May 20, 2015 - 4:21 pm - Posted in News

George, Iowa — Eleven people were overcome by fumes of some kind on Wednesday afternoon at a chicken confinement between George and Boyden.
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According to Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep, the call came in about 2:40 PM, for eleven people experiencing symptoms such as vomiting, headaches, blurred vision, and respiratory problems at 3902 260th Street. That’s about five miles south of George, or six miles north of Boyden, and a mile west on A52. The address is a chicken barn which was under quarantine because of Avian Influenza (bird flu).

The sheriff says that the people were washing the walls after the bird flu outbreak. He says they originally thought the gas was anhydrous ammonia, or ammonia of some kind, but the workers said that their gas masks should have protected them from that.
20150520_182456The Sheriff says the George Fire Department was on the scene late Wednesday afternoon checking oxygen levels in the building.

The Sheriff says the investigation continues.

The George Fire Department, George Rescue Unit, Boyden Ambulance Service, Little Rock Ambulance Service, and the Lyon County Ambulance service all responded to this incident.  Patients were transported to Sanford Sheldon and Sanford Rock Rapids Hospitals.

May 20, 2015 - 4:03 pm - Posted in News
First section of 24 inch steel pipe

The first section of 24-inch steel pipe being installed

Washington, DC — Minnesota’s senators continue to push for funding for the Lewis and Clark water system.

Democrat U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken have introduced a bill to invest in rural water projects in order to address delays and complete construction. The Authorized Rural Water Projects Completion Act would establish a guaranteed annual investment of $80 million from the Bureau of Reclamation for 20 years to fund the construction of six Congressionally-authorized rural water systems, including the Lewis and Clark project. When completed, the Lewis and Clark Water System will cover a service territory of more than 5,000 square miles and provide drinking water to 300,000 residents and businesses in southwest Minnesota, northwest Iowa, and southeast South Dakota.

Franken says that communities across the region have in good faith paid their full share to fund this project, and they’ve been waiting “far too long for the federal government to do the same”. He says this bill will help fund projects like Lewis and Clark, and that he’ll keep fighting for funding until the Lewis and Clark project is completed.

Ongoing construction of 14 inch PVC pipe

Ongoing construction of the 14-inch PVC pipe

Funding under the Authorized Rural Water Projects Completion Act would complement existing appropriated funds. The 2015 Energy and Water appropriations bill provided $47.2 million spread across the Bureau of Reclamation’s rural authorized water projects, but current funding is insufficient to complete the projects in a timely fashion.

For more information, click here for the news release on Senator Franken’s site.

Meanwhile, Lewis and Clark Executive Director Troy Larson says that Carstensen Contracting of Pipestone is making good progress on the pipeline to Luverne. He says they started construction in February on the 23 borings for the highway, stream and railroad crossings between the Iowa border and Luverne. The contract includes 5.9 miles of 14-inch PVC pipe and 12.7 miles of 24-inch steel pipe. He says Carstensen started installing the 14-inch PVC pipe in early April and plans to have it all in the ground by late May. The first section of 24-inch steel pipe was installed on May 12. Weather permitting, Luverne is expected to begin receiving Lewis & Clark water in December. The City has reserved 821,000 gallons a day.

May 20, 2015 - 3:24 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — Some of the dead birds from the bird flu outbreak will be buried near Sheldon.

The Northwest Iowa Solid Waste Agency Landfill north of Hospers will be accepting truckloads of euthanized birds at its facility.

Landfill Compactor (generic file photo)

Landfill Compactor (generic file photo)

We talked to landfill director Larry Oldenkamp, and he says they signed a contract on Tuesday, May 19th to accept four million pounds of dead birds from flocks that were destroyed after Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza was found in the flock. He says the birds will be placed in large bags, and then loaded onto roll off dumpsters for transport to the landfill for disposal.

The birds will be kept separate of other refuse, and will be buried in a segregated area of the landfill, he says. According to Oldenkamp, the bird carcasses will be transported by a USDA contractor, along pre-approved routes.

He says trucks moving the birds will be disinfected at the poultry barn, they’ll be kept separate from other traffic at the landfill, and then the trucks will be disinfected before they leave the grounds as well.

