March 17, 2023 - 4:22 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — With the coming of spring we also prepare for severe weather season. If you’d like to know more about severe weather, there is a Storm Watch class scheduled for next week at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon.

Warning Coordination Meteorologist Peter Rogers with the National Weather Service’s Sioux Falls Office tells us about it.

Rogers says while many who attend are law enforcement, EMS personnel, firefighters, and plant safety managers, the class is open to the public.

He tells us what to expect if you go.

The class is free, thanks to the emergency management agencies of O’Brien, Sioux, Lyon, and Osceola counties, but the folks at NCC would like you to register. You can do that online by clicking here. For more information from NCC, you can call 800-352-4907 or 324-5061.

There are other classes scheduled around the wider area. For more information about those, click here.

Sanborn, Iowa — Congressman Randy Feenstra (Republican, from Hull) hosted a town hall with local farmers, producers, and constituents in Sanborn this Wednesday, March 15th, to discuss the upcoming Farm Bill and other issues.

Feenstra says he enjoyed meeting with Iowans — including “our hardworking farmers and producers — to hear their suggestions and priorities for the upcoming Farm Bill.”

The topics included everything from Feenstra’s work to reauthorize the successful 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and stop China from buying American farmland to what Feenstra calls “the unfair inheritance tax,” to biofuels production, and international trade.

He says, “Meeting with Iowans will always be a top priority for me as I travel all 36 counties in my district at least twice a year.”

Twenty-four people attended the event.

Feenstra also announced his Agriculture Advisory Board at the town hall. The board is comprised of 60 members of the greater agriculture community from all 36 counties in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District and represents a wide range of industries, including corn, soybeans, pork, beef, turkey, dairy, eggs, cattle, goat, seed, fertilizer, veterinary medicine, equipment manufacturing, FFA, conservation, agricultural lending, and research and development.

In our part of northwest Iowa, from Lyon County, Dean Meyer, Dwight Mogler, Doug Stensland, and Scott Schneidermann are on the board. From O’Brien County, the board members include Kelly Nieuwenhuis, Jeremy Van Ess, and Corey Rozenboom. There’s one board member from Osceola County, and that’s Rob Jacobs. Five members on the board are from Sioux County. They are Brad Kooima, Steve Rehder, Craig Moss, JT Dean, and Jeff Altena.

Additionally, Feenstra spoke to O’Brien County Sheriff’s deputies about the scourge of fentanyl in rural Iowa and the need to secure our border.

The other members of the Agriculture Advisory Board:

Dr. Calie Burgart, Audubon County
Former State Senator Jerry Behn, Boone County
Mitchell Sievers, Buena Vista County
Andy Kosky, Buena Vista County
Darcy Maulsby, Calhoun County
State Representative Mike Sexton, Calhoun County
Will Reever, Carroll County
Ramona Nitz, Cherokee County
Chad Tentinger, Cherokee County
Will Jones, Clay County
Ty Rosburg, Crawford County
Al Giese, Dickinson County
Jim Boyer, Emmet County
John Latham, Franklin County
State Representative Shannon Latham, Franklin County
Brian Borcherding, Franklin County
Don Latham, Franklin County
Leo Ettleman, Fremont County
Sam Martin, Fremont County
Jeff Jorgenson, Fremont County
Ben Slinger, Hamilton County
Jake Van Diest, Hamilton County
Darrin Kruger, Hancock County
Tony Smith, Harrison County
Nick Nielsen, Humboldt County
Jolene Riessen, Ida County
Sara Winkleman, Kossuth County
State Senator Jeff Edler, Marshall County
Wyatt Edler, Marshall County
State Representative David Sieck, Mills County
Dan Witten, Monona County
Eric Bruhn, Palo Alto County
Andy Schroeder, Plymouth County
Don Kass, Plymouth County
Darin Dykstra, Plymouth County
Grant Wells, Pocahontas County
Chris Perdue, Pottawattamie County
Chad Hansen, Sac County
Gabe Ferry, Shelby County
Bill Couser, Story County
Marty Chitty, Story County
John Fredrickson, Webster County
Gregg Hora, Webster County
Jacob West, Winnebago County
Barbara Sloniker, Woodbury County
Mark Nelson, Woodbury County
Ethan Lambert, Wright County

Sheldon, Iowa — We just don’t seem to be able to shake Old Man Winter for very long this year. Another storm system is set to strike northwest Iowa this Thursday, and forecasters may even use the “B” word — “blizzard” with this one.

We talked to meteorologist Andrew Kalin with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, and he tells us about it.

The “blizzard” word is not one that the Weather Service just kicks around. Kalin says it would take some specific conditions for them to call a storm a “blizzard.”

We asked him how much snow they’re expecting before it’s done.

And he says the snow will leave colder temps in its wake.

The forecast says it’s looking like it will take until at least Tuesday to get back into the 40’s.

March 11, 2023 - 11:02 pm - Posted in News

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Northwest Iowa — Has the snowfall affected the drought? According to one report, it has.

According to the latest information from the US Drought Monitor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the area of extreme drought has been shrinking. As late as Valentine’s Day, about half of O’Brien County was in extreme drought, along with about half of Cherokee County and nearly all of Buena Vista, Pocahontas, Humboldt, Woodbury, and Monona counties. But the latest Drought Monitor report, released at the end of last week shows much less extreme drought. It’s now limited to a small part of Woodbury, Monona, and Harrison counties.

The area of exceptional drought along the Missouri River south of Sioux City, however, hasn’t changed much.

