November 29, 2022 - 5:58 pm - Posted in News

Ashton, Iowa — A Spirit Lake man has been arrested on drug and other charges after a traffic stop near Ashton.

According to a criminal complaint filed with the Osceola County Clerk of Court’s Office by the county sheriff’s office, 24-year-old Josh Titus of Spirit Lake is accused of possession of a controlled substance, third or subsequent offense. He was arrested on Saturday, November 26th.

The complaint states Titus was stopped for an equipment violation. The deputy says he could smell marijuana as he approached the vehicle. He says Titus didn’t have an ID on him and allegedly gave the deputy a different name and date of birth. Once his real name was discovered it was found that he had a no-contact order in place with the passenger.

The deputy says that a search of the vehicle allegedly turned up a dab pen with THC in it, a container for a THC vape cart, a meth pipe, and a bag containing meth.

Both Titus, and his passenger, 24-year-old Sydnee Lynn Johnson were charged with violation of a no-contact order, a simple misdemeanor. Titus was additionally charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance – 3rd or subsequent offense, a class D felony; and two misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. Both were transported and booked into the Osceola County Jail.

If convicted of a class D felony, Titus could face up to five years in prison.

Titus faces a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, December 6th.

At last report he remained in the Osceola County Jail on a $6,000 bond. Johnson was released on a $500 unsecured appearance bond.

Le Mars, Iowa — The new extension agronomist for our area says northwest Iowa farmers may end up with low yields next year if our moisture situation isn’t rectified pretty soon.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Agronomist Leah Ten Napel took over from the retiring Joel De Jong a while back. She tells us about it.

She tells us about her qualifications for the position.

Ten Napel says we’ve known that we have been much drier this year, but there is some new northwest Iowa data.

She says this may not be a record, but it’s for sure the driest we’ve been in quite a while.

Ten Napel tells us that the only thing that’s going to help is timely moisture. She says the absolute best would be to get a good soaking after the frost is out of the ground next spring. If we don’t get some decent moisture, she says she’s concerned the crops will have significant reductions in yields next fall.

Click here for the values of plant available moisture for the fall of 2022 collected by ISU Extension and Outreach Field Agronomists

Sibley, Iowa — A northwest Iowa fire chief who also trains emergency responders is advising people to — in one way — use their phone, but in another — NOT use their phone while driving.

Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls says driving with the GPS on your phone or the Iowa 511 app can actually alert you to traffic hazards on your route. But he says you should set it up before you go and not touch it while driving. He says emergency responders and law enforcement are now supposed to call the Iowa Traffic Management Center when there’s an incident, and not only does the DOT dispatch personnel to put up detours, but they can alert drivers too.

Huls says that’s why it’s important to follow your GPS when you’re driving, even when it seems like it’s having you take an unusual route. The GPS and road apps are connected in real time and will route you around incidents. The Iowa 511 app will also tell you when there is an incident nearby.

Huls also wants to reach out to the emergency responders in the area to ask them to get the training and then report incidents to the Traffic Management Center.

He says the traffic management center depends on responders and law enforcement on the ground to tell them what’s going on so they can set up detours and alert the public.

For more information, watch the video below and/or click here.

November 23, 2022 - 12:39 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Many years, about this time, due to travel that puts us together with our family members, we are concerned about the weather on the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. But such does not appear to be the case this year.

Meteorologist Kyle Weisser with the Sioux Falls office of the National Weather Service says Thanksgiving weather can be very variable year-to-year in the Upper Midwest. Sometimes it’s mild and sometimes there are below-zero windchills and snow. He tells us this year, there don’t appear to be any concerns in northwest Iowa.

In fact, Weiser says even if you plan to drive or fly elsewhere in the United States to be with your family, there really aren’t too many concerns.

Weiser says that around here, we can expect more of the same seasonal temperatures after the holiday weekend, with the chance for a system moving through over a week from now.

For up-to-date weather information 24/7, listen to KIWA or head to

Spirit Lake, Iowa — A woman who was convicted of the first-degree murder of a Lake Park woman in a bench trial will not be getting a new trial in her case.

Allison Decker was convicted in June when District Court Judge Shayne Mayer rendered her verdict of guilty in regard to the death of Angel Bastman in the basement of her Lake Park Home on December 22, 2020.

Decker had opted for a bench trial, with Judge Mayer deciding her guilt or innocence, forgoing a jury trial. Judge Mayer found Decker Guilty of 1st Degree Murder, 2nd Degree Theft, and Conspiracy to Commit Theft. She had not yet been sentenced.

