October 31, 2017 - 3:34 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Lavonne Echter, age 93 of Sibley, IA died Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at Sibley Specialty Care in Sibley.

Funeral service will be 2:00 p.m. Friday, November 3rd at Trinity Lutheran Church of Sibley, IA, with Reverend Barbara Kopperud officiating.

Burial will follow in the Holman Township Cemetery of Sibley.

Visitation will be one hour prior to the service on Friday at the Trinity Lutheran Church of Sibley.

A complete obituary and online registry will be available at: www.jurrensfuneralhome.com

October 31, 2017 - 8:22 am - Posted in Obituaries

Jacob “Jake” P. Roos, age 18, of Ashton, Iowa passed away on Friday, October 27, 2017 near Phillipsburg, Kansas.

His Services will be 10:30 A.M. Saturday, November 4, 2017 at the First Reformed Church in Sheldon, Iowa with Rev. Dave Van Kley officiating.

Burial will be in the Gilman Township Cemetery in Ashton, Iowa.

Visitation will be after 3:00 P.M. Friday, November 3, 2017 with the family present from 5:00 – 7:00 P.M. at the First Reformed Church in Sheldon, Iowa.

In Lieu of flowers Memorials may be directed to: The Jake Roos Memorial Fund.

Arrangements are under the care of the Vander Ploeg Funeral Home; Sheldon, Iowa.

October 31, 2017 - 8:18 am - Posted in Sports

The Siouxland Conference All Conference Volleyball Teams are out with Jadeyn Schutt of MOC-Floyd Valley, Alexis Toering, and Camryn Cleveringa of Sioux Center earning unanimous selections to the first team.

Nichole Lowe of Sibley-Ocheyedan earned honorable mention honors.

1st TEAM

*Jadeyn Schutt –MOC-FV JR
*Alexis Toering –Sioux Center SR
*Camryn Cleveringa –Sioux Center SR
Jordyn Van Maanen –Sioux Center SR
Christina Boogerd –Boyden-Hull SR
Madysn Grotewold –West Lyon JR
Sutton Schlumbohm –Central Lyon SO
Katie Wagner –Sheldon SR
*unanimous selection

2nd Team

Kayla Gerken –George-Little Rock JR
Mia Hoogeveen –West Lyon SR
Mary Margaret Boer –Sheldon JR
Molly Van Klompenburg –MOC-FV SR
Josie Maasdam –MOC-FV SR
Makennah Traver –Sioux Center SO

3rd Team

Audrey Kreun –Boyden-Hull JR
Jordyn Kramer –West Lyon SR
Kiley Metzger –Central Lyon SO
Elle Petersen –Central Lyon JR
Zoe Heemstra –MOC-FV JR
Cassidy Bart –Sheldon JR


Corinne Weise — MOC-FV SR
Julia Storm –George-Little Rock JR
Alyssa Mulder –Sioux Center JR
Faith Henrichs –Central Lyon SR
Nichole Lowe –Sibley Ocheyedan SR
Nicole Johnson –Sheldon SR
Lauren Vande Kamp –West Lyon SR
Grace Wintz Okoboji SR
Britney Rus –Rock Valley SR
Brooke Zylstra Boyden-Hull SO

October 28, 2017 - 9:35 pm - Posted in News

Phillipsburg, Kansas — An Ashton man who had been reported missing, has been found dead as the result of a traffic crash, near Phillipsburg, in northern Kansas.

According to family, the victim was found on Saturday (October 28th). The Kansas Highway Patrol says Jake Roos of Ashton was westbound about 4-miles east of Phillipsburg in a 2013 Ford F350 pickup, pulling a Wilson trailer, when the vehicle went left of center and entered the south ditch, striking a creek embankment and coming to rest facing south in the bottom of the creek. According to family, Roos was 18 years of age.

On Saturday, a plea had gone out via Facebook asking for the public’s help in locating Roos, along with information on the vehicle he was driving. Roos was reportedly en route to Stockton, Kansas to pick up a load of cattle, but never arrived.

October 27, 2017 - 4:10 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Those little amberish-brown plastic bottles full of pills in your medicine cabinet probably need to be tossed out, but you shouldn’t just chuck them in the trash or down the toilet. But hanging onto them is also a bad idea — they could fall into the wrong hands and could be abused.

Those are the two main reasons for Prescription Drug Takeback Days, one of which is this Saturday, October 28th in the US. The Drug Enforcement Administration says that the idea is to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. You can take your pills for disposal to the Lyon County sheriff’s office lobby at 410 South Boone Street in Rock Rapids or the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at 309 Sixth Street in Sibley. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

The two sheriffs’ offices each have a prescription disposal container, available 24/7, plus many area pharmacies accept unwanted prescription drugs as well. Call your local pharmacy to see if they do.

Last April Americans turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds — more than 4,050 tons — of pills. In 2016 the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office collected 37 pounds of unwanted prescriptions and has already collected over 50 pounds in 2017.

