March 14, 2018 - 2:10 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The Sibley Acquatic Center ad the Sioux County Nature Center at Hawarden are two of the three projects that have been awarded Community Attraction and Tourism, or CAT, Grants by the Enhance Iowa Board.

According to a release from the Enhance Iowa Board, the Sibley Acquatic Center received a CAT grant in the amount of $250-thousand, the exact amount the group had asked Enhance Iowa to provide. That money will go toward the $2,568,488 required to complete the project, which includes the rehabilitation and expansion of Sibley’s existing swimming pool. The aquatic center will feature a new splash pad, zero-depth entry, water play structures, water bench, sunshades, a water therapy seat, volleyball net, lap lanes, log roll, climbing wall, a drop slide into the pool, and three-quarter-meter diving stand. The project also includes the complete remodel, rehabilitation and reuse of existing pool facilities like parking, concession stand, and bathhouse, and replacement of the existing clubhouse with a new facility that will host community celebrations, meetings and special events.

The Sioux County Nature Center at Hawarden received the $600-thousand grant they had applied for, which will go toward the $4,269,318 cost of the new two-story nature center at Oak Groves Park. The nature center will provide office space for conservation staff, exhibit spaces and classrooms for educational programming.

The CAT Grants were announced during Wednesday’s (March 14th) meeting of the Enhance Iowa Board.

The Enhance Iowa Program provides financial incentives to communities for the construction of recreational, cultural, educational or entertainment facilities that enhance the quality of life in Iowa. To date, 31 CAT awards have been granted by the board, totaling $10,808,802. The next Enhance Iowa Board meeting is scheduled for April 11, 2018, in Sheldon.

March 13, 2018 - 1:13 pm - Posted in News

Little Rock, Iowa — A Harrisburg, SD teen was taken to a hospital after a crash east of Little Rock on Saturday morning, March 10th, 2018.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 11:10 a.m., 16-year-old Violet Rose Den Hoed of Harrisburg, SD was driving a 2011 Dodge Avenger eastbound on Highway 9 near the Osceola/Lyon County line. They report that 67-year-old David Marvin Amendt of Sutherland was driving westbound on 9 in a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta.

According to the deputy’s report, Amendt lost control of his vehicle, which started to spin into the eastbound lane. Den Hoed attempted to avoid the Amendt vehicle but they ended up colliding in the middle of the roadway.

The Den Hoed Avenger broadsided the Jetta as Amendt attempted to regain control of the vehicle. The Amendt Jetta entered the north ditch and the Den Hoed Avenger was left disabled in the middle of the roadway.

The Little Rock Ambulance took Den Hoed to the Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley.

The Sheriff’s Office says Den Hoed’s Avenger received about $6,000 in damage and Amendt’s Jetta received about $5,000 in damage.

Amendt was not injured and was cited on a charge of Failure to Maintain Control.

March 9, 2018 - 3:28 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Have you noticed that the sun is coming up earlier in the morning and staying up later at night? The longer days are a sure sign that spring is on the way. The days are about to seem even longer at sunset, however.

Daylight Saving Time returns at 2:00 a.m. this Sunday morning, March 11th. You’ll have to turn your clocks AHEAD one hour if you don’t want to be an hour late for church on Sunday morning.

Daylight Saving Time is 100 years old this year. The law authorizing Daylight Saving Time was signed into law on March 15th, 1918 with the Calder Act, which was implemented to help conserve fuel during WWI. It’s been modified several times, including year-round “War Time” during WWII. The latest modification happened 11 years ago. While it was called the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and extended Daylight Saving Time by four weeks, it actually didn’t take effect until 2007.

Fire safety experts remind us that as long as you’re going around your house changing clocks, you might as well take some batteries with you on your journey around the house and change out your smoke alarm batteries as well.

Fire safety experts say that not only should you have smoke alarms installed on every floor of your home but in every bedroom as well. The U.S. Fire Administration says that you should change the batteries at least every year unless the alarms are over ten years old. If that’s the case, the whole alarm should be replaced.

March 9, 2018 - 3:22 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — The case against a Bigelow, Minnesota man who faced a serious felony drug delivery charge — has been dismissed.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that one of their deputies arrested 45-year-old Raul Flores Marin of Bigelow on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, on a charge of Possession with Intent to Deliver More Than Five Grams of Methamphetamine, a Class B Felony; and Carrying Weapons, an Aggravated Misdemeanor. Class B felonies are the second-most serious crimes in Iowa and Iowa code says the penalty for such crimes is 25 years in prison.

