October 21, 2014 - 4:05 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) continues to work closely with local public health and health care professionals, state entities and the CDC in response and preparation to the West African Ebola situation. Despite what you might read on social Iowa Department of Public Health IDPHmedia or hear around the water cooler, there are and have been NO cases of Ebola in Iowa.

Last week, screening of travelers coming from Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia began at international airports at the time of arrival in the U.S. They are asked about things like current symptoms and possible exposures to patients with Ebola while in West Africa. If needed, appropriate action is taken at that time; for example, travelers with symptoms consistent with Ebola are not being allowed to continue until they are medically assessed. If they are well, they are given information about what to do once they arrive at their final destination – such as Iowa. Meanwhile, in Iowa, public health officials are notified of the arrival of the traveler. Iowa officials then re-interview the traveler to confirm their health status and their risk of exposure to Ebola. Appropriate action is then taken in Iowa, such as the traveler staying at home and away from others for 21 days, or taking their temperature and reporting this to public health for 21 days.

This will lower the risk of Ebola spreading in Iowa, and should reassure the public that extraordinary action is being taken by the U.S. Public Health system to protect them.

Other actions taken by IDPH over the past several weeks include several webinars for local public health agencies, emergency responders, hospitals, health care providers, and state agencies regarding transmission of the Ebola virus and how to prepare for any suspected cases.

Iowans should remember that Ebola is not transmitted through water, air, food or casual contact. Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person, or exposure to objects such as needles that have been contaminated. In addition:

  • People are not contagious after exposure unless they develop symptoms.
  • Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.

For more information about Ebola, visit the CDC’s web site at www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/index.html or the IDPH web site at http://bit.ly/1wmnEWa.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The Central Lyon Community Schools Board of Education has rejected all bids on an estimated three-and-a-half million dollar expansion and renovation project, and will start the bidding process again.CL expansion west side

Central Lyon Superintendent Dave Ackerman says that school board members and administrators had a number of questions that were unanswered before the bidding process that were not answered during the bidding process either. He says that the board felt that those questions needed to be answered before they committed the district to something that was not what was intended. For that reason, he says they decided to start the bidding process over again.

The board voted to republish the invitation to bid, with the bids to be opened at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, October 28.

Ackerman says that unlike many building projects at schools, this project did not require a bond issue vote.



He tells us why the school district needs to expand its main building.



He says that’s around 60 students.



Mr. Ackerman says that when the 1968 Elementary and Middle School building was built, it originally had more classroom space that over the years has been converted to other uses, and some of that space could be converted back to classrooms.



He gives us an idea of some of the goals of the project on the Greene Street side of the high school.



He says one criticism that they hear is that the school used to have classes of up to 100 students and they didn’t need that kind of space then. Ackerman says they may have fewer students per grade, but they have more programs. He says in the last 13 years they’ve gone from three special education rooms to six. They’ve also added transitional kindergarten and two sections of four-year-old preschool, and all those programs need classroom space.

Ackerman says part of the project is also on the Story Street side of the school.



He says the current wrestling room has always been a compromise, so they’re also planning some more athletic space on the east side of the current high school gym.



Ackerman says the current weight room, which is in the activities center north of the football field will be vacated, and they’re in discussions with Sanford Health, who uses the room across the hall for their fitness center, and with the City of Rock Rapids to decide what will happen to the current weight room once it is vacated. He says they want to keep using it as community recreation space in some form, while the school retains control of the second gym in the building.

Again, the project is being re-bid, with the bids to be opened at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, October 28.

To see some of the proposed project, click here.

If your browser or device cannot display the audio players, here are the direct links to the audio files:
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Little Rock, Iowa — The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office has just released a report about a gunshot victim in Little Rock, who apparently received her injuries on Tuesday, October 14th.Lyon County Sheriff Car Door 60-8

The Sheriff’s Office reports that about 11:45 PM that night, deputies and the Little Rock Ambulance were called to 308 Clothier Street in Little Rock for the report of an 18-year-old female gunshot victim.

The victim was taken to Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley and then taken by air ambulance to Avera Hospital in Sioux Falls. The victim had suffered a gunshot wound to her arm and stomach.

