Washington, DC — In the early hours of Saturday morning, January 7th, the U.S. House of Representatives, after several failed votes, finally selected Republican Kevin McCarthy from California as Speaker of the House.

McCarthy had to make concessions to Republican Party hardliners who had refused to support him for not being sufficiently conservative. It took 15 votes for a majority to vote for any candidate, in this case, McCarthy.

Congressman Randy Feenstra from Hull subsequently issued a statement after McCarthy was elected.

Feenstra says, “The American people entrusted Republicans with our new House majority to deliver real results for our country and our communities. With the election of Kevin McCarthy as our Speaker, we can now honor our Commitment to America by defunding President Biden’s army of 87,000 new IRS agents, securing our border, ending wasteful spending, and protecting our family farmers and producers. I am also encouraged that, under Speaker McCarthy, we have secured important reforms to prevent massive bills – like the recent $1.7 trillion government spending package that I opposed – from being written behind closed doors and passed in haste. I look forward to serving Iowans, rebuilding our economy, and delivering on our promises in the 118th Congress.”

January 4, 2023 - 10:10 pm - Posted in News

Tea, South Dakota — The water system bringing Missouri River aquifer water to Sheldon, Sibley, Hull, Sioux Center, and a number of other communities is announcing some funding.

Lewis & Clark Regional Water System Executive Director Troy Larson tells us the FY23 Appropriations Bill that was signed into law on December 29, 2022 by President Biden includes $18.6 million for the ongoing construction of the water system. This total includes the funding proposed by the Administration, as well as a congressionally-directed spending request made by Senators Amy Klobuchar, Mike Rounds, and Tina Smith.

Larson says the funding is keeping pace with the amount received last year.

Larson tells us in a way, the funding is already earmarked for bills.

He tells us this really doesn’t change the expected timeline.

Larson tells us they now see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s been a long time coming. The ideas started flowing over 30 years ago in the 1980s. Lewis & Clark was incorporated in 1990 and authorized by Congress in 2000.

Northwest Iowa — With the extra cold temperatures and snow blowing furiously the past couple of days, some reminders are in order according to some experts.

Northwest Iowa fire chiefs say if you only have an older gas furnace, your furnace exhaust probably leaves your house from a chimney on your roof. But if your furnace is new in the last 20 years or so, you probably have a high-efficiency gas furnace. Those usually vent out of the side of your house, usually low to the ground. They say the exhaust that comes out of them is a lot cooler, but tell us the exhaust also has water vapor in it, which can cause a problem when temperatures outside are very low. The vapor can condense and freeze, sometimes blocking the pipe. And that’s obviously very bad because carbon monoxide will build up in your home.

The chiefs are reminding us that not only can the pipes freeze up, but snow can drift around the pipe, also blocking it, and causing the same carbon monoxide issues.

Similar things can happen that also cause issues. For instance, according to Sanborn Fire Chief Randy Lyman, their firefighters were called out Friday morning for a carbon monoxide call. After investigation, firefighters found that the chimney was plugged with a bird’s nest. They took care of that and aired out the house.

Sewer gases can also cause issues. Sioux Center Fire Chief Dave Van Holland tells us about a couple of recent calls in which sewer vent pipes on rooves iced up and were blocking the sewer gas from leaving the home. Not only does sewer gas smell awful, it can also be hazardous to your health too as it can contain hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and carbon monoxide.

Then there is the problem of chimney fires. The National Fire Protection Association says that a leading factor contributing to home heating fires is creosote buildup from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys. Creosote is a natural byproduct of woodburning. They recommend that if you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove that you have a qualified professional clean and inspect your chimney and vents every year.

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Sibley, Iowa– A 200 by 100-foot metal building, the office inside, and 12 semi-tractors were all destroyed in a fire early on Thursday, December 22, 2022, in Sibley.

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According to Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls, at about 2:50 a.m., the Sibley Fire Department was called to the report of a truck on fire in the shop at Bosma Poultry trucking company, just south of Jackrabbit Junction.

The chief says the fire department saw major smoke coming from the building as they approached the scene. He says they encountered wind and snow. He says an employee called 911 when they discovered the fire, and a sheriff’s deputy was the first to arrive and tried to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher, but it quickly got away from them. Huls tells us the major cold was the biggest problem. Three of Sibley’s pumpers froze up. The nearest fire hydrant was over a block away and in the temperatures ranged from -12 to -20 degrees, so the water was freezing up before it could get to the firefighters. He says they also had manpower issues. Huls tells us they estimate that they used between 200,000 and 225,000 gallons of water.

Huls says no injuries were reported, but some firefighters did suffer from frostbite and extreme cold, with one experiencing heart palpitations.

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The fire department was assisted by the Ashton, Little Rock, Sheldon, and Ocheyedan fire departments. Sheldon brought their aerial ladder truck. All Osceola County Ambulances were at the scene as well.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be electrical in nature on one of the semi-tractors.

Chief Huls reports that the building and all its contents were a total loss. Damage was estimated at three to four million dollars.

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He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene for six and a half hours. Huls tells us that after they were done, they had to load their hoses, which were now hard-as-a-rock, ice-filled, as he calls them, “popsicles” onto a flatbed truck and take them to a heated shop at Cenex Coop to thaw out.

Huls says he wants to thank Cenex Coop and everyone who helped out, including the firefighters and EMTs, the Sibley Firefighters Ladies Auxillary, Jackrabbit Junction and AmericInn who provided places for firefighters to warm up, Kwik Star who provided coffee, and the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and Sibley Utilities who also provided support.

