Rock Rapids, Iowa — “The Conservation Education Center at Lake Pahoja is a go.” That from the staff of the Lyon County Conservation Board.

Conservation Board Supervisor Craig Van Otterloo reports that after seven years of planning and fundraising, the board and the Lyon County Board of Supervisors have agreed to get the project underway.

Van Otterloo tells us that bids for the project were let on December 9 with bids due by January 16, 2020. There were seven companies that bid the project with Peska Construction from Sioux Falls awarded the bid at $1,567,000.

Board officials tell us they have already contracted a “post and beam” style building from Legacy Post and Beam of Fremont, Nebraska. The structure will be 48’x120′ and two stories with a walkout basement. The total cost of the project is anticipated at $1,933,000. Of this total project cost, $1,525,000 has already been raised.

Van Otterloo tells us it’s not just office space though. He says their education end of things is growing by leaps and bounds and needs more space.

The anticipated construction starting date is April 1st with completion of the project coming in December of 2020. Van Otterloo says they hope to move in by next January or February with a grand opening scheduled for May of 2021.

February 20, 2020 - 4:02 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — The 2020 census will begin with a mailing starting in mid-March. Census Bureau spokesperson Maureen Schriner says it’s important that everyone looks for and completes the census form to be counted. Schriner says the census determines our legislative representation and also determines how much money communities get from the federal government.

Schriner says some people are concerned that the information they provide on the completed census forms will be readily available. She says that in information is kept confidential.

She says the information is only released in an aggregate form.

Additional information about the census can be obtained by going on-line at

February 20, 2020 - 3:45 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The more seasonal temperatures we saw earlier this week that gave way to the frigid temperatures of today, will moderate for the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

With a high of 36 on Monday, to a below zero low Thursday morning, Meteorologist Lance VandenBoogart tells us what has been causing the wide temperature fluctuations.

He says temperatures for the upcoming weekend will be quite pleasant.

But VandenBogaart says we shouldn’t get too used to the weekend’s mild temperatures.

So I guess the old saying it true: “This is Iowa, if you don’t like the weather just wait a day and it will change.”

February 20, 2020 - 11:14 am - Posted in News

Larchwood, Iowa — One person was injured in the aftermath of a two-vehicle accident at the intersection of Highway 9 and County Road A-10 early Wednesday afternoon.

Lyon County Deputies say 39-year-old Angela Marie Reckert, of Larchwood, was northbound on Highway 9 in a 2014 Chrysler Town & Country minivan. The report says 66-year-old James Lee Woods, of Sioux Falls, was operating a 2017 Chevrolet Spark eastbound on A-10. Deputies say Woods entered Highway 9 to continue eastbound when he was struck by the minivan.

On Wednesday February 19, 2020 at approximately 1:30 PM the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office investigated a two vehicle accident at the intersection of Highway 9 and county road A-10.  Angela Marie Reckert, age 39, from Larchwood, was operating her 2014 Chrysler Town and Country minivan northbound on Highway 9.  James Lee Woods, age 66, from Sioux Falls, SD was operating a 2017 Chevrolet Spark eastbound on A-10 (100th St).  Woods entered Highway 9 to continue eastbound on 100th St when he was struck by the minivan.

Authorities estimate the 2017 Chevrolet Spark and the 2014 Chrysler Town and Country were complete losses.

Deputies say one individual was transported to a local hospital for possible injuries.

Woods reportedly received a citation for failure to yield the right of way from a stop sign, a simple misdemeanor.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Larchwood Fire and Rescue, the Lyon County Ambulance, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Iowa Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Enforcement Agency.

February 20, 2020 - 11:05 am - Posted in News

Lyon County, Iowa — Two people were injured in a single-vehicle traffic crash in Lyon County earlier this week.

According to a release from the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, their investigation at the scene determined that 22-year-old Colten Blochowitz of Little Rock was driving a 2003 Ford F250 Super Duty pickup northbound in the 2000 mile of Kennedy Avenue, when the truck left the roadway to the west. Deputies say the vehicle traveled through the west ditch for approximately 1/4 mile before striking the embankment of the ditch of 200th Street and rolling several times.

Blochowitz was reportedly transported by ambulance for treatment of his injuries, and an adult passenger was transported by personal vehicle for treatment of his injuries.

Deputies say the vehicle was considered a total loss.

This accident remains under investigation. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by George EMS, Lyon County Ambulance, Trackside Towing, and Avera Rock Rapids.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A George man faces a 20-year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a child.

According to Lyon County Attorney Shayne Mayer’s office, 61-year-old Silvester Nason of George has been sentenced for two counts of Sexual Abuse, both Class C felonies, after the Court accepted his guilty plea.

Mayer’s office says Nason admitted to sexually abusing a child under the age of twelve.

They say Nason was ordered to serve two consecutive prison sentences of 10 years.

Court records stipulate that Nason will need to be discharged from one of the ten-year sentences before starting the next ten-year sentence. And upon his release from prison, Nason will be on lifetime parole and will be required to register as a sex offender for life, according to the County Attorney’s Office.

