April 6, 2018 - 12:53 am - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — An opportunity for individuals with disabilities is coming up in Sioux Center next Saturday, April 14th.

The Special Olympics of Northwest Iowa Track and Field Spring Games will be held that day at the Sioux Center Athletic Field.

We talked to Peg Koele from Hull with Special Olympics. She tells us what’s going on.

She says that number is somewhat dependant on the weather, however.

She says the athletes come from a wide variety of situations.

Athletes come from Lyon, Osceola, Sioux, O’Brien, Plymouth, Cherokee, Woodbury, Ida, Monona, and Crawford counties. Koele says that individuals and teams are all welcome to participate and most events are free.

She gives us an idea of some of the events in which people participate.

She says athletes may participate in two events and run with a relay team. There are 400 athletes registered to participate from the ages of 8 to 70 years old.

Opening ceremonies are scheduled to begin at 9:30 am. The track and field events begin at 9:45 and the last relay is scheduled for 1:15 pm. No admission fee is charged — it’s free for all spectators.

Over 160 volunteers help to make the day a great success, according to Koele.

She says first place winners will compete in Ames on May 17-19 at the Special Olympics State Summer Games.

April 5, 2018 - 4:53 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — Backers of the $14.2 million bond issue for Northwest Iowa Community College are happy with the passage of the referendum this week.

College officials say the aim of expanding the job programs available at NCC is to help young workers and families to stay in the area.

College president Dr. Alethea Stubbe says they are grateful for the votes.

She tells us what NCC needs to do next to get the ball rolling.

Stubbe says that the plans for building and renovation have yet to be fleshed out.

She wants to thank those that voted.

The NCC referendum passed by 73.8% on Tuesday. It needed 60% to pass.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Little Rock man has been sentenced to five years in prison for possession of a gun by a felon.

Lyon County Attorney Shayne Mayer’s Office reports that on Monday, April 2, 2018, Joseph Michael Pedersen pled guilty in a plea agreement and was sentenced to an indeterminate prison sentence not to exceed five years for possession of a firearm.

The County Attorney’s office says the charge stems from an incident that occurred in April of 2017 in which Pedersen discharged a weapon in his possession in his home. They say Pedersen was on probation for a weapons violation at the time of the incident. Court records indicate that a child was present at the time and that authorities believed alcohol was involved. The court records say that Pedersen also sustained serious injuries in the incident.

Court records indicate he was originally charged with seven counts of possession of a firearm by a felon and one count of child endangerment. They say Pedersen had in his possession a muzzleloader, two revolvers, a 9mm semi-automatic, a handgun, and two shotguns. All but one of the counts of firearm possession were dismissed, as was the child endangerment charge, as part of the plea agreement.

Pedersen’s probation was revoked and the original year-long sentence was imposed concurrently to the five-year sentence. Pedersen was ordered to pay court costs, jail fees, and attorney’s fees.

The County Attorney’s office reports that after sentencing, Pedersen was taken into immediate custody by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office where he will remain in custody until being transported to prison. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office handled the investigation and was assisted by the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation.

March 30, 2018 - 6:23 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The filing date has come and gone for candidates to get their names on the ballot for the June 5th, 2018 Iowa Primary, and some area candidates are facing challenges.

In Lyon County, three people are running for the Republican nomination for County Board of Supervisors, District 1. They are Joshua A Feucht, Randy Simons, and Chris Viereck, all of Larchwood. For County Supervisor, District 4, incumbent Randy Bosch is facing a challenge from current Lyon County Chief Deputy Sheriff Jerry Birkey. They’re both from Rock Rapids. In District 5, incumbent Kirk Peters of Little Rock is facing a challenge from Steve Herman of Rock Rapids. For the County Attorney chair, incumbent Shayne Mayer is facing a challenge from Melinda Folkens. They’re also both from Rock Rapids.

The lone Democratic candidate at the county level in northwest Iowa is Ken Kerkvliet, who is unopposed for his party’s nomination for Lyon County Supervisor, District 1.

