April 16, 2019 - 2:02 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Unsurprisingly, this wet weather that we’ve been having has caused a number of manure runoff accidents in recent days.

According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, DNR field offices are investigating four manure runoffs in Lyon and Sioux counties in relation to a weather system dropping heavy rainfall totals that moved through the northern and northwest part of the state late last week.

The DNR says that manure was reported overflowing a berm of a manure basin at Bar-K Cattle near Sioux Center. DNR staff observed the small discharge entering Six Mile Creek but they say it was quickly dissipating as it entered. No fish were observed killed from the manure overflow into the creek. The owner of Bar-K Cattle set up a pump to transfer the excess manure to a second basin and stopped the discharge.

In the second incident, they say manure was reported overflowing a berm of a manure basin at Rock River Feedyards, four miles west of Rock Rapids. DNR staff did not observe manure discharging to a water source.

The third incident was only 2.5 miles east, where manure was reportedly trickling over a berm at Jansma Cattle Company near Rock Rapids. DNR staff on-site determined the manure had discharged to a tributary of Rock River but the discharge has since stopped. DNR staff did not observe any fish killed from the discharge.

In the fourth incident, DNR staff say that manure-laden water was reportedly discharging from a storage basin at Mike’s Wash Out, a livestock trailer wash facility near Granville. It was also reported that some of the manure had entered a nearby water source. When DNR staff arrived the discharge was no longer happening and staff observed no fish had been killed.

The DNR says their staff will continue to investigate these incidents and determine any enforcement actions.

April 15, 2019 - 4:29 pm - Posted in News

Sioux City, Iowa — Firefighters in Paris have been battling a fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame for nearly a day.

The impact of that blaze is being felt by the Catholic faithful throughout the world. Bishop R Walker Nickless of the Catholic Diocese of Sioux City issued the following statement on the fire at the Paris cathedral.

“On behalf of all the faithful of the Diocese of Sioux City, I express our profound sadness at the fire today at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, which has fully consumed the roof and central spire of this famous and beautiful church. Even here in Iowa, many of us have visited and prayed in this magnificent church named after our lady, the Mother of God. The destruction of such a notable piece of our shared Catholic heritage affects all of us. During this Holy Week of our faith, the tragedy at this Cathedral reminds us all of the importance of visible signs of our faith that are meant to lead us to deeper prayer and trust in the Lord. May God be with the people of Paris and all the world who look to this Church as a testament to beauty.”

“Yet, above all, we give thanks to God that, so far as is known, the fire has caused no injuries or fatalities. Through the intercession of our Lady, St. Dennis, and St. Martin, patrons of France, we pray for all those affected by the loss of this Cathedral, and that it may be restored to all its former glory in the near future.”

Sheldon, Iowa — Northwest Iowa Community College is offering summer camps to be held in June and July, with the focus on careers available in northwest Iowa.

Allie Mouw, NCC’s Learning Intermediary Network Coordinator says that their goal is to bring young students to campus and help them with career exploration and awareness of different careers. She says NCC understands that sometimes it can be a little overwhelming when young people are trying to make career decisions. She says those at NCC want to assist and connect students with career exploration and learning opportunities and let them have fun while doing it.

NCC’s Specialized Intermediary Coordinator, Dan Cline tells us what they have to offer.

Cline tells us that more information can be found at nwicc.edu/summer-camps. Or you can call NCC at 712-324-5061 and ask for Dan Cline or Allie Mouw.

April 15, 2019 - 3:55 pm - Posted in News

Ireton, Iowa — The Ireton Fire Department was called out for a fire on Sunday, April 14, 2019, near Ireton.

According to Ireton Fire Chief Richard Steckelberg, about 4:25 p.m., the Ireton Fire Department was called to the report of a grass fire at 2310 440th Street, two and a half miles north and just short of a mile west of Ireton.

The chief says the fire department saw grass on fire as they approached the scene, and they put it out with water.

Steckelberg says no injuries were reported. He says a trash fire had gotten out of hand and starting burning switchgrass. Chief Steckelberg reports the damage was limited to the grass.

He says the fifteen firefighters who responded were on scene for about a half hour.

April 15, 2019 - 3:54 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — The Iowa Department of Public Health has confirmed a case of measles in Iowa.

Department Medical Director, Doctor Caitlin Pedati, says privacy laws prevent them from releasing detailed information, but she says they can give a few details.

Doctor Pedati says they moved quickly to ensure this case doesn’t spread.

This is the first case of measles in Iowa since 2011. Pedati says they are not concerned that this will turn into a larger outbreak.

