Lyon County, Iowa — Weather facts, community announcements, church announcements, menus, school activities, and more.

Heard on KIWA-AM 1550 and FM 100.7 every weekday morning at 9:00 AM, and available here for 24 hours afterward. (Friday edition is available until Monday edition is uploaded.)

As reported by KIWA News Director and Rock Rapids resident Scott Van Aartsen

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August 19, 2022 - 4:12 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — A couple of the smaller towns in northwest Iowa are celebrating this weekend. It’s Lester Days and the Melvin Summer Send-Off.<

In Lester, it starts this Friday night (August 19th) with a Rescue Squad Fundraiser Meal, inflatables, fire truck rides, a glow run, and fireworks. On Saturday, there’s a smoking competition, a breakfast, a parade, lunch, live music, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, face painting, inflatables, concessions, a car show, a golf ball release, cow pie bingo, a chuck wagon presentation, a kiddie tractor pull, a bean bag tournament, a community home run derby, and a street dance. There’s even an outdoor community church service in the park on Sunday.

At Melvin’s Summer Send-Off on Saturday (August 20th), they’ll have the last cruise night of the summer and a drive-in movie at the ball field. They’ll show The Great Outdoors and the Melvin 313 Snack Shack will serve movie-time snacks. They invite you to meet them on main at 7:00 p.m. with the movie starting at dusk.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A George man has been arrested on two felony counts after an incident at a George home on Saturday.

According to criminal complaints filed with the Lyon County Clerk of Court’s office, 35-year-old Bruce Justin Struecker is charged with two counts of domestic abuse assault/impeding air or blood flow, which is a class D felony and one count of false imprisonment, which is a serious misdemeanor.

According to the investigating deputy’s report, Struecker is accused of assaulting his girlfriend in their home. The deputy says Struecker is alleged to have thrown her to the ground causing swelling to her left foot. He is also accused of choking the victim impeding her to the point that she was not able to breathe. The deputy says Struecker then allegedly locked her in a vehicle, from which she was not able to escape. According to the deputy, Struecker left her in the car for a period of approximately an hour to an hour and a half before he let her out.

Struecker was transported to the Lyon County Jail in Rock Rapids. He was booked into jail, but was released the next day on a $5000 bond.

If convicted of a class D felony, he could face five years in prison. A preliminary hearing is set for Friday, August 26th in the Lyon County Courthouse.

August 17, 2022 - 3:29 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — Northwest Iowa Community College has been named the second-best community college in the whole country in a new ranking.

WalletHub is a personal finance website that is based in Washington, D.C. and owned by Evolution Finance, Inc. Writers there say cost is often a major consideration when choosing a college. And with tuition rates continuing to rise every year — not to mention all the other expenses related to attendance — many would-be students are unable to afford a university education. They say that community colleges offer students the ability to get higher education without having as much financial strain.

They say, “Individual community colleges, however, vary in quality and affordability. To determine where students can receive the best education at the lowest price, WalletHub compared more than 650 community colleges across 19 key indicators of cost and quality. Our data set ranges from the cost of in-state tuition and fees to student-faculty ratio to graduation rate.”

WalletHub officials tell us that in order to determine the best community colleges in the U.S., WalletHub selected a sample of 677 schools from the list of member institutions in the American Association of Community Colleges. They say that due to data limitations, they were not able to include all member schools.

They say that they evaluated the schools based on three key dimensions, including: 1) Cost & Financing, 2) Education Outcomes and 3) Career Outcomes. They constructed the three dimensions using 19 total metrics, each grouped with related metrics in the appropriate category and listed with its corresponding weight. They say they graded each metric on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the best community college.

Finally, they determined each school’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.

Northwest Iowa Community College ranked second in the nation with a 68.4 out of a possible 100. The only school that did better was the State Technical College of Missouri, with a score of 71.02.

For more information, click here.

Little Rock, Iowa — A Little Rock man has been arrested and faces felony and misdemeanor charges.

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, their officers arrested 41-year-old Anton Alsip of Little Rock on Monday, August 8th, on an active Lyon County warrant for Violation of Probation. The warrant carried a $5,000 cash or surety bond. Additionally, they say Alsip was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance (methamphetamine)-3rd Offense, a Class D Felony; Possession of Marijuana 3rd Offense, an aggravated misdemeanor; and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and No Insurance, both simple misdemeanors.

Alsip was lodged in the Lyon County Jail, but posted a $10,000 cash or surety bond and was released on Tuesday.

August 5, 2022 - 3:15 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — An Ellsworth, Minnesota woman and her passenger were taken to the hospital after an accident on Thursday, August 4, 2022.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that a few minutes before 9:00 a.m., 39-year-old Amy Dammer of Rushmore, Minnesota was westbound on Highway 9 in a 2007 Chevrolet Malibu, when she struck a 2015 Buick Enclave driven by 63-year-old Irene Gacke of Ellsworth near Casey’s General Store.

Gacke and her passenger were transported by the Lyon County Ambulance Squad to Avera Merrill Pioneer Hospital in Rock Rapids. Their injuries were described as “non-life threatening.”

