January 15, 2019 - 10:02 am - Posted in News

Ellsworth, Minnesota — Fire crews were summoned to the City Hall building in Ellsworth, Minnesota this (Tuesday) morning.

A source tells KIWA that fire crews from several area communities were called upon to assist the Ellsworth Fire Department in battling the blaze in the hundred-year-old structure.

No other information is available at this time.

January 15, 2019 - 10:02 am - Posted in News

Washington, D.C. — (RI) — Republican leaders in the U.S. House have unanimously voted to remove Iowa Congressman Steve King from House committees — a decision King immediately denounced.

King had been a member of the Agriculture and Small Business Committees as well as the powerful House Judiciary Committee. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said stripping King of his committee assignments shows King’s remarks about white supremacy “will not be tolerated” in the GOP. King, in a written statement, said removing him from committees was “a political decision that ignores the truth.” King says the remark he made to The New York Times has been mischaracterized. McCarthy told reporters it was “not the first time” King has made such comments. Congressman King concluded his written statement by saying he “will continue to point out the truth” and vigorously represent Iowa’s fourth congressional district “for at least the next two years.” That’s a strong hint he will run for reeleciton in 2020.

Republican State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull announced last week he’ll run for King’s seat in congress in 2020. Feenstra says it’s sad that voters and conservative values in the district “have lost their seat at the table” because of what he called King’s “caustic behavior.”

At least three DEMOCRATS in the U.S. House have drafted resolutions to have the House censure or reprimand King. The REPUBLICAN leader in the U.S. Senate also weighed in yesterday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said if King doesn’t understand why white supremacy is offensive, “he should find another line of work.”

January 14, 2019 - 2:50 pm - Posted in News

George, Iowa — A George man was arrested Friday by Lyon County authorities on a Felony Fugitive From Justice Warrant.

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, the Fugitive From Justice Warrant stems from 59-year old Mark Kruse, of George, having an arrest warrant issued from Minnehaha County, South Dakota for Failure to Appear.

Deputies say Kruse is accused of failing to appear on the following South Dakota criminal charges:
Unauthorized ingestion of controlled drug/substance, a class 5 felony
Driving under the influence 3rd offense, class 6 felony
Traffic in/substitute plates, class 1 misdemeanor
Driving while revoked license, class 1 misdemeanor
Illegal lane change, class 2 misdemeanor

Authorities say Kruse was transported to the Lyon County Jail and is awaiting extradition to South Dakota.

January 14, 2019 - 2:44 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Sioux City man has been arrested on active warrants from Lyon County.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that one of their deputies arrested 55-year old Tannis S. Burnett of Sioux City on active Lyon County warrants for Violation of Probation.

Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep tells KIWA that the warrants stem from a case that dates back to 2016, and involved felony forgery crimes.

At last report, Burnett was being held in the Lyon County Jail on a $15-thousand bond.

January 14, 2019 - 2:43 pm - Posted in News

Doon, Iowa — One of the engines of a Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad train was heavily damaged by fire Sunday night south of Doon.

Doon Assistant Fire Chief Blake Van Bemmel tells KIWA that his department was called out shortly after 11:00 Sunday night to the report of a train on fire. Van Bemmel says the train was stopped at a crossing when firefighters arrived. He says the engine bay of one of the train’s locomotive was ablaze when firefighters arrived on scene.

Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad Public Affairs Director Andy Williams says the train was headed to Minneapolis when the fire broke out.

Williams says when the train’s crew noticed the fire they alerted dispatch, who then summoned firefighters.

He says crews moved the locomotive to Doon, where it was inspected Monday by a BNSF mechanic crew.

Two roads were blocked by the train overnight, Goldfinch Avenue, north of 260th Street, and east of Garfield on 280th Street, according to Sioux County authorities. Authorities say the roads were open again by about 8:15 Monday morning.

Williams had high praise for the Doon Fire Department, noting their rapid response and the professionalism with which they handled Sunday night’s fire, as well as their response to the BNSF train derailment that happened near Doon this past June.


January 14, 2019 - 9:59 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The Community Blood Bank Bloodmobile will be making a visit to Rock Rapids later this week.

Community Blood Bank Executive Director Ken Versteeg tells KIWA that the bloodmobile will visit Central Lyon High School this Wednesday, January 16th.

Versteeg says there are some special challenges involved in maintaining an adequate blood supply this time of year.

No appointment is necessary to donate blood in Rock Rapids Wednesday, just stop by Central Lyon High School between 7:30 and 11 Wednesday morning, or 12:30 to 3:30 Wednesday afternoon and donate blood.

The Community Blood Bank is the sole supplier of blood to 34 area hospitals.

January 11, 2019 - 3:02 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — Fourteen tissue samples from wild Iowa deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease, bringing the total deer testing positive to chronic wasting disease in Iowa to 44. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is waiting for results on follow up tests for two suspect samples that could raise the total positives for the year to 16.  The deer tissue was collected primarily during the fall from hunter harvested and road killed deer.

The way that this disease moves, these results were not unexpected,according to  Todd Bishop, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Bureau.

Eight positive deer were confirmed in Allamakee County, four in Clayton County, one (plus two suspects) in Wayne County and, for the first time, one in Dubuque County. The Dubuque County deer was a roadkill, 2-1/2 miles southeast of the city limits.

Bishop says hunters are doing an excellent job harvesting deer and providing samples in DNR’s priority areas, areas where the disease had been confirmed before. The DNR wants to slow this down as best they can while still having high quality deer hunting, hoping science can provide some solutions down the road, according to Bishop

More than 6,800 tissue samples have been collected during the 2018 deer season. The DNR contacted each hunter whose deer tested positive and offered to collect the meat and any remaining bones and tissue. Hunters turned over the meat in every case. The collected material was bagged, sealed, then disposed in a local landfill.

