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

Heard on KIWA-AM 1550 every weekday morning at about 8:45 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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Luverne, MN — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Rock County, Minnesota as a primary natural disaster area due to heavy precipitation, flooding and hail that occurred from June 11 through June 18.Flooded Soybean

Farmers and ranchers in Murray, Nobles and Pipestone counties in Minnesota also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous. Lyon County, Iowa and Minnehaha and Moody counties in South Dakota also qualify.

In Minnesota, damage from last month’s flooding has surpassed $50 million and is still rising, according to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. State and local officials are waiting for the federal government to declare a disaster. Dayton said he expects that declaration to be issued soon — securing federal funding to help state and local communities repair damaged roads, bridges and other public property.

All qualified farm operators in the designated areas are eligible for low-interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity. Farmers can apply for up to $500,000 in low interest loans.

July 21, 2014 - 1:06 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids Utilities Substation 2010 300The Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities have issued a peak alert for Monday & Tuesday, July 21-22, 2014. Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities residents are asked to postpone or reduce the use of electrical devices during peak times (between 12 Noon – 8 PM). Peak electricity is more expensive and the demand may increase electric bills for all residents. By reducing or postponing electrical usage during peak times, you’ll help keep down your utility costs. Thank you for your cooperation.

Larchwood, Iowa — The Grand Falls Casino near Larchwood is one of two casinos in the whole state at which revenues were up in the past year.

The report for the end of the latest fiscal year shows a drop in the revenue generated by the 18 state casinos. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission report shows a drop of almost 78 million dollars — marking the second year in a row that revenue was off — for a total of just under one-point-four (1.388) billion dollars. Iowa Gaming Grand Falls Casino signAssociation president, Wes Ehrecke, says weather was one factor for the drop off.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

(as he says)”The brutal winter that we had, especially January and February — subzero temperatures, the whole Polar Vortex — kept a lot of people at home and kept people from doing a lot of things in the whole entertainment world,” Ehrecke says. “You don’t get those months back, you just can’t recover from that, and I think that contributed a lot.”

He says competition from outside the state also had an impact.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

(as he says)”Illinois with their video gaming terminals that are located in bars and restaurants has certainly impacted some of the casinos on our eastern border,” he says. “Plus, I think there’s still a little bit of economic uncertainty.” He says the uncertainty has people spending less of their discretionary income on entertainment as they spend more on food, clothing, shelter and other priorities.

Ehrecke says he is not concerned about the drop, as he says there are new facilities in the works that should give the industry a boost.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

(as he says)”There will be a new casino up in Sioux City, the Hard Rock Casino. Davenport as well as Bettendorf are both looking to go with land-based casinos. When you have additional amenities and an improved property, we believe that that will certainly help with the revenues of those respective areas,” Ehrecke says.

He says the socioeconomic report conducted for the Racing and Gaming Commission and released earlier this year had positive news for the industry.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

(as he says) “That whole socioeconomic report I think was very promising in the fact that a very large percentage of people think that going to a casino is an acceptable form of entertainment, certainly many people do,” Ehrecke says. “Not only for the gaming portion, but for non-gaming type things, concerts, a comedy club, certainly fine dining,” Ehrecke says.

Ehrecke says the casinos will still continue to be an important part of the state’s economy.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

(as he says)”I think overall still we are a very strong and stable industry — about a billion dollar annual economic impact. I believe the trends look favorable going forward,” Ehrecke says.

The other casino at which revenues were up in the past year was Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino.

Story from Radio Iowa

July 21, 2014 - 11:38 am - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa – The first extreme heat wave of the summer is forecast for Iowa this week, with highs in the 90s and the heat indexes in the 100s. With the National Weather service issuing a Heat Advisory, The Iowa thermometer - 102 degreesDepartment of Public Health (IDPH) reminds Iowans even young and healthy individuals can have a heat-related illness if they are active during hot weather.

IDPH Medical Director Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says that sometimes the body’s temperature control system just isn’t enough.  She says that in such cases, a person’s temperature rises rapidly.  Especially when humidity is high, as it is today, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly.

Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, Dr. Quinlisk says the people who are at greatest risk include:

  • People age 65 or older
  • Infants and young children
  • Overweight individuals
  • People who are performing manual labor or exercising outdoors
  • People who have a chronic illness, especially those with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as those for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation.

She says that to protect your health when temperatures and humidity are high, remember to keep cool and use common sense. The following tips are important:

  • Increase fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. The best way to tell you are well-hydrated is if your urine is light yellow. If it gets dark, stop and rehydrate by drinking water immediately.
  • If experiencing a lot of sweating, replace salt and minerals by eating foods like bananas and salty crackers, or drink rehydrating beverages that contain salts such as sports drinks, and special rehydration fluids.
  • Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and wear sunscreen.
  • Wear hats that shade your face such as sun hats, visors, etc.
  • Keep in the shade or air conditioned areas as much as possible.
  • Work slowly if you are not used to working or exercising in heat and humidity. Stop immediately if you get dizzy, nauseated, or feel weak. Go into an air conditioned space and drink cool liquids.
  • Use a buddy system. Watch others for heat-induced illness, since some people may not realize that they are suffering heat-related illnesses and can become confused or lose consciousness.