DEA officials say that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. They say rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 28 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website.

October 26, 2017 - 11:32 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — Court dates for a former Sibley-Ocheyedan teacher and coach, who is charged with felony sex abuse in an incident that took place in October 2015 — have been pushed back again, this time into 2018.

According to online court records, an attorney for 38-year old Kyle Ewinger entered a written arraignment and plea of Not Guilty in June in Osceola County District Court in Sibley.

Ewinger is charged with Second Degree Sexual Abuse, which is a Class B Felony, in connection with an incident that happened in 2015 at Sibley-Ocheyedan Middle School, where Ewinger was a middle school Social Studies Teacher. Ewinger was allegedly found, by Sibley-Ocheyedan Superintendent Bill Boer, asleep in his classroom with a male student, on Saturday, October 3rd, 2015. At the time, the boy had reportedly denied that anything improper had taken place. Earlier this year, the child allegedly reported that something of a sexual nature had happened. An investigation into the incident by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office led to charges being filed in April 2017.

Ewinger was fired from his teaching and coaching positions with the Sibley-Ocheyedan Community School District on October 15th, 2015.

Ewinger’s attorney, Patrik Parry moved for the case to be continued on Wednesday. The request was granted later in the day by Judge Carl Petersen, who rescheduled Ewinger’s pretrial conference for Friday, March 2nd. The trial, at this point, is scheduled for Tuesday, April 10th.

October 26, 2017 - 11:30 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The vast majority of eligible state and local government workers in bargaining units have voted to retain their union representation. Danny Homan is president of the Iowa local for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees — the AFSCME union.

A new state law requires “recertification” votes before each round of contract talks with public sector workers. Over the past two weeks, members of 436 local bargaining units have voted to remain in their union. State officials say 32 bargaining units will be dissolved as a result of the balloting. Ninety-eight percent of the “locals” represented by the Iowa State Education Association retained the union. The AFSCME union faced recertification votes in 42 bargaining units. One of those 42 units will no longer be represented by AFSCME. Two of the four eligible Carroll County Conservation Board employees voted yes and a third cast a void ballot. Homan, though, is challenging the decision on that ballot.

As a result of this month’s voting, the Service Employees International Union will no longer represent nearly 200 nurses at Broadlawns Hospital in Des Moines. About a third of the 32 bargaining units that will be dissolved were part of the Teamster Union, representing bus drivers, county jail employees and road crews. The Iowa State Education Association will no longer represent teachers in Glidden-Ralston, North Linn and Sigourney School Districts. A majority of teachers who voted in those districts cast ballots to stay in the union, but teachers who did not cast ballots were counted as “no” votes under the new state rules. Iowa State Education Association president Tammy Wawro called that an “unreasonable standard.” Homan, the AFSCME union’s Iowa president, says it’s an unfair hurdle.

More than 28-thousand Iowans cast ballots over the past two weeks in these recertification elections. If their public sector employers negotiate one-year contracts, there’ll be another round of voting like this a year from now.

In our area, union retention elections were held in four school districts, the area education agency, one city, one county, and Northwest Iowa Community College recently.

The Boyden Hull Education Association has 52 employees on the voter list, so they needed 27 to retain their union, and received 42. There were 4 “no” votes.

The George-Little Rock Education Association has 41 employees on the list, so they needed 21, and got 39. There weren’t any “no” votes.

The Harris-Lake Park Education Association has 33 employees on the list, so they needed 17 and got 31. There weren’t any “no” votes cast.

The MOC-Floyd Valley Education Association has 116 employees on the list, so they needed 59, and got 105. Five people cast “no” votes.

The area education agency serving our area — the Northwest AEA — has two unions. The Associate Professional Staff Association has 52 members, so they needed 27 and got 42. There weren’t any “no” votes cast. The Northwest AEA Professional Staff Association has 164 members, so they needed 83 and got 158, with two “no” votes.

Northwest Iowa Community College’s support staff association has 27 members, so they needed 14 votes and got 15, with zero “no” votes. NCC’s Area IV Community College Education Association has 37 employees on the voter list, so they needed 19 and got 33, without any “no” votes.

The City of Orange City’s Iowa Council 61 has 18 employees on the voter list, so they needed 10. All employees voted unanimously to keep the union.

In Osceola County, their Iowa Council 61 for the Sheriff’s Office has 15 members, and all 15 voted to keep their union. Osceola County’s PPME #2003, which represents the County Road Department workers has 16 on the voter list. They only got 4 “yes” votes, so they will NOT be keeping their union.

October 26, 2017 - 11:28 pm - Posted in News

George, Iowa — A Little Rock man and an Algona man were taken to the hospital after an accident in the George, Matlock and Ashton area.

The Iowa State Patrol reports that about 11:35 AM on Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 51-year-old Dean Kruger of Little Rock was driving a 1994 Ford pickup southbound on Log Avenue, five miles east and three south of George. They say 25-year-old Samuel Struecker of Algona was eastbound on 240th Street in a 2005 Mack concrete pumper.

