Lyon County, Iowa — Weather facts, community announcements, church announcements, menus, school activities, cash grain prices and more.

Heard on KIWA-AM 1550 every weekday morning at about 8:45 AM, and available here for 24 hours afterwards. (Friday edition is available until Monday edition is uploaded.)

As reported by KIWA News Director and Rock Rapids resident Scott Van Aartsen

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March 27, 2015 - 3:34 pm - Posted in News

Rock Valley, Iowa — Three agriculture coops in northwest Iowa are considering unification.
grain elevator silos
United Farmers Co-op based in George, Farmers Elevator Coop, based in Rock Valley, and Coop Elevator Association, based in Ocheyedan are looking at the move. We talked with Farmers Elevator Coop General Manager Mark Finck, who explains the difference between the term “unification” and the term “merger.”

He tells us why they’re looking at unification.

He says the move just makes sense to him.

Finck says eleven meetings are being held throughout the areas of the three companies, and the findings of the different committees are being reviewed.

He says the meetings wrap up on Wednesday, April 1st, and then the vote will be taken.

He says on April 20th, the companies’ auditors will count the votes. And, says Finck, it’s important that everyone make an informed decision and vote. He tells us why.

Finck shares with us the proposed new company name and leadership structure.

He says while they will not be closing any locations, the head office would be in Rock Valley. Each of the three companies were formed over 100 years ago, with the oldest — Farmers Elevator Coop in Rock Valley — being formed in 1899. He says that’s one of the reasons Rock Valley was selected as the location for the head office.

Finck says no employees would be cut in the move, and everyone’s job is safe.

The new company would have over 20 locations, including two in Minnesota and one in South Dakota. For more information, including meeting times and locations, you can contact any of the local locations, or visit the companies’ websites.

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March 27, 2015 - 1:33 pm - Posted in News

Primghar, Iowa – A Paullina man has been arrested on several felony charges. He is accused of committing several burglaries in the four northwest Iowa counties.
Hand Cuffs sxc
The O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office reports that they arrested 29-year-old Seth William Johnson of Paullina and he has been charged with six counts of Second Degree Theft, a class D felony; seven counts of Third Degree Burglary, a class D felony; and seven misdemeanor counts of Third Degree Burglary.

The Sheriff’s Office says that numerous northwest Iowa law enforcement agencies including the O’Brien, Osceola, Lyon and Sioux County Sheriff’s Offices and the Sheldon, Sutherland and Paullina Police Departments have worked jointly on a series of burglary and theft investigations. They say the investigations involved burglaries to businesses, homes, and vehicles between May and October, 2014 and involved items including guns, cash, jewelry, a motorcycle, tools and fishing equipment.

The charges which are a class D felonies are punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $7,500. The charges that are aggravated misdemeanors are punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $6250. Johnson has been booked into the O’Brien County Jail on the charges and will make appearances in District Court in the respective counties at a later date.

The public is reminded that a criminal charge is merely an accusation. All persons are innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected as a part of this investigation.

March 26, 2015 - 9:49 am - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — A George man has been arrested on several charges after a pursuit in Osceola and Lyon Counties.
Police lightbar chase
According to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, the incident started on Tuesday afternoon, March 24th. About 4:15 PM, witnesses reported seeing a white car pulling a trailer recklessly on 160th Street west of Sibley. When an Osceola County deputy went to investigate, the white Chevy Monte Carlo, who they would later learn was driven by 27-year-old Joseph Lee Daggett of George, failed to pull over.

The pursuit entered Lyon County north of Little Rock, and Lyon County Deputies joined. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that the pursuit went through Little Rock and westbound on Highway 9.

Shortly before 4:50 PM, they report that a vehicle that was eastbound on Highway 9 was forced to take the south ditch after the suspect’s vehicle swerved at their vehicle. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the driver of this vehicle to call them at 712-472-8300.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says the pursuit then went south on County Road L-14 and entered the City of George. They say the suspect fled the vehicle on foot within the city limits of George.

Osceola County authorities charged Daggett with one count of theft in the 4th Degree, a serious misdemeanor, one count of Possession of Prescription Drugs, a serious misdemeanor, Eluding, an aggravated misdemeanor, two stop sign violations and reckless driving which are simple misdemeanors. At last report, he was being held in the Osceola County Jail on a $5000 bond, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

Lyon County officials report that charges are pending in their county while the investigation continues.

Deputies were assisted by the Iowa State Patrol.

March 21, 2015 - 8:13 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Rapids man has been arrested on several warrants.
Hand Cuffs sxc
On Friday, March 20th, 2015 at about 6:00 PM, a Lyon County Deputy stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation in the 3400 block of A-52. That’s about five miles north-northeast of Hull.

It was determined that numerous warrants had been issued for the arrest of the driver, 21-year-old Melvin Lopez of Rock Rapids.

The deputy subsequently arrested Lopez on warrants concerning charges of Operating While Intoxicated, Failure to Maintain Control, Windshield Tint Violation, No Valid Drivers License, Failure to have Proof of Insurance, and Fraudulent Use of Registration.

Lopez was held at the Lyon County Jail in lieu of a bond of $2,500.

