June 27, 2011 - 10:14 am - Posted in News

A dog is lost from it’s home in Ocheyedan. 

A big, male huskey, around 100 pounds, is missing from his home. His name is Clifford and is about 7-years-old. It is possible he could be found in the Sibley/Ocheyedan/Milford area. He was last seen by his owner with his collar and leash on.

Clifford has been missing since June 13 and there is a $50 reward for his return. Call Cindy at 507-329-1359 or Tom at 507-360-5304.

June 27, 2011 - 10:05 am - Posted in News
A man from Logan, Iowa will serve prison time after he was convicted of stealing hogs near Little Rock.
 
Twenty-four-year-old Eric Freihage of Logan was convicted of Burglary in the Third Degree.  This charge stems from a complaint filed in September 2010 that states Freihage entered the property located at 1246 Lily Avenue, northwest of Little Rock, with the intent to steal hogs from the confinement.
 
Freihage was committed to the custody of the Director of the Department of Corrections for no more than five years. Freihage is ordered to pay victim restitution, court-appointed attorney fees, court costs, Sheriff’s room and board fees, and law enforcement initiative surcharge.
 
Freihage also recently pled guilty to a similar charge in Osceola County.
 
MEANWHILE,
 
A Dunlap, Iowa man was also sentenced for the hog confinement burglary near Little Rock.
 
Twenty-one-year-old Jonathan Charles Wensel of Dunlap was convicted of Burglary in the Third Degree. This charge stems from a complaint filed in September 2010 that states Wensel entered the property located at 1246 Lily Avenue with the intent to steal hogs from the confinement.
 
Wensel received a five-year suspended sentence to the Director of the Department of Corrections. Wensel will serve five years’ probation. He was also ordered to pay victim restitution, fines, court costs, court-appointed attorney fees, and Sheriff’s room and board fees. Wensel was also ordered to submit to substance abuse evaluation and cooperate with treatment, attend and participate in a Victim Empathy class, and maintain full employment.
June 27, 2011 - 10:00 am - Posted in News

A Carroll County jury took less than an hour Thursday to convict a Minnesota teen in the murder of a Humboldt convenience store clerk.

The defense had argued that Michael Swanson was insane on November 15th when he robbed the Kum & Go convenience store in Humboldt, and shot 61 year old store clerk Sheila Myers in the face.

Swanson admitted to police that he knew he was going to shoot Myers while he sat in his car outside  the Humboldt convenience store, and chambered a round into the gun. After the shooting, he said he didnt call 911 because he figured she was dead.

In closing arguments, the prosecution and defense battled over the issue of Swansons sanity at the time of his crime. Legal insanity requires a person to not know right from wrong, or not appreciate the nature of an action.  The Carroll County jury decided that Swanson acted with premeditation and did know right from wrong when he killed Myers.  Swanson’s 1st Degree Murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.  He’ll be sentenced at a later date.  His trial was moved to Carroll County on a change of venue.

Swanson is also charged with a similar crime that happened in Algona about an hour before the robbery and murder in Humboldt.  In that case he’s accused of robbing a convenience store, and shooting that store’s clerk, 47-year old Vicki Bowman-Hall, to death.  Swanson’s trial in that case is scheduled to begin in July at the Lyon County Courthouse in Rock Rapids, where it was moved on a change of venue.

June 27, 2011 - 9:47 am - Posted in News

Arrests

On Sunday, June 26th 2011, John Matthew Pedersen, age 29 of Sanborn, was arrested by an Osceola County Deputy for allegedly Operating While Intoxicated, 1st Offense (Serious Misdemeanor). Pedersen was booked into the Osceola County Jail and has been released on a recognizance bond.

On Sunday, June 26th 2011, Lanny Joe Allen, age 24 of May City, was arrested by an Osceola County Deputy for allegedly Operating While Intoxicated, 2nd Offense (Aggravated Misdemeanor). Allen was also charged with the alleged traffic offenses; Speeding, No driver’s license, Failure to have SR-22 insurance, Open Container, Interference with Official Acts and no rear lamps, all Simple Misdemeanors. Allen was booked into the Osceola County Jail and has been released after posting a $3000 bond.

 While the Osceola County Deputy was in route to the Sheriff’s Office with Allen, he observed a suspicious vehicle parked behind Sibley-Ocheyedan High School. After investigating this vehicle, 20 year old, Julio Ayala Lopez was arrested for allegedly Operating While Intoxicated, 1st Offense (Serious Misdemeanor) and Person Under Legal Age (Simple Misdemeanor). Ayala was booked into the Osceola County Jail and was released on a recognizance bond.

