July 12, 2019 - 3:00 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — The Iowa Department of Public Health has announced the first case of West Nile virus infection reported in 2019.

According to a release from the IDPH, the first reported case of West Nile was a 61 to 80-year-old man from Audubon County in west central Iowa. The man has reportedly recovered.

IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Caitlin Pedati reminds Iowans that humans get infected with West Nile virus through a mosquito bite. Pedati says until the state’s first hard frost, whether for work or play, being outside means there’s a risk for West Nile virus infection.

Pedati says you should take the following steps to reduce your risk of exposure to West Nile virus:

Use insect repellent with DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. You should always read the repellent label and consult with a health care provider if you have questions when using these types of products for children.  For example, oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3-years of age and DEET should not be used on children less than 2-months of age.

Avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks outdoors whenever possible.

Eliminate standing water around the home because that’s where mosquitoes lay eggs. Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers and pet water dishes. Change water in bird baths every three to four days.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, last year 104 Iowans were diagnosed with West Nile virus, and nine Iowans died.

For more information on the West Nile virus, visit the IDPH website by CLICKING HERE.

Orange City, Iowa — A George man accused of beating a dependent adult in his care has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

According to court filings, the felony charge against 27-year-old Aaron David Albaugh stems from an incident that occurred on Sunday, May 5th of this year. According to court records, Albaugh was working as a caseworker for Hope Haven in Rock Valley, where he was assigned to care for a 23-year-old male dependent adult living in Rock Valley. Albaugh is accused of assaulting the man, causing multiple facial injuries that required emergency medical care.

According to Rock Valley Police Chief Monte Warburton, medical staff reportedly found the victim’s injuries to be inconsistent with Albaugh’s report on how they were sustained.

Court records indicate that Albaugh faces a charge of Dependent Adult Abuse, which is a Class C Felony. If convicted he could receive up to 10 years in prison, as well as a fine of $1,000 to $10,000.

According to court documents, a pretrial conference has been scheduled for Monday, July 22nd. At this point, the trial in the case is scheduled for Tuesday, November 19th.

July 12, 2019 - 11:43 am - Posted in News

Boyden, Iowa — A Boyden woman has pled Not Guilty to a charge of Willful Injury in connection with a stabbing that happened in Boyden late last month.

38-year-old Susana Ochoa entered a written plea to the charge earlier this week. The charge stems from an incident that took place on Sunday, June 23rd. According to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, a domestic disturbance occurred inside a Boyden residence early that Sunday morning, and they say their investigation allegedly revealed that Ochoa had stabbed a male victim with a knife during that altercation. The victim was reportedly later airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital.

Shortly after noon on the day of the incident, Sioux County authorities arrested Ochoa on a charge of Willful Injury, A Class C Felony.

A date for Ochoa’s trial is yet to be set, according to online court records.

July 12, 2019 - 11:08 am - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A Hospers man has been convicted in a sex abuse case dating back to May of last year.

According to a release from the Sioux County Attorney’s Office, the case against 64-year old Michael Dale Montgomery was convicted Thursday (July 11th) in Sioux County District Court, on a charge of Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree, which is a Class B Felony.

The release says the case arose in May last year when a child at school reported their grandfather had sexually touched them. Authorities say a police investigation revealed the child had previously disclosed the touching to peers and to the child’s mother at least two years earlier. According to authorities, during the investigation, a friend of Montgomery’s confronted him about the allegations, and Montgomery reportedly replied he didn’t do anything the child didn’t initiate first.

Court officials say Montgomery pled not guilty, and Tuesday of this week the case proceeded to a jury trial. On Thusday A Sioux County Jury convicted Montgomery of Sexual Abuse in the 2nd Degree, but acquitted him of a separate charge of Lascivious Acts With A Child. Due to the conviction, Montgomery was immediately taken into custody pending the scheduling of a later screening hearing. Montgomery is being held in the Sioux County Jail.

Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree is a Class B Felony that carries a maximum sentence of 25-years in prison.

July 11, 2019 - 1:33 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — An event designed to get young people excited about careers in agriculture will be taking place Monday at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon.

NCC is partnering with Agrivision Equipment Group for what’s being billed the 1st Annual Precision Ag Expo. Mark Ford is Director of Organizational Development for Agrivision, and he tells us how Monday’s expo came about.

Ford says Agrivision is excited to be partnering with Northwest Iowa Community College.

He says the goal of the Ag Expo is to get kids excited about the field of agriculture.

Ford tells us the event will start off with a scavenger hunt.

In addition, Ford tells us the students will be exposed to machine guidance, have hands-on experience in a ride and drive with a combine, tractor, planter and sprayer.

