Des Moines, Iowa — Governor Kim Reynolds says it is counterproductive for the Centers for Disease Control to issue new guidelines recommending people wear face masks indoors to prevent the spread of the new, easier to transmit strain of COVID-19.

The governor signed a bill into law in May that forbids Iowa schools from imposing mask mandates on students and staff and Reynolds says she’s concerned this new policy will lead to a federal mask mandate for schools.

According to the CDC, 47 Iowa counties have substantial spread of COVID.

The governor says 95 percent of Iowans who are 65 or older have been vaccinated and 61 percent of all Iowa adults have had either one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine or both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Reynolds also points to reports indicating nearly all of those who are currently hospitalized with COVID nationwide have not been vaccinated.

The 2020 Iowa State Fair was cancelled due to the pandemic, but hundreds of thousands are expected to make the trek to the state fairgrounds in Des Moines for this year’s fair, which is set to begin August 12th.

July 28, 2021 - 10:06 am - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — After more than a year of masks, hand sanitizer and carry-out meals, a survey by Triple-A-Iowa finds Iowans are over the pandemic and they’re more than ready to return to vacations and traveling.

Meredith Mitts, a spokeswoman for the motor club, says traveler confidence is soaring.

Over the course of the past three surveys, she says Iowans’ comfort level has significantly increased as their concern about COVID-19 waned.

Of those who are already or plan to be vaccinated, 44-percent say travel was a motivating factor in doing so. Where are Iowans wanting to go?

The survey also finds a growing number of Iowans are back on board with the idea of taking a cruise.

The survey shows two-thirds of Iowans have already traveled or plan to take a trip in 2021, while more than half of those will take their next trip between July and September.

Sioux Center, Iowa — If you have Frisian heritage — that is, one or more of your ancestors came from the Friesland area of the Netherlands, and you have a family history of heart disease, some researchers want to talk to you.

Dr. Deb Bomgaars is the head of the nursing department at Dordt University. She tells us more.

Dr. Bomgaars tells us how this got started.

The man she’s referring to is Dr. Leo “Dean” Jansen. He gives us some details about the kind of family history they’re looking for.

For more information, you can contact Dr. Bomgaars at Dordt University or Dr. Dean Jansen at He says they can help you set up an appointment with your family doctor or a cardiologist to get genetic testing done.

Larchwood, Iowa — What began with an arrest for Violation of a No-Contact Order has led to a litany of drug charges against a Lyon County man.

According to court records, on March 18th of this year, Lyon County Deputies attempted to arrest 32-year-old Tyler Joe Den Besten at a Larchwood residence on that no-contact order violation. Deputies say Den Besten attempted to flee, but was tased by one of the officers. Officers say the taser deployment caused Den Besten to require medical attention.

With medical personnel on the scene, authorities say Den Besten was found to allegedly have THC oil, along with a white crystalline substance in his possession.

Two days later, on March 20th, deputies executed a search of the residence and reportedly recovered a large quantity of marijuana, along with methamphetamine residue, cannabidiol and a quantity of marijuana and meth paraphernalia.

Den Besten was reportedly arrested Tuesday morning (July 27th) on Felony charges of Controlled Substance Violation, namely Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver, as well as Failure to Affix a Drug Tax Stamp. he also faces Serious Misdemeanor charges of; Possession of Methamphetamine, two counts, along with Possession of Marijuana, 2 counts. In addition, he faces Simple Misdemeanor charges of: two counts of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; Interference With Official Acts; and Violation of a No-Contact Order.

According to Lyon County authorities, Den Besten was held on a $15,500 cash or surety bond. Online court records indicate that a Preliminary Hearing in the case has been set for August 6th at 1:30 pm.


July 27, 2021 - 2:14 pm - Posted in News

Larchwood, Iowa — One person was taken to a Sioux Falls hospital and several pigs died as the result of an accident on Friday near Klondike in far western Lyon County.

According to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, a few minutes before 9:10 a.m., Joseph Alan Kumlien of Canton, South Dakota was traveling westbound on 180th Street, or A26. He was driving a 2012 Kenworth semi with a 2015 Wilson livestock trailer fully loaded with pigs. They tell us that Kumlien tried to pass two vehicles when the second in line vehicle tried to pass the first in line vehicle.