Chronic wasting disease was first confirmed in the Midwest in Wisconsin in 2001 about 75 miles from the Iowa state line, and has since been confirmed in every other state bordering Iowa. The Iowa DNR began monitoring for the disease in 2002 with an emphasis on counties nearest where it was confirmed in the wild and has tested more than 74,000 deer since. The disease was first confirmed in Iowa near Harpers Ferry in Allamakee County in 2013.

CWD is a neurological disease belonging to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases.  It attacks the brain of infected deer causing the animal to lose weight, display abnormal behavior, lose body functions and die. It is always fatal to the infected animal.

The Iowa DNR has more information about CWD and other infectious disease online at www.iowadnr.gov/cwd.

January 11, 2019 - 2:24 pm - Posted in News

Washington, DC — 4th District Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King took to the floor of the House of Representatives Friday to discuss recent comments appearing in the New York Times.

Following King’s remarks, Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas prefaced his own special order speech with a statement addressing the matter. The speeches by both King and Gohmert may be viewed below.


January 11, 2019 - 11:28 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Two vehicles were reported stolen in two days in Rock Rapids, and some money was taken from a restaurant. And authorities believe the thefts are related.

Lyon County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Rob Ver Meer says it all started with a traffic stop in Larchwood on Wednesday.

According to the sheriff’s office, on Wednesday, January 9th, about 10:35 a.m., their deputies responded to a call at Subway in Rock Rapids. The call stated that two males had just stolen money and they took off running from the store. A short time later the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office received a call that a 2000 Ford F150 pickup had been stolen from the 100 block of north Story Street in Rock Rapids. The sheriff’s office reports that about an hour later the 2000 Ford F150 was stopped by the Minnesota State Patrol and the two males were arrested. They were identified as 25-year-old Nicholas Stone of Brainerd, Minnesota and 23-year-old Marcus Maurstad of Onamia, Minnesota. At last report, they were being held in the Nobles County, Minnesota Jail. Warrants have been issued for Stone and Maurstad on charges of theft in the Fourth Degree, a Serious Misdemeanor and Theft in the Second Degree, which is a Class D Felony.

The sheriff’s office reports that the female was identified as 22-year-old Shakyra Charmain Johnson of Brainerd, Minnesota. Her charges at the time of her traffic stop and arrest near Larchwood included Fifth Degree Theft and Providing False Identification Information (both simple misdemeanors) along with traffic violations. Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep says Johnson has been charged with Second Degree Theft, a class D felony in connection with the theft of the vehicle.

The vehicle believed to have been stolen by Johnson was reported stolen at 10:25 a.m. on Thursday, January 10th. The caller stated that a 2006 Buick Rendevouz had been stolen from the Sunshine parking lot in Rock Rapids. The vehicle was later recovered in Hills, Minnesota by the Rock County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office says the incident is still under investigation.

Rock County Sheriff Even Verbrugge says they received the call about a possible stolen vehicle about noon on Thursday. That vehicle had been stolen from the Hills, Minnesota area in their county. When the deputy got there, he found the Buick Rendezvous that was stolen from Lyon County earlier in the morning. The new vehicle that was stolen was a 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe belonging to a Chris Harnack of Hills. Rock County deputies believe that Johnson entered a residence owned by Colter Duetsch of Hills and took miscellaneous items from inside the home. Johnson was eventually arrested in Nobles County, where Verbrugge says she had stolen another vehicle from Adrian. He says she’s also accused of a gas drive off at a gas station in Brandon, South Dakota as well. He says the Harnack vehicle and the Duetsch miscellaneous items were recovered.

Lyon County Chief Deputy Ver Meer says he would assume charges are pending in Nobles County as well, but no information was available from the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office.

Original Story, posted Jan 11, 2019 at 11:25 a.m.:

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Two vehicles were reported stolen in two days in Rock Rapids, and some money was taken from a restaurant. And authorities believe the thefts are related.

Lyon County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Rob Ver Meer says it all started with a traffic stop in Larchwood on Wednesday.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that the female was identified as 22-year-old Shaykra Charmain Johnson of Brainerd, Minnesota. Her charges included Fifth Degree Theft and Providing False Identification Information (both simple misdemeanors) along with traffic violations after the traffic stop. Ver Meer did not say if Johnson had been charged regarding the vehicle theft or identify the two male passengers or any charges they may now face.

This is a developing story. We hope to provide more information as it becomes available.

January 10, 2019 - 6:04 pm - Posted in News

Click picture for full size

George, Iowa — A nationally-known Contemporary Christian artist is coming to George next week.

Youth pastor Ryan Schultz from the Tabernacle Baptist Church in George tells us that the man behind such hits as “Remind Me Who I Am” (“I Belong To You”) and “Good To Be Alive” (“I Want To Live”– Jason Gray — will perform at the church next Saturday, January 19th. He says they’re pretty excited about it.

Schultz tells us more about Gray, to whom he says he has a personal connection.

According to RiseFest founder and president Rob Roozeboom, Gray appeared on the RiseFest stage in Sheldon in 2015, so many people have seen him live in northwest Iowa. Schultz says even though Gray has made it big in the Christian music scene, he also continues to be the musician at Shetek Baptist Bible Camp on Highway 59 near Currie, Minnesota, where he started many years ago.

He says you can get tickets at the door for $17, or you can save a little by getting them online at jasongraymusic.com/tour. They’re $12 online. Schultz also says for more information, you can call Tabernacle Baptist Church in George.