Pierre, South Dakota — Some of the money that the states of South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa loaned to the Lewis & Clark Regional Water system is starting to be repaid.

The Lewis & Clark system had been promised funding through the federal government, but up until recent years, the feds were slow to pay, so the system asked the states for advances until they received their funding from the federal government — so that they could keep building the system in the meantime.

Earlier this week, Lewis & Clark’s Executive Director Troy Larson hand-delivered a one million dollar check to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem at the South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre. They tell us this reimbursed the State’s General Fund for a “federal funding advance” that the Legislature approved during the 2014 session. Federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was used to make the repayment.

Lewis & Clark officials hope to be able to start providing their Missouri River aquifer water to Sheldon by the end of this year, and Sibley by the end of next year.

Lake Park, Iowa — The Harris-Lake Park school district still hopes to put a bond issue for a construction project before the voters this fall. But there have been a couple of big changes.

HLP Superintendent Les Douma explains.

But, Douma says there IS one more change — a change in superintendent.

Douma tells us he is not at liberty to give us any names of people being considered, but they hope to narrow the field by next week at this time.

He tells us that the individual will be a “half-time” superintendent.

Douma says the election will be on a proposal to build a new elementary school onto their current 6-12 building. The proposed solution would create a PK-12, all-in-one-location setting, says Douma, estimated to cost $17.1 million. He tells us they will have public information meetings as the November 7th election draws nearer.

June 1, 2023 - 2:43 pm - Posted in News

Sioux County, Iowa — A pair from Sibley has been arrested on theft charges after Sioux County authorities accused them of stealing from a railroad.

According to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, 46-year-old David Case and 33-year-old Margaret Jakobson, both of Sibley, are accused of entering property owned by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and stealing metal. They were arrested on Tuesday, May 30th.

The Sheriff’s office says that upon further investigation, deputies believe that Case and Jakobson stole railroad tie plates and steel stakes and were attempting to sell it as scrap iron at a salvage business.

Case and Jakobson were transported to the Sioux County Jail where they were each charged with second degree theft, a class D felony. They tell us it was a joint investigation between the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office and Osceola Sheriff’s Office.

If convicted, Case and Jakobson could face up to five years in prison on the felony charge.

They face a preliminary hearing on June 6th.

At last report, the pair remained in the Sioux County Jail in Orange City in lieu of twin $5000 bonds.

Northwest Iowa — Two northwest Iowa fire departments responded to calls recently that involved burning pit fires burning out of control.

According to Ashton Fire Chief Andy Gacke, in the 1 p.m. hour, the Ashton Fire Department was called to the report of a brush fire at 4933 220th Street, five miles west and a mile north of Ashton.

The chief says the fire department saw heavy smoke from the tree line as they approached the scene. He says they used water to fight the fire, which began as a burn pit fire went out of control.

Gacke says no injuries were reported. He says there was no damage to speak of, and that the firefighters who responded were on the scene for about an hour.

The Rock Rapids Fire Department was called out on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 for another burn pit out of control.

According to Rock Rapids Fire Chief Ed Reck, at about 2:45 p.m., the Rock Rapids Fire Department was called to the report of a field fire at 2907 180th Street, three miles south of the 9 and 75 junction in Rock Rapids and a mile and a half west.

The chief says a burn pile had gotten away from the person tending the fire. He says firefighters used water and foam to fight the fire.

Reck says no injuries were reported.

Chief Reck reports that there was no damage to anything of significance.

He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene for only a short time.

May 25, 2023 - 2:44 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon has announced that they are going to be offering a paramedic program.

College officials say that it’s designed to meet the increasing demand for skilled paramedics in the healthcare industry. They say the comprehensive program will equip students with the knowledge, practical skills, and real-world experience necessary to excel in the rapidly evolving field of emergency medical services.

Kevin Miller, NCC Emergency Services Education Coordinator says that as emergencies and medical incidents become more complex, the need for highly trained paramedics has never been greater. He says that recognizing this, NCC has developed an innovative curriculum that blends theoretical foundations with hands-on training, enabling students to acquire the critical skills and competencies required to provide exceptional pre-hospital care.

Officials tell us the Paramedic Program at NCC will cover a wide range of topics essential for paramedic practice, including anatomy and physiology, medical emergencies, trauma management, pharmacology, and advanced life support techniques. Students will have access to state-of-the-art simulation labs, where they will hone their skills in a realistic environment, preparing them for the challenges they may encounter in the field. One of the distinguishing features of the Paramedic Program is the emphasis on experiential learning.

Miller says NCC is excited to launch the Paramedic Program and contribute to the development of highly-skilled paramedics who will make a significant impact in their communities. He says , “This program aligns with our commitment to provide a quality education that prepares students for rewarding careers and addresses the evolving needs of the healthcare industry.”

