October 25, 2016 - 8:41 am - Posted in News

The Rock Rapids City Council met in regular session at the Forster Community Center in Rock Rapids on Monday, October 24th at 5:30 PM.
The council approved a single asbestos abatement that was postponed until the owner moved out.

Richard Reitsma was selected to chair the green space committee which will help come up with ideas as to what to do with the properties that were purchased after they were flooded out. There are several restrictions as to what can be done with the land. The council is also looking for other people to serve on this committee. If you would like to serve, you can call the city office.

The council denied amending the rules in areas that are zoned “R2″ by adding convenience storage. City Administrator Jordan Kordal says there were no written or oral comments received as part of the public hearing. The Rock Rapids Planning and Zoning Commission voted to reject the plan and submitted it for council approval. Kordahl said the commission had no problem with the project where this would be used, but the concern was for setting precedent.

The council also decided to deny the addition of additional conditional residential uses to commercial zoning in a separate public hearing Again, no written or oral comments were received. The Planning and Zoning commission decided to add a new subsection, which among other things conditionally allows a residence for a caretaker in a convenience storage building. Councilmen Cody Hoefert and Scott Schneidermann were not comfortable with the specific language for one particular project and would like to see more general guidelines.

The council decided to rezone an area in eastern Rock Rapids from R2 to C2. The area includes the Central Lyon Bus Barn and nearby areas.

The council approved a resolution of support for the Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital Association for a loan to be received from the USDA.

The council also voted to accept a raise in rates for the mayor and council, which wouldn’t go into effect until after all their terms are up: January 1st, 2020. The rates would go up from $2400 for the mayor and $1358 for the council to $3600 for the mayor and $1800 for the council. The old rates are annualized based on how many meetings they attend. The new rates will be flat rates and would not require city staff to keep track of what council and committee members city council members attend.

The council also voted to accept the resignation of Marlene Bowers from the city council, effective December 31st or as soon as a suitable replacement is found. Bowers stated that she has had a change of direction in her life and could no longer dedicate the time required to do the job. The council decided to appoint former city council member Tami Murray to fill the position. The mayor appointed council member Eric Borman to be the new Mayor-Pro-Tempore, which was approved by the council.

The next city council meeting will be Monday, November 14th at 5:30 PM.

October 24, 2016 - 10:29 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa– A grain dryer and some corn was damaged in a fire on Saturday, October 22, 2016 in Rock Rapids.
Rock Rapids FD Fire Department logo emblem 300
According to Rock Rapids Fire Chief Ed Reck, about 6:32 AM, the Rock Rapids Fire Department was called to the report of a grain dryer on fire on the south edge of Rock Rapids on Highway 75.

The chief says the fire department saw the grain dryer on fire as they approached the scene. He says they sprayed the fire with water and when the owner got there they drained the corn out of the dryer and made sure everything was out.

Reck says no injuries were reported.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be a malfunction in the dryer.

Chief Reck reports that there was moderate damage.

He says they used 1,000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for about two hours.

October 24, 2016 - 10:28 am - Posted in News

Little Rock, Iowa– A combine was destroyed in a fire on Friday, October 21, 2016 near Little Rock.
Little Rock Fire Truck FD
According to Little Rock Second Assistant Fire Chief Nate Engelkes, about 7:28 PM, the Little Rock Fire Department was called to the report of a combine on fire at 16768 340th Street, on the state line road in Minnesota, three miles north of Little Rock.

The Second Assistant Chief says the fire department saw the combine completely engulfed in flames as they approached the scene. He says they used water and a little foam to fight the fire.

Engelkes says no injuries were reported.

The fire department was assisted by the Ellsworth, Minnesota Fire Department. Engelkes says they were paged in case the surrounding fields would have started on fire. He says there was a partially-harvested soybean field and an unharvested corn field nearby.

He says the cause of the fire is undetermined.

Second Assistant Chief Engelkes reports that the combine, owned by Dave De Boer was totaled, and some soybeans were also burned. He says his estimate of damage to the combine, which was around ten years old and the soybeans that burned was around $100,000.

He says they used 8,000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for about an hour and a half.

October 23, 2016 - 8:24 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Two vehicles were destroyed in a fiery crash in Rock Rapids early on Saturday.
rock rapids fire department fd 6-2016
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 2:10 a.m., a 2006 Pontiac GTO driven by 25-year-old Jeremy Gerloff of Rock Rapids struck a legally-parked 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis near South Tama Street and South Second Avenue, a block south of the Cooperative Energy gas station.

The Sheriff’s Office says Gerloff’s vehicle started on fire and the Rock Rapids Fire Department was paged. They were able to extinguish the blaze.

They say no injuries were reported.

Both vehicles were estimated to be a total loss based on the amount of damage.

October 21, 2016 - 9:39 am - Posted in News

Doon, Iowa — Two people were taken to a hospital after an accident near Doon yesterday.
Lyon County Ambulance
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 5:05 p.m., 81-year-old James Van Berkum of Rock Valley was driving a Buick Terraza northbound on Highway 75 near County Road A52, about three miles east of Doon. The report says Van Berkum was waiting for traffic so we can make a left turn onto A52. It says 39-year-old Scott Mason of Rock Rapids was driving a 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan also northbound on Highway 75 behind Van Berkum. The report says he didn’t see Van Berkum stopped at the intersection and rear-ended the Van Berkum vehicle. When the two vehicles struck, it caused Van Berkum’s Buick to spin into the southbound lane where it struck a 2014 Ford Escape driven by 45-year-old Kathleen Lundquist of Paullina.

The Lyon County Ambulance transported Van Berkum and his passenger, 76-year-old Dolores Keegan of Doon to Hegg Memorial Hospital in Rock Valley.

