September 10, 2019 - 4:37 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — It’s been 18 years since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the suspected foiled attack on Washington that was stopped when passengers struggled with the hijackers aboard United Airlines Flight 93, which then crashed in Pennsylvania.

The day was named “Patriot Day” in December 2001.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has ordered all flags in Iowa to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset this Wednesday, September 11, 2019, in honor of Patriot Day and in memory of those who lost their lives in the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Flags will be at half-staff on the State Capitol Building and on flag displays in the Capitol Complex. Flags will also be half-staff on all public buildings, grounds and facilities throughout the state.

Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.

Additionally, US Code calls on the people of the United States to observe a moment of silence on this same day.

In his proclamation, President Trump has written, “On Patriot Day, we solemnly remember the nearly 3,000 people who perished on September 11, 2001. With gratitude, we honor the brave first responders, resolute members of our military, and ordinary Americans who showed extraordinary courage to save others on that fateful day. We will always be grateful for the heroic men and women of our Armed Forces who fought in defense of our country in the aftermath of the largest terrorist attack on American soil, and we will never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our liberty and freedom.”

September 10, 2019 - 4:34 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Most of Iowa experienced cooler than normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation last week, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The USDA’s Brad Medlock tells us about it.

Here in the northwest reporting district, 84 percent of corn had reached the dough stage. The statewide 5-year average by this time of year is 97 percent. 52 percent had reached the dent stage. The statewide 5-year average by this time of year is 79 percent. So we are, as expected, a little behind. Topsoil moisture in the northwest district is one percent very short, 26 percent short, 70 percent adequate, and three percent surplus. Subsoil moisture remains adequate for the most part, with zero percent very short, 21 percent short, 76 percent adequate, and three percent surplus.

September 10, 2019 - 3:04 pm - Posted in News

Ames, Iowa — With the summer-like weather we are experiencing, it’s sometimes tough to remember that winter weather is on the way — possibly in 7 or 8 weeks. But now’s the time to plan for winter weather, and the Iowa Department of Transportation is doing just that.

They are asking farmers who live along state highways to leave some corn standing as a snow fence. Former northwest Iowan Craig Bargfrede, who is now the Winter Operations Administrator for the Iowa DOT in Ames tells us about the program.

He says they’ve revised the program a little in recent years.

Bargfrede tells us that the bonus is that not only will the DOT pay you for the value of the corn, but you can also still harvest it by hand in the fall or by hand or machine in the spring.

Bargfrede says if you don’t know what garage to call or who to ask for, you can just call him at 515-290-2713 and he will help you get in touch with the person who handles the program at the local level.

Orange City, Iowa — Orange City residents are going to the polls today to decide the fate of a five-million-dollar bond referendum, with the money going toward a new comprehensive wellness center.

Orange City Health System CEO Marty Guthmiller tells us about the proposed facility.

Guthmiller tells us they expect the property tax rate to increase $1.50 per $1000 of valuation. If the bond vote is successful Guthmiller says they hope to start construction next spring, and it will take 12 to 18 months from that date to complete.

According to officials, the funding plan is to get $5 million through the bond issue; $10 million in Orange City Area Health System loans; (including a $5 million USDA Direct Loan a $2 million USDA “Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant” Loan and $3 million in bank loans from three local banks); and $5 million through a philanthropic campaign and hospital cash, for a total of $20 million.

The text of the question on the ballot reads, “Shall the City of Orange City, State of Iowa, issue its General Obligation Capital Loan Notes in an amount not to exceed $5,000,000 for the purpose of construction of a Center for Healthy Living by the Orange City Municipal Hospital d/b/a Orange City Area Health System?”

Polls are open until 8:00 p.m. this evening. Since it is a bond question, the measure requires a “super-majority” of 60 percent to pass.

Photo (concept drawing) courtesy Orange City Area Health System. Used by permission.

September 10, 2019 - 12:43 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — Iowa’s game bird populations have seen a bit of resurgence in recent years, but a drop in the number of hunters has kept the harvest numbers moving back to past levels.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist, Todd Bogenschutz, says some of the hunters were lost during the bird population drop.

He says another reason for a drop in hunters is the core group is getting older.

He says the DNR is trying to get younger people to give hunting a try.

Bogenschutz says they follow the three R’s when it comes to hunting:  retention of the current hunters; reactivating hunters who haven’t been out in awhile; and recruitment of new hunters into the fold. Trap shooting has become a more popular sport in high schools and he says it is something that can get kids to move into hunting.

Bogenschutz says they are trying to respond to that survey information by offering more mentor-type programs.

He says there have been plenty of birds out there to support more hunters, and they just need to continue working on increasing the hunter base.

September 9, 2019 - 2:51 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The epidemic of vaping, or the use of what are known as e-cigarettes, is being blamed for a surge in lung-related illnesses around the country. At last report 450 possible cases of vaping-related lung illnesses have been reported in 33 states, and as many as five people have died as a result of the lung-related issues.

KIWA talked to O’Brien County Public Health Nurse Judy Nieuwenhuis, and she tells us that the lung-related problems are due to some of the metals and chemicals, and even the flavors inhaled when vaping.

Nieuwenhuis says the vaping pods also contain very high levels of nicotine.

She says the nicotine content is particularly dangerous for teens because nicotine interferes with the way the teenage brain functions.

Nieuwenhuis says the vapor not only affects the person vaping, but also the people around them while they’re doing it.

She says vaping is becoming an epidemic, and that parents should inform themselves about the issue, then sit down with their teens and have a serious talk about the potentially catastrophic consequences of vaping.

