March 24, 2017 - 3:31 pm - Posted in News

railroad tanker carsOmaha, Nebraska — Railroad trains on what Union Pacific calls their “Worthington Sub” are moving a little faster through our area.

Union Pacific officials say they are increasing the maximum track speed limit from 40 to 49 mph on the rail line paralleling Highway 60 in northwest Iowa.

We talked to Union Pacific spokesperson Calli Hite, who tells us the reasons behind the speed increase.

She says not only do the upgrades allow them to increase speeds, they also support the state’s current and future freight transportation needs, and enhance safety and efficiency.

Hite says the increased speeds shouldn’t have a large impact on safety.

She says train speeds at Sibley, Ashton, Sheldon and Hospers area crossings are increasing gradually.

Hite says trains do not have to move at the full 49-mile-per-hour rate. She says it’s a speed limit just like a speed limit for cars. And just like car drivers need to adjust their speed for certain conditions, conductors and engineers sometimes need to adjust the train’s speed as well.

Hite also says that the line that parallels Highway 60 in our area is under what they call “track warrant control,” which has a speed cap of 49 miles per hour. She says the speed limit could not go any higher than 49 without changing the method of traffic control, which would take significant infrastructure upgrades.

March 23, 2017 - 11:28 am - Posted in News

Sibley SignSibley, Iowa — Exhibitors and the public are looking forward to this Saturday, March 25th in Sibley. The Sibley Farm and Home Show is at the Sibley/Ocheyedan Elementary School on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

We had a chance to visit with Sibley Chamber of Commerce Director Sheryl Peters, who tells us a yummy breakfast will start the day.

Peters says of course there will be a wide variety of exhibitors promoting their businesses, but she says there will also be a number of non-profits, government entities, and more, all telling people their message.

Peters tells us about the “extras” available at the Sibley Farm and Home Show on Saturday.

Again, the Sibley Farm and Home Show is at the Sibley/Ocheyedan Elementary School on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

March 23, 2017 - 9:44 am - Posted in News

Osceola Sheriff Car 72-2May City, Iowa — A Lake Park woman escaped injury after hitting a deer near May City on Wednesday, March 22nd.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that at 7:40 am on Tuesday, 31-year-old Jamie Jo Maxine Stoll of Lake Park was driving a 2008 Pontiac Torrent southbound on White Avenue, near May City. According to the report, a deer came from a grove of trees on the east side of the road and crossed into the path of the vehicle.

The Pontiac received $5,000 damage.

No injuries were reported.

March 22, 2017 - 3:34 pm - Posted in News

Fire LightbarNorthwest Iowa — Northwest Iowa fire departments are seeing some action.

Calumet, Iowa — Some round bales were destroyed in a fire on Monday, March 20, 2017 near Calumet.

According to Calumet Fire Chief Mike Jensen, about 6:00 p.m., the Calumet Fire Department was called to the report of a grass fire that was out of control at 6171 500th Street, a mile south and a mile and a half west of Calumet. The report called in said there was no one home at the time.

The chief says the fire department saw the bales on fire as they approached the scene. He says they used a tele-handler to break apart the bales and water to fight the fire.

Jensen says no injuries were reported.

The fire department was assisted by the Sutherland Fire Department. Jensen says the Sutherland Fire Department responds to the majority of Calumet calls.

He says fire from a burning pile somehow caught grass on fire, and that ignited the bales.

Chief Jensen reports that the damage was limited to the approximately 20 round bales that burned, and nothing else of value was lost.

He says they used 18,000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene until 11:00 p.m. on Monday night, but were called back twice on Tuesday to put out the fire when it reignited.

Harris, Iowa — The Ocheyedan and Harris Fire Departments responded to a fire call on Tuesday evening, March 21st. It was paged out as a house fire on Warbler Avenue, a mile west of Harris and a quarter mile north of Highway 9, about 6:15 p.m.

But according to Harris Fire Chief Randy Rost, when they got there they found nothing but a small in-control grass fire.

Sibley, Iowa — The Sibley Fire Department responded to a fast-moving pasture fire on Tuesday about 12 noon. We are told the fire burned about ten acres of land. No further details are available at this time.

