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.

Rock Rapids, Iowa – Swine producers and building managers are invited to participate in “Managing Your Unseen Employee: The Ventilation System” on March 13-14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily in rural Larchwood.

Hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Pork Producers Association, the two-day training covers ventilation basics on the first day with hands-on troubleshooting and practicing on the second day.

The hands-on learning component is centered in a 24-foot trailer equipped with a functioning ventilation system that demonstrates fan, inlet and controller management, according to Dave Stender, swine specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. Stender says that allows participating swine producers and barn managers to troubleshoot problems and practice real life scenarios without compromising biosecurity by going into an active production facility.

Stender said that program participants should plan for some classroom-style learning, but mostly hands-on learning and question-and-answer time.

Participants will practice adjusting inlets, measuring static pressure effects, setting fan controllers, observing plugged inlet effects, troubleshooting problems, answering questions and looking at real-life case studies of barn problems, according to Stender.

There is no registration fee for the program as program and material costs are being fully sponsored by the Lyon County Extension Council, with noon meals sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.

However, preregistration is required due to limited space and supplies. Preregister to Carly via phone at 712-472-2576 or email

Both days of the workshop will be hosted at 1940 110th St., Larchwood.

Further questions can be directed to Stender at 712-225-6196 or

February 23, 2023 - 3:50 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — Officials with Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon are again reporting that never before have this many students attended the college at one time.

In the first two semesters of the 2022-23 academic year, the College is on pace for a record enrollment year. The Fall of 2022 was the largest fall class in the school’s history dating back to 1966. They tell us the 1,811 enrolled students represent about a 5.54% increase from Fall 2021 when the headcount was 1,716. The previous record was in the fall of 2019 when enrollments were 1,777 students.

NCC officials say the enrollments for Spring 2023 follow in a similar trajectory topping all previous enrollment numbers with a record-setting 1,850 students. This represents a 3.64% increase over last year’s enrollments of 1,785.

NCC has multiple terms and start dates throughout the year, so the fall and spring enrollment numbers are just two data points that NCC records throughout the year. They say that another strong indicator is the summer semester enrollments.

Beth Sibenaller-Woodall, NCC Registrar, says that summer enrollments are looking strong, but there won’t be an accurate count until the official count day which is 10 days after the start of the semester. She says NCC is on track for a record-breaking year. Sibenaller-Woodall tells us that by the end of NCC’s previous academic year, on August 6, 2022, the college had taught 2,701 different students in its credit programs.

John Hartog, College President says, “We are excited to see what our year-end numbers will be this coming August. We care for each of our students, and we show our care with our affordable tuition rates and the services we offer to all of our students. Higher numbers mean more students are entering the workforce and transferring to four-year institutions with advanced standing credits.”

Lester, Iowa — Two people were injured in a snowy accident on Wednesday, February 22nd near Lester.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 6:20 a.m., 29-year-old Aaron VandeKamp of Rock Rapids was westbound in a 2001 Buick LeSabre about a mile east of Lester, when he struck a snowdrift in the roadway, causing him to lose control of his vehicle and slide sideways within the roadway. Meanwhile, 62-year-old Robert Caswell of Brandon, South Dakota, was coming from the other way in a 2023 Ford F150 pickup. The front of Caswell’s pickup struck the passenger side of VandeKamp’s car.

Both VandeKamp and Caswell were injured in the accident. The Lyon County Ambulance Squad took Vande Kamp and Lester Rescue took Caswell both to Avera Merrill Pioneer Hospital in Rock Rapids.

Both vehicles are considered a total loss and were towed by Trackside Service of Alvord.

The sheriff’s office reports that the Lester Fire Department also assisted at the scene.

February 20, 2023 - 4:19 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — It sounds like we’re going to get some more wintery weather. And some are saying it could be a repeat of a storm we had earlier this season, with large amounts of snow.

We talked to meteorologist Jim Murray with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls. He tells us how they believe things will start this Tuesday.

Murray says there’s a chance we could see blizzard conditions in northwest Iowa. He tells us the event will probably wrap up by midday Thursday, and at this time they are thinking we could see 10 inches, up to maybe a foot of snow.

He gives us an idea of what to expect after the storm passes by.

Murray says the way things look right now, do not travel Wednesday evening or Wednesday night.

February 19, 2023 - 12:59 am - Posted in News

Inwood, Iowa — A West Lyon Teacher is one of six teachers in the state to receive an award.

The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council tells us they are proud to announce that Mr. Shane Peterson, the 8-12 Industrial Technology Instructor at West Lyon Community School District of rural Inwood, has been named as a recipient of the 2023 Iowa STEM Teacher Award, sponsored by Kemin Industries. The award is given to six educators each year who go above and beyond to inspire student interest in and awareness of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Now in its ninth year, the award is given annually to one full-time, licensed preK-12 teacher from each of the six STEM regions in Iowa. Each recipient is honored for their efforts to foster enthusiasm and inspire a passion for STEM that goes beyond the classroom and helps prepare students for future high-demand careers.

They tell us that Peterson was recognized for his efforts in expanding the industrial technology program at West Lyon Community School District and transforming the program from a basic woodworking program to an impactful STEM program over his 10 years at the school.

In his nomination for the Iowa STEM Teacher Award, Peterson’s students describe him as someone who encourages them to think creatively, goes above and beyond for the industrial technology program, and someone who has grown his students’ confidence in their futures. His principal noted that in addition to acquiring new technology, encouraging more female students to take interest in industrial technology, and bringing in industry speakers to his classroom, he has received over $200,000 in grants for his classroom.

The Governor’s STEM Council says Peterson finds opportunities for his curriculum to connect with the community and STEM-focused business partners. His students are currently collaborating with the local daycare to build a storage shed for their facility, partnering with a local nursing home to develop and prepare birdhouse activity kits, completing Ford technician training modules, and working with a local production facility to create prototypes using 3D printing and modeling software. They say these are all opportunities for students to gain valuable learning experiences while connecting to their community.

As a recipient of the 2023 Iowa STEM Teacher Award, presented by Kemin Industries, Peterson will receive $1,500 to use for his classroom and $1,500 for personal use. He recently received his award and a small celebration at his school and will later be honored, along with his fellow recipients, in a recognition ceremony during STEM Day at the Fair at the Iowa State Fair.