The report says that Kruger appears to have failed to yield to the concrete pumper, resulting in a collision in the intersection. The pumper rolled on its side blocking 240th Street. The pickup came to rest in the southeast corner of the intersection.

The trooper says Kruger was severely injured. The Lyon County Ambulance took him to Sanford Sheldon Hospital. Struecker was taken to Sanford Sheldon Hospital by private vehicle.

The report says it is unknown if either were wearing seatbelts. It says the crash remains under investigation.

October 26, 2017 - 12:22 pm - Posted in Sports

Boone, IA –The Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Board of Control voted to approve
recommendations to adjust classification sizes for the 2018 and 2019 football seasons at Wednesday’s monthly meeting in Boone.

Using recommendations made by the IHSAA’s Classification Committee last month, the Board
unanimously agreed to decrease the current number of schools in Classes 4A, 3A, 2A, and 1A, and raise the enrollment cap for 8-Player programs.

“The classification committee comes in every other year and encompasses superintendents, principals and athletic directors from public and non-public schools along with schools with broad ranging enrollments. Their thoughtfulness and careful examination of the landscape of football in the state of Iowa lead to these recommendations,” said Todd Tharp, assistant director and football administrator for the IHSAA.

The changes will be implemented during the 2018-19 redistricting cycle. Based on six priorities
established by the Classification Committee, class sizes are as follows: the top 42 schools according to the 2017-18 BEDS document will be in 4A, the next 54 schools in 3A, the next 54 schools in 2A, the next 54 schools in 1A, and the remainder of 11-player schools in A.

In the 2016-17 cycle, 4A had 48 schools and the planned sizes of 3A, 2A, and 1A included 56 schools.

The enrollment cap for schools to participate in 8-Player has been raised from 115 to 120 students, per the 2017-18 BEDS listing. There is still no minimum enrollment requirement for 11-player football. These recommendations were made and approved with six priorities in mind, meant to benefit IHSAA football classifications for the next two years and in the future.

1. Improve competitive balance. The potential for more non-district games allows schools to schedule similarly competitive opponents.

2. Revitalize rivalry games. An opportunity to play more non-class and non-district games means
traditional rivalries between schools and communities may stay on the schedule.

3. Reduce non-district travel. Close proximity can increase attendance for home teams and limit travel expenses for road teams and their fans.

4. Potentially increase participation at all levels. More selective schedules may help slow the flow of underclassmen taking the field early in district contests, which can offer a safety and motivational benefit.

5. Trim enrollment gap in Class 4A. Addresses the trend of the state’s largest schools continuing to grow at faster rates than other districts.

6. Maintain six classes for at least two more years. Changes were made to the classification structure, but five 11-player classes and one 8-player class will exist for another redistricting cycle. The Board of Control agreed with the Classification Committee’s assessment that these adjustments would allow the IHSAA and their member schools to address their priorities before planning the next two football seasons, while also monitoring movement and interest at the A and 8-Player levels.

“These changes in classifications will allow schools to continue to evaluate their respective football programs and try and define what needs best fit their program,” Tharp said. “For some programs, the aspect of potentially playing more non-district opponents may lead to creating a more balanced schedule for them, potentially increasing student participation as schools, while others may attempt to challenge themselves with more competitive non-district games.”

The determination of districts per class and postseason qualifying methodology was not made by the
Board or the Committee. The decision will be made in conjunction with the Iowa Football Coaches
Association executive board, the Iowa High School Athletic Directors Association, and the IHSAA, with final recommendations coming from the football advisory committee after district football meetings are held.

“There will be opportunities to evaluate the number of districts and teams in a district,” Tharp said. “Obviously, with 54 teams in Classes 3A, 2A, and 1A, six-team districts will provide for a re-evaluation of the qualifying system and looking at other analytics to determine the qualification system.”

Also affected by the change to the 8-Player enrollment cap: Exceptions for schools attempting to classify for 8-Player football. The Board previously approved two exceptions for schools whose enrollments rose above 115 through the BEDS document. Only Exception No. 1 was kept through voting Wednesday, with the Classification Committee recommending its retention due to the cost of configuring football fields for the 8-Player game.

The first exception, as written: “An 8-Player football school whose current enrollment is 115 or less, and whose enrollment increases above 115 following the 2017 season, will be allowed 8-Player football status for an additional 2 years.”

October 26, 2017 - 12:19 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Michael Fox, age 64 of Ashton, IA died unexpectedly on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD.

Funeral service will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, October 30th at the First Reformed Church in Sibley, IA, with Heath DeJong officiating.

Burial will follow in the Holman Township Cemetery of Sibley.

Visitation will be Sunday, October 29th from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m., with the family present from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Jurrens Funeral Home of Sibley.

A complete obituary and online registry will be available at: www.jurrensfuneralhome.com