July 31, 2014 - 3:43 pm - Posted in Sports

Iowa DNRThe Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.


Storm Lake

Walleye – Slow: Walleye fishing has slowed down considerably, but some anglers are still catching a few around the dredge cuts. Channel Catfish: Fair – try using cut bait, dip bait, or shrimp. The dredge machine is in operation on Storm Lake.  Boaters should use caution and stay clear of the dredge machine, booster pump barge, and pipeline.

Big Spirit Lake

Northern Pike – Fair: A few pike are being harvested using spinner baits near weed beds.  Walleye – Slow: Walleye fishing has slowed down recently. A few slot fish are still being caught but harvest has been tough the past week or so. The best action has been on live bait presented very slowly near weed lines and rocky points.

Little Spirit Lake

Bullhead – Fair: Anglers continue to harvest 9-11-inch bullheads from the shorelines using crawler rigs.

East Okoboji Lake

Walleye – Fair: Anglers with the best success are working deeper areas with both live bait rigs and deep running crank baits. Yellow Bass – Fair: Deep weed lines and structures are providing the best action to anglers who use small jigs tipped with live bait.

West Okoboji Lake

Yellow Perch – Fair: Fishing has slowed down a little bit but anglers are still catching quite a few perch by working deep weed lines and rocky structures with live bait. Walleye – Fair: A few walleyes are being harvested from rocky points using leeches and crawler rigs presented slowly.

Sibley, Iowa — A South Dakota woman is behind bars on multiple charges after she allegedly ran from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department in Sibley.Law Enforcement Lightbar red

The Sheriff’s Office reports that about 10:00 PM on Tuesday evening, July 29th, 49-year-old Shelley Rae Highbear of Avon, SD, was approached by an officer for a parking violation. While speaking with her the officer learned she was allegedly trespassing and violating a no contact order. The officer says Highbear then got in her vehicle and took off at a high rate of speed, going through the city of Sibley and ending up in the ditch at Exit 48 of the Hwy 60 northbound on ramp.

The accident caused $8500 damage to her vehicle. Highbear was not injured.

She was arrested and charged with Eluding, an Aggravated Misdemeanor; and Violation of No Contact Order, Trespassing, Interference with Official Acts, Reckless Driving, and 5 counts of Failure to Obey a Stop Sign, all Simple Misdemeanors.

Highbear is being held at the Osceola County Jail on $3500 cash-only bond.

July 25, 2014 - 1:23 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Terry Thies, aged 71, of Laguna Niguel, CA, formerly of Ashton, IA passed away at his home in Laguna Niguel, CA on Monday, December 9, 2013, following a courageous battle with cancer.

A Memorial Mass will be 11:00 AM, Monday, August 4, 2014 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Ashton, IA, with Father Al Reicks as celebrant. Inurnment will follow at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Ashton.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Village Unlimited NW, or Ashton Public Library

The Jurrens Funeral Home in George is in charge of arrangements for Terry Thies

Terry Lynn Thies was born on May 14, 1942 in Ashton, IA, the son of G.W. “Gus” and Anne (Jackley) Thies. He grew up in Ashton and attended and graduated from St. Joseph’s Catholic School. He then went on to college at Creighton University of Omaha, and later transferring to the University of Iowa in speech pathology. Terry received his Master’s Degree from California State University in Los Angeles, CA, and received the Alumnus of the Year award. He later received his Doctorate from USC. On August 6, 1964, Terry was united in marriage to Harriet Fleischer in Iowa City, IA. Following their marriage they both took jobs as itinerant speech therapists in the schools of Dubuque County, Iowa. Son Scott was born on January 1 of 1966 and at a few months of age was confirmed to have a profound bilateral hearing loss. This led to a comprehensive search for excellent education programs for deaf children and a move in 1969 to the San Gabriel Valley of southern California so Scott could attend the Alhambra public school program for deaf children.

Both Terry and Harriet continued work as itinerant speech-language pathologists in Los Angeles County. Terry had several accomplishments and as a member was awarded fellowships in the CSHA (California Speech Language & Hearing Association) and the ASHA (American Speech Language & Hearing Association). He retired as the Director of Special Education for L.A. County Schools.

Following their retirement Terry and Harriet spent ten years restoring Terry’s old family home in Ashton, IA and re-established friendships with many family members and friends in northwest Iowa.

