Hawarden Teen Sentenced On Felony Charges

sioux county courthouseOrange City, IA — A Hawarden teen has been sentenced to probation following his conviction on charges of Solicitation of a Felony.

The Sioux County Attorney’s Office says the charges against 18-year old Nicholas James McLaughlin of Hawarden stem from an incident that happened in November of last year, when McLaughlin texted a 16-year old teen in an effort to get the 16-year old to sell him oxycontin pills.  The Attorney’s office says that an adult noticed the text on the child’s phone and contacted the Hawarden Police Department.  Officers arrived at the 16-year old’s residence where the sale of the pills was going to occur, and placed McLaughlin under arrest.

In addition to a two year probationary period, McLaughlin was reportedly ordered to abstain from all mood-altering chemicals, including alcohol, pay a $750 civil penalty, and a $300 probation supervision fee, in addition to court costs and court-appointed attorney fees, obtain and maintain full-time employment, complete 100 hours of unpaid community service, submit a DNA sample for DNA profiling, obtain a high school diploma or GED, continue with substance abuse treatment, and complete a drug court program.


Over 1000 Without Power In Lyon County

ice on swing chain freezing rainRock Rapids, Iowa — Over 1000 people were without power in Lyon County due to the ice storm.

According to Lyon Rural Electric Manager Ross Loomans, over half of the coop’s customers, including the entire city of Larchwood are without power, as of 12 noon on Wednesday.

He says the problems are twofold and exist not only on the distribution side but also the supply side. He says supply poles are broken, so there is no power to four substations on the west side of the county.

On the distribution side, he says they have burned and broken lines, with 70-100 poles down.

Loomans says eight linemen and four trucks are coming in from other areas to help Lyon Rural Electric take care of all the problems.

Loomans says they are concerned for everyone’s safety, and safety as always is of the utmost priority. He says he’d like to thank their customers for their patience, but he emphasizes that this is a long-term event. He says as of noon on Wednesday, the ice was still building up, and we’re forecast to have more winter weather, which could mean more problems. High winds and wet snow especially could mean more problems and a longer delay before power is restored.

He says their supplier, L & O Power has a contractor working on their lines as well.

According to Loomans, there is no timeline for getting the power on at this point, as there are too many variables. He says due to various circumstances, power at your location may come back on, only to go off again, as crews continue to make connections and get the power restored.

We also talked with Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep about damage in Lyon County. He says the electricity issue is the most troublesome at this point.

He says a cell phone tower northeast of Rock Rapids is damaged, and a carport was destroyed in George.

According to the Sheriff, if you have an emergency and have no phone service, you can try to find help at the Fire Station.

Also, Lyon County Emergency Manager Wayne Jepsen says there are shelters available for those who don’t have electricity. The community of Rock Rapids doesn’t have any power outages right now, due largely to the fact that the community has buried all its power lines. However, the Rock Rapids Forster Community Center is open as a shelter. There are also shelters in George at the Good Samaritan Center, and at the City Office in Larchwood. Jepsen says they’re working on shelters in Lester and Little Rock as well.


Ice Storm Leaves Downed Tree Limbs & Power Lines In It’s Wake

The ice storm that passed through the area late Tuesday into Wednesday left a path of devastation in it’s wake.  KIWA has received numerous reports of tree limbs and power lines down.  Boyden was without power until late Wednesday morning, with other areas still without power at last report.

Crews around the KIWA listening area have been working to restore power, remove tree limbs that were blocking roadways, and more throughout the morning Wednesday.  Fighting to complete the clean-up before the next round of challenging weather moves through the area.

This is just one example of what folks across the area woke up to Wednesday morning
This is just one example of what folks across the area woke up to Wednesday morning

Ice Storm Warning Gives Way To Winter Storm Warning

Mid American Trucks Lined Up at HIE in Sheldon after Ice Storm
Over 20 Mid-American Energy Trucks Lined Up at Holiday Inn Express in Sheldon after Tuesday Night’s Ice Storm

Sheldon, IA — Pretty much every form of precipitation known to man is in store for us before Thursday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls.

Parts of the KIWA listening area were still without power at last report, due to the ice storm that passed through the area Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning.  and now, to add insult to injury, the Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning to run until 1:00 pm Thursday.  The Weather Service says that a combination of freezing drizzle, light freezing rain, sleet and snow will fall across the area.  Once the precipitation changes to all snow, the strong winds that they have forecast will make travel difficult, if not impossible.