They say the arrest stemmed from the report of a suspicious vehicle at a rural home, which resulted in a traffic stop at 190th Street and Nettle Avenue, a mile south and two west of Sibley.

Osceola County Attorney Nolan McGowan recently moved to dismiss the case. Judge David Lester granted the motion, and the case was dismissed.

We asked McGowan about the case but he stated that his office does not comment “on pending litigation.”

Tea, South Dakota — The Lewis & Clark Regional Water System, which was organized in the mid-1990’s, continues to deal with slow funding from Washington. Officials with the system say that the local communities and water systems paid their share several years ago, but the federal government continues to be slow to pay what they’ve promised, so other arrangements continue to be worked out.

We had a chance to talk to Lewis & Clark Executive Director Troy Larson, and he tells us what’s next on the construction schedule.

Larson says that the Sibley stub also branches off of the Adrian to Worthington line, so it’s good news for Sibley as well.

As far as the line coming from South Dakota and going to Sioux Center, Hull, and Sheldon, Larson tells us some changes have been made as to what sections of the system get built first. He says they’re no longer going to do the Big Sioux River crossing first.

So instead of doing the Big Sioux River crossing first on that line, they’re planning to do it last on that list. Larson says that once Sioux Center is connected, it’s just a matter of opening a valve and Hull will be connected as well, as that segment was installed years ago to let Hull buy water from Sioux Center.

After that, the pipeline will be laid from Hull to Sheldon. But Sheldon won’t actually be the last Iowa community connected, says Larson. He says the line from Minnesota to Sibley is scheduled to be constructed after the Sheldon line.

Finally, he says they’ll connect to Madison, South Dakota. That community is already receiving Lewis & Clark water through a wheeling agreement with another system, but ultimately Larson says Lewis & Clark will run a line to Madison as well as the finale to the project.

Of course, the timeline for the construction of each segment is dependent on the timeliness of the funding.

March 8, 2018 - 4:52 pm - Posted in News

Josh Harms

Sibley, Iowa (Radio Iowa) — The A-C-L-U of Iowa has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Sibley web developer after city officials threatened a lawsuit for his criticism of their handling of a smelly situation.

Josh Harms create the website “Should You Move to Sibley, Iowa?” which is critical of the way the city has handled odors created by the Iowa Drying and Processing company. A-C-L-U Legal Director, Rita Bettis, says the website was up for a couple of years before an attorney sent Harms a letter threatening him.

She says Harms created a website in 2015 and didn’t hear anything until 2017 when the city threatened him if he didn’t alter the site or take it down. Bettis says he at first altered the website out of fear of a lawsuit, but kept up the complaints as the city’s efforts to improve the smell weren’t effective.

She says the city tried to keep Harms from exercising his right to criticize its actions. That included being told by the city attorney that he shouldn’t talk to a local reporter about the issue.

Bettis says they’ve asked the court for a temporary injunction against any legal action by the city.

Bettis says they have not yet decided on an amount they will ask for punitive damages. She says there’s no excuse for the Sibley government to try and silence a critic.

Iowa Drying and Processing began operating in the town of Sibley about five years ago.


March 7, 2018 - 12:55 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — A Spirit Lake woman has been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide after a June 2017 crash near Sibley that killed a Spirit Lake man and a five-year-old boy.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reported that about 10:50 a.m. on Saturday morning, June 10th, 2017, 48-year-old Travis Mier of Spirit Lake was driving a 2001 Toyota westbound on Highway 9, near Nettle Avenue. That’s about three and a quarter miles northwest of Sibley or three and a half miles east of Little Rock. They report that 48-year-old Ann Marie Vanderpool of Milford was eastbound on 9 in a 2012 Chevy and that the vehicles collided head-on.

Mier and a passenger in his vehicle, 5-year-old Elliot Mier were taken to the Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley, where Travis Mier was later pronounced dead. A helicopter later took Elliot Mier to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD, where he was pronounced dead.

Vanderpool was taken to Sanford Rock Rapids Hospital. Her injuries were termed “serious,” but “non-life threatening.”

