The U.S. Postal Service has announced the possible closing of 178 post offices in Iowa – mainly in small towns. Some 37-hundred (3,700) post offices nationwide are part of the so-called “expanded access study” after the Postal Service posted an $8.5 billion net loss in the 2010 fiscal year.  That’s almost 23-million dollars the Postal Service is losing every day.
 
A release from the U.S. Postal Service says that in towns where post offices were closed, services would be switched to so-called “village post offices” located in private retail locations – including convenience stores. The Postal Service’s press release indicates 35 percent of the agency’s retail revenue comes from “such places as grocery stores, self-service kiosks and the agency’s website.
 
On the potential chopping block in our area are the post offices in Archer and Calumet.  But widen the scope just a little, and there are many area post offices under consideration in the latest study, including Ayrshire, Brunsville, Cleghorn, Gillett Grove, Larabee, Linn Grove, Marathon, Meriden, Oyens, Quimby, Webb and Westfield.
 
According to Corporate Communications Representative Richard Watkins with the Postal Service — other post offices that had already been on the list of those considered for closure such as the ones in Harris, Ashton, and Alvord were not included on the list, but are still under consideration for closure.
 
The Postal Service is calling the change a change for the better, as people will be able to get postal products in more places — such as the convenience stores mentioned earlier, and mail delivery will be more efficient if the postal service doesn’t have to maintain as many buildings and pay as many salaries.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

July 28, 2011 - 8:47 am - Posted in News

Some area students attending Northwest Iowa Community College have received some national honors.

NCC students competed at the National Skills USA Conference in Kansas City this summer. The conference is an annual event where career and technical education students from around the United States showcase their skills. Skills USA is the national organization for students in trade, industrial, technical, and health occupations education.

The students competed and took honors in a number of categories.

  • Automated Manufacturing Technology: 1st place in the nation, Cody Jonker, Orange City; Jeremiah Nelson, Hull; and Daniel Van Roekel, Orange City.
  • Industrial Motor Control: 2nd place in the nation, Tyler Johnson, Sutherland.
  • Mechatronics: 4th place team in the nation, Kristopher Krull, George; Aaron Rotert, Templeton.
  • Welding Sculpture: 6th place in the nation, Nancy McDowell, Sheldon.
  • Technical Drafting: 8th place in the nation, Noah Jansen, Alton.
  • Welding Fabrication Secondary: 11th place team in the nation, Taylor Block, Sibley; Tyler Bremer, Ocheydan; and William Doll, Sibley.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

July 26, 2011 - 10:07 am - Posted in News

On Sunday, July 24, 2011 Seth Joseph Roos, age 22, of Rock Rapids, Iowa was arrested by an Osceola County Deputy for allegedly Operating While Intoxicated, 2nd Offense, an Aggravated Misdemeanor.  Roos was booked into the Osceola County Jail and is currently being held on a $2,000 bond.

July 25, 2011 - 8:51 am - Posted in News

On Saturday, July 23, 2011, Matthew Alford Saltsgiver, age 27, of Orange City, IA, was arrested by an Osceola County Deputy for allegedly Operating While Intoxicated, 1st Offense (Serious Misdemeanor). Saltsgiver was booked into the Osceola County Jail and is currently being held on a $1,000 cash bond.

On Saturday, July 23, 2011, Nathan Ray Schuknecht, age 30, of Sanborn, IA, was arrested by an Osceola County Deputy for allegedly Operating While Intoxicated, 3rd Offense (Class D Felony). Schuknecht was booked into the Osceola County Jail and is currently being held on a $5,000 cash bond.

On Saturday, July 23 , 2011, Gregory Allen O’Toole, age 23, of Sibley, IA, was arrested by an Osceola County Deputy for allegedly assaulting a female subject. O’Toole was charged with Domestic Abuse Assault, a Simple Misdemeanor, and is being held in the Osceola County Jail.

The “grandparent scam” apparently continues, and someone using it has bilked an O’Brien County resident out of a lot of money.

O’Brien County Sheriff Michael Anderson reports his office received a complaint recently from a local county citizen.

He says the scam involved a person telephoning the resident and advising the resident that a “grandson” was in trouble and needed money right away. The person calling indicated he was an “attorney” for this grandson and they needed to do a “wire transfer” via Western Union right away. This was done in more than one phone call. The resident lost over $9,000 to this scam, says Anderson.

The Sheriff says residents should NOT SEND MONEY right away. They should attempt to check out the whereabouts of the “grandson” or other person they are being asked to send money about. Sending money via wire transfers via Western Union and other wire transfer companies should always be checked out before sending any money.

In some cases the scam artist will call back more than once and attempt to get additional money from the victim, says Anderson.

He says residents are asked to call their law enforcement agency if they are contacted for these types of situations to possibly check out what the caller is telephoning about. It may be discovered a scam and if law enforcement has received prior complaints on similar scams, they may be able to stop you from being another victim.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

July 21, 2011 - 10:25 am - Posted in News

On 07-20-11 at approximately 10:30pm the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call in reference to a Domestic Abuse Assault at the Ocheyedan Pit. Responding officers arrested Darren Lynn Fullerton, age 45, of Ocheyedan for Public Intoxication, Domestic Assault, and three counts of Interference with Official Acts. All the charges are simple misdemeanors. Fullerton allegedly attempted to flee the officers by entering the water. The Ocheyedan Fire and Rescue assisted in retrieving Fullerton from the water. Fullerton allegedly resisted arrest and a Taser was deployed. Fullerton is being held in the Osceola County Jail on a $1500.00 bond.