Sibley, Iowa — The Community Blood Bank bloodmobile is coming to the Osceola Regional Health Center in Sibley on Wednesday, March 22nd.

The Community Blood Bank’s Executive Director Ken Versteeg says this is an important blood drive because the blood bank is getting hit hard and they are the only supplier of blood for Osceola Regional Health.

He explains how much blood they lost out on because of having to cancel so many blood drives this winter.

Versteeg says one unit of blood can save roughly three lives, so 1,000 units could have saved roughly 3,000 lives. He says that when there is a blood drive at Osceola Regional Health they usually have 40 to 45 people sign up to give blood.

The goal, Versteeg says, is to have the average amount, if not more, people sign up to give blood. If you want to make an appointment, which is preferred, call the Osceola Regional Health Center at (712) 754-5358. Walk-ins are welcomed, though they may have to wait as appointments will be taken first. Versteeg says with warmer weather coming up he is hoping for more blood drives and more donors to come out.

Osceola Regional Health Blood Drive is on Wednesday, March 22nd from 9:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

March 17, 2023 - 4:21 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — With the coming of spring we also prepare for severe weather season. If you’d like to know more about severe weather, there is a Storm Watch class scheduled for next week at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon.

Warning Coordination Meteorologist Peter Rogers with the National Weather Service’s Sioux Falls Office tells us about it.

Rogers says while many who attend are law enforcement, EMS personnel, firefighters, and plant safety managers, the class is open to the public.

He tells us what to expect if you go.

The class is free, thanks to the emergency management agencies of O’Brien, Sioux, Lyon, and Osceola counties, but the folks at NCC would like you to register. You can do that online by clicking here. For more information from NCC, you can call 800-352-4907 or 324-5061.

There are other classes scheduled around the wider area. For more information about those, click here.

Sanborn, Iowa — Congressman Randy Feenstra (Republican, from Hull) hosted a town hall with local farmers, producers, and constituents in Sanborn this Wednesday, March 15th, to discuss the upcoming Farm Bill and other issues.

Feenstra says he enjoyed meeting with Iowans — including “our hardworking farmers and producers — to hear their suggestions and priorities for the upcoming Farm Bill.”

The topics included everything from Feenstra’s work to reauthorize the successful 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and stop China from buying American farmland to what Feenstra calls “the unfair inheritance tax,” to biofuels production, and international trade.

He says, “Meeting with Iowans will always be a top priority for me as I travel all 36 counties in my district at least twice a year.”

Twenty-four people attended the event.

Feenstra also announced his Agriculture Advisory Board at the town hall. The board is comprised of 60 members of the greater agriculture community from all 36 counties in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District and represents a wide range of industries, including corn, soybeans, pork, beef, turkey, dairy, eggs, cattle, goat, seed, fertilizer, veterinary medicine, equipment manufacturing, FFA, conservation, agricultural lending, and research and development.

In our part of northwest Iowa, from Lyon County, Dean Meyer, Dwight Mogler, Doug Stensland, and Scott Schneidermann are on the board. From O’Brien County, the board members include Kelly Nieuwenhuis, Jeremy Van Ess, and Corey Rozenboom. There’s one board member from Osceola County, and that’s Rob Jacobs. Five members on the board are from Sioux County. They are Brad Kooima, Steve Rehder, Craig Moss, JT Dean, and Jeff Altena.

Additionally, Feenstra spoke to O’Brien County Sheriff’s deputies about the scourge of fentanyl in rural Iowa and the need to secure our border.