May 19, 2015 - 10:15 am - Posted in News

sioux county sheriff emblemA George man’s feed truck was damaged along with MidAmerican Energy power lines in an accident on Thursday, May 14th near Boyden.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 8:46 am, 21-year-old Terron Geerdes of George was driving a 2007 Kenworth feed truck westbound on 330th Street, one mile south of Boyden. According to the the report, Geerdes turned north onto Kennedy Avenue. Geerdes failed to place the feed auger back into the stow position after making a delivery of feed and as he drove northbound on Kennedy Avenue, the auger struck overhead electrical power lines.

No injuries were reported.

Geerdes’s Kenworth received $6000 damage. The MidAmerican Energy power lines and substation transformer received $750,000 damage.

Geerdes was cited for a vehicle with excessive height.

May 18, 2015 - 4:13 pm - Posted in News

Washington, DC —  U.S. Senator Joni Ernst will host town meetings in Osceola, Lyon, and Sioux counties this Saturday, May 23rd to discuss the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in addition to other topics. These town meetings are open to the public.
Ernst
The Senator and her staff will start the day at 9:30 AM at Cooperative Energy at 1708 Pierce Avenue at Sibley.  At 11:15 AM, she will be at the Rock Rapids Public Library at 102 South Greene Street in Rock Rapids. At 1:45 PM, it’s on to Sioux Center for a meeting at the De Yager Student Activities Center in the Campus Center on the campus of Dordt College at 498 Fourth Avenue Northeast.

Representatives from other offices and organizations have also been invited to join the town meetings. Their participation has not been confirmed, however.  They include the offices of:

  • Senator Chuck Grassley
  • Congressman Steve King
  • Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey

And representatives of:

  • Iowa Egg Council
  • Iowa Poultry Association
  • Iowa Farm Bureau
  • Iowa Turkey Federation
  • Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture

Last week, Senators Grassley and Ernst sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack encouraging the USDA to ensure that resources have been properly deployed to Iowa to fight the ongoing outbreak of HPAI.

May 18, 2015 - 4:03 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A wood pile was damaged in a fire on Monday, May 18, 2015 near Rock Rapids.
Rock Rapids FD Fire Department logo emblem 300
According to Rock Rapids Fire Chief Ed Reck, about 4:35 AM, the Rock Rapids Fire Department was called to the report of wood pile on fire at the home of Marc Krull, and Krull Wood Products at 2078 Hickory Avenue, nearly six miles south of Rock Rapids on K52.

The chief says the fire department saw a pile of logs on fire near a building as they approached the scene. He says friends and neighbors used heavy equipment to help fight the fire, and the fire department doused the fire with water. They were able to save the building.

Reck reports that there were no injuries to people, pets, or livestock.

The fire department was assisted by the George Fire Department, who provided water and manpower, says Reck.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to have been embers from a burning pit that the owner reported had been used last two weeks ago. He says the embers appear to have re-ignited in the strong wind.

He says they used between 6000 and 7000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene two hours.

No damage estimate is available.

The Lyon County Ambulance crew provided support on the scene.

May 17, 2015 - 8:42 am - Posted in News
jail behind bars

stock photo

Sibley, Iowa — A George man will serve time behind bars after he was found guilty of a number of crimes.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 28-year-old Joseph Lee Daggett of George was found guilty last week of of the crimes of Theft in the Fourth Degree, a Serious Misdemeanor; Eluding, an Aggravated Misdemeanor; False Imprisonment, a Serious Misdemeanor; and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, an Aggravated Misdemeanor.

On the Counts of Theft and False Imprisonment, Daggett was sentenced to a year in the Osceola County Jail. The fine and surcharge were waived. He was ordered to pay court costs, restitution of attorney’s fees and a surcharge of $125.

On the counts of Eluding and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Daggett was committed to the custody of the Director of the Iowa Department of Corrections for a term not to exceed two years.

These sentences were imposed concurrently with each other but consecutively to the other counts.