Terry enjoyed traveling with his wife and they managed to visit all 50 states, Mexico, Canada, Europe, South America, Latin America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Africa. Terry was a former member of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Ashton, IA and was a member of St. Timothy’s Catholic Church in Laguna Niguel, CA. Other hobbies and interests included photography, studying family history and gardening with his wife, Harriet.

He will be greatly missed by his surviving family including his son, Scott and wife Kimberly; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Harriet Thies on June 27, 2013; one sister, June Nearman; and two brothers, Junior Charles Thies and Orvalee Thies.

July 24, 2014 - 4:16 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Katherine Prins age 83 of Sibley, IA died Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at the Country View Manor in Sibley, IA.

Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m. Friday, July 25, 2014 at First Reformed Church in Sibley with Pastor Luke Schouten officiating. Burial will follow at the Holman Township Cemetery in Sibley.

Visitation will be Friday, July 25th from 12:30 p.m. until the time of the service at the First Reformed Church in Sibley.

An online registry and full obituary will be available at:www.jurrensfuneralhome.com

Katherine Schram was born August 30, 1930 near Melvin, Iowa. She was the daughter of Benjamin and Daisy (Heil) Schram. She attended country school near Sibley.
     On April 10, 1951 Katherine was married to Henry S. Prins. Through the years Katherine and Henry farmed and raised livestock near Sibley and Reading, MN. In 1988 Katherine and Henry moved to a home in Sibley. Henry died on September 9, 2013.
     Katherine was an active member of the First Reformed Church in Sibley, serving as Sunday School and Catechism Teacher. She was known for her embroidery, knitting, crochet, and quilting; including making many baby quilts that she gave away. She had large vegetable gardens, a large strawberry patch, and hundreds of flowers and plants. She raised chickens and gathered many eggs. She baked many cookies, pies and other goodies. She enjoyed traveling, which included picnics and short drives through the State and National Parks. She also enjoyed get-togethers with family and friends and spending time outdoors.   She was proud of her children and grandchildren and loved her family very much.
     In April of 2009 Katherine entered Country View Manor due to failing health. She remained there until this past Wednesday, July 23, 2014, where she died at the age of 83.
     She is survived by her four children, Audrey (Larry) Harris of West Des Moines, IA, Jean (Bill) Kleve of Worthington, MN, LaVonne Prins of Sibley, IA and Gordon (Nancy) Prins of Rock Falls, IA; eight grandchildren; twenty-five great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; three brothers, Don (Jen) Schram, Ray (Ellen) Schram and Harold (Lynn) Schram, all of Sibley, IA; one sister, Ann (Albert) Brouwer of Slayton, MN; a sister-in-law, Hanna Wiersma of Sibley, IA; a brother-in-law, John (Judy) Haren of Blaine, MN; and many nieces, nephews and other extended family.
     She was preceded in death by her parents, Benjamin and Daisy Schram; and husband, Henry S. Prins.
July 22, 2014 - 4:54 pm - Posted in News

Ashton, Iowa — An Ashton man has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for distributing child pornography, according to a release from the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa.

Child Porn gavel_sxcThe release says that 22-year old Todd Techen of Ashton received the sentence after admitting that, between 2012 and January, 2013, he knowingly distributed child pornography.

Techen was sentenced to five years imprisonment in Federal District Court in Sioux City by United States District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett.  A special assessment of $100 was also imposed, and Techen must must also serve a ten-year term of supervised release upon completion of the prison sentence, as well as complying with all sex offender registration and public notification requirements.

The US Attorney’s office says the case was prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Mark Tremmel, and was investigated by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.

July 22, 2014 - 10:15 am - Posted in Obituaries
Vakulskas-Mary-photoMary Vakulskas, 91, of Sioux City, died Sunday, July 20, 2014, at Holy Spirit Retirement Home in Sioux City.

Services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Church of the Nativity, with her son, the Rev. John A. Vakulskas Jr., officiating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Visitation will be 3:30-8:00 p.m. Wednesday, with a Catholic Daughters of Americas rosary at 4 p.m. and a parish vigil service at 7:00 p.m., at Larkin Chapel, Christy-Smith Funeral Home.

