musicSpirit Lake, Iowa — Two KIWA listening area high school jazz bands were among eight bands competing in the Iowa High School Music Association Jazz Festival in Spirit Lake Monday, and both came away from the contest with a Division One, Superior, rating.

The jazz bands from Sibley-Ocheyedan and South O’Brien High Schools each received the Division One rating from the contest’s three-judge panel.  The jazz bands were evaluated on jazz band ensemble characteristics of tone quality, blend, rhythmic feel, interpretation, precision, musicianship, solo improvisation and balance.  Following the judged performance, each band had a clinic with the judges where they received additional suggestions to improve their playing.  Each band is rated according to Iowa High School Music Association guidelines receiving a rating of Division One-Superior, Division Two-Excellent, Division Three-Good, Division Four-Fair, or Division Five-Poor.

Other than Sibley-Ocheyedan and South O’Brien, schools with jazz bands at the festival include; Harris-Lake Park High School, which earned a Division Three rating; Emmetsburg High School, who received a Division Two rating; Okoboji High School, who took home a Division One rating; Estherville-Lincoln Central High School, who earned a Division One rating; Spencer High School, who received a Division One rating, and the host school Spirit Lake High School, who garnered a Division One rating.

KIWA extends a hearty congratulations to Peter Carlson and his Sibley-Ocheyedan High School Jazz Band, along with Brian Cole and his South O’Brien High School Jazz Band, on earning their Division One, Superior ratings.

January 21, 2017 - 5:11 pm - Posted in News

gavel_sxc_3Sibley, Iowa — The last of four defendants in a Sibley robbery case has been sentenced to prison.

On August 21st, 2016, Osceola County Deputies report that they arrested 35-year-old Jose Manuel Maldonado Castillo and 25-year-old Peter Nazario Alvira, both of Sibley, as well as 55-year-old Pedro Juan Figueroa Rios and 38-year-old Nicomedes Montanez Cruz, both of Sioux City. They say they participated in the home-invasion robbery of a Sibley home while the occupants were home.

Montanez Cruz accepted a plea bargain on Thursday, November 10th, and was sentenced to two years in prison for his role in the crime.

Court records say Maldonado Castillo pled guilty early this month in a plea bargain. He was sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison.

According to court records, Nazario Alvira also pled guilty early this month in a plea bargain. He was sentenced to a total of 10 years in prison.

Figueroa Rios had argued his rights were violated by a police lineup in the field without control subjects, the lack of alternative choices for witnesses, and other factors. Early this month, he withdrew his request to suppress evidence and entered a plea of guilty in a plea bargain.

Court records indicate that on Friday, Judge Carl Peterson sentenced Figueroa Rios to five years in prison, with time served. He must pay restitution and submit a DNA sample. He was sentenced on a third-degree burglary charge, which had been reduced from first-degree burglary. Two other counts of first-degree burglary were dismissed, as were counts of first-degree robbery, going armed with intent, and assault while participating in a felony.

January 20, 2017 - 12:18 pm - Posted in News

band tromboneSpirit Lake, Iowa — Jazz bands from three schools in our coverage area will join jazz bands from five other schools at a band festival on Monday, January 23rd.

Spirit Lake High School will play host to the eight northwest Iowa high school jazz bands participating in the Iowa High School Music Association State Jazz Band Festival from 4:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. at the Sami Bedell Center for the Performing Arts in Spirit Lake.

Jazz Band pianists will perform on the only signed Elton John red concert grand piano located in a public facility.

Jazz bands will include Harris-Lake Park, South O’Brien, and Sibley-Ocheyedan, as well as Emmetsburg, Okoboji, Estherville-Lincoln Central, Spencer, and Spirit Lake.

We talked to Sibley-Ocheyedan band director Peter Carlson, who tells us about the festival.

He tells us how the system works.

The jazz bands will be evaluated on jazz band ensemble characteristics of tone quality, blend, rhythmic feel, interpretation, precision, musicianship, solo improvisation and ensemble balance.

Carlson says the bands perform for rating only and do not advance from this contest, but there is a district contest put on by a different group in February, which is competitive in nature.

