January 7, 2020 - 4:09 pm - Posted in News

Rock Valley, Iowa — Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig made an appearance at a luncheon on economic development and trade in Rock Valley on Monday.

The luncheon was put on by Northwest Iowa Development — a group of four counties that the organization says work to create “a unified, targeted approach to developing and branding/marketing the Northwest Iowa region to attract quality new corporate locations and expansions and to attract skilled talent to support business growth.”

Rock Valley Economic Development Director Dave Miller says key economic development, public sector, and private sector leaders were invited to talk about northwest Iowa development opportunities and especially international trade expansion for Iowa businesses and farmers at the event held at Rock Valley’s new Parkview Event Center.

Miller says that instead of creating a zone as a large corporation, they created one as a group, for the small businesses of northwest Iowa. He says it is now in effect, and they’re looking for more businesses to take part, which was one of the reasons for the luncheon.

He says another reason for the luncheon was to hear from Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, who gave an update during the program on expanding ag markets and trade.

Secretary Naig began his 99-County Tour by visiting Lyon and Sioux Counties. He also visited Stensland Family Farms near Larchwood on Monday. The Ag Department says the Stenslands have implemented innovation on their farm with robots and low-temp pasteurized milk, and their products are available at grocery stores and supermarkets in the tri-state area. They also have a retail store in Sioux Falls.

Photo Caption: Secretary Naig Speaks at luncheon in Rock Valley

Orange City, Iowa — One of the fun things you can do during Orange City’s Tulip Festival in May is this year’s Tulip Festival Night Show — Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA.

In addition to the May 13-16 line up of shows, the Tulip Festival Committee has announced that there will be an additional show on Tuesday, May 12. The Tuesday and Wednesday shows will begin at a special time — 6:30 p.m. — creating what they’re calling “a family-friendly time frame for all to enjoy.” Tickets will go on sale on January 14 and will be available online at www.octulipfestival.com/tickets and at the Orange City chamber office for $25 each.

Tulip Festival officials tell us that co-directors for this year’s show are Drew and Amanda Lemke. The Lemkes have been involved in the Night Show production for years and look forward to directing this year’s cast of performers and continuing the night show tradition with this production of CINDERELLA.

Auditions for the show will be held on Monday, January 13, from 7-9 p.m., January 14, from 7-9 p.m. and January 16, from 7-9 p.m. The auditions take place at the City Hall in downtown Orange City.

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA’s music is by Richard Rodgers, its Lyrics are by Oscar Hammerstein II, New Book by Douglas Carter Beane, Original Book by Oscar Hammerstein II.

January 7, 2020 - 1:33 pm - Posted in News

Washington, D.C. — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says “this day is years in the making” as the Senate Finance Committee, which he chairs, took up the US Mexico Canada Agreement Tuesday morning.

Exactly how soon is the big question, however, as Senate Leader Mitch McConnell will have to schedule the U-S-M-C-A vote around what Grassley calls the “very wild card” of the impeachment of President Trump.

In his decades in office, Grassley says he’s worked on at least 20 major trade agreements, but U-S-M-C-A is unique.

The agreement needs to pass both chambers of Congress. The House ratified U-S-M-C-A in December, the same week it passed the two articles of impeachment.

January 7, 2020 - 11:53 am - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — Iowa is the only state that still bans all people with felony convictions from voting unless they appeal to the governor, but voting rights advocates say some paroled inmates mistakenly think they’re not allowed to vote when they’ve been convicted of lesser crimes.

Campaign Legal Center attorney Blair Bowie is urging Governor Kim Reynolds to issue an executive order and automatically restore felon voting rights, while continuing to push for a constitutional amendment to make the change permanent.

A year ago, Republican Governor Kim Reynolds asked legislators to start the lengthy process of trying to amend the state constitution to automatically restore felon voting rights, but the proposal stalled in the Republican-led Iowa Senate. The Reynolds administration has simplified the application process for felons seeking restoration of their voting rights, but there’s now a three-to-four-month wait as a handful of state employees check the applications for accuracy. Ashley Caldwell is with Restore Your Vote Iowa, a group that’s helping felons with the paperwork.

Iowa Public Radio recently spoke with Travis Fugere, who applied in November to have his voting rights restored.

A 2008 drug conviction landed Fugere in prison for a little less than two years. He’s now the manager of a central Iowa fast food restaurant and leading a recovery group at his church after being sober for 12 years.

Fugere says he’s just waiting now to see if he can participate in the Iowa Caucuses, which are less than a month away.

January 6, 2020 - 12:35 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — You still have weeks before you need to file your federal tax returns, but an IRS spokesman says now is the time to be sure you have all the paperwork ready.

Chris Miller says organize the 2019 tax documents you already have and add to them as the other year end information comes in.

He says it’s also a good idea to get a copy of your 2018 income tax filing as you may need it to filed this year.

