Northwest Iowa — An Iowa farmer invited to speak when President Trump visited an ethanol plant in the state this week used the moment to make a plea on behalf of “corn country.”

Kevin Ross said, “Mr. President, you delivered on E15, but we have more work to do.” He told the President that EPA’s oil refinery waivers threaten to undo what the President did. Ross asked Trump to listen again because “the pain that the ethanol and biodiesel industries have endured is holding back a farm economy that has further capacity to produce clean air and clean liquid fuels for this country.”

Trump complimented Ross for his speech but did not directly address the EPA waivers that let big oil companies avoid adding ethanol to gasoline. Trump told the crowd the deal recently struck on immigration with Mexico includes a pledge to buy more U.S. ag commodities.

Trump said, “Mexico’s going to be doing a lot of buying, a lot of buying. Within a year and a half, I would say, you’ll be in the best position that you’ve been in in 15 years as farmers and you deserve it.”

Trump signed an executive order at the event in Council Bluffs. It directs federal agencies to streamline regulations that deal with agricultural biotechnology.

June 13, 2019 - 3:52 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — One of our Senators from Iowa is proposing a change to our change — our currency.

Many people online have advocated the elimination of the penny for many reasons, not least of which is because it costs more to make them than they are even worth. Some push the fact that it costs more in time to deal with them than they are worth. Plus, they are so worthless that some people even throw them away rather than dealing with them.

Senator Joni Ernst isn’t suggesting that we get rid of the penny, but she is suggesting some common sense reform. Or perhaps that’s common “cents” reform.

Ernst says it would save over $150 million of taxpayer money if the U.S. Mint were allowed to modify the composition of certain coins.

According to Ernst, it costs taxpayers seven cents to make one nickel. She says Congress can fix this, and they need to. Ernst says that’s why she’s put forward a bill that will allow the Mint the flexibility to use cheaper materials to produce certain coins, without changing the size or functionality of them.

Called the “Currency Evolution Now To Save” or “CENTS” Act, it would give the Treasury Department, specifically the U.S. Mint, the authority to change the composition of the nickel, dime, quarter, and half dollar coins if these changes save taxpayer dollars and do not impact the coins’ size or functionality. These changes would happen under the conditions that (1) the changes reduce the overall cost of minting the coin and (2) the changes do not affect the diameter, weight, and functionality of the coin. She says this could save more than $150 million over 10 years.

In their Fiscal Year 2019 budget justification, the U.S. Mint requested that Congress give it the authority to change the composition of coins in order to save taxpayer money. In addition, a March 2019 watchdog report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office recommended Congress consider providing the U.S. Mint with that authority.

Northwest Iowa — The USDA says more than 90 percent of the Iowa corn crop is now in the ground as farmers had nearly a full week of good planting conditions. The percentage planted went from 80 to 93 in the last week — but that is still more than two weeks behind last year and almost three weeks behind the five-year average. Farmers who have planted or are planting late have had crop insurance and federal program issues to deal with.

The latest crop report said this was the first time this season farmers had more than 5 days suitable for fieldwork in a week.

Soybean planting also has been going well — moving from 41 percent planted to 70 percent. Soybean planting is 17 days behind last year and the five-year average.

Seventy-three percent of the crop has emerged statewide, which is more than two weeks behind last year. The corn condition rated 58 percent good to excellent. Thirty-five percent of the soybeans have emerged — which is two weeks behind last year.

Here in the northwest district, the latest crop report said that corn was 95 percent planted and 70 percent emerged. Soybeans were 70 percent in the ground, with 26 percent emerged.

Holland, Michigan — The governing body that makes decisions for many churches in northwest Iowa has wrapped up their annual meeting at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. And that denomination may look different in the future.

The Reformed Church in America’s — or RCA’s — General Synod is one step closer to making a decision about what to do about the continued division in the church. At last year’s General Synod meeting, a team was formed to prayerfully explore different scenarios for the future of the RCA.

Church officials tell us that after a year of prayer, research, and developing emotional maturity, the team, called the “Vision 2020 Team,” brought three scenarios to the General Synod for delegates’ consideration and feedback: staying together, radical reorganization, and grace-filled separation. Throughout the process, the team has emphasized that at least as important as what the RCA decides is how the denomination decides it.

