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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Northwest Iowa — December is National Impaired Driving Awareness Month.

Iowa State Patrol spokesperson Trooper Kevin Krull tells us it was started as Drunk Driving Awareness Month back in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan. Since then, he says it has become Impaired Driving Awareness Month because alcohol is only one of the substances that can negatively affect your driving.

Krull says the best advice is to plan ahead by planning to stay overnight at the party or by selecting a designated driver. But Krull says if you are going to drink, there are ways to slow down your alcohol consumption so that you’re not as likely to be impaired behind the wheel.

Trooper Krull says another thing you have to keep in mind is any prescription drugs that you may be taking.

Krull says taking prescription drugs that are not prescribed for you or using other illegal substances is not only against the law, but can have unintended results behind the wheel.

He says being intentional and planning ahead are the best ideas, especially with two holidays coming up later this month. He reminds us, if you drink, don’t drive.

December 7, 2022 - 3:46 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — It sounds like we can expect some wintery weather again this Thursday and Thursday night in northwest Iowa.

We talked to Meteorologist Jeff Chapman with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, which covers northwest Iowa, and he told us what to expect.

He says that due to the temperatures hovering at or below freezing, there will probably be more than one type of precipitation. And we could have some ice issues.

He says while there might be ice to deal with, two things won’t be much of a problem — cold temperatures and high winds.

Chapman gives us their prediction for when the storm will push out of the area.

We asked him if the snow is going to stick around for a while or if it could melt.

For the latest weather information, 24/7, listen to KIWA and check

December 7, 2022 - 2:52 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Education have awarded four $1 million competitive grants through the Career Academy Incentive Fund to prepare more high school students for success in college, postsecondary training, and the workforce. And one of the grants is in our part of northwest Iowa.

Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon (NCC), Iowa Central Community College, North Scott Community School District, and Southwestern Community College (SWCC) each received a $1 million grant to increase access to career academy programs in high-demand fields through new regional centers. Students in partnering school districts will benefit from industry partnerships, earn high school and college credit, and gain technical and traditional academic skills offered through career and technical education (CTE) programs. This is the fifth round of awards.

A spokesperson for NCC tells KIWA that the college is still working to finalize plans for the project. They tell us that the faculty and staff are thankful for the grant and say that more information will be released in the future.

December 5, 2022 - 6:37 pm - Posted in News

George, Iowa– A shed and its contents were destroyed in a fire on Sunday, December 4th, 2022, near George.

According to George Fire Chief Bill Sprock, a few minutes before 7:00 a.m., the George Fire Department was called to the report of a building fire at 4438 200th Street, four miles east, a mile north, and a half-mile east of George.

The chief says the fire department saw a garden shed with some add-ons on fire as they approached the scene. He says they used water to fight the fire.

Sprock says no injuries were reported.

Since it was a structure fire, the Little Rock Fire Department was also paged, but Sprock says once the George firefighters arrived, he called in to tell the Little Rock firefighters that they could turn around.

He says the cause of the fire is undetermined.

Chief Sprock reports that there was in the neighborhood of $250 in damage.

He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene for about 45 minutes.

December 5, 2022 - 6:34 pm - Posted in News

Inwood, Iowa — An Inwood woman has been arrested on felony child endangerment charges after an investigation into two incidents this year in Inwood.

According to a criminal complaint filed with the Lyon County Clerk of Court’s Office by the county sheriff’s office, 27-year-old Hannah Olson of Inwood is accused of injuring one child and not seeking help in a timely manner for an injury to another child. She was arrested on Monday, December 5th, 2022.

The first complaint states that in late August, a six-month-old under Olson’s care at daycare was taken to a hospital after he was found unresponsive. The six-month-old was diagnosed as having abusive head trauma believed to be the result of a “shaken baby” injury. During an interview last month, the deputy says Olson admitted to becoming frustrated with the child and shaking the child on her hip in a violent manner.

The second complaint states that a 24-month-old in Olson’s care suffered a severe burn to his right hand after his hand entered a pot of water in the sink which had just been used to boil hot dogs. Olson stated she ran the child’s hand under cold water and applied burn cream. Olson is then accused of failing to notify the parents or any other medical care provider for over three hours of the serious burn incident. The complaint states that by the time the family was notified, the child’s skin had separated from his right hand, and the hand had suffered severe damage. During an interview last month, the deputy says Olson agreed that calling for help sooner may have prevented some of the ongoing medical issues the child still faces.

