July 5, 2015 - 8:39 am - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — The leader of the Iowa Poultry Association says he’s keeping close tabs on federal lawmakers as they threaten spending cuts to the U-S-D-A. One proposal being considered would cut a half-billion dollars, which could include funding for fighting avian influenza. Association executive director Randy Olson says he hopes Congress will provide the needed help to continue battling bird flu in Iowa and elsewhere.

(As above) “There’ll be a lot of discussion and posturing about budgets at the federal level, as there always is,” Olson says. “We certainly hope that the federal government and state governments will stick by the task of moving forward with avian influenza cleanup and making sure these farmers can get back on their feet as soon as possible.”

Iowa is the nation’s number-one egg producer. At least 77 poultry operations in 18 Iowa counties have had to euthanize entire flocks due to outbreaks. More than 31-million birds were destroyed. Olson says Iowa’s congressional delegation and Governor Branstad have been very supportive of the state’s poultry industry in dealing with bird flu.

(As above) “There’s no question that everybody realizes the severity of this crisis in poultry and egg communities,” Olson says. “We’re hopeful we’ll be able to get through this challenging time as quickly as possible.”

Iowa officials are waiting on the feds after Governor Branstad requested a disaster declaration in four particularly hard hit counties due to the highly-pathogenic avian influenza. One of those counties is Sioux County.

Story from Radio Iowa

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July 3, 2015 - 3:53 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — It’s the Independence Day weekend. While the Iowa Legislature discussed the legalization of fireworks like firecrackers, bottle rockets and the like this year, in the end they decided not to lift the ban on fireworks. We got some tips on staying safe with the legal ones from Sibley Fire Chief Kenny Huls.

Okoboji Fireworks
He says a good rule of thumb is that if it goes up or blows up, it’s not legal in Iowa without a permit.

Huls says there are some things to keep in mind when setting off fireworks of any kind.

Huls says the fact that fireworks are illegal should be enough to make people think twice before making an illegal purchase, but he says he knows many people do it anyway. He tells us about the hazards.

Huls emphasizes that if you’re doing fireworks legally, like if you have a permit or if you’re doing them in a state where they are legal, you really have to be careful — not only about lighting fireworks and about those that misfire, but about where they are enjoyed — that they are both set off and aimed at a safe location — away from other people and away from things that could burn easily like dry grass, wooded areas, and hay or straw.

He says there’s something else to keep in mind with illegal fireworks.

Again, Huls says slow down and think about what you’re doing, have extra water available, and have enough adult supervision.

And he says the best advice is to leave the aerial and explosive fireworks up to the professionals.

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July 2, 2015 - 9:15 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — A number of northwest Iowa law enforcement agencies are in the midst of a special focus on traffic safety. Different agencies participate every year. According to the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, this time in our area it’s the Lyon and Osceola County Sheriff’s Offices, the Paullina Police Department and the Iowa State Patrol.

Independence Day is a time of celebration with family and friends, food, and fireworks, but the Fourth of July holiday weekend is one of the deadliest on the nation’s roadways when it comes to crashes involving alcohol.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports in 2013, the most recent year in which data is available, 512 people were killed, nationwide in motor vehicle crashes over the Fourth of July holiday (5 p.m. July 3–6 a.m. July 8).  One hundred and ninety-nine of those deaths, or 39 percent, occurred in crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.  More than 20 percent of the impaired drivers involved in those fatal crashes had a BAC of .15 or higher and the incidence of impaired driving was over three times higher at night than during the day.  Twenty-seven percent of motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes had BACs of .08 or higher.  During that same time period, six people were killed on Iowa roadways.  Half of those fatal crashes were alcohol related.

Extra law enforcement officers will be present on Iowa roadways July 1–7, 2015, watching for impaired drivers.  If you have been drinking, don’t risk it; make a plan before the celebration begins.  There is always another way home; arrange for a ride or call a taxi and remember:Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.

For more on the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization, you can visit www.nhtsa.gov.

June 30, 2015 - 9:08 am - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — Louisiana Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Bobby Jindal is coming to Sheldon.
Bobby Jindal
We’re being told he’ll be here on Friday, July 3rd at 3 PM at Jard, Inc. Jard is a gun manufacturer about a half mile north of Highway 18 and Country Club Road. That’s just north of the Risefest grounds. His visit is open to the public.

