June 15, 2021 - 3:33 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The Rock Rapids Fire Department was called out to a fire on Monday, June 14, 2021, near Rock Rapids.

According to Rock Rapids Assistant Fire Chief Tanner Vogl, about 2:15 p.m., the Rock Rapids Fire Department was called to the report of a grass fire near 1675 Garfield Avenue, three miles west of the south side of Rock Rapids, and three-quarters of a mile south.

The assistant chief says the fire department saw the ditch on fire as they approached the scene. He says they used water to fight the fire.

Assistant Chief Vogl says no injuries were reported.

He says the cause of the fire is undetermined, but he said that someone was cutting hay there a few minutes before, and it’s thought that perhaps a spark from that machine or something hot on it started the fire.

Assistant Chief Vogl reports that damage was limited to about 40 feet of ditch grass on one side of the road.

He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene for about 20 minutes.

June 15, 2021 - 3:16 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Iowa State University Extension crop specialist, Joel DeJong, says northwest Iowa crops are showing signs of stress from the dry conditions. He says they need around 25 inches of moisture during the crop development stage.

DeJong says stress is already showing up in the corn leaves.

He says the rolling has been evident the last week in the afternoons and some mornings during the mid-90 degree days. DeJong says the humidity that we try to avoid is a good thing out in the field.

De Jong says if the issue continues, farmers may see a drastic yield loss. The corn ear now is starting to fill in rows.

DeJong says the next thirty days will be critical to the corn development as the corn begins to pollinate. He says soybeans are also showing some signs of stress, but soybeans have a way to delay the need for moisture until later in the year.

West Of Larchwood, Iowa — A plane full of veterans will be able to see their war memorials in Washington, DC, thanks in part to a grant from the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation.

According to Randy Waagmeester, president of the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation, the foundation board had approved a grant for Midwest Honor Flight in 2019 to help veterans see their memorials. But then COVID hit, and they were unable to use the funds, which are supposed to be used in a certain timeframe. So, Midwest Honor Flight officials asked the foundation for an extension, which was granted. And now Midwest Honor Flight has announced that they will finally be able to fly again, and the next flight has been scheduled.

That’s Jerry Keizer, past president of the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation at a ceremony on Monday morning. Aaron Van Beek with Midwest Honor Flight tells us how many and what kinds of veterans will be going.

The grant is for $60,000. Van Beek says it costs $150,000 for a flight, and he says they have over 800 Midwest veterans on their waiting list. He also tells us that they have another flight scheduled for October 9th, and 120 Vietnam vets will be going to DC that day.

Riverboat Foundation president Waagmeester tells us that the board is extremely happy and proud to be able to contribute to the Honor Flight.

Van Beek encourages you to contact Midwest Honor Flight if you or someone you love is a veteran who would like to fly to DC to see the memorials. He says they always appreciate your donations as well. Find out more at midwesthonorflight.org or call (605) 215-1319.

West Of Larchwood, Iowa — A plane full of veterans will be able to see their war memorials in Washington, DC, thanks in part to a grant from the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation.

According to Randy Waagmeester, president of the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation, the foundation board had approved a grant for Midwest Honor Flight in 2019 to help veterans see their memorials. But then COVID hit, and they were unable to use the funds, which are supposed to be used in a certain timeframe. So, Midwest Honor Flight officials asked the foundation for an extension, which was granted. And now Midwest Honor Flight has announced that they will finally be able to fly again, and the next flight has been scheduled.

That’s Jerry Keizer, past president of the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation at a ceremony on Monday morning. Aaron Van Beek with Midwest Honor Flight tells us how many and what kinds of veterans will be going.

The grant is for $60,000. Van Beek says it costs $150,000 for a flight, and he says they have over 800 Midwest veterans on their waiting list. He also tells us that they have another flight scheduled for October 9th, and 120 Vietnam vets will be going to DC that day.

Riverboat Foundation president Waagmeester tells us that the board is extremely happy and proud to be able to contribute to the Honor Flight.

Van Beek encourages you to contact Midwest Honor Flight if you or someone you love is a veteran who would like to fly to DC to see the memorials. He says they always appreciate your donations as well. Find out more at midwesthonorflight.org or call (605) 215-1319.

Statewide Iowa — High temperatures in the southwestern US are forecast to climb as high as 118 degrees over the next few days and there are fears that extreme heat could expand into the Midwest.

Meteorologist Dennis Todey, director of the USDA’s Midwest Climate Hub in Ames, says he’s concerned Iowa’s drought conditions will continue to worsen.

Forecasters are calling for warmer-than-normal highs this week across Iowa, again, in the 80s and 90s with little chance for rain. Summer starts this coming weekend so we’re heading into the hot months.

The computer forecast models are still not providing a clear picture of what may lie ahead.

The latest drought monitor shows about 90-percent of Iowa is in abnormally dry or drought conditions, with more than half the state under moderate to severe drought.

June 14, 2021 - 3:33 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — With the high temperatures we’ve been having and those that are forecast for this week, some spots in some northwest Iowa roadways have become hazards.

