thermometer on tree 101 degrees FSibley, Iowa — The heat is prompting at least one area hospital to open their air conditioned facility to those who may not have air conditioning or for whatever reason need a break from the heat.

Administrators of the Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley advise that since the local area is currently under a heat advisory that has been extended through Saturday, they are opening their doors to the public. Osceola Community Hospital CEO Janet Dykstra explains.


Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

Osceola Community Hospital Director of Nursing, Julie Schroder says that the hot and humid conditions will create a heightened risk of heat-related stress and illness, especially for the young, the elderly and those without air conditioning.


Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

Schroeder says anyone spending time outdoors should be alert to the signs of heat exhaustion as well.

If you do not have access to air conditioning or a cool place and need assistance, you are invited to call Osceola Community Hospital at 712-754-2574. They say the hospital will be available for anyone who needs to cool down 24/7, until this heat wave is over.

August 28, 2013 - 8:55 am - Posted in Obituaries

Art Zevenbergen, age 80, of Sibley, Iowa, passed away on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at the Country View Manor in Sibley.

Memorial Services will be Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 11:00 A.M. at Salem Reformed Church in Little Rock, Iowa. Rev. Mike Weaver and Rev. David Vanderlaan officiating. Graveside Services will be Saturday, August 31 at 9:00 A.M. at Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Sioux Center, Iowa.

Visitation will be Friday, August 30 from 1:00 to 8:00 P.M. with the family present from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. at the Andringa Funeral Home in Sibley.

Online Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to www.andringafuneralhome.com

The Andringa Funeral Home of Sibley in charge of arrangements for Art Zevenbergen.

 

August 26, 2013 - 3:14 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Melvin Loeschen, age 85, of Ocheyedan, Iowa, passed away on Sunday, August 25, 2013 at the Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley.

Memorial Services will be Friday, August 30, 2013 at 11:00 A.M. at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Worthington, Minnesota. Rev. Joe Behnke officiating. Graveside Services will be Friday, August 30 at 9:30 A.M. at the Ocheyedan Township Cemetery in Ocheyedan.

Visitation will be Thursday, August 29, from 3:00 to 8:00 P.M. with the family present from 6:30 to 8:00 P.M. at the Andringa Funeral Chapel in Ocheyedan.

Online Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to www.andringafuneralhome.com

The Andringa Funeral Home of Sibley and Ocheyedan in charge of arrangements for Melvin Loeschen.

August 23, 2013 - 9:28 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

 

Food Preservation: Freezing

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

Food preservation comes in many different forms and has a history dating back to before 12,000 B.C. Countless civilizations have long dried, fermented, pickled, cured and froze their food as a way to preserve it. Freezing is a form of preservation that may seem like a new advancement with today’s technology but it has been practiced for many years. Ancient cultures living in cold climates would use the winter weather to their advantage to freeze their food. Over the years people have also placed their food items in cool streams, caves, cellars, ice houses, ice boxes and, eventually, in the 1800’s mechanical refrigeration was developed and today we have our modern freezers.

Many of the fruits and vegetables grown in the home garden or bought at a store or farmers market can be preserved in the freezer. It is important to remember that when preserving any type of produce that it is done in a way that promotes food safety. Bacteria are a leading cause of food borne illness so it’s important that bacteria growth is slowed or prevented. In addition, natural enzymes in food can cause changes in color, flavor and texture. Freezing produce works by slowing the growth of bacteria, molds and yeasts as well as natural enzyme activity. In order to promote food quality and safety, all materials that are being used for preservation should be clean; this includes the produce, pots and storage containers.

Freezing starts with fresh fruits and vegetables. Make sure that all produce used is mature but not over ripe. When freezing most vegetables you will need to blanch them in boiling water or steam to prevent further enzyme activity from taking place. To do this, place your vegetables in a pot of boiling water, or to steam, hang them in a wire rack or cheese cloth 1 to 2 inches above rapidly boiling water and place a lid over the pot. Each vegetable has a set time for blanching so make sure that you know how long you need to blanch your vegetables before starting. Blanching time usually starts as soon as the lid is on the pot. Once the vegetables are finished blanching they should be immediately cooled. Do this by using ice. Use one pound of ice per pound of vegetables. After the vegetables have been cooled they are ready to freeze.

To freeze vegetables place them tightly in a plastic bag or freezer-safe container leaving ½ inch to 1 ½ inches at the top for expansion. Vegetables may also be frozen by placing them in a single layer on a baking dish that is then placed in the freezer until the vegetables are almost frozen. At this point, take them out and put them in freezer bags or other containers then store back in the freezer. Always make sure to label each container and also make sure to write the date it was prepared.

