September 30, 2014 - 3:16 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Gordon W. Smith, age 81, of Sheldon, Iowa, passed away on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at Sanford Sheldon Senior Care in Sheldon, Iowa.

Memorial Services will be Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 11:00 A.M. at Parkview Assembly of God. Rev. Ken Snyder officiating. Graveside Services will be Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 10:00 A.M. at Roseland Cemetery in Sanborn, Iowa. Visitation will be Friday, October 3, from 2:00 to 8:00 P.M. with the family present from 6:00 to 7:30 P.M. at the Andringa Funeral Home Sheldon Funeral Service in Sheldon.

Online Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to

The Andringa Funeral Home Sheldon Funeral Service in charge of arrangements for Gordon Smith.

September 29, 2014 - 9:42 am - Posted in Community Calendar

15th Annual Parade of Bands & Dinner will be on Sunday, October 19, 2014

Lunch will be served at the Sibley-Ocheyedan High School from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.  S-O Band Boosters will be catering a meal of Pulled Pork, Cheesy Potatoes, Cole Slaw, Bar/Cookie & Drink. Freewill Offering will be taken;  Minimum Suggested Donation of $5/person

Support your S-O Marching Generals with your donation and by filling the stands!

 Performances begin at 2:00 pm at the Football Field. 6th Grade Band, 7th/8th Grade Band, and High School Marching Band Show “Arabia”.

September 26, 2014 - 4:19 pm - Posted in Community Calendar

Coveris (formerly Exopack) in Sibley is having an Open House, Thursday, Oct. 2 from 4:30-6:00 PM, food provided. If you plan on taking the plant tour, in order to meet food safety requirements, please no sandals, no sleeveless shirts and no jewelry.

Sibley, Iowa — A $7 million urban renewal plan that was to involve wind turbines and economic development projects at a farm, a trucking company, and the old Ocheyedan school has been shelved in Osceola cash bills dollars

According to the plan, the idea was to develop and stimulate economic development through the Endeavor Wind Farm consisting of 60 wind turbines, along with economic development projects at Sunrise Farms and D & K Transportation, and the urban renewal and rehabilitation of the old Ocheyedan School building.

The county intended to use the new tax revenue generated from improvements within the urban renewal area to provide for tax incentives to assist with public improvements and to provide Osceola County with a valuable financing tool in encouraging private development. The plan was to create a Tax Increment Financing district, or TIF.

The plan says that Sunrise Farms is proposing a major expansion of their egg production facility that will cost an estimated $8 million dollars. It says D & K Transportation is proposing a project to add new buildings to the Ocheyedan location. The old Ocheyedan School building is determined to be blighted due to its many structural and aesthetic condition issues, and the money would have gone toward that project as well. Plus, Osceola County had planned to use some of the money to do some road infrastructure work that would have helped both Sunrise Farms and D & K Transportation.

However, critics of the plan said that other taxing entities stood to lose money on the deal. Harris-Lake Park Schools say they would have stood to lose $230,000 per year in taxes redirected due to the TIF. Critics also say that TIF is supposed to be for new projects. They also say that they think the projects would have happened with or without the TIF money.

We talked to Osceola County Board Chair Jayson Vande Hoef and he read from a prepared statement.

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

The public hearing was to have been on Tuesday.

September 25, 2014 - 2:59 pm - Posted in Sports

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 more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.


Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

We have received no information regarding fishing on this water body this week.

Big Spirit Lake

Northern Pike – Fair: Trolling crankbaits and spinner baits will get these aggressive fish interested. Work the outside edges of weed beds for the best action.  Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Smallmouth should start hitting on jerk baits and trolled crankbaits worked near rock piles. Walleye anglers are likely to come across a few of these hard fighters.  Yellow Perch – Good: Anglers are starting to get into a bunch of six inch perch. Folks willing to sort through a considerable amount of small ones will find enough keepers to take home for a meal. Pilkis tipped with wigglers worked near the bull rush beds of Anglers Bay are producing the most keepers this week. Walleye – Fair: Cooler daytime and overnight temperatures have dropped the water temperature on Big Spirit. This shift has started to get fish more active. Recent anglers pulling crankbaits near weed lines and across rocky points have been pulling a number of nice walleyes. The catch is still dominated by slot fish but a few keepers and lots of fun fishing is in store for folks hitting the water. Muskellunge – Good: Many quality fish have been seen in the past week. Big baits worked near weed beds might get you some action right now.

East Okoboji Lake

Yellow Perch – Good: Pilkies tipped with red worms worked near rocky points have been producing a few nice perch. Be prepared to sort some small ones, but anglers can count on keeping some for the freezer. Walleye – Fair: Action has started to pick up with the cooler temperatures in the area. Anglers with the best success are working the edge of weed beds with both live bait rigs and trolling crank baits. Yellow Bass – Good: Weed lines and structures are providing the best action to anglers who use small jigs tipped with live bait. This is a great chance to get some kids on ALOT of fish. Lots of sorting to be done, but a few keepers are mixed in.

Little Spirit Lake

Bullhead – Good: A number of anglers have been targeting these hard fighters in the past week with some success.

