August 24, 2023 - 5:24 pm - Posted in News

Little Rock, Iowa — One of the oldest summertime festivals is upon us. And when it’s time for the Little Rock Corn Show, you can usually bet that school has already started.

The Friday events include a queen contest. Plus you can see all the fair-like exhibits at the air-conditioned Little Rock Town & Country building.

Saturday’s events include a vendor fair, a pedal pull, a pork dinner, the annual golf ball roll, the parade, entertainment under the tent, and more.

On Sunday, there’s an omelet and German pancake brunch, a joint church service, a show-and-shine car show, a volleyball tournament, a bean bag tournament, and an antique tractor pull.

Lots of food is available, and organizers say they have one of the best carnivals in the area — better than many county fairs.

Doon, Iowa — A Doon woman has been arrested on a felony child endangerment charge after a July traffic stop near Doon.

According to a criminal complaint filed with the Lyon County Clerk of Court’s Office by the county sheriff’s office, 33-year-old Anette Espinoza of Doon is accused of driving impaired with four children in the vehicle, one of whom is mentally disabled. The alleged incident occurred on July 15th. She was arrested on Monday.

In his statement, the deputy states that she was originally pulled over for an equipment violation. He says Espinoza showed signs of alcohol and drug impairment, and that THC wax was discovered. He says Espinoza failed field sobriety tests and then submitted to a preliminary breath test that indicated she could be over the legal limit. A blood test came back positive for marijuana. According to the deputy, Espinoza had four minor children under her care in the vehicle, one of which had a mental disability and was not able to care for or protect himself from Espinoza’s actions.

Espinoza was charged with neglect or abandonment of a dependent person, a class C felony. If convicted, Espinoza could face up to ten years in prison. She also faces misdemeanor charges of child endangerment and driving under the influence.

She faces an initial appearance on September 19th, 2023.

August 23, 2023 - 9:11 am - Posted in News

Inwood, Iowa — A hog barn was damaged in a fire on Monday, August 21, 2023, near Inwood.

According to Inwood Fire Chief Troy Van Beek, at about 7:40 p.m., the Inwood Fire Department was called to the report of a hog barn fire at 2119 Cherry Avenue, three miles north of Inwood on the blacktop.

The chief says the fire department saw smoke from the roofline as they approached the scene. He says they used an internal attack to fight the fire. He says the fire was in a hall connecting three structures.

Van Beek says one firefighter was taken to a hospital due to heat exhaustion and one pig died in the fire.

The fire department was assisted by the Larchwood Fire Department and the Alvord firefighters stood by for manpower, due to the excessive heat.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be a faulty electrical component.

Chief Van Beek reports that there was minor to moderate damage.

He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene for about three hours.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Caregiving for a family member or friend can be stressful – physically, emotionally and financially; but there are resources available to help.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host two workshops in Rock Rapids geared towards managing caregiver stress – the first workshop on Aug. 21 is focused on caregivers of children with special health and behavioral needs; and the workshop on Sept. 18 is for those who care for adults with chronic conditions.

“Caregivers face added stress,” said Carly Herum, local human sciences program coordinator with ISU Extension and Outreach. “ISU Extension and Outreach has resources and partnerships to help with stress management. We want to share resources and coping mechanisms with community caregivers.”

Participants can expect to explore self-care strategies and techniques to increase relaxation and reduce stress.

Each workshop will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Frontier Bank Basement in Rock Rapids. There is no charge to attend but registration is requested.

Register online or through the ISU Extension and Outreach Lyon County office at 712-472-2576:

Aug. 21, Managing Caregiver Stress for caregivers of children with special health and behavioral needs – Sign up at

Sept. 18, Managing Caregiver Stress for caregivers of adults with chronic conditions – Sign up at

For more information, contact Carly at 712-472-2576.

Greenfield, Iowa — The Iowa Aviation Museum is holding its 30th annual Wings Fly-In/Drive-In and Hall of Fame induction this Saturday in Greenfield.