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Northwest Iowa — Oh the weather outside is frightful, and it’s not forecast to get much more delightful anytime soon.

After a bout with frigid windchills of 20 below, it’s going to get snowy, windy, and even colder, according to the National Weather Service. Meteorologist Matthew Meyers at the Sioux Falls office tells us what to expect.

He says the first part of the storm will see typical winds for northwest Iowa, but they’re going to get stronger.

And, of course, with strong winds, come bone-chilling windchills.

Meyers says the windchills will be nothing to scoff at or take lightly. He says they will be life-threatening.

He tells us it’s still early, so this system could change or move, so the exact amounts and timing could change. Stay tuned to KIWA Radio and kiwaradio.com for the latest weather information, including the inevitable postponements and cancellations.

December 16, 2022 - 4:25 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Several northwest Iowa law enforcement departments are participating in a national effort to help stop impaired driving during the holiday season.

The Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau tells us that now through January 2nd, 2023, motorists will see an increased presence of law enforcement as part of this campaign, which started this Friday (December 16th).

Iowa law enforcement officers across the state and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (or NHTSA) will be removing impaired drivers from the roads and helping to save lives.

Iowa State Patrol Trooper Kevin Krull says this season is known for being the deadliest season when it comes to impaired driving.

Krull says that as you head out to holiday festivities, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

He gives us advice on both how to stay safe on the roads and how to keep from meeting a trooper by accident.

For the designated driver, law enforcement officers are asking them to take the role seriously and not partake in alcohol or any other drugs.

Officers remind us that not only can an OWI cost you your license and $10,000 in attorney’s fees, fines, repairs, and lost time at work, it could also cost you or someone else their life.

Krull says this year hasn’t been a good one for keeping the fatality numbers down.

In addition, Krull reminds holiday travelers that if they see any kind of vehicle pulled over to the side of the road with flashers or emergency lights going — to, at the very least, slow way down — and if it’s possible — to move into the next lane over to give them some room. That’s the law in Iowa. He says when you come upon a situation on the side of the road, you never know what to expect, so it’s best to slow way down to improve your reaction time and move over in case something unexpected happens.

Northwest Iowa — If you have a snowmobile or an off-highway vehicle the DNR reminds you that unlike vehicle licenses, which come due in your birth month, all snowmobile and off-highway vehicle license registrations need to be renewed before January 1, 2023.

The DNR and county recorders’ offices remind us that registrations for snowmobiles and OHVs purchased during the 2022 registration cycle expire on December 31. Any decal displayed on a machine with a “22” printed on it will no longer be valid for machines used on snowmobile trails, public ice, or the OHV parks. Any registration that is not renewed prior to January 1, 2023, will have a late penalty of $5 applied to the cost of the registration.

All user permits, which include resident snowmobiles and nonresident snowmobiles, and OHVs, also expire on December 31. There is no late penalty for a permit purchased after January 1, as they are issued for a calendar year. User permits are required for nonresident and resident snowmobiles used on public land or ice. Nonresident off-road vehicles registered in their home state must display a user permit. Residents operating an off-highway vehicle do not need a user permit.

December 13, 2022 - 4:32 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Monday night’s ice storm did produce some damage in northwest Iowa. In addition to several accidents due to icy roads, there were some other reports sent to the National Weather Service.<!–more–>

They report that there was a social media post with picture of a 6-inch branch down at Melvin. They also reported about a quarter of an inch of ice there.

Near Larchwood, someone reported quarter-inch ice accumulation and large tree branches down up to 12 inches in diameter. There was another report of large trees down in the city of Larchwood.

A weather reporter also told the weather service that there was about an eighth of an inch of accumulation of ice at Hull on Tuesday morning. Someone reported a quarter of an inch of ice at Sanborn too. It was measured on a tree branch, and they noted tree branches cracking and breaking, as well as arcing power lines.

There was less ice in Rock Rapids. Someone there reported just a light glaze of ice on most surfaces in town.

Much of the ice melted during the day on Tuesday, with temperatures in the area hovering a few degrees above freezing.

Sheldon, Iowa — The weather for the next few days isn’t going to be the nicest. But it could be worse. To our northeast, in the middle of South Dakota, they could get two feet of snow.

Around here, we could see rain, ice, and snow. Plus, the wind could also be a factor. Depending on how much ice and wind we get, there could be powerline and tree issues, according to the National Weather Service. Matthew Meyers, a meteorologist for the Sioux Falls office tells us about it.

He gives us an idea of what to expect on Tuesday and beyond.

Meyers says with the temperatures hovering right around freezing, it’s difficult to predict where the precip will fall as rain or as snow, or as rain on cold surfaces, causing ice to form. He says the winds will become a problem as well.

According to Meyers, the slow-moving system will finally push off to the east by Friday. But he says that’s when the cold air will arrive. Friday and Saturday highs in Sheldon are forecast in the teens with some subzero windchills.

December 12, 2022 - 11:23 am - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — The weather is causing some challenges for the KIWA stations this week.

The weather is causing some ice buildup on our tower, which requires us to lower the output power of our transmitters in order to keep them on the air and avoid damage to the transmitters themselves.

All three of the KIWA stations, AM-1550, FM-100.7 and FM105.3 are affected.

If you’re in an area where you no longer have a strong enough signal to listen to KIWA-FM 105.3, you can still hear it online by clicking on this link.

We apologize for any inconvenience. All the KIWA stations will return to full power as soon as icing conditions permit.