October 20, 2020 - 4:07 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Two more COVID deaths have been reported, plus eighteen additional COVID-19 cases were reported in the four-county area Tuesday, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

O’Brien County reported an additional death, as did Sioux County. Thirty northwest Iowans have now died in connection with COVID-19 since the pandemic started — eleven now in O’Brien County, twelve in Sioux County, and seven in Lyon County.

Sioux County reports a total of 2301 cases since the pandemic started, after a rise of 11 cases in the last 24 hours. O’Brien County is at 581, which is up 3 cases. Lyon County was up 4 cases at 516, and Osceola County was unchanged at 248.

As far as active cases, they appear to be going down a little. Lyon County has 227, Sioux County has 832, O’Brien County has 244, and Osceola has 98.

Out of the 516 Lyon County residents who have had COVID-19, 282 of them have recovered, for a recovery rate of about 55%.
Out of the 2301 Sioux County residents who have had COVID-19, 1457 of them have recovered, for a recovery rate of about 63%.
Out of the 581 O’Brien County residents who have had COVID-19, 326 of them have recovered, for a recovery rate of about 56%.
Out of the 248 Osceola County residents who have had COVID-19, 150 of them have recovered, for a recovery rate of about 60%.

Total numbers of cases from other counties around the area and their change from the previous report:

Iowa counties:
Plymouth 1545, up 11
Cherokee 367, up 3
Buena Vista 2203, up 7
Clay 487, up 5
Dickinson 686, up 3

These numbers represent the period from noon Monday, October 19th through noon Tuesday, October 20th.

October 20, 2020 - 11:00 am - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — The soybean harvest is entering the last lap, while the corn harvest is getting closer to being done after a week of good weather.

The latest U.S.D.A. report shows just ten percent of the soybean crop remains to be plucked from the fields. That is more than three weeks ahead of last year and two weeks ahead of the five-year average. The northwest, north-central, and west-central areas have less than five percent of beans still in the field, while farmers in the southern one-third of the state have at least 20% remaining to be harvested.

The corn harvest hit the 65% complete mark. That’s more than three weeks ahead of last year and just more than two weeks ahead of average. There are still approximately two-thirds of the corn waiting to be picked in the south-central part of the state, while the rest of the state has at least half of their crop in the bin.

October 19, 2020 - 4:20 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — While winter is still a way off, some communities in northwest Iowa have changed what is allowed in regard to their street parking — or they soon will.

Several cities in the KIWA listening area have ordinances regarding overnight parking, especially during the snow removal season. So if you routinely or occasionally park a car on the street overnight, here’s fair warning that you’re soon going to have to come up with a different place to park in most cases.

In Sheldon, motorists are not allowed to park on any street in the city between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. from November 1st to April 1st. Violation of Sheldon’s overnight parking ban will be subject to a fine, and possibly towing. The actual ordinance is a little more complicated than that. For details, you can contact the city office. The City also asks you to advise any overnight guests of the ordinance, especially during the upcoming holiday season. Sheldon also has certain zones where overnight parking is not allowed year-round. In addition, Sheldon officials ask that people not park on lawns or between the sidewalk and street. You are required to park all vehicles on paved surfaces only. They tell us that not only is it unsightly to park elsewhere, it also creates issues for private utility lines.

In Sanborn, no parking is allowed from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m., year-round, on Main Street. In addition, from November 1st through March 31st, no parking is allowed on any city street in Sanborn from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Violation of Sanborn’s overnight parking ban carries a $15 fine.

According to Sibley city officials, their overnight parking ban calls for no parking on any city street between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., from November 1st through April 15th. The fine for violating Sibley’s overnight parking ban is $25.

Orange City officials say that no parking is allowed on any of their city streets between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., from October 15th through April 1st. The fine for non-compliance in Orange City is $10.

In Sioux Center, the situation is a bit different. No parking is allowed on any city street between 2:00 and 6:00 a.m. year-round.

Rock Valley’s winter parking ordinance goes into effect on November 1st. It states that parking is not allowed for more than 30 minutes between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. The ordinance stays in effect until April 1st. The fine is $20 per night. The ordinance does make exemptions for physicians and emergency vehicles.

