Interstate 90 Through South Dakota To Be Designated the “Purple Heart Trail”

Rural Valley Springs, SD — A dedication ceremony to acknowledge the designation of Interstate 90 from the Wyoming border to the Minnesota border as the “Purple Heart Trail” was held just northwest of our area on Tuesday (8/7) — National Purple Heart Appreciation Day.

Ceremonies were held concurrently at two rest area locations:

I-90 Valley Springs Rest Area located near the South Dakota/Minnesota border, and the I-90 Spearfish Rest area near the South Dakota/Wyoming border.

The South Dakota Transportation Commission recently approved a request from the Military Order of the Purple Heart to designate Interstate 90 as the “Purple Heart Trail.”

Mark Williamson, Commander of the Sioux Falls chapter and the Senior Vice Commander of the Department of Dakotas of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, says the purpose of the Purple Heart Trail is to create a symbolic and honorary system of roads, highways, bridges and other monuments that pay tribute to the men and women who received the Purple Heart Medal.

Currently, 45 states and Guam have designated parts of the national road and interstate highway system as Purple Heart Trails.

Acknowledgement markers are being placed at rest areas located along Interstate 90.


Orange City And Rock Rapids Receiving Money From USDA To Spur Economic Development

Rock Rapids and Orange City, Iowa — The United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, has allocated some money for two northwest Iowa towns. Money that it says will support job creation efforts, business development and strengthen economic growth in rural communities.

Funding is being provided through USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program (REDLG), which provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which they, in turn, pass through to local businesses (ultimate recipients) for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas.

Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities is being given a $300,000 grant. The funds will be used to provide grants to rural utilities program borrowers to provide economic development. This project provides support to Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities who will add $60,000 match to create a $360,000 revolving loan fund. The revolving loan fund will first make a loan to Rock Rapids Area Development Foundation which will construct a 15 to 20-thousand square foot spec building in Rock Rapids. This project is expected to create up to 20 jobs.

Rock Rapids Economic Development Director John Hulshof tells us about the building.

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Hulshof says the exact location is not known, but the spec building will be in the same industrial park with Hog Slat, Incorporated and TNT Carports. He says it should be done by late summer 2013 if they can use existing infrastructure. If not, he says it may be late fall.

Hulshof says the area is zoned heavy industrial, so they do have some flexibility with what kind of business they hope to attract.

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He says they’re also hoping to do some more due diligence and find out what kind of a facility is needed by today’s manufacturers.

Hulshof says as the loan is paid back, the funds go back into the revolving loan fund. This will be the second such building funded by a USDA funded revolving loan fund.

The USDA is also giving the Orange City Municipal Electric Utility a one million dollar loan. The funds will be used to provide loans to rural utilities program borrowers to provide economic development. The project will provide a loan to Tec Industries, LLC dba Quatro Composites to be used for the purchase of machinery and equipment. This project is expected to create 144 new jobs.


Counties Dealing With Mental Health Shortfalls

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A change in state law means mental health services at the county level are being handled differently. Lisa Rockhill, the Central Point Coordinator for mental health services in Lyon and Osceola Counties says this all started in 1996, when the legislature created the central point coordinator positions to help the state and counties manage their mental health services. She says at that point the state decided to send counties money to help them with mental health. But, she says that has changed somewhat.

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Rockhill also told us what the legislature did this session.

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She says that means the counties won’t be in a very good financial position to fund all the mental health services.

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Not only that, but Rockhill says in fiscal year 2014 the legislature is asking counties to attempt to regionalize mental health services and work with other counties, forming 28E agreements.

Rockhill gives us an example of what that all means.

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She says unfortunately, the county can only live within its means, just like everyone else.

In speaking with county officials across northwest Iowa, everyone is in a similar situation. Not all counties are instituting waiting lists yet, but everyone is dealing with the funding challenges.

Rockhill is hopeful that positive change can be made in the legislature to address the situation.


Benefit Supper And Circuit Riders Concert Planned For Dykstra Family

Sheldon, Iowa — A northwest Iowa couple has some large medical bills, but their church family is helping them out. Head of men’s ministry at the Sheldon United Methodist Church, Merlyn Lode tells us about Karrine and David Dykstra.

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The benefit to be held on Wednesday evening (8/8) will feature supper and a concert by the Circuit Riders. Lode tells us about the supper.

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A free will offering will be accepted, with all the proceeds going to Karrine and David Dykstra to help with medical expenses.


Hudson, SD Man Killed In Rollover Near Hudson

Hudson, South Dakota — A Hudson, South Dakota man died in a one-vehicle crash just west of our area, near Hudson on Saturday evening (8/4).

The South Dakota Highway Patrol reports that 49-year-old Darwin Lee Roskam of Hudson was driving a 1994 GMC pickup eastbound on 294th Street about three miles west of Hudson when he lost control of the vehicle and entered the north ditch. The vehicle rolled, and the driver was thrown from the vehicle. He was not wearing a seatbelt and suffered fatal injuries.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office assisted.


Man In SUV Fires Shots At Cyclists, Is Caught After Chase

Le Mars, Iowa — Two Sioux City men have been arrested after they allegedly fired a gun at two bicyclists.

Authorities received a call Sunday morning from Tony Pierce and John Pecaut, both of rural Sioux City. They said they were riding bicycles on Highway 12 in rural Plymouth County, when a red Ford Explorer approached them, presented a firearm and discharged several rounds at them. The two took cover in the ditch and called 911.

Law Enforcement Officers found the Explorer about four miles north of where the shots were fired. When officers found the vehicle, 22-year-old Terry Lee Oliver Junior and 20-year-old Cesar Teodoro Gonzalez, both of Sioux City, fled the vehicle and ran into a wooded area along the Big Sioux River.

The men were eventually apprehended. Oliver is charged with attempted murder, while Gonzalez is being held on a material witness warrant. Both are being held in the Plymouth County Jail. No one was injured in the incident.

The weapon was found in a wooded area by a Woodbury County canine.

Story from RadioIowa
Edited by Scott Van Aartsen, KIWA News Director