Mary Vakulskas was born Dec. 1, 1922, in Sioux City, the daughter of Andrew A. and Helen (Krokowski) Smith of Sioux City. She attended St. Francis of Assisi Grade School and East High School in Sioux City.
On June 7, 1942, she married John Vakulskas at St. Francis of Assisi, having first met him at a St. Francis Halloween dance. After their marriage, they moved to Portsmouth, Va., where John worked in ship building at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Having served in the peacetime U.S. Navy, John was called back into the U.S. Army to serve during World War II. Mary moved back to Sioux City with their son John Jr. When John returned from Okinawa they made the decision to remain in Sioux City to raise their family. Mary prided herself on her role as a wife and mother and cherished the title “homemaker” when their four children were growing up.

She was a former longtime member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. She was an active parishioner at St. Francis, having served as the president of the Mother’s Club for many years. For 38 years, she was the parish organist and choir director and relished playing for Mass liturgies, weddings and funerals. She looked forward to choir practices with the group so they could be always ready for the liturgies praising God.

She studied piano as a young girl, but her organ skills came under the tutelage of Sr. Arnold Staudt, OSF, professor of organ, Briar Cliff University. Grateful for her instruction, Mary established an annual scholarship at Briar Cliff University for advanced organ study for deserving students. Her humble spirit shows in the scholarship’s name as it is listed in Sr. Arnold’s name, not hers.

After her children were grown, Mary became a “Girl Friday,” enjoying work in the accounting department at Iowa Public Service Company (now MidAmerican Energy). During election cycles, she volunteered helping various candidates in their bid for public office, and on Election Day worked at her voting precinct. She and John found meaning and strength donating their time, talents and oftentimes their garden’s bounty to The Soup Kitchen in Sioux City. They also participated in 24 tours to 63 countries around the world with their son Father John, until their health would not allow it anymore.

Volunteerism was keen in Mary’s heart — prayer too. Her prayers came from books and the rosary but also while she put in long hours in the family’s backyard garden where flowers, fruits and vegetables flourished. She sewed many outfits for her daughters, Jan and Maria, and mended countless stuffed animals and toys for her grandchildren. Her 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren were the light of her life.

She was a member of Church of the Nativity. She was honored to be a 50-plus-year member of the Catholic Daughters of America, Ave Maria Court No. 269.

The daughter of Polish immigrants, Mary instilled in her family the traditions, history, cooking and language of her heritage. A special day in her life was attending an address by the former president of Poland, Lech Walesa, when he addressed a gathering in Sioux City. A front-page newspaper photo of the two individuals meeting is a treasure for her family.

Survivors include her four children, the Rev. John Vakulskas Jr. of Okoboji, Iowa, Jan Masteller of Sioux City, Thomas (Barbara Dagle) Vakulskas of Sioux City and Maria (Ron) Vakulskas Rosmann of Harlan, Iowa; 11 grandchildren, Lori (Brad) Yates of Richmond, Ind., Jim (Tanya Langdon) Masteller of Omaha, Neb., Peter (Abra) Masteller of Miami, Fla., Jane (Alexander) Belov of Chicago, Ill., Michael (Jessie) Masteller of West Des Moines, Iowa, Brian Vakulskas of Sioux City, Molly (Eric) Vakulskas Joly of Sioux City, Dan (Nikki) Vakulskas of Sioux City, David Rosmann (fiancée Becky Tompkins) of Chatfield, Minn., Daniel (Ellen Walsh) Rosmann of Harlan, Mark Rosmann of Washington, D.C.; 13 great-grandchildren, Bryson, Ryan and Nicole Yates, Gabrielle, Justice and Quintessa Masteller, Jace and Ava Masteller, Alainna, William and Jack Joly, Samuel Levi Vakulskas, and Xavier Rosmann; sisters, Ann Pavlovich of Sioux City and Theresa Jackson of Arlington, Texas; and a two special cousins, Em Shuck and Eleanor Nashleanas.

She was preceded in death by her husband, John on May 5, 1999; son-in-law, Phil Masteller; her parents; and two brothers who died as young boys, Andrew and Teddeus.

July 21, 2014 - 11:38 am - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — The first extreme heat wave of the summer is forecast for Iowa this week, with highs in the 90s and the heat indexes in the 100s. With the National Weather service issuing a Heat Advisory, The Iowa thermometer - 102 degreesDepartment of Public Health (IDPH) reminds Iowans even young and healthy individuals can have a heat-related illness if they are active during hot weather.

IDPH Medical Director Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says that sometimes the body’s temperature control system just isn’t enough.  She says that in such cases, a person’s temperature rises rapidly.  Especially when humidity is high, as it is today, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly.

Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, Dr. Quinlisk says the people who are at greatest risk include:

  • People age 65 or older
  • Infants and young children
  • Overweight individuals
  • People who are performing manual labor or exercising outdoors
  • People who have a chronic illness, especially those with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as those for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation.

She says that to protect your health when temperatures and humidity are high, remember to keep cool and use common sense. The following tips are important:

  • Increase fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. The best way to tell you are well-hydrated is if your urine is light yellow. If it gets dark, stop and rehydrate by drinking water immediately.
  • If experiencing a lot of sweating, replace salt and minerals by eating foods like bananas and salty crackers, or drink rehydrating beverages that contain salts such as sports drinks, and special rehydration fluids.
  • Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and wear sunscreen.
  • Wear hats that shade your face such as sun hats, visors, etc.
  • Keep in the shade or air conditioned areas as much as possible.
  • Work slowly if you are not used to working or exercising in heat and humidity. Stop immediately if you get dizzy, nauseated, or feel weak. Go into an air conditioned space and drink cool liquids.
  • Use a buddy system. Watch others for heat-induced illness, since some people may not realize that they are suffering heat-related illnesses and can become confused or lose consciousness.

For more information about preventing heat-related illness, visit http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.asp.

The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls says that after what has been a relatively cool summer so far, we’re heading into a short stretch of more typical July conditions to begin the week.

A heat advisory is in effect until 9 PM this evening.

The Weather Service says temperatures will climb near 90 degrees in areas east of Interstate 29. In areas west of the Interstate 29 corridor, readings may top out in the low to middle 90s, with areas of central South Dakota reaching 100 degrees. These temperatures are expected to slowly fall during the evening hours. The heat, combined with increasing humidity, will produce heat index values between 100 and 105 degrees.

Precautionary/preparedness actions:

A heat advisory means that a period of hot temperatures is expected. Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water. Check up on relatives and neighbors, and do not leave children or pets unattended in vehicles.

To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency, call 9 1 1.

The dangerous heat and humidity will be short-lived, however, as high temperatures mainly in the 80s spread back into the region for Tuesday and Wednesday.

July 18, 2014 - 2:54 pm - Posted in News

Mass/Events Schedule

Saturday July 26

4:30pm Saint Mary

7pm AA Meeting Saint Andrew

Sunday July 27

8:30am Saint Patrick

10:30am Saint Andrew

12:30pm Saint Patrick

Monday July 28 No Mass

Tuesday July 29

8am Saint Andrew

Wednesday July 30

8am Saint Mary

8pm AA Meeting SM

Thursday July 31

8am Saint Andrew

Friday August 1

7:15am Saint Patrick

Saturday August 2

4:30pm Saint Mary

7pm AA Meeting Saint Andrew

Sunday August 3

8:30am Saint Patrick

10:30am Saint Andrew

12:30pm Saint Patrick


July 17, 2014 - 4:49 pm - Posted in Sports

DNR logoSpirit Lake, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff. For current information, contact the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.


West Okoboji Lake

Remember that all walleyes between 17 and 22 inches must be released alive immediately upon catching.  Bluegill – Good: Anglers working deep weed beds have been catching some nice bluegills using small jigs tipped with live bait.  Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers working rock structures have been catching a number of nice yellow perch using small jigs tipped with live bait.

East Okoboji Lake

Remember that all walleyes between 17 and 22 inches must be released alive immediately upon catching.  Walleye – Fair: The catch has been dominated by small walleyes with the occasional angler acceptable size. Boats working the areas around Jingle’s Point and Charlestrom beach have been seeing the most action.  Yellow Bass – Good: Small yellow bass continue to be caught near the spillway with a few nice ones mixed into the fray. Jig heads tipped with shiners should work well.

Big Spirit Lake

Remember that all walleyes between 17 and 22 inches must be released alive immediately upon catching. Northern Pike – Fair: A few pike have been caught by running spinner baits over or near the edge of the major weed lines.  Smallmouth Bass – Good: Jerk baits and jigs tipped with live bait have been producing a few bass near rocky points and other deep water structure.  Largemouth Bass – Good: Fishermen using spinner baits and soft plastics have reported catching bass near docks and other vertical structures.  Walleye – Fair: The catch is dominated by 20-inch walleyes currently with the best action on live baits near weed beds and deep rocky structures.   Black Bullhead – Fair:

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Channel Catfish – Excellent: Angler reports indicate fish being caught on chicken livers, night crawlers, chubs and stink bait.  White Bass – Good: Anglers are catching fish using shiny spoons like Kastmasters.  Walleye – Fair: A few limits of fish have been reported trolling scatter raps.

