July 13, 2017 - 2:14 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — With the mercury expected to reach at least the mid-90’s within a week, and a good chance to have above normal temperatures the next six to ten days, according to the National Weather Service — now might be a good time to brush up on those heat illness tips.

According to Lyon County Health Nurse Melissa Stillson, overheating is a serious issue.

She says that many times, especially with elderly people, they don’t like to put the air conditioning on, saying that it makes them cold. But she says opening windows instead when the temperatures and humidity are high, makes the situation worse.

She also says that drinking a lot of fluids is important, but the way you take in fluids is important too.

She says the sun’s rays in the summertime are the strongest between noon and 3:30 p.m.

Also, she says maybe keep a washcloth with you to dip in the water and dab your children to keep them cool.

Plus, Stillson says you need to watch your diet and any medications, especially if you have a chronic medical condition or if you’re trying to lose weight.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says if people get too much heat, it can be a medical emergency.

People with heat exhaustion can experience heavy sweating, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, have pale skin or faint. Treatment of heat exhaustion includes drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages, taking a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath, getting rest, moving to an air-conditioned environment and changing into lightweight clothing. If symptoms are severe, worsen, do not resolve after an hour, or if the person has heart problems or high blood pressure, seek medical attention. If heat exhaustion is left untreated, and the person continues the activities, it may progress to heat stroke.

Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to cool down. It is characterized by high body temperature (above 103°F, orally), red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating), rapid, strong pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion or unconsciousness. If a person is experiencing heat stroke, seek medical assistance immediately and begin to cool the individual. Cooling efforts should continue until medical assistance arrives. Cool the person by getting them into shade, having them take a cool shower, bath or sponge bath, or wrap the person in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.

Click here for more information from Health Services of Lyon County.

July 11, 2017 - 1:59 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Blood donors are needed in Rock Rapids Wednesday (July 12th) when the Community Blood Bank makes a visit to the community.

Community Blood Bank Executive Director Ken Versteeeg says the bloodmobile will be at Sunshine Foods in Rock Rapids Wednesday morning from 7:00 to 10:30, and again Wednesday afternoon from noon to 3:00.  All who donate at Wednesday’s Rock Rapids Blood Drive will receive a commemorative “All-American Blood Donor” t-shirt.

Versteeg says that it becomes extremely difficult to maintain an adequate blood supply this time of year.  He says summer activities and vacations often make people forget to give blood throughout the summer months.  He says summer is traditionally a time when there is a higher occurence of accidents and injuries as people travel the highways and waterways, resulting in an increased need for blood.

For more information or to make an appointment please call 712-899-7305.  Walk-ins are also welcome.  Donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 years old with signed parent consent), be in good general health and weigh at least 110 pounds.  It is recommended that a person eat and drink plenty of fluid prior to donating.  Donating blood on the Community Blood Bank bloodmobile takes just 30-35 minutes.  And each pint of blood donated can save three lives.

Community Blood Bank supplies over 550 units of blood each week to people in the region.  Among those who benefit from donated blood are trauma and burn victims, cancer patients and persons undergoing surgery.  Donating blood is a simple way to save patients lives in the community.  Community Blood Bank is the SOLE provider of blood to Sanford Rock Rapids Hospital.

July 11, 2017 - 11:25 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — U.S. Senator Joni Ernst’s regional directors will visit two counties in the broadcast area this Wednesday, July 12th.

Representatives from Senator Ernst’s office will be available to assist with problems or questions about eligibility involving issues like Social Security, veterans’ benefits, military affairs, passports, immigration issues, and other federal programs. Senator Ernst will NOT be at these visits.

The Senator’s representatives will be in Sioux County Wednesday, July 12th, from 11:00 to noon at the Orange City Public Library, and in Lyon County Wednesday afternoon from 2:00 until 3:30 at the Rock Rapids Public Library.

Senator Ernst’s representatives will visit O’Brien and Osceola counties later this month.

July 11, 2017 - 12:06 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — This Monday is the first day to take out papers to run for public school board positions in Iowa. The election is on Tuesday, September 12th. There are board members at each area school whose terms will be expiring this fall. For example:


Two school board members’ terms are expiring at Central Lyon. They are the terms of two at-large members: Scott Postma and Keri Davis.

Two school board members’ terms are also expiring at George-Little Rock — those of District 2 Director Wade Netten and District 3 Director Ryan Klingenberg.

In the West Lyon School District, the terms of District 1 Director Troy Bauder, District 2 Director Kyle Knobloch, and District 5 Director Scott Lee are expiring.

Since it’s early in the filing period, it’s not known yet which school board members will file for re-election.

For the most part, school board members serve four-year terms. The deadline for filing papers is August 3rd, and paperwork can be obtained from the county auditor’s office, each school office, and on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The Rock Rapids City Council met in regular session at the Forster Community Center in Rock Rapids on Monday, July 10th, at 5:45 PM.

Rita Rice was there to tell the council about a broken sewer pipe under the middle of the street near their house. She says if it had been “a couple of hundred bucks,” they would have just paid it. But she says the bill was $4000. And she said they were told it was their problem even though it was under the street.  City Administrator Jordan Kordahl says he will be meeting with the City Attorney who will have an opinion soon.

Michelle Sprock from the Green Space Committee was there to tell the council about the current plan for the dog park north of Sunshine Foods. The issue at this time appears to be the fence. They were told that FEMA would not approve a chain-link fence and Mayor Jason Chase says he was told they probably wouldn’t approve a collapsible fence either, which could be an issue for a park in which dogs would be allowed to run around without a leash. Kordahl said he would help Sprock contact FEMA.