The other members of the Agriculture Advisory Board:

Dr. Calie Burgart, Audubon County
Former State Senator Jerry Behn, Boone County
Mitchell Sievers, Buena Vista County
Andy Kosky, Buena Vista County
Darcy Maulsby, Calhoun County
State Representative Mike Sexton, Calhoun County
Will Reever, Carroll County
Ramona Nitz, Cherokee County
Chad Tentinger, Cherokee County
Will Jones, Clay County
Ty Rosburg, Crawford County
Al Giese, Dickinson County
Jim Boyer, Emmet County
John Latham, Franklin County
State Representative Shannon Latham, Franklin County
Brian Borcherding, Franklin County
Don Latham, Franklin County
Leo Ettleman, Fremont County
Sam Martin, Fremont County
Jeff Jorgenson, Fremont County
Ben Slinger, Hamilton County
Jake Van Diest, Hamilton County
Darrin Kruger, Hancock County
Tony Smith, Harrison County
Nick Nielsen, Humboldt County
Jolene Riessen, Ida County
Sara Winkleman, Kossuth County
State Senator Jeff Edler, Marshall County
Wyatt Edler, Marshall County
State Representative David Sieck, Mills County
Dan Witten, Monona County
Eric Bruhn, Palo Alto County
Andy Schroeder, Plymouth County
Don Kass, Plymouth County
Darin Dykstra, Plymouth County
Grant Wells, Pocahontas County
Chris Perdue, Pottawattamie County
Chad Hansen, Sac County
Gabe Ferry, Shelby County
Bill Couser, Story County
Marty Chitty, Story County
John Fredrickson, Webster County
Gregg Hora, Webster County
Jacob West, Winnebago County
Barbara Sloniker, Woodbury County
Mark Nelson, Woodbury County
Ethan Lambert, Wright County

Sheldon, Iowa — We just don’t seem to be able to shake Old Man Winter for very long this year. Another storm system is set to strike northwest Iowa this Thursday, and forecasters may even use the “B” word — “blizzard” with this one.

We talked to meteorologist Andrew Kalin with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, and he tells us about it.

The “blizzard” word is not one that the Weather Service just kicks around. Kalin says it would take some specific conditions for them to call a storm a “blizzard.”

We asked him how much snow they’re expecting before it’s done.

And he says the snow will leave colder temps in its wake.

The forecast says it’s looking like it will take until at least Tuesday to get back into the 40’s.

Des Moines, Iowa — One project in our area and two nearby have received some money from the state.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority have announced $26.88 million in grant funding through the final round of Destination Iowa, a $100 million investment in quality-of-life and tourism attractions. In recognition of the high interest in the program, Gov. Reynolds also announced an additional investment of $15 million to fund Destination Iowa applications from rural communities that did not receive grants in previous rounds.

In all, Destination Iowa awards were granted to 46 projects totaling $115 million, which activated over $480 million in total investment.

Reynolds says that Destination Iowa has inspired communities in all corners of the state to dream big about projects that will bolster the quality of life and attract newcomers. She says the demand is high, especially in rural areas. So, “I’ve extended the program to help more rural communities realize those dreams.”

In our area, the Osceola County Conservation Board was awarded $200,000 to expand the Willow Creek Campground. The award represents 40% of the total project investment of $500,000.

The Dickinson County Conservation Board was awarded $3,500,000 to develop the new Sherwood Forest Park on the former site of The Inn at Okoboji resort. The award represents 35% of the total project investment of $10,013,197.

Pearson Lakes Art Center in Okoboji was awarded $185,000 for the Art Smart Children’s Interactive Gallery project. The award represents 25% of the total project investment of $749,303.

Funded projects must be completed by June 30, 2026. For more information on the Destination Iowa program, you can visit Funding for this program has been made available through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

Other awards elsewhere in the state:

The Dubuque Art Museum was awarded $8,000,000 toward the construction of a new museum and a 10,000-square-foot outdoor sculpture garden. The award represents 20% of the total project investment of $39,931,512.

The Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines was awarded $3,280,000 for major upgrades including a new Big Cat Conservation exhibit and an expanded seal and sea lion facility. The award represents 18% of the total project investment of $18,000,000.

The City of Cedar Rapids was awarded $3,000,000 toward the LightLine Loop project in the Czech Village and NewBo District. The award represents 16% of the total project investment of $19,255,775.

The City of Dubuque was awarded $3,000,000 for the addition of an open-air amphitheater on Schmitt Island. The award represents 19% of the total project investment of $15,442,961.

