January 20, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in News

bike_1Ocheyedan, Iowa — A state senator from our area has written a bill that he says would make bicycling safer by requiring a flashing red light on the rear of the bike. But it’s not getting much traction in the Senate.

Independent State Senator David Johnson from Ocheyedan tells us about the current situation.


But he says he doesn’t think that’s enough.

He says the issue came up after an accident north of Rock Rapids in 2012.


Johnson says that unfortunately, the bill seems to be “deep sixed” this year. And what’s more, the Iowa Bicycle Coalition doesn’t seem to be very interested in the bill either. The group’s Mark Wyatt says people who identify as bicyclists probably already have flashing red lights. He says they don’t want to make bicycling inaccessible to kids and families due to cost, and he says there’s a local control angle that has to be included as well. Many cities have such a law, but it is not a state law.

Johnson says the cost of the lights should not be an issue.


He says there was also an issue brought up about the availability of the lights since there are fewer bike shops in rural areas. Johnson says the lights are also available online, so availability shouldn’t be an issue either.

But for now, the bill’s future looks dim.

Northwest Iowa — Earlier this week we told you about a reorganization of Catholic churches within the Diocese of Sioux City.  With the release of the “Ministry 2025” plan from the Diocese, changes will affect most of the parishes in northwest Iowa.  Diocesan officials say some churches will remain as “active parishes”, some will be “worship centers, and still others are called “oratories”.

Fr. Brent Lingle

Fr. Brent Lingle

We talked to Father Brent Lingle, the Director of Worship for the Sioux City Diocese, and asked him what the different statuses mean for churches in this Diocese.

We asked Father Lingle what prompted the Ministry 2025 reorganization.

He said that here in northwest Iowa we’re experiencing a shortage of young men entering into the priesthood.  But, Lingle says, that’s not true everywhere.

Lingle says the preliminary plan for Minstry 2025 was issued nearly a year ago, and that plan had listed St. Mary’s at Ashton as being downgraded to oratory status.  He says that changed prior to the issuing of the final plan.

Father Lingle says the reorganization of the parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Sioux City will begin this summer, and changes phased in over the next few years.
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Original Post – 1/16/17 – 1:50 pm

Northwest Iowa — Nearly a year ago we told you about a restructuring plan being put together by the Catholic Diocese of Sioux City that would affect, diocese_logo_finalto a greater or lesser degree, all of the parishes in northwest Iowa.  Late last week the Diocese released the final plan for “Ministry 2025”, which is the blueprint by which the parishes in the Diocese will be reorganized.

According to the plan, the “Highway 60 Catholic Cluster” which has included St. Patrick’s Parish in Sheldon, St. Mary’s Parish in Ashton, and St. Andrew’s Parish in Sibley, will be realigned to include St. Cecelia’s Parish in Sanborn.  According to the Ministry 2025 plan, St. Patrick’s in Sheldon and St. Andrew’s in Sibley will remain as active parishes, while St. Mary’s in Ashton will be downgraded to a “Worship Site”, and St. Cecelia’s in Sanborn will become an “Oratory”.  The Diocese defines an “oratory” as a worship site that no longer holds Sunday or Vigil Mass, but whose building may be used for local Catholic weddings, funerals, and other special events.

In the northwestern part of the listening area, St. Mary’s at Larchwood and Holy Name at Rock Rapids will be one cluster, and both will remain as active parishes.

St. Mary’s in Rock Valley, and and Christ The King in Sioux Center will be one cluster, and both will remain as active parishes.

St. Mary’s at Alton, St. Joseph’s at Granville, St. Anthony’s in Hospers, and St. Anthony’s at Primghar will all belong to one cluster, with all retaining active parish status, with the exception of St. Anthony’s at Primghar, which will be an oratory.

Sacred Heart at Sutherland will be a part of a cluster that will also include Immaculate Conception in Cherokee, and Our Lady of Good Counsel in Holstein.  Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Good Counsel will both remain as active parishes, with Sacred Heart at Sutherland being downgraded to an oratory.

Holy Name Parish at Marcus, St. Mary’s at Remsen, and St. Catherine’s at Oyens will become one cluster, with Holy Name and St. Mary’s remaining active parishes, while St. Catherine’s at Oyens will become an oratory.

