July 13, 2016 - 4:22 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Despite not having a permit to cross all rivers in Iowa, Dakota Access has begun construction on its Bakken crude oil pipeline in all areas along the pipeline’s route through Iowa.

file photo

file photo

Lisa Dillinger, a media relations specialist with the Dakota Access Pipeline division of Energy Transfer Partners confirms that construction activities began in the southeast and northwest areas of the state in early June. She says construction activities in our area will ramp up in the coming months.

The Army Corps of Engineers has not signed off on the project for all rivers that the pipeline will cross. On Wednesday, July 13th, in communication with KIWA, Dillinger stated that they had not yet received a permit to cross the Big Sioux River between South Dakota and Iowa. But on Thursday, July 14th Dillinger said that Dakota Access does not need a special permit to cross the Big Sioux. She says that since they will be boring UNDER the river instead of digging a trench, they only need a Sovereign Lands Permit, which they received in March. Dillinger says Dakota Access continues to work with the Army Corps to receive permits in all four states as quickly as possible in order to limit construction activities to one growing season and be in service by the end of this year. She says they don’t know exactly how long it will take the Army Corps to issue the permits, but they hope to receive them as soon as possible.

Native American leaders said earlier this year that a portion of the land in Lyon County was a culturally-significant site that shouldn’t be disturbed. Dillinger says that in order to avoid the site in question, they will bore the pipeline to a depth between 80 and 100 feet through a horizontal-direction drill. She says that will allow them to avoid all surface disturbance through the Big Sioux River Wildlife Management Area inclusive of the potential site, during construction and throughout the ongoing operation of the pipeline.

Dillinger says, “We have incorporated the protection of sensitive areas and cultural resources from the very start of the project and we will continue to do so.”

By using directional boring, the pipeline won’t disturb the culturally-significant ground above it according to authorities, so the stop-work order that had been issued was removed.

State Archaeologist John Doershuck reportedly signed off on the idea as a “satisfactory avoidance procedure”, but some Native American leaders were not happy with the decision.

July 12, 2016 - 10:23 am - Posted in News

Inwood, Iowa– A newer tractor was destroyed in a fire on Monday, July 11, 2016 near Inwood.
According to Inwood Fire Chief Mike Knobloch, about 9:56 AM, the Inwood Fire Department was called to the report of tractor fire on property owned by John Van Gammern at 1380 200th Street. The chief says that’s up in the hills, close to the Big Sioux River, about four miles north and five west of Inwood, so it took a while to get there.

The chief says the fire department saw a fully-engulfed tractor — even the tires were on fire — from the road as they approached the scene.

Knobloch says no injuries were reported.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be something under the dash, either electrical in nature or perhaps a fuel leak.

Chief Knobloch reports that the tractor was totaled in the fire.

He says they used 200 gallons of water plus foam to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for 45 minutes.

July 12, 2016 - 9:14 am - Posted in News

Lyon Sheriff Facebook HeaderLarchwood, Iowa — A South Dakota teen was arrested in Larchwood on Thursday, June 30th.

The Sheriff’s Office reports that on Thursday, June 30, 2016, 18-year-old Madisen M. White of Brandon South Dakota was arrested on charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance, a serious misdemeanor, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor. According to the report, Lyon County deputies assisted in an investigation at the Grand Falls Casino with a casino DCI agent and South Dakota law enforcement officers in regards to illegal narcotics activity possibly in a motel room. During the course in the investigation, several subjects were identified along with vehicles involved.

Lyon County K-9’s were utilized and alerted on two vehicles involved.

This case is still under investigation.

July 8, 2016 - 3:04 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa –- A leadership program in Lyon County graduated 19 participants recently.
adult education notebook
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach sponsored the program. Their communities program specialist, Jane Goeken says that they had 35 people take the program earlier this year, and they had a waiting list, so they offered it again. She tells us about the six-week program.

