October 7, 2016 - 5:45 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The work on a pipeline to bring North Dakota crude oil to a connection point in Illinois is nearing completion in our area. All of the pipe is in the ground in our section, which stretches from the Big Sioux River near Inwood to the Cherokee/Buena Vista county line.
Dakota Access Bakken Crude Pipeline Route Iowa
In a report filed with the Iowa Utilities Board this past week, officials with the Dakota Access division of Energy Transfer Partners report that in northwest Iowa’s O’Brien County, work is complete as far as staking, clearing, grading, ditch work, road and other bores, stringing, welding, lowering, and backfill. Fifty-six percent of the cleanup and restoration is done too, as well as all of the hydro testing.

In Sioux County, it is reported that all of the work is completed, except that only half of the “other bores” are completed, and only 16 percent of the hydro testing. Plus all of the cleanup and restoration has yet to be completed.

In Lyon County, all of the cleanup and restoration has yet to be done there as well, plus no hydro testing has been done yet, otherwise everything else is done.

October 6, 2016 - 1:59 pm - Posted in News

Doon, Iowa– A pickup was destroyed in a fire on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 near Doon.
Doon Fire Dept FD 1
According to Doon Fire Assistant Chief Blake Van Bemmel, about 7:16 PM, the Doon Fire Department was called to the report of a vehicle fire at 250th Street and Goldfinch Avenue, about a half mile east of Doon.

The assistant chief says the fire department saw that the vehicle’s motor was on fire as they approached the scene. He says they used water to fight the fire.

Assistant Chief Van Bemmel says no injuries were reported.

He says the cause of the fire is thought to have been a fuel leak, but the cause is officially undetermined.

Assistant Chief Van Bemmel reports that the pickup, which was an older vehicle owned by Dave Huyser, was totaled in the blaze.

He says they used small amount of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for about an hour.

October 4, 2016 - 4:25 pm - Posted in News

handcuffs - subject inLester, Iowa — A Larchwood woman, and her co-defendant, face felony charges following their arraignment Monday (October 3rd).

According to the Lyon County Attorney’s Office, Victoria Parrow, along with her co-defendant, Paul Callender, were arraigned and entered pleas of Not Guilty Monday, on charges of felony methamphetamine distribution charges, as well as other charges, that arose following the execution of a search warrant which was executed at a Larchwood residence early last month.

In addition, during Monday’s court appearance, the pair requested that their current bond of $100-thousand be reduced.  The State resisted the Defendants’ request for bond reduction and the Court reportedly took the matter under advisement.

A trial has yet to be scheduled in the case.

Officials say the pair is currently being held in the Lyon County Jail at Rock Rapids, in lieu of bond.

October 3, 2016 - 5:08 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Iowa U.S. Senator Joni Ernst was in our area on Monday, talking with Iowans about issues important to them.
The Senator was at the Dwight Mogler farm south of Lester in the morning. There, Ernst says they discussed pork issues, the Farm Bill, the Waters of the United States, Water Quality, GIPSA, trade/TPP, and CAFOs, among other topics.

The Senator says that she took questions on several topics.

We asked Ernst if she had any message for northwest Iowans.

Ernst says Monday’s visits are part of her 99-county tour.

October 3, 2016 - 5:03 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A rural George couple have entered guilty pleas in a plea agreement regarding a drug case.
Lyon Courthouse At Night
Court records indicate that 46-year old Shannon Nagel, and 38-year old Sheila Nagel are both charged with Possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, a class B felony; Possession with intent to deliver marijuana and Failure to affix a drug tax stamp, both class D felonies; along with misdemeanor charges.

On Monday, October 3, the Nagels appeared in district court.

The Lyon County Attorney’s Office reports that Shannon Nagel entered a plea of guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, a Class C Felony pursuant to a plea agreement which contemplates an indeterminate prison sentence of up to ten years in an Iowa prison. They say his wife, Shelia Nagel, pled guilty to an amended offense of Sponsoring a Gathering Where Drugs are used, a Class D Felony, pursuant to a plea agreement which contemplates an indeterminate prison sentence of up to five years.

Both cases stem from a search warrant conducted by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office in July of 2016 in rural George. The Lyon County Attorney’s Office reports that both Nagels will remain in jail pending sentencing which has been scheduled for October 31, 2016. Both have been in custody since their arrest on July 28.

October 2, 2016 - 12:12 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The Rock Rapids City Council met in regular session at the Forster Community Center in Rock Rapids on Monday, September 26th at 5:30 PM.

The city council approved round 3B of asbestos abatement.

They were also given a progress report on the flood buyout program and individual properties’ statuses.

Kids Club has requested a stop sign at Lincoln Street and First Avenue East. The Sheriff’s Office recommends that vehicles travelling east and west on First Avenue East stop for traffic on Lincoln Street going north or south.

Also somehow the ordinance for the stop sign at Story Street and South Second Avenue downtown had inadvertently been left out.

The council approved both stop signs.

Councilman Schneidermann mentioned that there was also not a stop sign at Carroll Street and 13th Avenue, for traffic on 13th to stop for Carrol Street traffic. City administrator Jordan Kordahl says the ordinance does require one there, so one will be set up.

Council member Marlene Bowers expressed her opinion that since the sign near Kids Club is a new stop sign, perhaps the stop signs should have a flag or flashing light temporarily. Incidentally, First Avenue East is under construction and is closed at this time at that intersection.

