Estherville Police K9 Unexpectedly Passes Away

(Estherville)--The Estherville Police Department is mourning the loss of the department’s K-9 Max-3 who passed away unexpectedly on April 9th due to a medical condition. 


Accoding to a post on the department’s Facebook page, Max started his career with the Estherville Police Department on October 30, 2019 and came from Partners for Patriots from Anthon, Iowa.  Max was trained by his handler Sergeant Matt Reineke and was certified by Cindy Brodie from Partners for Patriots.


During his short 18 month career, Max accomplished 17 drug and paraphernalia seizures with two of his largest being one ounce of methamphetamine and two ounces of marijuana.  Max was also called upon by the Spirit Lake Police Department where a felon with a firearm took off on foot and Max was able to successfully track him down.


Max will be missed by all members of the Estherville Police Department.

Ft. Dodge Man Arrested on Warrant in Clay County

(Spencer)--A man wanted on a Buena Vista County Warrant was arrested over the weekend in Clay County.


On Saturday at approximately 9:00 am, the Clay County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to the 3600 block of 330th Avenue in reference to a vehicle in the ditch. Upon arrival the Clay County Deputy met with 31-year-old Justin Diggs of Ft. Dodge who was the operator of the 2000 Dodge Ram Wagon B3500 that was in the West ditch. It was learned that Diggs did not have a valid driver's license or current insurance on the vehicle. It was also learned Diggs had a valid Buena Vista warrant for theft in the 1st degree with a $5,000 cash or surety bond.


Diggs was placed under arrest om the warrant and charges of not having a valid driver's license, no proof of financial liability, operating a non-registered vehicle, and failure to maintain control. Diggs was transported to the Clay County Jail without further incident.


The Clay County Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office, the Iowa State Patrol, and Bud's Service.

Bill in Iowa Legislature Would Help School Activty Funds

(Estherville)--A bill under consideration in the Iowa legislature would allow school districts to use some general fund money for activities due to the pandemic.  Estherville Lincoln Central Superintendent Tara Paul says superintendent groups in Iowa have been advocating for the bill.






Paul says the bill would allow school districts to make one time transfers.






She says limits on attendance and fundraising activities during the pandemic put a damper on athletic department budgets.






Paul made her comments on the ELC Superintendent Spotlight program which can be heard every Saturday at 8:45 am on KILR FM 95.9.

(Grimes)--Black Hills Energy is working to keep energy affordable for customers in response to the dramatic increase in natural gas prices in February. 


Black Hills Energy is working closely with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) to determine the best path forward to manage the impact of increased natural gas costs for customers. With approval from the IUB, beginning this monrth the natural gas costs incurred during the polar vortex period will appear as an additional line-item on customer bills. At the request of Black Hills Energy, the recovery of these natural gas costs will span for the next 3-years.


Customers worried about affording their bill are encouraged to log into their account through the Black Hills Energy website and enroll in Budget Billing, which is a free payment plan that averages the amount you pay each month. Customers can also seek out other assistance options by calling 211 to get access to emergency utility assistance services like Black Hills Cares or by visiting Assistance Programs online at

Man Arrested on Prostitution Charges at Clay County Fairgrounds

(Spencer)--A man was arrested Friday on charges of prostitution of a minor following an incident earlier this month at the Clay County Fairgrounds.


The Spencer Police Department says they were made aware of an incident on April 4th at around 10 P.M. Police say two juvenile females ages 14 and 15 were approached by vehicle driven by 23-year-old Juan Carlos Cardenas. Police say Cardenas offered the two juveniles money in exchange for sexual acts. The juveniles told Cardenas they were underage, and he left the area.


An investigation later led police to Cardenas and placed him under arrest. He was then taken to the Clay County Jail, where he was charged with two counts of prostitution of a minor.

Area Lawmakers Participate in a Legislative Forum in Estherville

(Estherville)--Legislation related to the COVID 19 vaccine was one of the topics discussed at a Legislative forum Saturday at Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative in Estherville attended by Fourth District Congressman Randy Feenstra, State Senator Dennis Guth and State Representative Henry Stone. A bill was introduced early in the 2021 Iowa legislative session that would prohibit companies from requiring their employees to get the COVID 19 vaccine. Senator Guth, a Republican from Klemme, says it’s possible the bill could pass before the end of the session.






