December 27, 2011 - 8:46 am - Posted in News

A George man was transported to a hospital following an accident on Friday (12/23).

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 21-year-old John Russell Tracy of George was driving a 1995 Chevy pickup southbound on McKinley Avenue, about three miles west of Ashton, when his vehicle went off the left side of the road and entered the east ditch. 

The vehicle just missed a bridge guardrail, and went airborne until it struck the embankment of a creek bed. 

Tracy was taken by Ashton Ambulance to the Osceola Community Hospital.

The vehicle, owned by Austin Vonk of Sioux Center, sustained about $5,000 damage. 

The Ashton Ambulance and Ashton Fire and Rescue, assisted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at the scene. 

The accident remains under investigation.

A George man was transported to a hospital following an accident on Friday (12/23).

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 21-year-old John Russell Tracy of George was driving a 1995 Chevy pickup southbound on McKinley Avenue, about three miles west of Ashton, when his vehicle went off the left side of the road and entered the east ditch.

The vehicle just missed a bridge guardrail, and went airborne until it struck the embankment of a creek bed.

Tracy was taken by Ashton Ambulance to the Osceola Community Hospital.

The vehicle, owned by Austin Vonk of Sioux Center, sustained about $5,000 damage.

The Ashton Ambulance and Ashton Fire and Rescue, assisted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at the scene.

The accident remains under investigation.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

December 23, 2011 - 10:37 am - Posted in News

A former Osceola County Sheriff’s Deputy has won a court battle over his firing.

Former Deputy Dan Minten claims he was wrongfully fired in 2010 from his position by Osceola County Sheriff Doug Weber after Minten offered to testify in a case against Weber. Read The Full Story…

The US Postal Service decided this week to delay the closings of several rural northwest Iowa post offices.

Post offices in Alvord, Archer, Ashton, Calumet, and Harris in our area, as well as many not too far away in places like Ayrshire, Cleghorn, Fostoria, Gillette Grove, Larabee, Linn Grove, Oyens, Plover, Quimby, Rembrandt, Washta, Webb, and Westfield, among those in several other communities in Iowa were in various stages of being considered for closure. Tim Albrecht, Governor Branstad’s spokesperson says that the governor heard about these possible closings, and found that there would be a disproportionate number of closings in Iowa compared to other states. Read The Full Story…

Iowa State University’s Extension Department has been doing surveys of farmland values for 70 years, but the results for this year show numbers like nothing that’s been seen in the previous seven decades.

Economist Mike Duffy put together the survey.

“The biggest record in my opinion was the percentage increase, our survey this year showed a 32.5% increase (in land values), and that’s higher than even what we saw in 1973, which as a little over 31%,” Duffy says. Landowners in all 99 counties saw increases.

“Every county was up over 20%,” Duffy says, “the highest county actually was Scott County, and it was up 37%. The lowest percentage wise was Washington County, but it was still up 28%.”

The average value of an acre of Iowa farmland is $6,708, which is an all-time high. The top driver of the higher farmland values according to Duffy, is the increase in gross farm income brought on by higher corn and bean prices. He says there are a lot of secondary drivers too, including lower interest rates, and the fact that land is a relatively good investment.

“You know a lot of people were saying ‘if we sell the land, what are we going to do with it,’ and so they’re not seeing as much of a supply of land and yields, even though some parts of the state were not as good, we did have good yields (overall),” Duffy says.

Past history always raises the question of whether land prices could crash. “It’s one of the things that when we ask people in the survey to list negative factors, 31% indicated that land was too high and that were expressing concern that we may be on speculative bubble and that land values would really collapse,” he says.

Duffy has some encouragement though for those concerned about farmland going the way of home values. “My personal feeling is that we’re not on a speculative bubble, I do think there is a possibility for corrections though, we saw a little correction in 2009. That to me is a good sign in that it shows there is still discipline in the market,” Duffy explains. “Right now these levels of increases that we’ve seen, even though they are very high, there’s a lot of fundamentals backing them.”

Some land in Sioux County sold last week for $20,000 dollars an acre but Duffy doesn’t believe that’s an indicator that overall prices are going to go rapidly higher. “It think we have to always remember the $20,000 and the $16,000 plus are auction sales, and a lot depends on if you have two people going head to head and want it, then the (land) prices go higher,” Duffy says.

He says he thought the prices in his survey are a little higher than he expected, but not totally out of line. You can see maps showing the 2011 farmland values and additional information on the I.S.U. Extension website: www.extension.iastate.edu/topic/landvalue

In Lyon County, the average price paid for an acre of land has increased from $6277 last year to $8355 this year an increase of $2078 per acre, or 33.1%.

