April 14, 2016 - 10:29 am - Posted in News

Sioux Falls, SD — A Little Rock man will serve an 18-month prison sentence after he was convicted in a case in which he was accused of attempting to line up sex with a minor in Sioux Falls.
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The US Attorney’s Office for the District of South Dakota says 30-year-old Lance Hunter, Jr. of Little Rock was convicted of Use of Interstate Facilities to Transmit Information about a Minor. He was sentenced to 18 months in custody, 5 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Hunter was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 2, 2015. He pled guilty on January 26, 2016.

The US Attorney’s office says Hunter responded to an advertisement on the website Backpage.com that was posted as part of a law enforcement undercover operation. Using his cell phone to send text messages, Hunter agreed to meet at a location in Sioux Falls to have sex with a fictitious 15 year-old girl. Law enforcement officers arrested Hunter after he attempted to leave the scene. They found the cell phone used for text messages as well as $100 in cash.

Hunter was ordered to report to start his prison term on May 2, 2016.

April 12, 2016 - 10:09 am - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — Nine Iowa landowners have filed a lawsuit against the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) in Polk County District Court over the permit issued for the Bakken oil pipeline.
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The suit filed Friday by the Northwest Iowa Landowners Association and individual landowners argues that Dakota Access, which is building the pipeline, does not qualify as a utility and therefore should not have the ability to use eminent domain to forcibly access property to build the pipeline across the state.

The Iowa Utilities Board decided in March that Dakota Access did have the right to use eminent domain and could proceed under certain conditions. The Davis Brown Law firm in Des Moines is representing the landowners and will hold a news conference on Tuesday at 3 PM to discuss the lawsuit.

In a news release, the law firm says they will argue that the Iowa Utilities Board has misinterpreted Iowa law, specifically the 2006 law designed to protect Iowa farmland.

The pipeline would enter the state near Inwood, and would cross portions of Lyon, Sioux, and O’Brien counties on it’s way to south-central Illinois.

April 11, 2016 - 4:04 pm - Posted in News

George, Iowa — A Sheldon man and his toddler daughter were transported to a hospital after an accident near George recently.
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The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Friday, April 8, 2016, about 7:10 AM, 24-year-old Shaun Michael Fox of Sheldon allegedly fell asleep at the wheel about two miles west of George on A34.

When deputies arrived on the scene they found a 2005 Pontiac G6 in the south ditch. Fox and his 16-month-old daughter were still in the car.

The Sheriff’s Office says when Fox fell asleep at the wheel, the car drifted across the roadway and entered the south ditch striking a residential driveway and becoming airborne. They say the Pontiac came to rest about 150 feet away at the edge of a creek bank.

The Lyon County Ambulance transported Fox and his daughter to Sanford Hospital in Rock Rapids. The 16-month-old girl had been strapped into a child safety seat and received a small cut to the chin and abrasions from the straps on the safety seat, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Fox was cited on a charge of failure to maintain control.

The George Fire Department and George EMS, the Iowa State Patrol, and Dusty’s Auto Body assisted at the scene.

April 11, 2016 - 3:18 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — Every April, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is held to promote victims’ rights and to honor crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. This year the week is April 10-16.
Family Crisis Center - FCC
Organizers say the theme, “Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope” presents the opportunity to highlight the diversity of our communities, expand partnerships to serve victims of crime, enhance efforts to meet victims where they are, and empower crime victims as they pursue justice and recovery.

The Family Crisis Centers of Northwest Iowa say that every year, millions of people’s lives are impacted by crime. The Family Crisis Centers’ Tara Raman says that many will need ongoing care and support. She says this week is a time to celebrate progress, raise awareness of victims’ rights and services, and stand with our families, neighbors, friends and colleagues whose lives have been forever altered by crime.

Raman also reminds you that if you’re a victim of domestic violence or other crime, you can call Family Crisis Centers at 1-800-382-5603. Services are always free & confidential.

April 10, 2016 - 4:19 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — About 250 bales were destroyed in a fire on Saturday, April 9, 2016 near Rock Rapids.
Rock Rapids FD Fire Department logo emblem 300
According to Rock Rapids Fire Chief Ed Reck, about 6:00 PM, the Rock Rapids Fire Department was called to the report of round bales on fire at 3468 Highway 9, about two and a half miles east of the east Rock Rapids water tower. That’s the cattle feeding operation of Ordel Harberts, says Reck.

The chief says the fire department saw lots of fire and smoke from numerous round bales as they approached the scene. He says several farmers came with tractor-mounted loaders, pay-loaders, and disks to help out. They hauled the bales out to a nearby field, pulled them apart and doused them with water to put out the fire.

Reck says no injuries were reported.

The fire department was assisted by the George and Little Rock Fire Departments, the Lyon County Ambulance crew and the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be an outdoor wood burner.

Chief Reck reports that all 250 bales were destroyed.

He says they used at least 20,000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene until 9:30 PM.

April 8, 2016 - 11:30 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Congratulations are in order for two girls who were crowned in Rock Rapids on Thursday night.

Photo courtesy Ginger Rasmussen

Photo courtesy Ginger Rasmussen

This year the Rock Rapids Chamber decided to combine the annual Heritage Days Fundraiser Taco Feed with the crowning of the girls who will preside over Heritage Days festivities in June and will represent the town in area festivals.

