Lyon County, Iowa — Weather facts, community announcements, church announcements, menus, school activities, and more.

Heard on KIWA-AM 1550 every weekday morning at about 8:50 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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April 26, 2016 - 2:28 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A grant that was recently awarded to Lyon County Extension and Outreach would benefit food banks in all four of the counties here in far northwest Iowa.

The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Master Gardener grants focus primarily on increasing access to healthy foods for families experiencing poverty.  ISU Horticulture Educator and Regional Food Coordinator Margaret Murphy tells us how the grants came about.

Murphy says Lyon County received a grant of just over $900.

She says that Lyon County is home to one of seven demonstration gardens in the state of Iowa.  That garden, which is located at the Lyon County Fairgrounds in Rock Rapids, has been designated as a “food pantry garden” this year.

Murphy says that the grant will be used help cover the costs of harvesting, and delivering, the produce from the Lyon County garden.

She says the garden in Rock Rapids has traditionally supplied Atlas of Lyon County, a local food Rock Rapids food bank, and this year hope to be able to branch out to supplying food banks like the Hull Food Pantry in Hull, Hope Food Pantry in Sioux Center, and Upper Des Moines Opportunity’s food banks in Sibley and Primghar.

Murphy says if you want to volunteer to help with this project, you can call her at her office in Rock Rapids, at 712-472-2576, or email

April 22, 2016 - 11:01 am - Posted in News

lyonsheriffLyon County, Iowa — A Pipestone, Minnesota teen faces drug charges after a traffic stop Thursday in Lyon County.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says one of their deputies stopped a vehicle in the 2100 mile of Highway 75 Thursday.  Upon investigation, the deputy allegedly found 19-year old Deen Barnes, of Pipestone, in possession of an unidentified controlled substance, as well as drug paraphernalia.

Authorities say Barnes was arrested and transported to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.

April 20, 2016 - 10:10 am - Posted in News

Lyon County Sheriff Car DoorRock Rapids, Iowa — Three people were taken to the hospital following a two-vehicle accident Sunday afternoon in Rock Rapids.

According to Lyon County Sheriff’s personnel, the accident happened around 12:11 pm, on South Union Street in Rock Rapids.  Deputies say a northbound vehicle was stopped on South Union, waiting for oncoming traffic so they could make a left hand turn in to the Pizza Ranch.  Another northbound vehicle, a 2006 Pontiac Torrent, driven by 43-year old Luz Simons, of Rock Rapids, attempted to pass the stopped vehicle, but went out of control, entering the Pizza Ranch parking lot, and striking a 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe that was parked in the lot.

Simons and two passengers, 21-year old Kaylie Blakey, of Rock Rapids, and 33-year old Darjay Williams, of Rock Rapids, reported having injuries and were transported to the Sanford Rock Rapids Hospital.

Both vehicles sustained approximately $5,000 in damages.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Rock Rapids Fire Department and the Lyon County Ambulance

April 19, 2016 - 3:23 pm - Posted in News

George, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Lyon County celebrated the finale of its spring 2016 Strengthening Families Program April 14th, in George. 

Hosted by ISU Extension and Outreach Lyon County, the Strengthening Families Program is a free program that focuses on strengthening family dynamics, specifically for families with 10 to 14 year olds. It opens up the lines of communication between parents and child, and offers practical information using videos, discussions, learning games, and family projects.

The Strengthening Families Program is a seven-week program for the entire family, according to Laura Beyenhof, Lyon County K-12 Program Assistant. She says the program began in February and on April 14th they celebrated their final night with a family-focused celebration. 

During the finale, families reviewed topics that had been covered in the last six weeks. Some of the topics reviewed by the youth included goal-setting, handling peer pressure, modeling respect, understanding stress, and preparing for high school. Parents reviewed how to set reasonable limits, follow through with consequences, communicate with their child, and were given resources to help their families live a healthy, happy lifestyle. 

This is the third year that ISU Extension and Outreach has offered the Strengthening Families Program in the area. As an incentive and thank you for participating in the Strengthening Families Program, families were given a certificate of completion, family gift, and youth passes for 2016-2017 George-Little Rock athletic events.

The Strengthening Families Program in Lyon County was made possible through the support of the Lyon County Extension Council, Lyon County Riverboat Foundation, and the George-Little Rock School District.


April 18, 2016 - 12:30 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Drug dogs from northwest Iowa have participated in a drug dog competition recently.
Deputies Ver Meer Munneke Athos and Rizzo
The Sheriff’s Offices in Osceola, Lyon, and Sioux Counties tell us that their dogs took part in the annual United States Police Canine Association Region 21 Detector Dog Trials last week.

