August 23, 2019 - 8:31 pm - Posted in News

Larchwood, Iowa — A late-start road construction project has begun that, depending on your route, could affect your travel to Sioux Falls.

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, work has begun on Iowa Highway 9 in Larchwood. They tell us that crews will be working their way east towards Rock Rapids in the coming weeks. Sheriff’s officials tell us to expect delays and single-lane traffic for a majority of the fall. Of course, they also recommend that you have patience and be alert going through the work zones.

Iowa Department of Transportation Highway Planner Dakin Schultz tells us about the project.

He says they hope to have the first layer of asphalt done between Larchwood and Rock Rapids before winter shutdown. Schultz tells us they fully expect this project to be incomplete but drivable during the winter of 2019-2020. He says work is scheduled to be completed on that section of Highway 9 in 2020. He tells us what to expect.


Schultz says the pilot car corridors will probably be about two miles or so. He tells us that this will not be the same type of project as the one last summer east of Rock Rapids. According to Schultz, that was a microsurface project, and this one will be a blacktop project with three to four inches of asphalt.

August 23, 2019 - 3:16 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Corn farmers are not exactly pleased about the news that more ethanol waivers are being given to oil refineries that — in their opinion — do not need them.

We talked to Kelly Nieuwenhuis of Primghar, who is the northwest Iowa director for the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. He tells us how he sees it.


Nieuwenhuis says that’s not being done either.

He says that it really doesn’t make sense, because the EPA is tasked with keeping cleaner air, and reducing the amount of ethanol that is to be used seems to go counter to that task. According to Nieuwenhuis, for the first time in 20 years, ethanol usage has dropped, due to the exemptions. He says it’s huge demand destruction for U.S. corn.


We asked Nieuwenhuis what he’d tell people who asked why — 30 years ago — all the corn got used, and there was no ethanol demand. He says there’s one reason — improvement in farming has meant bigger yields, so there’s more corn to use.


And he says with less demand, and more corn being grown, it would follow that corn prices will be going down as well.

August 22, 2019 - 2:48 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The first day of school for most students in our area is this Friday, August 23rd. The beginning of a new school year also means the return of the big yellow vehicles that transport schoolchildren to and from class.

Iowa State Patrol Trooper Nick Erdmann reminds motorists that they’ll be encountering school buses, so pay attention and be patient.

Trooper Erdmann says there are severe penalties for any motorist passing a stopped school bus.

He says the stiff penalties are the result of what is known as “Kadyn’s Law”, which is named for Kadyn Jade Halverson.

Erdmann has this advice for students who ride the bus to and from school.

And to drivers he warns you need to expect the unexpected.

Schools in most all districts here in our area get underway Friday, with Boyden-Hull Schools beginning the school year for students this coming Tuesday.

Little Rock — It’s the 72nd Annual Little Rock Corn Show, starting this Thursday in Little Rock.

Little Rock’s town festival is a little different from most that have started in the last 30 or 40 years, which basically feature activities. The Little Rock Corn Show is actually somewhat like a county fair. There are flower, crop, and produce exhibits to enter and view in the Town and Country Building. Plus, there are real rides, not just inflatables, with McDermott Shows on the grounds. They’ll be available Friday afternoon, starting at 5 p.m., and on Saturday after the parade.

On Friday at 5:30 p.m., will be the Little Rock Queen Contest under the Corn Show Tent.

Saturday’s activities include a bike ride and walk, a pedal pull, a pork dinner, and the annual golf ball roll. The parade will begin at 2 p.m., or at 5 if it rains. There will be old-time music under the tent at 5:45.

On Sunday, they’ll start out with an omelet and German pancake brunch from 9 to 12:30. Joint church services will take place at 10 under the tent. Other activities will include a volleyball tournament, a show-and-shine car show, a bean bag tournament, an antique tractor pull, and a soapbox derby.

A food stand will be available from Thursday evening through Saturday at the Old City Hall, and many prizes will also be available.

Northwest Iowa — After a very iffy spring, with some very late planting dates, most of the crops in our area are looking pretty good.

But Iowa State University Extension Agronomist Joel De Jong says the different planting dates still have the potential of being a long-term problem.


De Jong tells us that besides the possibility of a wet harvest season and immature crops adding up to a bigger problem, there are other issues to keep in mind as well.


As we always hear, the further out you try to predict the weather, the less certain forecasts are. But the National Weather Service says that 30 days from now, chances are favoring slightly above-normal precipitation and below normal temperatures. The three-month outlook is similar for precipitation, but it’s predicting ABOVE-normal temperatures.

Northwest Iowa — During the recently completed Iowa State Fair for 2019, the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office conducted a straw poll to gauge voter support for candidates that are running for statewide and national elective office.

One of the races, of course, involved the four individuals running for the Republican nomination for the 4th District seat in the U.S. Congress, the seat currently held by Steve King. The Straw Poll revealed some interesting numbers in the Republican field for that race.

Four individuals are seeking the 4th District nomination. State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull, received 29.86% of the votes in the Secretary of State’s Straw Poll. Bret Richards garnered 8.46%, and Jeremy Taylor grabbed 7.17% of the vote. Despite the criticism aimed at the incumbent, Representative Steve King, he received a whopping 55.51% of the votes in the Straw Poll.

For a look at the 4th District race, as well as all the other statewide races included in the Straw Poll, visit the Iowa Secretary of State’s website by CLICKING HERE.

August 20, 2019 - 3:14 pm - Posted in News

Statewide, Iowa — This being an odd-numbered year, the election this fall on election day will not feature the President, members of Congress, or state legislators. It will, however, feature both city and school candidates and issues. So it’s your chance to help with local government.

