July 10, 2019 - 11:23 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Sioux County authorities are warning of a new scam targeting area residents.

Sioux County officials say this most recent scam involves people who have received text messages from someone claiming to be a local church pastor. The texter, claiming to be the pastor, states they have a friend in the hospital battling cancer, and requests that you purchase gift cards, then send them the gift card numbers.

Law enforcement authorities say this IS a scam, and advise that you not respond to these texts, or provide any information to the texter.

Northwest Iowa — The Iowa State Patrol has released the statistics from their enhanced traffic safety project conducted from July 3rd through 7th, when troopers were out in force attempting to keep motorists safe on the roads.

During the period, in Iowa State Patrol District 6, troopers pulled over 488 motorists for various reasons. Just one OWI arrest was made during the period, and one person was charged with an .02 violation. An .02 violation is committed by a driver under 21-years-old whose blood alcohol level is above .02, but below the .08 threshold for OWI.

Excessive speed was the number one reason troopers stopped vehicles during the period, with 53% of the traffic stops involving excessive speed. Of the 258 motorists pulled over, 145 were issued a ticket, with 113 getting off with a warning.

During the enforcement period, troopers issued 25 tickets for seat belt or child restraint violations, along with 74 other miscellaneous citations.

Trooper Nick Erdmann says the best news of the period was that there were NO trooper-investigated fatalities in District 6 during the period. In fact, there were no trooper-covered collisions of any kind in District 6.

Iowa State Patrol District 6 is the far northwest Iowa State Patrol District in the state, and is comprised of Lyon, Sioux, O’Brien, Osceola, Dickinson, Clay, Palo Alto and Emmet Counties.

 

Rock Rapids, Iowa — It’s official. The former Rock Rapids hospital is being demolished and it will become a housing development.

The area will be made into nine lots, without an alley. Also, there is no plan to install Eighth Avenue, which comes into the area from both the east and the west, but since the hospital was there, it did not go through. Heather Stubbe was at the public hearing during the council meeting and had pleaded her case to put in Eighth Avenue with the Planning and Zoning Commission. She said that since the commission went ahead and approved the plat, sending it to the city council, without discussing her idea, that she had chosen not to re-read her letter.

The City is also looking into who has the authority to change the downtown traffic light on Highway 9 to a flashing yellow for the highway and a flashing red for Story Street during late night and overnight hours. The proposal is for the change to be from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Public Safety Committee member and councilman Ed Reck says that the idea was proposed by Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep during the training for the new siren-activated traffic light system — the controller for which now has the capability of changing the light patterns based on time of day. Council member Scott Schneidermann said he understood why it might be a good idea, but was somewhat concerned about the possibility of speeding through the downtown area.

Also at the meeting, it was announced that the work to extend South 10th Avenue west to the new housing development near the Apostolic Christian Faith Church (Hawkins Addition) should begin this week.

Northwest Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is investigating three manure discharges caused by the recent heavy rainfall in northwest Iowa.

Two of the discharges were in Sioux County, and one in Lyon County.

The DNR responded to Gaylon Rozeboom Feedlot near Rock Rapids where the effluent basin was overflowing and reaching a nearby unnamed tributary of Mud Creek, which was out of its banks due to the excessive rainfall. The owner has been land-applying manure, but the ground is saturated from the rain and the applied manure was running off into the same flooded unnamed tributary in a different location. Water samples have been collected by the DNR. In the meantime, the owner will turn the pumps on and off more frequently to minimize the discharge.

The DNR also responded to Remmerde Farms near Rock Valley where the effluent basin was overflowing and had reached an unnamed tributary of Dry Creek. The owner will pump as often as possible to try to eliminate the discharge.

DNR staff also observed a discharge at Van Essen Feedlot near Rock Valley. The manure discharge was coming from a leaking pipe near the effluent basin. DNR staff say they are working with the owner to determine the cause of the discharge and to get it stopped. The manure discharge was entering an unnamed tributary of Dry Creek.

All facilities are covered by National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System discharge permits; however, the DNR will consider enforcement action if they think it’s appropriate.

DNR officials say no fish kills were reported or observed from the discharges.

July 8, 2019 - 1:15 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — Statistics from the Iowa Department of Public Health show a 33-percent drop in opioid-related deaths in 2018.

The state went from 206 deaths in 2017 to 137 last year. Health Department Opioid Initiatives Director, Kevin Gabbert, says reasons include an increase in the overdose reversal drug Narcan.

