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

Heard on KIWA-AM 1550 every weekday morning at 9:00 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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February 24, 2017 - 3:58 pm - Posted in News

end of 6th Avenue in Rock RapidsRock Rapids, Iowa — The City of Rock Rapids is looking to add some affordable housing after the loss of several homes in the aftermath of the flood of 2014.

Several Rock Rapids residents who lived near the Rock River and Moon Creek found their homes destroyed, unlivable, or unsafe. The City of Rock Rapids has been partnering with the federal government for a buyout program in which the city uses federal funds to help buy the property, demolishes the structures, and then turns the property into permanent green space so any future flood causes less damage. The two neighborhoods now look very different, with few to no homes remaining.

Rock Rapids Mayor Jason Chase tells us that the City of Rock Rapids is trying to address the problem of having so many fewer places for people to live. He says a housing project is being planned in which the houses would be in the range of $170,000 or less.

Chase says all ten houses probably wouldn’t be built at once, but they’d like to have them built in the next couple of years.

Chase says the houses will probably be fairly similar but there will be some room for customization. He tells us it will probably be done in a way similar to how he’s seen other communities are doing it.

Chase says they’re also considering other plans and incentives. He says at this point nothing is set in stone and it’s all theory. He says for more information or to submit a proposal, you can contact Rock Rapids Development Director Micah Freese at 712-472-4585.

Photo caption: The west end of Sixth Avenue in Rock Rapids, looking west. The new homes would be built here, southeast of the Borman-Forster Soccer Fields

February 23, 2017 - 9:35 am - Posted in News

Dakota Access Bakken Crude Pipeline Route IowaDes Moines, Iowa — Last week we told you that a Polk County judge ruled that the Iowa Utilities Board was right in their decision to allow the use of eminent domain for the building of the Dakota Access Bakken oil pipeline. The 11-hundred mile long, $3.8-billion pipeline runs through Lyon, Sioux, and O’Brien counties on it’s way to a terminal in Illinois.  Now the 14 landowners who lost that lawsuit are preparing for the next stage in their legal war.

Des Moines attorney Bill Hanigan, who represents the 14 landowners, says they’ll take the case next to Iowa’s highest court.

Hanigan says he’ll continue arguing the pipeline, built by Energy Transfer Partners, was not worthy of eminent domain.

He claims the private company is not serving a public use by piping oil across Iowa, in his words, for export to foreign countries. Hanigan says he’s optimistic about their chances before the state’s high court.

Hanigan says Iowa and federal law protects landowners from eminent domain because, in their view, Dakota Access is a private, interstate pipeline and not a public utility.

February 22, 2017 - 3:03 pm - Posted in News

rock-rapids-fire-department-fd-logo-door-pumper-hose-10-2016Rock Rapids, Iowa– A manufacturing plant was damaged in a fire on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 in Rock Rapids.

According to Rock Rapids Fire Chief Ed Reck, just before 6 a.m., the Rock Rapids Fire Department was called to the report of a fire at Maintainer Custom Bodies at 909 South East Street, on the south edge of town on K52. He says workers just showing up to work at the plant discovered the fire and called 911.

The chief says the fire department saw significant smoke coming from the main roof vent as they approached the scene. But he says it looked worse than it was. He says the fire was pretty much contained to a 15 by 30-foot area where insulation in the rafters above the ceiling was on fire.

Reck says no injuries were reported.

He says some electrical work had been done the day before, and they think a spark from that work got into the insulation. He emphasized it was not an electrical fire, but theorized that a mechanical spark from the work was the culprit.

Chief Reck reports that there was moderate damage to the building. He said firefighters had to cut a 15 by 25-foot hole in the ceiling to vent the heat out and had to tear the ceiling down to get the fire out. He says those at the plant were quickly making arrangements to get the damage fixed due to the impending winter storm that’s supposed to arrive on Thursday.

He says they used between 100 and 150 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene until 7:30 a.m.

February 21, 2017 - 1:27 am - Posted in News

Lyon Courthouse SVARock Rapids, Iowa — The pretrial conference for an Inwood man who has pled not guilty to felony sex charges has been pushed back again, and the county attorney’s office has asked the Iowa Attorney General’s office to prosecute the case.

According to court records, 41-year-old Perry Vande Kieft of Inwood allegedly had sexual contact with an 11-year-old girl in the spring of 2015 and again in February or March of 2016 at Vande Kieft’s home.

Charges filed against Vande Kieft included two counts of sexual abuse in the Second degree, which is a class B felony; as well as indecent contact with a child and possession of a controlled substance – marijuana.

According to court records, the pretrial conference is scheduled for March 6th, at 10 a.m. If proceedings continue on schedule, the case will go to trial on April 4th in Lyon County District Court in Rock Rapids. The court records indicate Lyon County Attorney Shayne Mayer requested Special Prosecutor Coleman McAllister from the Iowa Attorney General’s office.

The case was originally scheduled to go to trial in October, 2016, but was pushed back.

Iowa Capitol Senate ChamberDes Moines, Iowa — A rumor that has been going around about the content of the Collective Bargaining bill is just that — a rumor, according to an Ocheyedan lawmaker.

The rumor that is circulating is that the collective bargaining bill is somehow tied to education vouchers or “school choice” — meaning that if a student in a northwest Iowa district decided to go to a private school, that the tax money tied to this student would follow the student to the school of their choice rather than go to the school district in which the student lives.

