October 21, 2017 - 1:55 am - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math — known by the acronym “STEM” — has been a hot topic in recent years. Twice each year, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has been partnering with area colleges to hold a “STEM Fest” for area youth. And it’s time for another one — at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon.

We talked to O’Brien County Extension County Youth Director Sarah Fiddelke about the upcoming event on November 4th, which she says is a little different this time.


She says online registration for the event, which is for fourth through eighth graders, begins on Sunday.


She says that while the focus will be on the science behind health and healthy living, registration is the same as in past years. Participants pick the color track that best matches the four presentations in which they want to participate.

In past years, STEM Fests have filled to capacity, so it might be a good idea to have your kids register as soon as they are able.

October 20, 2017 - 10:48 am - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — Arguably one of the most conservative communities in the state will be hosting its first-ever Pride Festival this weekend.

Organizer Michael Goll lives in Orange City, with his husband. Goll admits this event is shaking things up a bit but he says it’s important to build support within and around Orange City’s LGBTQ residents.

Orange City is the seat of staunchly conservative Sioux County and is home to Northwestern College, a Christian liberal arts school. Goll is a Northwestern graduate and says organizers decided to celebrate the community’s LGBTQ culture because, as Goll says, “Why not?”

Goll adds it’s vital to demonstrate that LGBTQ people in Orange City contribute to the community and are everyone’s neighbors. The event begins Friday and includes live music, storytelling and food. It goes through Sunday, when it will conclude with brunch and show tunes.

Northwest Iowa — The company that built the Dakota Access oil pipeline that runs diagonally across Iowa, from the northwest to the southeast, is making donations to emergency responders in Lyon, Sioux, and O’Brien counties. In fact, they’re making the donations in every county the pipeline crosses in Iowa and three other states.

Mike Futch, vice president of Energy Transfer Partners, explains the motive.


The pipeline crosses 18 counties in Iowa and also carves a path across Illinois and North and South Dakota. Futch says they want to be good corporate partners with every county the pipeline touches.


In Iowa, the total donation is $360,000 to units in 18 counties. The total donation in the four states adds up to one-million dollars as the pipeline covers 50 counties. Chuck Fry, vice president for liquid pipelines at Energy Transfer, says the pipeline passing through Iowa is now fully assembled and carrying petroleum.


The company is also giving the state of North Dakota 15-million dollars for protest-related expenses.

October 20, 2017 - 12:13 am - Posted in News

Rock Valley, Iowa — The Rock Valley Fire Department has had a busy couple of days with three fire calls in two days.

The biggest one was when 45 acres of corn stubble burned in a fire on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 near Rock Valley.

According to Rock Valley Fire Chief Brent Eshuis, about 1:35 p.m., the Rock Valley Fire Department was called to the report of a field fire at Dogwood Ave and 325th Street, three miles southwest of Rock Valley. The chief says the fire department saw the field on fire as they approached the scene.

He says it looked like they had picked the cornfield for ground ear corn, so there were lots of stalks. He says the farmer was in the middle of stalk chopping when the fire started.

Eshuis says no injuries were reported.

The fire department was assisted by the Hull Fire Department who brought a grass rig, the Sioux Center Fire Department, who brought a tanker and a grass rig, and the Hudson Fire Department, who also brought a tanker and a grass rig. Three farmers also used tractors and disks to fight the progress of the fire.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be something hot on the stalk chopper or maybe a spark from hitting a rock. He says no equipment was burned in the fire, and that only corn stubble was damaged.

Eshuis says they used 4,000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for an hour and a half.

He says the Rock Valley Fire Department responded to two calls on the previous day. The first one came in about 12:25 p.m. He says this was also a field fire, but it was much smaller. He says it was likely caused by hot exhaust. He says it was in corn stubble between two areas of standing corn, but due to calm winds, it didn’t spread. He says they were able to put it out using only 50 to 100 gallons of water.

The other fire call was a few minutes before 6 p.m. that day. The call was of a propane tank on fire at 1718 15th Street in Rock Valley. But Eshuis says when they got there they discovered that someone had started grill on a deck, and somehow grease was burning between the bottom of the grill and the grill’s propane tank. He says by the time they got there it was out and the grill had been moved away from the house and was disconnected from the propane tank.

October 20, 2017 - 12:11 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The warm temperatures we’ve been experiencing the past few days are forecast to continue for at least the next few days. But we know we’re just playing a game with mother nature trying to guess when we’ll see the first snowfall. And that means snow removal.

Several cities in the KIWA listening area have ordinances regarding overnight parking, especially during the snow removal season. So if you routinely or occasionally park a car on the street overnight, here’s fair warning that you’re soon going to have to come up with a different place to park in most cases.

In Sheldon, Police Chief Lyle Bolkema says that motorists are not allowed to park on any street in the city between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. from November 1st to April 1st.  Violation of Sheldon’s overnight parking ban will be subject to a citation that carries a $10 fine.  Chief Bolkema also urges Sheldon residents to advise any overnight guests of the ordinance, especially during the upcoming holiday season.

