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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Northwest Iowa — In the four northwestern-most Iowa counties, six more COVID-19 cases were reported on Tuesday, according to the latest statistics.

O’Brien County was up one at 141. Sioux County reports 639 cases, up four. Lyon County was up one. 115 Lyon County residents have now had COVID-19. Osceola County was unchanged at 83.

We can still say that less than one percent of residents of Lyon County have had COVID-19, but it won’t be long until that jumps to one percent. It is now at 97 hundredths of a percent. O’Brien County is just over one percent at 1.02. Stats tell us that 1.37 percent of Osceola County residents have had it, and 1.83 percent of Sioux County residents have had COVID-19. The highest density in our region is in Buena Vista County, where over nine percent of the population has had COVID-19.

As far as active cases, Lyon County has 14, Sioux County has 114, O’Brien County has 33, and Osceola has 12.

Recovery rate:

Lyon — out of 115 cases, 99 have recovered, for a rate of about 86%
Sioux — out of 639 cases, 522 have recovered, for a rate of about 82%
O’Brien — out of 141 cases, 104 have recovered, for a rate of about 74%
Osceola — out of 83 cases, 71 have recovered, for a rate of about 86%

Total numbers of cases from other counties around the area and their change from the previous report:

Iowa counties:
Plymouth 466, up 3 3
Cherokee 108, unchanged
Buena Vista 1794, unchanged
Clay 198, up 8
Dickinson 382, unchanged

These numbers reflect the period of noon Monday until noon Tuesday.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The Rock Rapids City Council met in regular session on Monday, August 10th at the Forster Community Center.

It was reported that Second Avenue north of Pizza Ranch is progressing slowly. Councilperson Rollie Vander Lee mentioned that it might be frustrating for the people living on the street that not only do they have to pay an assesment, but their street has been torn up all summer.

The council was told that it was time to talk to the Lyon County Board of Supervisors about replacing the Tom Creek bridge north of the Extension office, as the federal funding agreement has been received.

The City’s auditors suggested a change to the employee handbook, which was approved.

The council also received a building permit to erect a 65-foot amateur radio tower from amateur radio operator Erika Ostlund at 109 South Carrol Street. The council didn’t need to approve the permit, but it was presented for their information.

Council members also discussed the possibility of flooding the Old School Park soccer field again for an ice rink in the winter. It sounded like the firefighters who volunteered to do that stopped doing that because it was a lot of work, especially with no liner. Mayor Jason Chase said the City of Rock Rapids had applied for a grant for a liner but they were denied. It seemed like council members were open to the idea if there is enough interest.

August 11, 2020 - 9:58 am - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — Tuesday is August 11th or 8-11, which coincides with the number you should call before taking a shovel to dirt in your yard.

Tuesday is National Safe Digging Day and Ben Booth, spokesman for Iowa One Call, says to call 8-1-1 before you dig so all of your underground facilities — including gas, water, sewer, electric and communications — can be located and marked.

(As above) “You don’t want to dig into those things and disrupt that service,” Booth says. “It can be pricey to repair and more importantly, it could potentially be dangerous.”

It’s not just a recommendation, it’s the law to call before you dig, and if you plan to dig this weekend, make the call by Thursday.

(As above) “You want to make sure that you give us notice at least 48 hours prior to doing any digging,” Booth says. “That does not include Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.”

Some companies have seen their business dry up with the COVID-19 pandemic, but Booth says that’s not been the case with Iowa One Call.

(As above) “With so many people now staying closer to home and working from home, we see an uptick in residential work,” Booth says. “Lots of homeowners are doing more work and hiring contractors to do more work.”

In addition to calling 811, you can also go online to Iowaonecall.com for more information.

Statewide Iowa — While you would think that the lower traffic numbers due to the pandemic would keep grim statistics like monthly traffic fatalities down, that was not the case last month.

Iowa State Patrol Trooper and Safety Education Officer Kevin Krull says one fatality is too many, but the number was pretty high in July.

(as said:) “July was a very bad month for us when we’re looking at our fatality count. 26 percent of the year’s total deaths happen in July alone. And August is not off to a good start. We were on track to get below that 300. We talked about that earlier this year and we’re hoping to get below that 300 but people’s speeds and driving habits have not improved and now there’s more obstacles out on the road with everybody getting back out and about.”

