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 24, 2017 - 2:32 pm - Posted in News

RTFOrange City, Iowa — A man who escaped from the Iowa Department of Corrections Residential Treatment Facility in Sheldon last year is back in custody.

According to Sioux County Jail records, 25-year-old Eric James Spratt of Alta was picked up by the Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Office and was returned to Sioux County this past week, where at last report he remained in custody in lieu of a $5000 cash or surety bond.

Sioux County Chief Deputy Nate Huizenga says that Spratt absconded from the Sheldon RTF in June of 2016. According to Iowa Department of Corrections records, Spratt was serving a sentence for 3rd Degree Burglary out of Buena Vista County. He now faces the rest of that sentence. In addition, Sioux County authorities filed a felony escape charge against Spratt after he escaped from custody last June. He faces a preliminary hearing on that charge on Tuesday, April 4th.

March 24, 2017 - 11:24 am - Posted in News

Sioux County Courthouse_svaOrange City, Iowa — A trial date has been set for a Hawarden couple facing felony charges of child endangerment after their 11-year-old told a teacher he was being abused.

According to court records, authorities believe that on at least three separate occasions from September of last year until now, 35-year-old Matthew Spaans abused his 11-year-old stepson, causing injuries. Authorities also believe the child’s mother, 33-year-old Nina Spaans told the boy to make up stories about how the injuries were received.

Matthew Spaans is charged with three counts of Serious Assault Causing Bodily Injury, a serious misdemeanor; and both Matthew and Nina Spaans are charged with three counts each of Child Endangerment Causing Bodily Injury, a class D felony.

Both have entered “not guilty” pleas.

A pretrial conference has been set for April 17th, with a jury trial scheduled for Tuesday, July 18th.

March 24, 2017 - 11:22 am - Posted in News

RAGBRAI tentsOrange City, Iowa — More details have been finalized about how Orange City is going to handle thousands of bicyclists and their support people in July.

The Orange City RAGBRAI® committee has announced campground information for registered riders who will be participating in RAGBRAI XLV and spending the night in Orange City before heading out on the bike ride across Iowa on July 23. According to JoAnn Weber of the Orange City RAGBRAI executive committee, the main campground will be on the campus of Northwestern College in an area just east of the college’s Bultman Center.

She says that the main campground is about five and a half acres. She says the Bultman Center will have showers and restrooms available for campers. This campground is primarily for riders utilizing the RAGBRAI luggage service, and will be available on a first come, first served basis, according to Weber.

She tells us this campground will not accommodate vehicles, so RVs and other support vehicles will need to find alternate locations. Some of the RV camping areas include Northwest Implement, the MOC-FV High School parking lot, and the Unity Christian High School parking lot.

A map of additional official campgrounds available in Orange City during RAGBRAI will be released in April after charter groups have indicated their needs. Registered riders may also apply for various housing options at after May 1. That web site is also a clearinghouse for everything RAGBRAI in Orange City this year.

March 23, 2017 - 3:27 pm - Posted in News

ambulance rear_OOrange City, Iowa — An Alton teen was airlifted to a Sioux City hospital after an accident on Wednesday, March 22nd.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that at 10:45 p.m., 36-year-old Brandon Hofland of Sioux Center was backing a 2004 Freightliner semi‐tractor pulling a feed trailer on 400th Street onto a hog confinement property, four miles north of Orange City. They say 18-year-old Lauren Pottebaum of Alton was driving a 2010 Jeep Patriot eastbound on 400th Street when she struck the feed trailer on the roadway.

Crash 2Pottebaum became trapped in her vehicle and required mechanical extrication by the Orange City Fire Department. The Orange City Ambulance took her to the Orange City Area Health System Hospital. She was later flown to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.

The feed trailer sustained approximately $20,000 in damage. The Jeep sustained approximately $18,000 in damage.

The Sheriff’s Office reports that the Orange City Ambulance crew and Orange City Fire DepartmentCrash assisted on the scene.

They say the accident remains under investigation.

March 23, 2017 - 3:27 pm - Posted in News

pipeline construction2Hospers, Iowa — The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office has just released some information about some attempted vandalism to property owned by the Dakota Access Pipeline last week.

The Sheriff’s Office reports that the vandalism was reported in two locations of the Dakota Access pipeline south of Hospers.
Deputies found that someone had apparently attempted to burn holes into the above ground valves at these two locations. Deputies responded and secured both locations. 

The Sheriff’s Office says they contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They say the FBI is conducting the investigation of the incidents in Sioux County, as well as similar incidents in South Dakota and Iowa.

