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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March 21, 2019 - 3:57 pm - Posted in News

George, Iowa — An electric panel at a feed mill was destroyed in a fire on Thursday, March 21, 2019, in George, and the fire chief says it could have been much worse.

According to George Fire Chief Bill Sprock, about 8:10 a.m., the George Fire Department was called to the report of a fire at the CFE Elevator feed mill in George, in the basement.

The chief says the fire was in an electrical panel in the mill room, and it had exploded. But, he says that due to the quick thinking of CFE employees, the fire was out by the time the firefighters arrived. He says the employees were running the mill when all of a sudden everything stopped and they smelled smoke. So they grabbed a fire extinguisher and they were able to put it out.

Sprock says no injuries were reported. He says firefighters made sure that everything was OK before they left.

He says the cause of the fire is undetermined.

Chief Sprock reports that the damage was limited to the electric panel, which was destroyed in the blaze.

He says the 15 firefighters who responded were on scene for about 15 minutes. He says the George Emergency Medical Service also responded to the scene.

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Senate has passed a bill that would prohibit the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation from borrowing money from a state fund to purchase land for water quality projects.

Senator Tim Kapucian, a farmer from Keystone, is among the 31 Republican senators who voted for the bill.

Farmers in the senate said too much Iowa farmland has been taken out of production for conservation projects, making it difficult for beginning farmers to buy land. Democrats like Senator Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids say the bill will undermine efforts to create wetland areas upstream that will reduce downstream flooding.

The bill passed on a mostly party-line vote. One Republican voted against it and one Democrat voted for it.

March 20, 2019 - 4:34 pm - Posted in News

San Francisco, California (ABC) — A federal jury in San Francisco says Roundup weed killer was a major factor in a man’s cancer. It’s the second time a California jury has returned that verdict in two separate cases.

The verdict was unanimous. The second jury found that Roundup caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Attorneys say it could impact hundreds of similar lawsuits against Roundup’s manufacturer Monsanto, now owned by Bayer.

The latest verdict involves the case of 70-year-old Edwin Hardeman from Sonoma, California. The trial now heads to the damages phase.

As a result of recent cases, Los Angeles County is ordering all of its departments to stop using the popular weed killer. There’s been no word on how this will eventually affect the sale of Roundup and Roundup-Ready crops in the Midwest.

Meanwhile, Monsanto/Bayer has appealed the verdict in the first case — the case of DeWayne “Lee” Johnson versus the chemical company. That verdict was rendered in August, 2018.

Click here for the story about the verdict in the first case.

March 20, 2019 - 3:32 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — If you think your homeowner’s insurance covers flooding, think again. As snow melts, rain falls, and rivers rise, the Federal Emergency Management Agency reminds Iowans to learn about flood insurance and buy appropriate coverage.

David Maurstad heads FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program and says only about 30-percent of properties located in high-risk areas are covered, and only four-percent outside those areas.

Damage to buildings and their contents is covered if the high water is caused by rain or rising lakes or rivers. Maurstad says the policies are affordable, averaging less than 500-dollars a year in locations that are not flood-prone.

Be advised, after buying flood insurance, there’s a 30-day waiting period before it goes into effect. More information is available at floodsmart.gov.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Larchwood man has been sentenced after pleading guilty to a charge related to placing a tracking unit on someone’s car without their knowledge.

Due to a conflict within Lyon County, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office and Sioux County Attorney say they investigated and prosecuted the case on behalf of the State of Iowa.

Sioux County Attorney Thomas G. Kunstle says 35-year-old Nicholas Serck of Larchwood was sentenced in Lyon County District Court for the crime of Unauthorized Use of a GPS Device, a Serious Misdemeanor. Kunstle says the law was enacted in 2015 to stop people using GPS devices to track others without their consent.

According to Kunstle, in July 2018, Serck surreptitiously placed a GPS device on the victim’s vehicle, with the intent of monitoring the movements of the victim. He says Serck maintained the device until the victim discovered it in mid-August. Kunstle tells us that Serck learned his GPS had been discarded so he placed another device on the victim’s new vehicle, sometime around August 19, 2018, again monitoring the victim’s movements until the victim again discovered it; but this time the victim transferred it to an acquaintance, who was worried about the victim’s safety, to mislead Serck’s tracking. The victim then contacted the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reporting Serck had been stalking her using a GPS device without her consent.

On Tuesday, Serck pled guilty as charged to Unauthorized Use of a GPS Device, a Serious Misdemeanor. The plea agreement to which Serck consented said that he was to pay the maximum fine of $1,875, a 35% surcharge of $656.25, and court costs of $100.

March 19, 2019 - 3:52 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids — The biggest and arguably the most-well-liked mural in a town that calls itself “The City of Murals” has been destroyed in a weather-related incident.

The mural, featuring soldiers leaving for and returning from war on a train near a depot in Rock Rapids was painted in 2012. Sandy Wynia, president of the Rock Rapids Mural Society Board says it featured the railroad because that was the most common mode of transportation in those days. She tells us what happened.


Wynia says unfortunately, due to whatever factor — the weather or the impending sale — nothing was done. And what the board feared, happened.