One of the consultants who have been working with the team, Trisha Taylor explained the idea of being “defined and connected” as holding your convictions tightly in one fist while reaching out with your other hand to shake someone’s hand. She encouraged synod delegates to act with a similar spirit as they engaged the scenarios and their fellow delegates.

The team will continue to gather feedback and prepare a final proposal for General Synod 2020. The scenarios the team proposed are starting points for discussion; they may shift over the coming year. In order to collect feedback, the team is inviting RCA churches to facilitate discussion groups like the ones that took place at Synod.

In a lengthy evening discussion and vote, delegates approved a change to the Book of Church Order that would require approval from a simple majority of classes—rather than the current two-thirds majority required—for proposals related to the work of the Vision 2020 Team. Officials tell us that since this is a Book of Church Order change, it requires approval from two-thirds of classes and ratification at next year’s synod before taking effect.

Also, beginning in January 2021, churches will begin contributing a percentage of their income to support denominational ministries and operations, rather than a per-member assessment.

Click here for a summary of decisions made at the meeting.

June 12, 2019 - 10:47 am - Posted in News

Hull, Iowa — Iowa State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull has announced that he will step down as chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

In his announcement, Feenstra noted that since regaining the majority in 2016, the Ways and Means Committee has produced significant pro-growth, pro-taxpayer reforms under his leadership. He says from income tax reform to property tax reform, this committee has protected the taxpayer, rewarded work, and encouraged investment. Additionally, Feenstra says, he worked productively with the House, Senate, and Governor Reynolds to see policy ideas become results for Iowa.

Feenstra noted the income tax reform bill in 2018 was the largest income tax cut in Iowa history. It also significantly reduced the complexity of the tax code, providing simplicity and certainty for Iowa job creators. Feenstra says he has spoken with Senator Whitver about his desire to be engaged on tax reform efforts in 2020 and Feenstra says Whitver has assured him he’ll retain a key policy role as the Republican caucus continues to implement pro-growth tax reforms.

Senator Feenstra is stepping down in order to allocate more time to his run for Iowa Congressional District 4, the seat currently occupied by Republican Representative Steve King.

Statewide Minnesota — If your travels take you into Minnesota, there’s something you should know as a driver of a vehicle in that state.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, holding a phone while driving will soon be against the law. The hands-free bill was signed by Governor Tim Walz on April 12, 2019, and becomes law on August 1, 2019.

Under the new law, a driver will be able to use their cell phone to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts and get directions, but only by voice commands or single-touch activation without holding the phone. Troopers remind us that hands-free is not necessarily distraction-free.

The new law will make it illegal to hold your phone in your hand. Also, a driver may not use their phone at any time for video calling, video live-streaming, Snapchat, gaming, looking at video or photos stored on the phone, using non-navigation apps, reading texts and scrolling or typing on the phone. You may use it, however, for GPS navigation.

There are a few exceptions, and they all involve emergencies or emergency vehicles. Hand-held phone use is allowed if you are trying to obtain emergency assistance, if there is an immediate threat to life and safety, or if you are in an authorized emergency vehicle while performing official duties.

The Patrol suggests several ways of going hands-free. Their first idea is just not to use your phone at all while driving. Otherwise, a single earphone can be used. You can also pair your phone to your car radio or use the car’s AUX jack. You can even use a cassette adapter if you have an older car, or just buy a holder to clip your phone to the dash. You could also use a Bluetooth speaker.

Again, the main point is you can only use your phone by voice commands or single-touch activation without holding the phone — and this starts in Minnesota on August 1st.

If you are under 18, it remains against Minnesota law to use your phone at all while driving.

June 10, 2019 - 3:39 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Independence Day is a little more than three weeks away. Many people are thinking about fireworks. The Iowa Legislature made fireworks legal in the state in 2017. They had been illegal since a fire in Spencer in the 1930’s that was traced back to fireworks accidentally being set off in a store.

The state law, as it applies to the discharge of fireworks states that consumer fireworks may only be used between June 1st and July 8th (There is also a winter season around New Years). It also limits the hours of use to 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., except that the hours are extended to 11 p.m on July 4th and the Saturdays and Sundays immediately preceding and following July 4th. The law also says that you may use fireworks only on your own property or the property of someone who has consented to fireworks being used on their property. There are also several stipulations on the sale of fireworks.