Congratulations go out to Miss Rock Rapids, Hope Rasmussen; and Little Miss Rock Rapids, Emery Jager.

Also presented at the Taco Feed this year was the Citizen of The Year Award, which this year was given to Ron Rice.

Chamber Director Angie Jager reports they served over 200 people at the taco feed and $5450 was raised for the Heritage Days festival in the cake and pie auction.

April 8, 2016 - 10:28 am - Posted in News

George, Iowa — What started out as someone calling 911 and then hanging up has resulted in several charges against two George residents.
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The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Thursday, April 7th, someone in George called their 911 line and then hung up. When deputies arrived to investigate the 911 call, the Sheriff’s Office says they discovered an on-going domestic assault. During the investigation deputies also discovered drugs and drug paraphernalia.

After concluding an investigation into the domestic assault, deputies arrested 33-year-old Joshua Zieroth of George, and charged him with domestic abuse by strangulation and two counts of child endangerment, all aggravated misdemeanors.

They also arrested 28-year-old Elizabeth Faron of George on charges of domestic abuse, a simple misdemeanor, and two counts of child endangerment, both aggravated misdemeanors.

Deputies say they then applied for and received a search warrant for the home. In carrying out the search warrant, deputies found drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Zieroth was further charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance, all serious misdemeanors and three counts of drug paraphernalia, all simple misdemeanors. Faron was additionally charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, which are serious misdemeanors and two counts possession of drug paraphernalia, which are simple misdemeanors.

April 7, 2016 - 3:48 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A year after the statewide 10-cent per gallon increase in the state gas tax went into effect, the extra money you pay at the pumps has helped a large number of road projects, including both repair and construction.
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The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) says they have also noticed no change in Iowans’ driving habits. They say that’s probably due to the lower gas prices that seem to have accompanied the gas tax hike.

According to Lyon County Secondary Road Engineer Laura Sievers, Iowa legislators have asked County Engineers to let the taxpayers know where the 10-cent gas increase has gone.

She says in Lyon County, the road department will be spending the 10-cent gas increase funds for 2016 on 1.65 miles of A-22 south of Rock Rapids. Locals call the road the two-mile bridge road, south of Rock Rapids. Sievers says this road is in desperate need of a reconstruction project and so it follows the general assembly’s exclusive use for critical road construction.

She says that the fiscal year 2016 State Road Funding increase due to the 10-cent gas increase was predicted to be $586,130 for Lyon County Secondary Roads. She says the project south of Rock Rapids was contracted at $568,254.04 with Flynn Company, Inc of Dubuque, Iowa. Flynn bid this project along with another 1.0 mile section of A-22 and 8.08 miles of L-26 south of Little Rock for a total contract of just under $3.6 million.

The road sections will be milled and then overlayed with at least five inches of Portland cement-based concrete.

The Rock Rapids area road is closed, and a detour has been posted for the Little Rock area road. They hope to have the projects finished by June.

The DOT says the tax hike has enabled the state and local governments to add new road repair and construction projects, and move others up in line. Of the roughly $213 million in new gas tax revenue generated in Iowa, they report that $101 million will go to state projects, $70 million to county projects and $42 million to city projects.

April 6, 2016 - 5:07 pm - Posted in News

Alvord, Iowa — A hog confinement building was damaged in a fire on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 near Alvord.
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According to Alvord Fire Chief Glen Meyer, about 11:05 AM, the Alvord Fire Department was called to the report of small building fire, with fire in the attic near Alvord on 220th Street.

The chief says the fire department saw flames in the rafters as they approached the scene. He says they used water to fight the fire.

Meyer says no injuries were reported. He says The Alvord Fire Department was assisted by the Doon Fire Department and Doon Rescue Crew. He says the cause of the fire is undetermined.

Chief Meyer reports that there was moderate damage to the hog confinement building.

Lyon County dispatch reports that crews were on scene until about 12:50 PM.

April 5, 2016 - 3:28 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office has a new drug dog.
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Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep says the officers and staff are excited to welcome K9 Rizzo to the department. But he says in a way, they wish they didn’t have to replace their K9 Missy, who had just joined the department in June, 2015.

Vanderstoep says the new dog Rizzo, is a one year old female Golden Retriever from Arkansas. He says Rizzo was a free replacement for Missy.

He says like Missy, Rizzo received her training and certification in narcotics detection at North Iowa K9 in Humboldt, Iowa. Like Missy, Rizzo is assigned to Deputy Kyle Munneke. Sheriff Vanderstoep says the only additional expense to the county was having to send Deputy Munneke to train with Rizzo.

The sheriff says he has seen good things from Rizzo and has high hopes for her performance in her job.

Like Missy, Rizzo is what is called a “single purpose dog.” That means that she is trained for two similar jobs — detecting drugs and looking for missing persons. Some dogs, such as the other Lyon County K9, Ethos, are dual-purpose dogs — meaning they do drug and missing person searches, but are also trained as attack dogs. Ethos is a German Shepherd, handled by Deputy Rob Ver Meer.

VanderStoep says he thinks Rizzo will be a better fit with the public as well.

Friday, April 1 was Rizzo’s first shift on duty.