The museum’s Kris Schildberg says this year’s Hall of Fame inductee is Jim Zangger, who’s been involved in aviation for decades in northwest Iowa, as his family ran an airport in Larchwood.

The day’s events kick off with a pancake breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Everyone who attends the breakfast and induction ceremony also receives admission to the Iowa Aviation Museum for the day. Schildberg says the museum’s staff has been hard at work keeping the exhibits pristine.

Tickets for the event are $10 for adults and $5 for school age children. Pilots in command and children younger than preschool are free.
Find more information by clicking here.

August 17, 2023 - 5:12 pm - Posted in News

Spencer, Iowa — The transit service that helps people in northwest Iowa get around, now has a new tool to assist those who utilize the service.

Cindy Voss, Associate Executive Director of RIDES Regional Transit Authority, says it’s an app that’s now available for download.

Voss says the app has a number of convenient features.

The app went live this week.

Courtesy Community First Broadcasting station KUOO in Spirit Lake

Adrian, Minnesota — A Rock Rapids woman was taken to the hospital Wednesday evening when a vehicle collided with a cow in Nobles County near the Iowa-Minnesota border.

The Minnesota State Patrol says 27-year-old Brady Spykerboer of Rock Rapids was driving a 2015 Ford Explorer southbound on Highway 91 when he collided with a cow that was standing in the roadway.

A passenger in the vehicle, 28-year-old Morgan Spykerboer of Rock Rapids, sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken by ambulance to a medical facility in Rock Rapids.

The Nobles County Sheriff’s Office, Adrian Ambulance and Adrian Fire Department all assisted at the scene.

Courtesy Community First Broadcasting station KKOJ in Jackson, Minnesota

Sheldon, Iowa — Northwest Iowa Community College has received yet another high ranking.

This time the personal finance website WalletHub is the one doing the ranking. They tell us that with Americans struggling financially due to high inflation and a year of community college nearly three times less expensive than a year at a public four-year college, they have released their report on 2023’s Best & Worst Community Colleges.

Northwest Iowa Community College was ranked third on the list in the United States, after only State Technical College of Missouri and Manhattan (Kansas) Area Technical College. NCC is the only community college in Iowa in the top 20.

To determine where students can receive the best education at the cheapest rates, WalletHub says they compared more than 650 community colleges across 19 key indicators of cost and quality. The data set ranges from the cost of in-state tuition and fees to student-faculty ratio to graduation rate.

Top 20 Community Colleges
1. State Technical College of Missouri (MO)
2. Manhattan Area Technical College (KS)
3. Northwest Iowa Community College (IA)
4. Mt. Hood Community College (OR)
5. Alexandria Technical & Community College (MN)
6. College of San Mateo (CA)
7. Clackamas Community College (OR)
8. Manchester Community College (CT)
9. Asnuntuck Community College (CT)
10. Montgomery College (MD)
11. Mitchell Technical College (SD)
12. Santa Fe Community College (NM)
13. Central New Mexico Community College (NM)
14. Howard Community College (MD)
15. Pasadena City College (CA)
16. San Juan College (NM)
17. St. Cloud Technical and Community College (MN)
18. Pratt Community College (KS)
19. Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NE)
20. Three Rivers Community College (CT)

To read the full reports, you can visit:
Individual Schools:

School Systems:

Northwest Iowa — With just a couple of exceptions, elementary, middle, and high school students in northwest Iowa will be going back to school next Wednesday, August 23rd.

We checked with online resources and school administrators.

All O’Brien County public schools will start that day, including Sheldon, Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, and South O’Brien. The one school district based in Osceola County — Sibley-Ocheyedan — will also start that day. However, Harris-Lake Park, which, area-wise, is almost half in Osceola County, will actually start the next day, Thursday, August 24th. All Sioux County public schools will start on the 23rd, including Rock Valley, Boyden-Hull, Sioux Center, West Sioux, and MOC-Floyd Valley. And all Lyon County schools will start that day as well, including West Lyon, Central Lyon, and George Little Rock.

