Sibley, Iowa — Charges have now been filed against a Sibley man in the case of several stolen items being found on a farm place in rural Osceola County.Block, Michael

The Osceola County sheriff’s Office reports that they have filed criminal charges against 52-year-old Michael Lawrence Block of Sibley. Block is alleged to have been in possession of stolen agriculture and construction equipment.

Block is charged with seven counts of Theft in the First Degree a Class “C” Felony; ten counts of Theft in the Second Degree, a Class “D” Felony; one count of Theft in the Third Degree, an Aggravated Misdemeanor; and one count of Theft in the Fourth Degree, a Serious Misdemeanor.

Block is alleged to have been in possession of stolen property from Osceola, O’Brien, Sioux, and Lyon Counties.

On March 21, 2014 an Osceola County Deputy was investigating the theft of some hay bales from O’Brien County which led to the application and execution of five search warrants at Block’s acreage on Highway 59 and his home in Sibley. Investigating officers seized a New Holland baler, wagons, construction equipment, trailers, four motor vehicles, and other items.

April 8, 2014 - 3:03 pm - Posted in News

Ocheyedan, Iowa — The search for a missing man in the Ocheyedan area Tuesday ended with the discovery of his body.  The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office says thatofficers from their agency, the Iowa State Patrol, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, along with Ocheyedan Fire and Rescue, and Osceola County Emergency Management investigated the report of a missing individual Tuesday morning.

The Sheriff’s Office says the search ended in the discovery of the body of 48-year old John Michael Dirks in a road ditch along Highway 9 near Ocheyedan.  Dirks was pronounced dead by the Medical Examiner.

No other information is available at this time.

April 2, 2014 - 4:50 pm - Posted in News

image001OCHEYEDAN, Iowa – Osceola County farmers Paul and Miriam Hibma have directed a $2,500 donation to Osceola County Ambulance. Funded by America’s Farmers Grow Communities, the donation will help the service update equipment.

Thanks to the support of farmers across the country, more than $3.2 million is being directed to nonprofits in 1,289 counties in 39 states.

“We chose the Osceola County Ambulance for this donation because they’ve helped us before with a combine fire, and we would like to give back to them and help them with their equipment updates,” Paul Hibma said.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities works directly with farmers to support nonprofit organizations like Osceola County Ambulance, who are doing important work in their communities. The program offers farmers the chance to win $2,500, which is then donated to the farmer’s nonprofit of choice. The search for funding to sustain and enhance programs is a year-round job for nonprofit organizations across the country. Through America’s Farmers Grow Communities, farmers have been able to support a variety of groups, such as schools, fire departments, community centers and youth organizations like 4-H and FFA.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities launched in 2010, and has since donated over $16 million to more than 6,500 nonprofit organizations across the country. America’s Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, is part of the America’s Farmers initiative, which highlights and celebrates the important contributions of farmers like Paul and Miriam Hibma.

For a complete list of Grow Communities winners and more program information, please visit

April 1, 2014 - 6:10 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — A Sibley man has been sentenced to five years in prison after he pled guilty to fraud charges.gavel_sxc

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 50-year-old Dale Timmerman of Sibley pled guilty yesterday (March 31, 2014) to two counts of Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, one a class D Felony and one an Aggravated Misdemeanor.

Timmerman was ordered to pay a a fine of $1375, Surcharge of $481.25, court costs, correctional fees, and court-appointed attorney fees.

Timmerman was sentenced to to a five-year incarceration and a two-year incarceration to be served concurrently with credit for time already served.


Sibley, Iowa — A Sibley man will serve probation and pay fines after a recent drug-related guilty plea.gavel_sxc

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 41-year-old Matthew Scott Rueter of Sibley pled guilty to a violation of the “Gatherings Where Controlled Substances are Used” law, a Serious Misdemeanor.

Rueter was ordered to pay a fine of $900, a 35% surcharge of $315, court costs, and restitution of any court-appointed attorney fees. An additional drug abuse resistance education surcharge of $10 was assessed and must also be paid. He was further sentenced to 60 days in the Osceola County Jail, with all time suspended during a 2-year formal probation to the Osceola County Sheriff.

March 24, 2014 - 7:27 am - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A Sibley man was arrested on a charge and a warrant near an Orange City parking lot early on Friday.Sioux Sheriff Car 84-

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Friday, March 21, at 1:45 AM, one of their deputies arrested 25-year-old Brad Austin of Sibley on a charge of Driving While Barred. It was discovered that Austin’s driver’s license was barred because he was an habitual violator. The deputy was also able to find out that Austin had an active arrest warrant in Wright County.

The arrest occurred when the deputy checked on a suspicious vehicle near the Taco John’s parking lot in Orange

According to Sioux County Jail records, he was transported to the jail, where bond was set at $2000. Austin was released on bond that same day.


Ocheyedan, Iowa — Details are finally starting to emerge about an accident that happened a week ago. The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office has advised us that they handled an accident in which a Melvin man was ambulance_sxc

They report that on Monday, March 10th, about 10 PM, 38-year-old Dennis Barie of Melvin was driving a 1997 Chevy pickup westbound, two miles southwest of Ocheyedan on 170th Street, when he struck a deer and ran off the road to the right.

Barie overcorrected and the pickup crossed the centerline striking the south side of the bridge guard railing. Barie was ejected from the vehicle while it returned to the north side of the bridge striking the guard rail on that side also.

Barie was transported to the Osceola Community Hospital by the Sibley Ambulance.

