December 12, 2018 - 3:41 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — Iowa’s two U.S. Senators parted ways in Tuesday’s approval of a new five-year Farm Bill.

Joni Ernst voted in favor of the compromise bill, which now goes to the House. Chuck Grassley was one of just 13 Republicans voting against the bill.

Grassley’s payment limitation amendment was removed from the Farm Bill in conference committee. He’s fought for years to place “hard caps” on subsidies from the government, saying the largest ag operations and even non-farmers are benefiting the most.

Grassley said farm policy should be “a limited safety net” to help farmers recover from natural disasters and other “unforeseen challenges.” This bill, he said, goes well beyond that.

Senator Joni Ernst served on the conference committee that drafted the compromise. In a prepared statement, she praised the bill as “farmer-focused” and said it includes her provisions to reform the Conservation Reserve Program and provide “critical mental health support” through the FARMERS FIRST Act.

December 12, 2018 - 12:43 pm - Posted in News

Hull, Iowa — Western Christian High School at Hull will have a new administrator beginning in July of next year.

According to a release from Western Christian, their Board of Directors has unanimously  approved Mr. Brian Verwolf as their next administrator. He’ll begin his duties at Western July 1st, replacing Mr. Harlan DeVries who is serving as interim administrator for the 2018-19 school year.

Mr. Verwolf is currently the Head of School at Deer Creek Christian School in Chicago Heights, IL. He received his undergraduate and graduate degree at Dordt College in Sioux Center.

Verwolf and his wife, Rachel, have two children.

December 11, 2018 - 9:21 pm - Posted in News

Boyden, Iowa — Voters in Boyden have chosen Nathan Alexander to fill a vacant position on the Boyden City Council.

Voters went to the poll on Tuesday (Dec. 11th) to elect someone to fill the seat left empty when a council member moved out of town and became ineligible to serve on the council. They chose Alexander by a margin of about 69 percent, with about 31 percent of voters choosing the other candidate, Elizabeth Steven. Fifty-six people voted for Alexander, with 25 people voting for Steven. The results become official once canvassed by the Sioux County Board of Supervisors.

Original story, posted Monday, December 10th, 2:20 p.m.:

Boyden, Iowa — Boyden citizens will go to the poll this Tuesday, December 11th, to select a city council member to fill a vacancy.

According to Boyden city clerk Tammi Kamies, longtime city council member Art Van Bruggen moved to Sheldon recently, so he was no longer eligible to be on the Boyden council.

Two candidates have filed papers to take Van Bruggen’s chair. They are Elizabeth Steven and Nathan Alexander, both of Boyden.

The candidate who wins the election will serve the remainder of Van Bruggen’s term. His term was to have expired at the end of next year, so the winner will be able to file for re-election in November of 2019. Voting begins at noon, and the poll is open until 8 p.m.

December 11, 2018 - 3:20 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — An Ireton native who has served as Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds chief of staff has announced plans to leave that position and return to the private sector.

According to a press release from Governor Kim Reynolds Office, Ireton native Ryan Koopmans will leave his position as Reynolds’ chief of staff this Friday, December 14th.

Governor Reynolds says she is grateful for Koopman’s service and she says she is glad he used his passion for Iowa to advance the state forward. She says Koopmans provided steadfast advise while serving as her trusted advisor. The Governor thanked Koopmans for his service on behalf of the people of Iowa, and wished him well in the private sector.

Koopmans joined the governor’s office as senior legal counsel and chief policy advisor in May 2017, at the beginning of Gov. Reynolds’ administration. Earlier this year, he was promoted to chief of staff. His roles within the governor’s office were instrumental in advancing the governor’s signature achievements, including tax reform and Future Ready Iowa. Before serving in the governor’s office, Koopmans was partner at the Nyemaster Goode law firm in Des Moines.

Koopmans is a native of Ireton, and lives near Van Meter with his wife, Ashley, and their three children.

Koopmans’ successor will be announced in the near future, according to the governor’s press release.

Northwest Iowa — A pursuit that started as a traffic stop in Worthington, Minnesota early Tuesday (Dec. 11) came right through our area and ended over 100 miles from Worthington, in rural Plymouth County, Iowa — and two out-of-state individuals are behind bars facing charges.

Worthington Police and Nobles County Sheriff’s officials had attempted to stop the vehicle when it fled from the officer. Multiple agencies in northwest Iowa assisted the Minnesota agencies during the pursuit.

After traveling through Nobles and Rock County, Minnesota on Interstate 90, the pursuit entered Lyon County and went through Sioux County before entering Plymouth County in the 4 a.m. hour. Plymouth County officials advise that at about 4:20 a.m, a Plymouth County deputy that was in front of the pursuit was able to safely deploy stop sticks near K22 (also known as the Perry Creek Road) and 250th Street. The suspect vehicle struck the stop sticks and both right side tires went flat. The vehicle then stopped in the 2500 block of K22, about 14 miles southwest of Le Mars. Both the driver and passenger were detained. After a records check, both the driver and passenger were found to have active arrest warrants from South Dakota.

Plymouth County authorities say the driver, 45-year-old Kevin Gunhammer of Tabor, South Dakota was charged with eluding, an aggravated misdemeanor, along with the South Dakota warrant.

