Patrol Offers Information On Car Seats

Kurtz, Vincent 495 Clarinda, IASheldon, Iowa — The Iowa State Patrol is instituting a new educational program designed to help educate parents on the proper installation and use of child car seats.

Trooper Vince Kurtz joined Wayne and Aaron on the KIWA Morning Show Tuesday morning, and talked about being fresh from training for the new program.

He says a lot of confusion exists about how to install and use child safety seats properly.

Kurtz says that, while hospitals provide training on using seats for infants, as the child grows, there’s a lot of conflicting information about when one should change from the rear-facing seat to a front-facing seat.

Trooper Kurtz is an Iowa State Patrol Public Resource Officer, who works out of Iowa State Patrol Post 6 in Spencer.

Smoke From Canadian Fires Clears From Northwest Iowa

Iowa DNRNorthwest Iowa — What looked like fog hanging in the air in northwest Iowa this past weekend was, in fact, smoke from a Canadian wildfire.  That smoke has now cleared and the air quality is back to normal.

The D-N-R’s Air Quality Bureau issued an air quality advisory Saturday. Spokesman John Gering says the atmospheric conditions not only combined to hold the fine particles of smoke over the state, but also pushed the particles lower to the ground.

He says the amount of haze seen here doesn’t happen that often.

The U-S E-P-A says its a problem when the particles in the air reach 35 micrograms per cubic meter. Gering says many areas in Iowa went over that Saturday.

He says that air quality can be a problem for some people.

Gering says. A check of the air quality monitors shows the Canadian smoke has passed out of the state.

Several areas of the state got rain to start the workweek, and Gering says that can help clear the air.

You can track air quality conditions in the state on the D-N-R’s website at:

May Is ALS Awareness Month

Statewide Iowa — May is ALS Awareness Month. This month, The ALS Association Iowa Chapter wants to educate Iowans about the disease and how they can help fight ALS.
ice bucket
Josh Nuss, executive director of The ALS Association Iowa Chapter says that most people have heard of ALS thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge, but many are still unaware of the daily struggles of those living with the disease. He says that during ALS Awareness Month, they want to help Iowans understand more about the devastating disease we are fighting to treat and cure.

Each year, around 5,000 Americans are diagnosed with ALS, which stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

He says while ALS generally affects people between ages 40 and 70, it can happen to anyone at any age and many younger Iowans are now facing a diagnosis.

Nuss says the Ice Bucket Challenge was a big boost to awareness and funding for ALS research.

He says the Ice Bucket Challenge will be back in August. Iowans’ support during the challenge over the past two years has significantly helped with the amount of care and services provided to fellow Iowans with ALS, according to Nuss.

He says you can join the fight to defeat ALS by participating in a local walk, taking the Ice Bucket Challenge, volunteering to help a person living with the disease or by simply telling a friend about ALS. Visit for more information.

Zoo Mobile Coming To Sioux County

Orange City, Iowa — Some fun and informative youth events are planned in the next month or two by the 4-H of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach – Sioux County.
Zuidema Danielle
The three youth events focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or “STEM” and will take place in May and June.

Danielle Zuidema, Sioux County K-4 Youth Associate Educator says that the first event is the Discover 4-H STEM: Great Plains Zoomobile event. She says it’s scheduled for Saturday, May 14, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

This free event is for students who have completed Kindergarten through 4th grade. Parents are encouraged to attend.

Space is limited to 120 participants, so parents are encouraged to pre-register .

Zuidema wanted to thank the event sponsor, Interstates Companies.

Also planned in the coming weeks are a “Green Thumbs Dirty Fingers” gardening event for kindergartners through the third grade on June 8, and an exploring the outdoors event called “Discover 4-H Day” on June 17th for those students who have completed 1st through 3rd grade.

For more information, or to register you can call the Sioux County Extension office or click here.

Autumn’s Center Receives Grant For Playground

Spencer, Iowa — Seasons Center for Behavioral Health has received a $5,000 grant from the Clay County Community Foundation to help fund a therapeutic playground at Autumn’s Center.

Architect's Drawing of Autumn's Center Playground
Architect’s Drawing of Autumn’s Center Playground

The therapeutic playground will be specially designed playground equipment for outdoor play therapy at Autumn’s Center, which is scheduled to open in Spencer this September.  The playground, which is designed and contracted by Landscape Structures, Inc. of Delano, Minnesota, will serve as an outdoor enhancement to a child’s therapy plan.  The purpose of the therapeutic playground is to strengthen developmental skills in children, including sensory, motor, cognitive, and social-emotional.

Natalie Sandbulte, Director of Clinical Psychology at Seasons Center, says sometimes children have a difficult time processing their feelings and experiences in an office setting.  She says the therapeutic playground will allow children to move about if they need to, which facilitates the therapeutic process and the child’s ability to learn.  She says the playground will be a wonderful opportunity for children to learn new skills in a natural and familiar environment.

The funding provided by the Clay County Community Foundation will assist in building Phase 1 of the playground project, designed for 5-12 year olds. The playground will include an integrated play area called “PlayBooster” and a freestanding play area.

Autumn’s Center is named for Autumn Elgersma, the Orange City 3-year old who died at the hands of her babysitter in December, 2013.

Local Church To Undertake Mentoring Program

first reformed 50Sheldon, Iowa — A Sheldon church has decided to embark upon a mission to mentor at-risk grade school children in the Sheldon Community School District.

First Reformed Church in Sheldon will be working through the Kids Hope USA program to provide mentors.  First Reformed Church Pastor Paul Van Maaren tells us about Kids Hope USA.

Van Maaren says “At-risk” is a broadly used term, and covers children in many types of situation.

He says they’re aiming to begin the program in Sheldon this fall.

Van Maaren Says Kids Hope USA is going on all over the country, with great success.

Van Maaren says he and his congregation are excited about starting the mentoring program in Sheldon.