He gives some suggestions for staying safe.

(as said:) “People need to slow down, put the phone down, and buckle up, you know, it’s one of those things. And then make sure we’re getting the designated driver and paying attention. But yeah, we had 42 deaths last month alone in the state of Iowa, and that’s not a good day.”

Krull says last month ranks as one of the worst for traffic fatalities in recent history. The first six days of August saw nine additional fatalities in Iowa, says Krull.

According to Krull, distracted driving is a huge issue as between 56 and 57 percent of crashes involve a distracted driver. He says drivers need to slow down and put down the phone.

UPDATE:
Rock Rapids, Iowa — A truck shop and most of its contents were destroyed in a fire on Sunday, August 9, 2020, in Rock Rapids.

According to Rock Rapids Fire Chief Ed Reck, about 3:00 p.m., the Rock Rapids Fire Department was called to the report of a big grey building on fire between Rock River Vet Clinic and Pine Tree Storage on Highway 9. Reck says the building had been used as a truck shop years ago and was being used by the owners as a shop and for storage.

The chief says the fire department saw smoke coming from the roof vents as they approached the scene. He says they gained entry and then sprayed water to extinguish the fire. Some firefighters donned SCBA gear. Holes had to be torn for ventilation, and later the building had to be torn apart further to get to the fire, most of which was in the rafters of the building, according to Reck.

Reck says a couple of firefighters sustained scrapes and bumps while fighting the fire, but nothing too serious.

The fire department was assisted by the George Fire Department.

He says the cause of the fire is undetermined and is under investigation.

Chief Reck reports that the building was totaled. A camper stored inside was also totaled. However, Reck says they were able to save a classic car and an antique tractor that had also been stored in the building.

He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene for five hours.

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Preliminary story posted Aug 9, 4:26 p.m.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Rock Rapids and George firefighters extinguished a blaze in eastern Rock Rapids on Sunday.

Firefighters were paged to the scene a few minutes before 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. On fire was an industrial building between Rock River Vet Clinic and Pine Tree Storage, just east of the Rock River bridge on Highway 9.

Firefighters donned SCBA gear and cut holes in the building’s roof and a garage door to fight the fire.

We hope to bring you more details as they become available.

Northwest Iowa — O’Brien County has reported two more COVID-19 deaths. That brings the total number up to four, according to O’Brien County Emergency Management Director Jared Johnson. He says the victims were a female over the age of 81, and a male between 41 and 60.

In the four northwestern-most Iowa counties, fourteen more COVID-19 cases were reported on Sunday and Monday, according to the latest statistics.

O’Brien County was up three at 140. Sioux County reports 635 cases, up ten. Lyon County was up one. 114 Lyon County residents have now had COVID-19. Osceola County was unchanged at 83.

We can still say that less than one percent of residents of Lyon County have had COVID-19, but it won’t be long until that jumps to one percent. In fact, that’s what happened in O’Brien County, where the percent had been hanging under one. But in the past couple of days, the one percent mark has been surpassed. Stats tell us that 1.37 percent of Osceola County residents have had it, and 1.82 percent of Sioux County residents have had COVID-19. The highest density in our region is in Buena Vista County, where over nine percent of the population has had COVID-19.

As far as active cases, Lyon County has 13, Sioux County has 115, O’Brien County has 36, and Osceola has 12.

Recovery rate:

Lyon — out of 114 cases, 99 have recovered, for a rate of about 87%
Sioux — out of 635 cases, 517 have recovered, for a rate of about 81%
O’Brien — out of 140 cases, 101 have recovered, for a rate of about 72%
Osceola — out of 83 cases, 71 have recovered, for a rate of about 86%

Total numbers of cases from other counties around the area and their change from the previous report:

Iowa counties:
Plymouth 463, up 5
Cherokee 108, unchanged
Buena Vista 1794, up 3
Clay 190, up 4
Dickinson 382, up 2

These numbers reflect the period of noon Saturday until noon Monday.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Rock Rapids and George firefighters are extinguishing a blaze at this hour in eastern Rock Rapids.

Firefighters were paged to the scene a few minutes before 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. On fire was an industrial building between Rock River Vet Clinic and Pine Tree Storage, just east of the Rock River bridge on Highway 9.

Firefighters donned SCBA gear and cut holes in the building’s roof and a garage door to fight the fire.

