January 15, 2019 - 1:40 pm - Posted in News

Washington, D.C. — (RI) — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says it’s no surprise fellow Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King is being punished for his comments about white supremacy.

Grassley notes Republican House leaders have stripped King of his committee assignments and some Democrats are calling for King’s censure.

On Monday, King was removed from three panels, the Agriculture and Small Business committees as well as the powerful Judiciary Committee. Grassley says he understands the actions of House GOP leaders who say King’s remarks won’t be tolerated.

King says his comments were “completely mischaracterized” and that booting him from the committees is “a political decision that ignores the truth,” yet Grassley and other Republicans are distancing themselves from King.

Grassley says while King won’t be able to represent the people of Iowa’s Fourth District in committee action, he’ll still be able to voice opinions on any issues that comes from those committees when they go before the full House for a vote.

January 15, 2019 - 12:08 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — Sioux County authorities are investigating a

crime that sounds like something you’d hear about from the 1860’s rather than the 20-teens.

Early Monday afternoon (January 14th), Sioux County deputies investigated a report of a theft that occurred on a farm property six miles northwest of Sioux Center.

Authorities say a Morgan/Percheron-cross horse was stolen from the property sometime between Monday, January 7th andWednesday, January 9th.

Sioux County authorities ask anyone with any information about the incident to contact the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office at 712-737-2280.


January 15, 2019 - 10:02 am - Posted in News

Washington, D.C. — (RI) — Republican leaders in the U.S. House have unanimously voted to remove Iowa Congressman Steve King from House committees — a decision King immediately denounced.

King had been a member of the Agriculture and Small Business Committees as well as the powerful House Judiciary Committee. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said stripping King of his committee assignments shows King’s remarks about white supremacy “will not be tolerated” in the GOP. King, in a written statement, said removing him from committees was “a political decision that ignores the truth.” King says the remark he made to The New York Times has been mischaracterized. McCarthy told reporters it was “not the first time” King has made such comments. Congressman King concluded his written statement by saying he “will continue to point out the truth” and vigorously represent Iowa’s fourth congressional district “for at least the next two years.” That’s a strong hint he will run for reeleciton in 2020.

Republican State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull announced last week he’ll run for King’s seat in congress in 2020. Feenstra says it’s sad that voters and conservative values in the district “have lost their seat at the table” because of what he called King’s “caustic behavior.”

At least three DEMOCRATS in the U.S. House have drafted resolutions to have the House censure or reprimand King. The REPUBLICAN leader in the U.S. Senate also weighed in yesterday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said if King doesn’t understand why white supremacy is offensive, “he should find another line of work.”

January 14, 2019 - 3:14 pm - Posted in News

Boyden, Iowa — A blue-colored sheen in a creek running through Boyden this (Monday, January 14th) morning has been traced to the local coop, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

About 10 a.m. Monday, someone reported an oily sheen on the creek, saying it extended downstream into the West Branch of the Floyd River.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources staff say traced the sheen to a tanker truck at the Farmers Co-op Society. According to the DNR, the coop manager estimates about 1,100 gallons of white mineral oil has leaked from the tank sometime over the last two weeks.

The oil has traveled about 6 miles downstream, according to DNR staff, who say they have seen no dead fish in the water.

The DNR says the coop will scrape up contaminated soil, and place booms and absorbent pads across the river about 5 miles southwest of Boyden to collect as much remaining oil as possible.

The DNR says they will consider appropriate enforcement action and monitor the cleanup.

Plymouth County, Iowa — A 22-year old Hull man was arrested after sideswiping several vehicles Saturday night (January 12th) in rural Plymouth County.

According to a press release from the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office, the incident took place shortly before midnight Saturday night. Authorities say deputies were called to the report of a motor vehicle accident at Highway 75 and C-12 in rural Plymouth County. According to the report, deputies determined that 22-year old Jorge Gomez Badillo was operating the vehicle that caused the collision.

Witnesses reportedly told deputies that Gomez-Badillo was traveling in the opposing lane of travel, and sideswiped several vehicles.

Deputies say Gomez-Badillo showed several signs of intoxication and was unable to complete standardized field sobriety tests due to his inability to stand unassisted.

Gomez-Badillo was reportedly transported to Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars to be checked on by medical staff. Upon being released from the hospital, authorities say Gomez-Badillo was charged with OWI, and held at the Plymouth County Jail in Le Mars in lieu of a $1-thousand bond.


January 11, 2019 - 4:01 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — The former teacher who taught at Sioux Center Christian School and was charged with 146 counts of child sex-related crimes has been sentenced to a 60-year prison term.

According to court documents, as part of a plea bargain, 37-year-old Curtis Van Dam pleaded guilty to one count of sexual abuse in the second degree, a class B felony; five counts of sexual abuse in the third degree, a class C felony; and one count of sexual abuse by a school employee, a class D felony.

