Tornadoes Reported Friday Night

Alton, Iowa — Northwest Iowa had a somewhat surprising bout with severe weather on Friday night.
2001srnb siren
It’s not known at this time how many of these tornadoes were separate tornadoes and how many were different reports of the same tornado.

But it all started when a tornado was reported by a member of the public near Alton at about 5:46 PM. Three minutes later, at 5:49 PM, the National Weather Service received a report of a tornado a mile northeast of Orange City, which was called in by law enforcement. An officer also called in a funnel cloud, one mile south-southeast of Brunsville at three minutes before six. At 6:01 PM, a storm chaser called in a report of a tornado a mile northeast of Hospers. Also near Hospers, a storm spotter called in a report of a funnel cloud three miles east of that town at 6:05. Three minutes later a funnel cloud was reported by law enforcement a mile west of Meriden. At 6:36 PM another funnel cloud report was received from a spotter. This one was said to be six miles south of Alton. The final report in northwest Iowa was at 6:39 PM, of a tornado two miles north of Larrabee. It was reported by law enforcement that that storm lifted a roof off of a house.

Sioux County Emergency Management Director Nate Huizenga has also reported that a machine shed sustained major damage a mile south of Alton. No injuries were reported

Click here for a video of the tornado near Orange City. (Thanks Mike Hoffman)

Bottorff Now In Custody After Failing To Report To Jail

Orange City, Iowa — A 19-year old Hawarden man who escaped from the Sheldon Residential Treatment Facility in August of this year is now in custody after being on the lam Thursday.
Kyle Bottorf
The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that 19-year old Kyle Bottorff was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison earlier this week. But he failed to report to the Sioux County Jail on time to begin his sentence.

Sioux County Chief Deputy Nate Huizenga says that deputies were looking for Bottorff on Thursday and a Nixle alert was sent out to the public because they had received information that stated that Bottorff was suicidal. Huizenga says that just before 8 PM, Bottorff turned himself in at the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office and the alert was canceled. He says Bottorff was charged with Failure To Appear.

Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle says that Bottorff had originally pled guilty to six counts of Burglary in the Third Degree, in connection with numerous burglaries in the Hawarden area. Kunstle says each count was a class D felony. Kunstle says Bottorff was originally given a 10-year suspended prison sentence and required to reside at the Sheldon RTF. Kunstle says that, on August 28th of this year, Bottorff was discovered to have escaped from the RTF.

Kunstle says Bottorff appeared in Sioux County District Court in Orange City Monday, where he received the 10-year sentence for violating the probation that had originally sent him to the Sheldon RTF. He says Bottorff was ordered to report to the Sioux County Jail before being transferred to the Iowa Department of Corrections.

First Rain Falls In More Than Three Weeks

National Weather ServiceSheldon, Iowa — More than three weeks without rainfall came to an end in Sheldon during the 24-hour period ending at 7 am Friday.

At 7 o’clock Friday morning the official National Weather Service 24-hour precipitation reading was measured at the KIWA studios to be .35″.  By mid-morning, close to an additional half inch of rain had fallen.

Sheldon’s official National Weather Service Weather Observer is Frank Luepke.  He says today’s rain is the first we’ve seen since late September.

Luepke says that, although Sheldon has never seen an October with no rainfall, we have come close.

He says that the dry period we’ve experienced this month compares to October, 2010.

Luepke says that, judging by the forecast for the remainder of the month, this October probably won’t end up with as much total rainfall as 2010, however.

Bakken Pipeline Lawsuit Dismissed

Cherokee, Iowa — A district judge who is the former Lyon County Attorney has dismissed a case against the Iowa Utilities Board, saying that the plaintiffs in the case had not availed themselves of all of the remedies available to them before filing a lawsuit against the board.

Judge Carl Petersen
Judge Carl Petersen

The proposed “Dakota Access Pipeline” would cut diagonally across Iowa from the northwest to the southeast, crossing Lyon, Sioux and O’Brien Counties among others. The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) is expected to decide in December or January whether the project may proceed.

The board is considering whether to grant eminent domain requests to Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, so the company can acquire land and pump crude oil from fields in North Dakota to a terminal in Illinois. Opponents of the pipeline have raised environmental concerns.

The suit was filed by several landowners against the IUB saying farmland cannot be taken for eminent domain unless it is for a public utility.

Judge Carl J. Petersen wrote in his decision:

“As all of Petitioners’ potential wrongs are provided for in the relevant statute, intended for review by IUB, and are subject to application for judicial review following IUB’s decision, the wrongs are adequately addressed through the administrative process.”

Judge Peterson did not rule whether the company is eligible to use eminent domain for the proposed pipeline.

The Iowa Utilities Board has scheduled November 12 for public comment and November 16 for an evidentiary hearing. Both will take place at the Boone County Fairgrounds Community Building in Boone. Energy Transfer Partners wants the pipeline operational by the end of 2016.

NCC/KIWA Thunder Road Race Is Saturday Morning

2015 NCC Thunder Road RaceSheldon, Iowa — The 4th Annual NCC/KIWA Radio Thunder Road Race is set for Saturday morning, starting at the Lifelong Learning & Recreation Center on the campus of Northwest Iowa Community College.

Kristi Landis is Foundation Coordinator and Alumni Relations at Northwest Iowa Community College, and she says that, although the race starts at 9 am, you’ll want to be there earlier.

Pre-race warm-ups will take place starting at 8:30 inside the LLRC, and will be led by LLRC staff.

Landis talks about the route for Saturday’s Thunder Road Race.

Since the race takes place so close to Halloween each year, she says there’s an added, fun component.

The annual NCC/KIWA Thunder Road Race is held each year during the college’s Days Of Thunder, their homecoming week festivities.  All monies raised by the race go toward funding NCC student scholarships.

Hard Rock Sioux City Named “Iowa Outstanding Attraction”

Hard Rock 1Sioux City, Iowa — A northwest Iowa hotel and casino complex has been named an “Outstanding Attraction in Iowa” by the Iowa Tourism Office.

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City received the award at the 2015 Iowa Tourism Conference, which honors Iowa’s most outstanding tourism organizations and represents the highest tourism honor given in the state.

Recognizing the very best travel sights in Iowa, the annual Iowa Tourism Awards uses extensive evaluations and countless reviews by industry members to determine award winners. The Outstanding Attraction in Iowa award is one of 24 awards featured during the Iowa Tourism Conference. Other award categories included Outstanding Event, Outstanding Retail, and People’s Choice Award.

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City is a $126 million facility that completely restored Sioux City’s historic Battery Building from the industrial manufacturing structure that it was into the AAA Four Diamond rated property that it is now.  The facility celebrated its one year anniversary on August 1st.  In just one short year, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City created over 500 jobs in the tri-state region. The facility has welcomed more than two million visitors, held over 200 shows, paid out more than $16.5 million in jackpots, and issued more than 85,000 event tickets to customers in 46 states.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City is a fully-integrated gaming resort that includes more than 835 slot machines, a live-entertainment venue, an outdoor event space, multiple bars and restaurants with award-winning chefs, and a AAA Four Diamond Award-winning boutique hotel. The property boasts rock-n-roll inspired decor that has the perfect mix of historical architecture and modern amenities.