Guth says he is opposed to the idea of vaccine passports.






He says a vaccine passport could also give the government the power to track your movements. All three lawmakers expressed their strong support of the 2nd amendment. State Representative Henry Stone says one the legislature’s main accomplishments this session is a bill expanding Iowans right to keep and bear arms.






Congressman Randy Feenstra, a Republican from Hull, says he’s opposed to the executive order issued by President Biden on Thursday enacting stricter gun control measures.






About 30 people attended Saturday’s forum sponsored by Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative and the Emmet County Farm Bureau.


Mask Mandate to Continue at North Union, North Kossuth Schools

(Armstrong)--Mask mandates will remain in place until the end of the school year in the North Union and North Kossuth school districts. Travis Schuller is the Superintendent for both districts.






Schueller says there has been a recent uptick in cases in the area.







He says they are planning on holding prom this year at North Union High School.






Schuller made his comments on the North Union Spotlight program which can be heard every Friday at 5:45 pm on KILR FM 95.9.

Feenstra Says Biden Administration AWOL on Border Crises

(Estherville)--U.S. government facilities holding migrant children along the border with Mexico are "stretched beyond thin," an independent monitor concluded after visiting the sites, saying acute overcrowding has created unsafe conditions for thousands of minors in U.S. custody. In an interview Friday on KILR FM 95.9, Northwest Iowa Congressman Randy Feenstra says there’s been a lack of leadership from the White House on the issue of illegal immigration.






Feenstra says 19,000 unaccompanied children crossed the border during the month of March. He says the surge of illegal immigrants is also creating national security concerns.






On another topic, Feenstra says there are two big issues facing agriculture in 2021.







Man Wanted on Emmet County Warrant Arrested in Spencer

(Spencer)--A man wanted on an Emmet County Warrant was arrested earlier this week in Spencer.


The Clay County Sheriff’s Office says shortly after 1:40 pm on Tuesday, 29-year-old Nicholas Thomas was taken into custody in the 10 block of West 18th St. in Spencer on an active Emmet County Warrant for domestic abuse assault-2nd offense.


No bond was set and Thomas was turned over to the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office.



Spencer City Manager Named Finalist for Similar Position in Watertown, S.D.

(Spencer)--Spencer City Manager Amanda Mack has been named one of the top five finalists for the position of City Manager in Watertown, South Dakota  The Watertown City Council earlier this week selected five individuals to participate in an interview process that will take place on April 29th and 30th. 


Mack has served as Spencer City Manager for more than 3 years. Prior to her position in Spencer, Mack was a City Manager in Canton, SD, for two years, and City Administrator for Worthing, SD, where she served for approximately 1.5 years.

Clean Up Planned for Kilen Wood State Park Near Lakefield

(Jackson, Minn.)--Federated Rural Electric in Jackson, your local Touchstone Energy Cooperative, will sponsor a Covid-safe clean-up day at Kilen Wood State Park, north of Lakefield.


A tentative spring clean-up day is set for Saturday, May 1, when electric cooperative employees, customers and the general public will set aside a work day in various parks throughout the state.  Volunteers will clean picnic shelters, fix existing structures, pick up branches and litter on the trails.


Locally, Federated Rural Electric employees, customers and the general public are invited to Kilen Woods State Park, northeast of Lakefield from 9 a.m. to noon. Plenty of room exists to socially distance; families will work in pods together. A Subway $10 gift card will be given to each volunteer at noon, instead of a group lunch.


Grassley Tours SERT Building, Windtest Operation at ILCC

(Estherville)--Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley visited the Estherville Campus of Iowa Lakes Community College on Thursday to tour the SERT building and the Windtest North America facility. Grassley says he was impressed by what he saw on the tour.






During a question and answer session after the tour, Grassley was asked if he would support extending the wind energy tax credit. Grassley said he supported an agreement with the Iowa Wind Energy Association several years ago to phase out the tax credit.






Grassley was also asked about President Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill. He says the bill contains too many items unrelated to infrastructure. 






Grassley also made stops Thursday in Milford and Emmetsburg.


