November 16, 2019 - 9:27 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — Researchers at Iowa State University are working to develop a glove to better protect firefighters from extreme heat while also allowing their fingers to remain agile.

Professor Guowen Song, who runs ISU’s Labs for Functional Textiles and Protective Clothing, says many first responders use gloves made with a thick, bulky material that protects the hand but limits comfort and dexterity.

Thanks to a one-point-five million dollar grant from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Song’s team on the Ames campus is working to improve the safety and function of heat-protection gloves.

Studies find the gloves now being used by many firefighters cause them to lose more than 50-percent of their manual dexterity.

A better, safer glove is just the beginning. In the next stage, Song says ISU researchers want to apply what they learn to other types of protective first responders’ gear, including boots and helmets.

Photo: ISU Professor Guowen Song – Photo courtesy Iowa State University

November 16, 2019 - 5:42 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — A report from a non-profit group shows nearly one in ten Iowa babies were born pre-term this year. That’s up from 9-point-2 percent last year and is the highest rate in a decade. Plus, the rate is much higher for babies born to black mothers.

Stacey Stewart, president of the March of Dimes, says one reason for the disparity is that research shows black women often report they don’t feel as respected in health care settings.

The March of Dimes report gave Iowa a “C” grade. Stewart says pre-mature births are linked to a number of health issues for children.

While the state’s overall pre-term birth rate is nine-point-nine percent, it shows the rate is 33-percent higher for black women.

November 16, 2019 - 5:39 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — “Iowa’s Ride”, the new bicycle ride across Iowa, organized by a group of former RAGBRAI staff members, has opted to change the date, and direction, of this summer’s inaugural event.

In a social media post, ride organizers say they have heard from many cycling teams who were concerned that with the competing border-to-border rides scheduled for the same week, it was dividing long-standing cycling teams. Organizers of Iowa’s Ride say in their social media post that this type of situation was never their intent, nor is it good for anyone who just wants to ride their bike.

Saying they “want to do the right thing” for riders in Iowa, organizers of Iowa’s Ride decided to change the dates and directions for their 2020 ride. As a result, organizers say Iowa’s Ride will begin Sunday, July 12th and end on Saturday, July 18th, the week BEFORE the RAGBRAI ride. In addition, Iowa’s Ride will start on the eastern edge of Iowa in a Mississippi River town and travel west, ending seven days later in Western Iowa. 

Their social media post goes on to apologize to those who have scheduled around the original week and will be disappointed by the group’s decision. They say they’ll refund 100% of those entry fees if they request since they no longer wish to do the ride.

Boyden, Iowa — A construction crew struck a major natural gas feed line southwest of Boyden Friday afternoon, disrupting gas service to 272 MidAmerican Energy customers.

A spokesman for MidAmerican Energy tells KIWA that around 2:00 Friday afternoon the construction crew severed a major transmission line owned by Northern Natural Gas, near the intersection of 330th Street and Jay Avenue. According to MidAmerican Energy, that line provides natural gas to MidAmerican’s Boyden customers.

The MidAmerican spokesman says repairs to the gas line were completed about 1:15 Saturday morning. Some 272 MidAmerican Energy customers were left without natural gas service by the pipeline break, and MidAmerican employees began the process of visiting each customer and checking to make sure it was safe to restore natural gas service to their home or business.

As of mid-afternoon Saturday, MidAmerican says natural gas service had been restored to 208 of the 272 affected customers. The utility says that some customers weren’t able to be reached, and each of those customers had their home or business tagged by the Utility, notifying the customer that they would need to call the utility and set a time for re-connection.

The MidAmerican spokesman KIWA talked to said this break in the natural gas line is close to the location of another break that caused a service disruption back in 2016.

KIWA archive photo

November 15, 2019 - 3:52 pm - Posted in News

Sioux City, Iowa — The winner of a regional entrepreneur contest is a boutique in Sibley.

People from across the region gathered in Sioux City, on Thursday evening, November 14th to attend the Northwest Iowa Regional Dream Big Grow Here pitch competition to determine the recipients of $7,000 in grant funds and to support entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the region. Organizers of the competition say they are pleased to announce that Grace Boutique from Sibley was the first-place winner and recipient of $4,000.

Grace Boutique says they provide a boutique experience shopping for women’s and men’s name brand clothing, and decorative household and furniture items at an affordable price. Grace Boutique owner, Melinda Nasers says she has a goal of expanding her consignment store to offer more for her customers. Nasers says her grant funds will be used to increase the consignment store’s footprint, purchase retail display fixtures and racks for the new space, and develop a website to sell items online. She says that will allow Grace Boutique the ability to expand the product lines offered, to include infant and children’s clothing, as well as expand the number of days the store is open during the week.

The other winners were Brightside Café & Deli from Sioux City, which was awarded second place and $2,000, and Awaken Yoga from Le Mars, which was awarded third place and $1,000. These funds are provided to the business owners to help expand their businesses in northwest Iowa.

The other Dream Big Grow Here finalists who pitched on November 14th were Daniel Stillson with SnSLabz from Rock Rapids and James VanVeldhuizen and John Emerick with Northwest Iowa Firearms from Hull.

Photo caption: Grace Boutique owner Melinda Nasers and judges
Photo courtesy Northwest Iowa Development

Hawarden, Iowa — Rural Homes in and near the Big Sioux River area of Sioux County will be able to take advantage of high-speed internet via fiber optics, thanks in part to a grant announced on Friday at a farm near Hawarden.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey was on hand on Friday morning to announce that the USDA has invested $7.2 million in high-speed broadband infrastructure that will create or improve rural e-Connectivity for rural households and farms in Iowa and South Dakota. Premier Communications Sales and Marketing Manager, Scott Te Stroete tells us more.