Some cities have enacted stricter rules, however.

The Sheldon City Code says they may only be shot off June 20th through July 5th, for the summer season. The hours in which consumer fireworks may be used in Sheldon is between noon and 10:00 p.m., except for July 4th, when the hours are extended to noon to 11:00 p.m. The only fireworks that you can set off on public property in Sheldon are basically sparklers and snakes and you have to pick up and dispose of any debris safely afterward. You need to be at least 18; you may not light fireworks while you’re under the influence, or in a reckless manner. Click here for the Sheldon ordinance.

The Sibley City ordinance basically dovetails with the state law and has the same stipulations. The summer season runs from June 1st through July 8th. Click here for the Sibley ordinance.

The Rock Rapids fireworks ordinance says fireworks may only be discharged from June 29 through July 7th. There are no extended hours on weekends, however like the state law has.  Click here for the Rock Rapids Ordinance.

In Rock Valley and Sanborn, both their ordinances state that fireworks may be discharged from June 15th through July 8th with the same times of day as the state law, except no extended hours are included on the weekends before or after the holidays.   Click here for the Rock Valley ordinance.   Click here for the Sanborn ordinance.

In Orange City, the dates of use are the same as the state law (June 1st through July 8th), but the dates with extended times do not include the weekends before and after the holiday, and only include the holiday itself. Orange City’s ordinance also talks about open-flame sky lanterns and that they are prohibited unless the lantern has a tether and is under control. Find a copy of the Orange City ordinance here.

Use of fireworks is allowed in Sioux Center from June 13th through July 8th. The city will follow the state law regarding the times of day during which fireworks are allowed.  Click here for the Sioux Center ordinance

In Hull, there is not a separate ordinance. City officials tell us the state law applies in Hull.

Except for towns that only allow sparklers and snakes — such as Spencer — the most restrictive fireworks ordinance date-wise is that of Primghar, where it’s only legal to use fireworks on July 3rd and 4th from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Click here for the Primghar ordinance.

Make sure you know the rules in the community or county in which you plan to set off fireworks. And as always, be safe.

Summary of Fireworks Dates
State Law — June 1 through July 8; 38 days
Hull — June 1 through July 8; 38 days
Orange City — June 1 through July 8; 38 days
Primghar — July 3 through July 4; 2 days
Rock Rapids — June 29 through July 7; 9 days
Rock Valley — June 15 through July 8; 24 days
Sanborn — June 15 through July 8; 24 days
Sheldon — June 20 through July 5; 16 days
Sibley — June 1 through July 8; 38 days
Sioux Center — June 13 through July 8; 26 days

Ocheyedan, Iowa — The Ocheyedan man who is facing charges after allegedly burning books belonging to the Orange City Public Library last year has made a correction to the Press Release he sent out this past Friday.

In an email Dorr sent to KIWA, he said there were a couple of inaccuracies in his original release. Dorr wrote that he has come to understand that the Christian Reformed Church, and local Christian High School use the term homosexualism different from the way Dorr understands it, and therefore it is not the same as “homosexual orientation” from their perspective, according to Dorr. Dorr went on to point out a correction in the second paragraph of his release, as well. Below is the corrected News Release from Paul Dorr, as it was received by KIWA.

Paul R. Dorr filed his memorandum and motion yesterday (and amended/clarified today) asking Magistrate Judge Lisa Mazurek  to Dismiss the 5th Degree Criminal Mischief charge against me brought by the city of Orange City, Iowa.

The city fathers have sat silent, the college and “Christian” High school sit silent, or worse.  And the pulpits and elders of Reformed Christian churches in Orange City, particularly one that holds itself out to be one of the most conservative churches in the city being formed in the mid-1990s, have all been indifferent in the public square while the God they say they worship is being blasphemed.  As David proclaimed in 1 Samuel 17: 29, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?”   There is a cause and I cannot sit silent while many in the filthy homosexual movement work to destroy the lives of little Christian children in Orange City by pushing such books in front of them.  These are little children who have no ability to discern the evil teaching in the books.

