January 17, 2018 - 5:16 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math — known by the acronym “STEM” is the focus of an opportunity for kids in Sioux Center on Saturday, February 10th. But organizers say that due to the popularity of past events, you’ll want to register as soon as registration opens, this Sunday, January 21st.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Lyon County Youth Coordinator Jill Postma tells us about this STEM Fest, which will be held at Dordt College.

She says that even if your kids have been to a previous STEM Fest, they’ll probably still want to participate in this one because there are several new activities. She highlights some of the activities for us.

She says it’s an all-day event.

Postma tells us that there are no residency restrictions, and you don’t have to be in 4-H to attend — it’s open to all fourth through eighth graders. She says in past years they’ve even had some students from out-of-state attend.

Postma says feel free to call your local extension office for more information, but registration is online-only, and opens this Sunday, January 21st, at 5:00 p.m. She says they have a limit of 200 students, and it fills up fast. You can pay the $10 registration fee with a credit card when you register.

Online registration and payment should be completed at https://form.jotform.com/4Hregion1/dordt-stem-fest-2018. (The link will say that the form is not available if you click on it before Sunday at 5 p.m.) Registration will close Feb. 2 or sooner if the maximum of 200 youth is reached prior to that date.

Sessions include:
A Kaleidoscope of Microbes presented by Dordt College

Bees, Bats and Butterflies presented by Iowa Master Gardeners

Biodiversity Bonanza presented by Water Rocks!

Build Your Own Microscope presented by Dordt College

Butter for Your Mutter presented by Western Iowa Dairy Alliance (WIDA)

Compound Bow: A New Superhero’s Tool presented by Dustin Sperlich

Coding with Scratch presented by Dordt College

Colors of Chemistry presented by Dordt College

Crack the Code with Agriculture presented by the Ag Literacy Foundation

Cyclon Eyes: An Arduino Workshop presented by Dordt College

Earth from Space presented by EROS Data Center

Exploding Dots presented by Dordt College

Exploring Nursing presented by Dordt College

Fetal Pig Surgery presented by Dordt College

Food Science presented by Dordt College

Force Factor presented by Albers ATA

Fun with Fossils presented by Sanford Museum

Heart Monitors – Get in the Zone and Hit Your Target! presented by ISU Extension and Outreach

Multiplying Success in Cattle presented by Trans Ova

Ozobot Scavenger Hunt presented by the Northwest Iowa STEM Hub

Physics is Phun presented by Dordt College

Power-Up Soldering presented by TechKnow

Prairie Fire – Why? How? And What About the Animals? presented by Dordt College

PrISUm Solar Car: Solar Energy is the Future! presented by the ISU PrISUm Solar Car Team

Sound Like A… presented by Sioux County Conservation

Vet Science and Body Systems presented by Dordt College

West Point Bridge Designer presented by Dordt College

January 17, 2018 - 2:08 pm - Posted in News

Spencer, Iowa — A Sibley man has been absolved of any wrongdoing after he shot a man in September of last year.

The Clay County Attorney’s Office says that charges will not be filed in regards to the September 1, 2017 shooting death of 30-year-old Nicolas Bandomo of Albert City.

In the early hours of September 1, 2017, the Clay County Communication Center dispatched emergency personnel for a gunshot victim in Spencer. When personnel arrived on the scene, they located the victim, who was identified as Bandomo. Bandomo was transported to the Spencer Hospital and later transferred to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota where he died.

Authorities say an investigation conducted by the Spencer Police Department, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and Clay County Attorney’s Office determined that Bandomo illegally gained entry into an occupied residence at 801 East Twelfth Street in Spencer. They say that on the date of shooting, Bandomo was prohibited from making contact with the residents at the home by multiple protection orders. They tell us that 26-year-old Andres Ramos of Sibley fired a single shot, striking Bandomo while Bandomo was inside the residence. Bandomo fled the residence to 819 East Twelfth Street, where emergency personnel found him.

