Vets-and-Flag-Memorial-Day[1]In Sibley, the Memorial Day ceremony will begin at 9:00 a.m. at Holman Township Cemetery. Officer of the day will be Gary Kleve. Pastor Steve Swenson of the Sibley United Methodist Church will have the prayer and the address. The Ritual Service will be performed by the VFW and Auxillary of Post #7373. The firing squad will be provided by members of VFW Post #7373 and American Legion Post #324 of Sibley. The Sibley-Ocheyedan Band will play Taps and the Star Spangled Banner.

In Ashton, the Memorial Day observance begins on Saturday morning at 10 when crosses and flags will be placed on veterans’ graves. On Monday at 6 a.m. flags will be placed in the Avenue of Flags at the cemeteries. Events at the Ashton Legion Community Center will begin with coffee and rolls at 8:30 and a Service of Remembrance at 9:30 a.m. Featured speaker will be Retired Major Josh Haack of Primghar. At 10:30 citizens will gather at the cemeteries for a Roll Call of Departed Veterans and a rifle salute. Plans are to retire the crosses and flags at 4 p.m. on Monday. The Ashton Town and Country Committee will serve a Pork Loin meal at the Community Center from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Free will offering. All are welcome.

In Melvin, American Legion Post 470 invites everyone to observe Memorial Day services at Baker Cemetery, two miles east and two miles north of Melvin, beginning at 10:30 a.m on Monday, May 29th. Those attending are urged to bring lawn chairs for their comfort. In case of inclement weather, the ceremonies will be held in the American Legion Community Center in Melvin.

May 23, 2017 - 4:29 pm - Posted in News

gavel_sxc[1]Northwest Iowa — All state court offices in Iowa will be closed this coming Friday, May 26th, due to budget constraints.

According to an order from Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady, all court offices, including district court offices and the office of the clerk of the appellate courts, will be closed, and all court personnel except judges and magistrates will be placed on unpaid leave status for May 26th.  Cady writes that judges and any magistrate scheduled to work on that day will work in their chambers or take vacation on that court closure day.

Cady’s order went on to say that any filing of a motion in a pending action, or if an appeal falls on the day when the clerk’s office is closed, the time will be extended to include the next day the clerk’s office is open.

The Iowa Judiciary’s budget was cut by more than $5-million for fiscal year 2017, with another $3-million being cut after lawmakers resumed their work in January of this year, according to Cady.  He says that, after the initial budget cuts, the Supreme Court approved a hiring freeze for all vacancies on the judicial branch, holding open judicial vacancies for an average of 6-months, reducing travel by 10%, reducing furniture and non-IT equipment by 50%, shifting some funding for IT operations to the Court Technology Fund, and instituting a moratorium on the expansion of specialty courts.

Cady says the additional $3-million budget cut led to the one-day closing, this Friday, of all court offices in the state.

Northwest Iowa — Monday’s crop report from the United States Department of Agriculture National Agriculture Statistics Service says 92% of the state’s corn acreage has been planted.  Here in northwest Iowa, we’re slightly above that level at 95%.  The report says this year’s corn planting is 3-days behind last year, but 2-days ahead of the 5-year average.

Soybean planting has reached 62% complete, 2-days behind last year, but 1-day ahead of average.

Iowa State University Agronomist Paul Kassel, who is based in Spencer, monitors 10 counties here in northwest Iowa.

Farmers had only two days suitable for field work during the past week, according to the USDA report. Kassel says standing water in some fields is causing problems for farmers.

Corn planted after mid-May often yields less and Kassel said cool temperatures are impeding corn plants already in the ground. The USDA report shows planting progress is slowest in south-central Iowa, where 78-percent of the corn and 42-percent of soybeans were in the ground as of Sunday.  Northwest and central Iowa are at the top end of the spectrum, with 95% of corn, and 68% of soybeans planted through this past weekend.

sibley-pool-1[1]Sibley, Iowa — The Osceola County Aquatic Center Committee is getting closer and closer to their goal of “filling it up,” and another fundraiser is planned to push them in that direction.

We talked with Kim Vander Sloot, who’s on the committee. She tells us that in addition to the pool needing aesthetic updates, it’s also losing water and chemicals due to leaks, which means the City of Sibley is losing money.

A liner had been discussed as a separate option, but Vander Sloot says the liner is now part of the aquatic center plans.

She says the Sibley City Council has agreed to bond for $1 million after the Aquatic Center Committee raises $500,000. According to Sibley City Clerk Wendy Ewoldt, the Sibley City Council is considering whether to use a reverse referendum and do the project as urban revitalization or if they will put a ballot issue to the voters, since they would be using general obligation loan notes.

In addition, Vander Sloot says the Osceola County Board of Supervisors voted earlier this month to give $50,000 toward the project in $5,000 annual increments. She says the committee is getting closer to the half-million-dollar goal.

She says they’ve had several fundraisers in the years that they have been trying to get the half-a-million together.

She says that fundraiser will be during Sibley’s Good Ole Summertime festivities, and all ages are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Vander Sloot says that after the initial half million is raised, the final selections will have to be made and plans will have to be drawn up by city officials, engineers, and others. She says she’s not sure what kinds of toys and water features the aquatic center will have, but she gives us the basics.

She says at last report, work was still scheduled to begin this year.

