Sibley, Iowa– A Hartley woman was taken to the hospital after an accident in Sibley on Friday, March 10, 2023.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 11:25 a.m., 45-year-old Heather Ten Kley of Hartley was driving a 2005 Chevy westbound on A22 going over the Highway 60 overpass at Sibley. They tell us that 32-year-old Tanner Doeden of George was eastbound on A22, turning north onto the half-circle onramp for southbound Highway 60 in a 2004 Freightliner semi.

The report says that Doeden failed to see Ten Kley approaching and allegedly turned left in front of her. Ten Kley was unable to stop in time and then collided with the passenger side of the Doeden’s tractor unit. Ten Kley was using her car as a postal carrier vehicle at the time of the accident.

The Sibley Ambulance took Ten Kley to Osceola Regional Health Center Hospital. The deputy says Ten Kley suffered serious injuries and had to be extracted from her vehicle.

Ten Kley’s Chevy was totaled with $5000 in damages, and Doeden’s Freightliner semi sustained $1500 in damages.

Doeden was charged with failure to yield upon left turn.

March 11, 2023 - 11:03 pm - Posted in News

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Northwest Iowa — Has the snowfall affected the drought? According to the latest report from the US Drought monitor, it has.

According to the latest information from the US Drought Monitor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the area of extreme drought has been shrinking. As late as Valentine’s Day, about half of O’Brien County was in extreme drought, along with about half of Cherokee County and nearly all of Buena Vista, Pocahontas, Humboldt, Woodbury, and Monona counties. But the latest Drought Monitor report, released at the end of last week shows much less extreme drought. It’s now limited to a small part of Woodbury, Monona, and Harrison counties.

The area of exceptional drought along the Missouri River south of Sioux City, however, hasn’t changed much.

For the most part, the rest of our area of northwest Iowa hasn’t changed much either. There’s still an area that’s only labeled “abnormally dry” in western Lyon and northwestern Sioux counties. The rest of Lyon County and most of Sioux and Osceola counties are in moderate drought, with severe (but not extreme or exceptional) drought in all of O’Brien County, extending a little into Sioux and Osceola counties and continuing three counties south and four east.

Most of the state is at least abnormally dry, except for the eastern few tiers of counties and a bubble of about 12 counties in south-central Iowa.

Northwest Iowa — Saint Patrick’s Day is this coming Friday and this week is traditionally one of the deadliest weeks of the year for motorists and pedestrians in Iowa and nationwide.

Trooper Kevin Krull with the Iowa State Patrol says they’re joining other law enforcement agencies to spread the message about the dangers of drinking and driving — and to take impaired drivers off the road.

The program started on Saturday and runs through this coming Sunday, March 19th. Krull says if you’re at a St. Pat’s party on foot, you’ll need to be especially cautious.

During the week of St. Patrick’s Day last year, 48 people were either seriously injured or killed in car crashes on Iowa’s roads.

He says drivers should also stay alert, slow down, stay off their electronics. Krull says everyone needs to play a part to stay safe.

March 7, 2023 - 4:12 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — As if we haven’t had enough snow and wintery weather, another storm system is headed our way, according to weather forecasters.

Meteorologist Jeff Chapman at the National Weather Service Office in Sioux Falls tells us about it.

He gives us an idea of how much snow to expect in our area.

Chapman says a little ice isn’t out of the question either. As overnight snow tapers off this Wednesday morning it could change to freezing rain, but any accumulations would be light, says Chapman.

He tells us that while they aren’t forecasting blizzard conditions, there will be some wind too.

The one good thing is that it won’t be bitterly cold like a January storm. However, even the moderate temps will be a mixed blessing.

But he says the warmer temps might mean faster melting as well. It looks like we might get a break from the snow on Friday, but there’s a pretty good chance again on Saturday and Saturday night.

March 7, 2023 - 4:04 am - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — This Tuesday, March 7th, there will be a special opportunity in Sheldon for high school students who are interested in the healthcare field.

Kevin Miller, Northwest Iowa Community College’s Emergency Services Education Coordinator tells us about the camp, which is called “Scrubs Camp.”

Miller says the main idea of the Scrubs Camp is to raise awareness about what opportunities are available.

He tells us over a hundred area high school students are registered for the camp. Miller tells us the idea is for students to “scrub up” with pros who actually DO healthcare for a living.

The day will include eight 30-minute sessions all featuring hands-on activities for the students to participate in. Live-action simulation scenarios will run back-to-back.

The topics will run the gamut. Some topics include nursing, radiologic technology, pharmacy, health information technology & medical coding, surgery, medical laboratory, EMS, and more.

Ashton, Iowa — A house was basically destroyed in a fire on Friday, February 24, 2023, in Ashton, and authorities believe it was intentionally set.

According to Ashton Fire Chief Andy Gacke, at about 10:25 a.m., the Ashton Fire Department was called to the report of a house fire at 533 5th Street in Ashton.

The chief says the fire department saw heavy smoke as they approached the scene. He says they used water from handlines to fight the fire.

