June 30, 2017 - 10:23 am - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — A 24-yar old Sibley man faces felony Identity Theft charges following an investigation that began last August.

Osceola County authorities say Reynalso Esteban Martinez Niz was arrested Thursday on an Osceola County warrant for Identity Theft, which is a Class “D” Felony.

Authorities say the investigation leading to the arrest warrant stems from the execution of a search warrant at a Sibley residence this past August, in which Martinez Niz was allegedly found to be in possession of several forged Social Security Cards.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office say Martinez Niz was boooked into the Osceola County Jail, then released after posting a $5-thousand bond.

Sibley, Iowa — A Minnesota man was not injured after his semi-tractor hit a guard rail and barricades near Sibley on Thursday, June 29th.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that at 3:30 am on Thursday, 73-year-old Cullins Lee Roberts of Albert Lea, Minnesota was driving a 2013 Volvo Tractor Trailer registered to McFarland Truck Lines, Inc of Austin, MN southbound in the 2000 mile of Hwy 60 in a construction zone, south of Sibley. According to the report, the left lane was closed with cones, barrels and concrete barricades. Roberts got too far to the right and collided with the guardrail, bounced to the left and collided with the concrete barricades and then entered the ditch colliding with the embankment before reaching the railroad tracks.

The Volvo received $10,000 in damage and the guardrail received $1,000 in damage.

Roberts was issued a citation for Failure to Maintain Control.

No injuries were reported.

June 29, 2017 - 2:08 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Many northwest Iowans are celebrating this Independence Day holiday by shooting off fireworks, the first time that’s been legal in Iowa in more than 80 years.  With the use of these devices, however, comes the potential of injury or fire, if they’re not used properly.

Within the past week at least one fire in the northwest Iowa area has been blamed on the use of fireworks.  Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls says these explosive devices must be used responsibly to avoid causing a fire.

In addition to the fire risk, Chief Huls says there is a danger of injury, as well, when fireworks are used in an irresponsible manner.

Once in a while, a lit firework will fail to go off.  Huls tells us what to do, and NOT to do, if such a situation arises.

He says what you wear is also important in avoiding fireworks-related injuries.

Huls reminds you to keep fireworks away from flammable liquids, structures, and very dry vegetation, and to have a bucket of water handy just in case.

And, of course, he says if your celebration includes alcohol, leave the fireworks to somebody else.

June 29, 2017 - 1:34 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — With the Fourth of July coming up, and with the new Iowa fireworks law having just gone into effect, now is the time to familiarize yourself with the law and how it applies to your Independence Day celebrations.

The state law, as it applies to the discharge of fireworks states that consumer fireworks may only be used between June 1st and July 8th and December 10th through January 3rd. It also limits the hours of use to 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., except that the hours are extended to 11:00 p.m on July 4th, and the Saturdays and Sundays immediately preceding and following July 4th; to 12:30 p.m. on January 1st and 11:00 p.m. on the Saturdays and Sundays immediately preceding and following December 31st. The law also says that you may use fireworks only on your own property or the property of someone who has consented to fireworks being used on their property. There are also several stipulations on the sale of fireworks. Click here for the text of the state law.

Some cities have enacted stricter rules, however. Those that have, generally also mention that no one under the age of 18 may light fireworks unsupervised, fireworks may not be altered, they may not be used by people appearing to be intoxicated or under the influence of a drug or narcotic, and they may not be used in a reckless manner.

In Sheldon, the dates and times of use are both stricter than the state law. Fireworks may be used from June 20th through July 5th and December 17th through January 2nd, between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., except for extended hours until 11:00 p.m. on July 4 and on New Year’s Eve until 12:30 a.m. (January 1st). If you’d like to read the Sheldon Fireworks Ordinance in its entirety, you can do so by CLICKING HERE.

In Orange City, the dates of use are the same as the state law, but the dates with extended times do not include the weekends before and after the holiday, and only include the holiday itself. Orange City’s ordinance also talks about open-flame sky lanterns and that they are prohibited unless the lantern has a tether and is under control. Find a copy of the Orange City Ordinance here.