The investigation concluded that Ramos was justified in using deadly force against Bandomo under Iowa law.

Man Dies In Spencer Shooting Incident (September 7, 2017)

January 11, 2018 - 3:56 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — In this first month of the year, you may need to be more vigilant to keep from getting ripped off by scam phone callers, or identity thieves.

Dan Hendrickson, a spokesman for the Better Business Bureau, says it’s not too late to make a resolution to ensure your credit is safe.

By checking your credit report, Iowans can spot signs of identity theft early. It may also be helpful to register your phone on the “Do Not Call” registry to avoid a host of questionable sales pitches and pleas for charitable donations, but it isn’t a perfect system.

To get your phone on the “Do Not Call” registry, visit donotcall.gov.

January 11, 2018 - 3:39 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — We’ve all heard the term “Net Neutrality” in the news, but most of us really don’t know what it means, or how it impacts our internet access and use.

We talked to Ruth Kuster from HTC Communications and asked her what Net Neutrality is.

She says the Federal Communications Commission recently rolled back Net Neutrality rules.

We asked Kuster if the rollback of the Net Neutrality rules was good or bad.

We wondered if the Net Neutrality rollback has an impact on the way HTC does business.

Whether or not the Net Neutrality rule rollback remains in effect, Kuster doesn’t think those of us here in northwest Iowa will see much difference in our internet experience.

January 10, 2018 - 4:48 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — Two blood drives coming up later this month in Sibley are special. They will honor a local resident who has been the recipient of a number of units of blood that people have been donating.

The Sioux Falls Community Blood Bank Bloodmobile will be in Sibley twice in January, Wednesday, January 24th and Friday, January 26th. Both of these drives will be in honor of local resident Jerry Roetzel, who has been receiving regular blood transfusions for a number of years.

Osceola Community Hospital and Community Blood Bank personnel are asking people to take some time out of their day and give the gift of life. They say that the life you save may be someone you know.

You can call the Osceola Community Hospital Laboratory to make an appointment at 712-754-2574 ext. 260.

Rita Nelson from the Community Blood Bank tells us the requirements for donating blood.

Sixteen-year-olds can find a parent consent form at cbblifeblood.org/.

The Community Blood Bank is the sole supplier of all blood and blood products for Osceola Community Hospital. No hospitals in our area, including Osceola Community Hospital receive any blood or blood products from the American Red Cross.

January 10, 2018 - 1:04 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Earlier today (Wednesday) the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls had issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Lyon and Sioux counties in the broadcast area, and a Winter Storm Watch for the O’Brien and Osceola County portions of the broadcast area. That changed a bit mid-afternoon today.

Around 3:00 pm, the National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for all four counties here in extreme northwest Iowa, O’Brien, Osceola, Lyon and Sioux.

The Winer Weather Advisory will be in effect from midnight tonight to 6:00 pm tomorrow (Thursday). The advisory calls for snow and blowing snow, with northwest winds of 25 to 45 mph. According to the National Weather Service, slippery road conditions and greatly reduced visibilities may result in brief near whiteout conditions around the area.

Forecasters are calling for total snowfall for this storm to be somewhere between two and four inches. But National Weather Service Meteorologist Kerry Hanko says it doesn’t take a great deal of snowfall to reduce visibility in the forecast high winds.

With the high winds forecast for the period, expect wind chill indices to reach as low as -20 degrees.

Once the snow has ended, the bottom will drop out of the thermometer once again, with daytime highs through the remainder of the work week into the weekend reaching only the single digits either side of zero, with overnight wind chills reaching the 20’s below zero.

January 5, 2018 - 3:23 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — Another scam has reared it’s ugly head in the area, this time in Osceola County.

Osceola County officials tell us they’ve been receiving calls about the latest scam being attempted, which involves attempting to get the intended victim to send money, claiming they have won a prize.

In this version of the scam, the caller says they’re from Publisher’s Clearing House, and that you have won money and a vehicle. The scammer will then tell the intended victim that they must pay a fee to claim their prize.

