The 2015 KIWA / Northwest Iowa Community College, Iowa Workforce Development Job Fair is coming to NCC on Wednesday, March 18th.

Businesses, now is the time to reserve your space for this large Job Fair event.

For more information, call NCC at 800-352-4907.  To register your business, click here.

January 30, 2015 - 1:37 pm - Posted in Community Calendar

ElderbridgeElderbridge Agency on Aging will hold a public hearing to obtain comments and input from citizens in regard to the Elderbridge Agency Plan for State Fiscal Year 2016-2017.

The hearing is scheduled to take place at 1:00 p.m. on March 4, 2015 at the Fort Dodge office of Elderbridge Agency on Aging located at 308 Central Avenue, Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Any Iowa resident in the 29 counties in the Elderbridge service area is encouraged to take part. Those counties are Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Mitchell, Worth, Winnebago, Hancock, Franklin, Wright, Kossuth, Humboldt, Webster, Hamilton, Greene, Guthrie, Emmet, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Calhoun, Dickinson, Clay, Buena Vista, Sac, Carroll, Audubon, Crawford, Osceola, O’Brien, Lyon and Sioux.
For more information or to obtain a copy of the 2016-2017 Elderbridge Area plan please call Doug Merbach at 641-424-0678 extension 7079 or e-mail

January 30, 2015 - 12:53 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Frederick “Fritz” Ommen, age 72 of Sibley, IA died Thursday, January 29, 2015 at Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, SD.

Funeral service will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Sibley, with Reverend Barb Kopperud officiating.

Burial will follow in the Holman Township Cemetery in Sibley, IA.

Visitation will be Monday, February 2nd from 2-8 p.m. with the family present from 6-8 p.m. at the Jurrens Funeral Home of Sibley.

An online registry and full obituary will be at:

January 30, 2015 - 9:38 am - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office has made a couple of recent arrests.
Osceola Sheriff Car 72-2
A Sibley man was arrested this week on a warrant for harassment and trespassing charges.

The Oscoela County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 they arrested 59-year-old Joel Michael Kruger of Sibley on an outstanding warrant on charges of Harassment and Trespassing, both Simple Misdemeanors. The Sheriff’s Office says Kruger allegedly entered a residence in Sibley and began yelling at the victim.  He was booked into the Osceola County Jail and released after posting $300 bond.

A Sibley woman was arrested this week on charges related to a domestic situation.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Sunday, January 25, 2015, they arrested 61-year-old Marita Elsa Buckalew of Sibley on a charge of Domestic Abuse, a Simple Misdemeanor.  The Sheriff’s Office says Buckalew allegedly assaulted a male at a residence in Sibley.  She was booked into the jail and released after posting a $300 bond.

January 29, 2015 - 3:16 pm - Posted in Sports

Northwest Iowa — It’s a limited sports schedule for Thursday but the marquis match up in girls basketball should be a great one. Sioux Center ranked third in the 3A poll plays host to Unity Christian the top ranked team in Class 2A.


Basketball Doubleheaders

Unity at Sioux Center

G-LR at Clay Central Everly

HMS at Boyden Hull



Spirit Lake at Okoboji

January 29, 2015 - 3:04 pm - Posted in Sports

Northwest Iowa — In the latest Iowa Girls Basketball Rankings, Northwest Iowa remains well represented. In Class 3A, Sioux Center remains in the third position, while Spirit Lake drops 3 spots to #8, and Cherokee jumps into the rankings at #13 with a 10-6 record.

In Class 2A, Unity and Western are still 1 and 2. Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn leaps  to the 12 spot while Hinton remains at 13, while Okoboji falls out of the rankings.

In Class 1A, nothing changed from the prior week with George-Little Rock at #11, Marcus-Meriden- Cleghorn remaining at 14, and Central Lyon at the 15 spot.

Class 5A 

School Record LW
1 Waukee 15-1 1
2 Dowling Catholic 13-2 2
3 Southeast Polk 13-3 4
4 West Des Moines Valley 15-1 5
5 Iowa City West 15-1 3
6 Ankeny Centennial 10-5 6
7 Iowa City High 12-4 9
8 Cedar Rapids Kennedy 12-5 10
9 Pleasant Valley 11-4 NR
10 Johnston 9-6 8

Dropped Out: Cedar Falls (7)

Class 4A

School Record LW
1 Harlan 15-0 1
2 Western Dubuque 16-0 2
3 Carlisle 15-1 3
4 Ballard 15-1 4
5 Waverly-Shell Rock 17-0 6
6 Sioux City Bishop Heelan 12-2 8
7 Perry 12-4 5
8 Davenport North 14-2 7
9 Cedar Rapids Xavier 12-5 10
10 Indianola 12-4 10
11 Pella 13-2 12
12 North Scott 12-4 9
13 Marion 13-4 15
14 Mount Pleasant 12-3 NR
15 Dallas Center-Grimes 11-5 13

