Sheldon, Iowa — With Presidential hopefuls parading through the area these days, we want to remind you that voters will be going to the polls for vote_hereother elections within the next few months.

Voters in the Sheldon Community School District will go to the polls on Tuesday, September 8th in an election for School Board.  Three of the Board’s five members have terms that expire this year.  They are At-Large member Glen Goedken, District 3 Board member Kecia Hickman, and District 2 member Mark Brown.  You may recall that Brown was appointed in November, 2013 to fill the unexpired term of former Board President Gary Ihnen, when Ihnen moved out of state.  Goedken has told KIWA that he will not be seeking reelection.

School Board Secretary LaDonn Hartzell says candidate paperwork for the School Board election may be picked up from her office at the Sheldon High School.  Deadline for filing the paperwork is 5 pm, Thursday July 30th, with voters going to the polls September 8th.

A map of the Districts comprising the Sheldon Community School District can be found by clicking here.


July 16, 2015 - 8:26 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon High SchoolSheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon Community Schools Board of Education approved five Open Enrollment applications during their regular July meeting Wednesday evening.  The five included two students who will be enrolling into the Sheldon District from the Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn District, one who will be enrolling out of the Sheldon District into the Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn District, one coming into the Sheldon District from Sibley-Ocheyedan, and one coming into the District from George-Little Rock.

LaDonn Hartzell will continue her role as Board Secretary-Treasurer for the upcoming school year following action by the Board.  The Iowa Code specifies that a District’s Secretary-Treasurer must be appointed or reappointed each year between July 1st and August 15th.

In other action, the Board approved an employment contract with Dawn Meyer, who will serve as the K-12 School Nurse, at an annual salary of $27,500.  They also approved an education contract for a student  receiving educational services from the Children’s Home Society in Sioux Falls, approved five agreements between the District and Northwest Iowa Community College, and approved the Teacher Evaluation Process and Procedures Manual.

Superintendent Robin Spears reviewed the 28E agreement between the District and the City of Sheldon on the Ball Fields-Recreation Project.  He said that, to date, the District has paid a total of $579,851, with $509,451 paid by the City.  Spears says that once all the bills have been paid, the District and the City will meet to discuss balancing the total costs to the 50-50 split that had been agreed upon by both parties.  He said that, since the project is nearing completion, he felt now would be a good time to review the project with the Board.

The Board also discussed changing the date of the regular August monthly meeting, due to some Board members’ schedule conflicts.  After an examination of possible alternate dates, it was decided to not change the date for the August meeting.  It will be held at 6:00 pm Wednesday, August 12th in the high school library.

July 16, 2015 - 8:03 am - Posted in News

Ashton, Iowa — A woman and a child were taken to the hospital after an accident near Ashton on Tuesday, July 14th.
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The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 11:10 AM, 34-year-old Jason Lee Johnson of West Bend, Iowa was driving a 2000 Kenworth Semi southbound on Olive Avenue. They report that 31-year-old Kayla Ann Mastbergen of Melvin was driving a 2005 Dodge Caravan eastbound on 240th Street.

The deputy says Johnson had stopped at the stop sign on Olive Avenue and pulled into the roadway, failing to see the Mastbergen vehicle. The Johnson vehicle hit the Mastbergen vehicle broadside.

Mastbergen and a child passenger were transported to the Osceola Community Hospital. Johnson was not injured.

The semi received about $5000 in damage. The Caravan also received about $5000 in damage.

Johnson was cited on a charge of Failure to Yield from a Stop Sign.

The Sheriff’s Office says responders from the Ashton and Sibley Ambulance teams assisted at the scene.

July 15, 2015 - 8:40 am - Posted in News

Ocheyedan, Iowa — The man who the Ocheyedan City Council appointed to fill a vacancy after a death on the council — will continue in that position.
voting optical reader machine
The City of Ocheyedan held a special election to fill the vacancy on the city council on Tuesday, July 14th.

Council member Gene Turner passed away recently. The Ocheyedan City Council appointed Kevin Hertz to fill the vacancy until the city election in November.

However, some Ocheyedan residents filed a petition for a special election to fill the vacancy, forcing the election.

