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

Click or tap the play button or link below to listen to KIWA’s Lyon County Daily News:

Click to listen

Larchwood, Iowa — An Inwood man is in custody on several felony and misdemeanor counts after items were noticed to be missing from a construction site near Larchwood earlier this month.

According to the Lyon County Arrest Log, 32-year-old Tyler Joe Den Besten of Inwood was arrested on Friday, October 22nd in connection with the alleged incident.

Court records indicate that between October 9th and 18th, Den Besten is accused of stealing over $1700 worth of tools and construction items from a construction site northwest of Larchwood. Den Besten is accused of going to the construction site three different times and stealing items each time.

The criminal complaint says that after the second time, the victim put up three different cameras, and the final time the site was allegedly visited by Den Besten, the investigating deputy says the victim’s camera’s captured clear footage of Den Besten and his vehicle. The deputy says the two knew each other.

The deputy’s statement says a search warrant was obtained and executed at Den Besten’s address. It says nearly all of the items stolen from the construction site were located within Den Besten’s apartment.

While they were searching, deputies also allegedly found a small bag of a white crystalline substance consistent to methamphetamine and multiple glass pipes used for smoking methamphetamine. The statement alleges that a wooden marijuana pipe containing burnt marijuana residue was also found. It says Den Besten is prohibited from possessing ammunition, and some ammunition was also allegedly found.

Den Besten faces class D felony charges of second-degree theft, three counts of third-degree burglary, and Dominion/Control of Firearm or offensive weapon by someone convicted of a crime of domestic violence or subject to a domestic violence protective order, as well as misdemeanor charges of possession of methamphetamine and marijuana.

At last report, he remained in the Lyon County Jail in lieu of a $15,000 bail.

Rock Valley, Iowa — A Sioux Falls man is in the Minnehaha County Jail in that city and faces a laundry list of charges from multiple jurisdictions after a pursuit that started in Rock Valley on Saturday, October 23rd.

According to the Rock Valley Police Department, 34-year-old Todd Allen Gilger of Sioux Falls faces several misdemeanor charges and two felonies.

Rock Valley Police Chief Monte Warburton says the chase actually started in their parking lot in the 3:00 p.m. hour, after an incident there.

Warburton says they have asked a judge to issue warrants on charges of assault on persons in certain occupations (basically assault on a peace officer, says Warburton), which is a class D felony; felony eluding, which is also a class D felony; and misdemeanor charges of interference with official acts, careless driving, reckless driving, two counts of unsafe passing, speeding for 97 mph in a 55 mph zone, failure to use a seatbelt, driving on the wrong side of a two-way highway, unsafe backing on a highway, speeding for 30 mph in a 20 mph zone, passing on a grade or hill, passing contrary to highway sign or marking, failure to obey traffic control device, failure to obey stop sign, and possession of a controlled substance.

Warburton says those were the charges from the Rock Valley Police Department, but Gilger will probably face charges in Lyon County and Minnehaha County, South Dakota as well.

October 25, 2021 - 2:32 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — If you’re going to need help with your home heating bill this winter, there’s a government program that can help you out with that.

The Iowa Utilities Board is reminding consumers that limited financial heating assistance is available to income-eligible utility customers through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program or “LIHEAP.” The annual application period runs from November 1, 2021, through April 30, 2022. The application period for homes with elderly or disabled residents began on October 1st.

Iowa Utilities Board members tell us the LIHEAP program is designed to help low-income homeowners and renters pay a portion of their primary home heating costs through a one-time payment made directly to the utility or heating fuel vendor. Under LIHEAP or the weatherization assistance program, Iowa law protects qualified applicants who are the head of a household from being disconnected from natural gas or electric service from November 1 through April 1. Although qualified applicants cannot be disconnected during the annual winter moratorium, the IUB urges all LIHEAP-certified customers to continue paying toward their energy bills through the winter to avoid accumulating high debt and facing potential utility service disconnection in the spring.

Eligibility for the federally funded LIHEAP program is based on household size and income, type of fuel, and type of housing. Interested applicants should review the federal income guidelines then apply at the community action agency serving their area. Heating assistance dollars for LIHEAP and the weatherization assistance program are limited.

Your income must be below a certain level, but the limits are fairly reasonable. For instance, a family of four could make up to $53,000 per year and still qualify under most circumstances, according to the Iowa Department of Human Rights. If there are more people living in your home, the limit is even higher.