Vanderpool has now been charged by the Iowa State Patrol with two counts of vehicular homicide, which is a class B felony. According to court records, Vanderpool has been accused of crossing the centerline and striking the Mier vehicle in Mier’s lane of travel. The document says that Vanderpool gave a consensual blood sample at the hospital, which the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation tested and the result was a blood alcohol level of 0.145g/dL.

A preliminary hearing had been set for March 15th, but court records indicate it has been waived. No further court dates have yet been set.

March 6, 2018 - 5:53 pm - Posted in News

Ashton, Iowa– A corn crib and some farm equipment were destroyed in a fire on Monday, March 5, 2018, near Ritter.

According to Ashton Fire Chief Andy Gacke, about 3:45 p.m., the Ashton Fire Department was called to the report of a structure fire at 2658 Oak Hill Avenue, two miles east of Ritter and a mile and a half north.

The chief says the fire department saw the older corn crib building had burned down to the ground as they approached the scene. He says they put out the fire in some nearby farm equipment, including two trailers and an auger.

Gacke says no injuries were reported.

He says the occupant told him that they had a lightning strike nearby that morning that caused some electrical malfunctions, and it is thought that was the cause of the fire as well.

Chief Gacke reports that there was probably around $75,000 in damage.

He says they used about 800 gallons of water to fight the fire, and the eight firefighters who responded were on scene for about two hours.

March 5, 2018 - 11:33 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — If you haven’t paid them yet, you have about four weeks left to pay the final installment of 2017-18 property taxes in Iowa without having to pay a penalty.

If you own real estate you’re required to pay half-a-year’s taxes on that real estate every six months. Or you can elect to pay the full year’s taxes in one payment. The spring payment was actually due on March 1st but may be paid without penalty by April 2nd. Normally the deadline is the last day of the month, but this time March 31st falls on a Saturday, so you get until Monday, April 2nd to pay this time.

The County Treasurers in northwest Iowa remind you that there are three different ways to pay your taxes. you can choose to pay your taxes online, at You can go to your County Treasurer’s Office and pay them in person, or you can mail your check to your County Treasurer’s Office. If you go to your Treasurer’s Office, or if you mail your tax payment, be the proper stub accompanies your payment. And remember, if you mail your payment, it MUST BE postmarked on or before April 2nd to avoid a penalty.

If you pay online, you will still need your stub or receipt from last fall because the online site asks for the receipt number. Also, paying online requires the payment of a convenience fee. If you pay by credit card, the treasurer’s offices say that the fee is 2.25% of your tax payment plus $1.50. But if you pay with an e-check, the entire fee is only $0.40.

The County Treasurer’s Offices in the four-county area are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

March 2, 2018 - 6:01 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — Daffodils are one of the first flowers of spring and represent hope. That’s why they’ve been popular with those who support the American Cancer Society. In O’Brien County, daffodil sales have wrapped up and they will be available for pick-up on Tuesday, March 13th at Cook’s Cafe. But in Osceola County, they’re just getting their daffodil sales underway.

In Osceola County, daffodil sales are a fundraiser for Osceola Community Hospital’s “Team Hope” Relay For Life Team. Becky Krogman says that years ago when the American Cancer Society sponsored “Daffodil Days,” the hospital was the pickup point for the flowers. She says “Team Hope” decided to continue the tradition.

She says while there may be daffodils left over for you to purchase the day of the event, they’d like you to pre-order your daffodils.

The number at the hospital is 712-754-2574, and again you can ask for extension 216 or 316 to pre-order your daffodils, and you need to do that by Friday, March 9th. Also, she says if you don’t pre-order, it would be a good idea to call ahead on March 14th and see if they have any left if you’re just going to show up that day. Again, they’re $10 for a bunch of 10.

She says the symbolism of daffodils is pretty amazing.

She says money raised through Relay For Life in Iowa goes to the University of Iowa for research to find cures for cancer, to the Navigator program, which is a 24/7 support hotline, and to “Hope Lodges,” which give cancer patients and their caregivers a place to say while the patient is receiving treatment. There is a Hope Lodge in Iowa City, and Krogman says they are building more all the time.

Osceola County’s Relay for Life in 2018 will be Friday, August 3rd at the Sibley-Ocheyedan School.