He says the use of a prescription drug monitoring program had also helped, along with more addiction treatment programs.

The 137 deaths in 2018 marks a five year low for opioid-related deaths. Iowa has one of the lowest rates of opioid-related deaths in the country.

Northwest Iowa — The approval of the new Iowa Department of Transportation Five-Year Plan has meant some changes for northwest Iowa. We told you about the plan for Highway 75 in Sioux Center over the next few years. The plan’s impact over another project will have a much more immediate effect.

Also authorized in the five-year plan is a construction project on Highway 9 between Rock Rapids and Larchwood, which is to start yet this summer. DOT Highway Planner Dakin Schultz tells us about it.


He says it will start affecting travel on Highway 9 by sometime in August.


He tells us what to expect.


Schultz says the pilot car corridors will probably be about two miles or so. He tells us that this will not be the same type of project as the one last summer east of Rock Rapids. According to Schultz, that was a microsurface project, and this one will be a blacktop project with three to four inches of asphalt.

July 5, 2019 - 1:11 pm - Posted in News

Lyon County, Iowa — The report of a car in the ditch has led to the arrest of a Sioux Falls man.

Lyon County officials say they were dispatched to a vehicle in the ditch in the 2600 block of Elmwood Avenue Friday morning. Deputies say their investigation revealed that the vehicle had been stolen from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

According to authorities, a suspect was located a short time later, and identified as 20-year-old John Eave of Sioux Falls. As a result, Eave was charged with 2nd Degree Theft, a class D Felony, and Striking Fixtures Upon Roadway, a simple misdemeanor. Eave was reportedly transported to the Lyon County Jail on a $5,300 bond.

Lyon County deputies were assisted by the Iowa State Patrol, Rock Valley Police Department, Sioux County Sheriff’s Office and Trackside Towing.

July 5, 2019 - 8:36 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Rapids engineering firm has announced it’s expanding will add 40 jobs in the community.

Company officials tell us that due to continued growth in the markets it serves, DGR Engineering is breaking ground on an expansion to its headquarters in Rock Rapids. We are told the work is slated to begin in earnest this month and is planned to be substantially complete by May 2020. The officials tell us that the addition will add over 21,000 square feet on three levels to the north end of the existing 29,000 square feet building. The new space will accommodate up to 40 additional staff members who the firm intends to hire over the next several years, according to DGR officials. In addition, it will provide improved conferencing, meeting, and common-area space for its current 90 employees who work out of the Rock Rapids location.

Blair Metzger, DGR Engineering President. says, “We are thrilled to be able to make this investment in our home community. We are thankful for the support of our many great clients who continue to favor us with the opportunity to provide engineering solutions to them, which has necessitated a steady increase in our employment numbers, both here and in our branch offices”.

Marlin Overman, DGR Engineering Vice President says, “We are excited to announce our plans to expand our Rock Rapids office. We recognize the efforts of our talented and dedicated employees, who have enabled our business to grow, leading to the need for additional office space. We also appreciate the support and encouragement received from City of Rock Rapids leadership for our expansion.”

The company moved from its downtown Rock Rapids location into their newly-constructed current office building in 2001, and an expansion was finished in 2009. The company was formerly known as DeWild Grant Reckert and Associates Company, and normally went by its initials, DGR. Officials tell us that the company started in 1952 in Rock Rapids.

They tell us that today, with over 130 employees in offices in Rock Rapids, Sioux City and Ankeny, Iowa and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, DGR Engineering provides electrical, civil, aviation, and water engineering services, as well as GIS and surveying services, for projects of all sizes for municipalities, utilities, schools, airports, businesses, and industries across the Midwest.

July 5, 2019 - 7:57 am - Posted in News

George, Iowa — The summer festivals continue. This weekend it’s George’s turn, and as usual, it’s a patriotic theme.

George Freedom Days festivities get underway this Friday, says Fred Landis, who is one one of those organizing the annual event.


There’s also a swimming pool bake sale fundraiser, the George Firefighters and GEMS Duck Race, a car show, an antique tractor pull, a pie auction fundraiser for Freedom Days, the George museum will be open, and much more.

Click here for the full schedule.

July 3, 2019 - 4:19 pm - Posted in News

Inwood, Iowa — The Inwood Fourth of July Celebration is this Thursday.

We talked to Janelle Meendering, who is one of the people who are in charge of the celebration. She tells us what’s going on.


Meendering tells us what’s going on in the afternoon and evening.


For more information, you can go to inwood4thofjuly.com or look for them on Facebook.