April 26, 2015 - 12:19 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — A new manufacturing facility is to be built in Sibley, and there’s going to be a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, April 27th.
golden shovel
Capital Armament Company CEO, Clint Gerner says that the company plans an official ground-breaking ceremony for their 8,000+ square-foot office and manufacturing facility at 11:00 AM. The ceremony will be held at the building site located at the junction of Highways 9 and 60 just north of Northland Buildings and the Growing Edge facilities in the Osceola County Enterprise Park. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Osceola County Economic Development coordinator Mike Earll says Capital Armament is a firearms and ammunition manufacturer and dealer founded by three friends and veterans. The company manufactures purpose-built ammunition, with a focus on the competition shooting market as well as law enforcement applications. He says Capital Armament also manufactures law enforcement firearms and sells a line of smokeless gun powders.

Earll says the company moved its business operations from Mendota Heights, Minnesota to Sibley, Iowa in January of 2015 and have begun production in a temporary facility.

Completion of the office and manufacturing facility is scheduled for September of 2015.

Company officials say that this “state-of-the-art” facility will allow the company to expand its manufacturing capabilities, improve efficiency, and begin the process of hiring additional employees to meet the growing demand for their products. Company officials say they are excited to be located and growing in Osceola County and look forward to playing an active role in the community for many years to come.

April 22, 2015 - 8:21 am - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — State and national officials held a conference call on Tuesday, April 21st with reporters to answer questions surrounding the latest bird flu out break in northwest Iowa.
eggs
Officials first clarified that the facility in Osceola County has a capacity of five-point-three million egg-laying hens, but there are were three-point-eight million hens there when the disease was discovered. It is still the largest outbreak discovered in the U-S thus far. U-S-D-A chief veterinary officer, John Clifford, says the large number of birds at the Osceola County facility raised concerns.

(as he says)”A lot of people ask the question ‘well what can we do about it?’ Well, one of the things that we’re doing, we are trying to determine the pathway of introduction into these houses,” Clifford says. “My guess is — and right now there is no solid evidence as such — my guess is there are multiple pathways of entry and it doesn’t mean that people are using poor biosecurity.”

The disease is believe to be carried by wild waterfowl. Clifford says other states like Minnesota have seen more cases than Iowa thus far because they have more lakes and more wild migratory birds. He says other states have also had some colder weather.

(as he says)”And hopefully through the summer we would expect to stop seeing these cases because of the heat. This virus does not like the heat much at all, it prefers cooler temperatures in weather,” Clifford says. He says we could see more cases of the virus as the waterfowl move again in the fall and spring.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey was asked about the economic impact. He says it has varied since the first outbreaks were reported in other states in January.

(as he says) “In some cases we’ve lost some markets, some export markets. In that case maybe we see a negative impact to prices — we actually see lower prices because there are less place for these egg products and poultry products to move,” Northey says. “In other cases we now are starting to see some significant reductions in the supply, so we are kind of counterbalancing, so it depends on how this plays out on what the impact might be.”

But Northey says while millions of birds have died in Iowa and other states, the impact has not been major in terms of prices.

(as he says)”Right now it does not appear that the loss of supply in either turkey products or egg products is significant at this time to show a significant impact on prices,” Northey says.

The first outbreak in Iowa was in a turkey facility in Buena Vista County. The 37-thousand turkeys there were destroyed and Northey says state and local officials are helping the Osceola County facility euthanized the birds there. Northey says the cases appear to be isolated at this point.

(as he says)”We do not believe this is spreading in a way that is likely to create other problems on other farms. We believe this is coming from wild birds to these farms. That does not mean we might not see a significant number of new cases,” according to Northey.

But he says this could also be the last case found in Iowa too. Northey says these two facilities are a small part of the large egg and turkey industry in the state.

(as he says)”As of today, eggs are still rolling out of most of our facilities. These are good, healthy eggs,” Northey says. “Consumers need to feel very comfortable eating Iowa eggs, eating Iowa turkey and eating Iowa chicken meat as well.”

Doctor Clifford with the U-S-D-A says the eggs from the facility in Osceola are cracked and pasteurized for use in egg products, so that would have killed any of the virus in those eggs. And the chickens are not being released into the market, so they do not pose any threat either.

Story from Radio Iowa

Other information presented during the conference call:

  • The birds are euthanized using either a foam or carbon dioxide gas.
  • Usually the bird carcasses are composted.
  • The experts don’t think the virus is going from farm-to-farm. It is believed to come from wild birds.
  • Officials are accepting samples for testing from farms that send them in, but officials are not actively monitoring any facility.

