January 26, 2016 - 5:31 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The Lyon County Riverboat Foundation (LCRF) has received a new round of grant applications.

According to the foundation’s executive assistant, Dave Childress, 27 applications were received by the foundation by the recent application deadline, requesting over $1.2 million with total project costs of over $17 million. The balance was provided as a match by the applying organization.

He says the applications will be reviewed later this month with the Award Ceremony to be held February 11, 2016 at the Events Center at Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort starting at 7:00 PM.

The foundation is the non-profit license holder for Grand Falls Casino, which provides the funds for LCRF to distribute. LCRF distributes the funds with two major grant programs (competitive/non-competitive). Each of these programs distributes 50% of the funding on an annual basis. Examples of projects that the LCRF has helped include: Alvord (upgrading the park), Doon (Fire station), George (camp ground expansion), Inwood (upgrades for park), Larchwood (improvement for the softball complex), Lester (Community Center), Little Rock (playground equipment), Rock Rapids (Flood Mitigation), County of Lyon (power cot for county ambulance),Central Lyon School (Fitness Center), George Little Rock CSD (Security system) and West Lyon CSD (Football stadium renovation).

January 25, 2016 - 5:35 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — A Rock Rapids man and a Sanborn man took a trip to Des Moines for Iowa Corn Growers Day.
Wills corn growers
Rep. John Wills (R- Spirit Lake) hosted members of the Iowa Corn Growers, Lowell Appleton and Jay Drenth to the floor of the Iowa House of Representatives. Appleton and Drenth were visiting the Capitol to talk to local legislators during Iowa Corn Growers Day on the Hill.

Pictured here are Lowell Appleton (Sanborn), Jay Drenth (Rock Rapids), and Rep. John Wills (Spirit Lake).

January 25, 2016 - 3:18 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A new hospital is in the planning stages in Rock Rapids.
sanford rock rapids sign
Years ago, the name of the current Sanford Rock Rapids hospital was “Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital.” While the name has changed, the private organization that owns the hospital remains Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital.

While it is a private organization filed with the state, and there’s no municipal or county interest, there is an association that helps make decisions with the board of directors. MPCH Association was organized when the original hospital was built in the 1950’s, according to hospital officials.

According to vice president of the hospital’s board, John Hulshof, MPCH wants to build a new facility. MPCH has previously expressed interest in building in the new development area called Forster Development, west of Highway 75 and north of Twelveth Street. The land in that area is currently undeveloped farmland.

The affiliation with Sanford Health System is a lease of the hospital and its facilities to Sanford. He says the 1999 MPCH lease with what was then Sioux Valley and now is Sanford expires in three years. Hulshof says that since MPCH may need a year to secure financing commitment and design the project, followed by approximately two years of construction, the MPCH board is holding membership meetings for information and decision purposes.

Hulshof says since MPCH is a private organization, the meetings are not open to the public.

January 24, 2016 - 8:59 am - Posted in News

deer_sxc2Boyden, Iowa — A George man struck a deer near Boyden on Friday, January 22nd.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 6:35 pm on Friday, 48-year-old Craig Gerdes of George was driving a 1995 Buick LeSabre northbound on Kennedy Avenue, three miles north of Boyden. According to the report, Gerdes struck a deer on the roadway.

The Buick received $2000 damage.

No injuries were reported.

January 20, 2016 - 8:54 am - Posted in News

deer-gravelBoyden, Iowa — A George man’s vehicle was damaged after he hit a deer on Monday, January 18th near Boyden.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 6:55 am on Monday, 47-year-old Randall Popkes was driving a 2008 Jeep Liberty southbound on Kennedy Avenue. According to the report, Popkes struck a deer on the roadway.

The Jeep received $2500 damage.

No injuries were reported

January 19, 2016 - 4:10 pm - Posted in News

Inwood, Iowa — There were a few tense moments in an Inwood home on Tuesday, January 19, 2016.
Rotating Light FS Wheeler
According to Inwood Assistant Fire Chief Scott Hansen, about 7:40 AM, the Inwood Fire Department was called to the report of a structure fire at 303 West Monroe in Inwood.