For a look at the new northwest Iowa Deanery design, you can visit the Diocese of Sioux City website by clicking here.

January 17, 2017 - 10:34 am - Posted in News

lightbar with hand cuffsRock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Rapids man has been arrested on sex abuse charges.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that last week they investigated a report of alleged sexual abuse involving a minor child in Rock Rapids.

Now, they say that after conducting a thorough investigation, they have arrested 42-year-old Christopher Ehrig of Rock Rapids. He was charged with Sexual Abuse in the 3rd Degree.

According to Lyon County Jail officials, at last report Ehrig remained in custody at the Lyon County Jail on a $10,000 bond.

January 16, 2017 - 11:09 am - Posted in News

Lyon County Sheriff Car Door 60-8Rock Rapids, Iowa — A George man and Florida man escaped injury after colliding at an intersection south of Rock Rapids on Saturday, January 14th.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that just after 1:15 pm on Saturday, 41-year-old Jason Klingenberg of George was driving a 2004 Peterbilt semi, pulling a flatbed trailer loaded with round bales, northbound on Highway 75, south of Rock Rapids, attempting to turn west onto A-34. Thirty-four-year-old Jean Wilder Cajuste of Ocala, Florida was driving a 2014 Volvo semi-tractor  behind Klingenberg. According to the report, Cajuste attempted to pass Klingenberg. Cajuste struck Klingenberg just as he was beginning to turn sending the Volvo into the west ditch, Klingenberg was able to complete his turn before coming to a stop.

The Volvo was a total loss, and the Peterbilt received $8,000 damage,

No injuries were reported.

January 16, 2017 - 8:12 am - Posted in News

law-lightbar-blueRock Rapids, Iowa — One Rock Rapids man was taken to a hospital, and another was arrested after an ATV accident south of Rock Rapids on Sunday.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 3:45 p.m., they responded to an accident involving an ATV on 180th Street just east of Highway 75, two miles south of Rock Rapids. During the investigation, it was found that three ATV’s were traveling westbound on 180th Street. They report that 46-year-old Edward Palmer of Rock Rapids was driving the lead ATV, a 2007 Polaris. They report he lost control on the road and the ATV rolled and landed on top of him. Palmer was taken to Sanford Rock Rapids Hospital. Alcohol is being considered as a factor, and the accident remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, the driver of the third ATV, 33-year-old Timothy Sprock of Rock Rapids was arrested in relation to the accident. Sprock was charged with Assault on a Peace Officer and Possession of a Controlled Substance 2nd Offense, both Serious Misdemeanors. He was also charged with Driving while License Suspended, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Interference with Official Acts, all Simple Misdemeanors. Sprock was taken to the Lyon County Jail.

January 11, 2017 - 9:30 am - Posted in News

Lyon County Sheriff Car Door 60-8Rock Rapids, Iowa — One person was injured in a collision at a Rock Rapids intersection on Tuesday, January 10th.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that just before 2 pm on Tuesday, 69-year-old John Schulte Jr. of Rock Rapids was driving a 2008 Lincoln MKX westbound on South 8th Street, in Rock Rapids. Twenty-year-old Jael Dahlsten of Rock Rapids was driving a 2012 Chevrolet Impala southbound on South Adams Street. According to the report, they collided in the intersection.

A passenger in Schulte’s vehicle was transported by private vehicle to Sanford Rock Rapids Hospital for reported injuries.

Each vehicle received $4,000 damage.

January 10, 2017 - 11:58 pm - Posted in News

Larchwood, Iowa — A Larchwood woman was taken to a Sioux Falls hospital after an accident on Monday, January 9, 2017.
ambulance-blue-flashing-light
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 4:30 p.m., 61-year-old Cynthia Koch of Larchwood was driving a 2001 Chevy Impala northbound on Chestnut Avenue — also known as Highway 182 — near the West Lyon School. The report says Koch crossed the center-line and struck a semi driven by 54-year-old Steve McCarty of Sioux Falls, which was southbound on the road.

Koch was transported to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. McCarty reported no injuries.

Koch’s vehicle was estimated as a total loss, while the tractor/trailer, owned by Pan O Gold Black Hills Company, sustained an estimated $10,000 in damages.