There are a couple of cities in our area that don’t have an actual overnight parking ban but do have an ordinance that’s effective when snow falls. So motorists who park on the street need to keep up-to-date on the weather forecast.

Rock Rapids officials say their ordinance bans parking “on all city streets and alleys from midnight to 6:00 a.m….” The old ordinance used to say “during snow removal operations.” This year, it has changed to “during any precipitation activity, including snowing, drifting or freezing rain.” There is an exception, however. Parking is banned from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. in Rock Rapids’ downtown area, year-round, and there are signs posted to that effect. The fine for non-compliance in Rock Rapids is $25.

Motorists should be aware of the ordinance in whatever town they are parking their vehicle. Again, if you will be having overnight guests for the holidays or family events such as weddings, funerals, parties, and so forth, we suggest that you be a gracious host and advise them of your city’s ordinance, so they don’t end up with a citation and fine.

Northwest Iowa — Another COVID death has been reported in O’Brien County, plus twenty-four additional COVID-19 cases were reported in the four-county area Monday, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Twenty-eight northwest Iowans have now died in connection with COVID-19 since the pandemic started — ten now in O’Brien County, eleven in Sioux County, and seven in Lyon County.

Sioux County reports a total of 2290 cases since the pandemic started, after a rise of 9 cases in the last 24 hours. O’Brien County is at 578, which is up 10 cases. Lyon County was up 2 cases at 512, and Osceola County was up 3 at 248.

As far as active cases, Lyon County has 242, Sioux County has 887, O’Brien County has 256, and Osceola has 110.

Out of the 512 Lyon County residents who have had COVID-19, 263 of them have recovered, for a recovery rate of about 51%.
Out of the 2290 Sioux County residents who have had COVID-19, 1392 of them have recovered, for a recovery rate of about 61%.
Out of the 578 O’Brien County residents who have had COVID-19, 312 of them have recovered, for a recovery rate of about 54%.
Out of the 248 Osceola County residents who have had COVID-19, 138 of them have recovered, for a recovery rate of about 56%.

 

Total numbers of cases from other counties around the area and their change from the previous report:

Iowa counties:
Plymouth 1534, up 3
Cherokee 364, up 3
Buena Vista 2196, up 1
Clay 482, up 4
Dickinson 683, up 1

These numbers represent the period from noon Sunday, October 18th through noon Monday, October 19th.

October 19, 2020 - 1:34 pm - Posted in News

Lake Park, Iowa — Two people were injured Monday morning in a house fire just west of Lake Park.

Lake Park Fire Chief Brandon Ehret says when crews arrived, the fire was spreading from the garage into the house and nearby vehicles. He says the garage is completely gone, but firefighters did get it stopped. He says while it didn’t burn the house down, there was heavy fire and water damage to the house.

Ehret says the house is a total loss and some pets died in the fire. He says there was a little apartment building to the south of the garage that had also started on fire, but firefighters were able to get that building out. It’s pretty much a total loss.

The two people who were injured in the fire were taken to a hospital by private vehicle for treatment, then released.

Statewide Iowa — State officials have drafted a plan for distributing COVID-19 shots when a vaccine becomes available.

Each state was to draw up a plan and submit it to the Centers for Disease Control. Iowa’s was released late Friday. The Iowa plan says the state will follow federal guidelines “unless needs in Iowa are substantially different.”

The state’s report does refer to long-term care facilities as a priority for the first wave of vaccinations, along with EMTs, nurses, doctors, and others who work in health care. The Iowa Department of Public Health suggests it will likely require more than one dose, so officials are advising health care providers to be ready to notify patients they must schedule follow-up shots.

October 17, 2020 - 5:41 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — Sibley firefighters were called out Friday evening to the report of a house fire in southern Sibley, but that call was corrected to being a fire in a small shed north of Jeddeloh Ford.

Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls says when firefighters arrived the shed was completely engulfed in flames. Once the fire was extinguished, Huls says firefighters discovered that the shed had housed several small pot-bellied pigs, all of which died in the fire.

