March 26, 2015 - 9:49 am - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — A George man has been arrested on several charges after a pursuit in Osceola and Lyon Counties.
Police lightbar chase
According to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, the incident started on Tuesday afternoon, March 24th. About 4:15 PM, witnesses reported seeing a white car pulling a trailer recklessly on 160th Street west of Sibley. When an Osceola County deputy went to investigate, the white Chevy Monte Carlo, who they would later learn was driven by 27-year-old Joseph Lee Daggett of George, failed to pull over.

The pursuit entered Lyon County north of Little Rock, and Lyon County Deputies joined. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that the pursuit went through Little Rock and westbound on Highway 9.

Shortly before 4:50 PM, they report that a vehicle that was eastbound on Highway 9 was forced to take the south ditch after the suspect’s vehicle swerved at their vehicle. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the driver of this vehicle to call them at 712-472-8300.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says the pursuit then went south on County Road L-14 and entered the City of George. They say the suspect fled the vehicle on foot within the city limits of George.

Osceola County authorities charged Daggett with one count of theft in the 4th Degree, a serious misdemeanor, one count of Possession of Prescription Drugs, a serious misdemeanor, Eluding, an aggravated misdemeanor, two stop sign violations and reckless driving which are simple misdemeanors. At last report, he was being held in the Osceola County Jail on a $5000 bond, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

Lyon County officials report that charges are pending in their county while the investigation continues.

Deputies were assisted by the Iowa State Patrol.

March 23, 2015 - 7:27 pm - Posted in News

UPDATE: The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office has released some more information about victims in Monday morning’s accident on Highway 60.
CC Ambulance1
They say that 64-year-old Alan VanBeek of Orange City, who was the driver of the Orkin pickup was treated, and was then transferred to Sioux Falls with life-threatening injuries.

They report that there were five victims in the 2006 Volkswagen.

One victim from the VW was treated, and then was transferred to Sioux Falls for a fractured arm and remains under their care. Another victim from the VW was treated, transferred to Sioux Falls, and was released there.

Three victims from the VW were treated and released locally.

Original Story:

Sibley, Iowa — Multiple people were injured in an accident near Sibley on Monday morning.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 64-year-old Alan VanBeek of Orange City was driving a 2011 Ford Ranger, owned by Orkin LLC, eastbound on 210th Street, four miles south of Sibley. Witnesses advised that the Ford Ranger failed to stop at the stop sign at Highway 60. The Sheriff’s Office reports that 32-year-old Erick H Chavez Gallegos, of Worthington, MN, was driving a 2006 Volkswagen, owned by Dylan Malvin.

The Volkswagen hit the Ford Ranger broadside on Highway 60.

There were multiple people injured. The Sheriff’s Office says the severity of injuries is unknown.

The Ford Ranger sustained $5000 damage and the Volkswagen had $8000 damage.

The Sibley Ambulance, Sibley Fire & Rescue crews, Ashton Ambulance crew, Ashton Fire & Rescue personnel, Little Rock Ambulance crew, and George EMS assisted at the scene.

Des Moines, Iowa — All 50 state senators are pushing for more legislative oversight of a shift that will turn over management of nearly all of the state’s more than four-billion dollar Medicaid program to private “managed care” companies. Senator Amanda Ragan, a Democrat from Mason City, says there’s “great uncertainty” about how this transition will impact the 560-thousand low income, elderly and disabled Iowans who get health care coverage through Medicaid.

(as said) “It’s critical that we will have a voice in this because many of the people that we are representing don’t have a voice,” Ragan says.

A bill on the subject has passed the senate on unanimous vote. Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, says private companies stand to gain big if they get the contract.

(as said) “If you look at the fine print…those managed care companies will extract about $800 million a year that’s currently being spent on services to our constituents for the pleasure of operating the program,” Bolkcom says.

And Bolkcom argues it’s likely health care services to poor and disabled Iowans will be cut by 800-million to cover the cost of the contracts. Republican Senator David Johnson of Ocheyedan told Democrats their tone was not helpful.

(as said) “Let’s just settle down here a little bit,” Johnson said. “I’m going to support this bill, but I’m not here to knock the administration about this.”

