Davenport, Iowa — The company that’s bringing the wind power transmission line to northwest Iowa continues to talk to businesses along their proposed route. Clean Line Energy is seeking to partner with Iowa businesses to help them build their $1.7 billion power line across the state.

They met with companies in the Quad Cities on Thursday, wrapping up a week of similar open house events. The 500-mile transmission project is to deliver wind energy produced in northwest Iowa through a converter station in O’Brien County and across both Iowa and Illinois to near Morris, Illinois. There the lines are to connect with the grid at the Collins Substation.

Officials say the project is expected to create 5,000 construction jobs. Plus 500 about workers are expected to be needed in operations jobs, primarily here in northwest Iowa.

August 31, 2012 - 8:03 am - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — Three people have been sentenced recently in separate incidents in Osceola County.

A Spirit Lake resident will serve a little jail time and probation and pay a fine after the defendant pled guilty to charges connected with entering without permission.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 20-year-old Hayley David Wilson of Spirit Lake pled guilty to Criminal Mischief and Trespassing, both Simple Misdemeanors.

Wilson was ordered to pay a total fine of $360, court costs, restitution of any court-appointed attorney fees, and any victim restitution. On each offense, Wilson was sentenced to 30 days in the Osceola County Jail with all time suspended except for one day, with the sentences to be served concurrently. Wilson will also serve two years’ probation.

On March 28, 2012, police records indicate Wilson entered a property without permission and attempted to gain access to in a recreational vehicle.


A Minnesota man received a deferred sentence and will serve probation after he was found guilty of possession of a controlled substance.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 21-year-old Kyle David Van Vleet of Mankato, Minnesota, was found guilty of Possession of a Controlled Substance, a Serious Misdemeanor.

Van Vleet is to pay a total fine of $850, court costs, and restitution of any court-appointed attorney fees. His judgment was deferred, and he will serve one year of probation.

On March 10, 2012, an Osceola County Deputy stopped Van Vleet for a moving violation in Sibley. During a search of Van Vleet’s vehicle, the deputy found a jar of marijuana in a backpack that Van Vleet later admitted belonged to him.


A Little Rock woman will serve a little jail time and probation among other penalties after she pled guilty to Domestic Abuse and Interference With Official Acts.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 22-year-old Heather Lynn Kruger of Little Rock pled guilty to the charges, which are both Simple Misdemeanors.

Kruger is to pay a total fine of $295, court costs, restitution of any court-appointed attorney fees, and any victim restitution. On the Interference charge, Kruger was sentenced to thirty days in jail, with twenty-eight days suspended. She will also serve two years’ probation.

On the Assault charge, Kruger’s judgment was deferred, and she will serve a year of probation on that charge. She was also ordered to successfully complete a Domestic Abuse Intervention Program and comply with the treatment’s recommendations.

According to the police report, on March 4, 2012, an Osceola County Deputy stopped a vehicle on Nettle Avenue. Kruger was the passenger in the vehicle. She exited the vehicle and was later found hiding in a grove. Kruger assaulted the male driver of the vehicle when she returned to the vehicle and resisted officers when placed under arrest.

Sioux Falls, SD — The National Weather Service says conditions are right for explosive fire growth today.

A Red Flag Warning has been issued that includes our four-county listening area — O’Brien, Sioux, Osceola, and Lyon Counties. A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will occur in the near future. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures will create explosive fire growth potential.

The forecast is for very hot and dry conditions to persist south of Interstate 90 today. Winds will be from the southwest at 10 to 20 miles per hour with gusts up to 30 miles per hour. Relative humidity will be as low as 18 percent. Temperatures will be in the upper 90′s, with 100 degrees not out of the question. Fire behavior will again be critical in areas south of Interstate 90, with the strong southwest winds and extremely low humidity levels.

The Red Flag Warning is in effect from noon to 8 PM this evening.

The Weather Service says any fires that ignite will spread rapidly. They advise to postpone outdoor burning.

An open burning ban continues in Lyon, Sioux, and O’Brien Counties in our four-county area, but today it’s extremely critical. It is suggested that people use extreme caution with anything that could get hot, like farm equipment, welding equipment, and smoking materials. Do not throw lit cigarettes from moving vehicles.

Firefighting is also more difficult in these conditions and the Weather Service says fighting fires at the flanks is recommended in red flag conditions.

August 30, 2012 - 11:16 am - Posted in News

Worthington, MN — The Highway 60 detour around the Worthington area is changing again.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation or Mn/DOT says that beginning late Thursday afternoon, the Highway 60 northeastbound lanes will be closed from across from Graham Tire to 500 feet northeast of the Blue Line Truck Stop Entrance. Highway 60 traffic will all be shifted over to the reopened Highway 60 southwestbound lanes.

