May 24, 2018 - 2:46 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — A surprise luncheon was held Thursday noon at the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office in Sibley, to honor the 30th anniversary of Chief Deputy Kevin Wollmuth’s employment at the Sheriff’s Office.

Following the luncheon, Wollmuth sat down with KIWA’s Tom Traughber to reminisce a bit about his 30-year career with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

We asked Chief Deputy Wollmuth about the biggest changes he’s seen over the past 30-years. The two things he mentioned were technology, and the types of crimes the department deals with.

We asked him what sparked his interest in a law enforcement career.

Wollmuth had high praise for the people with whom he has worked over the past 30-years.

The 51-year old Wollmuth stressed that the celebration was just for his 30th anniversary, and he has no plans for retirement any time soon.

During the luncheon, Wollmuth reminisced about what he considers the strangest call he’s gotten in his 30-year career.  He said it was the day when the dispatcher called him and sent him to check out the report of a boa constrictor slithering down a Sibley street. He responded to the call, even though he says he knew there were no boa constrictors in Sibley, Iowa. A few minutes later, Wollumth said he radioed the dispatcher and apologized for doubting her, after he had, indeed, located the boa constrictor.

May 22, 2018 - 3:29 pm - Posted in News

The Community Bloodbank Bloodmobile will be visiting Sibley tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Osceola Community Hospital.

Community Blood Bank Executive Director Ken Versteeg says the Sibley visit is the blood bank’s big push heading into the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Versteeg says the Memorial Day holiday marks the first holiday of summer, and the demand for blood increases.

He says most anyone can donate blood, but there are a few requirements to keep in mind.

Versteeg added that you can only donate blood once every 56 days. He says donation is a simple process that doesn’t take up much of your time.

You can drop in any time Wednesday from 10 am to 1 pm, and 2:30 to 5 pm, or if you’d prefer to call for an appointment you can all the Osceola Community Hospital Lab at 712-754-2574.

The Community Blood Bank is the SOLE provider of blood and blood products to the Osceola Community Hospital, as well as most other hospitals in northwest Iowa.

Sibley, Iowa — Three Osceola County organizations have received a part of a $1.6 million bequest by a pair of farming brothers from rural Sibley.

Nick Schmalen, director of the Osceola County Conservation Board, tells us about what they received from the estate of George and Cecil Loof (pronounced “Loaf”).

According to, the average price for farmland in Osceola County is $9,069 per acre. If it were to bring that price, the land would be worth over $2.1 million by itself.

Schmalen tells us about the land.

He says what the conservation board will do with the money is, for the most part, undetermined at this point.

He tells us how the Conservation Board feels about the gift.

Ben Davis, CEO of Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley says their facility received $656,000 from the Loof estate.

Davis says they wish to thank the Loof brothers and their estate for the gift. He says those at the hospital are, “…truly blessed to have people in our community that believe in healthcare. …Generous gifts like this… assure the long-term viability of healthcare. We want to thank them for the confidence, trust, and belief placed in us.”

Osceola Community Hospital Director of Marketing Becky Krogman says it has not yet been determined for what purpose or purposes the money will be used. She says the Osceola Community Hospital Board will make those decisions.

A Sibley church was also given about $492,000 by the Loof estate. First Presbyterian Church leaders say the brothers were not members of the church.

Sibley, Iowa — The Sibley Fire Department responded to two separate calls on Wednesday.

At 9:35 a.m., they were called to the report of a vehicle fire at Highway 9 and L40. That’s a mile and a half due north of Sibley. Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls says that when they got there, the car was fully engulfed in flame. In fact, he says the driver didn’t even have time to pull the car all the way off the road.

He says the engine compartment and interior were destroyed by fire, totaling the vehicle. He says the exact cause of the blaze is unknown, but he says it was probably mechanical and started under the hood. He says perfect circumstances existed for an aggressive fire. In fact, he says the highway might even have sustained some damage.