At last report, she was listed in stable condition. The incident is still under investigation.

The circumstances surrounding the shooting have not been released.

ForsterCenterRock Rapids, Iowa — The Rock Rapids City Council met in regular session Monday night, October 13th at the Forster Community Center.

The council opened the one bid that came in for the asbestos survey and monitoring of abatement. The bid was for $1235 per property. The council approved the bid subject to approval of Homeland Security. This would be for testing the nine red-tagged dangerous flood-damaged homes.

The council approved the final payment for seal coating streets this summer.

The council also approved the second reading, waived the third reading, and approved the new zoning ordinance, leaving the old zoning for properties whose owners requested it.

The city council approved a contract for roof work on a hangar at the airport.

A development agreement was also approved with Rock River Properties for the development of an apartment complex south of the telephone office. Details can be obtained through the city office.

The council also approved the receipt of the 2014 Bridge Inspection Report and made some appointments to the Rock Rapids Municipal Housing Agency.

Council member Marlene Bowers also asked if the city could make a donation to NEHAMA for their help during the June floods. This is being looked into.

Larchwood, Iowa — Over $250,000 was given to Lyon County non-profits on Thursday night at the Grand Falls Casino.Grand Falls Casino sign at night

The Lyon County Riverboat Foundation reports that fourteen grant applications were awarded at their semi-annual awards ceremony. This is the seventh semi-annual awarding of Competitive Grants.

The foundation also made payments to previously awarded and committed multi-cycle grant recipients totaling $202,607.

Board President Jeff Gallagher announced the award winners at the semi-annual competitive awards night held at Grand falls Casino and Golf Resort on Thursday October 9th. Fourteen applications received funding. Receiving grants of over $30,000 were the City of Inwood, which received $71,035 to update Foote Park; the Larchwood Baseball Club, which received nearly $38,600 for work on the dugouts and fence; Central Lyon Community School District, which received $35,000 towards a security system, and the Granite Threshermen’s Association, which received $32,840 for a sawmill enclosure. Receiving grants of between $10,000 and $30,000 were the Lyon County Ambulance Service, which received over $22,000 for a power load system; the City of Alvord, which received over $19,000 for park improvement, and the City of Doon, which received over $19,000 for a warning siren. Seven more projects received less than $10,000. Those can be viewed in the chart below.

Earlier this year, in July the Riverboat Foundation made a grant to Justice For All for the amount of $30,000 to help with Lyon County disaster relief.

Payments to multi-cycle grant recipients included: The Inwood Aquatic Center, which received the sixth payment of twenty of $37,500; the City of Lester, which received the fourth payment of five of $36,500 for their Community Center; The Lester Fire Department, which received the sixth and final payment of $16,666.66 for their fire truck; the Larchwood-Sioux Fire District, which received the fourth payment of eleven of $33,200 toward their new station; Fellowship Village, which received the third payment of ten of $25,000 toward their new addition; the City of Little Rock, which received the third of 10 payments of $16,250 toward their community center; and Kids Club of Rock Rapids, which received the fourth payment of twenty of $37,500 toward their new facility.

Since inception in July 2011, the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation has handed out 143 competitive grants totaling over $3 million.

By state law, all casino licenses in Iowa are held by nonprofit license holders, which distribute a percentage of gaming revenues to municipalities and other groups. Grand Falls Casino gives four and a half to five percent to the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation for distribution. The percentage increases depending on revenues. The foundation gives half of the money to county government, and the eight municipalities and three public schools in the county; and the other half is given in competitive grants.

Entity Project Grant
City of Inwood Foote Park Update $71,035
Larchwood Baseball Club dugouts and fence $38,555.06
Central Lyon CSD security system $35,000
Granite Threshing Assn. Saw mill enclosure $32,840
Lyon County Ambulance power load $22,815
City of Alvord Park Improvement $19,391
City of Doon warning siren $14,675
GEMS chest compression system $8,797
Lester Fire Dept generator $7,750
Lyon County Extension Demo garden $5,000
City of Little Rock Library upgrade $3,689
Lyon County Historical society deer hide storage $3,388
Little Rock EMS AED training $3,300
Lyon County Conservation Education Supply replacement $1,800

Little Rock, Iowa — A house was damaged in a fire on Saturday, October 4, 2014 near Little Rock. Little Rock Fire Truck FD

According to Lyon County Emergency Manager and Little Rock firefighter Arden Kopishke, about 12:40 PM, the Little Rock Fire Department was called to the report of house fire at 1047 Marsh Avenue, three and a half miles north of Little Rock

He says the fire department saw flames coming out of a door as they approached the scene.