If your browser or device cannot access the audio players above, here are the direct links to the audio sound bytes:

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April 22, 2015 - 1:02 am - Posted in News

usda_logoDes Moines, Iowa – The bird flu that poultry and egg farmers are concerned about has now been found in Osceola County.

The latest outbreak of the H-5-N-2 avian influenza is reported in a commercial egg laying facility in northwest Iowa’s Osceola County. The first outbreak was found in a turkey facility in Buena Vista County, to the south, and impacted 37-thousand birds. This latest outbreak ramps up the impact significantly with three-point-eight million birds that will have to be destroyed. It is believed the virus is carried by the migration of wild birds. The Iowa Department of Public Health says the risk to people from the virus is considered to be low and there have been no human cases detected.

The flock experienced increased mortality and as a result samples were sent to the South Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for preliminary testing. The APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa confirmed the findings. NVSL is the only internationally recognized Avian Influenza reference laboratory in the United States.

USDA APHIS is working closely with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the premise and birds on the property will be humanely euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.

The United States has the strongest Avian Influenza (AI) surveillance program in the world. As part of the existing USDA avian influenza response plans, Federal and State partners as well as industry are responding quickly and decisively to these outbreaks by following these five basic steps:

1) Quarantine – restricting movement of poultry and poultry-moving equipment into and out of the control area

2) Eradicate – humanely euthanizing the affected flock(s)

3) Monitor region – testing wild and domestic birds in a broad area around the quarantine area

4) Disinfect – kills the virus in the affected flock locations

5) Test – confirm that poultry farms in the area are free of the virus.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health are working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure proper precautions are being taken.

These virus strains can travel in wild birds without those birds appearing sick. People should avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife. If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.

All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard flock owners, should continue to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state/federal officials, either through their state veterinarian at 515-281-5321 or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593. Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.

April 20, 2015 - 5:03 pm - Posted in News

Rock Valley, Iowa — The members of three northwest Iowa agriculture coops have approved a unification measure.
grain elevator silos
Mark Finck, General Manager of Farmers Elevator Coop tells us about the vote.

Members of the three coops, Farmers Elevator Coop locations based in Rock Valley, Cooperative Elevator Association locations based in Ocheyedan, and United Farmers Coop locations based in George approved the measure by over 70 percent, says Finck. Finck says while they are releasing the fact that the measure passed, they are not releasing the numbers at this time. He says that may be done in the future.

He tells us the name of the new company and about the leadership structure.

Cooperative Farmers Elevator will begin their unified operations on September 1st, 2015.

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April 19, 2015 - 8:20 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Iowa’s Governor and Lieutenant Governor are going to be in northwest Iowa this week.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad

They’ll start in the southern part of our region, and move north, before heading back south again.

In our area, the executive pair will start in Cherokee. On Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 3 PM, Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will attend the Cherokee Connect Iowa and Skilled Iowa Community announcement at the Spring Lake Yacht Club at 606 Spring Lake Drive in Cherokee.

From there, it’s on to Paullina for a 4:30 PM tour of Mill Creek Machining. That’s at 119 North Willow Street in Paullina.

Then on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 9 AM, Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds will attend the Sibley Rotary Club meeting, which will be at the Osceola County Courthouse, on the third floor. That’s at 300 Seventh Street in Sibley.

At 10:30, they’ll be at the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Dur-A-Lift facility near George, at 2002 Kingbird Avenue. The ribbon cutting is to celebrate the new facility and the latest milestone in the ongoing growth and expansion of Lyon County’s largest manufacturer. Dur-A-Lift and sister companies Sudenga Industries and Ranger All-Season make up Diversified Technologies, Incorporated.

As we’ve told you previously, at 12:30 PM, they will be at the Rock Valley Community Schools library to hold a Teacher Leadership Conversation. The school is at 1712 20th Avenue in Rock Valley.

At 2:30 PM, the governor will sign a Soil and Water Conservation Week proclamation at the Bob Puetz Farm at
16175 Marble Avenue near Le Mars.

April 14, 2015 - 2:07 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — A project that has been in the works for more than two years will come a step closer to reality Wednesday morning when ground is broken for a new AmericInn Hotel in Sibley.

Harris Kruse of Sibley is one of the project’s organizers and investors, and he says the hotel will be a 36 room facility.

