December 5, 2019 - 4:38 pm - Posted in News

Hull, Iowa — The annual kickoff to winter — the Hull Winterfest is going on now in Hull.

Going on tonight — Thursday, December 5th, it’s American Legion Bingo Night starting at 7:00 p.m. at the Hull Community Building. They say, “Come for some fun, some snacks & leave with prizes!”

Hull Chamber Executive Director Faye De Kam tells us the big day of festivities is Saturday, December 7th.

Click here for the full schedule.

December 5, 2019 - 1:56 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon shows up high in a recent ranking of Iowa colleges by a nationally-recognized publisher.

EDsmart.org, a publisher of college resources and rankings says they provide college rankings, ratings, and reviews from the best sources. They say they tell the true story behind higher education.

Recently, EDsmart.org ranked the “Best Colleges & Universities in Iowa.” Northwest Iowa Community College is ranked fourth on that list. It is worth mentioning that the only three schools that ranked higher on the list are the three state schools in Iowa: Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa — in that order.

The ranking says NCC is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. It says the college has a total enrollment of around 600 undergraduate students, and it boasts an acceptance rate of 100 percent. According to EDsmart.org, some of the most popular majors at NCC include the liberal arts, humanities, nursing, and electrical engineering. They report that the graduation rate at Northwest Iowa Community College is 70 percent, and the average starting salary for graduates of the institution is approximately $38,000 per year. The ranking says the school boasts a good value for the cost, and “it has a good record as a safe campus with a high quality of life for the student body.”

Other nearby schools on the list include Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville at number eight, Buena Vista University at number nine, and Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City at number 21. Find the full ranking here.

Statewide Iowa — More than two million Iowans are registered to vote in Iowa — a new milestone for this point in an election cycle.

There have never been this many registered voters in Iowa at the beginning of December, heading into a General Election year. Secretary of State Paul Pate cites a variety of factors, like the new law that lets 17-year-olds register to vote if they’ll be 18 by Election Day next November. The 17-year-olds can also vote in a primary election if they will be 18 by the general election.

Pate also noted people can register online and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking can register to vote now and keep their address confidential. Go to www.radioiowa.com to see how voter registration numbers break out for the political parties and in each of Iowa’s four congressional districts.

It’s a little different story in northwest Iowa. While O’Brien County Auditor Barb Rohwer did mention a small influx of 17-year-olds, somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 voters, she says there was not a big change, as voter registration is pretty high already in O’Brien County — a sentiment echoed by her counterparts in Sioux, Osceola, and Lyon counties.

Sioux County Auditor Ryan Dokter says his county is almost always in the top five or ten counties statewide for the percentage of citizens who are registered to vote. He says the numbers are always in a bit of a state of flux. He does expect a push to register to vote as we approach next year’s general election.

RadioIowa assisted with this story.

December 4, 2019 - 4:03 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — If you’re looking for that perfect gift for Christmas, you might consider one of the hottest selling items of the year on Iowa cars and trucks. The blackout license plates went on sale in July and have proved to be very popular.

Iowa D-O-T Vehicle Services Manager, Daniel Yeh says they have been able to adjust the production run of the regular plates to meet the demand.


The blackout plates become the top-selling specialty plate by mid-October. The blackout plates started when the standard number series that began with the letter I — and quickly moved through those letter combinations.


The next series of plates will start with the letter J. He says they do occasionally have to make adjustments in the number sequence for specialized plate requests.


He is glad they have the computer to keep track of the many variations of plates.


Sales of the blackout plates topped 46-thousand through mid-October to pull ahead of the black and gold University of Iowa plates as the best selling specialty license plate.

Around northwest Iowa, the plates are also very popular, according to county treasurers’ offices. In Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, and Sioux counties, they confirm that they are the most popular specialty plate now. In the counties that had available figures, they are issuing roughly about one-fourth as many blackout plates as standard plates. Of course, there are still many other kinds of specialty plates also available.

County treasurers’ office officials tell us that many people are replacing their current plates with the blackout plates. In fact, in Sioux County, they tell us that one day, they went through a half a box of 50 blackout plates, which is all but unheard-of.

If you’re interested in the white writing on black background plates, you can find out more by contacting the motor vehicle department of your treasurer’s office.

Sheldon, Iowa — This December, businesses in Sheldon are partnering with local community groups for the “12 Days of Pizza”.

Iowa State Bank, Northwestern Bank, and the Sheldon Pizza Ranch have teamed up to sponsor families for the “12 Days of Pizza”. The idea for “12 Days of Pizza” came from Sean Covel, a South Dakota native and producer of Napolean Dynamite.

Perry Krosschell is Pizza Ranch’s Chief Vision Officer at their corporate headquarters in Orange City. He says Covel heard the need for an extended out-of-school food program when his friend, a second-grade teacher, mentioned how some of her students are dependent on existing programs that provide free and reduced meals through the school year and weekends like the “Backpack Program”.


Krosschell tells us how it works.


He tells us that the program is open to every Pizza Ranch that wants to take part. Krosschell tells us that other Pizza Ranches give back in other ways.

According to Krosschell, it’s a great fit with everything Pizza Ranch is about.


He says eighteen families in the Sheldon area will be given coupons for one free large pizza or eight pieces of chicken for twelve days.

Krosschell says that the ministry is now in its fifth year, and that “12 Days of Pizza” will provide over 11,000 meals to nearly 950 families across the Midwest. This year, 70 Pizza Ranch locations (including most of the northwest Iowa restaurants) are partnering with local businesses to join in on the spirit of the holidays.