Dropped Out: Lewis Central (14)

 Class 3A

School Record LW
1 Mediapolis 16-0 1
2 Pocahontas Area 14-1 2
3 Sioux Center 15-1 3
4 Osage 18-0 6
5 Hampton-Dumont 14-1 7
6 Crestwood 13-2 8
7 Shenandoah 13-3 10
8 Spirit Lake 10-5 5
9 Center Point-Urbana 13-4 12
10 Kuemper Catholic 11-4 9
11 Nevada 14-3 4
12 Red Oak 13-4 11
13 Cherokee 10-6 NR
14 Clear Lake 9-5 13
15 Saydel 13-3 NR

Dropped Out: Gilbert (14), PCM (15)

Class 2A

School Record LW
1 Unity Christian 15-0 1
2 Western Christian 14-2 2
3 North-Linn 17-1 3
4 South Central Calhoun 15-1 4
5 IKM-Manning 15-1 5
6 Dike-New Hartford 14-2 6
7 Panorama 15-2 7
8 Manson-NW Webster 13-2 10
9 Des Moines Christian 13-4 11
10 Cascade 15-2 8
11 Iowa City Regina 14-2 9
12 Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn 14-2 15
13 Hinton 14-2 13
14 Pekin 14-2 NR
15 Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto 14-4 12

Dropped Out: Okoboji (14)

Class 1A

School Record LW
1 Burlington Notre Dame 16-0 1
2 Colo-Nesco 16-0 2
3 Kingsley-Pierson 17-0 3
4 Fremont-Mills 16-0 4
5 Exira-EHK 17-0 5
6 Lynnville-Sully 17-0 6
7 Newell-Fonda 13-3 7
8 Grand View Christian 15-1 8
9 Bedford 14-2 9
10 Turkey Valley 17-1 10
11 George-Little Rock 12-3 11
12 Springville 14-2 12
13 Janesville 16-1 13
14 Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn 13-3 14
15 Central Lyon 12-5 15

Dropped Out: None

January 29, 2015 - 2:48 pm - Posted in Sports

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




West Okoboji Lake

Yellow Perch – Good: Millers Bay is still presenting a quality bite for those who want to brave the wind and cold. These perch are being caught in 20 plus feet of water, size ranges from 7-10 inch. Anglers are having success using small jigs and wax worms. Fishermen are using jigging raps when the bite gets slow to bring fish back in. Most bays have been seeing an increase in perch activity with the warm weather coming. Crappie – Fair: Around 12:30 crappie move into the shallows of Millers suspending in about 7 feet of water. Working jigs high in the water column has led to success on multiple occasions for some anglers. Emerson has been seeing few of these crappies but they are beginning to school up in the deeper waters later in the afternoon. Right before dark these fish are beginning to show up in both Emerson and Millers. Bluegill – Good: Gills of nice size are being caught on the weed lines of Emerson and Millers Bay. Slow falls and light jigging brings these fish in. Fish weed lines in less than 10 feet of water.


East Okoboji Lake

Yellow Perch – Good: As the weather warms up perch activity has been increasing. Fish are being seen in the 20-25 feet range in various bays. Gold jigs tipped with wax worms are presenting the most success.


Big Spirit Lake

Ice conditions are variable with the snow being on the ice. Vehicle traffic is not advised. Ice reports are as thick as 17 inches in places with no snow cover and as thin as 9 inches where there was snow cover.  Yellow Perch – Fair: Some quality perch are being caught on the south end near the pump house, and along the north end near Anglers Bay. Size varies from 7-10 inch fish. On the south side of Big Stoney in 14 feet of water a consistent perch bite has been occurring for a couple weeks now. Anglers report catching 10 inch perch. Walleye – Fair: Walleyes are being caught north of the pump house in 25 feet of water, also off Big Stoney many over the slot walleyes are being caught as well. Fisherman are using minnow head tipped jigs, also proving to catch fish is spoons tipped with minnow. The walleye bite has slowed down during the day; the night bite has been more consistent.


Silver Lake (Dickinson)

Thin ice signs have been placed around the open water; ice conditions are variable with bad ice being present in places. Ice conditions around the open water are variable with the thickest ice being around 15-16 inches. The south end of open water has some ice at only 5 inches.


Center Lake

Thin ice signs have been placed around open water. Outside the thin ice signs ice conditions showed ice conditions in the 12-15 inch range. Bluegill – Fair: Fishermen are having varied success with bluegills, catching them on the south end and near the middle. Fish are being caught using tungsten to get through the smaller fish and get down deep to the larger gills.


Ingham Lake

Thin ice signs have been placed around open water. Ice depths around open water show ice being as thick as 11 inches outside of the thin ice signs.


