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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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.

Statewide Iowa — MidAmerican Energy, the company that provides electrical and natural gas service to many area communities is utilizing technology to help them locate the source of electrical outages.

MidAmerican will get instant reports of power outages from new electronic sensors being attached to Iowa power lines.

That’s Geoff Greenwood, a spokesman for MidAmerican Energy. Greenwood says it can take hours for utility workers to physically inspect lines and find the source of an outage. The electronic sensors transmit information about power outages to a control center located in Des Moines that monitors all of MidAmerican’s power grid in Iowa.

The sensors are called “remote fault indicators.” Greenwood says the devices are able to identify faults in the flow of electricity.

Sensors have already been installed in rural areas, as well as in the cities of Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, Sioux City, the Quad Cities and Waterloo. The devices can be attached to lines that are above or below ground.

MidAmerican provides electric service to 770-thousand customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota.

September 12, 2018 - 3:06 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — September has been proclaimed “National Preparedness Month”, a time to prepare for weather emergencies, and other catastrophes.

Todd Heitkamp is Meteorologis-In-Charge at the National Weather Service Office in Sioux Falls, and he says September was chosen since it is the peak hurricane season.

Although we don’t live in hurricane country, Heitkamp says we need to be prepared for whatever kind of weather emergency we may encounter.

He says one of the most important parts of your preparedness plan is a first aid kit.

The graphic below lists some of the “must haves” for a basic first aid kit to help you get prepared.

Larchwood, Iowa — A Larchwood teenager has been apprehended and charged with felony burglary after a search warrant was carried out on Friday (September 7th).

Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep tells us that this was the attempted burglary after which he advised people to lock their doors. He says the burglary occurred in the daylight hours of August 29th at a home in rural Larchwood. He says the homeowner called 911 while the alleged attempted burglary was in progress. He says the homeowner threatened to shoot the suspect, and the suspect then ran off.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reported late on Friday that deputies executed a search warrant at another rural Larchwood home. Deputies then charged a 16-year-old from the home with burglary in the second degree, a class B felony; possession of marijuana, a serious misdemeanor; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor. The 16-year-old was then transported to the Juvenile Detention Center in Cherokee.

September 5, 2018 - 3:06 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The Iowa Department of Public Health is reminding you to continue to protect yourself against mosquitoes as the rainy weather of the past few days has kept their populations active.

Deputy State Epidemiologist Ann Garvey says cases of the moquito-borne West Nile disease are still a concern.

Doctor Garvey says the easiest way to protect yourself against mosquito bites is with repellents containing DEET.

Garvey says in most cases West Nile presents no symptoms; about 20 percent of the time people can develop mild, flu like symptoms. In extreme cases, especially in the elderly, the disease can be fatal.

Alvord, Iowa — Another golf cart driver has been arrested in Lyon County, after being accused of driving under the influence.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says that this past Saturday, September 1, 2018, at about 1:20 a.m., one of their deputies made contact with a golf cart on First Street near Seefield Street in Alvord. They say the driver was 54-year-old Curtis Lynn Nelson of Alvord. The deputy says Nelson was found to be intoxicated, and as a result was charged with Operating While Intoxicated, first offense, a serious misdemeanor; and was cited for Unlawful Operation of a Golf Cart, a simple misdemeanor.

This is the third time in the last few months that Lyon County deputies have arrested a golf cart driver on OWI charges. The first incident came on June 7th, when deputies arrested a man who was allegedly driving a golf cart under the influence. That incident also happened in Alvord. The second was about a week ago on August 28th, when deputies arrested a man under similar circumstances in Little Rock.

Earlier this summer, Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep announced that golf carts were getting “out of hand” on the streets in Lyon County’s communities, and that resulted in the stronger enforcement of statutes regarding golf carts.

Northwest Iowa — An attempted traffic stop near Ashton didn’t end until the vehicle had gone through Sheldon and was near Boyden on Sunday.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that one of their deputies attempted to stop a vehicle for a speeding violation in Ashton. They tell us the vehicle failed to stop and attempted to elude the deputy at a high rate of speed.

Sheriff’s officials say the pursuit went through Sheldon and while in Sheldon, a passenger jumped out of the vehicle. That passenger was taken into custody by the Sheldon Police Department. The vehicle continued to elude the deputy and it continued westbound on Highway 18. The vehicle turned into Boyden and eventually started driving back towards Sheldon. An O’Brien County Deputy used stop sticks which deflated two of the vehicle’s tires.

They tell us that a short time later, the driver of the vehicle lost control of the vehicle and drove into a ditch. Once in the ditch, the driver and another passenger fled the scene on foot into a cornfield. The passenger was taken into custody a short time later. They say the driver was not located, but they did identify the driver.

The Sheriff’s Office says they arrested 29-year-old Kevin Aaron Vail, of Spencer Iowa and 22-year-old Lacey O’Clair of Matlock. Vail was charged with possession of a controlled substance – third offense and possession of drug paraphernalia. O’Clair was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and interference with official acts.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that the investigation is ongoing and additional charges are expected.

They tell us that the Sheldon Police Department, the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa State Patrol, Sioux County Emergency Management, O’Brien County Emergency Management, and the Sheldon Fire Company assisted them with the response to the incident.