Johnson says while he supports the idea of having the legislature more involved in the decision making, nearly 40 other states are moving to sign managed care contracts for Medicaid programs. Governor Branstad’s administration expects to hire up to four managed care companies to run most of Iowa’s Medicaid program. When announcing the initiative last month, officials said their aim was to implement the change starting July 1st. Iowans on Medicaid who’re being treated for mental illnesses are already part of a managed care plan, but the plan is to have most Medicaid-financed services in Iowa under a managed care contract. That includes nursing home care for elderly Iowans who are on Medicaid.

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Sheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon Community Schools Board of Education met in special session Wednesday night with only two items on the agenda.  Both issues had been tabled from the regular monthly meeting last week.

Sheldon-Schools-logoThe Board voted to continue the District’s contract with KeBecca Services.  KeBecca is a Special Education program that operates at East Elementary, and includes two students from the Sheldon District, as well as four students from other school districts.  The Sheldon District has utilized the KeBecca services for the past three years.  Prior to that time, these students were transported to Sioux Falls each day to Children’s Home Services.  The Board voted unanimously to continue the KeBecca program for another year, continuing to evaluate the students’ progress during that time.

In other action, the Board selected a health insurance provider for the 2015-16 school year.  Superintendent Robin Spears told the Board that the District’s teachers had heard presentations introducing health insurance from Coventry as an alternative to Wellmark, which is the District’s current carrier.  Following the presentation, Spears says 81% of the teachers voted in favor of the Wellmark plan with Iowa Star Schools.  Since the District’s Board Policy says that health insurance benefits may not be changed without negotiation with the Sheldon Education Association, the Board voted to apply for Wellmark coverage through Iowa Star Schools.

March 17, 2015 - 9:35 am - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — An arrest has been made in the ongoing case of reports of package thefts in Sheldon.
parcel with packing peanuts
The Sheldon Police Department has filed multiple criminal charges against a Sibley woman for her alleged involvement in the thefts.

Officers charged 43-year-old Becky Lynn Vander Plaats with Theft in the 3rd Degree, an aggravated misdemeanor. Authorities believe that she was involved with at least nine of these thefts. She was also charged with nine counts of Simple Misdemeanor Trespassing.

The Sheldon Police Department received twenty-six separate reports from residents who had packages stolen from the front entry areas of their homes between December of 2013 and February of 2015. The packages had been delivered to the homes by several different shipping and postal delivery services. The packages contained a variety of items including clothing, electronics, craft items, shoes, tools, and numerous other miscellaneous items.

Officers executed a search warrant at Vander Plaats’ home at 526 Ninth Avenue in Sibley, and seized numerous items of an evidentiary value from the home.

Vander Plaats will be required to appear in court on a future date to answer to the charges.

Assisting the Sheldon Police Department were deputies from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department and the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Department.

March 14, 2015 - 8:24 am - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Sibley man has been sentenced on a bad check charge.
bank check fraud
The Lyon County Attorney’s Office reports that Jose Armando Ayala Lopez of Sibley has been convicted of Theft in the Third Degree, an Aggravated Misdemeanor.

The charge stems from a criminal complaint stating that in September, 2014, Ayala Lopez made and delivered a check to GCC Ready Mix in Little Rock. The check was returned due to insufficient funds.

Ayala Lopez was sentenced to 365 days in the Lyon County Jail with all but five days suspended, and probation to the Third Judicial District for one year.

Ayala Lopez was also ordered to pay restitution immediately to GCC Ready Mix and to pay fines and court costs.

March 12, 2015 - 11:06 am - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon Community Schools Board of Education accepted letters of resignation from seven people during Wednesday night’s regular monthly meeting.

Those resigning include:  High School Principal and Head Football Coach Matt Meendering who has accepted a position as High School Principal at Dowling Catholic High School in Des Moines; Beth Bunkers and Kay Youngs who are both taking early retirement from the District; Adam Orban who is leaving to accept a Vocal Music Teacher position with the Glenwood Community Schools; Jen VanWyk, who has accepted a teaching job in another district, Dave Gross, who is leaving his position at East Elementary; and Dance Team Head Coach Daphne Feekes.  The Board accepted all seven resignations.