March 22, 2017 - 10:57 am - Posted in News

lightbar with hand cuffsAshton, Iowa — An Ashton man faces numerous felony drug charges following the execution of a search warrant at his residence recently.

According to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, their deputies arrested 54-year old James Steven Kollbeck of Ashton after obtaining and executing a search warrant at his residence.  Deputies say that the search turned up methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, LSD, and drug paraphernalia.  Kollbeck was also allegedly found to be in possession of stolen property, according to authorities.

Osceola County authorities say there was evidence of a marijuana grow operation and a butane honey/hash oil (BHO) lab located in one of the outbuildings.  Deputies say Kollbeck faces charges of Possession With Intent to Deliver More than 5-grams of Methamphetamine, a Class “B” Felony.  In addition, deputies say he was also charged with Possession of LSD 3rd or Subsequent Offense, Possession of Cocaine 3rd or Subsequent Offense, and Manufacturing Marijuana.  Each of those charges is a Class “D” Felony.  He was also charged with Prohibited Acts, an Aggravated Misdemeanor, three counts of Poseesion of Drug Paraphernalia and Driving While Suspended, which are simple misdemeanors.

Officials say Kolbeck was transported to the Osceola County Jail where he is being held on a $100,000 cash bond.  The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa State Patrol.

Sibley, Iowa — An Osceola County Sheriff’s Deputy has received recognition for his work as part of a multi-state investigative team from the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, or HIDTA.

Osceola County Chief Deputy Kevin Wollmuth says the recognition for Deputy Matt Julius came as the result of his work with the HIDTA on a drug trafficking case that started in Sioux Falls and Worthington.  Wollmuth says one of the suspected traffickers lived in Sibley, which drew Deputy Julius into the case.

Julius, along with other team members, received an “Outstanding Investigative Effort” award from the Midwest HIDTA, a multi-agency coalition consisting of federal, state, and local agencies from six states.

Deputy Julius received a plaque and a Certificate of Appreciation for his efforts in this case.

Julius 1


Julius 2

March 21, 2017 - 4:08 pm - Posted in News

SCDC sheldon chamber door signSheldon and Sibley, Iowa — Two home shows are scheduled for this Saturday in our coverage area. One of them is in Sheldon and the other one is in Sibley.

The 2017 Sheldon Home and Design Expo is this Saturday, March 25, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center on the campus of Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon. Over fifty exhibitors are planning to be there. Mr. Twister will be there to entertain kids with balloon sculptures from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., sponsored by the Sheldon banks. Concessions will also be available. Exhibitors will range from homebuilding and home improvement to home decor and items for the home, plus other types of exhibitors from pest control to massage therapy promoting their business. Prize Power on the Hour will be part of the day as well.

In Sibley, the 2017 Sibley Farm and Home Show will be at the Sibley/Ocheyedan elementary building at 419 Ninth Avenue in Sibley this Saturday, March 25, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The Sibley/Ocheyedan FFA students will be serving pancakes and sausages from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Several exhibitors will be promoting their businesses at the Farm and Home Show. Several door prizes will be given away every half hour. Lunch will be served, along with free popcorn and lemonade.

March 14, 2017 - 5:41 pm - Posted in News

crime scene tape over lightbarSibley, Iowa — A few days ago we told you about the arrests of three people in Gaza during a burglary investigation. One of those arrested was 21-year-old Mason Vanden Brink of Sanborn.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office now tells us that while THEIR deputies were searching for Vanden Brink, they made another arrest, on three felony counts.

They report they arrested 28-year-old Marc Daniel Gibbons of Sanborn on charges of Possession of Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine 3rd or Subsequent Offense, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Theft – 2nd Degree, all Class D Felonies. Gibbons was also charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Simple Misdemeanor.

The arrest stemmed from a report of a suspicious person in Sibley. The suspicious person was later identified as Vanden Brink, who was apprehended in O’Brien County with a stolen vehicle from Sibley. While searching for Vanden Brink, Osceola County deputies located Gibbons at a home in rural Osceola County.

Osceola County Sheriff’s officials say they believe Gibbons was in possession of a firearm that had allegedly been stolen from Lyon County.

Gibbons was transported to the Osceola County Jail where, at last report, he was being held on a $5,000 bond and a No Bond warrant from the Iowa Department of Corrections for Violation of Release.