To freeze fruit, prepare the fruit by removing any seeds or pits and cut it to match how it will be used. Next, use an anti-darkening agent to keep it from turning brown. This can be done by adding ascorbic acid or a mixture of sugar and lemon juice. After this, fruit can be packaged unsweetened, sugar packed or syrup packed. To package unsweetened place fruit on a shallow tray and freeze; once frozen place in freezer bags or containers to store back in the freezer. To sugar pack freeze fruit with sugar over the fruit and stir until the pieces are all coated. To syrup pack make sugar syrup by dissolving sugar in water and mix until the solution is clear. Place this syrup in a refrigerator to chill and then add just enough to the fruit to cover. Place both syrup packed and sugar packed fruit in freezer bags or containers to store in the freezer.

If properly prepared, frozen fruits and vegetables will hold their quality anywhere from 8 to 12 months. For more information on how to properly prepare various fruits and vegetables for freezing see the Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach publication, Freezing: Fruits and Vegetables, revised July 2011 (www.extension.iastate.edu/publications/PM1045.pdf).

For any questions, please feel free to contact me at my email clloyd@iastate.edu, by phone at (712) 737-4230 or through your local County Extension office. Additional information was provided by ISU Extension and Outreach article, Harvesting and storing vegetables (2002), ISU Extension and Outreach article, Food Preservation (2004), the Clemson Cooperative Extension article, Freezing Fruits & Vegetables (2011) and the National Center for Home Food Preservation article, Historical Origins of Food Preservation (2002).

Contact informationMargaret Murphy 712 472-2576(office)•605 521-7893(cell) •mmurphy@iastate.edu

August 19, 2013 - 11:28 am - Posted in News

Cooperative Energy signSibley, Iowa — A gas and oil company based in Sibley, with locations across the area has purchased another convenience store.

Cooperative Energy Company, owner and operator of Jackrabbit Junction in Sibley and Interstate Cenex in Worthington, has added a third convenience store at Milford.

Cooperative Energy, a Cenex refined fuels, diesel and lubricant distributor across northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota has purchased Boji Junction. They took over management of the store on Monday, August 12. They also just opened a Spencer/Everly/Lakes area fuel, diesel and lubricant delivery center just north of Spencer.

Cooperative Energy general manager Brian Dreessen says that Boji Junction fits right into the geographical growth plan on which Cooperative Energy has been concentrating for the last 12 months. He says that Boji Junction will continue much as before, but it will be connected to Cooperative Energy’s computer system so members can use their local Cooperative Energy priority cards there as well as at all other Cooperative Energy Cardtrol locations.

This is the first time Cooperative Energy has purchased an existing convenience store location. The cooperative has made other purchases in the past, however, including the East Lyon Cooperative in Little Rock in 2003 and Lyon County Coop Oil in Rock Rapids in 2010.

Dreessen says there will be no physical change to Boji Junction but new and returning customers can expect Cooperative Energy’s “committed personal service.” He also says their members can look forward to patronage refunds on their purchases as well.

In addition to the locations already mentioned, Cooperative Energy also has locations in Hartley, Ashton, Harris, Melvin, Ocheyedan, Fulda, Rushmore, Hills, and an additional location in Worthington.

August 19, 2013 - 11:17 am - Posted in News

Christina LloydClippings

A Weekly Column about Plants, Gardens, & Yards

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

 Watermelons

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

Watermelon has often found itself a companion to a variety of summer traditions such as picnics, barbeques and summer celebrations and is one of our favorite summer time snacks. Being made up of nearly 92% water, watermelons are low in calories and are an excellent source of vitamin C.  Watermelons also contain beta carotene and lycopene, which are antioxidants that work to reduce the risk of certain cancers. As such watermelon not only tastes good but is also very healthy and beneficial as well.

There are a variety of different watermelons that can both be grown and found in Iowa. ‘Sweet Beauty’, ‘Yellow Baby’ and ‘Amarillo’ are examples of small watermelons. The ‘Sweet Beauty’ has red flesh with seeds, is oblong shaped and matures at 5 to 7 pounds. ‘Yellow Baby’ and ‘Amarillo’ both have yellow flesh and are round in shape. The ‘Yellow Baby’ is seeded and matures around 9 to 12 pounds and the ‘Amarillo’ is seedless and matures around 12 to 14 pounds. Some medium sized watermelons are ‘Crunchy Red’, ‘Gypsy’ and ‘Millionaire’. Each of these has red flesh and is seedless. The ‘Crunchy Red’ varies in shape and matures at 15 to 18 pounds. The ‘Gypsy’ is round and matures at 13 to 17 pounds and the ‘Millionaire’ is oblong and matures at 13 to 20 pounds. For large watermelons try the ‘Crimson Sweet’, ‘Royal Sweet’, or ‘Sangria’. These watermelons all have red flesh and are seeded and range in shape from round to oval. The ‘Crimson Sweet’ matures from 20 to 30 pounds and the ‘Royal Sweet’ and ‘Sangria’ both mature around 20 to 26 pounds.