The sheriff’s office tells us both vehicles were considered a total loss.

They say the accident remains under investigation and charges may be pending.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says the Rock Rapids Fire Department, the Lyon County Ambulance Squad, and Dusty’s Auto body assisted with the response to the accident.

August 3, 2022 - 4:35 pm - Posted in News

(stock file photo)

Inwood, Iowa– About 30 round hay bales were destroyed in a fire on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, near Inwood.

According to Inwood Fire Chief Troy Van Beek, at about 9:10 a.m., the Inwood Fire Department was called to the report of a bale fire near 1327 Able Boulevard, four miles west of Inwood and then a mile and a half southwest on Able Boulevard.

The chief says the fire department saw the bales on fire as they approached the scene. He says they broke the bales apart and doused them with water.

Van Beek says no injuries were reported.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be spontaneous combustion or possibly lightning from a passing storm.

Chief Van Beek reports that the damage was limited to the approximately 30 bales that had been on fire.

He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene for about two and a half hours.

August 3, 2022 - 3:00 pm - Posted in News

Doon, Iowa– An Iowa State University pickup was destroyed in a fire on Monday, August 1, 2022, near Doon.

According to Doon Fire Chief Blake Van Bemmel, at about 12:10 p.m., the Doon Fire Department was called to the report of a vehicle on fire on 240th Street west of Harrison Avenue, three miles east of Doon, a mile north on Highway 75, and a half mile east.

The chief says the fire department saw the pickup nearly completely burned up as they approached the scene. He says they used water and foam to fight the fire.

Van Bemmel says no injuries were reported.

He tells us that some workers from Iowa State University were doing some work on the Little Rock River in that location. He said they told him there were some large batteries in the pickup’s box, and said the fire started there.

Chief Van Bemmel reports that the newer pickup was totaled in the blaze.

He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene for about 20 minutes.

A few days earlier, also in Lyon County, the Little Rock Fire Department was called to a grill fire. Little Rock Fire Chief Joe Schilling tells us that about 7:10 p.m., firefighters were called to 708 Leland Street. He says they found that someone there was going to grill on a gas grill. But grease in the grill started on fire and was burning down the hose toward the propane tank. He says firefighters were able to smother the fire by closing the lid, and were on the scene for about 10 minutes.

Larchwood, Iowa —  A man who had run from DCI officers at the Grand Falls Casino near Larchwood on Monday, August 1st, 2022 is behind bars in Rock Rapids.

According to Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Agent Troy Nelson, the incident started when an individual presented a fake ID to security officers at Grand Falls Casino. The security team alerted the on-site DCI officers, who provided assistance. That individual, who was later identified as 21-year-old Ricardo Aurelio Herrerh had arrived at the casino with another individual who had stepped outside the building. When the DCI approached that person, who was later identified as 25-year-old Rigoberto Lopez Lopez, he ran from them and ran into standing corn, which gave cover.

Lyon County Deputies were called upon to assist the DCI agents at that time. The sheriff’s office reports that the Iowa State Patrol, the Sheldon Police Department’s K9, and Lyon County Emergency Management’s drone were all utilized in the search, which was unsuccessful at that time.

However, they tell us Lopez Lopez was located and was arrested at 9:40 a.m. the next day by multiple Lyon County deputies in the 1000 block of 110th Street near Gitchie Manitou State Preserve. He was charged with possession of a false license or ID card, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and interference with official acts.

Herrerh was charged with interference with official acts, possession of drug paraphernalia, and unlawful use of a license.

Both men remain in the Lyon County Jail in Rock Rapids without bond.

August 2, 2022 - 4:02 pm - Posted in News

Larchwood, Iowa — A Larchwood man was taken to a hospital after an accident on Monday, August 1st, 2022 near that community.

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, deputies believe 19-year-old Isaac Koch of Larchwood was driving three miles north of Larchwood and was allegedly following too closely when he ran into a semi-truck owned by Idlenot Farms, which was driven by 58-year-old Guy Klosterbuer of Hills, MN.

The sheriff’s office says the Lyon County Ambulance took Koch to Sanford Hospital and University Medical Center in Sioux Falls. His injuries were described as “minor.”

Koch was cited on charges of Following Too Closely and Failure To Use Seatbelt, according to the report.

Boyden, Iowa — One man from Alton and one from Larchwood were taken to the hospital after an accident near Boyden on Monday, August 1

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 5:15 p.m., 52-year-old Richard Roemen of Larchwood was driving a 2016 Chevrolet Express G2500 westbound on Highway 18, two miles west of Boyden. They tell us 21-year-old Elliot Dykstra of Alton was driving a 2001 Ford F-150 pickup westbound on Highway 18 behind Roemen. Roemen slowed for road construction and Dykstra struck the Chevrolet.

The Boyden Ambulance took both drivers to Sanford Sheldon Medical Center.

The Chevrolet sustained an estimated $3,500 in damage. The Ford sustained about $5,000 in damage.

Dykstra was cited for following too closely.

The sheriff’s Office reports that the Boyden Ambulance Squad, Boyden Fire Department, and Iowa State Patrol assisted them with the response to the accident.