Sibley, Iowa — What started as an ice skating day a few years ago in Sibley has turned into February Follies — a wintertime festival of sorts happening a week from Saturday, on Valentine’s Day.
Ice Skating Girl_sxc
We had a chance to talk with the Sibley Chamber’s Sheryl Peters.  She says among the activities are hockey lessons.


There’s also a fundraiser for the pool, says Peters.

Here’s a list of the activities at this year’s February Follies in Sibley:

  • Ice Skating at central park
  • Broom ball will start at Central Park 8 AM.
  • The American Legion will open at 9 AM for a bake sale and also come to have your pictures taken with Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and friends from the movie, Frozen. All proceeds from both the bake sale and pictures will go toward the new Sibley pool.
  • There will be a Bible Bowl with Bible Trivia.
    • Get a team of 2-5 players and come to Jurgens home improvement building for a game of trivia with the Bible.
  • Chili cook off will be at the American Legion starting at 11 AM until 2 PM.
    • Come taste chili and vote for your favorite. $5 will buy you a cup to taste as much as you would like.
  • At 1 PM there will be a “500” card tournament at the Senior citizens center. Cash prizes.
  • Chess Tournament will take place at the Pizza Ranch starting at noon.
  • The Porch on Main will have a wine tasting and a chocolate tasting.
  • Osceola County Rotary Club Annual Sweetheart Turkey Dinner 11 AM to 1 PM. Tickets available from any Rotary member.
  • Triple A Entertainment will be playing at 11 AM-until 2 PM.
  • Turkey bowling will start at 2 PM and go until 4
  • Hockey lessons will be 2-3 PM.

If you have any questions, you can call the Sibley Chamber at 712-754-3212.

If your browser or device cannot access the audio players above, here are the direct links to the audio sound bytes:
Cut 1
Cut 2

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 - 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.
unemployment
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.

If your browser or device cannot access the audio players above, here are the direct links to the audio sound bytes:
Cut 1
Cut 2
Cut 3
Cut 4
Cut 5
Cut 6

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Farmers Union is asking the Iowa Department of Agriculture to require 48-hour advance notice to neighboring farms before pesticides are applied to row crops.
sprayer pesticide application
In addition the group wants enhanced penalties for pesticide applicators who are identified more than once as the source of pesticide drift. Iowa Farmers Union president Jana Linderman of Cedar Rapids says pesticide drift can destroy organic fruits and vegetables and bee hives, plus it’s a danger to farmers who’ve planted crops like food-grade soybeans.

Linderman cites research by the Practical Farmers of Iowa which found that between 2008 and 2012, less than 20 percent of pesticide applicators were fined after state investigators confirmed cases of pesticide drift had affected specialty crops. The average fine was seven-hundred-16 dollars ($716).

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says over-spray does happen, but it’s not common.

He says there are roughly 400,000 fields in Iowa and most of them get sprayed multiple times in a growing season. He says the Department of Agriculture only gets a handful of complaints every year — most of them accidents — where conditions change or applicators are in too much of a hurry. Northey says issues do occur, and that’s why commercial and private pesticide applicator training courses are required.

The Iowa Farmers Union filed a petition with the Iowa Department of Agriculture in December, asking that the agency adopt new rules for pesticide applicators. The agency has 60 days to respond. In addition to its request of the Iowa Department of Agriculture, the Iowa Farmers Union is asking legislators to pass a bill requiring commercial pesticide applicators to obtain more liability insurance.

Linderman Cut
Northey Cut1
Northey Cut 2

January 21, 2015 - 8:25 am - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — A Minnesota company that makes gun accessories and ammunition is relocating to northwest Iowa. Capital Armament Company is moving from Mendota Heights, a suburb on the southern side of the Twin Cities, to Sibley. Mike Earll, the director of the Osceola County Economic Development Commission, says the company started moving its operations into a rented facility in Sibley on January 5th.
Sibley Water Tower

(as said) “They’re taking some time to get things set up and ready to go and then their hope is to actually be back in production the first part of February or even, if things go well, then end of January here yet,” Earll says.

This fall, the company will move from the temporary space and into a new, eight-thousand-square-foot facility in the Osceola County Industrial Park. Capital Armament makes “specialized ammunition” with “smokeless gunpowder,” according to Earll.


(as said) “What they do is they provide this high-quality ammunition for professional shooting contests as well as for law enforcement personnel and that type of thing,” Earll says.

Six people, including the company’s three owners, will work at the rental facility when it gets up and running within the next few weeks. Within three years, the firm’s owners hope to employ about three dozen people at the facility in Sibley.

Story from Radio Iowa

If your browser or device cannot access the audio players above, here are the direct links to the audio sound bytes:

Cut 1
Cut 2

Sibley, Iowa — Two Sibley residents have been arrested on drug charges — one of them a felony — after a search by Osceola County Deputies.
law-lightbar-blue
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that they arrested 67-year-old Thomas Ray Stewart, and 58-year-old Debra Kay Stewart, both of Sibley on Monday, January 19th, 2015.

Osceola County deputies carried out a search warrant on Second Street Northeast in Sibley on Monday. During the search of the home, deputies found several items of drug paraphernalia, concentrated marijuana wax and marijuana plant material.

Thomas Stewart was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, a serious misdemeanor; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor; Prohibited Acts, an aggravated misdemeanor; and Failure to Affix a Drug Tax Stamp, a class “D” felony. Debra Stewart was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Prohibited Acts.

