April 29, 2011 - 9:49 am - Posted in News

The recount  totals are in for the Special Northwest Iowa Community College Bond Election.

The Recount Boards have completed the recount of votes cast at the election held on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 and submitted the numbers to the Sioux County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections.  The totals did not change.
County Yes No Total Votes Percent Yes Percent No
Cherokee 74 38 112 66.07% 33.93%
Lyon 415 351 766 54.18% 45.82%
O’Brien 1060 494 1554 68.21% 31.79%
Osceola 153 123 276 55.43% 44.57%
Sioux 978 788 1766 55.38% 44.62%
Total 2680 1794 4474 59.90% 40.10%
The bond issue needed 60 percent to pass, and fell short by one tenth of a percent
The Sioux County Auditor’s Office, acting as the agency to total the county tallies indicates that the totals reflect the original numbers canvassed by the Sioux County Board of Supervisors on April 19, 2011.
The Northwest Iowa Community College board of trustees had requested the recount due to the razor-thin margin of the result.
April 29, 2011 - 9:46 am - Posted in News

It’ll be a record-breaking commencement at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon this year.

The commencement exercises will be held on Friday, May 13, 2011.  There will be a record breaking number of two hundred and seventy four graduates ready to walk across the stage and accept their degrees.

The Associate Degree Nursing Pinning Ceremony will be held in Building A at 10:30 a.m. The Student Keynote Speakers are Becky Staab, Remsen, and Jill Sand, Marcus, both Associate Degree Nursing graduates. The Guest Speaker is Judy Blauwet, Senior VP of Hospital Operations/Chief Nursing Officer at Avera McKennan. Judy is an RN and served on the NCC Board of Directors for two years before moving to Sioux Falls.

The Spring Commencement ceremony will be held in the Northwest Iowa Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center at 1:30 p.m. The commencement address will be given by Kim Reynolds, the Lieutenant Governor of Iowa. The Student Keynote Speaker is Clazina Blom, Doon, Associate Degree Nursing graduate. The Outstanding Faculty Award will also be presented.

Dr. Giddings, President of NCC, stated, “For the past several years, including this year, NCC has had a record breaking number of spring graduates. This has caused the College to hold two commencement ceremonies because we did not have facilities large enough to accommodate all of the people who wanted to join in the celebration. This year, with the opening of the Northwest Iowa Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center (LLRC), we are very excited to combine the two commencement ceremonies into one event.  I think it is appropriate that the first event in the LLRC is a student celebration of achievement and excellence.  The LLRC will allow all of our graduates to enjoy the day with their families, friends, faculty and staff.”

April 28, 2011 - 9:43 am - Posted in Obituaries

Ms. Lisa Stultz, age 49, of Orange City, formerly of Sibley, passed away on Monday, April 25, 2011, at the Heritage House Nursing Home in Orange City.

There will be a memorial service on Saturday, April 30, at 11:30am, at the Oolman Funeral Home in Orange City. The Rev. Mark Haverdink will officiate. Interment will be prior to the service at the Holman Township Cemetery at Sibley. There will be a prayer service on Saturday, at 9:00am, at the funeral home.

Visitation will be after 4:00pm on Friday, with the family present from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, at the funeral home.

Online Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to: http://www.oolman.com

April 28, 2011 - 8:58 am - Posted in News

A Lake Park man is behind bars, facing felony theft charges, accused of multiple car burglaries in Fostoria.

Clay County Sheriff’s Office personnel report that their office received the first of nine burglary reports from residents in Fostoria on Tuesday, at about 4:10 AM.  The burglaries involved vehicles and garages with various items stolen, including cash, financial instruments, electronic devices, tools and clothing.  In addition, the Sheriff’s Office received a report of a stolen 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse. 
As deputies investigated the burglaries and theft, the stolen vehicle was entered into a nationwide database and notice was received from the Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Office of the stolen vehicle reported to be in a ditch north of Sioux Rapids.  Buena Vista county also reported a male subject walking northbound from the area of the vehicle.  Clay County deputies responded and in the 4700 mile, made contact with 19-year-old Jarred Allen Snedeker of Lake Park, walking northbound on the west shoulder of Highway 71.  Snedeker’s appearance led deputies to conduct an investigation into Snedeker’s recent activity and a determination was made Snedeker was responsible for the burglaries and the theft of the vehicle.  He was taken into custody and transported to the Clay County jail. 
Snedeker was booked into the Clay County jail charged with Theft-1st Degree, a Class C felony.  He faces additional charges related to a separate stolen vehicle from Arnolds Park and the burglaries in Fostoria. 
Snedeker is currently being held on $10,000 bond on Clay County charges and has a hold placed on his custody from Dickinson County.
April 28, 2011 - 8:57 am - Posted in News

A Sibley woman’s car was damaged in a car-deer accident on Highway 60 on Sunday (4/24).

