Sibley, Iowa — Three Osceola County grain elevators were hit by burglary over the weekend.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports they are investigating the three burglaries. Elevators in the towns of Ashton, Allendorf, and Ocheyedan all reported burglaries on Monday (7/29/13) in the office area of the elevators.

Reported taken in each of the burglaries was an undisclosed amount of cash.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 712-754-2556 or send an anonymous tip through Text-A-Tip at

July 30, 2013 - 8:51 pm - Posted in News

us flagSibley, Iowa — If you travel Highway 60, you may see a huge American flag in the near future. In fact, it’s not impossible that you could see the symbol of liberty from Highway 9 as well.

A while back, Bob Sterler of Sheldon got an idea that he wanted to honor servicemen and the United States with a large flag. We talked to Sterler and he told us about his idea.

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He says he and his brothers are all veterans.

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Sterler says he had an idea to share the cost. If the city would buy the pole, he would buy the flag.

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He says there’s going to be a special program when the flag is raised.

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Sterler says there’s even a plan in place for the replacement of the flag.

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In case you’re wondering, Sterler says the flag itself costs $500. He says they also got a good deal on the shipping of the 80-foot pole as well. Sterler says it will be the biggest flag in northwest Iowa.

July 29, 2013 - 7:54 pm - Posted in News

Christina LloydClippings

A Weekly Column about Plants, Gardens, & Yards

ISU Extension and Outreach Consumer Horticulture • Lyon-O’Brien-Osceola-Sioux Counties



By: Christina Lloyd, ISU Extension and Outreach Agriculture and Natural Resource Intern

                As one of America’s favorite snack foods, popcorn is a tradition that goes all the way back to early Native American civilization when popcorn was both eaten and worn as necklaces or headdresses. When early European settlers came to America they used popcorn as a breakfast cereal and ate it with milk and cream. Popcorn didn’t become commercially popular until the great depression. As popcorn was a very cheap snack that almost anyone could afford it started to gain in popularity. During World War II, consumption of popcorn further increased as a result of a sugar shortage, which created a scarcity of candy. Today, the yearly per capita consumption of popcorn in the United States is nearly 52 quarts.

Most of the popcorn eaten throughout the world is produced in the United States grown primarily in Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri. Up until the 1940’s, western Iowa was the leading popcorn producer; however, now Nebraska is the top producer.

Popcorn comes in many different colors such as red and black and our more commonly grown varieties yellow and white. Popcorn grows well in most any place field corn does. Plant popcorn in several short rows for best results. Keep in mind that you should avoid placing popcorn and sweet corn in the same garden as this can negatively affect the quality of the sweet corn.  During the growing season, popcorn needs 18 to 24 inches of water. Water deficiency can reduce yield. Moisture is especially important while the corn plant is tasseling and silking so supplemental irrigation may be necessary.

Once the husks have dried down, the kernels have become hard and the moisture content is around 35%, the ears are ready to harvest. Store them in a well-ventilated place to continue drying. The optimal moisture content of popcorn is around 13.5 to 14%. Popcorn has a thicker hull than any other type of corn.  As pressure builds from the moisture inside the kernel being heated, the starch inside of the kernel turns gelatinous. When the hull finally burst the jelly-like starch spills out and when it cools forms the familiar popcorn shape. However, if the popcorn has too much moisture, it will be chewy and if it is too dry, many of the kernels will not pop.

To test the readiness of the popcorn, shell and pop a few kernels each week while they are drying. If the popcorn is chewy, then the kernels should continue drying. If, however, they pop poorly and there are many un-popped kernels, water must be added. Take one tablespoon of water and add it to a quart of popcorn. Mix well a couple of times during the day and then wait 2 to 3 days before trying to pop again. If it still pops poorly, repeat the process. Once the popcorn pops well and is no longer chewy then it is time to shell the rest of the ears. Store the kernels that you have gathered in a moisture proof container. If you are storing your popcorn for long periods, you can place it in the refrigerator.

Nutritionally popcorn provides nearly 67% as much protein by weight as beef and about 10% more iron and calcium. It is also packed full of energy with 1.5 ounces providing the equivalent energy as two eggs. In addition, popcorn is a whole grain that provides lots of fiber with one cup having fewer calories than a medium-sized grapefruit.

There are many ways to cook popcorn. One way is on the stove top. Add two tablespoons of oil per half cup of popcorn to a frying pan or sauce pan. Place the pan over medium high heat. Add a couple of kernels and cover the pan with a lid. Once the kernels start to sizzle or pop add the rest of the popcorn. With the lid on continuously shake the pan until the popcorn finishes popping. Add a little seasoned salt or herbs and enjoy.

For any questions, please feel free to contact me at my email, by phone at (712) 737-4230 or through your local County Extension office. Additional information was provided by the Purdue University Extension Alternative Field Crops Manual article Popcorn (2013), the Popcorn Board website accessed July 2013, and the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center online article Popcorn Profile (2013).

Contact informationChristina Lloyd 712 737-4230• or Margaret Murphy 712 472-2576•

July 29, 2013 - 4:11 pm - Posted in News

Ambulance front generic actually SCAT 2Sibley, Iowa — A Sibley man was taken to the hospital after an accident on Wednesday (7/24/13).

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office has just released a report that says about 4:35 PM, 56-year-old Robert Grave of Sibley was driving a 1996 Chevrolet Suburban southbound on Fifth Avenue near Tenth Street in Sibley. Grave lost control of the vehicle, which jumped the east curb before striking a tree head on.

Grave was taken to the Osceola Community Hospital by the Sibley Ambulance crew.