March 30, 2018 - 9:18 am - Posted in News

George, Iowa — A George man is behind bars after an encounter with law enforcement in George on Thursday.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that their deputies responded to a report of unwanted contact/suspicious person in George on Thursday. While they were investigating the complaint, deputies had contact with Fredrich Ludwig Trei III, of George. During the encounter, Trei allegedly refused to provide identification information. When deputies attempted to detain Trei for further investigation into the original call, Sheriff’s officials say Trei allegedly resisted arrest.

Deputies say they gained control of Trei and later allegedly discovered a used hypodermic needle and methamphetamine on his person. He was arrested and transported to the Lyon County Jail.

While inside the jail facility, jail staff allegedly located marijuana and a pipe.

Sheriff’s officials say they charged Trei with possession of a controlled substance; methamphetamine as a 3rd offense and introducing contraband into a detention facility, both class D felonies; possession of a controlled substance-marijuana 3rd offense, an aggravated misdemeanor; possession of drug paraphernalia, and interference with official acts, both simple misdemeanors.

March 28, 2018 - 9:52 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Winter overnight parking bans in a number of communities are set to expire soon.

Several cities in the KIWA listening area have ordinances regarding overnight parking, especially during the snow removal season. But with the coming of spring, you soon should be able to park on the street again overnight in most cases.

In Sheldon, the overnight parking ban expires April 1st. Police Chief Lyle Bolkema says that motorists are not allowed to park on any street in the city between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. from November 1st to April 1st.  Violation of Sheldon’s overnight parking ban is subject to a citation that carries a $10 fine.

Sanborn’s city-wide overnight parking ban expires on March 31st. However, no parking is allowed from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m., year-round, on Main Street. Violation of Sanborn’s overnight parking ban carries a $15 fine.

According to Sibley city officials, their overnight parking ban will remain in effect until April 15th. It calls for no parking on any city street between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., from November 1st through April 15th.  The fine for violating Sibley’s overnight parking ban is $25.

Orange City officials say that their parking ban expires on April 1st. It says no parking is allowed on any of their city streets between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., from October 15th through April 1st.  The fine for noncompliance in Orange City is $10.

There are a couple of cities in our area that don’t have an actual overnight parking ban but do have an ordinance that’s effective when snow falls. So motorists who park on the street need to keep up-to-date on the weather forecast.

Hartley City officials tell us there is no overnight parking ban in that city. However, their ordinance says that vehicles must be off the streets when snowfall begins and must remain off the streets until the streets are cleared of snow.  Failure to do so will result in a $15 fine from the City of Hartley.

Rock Rapids officials say their ordinance expires on April 1st. It bans parking on all city streets and alleys from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. — but only during snow removal operations. The fine for non-compliance in Rock Rapids is $25. In addition, no overnight parking is allowed in the central business district year-round.

With that being said, even if the overnight parking ban expires for the season in your community — if we get some late-season snow, it’s always a good idea not to park overnight on the street. Your city crews that have to move the snow would appreciate not having to plow around your vehicle.

March 26, 2018 - 11:22 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — This is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa. Every year, hundreds of people are killed and thousands injured, in the United States, because of the weather. Dangerous weather can take many forms, ranging from violent tornadoes to crippling winter storms. With the notable exception of hurricanes, Iowa can experience any of these dangerous phenomena.

Todd Heitkamp is a meterologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, and he sayd Severe Weather Awareness Week is designed to bring the threat of severe weather back into people’s consciousness.

Heitkamp says severe weather, including tornadoes, can happen almost any time of the year in our area.

He says the primary focus of Severe Weather Awareness Week will be on a Tornado Drill that’s scheduled for Wednesday morning.

While there is nothing we can do to stop dangerous weather from affecting us, there are things we can do to stay safe when the weather turns nasty. Weather safety and survival – no matter what the hazard – depends on the following key items:

          1. KNOW THE HAZARDS – Be aware of the hazards that you might face during a weather event.

          2. KNOW WHEN TO EXPECT DANGEROUS WEATHER – Monitor forecasts and information  from KIWA Radio.

          3. PAY ATTENTION – Be aware of all watches, warnings, and advisories affecting you.

          4. HAVE A PLAN TO STAY SAFE – Think about it before it happens and be ready to act to survive.

March 23, 2018 - 1:34 pm - Posted in News

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Rock Rapids, Iowa — Ground has been broken on a new $5 million clinic and outpatient facility in Rock Rapids.

