April 26, 2018 - 1:35 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — The Sibley-Ocheyedan Community School District has been named one of the Best Communities for Music Education for 2018. The award recognizes the Sibley-Ocheyedan community as one of the top communities in the nation for music education.

Kelly Jacobsma is Middle School Band Director at Sibley-Ocheyedan, and he tells us about making the list.

Jacobsma calls being named to the list a great honor.

He says the Sibley-Ocheyedan Music Department has always had great support from the community.

For 2018, only 583 communities across the United States were recognized for the honor, representing the top 4% of schools in the country. Sibley-Ocheyedan was one of only three communities in Iowa to be named to the list, including the Dubuque Schools, and the Sioux City Schools.

 

April 20, 2018 - 4:39 pm - Posted in News

Omaha, Nebraska — A man who faces a similar charge in Osceola County has just been sentenced to a lengthy prison term in Nebraska.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, 39-year-old Kyle Ewinger has been sentenced to 55 to 85 years in prison. He must serve a mandatory 15 years. He will be eligible for parole after 35 years and can be released after 50 years, according to Nebraska’s good time law.

Ewinger was convicted of the Nebraska crime of first-degree sexual assault of a child in January. Prosecutors said Ewinger sexually assaulted a 9-year-old boy who considered him “a father figure,” according to the Omaha World-Herald. They report that the judge in the case estimated that the boy was sexually assaulted at least 52 times in 2012 and 2013.

In Osceola County District Court, 39-year-old Kyle Ewinger is charged with Second Degree Sexual Abuse, which is a Class B Felony, in connection with an incident that happened in 2015 at Sibley-Ocheyedan Middle School, where Ewinger was a middle school Social Studies Teacher. Ewinger was allegedly found by Sibley-Ocheyedan Superintendent Bill Boer, asleep in his classroom with a 10-year-old male student, on Saturday, October 3rd, 2015. The boy eventually told authorities that something of a sexual nature occurred during the encounter.

The trial in Osceola County is set for Tuesday, August 28th.

The victim and his mother have also brought a civil case against the Sibley-Ocheyedan School District and two other districts where Ewinger previously taught. The civil trial is scheduled at this point for October 23rd, 2018 at the Osceola County Courthouse in Sibley.

Original story

April 20, 2018 - 9:10 am - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — Students at Sheldon Middle School were reminded what to do in an active shooter situation or another intruder emergency recently.

Sheldon Middle School Principal Cindy Barwick tells us that students were told about the A.L.I.C.E. methods.


She says it was time for a refresher.


She tells us what A.L.I.C.E. stands for.


She says while bringing up the subject of an active shooter may have caused some uneasy feelings, that was not evident to her.


Barwick says she led the training at Sheldon Middle School.

The ALICE approach to dealing with a violent intruder came from the lessons learned in the aftermath of the April 20, 1999, mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.

April 20, 2018 - 8:08 am - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — A fundraiser is scheduled for this Saturday for a much-loved Sibley-Ocheyedan Middle School teacher and coach who is battling a rare form of cancer. The illness that Mike Kraayenbrink of Sibley is fighting has no known cure, and is, reportedly, so rare that very little research is being conducted.

Brad Williamson is one of the organizers of the Kraayenbrink Benefit, and he tells us more.

There will be a great variety of food and activities during Saturday night’s benefit, as Williamson explains.

He says the event will even include a version of the basketball game, “Pig”.

If you’d like to sign up for the 2-person basketball tournament, you can call Amie Elser at 712-461-1720, Sara Hibma at 712-330-4721, or Kent Douma at 712-348-2026.

The event will be held at the Sibley-Ocheyedan High School in Sibley. Williamson says the doors will open at 4:00, with the basketball tournament beginning shortly after 5:00.

For more information on the event, just CLICK HERE.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The US Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD is changing the way the homeless are served. There is now going to be a “coordinated entry system,” which will match the homeless with available housing and services. If your organization provides services to homeless and other vulnerable people, it will need to be included in the system and you are invited to a meeting explaining it in more detail. This particular meeting is aimed at community action agencies, law enforcement, churches, service organizations, veterans organizations, and more in Lyon, Sioux, Plymouth, Ida, and Cherokee counties. The meeting will be on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 at 10 a.m. at the Forster Community Center in Rock Rapids (across the street from Subway on Highway 9). If you have any questions, call Julie De Ruyter at 712-472-3896.

Sibley, Iowa — A Spirit Lake woman who is accused of Vehicular Homicide in connection with a traffic crash in Osceola County last summer has entered a plea of “Not Guilty” to the charge.

