Statewide Iowa — (RI) — Governor Kim Reynolds is offering some blunt advice to a fellow Republican.

Congressman King, often at the center of controversy, endorsed a white nationalist who was running for mayor of Toronto last month. He’s now feuding with a conservative magazine that has referred to King as “America’s most deplorable congressman” and “an embarrassment” to the G-O-P. The conservative editorial board for the Sioux City Journal, the largest newspaper in the district, endorsed King’s Democratic opponent, J.D. Scholten. The paper had endorsed King’s previous General Election campaigns. Reynolds says she has not talked with King since the election, but she is suggesting King’s political career is at a crossroads.

King won reelection to a ninth term in the U.S. House last week, by just a two percent margin. Reynolds won the fourth congressional district with 20 percent of the vote.

A spokesman for King says the Congressman loves Governor Reynolds. Congressman King’s communications director John Kennedy says King is “thankful to her for signing his Heartbeat Bill into law and notes that they are birds of a feather because they won by similar margins.”

November 13, 2018 - 3:34 pm - Posted in News

Inwood, Iowa — An Inwood teen was injured in a one-vehicle crash two miles west, and about 1-1/2 miles south of the West Lyon school Monday evening.

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office the crash happened when 16-year old Jonathon Beek of Inwood was operating a 2007 Chevrolet Impala in the 1900-mile of Cherry Avenue. Deputies say Beek swerved to avoid an animal in the roadway, lost control, and entered the west ditch.

Lyon County authorities say Beek was transported to the Canton-Inwood Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Deputies estimate damage to Beek’s Chevy at $15-hundred.

November 13, 2018 - 1:41 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — It’s November, hardly the time of year when our thoughts turn to summer festivals, but RiseFest 2019 has made their first artist announcement for the June festival.

Rob Roozeboom of Sheldon is that founder and president of Rise Ministries, the organization behind the annual RiseFest Christian music festival held each summer in Sheldon. Roozeboom reminds people that the 2019 festival won’t be held on the traditional Father’s Day Weekend, when the festival has been held since its inception.

In addition, Roozeboom has made the first artist announcement for RiseFest 2019, and he says it’s an artist that has never before graced the RiseFest stage.

Skillet is a Grammy-nominated Christian Rock quartet from Wisconsin that will be performing at RiseFest for the first time, wrapping up the first night of RiseFest 2019, on Friday June 21st. They have received two Grammy Award nominations, and won a Billboard Music Award for their platinum-certified “Awake”. Their double-platinum single “Monster” was “the eighth most-streamed rock song of 2015” on Spotify and would earn the distinction of becoming “the best-selling digital single in the history of Christian Music.”

Tickets for RiseFest 2019 are also on sale now, but with a twist on the way tickets have traditionally been sold.

Roozeboom says the Price Slide Tickets need to be reserved by the end of November to take advantage of the Price Slide.

RiseFest 2019 is scheduled for Friday, June 21st and Saturday June 22nd at the RiseFest Grounds in east Sheldon.

November 13, 2018 - 1:39 pm - Posted in News
Doon, Iowa– A car was destroyed in a fire on Sunday, November 11, 2018, near Doon.

According to Doon Assistant Fire Chief Blake Van Bemmel, about 6:30 p.m., the Doon Fire Department was called to the report of a vehicle fire at 250th Street and Highway 75, at the AgriVision John Deere Equipment corner.

The assistant chief says the fire department saw fire in the engine compartment as they approached the scene. He says they used water to fight the fire.

Assistant Chief Van Bemmel says no injuries were reported.

He says the cause of the fire is undetermined, but the vehicle was totaled in the blaze, with fire destroying the engine and entering the passenger compartment.

He says they used about 150 gallons of water to fight the fire, and the 15 firefighters who responded were on scene for about an hour.

Northwest Iowa — Many northwest Iowans will be headed for Thanksgiving trips next week, and some forecasts predict this flu season will be more severe than last year. Dr. Deborah Mulligan, Chief Medical Affairs Officer of telehealth provider M-D Live, says the convergence of flu season and holiday travel season increases your chances of getting sick, especially if you’ll be flying to your holiday destination.

While many frequent fliers fear being seated next to sick strangers, Mulligan says air travel is fraught with chances for catching a bug.

If you do get sick, medical professionals advise you to not return to work or school until you’re feeling better to avoid spread of the flu virus.

Officials with the Iowa Department of Public Health also advise that you get a flu shot in order to lessen the severity of the illness, or avoid it altogether.

November 12, 2018 - 2:36 pm - Posted in News

Spencer, Iowa — A Spencer realtor who is the new president of the Iowa Association of Realtors says the housing market in the state has evened out. John Goede says the most recent numbers available showed September sales dropped by nearly 13-percent compared to last year, but the overall yearly sales are down only one-point-six percent.

Goede says the median sale price was up four-point-two percent even though the inventory of homes is rising. He says agents are using social media more to generate interest in houses — and there’s also a new trend being used.

Interest rates have gone up some this year, but he says they are not a point where they will have a big impact.

Goede says many homeowners who took it on the chin when the housing bubble burst, are now seeing some turnaround.

He says things are evening out so both sides tend to be happy when a house is sold.

Goede says the season trend for the rest of the year is for sales to fall off as the weather gets colder. The median sales price for a home was $160,000 in September compared to $153,500 in September 2017.

November 10, 2018 - 11:16 pm - Posted in News

Le Mars, Iowa — At least one area agronomist is concerned about the amount of topsoil we continue to lose every year.