He tells us about the Sibley-Ocheyedan jazz band and what they will perform.

School Director Performance Time
Harris-Lake Park High School Emily Gladfelter 4:20 PM
South O’Brien High School Brian Cole 5:00 PM
Emmetsburg High School Holly Prier 5:40 PM
Sibley-Ocheyedan High School Peter Carlson 6:20 PM
Okoboji High School Toni LeFebvre 7:00 PM
Estherville-Lincoln Central High School Laura Giebler 7:50 PM
Spencer High School Kurt Schwarck 8:30 PM
Spirit Lake High School Tyler Pedersen 9:10 PM

Northwest Iowa — Earlier this week we told you about a reorganization of Catholic churches within the Diocese of Sioux City.  With the release of the “Ministry 2025″ plan from the Diocese, changes will affect most of the parishes in northwest Iowa.  Diocesan officials say some churches will remain as “active parishes”, some will be “worship centers, and still others are called “oratories”.

Fr. Brent Lingle

Fr. Brent Lingle

We talked to Father Brent Lingle, the Director of Worship for the Sioux City Diocese, and asked him what the different statuses mean for churches in this Diocese.

We asked Father Lingle what prompted the Ministry 2025 reorganization.

He said that here in northwest Iowa we’re experiencing a shortage of young men entering into the priesthood.  But, Lingle says, that’s not true everywhere.

Lingle says the preliminary plan for Minstry 2025 was issued nearly a year ago, and that plan had listed St. Mary’s at Ashton as being downgraded to oratory status.  He says that changed prior to the issuing of the final plan.

Father Lingle says the reorganization of the parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Sioux City will begin this summer, and changes phased in over the next few years.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Original Post – 1/16/17 – 1:50 pm

Northwest Iowa — Nearly a year ago we told you about a restructuring plan being put together by the Catholic Diocese of Sioux City that would affect, diocese_logo_finalto a greater or lesser degree, all of the parishes in northwest Iowa.  Late last week the Diocese released the final plan for “Ministry 2025″, which is the blueprint by which the parishes in the Diocese will be reorganized.

According to the plan, the “Highway 60 Catholic Cluster” which has included St. Patrick’s Parish in Sheldon, St. Mary’s Parish in Ashton, and St. Andrew’s Parish in Sibley, will be realigned to include St. Cecelia’s Parish in Sanborn.  According to the Ministry 2025 plan, St. Patrick’s in Sheldon and St. Andrew’s in Sibley will remain as active parishes, while St. Mary’s in Ashton will be downgraded to a “Worship Site”, and St. Cecelia’s in Sanborn will become an “Oratory”.  The Diocese defines an “oratory” as a worship site that no longer holds Sunday or Vigil Mass, but whose building may be used for local Catholic weddings, funerals, and other special events.

In the northwestern part of the listening area, St. Mary’s at Larchwood and Holy Name at Rock Rapids will be one cluster, and both will remain as active parishes.

St. Mary’s in Rock Valley, and and Christ The King in Sioux Center will be one cluster, and both will remain as active parishes.

St. Mary’s at Alton, St. Joseph’s at Granville, St. Anthony’s in Hospers, and St. Anthony’s at Primghar will all belong to one cluster, with all retaining active parish status, with the exception of St. Anthony’s at Primghar, which will be an oratory.

Sacred Heart at Sutherland will be a part of a cluster that will also include Immaculate Conception in Cherokee, and Our Lady of Good Counsel in Holstein.  Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Good Counsel will both remain as active parishes, with Sacred Heart at Sutherland being downgraded to an oratory.

Holy Name Parish at Marcus, St. Mary’s at Remsen, and St. Catherine’s at Oyens will become one cluster, with Holy Name and St. Mary’s remaining active parishes, while St. Catherine’s at Oyens will become an oratory.

For a look at the new northwest Iowa Deanery design, you can visit the Diocese of Sioux City website by clicking here.

January 19, 2017 - 6:00 am - Posted in News

bike_1Ocheyedan, Iowa — A state senator from our area has written a bill that he says would make bicycling safer by requiring a flashing red light on the rear of the bike. But it’s not getting much traction in the Senate.

