September 12, 2017 - 4:53 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — If you have a large collection of antiques,  you’ll be excited to hear that Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, the American Pickers, will be picking in Iowa next month!

American Pickers is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique ‘picking’ on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.

Wolfe and Fritz say they’ve seen a lot of rusty gold over the years, and they’re always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. The pair say they’re ready to fins extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them.

American Pickers is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure.  If you, or someone you know, has a large, PRIVATE collection or accumulation of antiques that Fritz and Wolfe can spend the better part of the day looking through, they want to hear from you!!  Send your name, phone number, location and description of your collection, with photos, to americanpickers@cineflex.com, or call 1-855-OLD RUST.  That number again is 1-855-653-7878.

Who knows, the boys from Antique Archaeology in LeClaire, Iowa may be coming to pick your collection next month.

September 12, 2017 - 4:19 pm - Posted in News

Larchwood, Iowa — Over 130 positions will be eliminated when a Larchwood area plant closes by the end of 2019.

Elanco Animal Health released a statement recently saying, “After careful consideration of our manufacturing operations, we have announced that we will be consolidating our vaccine manufacturing sites in Iowa. We will no longer operate our manufacturing site in Larchwood, Iowa in the future, and we are seeking a buyer for ongoing manufacturing operations at the site. Larchwood operations will be moved to our Fort Dodge, Iowa site.”

Citing their commitment to “delivering greater innovation and value to customers at a time when the continually-changing animal health business” and the need to develop “new, high-quality products at a competitive price, while ensuring increasing levels of shareholder return,” The company says the decision was made after evaluating operations across their global manufacturing network and “is not a reflection of site performance.”

Company spokesperson Betsy Villwock Bowman says the change to the Larchwood manufacturing operations will affect approximately 134 positions before they cease operations during a targeted date for completing technical transfers by the end of 2019. She says that Elanco’s priority during this difficult time “will be support for affected employees and ensuring they are treated with respect and integrity.”

The Elanco plant, on 140th Street is only about five miles from the South Dakota state line on the Big Sioux River. It was formerly owned by Novartis Animal Health.

September 12, 2017 - 12:18 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — This Tuesday, September 12th is the day for school board elections. There are board members at each area school whose terms will be expiring this fall.

Two school board members’ terms are expiring at Central Lyon. They are the terms of two at-large members: Scott Postma and Keri Davis. Both have filed for re-election.

Two school board members’ terms are also expiring at George-Little Rock — those of District 2 Director Wade Netten and District 3 Director Ryan Klingenberg. Klingenberg did not file papers. Running unopposed for his seat is Kristi Landis.

In the West Lyon School District, the terms of District 1 Director Troy Bauder, District 2 Director Kyle Knobloch, and District 5 Director Scott Lee are expiring. Bauder filed papers for his seat, as did challenger Vince Smith. Knobloch did not file papers. Running for his seat will be both Jennifer Jenson and Mark Timmerman. Lee will run unopposed for the District 5 seat.

September 11, 2017 - 8:08 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The Rock Rapids City Council met in regular session on Monday, September 11, 2017.

Tim Sprock addressed the council during the public comments section of the meeting. He says his wife asked people what they wanted to see in a mini-zoo, and he says that the main comment was that it was an eyesore. He told the council that his main issue is not getting his goats back, it’s trying to start a mini zoo. City Administrator Jordan Kordahl says that since the Sprocks’ plan includes housing the animals at their home, and that’s not allowed the way the property is zoned, Sprock needs to bring the issue up with the Rock Rapids Planning and Zoning Commission.

The council approved an ammendment to the Sunset Court development agreement which stipulates that it’s payable with TIFF funds and is payable in full by 2024.

The council approved a Forster Court Project payment of $196,346.62.

The Airport Pavement Overlay Project grant agreement was approved by the Iowa Department of Transportation, so the council passed a resolution authorizing the project.

The council also began the process to make some changes to the Urban Renewal Areas eight and ten. Kordahl says the changes to URA 8 are to allow the Forster Trust to make a contribution of up to two million dollars, running through the City of Rock Rapids, contributed over a number of years. The council approved starting the public hearing process for this change.

For URA 10, which includes the South Ridge Addition, the ammendment would add Holy Name Addition, so that they could use tax revenue from improvements in this area to help pay for work on South Greene Street, south of Twelveth Avenue. Again the council approved starting the public hearing process for this.

The council also approved a street finance report. This was to account for the road-use tax that the city receives every year on a per-capita basis from the Iowa Department of Transportation. This amounts to about $316,000, according to Kordahl.

The next regular meeting of the Rock Rapids City Council will be on Monday, September 25th at 5:45 p.m. at the Forster Community Center.

September 8, 2017 - 10:35 pm - Posted in News

Inwood, Iowa — A spotting of a vehicle that was thought to be suspicious in Inwood on Wednesday has got parents on alert.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says they have alerted West Lyon officials about a possibly suspicious vehicle that was seen in the Inwood community the afternoon of Wednesday, September 6th. They identified the vehicle as a black 1987 Mercury Marquis with a strobe light on top, with Iowa plates. Lyon County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jerry Birkey tells us more.