Both were booked into the Osceola County Jail, and at last report were being held there, Thomas Stewart on a $5000 bond and Debra Stewart on a $2000 bond.

In other news from the Osceola County Sheriff’s office, one of their deputies arrested 57-year-old Randall Dean Bruns of Ashton on Monday, January 19th, 2015. Bruns was allegedly on private property without the owner’s permission. He was charged with trespassing and at last report was being held on a $300 bond.

January 19, 2015 - 2:55 pm - Posted in News

Harris, Iowa — A Milford man has been charged with drug offenses after he was arrested near Harris.
Osceola Sheriff Car 72-2
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 2:20 AM on Sunday morning, January 18, 2015, one of their deputies arrested 21-year-old Brandon Michael Koch of Milford.

The arrest stemmed from a traffic stop on Highway 9 east of Harris.

Koch was charged with the alleged Possession of a Controlled Substance, Marijuana, a Serious Misdemeanor; and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Simple Misdemeanor.

Koch was transported to the Osceola County Jail and was later released on bond.

Northwest Iowa — The economic development organizations in northwest Iowa are teaming up to bring an entrepreneur contest to the area.

Lyon Co. Economic Development Director Steve Simons

Lyon Co. Economic Development Director Steve Simons

The statewide “Dream Big Grow Here” contest is a business grant contest. The contest is an opportunity for Iowans to fulfill their dreams of self-employment or expansion of their current business. The contest allows entrepreneurs the chance to submit their dreams to start or expand a business, then encourage friends, family, and customers to vote for them online. The finalists will present their idea to an audience and judges in a pitch-off event for a chance to win thousands in cash prizes.

Lyon County Economic Development Director Steve Simons tells us about it.

He says the six industry categories include: Pre-revenue, Retail/Wholesale, Hospitality/ Restaurants, Ag/Production, Professional Services, and Manufacturing/Bioscience/ Information Technology. During the voting period, the entrepreneur will recruit others to vote for their entry at www.DreamBigGrowHere.com. Five entries will be selected from each industry category to advance to the statewide contest at the statewide entrepreneurial conference, EntreFest, in Iowa City on May 21, 2015. Each entrepreneur that advances in their industry category will participate in a pitch-off event against the other industry finalists for a chance to win $5,000. The winners of each industry category will then advance to the finals the evening of May 21st for a chance to win the grand prize of $10,000.

If your browser or device cannot access the audio player above, click here for a direct link to the audio file.

More information from Northwest Iowa Planning and Development:

All entrepreneurs advancing to the statewide contest will also have access to the University of Northern Iowa’s Business Concierge services, as well as receive personalized coaching and mentoring from VentureNet Iowa to prepare their pitch.

As an added bonus, the economic development organizations in northwest Iowa will also host a regional Dream Big Grow Here contest in April. This regional contest will allow the top five vote getters in northwest Iowa to refine their pitches, showcase their ideas, and compete in a regional pitch off event for $5,000. Additional details about the regional contest will be announced in March.

Sibley, Iowa — The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports three recent non-injury accidents:
Osceola Sheriff Car 72-2
On January 7, 2015 at 3:04 PM Andy Jon Rahfaldt, 43, of Sibley was driving a 2013 Chevrolet Impala southbound on Olive Avenue or L36, near the northwest corner of Sibley. Jeremy Wade Storm, 37, of George was driving a 2013 Buick Enclave westbound on 170th Street. Rahfaldt attempted to cross 170th Street from the stop sign causing the Storm vehicle to collide with the Rahfaldt vehicle in the left rear with it’s left front. Both vehicles wound up in the ditch in the southwest corner of the intersection. The Rahfaldt vehicle received approximately $9,500 in damage. The Storm Vehicle received approximately $7,500 in damage. Rahfaldt was cited for Failure to Yield.

On January 5, 2015 at 1:00pm Wade Henry VanderSchaaf, 34, of Remsen, IA was driving a 2014 Peterbilt Tractor southbound on Highway 60 behind Jason Lynn Jacobsma, 45, of Sibley, IA who was driving a 2007 International 7300. Due to the blowing snow, VanderSchaaf’s vehicle struck Jacobsma’s vehicle from behind. Both wound up in the west ditch. The Peterbilt landed on it’s side and received approximately $100,000 in damage. The International rolled and landed on it’s wheels and also received approximately $100,000 in damage. Twenty-seven hogs belonging to Texas Farms of Perryton, TX were injured or killed for a total loss of $4,000. VanderSchaaf was cited for Failure to Maintain Control.

On January 2, 2015 at 6:00 PM, Jacob Zajic, 31, of Friend, NE was driving a 2011 Chrysler Town and Country northbound on Highway 60 when three deer ran out onto the roadway. The van struck one of the deer with the right front end. The vehicle received approximately $1,500 in damage. No injuries reported.

Ocheyedan, Iowa — It could have been a lot worse. The Ocheyedan Fire Department was called to the report of a residential fire on Sunday morning.
fire truck generic
Ocheyedan Fire Chief Dan Hartwig says the fire was at 6350 Highway 9, and it was called in about 7:35 on Sunday morning, January 4th. That location is due north of Ocheyedan on Highway 9. Hartwig says they arrived to find fire had damaged a wall of the house. He says the damage was limited to the area around an electrical outlet in the wall.

Hartwig says the damage was only about the size of a basketball, and that the cause of the fire was electrical in nature.

No injuries were reported.

The chief says fire crews were only there for about a half hour.