Independent Iowa District 1 State Senator David Johnson says this is not connected to the collective bargaining bill, but it is a concern of his.

He says lawmakers did pass a 1.11 percent increase in funding for state schools. Johnson and the Democrats say that was not enough. Johnson says there was no provision for vouchers or “school choice” in that bill either, but he says maybe the GOP is gearing up for such a bill.

Johnson tells us why he voted against the 1.11 percent increase in school funding.

And Johnson says that extra money may be used to start a voucher or education savings account program.

Johnson says he thinks public and private schools should continue and expand collaboration between the two kinds of schools.

He says he thinks as a general rule, lawmakers have to be more open.

Johnson serves Lyon, Osceola, Clay and Dickinson counties in northwest Iowa.

February 16, 2017 - 10:14 am - Posted in News

Blue Ambulance_SVARock Valley, Iowa — A Larchwood woman was taken to a hospital after an accident on Tuesday, February 14 near Rock Valley.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 12:50 p.m., 25-year-old Curtis Jensen of Manning, Iowa was driving a 2016 Freightliner semi‐tractor pulling a tank trailer northbound on Chestnut Avenue approaching the stop sign at Highway 18, about seven miles west of Rock Valley. They say 38-year-old Amber Hess of Larchwood was driving a 2009 Ford Escape northbound on Chestnut Avenue behind Jensen. Jensen entered the southbound lane before turning to the right in an effort to look for northbound traffic on the curve of Highway 18. Hess drove on his right and struck the Freightliner.

The Sheriff’s Office says the Rock Valley Ambulance took Hess to Hegg Memorial Hospital in Rock Valley.

They say the Jensen Freightliner sustained about $20,000 in damage, and the Hess Ford sustained approximately $7,000 in damage.

They report that the Rock Valley Ambulance crew and the Iowa State Patrol assisted them.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the accident remains under investigation.

February 15, 2017 - 5:27 pm - Posted in News

Truck accidentCanton, South Dakota — A George man was taken to the hospital after an accident near Canton, South Dakota.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol reports that about 6:50 p.m. on Monday, February 13, 2017, 36-year-old Kenneth Daniels of George was driving a 2015 Peterbilt semi westbound on 282nd Street, twelve miles west of Canton. That’s Highway 18, about two and a half miles west of Interstate 29.

The report says that the truck drifted off the roadway into the ditch and rolled.

An ambulance took Daniels to Sanford University Medical Center in Sioux Falls. His injuries were described as serious. The patrol indicates he was not wearing a seatbelt, and was the only occupant in the vehicle.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol investigated the accident. The Lincoln County’s Sheriff’s Office and the Lennox Emergency Service also assisted at the scene.

The patrol says charges are pending.

February 15, 2017 - 4:28 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — An Inwood man who has pled not guilty to felony sex charges faces a pretrial conference this Thursday, February 16th.
Lyon Courthouse 2 smaller
According to court records, 41-year-old Perry Vande Kieft of Inwood allegedly had sexual contact with an 11-year-old girl in the spring of 2015 and again in February or March of 2016 at Vande Kieft’s home.

Charges filed against Vande Kieft included two counts of sexual abuse in the Second degree, which is a class B felony; as well as indecent contact with a child and possession of a controlled substance – marijuana.

If proceedings continue on schedule, the case will go to trial on April 4th in Lyon County District Court in Rock Rapids.

The case was originally scheduled to go to trial in October, 2016, but was pushed back.

February 10, 2017 - 5:31 pm - Posted in News

fatal ambulance IIInwood, Iowa — A ten-year-old from the Inwood area has died in a farming accident.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that just before 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 9th, they received a 9-1-1 call of an accident at 2678 Chestnut Avenue, nearly three miles south of Inwood on Highway 18. The Inwood Rescue Unit, Inwood Fire Department, and deputies from the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched.

According to Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep, a family member was moving a round bale with a skid loader and somehow the bale moved and fell off of the unit and rolled over 10-year-old Marcus Blom of Inwood. The Canton-Inwood Ambulance also responded to the scene. Vander Stoep says the Sanford Air-Med helicopter also landed at the scene. But he says that due to the extent of his injuries, Blom died at the scene.

February 9, 2017 - 12:12 pm - Posted in News

Iowa Capitol DomeDes Moines, Iowa — Tempers were strained as the Iowa House Labor Committee spent more than three hours debating the G-O-P’s plan to change the state’s collective bargaining law for public sector unions. Representative Steven Holt, a Republican from Denison, opened the debate.

Northwest Iowa Republican Representative John Wills tells us what it’s about.

Representative Kirsten Running-Marquardt, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, says “corporate handouts” rather than union wages are what’s breaking the state’s bank.

Representative Bruce Hunter, a Democrat from Des Moines, says Republicans have hatched an “evil” plan.

Republicans who hold a majority of seats on the committee advanced the bill Wednesday night, making it eligible for debate in the Iowa House next week. Holt, whose wife is a teacher, says the bill is a “win for the children of Iowa” because it gets rid of the seniority system for teachers.

There were two committee hearings at the statehouse earlier in the day. Critics of the bill say their comments are unlikely to sway Republicans who are intent on passing the bill quickly. A public hearing will be held Monday night on the issue. It’s likely the House AND Senate will vote on the bill and send it to the governor early next week.