About fifty dogs participated in the event that was held in Manchester, Iowa. Officials say each year canine units from around Iowa are required to certify their dogs on four different odors; Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Cocaine and Heroin. Testing consists of searching three rooms to locate two drug hides and searching five cars to locate another two drug hides. The tests are designed to make sure the dog recognizes the odor of the narcotics and can indicate their presence. Participants were scored individually by ten judges and then also participated in four and five-person teams.
Deputy Bos and Hunter
Osceola County Deputy Tyler Bos and his Drug Detection Dog, Hunter brought home two trophies at the trials. Bos and Hunter won first place in Individual Overall Drug Detection and first place in Team Drug Detection.

Lyon County Deputy Rob Ver Meer and K9 Athos teamed up with Lyon County Deputy Kyle Munneke and K9 Rizzo along with three other K9s from the area. As a team they placed first overall in the event. Deputy Ver Meer and K9 Athos also scored second place on individual scoring in the car searches.

Sioux County Deputy Justin De Bruin and his canine partner, Sonny and Deputy Tony Reitsma and his canine partner, Neiko both passed the certification. Deputy Reitsma and Neiko placed third overall in the room search with a score of 99.33 out of a possible 100 points.

Top picture: Deputy Munneke and Rizzo; and Deputy Ver Meer and Athos
Bottom picture: Deputy Bos and Hunter

April 16, 2016 - 10:22 am - Posted in News

Lester, Iowa — Two Lester residents were taken to hospitals after an accident this past week.
lyon co ambulance side
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that 22-year-old Roberto Sarmiento, of Lester was westbound on 130th Street, two miles north of Lester, when he swerved to miss an animal. Sarmiento lost control of the 2002 Jeep Liberty that he was driving. The vehicle entered the south ditch and rolled over.

Sarmiento was transported to Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls. His passenger, Kevin Guerro, also from Lester, was taken to Sanford Hospital in Rock Rapids.

The Sheriff’s Office reports the vehicle is registered to Ervin Alas, formerly of Lester. They report it received about $5,000 in damages.

Also responding to the scene of the accident was the Lester Rescue crew, and Lester Fire Department.

Sarmiento was cited on a charge of failure to have a valid license.

April 16, 2016 - 9:57 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Hull man has been acquitted by a jury after he was accused of sexual abuse.
Lyon Courthouse SVA
According to court records, 23-year-old Fernando Rojas of Hull was accused of contacting a victim in Doon via Snap Chat on August 21st, 2015, then going to her home and sexually abusing her. He was charged with two counts of Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree. Sexual abuse in the third degree is a class “C” felony.

The case went to trial, and on Thursday of this past week (April 14, 2016) Rojas was acquitted by a Lyon County jury. A no-contact order that had been in place was also lifted, according to court records.

April 15, 2016 - 12:46 pm - Posted in News

George, Iowa — The George City Council met in regular session Wednesday, April 13, 2016 in the City Council Room, 120 S. Main Street, with Mayor James L. Cuttell presiding.
George Water Tower
Mayor Cuttell called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. Calling the roll were Ande Bruinsma, Kary Conaway, Gerald Grave, Russ Hopp, and Norm Riemersma.

Grave made a motion to approve the agenda. Hopp seconded the motion. All cast aye votes. Motion carried.

Diane Bouma discussed her property lease with the City.

Joe Anderson and Blake Johnson gave their presentation on a Frisbee Golf Course at the campground with the intention of filing for grant funding through the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation. Conaway made a motion to approve this project and allow the students to proceed with their grant. Bruinsma seconded the motion. All cast aye votes – motion carried.

Mayor Cuttell opened the Public Hearing at 7:21 pm to approve Resolution No. 2016-04-175 and adopt the FY2017 budget as presented. There were no oral or written comments. Grave made a motion to adopt the FY2017 Budget and approve Resolution No. 2016-04-175. Riemersma seconded the motion. Roll call vote – all cast aye votes – Bruinsma, Conaway, Grave, Hopp, Riemersma. Motion carried. Cuttell closed the Public Hearing at 7:26pm.