Joel De Jong, an agronomist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach recently said, “The damage – sheet and rill erosion, gullies, sedimentation – I have observed this year has bothered me.” De Jong says that this area’s rich soil is the cornerstone for profitable agricultural production in this part of the world. He says history has shown us several cultures that had rich soils, but those cultures no longer exist – nor do their rich soils. He says an increase in cover crop usage in recent years has been seen, but additional stewardship of these soils is needed.

De Jong says that Dr. Rick Cruse, ISU Agronomy professor and director of the Iowa Water Center, has presented some information discussing soil formation and losses. He had three different scenarios looking at soil formation, and all three indicated that it took over 1,000 years to form an inch of topsoil.De Jong says that in Iowa, if you have highly erodible soils, allowable soil losses in conservation plans try to limit losses per acre per year to 5 tons. According to De Jong, five tons/acre/year would be like losing soil about the width of a dime off of all of your acres. A roll of dimes has 100 dimes in it. How many inches long is that? He says it’s about 4 inches long. So, according to De Jong, if you farm a century farm, and have averaged 5 tons/acre/year, it looks like we might have lost several thousands of years of soil formation on those soils in the last century.

He tells us that Dr. Cruse helped develop the Daily Erosion Project that can estimate soil losses on a daily basis. This project calculates erosion by watershed for every watershed in Iowa. You can see this information at this website Choose the “View Map Display” option, and then use the tools on the right side of the map to select options to review. You can zoom in on watersheds and see the data for each. Many in this region are estimated to have well over 5 tons per acre of detached hillside soil loss this year.

De Jong suggests that right now is a good time for landowners and those working farms to evaluate residue cover, erosive areas, and areas that need improvement. He suggests discussions with NRCS staff about your farms and running different scenarios of tillage practices, rotations, residue removal, cover crops, waterways, terraces, etc. to see how that influences the erosion on your farm.

De Jong can be reached at the Plymouth County Extension Office.

November 10, 2018 - 10:19 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Republican Congressman Steve King says he’s ready to mount a vigorous defense of the President in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee next year. King predicts “a good number” of Democrats will try to impeach the president once Democrats take the majority in the House in January.

Once he returns to Washington, King plans to confront Ohio Congressman Steve Stivers, the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee. On October 30th, Stivers took to Twitter to say the country “must stand up against white supremacy and hate” and Stivers “strongly” condemned King.

King won his eight previous races for Congress by an average margin of 23 percent. His victory margin in 2018 was about two percent.

J.D. Scholten is the Democrat who came within two points of defeating King this year. King has accused his critics of trying to “Kavanaugh-ize” him in the closing weeks of the election.

Scholten has not ruled out another run against King in 2020. Long-time Iowa Congressman Berkley Bedell and Senator Tom Harkin — who was first elected to the House — were both elected in their second try for a House seat.

Larchwood, Iowa — Over $206,500 in grants were given to non-profits and government entities Thursday night, November 8th, by the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation.

The foundation is the non-profit license holder for the Grand Falls Casino near Larchwood. State law mandates a certain percentage of the casino’s gaming take has to go back to the community. The agreement between the casino and the non-profit stipulates that for the first $20 million the casino collects in gambling winnings in a year, they will give the foundation 4.5 percent. When they get up to $20 million, the percentage goes up to 4.75 percent; and when they get up to $30 million, it goes to 5 percent.

The Lyon County Riverboat foundation is set up to give half of the money in grants to county government subdivisions and schools, and the other half to non-profit projects.

The largest grant given on Thursday went to the Lester Fire Department, who got over $54,000 for a safety update. The next largest grant went to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, who got nearly $43,000 for laptop computers. The Little Rock Fire Department received $35,000 for turnout gear. Next highest was a grant of nearly $29,000 to the City of Rock Rapids for a traffic signal override project. City officials say the town’s traffic signals would hear an approaching emergency vehicle’s siren and change the traffic signal to green for the emergency vehicle and red for the three directions. It is hoped to be installed next year. The Riverboat Foundation gave the Inwood Fire and Rescue Department over $18,000 for an SCBA (That’s Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus) update, and the Lyon County Auditor’s office over $10,000 for voting tablets.

The foundation also gave $10,000 to the G.I.V.E. Foundation, which, according to their website, is a not-for-profit organization to provide a structured golf program for injured Veterans. “G.I.V.E.” stands for Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere. The Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort works with the Sioux Falls VA and the Area PGA (the Professional Golf Association) with this program.

Smaller grants of around $2,000 were given to the Lyon County Fair Association for security cameras, Lyon County Economic Development for their Career Exploration Day program for high school freshman and sophomore students, and to the Rock Rapids Kiwanis Club for concession stand equipment such as a new popcorn machine, a new refrigerator, and a larger-capacity hot dog machine for their stand at Borman-Forster Fields in Rock Rapids.

November 9, 2018 - 3:21 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Northwest Iowans who are prepping their cars for winter may top off the antifreeze level in their engine, but as the experts at the Iowa Poison Control Center remind, be careful with those chemicals.

Registered Nurse Jean Hammack says antifreeze comes in an array of colors, including blue, pink and green, but all of them are hazardous if swallowed.

It’s best to leave antifreeze and wiper solution in the original gallon bottles, she says. After using part of the product, don’t transfer it to a smaller bottle, especially one that once contained juice or a sports drink.

Because of the color and sweet taste, children often mistake these chemicals for drinks, while pets may lick up spilled fluid from the floor. Hammack says to keep the poison center number programmed into your phone — 1-800-222-1222.