September 15, 2016 - 7:50 pm - Posted in News

Inwood, Iowa — A manure discharge in Lyon County is getting the blame for a fish kill near Inwood.

file photo

file photo

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports that specialists from their Spencer field office investigated a fish kill reported about two miles north of Inwood in Lyon County on Thursday.

Investigators found elevated ammonia levels and 1,354 dead chubs and minnows along two miles of an unnamed tributary of the Big Sioux River. The DNR reports its investigators traced a manure discharge to a 600-head beef confinement operation allegedly owned by Jeff Kruse. They say liquid manure had been pumped from a storage pit into a nearby field where it flowed overland to the stream.

The area received heavy rains Thursday morning. The discharge has stopped, according to the DNR.

DNR officials say they will monitor any cleanup and consider appropriate enforcement action.

photo: freeimages.com/michelle w

September 13, 2016 - 5:46 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The trial in the case of an Inwood man who has pled not guilty to felony sex charges may be pushed back.
Lyon Courthouse SVA
The defense in the trail of 41-year-old Perry VandeKieft has moved for a continuance of the trial — which is legal speak for a postponement. Lyon County Attorney Shayne Mayer, who is representing the State, advised the court that they would have no objection to the motion for continuance.

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

Charges against Vande Kieft include two counts of sexual abuse in the Second degree, which is a class B felony; as well as indecent contact with a child and possession of a controlled substance.

According to court records, the judge in the case has not filed an order regarding continuance, but has scheduled a hearing for Monday, September 19th, the same date as the pre-trial conference.

At last report the trial was still scheduled for Tuesday, October 11th.

Lyon Sheriff Facebook HeaderLarchwood, Iowa — A Sioux Falls man faces additional felony charges after escaping from the custody of Lyon County authorities yesterday (Thursday, September 8th).

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, the incident began with a call of a disturbance at Grand Falls Casino.  While investigating the incident, deputies say they discovered 37-year old David Clark of Sioux Falls had given deputies his brother’s name in an attempt to avoid apprehension.  Through continued investigation, deputies say they learned Clark’s true identity, and discovered that he was wanted on a felony warrant out of Nobles County, Minnesota.

When deputies attempted to arrest him, they say Clark fled on foot.  A deputy reportedly pursued Clark, on foot, until they reached a roadside pond.   Deputies say Clark entered the pond and attempted to evade arrest by concealing himself in the dense foliage surrounding the pond.  After nearly 2 hours in the water, Clark was reportedly taken into custody for escape from custody, a class D felony, providing false identification information and interference with an official act, both simple misdemeanors.  He was also served with the Nobles County arrest warrant for violation of probation.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Larchwood fire department and EMS as well as the Iowa State Patrol for their assistance in bringing Clark to justice.

September 5, 2016 - 11:23 am - Posted in News

Alvord, Iowa — A child in the Alvord area is safe after some tense moments on Sunday evening, September 4th.
Sanford Air Med 9
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 6:50 PM they received a 911 call from an address about two and a half miles southwest of Alvord. They say a 6-year-old child had been missing in a cornfield for about 30 minutes.

Several agencies responded to the scene and began searching, including the Sanford Hospital Air Med helicopter, Inwood Fire and Rescue, Alvord Fire and Rescue, Larchwood Fire, Larchwood EMS, the Lyon County Conservation Department, Lincoln County South Dakota Emergency Management, the Iowa State Patrol, and many local residents.

The child was found about two hours after being lost, about three quarters of a mile from the child’s last known location.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office wants to thank everyone for their efforts.

September 2, 2016 - 5:29 pm - Posted in News

Mattoon, Illinois — The sale of nine northwest Iowa telephone exchanges in our area is final. That according to the company selling the exchanges — Consolidated Communications Holdings, Incorporated.
telephone no message light
Officials there announced on Thursday, September 1st, that they have completed the sale of the Heartland Telecommunications Company of Iowa subsidiary to Mutual Telephone Company of Sioux Center, also known as Premier Communications; and Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association of Winnebago, Iowa.

Consolidated says they intend to focus on their core regions. They say both Premier and Winnebago are “uniquely positioned to provide exceptional service to customers in the rural areas of northwest Iowa.”

Premier acquired the Iowa exchanges of: Akron, Boyden, Doon, Hawarden, Hull, Ireton, Rock Rapids, Rock Valley and Sibley. Winnebago acquired the Iowa exchanges of Bancroft and Lakota.

The Heartland operation contributed approximately $7.0 million of revenue in fiscal 2015, according to Consolidated. The sale was an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $20.9 million.

President of Premier Communications in Sioux Center, Doug Boone said last month that they have been providing competing service with Consolidated in all of the communities except for two — Sibley and Hawarden. He says in addition to upgrading the service in the exchange areas, they will also now be able to provide service to rural customers in those areas — something they could not do before.

Boone says they plan to offer positions to all of the former Consolidated employees in the area, and for now at least will keep a former Consolidated office in Rock Rapids.

September 2, 2016 - 5:27 pm - Posted in News

Fatal Ambulance IIIRowena, South Dakota — A Rock Valley resident has died from injuries sustained in a two-vehicle crash that occurred on Tuesday, August 30th, just a mile northwest into South Dakota, northwest of the Grand Falls Casino.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol reports that 57-year-old Rohit Shah of Rock Valley died Thursday (September 1st, 2016) in a Sioux Falls hospital.

They report that Shah had been driving a 2004 Toyota Rav 4 westbound on South Dakota Highway 42 when the vehicle came to a complete stop in the westbound lane. A 2007 International semi tractor, which was following in the same lane, rear-ended Shah, sending the vehicle into the north ditch.

