December 14, 2018 - 3:14 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Thousands of Christmas presents are being left by mail carriers and delivery services outside homes across northwest Iowa and police warn that “porch pirates” are watching and waiting to steal those packages.

US Postal Inspector Dave Margritz says you shouldn’t leave packages sitting outside for too long.

Margritz suggests you leave a small note on your door, directing the carrier to leave the package out of sight or with a neighbor.

Wayne Barahona of SuperHiTech in Sheldon, Orange City, and Sioux Center says some people have invested in small home security cameras.


He says even if porch pirates do strike, a system like this can be a big help in the investigation of package thefts.


Many of the delivery services like UPS, FedEx, and the postal service also can now alert you when a package is dropped off. Check with them for more information on that service.

December 14, 2018 - 10:11 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — If you’re planning on mailing off holiday packages to loved ones in far-away locales, you’d be wise to get them wrapped and ready to go this weekend.

Kristy Anderson, spokeswoman for the U-S Postal Service, offers a reminder of the upcoming deadlines.

This holiday season, the U.S. Postal Service will be processing and delivering billions of pieces of mail, and hundreds of millions of packages.

The Postal Service advises you to choose the right box to use in shipping your Christmas packages. They say you should use a box that will close flat when full, but hold enough padding to protect your contents. And, they say, boxes cost less to mail if they can be processed using automated mail-processing equipment.

If your package can’t fit through processing equipment, it will cost you more to send. Properly measure your packages and prepare them with the correct materials so they don’t bulge or get stuck. Do not use cord, string, or twine because they get caught in equipment.

For more information on shipping holiday packages, visit usps.com/holiday news.

December 14, 2018 - 9:56 am - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — There’s something brand new on the KIWA website kiwaradio.com, the WAZE Traffic Map.

While traffic jams aren’t usually a major problem here in northwest Iowa, we do have more than our share of motor vehicle accidents, disabled cars, cattle on the road reports, and of course, the dreaded road construction in the spring, summer, and fall.

KIWA’s live WAZE Traffic Map can show you all the traffic trouble-spots before you head out…..but only with YOUR help. You can help by downloading the WAZE app on your smartphone or tablet and participate in this community-based GPS alert system.

With the WAZE app, if you come upon a traffic hazard simply alert other travelers with the push of a button. You can also use WAZE for free driving directions and live traffic reports everywhere you go.

Check out the KIWA WAZE link on the main page of kiwaradio.com.  Android users, go to GooglePlay, and iPhone users can go to the App Store to download the WAZE app on your smartphone or tablet.

December 13, 2018 - 3:00 pm - Posted in News

Spencer, Iowa — The regional transit service — RIDES — is going to be getting some new “rides.” In other words, RIDES is replacing some of the buses in their fleet with new ones.

Hugh Lively, Executive Director of RIDES says that they are excited to begin transforming their fleet with new buses. He tells us that the vehicles range from 14 to 20 passengers. He says that like their current buses, the new vehicles are para accessible, ensuring transportation for all individuals including those with disabilities and anyone who has the aid of a mobility device. The new buses will have a new design. Look for the big, red “R.”

According to Lively, RIDES is able to purchase these buses with financial assistance from the Iowa Department of Transportation. He says that fleets for public transportation in the state of Iowa are replaced only when they meet useful life qualifications, and the process is monitored very closely to ensure the funds are distributed appropriately.

If you are looking to buy an old RIDES bus, you may be in luck. He tells us that buses that have “met useful life” are sold and often go on to support local private charter services.

Lively says watch for the white bus with the big “R” in your neighborhood and know that “wherever we ‘R,’ we will take you there with care.”

December 13, 2018 - 10:34 am - Posted in News

Washington, DC — The US Senate approved the Farm Bill on Tuesday, with the US House approving it on Wednesday. This area’s Congressman, Steve King voted in favor of the legislation, which he says contains several important agriculture and biofuel initiatives.

The Farm Bill passed the House on a vote of 369-47. The legislation will now be sent to President Trump for his signature.

King says the Farm Bill provides predictability, while also enhancing our ability to trade in foreign markets. He made these comments on the House floor:


King is talking about ‘Genome to Phenome’ language that was a priority for Iowa State University. He says this will allow Iowa State to further its research into the impact on crops of weather, environmental, and production systems.

King says this Farm Bill is “a victory for our producers, it meets Rural America’s immediate need for greater trade, and it’s shameful that partisan politics prevented it from passing sooner.”

The Energy Title was preserved as a separate title in the Farm Bill, a designation King insisted upon in order to protect mandatory funding for important biofuel programs. The bill also includes increased funding for “Beginning Farmer” loans by $6 billion, while also increasing loan amounts available under the program. It will also increase the rural minimum standard for broadband internet service which he says means that rural areas, like Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, will now be provided with greater connectivity speeds.

In the Senate, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst voted for the bill, with Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley voting against it, saying it helps those who run big farms too much and doesn’t help those who run small and medium-sized farms enough.

