March 27, 2017 - 1:30 pm - Posted in News

WeaverLogoSheldon, Iowa — A Sheldon woman has announced her candidacy for the Democrat nomination for the right to challenge 4th District Republican U.S. Representative Steve King in the 2018 general election.

Democrat Kim Weaver of Sheldon made the announcement Sunday on national television.  Earlier this month, she announced that she would formally declare her candidacy if she was able to raise $100-thousand by September of this year.  In the three weeks since making that announcement, the Weaver campaign raised more than $150-thousand from over 6-thousand individual donations, and received the high-profile endorsement of former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich.

Weaver ran against King in the 2016 general election, but failed to unseat the long-time representative.

Weaver is a Des Moines native, who graduated from Roosevelt High School. She then graduated from Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Communications. A single mom, she works as an advocate for seniors in nursing homes, assisted living programs, and residential care facilities, overseeing a territory that includes thirteen counties and 109 care providers in Northwest Iowa.

Weaver has served as the Democratic Chair for O’Brien County since 2012.

unemploymentDes Moines, Iowa — It’s crowded at the top this time. The latest unemployment figures have been released and three of our four northwest Iowa counties are in the top five for lowest unemployment rates.

The latest county figures to be released are from January of this year. The lowest seasonally-unadjusted county unemployment rate in the state was Story county, with 2.3 percent. Tied for second-lowest were Lyon and Mitchell counties at 2.6%. Plymouth, Dallas, and Carroll were tied for third at 2.7%. Osceola was tied for fourth at 2.8% with Greene, Johnson, and Taylor. Sioux had 3.0% and was tied for fifth place with Boone and Buena Vista counties. O’Brien was not in the top five but was in the top ten. O’Brien County had 3.4% unemployment and was tied with Decatur and Shelby counties for eighth place.

Lyon County unemployment is up four-tenths of a percent from the previous month. Osceola is down three-tenths of a percent. Sioux County unemployment is up six-tenths of a percent, and O’Brien County unemployment is up three-tenths of a percent. Iowa Department of Labor officials remind us that these figures are not adjusted for seasonal work so those who work in farming, construction, and outdoor entertainment industries, and others for whom there is less work in the winter could be included in the “unemployed” category even though they may be back to work in the spring and summer.

Meanwhile statewide, more Iowans went off the unemployment rolls in February as the rate dropped for the fifth straight month to three-point-two percent. Iowa Workforce Development spokesman, Cory Kelly, says the state is pushing toward full employment — but that number is not exactly known.

Full employment means most of the people who want a job have one and those who don’t are in transition between jobs. Kelly says they don’t know if the unemployment rate has hit bottom yet.

The rate was three-point-eight percent last February. He says the private sector led the move that saw some three-thousand jobs created in February.

The construction industry added 16-hundred jobs last month and Kelly says the weather continues to be a big positive for the industry.

He says the leisure and hospitality sector was one area that lost jobs.

The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 53-thousand-600 in February from 56-thousand-900 in January. The total number of working Iowans increased to one-million-639-thousand-700 in February. This figure was 27-hundred higher than January and 19-hundred higher than one year ago.

February 2017 numbers

Visit www.iowalmi.gov for more information about current and historical data, labor force data, nonfarm employment, hours and earnings, and jobless benefits by county.

March 27, 2017 - 7:32 am - Posted in News

Osceola Sheriff Car 72-2Sibley, Iowa — A Tennessee man is behind bars in Sibley on several charges including a felony after being arrested by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday, March 26th.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office says that they received a report of a suspicious vehicle on Redwood Avenue near 190th Street, about four miles southeast of Sibley. After that, they stopped a vehicle driven by 37-year-old Joshua Bruinekool of La Vergne, Tennessee on Chase Boulevard in Sibley.

The Sheriff’s Office arrested Bruinekool and charged him with Operating While Intoxicated, third offense, a class D felony. He was also charged with Open Container, Speeding, and Driving Without a License.

The Sheriff’s office says after the arrest, they took him to the Osceola County Jail where he was booked in, and at last report was being held on a $5000 bond.

March 24, 2017 - 3:31 pm - Posted in News

railroad tanker carsOmaha, Nebraska — Railroad trains on what Union Pacific calls their “Worthington Sub” are moving a little faster through our area.

Union Pacific officials say they are increasing the maximum track speed limit from 40 to 49 mph on the rail line paralleling Highway 60 in northwest Iowa.

We talked to Union Pacific spokesperson Calli Hite, who tells us the reasons behind the speed increase.

She says not only do the upgrades allow them to increase speeds, they also support the state’s current and future freight transportation needs, and enhance safety and efficiency.

Hite says the increased speeds shouldn’t have a large impact on safety.

She says train speeds at Sibley, Ashton, Sheldon and Hospers area crossings are increasing gradually.

Hite says trains do not have to move at the full 49-mile-per-hour rate. She says it’s a speed limit just like a speed limit for cars. And just like car drivers need to adjust their speed for certain conditions, conductors and engineers sometimes need to adjust the train’s speed as well.

Hite also says that the line that parallels Highway 60 in our area is under what they call “track warrant control,” which has a speed cap of 49 miles per hour. She says the speed limit could not go any higher than 49 without changing the method of traffic control, which would take significant infrastructure upgrades.

March 23, 2017 - 11:28 am - Posted in News

Sibley SignSibley, Iowa — Exhibitors and the public are looking forward to this Saturday, March 25th in Sibley. The Sibley Farm and Home Show is at the Sibley/Ocheyedan Elementary School on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

We had a chance to visit with Sibley Chamber of Commerce Director Sheryl Peters, who tells us a yummy breakfast will start the day.