The council also approved a Forster Trust grant application for the hospital project.

They approved an airport tiling and drainage easement involving Gary TeSlaa and Brad Hindt’s property near the airport.

The council also approved store front incentive funds for two storefronts of the Home Warranty building. Since the building has two store fronts for two businesses, two grant applications, for $5000 each were submitted and were approved.

The next Rock Rapids City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 10th, at 5:30 PM at the Forster Community Center.

Click here for the meeting minutes.

Click here for a copy of the stop sign ordinance.

September 29, 2016 - 3:42 pm - Posted in News

Jail DoorRock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Rapids woman received a suspended prison sentence as the result of a plea agreement on drug charges.

According to authorities, the charges against Luz Leann Simons stems from the execution of a search warrant at her Rock Rapids residence in September of 2015.  Authorities say Simons was initially charged with Gathering Where Controlled Substances Unlawfully Used, a Class D Felony; Possession of Controlled Substance: methamphetamine, an Aggravated Misdemeanor; and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Simple Misdemeanor.

This month, Simons entered into a plea agreement with the State of Iowa, in which she plead guilty to Gathering Where Controlled Substances Unlawfully Used, a Class D Felony.  With this guilty plea, the State agreed to dismiss the Possession of Controlled Substance: methamphetamine, an Aggravated Misdemeanor; and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Simple Misdemeanor, with the agreement Simons pays for the cost of dismissals of all three counts.

Simons was sentenced to prison for a period no more than five (5) years, on the felony charge, with the sentence suspended, and she was placed on probation for a period of two (2) years.  Simons was also ordered to obtain a substance abuse evaluation and comply with any and all recommendations, as directed.

In addition, Simons was ordered to pay a $750.00 fine, $10.00 D.A.R.E. surcharge, 35% statutory surcharge ($262.50), $125.00 Law Enforcement Initiative Surcharge, court appointed attorney fees, jail fees, and court costs ($100.00). Simons’ fine and surcharge were suspended.

September 29, 2016 - 2:46 pm - Posted in News

AccidentGeneric 2Larchwood, Iowa — A Sioux Falls man was taken to the hospital following a two-vehicle head-on crash at the south end of Larchwood Wednesday morning (September 28th).

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, the accident happened when an eastbound 2008 Nissan, driven by 22-year old Terrence Karla of Sioux Falls, attempted a left turn onto Broadway Street, turning into the path of a westbound 2009 Sterling Grain Truck, driven by 39-year old Jeremy Steuven of George, and owned by Cooperative Farmers Elevator, causing the vehicles to collide head-on.

Deputies say that after the collision Karla’s vehicle went into the south ditch and Stueven’s vehicle tipped over on the road, causing the road to close for approximately 3 hours.

Karla was transported to Avera Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD by the Lyon County Ambulance, with what deputies describe as non-life threatening injuries.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Larchwood Fire Department and Larchwood EMS and the Lyon County Ambulance.

September 29, 2016 - 10:28 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Two Lyon County entities have received funding from a foundation that some assumed had ceased to exist.
money cash bills dollars
The Community Foundation of Lyon County was formally established in 2005 through affiliation with the Siouxland Community Foundation. Until Grand Falls Casino was opened in 2011, funding for the grant program was a result of County Endowment Fund legislation passed in 2005 which provides that a percentage of the state’s gambling revenues is to be distributed among all Iowa counties that do not have a gambling entity. But after the casino opened, the foundation no longer received state funds. However, the casino’s nonprofit license-holder, the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation does distribute a portion of funds the casino takes in.

Lyon County Economic Development Director Steve Simons says that despite the lack of state funds coming in to the Community Foundation of Lyon County, the foundation continues to operate and accept donations and endowments from private individuals. He says while both foundations’ goals are helping Lyon County, the Riverboat Foundation is tasked with giving away all the money that they get, while the Community Foundation’s goal is to keep some of the funds they receive from donors and give away some, in a manner similar to a revolving fund.

He says that the Community Foundation of Lyon County has given away its first two grants since the opening of the casino. They went to the Rock Rapids Kids Club and Rapids Theatre Preservation Society. Kids Club received $13,000 toward their new daycare facility construction and the Theatre Preservation Society received $9,000 toward work on the exterior of the historic building in downtown Rock Rapids.


From left: Shayne Mayer. Lyon County Attorney; Des Kopp, director of Rock Rapids Kids Club; Rebecca Krohn, executive director, Siouxland Community Foundation


From left: Bryce Hunt, Rapids Theatre Preservation Society, Shayne Mayer. Lyon County Attorney; Norma Jansma, Julie Taylor, Jackie Telford, all with Rapids Theatre Preservation Society, and Rebecca Krohn, executive director, Siouxland Community Foundation


September 29, 2016 - 10:05 am - Posted in News

deer_sxc2Larchwood, Iowa — An Inwood teen struck a deer near Larchwood on Wednesday, September 28th.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 9:20 pm on Wednesday, 19-year-old Jace Vande Kamp of Inwood was driving a 2011 Ford F-150 eastbound on A-26, near Beech Avenue, eight miles southwest of Larchwood. According to the report, Vande Kamp struck a deer in the roadway.

The Ford received $4,500 damage.

No injuries were reported.