According to the Iowa Secretary of State, some cities have a primary system. And for those cities, the candidate filing period is underway from now until August 29th, with the primary election on October 8th.

Most cities in our area, however, are not on a primary system. For those cities, the candidate filing period opens this coming Monday, August 26th, and wraps up on September 19th. The general election is on Tuesday, November 5th. Elections of school board members, community college board members, city council members, mayors, and other questions may all be on your ballot.

This will be the first time that city and school candidates will be on the same ballot. School board of education elections used to be held in September, but a law passed in 2017 requires them to be held in November — on the same day as city elections. The new law will require election officials to prepare more types of ballots because school elections sometimes cover several cities, plus rural areas. Many polling locations will remain the same, but there will be some changes. The Secretary of State says you can check out where to vote by clicking here. If you have questions, you can contact your county auditor’s office. Find that contact information here. Find the County Auditor Directory, select your county, and click “go.”

Absentee ballots will be available by October 7th, and are due October 25th. They need to be requested on an official form. You can also vote in person at your auditor’s office, starting October 7th. Call them for more information.

August 20, 2019 - 2:03 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — While there were again severe weather watches and warnings on Monday night into early Tuesday, there was not much damage in our part of northwest Iowa.

The action started at 11:55 p.m., when a Severe Thunderstorm Watch was posted for western and central Iowa, far southwest Minnesota, and far southeast South Dakota. It was to be in effect until 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. The watch said that the main threats would be scattered damaging winds with isolated significant gusts to 75 mph possible, as well as scattered large hail and isolated very large hail events to 2.5 inches in diameter.

The first severe thunderstorm warning issued by the Sioux Falls National Weather Service office was for a little north of our area, in Cottonwood County, Minnesota. That was triggered at 12:02 a.m. The possibility of half-dollar sized hail was mentioned.

Next, at 2:01 a.m., the action was in our area. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for northern Cherokee, southeastern Sioux, northeastern Plymouth, and southern O’Brien counties, which was to be in effect until 2:45 a.m. It said that just after 2 a.m., a severe thunderstorm was located near Marcus, or 12 miles southeast of Orange City, moving east at 25 miles per hour. It mentioned that the greatest threat was 60-mile-per-hour wind gusts and hail to the size of half dollars, with possible damage to vehicles, roofs, siding, and trees. In the path of the storm were Cleghorn, Paullina, Sutherland, Calumet, Meriden, and Larrabee.

The next severe thunderstorm warning was for south of our area in Woodbury and Ida counties. That was issued at 2:18 a.m., and similar threats were mentioned.

At 2:32 a.m., a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for portions of Cherokee, Woodbury, Plymouth, Buena Vista, and Ida counties. The same threats were mentioned once again.

As the storm system left the area, another severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Woodbury and Ida counties again. This was at 3:33 a.m.

Damage-wise, numerous tree branches were reported down in Battle Creek, some as big as three inches in diameter. Near Holstein, a 25-inch diameter tree was snapped off at the base. One-inch hail was reported near Superior in Dickinson County. A wind gust of 57 miles-per-hour was reported near Ida Grove.

Emergency managers in our part of northwest Iowa say that no damage was reported to them.

Speaking of storm damage, we now have some information about Saturday night’s tornado near Rock Rapids. The National Weather Service estimates it was on the ground from 10:34 to 10:43 p.m. It was rated an EF-1 tornado, with peak winds of 105 miles per hour. They estimate it was on the ground for nearly seven miles and was 75 yards across at its widest. The storm damaged silos, grain bins, and a number of roofs in addition to trees west and south of Rock Rapids.

August 19, 2019 - 4:13 pm - Posted in News

Lyon County, Iowa — (KTIV) — Law enforcement officers from jurisdictions in several states came together Monday to honor a fallen member of their “Blue Family.”

Deputy Stephanie Schreurs, a Lyon County, Iowa Sheriff’s Deputy, died last week of injuries she suffered in a crash in her patrol vehicle.

Funeral services were held Monday morning in Sioux Falls for Deputy Schreurs.

From there, a procession route brought many people to St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Alvord, for their final goodbyes  to the 24-year veteran.

The procession included law enforcement from Sheldon, Le Mars, Omaha, Sioux Falls, Woodbury County, Plymouth County, and Dickinson County… just to name a few.

Schreurs was a graduate of Wayne High School in Nebraska and Briar Cliff University.

Schreurs joined the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office as a dispatcher in 1995 and became the County’s first female deputy in 1997.

A large contingent of law enforcement arriving at St. Mary’s Cemetery near Alvord for Deputy Stephanie Schreurs commital service.


 

Story, photo and video courtesy of our News Partner, KTIV Channel 4

 

Sutherland, Iowa — Producers can gain valuable fertility management knowledge and learn more about soil testing at a conference coming up at the Iowa State University Extension Northwest Research Farm near Sutherland.

Extension field agronomist Joel De Jong tells us the cost of managing soil fertility in Iowa continues to change with increased fertilizer input costs and a rising demand for nutrients from higher-yielding crops.


De Jong tells us that it will be held this Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon.


He tells us you can register by calling the Plymouth County Extension Office at 712-546-7835. You can also call that number if you have any questions. He says a few seats are left, but he emphasizes that preregistration is needed this time due to the number of materials needed, and they’d like you to register by Wednesday.

The Northwest Research Farm is located about 10 miles north of Cherokee on Highway 59. The address is 6320 500th Street, Sutherland, Iowa.