June 14, 2021 - 3:33 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — With the high temperatures we’ve been having and those that are forecast for this week, some spots in some northwest Iowa roadways have become hazards.

We talked with Dakin Schultz with the Iowa Department of Transportation, who tells us that when these events happen, they are a priority for DOT crews, so they fix them as soon as they are able. As of Monday afternoon, all the buckling incidents that have happened had been repaired. But Schultz says there could easily be more. He tells us how this happens.

And when that happens, it’s a hazard for motorists, as they can do damage to your vehicle or cause you to lose control and maybe even have an accident.

We asked him if this happens on concrete or asphalt roads.

Schultz says these buckling incidents should be reported to the authorities. He suggests calling the area DOT offices, but you can also call the sheriff’s office’s non-emergency number, or even 911 if you don’t have the other numbers handy. Schultz says in our area, there are four DOT offices, and you can just call the nearest one. The numbers are 712-472-3719 for the Rock Rapids area, 712-724-6211 for the Ashton area, 712-756-8814 for the Alton area, and 712-336-2112 for the Spirit Lake area.

June 14, 2021 - 1:16 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Senator Joni Ernst’s office will hold traveling office hours in three of the four counties in the KIWA listening area this Tuesday.

Representatives from Senator Ernst’s office will be available in Lyon, Osceola and Sioux Counties Tuesday to assist Iowans with problems or questions about issues involving Social Security, veterans’ benefits, military affairs, passports, immigration issues, and other federal programs.

Those who are seeking assistance with federal agencies but who are unable to attend the traveling office hours can contact one of the Senator’s offices directly or submit a casework request online at www.Ernst.Senate.Gov.

Senator Ernst’s representatives will be available Tuesday from 11:00 am until noon at the Osceola County Economic Development Office at the courthouse in Sibley, from 12:30 to 1:30 pm in Rooms A & B at the Forster Community Center in Rock Rapids, and from 3:00 to 4:00 pm at the Centre Mall Food Court in Sioux Center.

A representative will visit O’Brien County NEXT Tuesday, June 22nd, from 3:00 to 4:00 pm in the Boardroom at the Crossroads Pavilion in Sheldon.

Senator Ernst will not be attending these visits.

June 14, 2021 - 12:56 pm - Posted in News

Hudson, South Dakota — What began as a rescue operation on the Big Sioux River Saturday ended with the recovery of a child’s body from the river.

According to the Lincoln County, South Dakota Sheriff’s Office social media, first responders from multiple counties in southeast South Dakota and northwest Iowa were searching the river Saturday for a 10-year-old boy who had disappeared.

Sadly, the rescue turned into a recovery operation, with the young boy’s body being recovered from the river by a dive team late Saturday night.

Union County authorities say that out of respect for the child’s family, his name has not been released, and are asking for prayers for the boy’s family, as well as the first responders involved in the incident.

Northwest Iowa — Just four new positive COVID tests are reported in the four-county area of Sioux, O’Brien, Osceola and Lyon Counties over the past seven days, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The only county in our area to see any positive test results in the past seven days was Sioux County, where they report four new positives, with a 3% positivity rate. O’Brien, Osceola and Lyon Counties all report NO new positives during that time period, the first time that’s been the case in nearly a year.

In addition to the number of positive test results being cut in half over the past week compared to the precious week, the area reports another week in which nobody lost their life to a COVID-related illness. While the number of weekly deaths remained at zero, we’ve sadly still lost 188 of our friends and neighbors to COVID-related illnesses since the pandemic began. 74 from Sioux County, 57 from O’Brien County, 41 from Lyon County and 16 from Osceola County.

Statewide, as of 10:00 am Monday, 81 people were hospitalized with COVID being either the primary or secondary cause. 48 of those have COVID listed as the primary cause for their hospitalization, while 33 are listed as having COVID as a secondary diagnosis.

As of 10:00 Monday morning there are four long-term care facilities in Iowa battling COVID-19 outbreaks, none of which is in northwest Iowa. The facilities include: Friendship Home Association in Audubon County, where they report 31 of their residents and staff have the virus; Heritage Care and Rehabilitation in Cerro Gordo County lists 12 patients and staff; Great River Klein Center in Des Moines County has 3; and Clarion Wellness and Rehabilitation Center in Wright County reports 6 residents and staff with COVID-19.

Northwest Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds has ordered all flags in Iowa to fly at half-staff from sunrise to sunset this Monday, June 14th to honor a fallen U.S. soldier.