Again Louisiana Governor and 2016 Presidential candidate Bobby Jindal will be at Jard, Inc. on Friday at 3 PM. The Jard event will include a meet and greet that will be open to the public.

Jindal will start off the day at the Sioux Center Livestock Company Restaurant on South Highway 75 in Sioux Center. Governor Jindal will come by table-to-table to introduce himself and answer questions. That will run from 8 until 9:30 AM. At 11:30 AM, Jindal will have a lunchtime retail Event at Pizza Ranch in Rock Rapids on South Highway 75.
At 2, it’s on to Sibley for a Business tour of ammunition and firearms manufacturer Capital Armament Company at 1201 11th Avenue. Then at 3, it’s time for the Sheldon stop. He’ll wrap up the day with a dinner retail event at 5:30 at Gary’s on the River in Spencer.

June 29, 2015 - 9:27 am - Posted in News

Osceola Sheriff Car 72-2Sibley, IA — Two Sibley women’s vehicles were damaged in an accident in Sibley on Friday, June 26th.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 2:53 pm, 90-year-old Frieda Anna Harders of Sibley was driving eastbound on 7th Street in a 2003 Ford Taurus in Sibley. Sixty-six-year-old Ellen Sontag of Sibley was driving a 1999 Ford Explorer northbound on 8th Avenue. According to the report, Harders failed to yield to Sontag and broadsided the Explorer in the middle of the intersection.

The Taurus received $4500 damage; the Explorer received $2000 damage.

No injuries were reported.

June 25, 2015 - 6:02 pm - Posted in News

Ocheyedan, Iowa — The death of a member of the Ocheyedan City Council and a petition have resulted in a special election in that city.

(file photo)

(file photo)

The City of Ocheyedan will be having a special election to fill the vacancy on the city council on Tuesday, July 14th.

Council member Gene Turner passed away recently. The Ocheyedan City Council appointed Kevin Hertz to fill the vacancy until the city election in November.

However, a petition was filed for a special election to fill the vacancy, forcing the election on July 14th.

The two choices on the ballot will be Kevin Hertz and Clyde Hoekstra.

The Osceola County Auditor’s Office says polls will be open on July 14th from noon to 8 PM.

June 23, 2015 - 3:25 pm - Posted in News

Mankato, Minnesota — The landline telephone company that took over for US West in Boyden, Doon, Hawarden, Hull, Ireton, Rock Rapids, Rock Valley, and Sibley has been purchased by Consolidated Communications. Enventis, formerly Hickory Tech began using the Consolidated name this week. The Mankato-based Enventis changed its name from Hickory Tech less than 20 months ago in October, 2013.
Enventis Becomes Consolidated Communications
Consolidated Communications announced that the company has started doing business in its Enventis markets under the Consolidated Communications name and brand.

Consolidated’s northwest Iowa representative Cassie Radtke tells us about the change.

She gives us a little background about the company that purchased Enventis.

Radtke says they now have service territory in 11 states.

She says their focus remains on providing reliable services at competitive prices and ultimately delivering a better experience.

Radtke says the move of their northwest Iowa office from Rock Valley to Rock Rapids is also a recent development.

She says the letterheads, brochures, buildings, and vehicles will begin sporting the new logo soon, as replacements are phased in.

Company officials say customers will not be required to change their email addresses.

More information is available on the Consolidated Communications website at www.consolidated.com/enventis.

Hickory Tech had purchased the northwest Iowa exchanges from US West in 1997, and for a number of years used “Heartland Telecommunications” as its Iowa brand. US West was a “baby bell” and a successor of Northwestern Bell.

Incidentally, US West merged with Quest in 2000, and in 2011 became CenturyLink. CenturyLink continues to serve several northwest Iowa communities as well, including Sheldon.

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June 23, 2015 - 10:41 am - Posted in News

Osceola County Courthouse Closeup_SVASibley, IA — 50-year-old Kenneth Elder of Ocheyedan plead guilty to Violation of No Contact/Protective Order.

According to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, The Court orders Elder to pay no fine, a criminal penalty surcharge of 35%, and the court costs of this case. Elder is sentenced to 10 days in the county jail with all time suspended as informal probation to the Magistrate Court for a period of 2 years.

June 23, 2015 - 10:24 am - Posted in News

Osceola_County_Courthouse_(Iowa)Sibley, IA — On June 22nd, 67-year-old David Bryngelson of Sibley, IA, plead guilty to 2 counts of Animal Neglect.