The assistant chief says the fire department saw nothing as they approached the scene, but learned that the fire was contained to the furnace. He says they shut down the furnace and ventilated the house with fans.

Hansen says no injuries were reported.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be a malfunction in the furnace.

Assistant chief Hansen says that at last report the family was making alternate heating and/or living arrangements.

He says fire crews were on scene for about an hour.

Gitchie-Girl-CoverLyon County, Iowa — A new book has been released that tells, for the first time, the story of one of the most shocking murder cases in this area, from the perspective of the lone survivor.

On November 17, 1973, four teenage boys, along with the 13-year old girlfriend of one of them, went to hang out, talk, sing, and just enjoy each other’s company, at Gitchie Manitou State Preserve in far northwest Lyon County.  Within hours all four of the boys were dead, and the young girl had been sexually assaulted.  Amazingly, however, one of the killers drove her to her home and let her go.

Phil Hamman is a published author who grew up in Sioux Falls, and was actually friends with the victims of the quadruple slaying.  Hamman says he was approached by the lone survivor of the night’s carnage, Sandra Cheskey, about writing a book to get her story out.

Hamman tells us what finally motivated Cheskey to have her story told after all these years.

Hamman, who co-wrote the book, Gitchie Girl, with his wife Sandy, says what makes the story so scary is that it’s the story of five normal teenagers doing what normal teenagers did in that time and place.

In spite of the fact that the three South Dakota brothers who committed these crimes were caught and convicted, Hamman says there was never a clear motive established for the crimes.

The lone survivor, Sandra Cheskey, was instrumental in identifying the perpetrators of these vicious crimes, then stood up to more than a year of testifying at their trials.  Hamman calls the then-13-year old a “pretty amazing girl”.

The book, “Gitchie Girl” is Sandra Cheskey’s account of that horrible night and it’s aftermath.  A story that not only relates the horrors of the crime, but also provides insight into the personalities of each of the victims, 18-year old Stewart Baade and his 15-year old brother Dana, 17-year old Roger Essem, 16-year old Michael Hadrath and the 13-year old survivor, Sandra Cheskey.

The book is available in both print and e-reader version at amazon.com.  Hamman tells us where else the book can be found.

Book signings for “Gitchie Girl” will be held in the area in coming months.

Hamman says part of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Council On Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

January 17, 2016 - 7:53 am - Posted in News

Lyon Sheriff Facebook HeaderGeorge, Iowa — Two vehicles were damaged in an accident on Friday, January 15th in George.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that 85-year-old Florence Eben of George was driving a 2012 Chrysler Town and Country eastbound in the alley between East Iowa Avenue and East Michigan Avenue. Eighty-two-year-old Albert Korthals of George was driving a 2012 Chevy Captiva. According to the report, as Eben approached the intersection with the alley between Main St and Baldwin St she slowed to check to see if it was clear. She slid through and hit in the rear passenger door of Korthals Chevy.

The Chrysler received $2000 damage. The Chevy received $1000 damage.

No injuries were reported

January 17, 2016 - 7:46 am - Posted in News

deer_sxc2George, Iowa — A George man hit a deer on Saturday, January 16th near George.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that 24-year-old William Kruse of George was driving northbound on L-14/Kennedy Avenue, just south of George. According to the report, Kruse struck a deer on the roadway.

Kruse’s vehicle received $2500 damage.

No injuries were reported

January 14, 2016 - 8:51 am - Posted in News

Lyon County Sheriff Car Door 60-8Inwood, Iowa — A school bus and two vehicles were damaged in an accident on Wednesday, January 13th in Inwood.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 8:35 am on Wednesday, 78-year-old William P. Lombard of Inwood was driving a 2006 Thomas school bus, owned by West Lyon High School in the parking lot of the High School. A 1995 Ford F150 owned by Denise Roemen-Kramer, and a 2010 Chevy Traverse owned by Katie Caven were parked in a parking spot in the parking lot. According to the report, Lombard backed the bus up, and in doing so struck the Ford, and the Ford was pushed into the Chevy.

The Ford received $4000 damage. The bus and Chevy received minimal damage.

No injuries were reported