Army Cpl. Eldert J. Beek, of Sibley, was reported killed in action in late 1950 during the Korean War. He is back home 71-years later. Cpl. Beek was 20-years-old when his unit was attacked on December 1, 1950 by enemy forces near the Chosin reservoir, North Korea. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered.

Fifty-five boxes purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War were turned over by North Korea in 2018 following the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. Beek’s remains have since been identified.

Cpl. Beek will be buried this Monday morning at Evergreen Lawn Cemetery at George, with full military honors by the Iowa National Guard.

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.

Northwest Iowa — Iowa Congressman Randy Feenstra says it’s time for a federal law that ensures any product labeled as “milk” came from dairy cows or other livestock, NOT from plants.

U.S. milk consumption dropped 15 percent between 2012 and 2017 — while sales of alternatives made with almonds, oats, coconuts and rice grew by 60 percent over that five year period. Feenstra says using the word “milk” for those plant-based products blurs the line for consumers.

The federal School Milk Program was established in 1955. It reimburses schools, child care institutions and eligible summer camps for the milk served to children and teenagers. Feenstra, a Republican from Hull who represents Iowa’s fourth congressional district, visited an open house at the Perry Creek Dairy Farm near Le Mars earlier this week.

June 12, 2021 - 7:09 pm - Posted in News

Sioux County, Iowa — A Sioux County Sheriff’s Deputy has received a promotion.

According to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Sheriff Caleb Haverdink was promoted to the rank of patrol sergeant earlier this month.

Haverdink was appointed to the position of deputy sheriff at the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office in April of 2007 by Sheriff Dan Altena.

In addition to his regular patrol duties Haverdink has experience in specialized areas including, Critical Emergency Response Team (CERT) leader; Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) and the area multi-agency Drug Task Force. Haverdink will soon be a certified Taser instructor as well.

Captain Jamie Van Voorst says Haverdink has shown great leadership abilities and is well respected by his co-workers; not only  at the sheriff’s office, but also with the numerous area law enforcement agencies. Van Voorst says Deputy Haverdink has demonstrated an attitude of helping others first. He says Sheriff’s Office Command Staff are confident he will continue to carry this out in his new position.

June 12, 2021 - 5:49 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — Dordt University is one of nine institutions who will receive approximately $192,500 in grant funding from the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) and Scholarship & Christianity in Oxford (SCIO).

The funding is part of “Supporting Structures: Innovative Collaborations to Enhance STEM Research at CCCU Member Institutions,” which is designed to enhance and support STEM research among faculty and students at CCCU campuses. Other institutions receiving this grant include Calvin University, Azusa Pacific University, and Wheaton College.

According to Dr. Leah Zuidema, vice president for academic affairs, the grant enables early career faculty to have additional time to do some of the work that is most important for Dordt: exploring the relationship between science, religion, and society—and not just in the abstract, but directly in connection with the faculty members’ own teaching and scholarship.

The funding will strengthen Dordt’s relationship with large research institutions, support undergraduate research and club activities, and provide opportunities for administrators and other campus-connected communities to get involved.

Dordt already has plenty to offer in terms of STEM. There are several undergrad STEM majors at Dordt for undergrads to pursue, including biology, chemistry, engineering, computer science, and mathematics. Dordt’s pre-professional programs include several STEM-focused tracks, as well.

June 12, 2021 - 5:36 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — Former US Vice President Mike Pence will be in northwest Iowa next month.

The nation’s 48th Vice President is scheduled to attend a fundraiser for 4th District Congressman Randy Feenstra in Sioux Center on July 16th.

The event is being called “Feenstra Family Picnic” and will be held at Dean Family Classic Car Museum in Sioux Center from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, Friday July 16th.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

Northwest Iowa — While corn needs some hot temperatures to mature, especially late in the season, this much heat this early is not so good.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Crop Field Specialist Joel De Jong says he’s seen some crops showing some signs of stress.

De Jong says while there was some precip early Friday, it didn’t amount to much in the locations that he checked on in northwest Iowa.

He says he hopes the wind dies down a little so more soybeans can get sprayed.

De Jong tells us about one of his concerns for northwest Iowa cornfields.

As of Friday afternoon, the Sheldon forecast for the next week predicted no rain at all, with highs in the upper 80s to mid 90s, and the 6-to-10-day forecast called for below-normal precipitation.