Peters says of course there will be a wide variety of exhibitors promoting their businesses, but she says there will also be a number of non-profits, government entities, and more, all telling people their message.

Peters tells us about the “extras” available at the Sibley Farm and Home Show on Saturday.

Again, the Sibley Farm and Home Show is at the Sibley/Ocheyedan Elementary School on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

March 23, 2017 - 9:44 am - Posted in News

Osceola Sheriff Car 72-2May City, Iowa — A Lake Park woman escaped injury after hitting a deer near May City on Wednesday, March 22nd.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that at 7:40 am on Tuesday, 31-year-old Jamie Jo Maxine Stoll of Lake Park was driving a 2008 Pontiac Torrent southbound on White Avenue, near May City. According to the report, a deer came from a grove of trees on the east side of the road and crossed into the path of the vehicle.

The Pontiac received $5,000 damage.

No injuries were reported.

March 22, 2017 - 3:34 pm - Posted in News

Fire LightbarNorthwest Iowa — Northwest Iowa fire departments are seeing some action.

Calumet, Iowa — Some round bales were destroyed in a fire on Monday, March 20, 2017 near Calumet.

According to Calumet Fire Chief Mike Jensen, about 6:00 p.m., the Calumet Fire Department was called to the report of a grass fire that was out of control at 6171 500th Street, a mile south and a mile and a half west of Calumet. The report called in said there was no one home at the time.

The chief says the fire department saw the bales on fire as they approached the scene. He says they used a tele-handler to break apart the bales and water to fight the fire.

Jensen says no injuries were reported.

The fire department was assisted by the Sutherland Fire Department. Jensen says the Sutherland Fire Department responds to the majority of Calumet calls.

He says fire from a burning pile somehow caught grass on fire, and that ignited the bales.

Chief Jensen reports that the damage was limited to the approximately 20 round bales that burned, and nothing else of value was lost.

He says they used 18,000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene until 11:00 p.m. on Monday night, but were called back twice on Tuesday to put out the fire when it reignited.


Harris, Iowa — The Ocheyedan and Harris Fire Departments responded to a fire call on Tuesday evening, March 21st. It was paged out as a house fire on Warbler Avenue, a mile west of Harris and a quarter mile north of Highway 9, about 6:15 p.m.

But according to Harris Fire Chief Randy Rost, when they got there they found nothing but a small in-control grass fire.


Sibley, Iowa — The Sibley Fire Department responded to a fast-moving pasture fire on Tuesday about 12 noon. We are told the fire burned about ten acres of land. No further details are available at this time.

March 22, 2017 - 10:57 am - Posted in News

lightbar with hand cuffsAshton, Iowa — An Ashton man faces numerous felony drug charges following the execution of a search warrant at his residence recently.

According to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, their deputies arrested 54-year old James Steven Kollbeck of Ashton after obtaining and executing a search warrant at his residence.  Deputies say that the search turned up methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, and drug paraphernalia.  Kollbeck was also allegedly found to be in possession of stolen property, according to authorities.

Osceola County authorities say there was evidence of a marijuana grow operation and a butane honey/hash oil (BHO) lab located in one of the outbuildings.  Deputies say Kollbeck faces charges of Possession With Intent to Deliver More than 5-grams of Methamphetamine, a Class “B” Felony.  In addition, deputies say he was also charged with Possession of LSD 3rd or Subsequent Offense, Possession of Cocaine 3rd or Subsequent Offense, and Manufacturing Marijuana.  Each of those charges is a Class “D” Felony.  He was also charged with Prohibited Acts, an Aggravated Misdemeanor, three counts of Poseesion of Drug Paraphernalia and Driving While Suspended, which are simple misdemeanors.

Officials say Kolbeck was transported to the Osceola County Jail where he is being held on a $100,000 cash bond.  The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa State Patrol.

Sibley, Iowa — An Osceola County Sheriff’s Deputy has received recognition for his work as part of a multi-state investigative team from the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, or HIDTA.

Osceola County Chief Deputy Kevin Wollmuth says the recognition for Deputy Matt Julius came as the result of his work with the HIDTA on a drug trafficking case that started in Sioux Falls and Worthington.  Wollmuth says one of the suspected traffickers lived in Sibley, which drew Deputy Julius into the case.

Julius, along with other team members, received an “Outstanding Investigative Effort” award from the Midwest HIDTA, a multi-agency coalition consisting of federal, state, and local agencies from six states.

Deputy Julius received a plaque and a Certificate of Appreciation for his efforts in this case.

Julius 1

 

Julius 2

March 21, 2017 - 4:08 pm - Posted in News

SCDC sheldon chamber door signSheldon and Sibley, Iowa — Two home shows are scheduled for this Saturday in our coverage area. One of them is in Sheldon and the other one is in Sibley.

The 2017 Sheldon Home and Design Expo is this Saturday, March 25, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center on the campus of Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon. Over fifty exhibitors are planning to be there. Mr. Twister will be there to entertain kids with balloon sculptures from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., sponsored by the Sheldon banks. Concessions will also be available. Exhibitors will range from homebuilding and home improvement to home decor and items for the home, plus other types of exhibitors from pest control to massage therapy promoting their business. Prize Power on the Hour will be part of the day as well.

In Sibley, the 2017 Sibley Farm and Home Show will be at the Sibley/Ocheyedan elementary building at 419 Ninth Avenue in Sibley this Saturday, March 25, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The Sibley/Ocheyedan FFA students will be serving pancakes and sausages from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Several exhibitors will be promoting their businesses at the Farm and Home Show. Several door prizes will be given away every half hour. Lunch will be served, along with free popcorn and lemonade.