Birkey says the driver was a male, approximately 6’4″ in height. He says he was not seen there the next day, Thursday, September 7th.

He says that while they are monitoring the situation, the individual has done nothing wrong and is not “wanted” by law enforcement.


He says they are notifying all the schools in the county, but are not releasing the name of the individual — even though they do know who he is — because he has not done anything illegal.

Nevertheless, West Lyon officials are asking that if you observe this vehicle in the area, to call 911.

Birkey says the event is a good opportunity to visit with your children about “stranger danger.”


The school is also reminding parents to tell their children not to approach strangers and not to accept anything from strangers. They also advise that it is best whenever possible to walk in pairs.

September 6, 2017 - 2:54 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation this year encouraging all Iowans to join in the historic Iowa 99-County Bible Reading Marathon. The event in Lyon County is this weekend, Friday, September 8th and Saturday, September 9th.

According to Lyon County Chairperson for the Iowa 99-County Bible Reading Marathon, Deb Markus, many counties held their part of the Bible reading marathon in late June and early July. But she says that it is up to each county when to do their Bible reading.

She says the statewide Bible-reading effort got started last year.


Markus tells us the goal of the Bible-reading marathon.


She tells us the mandate to read the Bible is scriptural.


Markus tells us that the Lyon County part of the Iowa 99-County Bible Marathon will be this Friday and Saturday, September 8th and 9th, 2017 from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. on the Lyon County Courthouse lawn at 206 South Second Avenue in Rock Rapids.


She says it’s hoped that the whole Bible can be read while people are outside enjoying God’s creation. But they do have contingency plans for not having enough readers and less-than-perfect weather. If it rains, she says just look for a sign telling you where to go instead. If they don’t get enough people to read, she says they might pass out passages for people to read at home. But they’re actively looking for volunteers to come read the Bible with them. Again it’s this Friday and Saturday from 8 to 8. Don’t forget your Bible and your lawn chair.

September 5, 2017 - 6:06 pm - Posted in News

Beloit, Iowa — A Sioux City pair face felony charges after a call reporting a stuck vehicle.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Sunday afternoon, September 3rd, they were called to a field on 270th Street near Ashley Avenue for the report of a vehicle stuck in the field. A Lyon County Deputy and an Iowa State Trooper responded and found a vehicle with two occupants in it.

Upon further investigation, authorities belive the vehicle was stolen from Flandreau, SD. The sheriff’s office says the occupants gave officers false names but they were eventually identified as 31-year-old Christopher Keith Wakeman-Barse and 22-year-old Yvonne Marie Hoffman both of Sioux City. Wakeman-Barse had an active arrest warrant out of Woodbury County and Hoffman had an active arrest warrant out of Minnehaha County, South Dakota. Authorities say Hoffman was also in possession of methamphetamine. Both subjects were arrested.

Hoffman was charged with possession of a controlled substance, a serious misdemeanor; possession of stolen property, a class D Felony; and operating without owner’s consent, an aggravated misdemeanor. Wakeman-Barse was charged with possession of stolen property, a class D felony; and operating without owner’s consent, an aggravated misdemeanor.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says that additional misdemeanor charges of providing false identifying information and trespassing are pending.

September 5, 2017 - 6:05 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The pretrial conference for a Rock Rapids woman charged with a drug-related crime has been postponed.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office advises that the case arose when their office received a call in February alleging the theft of medication. During the course of the investigation, investigators from the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals- Medicaid Fraud division charged 30-year-old Cassandra Joy VanBerkum of Rock Rapids with prohibited acts – schedule 1, 2, or 3 controlled substance, a class C felony. She was also charged with tampering with records, an aggravated misdemeanor.

The new pretrial conference date is Monday, September 18th.

September 3, 2017 - 5:57 pm - Posted in News

Doon, Iowa — A Hospers man has been arrested in Lyon County on felony OWI and other charges after an incident on Friday evening, September 1st, 2017

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 7:35 PM they received a call reporting an individual allegedly harassing a number of people at a rural home near Doon.

They report that their deputies responded to the scene and arrested 49-year-old Joel Allen Griffith, of Hospers. They tell us he was charged with trespassing and assault, both simple misdemeanors; driving while revoked, a serious misdemeanor; and operating while intoxicated – 3rd offense, a class D felony.

September 1, 2017 - 4:04 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Rapids woman charged with a drug-related crime faces a pretrial conference on Tuesday.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office advises that the case arose when their office received a call in February alleging the theft of medication. During the course of the investigation, investigators from the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals- Medicaid Fraud division charged 30-year-old Cassandra Joy VanBerkum of Rock Rapids with prohibited acts – schedule 1, 2, or 3 controlled substance, a class C felony. She was also charged with tampering with records, an aggravated misdemeanor.

If convicted of a class C felony, Iowa code states that VanBerkum could face a penalty of ten years in prison and a fine of between a thousand and ten thousand dollars.

According to court documents, Van Berkum has filed a written arraignment and plea of “not guilty” to the charges. Her pretrial conference is Tuesday, September 5th at 9:30 a.m., with the trial set for the same time of day on Tuesday, October 3rd in Lyon County District Court in Rock Rapids.