She says the program focused on maximizing the strengths and skills of current and future community leaders. Participants focused on exploring and further developing leadership skills and becoming more aware of and involved in their community. She tells us at what kind of person the program was aimed.

She tells us how they decided to run the program.

She says the program has been offered within the past couple of years in O’Brien and Sioux Counties, and it looks like they’ll be offering it again as well.

Lyon County Leadership graduates include:

  • Ronda Arends, Lewis Drug
  • Carmen Austin, DeNoble, Austin & Company PC
  • Lori Carstensen, Alpha Omega Publications
  • David DeNoble, DeNoble, Austin & Company PC
  • Connie Douglass, LyonCounty Health Services
  • Russell Forrest, DeNoble, Austin & Company PC
  • Cameron Greenfield, Glynlyon
  • Michelle Hellenga, Sanford Health
  • Erik Hooser, Glynlyon
  • Jessica Jensen, New Century Press
  • Stacey McIntire, Frontier Bank
  • Kayla Reck, DeNoble, Austin & Company PC
  • Lisa Rockhill, LyonCounty Health Services
  • Nicole Schneekloth, DeNoble, Austin & Company PC
  • Lisa VandeStouwe, ATLAS of LyonCounty
  • Loralye Wibben, LyonCounty Extension and Outreach
  • Bonnie Wilson, LyonCounty Health Services
  • Dennis Winkowitsch, LyonCounty Extension Council
  • Jeremy Zink, Cooperative Farmers Elevator

Participants were nominated to attend Lyon County Leadership by their employer or another community organization. Sessions were taught by ISU Extension and Outreach staff members affiliated with the Community and Economic Development program.

Lyon County Leadership was sponsored by the Lyon County Extension Council.

July 5, 2016 - 5:22 pm - Posted in News

Granite, Iowa — A tour of the area that may soon become the first-of-it’s kind bi-state State Park is coming up on Friday, July 15th.
Blood Run Pitted Boulder
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs will be celebrating the conclusion of the Iowa Blood Run Cultural Landscape Master Plan. Iowa State Parks Bureau Chief Todd Coffelt says that over the last year they have worked with their stakeholders to develop a plan that will protect and respectfully highlight the unique heritage of Blood Run National Historic Landmark. He says they’re not quite ready to name it a state park, but they’re getting closer. He tells us about the event.

He tells us about the tour.

Later on that day, they’ll talk more at the Grand Falls Casino.

He says the ancestors of the Native American tribes in the area have been instrumental in the process since the beginning, and they have something special planned as well.

On Site Visit:
Please meet by 9:45 am
Granite Mercantile
1114 125th St. Larchwood, IA 51241
Transportation (via hay rack) will be provided to the site.

Formal Presentations:
2:00 pm
Grand Falls Casino
1415 Grand Falls Blvd. Larchwood, IA 51241

July 5, 2016 - 8:23 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A new hospital is being planned in Rock Rapids. The owner of the current hospital, which is leased to Sanford Health, is the Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital Association.

Proposed Front Entrance

Proposed front entrance (click to enlarge)

In January of this year, the association and Avera Health jointly announced that Avera will lease the operations of the Rock Rapids community hospital and clinics beginning in May, 2019.

The Hospital Association Board and Avera have sought financing for a new hospital and clinic to be built in southwest Rock Rapids, hopefully by the time Avera takes over. They established a design team including members from both organizations. The team is seeking community input on the design through focus groups and community meetings, some of which were held recently.

Community and design team members are currently deciding on the look of both the outside and the inside of the building. Community members are suggesting slight changes in the design and floor plan, and the architectural firm chosen for the project, BWBR of St. Paul, Minnesota is taking those ideas to Avera officials.

Proposed Site Plan

Proposed site plan (click to enlarge)

At this point the color palette is being chosen, and the floor plan is being finalized. Currently the plan is to have two driveways into the hospital campus — one for visitors and one for emergencies and deliveries, both off of an extension of South Tenth Avenue. The plan right now is for the clinic to be on the east side of the building and the hospital on the west, with the two public entrances to the south, and the emergency department on the north.