Grave made a motion to approve the minutes of the last meeting, financial reports and invoices. Conaway seconded the motion. All cast aye votes – motion carried.The Personnel Committee has met and will hire for summer help as follows: Pool Manager – Taylor Carstensen, Assistant Managers – Maitland Dykstra and Brooke Grimes, Lifeguards – Kiely Gerken, Kayla Gerken, Courtney Dykstra, MacKenzie Burg, Blake Johnson, Isabelle Johnson, Tara Van Otterloo, Jaden Klingenberg, Megan Grimes, Seth Sprock, Streets and Parks – Jim Kannegieter and Zach Geerdes. Conaway made a motion to approve these summer hires. Grave seconded the motion. All cast aye votes – motion carried.

Wage increases will be tabled until the May meeting.

Gary Siebring discussed updated the relay system for the water tower and sirens. Riemersma made a motion to approve Siebring’s bid of $6,200 to update the system. Bruinsma seconded the motion. All cast aye votes, motion carried.

The Campground Expansion Project has begun and Mitchell & Huss are currently installing new sewer lines.

The loan schedule discussion will be tabled until the May meeting.

Grave made a motion to approve the purchase agreement for an asphalt distributor truck. Bruinsma seconded the motion. All cast aye votes, motion carried.

Bruinsma made a motion to approve the Purchasing Policy as presented. Hopp seconded the motion. All cast aye votes, motion carried.

The Council discussed the Chamber’s proposal to install a digital sign by the water tower. This item will be tabled until the May meeting to gather further information.

The Police Protection contract for upcoming fiscal years was not available yet. This item will also be tabled until the May Meeting.

Hopp made a motion to approve the two liquor licenses for Last Call Saloon. Conaway seconded the motion. All cast aye votes, motion carried.

Dates for citywide cleanup were discussed. Grave made a motion to have dumpsters available at the City Shop for disposal of items May 9-18. There will again be no curbside pickup. Details will be published in a separate article. Bruinsma seconded the motion. All cast aye votes, motion carried.

Hopp made a motion to approve the Emergency Services Agreement with the Lyon County Fair Association and the George Fire and EMS Departments to provide emergency services at the Rock Rapids racetrack. Grave seconded the motion. All cast aye votes, motion carried.

Conaway made a motion to approve the Auditor’s report. Grave seconded the motion. All cast aye votes, motion carried.

The Council will each make a list of nuisance abatements that need to be addressed and present them for discussion at the May meeting.

The Council discussed ways to use the TIF/LMI funding. This item will be placed on the May meeting agenda for further review.

Conaway made a motion to adjourn at 8:50 pm. Grave seconded the motion. All cast aye votes, motion carried.
All decisions made by the Council become effective upon publication.

April 15, 2016 - 11:47 am - Posted in News

Council Bluffs, Iowa — The Grand Falls Casino near Larchwood has been fined for allowing a self-banned gambler into the casino.
Grand Falls Roulette
That’s according to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s administrator, Brian Ohorilko. He says the Grand Falls Casino fine is one of three approved at their meeting on Thursday in Council Bluffs.

He says the fine was five-thousand dollars.

Two other casinos were fined, including another casino run by Kehl Management, the same firm that runs Grand Falls.

The largest fine of 20-thousand dollars was levied against the Isle of Capri in Waterloo for allowing an underage gambler into the facility. Ohorilko says the minor came to the casino on a party bus.

The Riverside Casino, which is run by Kehl Management, was also fined for a violation involving a banned gambler. Ohorilko says the person had been on the banned list for 12 years, and had been receiving promotional materials from Riverside since 2014. He says the casino discovered the banned gambler was receiving the material through its internal audit process. The commission levied a $5000 fine in this case as well.

April 15, 2016 - 9:29 am - Posted in News

North of Little Rock, Iowa — A shed just across the border in Minnesota was destroyed by fire on Thursday evening, April 14th, 2016, and firefighters from three communities fought the fire.
Little Rock Fire Truck FD
Little Rock Fire Chief Joe Schilling reports that the fire was at 19498 310th Street in Minnesota. That’s about seven miles north of Little Rock. He says the fire department was called about 8:47 PM.

Schilling says when firefighters arrived on scene the shed was already on the ground. He says there were small fires starting by other buildings and in the grove from embers from the main fire.

The Rushmore and Bigelow fire departments were called in for extra water. Shilling says all told they used about 8000 gallons of water.

He says the building was about the size of a 2-stall garage, and was being used as a storage shed. He says there were miscellaneous items and furniture inside, and it was all a total loss. He estimates the cost of the loss at over $10,000.

The chief reports crews were on scene for about two hours, and that the cause of the fire is undetermined at this time, but is under investigation.