Kopishke reports that there were no injuries to people, pets, or livestock.

The fire department was assisted by Sibley Fire Department, as both departments were initially paged to the fire.

He says the fire was behind the fireplace and got up into the attic. He says firefighters got the smoldering pieces out and doused the fire. He says they were able to contain the fire to the fireplace and the storage room behind it.

He says the cause of the fire was undetermined.

Kopishke reports that there was moderate damage to the house.

He says they used 500 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for two hours.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A northwest Iowa company is expanding its Rock Rapids facility and adding jobs.Maintainer Custom Bodies rescue truck

Maintainer Custom Bodies, Inc. has announced plans to expand the production capacity at its Rock Rapids manufacturing plant. The company plans to break ground this month on a plant addition that will increase factory space by 22%.

The expansion and plant reorganization is expected to be fully completed by Spring 2015. It will add 7200 sq. ft. to the existing manufacturing facility.

Maintainer General Manager Shelley Morris says that order activity has picked up tremendously at Maintainer Custom Bodies in the past several months. He says their rescue business continues to attract new customers, and their relationship with federal agencies continues to generate steady business. He says they need to increase their workforce, add paint capacity, and maximize the flow of product through the plant. Morris says that upgrading the facility and their technology will help their employees work more efficiently and safely.

Maintainer Custom Bodies plantMaintainer Custom Bodies has contracts with federal government procurement agencies that were recently renewed. That business, along with the uptick in rescue body orders, should result in a 50% increase in truck shipments over the next 12 months, according to plant officials.

In order to staff up for the increased production needs, Maintainer is hosting a Job Fair & Open House at their Rock Rapids facility on Thursday, October 16 from 2 to 6 PM. Plant leaders say they currently employ 30 people but would like to add at least 6 more.

Maintainer’s MCB facility is at 909 South East Street in Rock Rapids. Human Resources Director Brad DeBoer says that they would really like the community to see what we do, see our plans for the future, and consider a career move to Maintainer Custom Bodies. They think this growth will be great for Rock Rapids.

Maintainer Custom Bodies, Inc. has been manufacturing high-quality, innovative custom rescue vehicles at the Rock Rapids location since 1976. The company previously operated under names such as Cayle Craft, Amtech Emergency Products, and Rescue Vehicles of Iowa. You can find out more information at their website: www.maintainercustombodies.com

October 3, 2014 - 9:02 am - Posted in News

Angie JagerRock Rapids, Iowa — It’s time for our report from the Rock Rapids Chamber. We talked to Rock Rapids Chamber Director Angie Jager recently.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

You can get more information by going to rockrapids.com or by calling the Chamber at 712-472-3456.

September 25, 2014 - 3:02 pm - Posted in News

Lyon County Sheriff Car Door 60-8The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office arrested Brian Block, age 35, from Rock Rapids, IA for disorderly conduct on Tuesday, September 23rd at 2:35 p.m.. According to the report, the arrest stems from Block making loud and raucous comments in a public building.

September 24, 2014 - 2:56 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines — A new judge will be serving our area.gavel_sxc

Governor Terry Branstad has appointed Patrick H. Tott as a District Court Judge in the Third Judicial District (3B).

Tott, of Sioux City, earned his law degree from Creighton University School of Law and is currently working in private practice and as a judicial magistrate.

District 3 includes Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Dickinson, Emmet, Ida, Lyon, Kossuth, Monona, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Sioux, and Woodbury counties.

Tott fills the vacancy left by Judge D. Scott.

http://www.iowacourts.gov/About_the_Courts/District_Courts/District_Three/index.asp