Gacke says the occupant and their pet were able to escape the flames and were found outside when firefighters arrived. He tells us the American Red Cross was contacted in regard to living arrangements for the occupant.

The fire department was assisted by the Sibley Fire Department and EMS personnel from both Ashton and Sibley. The Osceola County Emergency Management Agency also assisted at the scene.

He says the cause of the fire is under investigation by the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s office

Chief Gacke reports that there was extensive damage, and that the house was probably totaled in the blaze.

He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene for about three hours.

Late on Friday, KIWA Radio received word from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office that upon investigation at the scene, an Osceola County Deputy arrested 32-year-old David Alvarez Jr of Ashton in connection with the fire. Alvarez is charged with alleged Arson 1st Degree, a Class B Felony; and Criminal Mischief 1st Degree, a Class C Felony. Alvarez was transported and booked into the Osceola County Jail and held on a $35,000 bond.

Sibley, Iowa — At a Sibley-Ocheyedan School Board meeting on Friday morning, February 24, 2023, board members voted to approve Sibley-Ocheyedan’s current 7th-12 grade principal, Stan De Zeeuw to move into the superintendent role.

According to Sibley-Ocheyedan officials, De Zeeuw will transition with current superintendent James Craig and officially start his duties on July 1, 2023.

They tell us De Zeeuw was excited to accept the position saying, “I am humbled and honored to get the opportunity to lead the Sibley-Ocheyedan School District.” School board president Kyle Grimes also issued a statement, saying, “Stan was a clear choice by the interview teams and has the full support of the school board. We are excited about what the future holds under his leadership.”

Sibley-Ocheyedan officials say that during his tenure as principal, De Zeeuw took the lead on evaluating teachers, refining the at-risk program and lead staff to program delivery changes. He also collaborated with other administrators on staffing and budget issues. De Zeeuw holds an education specialist degree from Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska, and has served as a member of the School Administrators of Iowa since 2018. They tell us that prior to his current role, De Zeeuw was a teacher at the Rock Valley CSD. Board members have been working with Grundmeyer Leader Services to conduct the search. The new superintendent will officially begin leading the Sibley-Ocheyedan Community School District on July 1, 2023.

February 23, 2023 - 3:50 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — Officials with Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon are again reporting that never before have this many students attended the college at one time.

In the first two semesters of the 2022-23 academic year, the College is on pace for a record enrollment year. The Fall of 2022 was the largest fall class in the school’s history dating back to 1966. They tell us the 1,811 enrolled students represent about a 5.54% increase from Fall 2021 when the headcount was 1,716. The previous record was in the fall of 2019 when enrollments were 1,777 students.

NCC officials say the enrollments for Spring 2023 follow in a similar trajectory topping all previous enrollment numbers with a record-setting 1,850 students. This represents a 3.64% increase over last year’s enrollments of 1,785.

NCC has multiple terms and start dates throughout the year, so the fall and spring enrollment numbers are just two data points that NCC records throughout the year. They say that another strong indicator is the summer semester enrollments.

Beth Sibenaller-Woodall, NCC Registrar, says that summer enrollments are looking strong, but there won’t be an accurate count until the official count day which is 10 days after the start of the semester. She says NCC is on track for a record-breaking year. Sibenaller-Woodall tells us that by the end of NCC’s previous academic year, on August 6, 2022, the college had taught 2,701 different students in its credit programs.

John Hartog, College President says, “We are excited to see what our year-end numbers will be this coming August. We care for each of our students, and we show our care with our affordable tuition rates and the services we offer to all of our students. Higher numbers mean more students are entering the workforce and transferring to four-year institutions with advanced standing credits.”

Lake Park, Iowa — The estimates are in for the proposed construction work at the Harris-Lake Park schools in Lake Park. But the results were somewhat unexpected.

Interim Superintendent Les Douma tells us that the cost of renovation somehow was more than the cost of building new.

And, while you might think that would be good news — that for less money, they could have a brand new facility — that was not the reaction that staff and the school board had, says Douma.

The problem is, according to Douma, that there are now fewer options, because the renovation option is off the table, due to bonding capacity.

The district is also considering some other construction work, depending on funding.

Douma says the next steps are a board study session on March 6th to discuss where to go from here, and the next meeting, at which a decision may be made, will be on March 20th. He says he really appreciates the board’s work on this. He says it’s an exciting time at Harris-Lake Park.

February 20, 2023 - 4:19 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — It sounds like we’re going to get some more wintery weather. And some are saying it could be a repeat of a storm we had earlier this season, with large amounts of snow.

We talked to meteorologist Jim Murray with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls. He tells us how they believe things will start this Tuesday.

Murray says there’s a chance we could see blizzard conditions in northwest Iowa. He tells us the event will probably wrap up by midday Thursday, and at this time they are thinking we could see 10 inches, up to maybe a foot of snow.

He gives us an idea of what to expect after the storm passes by.

Murray says the way things look right now, do not travel Wednesday evening or Wednesday night.