Sheldon, Iowa — While the numbers are much smaller at the fall graduation ceremonies at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon, it’s no smaller achievement to those that will be graduating.

Commencement exercises at Northwest Iowa Community College are being held this Wednesday evening, December 19, 2018.

The Associate Degree Nursing Pinning Ceremony will be held at 5:00 p.m. in Building A, Room 116-119. The Student Keynote Speaker is Alyssa Ter Wee of Harrisburg, SD, who is an Associate Degree Nursing graduate. A total of eleven associate degree nursing graduates will be pinned in the ceremony.

The Fall Commencement ceremony will be held at 6:00 p.m. also in Building A, Room 116-119. The Commencement Address will be given by Robert Peinke, of Alexander, Iowa, who is an Electrical Technology graduate. A total of forty-seven students will graduate this fall, with twenty-four of them participating in the ceremony. The public is welcome to attend.

December 18, 2018 - 2:40 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — If you’ve been dreaming of a white Christmas, the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls says you’ll most likely be disappointed this year.

We talked to National Weather Service Meteorologist Lance Vanden Boogart, and asked him about our chances for seeing a white Christmas.

Vanden Boogart says this week’s temperatures will probably take away most of the snow we’ve already seen this season.

He says that while there is a chance of rain Wednesday night, it shouldn’t amount to much.

Vanden Boogart says while children may be disappointed at not having a white Christmas, he has a feeling that the adults who have to shovel it and drive through it will probably be okay without the white stuff this Christmas.

December 18, 2018 - 2:38 pm - Posted in News

Inwood, Iowa– A house received major damage in a fire early on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 in Inwood.

According to Inwood Fire Chief Mike Knobloch, about 1:15 a.m, the Inwood Fire Department was called to the report of a house on fire at 102 North Main Street in Inwood.

The chief says the fire department saw the attic on fire as they approached the scene. He says the residents were able to escape the fire, and the fire department removed the pets, so everyone got out safely.

He says the roof had self-ventilated on one end. The fire was contained to the attic for the most part.

Knobloch says no injuries were reported.

The fire department was assisted by the Canton, South Dakota and Larchwood, Iowa fire departments.

He says the cause of the fire is undetermined.

Chief Knobloch reports that there was major damage to the attic and moderate water and smoke damage to the rest of the home.

He says the 50 to 60 firefighters who responded were on scene for about two hours and 45 minutes.

December 17, 2018 - 6:55 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Another leadership change at an area school is coming up in about six months. Central Lyon Superintendent David Ackerman has announced his retirement, and the search has begun to find his replacement.

We talked with Mr. Ackerman, and he tells us that he will soon become eligible for early retirement.

We asked Ackerman if he had any post-retirement plans.

Ackerman says the search has begun to select his replacement. One of the first decisions made was to hire a search firm.

He tells us some of the roles of the search firm.

According to Ackerman, the process is moving right along.

Ackerman says that as they have been doing with transitions between staff members, he will be available to assist the new superintendent while he or she becomes acclimated to the district and the job. He says he will assist especially with some construction projects, including a softball diamond project with the City of Rock Rapids, a plumbing retrofit project in the 1968 elementary school, and a couple of roof projects. Mr. Ackerman is also doing some legwork to look into the industrial technology program building a full-sized house instead of a “tiny house” like they’ve done recently. Ackerman says he’s grateful for his years at Central Lyon.

He says he’s been working for Central Lyon for 18 years, and the district, its student achievement, and staff are at a good place, enrollment is up, the bus fleet and buildings are looking good. He says it’s a good note to retire on.

December 17, 2018 - 2:35 pm - Posted in News

Le Mars, Iowa — A northwest Iowa extension agronomist who we talk to quite often on KIWA has received a statewide honor from the Iowa Soybean Association.

Young leaders, long-time environmental stewards, and dedicated agriculture advocates were recognized by the Iowa Soybean Association during their annual awards banquet held last week in Ankeny.

The Friend of the Iowa Soybean Farmer Award, sponsored by Cargill, was presented to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Agronomist Joel DeJong for his support of the Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa soybean farmers. The association says it’s for his “consistent actions and efforts.” They say that DeJong has more than 35 years of experience working closely with farmers on integrated management of pest populations, crop management issues and nutrient and manure management planning. They say DeJong provides information to producers on proper nutrient and pest management practices and oversees annual pesticide applicator continuing education sessions. The Iowa Soybean Association goes on to say that DeJong authors a monthly newsletter on timely topics for farmers in northwest Iowa, and has served on the association’s Research Advisory Council for several years, providing “valuable input from what he was hearing from farmers in the fields.” They say DeJong also routinely invites the Iowa Soybean Association to have a presence at meetings and events and helps the association identify key contacts in northwest Iowa.