Miller says by having everything together, you will know what you have and don’t have for tax filing. Another suggestion for the start of 2020 is that you be sure your withholding from you paycheck is correct. Miller says if you get a bigger refund than expected, or got back less than expected, it’s a sign your withholding is not right.

He says you can check it online.

He says you may have been happy with the withholding last year, but have had things happen in your life that impact your tax status.

Miller says you can go to the IRS website and use the withholding tool to see if those life changes require a withholding change.

January 6, 2020 - 12:23 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — A Creighton University survey shows Iowa’s economy improved slightly during December, as did economic conditions in the nine-state Midwestern region.

Creighton economist Ernie Goss says the boosts were very modest, but both the state and the region strengthened from below growth-neutral in November to just above that mid-point in December.

Thanks, in part, to the year-end holidays, hiring across the region improved dramatically from November to December. Goss says business leaders and supply managers were asked what they anticipated would be the biggest problem in the year ahead.

Iowa Workforce Development says the state’s unemployment rate in November was two-point-six percent, one of the lowest in the nation, while the U-S jobless rate was three-point-five percent.

For all of 2019, Iowa’s overall economy ranked seventh in economic performance among the nine Midwestern states. Goss predicts for the first half of 2020, Iowa will improve to sixth.

Sheldon, Iowa — It is with great regret that KIWA Radio announces that our January 23rd 4th District Republican Candidates Forum has been cancelled.

Each of the five candidates seeking the Republican nomination were invited to take part in the forum, which was scheduled for the Crossroads Pavilion Event Center in Sheldon. The candidates, and their campaigns, were given a date by which they needed to confirm, in writing, that they would be taking part in the forum. Sadly, less than fifty-percent of the candidates responded by the deadline.

KIWA had envisioned the 4th District Republican Congressional Candidates Forum as an opportunity for voters in northwest Iowa to see the candidates, and contrast and compare their individual messages and positions, hopefully allowing area voters the opportunity to make a more informed decision before casting their ballot in the primary election later this year.

After much discussion and deliberation, we have come to the conclusion that holding a forum in which less than half the announced candidates are willing to participate, would be a disservice to northwest Iowa voters.

So, it is with deep regret we feel we must cancel the January 23rd forum.

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — Iowa’s first state park was founded one-hundred years ago and the Department of Natural Resources plans one-hundred events throughout 2020 to mark the occasion.

The kick-off was held on New Year’s Day with so-called First Day Hikes at more than four-dozen state parks. Todd Coffelt, chief of the DNR’s Parks Bureau, says a record of more than 43-hundred people turned out for the January 1st hikes.

Attendance was the highest since the annual events began in 2012 and the number of hikers was three times last year’s turnout, thanks to warmer-than-normal temperatures. The largest attendance was at Walnut Woods State Park in West Des Moines with more than 400 hikers. Coffelt says the year ahead will be filled with an array of different events that are designed to highlight the unique qualities of each park’s features.

Coffelt recommends Iowans visit the website, Read The Full Story…

January 4, 2020 - 5:17 pm - Posted in News

Ames, Iowa — (RI) — The non-profit group Speech First has filed a lawsuit against Iowa State University saying three policies instituted on campus have had a chilling impact on free speech.

The president of the group, Nici Neily, says one policy prevents students from writing chalk messages on campus.

Neily says the ban prevents communication at a key time when presidential candidates are visiting campus.

Neily says the school also banned sending emails in support of candidates. And she says they created a Campus Climate Reporting System to take reports of things students found offensive.

Neily says the process used to react to the reports raised concerns with students.

She says this process has a chilling impact on the students’ rights to free speech.

Neily says these three things go directly against the idea of what should happen on a campus.

Neily says Speech First has asked the court to declare that the chalking ban, email prohibition on political speech, and Campus Climate Response System are all unconstitutional, and to enjoin both the chalking ban and prohibition on electronic correspondence in support of candidates and ballot initiatives in advance of the February 3rd Iowa Caucuses. An ISU spokesperson says they are reviewing the lawsuit and have no comment.

Image courtesy of Radio Iowa

January 4, 2020 - 2:17 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — A Sioux Center woman was taken to the hospital as the result of a single-vehicle rollover crash north of Sioux Center late Friday afternoon.

Sioux County authorities report the accident happened about 4:15 Friday afternoon on Highway 75, about two miles north of Sioux Center.

According to deputies, 22-year-old Miranda Lammers of Sioux Center was southbound on Highway 75 in a 2002 Jeep Liberty when she lost control of the Jeep, entered the west ditch and rolled onto its side.

Authorities say Lammers was transported by the Sioux Center Ambulance to Sioux Center Health for treatment of injuries.

Deputies estimate damage to Lammers’ Jeep at $4,000. She was reportedly cited for Failure to Maintain Control of a Motor Vehicle.

Sioux County deputies wer assisted aat the scene by the Sioux Center Ambulance and Sioux Center Fire Department.