June 23, 2011 - 9:18 am - Posted in News

Judgment

 On June 21, 2011, Eric Robert Freihage, age 24 of Logan, Iowa, pled guilty to Burglary 3rd Degree, a Class “D” Felony. The Defendant is to pay a fine of $11,410.66, the cost of the action, restitution of any court appointed attorney fees, and victim restitution, if any. The Defendant is sentenced to the custody of the Director of the Iowa Department of Corrections for a term not to exceed five (5) years. On July 29, 2010, Eric Freihage went to 5916 200th Street and took approximately thirty-five (35) head of hogs from a confinement building. Freihage then sold the hogs and kept the profits from the sale.

Accident

On June 22, 2011, at 12:05pm, Dan Janssen, age 55 of Sibley, Iowa, was driving a 2007 Toyota eastbound in the alley off of 4th Avenue, south of 8th Street in Sibley, Iowa. Gregory Arens, age 43 of Sibley, Iowa, was backing a 2005 Chevrolet Impala from a parking stall in the alley off of 4th Avenue, south of 8th Street and did not see Janssen’s vehicle approaching and backed into Janssen’s vehicle. Janssen’s vehicle sustained approximately $1,500 damage. Arens’ vehicle sustained approximately $100 damage and was given a citation for Failure to Yield upon Entering through Highway. No injuries were reported.

June 23, 2011 - 8:51 am - Posted in News

Prosecutors in the trial of Michael Swanson continued linking evidence found in his vehicle to the killing of Humboldt convenience store clerk Sheila Myers during testimony Wednesday. Iowa Assistant Attorney General Becky Goettsch called D.C.I. special agent Jack Liao to the stand Wednesday morning.

Liao was part of the team that searched Swanson’s Jeep Grand Cherokee following his arrest by Webster City police. Liao testified taht evidence found in the jeep was the same evidence presented by the prosecution, including a 40-caliber pistol. The prosecution had presented evidence Tuesday that linked Swanson’s D.N.A. to the gun and shell casings at the scene of the crime. They also showed that Swanson’s fingerprints were on the shells.

State associate medical examiner, Dr. Michelle Catellier testified that Myers died due to a gunshot wound to the left side of the face.

Meanwhile, the defense is not claiming Swanson didn’t do it — they’re claiming he was insane.

Swanson’s mother, Kathleen Swanson took the stand Wednesday afternoon. She told jurors how problematic his childhood was. He was diagnosed with ADHD and conduct disorder at the age of 3. She said his turbulent childhood included behavioral problems, school suspensions, and inpatient psychiatric care and noted that she just didn’t know what to do. She says daycare providers wouldn’t take him because of behavioral problems, and that he hardly slept.

The Kossuth County trial, where Swanson will be tried for killing Algona convenience store clerk Vicky Bowman Hall starts July 26 in Rock Rapids.

RadioIowa contributed to this report.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

June 23, 2011 - 8:44 am - Posted in News

A couple of northwest Iowa counties have the lowest unemployment in the state. The figures for May are in, and Lyon County again has the state’s lowest unemployment — and it’s getting lower. It was 3.3 percent in April, and 3.1 percent in May. This as the Grand Falls Casino was hiring its crew of 700 employees. Sioux County didn’t fare too badly either. They came in second lowest with 3.7 percent unemployment. O’Brien County saw improvement from 4.9 to 4.4 percent — good for 14th place; and Osceola County also improved from 5.5 to 5.3. That was good enough to remain in the top half, at number 48 out of Iowa’s 99 counties. These numbers are not seasonally adjusted, so heading into summer, most areas would see a spike in jobs.

The statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.0 percent in May, but was down slightly from the year ago rate of 6.1 percent. Nationwide, the unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent in May from 9.0 percent in April, while U.S. employers hired only 54,000 workers, the fewest in eight months.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

Two Sioux Falls bars have quit the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce after learning that northwest-Iowa’s newest casino — Grand Falls Casino Resort — has become a member.  They worry that the casino will take their video lottery customers. 
 
Chamber president Evan Nolte says that the fact is the casino is here and operating.  He says at least if they are chamber members, hopefully they will become involved and reinvest in the Sioux Falls area.
 
Grand Falls is also a member of the Rock Rapids Chamber and has just accepted an invitation to be a member of the Brandon Chamber. 
 