Those promoting the trans-gender agenda are bigoted and intolerant and wish to pass their worldview and filthy practices on to the local children of what had been known to be a religiously ‘conservative’ community.  I used to live in Orange City and I graduated from Unity Christian High School there in the community.   One can safely conclude from the findings of the American College of Pediatricians, that the city officials of Orange City (particularly those serving on the Library Board) are promoting child abuse.

The Orange City Library Board should be ashamed of themselves.  The City Council should be ashamed of themselves.  And the board of my Alma’ Mater, Unity Christian High School, should all resign after they adopted a very tolerant view of the myth of ‘homosexualism’, aka homosexual orientation for their student policy handbook.  But mostly, the elders and pastors of local churches should be ashamed of themselves for their silence, or worse!

Those who claim to be Christians should heed the warning of Psalm 32:3-4, “When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long.  For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;  My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.”  These God-ordained office-holders need to repent.  Failing that, they need to be replaced with men who will fight with the heart/faith of David against the Goliath of our day – that is, the sexual revolutionaries bent on destroying our civilization.  I’ve been saying this for 30 years and they’ve always come up with an excuse for their sinful silence.  And it gets worse by the year.  Though God is long-suffering  the Bible and church history are replete with examples of when His patience runs out.  I fear we are close. Yet, silence still sacrifices up the next generation of young to this sexual tyranny.

Meanwhile, see some quotes from the closing narrative from my Memorandum filed in court yesterday.

“Dorr was charged with criminal mischief in the fifth degree because of his protest and because he published the protest. He filmed himself burning the books, and then posted the video to the internet and Facebook to publish his message, to encourage public discourse in the marketplace of ideas.  In his effort to raise awareness on his side of an issue, the Library ignored its procedural policies and the police responded to the public outcry for prosecution by criminally charging Mr. Dorr. Likewise, Orange City ignored Iowa Code § 714.5, which allows for “arrangements [to] be made to make a monetary settlement.”

Instead, Mr. Dorr was treated unlike other library patrons who had not returned books, and but for his public protest, Mr. Dorr literally had “the book thrown at him” to teach him a lesson. But, what lesson? That the Library can avoid its procedural policy in lieu of protected First Amendment rights? That people can be treated unequally for non-returned books?

As noted before, if Mr. Dorr had protested in silence and destroyed the books yet the, books had been paid for, would he have been prosecuted? He still would be exercising his First Amendment rights. Regardless, the answer would be “no.” The only interceding fact in this case was his published protest. The Library ignored its policies and the police charge was selectively based upon nothing more than an act of protected First Amendment activities.”

********************************************************

Original post 9:37pm, June 7, 2019

Ocheyedan, Iowa — An Ocheyedan man  who is accused of burning books belonging to the Orange City Public Library during an LGBTQ festival in Orange City last year has filed a motion requesting Magistrate Lisa Mazurek to dismiss the charges against him.

KIWA received an email Friday from Paul Dorr, talking about the motion he filed, as well as the case against him.

Dorr’s email asserts that, “the city fathers have sat silent, the college and “Christian” High school sit silent, or worse.  And the pulpits and elders of Reformed Christian churches in Orange City, particularly one that holds itself out to be one of the most conservative churches in the city being formed in the mid-1990s, have all been indifferent in the public square while the God they say they worship is being blasphemed.  As David proclaimed in 1 Samuel 17: 29, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?”   There is a cause and I cannot sit silent while many in the filthy homosexual movement work to destroy the lives of little Christian children in Orange City by pushing such books in front of them.  These are little children who no ability to discern the evil teaching in the books.”

Dorr’s email went on to say, “Those promoting the trans-gender agenda are bigoted and intolerant and wish to pass their worldview and filthy practices on to the local children of a what had been known to be a religiously ‘conservative’ community.  I used to live in Orange City and I graduated from Unity Christian High School in town.   One can safely conclude from the findings of the American College of Pediatricians, that the city officials of Orange City (particularly those serving on the Library Board) are promoting the abuse of children.”

Dorr wrote, “The Orange City Library Board should be ashamed of themselves.  The City Council should be ashamed of themselves.  And the board of my Alma’ Mater, Unity Christian High School should all resign after they adopted a very tolerant view on the myth of ‘homosexualism’, aka homosexual orientation, for their student policy handbook.  But mostly, the elders and pastors of local churches should be ashamed of themselves for their silence, or worse!”

