January 9, 2018 - 10:10 am - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — The trial for a man accused of murdering his grandfather in Rock Valley and then setting a fire — has been continued.

According to authorities, on or about Sunday, October 29th, 19-year-old Santos Rodriguez, Jr. allegedly killed his grandfather, 84-year old Luis Luevanos at his grandfather’s home; set fire to the home; and then left for Utah.

Agents from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation traveled to Utah and interviewed Rodriguez. Officials say he admitted to stabbing his grandfather and intentionally setting the fire afterward.

Rodriguez filed a plea of “not guilty” to the charges of First Degree Murder (a class A felony) and First Degree Arson (a class B Felony) in Sioux County District Court.

According to court documents, a jury trial in the case has now been scheduled for Tuesday, May 1st, 2018.

If convicted of a class A felony, Iowa code states that Rodriguez would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. If convicted of a class B felony, he could face up to 25 years in prison.

January 9, 2018 - 8:32 am - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — Nothing is static, and beef production is no exception. To help producers and agri-business professionals adapt, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has a meeting coming up shortly in Sioux Center.

Extension Beef Field Specialist Beth Doran tells us that Feedlot Forum 2018 will focus on changes that are rapidly occurring in the beef industry. The forum is set for next Tuesday, January 16th, 2018, at the Terrace View Event Center in Sioux Center.

She says she asked herself why should a producer or agri-business professional attend this feedlot forum. She says she came up with five reasons.

She says the final two questions deal with the beef checkoff, and the driving forces behind agriculture this year.

Registration is $25 per person, with a special reduced rate of $10 for students, due by this Thursday, January 11th to the ISU Extension and Outreach Sioux County Office, 400 Central Ave. NW, Suite 700, Orange City, IA 51041. The event brochure has the complete agenda, list of sponsors and registration form. Call the Sioux County Extension Office at 712-737-4230 for additional information or contact Beth Doran, ISU Extension and Outreach beef specialist, at doranb@iastate.edu

January 9, 2018 - 8:28 am - Posted in News

Rock Valley, Iowa– A hoop building was destroyed in a fire on Friday, January 5, 2018 in Rock Valley.

According to Rock Valley Fire Chief Brent Eshuis, about 9:00 p.m., the Rock Valley Fire Department was called to the report of a hoop building on fire at Terry’s Repair at 1005 Creek Boulevard, just northwest of the intersection of Highway 18 and Fig Avenue on Rock Valley’s east side.

The chief says the fire department saw flames from the upper part of the hoop building as they approached the scene. He says the hoop building is attached to another building to the south. He says they cut a hole on the outside of the building and sprayed water from above. He says they also attacked it from the inside as well. He says the eastern third of the building was destroyed by fire. The chief says the roof of the hoop building also collapsed, and that building will need to be replaced.

Eshuis says no injuries were reported.

The Hull Fire Department is also called out automatically to structure fires in Rock Valley, so they also responded.

He says the cause of the fire is undetermined at this time.

Chief Eshuis reports that there was extensive damage.

He says they used 12,000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and about 34 firefighters were on scene for four hours.

January 6, 2018 - 12:33 pm - Posted in News

Rock Valley Iowa — While a renovation project of the medical clinic is yet to be done, work on new construction has wrapped up and a celebration is planned for the hospital in Rock Valley.

And starting this month, a new name will begin appearing on the logo of what, up until now, was known as “Hegg Memorial Hospital.” Hegg Memorial’s CEO Glenn Zevenbergen says that in the new logo, the facility will be called “Hegg Health Center, An Avera Affiliate.”

Zevenbergen tells us what’s going on in Rock Valley.

He tells us about the new addition.

Zevenbergen says they will also be consolidating some of the clinic functions and the hospital functions in the new space. He tells us about the financial side of the project.

Hospital officials thank everyone who had a part in the successful completion of the construction project.

Northwest Iowa — O’Brien and Sioux Counties are two of 36 Iowa counties who filed suit Friday against pharmaceutical companies over what the plaintiffs call “the aggressive and fraudulent marketing of prescription opioid pain killers that the plaintiffs say hass led to a drug epidemic in the state, and throughout the nation.”

Friday’s court filings are the first in Iowa federal court against pharmaceutical manufacturers to address the opiod crisis, according to a press release from attorneys representing the 36 Iowa counties involved in the lawsuit.

Communities throughout Iowa are suffering as a result of the opioid epidemic, according to Erin Dickinson of the law firm Crueger Dickinson LLC, lead counsel, along with partner Charles Crueger in the lawsuits. Dickinson went on to say that the lawsuits filed Friday, the first in Iowa, are an important step toward holding those responsible for causing, what Dickinson describes as “the worst drug epidemic we’ve ever seen.”

In addition to O’Brien and Sioux Counties, the other Iowa counties joining the suit include: Adair, Adams, Audubon, BentonBremerBuchanan, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Carroll, Cedar, Clay, Clayton, Clinton, Dallas, Delaware, Fayette, Hamilton, Hardin, HumboldtJohnsonLee, Mahaska, Marion, Mitchell, Monroe, Montgomery, Plymouth, Polk, Pottawattamie, SacScott, Shelby, Taylor and Winneshiek.

You can view the entire text of Friday’s press release by CLICKING HERE.

Northwest Iowa — Lyon and Sioux County authorities have now field charges in connection with drive-by shooting incidents in each jurisdiction.

