January 4, 2017 - 4:25 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The trial in the case of an Inwood man who has pled not guilty to felony sex charges has been pushed back again — this time to early spring.
Lyon Courthouse 2 smaller
According to court records, 41-year-old Perry Vande Kieft of Inwood allegedly had sexual contact with an 11-year-old girl in the spring of 2015 and again in February or March of this year at Vande Kieft’s home.

Charges against Vande Kieft include two counts of sexual abuse in the Second degree, which is a class B felony; as well as indecent contact with a child and possession of a controlled substance.

According to the Lyon County Clerk of Court, the  trial had been scheduled to start on Tuesday, February 7th. The trial has now been pushed back to Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 in Lyon County District Court in Rock Rapids. A pretrial conference has been set for February 16th.

January 3, 2017 - 5:37 pm - Posted in News

Larchwood, Iowa — Two men from Minnesota were involved in an accident near Grand Falls Casino on Monday. One of them was taken to the hospital and the other was charged with OWI.
lyon co ambulance side
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 6:35 a.m., 36-year-old John Oleyo, of Worthington, MN, was driving a 2007 Honda Civic northbound on Iowa 9 when he lost control of the car, which struck a southbound 2014 Nissan Altima driven by 42-year-old Steven Van Zee from Luverne, MN. The report says Van Zee had been attempting to turn into the Grand Falls Casino.

Van Zee was taken to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. The Sheriff’s Office charged Oleyo with Operating While Intoxicated.

They say the Oleyo Honda received about $8,000 damage and the Van Zee Nissan received $10,000 damage.

Lyon County deputies, along with Larchwood Firefighters, Larchwood Emergency Medical Service personnel, Lyon County Ambulance personnel, and the Iowa State Patrol responded to the scene.

Ocheyedan, Iowa — The Iowa Legislature is about to reconvene, and senators from our area have high hopes for the legislative session.
David Johnson 2015
We had a chance to talk to Senator David Johnson from Ocheyedan, who serves Iowa District 1, which covers Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Clay, and Palo Alto Counties. This past summer, in protest of actions by then-apparent Republican Presidential front-runner Donald Trump, Johnson suspended his membership in the Republican party and changed his affiliation to “no party.” Johnson says that puts him in a unique situation.

Johnson says now with the Republicans in charge of both houses and the governor’s chair, he hopes they don’t “overextend themselves.”

Senator Johnson says he has some ideas of his own as well.

He says he’ll again introduce a bill to raise the state sales tax by three-eighths of a cent for this purpose as he has done in past years. Johnson says there are other bills that he intends to introduce.

The legislature convenes for 2017 next Monday, January 9th.

January 2, 2017 - 10:17 pm - Posted in News

UPDATE: The session in Orange City has been canceled. The ISU Extension Office says, “The ‘Financial Winter Cleaning Lunch and Learn’ will still be held on Jan. 11 in Lyon, O’Brien and Osceola Counties. Any residents from Sioux County who would like to attend are encouraged to visit one of these other counties or participate online.”

Original Story:

Northwest Iowa — If you’ve always wanted to find out how long you have to keep certain records, there’s a seminar coming up for you.
Jan Burk
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is inviting people in and around Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, [and Sioux – canceled] Counties to take part in a “Financial Winter Cleaning” noon “Lunch and Learn” on January 11th from noon to 1:00 p.m. They’re also offering it online.

According to Jan Monahan, Human Sciences Specialist in Family Finance with ISU Extension and Outreach, the program will offer guidelines and strategies for putting your or your family’s financial paperwork in order.

The noon luncheon will cover multiple topics, according to Monahan.

She says these questions and more will be addressed at the Financial Winter Cleaning luncheons. The program is open to the public, and the registration fee for the program, including a noon meal, is $5. Space is limited, and the lunch and materials need to be prepared, so individuals are asked to pre-register by calling their local extension office. They’ll also be able to tell you where to pre-register for the online course.