Their Executive Director, Kim Cerwick says that regardless of how people felt about the casino coming, they are here.  She says that now is the time to try to harness success from the casino’s success.  She says, quote, “Fighting is not going to help anyone.”
 
Grand Falls General Manager Sharon Haselhof says their facility employs hundreds of South Dakotans, will spur growth in the Red Rock Corridor, and will give back to the community.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

The first of two murder trials for the man accused of murdering two northern Iowa convenience store clerks is underway.
 
The jury was seated and heard opening arguments Monday in the first trial of Minnesota teenager Michael Swanson. Swanson is charged in the killing of convenience store clerks in Humboldt County and Kossuth County in November.  The Humboldt County portion of his trial is being held in Carroll.  The Kossuth County part of the trial is scheduled to begin July 26 in Rock Rapids.
 
Humboldt County Attorney, Jennifer Benson described Swanson as a “sane individual who understood what he was doing and planned it out.” Benson says Swanson told officers he shot Sheila Myers in the face so she wouldn’t be able to identify him, and told them that the two shootings he committed made him feel powerful.
 
Swanson’s defense attorney Charles Kenville told jurors that Swanson did not know what he was doing. He says Swanson was diagnosed with a mental disorder at age three and went on to have problems with his behavior, was in and out of treatment, and later got into drugs. Kenville told jurors they need to listen to all the testimony carefully and at the end of the trial he believes they will find Swanson insane.
 
Swanson is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the deaths of Vicky Bowman Hall of Burt and Myers.
 
The trial is receiving a great deal of media attention in Iowa as well as Minnesota as Swanson is from Saint Louis Park in the Twin Cities area.
 
 
RadioIowa assisted with this story.

Arrest

On June 20, 2011, the Osceola County Sheriff’s office received a 9-1-1 call about an assault that took place in Ocheyedan, Iowa.  Following an investigation, Aaron Orion Urban, age 32 of Ocheyedan, Iowa, was arrested for Assault, a Simple Misdemeanor.  Urban was booked into the Osceola County Jail on a $300 cash bond. 

Judgments

On June 13, 2011, Julio Sanchez-Kalihua, age 27 of Sibley, Iowa, pled guilty to Driving While Suspended, and Failure to Prove Security Against Liability, both Simple Misdemeanors.  The Defendant is to pay a fine of $795.00, the cost of this action, and restitution of any court appointed attorney fees, if any.  On June 7, 2011, Julio Sanchez-Kalihua, was stopped on 160th Street and Olive Avenue for an equipment violation.  A check of Sanchez’s driving record showed him to be suspended.  Sanchez was arrested for Driving While Suspended and Failure to Prove Security Against Liability.

On June 14, 2011, Joshua David Welch, age 24 of Sibley, Iowa, pled guilty to Operating While Intoxicated 1st Offense, a Serious Misdemeanor.  The Defendant shall pay a fine of $1,697.50, the cost of this action, and restitution of any court appointed attorney fees, if any.  The Defendant is sentenced to imprisonment in the Osceola County Jail for a term of one (1) year, with all time suspended except for two (2) days and placed on informal probation to the Osceola County Sheriff for a period of two (2) years.  The Defendant shall undergo a substance abuse evaluation and comply with the treatments recommendations.  On April 16, 2011, Joshua Welch was driving a 1998 Intrepid on Oriole Avenue and stopped just south of 180th Street and turned the lights off on the vehicle.  An Osceola County Deputy observed the front wheels were in the ditch and stopped to investigate.  During the course of the investigation, the deputy observed Welch’s eyes were bloodshot, his pupils were dilated, and could smell an odor of alcohol on Welch’s breath.  Welch consented to sobriety tests and tested over .08.  Welch was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated. 

On June 13, 2011, Jerry Lee Seivert, age 39 of Ashton, Iowa, was found guilty of Criminal Mischief 5th Degree, a Simple Misdemeanor.  The Defendant shall pay a fine of $195.00, the cost of this action, and restitution of any court appointed attorney fees, if any.  The Defendant is sentenced to imprisonment in the Osceola County Jail for a period of thirty (30) days, with twenty-nine (29) days suspended and placed on probation to the Magistrate Court for a period of two (2) years.  On February 13, 2011, Jerry Seivert and a female victim had a disagreement.  When the female refused to leave the property, Seivert pulled a tractor up against the victim’s vehicle.  While the female was in the vehicle, Seivert forced the vehicle off the property causing damage to the vehicle.  Following an investigation, Jerry Seivert was charged with Criminal Mischief 5th Degree.