Watermelon seeds are planted from mid-May to mid-June when the soil temperature reaches 60 to 70 degrees F. Watermelons are easy to grow and require only well drained, fertile soil, adequate water and at least six hours of direct sunlight during the day. Watermelon seeds are planted in hills that are 2 to 3 feet apart in rows that are 6 to 8 feet apart. After the seeds have been planted it takes 75 to 95 days before they are completely mature and ready to harvest in late July and August.

When determining if a watermelon is mature enough to pick or to buy from the store always look at the color of the belly of the fruit as it is the best indicator of readiness. The belly of the watermelon is the side that sat on the ground. If this is a white or light green color the watermelon is not mature enough. Always look for a yellow or cream color on the belly. Determining the maturity of a watermelon based on the smell or the “thump and shake” methods are not always reliable.

When picking a watermelon from the vine make sure to leave at least two inches of the stem on the fruit. Also, pick watermelons at least two days before they are to be eaten and let them set at room temperature until used as this will improve their juiciness. A study by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that keeping watermelon stored at room temperature also preserved nutrients better. Compared to refrigerated watermelon, unrefrigerated whole watermelon had nearly double the amount of beta carotene and 20% more lycopene. However, watermelon should only be stored for a week at room temperature but may be stored for 2 or 3 weeks if kept at temperatures of 50 to 60 degrees F.

Before enjoying watermelon always make sure to wash the outside of the melon before cutting it and always wash your hands, the utensils you are using and your cutting surface. If there happens to be extra watermelon after it has been sliced open, store it in the refrigerator by cutting it into chunks and placing them in bags or containers, or by placing plastic wrap on the exposed part of the fruit. Also, make sure to use any extra watermelon within two days of storing.

For any questions, please feel free to contact me at my email clloyd@iastate.edu, by phone at (712) 737-4230 or through your local County Extension office. Additional information was provided by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach article Melons (2009), the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Yard and Garden publication Melons (2012), and the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Words on Wellness publication excerpt Enjoy a Slice of Summer (2012).

Contact informationChristina Lloyd 712 737-4230•clloyd@iastate.edu or Margaret Murphy 712 472-2576•mmurphy@iastate.edu

August 18, 2013 - 7:56 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Funeral-male candleRon Spengler, age 65, of Ocheyedan, Iowa, passed away on Saturday, August 17, 2013 at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Visitation will be Thursday, August 22, 2013 from 2:00 to 8:00 P.M. with the family present from 6:30 to 8:00 P.M. at the Andringa Funeral Chapel in Ocheyedan.

Private Memorial Services and Burial will be at a later date.

In Lieu of Flowers, Memorials may be given to Osceola County Conservation Board. Online Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to www.andringafuneralhome.com

The Andringa Funeral Home of Sibley and Ocheyedan in charge of arrangements for Ron Spengler.

August 12, 2013 - 7:23 am - Posted in Obituaries

Stacey SorensenStacey Sorensen, age 41 of Melvin, IA, passed away in Melvin on Saturday, August 10, 2013.

A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, August 14th at 11:00 a.m. at the First Reformed Church in Melvin. Reverands Al Honken and David Vander Laan will be officiating. Visitation will be AT THE CHURCH on Tuesday, August 13th from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. with the family present from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. Inurnment will be at Baker Township Cemetery in Melvin at a later date.

The Sanborn Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for 41 year-old Stacey Sorensen of Melvin, IA.

A memorial fund has been set up for Stacy, wife of Jeff Sorensen, at Morgan Collision & Tire to help defer medical and funeral expenses.

August 12, 2013 - 12:12 am - Posted in Obituaries

Bernard Den BesteVisitation will be held for 91 year-old Bernard Den Beste of Sheldon, Iowa, formerly of Melvin, Iowa, on Wednesday, August 14, at the Sanborn Funeral Home Chapel in Sanborn, Iowa. The visitation will be from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m, with the family present from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. A private family service and burial will be held at a later date. The Sanborn Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for 91 year-old Bernard Den Beste of Sheldon, IA.

FD lightbarRural Lake Park, Iowa — A fire near the Osceola/Dickinson County line early on Friday morning destroyed a shed and damaged another structure.

The Lake Park Fire Department was paged to the fire at 5:20 AM Friday morning. It was located about 2 miles south of Highway 9, at 1707 100th Street, just west of the county line in Osceola County.

When firefighters got there, they saw that the shed was fully engulfed in flame. That’s when they called for mutual aid assistance from the Harris and Ocheyedan Fire Departments.

The cause was ruled as accidental, but there was no speculation as to a more specific cause.

There were no injuries to people, pets, or livestock.

The shed and its contents were completely destroyed, including 15 round hay bales on the side of building. A loader was also lost in the fire, and a cattle confinement building was also damaged.

The Lake Park Rescue Crew, Dickinson County Emergency Management and the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office assisted the fire departments at the scene.