Sioux Center, Iowa — Free training to be a certified nurse aide is available in northwest Iowa. And there’s a meeting coming up where you can learn more. Plus, if English is not your first language, they’ve got a program made just for you.

Sioux Center Health has partnered with Northwest Iowa Community College to offer free Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) training and a conditional employment offer with Sioux Center Health. The informational meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 28 at 7:00 PM  at Royale Meadows in Sioux Center.
Sioux Center Health
Students will have the opportunity to complete a combination of pre-CNA classes taught by an English Language Learner instructor (as needed) and CNA classes taught by a certified CNA instructor. The pre-CNA class is an option for students needing extra help with English language medical terminology, and involves 25 hours of classroom instruction. Northwest Iowa Community College Enrollment Management Advisor Norma Azpeitia tells us more.

The CNA classes are designed to prepare students to better understand the knowledge and skills needed to care for residents in long-term care facilities. This course involves 75 hours of training including 30 hours of classroom instruction, 15 hours lab training and 30 hours of clinical experience.
Upon successful completion of the training, eligible students will be working at Sioux Center Health’s long-term care facility, Royale Meadows. Azpeitia says they may also be offered employment elsewhere in the Sioux Center Health system.

Azpeitia says that even if students don’t end up working for Sioux Center Health, there are probably other ways that they can get the training free of charge, and NCC will work with the students to help make that possible.

She tells us about the meeting coming up on Tuesday.

She says they’re happy they can offer this new opportunity to people seeking a job in the health care industry.

For more information about Sioux Center Health, you can visit

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Sioux Center PD Charger Door Logo OnlySioux Center, Iowa — A Sioux Center man hit a mailbox in Sioux Center on Tuesday, July 21st.

The Sioux Center Police Department reports that at about 10:00 pm, 41-year-old Gustavo Ramirez-Hernandez of Sioux Center was driving a 1999 GMC Sierra eastbound on 20th Street Southeast. According to the report, he lost control and struck a mailbox, then left the scene of the accident. A witness observed Ramirez-Hernandez leaving the scene, and called police. Police located Ramirez-Hernandez at 14th Street South Main Avenue. He initially denied hitting the mailbox, but later admitted to it when police advised there was a witness. Ramirez-Hernandez stated he wasn’t sure how he hit the mailbox.

The GMC received $1500 damage; the mailbox received $200 damage.

No injuries were reported.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Thousands of people in northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota were without power for a time early on Thursday.

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file photo

Troy Metzger, dispatcher with L & O Power Coop in Rock Rapids says that the outage affected eastern Lyon County, Iowa and southern rock County Minnesota.

He says the outage happened due to an equipment failure at a sub station near Lake Pahoja about four miles northeast of Inwood. He says that sub station and the lines running to it are owned by Basin Electric Power Coop. But the substation is the point of demarcation between Basin and L & O and the lines running away from it are L & O’s. He says L & O buys power from Basin Electric.

Metzger says the systems affected were Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities, Luverne Municipal Electric, Lyon Rural Electric Coop and Sioux Valley Energy.

He says the outage included the entire cities of Rock Rapids, Iowa and Luverne, Minnesota.

Metzger says the outage started shortly before 1 AM and only lasted about 20 minutes or so because power was rerouted. He says repairs will be made as parts and labor are available

L & O is a power coop that serves rural and municipal electric systems in Rock County, Minnesota, and Lyon and Osceola Counties in Iowa.

Sanborn, Iowa — Sanborn’s 19th annual Railroad Days are coming up this weekend.

We had a chance to talk with Dr. Melissa Rupp, who is the chair of the Railroad Days Committee this year. She says they have lots of events this year — and something very special about Railroad Days — it’s all free. She says it starts on Friday morning at 9 AM.

Activities continue for a full Saturday as well, she says.

There are a few activities on Sunday as well.

railroad days 2015

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Northwest Iowa — Crops in northwest Iowa could use some more moisture – that from Extension Crop Field Specialist Joel De Jong.

Joel De Jong (file photo)

Joel De Jong (file photo)

He says while there have been several rain events in the larger region, the four northwest Iowa counties seem to be missing out on receiving much significant rainfall.

De Jong says the good news is that we started the growing season in a good spot, moisture-wise.

Iowa Drought Monitor For July 23, 2015

Iowa Drought Monitor For July 23, 2015

As of right now, the National Weather Service forecast shows we have a chance of showers Saturday night through Tuesday night, and their six to ten day outlook indicates we could have above normal precipitation.

The latest report from the US Drought Monitor does show parts of northwest Iowa in an area of short-term abnormal dryness.

De Jong says there has been some concern about some plant diseases on corn and the usual aphid issue on soybeans.

Click here for the latest U.S. Drought Monitor update.

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Rock Rapids, Iowa — Four people were taken to the hospital, two of them via ambulance after an accident in Rock Rapids.
lyon co ambulance side
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Tuesday July 21, 2015 at about 1:00 PM, 43-year-old Anita Soodsma, from rural Doon was driving a 2002 Ford Expedition westbound on South Fifth Avenue. They report that 33-year-old Amy Hildring of Larchwood was driving a 2013 Ford Fusion southbound on South Greene Street. The Hildring Fusion struck the rear passenger side of the Soodsma Expedition within the intersection. The Expedition then spun and tipped onto its driver’s side.

The Lyon County Ambulance crew transported Soodsma and a passenger in her vehicle, Jack Soodsma to Sanford Rock Rapids Hospital.