Use of fireworks is allowed in Sioux Center from June 13 through July 8. The city will follow the state law regarding the times of day during which fireworks are allowed. Information about the Sioux Center ordinance can be found here.

In Sanborn, the fireworks ordinance states that fireworks may be discharged from June 15th through July 8th, and from December 10th through January 3rd. The times of day are the same as the state law, but the dates with extended times do not include the weekends before and after the holiday and only include the holiday itself. Click here for the full Sanborn Ordinance.

In Hartley, city officials say that the city council feels they have not had enough time to review the law and come up with any new policy. We are told that the old fireworks ordinance, which prohibits fireworks in the city limits still technically applies in Hartley.

The situation is similar in Sibley. Jerolyn Huisenga with the City of Sibley says that the Sibley City Council also has not passed any new fireworks ordinance, so the old ordinance remains in effect in Sibley — meaning fireworks will not be allowed in the city limits.

In George, city officials state that their city council also has not passed any new fireworks ordinance. But they stated that the new state law will apply in George, so it is legal to use fireworks in George as long as people follow the state law.

The Rock Rapids City Council has enacted a new fireworks ordinance. Fireworks may be discharged from June 15th through July 8th and December 10th through January 3rd with the same times of day as the state law, except no extended hours are included on the weekends before or after the holidays.  Information about the Rock Rapids ordinance can be found here.

The community pointed to when people ask why fireworks have been banned in Iowa for almost 80 years — is Spencer. And in Spencer, people are still not going to be able to use fireworks. Spencer City Manager Bob Fagen says, “we know what [fireworks] can do for your community.” He says the rules on the use of fireworks will be the same in Spencer as before — only sparklers and snakes will be allowed. Fireworks were prohibited in Iowa a few years after a devastating fire caused by a sparkler being dropped into a fireworks display in Spencer in 1931.

June 29, 2017 - 12:47 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — You may remember that the City of Sibley had been dealing with an odor problem coming from the Iowa Drying and Processing Plant, and that they filed suit against that firm. The firm also filed a counter suit. Well now both suits have been dismissed.

Both civil cases had been scheduled to go to trial on July 18th, 2017.

The original suit was the City of Sibley versus Iowa Drying and Processing regarding what should be done about the smells that many found offensive coming from the plant. A counter suit was also filed by Iowa Drying and Processing against the City of Sibley, requesting that the court not allow Sibley to continue to cite IDP for nuisance violations.

The City of Sibley had been in an ongoing battle to try to get the odor problem fixed so IDP could continue providing jobs for Sibley residents.

IDP received $150,000 in state economic development funds in October 2012 to start their operations.

Available court records do not indicate the reason that the lawsuits were dismissed. Sibley City Administrator Glenn Anderson, Sibley City Attorny Harold Dawson, and IDP officials were unavailable for comment on Thursday afternoon.

However, attorney Daniel DeKoter, who works with Dawson and was involved in the litigation in this case, says that both parties have decided to “let [the matter] sit for now.” He says the plant is still up for sale. DeKoter says the parties felt that it wasn’t worth spending more money to settle an issue that is “pretty much-taken care of.”

June 29, 2017 - 8:14 am - Posted in Sports

Northwest Iowa — Brackets are out for Class 1A and 2A baseball tournament action. Sheldon is in Class 2A District 2 and will open tournament play at Okoboji on Saturday July 8th. The Orabs square off against Emmetsburg in the upper bracket quarterfinals. The winner will meet Estherville Lincoln Central in the semis on Tuesday July 11th at 7:00 pm at Estherville. In the lower bracket it’s Sibley Ocheyedan and host team Okoboji meeting at 7:00. The winner will meet West Lyon in the semis at 5:00 pm on Tuesday also in Estherville.