The previously closed I-90 westbound ramps will also be reopened to traffic at that time.

This traffic layout will continue through this winter, and will not change until Spring of 2013.

The detour south of Worthington remains the same, using Nobles County
Roads 4 and 5 and a very small portion of County Road 33 in Worthington.

Click here for a map of the affected area.

Click here for more information on the project.

August 29, 2012 - 8:07 am - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that on August 24, 2012, Christian Nels Lange, age 24 of Sibley pled guilty to two counts of Tampering With Records, both Aggravated Misdemeanors.

Lange is to pay a total fine of $1,812.50, court costs, and restitution of any court-appointed attorney fees. He was sentenced to a year in jail with all time suspended for each offense. He will also serve two years probation.

On December 10, 2010, and on July 26, 2010, Christian Lange gave false testimony while testifying under oath at two separate court proceedings in Sibley.

August 28, 2012 - 2:14 pm - Posted in Sports

Dove Season Begins September 1st

An estimated 30,000 hunters will be in the field when Iowa’s dove season opens on Saturday.

The dry summer likely created conditions that will benefit dove hunters. Doves eat seeds, like sunflowers, corn and weed seeds, and prefer eating on bare ground.

If looking for a place to hunt, the Iowa DNR has a listing of public hunting areas with food plots for doves online at www.iowadnr.gov/Portals/idnr/uploads/Hunting/mdove_plots.pdf.

Even without a dedicated food plot, hunters should look for any area that offers them concealment and small grains or weed seed, water or grit.

Since doves are considered a migratory game bird, hunters will need to have a plug in their gun limiting them to three shells and must register with the Harvest Information Program before they go hunting. Hunters may register online at https://jc.activeoutdoorsolutions.com/ia_customer/app/goHome.do or by calling
1-855-242-3683.

Hunters are required to have a valid Iowa small game hunting license and the habitat fee to hunt doves. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. The daily bag limit is 15 doves with a possession limit of 30.

Iowa’s dove population is similar to last year and doves can be found in all 99 Iowa counties. Dove hunting is a great way to introduce individuals to hunting because it takes place when the weather is nice and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

Heavy Boat Traffic Expected for Labor Day Weekend

Boaters heading out for the Labor Day holiday will likely find busy waterways and low water levels.

Susan Stocker, boating law administrator and education coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said the low water will require boat operators to pay extra attention to hazards starting at the boat ramp.

“Use caution when loading and unloading the boat. Back in only as far as necessary to get the boat on and off the trailer to avoid backing off the ramp,” Stocker said. “Our lakes and rivers are really low so use caution when boating near shore to avoid any low water hazards that have recently been exposed.”

The weekend weather forecast is favorable for boaters and combined with a three day weekend should produce heavy boat traffic.

Stocker said ramps will likely be busy, placing boating etiquette at a premium.

“Everyone is excited to get on the water,” she said. “Be patient, and when it’s your turn be ready to launch. Courtesy on the water goes a long way in avoiding problems.”

She said given the drought conditions, boaters should operate in areas they are familiar with and slow their speeds.

Another way to prevent problems is for the boat operator to avoid alcohol while operating the craft.

“We want boaters to have fun on the water, but we don’t want that fun to end in a boating tragedy. Boaters need to keep safety in mind while on the water,” Stocker said.

Preparing for a safe day on the water begins in the driveway. Make sure to have a properly fitting life jacket for each person on board and that all of the safety equipment, including a properly working fire extinguisher, is on board.

“Remember, life jackets only work when worn,” Stocker said. “Life jackets float, you don’t.”

Campgrounds Filling for Labor Day Weekend

The last big camping weekend of the summer recreation season begins Friday and nearly every reservable campsite with electricity in an Iowa state park has been claimed. Campers who are wanting to partake but do not have a site reserved should plan to arrive as early in the week as possible to claim a first come, first served campsite.

“People just don’t miss spending these three day weekends in our parks,” said Kevin Szcodronski, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Parks Bureau.

“We are going to be busy so having patience and being respectful of your neighbors will be important. Campers should watch their noise level during quiet hours, only burn firewood in fire rings and leave the fireworks at home. It only takes one loud campsite to ruin the experience for a lot of people,” Szcodronski said.

While Labor Day Weekend marks the end of the summer recreation season, it also is the beginning of fall camping when the crowds are lighter, bugs are fewer, weather is cooler and the leaves begin to show all the colors in the spectrum.

“We’ve had a good year in our campgrounds and we hope to continue that into the fall,” he said.

 

 

August 28, 2012 - 12:58 pm - Posted in News

Northern Iowa — The worst drought in decades has dried up many crops and is forcing combines into Iowa’s corn fields in one of the earliest harvest seasons in memory.

John Holmes, an agronomist with Iowa State University Extension, says odd as it may seem for late August, harvest season has arrived for many farmers.