Board members say that while more senior members of the community have come to the meetings, they are looking to get more input from the younger members of the community, and are actively asking for their opinions.

If you would like more information, MPCH board president Jim Vander Woude encourages you to contact him or another board member. Vander Woude can be reached at 712-348-2442.

Alvord, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has not yet decided if it will file charges against the operator of a truck that overturned in a ditch near Alvord on Tuesday, June 28th.

file photo

file photo

DNR officials at the Spencer Field Office said that cleanup of the site was completed shortly after the accident. They did note that a small amount of pollutant did reach a small creek, but they said on Friday that they won’t decide whether to file enforcement action until results come back from water tests, which could take two or three weeks. DNR officials say that as of Friday morning, they had had no reports of dead fish.

The accident took place about 8:50 AM on Tuesday. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that the single-vehicle accident happened at the corner of 200th Street and Garfield Avenue, three miles east of Alvord and a mile north. A 2009 Freightliner pulling a dry van trailer was being driven by 21-year-old Devin Faber of Inwood.

They say he attempted to turn east onto 200th Street from Garfield Avenue. The right side wheels of the trailer dropped off the roadway and pulled the trailer into the ditch, according to the report. They say the semi-tractor and trailer both came to rest in the south ditch.

Faber had been hauling 5000 gallons of water, 150 gallons of soybean oil, and numerous boxes of herbicide which spilled into an unnamed creek at the intersection.

The Iowa DNR was called to assist with advising what needed to be done to begin cleanup of the spill. A side dump trailer full of dirt was brought in to dam up the creek. This was to prevent any of the spilled material getting into the Rock River. The truck was righted and a vac truck was brought in to help clean up the spill, according to the DNR.

Both the tractor and trailer were considered a total loss.

Lyon County Deputies were assisted on the scene by the Iowa DNR and Trackside Towing from Alvord.

The Iowa DNR says they will continue to monitor the spill.

June 30, 2016 - 4:16 pm - Posted in News

George, Iowa — This weekend, in addition to it being the Fourth of July weekend, it’s also Freedom Days In George — promising something for everyone this weekend.
We talked to George Chamber President Jeff Schrick, who tells us it all starts on Friday.

He tells us about all the activities on Saturday.

Schrick says the fun continues Saturday night.

He says they’ll even have fun on Sunday and on Monday for the fourth.

freedom days events

June 28, 2016 - 5:02 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Environmental specialists from the DNR’s Spencer field office were called to an accident scene after a semi flatbed trailer rolled into the ditch near Highway 9 about six miles west of Rock Rapids Tuesday morning, June 28th.
DNR logo
The DNR inspected the site to determine if herbicide from a Countryside Ag Service truck out of Hawarden had reached waters of the state.

DNR officials report that two containers of herbicide were intact. But an unknown amount of a soybean herbicide, and parts of 150 gallons of soybean oil and 5,000 gallons of water reached the ditch and ran into an unnamed tributary of Mud Creek and the Rock River. They say the spilled materials caused a milky white color in the tributary for about 150 feet.

DNR staff say they did not see any stressed fish or other aquatic life.

The ditch has been dammed and will be cleaned up. Spilled materials will be land applied on farm ground.

The DNR says they collected water samples which will be sent to a lab for analysis. They will continue to monitor the cleanup and consider appropriate enforcement action.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office was first on the scene.

June 28, 2016 - 7:40 am - Posted in News

George, Iowa– Another accident in Lyon County has claimed a life — this one of a Sibley man.
The Iowa State Patrol reports that about 3:00 PM on Monday, June 27, 2016, 63-year-old Merle Broesder of Sibley was driving a 1999 Oldsmobile SUV northbound on Larch Avenue, two miles north and three miles east of George.

The report says that the SUV entered the ditch, where it ramped 190th Street and rolled coming to rest in a field. The trooper says the driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

The trooper says another trooper, the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, and the George Fire Department and Rescue Squad assisted at the scene.