The Sheriff’s Office says Larchwood Fire and EMS personnel, Lyon County Ambulance personnel, Inwood Body, and Trackside Towing assisted with the accident, which they say remains under investigation.

January 10, 2017 - 4:32 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Sibley man has been sentenced on a felony drug charge in Lyon County.
Lyon Courthouse At Night
Lyon County Attorney Shayne Mayer’s office reports that 46-year-old Gary DeWayne McConnell of Sibley has been sentenced for Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine, a Class C Felony.

They say the charges stemmed from a routine traffic stop in George on August 20, 2016. Law enforcement initially pulled over McConnell’s vehicle after observing that McConnell, the passenger in the vehicle, was not wearing a seatbelt. Having noticed some suspicious movements by McConnell and alerted to the presence of a scale in the vehicle, law enforcement searched McConnell’s person and discovered methamphetamine hidden in his shoe. During the course of the subsequent investigation, it was discovered that McConnell had also been distributing drugs to others.

The sheriff’s office says that there was also a child present in the vehicle when the drugs were located.

McConnell was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent To Distribute, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Third or Subsequent Offense, and Use of Minor in Drug Trade.

On Monday, January 9, 2017, McConnell was taken into immediate custody and sentenced to prison on the possession with intent to deliver charge. The County Attorney’s Office says he will be placed in the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections, and housed at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center at Oakdale, Iowa, for a period not to exceed ten (10) years. He must pay certain fines and surcharges. The other charges were dropped in the plea agreement.

January 10, 2017 - 11:33 am - Posted in News

Larchwood, Iowa — The manager of the casino near Larchwood has been elected the chairperson of a statewide association.
sharon-haselhoff-2017
Sharon Haselhoff, general manager of Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort near Larchwood has been elected as the 2017 chair of the Iowa Gaming Association, or “IGA”; at its annual board of directors meeting.

The IGA says Haselhoff has over ten years’ experience in the casino industry and more than a decade of experience in the political arena at the local, state and national level. She began her gaming career in 2006, when she became the Public Relations Director at Riverside Casino and Golf Resort in Riverside, Iowa. In 2008, the IGA says Haselhoff led a successful campaign for a casino resort to be built in Lyon County. She subsequently became the General Manager of Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort leading the daily activities of the $120 Million property and its 500 employees.

Wes Ehrecke, IGA President & CEO, noted that strong leadership would continue with Haselhoff replacing Gary Palmer as IGA Chair. He says that Haselhoff’s extensive experience in the gaming industry, her in-depth understanding of the political and regulatory arenas and proactive involvement in the IGA’s Women Leaders in Gaming initiative makes her a valuable ambassador to serve as the 2017 board chair.

Haselhoff earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at Iowa State University. She also serves as a board member on the Lyon County Economic Development Advisory Board, a Diplomat on the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Board of Directors for the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Iowa State University College of Human Sciences Dean’s Advisory Board. And she is a 2016 recipient of the Sioux Falls Sales and Marketing Executives Women in Business’s ‘Women Mentoring Women’ Award.

January 9, 2017 - 11:40 am - Posted in News

Lyon County Sheriff Car Door 60-8Rock Rapids, Iowa — Three vehicle were damaged in an accident at a Rock Rapids intersection on Friday, January 6th.

The Lyon County Sheriff’ Office reports that at 4:45 pm on Friday, 47-year-old Cheryl Van Beek of Rock Rapids was driving a 1997 Buick LeSabre Southbound on South Union Street, and waiting for oncoming traffic before turning east onto South 12th Avenue. Forty-one-year-old Eric Kupferschmid of Rock Rapids was driving a 1997 Ford F-150 southbound on South Union Street, behind Van Beek. 82-year-old Joanne Kringen was driving a 2004 Mercury Monterey southbound on South Union Street. According to the report, Kringen began to pass both Van Beek and Kupferschmid while another vehicle was traveling north on South Union Street. Kringen saw the vehicle, swerved to the right and struck both Kupferschmid’s and Van Beek’s vehicles.

The Mercury received $3,000 damage; the Ford received $90.00 damage, and the Buick received $2,000 damage.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Rock Rapids Fire Department and the Lyon County Ambulance.