The City of Marshalltown was awarded $2,000,000 for the Linn Creek District development and creative placemaking efforts. The award represents 32% of the total project investment of $6,251,115.

Story County Conservation was awarded $1,500,000 to pave a portion of the Heart of Iowa Nature Trail east of Ames, connecting to Nevada and Maxwell. This award represents 31% of the total project investment of $4,819,000.

The India Heritage & Cultural Center was awarded $900,000 toward expanding the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center near Madrid. The award represents 23%of the total project investment of $3,976,023.

The Putnam Museum and Science Center in Davenport was awarded $900,000 toward an expansion project. The award represents 23% of the total project investment of $3,965,449.

The African American Museum of Iowa in Cedar Rapids was awarded $800,000 toward major renovations at the museum and the reinstallation of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.-inspired “Trumpet” sculpture and garden. The award represents 17% of the total project investment of $4,827,339.

The Southeast Iowa Sports Commission was awarded $2,500,000 to develop the Ottumwa SportsPlex Development Project. The award represents 23% of the total project investment of $10,737,449.

The Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Association was awarded $500,000 to improve and enhance existing campground facilities at the Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Association grounds. The award represents 38% of the total project investment of $1,312,525.

Jasper County Conservation was awarded $550,000 for the Jasper County Conservation Environmental Education Center. The award represents 25% of the total project investment of $2,204,509.

The City of Denison was awarded $4,500,000 for the Crawford County Wellness and Recreation Center. The award represents 24% of the total project investment of $18,643,000.

America’s First Great Dam Foundation was awarded $115,000 for the 1913 Hydro-Electric Turbine Visitor Center project in Keokuk. The award represents 38% of the total project investment of $303,325.

Wapello County was awarded $500,000 for improvements and enhancements to the Pioneer Ridge Park Campground. The award represents 40% of the total project investment of $1,260,975.

The Clayton County Conservation Board was awarded $345,000 to modernize and enhance the Osborne Welcome Center and Campground. The award represents 40% of the total project investment of $862,500.

The City of Treynor was awarded $800,000 for a multi-phase park and recreation project. The award represents 31% of the total project investment of $2,577,455.

Jefferson County was awarded $450,000 for improvements and enhancements to the Jefferson County Prairie Ridge Campground. The award represents 39% of the total project investment of $1,166,430.

The City of Dayton and the Dayton Community Club were awarded $800,000 for improvements to the Dayton Oak Park Trails Rodeo and Events Center. The award represents 34% of the total project investment of $2,372,703.

The City of Keosauqua was awarded $300,000 for the Lower Des Moines Water Trail. The award represents 32% of the total project investment of $950,249.

The Stanton Community Foundation and Montgomery County were awarded $850,000 for the Stanton Area Trail Project. The award represents 35% of the total project investment of $2,456,110.

The YMCA of Washington County was awarded $750,000 for an Indoor Aquatic Center. The award represents 10% of the total project investment of $7,689,975.

Marshall County Conservation was awarded $400,000 to improve and further develop the Green Castle Recreation Area Campground. The award represents 34% of the total project investment of $1,160,000.

The City of Muscatine was awarded $1,000,000 for the Muscatine Indoor Sports Complex. The award represents 25% of the total project investment of $4,000,000.

The City of Fort Madison was awarded $250,000 for the Fort Madison River Landing project. The award represents 11% of the total project investment of $2,256,317.



Sibley, Iowa– A Hartley woman was taken to the hospital after an accident in Sibley on Friday, March 10, 2023.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 11:25 a.m., 45-year-old Heather Ten Kley of Hartley was driving a 2005 Chevy westbound on A22 going over the Highway 60 overpass at Sibley. They tell us that 32-year-old Tanner Doeden of George was eastbound on A22, turning north onto the half-circle onramp for southbound Highway 60 in a 2004 Freightliner semi.

The report says that Doeden failed to see Ten Kley approaching and allegedly turned left in front of her. Ten Kley was unable to stop in time and then collided with the passenger side of the Doeden’s tractor unit. Ten Kley was using her car as a postal carrier vehicle at the time of the accident.