Prospective students interested in the Paramedic Program at NCC can find more information, including admission requirements and application details, on the college’s website at nwicc.edu or by contacting the admissions office at admissions@nwicc.edu or calling 712-324-5061.

Sibley, Iowa– A Sibley woman was taken to the hospital after an accident in Sibley on Sunday, May 14, 2023.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 3:25 p.m., 16-year-old Brianna Taylor of Ocheyedan was driving a 2012 Ford westbound on Fifth Street at Fourth Avenue. They tell us that 81-year-old Rae Johnson of Sibley was eastbound on Fifth in a 2008 Ford.

The report says that Taylor was following a slow-moving pickup so she decided to turn south on Fourth Avenue to get out from behind the pickup. She told the officer that she did not see Johnson’s vehicle approaching from the west and turned in front of it. Johnson’s Ford struck the Taylor Ford in the intersection.

The Sibley Ambulance took Johnson to Osceola Regional Health Center Hospital. Taylor did not report any injuries.

Taylor’s Ford sustained $8000 in damages, and Johnson’s Ford sustained $2000 in damages.

Taylor was charged with failure to yield upon left turn.

Sibley, Iowa — Three old dilapidated buildings were destroyed in a fire on Monday, May 15, 2023, near Sibley.

According to Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls, at about 9:15 p.m., the Sibley Fire Department was called to the report of a controlled burn that got out of hand at 1402 Northwest Boulevard, three miles northeast of Sibley.

The chief says the fire department saw the fire all the way from Sibley so they knew it was not a small fire. They called for the help of the Little Rock Fire Department right away, says Huls. He tells us it looked like an inferno, with the whole farm on fire. He tells us it started with two small trash fires that were burning while someone was cleaning up the property but they got out of hand and embers blew into the buildings and soon everything except the unoccupied house on the property was on fire.

Huls tells us the buildings included a barn and a machine shed, but he says, there was nothing of value in the buildings. In fact, he says they were scheduled for demolition anyway

Huls says no injuries were reported to people, pets, or livestock.

He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene until nearly midnight.

May 16, 2023 - 12:41 am - Posted in News

Ashton, Iowa — If you ever thought getting older would be boring this play may change your mind.

Off, Off Broadway presents “Four Old Broads” and cast member Scott DeKok tells us about the play.

DeKok tells us “Four Old Broads” is directed by BJ Schuller and he lists who else is in the play.

He says that dinner will be catered by Langers and will be served from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Dinner will be a choice of Prime Rib, Apple BBQ Pork Loin, or Smothered Chicken with cheese, green peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Dinner will also include a dinner salad, baked potato, vegetables, and a dinner roll. Dessert will be cheesecake, which will be your choice of Oreo, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Raspberry White Chocolate, and Salted Caramel.

DeKok tells us about the three sponsors of the play.

He says anyone who comes should be prepared to have a good time.

This performance will take place in the Ashton Community Center each night at 7:30 p.m. starting Thursday, May 18th, and ending Sunday, May 21st. To RSVP you can call 712-461-0767.

May 4, 2023 - 4:17 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — The Sibley Fire Department was called out to a fire on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, near Sibley.

According to Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls, at about 4:00 p.m., the Sibley Fire Department was called to the report of a field fire about a quarter mile west of 190th Street and Northwest Boulevard, about two miles southwest of Sibley.

The chief says the fire started as a garbage pile fire on an acreage where no one lives. He says the owner does have some buildings out there and some cattle. He says a worker had burned some trash and the fire got away from him and got into the grass and field. It got under an old road grader and a junk 1964 Chevy Impala. He says from there it got into a grove and hopped the road to the north side of 190th Street, where it was burning toward some occupied houses.

Huls says no injuries were reported to people, pets, or livestock.

The fire department was assisted by the Ashton firefighters.

He tells us not much of value burned except the old road grader and the old car.

He says the 18 firefighters who responded were on the scene for about an hour and 45 minutes.

April 26, 2023 - 3:50 pm - Posted in News

Ashton, Iowa– A St. James, Minnesota man and his passenger were taken to the hospital after an accident at Ashton on Saturday, April 22, 2023.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 8:10 a.m., 58-year-old Frank Zucek of St. James, Minnesota was driving a 2007 Ford pickup southbound on Highway 60, at Ashton, near L36.

The report says that the pickup was pulling a trailer and was crossing a bridge. The bridge was icy. The deputy says Zucek lost control of the vehicle, which entered the west ditch and rolled over at least twice, coming to rest near the creek.

The Ashton and Sibley ambulances took Zucek and a passenger in the vehicle, 55-year-old Timothy Ocel of Lewisville, Minnesota to Osceola Regional Health Center Hospital.

Zucek’s Ford pickup sustained $15,000 in damages, which totaled the vehicle.

The deputy says the Ashton Fire Department also assisted on the scene.