We asked DeJong how he felt about receiving the award.

DeJong is based at the Plymouth County Extension Office in Le Mars and covers several northwest Iowa counties.

December 17, 2018 - 1:46 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Sioux Falls man is behind bars, facing what the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says are two felony charges.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Friday, December 14, 2018, they arrested 26-year-old Devin Glascock of Sioux Falls on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Deliver, a Class B felony; Burglary In The Third Degree, a class D felony); Possession of Controlled Substance-methamphetamine and Unlawful Possession of Prescription Drugs, both serious misdemeanors; and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.

According to court records, the arresting officer believes that sometime after November 26th, 2018, Glascock entered a home that didn’t belong to him, and one that he did not have permission to enter, and took a bank card that didn’t belong to him. The officer says he also believes Glascock used the card to obtain cash.

At last report, the class B felony count of possession of meth with intent to deliver had not yet been filed with the clerk of court’s office.

The Sheriff’s Office says more charges are expected to follow. At last report, Glascock was being held in the Lyon County Jail.

December 14, 2018 - 3:14 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Thousands of Christmas presents are being left by mail carriers and delivery services outside homes across northwest Iowa and police warn that “porch pirates” are watching and waiting to steal those packages.

US Postal Inspector Dave Margritz says you shouldn’t leave packages sitting outside for too long.

Margritz suggests you leave a small note on your door, directing the carrier to leave the package out of sight or with a neighbor.

Wayne Barahona of SuperHiTech in Sheldon, Orange City, and Sioux Center says some people have invested in small home security cameras.

He says even if porch pirates do strike, a system like this can be a big help in the investigation of package thefts.

Many of the delivery services like UPS, FedEx, and the postal service also can now alert you when a package is dropped off. Check with them for more information on that service.

December 14, 2018 - 10:11 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — If you’re planning on mailing off holiday packages to loved ones in far-away locales, you’d be wise to get them wrapped and ready to go this weekend.

Kristy Anderson, spokeswoman for the U-S Postal Service, offers a reminder of the upcoming deadlines.

This holiday season, the U.S. Postal Service will be processing and delivering billions of pieces of mail, and hundreds of millions of packages.

The Postal Service advises you to choose the right box to use in shipping your Christmas packages. They say you should use a box that will close flat when full, but hold enough padding to protect your contents. And, they say, boxes cost less to mail if they can be processed using automated mail-processing equipment.

If your package can’t fit through processing equipment, it will cost you more to send. Properly measure your packages and prepare them with the correct materials so they don’t bulge or get stuck. Do not use cord, string, or twine because they get caught in equipment.

For more information on shipping holiday packages, visit news.

December 14, 2018 - 9:56 am - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — There’s something brand new on the KIWA website, the WAZE Traffic Map.

While traffic jams aren’t usually a major problem here in northwest Iowa, we do have more than our share of motor vehicle accidents, disabled cars, cattle on the road reports, and of course, the dreaded road construction in the spring, summer, and fall.

KIWA’s live WAZE Traffic Map can show you all the traffic trouble-spots before you head out…..but only with YOUR help. You can help by downloading the WAZE app on your smartphone or tablet and participate in this community-based GPS alert system.

With the WAZE app, if you come upon a traffic hazard simply alert other travelers with the push of a button. You can also use WAZE for free driving directions and live traffic reports everywhere you go.

Check out the KIWA WAZE link on the main page of  Android users, go to GooglePlay, and iPhone users can go to the App Store to download the WAZE app on your smartphone or tablet.

December 13, 2018 - 3:00 pm - Posted in News

Spencer, Iowa — The regional transit service — RIDES — is going to be getting some new “rides.” In other words, RIDES is replacing some of the buses in their fleet with new ones.

Hugh Lively, Executive Director of RIDES says that they are excited to begin transforming their fleet with new buses. He tells us that the vehicles range from 14 to 20 passengers. He says that like their current buses, the new vehicles are para accessible, ensuring transportation for all individuals including those with disabilities and anyone who has the aid of a mobility device. The new buses will have a new design. Look for the big, red “R.”

According to Lively, RIDES is able to purchase these buses with financial assistance from the Iowa Department of Transportation. He says that fleets for public transportation in the state of Iowa are replaced only when they meet useful life qualifications, and the process is monitored very closely to ensure the funds are distributed appropriately.

If you are looking to buy an old RIDES bus, you may be in luck. He tells us that buses that have “met useful life” are sold and often go on to support local private charter services.

Lively says watch for the white bus with the big “R” in your neighborhood and know that “wherever we ‘R,’ we will take you there with care.”