June 24, 2015 - 9:53 am - Posted in News

Lyon County Sheriff Car Door 60-8Inwood, IA — A Rock Rapids woman backed into a vehicle on Tuesday, June 23rd in Inwood.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 10:19 am, 63-year-old Lois Kuehl of Rock Rapids was backing out of a parking spot in a 2008 Chevrolet Impala, owned by New Century Press of Rock Rapids. Seventy-nine-year-old Clarene Burgers of Inwood was driving a 2007 Chevrolet Malibu, owned by Inwood Body Shop of Inwood, southbound on Main Street near Jefferson Street. According to the report, Kuehl was backing out of a parking spot onto Main Street and struck Burgers.

The Impala received $600 damage; the Malibu received $1500 damage.

No injuries were reported.

June 23, 2015 - 3:36 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — One of the presidential hopefuls from the huge field of Republicans is going to be in northwest Iowa on Thursday. Dr. Ben Carson is an American author and retired Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon.
Ben Carson
His trip to this area will start out with a fundraising event in Sioux Falls, SD on Wednesday night, June 24th. Then Dr. Carson will be doing a Western Iowa tour on Thursday, June 25th starting in Rock Rapids.

He’ll be at Rock Rapids’ Frontier Bank at 8:00 AM at 301 First Avenue (That’s Highway 9). The event is open to the public and there will be a short question and answer time.

Then it’s on to Sioux Center. Dr. Carson will be at The Fruited Plain, starting at 9:30 AM. The Fruited Plain is at 172 North Main Avenue (that’s Highway 75) in Sioux Center. Again it’s open to the public and there will be a question and answer time.

Both of the appearances are open to the public. Dr. Carson will also make a private stop in Orange City. Then it’s on to Sioux City, Missouri Valley and Council Bluffs to end the day with another fundraiser.

Campaign officials say Dr. Carson is planning another trip to the area at some point too.

June 23, 2015 - 3:25 pm - Posted in News

Mankato, Minnesota — The landline telephone company that took over for US West in Boyden, Doon, Hawarden, Hull, Ireton, Rock Rapids, Rock Valley, and Sibley has been purchased by Consolidated Communications. Enventis, formerly Hickory Tech began using the Consolidated name this week. The Mankato-based Enventis changed its name from Hickory Tech less than 20 months ago in October, 2013.
Enventis Becomes Consolidated Communications
Consolidated Communications announced that the company has started doing business in its Enventis markets under the Consolidated Communications name and brand.

Consolidated’s northwest Iowa representative Cassie Radtke tells us about the change.

She gives us a little background about the company that purchased Enventis.

Radtke says they now have service territory in 11 states.

She says their focus remains on providing reliable services at competitive prices and ultimately delivering a better experience.

Radtke says the move of their northwest Iowa office from Rock Valley to Rock Rapids is also a recent development.

She says the letterheads, brochures, buildings, and vehicles will begin sporting the new logo soon, as replacements are phased in.

Company officials say customers will not be required to change their email addresses.

More information is available on the Consolidated Communications website at www.consolidated.com/enventis.

Hickory Tech had purchased the northwest Iowa exchanges from US West in 1997, and for a number of years used “Heartland Telecommunications” as its Iowa brand. US West was a “baby bell” and a successor of Northwestern Bell.

Incidentally, US West merged with Quest in 2000, and in 2011 became CenturyLink. CenturyLink continues to serve several northwest Iowa communities as well, including Sheldon.

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June 23, 2015 - 10:19 am - Posted in News

cowsLarchwood, IA — A Lester man’s vehicle was damaged in an accident near Larchwood on Sunday, June 21st.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that 64-year-old Calvin Kellenberger of Lester was driving a 2005 Volkswagen Southbound on Birch Avenue, near Larchwood. According to the report, Kellenberger was distracted by a cow loose in a yard and drove into the west ditch, striking an entrance driveway.

The Volkswagen received $3000 damage.

No injuries were reported

June 19, 2015 - 5:06 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Last year it almost didn’t happen, due to the flood. But it’s time for Heritage Days in Rock Rapids. Lots of fun events are planned including a parade, Figure 8 Races, Kids Fun in the park and much more. We had a chance to catch up with Rock Rapids Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Angie Jager and she highlights some of the events.
New Rock Rapids Water Tower

She says the fun continues on Saturday.

The festival wraps up on Sunday.

Click here for the full schedule.

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June 17, 2015 - 6:06 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has signed a disaster emergency proclamation for 18 Iowa counties adversely affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza, which would assist with disposal and clean-up efforts on affected sites.
Branstad signs
The state of disaster emergency proclamation temporarily allows impacted chicken and turkey producers to dispose of manure and compost generated at a premise infected with HPAI as a Bulk Dry Animal Nutrient under Chapter 200A of Iowa Code. The material can only be moved off-site if the United States Department of Agriculture has certified that the material is virus-free. Normally, only un-manipulated animal manure qualifies for distribution under this code section.