The technology used in agriculture is changing and evolving every day, and Ford says it’s important to get kids interested in the future of agriculture, and show the young people that there are good, well-paying jobs in our area in the field of agriculture.

Sioux Center, Iowa — A Sioux Center woman is one of twelve individuals statewide to to be appointed to the Iowa Children’s Behavioral Health System Board.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced Thursday that she had appointed Melanie Cleveringa of Sioux Center as one of twelve Iowans to serve on that Board.

Reynolds said she was proud to create a Children’s Behavioral Health System, where the path to healing is clearly marked and parents know where to begin so their child can get help. The Governor says the Board will take a leading role in improving the system for generations to come.

In addition to Cleveringa, the other appointees to the Board were: Scott Hobart of Davenport; Shanell Wagler of Panora; Okpara Rice of Marion; Andrew Allen of Huxley; Dan Cox of Sioux City; Peggy Huppert of Johnston; Mary Neubauer of Clive; Jason Sandholdt of Knoxville; Nathan Noble of Clive; Carol Meade of Newhall; and Darci Alt of Redfield.

The appointments are subject to approval by the Iowa Senate in the 2020 legislative Session.

Earlier this year, Gov. Reynolds signed HF690, a bill that creates and funds the first of its kind comprehensive Children’s Mental Health System. The bill follows recommendations from the first Children’s Mental Health Board, Gov. Reynolds created by Executive Order in 2018.


Hawarden, Iowa — Nursing home residents in Hawarden were evacuated due to a report of smoke in the building on Tuesday, July 9, 2019.

According to Hawarden Fire Chief Duane Schiefen, about 6:10 p.m., the Hawarden Fire Department was called to the report of smoke coming from the boiler room at the Hillcrest nursing home in northern Hawarden.

The chief says the fire department discovered an electric oscillating fan on fire when they got there, and they used an extinguisher to put out the fire. He reports that the nursing home staff had evacuated the residents before the fire department arrived, and says they did a great job.

Schiefen says no injuries were reported.

According to the chief, the cause of the fire appeared to be a malfunction in the fan.

Chief Schiefen reports that damage was limited to the fan and some minimal smoke in the building, which the fire department ventilated.

He says the 22 firefighters who responded were on the scene for about an hour.

According to Schiefen, the Ireton Fire Department always gets paged to structure fire calls in Hawarden, but he was just about to tell them to disregard when Ireton firefighters received a second call to an automobile accident near Ireton. The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that it turned out that no one was injured in that crash, and no fire was found.

July 10, 2019 - 12:03 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A motion for dismissal filed by an Ocheyedan man who is accused of burning books belonging to the Orange City Public Library has been denied.

Paul Dorr of Ocheyedan, the leader of the group, “Rescue The Perishing,” says he borrowed what he calls the “shameful and wicked” books from the Orange City Public Library. The books involved were four “transgender books” that Dorr is accused of burning in a Facebook Live video at the start of the October “OC Pride” event.

After the due date of the books passed without them being returned to the library, police filed charges against Dorr for Fifth Degree Criminal Mischief, a simple misdemeanor, for allegedly burning the books. Dorr says a third party paid the library for the books in December.

In his motion for dismissal, Dorr does not deny that he burned the books, but only talks about his religious beliefs to explain his actions. He also said that he was being singled out for prosecution and was treated differently from others who fail to return books to the library.

In her order, Judge Lisa Mazurek says Dorr was not acting similarly to other patrons who fail to return books. She says he intentionally destroyed the books.

Judge Mazurek wrote, “Mr. Dorr isn’t being sent the message that he cannot burn books when he disagrees with the contents of those books. He is being sent the message that he cannot burn books that do not belong to him.”

Dorr’s jury trial in the case is currently scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on August 6th in Orange City. This is the most recent trial date, with the date having been pushed back on multiple occasions.

July 10, 2019 - 11:23 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Sioux County authorities are warning of a new scam targeting area residents.

Sioux County officials say this most recent scam involves people who have received text messages from someone claiming to be a local church pastor. The texter, claiming to be the pastor, states they have a friend in the hospital battling cancer, and requests that you purchase gift cards, then send them the gift card numbers.

Law enforcement authorities say this IS a scam, and advise that you not respond to these texts, or provide any information to the texter.

Rock Valley, Iowa — Rock Valley has hired an Events Center Coordinator for their new events center. Plus, city staff is getting settled in their new digs in the same building.

The building, which started life as a K-Products factory, has gone through $2 million in renovations and remodeling and is ready for use, says Rock Valley Economic Development Director, Dave Miller.

He tells us they’ve also hired a coordinator for the events center.

According to Miller, all city staff, including billing, city administration, economic development, the chamber of commerce, recreation, and the events center coordinator will all be located in the building at Thirteenth Avenue and Highway 18, just east of the park.