March 11, 2017 - 8:34 am - Posted in News

Sheriff car rear genericO’Brien County, Iowa — Three people have been arrested and face several charges after a burglary investigation and search in Gaza.

According to the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office, their office became involved in a burglary investigation on Thursday, March 9th, that began in Lyon County, which involved numerous stolen firearms. Deputies obtained a search warrant for the property at 6116 433rd St, Primghar, which is in the village of Gaza.

That afternoon, about 5:15 p.m., the sheriff’s office says an officer with the Sanborn Police Department located a suspect vehicle that was involved in the Sheriff’s Office burglary investigation. They say the Sanborn officer stopped the vehicle and obtained the driver’s license of James Skoglund from the driver when Skoglund fled the area and officers pursued. Officers say the pursuit ended when they apprehended Skoglund in a field south of the Hartley ethanol plant. Also in the suspect vehicle was Maggie Marie Johnson also of Gaza.

The sheriff’s office says:
Skoglund was arrested and was charged with:

  • Eluding, an aggravated misdemeanor.
  • Speeding, a simple misdemeanor.
  • Stop Sign Violation, a simple misdemeanor.
  • Possession of Controlled Substance 2nd Offense (Methamphetamine), an aggravated misdemeanor.
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.

Arrest warrants were later issued for Johnson on charges of:

  • Possession of Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine)
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Later that night, about 9:15 p.m. the report says the O’Brien County and Lyon County Sheriff’s Offices executed a search warrant at the James Skoglund residence in Gaza. They say several stolen firearms from the Lyon County burglaries were recovered from the home along with ammunition. Evidence of illegal controlled substances was observed at the home, and a second search warrant was obtained for the drugs. The sheriff’s office says methamphetamine, marijuana, illegal prescription drugs, LSD, and drug paraphernalia were all seized.

The O’Brien County Deputies say they were near completion of the search when a suspect in the burglary investigation walked through the home. An O’Brien County Deputy approached him and attempted to get identification from him when he fled on foot. They say the suspect resisted arrest and a physical confrontation ensued. The suspect was eventually taken into custody and was transported to the O’Brien County Jail.

Deputies say they then found a vehicle with Alabama plates on it that had been parked about a block from the Skogland home in Gaza. The deputies continued the investigation and found the vehicle had been stolen in Sibley.

The suspect was identified as Mason Alan Vandenbrink. Vandenbrink was arrested on three outstanding arrest warrants:

  • Probation violation, a Lyon county warrant.
  • Two counts of Criminal Mischief 2nd Degree, a Lyon county warrant
  • Operation of a motor vehicle without owner’s consent, an Osceola county warrant.

Vandenbrink was also charged with numerous “new” charges by the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office:

  • Interference with Official Acts- (Causing Bodily Injury)
  • Operation of a motor vehicle without owner’s consent
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Possession of Controlled Substance, LSD
  • Drug Tax Stamp Violations

The O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office reports that the next day, Maggie Johnson came to their facility about property that had been seized from the pursuit the day before. Johnson was arrested on the two arrest warrants.

In addition, they say Johnson was being processed at the O’Brien County Jail when another half an ounce of methamphetamine was allegedly discovered in her purse. Johnson was then charged with a second possession of methamphetamine charge.

The investigation continues says the sheriff’s office, and they say further arrests are pending.

March 9, 2017 - 4:38 pm - Posted in News

Blue Ambulance_SVABlue Earth, Minnesota — A Minneapolis man and an Ocheyedan man were taken to the hospital after an accident near Blue Earth, MN.

The Minnesota State Patrol reports that about 8:35 AM on Thursday, March 9, 2017, 46-year-old Abdelwahed Haidar of Minneapolis was driving a 2004 Volvo semi-tractor, which was parked on the right shoulder of the westbound lane of I-90, 12 miles east of Blue Earth. Forty-nine-year-old Clint Sixta of Ocheyedan was westbound on 90 in a 1998 Peterbilt.

The report says that Sixta’s semi collided with Haidar’s semi.

Both Haidar and Sixta were taken to United Hospital in Blue Earth with what were described as non-life-threatening injuries.

The Minnesota State Patrol reports that the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office, Frost Ambulance, and Bricelyn Fire and Ambulance assisted at the scene.