The two individuals accused in the incidents, a Brandon, South Dakota woman and her teenage son, face identical charges in both counties.

Authorities say the charges stemmed from a joint investigation between the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, Rock Valley Police Department, Brandon South Dakota Police Department, Minnehaha County South Dakota Sheriff’s Office,The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, South Dakota Department of Criminal Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Authorities say 50-year old Artis Kattenberg faces charges of: 2nd Degree Criminal Mischief/Aiding and Abetting, a Class “D” Felony: Reckless Use of a Firearm/Aiding and Abetting, an Aggravated Misdemeanor; and Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, a Misdemeanor. Her juvenile son is charged with: 2nd Degree Criminal Mischief; and Reckless Use of a Firearm. Each faces identical charges in the two Iowa counties involved in the case.

Authorities say their investigation revealed that shots had been fired into a residence in Lyon County on December 17th, and into a Sioux County residence on sometime before December 25th. Authorities say nobody was home at either residence when the shooting incidents took place.

According to law enforcement officials, the victims are both members of the same church in Rock Valley, and the shootings are believed to be in retaliation for an incident that reportedly happened between Kattenberg, the juvenile, and church members.

Authorities say they believe they juvenile fired the weapon in both incidents.

In addition to the Iowa charges, Kattenberg has also been charged in South Dakota with Child Abuse, according to authorities.

January 4, 2018 - 10:45 pm - Posted in News

Hospers, Iowa — If you live in northwest Iowa, there have been some changes to what is recyclable in your curbside recycling, and what is not. The good news is that there are only additions to the list.

We recently had a chance to talk to Larry Oldenkamp, the manager at the Northwest Iowa Solid Waste Agency facility between Sheldon and Hospers. He says they accept recycling and trash from haulers and towns in Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux Counties as well as several communities in Clay County and the City of Akron in Plymouth County.

Oldenkamp tells us that materials that come to them in the curbside recycling program are no longer being sorted at their facility.

He says that due to that change, what’s recyclable in northwest Iowa has changed as well. For one thing, plastic bags are back on the recyclable list. And that’s good news for people who had no other place to go with them except a store in a bigger community.

Oldenkamp says that while polystyrene foam, usually called by the brand name Styrofoam usually has a #6 recycling symbol on it, they still don’t recycle the foam, often used in disposable plates, cups, and packing material. He says another material that is recyclable elsewhere still is off the list in northwest Iowa — glass.

He tells us why the change was made to send the comingled recyclables to Le Mars.

He says while there were several advantages to the change, it did mean the loss of about seven part-time employees who sorted recyclables.

Oldenkamp asks people to please keep the recycling material clean and dry. He says remember not to attempt to recycle pizza and other takeout food boxes unless they are free from grease.

For more information, you can see their website at nwialandfill.com.

January 3, 2018 - 5:02 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — Five northwest Iowa law enforcement agencies, including the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, are now part of a special high-risk team.

Sioux County Chief Deputy and Emergency Management Director Nate Huizenga says it’s basically an expansion of a team that was already in place.

CERT, in this case, stands for “Combined Emergency Response Team.” Huizenga says when the team is deployed, the leader of the law enforcement agency who called in the team is in charge.

Huisenga says the Sheriff’s Office is also part of what’s called the Northwest Iowa Task Force, which includes basically the same members plus the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office and Lyon County Sheriff’s Office. He says that task force meets to discuss mostly drug-related crimes and how they can collaborate on certain cases.

January 3, 2018 - 2:29 pm - Posted in News

Brandon, South Dakota — Two people from Brandon, South Dakota are under investigation after the Sioux and Lyon County Sheriff’s Offices reported the shooting of at least two unoccupied homes.

According to the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office, their deputies and the South Dakota Division of Investigation were asked to assist the Brandon Police Department in a weapons violation investigation. Iowa authorities were investigating a drive-by shooting in Lyon and Sioux counties in Iowa.

Authorities say the suspects, 50-year-old Artis Kattenburg and a juvenile male live together near the 1400 block of Lakota Avenue in Brandon. Both suspects were interviewed and authorities believe the juvenile had fired a weapon at the homes in Iowa. On the evening of Friday, December 29th A search warrant was served and multiple weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition were located. The Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office says that some of the weapons were fully-automatic and several were 50-caliber rifles. The Sioux Falls Police and the Sioux Falls ATF and FBI offices also assisted in the investigation.

We talked to Lyon County Chief Deputy Jerry Birkey, who gives us some details.

Birkey says the shootings are thought to have occurred during the last week of December.

He says then they found out that the shooting of the home in rural Rock Rapids may not have been an isolated incident.

Chief Deputy Birkey says the incident appears to be related to something that happened at a Sioux County church.

Birkey says it is believed that the homes belonged to leaders of some kind in the Rock Valley church. Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Officials say that it is believed that Kattenburg and the juvenile had some sort of falling out with members of the church, and they believe that’s what led to the shootings. Birkey says it’s his understanding that Kattenburg and the juvenile are mother and son.

He says that when they were pretty sure of the suspects’ identities, it was determined to act.

Birkey says that it is likely that both Lyon and Sioux County will be filing charges on both subjects.

Birkey says he’s glad the agencies were able to work together in this case.

He says the case remains under investigation.

Hull, Iowa — The Iowa Legislature convenes for 2018 in less than a week. Legislators have been working on their priorities for several months, and have been collaborating in the off-season. Read The Full Story…