Chief Huls says there had been a heat lamp in the building to keep the animals warm and it appeared that it had fallen into hay, igniting the blaze.

Ashton Firefighters were initially paged to provide mutual aid, but that page was cancelled a short time later.

Huls says 11 firefighters responded to the call, and he reports no injuries, nor any structure damage, other than to the shed housing the pigs.

The Sibley Fire Department was assisted at the scene by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and the Osceola County Ambulance.

Photo courtesy of the Sibley Fire Department

October 16, 2020 - 3:04 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The number of continuing unemployment claims dropped below 50-thousand last week.

The ongoing unemployment claims were down by nearly five-thousand (4,983) compared to the previous week. Continuing claims have now dropped for 16 straight weeks. The drop comes as new unemployment claims were up slightly to 46-hundred-44. Manufacturing and self-employed workers or independent contractors each saw more than 800 new unemployment claims.

The unemployment rate, while higher due to the pandemic remains the lowest in northwest Iowa. The latest figures available for that metric are those for August. Lyon County had the second-lowest rate in the state at 2.6 percent. Only Mitchell County in northeast Iowa had lower unemployment. Sioux County was next, at 2.8 percent. Osceola reported 3.1 percent unemployment, with O’Brien County reporting 4.0 percent. All northwest Iowa rates were much lower than the state rate, which was 6.0 percent in August.

Ashton, Iowa — A DOT worker from Ashton, who was killed while directing traffic in a road construction zone, is being honored Saturday by the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Shortly after 9:00 am Tuesday, July 21st, Lynn Roder of Ashton was standing in the westbound lane of traffic on Highway 18 west of Boyden, holding a stop sign, signaling westbound traffic to stop ahead of a road construction area, when he was struck and killed by a westbound SUV.

A funeral service was held for Roder on August 7th at St. Mary’s Church in Ashton. Now the Iowa DOT will hold a memorial service for their fallen employee, Saturday afternoon. According to the DOT, the memorial service for Lynn Roder will be held Saturday (October 17th) at 1:00 pm on the Employee Memorial Plaza, East of the Administration Building at 800 Lincoln Way in Ames.

DOT officials say parking will be available east of the Administration Building, with overflow parking located on the west side of the building.

For social responsibility, the DOT asks that in-person attendance be limited to those who worked closely with, or had a personal connection to Roder. The wearing of masks and the observance of social distancing is requested at the memorial.

DOT officials say the memorial will be livestreamed, and that livestream can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.  For those who are unable to watch the livestream of the memorial, the video will be available via YouTube early next week, according to DOT officials.

 

Northwest Iowa — There have been two more COVID deaths in northwest Iowa. This time the deaths were Lyon County residents. Thirty-seven new cases of COVID-19 were also reported in far northwest Iowa on Friday, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Twenty-seven northwest Iowans have now died in connection with COVID-19 since the pandemic started — nine in O’Brien County, eleven in Sioux County, and now seven in Lyon County.

Sioux County reports a total of 2233 cases since the pandemic started, after a rise of 30 cases in the last 24 hours. O’Brien County is at 542, which is up 2 cases. Lyon County was up 2 cases at 498, and Osceola County was up 3 at 239.

As far as active cases, Lyon County has 245, Sioux County has 899, O’Brien County has 236, and Osceola has 105.

Out of the 498 Lyon County residents who have had COVID-19, 245 of them have recovered, for a recovery rate of about 49%.
Out of the 2233 Sioux County residents who have had COVID-19, 1323 of them have recovered, for a recovery rate of about 59%.
Out of the 542 O’Brien County residents who have had COVID-19, 297 of them have recovered, for a recovery rate of about 55%.
Out of the 239 Osceola County residents who have had COVID-19, 134 of them have recovered, for a recovery rate of about 56%.

Total numbers of cases from other counties around the area and their change from the previous report:

Iowa counties:
Plymouth 1488, up 28
Cherokee 348, up 3
Buena Vista 2186, up 11
Clay 463, up 4
Dickinson 668, up 7

These numbers represent the period from noon Thursday, October 15th through Friday, October 16th.