Huls says about six firefighters were on-scene for about 45 minutes. He says the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene.

Later that day, shortly before 4:00 p.m., the Sibley Fire Department was called again. This time the call was for a tractor fire near 160th Street and Redwing Avenue. That’s about two and a half miles northeast of Sibley.

Huls says when they arrived they found a front-end loader-type tractor fully engulfed in fire. He says the operator was the owner’s son and when he saw smoke behind the cab he called his dad, who then called 911. He says while the 1990 Ford New Holland tractor received enough damage to total it out, the round bale that it was transporting was not damaged. The cause of the fire is undetermined but Huls says it may have been related to the hydraulic system.

The chief says they used between 450 and 500 gallons of water to extinguish the blaze, along with some foam concentrate.  He says the nine firefighters who responded were there for about a half hour.

May 16, 2018 - 3:09 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — A crash near Sibley on Tuesday, May 15th caused a diesel fuel leak from a semi-tractor, to which the Sibley Fire Department was called to help with containment and clean up.

According to Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls, the fire department was called out about 11:25 a.m. to Highway 60 southbound a little north of the exit 51 offramp. That’s the exit for A22, near Jackrabbit Junction.

Huls says that the semi received significant damage to the right side on both the tractor and trailer. He says the fuel leak happened when the steps on the tractor gouged into the fuel tank. He says the tank contained about 175 gallons of diesel at the time of the crash, and between 50 and 75 gallons were spilled.

He says the fire department made a dam to retain the fuel and pumped it into a truck provided by Cooperative Energy Company. He says they used absorbent clay to absorb the spill. Huls tells us that they closed one lane of Highway 60 southbound to clean up after the crash.

Huls mentioned that the Iowa Department of Transportation will probably need to collect some of the contaminated soil at the site of the leak. He says the firefighters were able to contain the fuel to a 10-foot by 3-foot area and prevented it from leaking into the ditch and risking it getting into water.

Huls says personnel from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Sibley Fire Department, DOT Maintenance, DOT Enforcement and Cooperative Energy Company helped with the response to the accident.

May 8, 2018 - 5:01 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — On Monday, May 7th, the Sibley Fire Department responded to two ditch fire calls. Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls says the first one was about 3:30 in the afternoon. He says a farmer was burning cattails in a ditch when the fire worked its way up between the ditch and the yard and started burning a round bale. He says they put that one out in about a half hour. That evening, about a quarter to nine, they were called to Highway 60 southbound, north of Sibley. He says again it was the ditch that was on fire. He said the flames were three or four feet tall, but it was only about a 50-yard by 30-yard area of the ditch, and they also quickly put that fire out. He says the cause is undetermined but could have been a lit cigarette or something thrown from a moving vehicle. Huls urges caution around ditch fires because the smoke can cause zero visibility for quite a stretch of road.

May 2, 2018 - 5:26 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Severe storms rumbled through the northwest Iowa area on Tuesday evening, May 1st. The reports were mainly of hail.

According to reports from the National Weather Service, the hail in our area started around 7:20 p.m. with a report of 1-inch hail three miles west of Sioux Center. That report was via social media. Inch-sized hail is about the size of a quarter.

Next to come in were four reports of nickel-sized hail. (A nickel is about 0.88 of an inch.) The first of those reports was at 7:20 p.m., three miles west-northwest of Sioux Center. The second nickel-sized hail report was from two miles south of Melvin, just into O’Brien County, about 7:25 p.m. About that same time, a report came in from three miles south-southwest of Melvin, also reporting nickel-sized hail. The final nickel-sized hail report was from six miles east-northeast of Sioux Center at about 7:45 p.m. Three of those reports were from a trained spotter and one was from the public.