In Sanborn, no parking is allowed from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m., year-round, on Main Street. In addition, from November 1st through March 31st, no parking is allowed on any city street in Sanborn from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Violation of Sanborn’s overnight parking ban carries a $15 fine.

According to Sibley city officials, their overnight parking ban calls for no parking on any city street between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., from November 1st through April 15th.  The fine for violating Sibley’s overnight parking ban is $25.

Orange City officials say that no parking is allowed on any of their city streets between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., from October 15th through April 1st.  The fine for noncompliance in Orange City is $10.

There are a couple of cities in our area that don’t have an actual overnight parking ban, but do have an ordinance that’s effective when snow falls. So motorists who park on the street need to keep up-to-date on the weather forecast.

Hartley City officials tell us there is no overnight parking ban in that city. However, their ordinance says that vehicles must be off the streets when snowfall begins and must remain off the streets until the streets are cleared of snow.  Failure to do so will result in a $15 fine from the City of Hartley.

Rock Rapids officials say their ordinance bans parking on all city streets and alleys from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. during snow removal operations. The fine for non-compliance in Rock Rapids is $25.

Motorists should be aware of the ordinance in whatever town they are parking their vehicle. Again, if you have overnight guests for the holidays, please be a gracious host and advise them of your city’s ordinance, so they don’t end up with a citation and fine.

October 18, 2017 - 9:42 am - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A Sioux Center teen was arrested after an accident near Orange City on Monday, October 16th.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that just before 4:00 am on Monday, 18-year-old Jose Mora‐Demestri of Sioux Center was driving a 2007 Honda Civic westbound on 440th Street,  three miles west of Orange City. According to the report, Mora‐Demestri lost control and entered the north ditch where the Honda came to rest on its side.

Upon further investigation deputies discovered that Mora‐Demestri had taken the vehicle without permission
from a victim in Sioux Center.

Mora-Demestri was arrested with charges of operating vehicle without the owner’s consent and failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle.

The Honda received $3,000 damage.

No injuries were reported.

October 18, 2017 - 9:36 am - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — A Sioux Center woman was injured after her vehicle rolled near Sioux Center on Sunday, October 15th.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that at 1:00 am on Sunday, 22-year-old Jenna Waring of Sioux Center was driving a 2006 Jeep Liberty Sport southbound on Hickory Avenue, two miles east of Sioux Center. According to the report, Waring lost control of the vehicle, entered the east ditch and rolled.

Waring was transported by private vehicle to the Sioux Center Hospital for treatment for of minor injuries.

The Jeep received $8,000 damage.

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

Boyden, Iowa — A shed was burned in a fire near Boyden this past week.

According to Boyden Fire Chief Chris Starkenburg, on Thursday, October 12, at 2:50 p.m., the Boyden Fire Department responded to a report of a shed fire that occurred at 3925 320th Street, which is about a half mile west of Boyden on Highway 18.

Upon further investigation, a small shed on the residential property was found on fire and the fire department was able to extinguish it after a short time.

He says that no injuries were reported.

Starkenberg advises that the property sustained about $5,000 in damage.

The Boyden Fire Department reports that the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office assisted them with the response to the fire.

Photo courtesy Boyden Fire Department/Sioux County Sheriff’s Office

October 13, 2017 - 11:30 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A Hudson, South Dakota woman charged with felony theft by check related to alleged events in Sioux Center has been sentenced.

According to the Sioux County arrest log, Sioux Center Police officers arrested 35-year-old Gretchen Marie Gardner, also known as Gretchen Marie Scott, on warrants for Second Degree Theft, Violation of Probation, and Failure to Appear.

Court records indicate that the Sioux Center Police Department accused Gardner of writing six checks to two convenience stores in Sioux Center, totaling $1067.60 in November and December of 2016. Two of them bounced due to non-sufficient funds, and four were returned unpaid because the routing number was wrong, according to the police department.

According to court records, Gardner filed a written plea of “not guilty” via her attorney on September 20th. But on Wednesday, October 11th, her attorney filed with the court a petition to plead guilty to third-degree theft instead of second-degree.

Court records indicate Gardner was sentenced to 90 days in jail, with credit for time served in Sioux County Iowa and Minnehaha County South Dakota. She was also ordered to pay a $625 fine as well as surcharges and costs.

October 13, 2017 - 11:29 pm - Posted in News

Alton, Iowa — An Alton man was taken to the hospital after an accident in Alton on Thursday, October 12, 2017.

The Orange City/Alton Police Department reports that about 3:50 p.m., 73-year-old Orville Pottebaum of Alton was driving a 1994 Chevy pickup westbound on East Division Street.

The report says that Pottebaum had a medical condition. His pickup crossed the street and collided with a utility pole owned by MidAmerican Energy.

The Orange City Ambulance took Pottebaum to the Orange City Health System Hospital.

Pottebaum’s Chevy pickup sustained $1000 in damages, which was enough to total the vehicle.