July 17, 2019 - 2:20 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Severe weather rumbled through the tri-state area on Wednesday morning, leaving some damage and significant rain in its wake.

According to the National Weather Service:

As the storm entered our area, at 6:40 a.m., thunderstorm winds broke a large tree limb, which fell on top of a car at Beresford. A little later, as the storm hit an area seven miles southwest of Rock Valley, winds struck a machine shed, blew the doors in and blew out the back wall, with debris going out into the field. About that same time, Sioux County Emergency Management Director Nate Huizenga reported that ten mature trees were blown over, with the tops broken in that same area southwest of Rock Valley.

A few minutes later, some large trees reportedly were downed by winds four miles northwest of Sioux Center.

About 7:15 a.m., winds jackknifed a semi, which then blocked the road for a while on 390th Street between Dipper and Dogwood Avenues, about nine miles west of Sioux Center.

The Weather Service says a medium-sized tree was also blown over one mile northeast of Sheldon at around 7:55 a.m.

Precip wise, at KIWA in downtown Sheldon, we received a storm total of 2.08 inches, with 0.61″ of that between 7 and 8 a.m. In Rock Rapids, the total was 2.44 inches. Hospers only had 0.60″, and Sibley had 1.2 inches. Huizenga reports that between Sioux Center and Hawarden, they received between an half inch and 0.7″.

According to radar, the area west of George got 2.5 inches, as did parts of the Sibley area. Areas around Sheldon got around an inch and a half. Central Sioux County got less than an inch. The Paullina area got a little more, around 2 inches.

Flood warnings remain in effect for the Rock River at Rock Rapids and the Big Sioux River over most of its length from north of Brookings to Sioux City.

Picture of jackknifed semi west of Sioux Center, provided by a listener

Northwest Iowa — While they won’t be sent out until October, you may now request an absentee ballot for the November 5th city and school general election in Iowa.

Right now, it’s not even known whose names will necessarily be on the ballot. Candidate filing begins for the election on August 26th and ends September 19th.

You must ask for an absentee ballot on an official absentee ballot request form, which may be found by clicking here. The ballots will be available by October 7th.

Absentee ballots for the city and school election are due back at your county auditor’s office by Oct 25th.

The general election will be Tuesday, November 5th, 2019. The opening and deadline dates are all statewide, as they are spelled out in Iowa Code.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — An Ashton man was taken to a hospital after a motorcycle-versus-deer accident at Rock Rapids early on Sunday morning.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that about ten minutes before 1 a.m. on Sunday morning, 59-year-old Ronald Thole of Ashton was driving his 2015 Honda motorcycle eastbound on Highway 9 on the west side of Rock Rapids, near the NuStar terminal, when a deer came out of the ditch, and Thole struck the deer.

The sheriff’s office says the Lyon County Ambulance Squad took Thole to Merrill Pioneer Hospital-Avera in Rock Rapids. His injuries were described as “minor.”

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says the Rock Rapids Fire Department also assisted on the scene.

July 15, 2019 - 4:03 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A house was damaged in a fire early on Sunday, July 14, 2019, in Rock Rapids.

According to Rock Rapids Fire Chief Ed Reck, about 4:45 a.m., the Rock Rapids Fire Department was called to the report of a house fire at 401 South Tama Street in Rock Rapids.

The chief says the fire department saw pretty heavy smoke in the house when they arrived on the scene. He says he thinks it was a trash fire, which they extinguished quickly with hand lines in the house. But Reck says they did have to break into a wall to make sure that there was no fire in the wall. He says there was also some heat and smoke damage.

Reck says no injuries were reported.

He tells us that the George Fire Department is paged out to all structure fires in Rock Rapids, but when Rock Rapids firefighters got on-scene, they advised the George firefighters that they could disregard.

He says the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

According to Chief Reck, the eighteen firefighters who responded were on scene for about an hour.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A teen from Brandon, South Dakota has been found safe, but not before all fire departments in Lyon County were called out to help look for him.

On Sunday, the Sheriff’s Office issued a statement saying that they were asking for the public’s help to locate 16-year-old Javon Zuidema. They say that he had been last seen driving eastbound from the area of Ashley Avenue and A26 (180th Street). They described the vehicle he was driving and then asked that if people had seen Zuidema or the vehicle to notify the sheriff’s office.

Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep tells us what happened.

Vander Stoep says that due to the fact that he is a juvenile, he can’t release too much information, but suffice it to say that they needed to find him sooner rather than later.

Zuidema was later found okay in Sioux Falls.

July 12, 2019 - 3:00 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — The Iowa Department of Public Health has announced the first case of West Nile virus infection reported in 2019.

According to a release from the IDPH, the first reported case of West Nile was a 61 to 80-year-old man from Audubon County in west central Iowa. The man has reportedly recovered.

IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Caitlin Pedati reminds Iowans that humans get infected with West Nile virus through a mosquito bite. Pedati says until the state’s first hard frost, whether for work or play, being outside means there’s a risk for West Nile virus infection.

Pedati says you should take the following steps to reduce your risk of exposure to West Nile virus:

Use insect repellent with DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. You should always read the repellent label and consult with a health care provider if you have questions when using these types of products for children.  For example, oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3-years of age and DEET should not be used on children less than 2-months of age.

Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks outdoors whenever possible.

Eliminate standing water around the home because that’s where mosquitoes lay eggs. Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers and pet water dishes. Change water in bird baths every three to four days.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, last year 104 Iowans were diagnosed with West Nile virus, and nine Iowans died.

For more information on the West Nile virus, visit the IDPH website by CLICKING HERE.

Orange City, Iowa — A George man accused of beating a dependent adult in his care has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

According to court filings, the felony charge against 27-year-old Aaron David Albaugh stems from an incident that occurred on Sunday, May 5th of this year. According to court records, Albaugh was working as a caseworker for Hope Haven in Rock Valley, where he was assigned to care for a 23-year-old male dependent adult living in Rock Valley. Albaugh is accused of assaulting the man, causing multiple facial injuries that required emergency medical care.

According to Rock Valley Police Chief Monte Warburton, medical staff reportedly found the victim’s injuries to be inconsistent with Albaugh’s report on how they were sustained.

Court records indicate that Albaugh faces a charge of Dependent Adult Abuse, which is a Class C Felony. If convicted he could receive up to 10 years in prison, as well as a fine of $1,000 to $10,000.

According to court documents, a pretrial conference has been scheduled for Monday, July 22nd. At this point, the trial in the case is scheduled for Tuesday, November 19th.

July 11, 2019 - 3:51 pm - Posted in News

Larchwood, Iowa — Next on the summer festival schedule in northwest Iowa is the town of Larchwood, up in the very corner of the state.

Larchwood City Clerk Sandi DeSmet says that the Family Days activities get underway this Friday night, July 12th.

She tells us about Saturday’s activities.

Click here for the full schedule of events.

Little Rock, Iowa — A Sibley man was taken to a hospital after an accident north of Little Rock on Wednesday, July 10th.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 3:15 p.m., 21-year-old Daniel DeBoer of Sibley was westbound on 100th Street — the state line road — a quarter mile east of Larch Avenue. That’s about three and a half miles north and almost three miles west of Little Rock.

The report says DeBoer lost control of the 2002 Ford F150 that he was driving. The vehicle entered the south ditch and rolled.

The Little Rock Ambulance Squad took DeBoer to Osceola Community Hospital.

The vehicle, owned by Farmers Coop Society, sustained approximately $5,000 worth of damage, says the report.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says the Little Rock Ambulance Squad and Little Rock Fire and Rescue Department assisted at the scene.

July 11, 2019 - 1:33 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — An event designed to get young people excited about careers in agriculture will be taking place Monday at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon.

NCC is partnering with Agrivision Equipment Group for what’s being billed the 1st Annual Precision Ag Expo. Mark Ford is Director of Organizational Development for Agrivision, and he tells us how Monday’s expo came about.

Ford says Agrivision is excited to be partnering with Northwest Iowa Community College.

He says the goal of the Ag Expo is to get kids excited about the field of agriculture.

Ford tells us the event will start off with a scavenger hunt.

In addition, Ford tells us the students will be exposed to machine guidance, have hands-on experience in a ride and drive with a combine, tractor, planter and sprayer.

The technology used in agriculture is changing and evolving every day, and Ford says it’s important to get kids interested in the future of agriculture, and show the young people that there are good, well-paying jobs in our area in the field of agriculture.