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 34-year-old Elisha Lausen of Sibley was driving a 2004 Pontiac Montana, southbound on Highway 60, south of Ashton, when she struck a deer that was crossing the roadway.  
Lausen’s vehicle sustained about $2,000 damage. 
No injuries were reported.
April 27, 2011 - 11:48 am - Posted in News

On April 26, 2011, Randall Boeke, age 51, of Ocheyedan was arrested by Osceola County Deputies for allegedly Operating While Intoxicated, a Serious Misdemeanor. 

The arrest stemmed from a traffic stop in Ocheyedan, Iowa.  Boeke was transported and booked into the Osceola County Jail on a $1000 bond.

April 27, 2011 - 9:48 am - Posted in News

A Worthington man has been arrested for second offense OWI in Osceola County.   The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 28-year-old Eric Contreras of Worthington, Minnesota, was arrested by an Osceola County Deputy for allegedly Operating While Intoxicated 2nd Offense, an Aggravated Misdemeanor. 

Contreras was booked into the Osceola County Jail and is currently being held on a $1,000 cash bond.  

Four northwest Iowans have been charged with alcohol violations in Ashton.  On Friday evening, (4/22), about 11:30 PM, an Osceola County Sheriff’s deputy observed a large gathering in the alleyway behind the 400 block of 4th Street in Ashton.  Upon further investigation it was found that several subjects had been drinking while underage.  Two people were cited for Person Under Legal Age and released.  Two other subjects were also arrested.  Those cited were  20-year-old Michelle Stitt of Ashton and 18-year-old Matt Schoneman, also of Ashton.  

Arrested were 22-year-old Dustin Engelkes of Sheldon and 18-year-old Tyler Martin of Sheldon.  Engelkes was charged with Supplying Alcohol to Minors, a Serious Misdemeanor.  Martin was charged with Person Under Legal Age and Criminal Mischief in the 5th degree, both simple misdemeanors.  

While Martin was in the deputy’s patrol vehicle he allegedly attempted to break the window with his head and spit inside the patrol vehicle.  Englekes and Martin were released from the Osceola County Jail after posting bond.

A Sibley teen will pay a large fine and serve probation after pleading guilty in a burglary case.  The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 19-year-old Zeb Louis Cook, of Sibley, pled guilty to Attempted Burglary 3rd Degree, an Aggravated Misdemeanor; and Theft 4th Degree, a Serious Misdemeanor.  Cook was ordered to pay a fine of nearly $1400, court costs, restitution of any court-appointed attorney fees, and any victim restitution. 

On the Attempted Burglary charge, he was sentenced to a suspended two-year prison term.  On the Theft charge, Cook was sentenced to a suspended one-year prison term, and will serve two years’ probation.

On April 8, 2010, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint of theft from a residence in Sibley.  Following an investigation, Cook admitted to entering the residence without permission and taking property that did not belong to him.  Cook was charged with Attempted Burglary 3rd Degree and Theft 4th Degree.

A Sibley man will do a couple of days in jail, probation, and pay a large fine after pleading guilty in a drug case.  The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 21-year-old Matthew Gene Hodapp of Sibley, pled guilty to Possession of Marijuana, a Serious Misdemeanor; and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Simple Misdemeanor.   

He’s to pay a fine of over $1100, court costs and restitution and any court-appointed attorney fees.  

He will serve two days of a 180-day sentence in the Osceola County Jail, with all further time suspended, and will serve 2 years’ probation.

 On December 15, 2010, Osceola County Deputies conducted a search warrant at Matthew Hodapp’s residence in Sibley.  While conducting a search on Hodapp’s person, an Osceola County Deputy located marijuana and a pot pipe in his front pant pocket.  Hodapp admitted to knowing the marijuana was in his pocket and was arrested for Possession of Marijuana.  

On  the drug paraphernalia charge, Hodapp is to pay a fine of 87.75, court costs, and restitution of any court appointed attorney fees, if any. 

A Philadelphia man will pay a fine and serve probation after pleading guilty to possession of marijuana.   The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 29-year-old John Thomas Leonard of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pled guilty to Possession of Marijuana, a Serious Misdemeanor.  Leonard is to pay a fine over a thousand dollars, court costs, and restitution and any court-appointed attorney fees.

 He was sentenced a suspended 30-day jail term and will serve 2 years’ probation. 

 On December 18, 2010, John Leonard was stopped on Highway 9 and Yew Avenue for a traffic violation.  During a search of the vehicle, an Osceola County Deputy located marijuana around the driver’s seat.  Leonard admitted he had been smoking marijuana in the vehicle and was arrested for Possession of Marijuana. 

A Sibley man will serve a couple of days in jail, pay a large fine and serve probation after he pled guilty to theft and OWI.  The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 27-year-old Adam  Donald Strouth,  of Sibley, pled guilty to Theft 2nd Degree, a Class “D” Felony; and Operating While Intoxicated 1st Offense, a Serious Misdemeanor.  