Dorr’s email went on to say, “Those who claim to be Christians should heed the warning of Psalm 32:3-4, “When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long.  For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;  My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.”  These God-ordained office-holders need to repent.  Failing that, they need to be replaced with men who will fight with the heart/faith of David against the Goliath of our day – that is, the sexual revolutionaries bent on destroying our civilization.  I’ve been saying this for 30 years and they’ve always come up with an excuse for their sinful silence.  And it gets worse by the year.  Though God is a long-suffering, the Bible and church history are replete with examples of when His patience runs out.  I fear we are close. Yet, silence still sacrifices up the next generation of young to this sexual tyranny.”

In Dorr’s email he included some quotes from the closing narrative of his Memorandum filed in court earlier this week. That narratives follows, and Dorr’s words are printed in red: “Dorr was charged with criminal mischief in the fifth degree because of his protest and because he published the protest. He filmed himself burning the books, and then posted the video to the internet and Facebook to publish his message, to encourage public discourse in the marketplace of ideas.  In his effort to raise awareness on his side of an issue, the Library ignored its procedural policies and the police responded to the public outcry for prosecution by criminally charging Mr. Dorr. Likewise, Orange City ignored Iowa Code § 714.5, which allows for “arrangements [to] be made to make a monetary settlement.”

Instead, Mr. Dorr was treated unlike other library patrons who had not returned books, and but for his public protest, Mr. Dorr literally had “the book thrown at him” to teach him a lesson. But, what lesson? That the Library can avoid its procedural policy in lieu of protected First Amendment rights? That people can be treated unequally for non-returned books?

“As noted before, if Mr. Dorr had protested in silence and destroyed the books yet the, books had been paid for, would he have been prosecuted? He still would be exercising his First Amendment rights. Regardless, the answer would be “no.” The only interceding fact in this case was his published protest. The Library ignored its policies and the police charge was selectively based upon nothing more than an act of protected First Amendment activities.”

Dorr’s jury trial in the case is currently scheduled for 9:00 am on August 6th in Orange City. This is the most recent trial date, with the date having been pushed back on multiple occasions.

Northwest Iowa — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley’s regional director will be in the KIWA listening area holding traveling office hours this coming Wednesday, June 12th.

Iowans are invited to stop by during the scheduled hours to seek assistance regarding a personal issue with a federal agency or share concerns on matters of federal policy. Grassley is represented by Regional Director Jacob Bossman, and the Senator will not be in attendance.

Bossman will be at the O’Brien County Courthouse on Wednesday, from 10 to 11 a.m. He’ll be in the Assembly Room. The courthouse is located downtown, at 155 South Hayes Avenue in Primghar.

That same day, Bossman will visit with people at the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce, at 201 West Main Street in Cherokee. He’ll be there from 11:30 to 12:30.

Grassley’s state offices regularly help constituents contact federal agencies to resolve problems with Social Security payments, military service matters, immigration cases, and other issues.

If you have any questions, they tell us you can contact Grassley’s Sioux City office at 712-233-1860.

Bossman will be making the rounds this month and in July. He’ll be back in the area on June 27, when he’ll be in Remsen, Sioux Center, and Larchwood. He’ll also be in the area on July 17th, when he’ll make stops in Sibley, Milford, and Everly.

Statewide Iowa — Iowans need to dust off their rod and reel and get ready for free fishing this weekend.

Joe Larschied, the fisheries bureau chief with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, says it’s a family-friendly event where many parents or grandparents teach their kids or grandkids the time-honored skill.

You don’t have to worry about your fishing license for the weekend, which runs from now through Sunday, but there are important things to remember when casting a line.

He says you won’t have to travel far to find some sort of fishing activity this weekend.

Last year, the DNR stocked 165-million fish statewide, topping the previous record by nine-million fish.

For some fishing tips from the Iowa DNR, CLICK HERE.

Catch a memory when your favorite angler hooks their first fish! You can find the DNR’s First Fish Certificate by CLICKING HERE.

And to keep the fishing fun going all summer long, you can buy your Iowa Fishing License by CLICKING HERE.