May 15, 2015 - 5:38 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — One legislator says it’s time to send South Dakota a “louder message.” The state of South Dakota requires business and trade vehicles coming from Iowa to do work in South Dakota to buy a South Dakota license plate as well as its Iowa license plate. Senator Rick Bertrand of Sioux City explained the situation to his fellow Senators Thursday afternoon.
iowa south dakota commercial license plates

(as said) “If any of our guys are spilling over into South Dakota, they are required to carry a South Dakota license plate on their van, so you’ve got the Iowa license plate and then they get the drill out and right on the back of the door,” Bertrand said, stopping at this point to try to replicate the sound of a power tool, “all four screws go in and they have to put a South Dakota license plate on the back of the van.”

According to Bertrand, it’s a big issue for heating and air conditioning businesses, plumbers, electricians and locksmiths who are located in Iowa, but work on both sides of the border.

(as said) “Anybody that has a van or a truck that’s driving out there, doing the day-to-day trades,” Bertrand said.

Bertrand convinced his senate colleagues to vote Thursday to require South Dakota businesses to buy an Iowa license plate if the company’s service vehicles do runs into Iowa.

(as said) “I don’t want to say it’s battle at the borders, but there’s no doubt about it that places like South Dakota look for every opportunity…to draw companies across the border,” Bertrand said. “….What I’m seeing now is a shift of fleets that have names from Iowa starting to move into South Dakota for this licensing. It’s about 400 bucks a van. Take that times 12-, 16-van fleets — that’s real money every year.”

Senator Tod Bowman lives in Maquoketa, way over in eastern Iowa near the Mississippi River and he backs the move to require South Dakota service vehicles to carry an Iowa plate, too, if they’re on service calls in Iowa.

(as said) “This is kind of sending a message that what’s fair play for one is fair play for the other,” Bowman says.

The proposal was endorsed by senators on a voice vote. That vote came during Thursday’s debate of a massive budget bill that outlines a host of state spending, including the amount of general state aid for K-through-12 public schools. Senator Bob Dvorsky, a Democrat from Coralville, acknowledges legislators are far from crafting a final version of a new state budget.

(as said) “Obviously this is the start of a long, long process,” Dvorsky said.

The current state budgeting year ends June 30th so legislators, at the least, must meet that deadline or risk some disruption in state government operations. Key legislative leaders say they’re “hoping” the 2015 Iowa General Assembly can complete its work by the end of May.

Story from Radio Iowa

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May 14, 2015 - 2:18 pm - Posted in News

Tea, SD — A Sioux Falls man died Wednesday in a motorcycle-vehicle crash that occurred in Tea.
fatal ambulance II
The South Dakota Highway Patrol says the victim, 24-year-old Dylan Moberg of Sioux Falls, was driving a 2014 Triumph Thruxton 900 motorcycle.

Wednesday’s crash occurred about 8:30 AM at the intersection of Austin Road and Katie Avenue in Tea.

The Highway Patrol says the motorcycle was traveling north at a high rate of speed on Katie Avenue when the driver lost control while the motorcycle was traveling on the curve approaching Austin Road. The driver was separated from the motorcycle. Both then crashed into an approaching 2011 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck. The motorcycle driver, who was wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The patrol says 58-year-old William Bittner of Sioux Falls was the pickup driver. He was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured.

The Highway Patrol continues to investigate the accident.

Other agencies assisting at the scene were Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Tea Police Department and Tea Fire Department.

May 13, 2015 - 11:40 am - Posted in News

Lyon County Sheriff Car Door 60-8A South Carolina woman and a Rock Rapids man’s vehicles were damaged in an accident near Lester on Tuesday, May 12th.

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, 69-year-old Bridget Gorman of North Augusta, South Carolina was driving a 2011 Ford F 150 and turning into a residential drive 5 miles northeast of Lester. Twenty-three-year-old Derek Van Veldhuizen of Rock Rapids was driving east bound on a 2015 Can-Am Commander and was struck by Gorman.

The Ford received $1500 damage; Van Veldhuizen’s Can-Am received $500 damage.

No injuries were reported.

Gorman was cited for Failure to Yeild Upon a Left Turn.