Several area school canceled classes Wednesday, with even more starting 2 hours late.  Several area churches and businesses have canceled or postponed activites for Wednesday and Wednesday evening, as well.  For a complete list of postponements and cancellations, visit our closures/delays page here at kiwaradio.com.  And, as always, keep tuned to AM-1550 and FM-105.3 for the latest weather information, as well as postponements and cancellations.

Here is the Winter Storm Warning from the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls:

...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 PM CDT
THURSDAY...

* TIMING...OCCASIONAL FREEZING DRIZZLE AND LIGHT FREEZING RAIN MAY
  MIX WITH SLEET AT TIMES THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON. PRECIPITATION IS
  EXPECTED TO INTENSIFY THIS AFTERNOON AND BECOME ENTIRELY SNOW
  LATE THIS EVENING THROUGH THE EARLY MORNING HOURS THURSDAY.
  SNOW MAY BECOME MODERATE TO HEAVY AT TIMES AND CONTINUE INTO
  THURSDAY.

* ACCUMULATIONS...ADDITIONAL ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF UP TO TWO TENTHS
  OF AN INCH WILL BE POSSIBLE. SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS ARE EXPECTED
  TO AVERAGE 4 TO 6 INCHES. THE COMBINATION OF HEAVY WET SNOW AND
  ADDITIONAL ICING WILL CREATE SEVERE STRESS ON TREES AND POWER
  LINES. ADDITIONAL POWER OUTAGES AND DOWNED TREE BRANCHES AND POWER
  LINES IS LIKELY.

* WIND AND VISIBILITY...NORTH WINDS OF 15 TO 25 MPH WILL PERSIST
  THROUGH THURSDAY. ONCE PRECIPITATION CHANGES TO ALL SNOW...
  THESE WINDS COULD PRODUCE AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW...REDUCING
  VISIBILITIES BELOW ONE MILE AT TIMES.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW...
SLEET...AND ICE ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. STRONG WINDS ARE ALSO
POSSIBLE.  THIS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.

Rock Rapids Man Taken To Hospital After Icy Accident Wednesday

Lyon County Ambulance 60-A3 smRock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Rapids man was taken to the hospital after an accident yesterday.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 3:45 PM, 64-year-old Donald Fastert of Rock Rapids was southbound on Indian Avenue, in the 1300 block, about three miles northeast of Rock Rapids.

According to the report, Fastert lost control of his vehicle due to the icy conditions on the roadway.

He was taken to Sanford Hospital In Rock Rapids by the Lyon County Ambulance.

The report from the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reads, “Fastert’s 1999 GMC Sierra received approximately $40,000 in damages.”


Lewis & Clark Water Not Being Used In Rock Rapids, But Will Soon Alleviate Pressure On City’s System

lewis & clark water towerRock Rapids, Iowa — The water system that is supposed to provide Missouri River Aquifer water to Sheldon, Sioux Center, Hull, Sibley, Rock Rapids, and a number of other communities and rural water systems is basically stalled, due to a lack of federal funding. The communities paid in their share years ago, but the federal government has not upheld their end of the deal. In fact, it’s getting worse instead of better due to the current state of the federal government, according to Troy Larson, executive director of the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System. The system is providing water to a number of systems in South Dakota, but that’s where the federal funding dried up.

However, the City of Rock Rapids is going to be gaining a benefit from Lewis and Clark, even though the pipe is not in the ground to Rock Rapids yet. Rock Rapids’ biggest water customer is the Lyon and Sioux Rural Water system. Rock Rapids Utilities Manager Jim Hoye says Lyon and Sioux uses up to 60 percent of Rock Rapids’ capacity. Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities has partnered with Lyon and Sioux to build a line north of Lester to connect with the Lewis and Clark pipeline that is following the Minnesota and Iowa border. That line was to have been built with the federal funding, but the three-and-a-half mile pipeline was instead built through a partnership of the City of Rock Rapids and Lyon and Sioux Rural Water. The city of Rock Rapids won’t actually be getting Lewis and Clark water, but they will benefit from Lyon and Sioux getting Lewis and Clark Water, and freeing up capacity for the business, industry, and people of Rock Rapids.

We talked with Hoye, and we’ll have the details of the hookup on future newscasts here on KIWA.