In Class 2A District 1 Cherokee got the top seed and will host the semifinals. Sioux Center also got a bye into the semis. Quarterfinal games Saturday the 8th will be at Hinton matching Unity and Maple Valley Anthon Oto in the upper bracket. OA-BCIG and Hinton meet in the lower bracket quarterfinal.

In Class 1A District 1 there will be one play in game on Saturday  July 8th as George Little Rock hosts Clay Central Everly at 7pm. The winner will be at top seed West Sioux on Tuesday the 11th.

In Class 1A District 2 Remsen St Mary’s got the top seed. Quarterfinal game are scheduled for Tuesday July 11th.

In Class 1A District 16 Akron Westfield is the top seed and with no play in games the quarterfinals open district play on Tuesday July 11th.

Both MOC Floyd Valley and Boyden Hull Rock Valley are in Class 3A and the brackets have not been released.

For all the 1A and 2A brackets click here

June 28, 2017 - 9:25 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — If the trial happens as scheduled, it will be 16 months before we hear a verdict in the civil case brought against the Sibley-Ocheyedan School District on behalf of a boy who was allegedly sexually abused by a former teacher at the Sibley-Ocheyedan Middle School.

According to court records, the jury trial has been scheduled for September 11th, 2018 at the Osceola County Courthouse in Sibley. It also says that any trial in the case would be expected to last 10 days.

The civil suit alleges that the Sibley-Ocheyedan Community School District was negligent in hiring Kyle Ewinger, the former teacher and coach who is accused of having sexual contact with a student, and that they knew or should have known that Ewinger posed a safety risk to the children entrusted to him.

Judge Carl Petersen notes that a pretrial conference for the civil case has not been scheduled, nor has a settlement conference, but records say that either or both will be held upon the request of the parties or by order of the Court.

Ewinger has also been charged in a criminal case with Second Degree Sexual Abuse in connection with the alleged incident in October, 2015, when Ewinger is alleged to have spent the night in his middle school classroom with a student, and is accused of engaging in sexual activity with the boy. Ewinger has pled not guilty and a pretrial conference is set for September 1st, 2017, with the trial at this point scheduled for October 17th.

June 28, 2017 - 9:44 am - Posted in Sports

Sioux Falls, South Dakota — Todd Heitkamp, the owner of Dakota Angler in Sioux Falls, SD, provides the latest fishing report for the Tri-State area of Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota. Want to know the latest fishing reports for your Fourth of July Holiday Get-Away? Check out the latest Dakota Angler 2-Minute Fishing Report and feel free to share it with your friends!

Northeast South Dakota

Lake Fishing Report
Enemy Swim A few walleyes and perch.
Horseshoe A few walleyes and smallmouth.
Pelican A few walleyes and perch.
Dry Lake #2(By Willow Lake) Walleyes fair to good.
Big Stone Lake Perch fair along with a few walleye.
Poinsett Perch and walleye fair. A few pike.
Lake Hendricks A few walleye.
Bitter Lake Walleye fair. A few perch.
Waubay Walleye and perch fair.
Reetz N/A.
Dry Lake #3 (By Florence) A few walleye..
Pickerel Lake A few walleye, crappie, and perch.
West Oakwood A few perch and walleye.
Swan Lake A few walleye.
Lake Kampeska Walleyes fair.
Piyas A few perch.
Blue Dog Walleyes fair to good.
Lake Cochrane Few reports.
Casey’s Slough A few walleye.
Indian Springs Walleyes fair and a few perch.
Lynn Lake A few walleye.
Dry Lake #1 (Clark/Garden City) A few walleye.
Traverse A few walleyes.
Lake Albert Walleyes fair to good.
Lake Henry Walleyes fair.
Roy Lake Few walleye and smallmouth bass.
Buffalo Few reports.