For more information about preventing heat-related illness, visit

The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls says that after what has been a relatively cool summer so far, we’re heading into a short stretch of more typical July conditions to begin the week.

A heat advisory is in effect until 9 PM this evening.

The Weather Service says temperatures will climb near 90 degrees in areas east of Interstate 29. In areas west of the Interstate 29 corridor, readings may top out in the low to middle 90s, with areas of central South Dakota reaching 100 degrees. These temperatures are expected to slowly fall during the evening hours. The heat, combined with increasing humidity, will produce heat index values between 100 and 105 degrees.

Precautionary/preparedness actions:

A heat advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected. Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water. Check up on relatives and neighbors, and do not leave children or pets unattended in vehicles.

To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency, call 9 1 1.

The dangerous heat and humidity will be short-lived, however, as high temperatures mainly in the 80s spread back into the region for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Larchwood, Iowa — A Lyon County Deputy Sheriff was taken to a hospital after he rolled his patrol car on Tuesday.
Lyon County Sheriff Car Door 60-8
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says the Iowa State Patrol covered the accident.

They report that about 10:30 Tuesday morning, July 15, 2014, 28-year-old deputy Charles Zech of Rock Rapids was driving a 2013 Chevy Impala patrol car eastbound on 135th Street on the west side of Larchwood, when he observed a westbound vehicle on Highway 9 committing a possible violation.

As he was watching the vehicle for possible enforcement action, the right side wheels of the patrol car went off the road. And due to the steep drop off without a shoulder at the location, the patrol car rolled over in the ditch.

Deputy Zech received minor injuries and was taken to Sanford Rock Rapids Medical Center.

The Iowa State Patrol report says there was $8000 in damage to the patrol car.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Sioux Falls resident wanted on a Lyon County felony burglary charge has recently been arrested in connection with the incident.Jail Door2

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office has just informed us that on Monday July 7, 2014 one of their deputies arrested 20-year-old Lawren Barse of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on an active Lyon County arrest warrant.

Barse’s charges stem from an incident that happened in December, 2013 in which he was charged with one count of Third Degree Burglary, a Class D Felony; and Operation Without Owner’s Consent, an Aggravated Misdemeanor.

Barse was picked up at the Minnehaha county jail and transported to the Lyon County Jail where at last report he was being held.

The Rock Rapids Rec. Dept. is looking for business sponsorships for the upcoming soccer season.

The season runs Aug. 21-Sept. 27 and there are approximately 220 kids signed up.

Your business name will be printed on the back of the t shirts and the kids get to keep their shirts at the end of the season.

Cost is $75 a team and we are only allowing businesses to have one team.

Please contact the Rock Rapids Chamber Office by Tuesday, July 22nd if you are interested in sponsoring a team.

Make checks payable to RR Rec. Dept and state how you want your business name listed on the shirts.

Call 712-472-3456


Flood Information Meeting

Thursday, July 24

7:00 pm

Forster Community Center

Topics will include:

  • Status of recovery effort
  • Financial assistance programs
  • Building regulations
  • Hazard Mitigation projects

Speakers will include representatives of:

  • The City of Rock Rapids
  • Lyon County Emergency Management
  • ATLAS of Lyon County
  • Justice for All
  • Rock Rapids Development Corporation
  • US Small Business Administration

Northwest Iowa — While the RAGBRAI bike riders will stay south of Lyon County,  the county will see some support vehicle

For those support vehicles not planning to meet their bicyclists in Sheldon — if they are going to be using the north campgrounds in the Lakes Area, they can take a north route out of Rock Valley. That route takes K30 northbound, and picks up A34 just east of Alvord. From there they follow A34 to near the Lakewood Corner on Highway 75. They’ll take Highway 75 northbound to Rock Rapids, and then take Highway 9 straight through to the Lakes Area.

For more information, click here for our RAGBRAI page.

Click here for the map of activities around Sheldon’s City Park.

Click here for the bike map of Sunday’s route.

Click here for the Sunday and Monday support vehicle maps.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Luverne, Minnesota woman is behind bars in Lyon County, charged with two felony counts.Jail Door2

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that they arrested 22-year-old Wendy Kooiker of Luverne on Monday, July 14th. She was charged with two counts of Identity Theft, which is a Class D Felony.

Kooiker’s charges stem from a house burglary that happened in Rock Rapids on July 2, 2014.

She is being held in the Lyon County Jail on a $10,000 bond.