He was charged with Failure to Wear Seatbelt, Open Container as a Driver, and No Insurance.

There was $6000 damage to the vehicle and $1000 damage to the bridge.


iowa state capitol svaDes Moines, Iowa — Republicans in the Iowa Senate, including Senator David Johnson are calling on the Senate’s Democrats to help advance a bill that would ban so-called tele-med abortions — and key Democrats, in return, say they won’t join what they call the G-O-P’s “war on women.” Senator Amy Sinclair, a Republican from Allerton, says that’s offensive.

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

(as said) “Trying to protect the life and well-being of women by banning a procedure that doesn’t even meet a humane standard of care is a war on women? Seriously?” Sinclair says. “Honestly, that statement doesn’t even deserve an intelligent response.”

The Iowa Board of Medicine has voted to forbid doctors from remotely dispensing abortion-inducing drugs via a video-conferencing system. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has challenged that decision in court, so the ban has not taken effect. In February, the Republican-led Iowa House voted to ban telemedicine abortions and Senator David Johnson, a Republican from Ocheyedan, says there are Democrats in the senate who would vote to ban tele-med abortions, although he’s not naming names.

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

(as said) “We know that this is not health care because we don’t hear from that third person in this decision and that’s the unborn child,” Johnson says.

The House bill to ban tele-med abortions is not eligible for senate debate, as it did not clear a senate committee by last Friday’s deadline. Therefore, it would require the drafting of another bill — cosponsored by the Republican AND Democratic leaders of the senate — to have the senate consider the issue. Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, issued a written statement, saying the ban denies rural women access to “affordable, safe” abortion services.

Story from Radio Iowa


Sibley, Iowa — The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is looking for the public’s help to solve a couple of burglary cases — or maybe one burglary case — after two incidents of burglary were reported in the early hours of Friday morning, March 14th.Osceola Sheriff Car 72-2

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that the burglaries are thought to have occurred overnight late Thursday or early Friday. The first complaint was called in at 5:00 AM from Pete’s Bar in Ashton, and the and second complaint came into the Sheriff’s Office at 6:30 AM from Jake’s Meat Market in Sibley.

The Sheriff’s Office reports that the two burglaries appear to be related and are still under investigation.

If you have any information you are asked to please contact the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at  (800) 352-0008 or if you want to remain anonymous you can use their Text-a-Tip program. Directions can be found at

March 13, 2014 - 10:59 am - Posted in News


Margaret Murphy, ISU Extension and Outreach Horticulture Educator/Regional Food Coordinator

March is one of my favorite times of year. It’s the time we begin the transition from winter to spring. In March we might get lucky and see the first of the early spring bloomers bravely poke its head up out of the chilled ground and add a bit of spring-cheer to the landscape. March also offers us the opportunity to head outdoors – on those welcomed days of above freezing temperatures – to get a little spring pruning done. It is also the time of year to take in some fun at garden shows.

Pruning reminders

If you grow summer and fall-bearing raspberries, now is a good time to prune them. Remove all weak, diseased, or damaged canes at ground level leaving the most vigorous canes. Also, prune out any cane tips that have died due to winter injury. If you’re looking for detailed information on how to prune raspberries, Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach has a handy guide that can be found online at

Grape growers too will want to head out to prune grapevines between now and early April. Prune grapevines every year to get maximum yield and to allow for adequate vegetative growth for the next season. If pruning grapevines seems like a daunting task, take a look at ISU Extension’s publication Pruning Grapevines – it will help get you started. (It’s available at If you’re thinking about adding grapes to your landscape this spring, we also have a publication called Growing Grapes in the Home Garden filled with great information on what cultivars grow well in Iowa, when and where to plant, and how to care for your vines (you can download it for free at

Many shade trees and ornamental shrubs can be pruned now as well as. For more in-depth information on pruning times and techniques, see publications Pruning Trees: Shade, Flowering, and Conifer ( and Pruning Ornamental Shrubs (

All of these publications are also available through your local county extension office.

While you’re outside pruning, cut a couple of young, healthy branches from a favorite spring-flowering tree or shrub. Place them in a vase for forcing blooms indoors and enjoy some early springtime color. Try it with crabapple, flowering quince, red twig dogwood, honeysuckle, forsythia, lilac, or mock orange.

March also brings garden shows

Garden shows offer a fun-filled, information-packed opportunity to gather new ideas for the upcoming growing season. A great kick off to the gardening season is the Siouxland Garden Show. It begins on Friday, March 28 and goes through Sunday, March 30. It’s located at the Sioux City Convention Center. This show offers plenty of educational seminars, how-to sessions and make-and-take workshops. Admission is $5 for one day, $9 for a two-day pass and $12 for a three-day pass. Children 12 and under are admitted for free. Hours are Friday 10 a.m. -8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information on the show presenters and schedule, visit the Siouxland Garden Show website

If you find yourself in the Sioux Falls area that weekend, check out their lawn and garden show at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds. The Sioux Falls Lawn & Garden Show also runs March 28 through March 30 and offers landscaping and garden displays plus many educational seminars and hands-on demonstrations. There is also the annual nature photo contest. Times are Friday noon – 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. -7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and free for children 13 years and under. Check out the Sioux Falls Lawn & Garden Show 2014 Facebook page for more information on speakers and presentation times.

Both shows will have Master Gardeners available to answer lawn and garden questions and vendors that specialize in lawn and garden care and décor.


Margaret Murphy
Horticulture Educator/Regional Food Coordinator

Office:  712-472-2576