Five Island Lake

Walleye – Slow: The walleye bite at Five Island has really picked up and fish are being caught in dredge holes, and in Town Bay. Fish ranging in the 14-20 inch range are being caught. Yellow Perch – Fair: Yellow perch are being caught in the deeper holes along with the walleye. Perch are ranging from 8-11 inches.


Scharnberg Pond

On January 31st Scharnberg Pond will be stocked with trout at noon.  Rainbow Trout – Fair: Working jigs right below the ice to catch these schooling trout.

January 29, 2015 - 2:02 am - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa unemployment rate is down, and while unemployment is up just a little in Lyon County, it’s still the county with the lowest unemployment in the state.
The state unemployment rate dropped down in December, and a spokesperson for Iowa Workforce Development says the state is getting close to “full employment.” I-W-D spokesperson, Kerry Koonce, says the December unemployment rate hit four-point-one percent, compared to four-point-three percent in November.

(as she says)”Four-point-one percent is actually the lowest rate we’ve had since June of 2008. The national rate is still standing at five-point-six percent for December,” Koonce says.

She says the national experts believe Iowa is getting close to what’s called full employment, or the percentage of the labor market that is able to find a job if they want a job.

(as she says)”It’s between three-and-half and four percent for Iowa, closer to the four percent,” Koonce says. “It used be closer to the three, three-and-a-half, but as the economy has changed over the years, they say the full employment for Iowa falls in that three-and-a-half to four percent range.”

It is the third straight month that the unemployment rate has dropped.

(as she says)”What we’ve seen is we’ve seen a decrease in the number of people who are unemployed, plus a continued increase in the size of our labor force couple with adding 21-hundred jobs to the economy in the month of December, that’s what allows us to bring that rate down continually,” Koonce explains.

She takes about the areas where the state gained jobs.

(as she says)”A large portion of the jobs were in manufacturing — that was 16-hundred of them — another 500 still in construction, plus we saw 15-hundred in business and professional services, and 600 of those were also in what we call other services, which is kind of a combined category,” Koonce says.

The state lost one thousand jobs in the trade and transportation area, which Koonce says included the retail sector.

(as she says)”You saw a lot of people leave at the end of the holiday season, plus the retail trade is just seeing a lot more people move to on-line shopping, so that just decreases the numbers they need in the actual stores,” she says.

Local and state government saw the loss of 900 jobs in the month, but she says but many of these losses were seasonal transitions and should be recovered in January. Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer, Deere and Company, announced the layoff of 900 workers last week. Koonce says that won’t have an immediate impact on next month’s unemployment numbers.

(as she says)”We’ll see it in the job numbers, but it may be kind of a slow progression. And that’s because the layoffs are spread out over three to four months with John Deere,” Koonce explains. “So they won’t be completed until the end of April, so it would be our May report which is for April numbers, when all of that would have taken effect. But if it’s spread out over several months it will be a small decline, you are not going to see a sudden drop of 900 all at once.”

Koonce says Iowa Workforce Development already is responding to help the Deere workers as they face the layoffs. I-W-D says the total number of working Iowans reached a current-year peak of one-million-642-thousand-900 in December. This figure is 31-hundred higher than November and 38-thousand-100 higher than one year ago.

Lyon County is the county with the lowest unemployment rate in the state for December at 2.1 percent. That is up a little from November when it was 1.9. Sioux County is number eight on the list with 2.9 percent, also up slightly since November, when it was 2.3. Plymouth County is 13th, with 3.1 percent. O’Brien is 23rd, with 3.6 percent unemployment in December, up from 2.9 in November. Clay is 25th with 3.7 percent. Osceola is 46th with 4.0 percent unemployment, up from 3.1 percent in November.

We should mention that the state figures are seasonally-adjusted, while the county figures are not adjusted for seasonal layoffs.

Find the full list by clicking here.

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January 28, 2015 - 5:04 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Jeanette (Delores)  Swenson, age 82, of Ocheyedan, Iowa, passed away on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at the Country View Manor in Sibley, Iowa.

Funeral Services will be Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 1:30 P.M. at the United Methodist Church in Ocheyedan, Iowa. Rev. Shannon Pascual officiating.  Burial to follow at Ocheyedan Township Cemetery in Ocheyedan.

Visitation will be Friday, January 30, from 2:00 to 8:00 P.M. with the family present from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. at the Andringa Funeral Chapel in Ocheyedan.

Online Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to

The Andringa Funeral Home of Sibley and Ocheyedan in charge of arrangements for Jeanette Swenson.

Fly Tying Class

February 9th and 23rd at 7pm at Willow Creek County Park. Open to anyone 12 and up. Learn the basics of fly tying. You will learn the basic tools, materials, and techniques needed for basic fly tying. Everything you will need will be supplied. Class will be two nights. February 9 and February 23. First night we will learn basic techniques, tools, and materials, and tie two different patterns. Second night will review and tie a couple more patterns. Please call the Osceola County Conservation office to sign up (712) 758-3709. Cost is $5 for materials.