May 8, 2018 - 5:04 pm - Posted in News

George, Iowa — A tractor was destroyed in a fire near George on Sunday, May 6th. It happened at in the 4300 Block of 250th street between Larch and Lily avenues. That’s about four miles south and three east of George. The call went out shortly after 10 a.m. Fire Chief Bill Sprock reports that the tractor was fully engulfed when they got there. He says they used water and foam to put it out. He says the cause is undetermined but may have been electrical in nature. The tractor, which Sprock says was at least ten years old sustained between five an ten thousand dollars in damage, and he says it was totaled in the blaze.

From the Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities office:

You may have noticed colored flags and markings throughout town recently and wondered what they are for. Premier Communications will be installing new fiber optic lines as shown in the picture.

Premier representatives tell KIWA that the new fiber optic lines will be the backbone of their rural service. They say their long-term goal is to get every subscriber on fiber-optic service.

(Picture provided by Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities)

Click to enlarge

May 2, 2018 - 5:26 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Severe storms rumbled through the northwest Iowa area on Tuesday evening, May 1st. The reports were mainly of hail.

According to reports from the National Weather Service, the hail in our area started around 7:20 p.m. with a report of 1-inch hail three miles west of Sioux Center. That report was via social media. Inch-sized hail is about the size of a quarter.

Next to come in were four reports of nickel-sized hail. (A nickel is about 0.88 of an inch.) The first of those reports was at 7:20 p.m., three miles west-northwest of Sioux Center. The second nickel-sized hail report was from two miles south of Melvin, just into O’Brien County, about 7:25 p.m. About that same time, a report came in from three miles south-southwest of Melvin, also reporting nickel-sized hail. The final nickel-sized hail report was from six miles east-northeast of Sioux Center at about 7:45 p.m. Three of those reports were from a trained spotter and one was from the public.

Lyon County Emergency Management Director Arden Kopischke says that one of their deputies reported small hail in the rain as it fell in the southeast corner of Lyon County. Clarence Stubbe, who reports the weather to KIWA for George also reported small hail in the rain there. He says they received just under an inch of rain. We received 0.65 of an inch at the KIWA studios in Sheldon. But Rock Rapids only received 0.07 of an inch and some thunder.

According to the radar, the storm complex was not very wide and came up through the area from the Sioux City vicinity.

May 1, 2018 - 5:17 pm - Posted in News

Fire north of Rock Rapids. Click to enlarge

Northwest Iowa — Area fire departments were kept hopping Monday after a busy weekend, due in part to dry conditions and lots of wind. At least six fire calls were paged out on Monday.

Early on Monday morning, lightning struck a tree in Doon, causing a small fire in a hollow tree. Monday afternoon, about 2:20 p.m., the Alvord Fire Department was called to a garage fire where the garage was attached to the house. Further details were not available on that fire except that the Lester Fire Department was called at one point to help out.

Lester didn’t have any fires in their own district that we know of, but they were also called to help the Rock Rapids fire department about an hour later. Rock Rapids firefighters were called to 1247 US 75, about three miles north of town for round bales and a grove on fire near buildings. Rock Rapids Fire Chief Ed Reck says an electrical wire throwing sparks due to the wind got the blame for that fire, which destroyed 12-15 corn stalk bales and a portion of the grove on the farm place. He says they used twenty thousand gallons of water to fight that fire and were called back out after the wind found some more embers and started another fire.

While those fire departments were out, the Orange City Fire Department was paged for a soybean stubble fire a mile and a half west of Orange City on Highway 10. Sioux Center firefighters responded as well. Orange City chief Denny Vander Wel says between 10 and 15 acres of stubble burned. He thanks the four farmers with disks that helped them get the fire under control. An old fire rekindling gets the blame for that fire.

The honor of the fire call to which the most firefighters responded Monday would go to the fire near Hawarden. Fire Chief Duane Schiefen says five fire departments along with both the Hawarden and Ireton ambulance squads responded to the fire five miles south and a mile and a half east of Hawarden, including some fifty firefighters. That fire was also a stubble fire in a field, but it burned around 80 acres. He says several farmers with disks helped put their fire out too. He says officially the cause is undetermined, but the point of origin looked like it may have been a tree burning pile that was assumed to be out. Firefighters from Hawarden, Ireton, and Akron, Iowa; and Alcester and Hudson, South Dakota were on the scene of that fire for three and a half hours.

A false alarm was also among the calls that kept firefighters busy. Firefighters from Alton and Orange City responded to a fire alarm that turned out to be false at the MOC/Floyd Valley Middle School in Alton about 6:30 p.m. Monday evening.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Some good news for people who buy vehicles with a salvage title and repair them.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says that beginning May 1st, 2018 they will be performing salvage vehicle theft inspections.

They tell us that Iowa law requires all vehicles designated “salvage” or vehicles that have a “salvage” title to be physically examined by a peace officer who has been certified by the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy to conduct inspections prior to issuance of an Iowa vehicle registration. The applicant must present to the officer an Iowa salvage title in the applicant’s name, or a properly assigned title is acceptable.

The sheriff’s office says there is a fee for the salvage theft examination. It’s $50.

Sheriff’s officials tell us that the examination is to physically verify that no stolen parts were used to rebuild a vehicle and to authenticate the vehicle being rebuilt. A typical salvage theft examination takes approximately 45 minutes but may take several hours if the vehicle identification numbers are not easily accessible or there are problems with the ownership documents.