Two passengers of the Fusion were transported to Sanford Rock Rapids via personal vehicle.

The 2002 Ford Expedition received about $5,000 in damages and the 2013 Ford Fusion received about $7,000 in damages.

Soodsma was cited on a charge of failure to yield to vehicle on the right at an uncontrolled intersection, a simple misdemeanor.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Department says the Rock Rapids Fire Department and the Lyon County Ambulance crew assisted them on the scene.

It has now been four weeks since any new cases of bird flu have been detected in Iowa. Agriculture Secretary, Bill Northey, gave an update this week, and says there are some positives to talk about in the recovery.

(as he says)”We’re going to have a site here that is very soon going to be able to fully passed its tests all through its cleaning and disinfection and then its 21-day waiting period after that, and then be able to repopulate with birds,” Northey says.

The facility is a turkey farm in Calhoun County. Northey says a few other facilities will soon be through their 21-day waiting period after disinfection, while others are still preparing for disinfection.

(as he says)”The disinfection in most cases will be done by heat. This virus doesn’t like heat,” Northey explains. “It starts to die at maybe 80 degrees, if we can get that up to 100 degrees and keep it there for several days, it is a very thorough disinfection process.”

Northey says the progress of each facility depends on its size and the resources they have to do the clean-up and disinfection. The majority of the 71 facilities hit by the avian flu were egg-laying operations or raised pullets that are grown into egg-laying hens. U-S-D-A veterinarian Jack Shere says the next big step facing Iowa producers is getting the birds to put back in the facilities.

(as he says)”Those hens can’t be replaced overnight,” Shere says, “those pullets have to be raised 22 weeks on the ground before they are ready to lay. And they have to be put in process. In those facilities — when there’s that many birds in one area — they can’t put all those birds in at the same time.”

Some 34 million birds had to be destroyed, and Doctor Shere says the lag time in getting replacements stretches out the re-population.

(as he says)”Some of these facilities won’t be able to completely re-stock for a year-and-a-half to two years, depending on the size that they have. And I am talking about the laying facilities,” Shere says. “The turkey flocks, we are hoping to get them back into business and restocking by mid-August.”

He says if they meet the mid-August stocking timeline for turkeys, the facilities could be able to produce birds for Thanksgiving. Northey says it is still a long and expensive road ahead, but he expects a majority of producers to keep going.

(as he says)”You know, I think there’s a handful likely that would not go back into business. Maybe have some older facilities that when they look at those facilities it’s going to be so expensive to clean them up — and then they still end up a short-life facility that they won’t go and bring that facility back,” Northey says. “But the vast majority of the cases, folks are still optimistic. They’ve had the worst financial loss that they’ve had as a business. Emotionally, this is very, very draining.”

Shere says they will work with the facilities to bring them back as fast as possible.

(as he says)”But we do have to be careful that we do it correctly and we don’t move too quickly and spread the virus and have a re-occursion,” Shere says.

The time it takes for a facility to re-populate also depends on its location, as all nearby facilities have to be disinfected first to ensure the disease is gone. The dead birds have been hauled away at 59 of the 71 commercial facilities.

Story from Radio Iowa

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Sioux Center, Iowa — A northwest Iowa city’s police department has decided to switch things up and pull over good drivers, as well as the bad.
Bright lightbar
Sioux Center Police Chief Paul Adkins says instead of a ticket, the good drivers get free ice cream.

Adkins says they had done a similar program years ago and at the suggestion of another officer, Adkins thought it might be a good time to bring it back.

Adkins says he’s only heard one second hand complaint about the program, and that person was concerned about probable cause.

So if you’re in Sioux Center and you see those familiar red and blue lights in your rear view mirror, it may mean some free ice cream instead of a traffic ticket.

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Orange City, Iowa — The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office says there may be asphalt paving scams occurring again in the area.

The Sheriff’s Office advises that these traveling asphalt paving crews usually offer a low-priced opportunity to repair or pave your residential or business driveway. They say they’ll normally tell you that they just finished another job and have leftover asphalt and they’ll offer to apply it to your driveway for a low price. In some recent cases, sealant for driveways is applied without asking for permission. Sometimes only patchy, small amounts were applied and caused the overall finish to look mismatched and discolored, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

They say the quality of the material used and the manner it is applied is also often of poor quality. These companies sometimes say that they will apply the asphalt three to four inches thick, when in actuality the finished application is just two inches or less. By the time you notice the problems the company that completed the work is long gone.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office says there are three things to look for if you deal with these companies:

  • No contract offered: Always make certain there is a written contract. Without a written contract, the original low estimate you were given may grow into hundreds of dollars or even thousands after the work is finished.
  • They will push you to make a quick decision: Reputable contractors will provide a written estimate that will be valid for weeks or even months. Good contractors leave the decision to you without pressure.
  • Unmarked trucks: Suspicious trucks usually will not have business markings or names on them or will have an out of town address and phone number displayed.

The Sheriff’s Office says you should ask for references and do a check on them before agreeing to have any work started. Get a written estimate and tell them you will get back to them. Making sure that you first get bids from other local paving companies before granting them permission to start is also a good way to compare prices.

They say the best advice is to know who you are doing business with. In many cases, you are safer dealing with a contractor who has local ties to the community.

The Sheriff’s Office also advises that if you are in doubt, don’t agree to any services. If these companies pressure you or begin work without your permission, don’t wait; contact your law enforcement agency immediately.