Des Moines, Iowa — All 50 state senators are pushing for more legislative oversight of a shift that will turn over management of nearly all of the state’s more than four-billion dollar Medicaid program to private “managed care” companies. Senator Amanda Ragan, a Democrat from Mason City, says there’s “great uncertainty” about how this transition will impact the 560-thousand low income, elderly and disabled Iowans who get health care coverage through Medicaid.
iowa state capitol sva

(as said) “It’s critical that we will have a voice in this because many of the people that we are representing don’t have a voice,” Ragan says.

A bill on the subject has passed the senate on unanimous vote. Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, says private companies stand to gain big if they get the contract.

(as said) “If you look at the fine print…those managed care companies will extract about $800 million a year that’s currently being spent on services to our constituents for the pleasure of operating the program,” Bolkcom says.

And Bolkcom argues it’s likely health care services to poor and disabled Iowans will be cut by 800-million to cover the cost of the contracts. Republican Senator David Johnson of Ocheyedan told Democrats their tone was not helpful.

(as said) “Let’s just settle down here a little bit,” Johnson said. “I’m going to support this bill, but I’m not here to knock the administration about this.”

Johnson says while he supports the idea of having the legislature more involved in the decision making, nearly 40 other states are moving to sign managed care contracts for Medicaid programs. Governor Branstad’s administration expects to hire up to four managed care companies to run most of Iowa’s Medicaid program. When announcing the initiative last month, officials said their aim was to implement the change starting July 1st. Iowans on Medicaid who’re being treated for mental illnesses are already part of a managed care plan, but the plan is to have most Medicaid-financed services in Iowa under a managed care contract. That includes nursing home care for elderly Iowans who are on Medicaid.

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March 20, 2015 - 2:44 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Two western Lyon County teens face felony drug charges after their arrests this week.
Lyon County Sheriff Car Door 60-8
The Lyon County Sheriff’s office reports their deputies arrested 18-year-old Anthony P. Viereck of Larchwood on two counts of Conspiracy to Deliver Marijuana under 50 kilograms. Both charges are Class D Felonies.

Also arrested was 19-year-old Mason A. Vanden Brink of Inwood. He was also charged with two counts of Conspiracy to Deliver Marijuana under 50 kilograms. In addition, Vanden Brink was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance – Marijuana, a Serious Misdemeanor; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Simple Misdemeanor; and Maintaining a Drug House, an Aggravated Misdemeanor. The charges were filed after deputies executed a search warrant at Vanden Brink’s home.

March 17, 2015 - 8:01 am - Posted in News

Larchwood, Iowa — A Sioux Falls man has been arrested on a felony charge at Grand Falls Casino.
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that they arrested 23-year-old Mitchell Andrew Maldonado of Sioux Falls last week on a charge of Possession of Stolen Property, a class C Felony.

The arrest stems from a brief investigation after a Lyon County Deputy located a stolen vehicle in the parking lot of the Grand Falls Casino and Resort. The vehicle had been reported stolen from Sioux Falls in the afternoon of March 10, 2015; and according to the Sioux Falls Police Department, Maldonado had allegedly stolen it.

With the assistance of the Grand Falls security, the Deputy was able to locate Maldonado inside the casino.

March 14, 2015 - 8:25 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — An Ellsworth, Minnesota resident has been sentenced on felony OWI charges.
drunk driving OWI DWI iStock
The Lyon County Attorney’s Office reports that Janeen Dirks of Ellsworth has been convicted of Operating While Intoxicated 3rd Offense, a Class D Felony, Habitual Offender.

Dirks was ordered to enter the Residential Treatment Facility Program, complete substance abuse treatment, complete a driving unimpaired program, and was placed on probation to the Third Judicial District Department of Correctional Services for a period of three years.

Dirks’ license was revoked for a period of six years. Dirks was also ordered to pay court costs and a surcharge.

March 14, 2015 - 8:25 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Sheldon man has been convicted and sentenced for theft from the Grand Falls Casino near Larchwood.
Grand Falls Roulette
The Lyon County Attorney’s Office reports that Travis Dean Paquette of Sheldon was sentenced to Theft in the Second Degree. They report that the charge stems from a complaint stating that Paquette took $10,000 in two separate instances in December, 2013, for a total of $20,000, with the intent to deprive Grand Falls Casino.

Paquette was sentenced to probation to the Third Judicial District for two years. A sentence of five years to the Director of the Iowa Department of Corrections was suspended. Paquette was also ordered to pay victim restitution, fines and court costs.

March 14, 2015 - 8:24 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Sibley man has been sentenced on a bad check charge.
bank check fraud
The Lyon County Attorney’s Office reports that Jose Armando Ayala Lopez of Sibley has been convicted of Theft in the Third Degree, an Aggravated Misdemeanor.

The charge stems from a criminal complaint stating that in September, 2014, Ayala Lopez made and delivered a check to GCC Ready Mix in Little Rock. The check was returned due to insufficient funds.

Ayala Lopez was sentenced to 365 days in the Lyon County Jail with all but five days suspended, and probation to the Third Judicial District for one year.

Ayala Lopez was also ordered to pay restitution immediately to GCC Ready Mix and to pay fines and court costs.