Lyon County sheriff’s officials say that it’s important to maintain all receipts, invoices, and documentation for parts used to rebuild the vehicle and to bring these to the inspection as the officer will need to verify this information. Plus, if during the repair of the salvage vehicle the cab or frame was changed, or if the public VIN was damaged or removed, you will need to contact the Iowa Department of Transportation, Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection to schedule an appointment. They tell us they can be reached at or by calling 515-237-3050.

An online instruction guide is available. The affidavit of salvage vehicle repairs form and online instruction guide can be found at

To schedule a salvage vehicle inspection in Lyon County you can contact the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office at 712-472-8300. They advise that in other locations, call your local law enforcement and they can point you in the right direction.

April 27, 2018 - 12:04 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — After more than half a century serving northwest Iowa at 1550 on the AM dial, KIWA-AM’s programming has been expanded, and is now also available on an FM frequency.

In an effort to better serve our AM listeners, we have added an FM Translator for our AM signal. That means you can now listen to all your favorite KIWA-AM programming at 100.7 on your FM radio, as well as at 1550 on the AM dial.

The purpose of the FM translator is to provide a cleaner, more listenable broadcast of our AM programming, particularly after sunset, when our KIWA-AM is required by law to reduce output power, and with that, reduce coverage area. In contrast, the FM translator at 100.7 will remain at its full power 24 hours per day. This will be especially welcome news to Orab sports fans, who will now be able to hear their Orab sporting events on 100.7 FM, in addition to AM-1550.

In addition to adding the FM feed of our AM programming, KIWA has expanded our AM program offerings as well, becoming a 24 hour per day, 7 day per week talk radio station. To our traditional lineup that has included the Laura Ingraham program, along with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, we have added such audience favorites as Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro, Jim Bohannon, and other conservative talk radio shows.

If you’d like to view our new AM-1550 and FM-100.7 weekday broadcast schedule, CLICK HERE.

The weekend schedule can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.

Both schedules are subject to change.

The changes in AM programming and the addition of FM 100.7 will have no effect on KIWA-FM 105.3, which is continuing it’s Classic Hits format as The Heart of Rock.

April 25, 2018 - 1:03 am - Posted in News

Inwood, Iowa — If you’ve always wanted to know about birding and how to best use a pair of binoculars, you won’t want to miss a class on Thursday at Lake Pahoja, near the West Lyon School.

Emily Ostrander is the Lyon County Naturalist, and she tells us about Thursday’s program.

She tells us they hope to see several bird species that are spending time right now at Lake Pahoja.

Ostrander says it’s a free program, but they’d like you to call and register in case there are issues with the weather or a low number of participants. To register call (712)472-2217 or email

April 20, 2018 - 4:35 pm - Posted in News

Le Mars, Iowa — Sheriffs and deputies from around northwest Iowa gathered recently to talk about what works and what doesn’t, and to network with their counterparts.

Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep says they’ve been getting together every quarter.

He tells us that sheriffs and some deputies come from the greater northwest Iowa area.

Sheriff Vander Stoep says it’s an idea that’s gaining traction elsewhere in the state as well.

Sheriffs offices are a little different from other law enforcement agencies. For one thing, sheriffs are the only elected law enforcement officers. They are also the only agency that handles the civil process, court security, the county jail, and 911 communications. Plus they’re the only ones that handle gun permits. And that’s one area in which Vander Stoep says they’ve been able to learn from each other.

Vander Stoep says it’s nice to know the sheriffs in the area on a first-name basis. He says it makes contacting sheriffs in other jurisdictions easier and more productive.

April 17, 2018 - 4:41 pm - Posted in News

UPDATE:  The community blood bank bloodmobile is at Central Lyon today, and they are taking donations, but due to weather, and because Central Lyon is closed, they will take their last donors at 10:00 a.m. this morning.

Original story, posted Apr 17, 2018:

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The wintery weather we’ve been having has canceled a number of blood drives in the area. That means the Community Blood Bank could really use your donations at a blood drive this Wednesday in Rock Rapids, at Central Lyon High School.

Ken Ver Steeg, executive director of the Community Blood Bank, tells us about the drive.

He says due to the snow and bad weather, they’ve had to cancel four recent blood drives.

He says that even this Wednesday’s drive could be affected by weather.

Ver Steeg says they need all blood types and he encourages people to support their own blood type, but they do have a specific need right now.

He tells us some things to remember when you donate blood.

For more information, or to find a parent consent form that allows 16-year-olds to donate, go to

April 17, 2018 - 11:20 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Rapids woman will serve jail time, according to a plea agreement on charges of Felony OWI.

The case against Catherine Peterson stems from an incident that took place on the late afternoon of November 22nd in Rock Rapid. Deputies say they initiated contact with Peterson that afternoon, and that during that contact they reportedly discovered that Peterson was driving under the influence, as well as reportedly having a suspended Iowa Driver’s License. Deputies say Peterson was arrested for 3rd Offense OWI, a Class D Felony, and Driving While Suspended, a Simple Misdemeanor.

According to online court records, Peterson reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, and entered a plea of Guilty to the Felony OWI charge. Online court records indicate that Peterson was sentenced to 5-years in prison on the charge, with that sentence suspended. She was also ordered to spend 30-days in the Lyon County Jail. In addition, Peterson will serve two-years probation, pay a fine of $3125.00, and submit a DNA sample.

At the time of her arrest this past November, Lyon County authorities reportedly discovered she had an arrest warrant out of Osceola County for Failure to Appear on a previous OWI charge.