We talked with Dakin Schultz with the Iowa Department of Transportation, who tells us that when these events happen, they are a priority for DOT crews, so they fix them as soon as they are able. As of Monday afternoon, all the buckling incidents that have happened had been repaired. But Schultz says there could easily be more. He tells us how this happens.

And when that happens, it’s a hazard for motorists, as they can do damage to your vehicle or cause you to lose control and maybe even have an accident.

We asked him if this happens on concrete or asphalt roads.

Schultz says these buckling incidents should be reported to the authorities. He suggests calling the area DOT offices, but you can also call the sheriff’s office’s non-emergency number, or even 911 if you don’t have the other numbers handy. Schultz says in our area, there are four DOT offices, and you can just call the nearest one. The numbers are 712-472-3719 for the Rock Rapids area, 712-724-6211 for the Ashton area, 712-756-8814 for the Alton area, and 712-336-2112 for the Spirit Lake area.

June 14, 2021 - 1:16 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Senator Joni Ernst’s office will hold traveling office hours in three of the four counties in the KIWA listening area this Tuesday.

Representatives from Senator Ernst’s office will be available in Lyon, Osceola and Sioux Counties Tuesday to assist Iowans with problems or questions about issues involving Social Security, veterans’ benefits, military affairs, passports, immigration issues, and other federal programs.

Those who are seeking assistance with federal agencies but who are unable to attend the traveling office hours can contact one of the Senator’s offices directly or submit a casework request online at www.Ernst.Senate.Gov.

Senator Ernst’s representatives will be available Tuesday from 11:00 am until noon at the Osceola County Economic Development Office at the courthouse in Sibley, from 12:30 to 1:30 pm in Rooms A & B at the Forster Community Center in Rock Rapids, and from 3:00 to 4:00 pm at the Centre Mall Food Court in Sioux Center.

A representative will visit O’Brien County NEXT Tuesday, June 22nd, from 3:00 to 4:00 pm in the Boardroom at the Crossroads Pavilion in Sheldon.

Senator Ernst will not be attending these visits.

Northwest Iowa — Just four new positive COVID tests are reported in the four-county area of Sioux, O’Brien, Osceola and Lyon Counties over the past seven days, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The only county in our area to see any positive test results in the past seven days was Sioux County, where they report four new positives, with a 3% positivity rate. O’Brien, Osceola and Lyon Counties all report NO new positives during that time period, the first time that’s been the case in nearly a year.

In addition to the number of positive test results being cut in half over the past week compared to the precious week, the area reports another week in which nobody lost their life to a COVID-related illness. While the number of weekly deaths remained at zero, we’ve sadly still lost 188 of our friends and neighbors to COVID-related illnesses since the pandemic began. 74 from Sioux County, 57 from O’Brien County, 41 from Lyon County and 16 from Osceola County.

Statewide, as of 10:00 am Monday, 81 people were hospitalized with COVID being either the primary or secondary cause. 48 of those have COVID listed as the primary cause for their hospitalization, while 33 are listed as having COVID as a secondary diagnosis.

As of 10:00 Monday morning there are four long-term care facilities in Iowa battling COVID-19 outbreaks, none of which is in northwest Iowa. The facilities include: Friendship Home Association in Audubon County, where they report 31 of their residents and staff have the virus; Heritage Care and Rehabilitation in Cerro Gordo County lists 12 patients and staff; Great River Klein Center in Des Moines County has 3; and Clarion Wellness and Rehabilitation Center in Wright County reports 6 residents and staff with COVID-19.

Northwest Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds has ordered all flags in Iowa to fly at half-staff from sunrise to sunset this Monday, June 14th to honor a fallen U.S. soldier.

Army Cpl. Eldert J. Beek, of Sibley, was reported killed in action in late 1950 during the Korean War. He is back home 71-years later. Cpl. Beek was 20-years-old when his unit was attacked on December 1, 1950 by enemy forces near the Chosin reservoir, North Korea. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered.

Fifty-five boxes purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War were turned over by North Korea in 2018 following the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. Beek’s remains have since been identified.

Cpl. Beek will be buried this Monday morning at Evergreen Lawn Cemetery at George, with full military honors by the Iowa National Guard.

Flags will be at half-staff on the State Capitol Building and on flag displays in the Capitol Complex. Flags will also be half-staff on all public buildings, grounds and facilities throughout the state.

Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.

Northwest Iowa — Iowa Congressman Randy Feenstra says it’s time for a federal law that ensures any product labeled as “milk” came from dairy cows or other livestock, NOT from plants.

U.S. milk consumption dropped 15 percent between 2012 and 2017 — while sales of alternatives made with almonds, oats, coconuts and rice grew by 60 percent over that five year period. Feenstra says using the word “milk” for those plant-based products blurs the line for consumers.

The federal School Milk Program was established in 1955. It reimburses schools, child care institutions and eligible summer camps for the milk served to children and teenagers. Feenstra, a Republican from Hull who represents Iowa’s fourth congressional district, visited an open house at the Perry Creek Dairy Farm near Le Mars earlier this week.