According to Wynia, the cost of the mural was over $18,000. Other mural society officials tell us that the murals are not able to be insured, so since this mural was commissioned by the Mural Society, it will go down as an $18,000 loss.

Coincidentally, the building had been sold earlier that day.


She says they hope to be able to put up a similar mural in the future, possibly on the same location, which was on the former JC Penney building, which now houses Rosie’s Sit-A-Minute coffee and gift shop, on the northeast quadrant of the downtown stoplight corner.

Sheldon, Iowa — If you’ve been putting off doing your taxes because you need some help, that help could be as close as Northwest Iowa Community College.

NCC is again working with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance or “VITA” site. Students in the college’s Accounting and Administrative Secretarial programs are providing the assistance. NCC business instructor Janet Boone says it’s an official program of the Internal Revenue Service.


She says the $54,000 limit is per entity, so it could also be a married couple filing jointly with a combined income of less that $54,000 per year. She says all you have to do is call.


That number again is 712-324-5061, extension 272. She says the volunteers don’t just put all of your numbers in the right boxes, they answer questions as well.


She says they basically do the simple tax returns, but they will help where they can. She says there are certain documents you will need to provide, and they’ll help you know what you need too.

Click here for more information

March 18, 2019 - 3:37 pm - Posted in News

Worthington, Minnesota — A Minnesota man has been convicted in Minnesota of felony possession of stolen property in regard to a vehicle that was stolen from Rock Rapids last month.

According to court documents, 25-year-old Nicholas Stone of Brainerd, MN has been sentenced to 13 months in prison, with the term stayed. The Lyon County, Iowa Sheriff’s Office reported that on Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 about 10:35 a.m., their deputies responded to a call at Subway in Rock Rapids. The call stated that two males had just stolen money and they took off running from the store. A short time later the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office received a call that a 2000 Ford F150 pickup had been stolen from the 100 block of north Story Street in Rock Rapids. The sheriff’s office reports that about an hour later the 2000 Ford F150 was stopped by the Minnesota State Patrol and the two males were arrested. They were identified as 25-year-old Nicholas Stone of Brainerd, Minnesota and 23-year-old Marcus Maurstad of Onamia, Minnesota.

Court records say Stone was also convicted of giving a false name to the arresting Minnesota officer.

On the false name charge, Stone was sentenced to three years of probation, which will include 50 hours of community service and 365 days in the Nobles County Jail, with 260 days stayed. Stone was also sentenced to a 96-day jail term and 100 hours of community service in connection with the felony possession of stolen property charge. He will also have to pay restitution if an affidavit is filed.

Stone was next held in the Lyon County Jail in Rock Rapids to face his Iowa charges, but posted bond and was released on Friday. In Iowa, his charges include Second and Fourth Degree Theft, Possession of Meth, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The Second Degree Theft Charge is a class D felony. The other charges are misdemeanors.

Click here for a related story

Northwest Iowa — With the arrival of spring and warmer weather also comes the arrival of new risks and temptations for young ones in our homes, garages and yards.

Tammy Noble, a registered nurse and spokeswoman for the Iowa Poison Control Center, says this is National Poison Prevention Week and Iowans need to do a little scouting to ensure their homes are safe for the seasons ahead.

During the winter months, Noble says the experts at the hotline get a lot of calls about things like carbon monoxide poisoning, or the accidental consumption of anti-freeze or ice melt pellets.

During 2018, Iowans placed nearly 30-thousand calls to the Sioux City-based Poison Control Center. That’s down slightly from the previous year, as Noble says so many of us are carrying around easy access to the internet in our pockets.

The call is free and experts are available around-the-clock at 800-222-1222, or visit iowapoison.org.

Northwest Iowa — Dakota Access Pipeline, the pipeline that carries oil from North Dakota through Lyon, Sioux and O’Brien counties as it crosses the state diagonally, has released information related to its 2018 annual property tax payments in Iowa.

DAP has paid $417,766.59 to O’Brien County. The company says in 2018, more than $18 million was paid to 18 counties across the state. Iowa is expected to receive $25 million for property taxes in 2019.

According to a press release, Dakota Access has actively supported O’Brien County since 2017, with a $20,000 donation to the local emergency management department as part of the pipeline’s effort to assist each county emergency management agency across its four-state route. The donations to emergency management departments totaled $1 million across 50 counties in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois.

The release says Dakota Access Pipeline also gave a total of $10,000 to O’Brien County’s 4H and FFA programs as part of a statewide donation program totaling $180,000 to benefit local youth as well as students across the state through conference sponsorships and curriculum support. This donation was equally divided among the 4-H and FFA programs in eighteen counties the pipeline crosses.

The other area counties that received property tax payments from Dakota Access include $427,572.72 to Lyon County, with Sioux County receiving $1,479,759.42 in property tax from the pipeline, according to Dakota Access.

Dakota Access Pipeline, which has been in service since 2017, transporting more than 520,000 barrels per day of domestically-produced crude oil was a $3.78 billion investment by Energy Transfer that created approximately 3,000 – 4,000 construction jobs in Iowa, and nine full-time employees. It also generated millions in state and local revenues during the construction phase and hundreds of millions in sales and income taxes. The pipeline will continue to have a positive economic impact on local communities as it continues to safely operate and transport America’s energy, according to the Dakota Access Release.