Decker’s attorney, Ned Bjornstad first filed the motion for a new trial on Friday, July 22nd, and after the prosecution filed a resistance brief, filed an updated motion on Tuesday. He alleged that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Decker killed Bastman, that she died as a result of any act by Decker, that Decker acted with malice aforethought, and that Decker had a plan to kill Bastman. Rather, he places the full blame on Decker’s co-defendant Justice Berntson who took a plea bargain and has been sentenced.

Judge Mayer filed the ruling on Friday. No sentencing date has yet been set.

November 19, 2022 - 5:53 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — The latest data indicates about 25 percent of Iowans have gotten a flu shot.

That’s Dr. Robert Kruse, the state medical director. During the flu season three years ago, 40 percent of Iowans got a flu shot. Kruse says cases of influenza and the respiratory illness known as R-S-V are increasing in Iowa.

According to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, just under 60 percent of Iowa residents are fully vaccinated against COVID. With holiday gatherings ahead, the agency is urging Iowans to get the flu shot AND ensure they’re up to date on COVID-19 vaccines.

State records indicate nearly 33-point-four percent of Carroll County residents got the flu shot by the end of October. That’s the highest flu vaccination rate of any county. More than 71 percent of Johnson County residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

November 19, 2022 - 5:52 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — The Iowa trapping season is underway, and a DNR expert says the prospects are good.

Furbearer biologist, Vince Evelsizer, says there shouldn’t be any trouble finding furs.

Evelsizer says the only two species that they’re concerned about are foxes and muskrats — which have seen declining populations. He says making a profit from trapping is a little less certain.

Evelsizer says the price of the furs is influenced by several things.

He says there’s been around 14 to 15-thousand licensed fur harvesters the past few years.

Evelsizer says some trappers aren’t concerned about the fur price.

Trappers don’t have to sell their furs this year — Evelsizer says they can keep them for one year and see if prices go up before they have to sell.

Sioux Center, Iowa — Many northwest Iowans woke up to no internet and no landline telephone service this (Tuesday) morning.

Premier Communications spokesperson Scott TeStroete says it was time for scheduled maintenance, but things didn’t go as planned.

He says some of their people were up all night to fix the issue. TeStroete tells us they know when internet and phone service are down, that affects many individuals and businesses and makes people have to think about what they’re going to do instead to get by. He says they’re sorry for the inconvenience.

TeStroete tells us the outage affected their whole area and at times, both landline telephone and internet service were out. Cable TV appears to have not been affected.

Original announcement, published Nov 15, 2022 at 7:10 a.m.:

Northwest, Iowa — We have been made aware of internet and voice communications having issues across the listening area this morning. Keep your radio tuned to KIWA-FM 105.3 for the latest.

Premier Communications says that they are indeed having voice and internet issues in parts of the service territory. They tell us that they are aware of the issue, and are working to restore services as soon as possible.


November 12, 2022 - 6:56 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — The deadline to get your driver’s license upgraded to a Real ID has changed a couple of times, but it now is set for May 3rd of 2023.

The DOT’s Kayla Burkett says it’s a change designed to make travel easier.

Burkett says you can upgrade your driver’s license by making an appointment at a DOT service center, and bring in some documentation.

She says you also need to prove your residency with two pieces of mail that include your name and address. And if your last name is different than the name on your identity document, you would need to provide proof of name change. Burkett says the process to check the documents and issue your Real ID license will take around 15 minutes. She suggests those who have a license that is expiring gather all the documents and make the change when their license is renewed.

Burkett says a majority of Iowa drivers have already taken the steps to get the Real ID star on their license.

Burkett says with six months to go, there’s plenty of time to get the Real ID to make it easier to fly.

She says the lag time for scheduling an appointment at the DOT centers is about two weeks. They do accept walk ins — but you will have to wait a little longer than those who have an appointment. Burkett says the DOT’s county locations each does things a little differently — with some requiring an appointment — while some don’t.

IARN — A ruling on an obstructed license plate will stand after a split vote in the Iowa Supreme Court on the issue.

Prince Payne was stopped by an Altoona police officer who said the ball in the trailer hitch of his pickup was blocking the view of the third letter on the license plate.

Payne was convicted of driving while barred, but appealed, saying the stop was illegal because the hitch ball did not violate the requirement that license plates be clearly visible. The district court ruled against Payne, but the Court of Appels ruled in his favor.

Three Supreme Court justices favored the appeals court decision, and three favored the district court, with one justice not taking part. The high court split means the district court decision of a legal stop stands.