Olson was charged with two counts of child endangerment causing serious injury. If convicted of a class C felony, Olson could face up to ten years in prison.

She faces a preliminary hearing on December 22.

After her arrest, she was released on her own recognizance.

December 5, 2022 - 6:32 pm - Posted in News

Larchwood, Iowa — A Larchwood man has been arrested on felony assault charges after an incident in Larchwood.

According to a criminal complaint filed with the Lyon County Clerk of Court’s Office by the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, 67-year-old Michael Kneifl of Larchwood is accused of pointing a firearm at a family member and assaulting another family member, then resisting arrest. He was arrested on Sunday, December 4, 2022.

The complaint states that when law enforcement arrived, they spoke with multiple people in the home. They say that Kneifl admitted to pointing a handgun in a threatening manner at the reporting party while inside the home. They say he also told them he assaulted the other family member in the home.

The deputy writing the report says Kneifl resisted being placed in handcuffs and multiple officers had to use physical force to place him in handcuffs. He says Kneifl was a guardian to two minor children, ages 3 and 4, that were present during the assault incident.

Kneifl was charged with assault while participating in a felony and going armed with intent. Both are class D felonies. He also faces misdemeanor charges of first-degree harassment, assault while displaying a dangerous weapon, domestic abuse assault, and child endangerment.

If convicted of a class D felony, Kneifl could face up to five years in prison.

He faces a preliminary hearing on December 15th.

Kneifl was released on Monday after posting a $15,000 bond.

December 3, 2022 - 8:25 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — Many people are reviewing their retirement plan contributions as we approach the end of the year.

IRS spokesman, Christopher Miller, says a recent update allows you to put away more toward retirement.

He says there’s also a change for individual retirement accounts or IRA’s.

Miller says it’s important to review your plan to be sure you are putting enough money away.

Miller says if you make the adjustment heading into the new year, you will be able to take advantage of the increased limits for the full year.

Statewide Iowa — The song says this is “most wonderful time of the year,” but for many, the holidays only mean longer hours of work, heaps of bills and higher blood pressure.

Steve Courtright, a professor of management and entrepreneurship at the University of Iowa, studies stress at work. He says research finds the typical person’s stress levels bound 30 to 40-percent during this final month of the year.

It takes a little work, but we can recognize if we’re getting grouchy at our desk and we may need a short walk outside to focus. Courtright says some people are feeling the double-whammy of an extra workload at our jobs and we come home to added responsibilities there, too.

We need to adjust our thinking, he says, to zero in on the things that make us happy during the holidays, and reframe the things that might otherwise stress us out.

If you’re feeling stressed, Courtright says, know that you’re far from alone. You can embrace the stress, he says, if you harness those positive emotions and think about things that bring you joy.

Image: Steven Courtright. (U-I photo)

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Lyon County authorities have just released information about an accident south of Rock Rapids that sent a Sioux City man to a hospital.

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, on Saturday, November 26th, at about 12:45 p.m., Zachary Sassman of Sioux City was driving a 2003 Chevy Astro van on county road K52 just south of Rock Rapids, when the van entered the northeast ditch before rolling one time. It came to rest on its wheels.

The Lyon County Ambulance took Sassman to Avera Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital in Rock Rapids. His injuries were described as “minor.”

The van sustained what the deputy’s report called “severe damage” and was towed away.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that the Lyon County Ambulance Squad, the Rock Rapids Fire Department, and Sunshine Towing assisted with the response to the accident.

November 30, 2022 - 4:22 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Larchwood woman was taken to a nearby hospital after an accident on Tuesday, November 29, 2022, near Rock Rapids.

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, Venus Van Tilburg of Larchwood was westbound on Highway 9 west of Rock Rapids near the west junction of Highway 75 at the NuStar tanks in a 2010 Chevy pickup, when she apparently lost control of the vehicle due to icy roads.

The sheriff’s office says the pickup came to rest on its driver’s side on the north shoulder of the roadway.

The Lyon County Ambulance took Van Tilburg to Avera Merrill Pioneer Hospital in Rock Rapids. Her injuries were called “non-life-threatening.”

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that the Lyon County Ambulance Squad, the Rock Rapids Fire Department, and Sunshine Towing of Rock Rapids assisted with the response to the accident.