The second vehicle was reportedly a 2014 GMC Sierra 2500 pulling a loaded 2020 Big Tex fifth-wheel trailer being operated by Enrique Ham Reimer of Keyes, Oklahoma. The Sheriff’s Office says Reimer collided broadside with the semi and trailer which forced the semi and trailer to enter the ditch.

According to Lyon County Dispatch, Kumlien was taken to Sanford Hospital and University Medical Center in Sioux Falls.

Kumlien’s semi was a total loss including approximately $30,000 worth of pigs. Reimer’s vehicle had minimal damages to the trailer. Other damages at the scene include approximately $600 of damages to a cornfield, approximately $300 of damages to a fence line, and approximately $1500 of damages to a roadside barricade.

The Sheriff’s Office says the Lyon County Ambulance squad, Larchwood Fire Department, Larchwood EMS, Ace Towing Inc., Farmers Co-op Society of Sioux Center, Sioux Valley Rendering, and multiple nearby farmers willing and eager to lend a hand, assisted at the scene.

Statewide Iowa — With high temperatures flirting with triple digits this week, practically everyone in Iowa is struggling to stay cool, but the heat wave can be particularly challenging for people who are living with dementia.

Lauren Livingston, spokeswoman for the Iowa chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, says the extreme heat can be just as dangerous as a wintertime blizzard for people with memory issues.

Family and friends should make plans to regularly check in on a person living with dementia during extreme heat and special arrangement may be needed for sleeping.

During the winter, we’ll occasionally hear about so-called Silver Alerts when a person with Alzheimer’s has wandered from home during the bitter cold. Livingston says the risks during the heat of summer are just as great.

More than six-million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, including 66,000 Iowans.

Northwest Iowa — With the mercury expected to reach at least the mid-90’s this week, maybe up to 100 and heat index values forecasted in the 100s, according to the National Weather Service — and above normal temperatures in the next six to ten days as well, now might be a good time to brush up on those heat illness tips.

According to Lyon County Health Nurse Melissa Stillson, overheating is a serious issue.

She says that many times, especially with elderly people, they don’t like to put the air conditioning on, saying that it makes them cold. But she says opening windows instead when the temperatures and humidity are high, makes the situation worse.

She also says that drinking a lot of fluids is important, but the way you take in fluids is important too.

She says the sun’s rays in the summertime are the strongest between noon and 3:30 p.m.

Also, she says maybe keep a washcloth with you to dip in the water and dab your children to keep them cool.

Plus, Stillson says you need to watch your diet and any medications, especially if you have a chronic medical condition or if you’re trying to lose weight.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says if people get too much heat, it can be a medical emergency.

People with heat exhaustion can experience heavy sweating, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, have pale skin, or can faint. Treatment of heat exhaustion includes drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages, taking a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath, getting rest, moving to an air-conditioned environment, and changing into lightweight clothing. If symptoms are severe, worsen, do not resolve after an hour, or if the person has heart problems or high blood pressure, seek medical attention. If heat exhaustion is left untreated, and the person continues the activities, it may progress to heatstroke, according to IDPH officials.

They tell us that heatstroke occurs when the body is unable to cool down. It is characterized by high body temperature (above 103°F, orally), red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating), rapid, strong pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, or unconsciousness. If a person is experiencing heatstroke, seek medical assistance immediately and begin to cool the individual. Cooling efforts should continue until medical assistance arrives. Cool the person by getting them into some shade, having them take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath, or wrap the person in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.

Click here for more information from Health Services of Lyon County.

July 26, 2021 - 11:10 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa —  There were four new positive COVID test results in the four-county area of Lyon, Sioux, O’Brien and Osceola Counties during the past seven days, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The positive test results included two tests in Sioux County, with one each in O’Brien and Lyon Counties. Once again, no new positives were reported in Osceola County.

For another week there were no new deaths reported in the four-county area in the past seven days. Since the pandemic began 74 Sioux County residents have succumbed to the virus, along with 57 from O’Brien County, 41 from Lyon County and 17 from Osceola County.

This week’s report lists COVID outbreaks in two Iowa long-term care facilities, but provided no additional details.

Orange City, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Annual Farmland Leasing Meetings for agriculture property owners, tenants, ag business representatives and lenders will be held at 11 different locations throughout early August, including Sheldon, Orange City and Rock Rapids.