The report says that both Van Berkum’s and Mason’s vehicles were totaled in the accident and Lundquist’s Ford sustained about $8,000 in damage.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says the Doon Fire Department and Rescue crew and the Lyon County Ambulance crew assisted them on the scene.

October 19, 2016 - 10:02 am - Posted in News

Lyon Sheriff Facebook HeaderAlvord, Iowa — Two vehicles were totaled and another was damaged after striking cattle on the roadway in the morning hours of Monday, October 17th north of Alvord.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 6:25 am on Monday, 39-year-old Brandon Kruse of George was driving a 2002 Buick LeSabre westbound on A-26. Fifty-six-year-old Steven Hansman of Phoenix, Arizona was driving a 2015 Ford Escape, also westbound on A-26. 29-year-old Joel Koedam of Lester was driving a 1997 Pontiac Bonneville northbound on K-30.

According to the report, Kruse struck a cow on the roadway, causing his vehicle to spine and strike numerous other cows and then go into the north ditch. Hansman swerved to miss numerous other cows on the road and ended up striking one of the cows that Kruse had hit. Upon the Sheriff’s Office arrival, it was found that Koedam also struck a cow that was in the roadway.

The Buick and Pontiac were each a total loss; the Ford received $5,000 damage; the loss of cattle was $4,000.

No injuries were reported.

October 18, 2016 - 11:15 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — One of the ways that needy people in Lyon County receive Christmas gifts from generous individuals is changing.
ATLAS of Lyon County
In years past, people would donate gifts to Mid-Sioux Opportunity or more recently ATLAS of Lyon County through a program called “Bless A Family.” Ashley Lewis, who is the office manager at ATLAS of Lyon County tells us a little history of what is now being called “The Spirit Store”.

Lewis says that because of that study, they are changing the way many of their programs work.

She tells us how the Spirit Store will work.

In 2016 the Spirit Store will be held in the Frontier Bank Basement on Saturday, December 3rd. Because of this early date, Lewis says it’s important to be earlier with donations if you feel led to support this event.

If you want to donate, you can call ATLAS at 712-472-9016 or stop at 112 First Avenue in Rock Rapids for a list of needed items or to make a financial contribution. ATLAS encourages people to involve groups, kids, churches, and more. They do say that donations need to be made by November 21, 2016. Call them for more information, or check out atlasoflyoncounty.org

October 18, 2016 - 9:24 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Rapids teen was apprehended after leading law enforcement on a pursuit.
Police lightbar chase
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that they received a call regarding people trespassing and possibly burglarizing vehicles about six miles northwest of Rock Rapids. A responding deputy observed a vehicle leaving the area.

When the deputy turned his patrol car around to investigate further, the Sheriff’s Office says the driver shut off the vehicle’s head lights and began traveling at a high rate of speed, in excess of 80 miles per hour, on foggy gravel roads.

They say the vehicle was pursued by the deputy for about four miles, when the suspect vehicle entered an acreage site and the driver attempted to conceal the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle fled on foot. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit was called to the scene to track the suspect. The 17-year-old male suspect, from rural Rock Rapids, was apprehended.

He has been charged with eluding law enforcement, a class D felony; operating while intoxicated 1st offense, a serious misdemeanor; a concealed weapons violation, an aggravated misdemeanor; failure to obey a stop sign, and failure to use headlamps when required.

The sheriff’s office reports that at the conclusion of the investigation the juvenile offender was transported to the Youth Emergency Services center in Cherokee.

Alvord, Iowa — The Lyon County Sheriff’s Department is looking for the public’s help to solve a livestock poisoning case.

file photo

file photo

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Department reports that their deputies are currently investigating a case that involves the poisoning of approximately 100 head of cattle on the Joel Moser farm near Alvord. They say 40 head of the cattle have already died.

The Sheriff’s Office says they have been able to determine that the cattle are dying because of a high level of lead in their systems. The lead is believed to have been mixed in with their feed on Sunday morning, October 9, 2016, when they believe a tractor battery was thrown into the cattle feed mixer.

Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep says that cattle farmers should take note and pay a little extra attention to who is showing up on their yards, and make sure that nothing on their farms has been disturbed.

Anyone with any information regarding this case is asked to contact the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office can be reached at 712-472-8300.

October 14, 2016 - 1:58 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — It’s “Pink at the Pump” month at some of the Iowa retailers who sell a higher blend of ethanol.
Grant Menke of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association says it applies to E-15, and 28 Iowa stations are participating, including Hull Coop in Hull, Junction 9-75 in Rock Rapids, and STAR Energy in Spencer.

You may have noticed the promotion if you’ve filled up at a station with E-15 pumps. Participating locations have pink nozzle guards, to mark the grade of fuel that is part of the promotion.

The average price for regular unleaded in Iowa is currently two-20 ($2.20) a gallon and E-15 is selling for about 20 cents less.

“Murphy USA” stations in Clinton, Davenport, Fort Dodge, Indianola, Mason City, Newton and Sioux City; “Ampride” stations in Eagle Grove, Fort Dodge and Humboldt; “STAR Energy” stations in Fort Dodge, Guthrie Center, Spencer, Storm Lake and Yale; “New Century FS” stations in Grinnell, Melbourne and Vinton; the “Fast Stop” in Cresco; “United Farmers Coop” in Creston and Mount Ayr; “Three Rivers FS” in Elkader; “Hull Coop” in Hull; “Linn Coop Oil Company” in Marion; “Good and Quick” in Nevada; “Junction 9-75″ in Rock Rapids; “Fuel Time” in St. Ansgar and the “Feed Ranch” in Waukon.