The Sibley Ambulance took Ten Kley to Osceola Regional Health Center Hospital. The deputy says Ten Kley suffered serious injuries and had to be extracted from her vehicle.

Ten Kley’s Chevy was totaled with $5000 in damages, and Doeden’s Freightliner semi sustained $1500 in damages.

Doeden was charged with failure to yield upon left turn.

March 11, 2023 - 11:03 pm - Posted in News

click to enlarge

Northwest Iowa — Has the snowfall affected the drought? According to the latest report from the US Drought monitor, it has.

According to the latest information from the US Drought Monitor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the area of extreme drought has been shrinking. As late as Valentine’s Day, about half of O’Brien County was in extreme drought, along with about half of Cherokee County and nearly all of Buena Vista, Pocahontas, Humboldt, Woodbury, and Monona counties. But the latest Drought Monitor report, released at the end of last week shows much less extreme drought. It’s now limited to a small part of Woodbury, Monona, and Harrison counties.

The area of exceptional drought along the Missouri River south of Sioux City, however, hasn’t changed much.

For the most part, the rest of our area of northwest Iowa hasn’t changed much either. There’s still an area that’s only labeled “abnormally dry” in western Lyon and northwestern Sioux counties. The rest of Lyon County and most of Sioux and Osceola counties are in moderate drought, with severe (but not extreme or exceptional) drought in all of O’Brien County, extending a little into Sioux and Osceola counties and continuing three counties south and four east.

Most of the state is at least abnormally dry, except for the eastern few tiers of counties and a bubble of about 12 counties in south-central Iowa.

Northwest Iowa — Saint Patrick’s Day is this coming Friday and this week is traditionally one of the deadliest weeks of the year for motorists and pedestrians in Iowa and nationwide.

Trooper Kevin Krull with the Iowa State Patrol says they’re joining other law enforcement agencies to spread the message about the dangers of drinking and driving — and to take impaired drivers off the road.

The program started on Saturday and runs through this coming Sunday, March 19th. Krull says if you’re at a St. Pat’s party on foot, you’ll need to be especially cautious.

During the week of St. Patrick’s Day last year, 48 people were either seriously injured or killed in car crashes on Iowa’s roads.

He says drivers should also stay alert, slow down, stay off their electronics. Krull says everyone needs to play a part to stay safe.

March 7, 2023 - 4:12 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — As if we haven’t had enough snow and wintery weather, another storm system is headed our way, according to weather forecasters.

Meteorologist Jeff Chapman at the National Weather Service Office in Sioux Falls tells us about it.

He gives us an idea of how much snow to expect in our area.

Chapman says a little ice isn’t out of the question either. As overnight snow tapers off this Wednesday morning it could change to freezing rain, but any accumulations would be light, says Chapman.

He tells us that while they aren’t forecasting blizzard conditions, there will be some wind too.

The one good thing is that it won’t be bitterly cold like a January storm. However, even the moderate temps will be a mixed blessing.

But he says the warmer temps might mean faster melting as well. It looks like we might get a break from the snow on Friday, but there’s a pretty good chance again on Saturday and Saturday night.

March 7, 2023 - 4:04 am - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — This Tuesday, March 7th, there will be a special opportunity in Sheldon for high school students who are interested in the healthcare field.

Kevin Miller, Northwest Iowa Community College’s Emergency Services Education Coordinator tells us about the camp, which is called “Scrubs Camp.”

Miller says the main idea of the Scrubs Camp is to raise awareness about what opportunities are available.

He tells us over a hundred area high school students are registered for the camp. Miller tells us the idea is for students to “scrub up” with pros who actually DO healthcare for a living.

The day will include eight 30-minute sessions all featuring hands-on activities for the students to participate in. Live-action simulation scenarios will run back-to-back.

The topics will run the gamut. Some topics include nursing, radiologic technology, pharmacy, health information technology & medical coding, surgery, medical laboratory, EMS, and more.