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NEWS 12.10.21

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National Weather Service/Sioux Falls Office
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The first winter storm of the season is moving into parts of Siouxland.

A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for a section of northwest Iowa, northeast Nebraska, east and southeast South Dakota until midnight tonight.

The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls says snow, heavy at times, continues across southeastern South Dakota into southwestern Minnesota. At least 4 to 8 inches of snow has already fallen so far in this area making travel hazardous. This snow is expected to slowly move southeastward into northwestern Iowa as we head into the evening. Road conditions will rapidly deteriorate in northwestern Iowa heavy snow moves in. If you must travel this evening, drive with extreme caution.

The warning includes the counties of Plymouth, Cherokee, Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Sioux, O’Brien, and Clay in Iowa, Lincoln and Union in South Dakota, and Cedar and Knox in Nebraska. Counties in the warning area could get 5 to 12 inches of snow.

The rest of Siouxland is under a Winter Weather Advisory, including Sioux City and Dakota County in the metro area. Three to 5 inches of snow could fall. Several schools dismissed early with some communities declaring a snow emergency.

The work of a South Dakota House committee considering impeachment of the state’s attorney general has stalled since the committee was created last month. The Republican-dominated House voted last month to have a committee prepare a report and recommend whether Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg should be impeached for his conduct surrounding a fatal car crash.

The committee has met just once and has not scheduled any further meetings. House Speaker Spencer Gosch said the committee is finding legal counsel for the investigation and partially blamed the delay on a separate legal battle over records, KSFY-TV reported.

A northwest Iowa cattle farmer repeatedly allowed manure-laden water to escape from a detention basin near his feedlots this year, which polluted a creek and its tributary and killed about 13,000 small fish.

The Iowa Capital Dispatch reports Lou Pick, of rural Remsen, has agreed to pay fines of nearly $9,000 for the most-recent infraction that resulted in the fish kill, according to an Iowa Department of Natural Resources administrative consent order.

A passerby reported in April that Whiskey Creek was colored bronze and smelled like manure at a location about 30 miles northeast of Sioux City. The creek does not immediately flow into any major waterway.

DNR tests of the creek revealed significant bacterial and ammonia contaminations.

Jacob Simonsen, an environmental specialist for the DNR, traced the contamination to Pick’s cattle operation in the 47700 block of 180th Street, which has nearly 4,000 of the animals. Pick had been pumping water from the basin — which collects stormwater runoff — to dispose of it elsewhere, but the pump failed.

“This happened over Easter weekend,” Simonsen said. “The story I got was that he was pumping it and was in a rush to get to church and didn’t check it that morning.”

Pick did not respond to request to comment for this article. He does business as LCNJ Farms.

Contaminated water flowed from the basin into a ditch, where it traveled about a quarter mile west into Whiskey Creek. The resulting deaths of minnows in the creek was apparent for more than a mile downstream.

It was the second time the DNR has fined Pick for a manure discharge. He paid $7,000 in 2018 for contaminated water that escaped from the same detention basin but flowed east to a tributary of Whiskey Creek, according to another DNR administrative order.

That order noted that state and federal environmental officials had previously warned Pick in 2011 and 2014 that the detention basin might potentially leak into nearby public waterways.

“It’s possible that it wasn’t caught before,” Simonsen said of other leaks.

As part of the 2018 agreement, the basin was modified to help prevent future waterway contaminations. When it fills, Pick pumps out the manure water and applies it to nearby land where it won’t flow into a creek.

Iowa running back Tyler Goodson is heading to the NFL and won’t play in the Citrus Bowl against Kentucky on Jan. 1. Goodson has led Iowa in rushing the past three seasons. He ran for 1,151 yards and six touchdowns in 2021 and 2,551 yards and 18 touchdowns in his career. Coach Kirk Ferentz says he appreciates Goodson's contributions to the program.

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Sheila Brummer returns to her radio roots as a Reporter/Special Projects Producer for Siouxland Public Media KWIT-KOJI.