April 27, 2017 - 7:44 am - Posted in News

LIHEAPPrimghar, Iowa — The deadline to apply for winter heating assistance for northwest Iowa residents through the 2016-17 Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP is this Friday, April 28th.

LIHEAP was established to help qualifying low-income Iowa homeowners and renters pay a portion of their primary heating costs for the winter heating season.  Val Moermond of Upper Des Moines Opportunity in Primghar says the program is based on income.

Moermond says applications will only be accepted until Friday, April 28, 2017.  The deadline is actually the end of April, but since the 30th falls on a Sunday, the deadline is effectively Friday.

She tells us you need to have certain documents with you when you apply for LIHEAP assistance.

She says the program is not designed to pay your household’s total energy costs, but will provide supplemental assistance based upon several factors, including household income, household size, dwelling type, and type of heating fuel, among others.

Moermond says if you live in O’Brien County and want more information, or wish to apply, contact her office in Primghar.

In case you missed it the Primghar phone number is 712-957-1023. Upper Des Moines Opportunity also serves Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Hamilton, Humboldt, Osceola, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Webster, and Wright counties. Their Sibley number is (712) 754-2573.

Other parts of our coverage area are served by Mid Sioux Opportunity. They serve Cherokee, Ida, Lyon, Plymouth, and Sioux Counties. Their Sioux Center number is (712) 722-3611. They also have an office in Rock Rapids, but it’s only staffed on Wednesdays.

April 26, 2017 - 10:56 am - Posted in News

National Weather Service NWS logoNorthwest Iowa — The calendar says spring, but winter may not quite be done with us yet here in northwest Iowa.  The National Weather Service Forecast Center in Sioux Falls says there is a chance of frost Wednesday night into Thursday morning, and again Thursday night into Friday morning.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Todd Heitkamp says that’s because of the cooler temperatures following our recent rains.

In addition to the frost in the short-term forecast, Heitkamp says there’s also a chance of snow from Saturday night through Sunday night.

He says that snow this time of year is not unheard of here in northwest Iowa.

We have seen snowfall accumulations as late as May here in our area.  In fact, just 4 years ago, there was a major storm that dropped between 3 and 5 inches of snow on May 1st throught 3rd, 2013.

April 21, 2017 - 1:03 pm - Posted in News

Recycling binSheldon, Iowa — Earth Day is tomorrow on the planet, and with many people thinking about the environment, it’s a perfect time to remember “reduce, re-use, recycle.” That’s according to Northwest Iowa Solid Waste Agency manager Larry Oldenkamp.

He tells us about the recyclables they accept through northwest Iowa communities’ curbside recycling programs.

Oldenkamp says people are recycling a little more than they used to, but it’s not a huge increase.

The increase in plastic bags is a little ironic because Oldenkamp says at this time they’re having an issue processing them.

He says while they don’t take electronics through the curbside recycling programs, you can deliver them to their facility yourself.

Again, Oldenkamp stresses that those types of things need to be delivered to their facility near Hospers.

They also accept household hazardous materials such as paints and pesticides at their facility and via their Household Hazardous Materials trailer that travels to many sites in northwest Iowa.

He says they also accept mercury items like thermometers, fluorescent tubes, and CFL (curly) light bulbs. Disposal of these is free for individuals, but there is a charge for businesses.

Oldenkamp also reminds northwest Iowans that while glass is a recyclable material, since it would come commingled with other recyclables, it presents a cut hazard for their employees so they don’t accept it. He says another reason is it is not worth the cost of transporting it to a facility that can handle glass. There are however other programs that have been accepting glass in individual communities.

April 18, 2017 - 6:06 pm - Posted in News

4h_logoPrimghar, Iowa — If you have kids or grandkids, there are many fun and informative opportunities for them this summer through day camps put on by Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach in northwest Iowa.

O’Brien and Sioux County Youth Program Assistant Beth Bunkers says camps this year will focus on three central themes.

She says the camps range from Robotics to Cooking to Animal Science to Interior Design and much more. According to Bunkers there are about eight to ten camps per category. She says the camps offer something for everyone.

The camps are hosted by ISU Extension and Outreach’s 4-H Youth Development Program; however, youth do not have to be 4-H members to attend. She says the camps are half-day camps for the younger kids, full day camps for the older kids, and there are multiple-day camps but campers go home every night.