May 16, 2017 - 12:42 pm - Posted in News

gavel_sxc[1]Spirit Lake, Iowa — An Ashton woman who was accused of passing stolen, forged checks in multiple jurisdictions in western Iowa has now been sentenced to prison time for her Dickinson County crimes.

In all, 24-year-old Nikarra Macmain of Ashton is facing or has faced over 30 counts of forgery, ten counts of identity theft, three counts of theft, and seven counts of lottery forgery, plus various other charges, several of which were dismissed in plea agreements.

Macmain was supposed to be arraigned in Dickinson County on June 5th. But a written plea of guilty to counts 7 and 8 in her Dickinson County case changed that. Her charges in Dickinson County included five counts of forgery, one count of identity theft and two counts of third-degree theft. In exchange for her guilty plea to the theft counts, her forgery and identity theft charges were dismissed.

On the two theft counts, Macmain was sentenced to two years in prison per count, to be served consecutively to each other, but concurrently to her sentences in Clay and Palo Alto counties. She was also sentenced to a fine of $625 per count, and a suspended fine of $625 per count, and she must submit a DNA profile.

May 9, 2017 - 6:12 pm - Posted in News

Emmetsburg, Iowa — A northwest Iowa woman accused of passing stolen, forged checks in multiple jurisdictions in western Iowa has been sentenced in Palo Alto and Harrison counties.

Twenty-four-year-old Nikarra Macmain of Ashton has faced several charges, many of them felonies.

In all, Macmain is facing or has faced over 30 counts of forgery, ten counts of identity theft, three counts of theft, and seven counts of lottery forgery, plus various other charges, several of which were dismissed in plea agreements.

For the Palo Alto and Harrison County charges, Macmain was sentenced to five years in prison, plus fines. The sentences are all to run concurrently with each other, and concurrent to any sentences from the cases in O’Brien and Dickinson Counties, which are still in the court system.

Macmain faces four charges of forgery in O’Brien County and five counts of forgery, two of ID theft, and one of third-degree theft in Dickinson County. She pled guilty as part of a plea agreement in O’Brien County and faces sentencing there on May 22nd. She has not entered a plea in Dickinson County. She will be arraigned there on June 5th.

May 9, 2017 - 12:51 pm - Posted in News

Osceola co courthouse - summerSibley, Iowa — Last week we told you that Osceola County Attorney Bob Hansen is retiring from his post after 21 and a half years.

We had a chance to talk to Hansen about his future plans.

Hanson tells us about the reason for his retirement.

The county attorney tells us about his experience in law.

Hansen says while he’s retiring from the county attorney post, he’s not going to relax full-time either.

The Osceola County Board of Supervisors is accepting applications for an attorney to replace Hansen until June 30th. The board will then decide from among the candidates and will appoint a new county attorney. The voters of the county could also file a petition to elect a new county attorney instead.

Sibley, Iowa — A few weeks ago we told you that sex abuse charges had been filed against a former Sibley-Ocheyedan teacher/coach after it was alleged that he had sexually assaulted a student in his classroom.  Now the child’s mother has filed a lawsuit against the Sibley-Ocheyedan Commuunity School District in connection with the matter.

According to the court filing, the mother of the child involved is suing the District on behalf of the child, who court records identify only as C.A.

The lawsuit alleges that former Sibley-Ocheyedan teacher/coach Kyle Ewinger had been suspended and the remainder of his contract bought out, following an incident while he was teaching at the Mediapolis Community Schools, and that he had similar conduct while teaching at Riverside Elementary in Sioux City, according to the court filing.  The lawsuit further alleges that Ewinger is facing a 1st Degree Felony Sexual Assault on a Child charge in Douglas County, Nebraska.

The lawsuit alleges that the Sibley-Ocheyedan District was negligent in hiring Ewinger, and that they knew, or should have known, that Ewinger posed a safety risk for the children that would be entrusted to him at the time of his hiring, and that through what the lawsuit calls “the negligent hiring of Ewinger his unfitness and dangerous characteristics” led to the child’s resulting injuries.

The lawsuit further alleges that the Sibley-Ocheyedan District was negligent in failing to prevent the plaintiff’s child from being sexually assaulted by one of it’s employees on school property, failing to properly supervise employees and their activities, and failing to maintain a safe environment for students.

In the suit the Sibley-Ocheyedan District is accused of negligence in failing to ensure that the employees in charge of and supervising and protecting students were properly trained and adequately experienced.

The child’s mother has requested a jury trial in the matter, and is seeking unspecified damages from the Sibley-Ocheyedan Community School District for injuries and damages sustained by her child, as well as any exemplary damages and interest allowed by law, along with the cost of pursuing the lawsuit.

May 5, 2017 - 2:20 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — The Sibley Fire Department was called to the report of a broken gas line on Thursday, May 4th.

Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls reports that about 12:50 p.m., an employee of H & D Underground was boring a hole for a new conduit for Premiere Communications’ new fiber optic system in Sibley. He says the employee struck a gas service line for a home at 602 Twelfth Place in the northeast part of town.

Huls says the gas company, Alliant Energy was called. He says Alliant asked for the fire department to be paged as a precaution, but by the time the fire department got there, the local Alliant employee was already on scene and had already applied a patch to the leaking line.

The chief says the fire department remained on scene for 15 to 20 minutes to make sure everything was all right.

Sibley Public LibarySibley, Iowa — The Sibley Public Library will turn 100 years old this year. The original part of the building was a Carnegie library. A Carnegie library is a library built with money donated by Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. A total of 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929.
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