Sibley, Iowa — If you’ve always wanted to see what they do out at the bag plant in Sibley, now’s your chance.

Founded in 1972 and operated under several names in the past including Chase Bag and Exopack, officials at the Coveris bag plant in Sibley are opening up their facility to the public for an open house and tours this Thursday, October 2nd.

Plant manager Bill Helms tells us about it.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

Helms tells us why they’ve decided to have this open house and offer tours.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

The open house is Thursday, Oct. 2 from 4:30-6:00 PM at their plant at 1400 Chase Boulevard in Sibley. Food will be provided. If you plan on taking the plant tour, in order to meet food safety requirements, they ask that you do not wear sandals, sleeveless shirts or jewelry.

Plant officials say that the bulk of their business is bags for seed corn, popcorn, and charcoal.

More information from Coveris:

As a leading international manufacturing company, Coveris is dedicated to providing solutions that enhance the safety, quality and convenience of products we use every day. In partnership with the most respected brands in the world, Coveris develops vital products that protect everything from the food we eat, to medical supplies, to the touch screen device in our pockets, contributing to the lives of millions every day.

With over 60 manufacturing locations and more than 9,000 dedicated employees, Coveris is a global leader in the manufacturing of packaging and engineered coatings for a variety of consumer and industrial end-use markets

Sibley, Iowa — A $7 million urban renewal plan that was to involve wind turbines and economic development projects at a farm, a trucking company, and the old Ocheyedan school has been shelved in Osceola cash bills dollars

According to the plan, the idea was to develop and stimulate economic development through the Endeavor Wind Farm consisting of 60 wind turbines, along with economic development projects at Sunrise Farms and D & K Transportation, and the urban renewal and rehabilitation of the old Ocheyedan School building.

The county intended to use the new tax revenue generated from improvements within the urban renewal area to provide for tax incentives to assist with public improvements and to provide Osceola County with a valuable financing tool in encouraging private development. The plan was to create a Tax Increment Financing district, or TIF.

The plan says that Sunrise Farms is proposing a major expansion of their egg production facility that will cost an estimated $8 million dollars. It says D & K Transportation is proposing a project to add new buildings to the Ocheyedan location. The old Ocheyedan School building is determined to be blighted due to its many structural and aesthetic condition issues, and the money would have gone toward that project as well. Plus, Osceola County had planned to use some of the money to do some road infrastructure work that would have helped both Sunrise Farms and D & K Transportation.

However, critics of the plan said that other taxing entities stood to lose money on the deal. Harris-Lake Park Schools say they would have stood to lose $230,000 per year in taxes redirected due to the TIF. Critics also say that TIF is supposed to be for new projects. They also say that they think the projects would have happened with or without the TIF money.

We talked to Osceola County Board Chair Jayson Vande Hoef and he read from a prepared statement.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

The public hearing was to have been on Tuesday.

September 24, 2014 - 2:56 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines — A new judge will be serving our area.gavel_sxc

Governor Terry Branstad has appointed Patrick H. Tott as a District Court Judge in the Third Judicial District (3B).

Tott, of Sioux City, earned his law degree from Creighton University School of Law and is currently working in private practice and as a judicial magistrate.

District 3 includes Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Dickinson, Emmet, Ida, Lyon, Kossuth, Monona, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Sioux, and Woodbury counties.

Tott fills the vacancy left by Judge D. Scott.

September 24, 2014 - 8:10 am - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Governor’s Office has released some data regarding property tax relief.moneybag

The data from the Iowa Department of Revenue shows that Iowa counties are receiving over $78.3 million in state backfill funding and taxpayers are receiving over $49 million in credits, for a total of roughly $127.3 million, in the 2013 assessment year, as part of the historic property tax reduction bill advocated for by Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds.

The plan includes many benefits. Part of the plan is permanent property tax relief protected by a standing appropriation, that represents the largest tax reduction in Iowa history – $4.4 billion over 10 years. Another part is property tax reduction for all classes of property: agricultural, residential, commercial and industrial, without shift of the tax burden to other classes of property. Changes the school finance formula so that “allowable growth” is replaced by 100% state aid. Finally, commercial and industrial property are being taxed at 95% of assessed value this year, eventually moving to 90% of assessed value next year.

The historic tax reform passage of 2013 received strong bipartisan support. It passed the Iowa Senate 43-6, and the Iowa House 84-13 in May.

State funds, called “backfill” were paid to counties to ensure they did not see a loss in revenue from the property tax reduction. This is permanent relief protected by a standing appropriation.

State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull says that the state has seen an uptick in the economy since 2008 and 2009. He says that the governor and legislature have used this increased revenue and “plowed it back into commercial tax relief.” Feenstra says that it is actually a tax shift when you backfill using other tax money.

The money to pay the backfill comes from the ending balance. It’s unspent money left over at the end of the state fiscal year.

Critics of the deal say this spending is crowding out other priorities for state government and they say with the escalating commitment, the governor may have set the stage for future tax increases; all of which Branstad rejects.

In our area, O’Brien County, state backfill amounted to $230,325.56. State tax credit to taxpayers amounted to $383,546.68, and total tax relief funding to the county was $613,872.24. Sioux County’s backfill was $651,173.77. And credit to taxpayers was $765,007.94, for a total of $1,416,181.71. In Osceola County, the backfill amounted to $148,531.07; individual relief was $158,800.32; for a total of $307,331.39. And in Lyon County, the backfill was $175,878.11; individual relief amounted to $216,668.63; and the total tax relief funding to the county was $392,546.74.

Click here for a pdf file of the figures for the rest of the state.

Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson assisted with this story.