The Financial Winter Cleaning Noon Luncheon will be held at the following locations on January 11:

Lyon County Extension and Outreach Office
710 North 2nd Ave. East, Suite 103
Rock Rapids, IA 51246
Call 712-472-2576 to pre-register.

O’Brien County Extension and Outreach Office
340 2nd Street SE
Primghar, IA 51245
Call 712-957-5045 to pre-register.

Osceola Community Hospital
600 9th Ave. N.
Sibley, IA 51249
Call 712-754-3648 to pre-register.

December 30, 2016 - 10:14 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — It looks like Rock Rapids will go in the record books for the coldest temperature in Iowa for 2016.
The weather in December has followed a trend that’s familiar to Iowans this year. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says this month will average slightly warmer than normal, despite some bitterly cold temperatures around mid-December.

Hillaker says the second-lowest temperature in 2016 was -21 in Spencer in January.

He says some unusually warm conditions arrived last weekend. In the opposite corner of the state, it got up to 60 on Christmas Day.

December 22, 2016 - 3:08 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — Checking on a vehicle in the ditch turned into a felony arrest north of Sibley on Wednesday.
Osceola Sheriff Car 72-2
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that their deputies arrested 34-year-old David Charles Nachtigal of Little Rock. He was charged with Operating While Under the Influence – 3rd Offense, a Class D Felony; and Driving While Barred, an Aggravated Misdemeanor.

Nachtigal was transported and booked into the Osceola County Jail and at last report was being held on a $7,000 bond.

The Sheriff’s Office says the arrest stemmed from a report of a vehicle in the ditch on Northwest Boulevard north of Sibley.

December 22, 2016 - 1:37 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that they made three felony drug-related arrests on Wednesday, December 21st.
Lyon County Sheriff Car Door 60-8
Two of the arrests happened in Rock Rapids, after a search warrant was carried out in a Rock Rapids home. The sheriff’s office reports that they arrested 31-year-old Matthew Mulder of Rock Rapids on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance – Marijuana, Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of Ammunition by a Felon. The possession of ammunition charge is a Class D Felony, according to Iowa code. At last report, Mulder was being held at the Lyon County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

Also arrested after the search was 25-year-old Jeremy Gerloff, on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance – Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The Sheriff’s Office says Gerloff was released on a $1,000 bond. The search warrant was served at Mulder and Gerloff’s home at 508 South Greene Street in Rock Rapids.

The other arrest happened during a traffic stop on Wednesday. The Sheriff’s Office reports a deputy stopped a motor vehicle in the 1600 block of Highway 9, about a mile west of Larchwood. They report that 31-year-old Austin Erickson of Sioux Falls, SD was identified as the driver. An investigation lead to several charges.

Erickson is charged with one class D felony count of Possession, transportation, or control of firearms or offensive weapons by a felon; a serious misdemeanor count of Possession of a controlled substance – methampetamine; and simple misdemeanor charges of Possession of drug paraphernalia, Failure to have a valid drivers license, Violation of financial liability coverage, and Speeding.

At last report, Erickson was being held at the Lyon County Jail in Rock Rapids.

December 20, 2016 - 4:27 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Two people have been sentenced to prison after being convicted in a felony drug case in Lyon County.
Lyon Courthouse At Night
According to the Lyon County Attorney’s Office, 31-year-old Paul Andrew Callender and 27-year-old Victoria Daniele Parrow were sentenced last week.

Callender was sentenced for the crime of Sponsoring, Promoting, or Aiding a Gathering, a Class D Felony. Parrow was sentenced for the crime of Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine, a Class C Felony.

The charges stemmed from a search warrant carried out in September, 2016 at 929 Carter Street in Larchwood. The search turned up multiple baggies of methamphetamine at the Parrow residence. Additionally, law enforcement located large amounts of cash and three firearms.

Callender was sentenced to five years in prison and Parrow was sentenced to ten years in prison.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office assisted officers from the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement with the investigation.