Grave’s Suburban sustained about $8500 damage.

The accident remains under investigation.

Osceola co courthouse - summerFrom the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office:

July 25, 2013, Clayton Ahsbahs, Jr,age 41, of Hartley, IA, plead guilty to Operating While Intoxicated, First Offense and Driving Under Suspension, committed on September 4, 2012. The defendant is to pay fines and surcharges of $1697.50, the costs of this action, and restitution of any court appointed attorney fees, if any. He is sentenced to imprisonment in the Osceola County Jail for 1 year with all but 14 days suspended during a 2 year formal probation to the IA Dept of Corrections. The defendant shall receive credit for 18 hrs 35 minutes previously served for this offense. Ahsbahs was arrested during a traffic stop September 4, 2012.

July 17, 2013, Jennifer Miller, age 19, of George, IA, plead guilty to Possession of Marijuana, committed on April 5, 2013. The defendant is to pay fines and surcharges of $1350.00, the costs of this action, and restitution of any court appointed attorney fees, if any. She is sentenced to sixty (60) days in the Osceola County Jail, all time suspended during a two (2) year informal probation to the Sheriff. The defendant shall receive credit for three (3) hrs nineteen (19) minutes previously served for this offense. Miller was arrested during a traffic stop April 5, 2013.

July 21, 2013 - 9:41 am - Posted in News

Sibley, IA — Five people were injured in an explosion at a Sibley manufacturing plant late Saturday morning.  Lt. Seth Hoffman of the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office says the explosion at Timewell Tile in southeast Sibley was first reported by neighbors to the plant.

Hoffman says there were five people working in the plant, and two outside, when the explosion occurred.

He says five people suffered varying degrees of burns in the incident.

Hoffman says all five of the injured were transported, by ambulance, to the Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley.  Two were later airlifted to Avera in Sioux Falls, two others were taken to Sioux Falls by ambulance, and one was treated and released.

Hoffman says the cause of the explosion hasn’t been determined.

July 19, 2013 - 4:49 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, IA — The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office has upgraded to a new 911 and telephone system at their Communications Center in Sibley.  Head Dispatcher Judy Top talks about some of the enhanced capabilities of the new system.

Top went on to explain how the new CAD system works.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office has long had an Enhanced 911 system, but Top says the new system takes that to a whole new level.

The new system was rolled out this past Tuesday.

July 16, 2013 - 12:22 pm - Posted in Sports

Siouxland Conference logoThe 2013 All Siouxland Conference Softball Teams are out. Boyden Hull Rock Valley and George Little Rock Central Lyon lead the way with four first teamers each.

2013 Siouxland Conference Softball Standings

Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley 12-2 22-4
George-Little Rock/Central Lyon 11-3 23-6
Sioux Center 9-5 20-11
Sheldon 8-6 13-14
West Lyon 7-7 10-13
MOC-Floyd Valley 5-9 11-18
Sibley-Ocheyedan 2-12 9-17
Okoboji 2-12 6-23





First Team All Conference

Nicole Ewoldt B-H/RV 12
Monserrat Figueroa B-H/RV 12
Alicia Kleinwolterink B-H/RV 12
Kensey Vande Hoef B-H/RV 11
Lexi Ackerman GLR/CL 12
Abigail Eben GLR/CL 12
Jessica Sandbulte GLR/CL 11
Kori Schulte GLR/CL 12
Madison Beaver SC 10
Megan Cleveringa SC 10
Krista Bousema Sheldon 11
Jamie Tracy West Lyon 12
Sam Wielenga MOC-FV 12
McKenzie Kleve S-O 11
Abby Taylor Okoboji 11


Second Team All Conference 

Joanna Heemstra B-H/RV 12
CJ Van Der Zwaag B-H/RV 10
Keeley Kruse GLR/CL 12
Carrigan Cleveringa SC 12
Jillian Estes SC 12
Caitlin Cain Sheldon 11
Mackensey Radke Sheldon 11
Brenna Doherty WL 10
Brook Jacobsma MOC-FV 12
Jurnea Harberts S-O 12


Honorable Mention

Jana Vermeer B-H/RV 12
Morgan Herda GLR/CL 12
Alison Sandbulte SC 11
Allie Jongewaard Sheldon 11
Courtney Knobloch WL 9
Emily McDonald MOC-FV 11
Jessica Loerts S-O 10
Sydney Boeckholt Okoboji 12

July 14, 2013 - 10:06 am - Posted in News

Osceola Sheriff Car 72-2Ashton, Iowa — An Ashton man is behind bars, accused of felony drunk driving.

On Saturday, (7/13/13) the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office arrested 32-year-old Mark Alan Baker Jr. of Ashton. Baker was charged with the alleged crime of Operating While Intoxicated 3rd Offense, a Class D Felony and was also issued a citation for No Insurance.

Baker is currently in the Osceola County Jail on a $5000 cash bond. The arrest stems from a traffic stop near Ashton.

text-a-tipSibley, Iowa — Two Sibley residents have been arrested on drug charges, thanks to a texted tip.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Wednesday (7/10/13), their deputies carried out a search warrant at 1016 2nd Avenue West in Sibley.

Following the search, deputies arrested 27-year-old Heather Nicole Lavoie and 26-year-old Reyes Valles Ontiveros, both of Sibley. They were charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Simple Misdemeanor), and Possession of a Controlled Substance (Serious Misdemeanor).

Lavoie and Ontiveros were released after they each posted a $1,300 bond.

The sheriff’s office started the investigation after receiving an anonymous Text-a-Tip. The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office has received over 90 anonymous texted tips since implementing the program in 2008.