential to produce high rainfall rates, and rapid accumulation of rainfall in a short period of time.

The National Weather Service says total rainfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches will be possible by Thursday morning, with localized rainfall amounts above 3 inches possible. This rainfall on top of saturated grounds will lead to a heightened risk of flash flooding as well as river flooding.

The watch area includes a large part of northwest Iowa, including Clay, Dickinson, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, and Sioux counties, as well as adjacent areas of Minnesota and South Dakota.

This Flood Watch will be in effect from 7:00 Wednesday evening until 10:00 Thursday morning.

Keep tuned to KIWA for any future updates.

September 19, 2018 - 10:48 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — This is the last week of summer and forecasters at the National Climate Center are raising the odds of an El Nino weather pattern impacting our region soon.

Meteorologist Dennis Todey, director of the U-S-D-A’s Midwest Climate Hub, says we may see a shift within a few months.

Forecasting models indicate a weak El Nino is most likely, Todey says, but that’s just at the moment.

Todey says it’s a safer bet the impacts of the weather pattern will be felt more next year than this fall.

Forecasts for the last three months of the year show near-normal temperatures and precipitation are likely for the region.

September 14, 2018 - 10:18 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — School has been back in session for a couple of weeks around northwest Iowa, and normally during the early days of the school year motoristsneed to be reminded about interaction with school buses.

In 2012, the Iowa Legislature unanimously adopted “Kadyn’s Law. The law was in response to the death of 7-year old Kadyn Jade Halverson who was struck by a pickup and killed while trying to cross the road to board a school bus.

The driver of the pickup violated Iowa’s stop arm law which prohibited drivers from passing a stopped school bus with the stop arms out, or when the red or amber lights are flashing.

Kadyn’s Law put some teeth into the penalties for violating Iowa’s stop arm law, as Iowa State Patrol Trooper Vince Kurtz tells us.

Trooper Kurtz reminds drivers that vehicles following a bus are not the only ones who are required to stop.

At the beginning of each school year we seem to hear reports of several drivers who violate Kadyn’s Law, but we’re happy to report that, as of Friday morning, that hasn’t been a major problem in the four-county area.

KIWA talked to Sheldon Schools Superintendent Cory Myer, and he says that Sheldon buses have reported no violations of Kadyn’s Law. At South O’Brien Schools they say they usually see a couple of violations each year, but thus far this school year there have been no reports. Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn Schools report no violations, as well.

In checking with area law enforcement agencies, we are happy to report that the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office says they have received no reports. In Sioux County, Deputy Jamie Van Voorst says there have been a couple of violations reported to police departments in that county, but numbers are quite low. Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep says they usually receive five or six complaints each year, but so far have received no complaints. The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports one violation of Kadyn’s Law so far this year.

Trooper Kurtz tells KIWA that the only northwest Iowa school district that he has heard of who are reporting a large number of violations is Le Mars.

Just as a reminder, when you see a school bus with it’s yellow lights flashing, it’s preparing to stop, and you should prepare to stop, as well. When the red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended you are required to stop, regardless of whether you are approaching the bus from the front or from the rear.

Please obey Kadyn’s Law, stop for stopped school buses, and keep our children safe.