December 20, 2016 - 3:21 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A man who was convicted of having sexual relations with a 14-year-old has been sentenced in Lyon County to probation and lifetime monitoring.
According to the Lyon County Attorney’s Office, charges against 23-year-old Melvin Geovany Aguilar-Lopez stemmed from complaints filed in May 2016 stating that Aguilar-Lopez had sexual relations with a 14-year-old on at least four different occasions in Rock Rapids. Aguilar-Lopez admitted to officers that he had a relationship with the 14-year-old victim over two months, which included picking her up from school several times without permission. The County Attorney’s office says Aguilar-Lopez used social media and electronic communication to continue his relationship with the 14-year-old victim. Aguilar-Lopez was 22 years old at the time of the incident.

According to court records, earlier this month, Aguilar-Lopez was sentenced to a suspended ten-year prison term, two years’ probation, and monitoring by the Iowa Department of Corrections for life. The special sentence imposed in this type of case commits offenders into the custody of the Director of the Iowa Department of Corrections for the rest of their life with eligibility for parole as provided in Chapter 906 of the Iowa Code. Offenders begin this type of sentence on “parole”.

He must also register as a Sex Offender in the State of Iowa, submit to DNA Profiling, have no contact with the victim for a period of five years, and pay certain costs.

The Lyon County Attorney’s Office also says Lopez remains in the custody of Immigration, Customs, and Enforcement where he faces further proceedings.

December 18, 2016 - 9:07 am - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — After tying Lyon County for the lowest unemployment in the state in September, the new October figures show that Sioux County has passed Lyon County for the lowest unemployment in the state.
According to Iowa Workforce Development, in September, both counties had 2.1 percent unemployment. In October, while both counties’ unemployment figures went down again, they say that Sioux County’s unemployment went down more. The October numbers were 1.9 percent for Sioux County, 2.0 percent for Lyon County, 2.9 percent for Osceola County and 2.5 percent for O’Brien County.

Statewide numbers are released a month earlier, so November figures are available. Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent in November. The state’s jobless rate was 3.5 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent in November.

Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development says that the unemployment rate in Iowa is the lowest since March, which in part is due to holiday hiring and the great fall weather we had this year. She says that the economy remains soft as we transition to seasonal unemployment during the winter months.

The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 65,000 in November from 70,400 in October. The current estimate is 5,300 higher than the year-ago level of 59,700.

The total number of working Iowans decreased to 1,655,000 in November. This figure was 200 lower than October and 10,600 higher than one year ago.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment
Iowa establishments shed 4,700 jobs in November and lowered employment down to 1,580,100 jobs. This drop marked the third straight month for job losses for the state. Private sector losses totaled 3,900 jobs and government pared 800 jobs. Public sector drops were primarily within local government (-600), although the federal sector shed jobs also (-200). Government trails last year’s level by 1,300 jobs. Private sectors remain up (+11,300), but the magnitude of the annual increase has been waning as the year comes to an end.

In November, the largest movement occurred in trade, transportation, and utilities which experienced a decline of 2,300 jobs. The majority of the loss was incurred in retail (-1,400), although transportation, utilities, and wholesale shed jobs this month as well. Iowa’s retail sector has not fared well through 2016 and is down compared to last November (-1,400). Iowa’s manufacturers lost 1,400 jobs with losses distributed evenly between durable and nondurable goods factories. This marks the second straight decline following a brief upsurge in the summer. Other notable losses included other services (-1,200), leisure and hospitality (-500), and information (-200). On the other hand, job gains were realized in three private industries and led by professional and business services (+1,400) and heavily fueled by hiring in administrative support and waste management services. All other gains this month were small and included education and health care (+300) and financial activities (+100).

Annually, total nonfarm employment is up just 10,000 jobs. Monthly declines over the past few months have reduced the annual growth rate considerably. Construction continues to sustain employment and leads all sectors with 8,300 jobs added. Education and health care is second in terms of growth (+4,200) followed by financial activities (+3,900). Manufacturing continues to trend down and lags behind last year’s mark by 7,300 jobs. The only other sectors down annually are professional and business services (-2,200) and information (-1,300).