Rock Valley, Iowa — Rock Valley Police think they may have found evidence of a meth lab in their city.rock valley police badge

According to a statement released on Monday:  On Saturday October 11, 2014, an investigation by the Rock Valley Police Department led to the discovery of a container consistent with the manufacturing of methamphetamine. It was found under a tree at a home in the 2000 block of 14th Street. Officers followed protocol and evacuated adjacent homes. The scene was made safe by clandestine lab cleanup officers certified in the disposal of hazardous chemicals.

No arrests have yet been made but the investigation continues and criminal charges are expected.

The Rock Valley Police Department was assisted by the Sioux County Sheriff’s Department, the Iowa State Patrol, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, the Rock Valley Fire Department, and the Rock Valley Ambulance.

The Rock Valley Police Department urges the public to remain vigilant and to report to authorities any suspicious containers located on their properties. The Rock Valley Police Department also encourages parents to educate their children of the dangers of methamphetamine manufacturing.

October 10, 2014 - 3:25 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A plea agreement has been reached in the case of an Orange City woman accused of murder in the death of a child in her care.Sapp,Rochelle- cut

In a hearing that was supposed to start at 10 AM, but didn’t get underway until nearly 1 PM Friday, Judge Edward Jacobsen announced that a plea agreement had been reached and signed in which 34-year-old Rochelle Sapp will change her plea to guilty.  The terms of the plea agreement will not be made public until a plea taking and sentencing hearing, scheduled for Thursday, October 16th, in Sioux County District Court.

Although it is known that Sapp will plead guilty, we will not know to which charges she will plead guilty until next week’s hearing.  A pre-sentence investigation was ordered by judge Jacobson, but defense attorney Ned Bjornstad indicated that will be waived.

Sapp, who appeared emotional at Friday’s hearing, is accused of causing injuries to 3-year-old Autumn Elgersma nearly a year ago that allegedly lead to her death. According to court records, Sapp was charged with First Degree Murder, a class A felony; and Child Endangerment Resulting in Death, a class B felony.

No ruling was made as to if statements that Sapp made while in custody in Minnehaha County, and cell phone records from the time that she was there would have been admitted as evidence.

Sioux City, Iowa — An Iowa man who was arrested after a controlled drug buy in Orange City has been sentenced to more than five years in federal city alton police oc pd ocpd

Thirty-two-year-old Ivan Lopez-Castelan from Iowa received the prison term after he pled guilty in June to conspiring to distribute methamphetamine.

At the guilty plea, Lopez-Castelan admitted he was involved in the distribution of at least 1500 grams of mixed methamphetamine which contained 500 grams or more of actual (pure) methamphetamine from approximately 2011 through February, 2014. On February 7, 2014, law enforcement conducted a controlled purchase of approximately one pound of methamphetamine from Lopez-Castelan in Orange City, Iowa, for $28,000.

Lopez-Castelan was sentenced to 61 months in federal prison. There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was investigated by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office assisted by the Iowa Great Lakes Drug Task Force, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa Division of Intelligence, Orange City Police Department, and the Tri-State Drug Task Force.

Sioux City, Iowa — The man who wants Steve King’s chair in the US House of Representatives is coming to our neck of the woods this Friday, October 9, 2014.Jim Mowrer

Jim Mowrer, Candidate for Congress in Iowa’s fourth district, will hold Coffee Hours in Sheldon and Orange City, among other towns.

At 10:30 AM Mowrer will host a coffee hour in Orange City. At noon, he will host a coffee hour in Sheldon. At 2:30 PM he will talk to the press in Le Mars. At 4:00 PM he will host a coffee hour in Sioux City, and at 7:00 PM he will meet with volunteers in Sioux City.

The Orange City appearance will be at the Old Factory Coffee House, and the Sheldon appearance will be at the Prairie Queen Bakery.

The most recent public poll of the race shows Congressman Steve King and Jim Mowrer within the margin of error at 46% for King and 43% for Mowrer.

Mowrer says that he’s looking forward to spending time in Siouxland. He says that as voters hear about his campaign’s priorities and learn about his record of service, he’s confident they’ll send him to Congress to protect Social Security, raise the minimum wage, and cut government waste.

Voters and other members of the public interested in attending should RSVP to Kaylee Cranston at All coffee hours are free and open to the public.


Coffee Hour with Jim Mowrer
October 10 at 10:30 AM
Old Factory Coffee Shop
110 4th St SW
Orange City, IA 51041

Coffee Hour with Jim Mowrer
October 10 at 12:00 Noon
Prairie Queen Bakery
301 10th St
Sheldon, IA 51201

Coffee Hour with Jim Mowrer
October 10 at 4:00 PM
Daily Grind Market and Bakery
511 4th St.
Sioux City, IA 51101

From the Mowrer campaign:

About Jim:
Jim Mowrer grew up on a farm in Boone, Iowa. He is a life-long resident of the 4th district. Jim worked hard and graduated from Boone High School and married his high school sweetheart, Chelsey. Today they have two boys, Carter (6) and Jack (3).

A month after the Iraq war started, Jim joined the Iowa National Guard, eventually serving in Iraq with the 1-133 Infantry Battalion.

In 2010, Jim was asked to serve as the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of the Army. At the Pentagon, Jim helped start and oversee the Army’s Office of Business Transformation – tasked with making the Army more effective, while saving tax dollars.

Jim Mowrer’s whole life has been about service to our country and protecting what makes America and Iowa great.

