Northwest Iowa — Effective July 1st of this year, texting while driving became a primary offense, meaning that law enforcement can pull you over for texting, or other uses of your smart phone, while you drive.  Now, the Iowa State Patrol is stepping up their enforcement of the new law in some creative ways.

Iowa State Patrol Trooper Vince Kurtz says drivers on Iowa roadways are often meeting distracted drivers.

In an effort to help make that change, Trooper Kurtz says the Iowa State Patrol will have an upcoming enforcement effort here in northwest Iowa.

In some areas of the state, Kurtz tells us that enforcement campaigns have included plain clothes troopers in RVs, and on bulldozers in construction zones, radioing violator information to uniformed troopers who then make the traffic stop.

He says the special enforcement campaign isn’t a “gotcha” campaign, which is why the Iowa State Patrol is giving advance notice to drivers.

Distracted driving is responsible for a large percentage of traffic crashes in Iowa, and is responsible for numerous traffic fatalities each year.

August 2, 2017 - 11:11 am - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — Iowa 4th District U.S. Representative Steve King was in the KIWA listening area Monday, and he stopped by the KIWA studios for a brief chat.

Last week, the leader of the Iowa Republican Party said he was worried about Republican prospects for the 2018 mid-term elections, since Congress has failed to pass the healthcare legislation that had been promised.  We asked King if he shared that concern.

King says he was extremely disappointed by what the senate DIDN’T get done in relation to healthcare.

He talked about what happened with the attempt to pass a “Skinny Repeal” of ObamaCare.

The Congressman says he’s been asked what is “Plan B” after the senate’s failure to pass a healthcare bill to replace ObamaCare.

King says ObamaCare has imploded, and he’s sure congress will be working hard on something they can pass that will help the American people.

July 31, 2017 - 12:06 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Last week there were several thousand bicycles trekking through northwest Iowa, and now we prepare for a big influx of motorcycles travelling west on area highways, with the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally beginning in the Black Hills of South Dakota later this week.

Triple-A Iowa’s Rose White reminds motorists to watch out for the 2-wheeled vehicles.

Even without the additional motorcycle traffic generated by folks travelling to Sturgis, White says there are still plenty of motorcycles out and about this time of year.

Strengthening the state’s texting-while-driving law may help to prevent crashes. Iowa’s new primary texting law became effective July 1st. White reminds motorists to never tailgate a motorcyclist. Give them extra space as they may need to make sudden lane changes to avoid potholes or road debris. She says motorcyclists need to be cautious and courteous, too.

25 motorcyclists have lost their lives on Iowa roads so far this year, but deaths are tracking much lower than last year at this time.  60 motorcyclists were killed in Iowa during all of 2016.

July 31, 2017 - 11:49 am - Posted in News

Inwood, Iowa — A semi tractor was damaged in a fire that was reported around 5:15 Friday afternoon (July 28th) at the intersection of 270th Street and Highway 18, south of Inwood.

Inwood Fire Chief Mike Knobloch says when firefighters arrived on scene the semi tractor’s tires were ablaze.  He says, fortunately, the truck’s driver had been able to decouple his semi tractor from the trailer, avoiding potential fire damage to the trailer.

Knobloch tells KIWA that the damage to the semi tractor was mostly confined to the truck’s tires and suspension airbags, with some minor damage to the body of the truck.

Firefighters were on-scene for approximately 45 minutes.

July 31, 2017 - 10:20 am - Posted in News

Doon, Iowa — A Boyden man was airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital following a single-vehicle rollover crash east of Doon early Sunday morning, July 30th.

Shortly before 1:45 Sunday morning, Lyon County Deputies were dispatched to a report of a single-vehicle rollover crash about 2 miles east of Doon on 260th Street.

Deputies say their investigation determined that a 2000 Pontiac Bonneville, driven by 22-year old Brandon Driesen of Boyden, was eastbound on 260th Street, when the car entered the south ditch, and became disabled after rolling.

According to authorities, Driesen was transported by Lyon County Ambulance to the Sanford Rock Rapids Hospital, and was then taken by Avera Careflight to Sioux Falls for further treatment.