They report that the second driver, 30-year-old Philip Gacke of Canton, SD, was not injured. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts.

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. Other agencies on scene were the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office, Valley Springs Fire Department and Med-Star Ambulance.

September 1, 2016 - 10:29 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Dates for a trial and a pretrial conference have been set in the case of an Inwood man who has pled not guilty to felony sex charges.
Lyon Courthouse 2 smaller
According to court records, 41-year-old Perry Vande Kieft of Inwood allegedly had sexual contact with an 11-year-old girl in the spring of 2015 and again in February or March of this year at Vande Kieft’s home.

Charges against Vande Kieft include two counts of sexual abuse in the Second degree, which is a class B felony; as well as indecent contact with a child and possession of a controlled substance.

The pretrial conference has been set for Monday, September 19th with the trial scheduled to start on Tuesday, October 11th.

Vande Kieft’s arraignment and bond review is scheduled for Tuesday, September 6th in Lyon County District Court in Rock Rapids.

August 31, 2016 - 12:22 pm - Posted in News

Alvord, Iowa– A Steen, Minnesota man was taken to the hospital after an accident near Alvord.
Lyon County Ambulance
The Iowa State Patrol reports that about 6:25 AM on Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 52-year-old David Wright of Steen, Minnesota was driving a 2002 Ford southbound on Fig Avenue, a mile and a half east and two and a quarter north of Alvord. That’s County Road K40 about three quarters of a mile south of A26.

The report says that Wright lost control of the car, which went sideways into the east ditch. It says the Taurus came to a rest facing eastbound in a beanfield.

The Lyon County Ambulance took Wright to Sanford Rock Rapids Hospital.

Wright’s Ford sustained $2000 in damages.

Wright was charged with Failure to Maintain Control.

August 26, 2016 - 5:56 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Utilities Board has unanimously denied a request from landowners for a permanent stay to stop Dakota Access from building the Bakken oil pipeline until a court decides if the company can use eminent domain to get access to their land.
Iowa Utilities Board IUB
The three-member board heard roughly 45 minutes of testimony from each side and asked questions before going into a close meeting to deliberate. After returning to open session, I-U-B chair Geri Huser, of Altoona read a statement that said the board was required to consider four factors: the likelihood of the groups success in their appeal; the degree the group may suffer irreparable harm; the degree to which the other side might be harmed; and the public interest.

Huser said the board did not find there would be irreparable harm to the landowners.

The representative from Dakota Access had argued the landowners should have filed the request earlier. Huser’s final point supported that idea.

The board did vote to continue a temporary stay on construction in place until the 9 a-m deadline Monday to give the landowners a chance to file an appeal in district court. Board member Nick Wagoner of Marion voted against keeping the temporary stay in place, while Huser and Libby Jacobs of West Des Moines voted in favor. The landowners had sought the emergency I-U-B hearing after a Polk County District Court judge ruled they had to go through the administrative process first before he could take up the issue.

August 26, 2016 - 5:55 pm - Posted in News

Murdo, South Dakota — Six northwest Iowa hunters are in trouble with the law in South Dakota.

deer portrait iowa dnr

file photo

According to court records, the hunters are accused of swapping deer tags.

The records say the individuals, 53-year-old Randall Kats and 23-year-old Jonathan LeLoux both of Rock Valley; 55-year-old Corwin Harthoorn, 25-year-old Colton Harthoorn, and 25-year-old Kristi Harthoorn all of Doon; and 30-year-old Jeremy Hilt of George were cited in July on charges related to the improper tagging of multiple bucks in Jones County, South Dakota.

Murdo is the county seat of Jones County.

The Mitchell, South Dakota Daily Republic reports that:

According to court documents, an Iowa Department of Natural Resources officer began an investigation in April 2014 after taxidermy records in Doon, Iowa, showed Randall Kats had a mule deer buck mounted on Nov. 23, 2012, but a search of South Dakota’s licensing database showed Kats was only issued an “any whitetail” deer tag in 2012.

As the investigation continued, authorities realized the other five individuals were involved in a series of tag swapping that occurred in 2011 and 2012, with another incident in 2015.

Corwin Harthoorn was charged with two counts of transferring a license, in which he allegedly provided big-game licenses to his daughter-in-law, Kristi Harthoorn, in 2011, and to Randall Kats in 2012. He is also charged with unlawful possession of game after allegedly shooting a whitetail buck on his property in Jones County and placing Kats’ tag on the deer.

Colton Harthoorn was charged with two counts of transferring a license by providing his big-game license to Jeremy Hilt in 2011 and to Kristi Harthoorn in 2012. Court documents state Colton was also the person who placed Corwin’s tag on Kristi’s deer in 2011.

Kristi Harthoorn was charged with two counts of hunting big game without a license, in which she allegedly killed whitetail bucks in 2011 and 2012.

Randall Kats was charged with two counts of transferring a license by providing his big-game license to Corwin Harthoorn in 2012 and to Jonathan LeLoux in 2015, and one count of hunting big game without a license in which he allegedly shot a mule buck in 2012.

Jeremy Hilt was charged with hunting big game without a license by killing a mule buck in 2011. Jonathan LeLoux faces the same charge for allegedly shooting a whitetail buck in 2015.

All the charges are Class 1 misdemeanors, each punishable upon conviction by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. The individuals are all scheduled to make their initial appearances in court in September.

The Mitchell, South Dakota Daily Republic wrote portions of this story.