Northwest Iowa — As part of his annual 99-county tour, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig will be making several stops in northwest Iowa this week.

On Tuesday, July 18, at 3:00 p.m., Secretary Naig will be at the Friedrichsen Meat Company at 410 E. Southern Street in Sutherland. Naig’s staff says the secretary will be touring the facility, meeting with owners, learning about the business, and hearing about any issues they may be experiencing. They tell us this is is a relatively new facility. For more information about Friedrichsen Meat, you can visit

On Wednesday, July 19th, he’ll be making his annual Lyon County stop. Secretary Naig will visit the Lyon County Fair at South Fifth Avenue and South Tama Street in Rock Rapids. He’s to meet Lyon County Fair Board members at approximately 8:30 a.m. at the fair office. They will then tour the fair and visit with 4-H/FFA exhibitors as well as other fairgoers. Find out more about the fair at

Later that same morning, (July 19th), he’ll be at the Osceola County Fair at 100 9th Street West in Sibley. Secretary Naig’s staff say he will meet Osceola County Fair Board members at approximately 10:30 a.m. at the show barn/arena in the northwest corner of the fairgrounds. They will then tour the fair and visit with 4-H/FFA exhibitors as well as other fairgoers. And you can learn about the Osceola County Fair on their Facebook page at

June 23, 2023 - 3:21 pm - Posted in News

Tea, SD — Lewis & Clark Regional Water System recently awarded a $2,291,000 contract to West Branch Construction of Boyden, for the Sibley meter building.

This meter building is part of the “base system” and federal funding will be used. Also awarded was a $5,082,700 contract to Rice Lake Construction of Deerwood, MN for the Larchwood pump station. This pump station is part of expanding the system from 44.19 million gallons a day (MGD) to 60 MGD. American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding from the State of Iowa will be used for this project.

Lewis & Clark Regional Water System Executive Director Troy Larson says they can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel. He says All 20 members are expected to be connected by the summer of 2025. Construction started last year on the expansion to 60 MGD, which is estimated to be completed in 2030 or 2031.

Two main projects are left to award in order to complete construction of the base system – the Sibley service line and Phase 3 of the water treatment plant. Larson anticipates awarding the service line contract by this fall and Phase 3 of the treatment plant in early 2024.

In addition to contract awards, Jim Hoye, General Manager of Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities and a member of Lewis & Clark’s Board of Directors, was presented with the prestigious “Lewis & Clark Trailblazer Award” at the organization’s annual membership meeting in Tea on June 22. This is Lewis & Clark’s highest recognition.

Jim joined the Board of Directors in June 2002 and has served on the Executive Committee since 2017. In 2018 Lewis & Clark dedicated a pump station near Rock Rapids in his honor.

In making the presentation, Chairman Murray Hulstein said “Jim is never afraid to share his thoughts and ideas at meetings, but does so with great respect, professionalism, thoughtfulness and usually a good dose of humor. He has made many significant contributions through the last 21 years to help get the project to where it is today. His commitment and dedication are second to none. For generations to come the citizens of Rock Rapids and the surrounding region will enjoy an improved quality of life and expanded economic development opportunities because of water from Lewis & Clark. Jim can take great pride in the important role he played in helping to make that happen. Our heartfelt congratulations to Jim on this well-deserved honor!”

Story from Community First Broadcasting sister station KUOO.

June 16, 2023 - 3:13 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Melvin man has been arrested on drug charges after a traffic stop in Lyon County.

According to a criminal complaint filed with the Lyon County Clerk of Court’s Office by the county sheriff’s office, 32-year-old Devan Schneidermann of Melvin is accused of the possession of marijuana. He was arrested on Tuesday, June 13th.

In his statement, the deputy states that Schneidermann was found to be in possession of marijuana seeds.

Since he had been convicted of a drug-related offense on at least two previous occasions, this time Schneidermann was charged with possession of a controlled substance, third or subsequent offense, which is a class D felony. If convicted, Schneidermann could face up to five years in prison. He also faces misdemeanor charges of walking on the wrong side of the highway and interference with official acts.

He was booked into the Lyon County Jail in Rock Rapids and was released. He faces an initial appearance on the charges on Tuesday, June 20th, 2023.

Washington, DC — An area Congressman is touting a bill that could help our area and perhaps Sheldon specifically.

Congrssman Randy Feenstra of Hull has helped to introduce, alongside Congressman Trent Kelly of Mississippi — the Community College Agriculture Advancement Act, which would equip community and technical colleges with the resources they need to expand agriculture education for their students and the next generation of farmers.

Feenstra says that our exceptional community colleges have an important role to play in expanding and promoting agriculture education in Iowa. From increasing crop yields to lowering input costs, there is a wealth of information available to new and beginning farmers as they prepare for the future. Feenstra says, “The Community College Agriculture Advancement Act will equip the next generation of farmers and producers with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed in the field and beyond. Born and raised in rural Iowa, I will always be a strong advocate for agriculture education and its priceless benefits for our rural economy. I hope to see this legislation pass the Congress — either in the Farm Bill or independently — and be signed into law because agriculture education remains a vital investment for rural America.”

Dr. John Hartog, President of Northwest Iowa Community College says, “We are grateful that Congressman Randy Feenstra has championed the Community College Agriculture Advancement Act. We commend the Congressman for supporting the critical role that community colleges play in preparing the future workforce for our country’s agricultural sector.” Hartog says that the legislation enables industry-responsive training that will produce skilled workers with short-term credentials. He says the plan empowers community colleges to work more closely with their areas’ industries to address workforce needs region by region.

Administrators from other community colleges in Feenstra’s district echoed their support as well.