For more information about vaping and the dangers it presents, contact your county’s Public Health Nurse.

September 9, 2019 - 12:03 pm - Posted in News

Beloit, Iowa — A Canton, SD woman has died as the result of an accident near Beloit on Sunday, September 8, 2019.

The Iowa State Patrol reports that around 6:25 p.m., 40-year-old Barbara Rozeboom of Canton, SD was driving a 2012 Honda Odyssey northbound on A54B, about a mile southeast of Beloit or two miles south and six miles west of Inwood, at the intersection with county road A50, when according to the report, for unknown reasons, she hit a field driveway and the vehicle rolled, coming to rest on its top in the roadway.

Rozeboom was pronounced dead on the scene.

They report that the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, and the fire and rescue departments from Canton and Inwood assisted with the response to the accident.

September 5, 2019 - 3:26 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — For the fourth year in a row, Dordt University has been named the number one college in the nation for student engagement, according to The Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education’s 2020 college rankings.

Dr. Erik Hoekstra, president of Dordt University, says that student engagement is at the heart of higher education – so to be named a university that performs well on this essential measure, and to have done so for four years now, “is gratifying and a tribute to Dordt’s faculty, staff, and students.”

According to The Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education rankings, decades of research has found that the best way to truly understand teaching quality at an institution – how well it manages to inform, inspire and challenge students – is through capturing what is known as “student engagement.”

The Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education’s engagement category examines answers to four key questions:

To what extent does the teaching apply student learning to the real world?
Do the classes at Dordt challenge students?
Are students engaged in critical thinking and learning?
To what extent does the teaching support reflection on, or making connections among, the things the student has learned?

Hoekstra says he believes that the core of “student engagement” on Dordt’s campus is their common confession of the Lordship of Jesus Christ—in whom all things hold together. He says, “Our entire educational venture finds direction and meaning because of the reality of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection—and it’s that reality which motivates our students to understand and develop their gifts to be effective kingdom citizens.”

Click here for more information.

Photo courtesy Dordt University

Statewide Iowa — Jury duty — it’s a part of being a citizen in our society. But what if you’re a farmer and it’s harvest season? What if you have a family emergency?

We talked to Steve Davis, who is the communication director for the Iowa Judicial Branch, and asked some of these questions. First of all, Davis tells us how long you have to be “on call” in case there is a jury trial.

According to Davis, if you want to know how long you might be on call in your county, you can call the Clerk of Court’s office.
He says the time of service has changed a little recently. Another change is that you can now complete the jury questionnaire online.

Davis says there are very few categories of people who don’t have to serve jury duty.

Sometimes, things come up unexpectedly. We asked Davis what can be done if you’ve gone through the whole process and the trial has maybe even begun, and THEN you have a family emergency like a death in the family.

Davis tells us there is also a medical excuse. He says the form letter for the doctor to fill out and sign can be found online.

We also asked Davis about a situation in which someone is a retiree or someone else with a lot of time on their hands — could they volunteer to serve on juries whenever there is a need?

Click here for the full interview that we did with Steve Davis.

He answers these additional questions:

 · What are the requirements for Jury Duty?
 · How does it work when you’ve been selected for a trial and go in on that first day?
 · We’ve heard you can now contact the jurors on call via text messaging. Tell us about that.
 · Is there any way to tell if there are any potential jury trials coming up in your county if you are “on call” for jury duty?

Davis also provided this additional information about jury duty in Iowa:

There are 12 jurors in a criminal trial and eight in a civil trial.

Civil cases typically fall into three major categories:
• Family law (e.g., divorce and child support and custody)
• Tort law (e.g., personal injury, property damage, or product liability)
• Contract law (e.g., written and oral agreements)

How jury selection works:
In criminal cases, it starts with the constitution. For indictable criminal cases, that means a jury of twelve. The process for selecting the jury is controlled by court rule (Ct. Rule 2.18). In a standard criminal case, excluding Class A felonies, both the prosecution and defense get 6 strikes. So you start by randomly selecting 24 prospective jurors from the jury pool. If a prospective juror is challenged and dismissed for cause, another prospective juror is randomly selected. Voir dire (jury selection) continues until 24 prospective jurors are cleared for cause. The prosecution and defense then exercise their strikes and you end up with a jury of 12. In class A felony cases, each side gets 10 strikes so you start with a panel of 32 rather than 24. But then the process is the same as described.

The process for selecting juries in civil cases is controlled by court rule as well (Ct. Rule 1.915). Jury selection in civil cases is basically the same as in criminal cases, except we have 8 person juries. Each side gets 4 strikes. So, in a standard civil jury case, you start with a panel of 16. Once you have 16 prospective jurors cleared for cause, both sides exercise their strikes and you end up with a jury of 8.

September 5, 2019 - 9:34 am - Posted in News

Hull, Iowa — Two Sioux County residents face narcotics charges following a traffic stop Wednesday afternoon in Hull.

According to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, shortly before 3:00 Wednesday afternoon a Sioux County Deputy pulled over a vehicle at the intersection of HIghway 18 and Main Street in Hull. After stopping 59-year-old Jan Brown, the driver of the vehicle, deputies discovered an open container of alcohol and illegal drugs inside the vehicle.

Deputies say they arrested Brown for Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Open Container of Alcohol in the vehicle.

Brown’s passenger, 61-year-old Michael Smit of Rock Valley, was charged with 3rd Offense Possession of Marijuana, 3rd Offense Possession of Methamphetamine, a Class D Felony, along with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, according to authorities.

Brown and Smit were both transported to the Sioux County Jail.