This proclamation only applies to impacted chicken and turkey producers in the 18 counties with confirmed cases of HPAI. Counties included in this proclamation are: Adair, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Hamilton, Kossuth, Lyon, Madison, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, Sioux, Webster and Wright.

The proclamation is effective until July 15, 2015.

The proclamation of disaster emergency can be read below:

WHEREAS, beginning on April 13, 2015, and continuing thereafter, there have been seventy-six confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the State of Iowa; and


WHEREAS, highly pathogenic avian influenza is a contagious and economically devastating disease that has threatened turkeys, chickens, and other poultry in our state; and


WHEREAS, the spread of this highly contagious disease continues to threaten the public peace, health, and safety of the citizens of the State of Iowa and has the potential to quickly destroy private property and exhaust local resources and capacities unless its spread is stopped.  These facts provide legal justification for the issuance of this Proclamation of a State of Disaster Emergency. Iowa Code §§ 29C.1, 29C.2 (1), 29C.6 (1); and


WHEREAS, Iowa poultry producers typically dispose of animal manure generated by their facilities under the provisions of Iowa Code Chapter 200A, and


WHEREAS, Iowa Code § 200A.3 (6) requires that animal manure must be “unmanipulated” and composed of “primarily of animal excreta” in order to be considered “dry animal nutrient product” to come under the regulation of Iowa Code Chapter 200A.  As defined, Iowa Code § 200A.3 (6) creates a particular hardship for turkey and chicken producers on sites infected by highly pathogenic avian influenza by making them ineligible to dispose of their animal manure under the authority of Iowa Code Chapter 200A, and


WHEREAS, producers with sites infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza in the following eighteen (18) Iowa counties are adversely effected by the definition of “dry animal nutrient product” in  Iowa Code § 200A.3 (6): Adair, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Hamilton, Kossuth, Lyon, Madison, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, Sioux, Webster and Wright County.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, TERRY E. BRANSTAD, Governor of the State of Iowa, by the power and authority vested in me by the Iowa Constitution Art. IV, §§ 1, 8 and Iowa Code §§ 29C.6 (1), 163.3A (2) and all other applicable laws, and in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the authority granted to it under Iowa Code § 163.3A, do hereby proclaim a STATE OF DISASTER EMERGENCY specifically for the following eighteen (18) Iowa counties: Adair, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Hamilton, Kossuth, Lyon, Madison, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, Sioux, Webster and Wright and do hereby ORDER and DIRECT the following:


SECTION ONE.  I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 200A.3 (6) requiring that animal manure be “unmanipulated” and composed of “primarily of animal excreta” in order to be considered “dry animal nutrient product” as defined by this section.  This suspension shall be effective only to manure and compost generated at a premise infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza and quarantined by the Iowa Department of Agriculture, in the counties delineated above, provided said material has been released for application in writing by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.  All other provisions of Iowa Code Chapter 200A shall apply to the above-described material.

SECTION TWO.  This state of disaster emergency shall be effective on June 15, 2015, shall continue for thirty (30) days, and shall expire on July 15, 2015, unless sooner terminated or extended in writing by me. Iowa Code § 29C.6 (1).


IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused the Great Seal of the State of Iowa to be affixed at Des Moines, Iowa this fifteenth day of June in the year of our Lord Two Thousand Fifteen.

June 17, 2015 - 4:09 am - Posted in News

Tea, South Dakota — The Lewis & Clark Regional Water System has received another shot in the arm.
The Minnesota Legislature has approved a $373 million Bonding Bill that included a $19 million “federal funding advance” for Lewis & Clark. The bill was signed by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. Along with L&C’s $9 million in FY15 federal funding, the $19 million is estimated to cover the construction of three things; the pipeline to Lincoln Pipestone Rural Water System’s connection three miles east of Adrian, a four million gallon ground storage reservoir four and a half miles southwest of Luverne and a booster pump station three miles southeast of Luverne. The funding will also allow project officials to get the segment of pipeline between Adrian and Worthington shovel ready in terms of design and easements.

Chairman Red Arndt of Luverne said, “It went into extra innings so to speak, but with strong support and leadership from Governor Dayton and our legislative leaders, including Senator Bill Weber, Representative Paul Torkelson, Representative Rod Hamilton and Representative Joe Schomacker, they got the job done! We cannot thank them enough. This is an incredibly huge boost for the project. If all goes according to plan Lincoln Pipestone will receive water at their Adrian connection in the fall of 2017. This also gets us one big step closer to Worthington.”