In other District employee-related news, the Board voted to issue teacher contracts for the 2015/16 school year.  The complete list of teacher salaries for the 2015/16 school year can be found by clicking here.  The Board also issued coaching contracts for the upcoming school year.  That list can be viewed by clicking here.

The Board had a discussion about the KeBecca special education services contract.  Superintendent Robin Spears told the Board that the program has a maximum capacity of seven students, but the District has never had more than six students in the program at any time.  He says that currently there are only two Sheldon students in the program and four students from other school districts.  Spears says he’s “leaning toward a recommendation that the District discontinue the KeBecca Program and send it’s two students back to Children’s Home Services in Sioux Falls.”  No action was taken at Wednesday’s meeting, but the Board scheduled a Special Meeting next Wednesday, March 18th, at 6:30 pm to discuss this issue, along with the District’s employee health insurance.

The Board also set the date and time for their FY-2016 Budget Hearing and Certification.  It will be held during the April Regular Monthly Meeting, Wednesday April 8th.  The meeting will be called to order at 6:00 pm, with the Budget Hearing and Certification scheduled for 6:30.

March 11, 2015 - 5:36 pm - Posted in News

Sibley and Rock Rapids, Iowa — It’s Farm and Home Show season in northwest Iowa and two of them are going on this week.
Sibley Chamber 2015_SVA
We talked to Sheryl Peters, the Sibley Chamber Director. She tells us that the show is going to be in a different location this year.

She says the festivities start at 8 AM with a fundraiser breakfast.

The breakfast is also being served at the elementary building. After that, the real Farm and Home Show starts at 9.

Peters says Osceola Community Hospital will be showcasing the Mega Heart Exhibit, where you can learn how your heart works, says Peters.

Again, the Sibley Farm and Home Show is Saturday from 9 to 2 with an FFA Breakfast at 8, all at the Sibley-Ocheyedan Elementary School.

Meanwhile, the Rock Rapids Farm and Home Show is this Thursday, March 12th. Rock Rapids Chamber Director Angie Jager tells us about it.

She says new this year are some chamber gift certificate drawings. The American Legion and VFW are also teaming up in the evening for a pancake supper. That’s the Rock Rapids Farm and Home Show, on Thursday, March 12th, at the Forster Community Center from 2 to 8 PM.

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March 10, 2015 - 1:45 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — A Sibley mOsceola County Courthouse Closeup_SVAan has been sentenced on burglary charges.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 40-year-old Chad Anthony Schmitt of Sibley pled guilty to two counts of Burglary in the 3rd Degree, Class “D” Felonies. On each of the burglary offenses he was sentenced to five years in prison, with all time suspended. Schmitt will serve three years probation to the Iowa Department of Corrections.

These sentences are imposed concurrently with each other but consecutively to the sentence for an OWI conviction. That sentence was for six months in jail, with all time suspended except for 45 days, with credit for time served. Also, on each burglary offense Schmitt is to pay a fine of $750 and surcharges and court costs. He was also ordered to pay restitution to the victim.

March 7, 2015 - 10:09 am - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — Four people were arrested on drug charges on Friday, March 6, 2015 at a Sibley motel.
Osceola Sheriff Car 72-2
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports they carried out a search warrant on four rooms and two motor vehicles at the Sibley Inn Motel in Sibley. Four people were taken into custody. Three of them were charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, alleged to be marijuana; a serious misdemeanor.

Arrested were 28-year-old Raphael Dewayne Holyfield of Moody, Alabama; 23-year-old Ranzell Marquez Jones of Montevallo Alabama; and 28-year-old Printice Leon Banks, who had no address. Twenty-two-year-old Dejuan Henry Ramsey Andrews of Central Point, Alabama was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Simple Misdemeanor. Holyfield and Jones were also charged with alleged Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.

Holyfield and Jones are being held on a $1300 bond, Banks on a $1000 bond, and Andrews on a $300 bond. The Iowa Great Lakes Drug Task Force assisted with the investigation.