She reminds parents that camps fill up quickly, so it is important to register your child(ren) early to guarantee a spot. Bunkers also says that camps are open to kids from anywhere, so if if works better to attend a camp in another county, that’s fine.

To view a complete listing of the camps being offered, visit www.extension.iastate.edu/obrien/content/2017-summer-camps or stop into your local ISU Extension and Outreach office to pick up a booklet. To go directly to the summer camp registration page, visit https://www.jotform.com/4hregion1/camps2017.

For more information, contact your local ISU Extension and Outreach County Youth Staff:


April 17, 2017 - 11:01 pm - Posted in News

CAASA Coffee For A CauseSioux Center, Iowa — April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. And helping victims of sexual assault is as easy as visiting your favorite coffee shop.

The Centers Against Abuse and Sexual Assault or CAASA are holing a fundraiser called “Coffee For A Cause” this month at northwest Iowa coffee shops.

Amanda Van Der Brink, sexual assault advocate for Sioux, Lyon, and Osceola Counties for CAASA says that as you might expect, their goal is to raise awareness about sexual assault and tell people where they can turn for help.

She says if you or someone you know is ever a victim of sexual assault, there is help available and people ready to talk any time.

Again, those numbers are 877-362-4612 or 712-722-4404.

She tells us how Coffee For A Cause works.

She says the fundraiser keeps growing every year, and shops give everything from a portion of sales to the contents of a tip jar in April.

According to Van Der Brink, a lot of their funding comes from the state, but the funding is especially uncertain this year.

For a list of the participating coffee shops in Sheldon, Primghar, Paullina, Hartley, Sioux Center, Rock Rapids, and Sibley, click here. The list is almost halfway down the page.

April 15, 2017 - 8:03 am - Posted in News

Osceola Sheriff Car 72-2UPDATE: A southeast Iowa man who was arrested on an Osceola County warrant for sex abuse was terminated from his job as a teacher and coach at Sibley-Ocheyedan after it was alleged that he slept with a student.

Sibley-Ocheyedan Superintendent Bill Boer confirmed to KIWA that former Sibley-Ocheyedan Middle School Social Studies Teacher and Generals Football Coach Kyle Ewinger was terminated on October 15, 2015. Boer confirmed that on the morning of Saturday, October 3rd, 2015, Boer discovered Ewinger asleep in his classroom with a Sibley-Ocheyedan student.

Court records indicate the student has now come forward and after originally saying that nothing sexual happened that night, he is now saying something of a sexual nature did happen.

Osceola County, Iowa — An investigation into an alleged sexual abuse incident that took place more than a year ago, has led to the arrest of a West Burlington, Iowa man.

According to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office,  the charges against 38-year old Kyle Ewinger, of West Burlington, stem from the investigation into an alleged incident that took place in the fall of 2015.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office says a warrant for Ewinger’s arrest was issued a few days ago, and Thursday, he was arrested in Des Moines County on that warrant, which charges him with 2nd Degree Sexual Abuse, a Class “B” Felony.  Ewinger was released after posting a $10-thousand bond.

If convicted, Ewinger faces up to 25 years in prison on the charge.

April 14, 2017 - 11:18 am - Posted in News

Rotating Light FS WheelerOcheyedan, Iowa — A house was destroyed in a fire on Thursday, April 13, 2017 near Ocheyedan.

According to Ocheyedan Fire Chief Dan Hartwig, about 5:35 PM, the Ocheyedan Fire Department was called to the report of a structure fire at 6471 190th Street, two and a half miles south and a mile east of Ocheyedan.

The chief says the fire department saw the garage was destroyed and the house was mostly consumed as well as they approached the scene. He says they used water to fight the fire.

He says the house had been vacant, and the fire went unnoticed until it was too late to save much of anything. He says the windy conditions also fed the fire.

The Melvin Fire Department was called for mutual aid assistance and brought extra water.

Hartwig says the cause of the fire appeared to be electrical in nature in the garage.

Chief Hartwig says it wasn’t an old house and guessed it was probably built in the 1980s. He says the house and garage were totaled and estimates that there was about $60,000 damage.

Hartwig says no injuries were reported.