Southeast South Dakota

Lake Fishing Report
Madison Walleyes fair along with a few crappie and perch.
Vermillion Walleyes fair late afternoon and evening.
Lake Herman A few walleyes.
Wall Lake Walleyes and perch fair.
Lake Alvin Crappie and Walleyes fair, along with a few perch.
Diamond Walleyes fair.
Scott’s Slough N/A
Island A few walleye and perch.
81 Ponds A few walleyes.
George WPA A few walleye.
Twin Lakes (by Montrose) N/A.
Thompson Walleyes fair to good. A few perch and crappie.
Brandt A few walleyes.
Whitewood A few perch.
Spirit Lake (North of De Smet) A few walleyes.
Henry WPA A few walleyes.
Family Park (Western Sioux Falls) A few bluegills, crappie, and pike..
Mitchell A few crappie and perch..
Menno A few walleye.
Beaver A few walleye.
Sinai Walleyes fair along with a few crappie.
Brush A few walleye.
Loss N/A
East Oakwood Walleyes fair.

Northwest Iowa

Lake Fishing Report
Spirit Lake Yellow bass fair to good. Walleyes fair. A few bluegills and crappie..
Silver Lake Walleyes fair to good.
East Okoboji Few walleyes, perch and bluegills.
West Okoboji Bluegills fair; A few perch and walleyes.
Lake Pahoja A few bluegills.

Southwest Minnesota

Lake Fishing Report
Shetek Walleyes fair and a few perch.
Sarah Walleyes fair to good.
Benton Few walleye.
East Twin Walleyes fair.
Round A few walleye.
Okabena Few walleye.

Missouri River

River Fishing Report
Mobridge Fair to good for walleyes.
Pierre Walleye bite is getting better.
Fort Thompson Walleyes fair to good.
Chamberlain Walleyes fair to good.
Platte Walleyes fair to good.
Pickstown Walleyes fair.
Yankton A few walleyes.

Other Rivers

River Fishing Report
James River Slow.
Big Sioux A few cats.
June 26, 2017 - 12:00 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — The Sibley Fire Department was called on Saturday, June 24, 2017 after a passerby reported a fire near Sibley.

According to Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls, about 4:15 PM, the Sibley Fire Department was called to the report of a grass fire on property owned by Jim Janssen, two miles south of Sibley on L40.

The chief says the fire department saw lots of smoke across L40 as they approached the scene. Hulls says the fire was in a pasture lane adjacent to L40. According to Huls, about 200 yards of grass were on fire, and were put out by firefighters. Chief Huls says they were able to keep the fire from reaching a bridge further south.

Huls says no injuries were reported.

He says the cause of the fire is undetermined but may have been caused by a lit cigarette or something of that nature.

Chief Huls reports that damage was limited to the pasture grass and vegetation.

He says they used about 750 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for about a half hour.

Des Moines, Iowa — The Lewis & Clark Regional Water System is one of the top infrastructure priorities on a list that Iowa’s governor has sent to the President.

President Trump is pushing Congress to pass a spending plan to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure. Trump asked each governor to submit a list of their top five infrastructure priorities.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has put three water-related projects on her list. “Modernization” of the Upper Mississippi River Locks and Dams is at the top.

Number two on Reynolds list is the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System. When complete, it will provide drinking water to 300-thousand residents in northwest Iowa, southwest Minnesota and southeast South Dakota. Lewis & Clark was incorporated in 1990. Ten years later in 2000, the project was authorized. While the member communities and water systems have paid their share, the federal government has been slow to keep up their end of the bargain, according to Lewis & Clark Executive Director Troy Larson. The estimated cost to complete the system is over $580 million. While cities and systems are slowly being connected, the system has yet to reach Sioux Center, Hull, Sheldon, and Sibley in Iowa; Worthington, Minnesota; and Madison, South Dakota. Rock Rapids is the only system in Iowa that’s connected in any way so far.

Number three on Reynolds’ list is the Cedar Rapids Flood Mitigation Project. Reynolds also lists reconstruction of the interchange in the Iowa City area where Interstate 80 and Interstate 380 intersect as number four. The fifth project on the governor’s priority list is the expansion of the terminal at the Des Moines Airport.