Car In Ditch Call Turns Into Drug Charges

George, Iowa — A car going into the ditch south of George turned into arrests for alcohol and drug violations recently.
Lyon County Sheriff Car Door 60-8
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that they responded to a call of a car in the ditch in the 2500 block of L-14, about four miles south of George.

The Sheriff’s Office reports that while the deputy was speaking with the driver, 20-year-old Madison Fleming of Kalona, Iowa; the deputy saw signs of intoxication. After field sobriety tests were conducted, Fleming was arrested and charged with OWI.

After further investigation deputies learned the alcohol Fleming had been consuming was purchased by the passenger, 21-year-old Lili Kovacs of Sioux Falls, SD. Kovacs was arrested and was charged with supplying alcohol to people under the legal age.

Through further investigation, the Sheriff’s Office reports that both Fleming and Kovacs were found to be in possession of drugs, and they were also charged with drug violations.

DNR: Ice Is Not Safe For A Snowmobile Or An ATV

Northwest Iowa — In spite of this weekend’s cold spell, the ice conditions of many bodies of water across the area remain uncertain, and conservation officers are giving safety tips to avoid falling through the ice.
ice fishing_sxc
We talked to Iowa DNR Conservation Officer Chris Subbert, and he says there is no such thing as “safe” ice.

Subbert suggests a certain piece of ice safety gear.

A “spud bar” is a long-handle pole-type device. He says that due to the relatively warm conditions we had in December and in early January, ice conditions at this point are not thick enough to support a snowmobile or ATV, let alone a vehicle.

He says the sub-zero temperatures will help ice form.

But he says for vehicles to be on the ice, there needs to be 12 to 18 inches of ice on the water.

In fact, Subbert says if he is asked, he recommends never driving a vehicle on the ice.

When you do venture out on the ice, Subbert has a few reminders for you.

The Iowa DNR recommends a set of retracable ice picks so if you do fall in, you can pull yourself out of the water and up onto the ice.

Click here for more ice safety tips.

Sanborn Christian School Eyes Expansion

Sanborn ChristianSanborn, Iowa — A private grade school in this area has plans to break ground in the spring on a $3-million dollar expansion and renovation project.

Anthony Minderhoud is Principal of Sanborn Christian School, and he talks about the project.

He says that, in addition to the expansion, the plans include a renovation project in the current building.

Minderhoud says the school currently has an enrollment of 96 students, and their projection is that in five years, enrollment will top 100.  He says that they’re currently using all of the available space they have now.

He says the plan is for construction to begin this spring.

Unlike public schools, Sanborn Christian can’t pay for their project with tax dollars.  Minderhoud says they’ve been contacting supporters of Sanborn Christian School for pledges toward the construction, and in the past year, have raised approximately $1.6 million toward the $3 million dollar price tag.

Sanborn Christian School’s current school building was built in 1958, and remodeled in the 1980’s, according to Minderhoud.

Fiorina Coming To Northwest Iowa Monday

Northwest Iowa — The parade of 2016 Presidential Candidates through northwest Iowa continues in anticipation of the Iowa Precinct Caucuses on Monday, February 1st.

Carly Fiorina (photo courtesy Michael Vadon)
Carly Fiorina (photo courtesy Michael Vadon)

Republican Presidential Candidate Carly Fiorina is coming to northwest Iowa on Monday, January 11th. At noon, she’ll be in Rock Rapids at Frontier Bank. That will be in the meeting room at the bank, which is located at 301 1st Avenue or Highway 9 in Rock Rapids. The event is billed as a Town Hall Meeting.

At 3 PM, she’ll make an appearance in Rock Valley at Stone Soup Cafe at 1446 Main Street. That event is billed as a meet-and-greet.

Then at 5:30 PM, she’ll be in Sioux City at Bev’s On The River. Fiorina is the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, or HP. She oversaw HP’s acquisition of rival Compaq in 2002.

In April 2012, Fiorina became chair of Good360, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization in Alexandria, Virginia, which helps companies donate excess merchandise to charities.

Counterfeit Money Appears In Parts Of Region

money cash bills dollarsSibley, Iowa — Osceola County and Worthington, Minnesota have both seen counterfeit money being passed recently.

In the case of Osceola County, Sheriff Doug Weber acknowledged that they have seen some funny money in the county.  He declined to comment further, however, citing the fact that it is an ongoing investigation by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Secret Service.

In Worthington, police say there are reports of counterfeit $20 bills circulating in that Minnesota city.

A quick check of law enforcement agencies in the O’Brien, Sioux, and Lyon counties turned up no reports of phony currency being passed in the last few months.

Although no funny money has been found in his county recently, Lyon County Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep says there have been incidents as close as Sioux Falls.

If you suspect that a bill may be phony you’re asked to call your local law enforcement agency.

Iowa Food Bank Association Establishes Hotline

IFBA LogoNorthwest Iowa — Hunger impacts children, working adults, seniors and persons with disabilities here in our area, and all across Iowa. More than 389,000 Iowans are struggling with hunger. Many may be eligible for Iowa Food Assistance Program benefits but have not applied.

Map the Meal Gap 2015 commissioned a study by  the ConAgra Foods Foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and the Nielsen Company.  The study estimates that, here in the four county area of Lyon, Sioux, Osceola and O’Brien Counties, approximately 9.7% of the population struggle with hunger.  O’Brien County has the highest percentage at 11.4%, followed by Osceola at 10.8%, Lyon at 9.6%, and Sioux at 9.1%

When you look at the number of children under 18 years of age who struggle with hunger, the four county average is estimated at approximately 17.02%.  Here in our four county area, O’Brien has the highest estimated percentage at 19.0%, followed by Osceola at 18.2%, Sioux at 16.4%, and Lyon at 16.0%

To help alleviate this problem The Iowa Food Bank Association has launched a Hotline to assist those inquiring about benefits.  Callers are able to speak with a specialist who can provide answers about eligibility and help in completing the lengthy application. Since the Hotline’s launch, specialists have assisted completing and submitting over 190 applications.

The Iowa Food Bank Association Hotline, 855-944-FOOD (3663), is staffed 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with additional assistance provided after hours on high-volume call days. The Hotline is a part of the Iowa Food Bank Association Outreach program.

The Iowa Food Assistance Program is funded through the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services program. Food Assistance benefits help to prevent hunger, improve nutrition and provide economic gains to farmers, food producers and grocers. They are available to citizens and some qualified documented immigrants who meet eligibility requirements. Iowa Food Assistance benefits are utilized through an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card that looks like any other debit card.

To view the Overall county by county numbers for Iowa, click here.

To view the Children’s numbers county by county for Iowa, click here.