December 3, 2019 - 3:32 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Almost all — but not quite all — of the corn has now been harvested in northwest Iowa. That’s from the latest Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig says, “With corn and some soybeans still standing, this is the latest harvest since 2009, and farmers are anxious to finish up.”

Ben Torrance with the USDA tells us conditions again made it difficult for farmers to make much progress.

Here in northwest Iowa, the report says 97 percent of corn has been harvested.

The weekly report is also available on the USDA’s website at

December 3, 2019 - 3:13 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — The month of November was both colder and wetter than a “normal” November in Sheldon.

According to the weather facts collected by KIWA Radio, the highest high in November 2019 was 55 degrees, recorded on both the 16th and the 21st of the month. The lowest high temperature was 16 degrees, recorded on November 12th.

The lowest low in the month was six below zero on November 7th. We recorded below-zero low temperatures on the 7th, the 8th, and the 12th of the month. The highest low was 38 degrees on November 17th.

The average high for the month was 39. The normal is 44. The average low was 20. The normal is 24. The average temperature as-a-whole for the month was 30 degrees, and normally it’s 34.

We received 2.07 inches of precipitation for November. A normal November sees just under an inch, at 0.98, so we were above normal for the month by 1.09 inches. Year-to-date precip has been 38.84 inches. Normal year-to-date precip would be 26.65, so we’re 12.19 inches above normal on the year. The day with the most precip was the final day of the month, the 30th, when we received 1.05 inches of combined rain and melted snow.

The snow received in November 2019 added up to 6.85 inches. Normal snowfall for November is 3.3 inches, so we ended the month 3.55 inches above normal. Since September first, we’ve received 7.85 inches. Normal would be 4.3, so we’re 3.55 inches above normal for season-to-date snowfall. The day with the most snow was November 27th, with four inches recorded.

Statewide, State Climatologist Justin Glissan says November was below normal in a couple of areas.

Looking at the precipitation side of things, the state was at one-point-four inches. Which is about six-tenths below average. Snowfall was the one statewide area that was above normal for November.

We entered the winter season on Sunday and Glissan says the outlook calls for more precipitation than normal in the coming months.

He says there isn’t a clear read on what the temperatures will be like.

Glissan says December is normally the third driest month of the year.

November 29, 2019 - 3:53 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A Morton building was damaged in a fire on Friday, November 29, 2019, near Orange City.

According to Orange City Fire Chief Denny Vander Wel, about 8:50 a.m., the Orange City Fire Department was called to the report of a Morton building on fire at Keizer Aluminum Wheels at 3981 Jackson Avenue, four and a half miles north of Orange City.

The chief says the fire department saw smoke from the roof of a smaller building, adjacent to the main building as they approached the scene. He says they tore some interior tin down and found 2 or 3 rafters burned through in the attic. They removed some insulation to get to the fire and extinguished it.

Vander Wel says no injuries were reported.

The fire department was assisted by the Sioux Center Fire Department.

He says the cause of the is undetermined. The fire was above an aluminum alloy wheel warming furnace, but it’s not known if that machine was involved, according to Vander Wel.

Chief Vander Wel reports that there was moderate damage to the building and no apparent damage to the furnace.

He says the 36 firefighters who responded were on the scene for about two and a half hours.

November 29, 2019 - 1:46 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — The first of Iowa’s two shotgun deer seasons opens in just a week, and while optimism for a successful hunt is the primary focus, hunters are encouraged to brush up on safe hunting practices.

Basic firearm rules are pretty straight forward: treat every firearm as though it were loaded; always point the muzzle in a safe direction; be sure of your target and what’s beyond it; keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

“Our deer hunting tradition is shared with our friends and our family,” said Megan Wisecup, hunter education administrator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  “Practicing safe hunting techniques is important to make sure we all get home at the end of the day.”

An estimated 110,000 hunters are expected to take to the timber during Iowa’s two shotgun deer seasons, the first of which opens Saturday, December 7th, and Wisecup said self-inflicted injuries and property damage continue to be prominent.

“Those incidents could be avoided by simply following the basic rules of firearm safety and ensuring there is a safe backdrop prior to taking a shot,” she said.

“Hunters tend to get fixated on their target and when a deer is running, they forget about their surroundings. Look beyond your target and clearly identify the target before taking the shot,” Wisecup said.  “You must be certain you have a clear, safe shot. Never point your firearm at anything you do not want to shoot.”

That advice can help to prevent self inflicted wounds as well.

Wisecup encouraged hunter s to wear plenty of blaze orange and to discuss the hunting plan with everyone in the group.

“You want to be seen from all sides in the woods,” she said. “It is also important to discuss the hunting plan that will outline the role for each person and where they will be during the hunt.  Plan your hunt and hunt your plan.  It is critical to communicate with your hunting partners to ensure everyone knows where each other is at all times.”

In 2018, there were 12 deer hunting related incidents in Iowa: three personal injuries, eight property damage and one fatality.

Hunting safety tips
Treat every firearm as if it were loaded
Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction
Be sure of the target and what is beyond it
Keep finger off the trigger until ready to fire
Keep the barrel clear and choose the proper ammunition.