According to the Osceola Sheriff’s Office, Bryngelson is sentenced to pay a fine of $250 for each count plus the costs and surcharge for this case. The Court ordered that the judgment of conviction for 2 counts of Animal Neglect, both simple misdemeanors, be deferred for 1 year.

Bryngelson is to pay all court costs and restitution for any and all veterinarian bills that may be claimed in all 6 counts of this matter.

June 17, 2015 - 6:05 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has signed a disaster emergency proclamation for 18 Iowa counties adversely affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza, which would assist with disposal and clean-up efforts on affected sites.
Branstad signs
The state of disaster emergency proclamation temporarily allows impacted chicken and turkey producers to dispose of manure and compost generated at a premise infected with HPAI as a Bulk Dry Animal Nutrient under Chapter 200A of Iowa Code. The material can only be moved off-site if the United States Department of Agriculture has certified that the material is virus-free. Normally, only un-manipulated animal manure qualifies for distribution under this code section.

This proclamation only applies to impacted chicken and turkey producers in the 18 counties with confirmed cases of HPAI. Counties included in this proclamation are: Adair, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Hamilton, Kossuth, Lyon, Madison, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, Sioux, Webster and Wright.

The proclamation is effective until July 15, 2015.

The proclamation of disaster emergency can be read below:

WHEREAS, beginning on April 13, 2015, and continuing thereafter, there have been seventy-six confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the State of Iowa; and


WHEREAS, highly pathogenic avian influenza is a contagious and economically devastating disease that has threatened turkeys, chickens, and other poultry in our state; and


WHEREAS, the spread of this highly contagious disease continues to threaten the public peace, health, and safety of the citizens of the State of Iowa and has the potential to quickly destroy private property and exhaust local resources and capacities unless its spread is stopped.  These facts provide legal justification for the issuance of this Proclamation of a State of Disaster Emergency. Iowa Code §§ 29C.1, 29C.2 (1), 29C.6 (1); and


WHEREAS, Iowa poultry producers typically dispose of animal manure generated by their facilities under the provisions of Iowa Code Chapter 200A, and


WHEREAS, Iowa Code § 200A.3 (6) requires that animal manure must be “unmanipulated” and composed of “primarily of animal excreta” in order to be considered “dry animal nutrient product” to come under the regulation of Iowa Code Chapter 200A.  As defined, Iowa Code § 200A.3 (6) creates a particular hardship for turkey and chicken producers on sites infected by highly pathogenic avian influenza by making them ineligible to dispose of their animal manure under the authority of Iowa Code Chapter 200A, and


WHEREAS, producers with sites infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza in the following eighteen (18) Iowa counties are adversely effected by the definition of “dry animal nutrient product” in  Iowa Code § 200A.3 (6): Adair, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Hamilton, Kossuth, Lyon, Madison, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, Sioux, Webster and Wright County.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, TERRY E. BRANSTAD, Governor of the State of Iowa, by the power and authority vested in me by the Iowa Constitution Art. IV, §§ 1, 8 and Iowa Code §§ 29C.6 (1), 163.3A (2) and all other applicable laws, and in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the authority granted to it under Iowa Code § 163.3A, do hereby proclaim a STATE OF DISASTER EMERGENCY specifically for the following eighteen (18) Iowa counties: Adair, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Hamilton, Kossuth, Lyon, Madison, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, Sioux, Webster and Wright and do hereby ORDER and DIRECT the following:


SECTION ONE.  I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 200A.3 (6) requiring that animal manure be “unmanipulated” and composed of “primarily of animal excreta” in order to be considered “dry animal nutrient product” as defined by this section.  This suspension shall be effective only to manure and compost generated at a premise infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza and quarantined by the Iowa Department of Agriculture, in the counties delineated above, provided said material has been released for application in writing by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.  All other provisions of Iowa Code Chapter 200A shall apply to the above-described material.

SECTION TWO.  This state of disaster emergency shall be effective on June 15, 2015, shall continue for thirty (30) days, and shall expire on July 15, 2015, unless sooner terminated or extended in writing by me. Iowa Code § 29C.6 (1).


IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused the Great Seal of the State of Iowa to be affixed at Des Moines, Iowa this fifteenth day of June in the year of our Lord Two Thousand Fifteen.