Independent State Senator David Johnson from Ocheyedan tells us about the current situation.

But he says he doesn’t think that’s enough.

He says the issue came up after an accident north of Rock Rapids in 2012.

Johnson says that unfortunately, the bill seems to be “deep sixed” this year. And what’s more, the Iowa Bicycle Coalition doesn’t seem to be very interested in the bill either. The group’s Mark Wyatt says people who identify as bicyclists probably already have flashing red lights. He says they don’t want to make bicycling inaccessible to kids and families due to cost, and he says there’s a local control angle that has to be included as well. Many cities have such a law, but it is not a state law.

Johnson says the cost of the lights should not be an issue.

He says there was also an issue brought up about the availability of the lights since there are fewer bike shops in rural areas. Johnson says the lights are also available online, so availability shouldn’t be an issue either.

But for now, the bill’s future looks dim.

January 10, 2017 - 4:32 pm - Posted in News

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Sibley man has been sentenced on a felony drug charge in Lyon County.
Lyon Courthouse At Night
Lyon County Attorney Shayne Mayer’s office reports that 46-year-old Gary DeWayne McConnell of Sibley has been sentenced for Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine, a Class C Felony.

They say the charges stemmed from a routine traffic stop in George on August 20, 2016. Law enforcement initially pulled over McConnell’s vehicle after observing that McConnell, the passenger in the vehicle, was not wearing a seatbelt. Having noticed some suspicious movements by McConnell and alerted to the presence of a scale in the vehicle, law enforcement searched McConnell’s person and discovered methamphetamine hidden in his shoe. During the course of the subsequent investigation, it was discovered that McConnell had also been distributing drugs to others.

The sheriff’s office says that there was also a child present in the vehicle when the drugs were located.

McConnell was charged with Possession of Methamphetamine With Intent To Distribute, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Third or Subsequent Offense, and Use of Minor in Drug Trade.

On Monday, January 9, 2017, McConnell was taken into immediate custody and sentenced to prison on the possession with intent to deliver charge. The County Attorney’s Office says he will be placed in the custody of the Iowa Department of Corrections, and housed at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center at Oakdale, Iowa, for a period not to exceed ten (10) years. He must pay certain fines and surcharges. The other charges were dropped in the plea agreement.

January 10, 2017 - 2:32 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — All four of those accused of robbery in an incident in Sibley this past August have now pled guilty, and all but one have been sentenced.
Osceola County Courthouse Closeup_SVA
On August 21st, 2016, Osceola County Deputies arrested 35-year-old Jose Manuel Maldonado Castillo and 25-year-old Peter Nazario Alvira, both of Sibley, as well as 55-year-old Pedro Juan Figueroa Rios and 38-year-old Nicomedes Montanez Cruz, both of Sioux City. They were all charged with Robbery of in the 1st Degree, three counts each of Burglary in the 1st Degree, all class B felonies; Going Armed With Intent, a class D felony; and Assault While Participating in a Felony.

Montanez Cruz accepted a plea bargain on Thursday, November 10th, and was sentenced to two years in prison for his role in the crime.

Court records say Maldonado Castillo pled guilty last week in a plea bargain. Three charges were dismissed and the remaining charges — three counts of Burglary in the First Degree were all amended to Burglary in the Third Degree. Maldonado Castillo was sentenced to five years in prison on each count, to be served consecutively for a total of 15 years in prison.

According to court records, Nazario Alvira also pled guilty last week in a plea bargain. Four of his charges were dismissed. The two remaining charges, both Burglary in the First Degree, were amended to Burglary in the Third Degree. He was sentenced to two five-year terms to be served consecutively for a total of 10 years.

Figueroa Rios had argued his rights were violated by a police lineup in the field without control subjects, the lack of alternative choices for witnesses, and other factors. Last week he withdrew his request to suppress evidence and entered a plea of guilty in a plea bargain. He faces sentencing on Friday, January 20th.

January 10, 2017 - 10:37 am - Posted in News

gavelOsceola County, Iowa — A Redwood Falls, Minnesota man has been sentenced for several felony crimes stemming from the attempted burglary of an Ocheyedan car wash.