Winter weather factors
Unload the firearm and open the action when crossing obstacles – if snow and ice is on the ground, the risk of slipping or falling dramatically increases
Visibility – put the hunt on hold if visibility is poor due to fog and/or snowy conditions
Bundled up – keeping your finger off the trigger and muzzle control are both extremely important as bulky coats and gloves increases chances of an accidental discharge

Hunter visibility
Wear plenty of solid blaze orange. Hunters want to be seen from all sides in the woods and fields
Discuss the hunting plan with everyone in the group. Outline the role for each person and where they will be throughout the hunt. Plan your hunt and hunt your plan. Communication is critical to ensure everyone knows where each other is at all times.

Ultimate goal
Everyone gets home safely

November 29, 2019 - 1:10 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — The president of the Iowa Association of Realtors says the changing seasons are prompting a slowdown in home sales in the state, but Scott Wendl says it’s nothing like the recession that hit the real estate industry in 2008.

Wendl has been a realtor in the Des Moines area for 24 years. He says 92 percent of all property sales in the U.S. are handled by a realtor.

The latest data from the Iowa Association of Realtors on home sales in the state indicates sellers are getting about 98 percent of their asking price. The median sale price has been increasing over the past year as well.

Statewide Iowa — If you’re traveling on Iowa’s highways this Thanksgiving weekend, a spokesman for the Iowa State Patrol says you will not be alone on the roadways throughout this holiday weekend.

Patrol Sergeant Alex Dinkla says they will have officers out across the state.

Dinkla says the officers will be looking for violations — but have another purpose too.

Dinkla says it’s important to adapt your driving to the weather conditions, and avoid all distractions.

If your Thanksgiving festivities include more than turkey — he says you should take the proper steps to be safe when you drive.

The Iowa D-O-T says there were four fatal traffic accidents during last year’s Thanksgiving weekend. Two of them were alcohol related.

November 29, 2019 - 10:24 am - Posted in News

Alton, Iowa — An Alton man has pled Guilty to Wire Fraud earlier this week in Federal District Court in Sioux City.

Federal authorities say Lon Friederichsen of Alton masqueraded as a professional crude oil futures trader in an attempt to get victims to “invest” money with him. He has admitted to using the ruse from June, 2014 to March of last year.

In addition, authorities say Friederichsen used various aliases and email addresses to conceal his true identity and maintain the ruse with investors, eventually bilking them out of more than half-a-million dollars.

Federal authorities say Friedrichsen placed online ads in which purported to having thirty years trading experience, and claimed he had previously worked on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and on Wall Street.

A sentencing date hasn’t been set.

November 27, 2019 - 2:42 pm - Posted in News

Click to enlarge

Northwest Iowa — Northwest Iowa saw some significant snowfall from Tuesday night into Wednesday. The snow and the wind combined to make travel difficult.

Four inches was a common amount of snow to have received in northwest Iowa, and it was the lowest amount recorded. Four inches were reported in Sheldon, Rock Rapids, Orange City, and Sioux Center. Just across the state line in Sioux Falls, they also had four inches. George had just a little more at four and a half.

A little bit more snow was received in the Hospers area, with five inches, according to the National Weather Service. The next highest amount was Sioux City with 5.9 inches. Hull and Remsen both reported six inches. A small island near Matlock and the city of Spirit Lake both reported six and a half inches. But the most snow was reported by a small area near Sanborn on Wednesday morning with Sanborn 8.6 inches of the cold, white stuff, according to the weather service.

The sounds of shovels, snowplows, and snowblowers were common across the area.

November 27, 2019 - 2:06 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — For many Iowans, a Thanksgiving Day pheasant hunt is as much a part of the holiday tradition as football, battling over the last turkey leg and an afternoon nap, and this year’s outing may be one of the best, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

DNR upland wildlife research biologist, Todd Bogenschutz says north of Interstate 80, things are shaping up for the Thanksgiving holiday to have good pheasant hunting. He says now is the time to for hunters to get out into the field. Bogenschutz says the only thing that could put a damper on Thanksgiving pheasant hunts is this weekend’s weather forecast.

Iowa’s pheasant hunting outlook is similar to 2018 when hunters harvested an estimated 320,000 roosters – the highest in a decade. Bogenschutz said for those who’ve drifted away from pheasant hunting, this year would be a good time to restart the tradition.

He says everyone has time off and we’re all together so it’s a great opportunity to get outside, enjoy the fresh air. He went on to say, “Having spent many Thanksgivings hunting with my family, it’s just being together that makes the outing special. Bagging birds is usually a bonus.”

Iowa’s pheasant season closes Jan. 10, 2020.

Northwest Iowa — Despite ongoing weather and trade challenges that have hampered farmers, the traditional Thanksgiving dinner is still a bargain at just under $5 a serving for a family of 10, according to the 34th annual American Farm Bureau Federation Thanksgiving Dinner Price Survey.

The full survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of celery and carrots, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk, in quantities sufficient to feed 10 people.

A total of 264 volunteer shoppers checked grocery store prices in 38 states for the annual Thanksgiving survey.  The American Farm Bureau Federation’s staple survey menu has not changed since it was first conducted in 1986 to allow for consistent price comparisons.

The opinion poll revealed that 90% of Americans celebrate the holiday with a special meal and turkey remains a staple for 95% of consumers, while half serve both turkey and ham at their Thanksgiving meal. In recognition of changes in Thanksgiving dinner traditions, the Farm Bureau price survey includes ham, potatoes and frozen green beans. Adding these foods to the classic Thanksgiving menu increased the overall cost slightly, to $62.32 or just over $6 per person.