West Okoboji Lake

Smallmouth Bass – Fair: The cooler temperatures should have smallmouth moving around rocky points. Troll crankbaits or cast jerk baits to target these fish. Yellow Perch – Fair: Pilkis tipped with red worms or wigglers will get you some action on yellow perch right now. Work the openings in the weed beds with a slip bobber to target some nice keepers.  Walleye – Fair: Cooler temperatures has increased catch rates recently. Crankbaits trolled near outside weed edges and across rocky points have been producing some nice fish. Jigs tipped with shiners drifted across structure will also get you some hook ups. Yellow Bass – Good: Small jigs tipped with wigglers will get you some nice action. Catch rates are very high on small fish, but a few keepers will be mixed into the fray. Great opportunity to get the kids out for some fast action.

September 24, 2014 - 2:56 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines — A new judge will be serving our area.gavel_sxc

Governor Terry Branstad has appointed Patrick H. Tott as a District Court Judge in the Third Judicial District (3B).

Tott, of Sioux City, earned his law degree from Creighton University School of Law and is currently working in private practice and as a judicial magistrate.

District 3 includes Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Dickinson, Emmet, Ida, Lyon, Kossuth, Monona, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Sioux, and Woodbury counties.

Tott fills the vacancy left by Judge D. Scott.

fireOn Tuesday October 7th, the Sibley Fire and rescue will have their annual fundraiser.

This will be a movie at the Max theatre starting at 7 pm. Showing will be Planes: Fire and rescue. They will also have bingo at the Legion hall starting at 7pm also. The fireman will have a raffle for a lap top computer, an IPad and a rocker recliner. Get your tickets from any firemen or you can get your tickets at the city hall.

ambulance 2Thursday October 9th Osceola co EMS will have a “tip” night at Pizza Ranch starting at 4 and going until 9. Come support the Osceola co EMS.

September 24, 2014 - 8:10 am - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Governor’s Office has released some data regarding property tax relief.moneybag

The data from the Iowa Department of Revenue shows that Iowa counties are receiving over $78.3 million in state backfill funding and taxpayers are receiving over $49 million in credits, for a total of roughly $127.3 million, in the 2013 assessment year, as part of the historic property tax reduction bill advocated for by Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds.

The plan includes many benefits. Part of the plan is permanent property tax relief protected by a standing appropriation, that represents the largest tax reduction in Iowa history – $4.4 billion over 10 years. Another part is property tax reduction for all classes of property: agricultural, residential, commercial and industrial, without shift of the tax burden to other classes of property. Changes the school finance formula so that “allowable growth” is replaced by 100% state aid. Finally, commercial and industrial property are being taxed at 95% of assessed value this year, eventually moving to 90% of assessed value next year.

The historic tax reform passage of 2013 received strong bipartisan support. It passed the Iowa Senate 43-6, and the Iowa House 84-13 in May.

State funds, called “backfill” were paid to counties to ensure they did not see a loss in revenue from the property tax reduction. This is permanent relief protected by a standing appropriation.

State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull says that the state has seen an uptick in the economy since 2008 and 2009. He says that the governor and legislature have used this increased revenue and “plowed it back into commercial tax relief.” Feenstra says that it is actually a tax shift when you backfill using other tax money.

The money to pay the backfill comes from the ending balance. It’s unspent money left over at the end of the state fiscal year.

Critics of the deal say this spending is crowding out other priorities for state government and they say with the escalating commitment, the governor may have set the stage for future tax increases; all of which Branstad rejects.

In our area, O’Brien County, state backfill amounted to $230,325.56. State tax credit to taxpayers amounted to $383,546.68, and total tax relief funding to the county was $613,872.24. Sioux County’s backfill was $651,173.77. And credit to taxpayers was $765,007.94, for a total of $1,416,181.71. In Osceola County, the backfill amounted to $148,531.07; individual relief was $158,800.32; for a total of $307,331.39. And in Lyon County, the backfill was $175,878.11; individual relief amounted to $216,668.63; and the total tax relief funding to the county was $392,546.74.

Click here for a pdf file of the figures for the rest of the state.

Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson assisted with this story.

New Ulm, Minnesota — A Sibley man has been arrested on a felony Osceola County warrant in Minnesota.Hand Cuffs sxc

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 32-year-old Craig Ammerman of Sibley was arrested in New Ulm, MN on an outstanding Osceola County Warrant.

They report that Ammerman is charged with Willful Injury Causing Serious Injury, a Class C Felony, as well as Assault Causing Serious Injury, a Class D Felony.

The charges stem from an incident on August 13, 2014. The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office investigated a hit and run accident in Sibley on that date. The investigation led to Ammerman’s home where deputies found evidence that an assault had taken place.

Ammerman is being held in the Osceola County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

September 23, 2014 - 3:00 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Funeral-female1Martha Wilhelms, age 85, of Sibley, Iowa, passed away on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at the Country View Manor in Sibley.

Burial of cremains will be Saturday, October 11 at 2:30 P.M. at Chester City Cemetery in Chester, Nebraska. Visitation will be Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. with the family present in Hebron, Nebraska at Price Funeral Home.

Online Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to

The Andringa Funeral Home of Sibley in charge of arrangements for Martha Wilhelms.