Little Sioux River (state line to Linn Grove)

Channel Catfish – Good: Chicken liver or cut bait worked near snags and deep pools should produce some nice action right now.

Little Sioux River (Linn Grove to Correctionville)

Water levels are still above normal but falling.  Channel Catfish – Fair: Fish have been caught around brush piles and creek mouths with stink bait.  New brush piles have formed this year so care should be taken if boating.

Sheldon, Iowa — The annual RAGBRAI® bike ride starts on Sunday, July 20th in Rock Valley and heads toward Sheldon on Highway 18. Sheldon will be the designated meeting point that day where riders can meet up with their support vehicles, which will be taking a different route. The routes meet in Sheldon.ragbrai logo

Heidi Brown is one of the Sheldon leaders who are organizing what’s going to happen in Sheldon on Sunday. She tells us most of the activities will be in Sheldon’s City Park.

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

She says there will be quite a variety for the guests.

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

Brown says there will be more than just food vendors.

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

Brown says it should be a lot of fun, but she says that getting around in a car or pickup could be a bit of an issue.

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

Sheldon Emergency Management Director Walt Pruiksma says he has some advice for motorists.

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

Sheldon Police Chief Lyle Bolkema says that traffic on Highway 18 West will be impacted the most, with riders coming in on 18 and leaving town on Country Club Road northbound.

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

Pruiksma says it would be best — if you could — to avoid Highway 18 on Sunday morning.

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

Speaking of church services, several churches have advised us that they will have a different schedule this weekend.

First Christian Reformed Church will have a 9:30 AM Service. Sheldon United Methodist Church will have one Saturday service, at 4 PM. Immanuel Christian Reformed will have a worship service at 8 AM on Sunday. St. Paul Lutheran Church will have their worship service Saturday evening at 5:30. This service will be recorded and broadcast at the normal time on KIWA-FM Sunday morning at 9:00. Parkview Assembly will have their service in the parking lot on Sunday at 9:30 AM. And in Boyden, Boyden First Reformed Church services will be Saturday night at 7:00 PM at the Presbyterian Church in Boyden.

Pruiksma also emphasizes that people should abide by the No Parking signs and barricades in the blocks east, west and south of the city park on Sunday morning. Several of these closed streets will be used for RAGBRAI activities.

The bike route leaves Rock Valley going east on the north side of Rock Valley taking B14 and K42 to get to Highway 18. The riders will then stay on 18 as it makes the one-mile jog on Highway 75 at Perkins. Riders will continue through Hull and Boyden on their way to Sheldon. The map shows riders leaving Sheldon going north, on Country Club Road and then meeting up with Northwest Boulevard and picking up B14, crossing Highway 60, and traveling east for a few miles. Then they’ll find L40 north and A52 east before jogging a mile north on Highway 59. Then they’ll take A48 through Melvin, do a couple more short jogs and end up in May City before they take A34 to Milford and the lakes area to stay the night.

Meanwhile, there are two support vehicle routes.

For those meeting bikers in Sheldon, they will leave Rock Valley southbound on K30. They will meet up with B30 and head east through Carmel. At Highway 75, they’ll head south to Sioux Center. There they’ll pick up B40 westbound and take that through Newkirk and turn north on Highway 60 at Hospers. They will be asked to take either Exit 31, which is the Business 60 exit, or the Country Club Road Exit (Exit 33) at Sheldon. There is no designated meeting point in Sheldon. Each team will make those arrangements individually. The support vehicles will then leave Sheldon on Highway 18 eastbound and turn on Highway 71 northbound in Spencer and travel north to Milford.

For those support vehicles not planning to meet in Sheldon — if they are going to be using the north campgrounds in the Lakes Area, they can take a north route out of Rock Valley. That route takes K30 northbound, and picks up A34 just east of Alvord. From there they follow A34 to near the Lakewood Corner on Highway 75. They’ll take Highway 75 northbound to Rock Rapids, and then take Highway 9 straight through to the Lakes Area.

For more information, click here for our RAGBRAI page.

Click here for the map of activities around City Park.

Click here for the bike map of Sunday’s route.

Click here for the Sunday and Monday support vehicle maps. Note that there is also a north route for support vehicles if they are not meeting their bikers in Sheldon and they are using the north campgrounds in the Lakes area.