In Sioux County, the average price paid for an acre of land has increased from $7048 last year to $9419 this year an increase of $2371 per acre, or 33.64%.

In Osceola County, the average price paid for an acre of land has increased from $6350 last year to $8452 this year an increase of $2102 per acre, or 33.1%.

In OBrien County, the average price paid for an acre of land has increased from $7148 last year to $9513 this year an increase of $2366 per acre, which is also 33.1%. The average price paid in OBrien County this year was the highest in the state.

By
Dar Danielson – RadioIowa and
Scott Van Aartsen – KIWA

Post offices in many smaller northwest Iowa towns received a stay of execution this week.
 
Governor Terry Branstad has released a statement praising the United States Postal Service for heeding his advice and delaying the closure of Iowa post offices. 
 
He says that he was pleased to learn that the United States Postal Service has reconsidered their consolidation and closures of Iowa post offices.  He says he thanks Postmaster General Donahoe for his attention and thought.  Branstad  also says he looks forward to continuing their discussion and coming up with a solution that will reduce the Postal Service’s costs while continuing to serve Iowans.
 
Branstad had been an early opponent to the post office closures because they were disproportionate and created too much burden on rural Iowans.  In September, Gov. Branstad co-authored a letter with Lohrville Mayor Donny Hobbs and a letter with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn calling for the Postal Services’ reconsideration.
 
Branstad says this is about the economic vitality of rural Iowa, and he says he’s glad the United States Postal Service has moved forward with this decision.
 
The Postal Service announced that the closures and consolidations would be delayed until May 15, 2012. Under the Postal Service’s previous plan, Iowa would have seen 17.9 percent of the state’s post offices closed, compared to 11 percent nationally.
December 15, 2011 - 11:04 am - Posted in News

Jodi Ann Ackerman, age 28, of Sibley, Iowa was arrested on December 14, 2011 on the charge of Domestic Assault, a Simple Misdemeanor.  Ackerman was arrested at a residence in Sibley, Iowa and transported to the Osceola County Jail where she is being held on a $300 bond.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey to Visit Sibley-Ocheyedan FFAChapter Members  

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey, will conduct a “Lunch with the Ag Secretary,” forum, Monday, December 19, 2011 beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the Sibley-Ocheyedan High School Ag Education Department. The Secretary will meet withFFAmembers over lunch to discuss current agricultural issues and field questions from the high school students.

Northey, who is beginning his 2nd term as Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, has made it a priority to visit each of Iowa’s 99 counties each year. His visit to Sibley is one of many times he has met with the members of the Sibley-OcheyedanFFA Chapter. In addition to fielding questions on agriculture and agribusiness, the Secretary will also receive updates fromFFA members on the progress at Hawkeye Point and other chapter activities.

The “Lunch with the Ag Secretary” forum is open to the public and they are welcome to attend. Secretary Northey will be at the Sibley-Ocheyedan High School Ag Education room from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday, December 19th. For additional information, contact S-OFFA Advisor Mike Earll at 712-754-3601.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports some alcohol arrests.

 

On Tuesday, December 13th, 2011, 34-year-old Carmelino Lopez Moreno of Sibley, was arrested and charged with Failure to have a valid license, Failure to prove security against liability and Open container (all Simple Misdemeanors).  Deputies also arrested 21-year-old Lucio Lopez Cruz of Sibley, for allegedly possessing an open container.  Both subjects were booked into the Osceola County Jail and are being held on cash bonds.  The Osceola County Sheriff’s Department was assisted by the U.S. Immigration  and Customs Enforcement agency, which placed a detainer on both individuals.  The arrests stemmed from a traffic stop in Sibley.

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On Thursday, December 15th, 2011, an Osceola County Deputy arrested 43-year-old Candis Kaye Antelope of Ocheyedan.  She was charged with being intoxicated in public, a Simple Misdemeanor.  Antelope was booked into the Osceola County Jail and is currently being held on a $300 cash bond.

December 15, 2011 - 8:57 am - Posted in News
A bill that would block the EPA for one year from creating new rules that would regulate so-called “farm dust” has passed the US House.
 
The head of the EPA has said the agency had no plans of releasing new rules regulating farm dust in the next year.
 
Called The Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act, the bill would keep the EPA from regulating what it calls “particulate matter”  or “nuisance dust” over the next year. 
 
Supported by all Republicans and some farm-state Democrats, the bill passed by a margin of 268 to 150.
 
Since the EPA has said they won’t create any new rules regulating farm dust for the next year, non-farm-state Democrats are calling it a non-existent solution to a non-existent problem.