December 4, 2019 - 3:03 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — In a runoff election decided on Tuesday, Aaron Beadner defeated Lisa Burg for a seat on the Orange City City Council.

The vote was 309 votes or 59.31% for Beadner, to 156 votes or 29.94% for Berg. There were also 56 write-in votes. In the general election, it was a vote-for-three situation. The top two vote-getters — Daron De Jong and Tony Vande Brake — were elected outright. Receiving the next-highest number of votes, Aaron Beadner had 13.57 percent of the vote, and Lisa Burg had 12.94 percent. Neither was a majority, forcing the runoff.

Election officials tell us that the runoff system is one of three types of election that Iowa cities can choose from. If a city has a runoff provision, all candidates must receive a majority of the votes cast to be declared elected at the regular city election. If candidates don’t receive a majority in this type of race, a runoff must be held.

No other counties in our main four counties had a runoff election this year. O’Brien County Auditor Barb Rohwer tells us that no cities in O’Brien County have a runoff provision. She says the cities in the county got away from it due to the cost, and the fact that in the last several elections before they got rid of their runoff provisions, the final results didn’t change. That is those with the most votes in the main election also won any runoffs.

Sioux County still has three cities that have the runoff provision. In addition to Orange City, both Sioux Center and Rock Valley also have the runoff provision.

December 4, 2019 - 2:26 pm - Posted in News

Boyden, Iowa — A Hospers 15-year-old was injured when his car collided with a semi West of Boyden early Wednesday morning.

At 5:52 a.m. Wednesday, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office investigated a motor vehicle accident that occurred at the intersection of Jackson Avenue and Highway 18, three miles west of Boyden.

According to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, 56-year-old Harlow Teunissen of Canton SD was eastbound on Highway 18 in a 1999 Peterbilt semi-tractor pulling a grain trailer. Deputies say a 1994 Buick Park Avenue, driven by 15-year-old Brevyn Kramer of Hospers, was northbound on Jackson Avenue. According to authorities, Kramer turned left onto Highway 18, colliding in the intersection with the Teunissen semi.

Deputies report Kramer was transported by the Boyden Ambulance to Orange City Area Health for treatment of minor injuries.

The report says the Peterbilt sustained approximately $12,000 in damage. The Buick sustained an estimated $4,000 in damage.

Kramer was reportedly cited for failure to yield from a stop sign.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by the Boyden Fire Department and Boyden Ambulance.

KIWA Archive Photo

Statewide Iowa — Many thousands of deer hunters will be combing Iowa’s fields and forests this weekend as the first of two shotgun seasons will open Saturday.

Tyler Harms, a wildlife biometrician with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, expects it to be a busy weekend and he reminds hunters to wear their blaze orange, follow the regulations, and report their harvest.

Harms predicts the deer harvested this month won’t fluctuate too much from 2018’s numbers.

Mother Nature has a lot to do with those numbers and Harms notes this weekend’s forecast is for drier, warmer weather.

The first shotgun season runs December 7th through the 11th, with the second season running December 14th through the 22nd.

KIWA Archive Photo

Statewide Iowa (RI) — Information from a debit and credit card processor located in Iowa confirms the trend that sees more Christmas shopping moving on-line.

SHAZAM network spokesman Patrick Dix says they found Black Friday transactions increased by three-point-five percent. He says type of card used for those purchases caught his eye.

The debit cards take money directly from your account instead of building a balance you have to pay later with a credit card. The amount spent for each Black Friday transaction went up 12 percent to around 28 dollars.

He says you can tell retailers have realized that on-line shopping continues to grow.

Transactions for Cyber Monday were up 14 percent and the average purchase amount was up four percent.

People spent an average of 27 dollars on Cyber Monday. Whether you shop on-line or in a store — Dix says there’s not clear cut choice of how people will pay.

He says they did see an increase in the number of digital wallet transactions done without a card.

Dix says this is also a generational issue as those who are more used to using their electronic devices begin to have more income to spend.

Northwest Iowa — Most would agree that northwest Iowa is a safe place. Two Sioux County communities continue to make the top end of the list of Iowa’s Safest Cities by SafeWise, a safety and security research council. And two communities just outside of our primary coverage area are also on the list.

The city of Carroll came up two places on the list to displace last year’s number one and number two — Sioux Center and Orange City. Carroll is now number one on the list. Sioux Center dropped one spot, to number two. Orange City is still in the top ten but dropped six places to number eight.

Safewise says they have certain population thresholds, so smaller communities were not ranked. They say they rely on information that cities across the country report through the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program.

Other nearby cities on the list are Le Mars at number six, and Spencer at number 10.

SafeWise officials say their rankings are based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) in each city. If there was a tie, they say they also factored in the number of property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft). SafeWise says they give precedence to violent crime because it typically results in physical harm or injury, whereas property crime usually has an economic impact. While both are concerning, people are usually more afraid of violent crime, which directly impacts their feeling of safety.

Here is the list of 2019’s top 20 safest Iowa cities, as reported by SafeWise:

1 Carroll
2 Sioux Center
3 Decorah
4 Clive
5 Norwalk
6 Le Mars
7 Eldridge
8 Orange City
9 Altoona
10 Spencer
11 Johnston
12 Bettendorf
13 Waukee
14 Fairfield
15 Mount Pleasant
16 Mason City
17 Creston
18 Marion
19 Denison
20 Ames

Check out the full report here: https://www.safewise.com/blog/safest-cities-iowa/