She says measles can spread very quickly among those who have not been vaccinated.

Measles vaccinations are given to kids who are between 12 and 15 months old. A second booster is given between ages of four to six years old and Pedati says the vaccine is 94 percent effective after the first round and 97 percent after the second. She says the C-D-C recommended the second vaccination be given back in 1989.

The Centers for Disease Control says nationwide from January 1st to April 11th, 2019, there have been 555 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 20 states. This is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the U-S since the disease was wiped out in 2000. Other states which have reported measles cases are:Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.

April 15, 2019 - 2:40 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — Governor Kim Reynolds is creating a new state board to oversee the response to last month’s catastrophic flooding.

Reynolds issued an executive order Monday morning, establishing a 15-member Flood Recovery Advisory Board. She’ll be the board’s chairwoman.

The governor also is asking legislators to set aside $25-million in state funds for flood recovery. The first $15 million would be used for flood mitigation, including help in making levee repairs.

House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, a Republican from Clear Lake, says responding to the housing need in flooded areas is a priority.

Senate Republican Leader Jack Whitver of Ankeny says there’s room in the budget for this extra spending.

The governor says she’s asked federal officials if there are ways the state can line up contractors or take other steps that would speed up the process of buying out flood-ravaged properties. FEMA’s website indicates it’s a lengthy process that can take a year to 18 months. Reynolds says she’s asked FEMA to set up a “mini processing center” in Council Bluffs where flood victims may find out what disaster assistance may be available.

Photo Caption: Governor Reynolds announces the Flood Recovery Advisory Board.

April 15, 2019 - 1:59 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A pickup was damaged in a fire on Monday, April 15, 2019, near Orange City.

According to Orange City Fire Chief Denny Vander Wel, about 7:50 a.m., the Orange City Fire Department was called to the report of a car fire at Highway 10 and Hickory Avenue, three and a half miles west of Orange City.

The chief says the fire department saw heavy smoke as they approached the scene. He says they extinguished the fire, and that no injuries were reported.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be mechanical in nature. He says the turbo on the diesel engine got hot and started the fire.

Chief Vander Wel reports that there was about $8,500 damage.

He says the eleven firefighters who responded were on scene for about 45 minutes.

Sioux Center, Iowa — Work continues on a $6.5 million outdoor waterpark near Dordt College in Sioux Center.

Sioux Center City Manager Scott Wynja tells us that the waterpark has a new name.

He says they’ve been working throughout the winter and gives us an update on the progress.

He says they still hope to open around the first of June, but the weather would have to cooperate well for that to happen. He says that they certainly don’t want to cut any corners to meet the opening date, so it could be a little bit later. Wynja says there will probably be a ribbon cutting, open house, and dedication, but that has yet to be scheduled.

Top photo caption: work continues in big pool area
Bottom photo caption: work continues in lazy river area
Thanks to the City of Sioux Center for the photos.

April 14, 2019 - 7:03 pm - Posted in News

Washington, DC — USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Amanda De Jong announced this past week that they will allow emergency Conservation Reserve Program grazing.

Emergency grazing is approved in Iowa through May 14, 2019. Participation is limited to livestock producers who lost pasture or fences due to flooding. Interested producers must contact the FSA county office before grazing.

According to the FSA, “CRP participants can allow others to use their CRP acres under this emergency grazing authorization; however, the livestock owners will also need to complete FSA paperwork indicating their grazing land was adversely impacted by severe weather. There will be no reduction in CRP rental payments to CRP contract holders who use the emergency grazing authorization. CRP contract holders are not permitted to charge livestock producers for the emergency grazing option.”

For more information on eligible practices or to request approval for emergency grazing use of CRP acres, you can contact your local FSA office or visit www.farmers.gov/service-locator.

April 14, 2019 - 7:01 pm - Posted in News

Rural Iowa (RI) — The annual spring spotlight survey by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is underway. The DNR’s Tyler Harms says the survey focuses on what are called furbearers.

He says the heavy snow and cold weather this winter may’ve had an impact on some animal populations.

He says the survey may confirm some of the reports of deer which did not make it through the winter.

According to Harms, the survey provides them a valuable look at the populations of the animals.

Harms says the survey doesn’t allow them to count every animal out there, but does give them a good estimation of their population. The survey will run through this month.

Parts of Iowa have been flooded or still have flood waters, and Harms says they will do the best they can to do surveys there.

The survey begins an hour after sunset, preferably on a night with a clear sky, low wind and high humidity. Harms says the survey routes were designed to include all types of habitats found on the Iowa landscape in an effort to not skew the number of animals counted in either way.