February 18, 2020 - 3:19 pm - Posted in News

Le Mars, Iowa — (as reported by the Lyon County News): The Northwest Iowa Bandmasters Association held its jazz band festival for over 50 bands from 33 northwest Iowa schools at Le Mars on Monday.

They were split up into six divisions and started competing at 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning. The top two high school bands from their division will be selected and will compete in the Iowa Jazz Championships next month.

Here are the results:

Class 1A:
5th place Gehlen Catholic
4th place Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn
3rd place (Wild Card Eligible) Woodbury Central
2nd place Newell-Fonda
1st place Kingsley-Pierson

Class 2A:
5th place Central Lyon
4th place Sibley-Ocheyedan
3rd place (Wild Card Eligible) Sioux Center I
2nd place West Lyon
1st place Okoboji

Class 3A:
5th place Spirit Lake
4th place Spencer
3rd place (Wild Card Eligible) MOC-Floyd Valley I
2nd place Bishop Heelan
1st place Le Mars Community

Class 4A

5th place Sioux City East II
4th place Sioux City West
3rd place (Wild Card Eligible) Storm Lake
2nd place Sioux City East I
1st place Sioux City North I

Story courtesy of our news partner, the Lyon County News newspaper in George, Iowa.

Little Rock, Iowa — The quest to find a new permanent superintendent at George-Little Rock Schools continues.

The George-Little Rock Community School Board of Education has announced the three finalists for the position, who have been selected with the help of Gary Richardson and Tim Grieves of G & R Consultants.

The finalists are Tom Luxford of South Sioux City; Joseph “Ed” Ross of Whalthill, Nebraska; and Dennis Olhausen of Sac City.

According to information provided to the board:

Mr. Luxford has thirty-four years in education and is currently serving as 9-12 Assistant Principal and Director of the alternative school in South Sioux City, Nebraska.

Mr. Ross has twenty years in education and is currently serving as a Secondary Principal in Walthill, Nebraska.

Mr. Olhausen has twenty-nine years in education and is currently serving as the Middle School Principal at East Sac Schools in Sac City, Iowa.

In 2017, Steve Barber resigned from the superintendent post to take a position in Atlantic. John Eyerly was hired to be the new superintendent, but served only two years, resigning in 2019. In a statement, Eyerly said that he was “charting a new journey.” Eyerly says he decided to resign and focus on family. Consultant Les Douma was hired to serve as interim superintendent. But Douma was unable to continue his duties due to health issues. So the G/LR board hired Patrick O’Donnell to fill the interim position.

The Board will conduct interviews with the three candidates on March 3rd and March 4th, 2020. The new superintendent will begin with the 2020-2021 school year.

February 18, 2020 - 1:13 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — A small group of Iowa House members and hunting enthusiasts are debating whether to increase the number of licenses for out-of-state deer hunters. Under current law, six-thousand deer hunting licenses are available for residents of OTHER states.

Representative Dean Fisher, a Republican from Montour, says expanding deer hunting opportunities would be good for Iowa’s economy.

Fisher’s on a House subcommittee that’s embracing the idea of offering 15-hundred more deer hunting licenses to out-of-staters, and setting aside 500 of those licenses for hunters who’ve signed up with an Iowa-based hunting guide. The Iowa Bow Hunters Association opposes the move. Bob Haney is president of the group.

Eric Goranson, a lobbyist for the Iowa Bow Hunters Association, says Iowa hunters should be the priority, and it’s getting harder and harder for Iowans who live in urban areas to find places to hunt.

Jim Obradovich, a lobbyist for the Iowa Conservation Alliance, says other hunting-related proposals under consideration could complicate the system even more.

There’s a deadline this week for all of these kinds of policy discussions. Most bills must be endorsed by a House or Senate committee by this Friday to stay eligible for consideration.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Iowa’s Ride — the new bicycle ride across Iowa will be wrapping up their inaugural ride in northwest Iowa this summer.

Unlike RAGBRAI, which starts on the west side of the state and heads east, Iowa’s Ride will start on the east side of the state and head west. It will start in Dubuque on July 12th. The night of Friday, July 17th, riders will stop in Sheldon, and they’ll take off for Rock Rapids on Saturday, July 18th.

Rock Rapids Chamber Director Angie Jager is heading up the Rock Rapids Iowa’s Ride effort. She tells us it’s going to be a little bit different than what we’re used to.

Jager gives us some details.

She says some people will come to Rock Rapids the week before to leave vehicles in town so they have them when they ride in on the 18th, and there might be some things planned for July 10th and 11th as well. She says there are busses set up that will take people to Dubuque to start the ride.

Jager says five committees have been set up so far. Volunteers will be needed, and she says they will be able to volunteer online. Speaking of online, she says the Rock Rapids Iowa’s Ride effort now has a presence on Facebook.

Jager says that since Rock Rapids will be the end town, for now, they plan to use only local food vendors, who she says are all on board with the effort. For more information, you can view the websites and Facebook pages she mentioned, or contact the Rock Rapids Chamber at 712-472-3456 or
Iowa’s Ride – Rock Rapids Facebook page
Iowa’s Ride (main Facebook page)