Depties estimate the vehicle sustained approximately $6000 in damage.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, Lyon County Ambulance, Doon Fire & Rescue, Doon EMS, and K&J Body Shop.

Authorities say their investigation into the crash is continuing.

July 27, 2017 - 1:32 pm - Posted in News

Doon, Iowa — It was once the county seat of Lyon County. It boasted two railroads and sits near the confluence of two rivers and a major creek. And it’s celebrating the 125th anniversary of its incorporation. Doon Days this year in Doon is pretty special.

Doon Mayor Tim Mantel says they’ve been celebrating since Sunday when they had a community church service in the park. Monday night, they dedicated their new city office space, which is now in the old fire station building just north of Main Street. (The fire department recently moved to a new $400,000 building on the north side of town.) Wednesday there was a dodgeball tournament. He tells us what’s going on in the next few days.

Mantel says most activities are free at Doon Days. However, the helicopter rides are not free. He says they will be taking off from the Doon Protestant Reformed Christian School’s soccer field. He says there’s something for everyone.

Mantel invites everyone to Doon to help them celebrate their 125th.

July 27, 2017 - 1:24 pm - Posted in News

Larchwood, Iowa — The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is looking for the public’s help trying to find a stolen pickup.

They report that early on Thursday, July 27, 2017 at about 12:05 a.m., a 2013 gray Ford F-150 four-door pickup was reported stolen from Elanco, formerly known as Novartis or Grand Labs, southwest of Larchwood on county road A18.

Lyon County authorities report that the license plate on the pickup is South Dakota 41808V. If you see this pickup, they ask you to please call the Sheriff’s Office immediately at 712-472-8300.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — There were a few tense moments on Friday night at Sanford Rock Rapids Hospital. A fire alarm activated in the 10 p.m. hour.

According to Rock Rapids Fire Chief Ed Reck, fire crews were paged about 10:35 p.m. He says when they got there, they were able to determine the location of the alarm and traced it to an overheated motor on an air compressor.

Sanford Rock Rapids administrator Tammy Loosbrock says it could have been worse. She says hospital staff didn’t need to move any patients. She says Sanford Rock Rapids maintenance man Terry Jones was there and got the problem taken care of promptly.

No injuries were reported and damage was limited to the motor.

Reck says fire crews headed back to the fire station by 10:50 p.m.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The Rock Rapids City Council met in regular session at the Forster Community Center at 5:45 p.m. on Monday, July 24th.

While the agenda did not have much in the way of unfinished or new business, in the public comments section of the meeting, the council did hear from Michelle Sprock in regard to the first steps to decide what needed to be done if a mini zoo was wanted in the community again.

Sprock told the council that she is an animal biologist. She says she has worked for three different zoos and specialized in education. She says that she’d like to bring back the mini zoo, but she wants to do it right so they have something to offer the community. Sprock says to get started, she’d like to start it at her house. She says this way she can document animal interaction so that they have something to show for a grant application.

Sprock says she would also work toward getting the funding to do it right. She says she’d like to have the animals at her house for three to five years and start a discussion about how to do a mini zoo right.

She says they’d start with small animals less than 100 pounds. She says she’d want to make it an interactive experience. Sprock said that she’d also work with others who want to help out and may collaborate with Lyon County Conservation Naturalist Emily Ostrander.

Sprock told the council that she’d like to make the mini-zoo self-sustaining through donations. She said that perhaps at first they could house the animals at their home and have programs in the park once or twice a month.

The city council listened to Sprock and decided to refer the matter to the city council parks and recreation committee for further discussion and possible planning.

The next Rock Rapids City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 14th at 5:45 p.m. at the Forster Community Center.

July 18, 2017 - 3:35 pm - Posted in News

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Northwest Iowa — A convoy of big rigs will be hitting some northwest Iowa roads this weekend in an effort to raise money for cancer research and treatment.

Paul Schelling is one of the organizers of the annual Commercial Chaos For A Cure, and he tells us the day will begin, and end, in Sioux Center.

He tells us about the entry fee for the trucks.

Schelling says 100 percent of the proceeds from the event go to the June E. Nylen Cancer Center in Sioux City.

Schelling says registration starts at 10 and the trucks take off at 11 this Saturday, June 18th.