Warmer Weather Means More Hazards for Motorists on Area Roads

(Estherville)--The warmer weather means there will be more hazards for drivers to watch for on area roadways. Iowa State Trooper Kevin Krull says it’s important to keep your eyes on the road and be a good defensive driver.






Krull reminds motorists of the Side with Us Campaign that the State Patrol began last Spring.






He says driving at a high rate of speed can be a recipe for disaster.






Krull spoke with Dave Van Roekel Thursday morning on KILR FM 95.9.

Changes Announced to Test Iowa Site in Spirit Lake Due to Uptick in COVID Cases

(Spirit Lake)--Recent upticks in COVID-19 numbers is resulting in changes to the future of the Test Iowa Clinic at Lakes Regional Healthcare in Spirit Lake.


Previously, the clinic was scheduled to close on Friday, April 16th. Due to an increase in Dickinson County’s COVID-19 positivity rate, the clinic will now continue to operate, but its location will move to Lakes Regional Family Medicine beginning Monday, April 19th. The hours will also change to Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 10:00 am.


Those wanting a COVID-19 test should still go to the website, complete a questionnaire and follow the instructions.


Dickinson County currently has the highest positivity rate in the state.  The positivity rate in Dickinson County is 14-percent, with fully half of the new cases coming from the 18-to-29 and 80-plus age groups.


Public health officials report more than one-fourth of Iowa’s positive cases last week were confirmed in the 18-to-29 age group.


Spirit Lake Man Found Guilty of 2nd Degree Murder in Sioux County Shooting

(Orange City)--A Sioux County jury on Wednesday found a 71-year-old Spirit Lake man guilty of fatally shooting another man during a disturbance near Ireton.


Gregg Winterfeld was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of 58-year-old Grant Wilson. Winterfeld was originally charged with first-degree murder.


On May 9, 2020, the Sioux County Sheriff's Office responded to a shooting inside a home on Dove Avenue where officers found Wilson dead.


Court documents say the two men had gotten into an argument inside the home after they had been drinking whiskey and beer since noon.


Wilson went to sleep outside in a car while Winterfeld armed himself with a revolver before trying to convince Grant to sleep inside.


Documents say the men began to argue when Winterfeld unholstered the gun and shot him.


Winterfeld said Wilson had a knife.


A sentencing date has not been set.

RSVP Celebrating National Volunteer Month

(Estherville)--April is National Volunteer Month. Northwest Iowa RSVP is honoring the volunteers, ages 55-plus, who bring their lifetime of experience and wisdom to support others throughout the year. Emmet County RSVP Coordinator Linda Anderson.






Anderson says RSVP volunteers have been busy during the pandemic.






She says Emmet County RSVP currently has more than 70 volunteers.






For more information on joining Emmet County RSVP, call Linda Anderson at 712-362-7929 or send an e-mail to:

Long Time ISU Extension Field Agronomist Announces Retirement

(Spencer)—A longtime field agronomist with the ISU Extension Service has announced his retirement. Paul Kassel, who works out of the Clay County Extension Office, says his last day on the job will be June 30th.






Kassel says Iowa State University offered a retirement incentive option. Kassel was asked about what he’s most proud of during his career.






He says the weather has been the biggest challenge over the years.






Kassel says a search for his replacement is underway.








Finalists Announced for Position of Jackson County Administrator

(Jackson, Minn.)--The five finalists have been announced for the newly created position of Jackson County Administrator.


The finalists include Andrea Aukrust, who  currently serves as the City Administrator for the City of Hector, Minnesota, a position she had held for nearly 3 years; Ryan Krosch who most recently served as the County Administrator for Nicollet County, Minnesota, a position he held for eight years;  Steve Nasby who currently serves as the City Administrator for the City of Windom, where he has been employed for 15 years; Tom Nelson who is currently employed as a Community and Business Development Specialist for Community and Economic Development Associates, a position he has held for three and a half years and Pat Oman who most recently served as the Mille Lacs County Administrator where he served for six years.


Interviews with the finalists will be scheduled later this month.

Estherville Man Dies of Injuries After Pickup-Motorcycle Accident

(Estherville)--An Estherville man has died as a result of injuries suffered in an accident involving a pickup and a motorcycle on Wednesday evening.