New Ulm, Minnesota — A Sibley man has been arrested on a felony Osceola County warrant in Minnesota.Hand Cuffs sxc

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 32-year-old Craig Ammerman of Sibley was arrested in New Ulm, MN on an outstanding Osceola County Warrant.

They report that Ammerman is charged with Willful Injury Causing Serious Injury, a Class C Felony, as well as Assault Causing Serious Injury, a Class D Felony.

The charges stem from an incident on August 13, 2014. The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office investigated a hit and run accident in Sibley on that date. The investigation led to Ammerman’s home where deputies found evidence that an assault had taken place.

Ammerman is being held in the Osceola County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

Sioux Center, Iowa — It’s a different kind of fundraiser, but it promises to be a lot of fun.FGSCP Harlem Ambassadors

The Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion program is bringing in the Harlem Ambassadors basketball team to take on a team of local celebrities. It’ll be at the Sioux Center High School gym on Tuesday, September 23rd at 6:30 PM.

The Harlem Ambassadors perform fundraising/entertainment comedy basketball games for non-profit organizations, service clubs, and the U.S. military. The Ambassadors have helped non-profits raise approximately $9 million for their communities since 1998. They also perform “Stay in School, Stay off Drugs” assembly programs for youth at elementary and middle schools.

We talked to Cathy Bonestroo with the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion program. She says this is their main fundraiser for the year, and tells us how they came up with the idea.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

Bonestroo tells us what the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs do.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

According to the Harlem Ambassadors, you can find more information about them at  They tell us that families laugh together at the Harlem Ambassadors’ hijinks and are amazed at their high-flying slam dunks.  They say kids can look up to the Ambassadors as great role models who are college-educated and drug-free.

But — who are the Ambassadors playing? A team of local celebrities including Senator Randy Feenstra, Deputy Waylon Pollema, several teachers and administrators from several area schools, radio announcers including KIWA’s own Larry Ahrens, Pastor Kevin Gingerich from Sheldon United Methodist Church and representing each of the programs, Nancy Burley, a volunteer from the Foster Grandparent program, and Ray Bohlke, a volunteer from the Senior Companion program.

Bonestroo says it should be a lot of fun. You can get your tickets by calling 476-2628 or 224-2610. Advanced tickets are $4, $6, and $8 and at the door they will be $5, $8, and $10.

She also says if you’d like to volunteer for one of their programs or if you think their services could help you or a loved one, give them a call at 476-2628.

September 12, 2014 - 2:52 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office has just released the information about an accident in which a Sibley man was taken to the hospital.Ambulance Front Generic

According to the report, about 8 AM on Tuesday, September 9th, 32-year-old Stefan Lingle of Ashton was driving northbound on Highway 59 Hwy 59 about five miles east of Sibley. He was driving a 2015 International straight truck belonging to Hogan Truck Leasing, Incorporated, of Columbus, Ohio. About that time, 57-year-old Genaro Casas Sanchez of Sibley was eastbound on 180th Street in a 1990 Isuzu pickup, and due to fog he failed to see the stop sign. Casas Sanchez went through the stop sign and struck the truck broadside.

The Osceola County Ambulance service took Casas Sanchez to Osceola Community Hospital. Lingle was not injured.

The pickup had $2000 damage. The International truck sustained $15,000 damage.

Casas Sanchez was charged with Failure to Obey a Stop Sign and no insurance.

September 6, 2014 - 7:29 am - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — Texas Governor Rick Perry is coming to northwest Iowa again.

The Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux County Republican parties are holding another fundraiser for Republican candidates in this area and statewide, and this time it’s hosted by the O’Brien county Republican party, and will be at the Northwest Iowa Community College Lifelong Learning & Recreational Center in Sheldon. The event is scheduled for Friday, October 3, 2014, starting at 5:45 PM.

Rick Perry (Photo Courtesy Gage Skidmore)

Rick Perry (Photo Courtesy Gage Skidmore)

The group looks to build on the event they held last year with over 350 people in attendance and several national, state and local media present.

Governor Rick Perry will give the night’s keynote speech.  Perry took office in Texas in 2000, and is mulling another bid for the Presidency in 2016.

Among the others who plan to speak at the event are Iowa Fourth District Congressman Steve King, Iowa US Senate Candidate Joni Ernst, Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa Auditor Mary Mosiman, Iowa Attorney General Candidate Adam Gregg, Iowa Treasurer Candidate Sam Clovis, Iowa Secretary of State Candidate Paul Pate, two members of the Iowa Republican National Committee and Iowa Republican Party Co-Chairman Dr. Cody Hoefert from Rock Rapids.

Tickets are available through  For more information, you can contact Republican Party chairs in any of the four northwest Iowa counties — O’Brien, Osceola, Sioux, or Lyon.

September 5, 2014 - 5:02 pm - Posted in News

golf clubSibley, Iowa — The 25th annual Sibley Kiwanis Golf Tournament is this Saturday, September 5th. It’s a fundraiser that will start at noon.

The Sibley Kiwanis is raising the money through corporate sponsorships and tickets for the event. We talked to Sibley Chamber Director Sheryl Peters and she tells us more about the event at the Sibley Golf and Country Club.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

There are also door prizes to be given away, she says. The $125 per couple covers all four hole-in-one chances, pin prizes, t-shirts, 18 holes of golfing fun and a steak dinner at the end of the day.

August 29, 2014 - 8:20 pm - Posted in News

sibley chamberSibley, Iowa — It’s time for our monthly report from the Sibley Chamber. We talked to Sibley Chamber Director Sheryl Peters recently.

Click the play button below to hear the chamber report.

Click the play button above or this link to listen.

You can get more information by going to or by calling the Chamber at 712-754-3212.