According to Osceola County authorities, 31-year old Corey Ryan Rienstra has plead guilty to charges of Attempted Burglary in the Second Degree, a Class D Felony, two counts of Reckless Use of Fire, a Serious Misdemeanor, and Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, a Class D Felony.

Rienstra admitted to using a torch and cutting tool to attempt to gain entry to the change box on a vacuum cleaner at an Ocheyedan car wash on May 17, 2014.

According to authorities, on each of the felony charges, Rienstra was sentenced to the custody of the Director of the Iowa Department of Corrections for a term not to exceed 5 years.  Each 5-year sentence was suspended, and Rienstra was placed on formal probation to the Iowa Department of Corrections.  The fine and surcharge were also waived on the felony charges.  Rienstra was ordered to pay a $125 Law Enforcement Initiative Surcharge on each offense.

The report says that for each of the Reckless Use of Fire offenses, the fine and surcharge were suspended and Rienstra was sentenced to 30 days in the Osceola County Jail.

Jeff ZwagermanNorthwest Iowa — A former northwest Iowa educator turned novelist will release the third installment in his “Zander” series of novels later this week.

Jeff Zwagerman is a former teacher and administrator at Sibley-Ocheyedan High School, and his novel, ‘South of Sideways’ is set for release on Thursday, January 12th.  The third in a series of novels penned by Zwagerman, ‘South of Sideways’ continues the saga of Zander, a young man who grew up in Hospers, Iowa.

We caught up with Zwagerman, who is currently wintering in Sanibel Island, Florida, and he talked a little about the first two books in the franchise, ‘Always A Kicker’, and ‘A Full Bubble Off Plumb’.

We asked him for a sneak preview of ‘South of Sideways’.

In addition to the hero of the series being a native of Hospers, much of the second novel, ‘A Full Bubble Off Plumb’, was set in that small northwest Iowa Community.  Zwagerman says that, while Hospers plays an important role in the new book, the story isn’t set in that location.

He says the book, which will be released Thursday, was originally set for release last fall.

He also had good news for those of us who can’t get enough of the Zander character.

The book arrives on January 12th, but he says any readers who purchase his book prior to the 12th can use promo code PREORDER2016 to receive a 10% discount.  Orders can be placed online at http://www.blackrosewriting.com/suspensethriller/southofsideways.

Zwagerman says he plans to hold a launch party for the book sometime later this spring at Okoboji.

sib-o-band-vandalism

Sibley, Iowa — Charges have now been filed in the case of the burglary/vandalism incident that happened during the Christmas Break at Sibley-Ocheyedan Middle School.

According to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, they have filed charges against two Osceola County juveniles in connection with the incident.  Authorities say the pair have been charged with Trespassing, a Simple Misdemeanor, and Criminal Mischief, which is a Class “D” Felony.

The Sheriff’s Office says the youths are alleged to have entered the Sibley-Ocheyedan Middle School and defaced property using spray paint, damaging musical instruments, and other damage.  Authorities estimate the damage to be between $5-thousand and $10-thousand.

********************************************************************************************************************************************

Original Story:  Posted December 29, 2016

Sibley, Iowa — A dollar estimate of damage isn’t yet available for a burglary/vandalism incident that happened sometime over the Christmas Break at Sibley-Ocheyedan Middle School.

Osceola County Chief Deputy Sheriff Kevin Wollmuth says the perpetrator, or perpetrators entered the school sometime after December 23rd.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office has provided us with a photo that shows three band instruments that were destroyed by the vandals, and Wollumth tells us exactly what the twisted pieces of brass in the photo (photo is shown at right) USED to be.

Chief Deputy Wollmuth says there were other acts of vandalism done, as well.

He says that donations from the community have been pooled to be used as a reward.  As of early this (Thursday, December 29th) afternoon, that reward totaled $3-hundred.  Wollmuth says if you have any information, please contact authorities.

The telephone number for the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office in Sibley is 712-754-2556, and is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Although the total amount of damage done is still being tabulated, the musical instruments alone will bring the eventual total into the thousands of dollars.