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 afterward. (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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Larchwood, Iowa — A California man who conspired to distribute methamphetamine has been sentenced to more than 11 years in federal prison.

36-year-old Daryl David Blair, from Los Osos, California, received the prison term
after a September 18, 2020, guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to distribute

At sentencing, Blair was found to have been involved with trafficking 16 pounds of methamphetamine across California, Iowa, and South Dakota. On February 8, 2020, while patrolling the Grand Falls Casino parking lot in Larchwood, law enforcement searched a vehicle connected to Blair and ultimately recovered nearly 3 pounds of methamphetamine, and drug trafficking materials. Earlier that winter, Blair and his coconspirators had brought pounds of methamphetamine to the Midwest for distribution.

Blair was sentenced in Federal District Court in Sioux City to 140-months in a federal prison, along with a 5-year term of supervised probation after his prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

Authorities say the case was investigated by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, Lyon County Attorney’s Office, and Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation.

Des Moines, Iowa (RI) — As the pandemic is forcing many tens of thousands of Iowans to work from home, the state’s official jobs website is offering some new options.

Iowa Workforce Development is adding a Remote/Work From Home jobs display to its website in an effort to help job seekers who are specifically looking for that type of opportunity. Workforce director Beth Townsend says the new tab should make it easier for Iowans to identify and apply for those jobs, noting, there are more than 76-thousand overall jobs available statewide on the site.

Townsend is also encouraging the state’s employers to post their remote and work from home opportunities on

March 4, 2021 - 4:05 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The Sioux Rivers Mental Health Region, which is headquartered in Orange City is still seeking a location for their access center.

Sioux Rivers CEO Shane Walter says that after Woodbury County left the Sioux Rivers region, the Sioux Rivers Crisis Center was suddenly located outside the region’s geographical borders. With the expansion of Sioux Rivers Mental Health Region’s footprint, Walter told us about three months ago that they were looking at Sheldon as a possible location for their new access center.

(as said) “We’re still in the process of looking or visiting with providers in the area — and by area I mean within the region — to determine who may be able to provide the services. We you know, of course are working with our mental health centers. Plains Area had indicated they would be interested in providing those services to the region. So they’re clearly involved in that discussion, but we’re trying to determine still — a suitable location and we’ve entered into some discussions with a couple of different providers.”

Walter says they need to get it taken care of sooner rather than later, so they hope a decision can be made soon.

(as said) “…trying to get that nailed down so that we can proceed because obviously we’ve got budgeting that needs to be done and those services are to be in place by July 1st or as close to that as possible. So we’re kind of in a hurry-up mode here. “

He says they’re hoping to provide a number of services in what they call an “access center.”

(as said) “23-hour observation, crisis residential, mobile crisis — which would be staged out of that building essentially — and subacute with some associated substance treatment services, evaluation, and referral… A number of things under the one roof. So we’re still looking at most of those components. However, we’re not certain about the subacute piece of that because that’s a fairly high-cost, intensive service that if we can contract that… subcontract that out to another provider elsewhere within actually a hundred and twenty miles of us — we can qualify then as what we would call a virtual access center.”

Walter says they hope to provide the services from an existing building. He says they’re not looking to build at this time.

Walter tells us the Sioux Rivers Region includes Plymouth, Sioux, Lyon, O’Brien, and Dickinson counties at this time, and Emmet County has signed an agreement to join on July 1st, 2021.

March 4, 2021 - 3:17 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — While vaccine supplies are still low, COVID-19 vaccinations continue in northwest Iowa. Read The Full Story…

George, Iowa — A George man has been arrested on a felony charge after an incident at the Casey’s Convenience Store in George.

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, their deputies responded to a call of an intoxicated person at Casey’s General Store in George in the 5 p.m. hour on Tuesday.

The report was that the man had been drinking and was becoming belligerent with the clerk in the store.

Deputies arrived and arrested 51-year-old Miller A Liwis of George. They tell us A Liwis was found with three knives from his home, and they say he had the intention of stabbing people who were yelling at him.

Deputies charged A Liwis with Going Armed With Intent, a class D felony; and Consumption of Alcohol in a Public Place, a simple misdemeanor. A Liwis was transported to the Lyon County Jail.

Larchwood, Iowa — Twenty-six area non-profit organizations and government subdivisions received a combined total of almost $650,000 from the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation at a ceremony on Tuesday night at the Grand Falls Casino near Larchwood.

Foundation officials tell us the biggest grant was for nearly $97,000, and it went to the City of Little Rock to be used toward a new ambulance.

Another large grant was given to Lil’ Mustangs Child Care Center in George. They say the money will be used to help update the existing playground and turn it into an age-appropriate and safe playground. That grant was for nearly $88,000.

The City of Lester received the next-largest grant, for over $56,000 toward a safe pedestrian crossing. Holy Name Catholic Church in Rock Rapids received $50,500 toward renovating their roof, and Alvord Fire & Rescue received $50,000 toward ambulance and rescue equipment.