For assistance, utility customers may contact their local utility company or contact the IUB Customer Service staff at 877.565.4450 or

Learn more on the IUB’s LIHEAP webpage, or through the Iowa Department of Human Rights online at or call (515) 281-3861. You can also apply through your area’s community action agency, such as Upper Des Moines or Mid-Sioux Opportunity.

October 25, 2021 - 2:07 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — On the morning of Thursday, October 26, 1961, a new AM radio station signed on the air for the first time.

It was on that October morning that radio station KIWA-AM began broadcasting in Sheldon. The station was owned and put on the air by Red Stangland of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and remained under Red’s ownership and guidance until his death in 1995, when it was passed to his family.

The first KIWA studios were located in the Sheldon National Bank building, located on the south side of 9th Street, just east of the 3rd Avenue intersection. That building had become notorious earlier that year after the daughter of the bank’s owner, Bernice Geiger, had been discovered to have embezzled more than $2,000,000 from the financial institution.

In later years, the building housed an eatery called Pucci’s. After the restaurant closed, the building fell into disrepair and was eventually torn down. The lot where the building stood that first housed KIWA is now a downtown park.

Beginning October 26, 1961, KIWA broadcast only on the AM radio band, at a frequency of 1550 khz. It wasn’t until 10 years later, in 1971, that KIWA built new studios and offices at the current location, 411 9th Street, and added an FM station that broadcast at 105.5 mhz. Later, KIWA-FM moved to its current dial location of 105.3 mhz. KIWA’s transmitters are located on the Sioux County side of Western Avenue in Sheldon, with the original tower being replaced more than 30 years ago to allow the station’s signal to reach a larger area. Within the past few years, KIWA added an AM Translator at 100.7 on the FM dial. That translator broadcasts the same programming as KIWA-AM, but allows a clearer audio signal to listeners, especially during the nighttime hours.

From the beginning, KIWA was a “local” radio station, focusing on the listeners and what was important to them. Though the technology KIWA uses to inform and entertain northwest Iowa, southwest Minnesota and southeast South Dakota has changed drastically in the past 60 years, KIWA’s local focus has not.

On behalf of the staff and management of KIWA Radio, I’d like to thank you for your listenership, your sponsorship and your friendship over the past 60 years. Here’s to the next 60.

The downtown Sheldon City Park that sits where KIWA’s first studio once stood…..




October 25, 2021 - 12:48 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The number of positive COVID-19 test results in the four-county area of Sioux, O’Brien, Osceola and Lyon Counties are up this week, according to information from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

According to the weekly report, 137 area residents tested positive for COVID in the previous seven days. That compares to 126 the previous week. This week Sioux County reports 50 new positives, up 19 from the previous week. O’Brien County reported 41 new positives, up from 339 the previous week. Lyon and Osceola Counties each reported 23 new positives this week. That marks an increase of 1 for Osceola County, but a decrease of 11 for Lyon County.

We’ve gone another week with no additional COVID-related deaths in the four-county area. The total remains at 193 residents of the area who have been claimed by the COVID-19 virus; 76 in Sioux County, 59 In O’Brien County, 41 in Lyon County and 17 in Osceola County.

As of mid-morning Monday, 557 people were in Iowa hospitals being treated for COVID, that’s a reduction of 11 from Sunday. 24 of the 557 were admitted within the past 24 hours. Of the 557 hospitalized, 142 are being treated in the state’s ICU’s, that’s one fewer than Sunday, 59 of them went into the ICU since Sunday, but even with that additional number, there were 5 fewer ICU patients Monday compared to Sunday.

The IDPH reports that, as of Monday morning, 58.6% of O’Brien County residents over the age of 18 have been fully vaccinated, 52.5% of Osceola County adults are fully vaccinated, 50.1% of Sioux County residents and 49.7% of Lyon County adults have been fully vaccinated.

Statewide, the county with the highest number of fully-vaccinated adults is Buena Vista, here in northwest Iowa, where 76.8% of adults are fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, the county with the lowest adult vaccination rate is Davis, in far southeast Iowa, where 45.0% of adults have had the vaccine.

Western Lyon County, Iowa — One man was taken to a hospital after the vehicle he was driving struck a bridge on Highway 18 west of Inwood on Thursday.

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, Jose Manuel Alvarado Esquivel was eastbound on Highway 18 near Able Boulevard when the vehicle went off the south side of the road, struck a guardrail, and entered the ditch.