Read the full story: “http://www.kiwaradio.com/local-news/harvest-is-already-underway-for-some-

By Pat Powers

Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.

“The widespread rain this weekend was very welcome and hopefully helped the soybean crop set and fill a few more pods,” Northey said. “The crop continues to mature rapidly and will likely result in a record early harvest in many parts of the state this year.”

The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA’s site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia.

CROP REPORT

Iowa experienced widespread rainfall late last week with the heaviest precipitation in the southwest and south central parts of the state. Although soybean conditions lag behind previous years, farmers are hoping plants will produce more pods as a result of recent rains. In addition to farmers chopping their corn for silage, there are reports of farmers starting to harvest corn for grain or seed according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistical Service, Iowa Field Office.

There were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork statewide during the past week. Topsoil moisture levels improved to 49 percent very short, 30 percent short, 19 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture also improved and is now rated at 64 percent very short, 30 percent short, 6 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus.

Ninety-six percent of the corn crop has reached dough stage, ahead of last year’s 88 percent and the five year average of 77 percent. Eighty-two percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage, ahead of last year’s 62 percent and the five year average of 45 percent. Twenty-seven percent of the corn crop is now mature, two weeks ahead of normal. Corn condition is reported at 23 percent very poor, 30 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 14 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. Pods are being set on 98 percent of the soybean crop. Nineteen percent of soybean crop is turning color, ahead of last year’s three percent and the five year average of six percent. Reports of soybean leaves dropping came in from across the state. Soybean condition is reported at 14 percent very poor, 22 percent poor, 39 percent fair, 23 percent good, and 2 percent excellent. Harvest of third cutting of alfalfa hay, at 95 percent complete, is a month ahead of normal.

Nineteen percent of Iowa’s pasture and range land is rated in fair or better condition, a three percentage point increase from last week. Pasture and range condition rated 55 percent very poor, 26 percent poor, 15 percent fair, 4 percent good, and 0 percent excellent. Cattle on feed recorded good gains thanks to optimal weather conditions.

IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY

By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship

Widespread significant rainfall finally arrived over parts of Iowa over the past weekend. Rain moved into far western Iowa late Friday (24th) and exited the southeast corner of the state Sunday (26th) afternoon. Heaviest rain fell over southwest and far southern Iowa with Lamoni reporting 8.14 inches. The excessive rain at Lamoni fell almost all on Sunday morning but was confined to a very small area. Rain amounts were relatively light over much of northern and central Iowa. Mason City Airport reported the smallest total with only 0.04 inch. Additionally some light rain also fell across the northeast one-half of Iowa last Sunday (19th) and over extreme northeastern Iowa on Monday (20th). Dry weather prevailed statewide from Monday afternoon until Friday afternoon. The statewide average rainfall for the week was 1.29 inches while normal is 0.91 inches. This was the wettest week in ten weeks and only the second week of the past 15 weeks to average greater than normal rainfall. Meanwhile the past reporting week began unseasonably cool on Monday (20th) and Tuesday (21st) thanks to very low overnight temperatures. Elkader reported the week’s lowest temperature with a Tuesday morning low of 39 degrees. By mid week daytime highs were generally in the nineties but low humidities allowed overnight temperatures to drop into the 40s and 50s. Much more humid air arrived by late in the week with temperatures averaging a few degrees above normal. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged very slightly below normal over the far southeast to three degrees above normal over the far northwest with a statewide average of 0.8 degrees above normal.

August 27, 2012 - 11:40 am - Posted in News

Spencer, Iowa — In a rare northwest Iowa appearance, Senator Tom Harkin is going to speak in Spencer on Thursday (8/30).

Harkin will be at the Spencer Area Activity Center on East Fourth Street. The appearance will start at 9:45 AM.

The Senator plans to outline his proposed retirement security plan that was unveiled in late July. The plan proposes changes to Social Security to strengthen retirement funding.

Senator Harkin will also discuss the drought and the need for a farm bill.

He’ll also make northwest Iowa stops in Ida Grove and Sioux City on Monday.

Granville, Iowa — A Sibley teen was taken to a hospital, and the vehicle he was driving sustained severe damage in an accident near Granville on Thursday night.

The Sioux county Sheriff’s Office reports that 19-year-old Austin Steffen of Sibley was driving a 2005 Sterling LT9500 straight truck loaded with silage westbound on 490th street, three miles south of Granville, when he swerved for a deer on the roadway.

Steffen lost control of the truck, which entered the north ditch and rolled onto its side.

Steffen was transported to the Orange City Hospital by the Granville Ambulance.

The truck, owned by Franken Custom Incorporated, of Sioux Center sustained approximately $80,000 in damages.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Granville Fire Department and Granville Ambulance.