The council accepted the final plat of the affordable housing area — Sunset Court Addition in western Rock Rapids, and also turned the project over to private developer Greg Popkes.

The city is requesting proposals on a half a block of new street at South 5th Avenue and South Bradley Street, extending 150 feet west to the alley. This new stub of street will connect an alley in the Sunset Court Addition to the street.

The next Rock Rapids City Council meeting is scheduled for at 5:45 p.m. on Monday, July 24th, at the Forster Community Center.

July 9, 2017 - 8:13 am - Posted in News

Larchwood, Iowa — The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help.

They say they are investigating a hit and run accident that occurred on July 7, 2017 between the hours of 6:45 PM and 8:30 PM. A blue/green 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix owned by Lance Boote of Lester, was parked and unoccupied on the south side of the gravel entrance to the Larchwood softball diamonds. An unknown vehicle struck the driver’s door of the Grand Prix causing approximately $1,500 in damages. The unknown vehicle’s driver did not leave a note behind and nor contact the Sheriff’s Office. The unknown vehicle is believed to be white. If you have any information on this vehicle or witnessed this accident, please contact the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office at 712-472-8300.

July 7, 2017 - 11:42 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A seal-coating project is planned in southern and eastern Rock Rapids. This notice is from the City of Rock Rapids:

The City of Rock Rapids has contracted for seal coating of certain streets. Work is expected to start and finish on Friday, July 14, 2017, weather permitting. The contractor, Pearson Bros of Hanover, MN will set up “No Parking” signs the night before, which is Thursday, July 13th. This notice applies to the following streets: South 12th Avenue from Tama Street to Union Street; Tama Street from South 5th Avenue to past 2nd entrance at Riverview Cemetery; Carroll Street from South 12th Avenue southward to end; South 13th Avenue; South 15th Avenue; South 6th Avenue from Tama Street to Benton Street. The street map below identifies in blue the streets to be seal coated. Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated.

July 7, 2017 - 10:41 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — An Inwood man who was convicted of felony sex charges in April has appealed his conviction.

The trial of 41-year old Perry Vande Kieft of Inwood ended in a guilty verdict on Thursday, April 6th.

According to court records, Vande Kieft was accused of having sexual contact with an 11-year-old girl in the spring of 2015 and again in February or March of 2016 at Vande Kieft’s home.

Vande Kieft was convicted of sexual abuse in the second degree, a class B felony. His attorney called for a mistrial and filed a motion for a new trial, which was denied by the court.

At that time, Vande Kieft’s attorney, Ned Bjornstad claimed that the evidence against Vande Kieft was based almost entirely upon the testimony of the victim. He said there was no medical or scientific evidence to corroborate her testimony. The motion Bjornstad filed with the court said the victim’s testimony was “thoroughly incompetent and insufficient as evidence.” He writes that in one instance the testimony was “so incredulous as to render it incompetent.”

There’s been no word on when the appeal may be scheduled, but it is typical for appeals to take several months to be heard.

July 6, 2017 - 2:52 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — If you’re sending a kid to college this fall, now’s the time to be thinking ahead about how you’re going to pay for it.

Iowa Student Loan C-E-O Steve McCullough says it’s especially important for parents who might use the Federal PLUS Loan program, as the rates increased on July 1st.

McCullough says there are other options available.

He says the loans administered by his organization do have lower interest rates.

These are loans that are taken out by the parents with the idea that the college students will eventually pay them off. McCullough says it is important for parents to fully understand that they are on the hook for the loans if the students don’t pay.

He says parents and students should do as much research as they can right now to find out all the options available so they don’t have to scramble in the fall.

Iowa Student Loan is the non-profit entity in the state that administers students loans. McCullough says they have a variety of information on their website about student loans and borrowing.  You can visit their website by CLICKING HERE.

July 5, 2017 - 5:14 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A hospital association board in northwest Iowa needs to decide whether to go forward with plans for a $28 million hospital without knowing if the project will get a multi-million dollar loan from the federal government.

In January of 2016, the Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital Association and Avera Health jointly announced that Avera will lease the operations of the Rock Rapids community hospital and clinics beginning in May, 2019, when the current lease with Sanford Health expires.

Avera and the hospital association are planning a new hospital and clinic to be built in southwest Rock Rapids. The plan is for the new building to be available by the time Avera takes over. The facility is estimated to cost about $28 million. The USDA low-interest loan that has been applied for is for $17.75 million.

Jim Vander Woude of Rock Rapids, president of the hospital association’s nine-member board of trustees, says the situation is that the contractor needs to know soon whether workers can start building the facility in August. However, Vander Woude says they’ll be lucky to know by then whether they will receive the loan or not.

At a recent meeting of the hospital association, Vander Woude asked the members if they thought construction should begin with the funds on hand. He tells us what the USDA had to say about that.

Vander Woude says that those at the meeting were overwhelmingly supportive of the plan to start construction with funds on-hand while they wait for the decision from the USDA. He says The Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital Association Board of Trustees will decide soon. He says they have set a somewhat fluid date of July 25th as a deadline to make the final decision. Meanwhile, he says they are lining up interim financing.

Meanwhile, he says that the association wants to get started soon on fundraising for the facility.

He says if all goes well, they hope to open the facility in February 2019.