Hull, Iowa — A northwest Iowa legislator has announced that he has cancer.Dwayne Alons

Rep. Dwayne Alons (R-Hull) says he has been diagnosed with renal cancer in the left kidney. He will undergo treatments this fall and will continue serving in the Legislature.

Alons says he wants to thank his wife, Clarice, family, close friends and neighbors for their support and prayers. He says they are much appreciated. Alons says he believes unity in prayer is a powerful force against this attack on his body, and he is truly relying on his Lord Jesus as the great Physician.

Alons goes on to say that serving the people of Sioux County is an exceptional honor and blessing for him and it is a commitment he intends to uphold.

Alons is running unopposed for re-election to his ninth term in the Iowa House. He is a retired farmer and retired Iowa Air National Guard Brigadier General.

October 3, 2014 - 3:03 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A status hearing has been pushed up in the case of the Orange City woman accused of the Sapp,Rochelle- cutmurder of a child in her care.

The hearing has been scheduled for Friday, October 10 at 10 AM. The trial itself was moved on a change-of-venue to Carroll County and at last report was scheduled to start on November 13th.

Thirty-four-year-old Rochelle Sapp is accused of picking up 3-year-old Autumn Elgersma and throwing her to the floor, after she wouldn’t take off her coat, causing injuries that required treatment in Sioux Falls and that allegedly lead to her death. According to court records, Sapp is charged with First Degree Murder, a class A felony; and Child Endangerment Resulting in Death, a class B felony.

Sapp’s attorney has asked for statements she made to Minnehaha County authorities to be removed from evidence, as he claims she was not read her Miranda rights before speaking to them. The attorney also wants a record of text messages she sent while in custody in Minnehaha County to be removed as well.

October 3, 2014 - 8:18 am - Posted in News
Mike Hofman

Orange City Chamber Director Mike Hofman

We here at KIWA want to keep you informed. We know there is a lot going on in northwest Iowa, and so we’re going to bring you a report from area Chamber Of Commerce directors.

From meetings to home shows, community celebrations to fundraisers, business promotions to county fairs, and of course Christmas promotions and celebrations, there’s always something going on in northwest Iowa.

Featured right now on, a recent interview with Orange City Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mike Hoffman. He tells us about upcoming activities in Orange City.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

October 2, 2014 - 7:29 am - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A Hospers man has been arrested after an accident near Orange City.Sioux Sheriff Car 84-

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Sunday afternoon, September 28, 26-year-old Casey Schelling of Hospers was driving a 2000 Ford Taurus westbound on 420 Street, two miles northeast of Orange City, when he lost control of the vehicle, which entered the north ditch and rolled onto its top.

Schelling refused medical treatment.

The Ford sustained approximately $2,000 in damages.

Upon further investigation, the deputy suspected that Schelling was intoxicated. As a result, Schelling was arrested and charged with second offense operating while intoxicated and cited on a charge of failing to maintain control of his vehicle.

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

UPDATE: The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of the woman who died in the crash. They report that 49-year-old Lisa Opheim of Maurice was the driver of the 1995 Dodge pickup that was struck by the 2013 Freightliner.  

Previous Story:
Maurice, Iowa – A woman has passed away as the result of a car crash on Wednesday morning.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that shortly before 8 AM, 22-year-old Mark Schmith of Hawarden was driving a 2013 Freightliner semi‐tractor pulling a loaded feed trailer southbound on Highway 75. A 49-year-old woman was driving a 1995 Dodge pickup eastbound on Fourth Street in Maurice. After stopping for the stop sign at Highway 75, she drove onto Highway 75, where her vehicle was struck by the Freightliner.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene by the Sioux County Medical Examiner. Her name is being withheld pending notification of family members.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by the Iowa State Patrol, Maurice Fire Department, Maurice First Responders, Sioux Center Fire Department and Sioux Center Ambulance crew.

Previous story:

A fatal accident occurred just before eight this morning at Highway seventy-five and B fifty-eight at Maurice, according to Sioux County Chief Deputy Nate Huizenga.

A message sent from the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office about 8:20 AM this morning advised motorists that the road was partially blocked due to an accident.

Huizenga advises that next of kin are being notified at this time. We hope to have the details soon.

September 29, 2014 - 5:05 pm - Posted in News

Council Bluffs, Iowa — Orange City is among three area cities that have been recognized as All-Star Communities by the Iowa League of Cities.Phoenix Project OC

The league cited Orange City’s Phoenix Project. The Phoenix Project — bringing to mind an image of a mythical Phoenix rising from the ashes — was a unique public/private partnership conceived after a fire destroyed the historic Hawkeye Building in the summer of 2008—taking with it a Hallmark store and a popular clothier.

Phase one of the Hawkeye project was the Hawkeye Center — a replacement building on the corner where the 2008 fire was. The two-story brick structure with Dutch-themed architecture complements Orange City’s “Dutch Village” concept. The upper level features five high-end residential loft condominiums, with underground parking for tenants, and the main street level features a Hallmark Store with an ice cream and coffee shoppe.

Phase two was the Prairie Winds Events Center on the city’s east side. The 17,000-square-foot multi-purpose facility features authentic old-world Dutch architecture on the exterior, and a unique Northern Plains decor inside.

Phase three is the new shared performing arts center at Unity Christian High School, a shared project between the city and the school.

Other projects, such as the new Hampton Inn were also on the list.

Other area cities honored as All-Star Communities by the League of Cities included the city of Spencer, honored for their housing initiatives to help increase the workforce, and Storm Lake, honored for their innovative flood control projects.

Click here to see all the All-Star Communities’ videos.