According to the Estherville Police, the accident was reported by a 911 caller shortly after 6:10 pm at the intersection of South 8th Street and 2nd Avenue South in Estherville.  The caller reported that the motorcyclist was injured and needed an ambulance.


Responding officers administered first aid along with local citizens and the Estherville Ambulance Service.  The driver of the motorcycle was identified as 25-year-old Samuel Woolery of Estherville.  Woolery was transported to Avera Holy Family Hospital and later transferred to a hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Woolery passed away as a result of the injuries sustained in the accident while in Sioux Falls. 


Investigating officers spoke with eyewitnesses on the scene who told officers that the motorcycle was traveling Eastbound on 2nd Avenue South, while the pick-up truck involved was traveling northbound on South 8th Street. The pick-up truck collided with the motorcycle in the middle of the uncontrolled intersection. Woolery was ejected from the motorcycle.  He was wearing a helmet.


The driver of the pick-up truck was identified as 35 year old Angel Ponce Archaga, of Estherville.  Ponce Archaga was questioned by investigating officers and placed under arrest for driving without a valid license.  He remains in the Emmet county jail on that charge.  There were three other occupants in the pick-up truck that reported they were not injured.  The occupants were wearing safety belts and the front airbags deployed.


The accident remains under investigation by the Iowa State Patrol and the Estherville Police Department. 

Man Found Unconscious Lying on Swea City Road Dies of Injuries

(Swea City)--The Kossuth County Sheriff’s Office has released additional details regarding a man found last Saturday lying on a road in Swea City.


The Kossuth County Sheriff's Office responded to a call at Howard and third Avenue East in Swea City for a person unconscious and injured. The person was transported to Fairmont Hospital and transferred to St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minn.


The victim received a head injury after being involved in a physical altercation with another person. As a result of this injury, the victim has passed away on Tuesday at St. Mary's Hospital.

The victim is identified as 41-year-old Casey Tobin of Swea City.


The Minnesota Medical Examiner's Office in Rochester will be conducting an autopsy and assisting the Kossuth County Sheriff's Office in this case. The investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the altercation between the victim and another person. No other details will be released until the investigation is concluded.

Estherville Man Charged with Attempted Murder

(Estherville)--An Estherville man has been charged with attempted murder after police were called Wednesday to a dispute between two roommates.


According to the Estherville Police Department, the incident occurred at 615 North 8th Street and one of the persons involved was reported to be out of control and armed with a gun. 


Responding officers were immediately met at the front door by a male subject.  While directing the male subject to a position to be handcuffed, another male subject came from the residence.  Officers determined that the first subject was the person that had been causing the problems inside of the house, while the second male was determined to be a victim. The male subject was taken into custody without incident.   The victim and another occupant were then removed from the residence. 


Police say 21-year-old Alejandro Reyes of Estherville was identified as the suspect. The victim reported that Reyes had become upset and had been shooting within the residence and outside of the residence and prior to officer’s arrival, had pinned the victim against a wall and fired two rounds at him.  Officers also noticed a vehicle parked in the yard that had a considerable amount of damage.  The victim reported that Reyes was responsible for that damage and that he had done it earlier that morning. 


Investigating officers conducted a search of the residence and located a .22 caliber rifle as described by the victim. They also found evidence within the house that the gun had been fired, as well as drugs, drug paraphernalia and a marijuana grow lab. 


Reyes was transported and booked into the Emmet County Jail on charges of attempted murder, a class B felony; intimidation with a dangerous weapon, a class C felony; 2nd degree criminal mischief; discharging a firearm within the city limits; possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.


Estherville Police were assisted on scene by the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office.


The investigation into this incident is ongoing and additional charges may be filed.



Sportscast 04/12/21

ELC Superintendent Spotlight

Superintendent Spotlight with Tara Paul - teacher leadership

GT/RA Superintendent Spotlight

GT/RA Superintendent Spotlight - Marshall Lewis - mask mandate

North Union Superintendent Spotlight

North Union Superintendent Spotlight - HS Counselor Detra Harle

Latest News Interviews

DVR with IA Senator Joni Ernst