Current interim council member Kevin Hertz won the election with 103 votes, against Clyde Hoekstra’s 35 votes. There were also two write-in votes.

The results are unofficial until they are canvassed by the Osceola County Board of Supervisors. That is set for Tuesday, July 21st.

July 14, 2015 - 4:33 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa – The man who fell off a northbound train north of Sibley and was run over by a train was not a railroad employee, but was riding the rails. That from the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation — the DCI.

The DCI is assisting the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office with the death investigation.
grain car
They say that on July 13, 2015, the body of 29-year-old Brandon Joseph Sage Gould was found near railroad tracks by a pedestrian, approximately a mile-and-a-half north of Sibley. The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office says Gould was from Pleasanton, California.

The DCI and Sheriff’s Office believe he fell off the train and was run over by the train. It is unknown, at this time, how or why Gould fell off the train.

It is believed that he was traveling with his wife, Yvette Gould, aboard a Union Pacific railcar, which was carrying grain. Yvette Gould reported her husband missing to the Union Pacific Railroad Police during the afternoon hours of July 13, 2015, once the train arrived in Mankato, MN. It is not known yet how long the two had been riding aboard the railcar. The train, like most northbounds on that stretch of rail was headed from Council Bluffs to Union Pacific’s Valley Park Yard in Shakopee, Minnesota.

An autopsy was performed on the body of Brandon Gould at the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny. His death has been ruled as accidental.

The DCI says it is an on-going investigation and further information will be released as it becomes available.

July 14, 2015 - 3:57 am - Posted in News

train tracks 1Sibley, Iowa — The investigation is continuing into the death of a man found on the railroad tracks north of Sibley Monday.  According to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, they received a call about some suspicious items on the tracks about a half mile north of Sibley.

Officials say that, upon further investigation it was determined that a male had fallen from the train and was run over.  The man was pronounced dead at the scene.  At this time, the name of the deceased hasn’t been released.

The incident remains under investigation by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation and the Union Pacific Police.

July 13, 2015 - 2:14 pm - Posted in Community Calendar, News

county fair 1Osceola County Fair Events Schedule

Wednesday, July 15th — will be Little Miss Osceola & Fair Queen Contest. 7 p.m. at the Grandstand. Osceola co Fair will have an antique Tractor Display every day of the Fair.

Thursday, July 16th — Commercial Building Set up 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Open 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.  Osceola Electric Bucket Rides will be from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Live Band “Northern Justice” is scheduled to perform from 6 – 7:30 p.m. in front of the Grandstand.   Figure 8 races and Demolition Derby will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the  Grandstand. Little Tykes Figure 8 Races will take place between events. Fireworks following Demo Derby or at dark; sponsored by the Osceola County Fair Board and the Osceola Community Hospital and Avera Medical Group.

Friday, July 17 — Commercial & Open Class Buildings will be open  from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 1-4  The IA State University Conservation Station will be open from 1 – 4 p.m. At 6 p.m. there will be a Hypnotist at the Grandstand.  Tuff Nuff Minature Rodeo starts at 7 p.m.; local riders welcome. Must by 14 and Under.

Saturday July 18th — BBQ cookoff All Day. Kids pedal Tractor Pull will be at 2 p.m.  The Zoo Mobile will run from Noon – 2 p.m.  Iowa National Guard Rock Climbing Wall will also be here. Monster Arm Wrestling Tournament, with Wrestling at 1 p.m.  There will be Donkey Races in front of the Grandstand at 4:30 p.m. and Combine Demo Derby following the Donkey Races. Then at 7:30 there will be Great Plains Tractor Pull.  Carolan Inflatables will be on the grounds from 5 – 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Fun for the whole family!

July 10, 2015 - 8:17 am - Posted in News

Ocheyedan, Iowa — A northwest Iowa state senator is taking heat after an email exchange earlier this week.

David Johnson 2015

Iowa State Senator David Johnson (R – Ocheyedan)

A high school science teacher in Waterloo sent an email to Republicans in the Iowa Senate, outlining his concerns about state funding for public schools and he was told to “quit whining” by one of them. Vaughn Gross had just ordered supplies for the coming school year when he found out Governor Branstad vetoed nearly 56 million dollars in funding for public schools. Gross then sent a mass email to 23 Republican senators, asking them to support a special session to boost school finances.