Northey says, “Technology and innovation are key in meeting the growing demand in agriculture. Our mission to increase rural prosperity cannot be achieved without addressing the digital divide our rural communities face because of a lack of high-speed broadband Internet.”

Te Stroete says it will be a fiber-to-the-premises broadband network capable of simultaneous transmission rates of one-gigabit upload and download speeds. The funded service areas include 868 households, 17 businesses and 27 farms.

Te Stroete tells us where the project will take place.

He says it’s a multi-million-dollar project.

According to Te Stroete, the towns of Westfield and Chatsworth will also receive high-speed fiber optic capability. The towns of Akron and Hawarden, which are also in the area already have that capability, says Te Strote. He gives us an idea of the timeline of the project.

He says this area is one of the last parts of their service area to receive these types of internet speeds.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds was also on hand for the announcement. She emphasized the importance of investing in infrastructure projects, such as this, especially those that improve rural connectivity.

November 15, 2019 - 1:49 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — One of the first couple of flu-related deaths of the 2019-2020 flu season was someone from northwest Iowa.

The Iowa Department of Public Health doesn’t specify what they consider “northwest Iowa,” and they don’t identify the person, except to say she was an elderly northwest Iowa woman over the age of 81. Another person — an older woman between 61 and 80 years of age from central Iowa also died recently from flu-related causes. Both women had underlying conditions or contributing factors, according to the health department.

They tell us that flu activity in Iowa has increased to local spread this week, indicating that the virus is present in Iowa communities. IDPH Medical Director Dr. Caitlin Pedati says these deaths are an unfortunate reminder that flu can be a serious illness. She says that the flu virus does have the potential to cause severe illness and death, especially in the very young, very old, or those who have underlying health conditions. She says, “This is a great time to get the flu vaccine to prevent yourself and your loved ones from becoming sick before flu activity increases further.”

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that essentially everyone over 6 months of age should receive the flu vaccine. It takes up to two weeks after vaccination for the body to achieve full benefit against the flu virus.

The health department says the flu is a respiratory illness caused by viruses. Symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, and body aches. Illness typically lasts two to seven days and often puts healthy people in bed for days.

To learn more about influenza in Iowa, visit The health department suggests that you contact your health care provider or local health department to find out where the vaccine is available in your community or use the Flu Vaccine Finder at

November 14, 2019 - 2:11 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — A payloader was damaged in a fire on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, near Sioux Center.

According to Sioux Center Fire Chief David Van Holland, about 5:10 p.m., the Sioux Center Fire Department was called to the report of a payloader fire at 3921 Hickory Avenue, two miles east and a little south of the Sioux Center Hardee’s.

The chief says the fire department saw some flames as they approached the scene. He says they used water to fight the fire.

Van Holland says no injuries were reported.

He says the cause of the fire is undetermined, but he believes dust may have been a factor.

Chief Van Holland reports that there was moderate damage to the payloader.

He says the 16 firefighters who responded were on the scene for ten to fifteen minutes.

November 14, 2019 - 12:17 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — Even though RiseFest 2020 is several months away, Rise Ministries, the parent organization behind the annual RiseFest Christian Music Festival, has made a couple of announcements about RiseFest 2020.

Lee Stover is Marketing Director for Rise Ministries, and he says the 2020 festival has been returned to the third weekend in June.

Rise Ministries founder and president Rob Roozeboom says the Ticket PriceSlide is being brought back for RiseFest 2020.

The PriceSlide is something RiseFest used for the first time last year, and Roozeboom says the inaugural PriceSlide went very well.

Stover calls the PriceSlide a “fun way to get people excited” about buying their RiseFest tickets early.

Roozeboom says the first artist announcement for RiseFest 2020 will me coming soon.

Again, to take advantage of the reduced ticket prices, follow this link to the Rise Ministries website. But remember, the PriceSlide ends at midnight November 30th.

November 14, 2019 - 11:13 am - Posted in News

Maurice, Iowa — A three-vehicle accident at the Million Dollar Corner near Maurice late Tuesday morning sent one driver to the hospital and caused more than a quarter-million-dollars in property damage.

According to the crash report from the Iowa State Patrol, a 2017 Peterbilt semi, driven by 53-year-old Galen Rozeboom of Sioux Center, was northbound on Highway 75. Troopers say a 2014 Chrysler 300, driven by 65-year-old Philip Reinders of Orange City, and a 2008 Dodge Avenger driven by 24-year-old Oscar Lopez Morales of Orange City, were both southbound on Highway 75. According to authorities, Lopez Morales began to make a left turn onto Highway 10, and began to cross into the path of Rozeboom’s semi, where the two vehicles collided. Following the initial collision, troopers say Lopez Morales car collided with the Reinders Chrysler. Following the initial impact, Rozeboom’s semi overturned, causing its cargo to spill onto Highway 75.

Authorities say Rozeboom was transported to the Sioux Center Hospital by Sioux Center Rescue.

Damage to Rozeboom’s semi is estimated at $235,000, while damage to Reinders’ Chrysler was estimated at $15,000, with an estimated $3,500 damage to Lopez Morales Dodge. A guardrail and pole were also damaged in the crash, at a damage estimate of $5,000.

Troopers say Lopez Morales was charged with Failure to Yield Upon a Left Turn, and No Valid Drivers License.