On the Theft charge, Strouth is to pay a fine of over $1400, court costs, restitution of any court-appointed attorney fees, and any victim restitution.  He was sentenced to a 5-year prison term, with all time suspended and will serve 3 years’ probation. 

On the Operating While Intoxicated charge, Strouth is to pay a fine of nearly $1700, court costs, and restitution of any court-appointed attorney fees.  Strouth will serve two days of a 180-day jail term, with all further time suspended, and he’ll serve 2 years’ probation.  He was also ordered to undergo a substance abuse evaluation and comply with the treatment’s recommendations.  

On August 19, 2010, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint about a domestic argument at a residence in Sibley.  Once on scene, a County Deputy located a motorcycle with the ignition switch broken out.  A check of the vehicle registration came back stolen 5 days prior to this incident out of Wichita, Kansas.  When questioned about the motorcycle, Strouth stated he purchased the vehicle one month ago.  Strouth was later charged for Theft 2nd Degree. 

 Then, on February 6, 2011, Adam Strouth was stopped on 9th Street and 3rd Avenue in Sibley, for a traffic violation.  While speaking to Strouth, an Osceola County Deputy determined he had been drinking.  Strouth failed sobriety tests, tested over .08, and was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated.

April 27, 2011 - 9:40 am - Posted in News

The wet weather has pushed back more than just spring planting — the opening of the Grand Falls Casino Resort on the state line near Larchwood has been delayed as well.

According to General Manager Sharon Haselhoff, Grand Falls Casino Resort will open on Thursday, June 9th, less than one year from its ground breaking on June 23, 2010.
The resort had been scheduled to open Memorial Day Weekend, but extreme wet site conditions have moved the project back two weeks.
The resort includes an array of amenities including; a casino floor with 900 slot machines, 24 table games, 8 poker tables; a 97-room hotel, 3 restaurants, a 1200-seat event center, show lounge with dance floor, a spa, gift shop, boutique, wellness center and an indoor and outdoor pool.
Haselhof says that the inside of the resort is ready to open but the outside is more than a little muddy! She says, QUOTE, “Mother Nature needs to give us a break so we can finish the turning lanes, parking lot and grounds.”
Moving the opening date back will allow time for the ground conditions to improve to the level suited for a Grand Opening, says Haselhof.
This announcement comes days after a very successful week of job fairs where more than 2650 people attended to learn more about a career at Grand Falls Casino Resort.  Employees of Grand Falls are busy making calls to potential hires in each department and making offers for future start dates.  According to media reports, over 300 of the 700 positions have been filled.
Haselhof says that they look forward to opening the doors to the resort and providing guests with a WOW experience from the start.  She says that it was a hard decision to move the date back but says it’s the right one, to make sure the guests see the resort in a complete stage both inside and out.
April 26, 2011 - 11:06 am - Posted in News

For the 4th year Ma Carol’s Relay for Life team will be selling homemade pies at Mike  Johnson’s home across from the Catholic Church in Ashton on April 30th from 8:00 A.M. till 12 noon.

They have apple, cherry, blueberry, peach, strawberry-rhubarb and rhubarb selling for $10.00 again this year.

If you would like to pre-order call Kay Winkel at 712-724-6592 and leave a message. Thanks for your time in helping Ma Carol’s raise money for Relay for Life.

Restaurant Business Climate Remains Shaky

A popular eating establishment with northwest Iowans and southwest Minnesotans that has stood the test of time for over 70 years has closed without warning.

Last week, employees of the Magnolia Restaurant in Luverne — formerly the Magnolia Steakhouse came to work to find locked doors and a note saying they were closed.

The steakhouse and bar, which was established in Magnolia, Minnesota in 1938 by A.C. Dispanet, had stayed in the family all through the years until the fall of 2009 when Amy Dispanet Ver Steeg sold the business to Tim Rohrbach.

According to media reports, calls to Rohrbach’s residence were not answered.  There has not been a formal announcement but it is assumed the closing is permanent.

This has been a bad year for restaurants in the area.  Obediah’s in Sheldon closed a while back.  Pete’s Supper Club in Hartley did too.  A & W in Sheldon closed in 2009.

A recent fire at Blue Mountain in Orange City closed their three restaurants, but that property is the ray of hope in this story.  In talking with Jill Vander Weide from Blue Mountain, they do intend to re-open, hopefully by late summer, but she says they’re at the mercy of other people’s schedules right now.

The Intermission in Rock Rapids remains closed as well.  After a short 2-month stint as “Uncle Mike’s” in late 2007, the restaurant in the former Rapids Theater also closed without warning.  Rock Rapids’ Pizza Hut has been closed for a couple of years as well.

The good news is anyone looking for an opportunity to start a restaurant in our area has a number of shuttered ones to choose from.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director