There were several smaller grants toward things such as a water truck for the Doon Fire Department, improvements at the Central Lyon FFA farm, the expansion of nursing simulation at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon, upkeep of the Rock Rapids murals, library updates, and much more.

The Lyon County Riverboat Foundation is the nonprofit license holder for the Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood. State law mandates that a certain percentage of the casino’s gaming take has to go back to the community. The foundation gives half of that money to county government subdivisions and schools and the other half in competitive grants such as these. Read The Full Story…

March 3, 2021 - 1:11 pm - Posted in News

Lester, Iowa — Two people were transported to Avera in Rock Rapids in the aftermath of a single-vehicle rollover crash near Lester Tuesday.

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, they were summoned about 8:40 Tuesday evening (March 2nd) to a single-vehicle accident at the T-intersection of 130th Street and Elder Avenue, near Lester.

Deputies say 35-year-old Bernardo Barrera Aguilar, of Rock Rapids, was southbound on Elder Avenue in a 2014 Ford Fusion, when he lost control of the car and entered the south ditch of 130th Street at that T-intersection, where the vehicle overturned, coming to rest on it’s top.

According to authorities, Lester EMS and Lester Fire Department were dispatched to the scene, where they were able to extricate the occupants of the vehicle.

Barrera and his passenger, 30-year-old Lloana Barrera Aguilar, of Chasta Minnesota, were both taken to Avera in Rock Rapids by the Lyon County Ambulance.

Deputies say Barrera Aguilar’s car was totaled in the crash.

March 2, 2021 - 5:45 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — This month of March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. That means it’s time to tell you that experts say those of us over 50 should get tested for colorectal cancer. Read The Full Story…

Larchwood, Iowa — Over $650,000 will be given to 26 non-profit projects by the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation at a ceremony this Tuesday evening at Grand Falls Casino west of Larchwood.

According to the foundation’s Executive Assistant, Dave Childress, over $1.7 million was requested by 35 applicants.

The foundation is the non-profit license holder for the Grand Falls Casino. State law mandates a certain percentage of the casino’s gaming take has to go back to the community. The agreement between the casino and the non-profit stipulates that for the first $20 million the casino collects in gambling winnings in a year, they will give the foundation 4.5 percent. When they get up to $20 million, the percentage goes up to 4.75 percent; and when they get up to $30 million, it goes to 5 percent.

The Lyon County Riverboat Foundation is set up to give half of the money in grants to county government subdivisions and schools, and the other half to non-profit projects.

Riverboat Foundation officials tell us the foundation seeks to be the catalyst to help qualified organizations meet needs within Lyon County and beyond in the areas of development, beautification, education, and human and social issues.

The foundation has also announced that they are accepting applications for the next round of grants, which will their annual “Mini-Grant” cycle. They tell us Mini-Grants are available to non-profit organizations that would like to do a special project in the geographical areas surrounding the Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort. Out-of-county and out-of-state applicants are eligible. Unlike the bigger grants, no matching funds are required. Applications for Mini-Grants are due by 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 25, 2021. The Mini-Grant ceremony is scheduled for Monday, April 19, 2021.

Click here for applications and more information about the Mini-Grants.

Washington, DC (RI) — The three Republicans from Iowa who serve in the U.S. House voted against the pandemic relief House Democrats approved this weekend.

Fourth District Congressman Randy Feenstra of Hull is blasting Democrats for removing his amendment which would have added derecho relief for Iowans to the bill. His proposal cleared the House Ag Committee with the support of Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne and the Republicans on the committee.

(as said) “There was one bipartisan amendment in this entire process — one — and that’s mine,” Feenstra says, “that allowed some funding to be spent toward helping areas of rural America that were devastated by natural disasters.”

Majority Democrats stripped Feenstra’s proposal from the bill before a final vote was taken.

(as said) “Iowa deserves better from Democrats,” Feenstra says. “Rural America deserves better from Democrats.”

Congresswoman Ashley Hinson, a Republican from Marion, recorded a video after she voted “no” on the one-point-nine trillion dollar package.

(as said) “This bill is really a disservice to the hardworking taxpayers and children in Iowa’s first district,” Hinson said. “…We need to get more targeted relief. We don’t need more Washington pork spending.”

Second District Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa issued a written statement, saying it was unacceptable that less than one-half of one percent of the bill will fund local and state public health workers to speed up vaccinations. Third district Congresswoman Cindy Axne, a Democrat from West Des Moines, voted for the bill. Axne says it’s a comprehensive relief package that will help Iowans in need. The bill provides a new round of direct payments to most Americans and extends enhanced unemployment benefits. It’s projected to provide 947 million to Iowa cities and counties, money Axne says is needed to protect local services and close budget deficits from last year. The State of Iowa stands to get one-point-three billion dollars. Republican Governor Kim Reynolds and 21 other governors co-signed a statement objecting to the way money is distributed to the states. The allocation is based on the number of unemployed in each state rather than on each state’s total population.