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Kruse said the investors raised a total of $1.625 million, with the remainder of the $3.655 million dollar project being financed by the Melvin Savings Bank, Ashton State Bank and Farmer’s Savings Bank of Milford.

Kruse talked about the hotel and it’s investors.

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Groundbreaking for the new Sibley AmericInn Hotel will take place Wednesday, April 15th at 11:00 am.

April 14, 2015 - 9:33 am - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — After initially reporting that they were searching for someone who dumped puppies off a bridge north of Sibley, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is now saying they weren’t puppies after all.
Sheriff car rear generic
They report that on Sunday, April 12, 2015, one of their deputies pulled two carcasses from the creek where the alleged dead puppies were dumped.  The Sheriff’s Office was unable to identify the animal or its breed at that time.

The next day (Monday, April 13th) the sheriff’s office reports that they contacted the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to examine the carcasses.  The DNR determined that the animals were not puppies but were raccoons.

The Sheriff’s Office is still looking for information on who dumped the raccoons in the creek.  If you have any information please contact the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at (712)754-2556 or if you want to remain anonymous you can make a Text-A-Tip report.  A link to Text-A-Tip can be found online at www.sheriffosceolacounty.org.

April 12, 2015 - 7:46 am - Posted in News

Harris, Iowa — A Harris man was taken to a hospital after an accident on Saturday morning, April 11, 2015.
Ambulance Front Generic
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 9:05 AM, they determined that 62-year-old Alan Dale Brueggeman of Harris was driving a 2014 Ford F150 pickup westbound on 130th Street, about a mile northeast of Harris near Yew Ave when he passed out.

The Sheriff’s Office says the vehicle crossed the center line, entered the south ditch, ran along the top of the ditch, running over fence posts, and finally hitting a utility pole.

Brueggeman was transported to the Worthington Hospital by the Ocheyedan Ambulance.

The pickup received about $15,000 in damage, according to authorities.

April 9, 2015 - 4:10 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — The Northwest Iowa Area Solid Waste Agency near Hospers has paid a $100,000 civil penalty for illegally dumping waste into its landfill.

Landfill Compactor (generic file photo)

Landfill Compactor (generic file photo)

The following information is from the Iowa Attorney General’s Office:

In an order called a consent decree, Third Judicial District Chief Judge Duane E. Hoffmeyer Wednesday approved the payment to resolve a lawsuit filed in 2013 by Attorney General Tom Miller on behalf of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The lawsuit alleged that for approximately six months beginning in November 2011, the agency illegally dumped 300,000 tons of solid waste into the Northwest Iowa Area Sanitary Landfill. According to the lawsuit, the agency deposited solid waste into unapproved landfill cells with no liner or leachate collection system, as required by state law.

The lawsuit also alleged that the agency began constructing two cells without first obtaining required state permits from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The Northwest Iowa Area Solid Waste Agency, which is ultimately responsible for complying with state environmental laws and regulations, asserted that the agency relied on advice and direction from licensed civil engineer Elliot D. Waddell, owner of Five States Engineering PC of Westfield, Iowa. According to the agency, Waddell and his company represented to the agency that the landfill was in compliance.

In addition to the penalty, the consent decree requires the agency to take certain actions by November 30, 2017 in landfill areas that were not in compliance. Those actions include installing interim final closure caps, adding soil and vegetation, and installing a final cover system designed to minimize infiltration and erosion.

On March 13, 2014 the agency obtained a $100,000 default judgment against Waddell and Five States Engineering.

On July 11, 2013, the Iowa Engineering and Land Surveying Examining Board reprimanded Waddell for failing to include all relevant and pertinent information in reports submitted to a governmental agency. The board ordered Waddell to complete an engineering ethics course.

The Northwest Iowa Area Solid Waste Agency Landfill and Recycling serves, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux Counties as well as several communities in Clay County and the City of Akron in Plymouth County.

April 9, 2015 - 7:58 am - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — A Sibley woman has been arrested on drug charges.
Bright lightbar
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Thursday April 9, 2015, one of their deputies arrested 32-year-old Nicole Lynn Ruffcorn of Sibley.

They say she was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance 2nd Offense, an Aggravated Misdemeanor and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Simple Misdemeanor.

Deputies report that the arrest stemmed from a traffic stop north of Sibley.

They say Ruffcorn is currently being held in the Osceola County Jail on a $2300 bond.