Lyon County Emergency Management Director Arden Kopischke says that one of their deputies reported small hail in the rain as it fell in the southeast corner of Lyon County. Clarence Stubbe, who reports the weather to KIWA for George also reported small hail in the rain there. He says they received just under an inch of rain. We received 0.65 of an inch at the KIWA studios in Sheldon. But Rock Rapids only received 0.07 of an inch and some thunder.

According to the radar, the storm complex was not very wide and came up through the area from the Sioux City vicinity.

April 30, 2018 - 4:05 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — A northwest Iowa company that has been owned by the same family since it began nearly a century ago, has been sold.

Dave Raak of HTC Communications says his family has agreed to sell HTC to Premier Communications of Sioux Center.

We talked to Premier CEO Doug Boone who says Premier and HTC have had a good working relationship for a number of years.

Raak called the HTC area “the hole in the center of Premier’s donut.” Boone agreed.

We asked Boone what HTC customers could expect to see once Premier is their provider.

Boone says the current HTC offices in Hospers will be kept open, and all HTC employees will become Premier employees.

As for Dave Raak, he says he decided it’s time to slow down and go fishing.

The purchase agreement was signed over the weekend, and Boone says they hope to complete the purchase of HTC by July 1st. However, he says the final sale date is dependent upon when the Federal Communications Commission gives their approval.

April 27, 2018 - 3:50 pm - Posted in News

Ashton, Iowa– Ashton firefighters extinguished two more grass fires this week near Ashton.

According to Ashton Fire Chief Andy Gacke, about 12:20 p.m., the Ashton Fire Department was called to the report of a ditch on fire in the Highway 60 northbound ditch, north of Ashton. He says they found the fire about a quarter mile north of Ashton before the first bridge.

The chief says the fire department saw about two acres of grass on fire as they approached the scene. He says they used water to fight the fire, which had been fanned by the wind. He says they were able to keep the fire from damaging a nearby conservation area.

Gacke says no injuries were reported.

He says the cause of the fire is undetermined.

He says they used about 1,200 gallons of water to fight the fire, and the six firefighters were on scene for about an hour.

Then about 1 p.m. on Friday, the Ashton Fire Department was called again, this time to a fire in the public hunting area a mile and a half south of Ashton on the east side of Highway 60. Gacke says that fire was much smaller, but he says it underlines the fact that there are some dry conditions out now after the snow has melted and the wind has been blowing and the sun shining. He urges people to be careful with smoking materials or anything that can get hot. He says a simple cigarette carelessly tossed out a car window could cause a large fire in these conditions.

April 27, 2018 - 12:03 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — After more than half a century serving northwest Iowa at 1550 on the AM dial, KIWA-AM’s programming has been expanded, and is now also available on an FM frequency.

In an effort to better serve our AM listeners, we have added an FM Translator for our AM signal. That means you can now listen to all your favorite KIWA-AM programming at 100.7 on your FM radio, as well as at 1550 on the AM dial.

The purpose of the FM translator is to provide a cleaner, more listenable broadcast of our AM programming, particularly after sunset, when our KIWA-AM is required by law to reduce output power, and with that, reduce coverage area. In contrast, the FM translator at 100.7 will remain at its full power 24 hours per day. This will be especially welcome news to Orab sports fans, who will now be able to hear their Orab sporting events on 100.7 FM, in addition to AM-1550.

In addition to adding the FM feed of our AM programming, KIWA has expanded our AM program offerings as well, becoming a 24 hour per day, 7 day per week talk radio station. To our traditional lineup that has included the Laura Ingraham program, along with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, we have added such audience favorites as Mark Levin, Ben Shapiro, Jim Bohannon, and other conservative talk radio shows.

If you’d like to view our new AM-1550 and FM-100.7 weekday broadcast schedule, CLICK HERE.

The weekend schedule can be viewed by CLICKING HERE.

Both schedules are subject to change.

The changes in AM programming and the addition of FM 100.7 will have no effect on KIWA-FM 105.3, which is continuing it’s Classic Hits format as The Heart of Rock.