Authorities say Ann Vanderpool was eastbound on Highway 9, near Nettle Avenue, on Saturday morning, June 10th of last year, when her car crossed the center line and collided head-on with a westbound vehicle, killing that vehicle’s driver, 48-year old Travis Mier of Spirit Lake, and his passenger, 5-year old Elliot Mier.

According to the Iowa State Patrol, Vanderpool was charged with two counts of Vehicular Homicide in connection with the deaths. Troopers say Vanderpool consented to providing a blood sample, which was tested by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. Authorities say that test revealed that Vanderpool’s blood alcohol level was 0.145. Iowa law sets the threshold for drunk driving at 0.08.

Yesterday (Wednesday, April 11, 2018) Vanderpool’s attorney entered a written “Not Guilty” plea on Vanderpool’s behalf. Following the plea antry, the judge in the case set Tuesday, June 26th as the date for Vanderpool’s jury trial to begin.
April 11, 2018 - 4:53 pm - Posted in News

Click to enlarge

Ashton, Iowa — Lots of laughs and a great meal are in store for you and those around you if you make plans to attend the Off, Off Broadway Dinner Theatre production this weekend in Ashton.

The Ashton Legion Hall is the venue, and the production is Nana’s Naughty Knickers. Scott DeKok is directing the show, and he tells us about it.


DeKok tells us about the nine members of the Nana’s Naughty Knickers cast.


He tells us tickets are still available.


DeKok says you’ll need to choose your entrée when you reserve your tickets. He says he wants to thank their corporate sponsors.


Again, the show is this Thursday through Sunday at the Ashton Legion and Community Center. Call the 10-15 Steak Company during business hours for tickets. That number is 712-754-3540.

April 6, 2018 - 12:53 am - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — An opportunity for individuals with disabilities is coming up in Sioux Center next Saturday, April 14th.

The Special Olympics of Northwest Iowa Track and Field Spring Games will be held that day at the Sioux Center Athletic Field.

We talked to Peg Koele from Hull with Special Olympics. She tells us what’s going on.


She says that number is somewhat dependant on the weather, however.


She says the athletes come from a wide variety of situations.


Athletes come from Lyon, Osceola, Sioux, O’Brien, Plymouth, Cherokee, Woodbury, Ida, Monona, and Crawford counties. Koele says that individuals and teams are all welcome to participate and most events are free.

She gives us an idea of some of the events in which people participate.


She says athletes may participate in two events and run with a relay team. There are 400 athletes registered to participate from the ages of 8 to 70 years old.

Opening ceremonies are scheduled to begin at 9:30 am. The track and field events begin at 9:45 and the last relay is scheduled for 1:15 pm. No admission fee is charged — it’s free for all spectators.

Over 160 volunteers help to make the day a great success, according to Koele.

She says first place winners will compete in Ames on May 17-19 at the Special Olympics State Summer Games.

April 5, 2018 - 4:53 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — Backers of the $14.2 million bond issue for Northwest Iowa Community College are happy with the passage of the referendum this week.

College officials say the aim of expanding the job programs available at NCC is to help young workers and families to stay in the area.

College president Dr. Alethea Stubbe says they are grateful for the votes.


She tells us what NCC needs to do next to get the ball rolling.


Stubbe says that the plans for building and renovation have yet to be fleshed out.


She wants to thank those that voted.


The NCC referendum passed by 73.8% on Tuesday. It needed 60% to pass.

April 2, 2018 - 9:19 am - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — A Sibley man says he is pleased that he won his lawsuit against the city over his criticism on his website of their handling of a smelly factory. A federal court issued an injunction Thursday telling city leaders to stop violating web developer Josh Harms’ free speech rights by threatening to sue him.


He says the quick results are an indication the City of Sibley had no legal standing.


Harms created the website “Should You Move to Sibley, Iowa?. ” It is critical of the way the city has handled odors created by the Iowa Drying and Processing company. He lived close to the plant and says the smell was like “rancid dog food.” Harms says the issue was the smell — not the town itself.


Under the settlement, the city was ordered train its staff on the First Amendment and had to pay 20-thousand dollars to the A-C-L-U for legal expenses. Harms was also awarded 65-hundred dollars in damages.


Harms has this advice for others who have concerns they want to have heard.


As for the smell that started all this?


Harms says he hopes the city can continue working with the plant to improve the problem.

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Original story, posted March 30th, 11:19 a.m.:

Sibley, Iowa — The City of Sibley has received word from the federal court system that it may not threaten to sue a Sibley man for his comments on his website, and must pay nearly $27,000 in legal fees and damages for doing so. Read The Full Story…