According to Lyon County Dispatch, the driver was taken by ambulance to Hegg Memorial Hospital in Rock Valley. His injuries were termed “minor.”

They tell us the guardrail had about $1,000 in damages and the 2015 Ford he was driving sustained about $10,000 in damages.

Alvarado Esquivel was cited on a charge of failure to maintain control.

Northwest Iowa — Former 4th District U.S. Representative Steve King has been busy since his reelection defeat last year. King has penned a book about his experiences in Washington, which is now available online.

King talked to KIWA about his book, which is entitled Walking Through the Fire; My Fight for the Heart and Soul of America.

He says the book also gives the reader an insight into his background.

And, he says, the missive talks about Western Civilization.

King says the book is an honest, accurate objective historical narrative that provides a glimpse inside the DC swamp.

Walking Through the Fire; My Fight for the Heart and Soul of America by former Iowa 4th District US Congressman Steve King is available online at


Northwest Iowa — Every ten years the law requires that congressional district boundaries be redrawn to reflect shifts in population revealed by the latest census figures. In addition, state legislative boundaries and even city ward boundaries must be updated at the same time.

Earlier this month, the first redistricting plan produced by the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency was rejected by the Iowa Senate. So, the Legislative Services Agency went back to the drawing board and came up with a new proposal which the Iowa Legislature will vote on next Thursday in a special session.

The newest redistricting proposal would find some northwest Iowa incumbent legislator forced to face one another in a primary next year.

In House District 3, which, according to the latest proposal, would include the southern two-thirds of Sioux County, as well as most of northern Plymouth County. If the proposal is adopted by the state legislature, both Representative Skyler Wheeler of Orange City and Tom Jeneary of Le Mars would live in the same legislative district, which would require one of the two to not seek reelection, or would force them to face one another in a primary race for the District 3 seat. Below is the proposed redistricting map for Iowa House District 3.

The proposed House District 5 (shown on the map below) would still be comprised of O’Brien, Osceola Counties, as well as parts of Cherokee County and part of Buena Vista County. The proposed redistricting plan for House District 5 would not have two incumbents living in the same district.

The proposed new House District 4 (as show in the map below) would be comprised of northern Sioux County and all of Lyon County.

The Iowa Legislature will convene in special session this coming Thursday, October 28th to approve or reject the latest redistricting proposal.

Sibley, Iowa — It’s said that when one makes their living as a truck driver they become part of a family that consists of all commercial truck drivers. That larger family will be paying tribute Sunday to one of their brothers who lost his life in a traffic accident earlier this week.

Sunday evening truckers from across northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota will gather in Sibley for a Truck Tribute to Ryan Palmer who was killed Monday morning when his truck veered off a Sioux City street and entered a group of trees.

Organizers of Sunday’s Ryan Palmer Truck Tribute say all commercial truckers are invited to bring their trucks and help pay tribute to Ryan. Trucks are asked to line up at 5:30 Sunday afternoon,  east of 5th Avenue on 10th street in Sibley, with your truck facing west. The tribute will roll out at 6:00 pm and will go north on 5th Avenue to 9th Street, then turn right and head east down 9th Street.

All truckers are invited to bring their trucks and take part in honor of fellow trucker Ryan Palmer.

October 22, 2021 - 9:18 am - Posted in News

Statewide, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Transportation has been putting up new signs at intersections and interchanges on state highways to try and prevent more people from going the wrong way.

DOT traffic safety engineer, Willey Sorenson, says it started with a study along Highway 30 near Ames around 10 years ago. It then expanded with the gathering of lots of information.

They started with an intersection ranking guide from the University of Auburn that used crashes, volume of traffic, proximity to liquor stores, and the type of interchange. He says they added 9-1-1 wrong-way calls during the day that didn’t involve a crash.

Sorenson also included GPS navigation in his data — as some drivers follow them to the word.

He says around 90 percent of people realize they are going the wrong way and turn around within 500 to one thousand feet of making the mistake.

He says the signs go along with pavement markings that are designed to make it very clear you are going the wrong way.

The intersections on Highway 30 where you cross two lanes to get to the lanes on the other side going the opposite direction were some of the problem areas. Sorenson says these “grade level” crossings on other sections of highway also got new signage.

Sorenson says they will go beyond signs if they find wrong-way drivers are still an issue. In one Highway 30 intersection, they put in an acceleration lane.

Sorenson says they will be around 50 percent complete getting the new wrong way markings and signs in by Thanksgiving.