He says they used about 16,000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for over three hours, until about 9:10 p.m.

camp autumnSpencer, Iowa — Several area law enforcement agencies have raised money towards a new therapeutic camp for kids to be built in O’Brien County.

April is Child Abuse Awareness Month and this year, area law enforcement raised over $3,500 for Camp Autumn in the “Cops for Camp Campaign”.

Camp Autumn is a therapeutic day camp for kids ages 4-21 opening in June in O’Brien County.

Nine law enforcement agencies participated in the Cops for Camp Campaign to help fund scholarships for incoming campers. Agencies included: The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, Sheldon Police Department, Sioux Center Police Department, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office, Lake Park Police Department, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Spencer Police Department, and the Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Office.

The CEO and President of Seasons Center, Kim Scorza says that they are extremely fortunate to have such a positive working relationship with law enforcement throughout their area.

The winning agency, The Spencer Police Department, raised over $300 and were awarded a traveling “Cops for Camp ‘canoe paddle'” trophy for their efforts.

In addition, the Spencer Police Department through their association also donated an additional $3,000 for camp supplies.

Scorza says that law enforcement often times see the worst that humanity has to offer. She says when children see their parents getting arrested for committing a crime, many times, in the child’s eyes, the cops are the bad guys. She says that by partnering with law enforcement in this way they can spread the word to the children and families they serve that law enforcement officers really care about children and family well-being.

For more information on the event or services provided by Seasons, Autumn’s Center, and Camp Autumn, you can visit www.seasonscenter.org or call 800-242-5101.

April 10, 2017 - 4:37 pm - Posted in News

Sibley fire logo doorSibley. Iowa — The Sibley Fire Department prevented a waterway fire from becoming a bigger problem on Friday, April 7, 2017 near Sibley.

According to Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls, about 4:10 PM. the Sibley Fire Department was called to the report of a waterway on fire just west of the Sibley Airport on 190th Street.

The chief says the fire department saw a waterway on fire about 30 to 40 feet wide, for almost a whole mile. He says the waterway runs entire mile off of Highway 60. He says the property on 200th Street was owned by Tom Zylstra. He says it was a controlled burn that got out of control.

Huls says about 2:30 to 3:00 p.m. that day the wind really picked up and it was thought that the fire might go into the neighbor’s ground, or jump the highway.

He says they used water to fight the fire and also made a wet line in front of the burn to stop the spread of the fire. He says they used a grass rig and a pumper.

Huls says no injuries were reported.

Chief Huls reports that there was basically no damage as the grass was going to be burned anyway. He says they were fortunate that it was bean stubble on one side and chiseled corn stubble on the other. He says since it was basically black dirt with very little fuel on either side, it limited the growth of the fire.

He says they used about 1300 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for about a half hour.

Annie's Project Sibley 2017Sibley and Sheldon, Iowa — If you are a woman and need to make some tough decisions about your farm, there’s a program coming up just for you in Sheldon.

The program, called “Annie’s Project” just wrapped up in Sibley, and now Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is going to offer it in Sheldon.

The Osceola County Extension Office recently graduated 13 local women from Annie’s Project.

Gary Wright, Farm Management Specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach says it’s an agricultural business course offered by ISU that focuses on empowering women in agriculture.

Annie’s Project Graduates in Sibley included:

  • Mary Agar
  • Kaia Darling
  • Tanya Dykstra
  • Judy Eben
  • Jodie Kruger
  • Dolly McQueen
  • Maralee Onken
  • Ashley Peters
  • Danika Schmidt
  • Abby Schutte
  • Riane Vickery
  • Cindy Wellein
  • Sanna Wilson

He says the program will be held at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon beginning Thursday, April 20th and continuing Tuesday, April 25th, and the following Thursdays: April 27, May 4, May 11 and May 18. There will be a meal at 5:30 p.m. and the session will last from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Anyone interested in participating in Annie’s Project in Sheldon is encouraged to contact the ISU Extension and Outreach O’Brien County office soon at 712-957-5045 or xobrien@iastate.edu as space is limited.

Pictured (from left to right) (click picture to enlarge it):
Front: Mary Agar, Danika Schmidt, Jodie Kruger, Ashley Peters, Tanya Dykstra, Riane Vickery
Back: Cindy Wellein, Kaia Darling, Sanna Wilson, Maralee Onken, Judy Eben, Dolly McQueen, Abby Schutte.