Senator David Johnson, a Republican from Ocheyedan replied, saying Gross lacked the courage to reveal where he was from and he told the teacher to “quit whining.” Gross posted the exchange on his Facebook page. He says, “I was surprised by kind of the tone. I didn’t think it was actually him and then gave him a post and, you know, gave him a chance to reply and he said it was him and wasn’t really apologetic about it,” Gross says. “That was pretty shocking.”

Senator Johnson says he gets a lot of unsigned email and he stands by his “quit whining” message. He calls it a “test” to see if the email was genuine — saying, “Sometimes, in order to have a constructive conversation — especially about education, you have to put your foot down and I did,” Johnson says.

Johnson and Gross had an email exchange on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. It was “much more civil” according to the teacher.

(as said) “Had a decent exchange of some ideas,” Gross says. “I mean obviously we have some areas of disagreement, but it was straight-forward and kind of what I expected the first time.”

The senator says the two had a “constructive” conversation, but Johnson says he’s getting plenty of inappropriate messages from others.

(as said) “I’ve been called so many vulgarities,” Johnson says. “I did not engage in vulgar, obscene language.”

Some of those came via email and, while Johnson isn’t on Facebook, Johnson says he’s been told what’s been posted there. Johnson has been a member of the legislature since 1999.

Johnson serves Senate District 1, which covers Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Clay, and Palo Alto counties.

Story from Radio Iowa

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July 9, 2015 - 7:09 pm - Posted in News

Washington, DC — Two Iowans who testified at a Senate Ag Committee hearing on bird flu Tuesday say it will still be several months before their facilities are re-stocked and operating again. James Dean of Sioux Center is the chair of United Egg Producers, and says they want to be sure all the farms around them have the infected birds hauled away before they bring in new birds.
bird flu barns

(as he says)”The worst thing that can happen to us is that we get our farms clean and sanitized, re-populate and then re-infect the farm,” Dean says. “So, we have to make sure that we do have a time period here where farms around us are clean as well.”

Dean says they could have to wait until the end of the year to get new birds in.

(as he says)”We’re hoping that we can start re-populating sometime in November and December. And we feel that it will take us 12 to 16 months before we are re-populated at our farm,” according to Dean.

Turkey farmer Brad Moline of Moline Farms in Manson, says once they get back up and running, they know cool weather could bring another outbreak.

(as he says)”Yes, we’re still very concerned that this could happen again. The last thing we want is this happening again. Frankly, many producers can survive this once, they could not survive a second time,” Moline says.

The bird flu virus is believed to be carried by migratory birds, and thrives in cooler conditions, so the concern increases for another outbreak as the seasons shift.

(as he says)”Maybe not so much this fall — depending on the speed of the migratory birds heading south — but boy we could certainly be in this area next spring for sure. And other parts of the country have to be aware of this,” according to Moline.

Iowa’s U-S Senators, Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, requested the hearing after at least 77 poultry operations in the state were hit by bird flu in 18 counties. More than 31-million birds had to be destroyed after the outbreak.

Story from Radio Iowa

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July 9, 2015 - 7:06 pm - Posted in News

Washington, DC — Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration to assist with the impact of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza — has been denied.
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Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s disappointed that Governor Branstad’s request was denied by the Obama Administration. Grassley says that after Tuesday’s Agriculture Committee hearing, where he listened to testimony from producers who were affected, he says it’s very clear that this outbreak caused a “significant magnitude of damage throughout the state.”

Grassley goes on to say that the Administration’s own chief veterinarian said that it was the largest animal health emergency in the country’s history. He says those in attendance heard from one Iowa producer who lost two-thirds of his birds to the disease, and he is not alone.

The Senator goes on to say that granting a disaster declaration would have made several forms of federal assistance available to these producers. Iowa has suffered great losses from this catastrophic outbreak, says Grassley. And he says he’s “very disappointed that a disaster declaration wasn’t granted to help deal with the impact.”

Sioux County was one of the counties included in the disaster declaration request.