We hope to bring you more details as they become available.

Northwest Iowa — At the beginning of the pandemic, people were asked to follow certain guidelines to help “flatten the curve.” At that time, experts told us the goal was to not overwhelm the hospitals with COVID patients.

Another metric that experts look at is how many new cases are being reported. We took a look at numbers around the four-county northwest Iowa area over the last 12 weeks, and while there is some insight to glean, the trends are not exactly clear.

O’Brien County started out the first couple of weeks with rises of four cases per week, then jumped to 12 cases the next week and spiked at 22 new cases the fourth week, and has been on a somewhat downward trend with some bumps in the road until this past week, when a rise of 18 cases over the previous week was reported.

In Sioux County, the increase-in-cases curve appears to be flattening somewhat. Their numbers are higher, but they have a larger population. The first week’s rise was 62 cases. They took a dip the next week with 26, and then spiked at 89 the next week, and have been following a general downward trend since then, and have been at the low of 26 new cases per week for the last two weeks.

Osceola County had one big spike, but has been doing pretty well. In the first week, there was a rise of five cases over the previous week. It dipped to two the next week, and 4 the week after that before a big spike in week four of 13 new cases. But, for the next two weeks, there were zero new cases before jumping to 8 new cases for two weeks, then 5 new cases for each of the next two weeks, then two, then one.

The news is a little harder to determine in Lyon County. They stayed pretty low at 5 or fewer new cases per week for the first five weeks, then six, then two. But then they started a rise and had 10 new cases in week 8, 16 in week 9, and 23 in week 10. Since then, it’s gone down a little with 9 in week 11 and 10 in week 12.

The 14-day percent positive stats seem to bear out these trends somewhat as well. Lyon County seems to be reporting the highest percentage in our area of new positive tests in the last two weeks, at 14 percent. Sioux County is close behind at 12, and Osceola is right behind at 11 percent. In O’Brien County, just 7 percent of tests in the last two weeks have come back positive.

Lyon County is tied with two other counties for sixth-highest percentage per county in the state of new positive tests in the last two weeks.

August 9, 2020 - 12:35 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — In the four northwestern-most Iowa counties, sixteen more COVID-19 cases were reported on Saturday, according to the latest statistics.

O’Brien County was up one at 137. Sioux County reports 625 cases, up eight. Lyon County was up three. 113 Lyon County residents have now had COVID-19. Osceola County was up four at 83.

Less than one percent of residents of Lyon and O’Brien counties have had COVID-19 — Lyon County has between nine-tenths of a percent and a whole percent, and O’Brien has almost a whole percent. Stats tell us that 1.37 percent of Osceola County residents have had it, and 1.79 percent of Sioux County residents have had COVID-19. The highest density in our region is in Buena Vista County, where over nine percent of the population has had COVID-19.

As far as active cases, Lyon County has 18, Sioux County has 105, O’Brien County has 35, and Osceola has 12.

Recovery rate:

Lyon — out of 113 cases, 93 have recovered, for a rate of about 82%
Sioux — out of 625 cases, 517 have recovered, for a rate of about 83%
O’Brien — out of 137 cases, 100 have recovered, for a rate of about 73%
Osceola — out of 83 cases, 71 have recovered, for a rate of about 86%

Total numbers of cases from other counties around the area and their change from the previous report:

Iowa counties:
Plymouth 458, up 4
Cherokee 108, up 4
Buena Vista 1791, down 1
Clay 186, up 8
Dickinson 380, up 3

These numbers reflect the period of noon Friday until noon Saturday.

West Lake Okoboji, Iowa — According to one eyewitness, “hundreds” of boats were on hand for a political rally in the form of a boat parade on West Lake Okoboji on Saturday.

The “Trump Boat Parade” was hosted by District 1 State Representative John Wills of Spirit Lake, who represents Lyon, Osceola, and the northern two-thirds of Dickinson County in the State Legislature.

Boaters lined up starting at Smith’s Bay on West Lake Okoboji at 11 a.m. to show their support for the re-election of Republican President Donald Trump. The parade was to run from 1 to 4 p.m., and organizers reminded participants to follow C.D.C guidelines for COVID-19 safety. The boats were to run counterclockwise around West Lake Okoboji.

Another boat parade is scheduled for next Saturday, August 15th around Big Spirit Lake, and will start by the spillway.

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