December 12, 2018 - 3:54 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — With the holiday season coming up the risk of fires and accidents goes up.

We talked with Orange City Fire Chief Denny Vander Wel, and he told us some things to keep in mind to prevent fires and stay safe this holiday season. He started by suggesting that you should fill your house guests in on any emergency plans at your house, in case something happens.


VanderWel says one thing that can cause a fire if you’re not careful is a space heater.


He says another fire hazard involves holiday cooking.


Many people like to use candles around the holidays, but according to Vander Wel, they’re one of the worst offenders safety-wise.


Vander Wel says they had an example of that this past fall. He says the occupant had left a candle burning unattended on a bottom shelf when there was another shelf a bit higher up the wall. He says they returned to a house full of smoke because the top shelf started to burn.

He tells us that while newer LED holiday light sets are better than old ones, you still need to be careful.


He says while more and more people are getting artificial trees, a fair number of people do use live trees. He gives us some advice about those.


He says that while there aren’t that many Christmas tree fires, if it does light on fire, it’s an emergency, and your time is short.


Vander Wel wrapped up our talk by saying that the Orange City Fire Department wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

December 12, 2018 - 3:41 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — (RI) — Iowa’s two U.S. Senators parted ways in Tuesday’s approval of a new five-year Farm Bill.

Joni Ernst voted in favor of the compromise bill, which now goes to the House. Chuck Grassley was one of just 13 Republicans voting against the bill.

Grassley’s payment limitation amendment was removed from the Farm Bill in conference committee. He’s fought for years to place “hard caps” on subsidies from the government, saying the largest ag operations and even non-farmers are benefiting the most.

Grassley said farm policy should be “a limited safety net” to help farmers recover from natural disasters and other “unforeseen challenges.” This bill, he said, goes well beyond that.

Senator Joni Ernst served on the conference committee that drafted the compromise. In a prepared statement, she praised the bill as “farmer-focused” and said it includes her provisions to reform the Conservation Reserve Program and provide “critical mental health support” through the FARMERS FIRST Act.

December 12, 2018 - 9:59 am - Posted in News

Melvin, Iowa — A Ringsted woman was injured Monday morning (December 10th) in a two-vehicle crash northwest of Melvin.

Osceola County authorities say shortly before 7:20 Monday morning, 44-year old Kathryn Mehus, of Ringsted, was driving a 2008 Honda Odyssey eastbound on 220th Street, or A-34, approaching Highway 59. At the same time, 24-year old Travis Ray Studeman, of Ivanoe, Minnesota, was southbound on Highway 59 in a 2019 Volvo semi tractor, pulling a trailer. Deputies say Mehus failed to stop for the stop sign at the Highway 59 junction, and entered the intersection, striking the rear axle of Studeman’s trailer.

Deputies estimate the damage to Mehus’ Honda minivan at approximately $8-thousand, with damage to Studeman’s trailer estimated at about $5-thousand. The semi’s tractor sustained no damage, according to authorities.

Mehus was transported to the Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley by the Sibley Ambulance with what are described as “non-incapacitating” injuries.

Deputies say Mehus was issued a citation for Failure to Obey a Stop Sign.

Also assisting at the scene was the Ashton Ambulance and the Melvin Fire Department.

Northwest Iowa — An Iowa State Patrol Trooper who is well-known in northwest Iowa was promoted to sergeant in a ceremony held Friday in Des Moines.

Trooper Vince Kurtz is very familiar to listeners of the KIWA Morning Show with Wayne and Aaron, having appeared as a monthly guest on the program for the past couple of years. Sgt. Kurtz tells us about his new position with the Iowa State Patrol.

The Sergeant talks bout his career with the Patrol.

Kurtz says his promotion does not require his family to move, which he says, pleased his daughters very much.

Sgt. Kurtz says they hope to have the process of selecting someone to fill his recently-vacated position as Public Resource Officer by sometime in January or February. Until that time, he says he’ll be filling both jobs as much as possible. And, as Public Resource Officer, Kurtz says that, on the foggy mornings we’ve had lately, motorists should NOT rely on their vehicle’s automatic headlights to turn on when they’re needed in the fog.

He also spoke about relying on daytime running lamps in the fog. He says that, while those will help you be seen by traffic approaching from the front, they do nothing to make your presence known to vehicles behind you, since your tail lights do not come on with your daytime running lamps.

 

Spencer, Iowa — An area facility that helps suffering kids and families received a special grant recently.

Officials at Seasons Center for Behavioral Health say they have received a Regional Partnership Grant (RPG) focused on supporting families who are suffering from the impact of abuse, trauma, and substance use. Seasons Center’s VP of Program Growth and Development, Christina Eggink-Postma, tells us about the grant.


Eggink-Postma tells us this was not a routine grant, but something special.


According to Eggink-Postma, details will be released soon as to how they will use the grant funds toward their intended purpose.


She tells us that the grant will help them help children through Seasons Center and Autumn’s Center in Spencer, as well as Camp Autumn in O’Brien County. She says it will help children throughout the area.