Feenstra’s staff says this legislation would amend the Farm Bill to create new opportunities for community and technical colleges through Capacity Building Grants for Community College Agriculture and Natural Resources Programs, and Centers of Agriculture Advancement.

They say the bill requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer competitive grants to community and technical colleges, and to consortia and alliances of community and technical colleges supporting agriculture advancement, to assist in maintaining and expanding their capacity to conduct workforce training, education, research, and outreach activities relating to agriculture and renewable resources.

You can find the legislative text HERE.

June 12, 2023 - 10:37 am - Posted in News

Lake Park, Iowa — A man who served previously in the position has been hired as the new Superintendent of the Harris-Lake Park Community School District. Meeting in special session late Friday, the school board approved the hiring of Gary Richardson to the position. Richardson served previously as Harris-Lake Park Superintendent from 1997 to 2002. Prior to that he served as a teacher, coach and middle school high school principal for the district, stemming back to 1981.

Current Superintendent Les Douma says that previous experience with the district was paramount in the board’s decision.

Douma says the upcoming bond issue vote and his familiarity with the district also played a major role in the decision to hire Richardson.

Richardson was among seven candidates who applied for the position. Given the short turnaround, Douma says the fact they were able to get that kind of interest speaks volumes for the area.

Richardson’s first day with Harris-Lake Park will be this coming July 1st. He’ll serve in a part-time capacity, similar to what Douma has been doing in recent years.

Story courtesy of our sister station, KUOO.

June 9, 2023 - 5:36 pm - Posted in News

Ashton, Iowa — Multiple charges have been filed against an Ashton woman in connection with a pursuit last week in Osceola County.

According to court documents, an Osceola county deputy was trying to pull over a vehicle driven by the suspect, Melanie Lucas, around 8:30 pm June 2nd after she was allegedly seen driving at more than 100 mph on Highway 60 south of Ashton. The deputy attempted to pull her over, but she refused to stop until she got to her home. Lucas then reportedly refused to get out of her vehicle and was removed by the deputy.

She was then arrested on charges of eluding, operating under the influence, speeding, and interference with official acts.

Lucas faces a preliminary hearing on the charges on Friday, June 23rd.

Story from Community First Broadcasting sister station KUOO.

Pierre, South Dakota — Some of the money that the states of South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa loaned to the Lewis & Clark Regional Water system is starting to be repaid.

The Lewis & Clark system had been promised funding through the federal government, but up until recent years, the feds were slow to pay, so the system asked the states for advances until they received their funding from the federal government — so that they could keep building the system in the meantime.

Earlier this week, Lewis & Clark’s Executive Director Troy Larson hand-delivered a one million dollar check to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem at the South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre. They tell us this reimbursed the State’s General Fund for a “federal funding advance” that the Legislature approved during the 2014 session. Federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was used to make the repayment.

Lewis & Clark officials hope to be able to start providing their Missouri River aquifer water to Sheldon by the end of this year, and Sibley by the end of next year.

Lake Park, Iowa — The Harris-Lake Park school district still hopes to put a bond issue for a construction project before the voters this fall. But there have been a couple of big changes.

HLP Superintendent Les Douma explains.

But, Douma says there IS one more change — a change in superintendent.

Douma tells us he is not at liberty to give us any names of people being considered, but they hope to narrow the field by next week at this time.

He tells us that the individual will be a “half-time” superintendent.

Douma says the election will be on a proposal to build a new elementary school onto their current 6-12 building. The proposed solution would create a PK-12, all-in-one-location setting, says Douma, estimated to cost $17.1 million. He tells us they will have public information meetings as the November 7th election draws nearer.

June 1, 2023 - 2:43 pm - Posted in News

Sioux County, Iowa — A pair from Sibley has been arrested on theft charges after Sioux County authorities accused them of stealing from a railroad.

According to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, 46-year-old David Case and 33-year-old Margaret Jakobson, both of Sibley, are accused of entering property owned by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and stealing metal. They were arrested on Tuesday, May 30th.

The Sheriff’s office says that upon further investigation, deputies believe that Case and Jakobson stole railroad tie plates and steel stakes and were attempting to sell it as scrap iron at a salvage business.

Case and Jakobson were transported to the Sioux County Jail where they were each charged with second degree theft, a class D felony. They tell us it was a joint investigation between the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office and Osceola Sheriff’s Office.

If convicted, Case and Jakobson could face up to five years in prison on the felony charge.

They face a preliminary hearing on June 6th.

At last report, the pair remained in the Sioux County Jail in Orange City in lieu of twin $5000 bonds.

Northwest Iowa — Two northwest Iowa fire departments responded to calls recently that involved burning pit fires burning out of control.

According to Ashton Fire Chief Andy Gacke, in the 1 p.m. hour, the Ashton Fire Department was called to the report of a brush fire at 4933 220th Street, five miles west and a mile north of Ashton.

The chief says the fire department saw heavy smoke from the tree line as they approached the scene. He says they used water to fight the fire, which began as a burn pit fire went out of control.

Gacke says no injuries were reported. He says there was no damage to speak of, and that the firefighters who responded were on the scene for about an hour.

The Rock Rapids Fire Department was called out on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 for another burn pit out of control.

According to Rock Rapids Fire Chief Ed Reck, at about 2:45 p.m., the Rock Rapids Fire Department was called to the report of a field fire at 2907 180th Street, three miles south of the 9 and 75 junction in Rock Rapids and a mile and a half west.

The chief says a burn pile had gotten away from the person tending the fire. He says firefighters used water and foam to fight the fire.

Reck says no injuries were reported.

Chief Reck reports that there was no damage to anything of significance.

He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene for only a short time.