About 50 to 60 people braved sleet and 34-degree weather to attend the groundbreaking ceremony on Friday morning, March 23rd, 2018.

Sanford Rock Rapids’ Senior Director Tammy Loosbrock says it feels good to get the construction going on their new facility.

The “divide” that Loosbrock mentioned is due to the fact that while the physicians and primary care providers have committed to moving to the new facility, the owners of the old facility, the Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital Board of Trustees signed an agreement to build a new hospital and clinic with Avera Health. It’s not known which of the nurses or staff people will join Avera in their new facility and which will stay with Sanford in their new facility.

Loosbrock tells us about the design of Sanford’s new facility.

She says they also hope to be able to use new technology.

She gives us the timeline.

In his remarks, Sanford Rock Rapids Physician Chester De Jong spoke to the changes from the “employee family” perspective.

De Jong told about several people going above and beyond their job descriptions to help patients and families. He says there is uncertainty among the medical staff about their futures.

De Jong says it’s time to put the past behind us. He says when he sees the new facilities, he’s going to focus on the good.

De Jong says that person is physician’s assistant Brenda Vis, who was the only local provider when the hospital and clinic was going through a tough time. The remark was met with applause from the crowd.

After the opening remarks, gold shovels were employed by local dignitaries and Sanford officials, and the ceremonial first soil was turned.

March 23, 2018 - 12:17 pm - Posted in News

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Rock Rapids, Iowa — A garage and its contents were damaged in a fire on Thursday, March 22, 2018, in Rock Rapids.

According to Rock Rapids Fire Chief Ed Reck, about 7:00 p.m., the Rock Rapids Fire Department was called to the report of a garage fire at 1010 South Second Avenue in Rock Rapids, on the west side of town. Reck says since the firefighters were already at the station when the call came in, preparing to do some training at the elevator, response time was very short. He says that it was good that it was because if it had taken them even a few more minutes to get there, the fire would have been much worse.

The chief says the fire department saw flames coming out of the garage as they approached the scene. He says they extinguished the fire with water. According to the chief, the garage had been used for storage, but a number of items were pulled out of the garage before the fire could harm them, including an ATV. He says the garage is attached to the house but has no access directly to the house — a fact that turned out in their favor this time, as the house did not sustain any smoke or other damage.

Reck says no injuries were reported.

He says the cause of the fire is believed to have been electrical in nature but he says it is under investigation.

Chief Reck reports that there was fairly extensive damage.

He says they used 500 or fewer gallons of water to fight the fire, and the 23 firefighters who responded were on scene for about a half an hour.

March 21, 2018 - 4:45 pm - Posted in News

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Rock Rapids, Iowa — Ground is going to be broken on Friday (March 23rd) for the second of two brand new medical facilities being built in Rock Rapids.

The ground was broken last summer on the new Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital – Avera, which will be in the southwest part of town. Now the ground is being broken for the new Sanford Rock Rapids clinic, which is to be built in northwest Rock Rapids.

We talked to Eric Hilmoe, who is the vice president for operations for Sanford Health Network. He says the building, at the corner of Highway 9 and Buncombe Drive will serve as both a medical clinic and a location for outpatient procedures.

He says if you’ve seen the Sanford clinics in Sioux Falls, the outside look will be similar to that, with a central tower-like feature.

Hilmoe says that all of the physicians and primary care providers currently at Sanford Rock Rapids have committed to relocating to the new facility.

He tells us a number of services will be offered at the new clinic in addition to primary care, and that the Sanford specialists who come to Rock Rapids now will provide care at the new facility.

Hilmoe says Sanford is making a significant investment in Rock Rapids with the facility, which is estimated to cost in the area of $5 million. He says they hope to complete the facility by Spring 2019.

Friday’s groundbreaking will take place at 9:30 a.m. at the building site in northwest Rock Rapids.

Photo caption: Artist’s rendering of Sanford clinic to be built in Rock Rapids