Background Information:
Minnesota also approved a $22 million federal funding advance during the 2014 legislative session. Those funds, along with $8.3 million L&C received in FY14 federal funding, are being used to construct the line from the Iowa/Minnesota border to Luverne and then east to Magnolia.

The term “federal funding advance” is used to describe zero interest loans from the states (South Dakota approved a total of $8.7 million in advances the last two legislative sessions) that will be paid back using future federal funding once all 20 members are connected and L&C is able to produce 45 million gallons a day of “non-firm capacity.” After the members are connected, an estimated $33 million is still needed to complete the project and make it more reliable (i.e. “firm capacity”). To ensure the states are not last in line in terms of future federal funding, the members have agreed to defer this construction until the states are repaid.

Iowa legislators have to-date not provided any federal funding advances for Lewis & Clark, but Lewis & Clark Executive Director Troy Larson says, “We’re working on them.”

In addition to the communities that are already connected in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Rock Rapids, Iowa, the system is eventually supposed to provide water to Hull, Sheldon, Sibley and Sioux Center, as well as two more systems in Minnesota and one in South Dakota.

June 16, 2015 - 3:55 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Rock Rapids community members — the same community members that met to fill sandbags and help out their neighbors a year ago during the worst flood the community has ever seen — are again getting together — to remember, to pray, and to thank God and each other for the help they provided one year ago.
Rock Rapids Rock River Flooding June 16 2014
Rock Rapids, Rock Valley, and other communities in northwest Iowa were hit hard by the flood of 2014. Buckets of rain combined with the failure of a Rock River dam at Blue Mounds State Park north of Luverne caused widespread flooding along the Rock.

Tonight, a Rock Rapids Community Picnic is taking place from 5-7 PM at Island Park. Directly following the picnic a Community Worship Service will be held at 7 PM, also at Island Park.

Rock Rapids church youth are banding together this week for a Hometown Mission Trip. The youth are in the midst of  three busy days working locally. Their prayer is to celebrate the community and the progress that’s been made since “the flood” on June 16, 2014. They want to give back, give thanks and share their service while recognizing and remembering those affected.

They ask for your prayers for that effort as well as for those affected by the flood-those that have moved on, those that have rebuilt, and those that are still deciding which path to take.

June 16, 2015 - 3:39 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — It has now been one year since the northwest Iowa Flood of 2014. Earlier this spring we got an update on the flood recovery progress in Rock Valley from City Administrator Tom Van Maanen.
RR FLOOD 2014 Marshall And 6th
While things are going well in both Rock Valley and Rock Rapids, the situation is totally different in Rock Rapids says that community’s Mayor, Jason Chase. While Rock Valley only had two homes that were in the flood plain and qualified for the buyout program, Rock Rapids had many more, and will probably be a different-looking community when it’s all over.

He says that work is just beginning.

Mayor Chase says it was a different situation for the owners of the red-tagged “condemned” properties.

Chase says the buyout is a voluntary program and people can change their mind up until closing, but if they choose not to participate, depending on the property and the amount of damage incurred, they may still be fairly restricted as to what they can build there.

With around forty homes being torn down in a small community, there is obviously a housing shortage in Rock Rapids, says Chase.

He says some of those apartment tenants are temporary while they get their permanent housing finalized. Chase says as the new homes are built, people move into the old house that was vacated when the new home’s owners moved into their new home, and so forth. He says it’s just like the old puzzle game where you slide one piece and move the next into its spot.

He says there are some housing incentives including a $4000 incentive, tax abatement, efficient appliance chamber bucks, and a residential demolition program for houses that need to be torn down in the core of the city, but are not part of the buyout.

Chase says there’s piles of paperwork and they really need to have their ducks in a row to get reimbursed from Homeland Security and FEMA. He says after they’ve done phase one, he expects the remaining phases to go more quickly.

He says they’re also planning some flood-related changes to Island Park.

He says they hope to be able to let out a project for bids soon for a new shelter house behind where the zoo building was.

Chase says that considering the havoc that the flood raised in the community, they’re doing as well as can be expected a year later.

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June 16, 2015 - 10:01 am - Posted in News

osceolasheriffSibley, IA — A George man backed into a Sibley woman’s vehicle on Sunday, June 7th.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 8:00 pm on June 7th, Tanner Nagel of George was backing a Buick Regal from a driveway in Sibley. According to the report, Nagel struck a legally parked Chevy Impala belonging to Karen Jansen of Sibley.

The Impala received $1000 damage. The Buick received $1800 damage.

Nagel was cited for Failure to have insurance and Unsafe Backing.