For the most part, the rest of our area of northwest Iowa hasn’t changed much either. There’s still an area that’s only labeled “abnormally dry” in western Lyon and northwestern Sioux counties. The rest of Lyon County and most of Sioux and Osceola counties are in moderate drought, with severe (but not extreme or exceptional) drought in all of O’Brien County, extending a little into Sioux and Osceola counties and continuing three counties south and four east.

Most of the state is at least abnormally dry, except for the eastern few tiers of counties and a bubble of about 12 counties in south-central Iowa.

Northwest Iowa — Saint Patrick’s Day is this coming Friday and this week is traditionally one of the deadliest weeks of the year for motorists and pedestrians in Iowa and nationwide.

Trooper Kevin Krull with the Iowa State Patrol says they’re joining other law enforcement agencies to spread the message about the dangers of drinking and driving — and to take impaired drivers off the road.

The program started on Saturday and runs through this coming Sunday, March 19th. Krull says if you’re at a St. Pat’s party on foot, you’ll need to be especially cautious.

During the week of St. Patrick’s Day last year, 48 people were either seriously injured or killed in car crashes on Iowa’s roads.

He says drivers should also stay alert, slow down, stay off their electronics. Krull says everyone needs to play a part to stay safe.

Larchwood, Iowa — Midwest Honor Flight — the organization that flies veterans to Washington, D.C. to see war memorials and other important D.C. landmarks — has received a large donation from the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation.

The foundation is the nonprofit license-holder of the Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort near Larchwood, and as dictated by law, gives a certain portion of the casino’s gaming take to nonprofit organizations and projects.

Aaron Van Beek is the President and CEO of Midwest Honor Flight, and he tells us about it.

Van Beek says when veterans fly to Washington, they have the privilege of seeing many historic and military sites, all free of charge.

Van Beek tells us they continue to help veterans take Honor Flights.

He tells us that they are serving more and more Vietnam vets now. He says a couple of flights ago, it began to look like they may have served their last World War II veterans. But, he says, there were three more last fall and two more this spring. So if you know of a veteran from World War II, Korea, or Vietnam who hasn’t taken the trip yet, you can reach out at Van Beek says they are grateful for the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation’s sponsorship of this Honor Flight, which will take off on May 16th, 2023.

March 7, 2023 - 4:12 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — As if we haven’t had enough snow and wintery weather, another storm system is headed our way, according to weather forecasters.

Meteorologist Jeff Chapman at the National Weather Service Office in Sioux Falls tells us about it.

He gives us an idea of how much snow to expect in our area.

Chapman says a little ice isn’t out of the question either. As overnight snow tapers off this Wednesday morning it could change to freezing rain, but any accumulations would be light, says Chapman.

He tells us that while they aren’t forecasting blizzard conditions, there will be some wind too.

The one good thing is that it won’t be bitterly cold like a January storm. However, even the moderate temps will be a mixed blessing.

But he says the warmer temps might mean faster melting as well. It looks like we might get a break from the snow on Friday, but there’s a pretty good chance again on Saturday and Saturday night.

Northwest Iowa — This Tuesday is voting day in parts of our coverage area. There are bond issue elections in both the South O’Brien and West Sioux Community School Districts for construction, and in the City of Doon for the building of a new community center.

The Doon election asks if $1.5 million should be raised for a new Doon Community Center.

Built by the Works Progress Administration, the current Community Center served as the Doon Public School until 1959 when the Doon and Rock Rapids schools and all the rural schools in the district merged to form the Central Lyon Community School District. It then served for several years as the South Center for the Central Lyon Schools until it was closed in the 1980s and was sold to the City of Doon for a community center and library, which has been its use ever since.

The ballot question will ask if the City of Doon should issue general obligation capital loan notes in an amount not to exceed a million and a half dollars for the construction of the new community center.

Click here for more information:

Doon Voters To Decide On Community Center Bond Next Month

March 7, 2023 - 4:04 am - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — This Tuesday, March 7th, there will be a special opportunity in Sheldon for high school students who are interested in the healthcare field.

Kevin Miller, Northwest Iowa Community College’s Emergency Services Education Coordinator tells us about the camp, which is called “Scrubs Camp.”

Miller says the main idea of the Scrubs Camp is to raise awareness about what opportunities are available.

He tells us over a hundred area high school students are registered for the camp. Miller tells us the idea is for students to “scrub up” with pros who actually DO healthcare for a living.

The day will include eight 30-minute sessions all featuring hands-on activities for the students to participate in. Live-action simulation scenarios will run back-to-back.

The topics will run the gamut. Some topics include nursing, radiologic technology, pharmacy, health information technology & medical coding, surgery, medical laboratory, EMS, and more.

March 3, 2023 - 7:02 pm - Posted in News

Larchwood, Iowa — A Sioux Falls man has been arrested on felony gambling charges after an incident at the Grand Falls Casino near Larchwood.

According to a criminal complaint filed with the Lyon County Clerk of Court’s Office by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, 40-year-old Cornelius Clay of Sioux Falls is accused of attempting to abscond with his gambling winnings without paying his obligations. He was arrested on Tuesday, February 28th, 2023.

The complaint states that he was gambling at Grand Falls Casino when he won a couple of jackpots. It says that he currently owes about $35,000 to the State of Iowa, that he is aware of his “offsets” and does not agree with having to pay his child support owed to seven children.

Clay was charged with attempting to avoid setoff while gambling and solicitation to commit a felony, both class D felonies. If convicted of a class D felony, Clay could face up to five years in prison.

Clay faces a preliminary hearing on March 10, 2023.

At last report, he remained in jail in Rock Rapids in lieu of a $5000 bond.