Sheriff’s Officials say that they encourage you to report any suspicious activity near any of the pipeline sites. If you have information regarding the damage to the pipeline, you are asked to contact the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office or send an anonymous tip through their Text‐A‐Tip program.  Find more information about it at  

March 22, 2017 - 4:02 pm - Posted in News

Peter BacaamSioux Center, Iowa — A post on a social media site has helped capture a fugitive from justice in Sioux Center.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office says they posted a notice on their Facebook page on Tuesday, March 21, at 3:00 p.m. seeking the help of the public in locating 22-year-old Peter Baccam of Sioux Center.

Baccam was wanted by the Sheriff’s Office for failing to appear for a jail sentence where he was required to turn himself in to the Sioux County Jail on Monday, March 13. Baccam was then to be transported to the Iowa Department of Corrections in Oakdale to serve a two-year prison sentence for a conviction of domestic assault causing bodily injury. They say Baccam’s whereabouts remained unknown as he avoided apprehension from law enforcement.

Sheriff’s officials report that after the post was made on Facebook, an anonymous person told a Sioux County Deputy Sheriff that they believed Baccam was staying at a Sioux Center home. The deputy relayed the tip information to the Sioux Center Police Department who located Baccam at the residence reported by the tipster.

The Sheriff’s Office says that upon further investigation, the Sioux Center Police Officer discovered that Baccam was in violation of a court-ordered protective order, as he was in the company of a person listed on the protection order as a protected party.

Just a little over two hours after the social media post, at 5:16 p.m., Bacaam was arrested on the outstanding arrest warrant for failing to appear and a new charge of violating a court-ordered protection order.

The charges of which Baccam was convicted stem from an October incident in which he reportedly assaulted his children’s mother, who was 27 weeks pregnant at the time. Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle says the victim sought medical treatment at the Sioux Center Hospital out of concern for her unborn child.

March 22, 2017 - 9:46 am - Posted in News

Sioux Sheriff 84-8 FacebookOrange City, Iowa — Soybean bi‐product was spilled after a collision at the intersection of Jackson Avenue and Highway 60 near Orange City on Monday, March 20th.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that just before 3:30 pm on Monday, 31-year-old Brett Colling of Remsen was driving a 2005 Nissan southbound on Jackson Avenue, four miles south of Orange City. Fifty-five-year-old Mark Swets of Rock Valley was driving a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado northbound on Jackson Avenue. 26-year-old Lance De Jong of Rock Valley was driving a 2017 Peterbilt semi-tractor northbound on Highway 60. According to the report, Swets stopped for the stop sign at Highway 60, and Colling drove south across Highway 60 and was struck by De Jong, causing the load from the trailer to spill onto the roadway. The impact from Peterbilt caused Colling to strike Swets.

The Nissan received $6,000 damage; the Peterbilt received $15,000 damage, and the Chevrolet received $18,000 damage.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Iowa State Patrol and with roadway cleanup by the Orange City Fire Department and the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Colling was cited with a charge of failing to yield from a stop sign.

Photos below courtesy of the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office:







March 21, 2017 - 3:52 pm - Posted in News

avera mckennan careflight new helicopterHawarden, Iowa — A Hawarden man was airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital in the aftermath of a 2-vehicle crash near Hawarden Tuesday morning (March 21st).

According to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, the crash happened on Cherry Avenue near Hawarden when a northbound 2004 Peterbilt tractor-trailer rig, driven by 44-year old Bradley Dekkers of Ireton, attempted a left turn onto a field driveway, and was struck by a southbound 1995 Chevrolet S-!) pickup, driven by 55-year old Dean Jurrens of Hawarden.

Deputies say Jurrens was transported by the Hawarden Ambulance to the Hawarden Hospital, and later airlifted to Avera-McKennon Medical Center in Sioux Falls for treatment of his injuries.

According to authorities, Dekkers’ Peterbilt sustained an estimated $6-thousand damage, while damage to  Jurrens’ pickup was estimated at $5-thousand.

Authorities say Dekkers was cited for failing to yield when making a left turn.

THe Sioux County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Hawarden Fire Department, Hawarden Ambulance, Hawarden Police Department, and Sioux County Conservation.

AccidentGeneric 2Sioux Center, Iowa — A motorcyclist was taken to the hospital Monday morning (March 20th) after losing control of his motorcycle near Sioux Center.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office says that about 7:30 Monday morning, 41-year old Brian De Weerd of Rock Valley was eastbound on 360th Street, about 3 miles north of Sioux Center, on a 2002 Suzuki motorcycle, when a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, driven by 31-year old Mark Harris of Rock Valley entered 360th Street from a farm driveway.  According to the report, De Weerd attempted to avoid striking the Harris pickup, and lost control of his motorcycle.

Authorities say De Weerd was transported to the Sioux Center Hospital by the Sioux Center Ambulance.

Deputies estimate damage to De Weerd’s bike at $2-thousand, with no damage reported to Harris’ pickup.

Harris was cited for failure to yield upon entering the highway, according to deputies.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Sioux Center Fire Department, Sioux Center Ambulance, and Sioux Center Police Department.