June 28, 2016 - 5:12 pm - Posted in News

AccidentGenericSibley, Iowa — A Sibley man was hospitalized, then charged, after crashing a moped in Sibley Saturday afternoon.

According to Osceola County authorities, the accident happened about 2:20 Saturday afternoon when a 2009 Bash moped, owned by Tanya Waggoner of Sibley, and driven by 44-year old Steven Robert Lenderts, also of Sibley, was northbound on 11th Avenue.  Deputies say Lenderts attempted a left turn onto 9th Street.  According to the report, Lenderts leaned the moped too far during the turn, and lost control.  The moped went on it’s side and slid into the intersection, according to authorities.

Deputies say Lenderts was transported to the Osceola Community Hospital by Sibley Ambulance, with what were described as “non-incapacitating” injuries.  The moped sustained an estimated $500 in damage.

As a result of the accident, deputies say Lenderts was charged with Operating While Intoxicated, a Serious Misdemeanor, as well as Failure To Maintain Control, and No Insurance.

June 28, 2016 - 7:40 am - Posted in News

George, Iowa– Another accident in Lyon County has claimed a life — this one of a Sibley man.
The Iowa State Patrol reports that about 3:00 PM on Monday, June 27, 2016, 63-year-old Merle Broesder of Sibley was driving a 1999 Oldsmobile SUV northbound on Larch Avenue, two miles north and three miles east of George.

The report says that the SUV entered the ditch, where it ramped 190th Street and rolled coming to rest in a field. The trooper says the driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

The trooper says another trooper, the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, and the George Fire Department and Rescue Squad assisted at the scene.

June 23, 2016 - 1:58 pm - Posted in News

crimeOsceola County, Iowa — The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in solving a crime that took place sometime Tuesday morning, June 21st.

Osceola County Sheriff Doug Weber says the residential burglary happened sometime between 6:15 and 10:20 Tuesday morning at a rural residence in Osceola County.  Weber says 23 miscellaneous firearms were taken in the burglary, as well as a black 2001 Dodge pickup truck.  Sheriff Weber says the truck was discovered abandoned at the intersection of 170th Street and Jefferson Avenue (Ellsworth blacktop) in Lyon County on Wednesday, June 22nd.

Authorities have offered a $250 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person, or persons, responsible for this crime.  You may submit information to Text-A-Tip at www.sheriffosceolacounty.org or by calling 712-754-2556.

June 22, 2016 - 2:57 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — A fundraising supper is coming up on Friday night in Sibley to raise funds to renovate the swimming pool.
sibley pool dinner
Kim Van Der Sloot with the Sibley Outdoor Aquatic Center- Fill It Up Committee tells us that the original plan was to replace the pool with a new aquatic center, but she says plans have changed a little.

Click for audio
She tells us about the Dinner and Auction planned for Friday night.

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She says tickets for the supper are $25 and are available at The Porch on Main or by calling Van Der Sloot. But you don’t need a ticket to come to the auction portion of the evening.

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Again the dinner and auction is this Friday night at Mulligan’s in Sibley.

June 21, 2016 - 3:58 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — More motions have been filed in the case of a group of Osceola County taxpayers versus Osceola County and the City of Harris — three by the taxpayers group and one by the County and City.
Wind Turbines SVA

The group of taxpayers alleged that — an agreement to use Tax Increment Financing from a group of wind turbines in Osceola County for a waste water project and lagoon in Harris and for improvements to White Avenue — was illegal.

The taxpayer group says that the court’s order denying summary judgement talks about a material fact question regarding Ordinance 47, but they say it makes no mention of Resolution 10-15/16, and they say they are not the same thing. They say the proposed ordinance 47 deals with division of revenue in the TIF district. Meanwhile, the resolution established the Urban Renewal Area (7). They say resolutions don’t need three readings as they become effective upon the first vote, which in this case happened on October 20th, 2015, and their objection was filed within the time allowed, on November 3rd. They want the court to include Resolution 10-15/16 in the decision for summary judgement.

They also filed a motion asking the court for permission to amend the date of their filing to include challenging the October 27, 2015, consideration of Ordinance 47 and the November 10, 2015, consideration of that ordinance and to have the objection filed after the November 10, 2015, reading and adoption.

The plaintiffs also are asking the “expert witness” designation to be removed from the defendants’ witness, John Danos. They say Danos’ expert opinion is “based largely on inadmissible opinions on the legal meaning of Iowa Code Chapter 403—the ultimate issue in the case.”

Osceola County and the City of Harris, the defendants in the case filed a motion that states that the parties have been “undergoing discovery in this matter,” and basically asks to have the full time to do their due diligence.

At this point a trial is scheduled on the case on September 20th, 2016.

For background information on this story, click here.

Northwest Iowa — Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is making tracks across the state, and will be in northwest Iowa soon.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad
The governor’s public schedule says he will be in northwest Iowa on Wednesday (June 22, 2016) and Thursday of this week.

It says he’ll be in Merrill on Wednesday at 2:30 PM to tour Plymouth Energy’s Ethanol Production facility. Then it’s on to Maurice, where the governor will make an appearance at the Western Iowa Dairy Alliance’s June Dairy Month Open House at the Maassen Dairy on Hickory Avenue at 4 PM. At 5 PM, Branstad will visit the new Rock Rapids daycare facility, Kids Club at 304 South Lincoln Street.