In a separate federal case this past June, Van Dam was sentenced to fifteen years in federal prison as part of a plea bargain and pled guilty to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Child.

According to Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle, Van Dam was sentenced on Friday to a 60-year prison term on the Sioux County charges, 17.5 years of which must be served as a mandatory minimum. Also, Kunstle says the sentence will be served consecutively with his federal sentence. So at the end of the 15-year federal sentence, Van Dam will begin to serve his sentence for the Sioux County crimes.

Orange City, Iowa — The Iowa Legislature will gavel into session on Monday. Senators and Representatives have been busy collaborating and hearing from their constituents as to the issues that matter to them.

This is the final installment of our series asking the priorities of northwest Iowa’s legislators this legislative session. We talked with Iowa District Four State Representative Skyler Wheeler. He tells us what’s important to him this legislative session.

Wheeler says this is in response to an older couple from Grimes who had a church that they’d rent out for weddings. A homosexual couple approached them and wanted to have their wedding there. The couple turned them down because they said it was against their religious beliefs. They were sued, and settled out of court for $5000 says Wheeler.

So, Wheeler says it’s his opinion that we need to “ramp up the protections in state code.”

Wheeler says the tax code is also a priority of his.

Wheeler says the state has some extra money right now, and the temptation to spend that will be a fight in and of itself.

According to Wheeler, another priority of his is tax equity between banks and credit unions. He also wants to talk about gun rights and the bill calling for a vote on a constitutional amendment to protect the right to keep and bear arms. He says he thinks they should also look at the possibility of “permitless-carry” as well. Workforce housing and workforce training also rate high on his list.

January 11, 2019 - 3:30 pm - Posted in News

Hospers, Iowa — A Nebraska truck driver was taken to the hospital Thursday evening after crashing his big rig near Hospers, in an incident that kept one northbound lane of Highway 60 closed for nearly five hours..

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office says the accident happened shortly before 7:30 Thursday evening, a mile south of Hospers on Highway 60. According to authorities, 61-year old Russell Shehorn of West Point, Nebraska was northbound on Highway 60 in a 2017 Kenworth semi-tractor pulling a refrigerated trailer full of meat when he lost control of the vehicle and entered the west ditch. Deputies say the truck and trailer came to rest on its side.

Authorities say Shehorn was transported to the Orange City  Hospital by the Hospers Ambulance for treatment of what officials termed “minor injuires.”

According to authorities the Kenworth, trailer, and cargo sustained approximately $140-thousand in damage.

Sheborn was reportedly tickerted for Failure to Maintain Control.

Sioux County deputies were asssisted at the scene by the Hospers Fire Department and Hospers Ambulance, as well as the Iowa Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Enforcement.

Both northbound lanes of Highway 60 were opened to traffic a little after midnight.

January 11, 2019 - 3:02 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — Fourteen tissue samples from wild Iowa deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease, bringing the total deer testing positive to chronic wasting disease in Iowa to 44. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is waiting for results on follow up tests for two suspect samples that could raise the total positives for the year to 16.  The deer tissue was collected primarily during the fall from hunter harvested and road killed deer.

The way that this disease moves, these results were not unexpected,according to  Todd Bishop, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Bureau.

Eight positive deer were confirmed in Allamakee County, four in Clayton County, one (plus two suspects) in Wayne County and, for the first time, one in Dubuque County. The Dubuque County deer was a roadkill, 2-1/2 miles southeast of the city limits.

Bishop says hunters are doing an excellent job harvesting deer and providing samples in DNR’s priority areas, areas where the disease had been confirmed before. The DNR wants to slow this down as best they can while still having high quality deer hunting, hoping science can provide some solutions down the road, according to Bishop

More than 6,800 tissue samples have been collected during the 2018 deer season. The DNR contacted each hunter whose deer tested positive and offered to collect the meat and any remaining bones and tissue. Hunters turned over the meat in every case. The collected material was bagged, sealed, then disposed in a local landfill.

Chronic wasting disease was first confirmed in the Midwest in Wisconsin in 2001 about 75 miles from the Iowa state line, and has since been confirmed in every other state bordering Iowa. The Iowa DNR began monitoring for the disease in 2002 with an emphasis on counties nearest where it was confirmed in the wild and has tested more than 74,000 deer since. The disease was first confirmed in Iowa near Harpers Ferry in Allamakee County in 2013.

CWD is a neurological disease belonging to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases.  It attacks the brain of infected deer causing the animal to lose weight, display abnormal behavior, lose body functions and die. It is always fatal to the infected animal.

The Iowa DNR has more information about CWD and other infectious disease online at www.iowadnr.gov/cwd.

January 11, 2019 - 2:24 pm - Posted in News

Washington, DC — 4th District Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King took to the floor of the House of Representatives Friday to discuss recent comments appearing in the New York Times.

Following King’s remarks, Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas prefaced his own special order speech with a statement addressing the matter. The speeches by both King and Gohmert may be viewed below.