We checked with a number of protestant and Catholic private schools as well, and most of them are also starting on Wednesday, August 23rd, including St. Patrick’s School in Sheldon, Trinity Christian and Western Christian in Hull, and Spalding Catholic in Granville. The one exception we found is Unity Christian in Orange City. Their freshmen ARE going back to school on the 23rd, but the other three grades go back on the 24th.

Several of the schools, but not all, will also have an early out that day.

Sheldon Superintendent Cory Myer says, “We will have open house on Monday, August 21st from 4:00pm – 6:00pm at the elementary, middle school, and high school.”

Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn Superintendent Patrick Carlin says, “Back to School Night is the 22nd. We are excited to get another year going!”

New Sibley-Ocheyedan Superintendent Stan De Zeeuw says, “We are super excited to see all our students back in the buildings. We have a lot of positive energy in our buildings right now and our staff has worked super hard to make preparations for the start of the new school year.”

New Harris-Lake Park Interim Superintendent Gary Richardson says, “We would want to emphasize to the public to be cognizant of students getting to and from school, and activity will be increased around the buildings. This would include a special reminder on bus safety and to understand the law regarding bus ‘stop-arm’ violations and the need to let students cross roads to enter and depart the buses safely. For HLP, there will be a community focus on a November 7th bond election, which, if successful, will make a one campus school district, as an elementary addition will be added to the current middle school/high school facility.”

Sioux Center Superintendent Gary McEldowney says, “We would encourage patience and safety with all the construction we have going on in Sioux Center for our buses, parent transportation, and student drivers. Plan for a little more time in your commutes.”

Central Lyon Superintendent Brent Jorth says, “We’re excited to welcome students back to school in a little over a week. We will hold open house on Wednesday, August 16, from 5:00-7:00. TK-12th grade students and families are invited to stop by school to meet their teacher(s) and drop off their school supplies prior to the first day of school.” He goes on to say, “Elementary teachers and secondary math teachers will be implementing a new math curriculum during the 2023-24 school year. Staff was trained in June and will have another day of training on Monday, August 21, with Illustrative Math while 5th-12th grade math teachers will utilize Envision Math. Elementary students and families will notice a focus on mathematic conversations and deep thinking using IM’s problem-based model of instruction. Secondary students will utilize curriculum materials similar to the science adoption from two years ago. The online tools have really advanced from the last time we adopted math curriculum. Teachers have spent the summer learning the ins & outs of what the curriculum has to offer.”

West Lyon Superintendent Shawn Kreman says, “West Lyon will start on August 23rd, with a 1:30 PM dismissal that day. Our calendar looks a little different this year with full day Friday in-services.”

Sioux City, Iowa — A family that owns land in the Doon area has filed suit against a railroad for the damage caused to their property when a train derailed in 2018.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), early on the morning of June 22, 2018, a freight train hauling crude oil from Alberta, Canada derailed 33 cars just south of Doon. The BNSF railroad says it appears ten cars leaked oil for a total of 160-thousand gallons. Some of the crude got into the Little Rock River. The railroad said that over 100,000 gallons were recovered.

According to federal court documents, the Philip, Kristi, John, and Helen Kooima family from Rock Valley owns land in that area. They have sued the Burlington Northern Santa Fe — or BNSF — Railway. The documents allege that BNSF was aware that the tracks over which the train was to be operated were “flooded out, improperly maintained, not properly inspected and were unsafe. Despite such awareness, [BNSF] ordered its employees to operate its train over this section of the track, and as a result thirty-five tank cars carrying hazardous materials derailed, with many of the tanker cars breaching and spewing its hazardous material into the air, water, and ground.” It says the oil caused “catastrophic property and environmental damage.”

The suit says the injuries and damages to the Kooimas “came about as a result, in whole or in part, of the negligence of Defendant BNSF, its agents, employees, and officers.” It says the property has been suffering “severe, permanent and disabling damages,” which will continue into the future. It says the Kooimas suffered “permanent loss of value of their property.”

The case was originally filed in Lyon County District Court in June, but was removed to federal court on Friday.