Each workshop will focus on current farmland value and lease rate trends, methods for determining fair ag rents for 2022 and farmland lease communication and legalities, including how to write and terminate a lease.

ISU Extension officials say the meetings are designed for ag property owners and tenants, so they focus greatly on land ownership and tenant information such as rental rates and land values. The meetings will also discuss how to determine a fair cash rent with the current economic uncertainty.

Upcoming workshop dates and locations include:

August 3, 9:00 a.m. – ISU Extension and Outreach Sioux County office, 400 Central Ave. NW, Orange City; Preregister to 712-737-4230.

August 4, 9:00 a.m. – ISU Extension and Outreach Buena Vista County office, 824 Flindt Dr., Storm Lake; Preregister to 712-732-5056.

August 4, 5:00 p.m. – ISU Extension and Outreach Cherokee County office, 209 Centennial Dr., Cherokee; Preregister to 712-225-6196.

August 5, 9:00 a.m. – Dickinson County Community Building, 1602 15th Street, Spirit Lake; Preregister to 712-336-3488.

August 5, 3:00 p.m. – Immanuel Lutheran Church, 409 N 6th St., Estherville; Preregister to 712-362-3434.

August 10, 1:30 p.m. – ISU Extension and Outreach Woodbury County office, 4728 Southern Hills Dr., Sioux City; Preregister to 712-276-2157.

August 11, 9:00 a.m. – ISU Extension and Outreach Plymouth County office, 251 12th St. SE, Le Mars; Preregister to 712-546-7835.

August 11, 3:00 p.m. – Northwest Iowa Community College, Building A, Room 119, 603 W Park St., Sheldon; Preregister to 712-957-5045.

August 12, 9:00 a.m. – Forster Community Center, 405 South 2nd Ave., Rock Rapids; Preregister to 712-472-2576 or 712-754-3648.

August 12, 2:00 p.m. – 4-H Auditorium, Clay County Fairgrounds, 800 West 18th St., Spencer; Preregister to 712-262-2264.

August 17, 9:00 a.m. – Mallard Community Center, 605 Inman St., Mallard; Preregister to 712-852-2865 or 712-335-3103.

Meetings are approximately 2 ½ hours in length and all registrants receive a leasing arrangement book, as well as access to research-based resources from ISU Extension and Outreach. There is a $20 per individual or $30 per couple preregistration fee for those who preregister to the ISU Extension and Outreach office hosting the meeting at least two days prior to the workshop date.

Individuals are encouraged to call in and preregister so that adequate space and materials can be prepared and nobody has to be turned away.

For more information regarding land leasing and value or the upcoming workshops, contact Wright at 712-223-1574 or

Statewide Iowa — With last year’s derecho, Iowans learned the hard way that highly destructive weather events can be something other than tornadoes or floods.

Technically, the derecho was a severe thunderstorm, the most destructive thunderstorm in U.S. history. National Weather Service meteorologist Alex Krull says they’re soon adding severe thunderstorms — and, thus, any future derecho — to an important alert system.

Krull says any severe thunderstorms that NWS believes will produce damaging wind gusts in excess of 80 miles per hour or produce hail sizes baseball or larger will now activate the wireless emergency alerts on your cell phones. Starting August 2nd, the National Weather Service will be able to better convey the severity and potential impacts from major thunderstorms to the public — in seconds.

On average, only about ten-percent of all severe thunderstorms reach the “destructive” category, things like a derecho or a “supercell” storm. When the rare ones hit, people need to know — and right away — so the alert system is being expanded.

Krull says for most cell phones, it should automatically happen. He says some folks do have the alerts turned off on their cell phones, depending on whether you’re using an iPhone or some kind of Android device, he says you may want to check the settings for what your wireless emergency alerts are set to.

The powerful derecho that struck August 10th of 2020 packed winds up to 140 miles an hour — the equivalent of a category four hurricane — and it caused more than 13-billion dollars damage, most of it in Iowa. The storm started causing havoc in western Iowa and moved quickly eastward, doing its worst destruction in the Cedar Rapids area, eventually dissipating in Illinois. In many respects, it was like having a 150-mile long tornado that was 50 miles wide.