Authorities remind you that no reputable contest will require their prize winners to pay a fee to claim their prize.

Osceola County authorities remind you to NEVER give any personal or payment information over the phone.

January 4, 2018 - 10:45 pm - Posted in News

Hospers, Iowa — If you live in northwest Iowa, there have been some changes to what is recyclable in your curbside recycling, and what is not. The good news is that there are only additions to the list.

We recently had a chance to talk to Larry Oldenkamp, the manager at the Northwest Iowa Solid Waste Agency facility between Sheldon and Hospers. He says they accept recycling and trash from haulers and towns in Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux Counties as well as several communities in Clay County and the City of Akron in Plymouth County.

Oldenkamp tells us that materials that come to them in the curbside recycling program are no longer being sorted at their facility.

He says that due to that change, what’s recyclable in northwest Iowa has changed as well. For one thing, plastic bags are back on the recyclable list. And that’s good news for people who had no other place to go with them except a store in a bigger community.

Oldenkamp says that while polystyrene foam, usually called by the brand name Styrofoam usually has a #6 recycling symbol on it, they still don’t recycle the foam, often used in disposable plates, cups, and packing material. He says another material that is recyclable elsewhere still is off the list in northwest Iowa — glass.

He tells us why the change was made to send the comingled recyclables to Le Mars.

He says while there were several advantages to the change, it did mean the loss of about seven part-time employees who sorted recyclables.

Oldenkamp asks people to please keep the recycling material clean and dry. He says remember not to attempt to recycle pizza and other takeout food boxes unless they are free from grease.

For more information, you can see their website at nwialandfill.com.

Southwest Minnesota — Only one more stretch of two-lane highway remains on Highway 60 before there is a four-lane expressway between Sioux City and Minneapolis — and construction on that is slated to wrap up this coming fall.

While Iowa Highway 60 has been a four-lane divided highway for several years, it’s taken longer for the construction work in Minnesota.

Minnesota Department of Transportation — or MnDOT — spokesperson Rebecca Arndt tells us about it.

She says the segment, which is between Windom and Mountain Lake should be done by this fall.

She tells us what needs to be done yet on that almost-11-mile segment.

She says there shouldn’t be any detours or lane changes until they get ready to hook up the new roadbed to the old. Arndt says that as they did in Iowa, in many places, the old roadbed will be one of the two roadbeds used in the new 4-lane divided highway. Arndt says there will be a ribbon-cutting when it’s all done, but it’s too early to schedule it yet.

When the road is completely finished, it will complete a four-lane divided highway all the way from the twin cities to Sioux City using Highway 169 north of Mankato and Highway 75 between Sioux City and Le Mars — which have both been four-lane divided highways for several years. Northwest Iowa’s Highway 60 expressway was completed in the later years of the first decade of the 2000’s — about ten years ago.

December 28, 2017 - 2:05 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa– A car was totaled and a garage was damaged in a fire on Thursday, December 28, 2017 in Sibley.

According to Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls, about 10:10 a.m., the Sibley Fire Department was called to the report of a car on fire at 917 Second Avenue West in Sibley.

The chief says the fire department saw a car fully-engulfed in fire under its hood and the outside of the garage on fire as they approached the scene. He says they used water to fight the fire. He says the 2000 Buick was on fire from the windshield forward, but they were able to save the rest of the car. But Huls says the car was only three feet from the one-stall detached garage. He says the fire extended into the upper portion of the garage. He says while it is damaged, he thinks it is repairable. He says their quick response probably saved the garage and the house, which was also nearby.

Huls says no injuries were reported. He says they had initially asked for help from the Ashton Fire Department but told them they could disregard as they had the fire under control.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be mechanical in nature. The victim told Huls that she had just turned the key to start the vehicle and heard a loud “poof” and the car started on fire, and that’s when she called 911.

Chief Huls reports that the car was probably totaled.

He says they used about 600 gallons of water to fight the fire, and the approximately 10 firefighters who responded were on scene for about a half hour.