The governor’s Thursday schedule has him starting out at the new Osceola Electric Coop Solar Farm near Hawkeye Point on Highway 60 north of Sibley. The governor will tour Sterler Community Solar Park at the corner of Highway 60 and 130th Street at 8 AM. Then it’s on to Sheldon, where Governor Branstad will tour White Wolf Web’s offset and digital printing center at 9:30 AM. At 12:05 PM, he’ll tour The Blooming House in Cherokee; and at 1:30 PM, Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will speak at the Governor’s Volunteer Award recognition ceremony at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake.

June 12, 2016 - 12:03 pm - Posted in News

Sibley,Wind Turbines SVA Iowa — A motion for summary judgement in the case of a group of Osceola County taxpayers versus Osceola County and the City of Harris has been denied.

Court records indicate the plaintiffs’ moved for summary judgement, which is basically a way that one side in a case can win without having to go to trial — if the judge agrees that the facts of the case are not disputable.

The group of taxpayers alleged that — an agreement to use Tax Increment Financing from a group of wind turbines in Osceola County for a waste water project and lagoon in Harris and for improvements to White Avenue — was illegal.

In their motion for summary judgement, they allege that Osceola County and the City of Harris did not enter into a joint agreement before Osceola County established an urban renewal area within the city of Harris’s area of operation. They say that means Osceola County acted without the necessary jurisdiction, or illegally.

The documents say the Harris City Council passed a backdated agreement memorializing a verbal agreement agreed upon in August 2015. The plaintiffs said that’s not allowed.

The plaintiffs alleged that Osceola County’s established Urban Renewal Area 7 is not an “area” and that the inclusion of wind energy conversion property violates the spirit of the Tax Increment Financing law.

They say that the wind energy conversion property was not on the tax rolls at its full assessed value at the time Osceola County established Urban Renewal Area 7. The plaintiffs say that means that the County captured money in the tax increment that has nothing to do with the urban development taking place within the urban renewal area.

They also allege that the wind energy conversion property will receive no economic benefit from projects done in the city of Harris. The plaintiffs say both of these realities violate the entire purpose of TIF.

In a ruling handed down this past Thursday, Judge David Lester said that the law states that the objection to the board’s action “must be filed within 30 days from the time the . . . board . . .exceeded its jurisdiction or otherwise acted illegally.” He says that because it is unclear in the Osceola County Board minutes whether the ordinance in question was ever actually adopted, QUOTE, “[T]he court now concludes that a material factual dispute exists as to when and if the Board ever finally approved and adopted Ordinance 47, which would then start the running of the 30-day deadline for [the] Plaintiffs to file their petition… Therefore, the court is unable to determine based on the record before it whether or not Plaintiffs’ petition was timely filed, and, accordingly, the court concludes that Plaintiffs’ motion [for summary judgement] must be overruled.”

At this point a trial is scheduled on the case on September 20th, 2016.

For background information on this story, click here.

June 10, 2016 - 5:18 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — A tractor was destroyed in a fire on Thursday, June 9, 2016 near Sibley.
Sibley fire logo door
According to Sibley Assistant Fire Chief Dan Bechler, about 1:21 PM, the Sibley Fire Department was called to the report of tractor fire north of 210th Street and Polk Avenue, about a mile east and almost four south of Sibley.

The assistant chief says the fire department saw the tractor fully involved in flame and three or four acres of grass hay on fire as they approached the scene. He says three trucks responded to the call. They used water to fight the tractor fire and water and other tactics to put out the grass fire.

Bechler says there were no injuries reported.

He says the cause of the fire may have been chaff under the hood. He said the driver smelled smoke coming in from behind the dash.

Assistant Chief Bechler says the tractor was a total loss.

He says they used 1,300 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene “for a good hour.”

June 10, 2016 - 1:35 pm - Posted in News

George, Iowa — A 911 call turned into an arrest of a man near George on Wednesday evening, June 8th.
Lyon County Sheriff Car Door 60-8
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 9:30 PM, they received a 911 call in reference to a man who was possibly suicidal.

They say that 55-year-old Jerome Sechser was believed to be armed with weapons in an outbuilding in the 1900 mile of Jay Avenue, which is about two miles north and two west of George.

They say Sechser discharged a weapon and demanded law enforcement leave the property.

At that point, Sheriff Stewart Vander Stoep says the SRT, or Special Response Team was called in. He says that’s a special team from other counties. But Vander Stoep says soon after that, and a few minutes after 10 PM, Sechser put down the weapon and surrendered to deputies on the scene. The Sheriff says Sechser was then taken into custody and was transported to Sanford Rock Rapids Hospital for evaluation.

Sechser was later taken to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office and was charged with intimidation with a dangerous weapon and reckless use of a firearm.

Sheriff Vander Stoep says deputies obtained a search warrant and were able to find only one shotgun in the building.

June 7, 2016 - 2:49 pm - Posted in News

Ocheyedan, Iowa — A pickup was destroyed in a fire on Sunday, June 5, 2016 near Ocheyedan.
Fire Lightbar
According to Ocheyedan Fire Chief Dan Hartwig, about 6:08 PM, the Ocheyedan Fire Department was called to the report of vehicle fire at the Thompson Pits, five miles south of Ocheyedan.

The chief says the fire department saw the pickup was fully engulfed as they approached the scene. He says they used mostly foam to fight the fire, but it was a total loss.

Hartwig says no injuries were reported.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be electrical in nature but he said the damage was so bad it would be hard to tell for sure.

He says that they used 200 gallons of water to fight the fire, plus foam concentrate. and that firefighters were on scene for about forty minutes.