The passenger, 34-year-old Desiree Sully of Minneapolis, MN was arrested on her South Dakota warrant. Once at the Plymouth County Jail, she was also found to be in possession of a controlled substance believed to be methamphetamine. She was then charged with Possession of a controlled substance 1st offense.

According to officials with the Worthington Police Department, other charges are pending in other jurisdictions.

Court records indicate Gunhammer is being held on a $5000 bond. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled on his Plymouth County charges for Thursday, December 20th.

December 11, 2018 - 11:26 am - Posted in News

Alton, Iowa — An Alaska man was seriously injured in a single-vehicle rollover crash near Alton Friday night.

According to Orange City/Alton Police, 48-year old Eric Benjamin Moffitt of Palmer, Alaska,  was southbound on Highway 60 just southeast of Alton when he lost control of his 2002 Ford Pickup, and entered the west ditch where the truck rolled, coming to rest on its wheels. Authorities say the pickup’s topper, and contents of its bed, spilled into the ditch as the truck rolled.

Police say Moffitt was transported to the Orange City Hospital by Alton Ambulance with a serious injury to his right leg.

Damage to Moffitt’s Ford was estimated at about $33-hundred.

According to the crash report, Moffitt was ticketed for Failure to Maintain Control. Officers say they suspect Moffitt was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. They say additional charges may be filed, pending the results of blood tests.

December 10, 2018 - 2:32 pm - Posted in News

Hull, Iowa — A Sioux Falls teen was taken to a Rock Valley hospital following a single-vehicle rollover crash that happened in the wee hours of Saturday morning, near Hull.

Sioux County authorities say the crash occurred around 2:45 am Saturday, 4 miles northwest of Hull. Deputies say 18-year old Melina Thie of Sioux Falls was northbound on Highway 75 in a 2010 Ford Focus when she lost control of the car, entered the west ditch, and rolled.

According to authorities, Thie was transported to the Hegg Memorial Hospital in Rock Valley for treatment of what the report described as “minor” injuries.

Deputies estimate damage to Thie’s Ford at $3-thousand. She was reportedly cited for Failure to Maintain Control of a Motor Vehicle.  Deputies say  alcohol and distracted driving are believed to have been a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation.

Sioux County deputies were assisted at the scene by the Hull Fire Department, and the Hull Ambulance.

December 10, 2018 - 2:32 pm - Posted in News

Hull, Iowa — Three people were taken to the hospital in the aftermath of a 2-vehicle crash late Friday afternoon at the intersection of Division Street and Highway 18 in Hull.

According to the report from the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, a 2013 Chevrolet Equinox, driven by 35-year old Olympia Zamorano-Sanchez of George, was westbound on Highway 18, when a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, driven by 60-year old Donna Kroeze, was southbound on Division Street, and, according to authorities, failed to stop for the stop sign at Highway 18, entered the intersection and collided with Zamorano-Sanchez’ SUV.

Deputies say Zamorano-Sanchez, along with two children who were passengers in her vehicle, were transported to the Sioux Center Hospital by Hull Ambulance.

Deputies estimate damage to Zamorano-Sanchez Equinox at $12-thousand, with damage to Kroeze’s pickup was estimated at approximately $5-thousand.

Kroeze was reportedly cited for failing to obey a stop sign.

Northwest Iowa — An Iowa State Patrol Trooper who is well-known in northwest Iowa was promoted to sergeant in a ceremony held Friday in Des Moines.

Trooper Vince Kurtz is very familiar to listeners of the KIWA Morning Show with Wayne and Aaron, having appeared as a monthly guest on the program for the past couple of years. Sgt. Kurtz tells us about his new position with the Iowa State Patrol.

The Sergeant talks bout his career with the Patrol.

Kurtz says his promotion does not require his family to move, which he says, pleased his daughters very much.

Sgt. Kurtz says they hope to have the process of selecting someone to fill his recently-vacated position as Public Resource Officer by sometime in January or February. Until that time, he says he’ll be filling both jobs as much as possible. And, as Public Resource Officer, Kurtz says that, on the foggy mornings we’ve had lately, motorists should NOT rely on their vehicle’s automatic headlights to turn on when they’re needed in the fog.

He also spoke about relying on daytime running lamps in the fog. He says that, while those will help you be seen by traffic approaching from the front, they do nothing to make your presence known to vehicles behind you, since your tail lights do not come on with your daytime running lamps.


Spencer, Iowa — An area facility that helps suffering kids and families received a special grant recently.

Officials at Seasons Center for Behavioral Health say they have received a Regional Partnership Grant (RPG) focused on supporting families who are suffering from the impact of abuse, trauma, and substance use. Seasons Center’s VP of Program Growth and Development, Christina Eggink-Postma, tells us about the grant.

Eggink-Postma tells us this was not a routine grant, but something special.

According to Eggink-Postma, details will be released soon as to how they will use the grant funds toward their intended purpose.

She tells us that the grant will help them help children through Seasons Center and Autumn’s Center in Spencer, as well as Camp Autumn in O’Brien County. She says it will help children throughout the area.