December 14, 2017 - 12:03 am - Posted in News

Alton, Iowa — A Sheldon man was taken to a hospital after an accident near Alton on Tuesday evening, December 12.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 10:35 p.m., 52-year-old Kevin Starling of Sheldon was driving a 2004 Ford Ranger pickup northbound on Highway 60, about a mile north of Alton. They report that 30-year-old Trevor Juzek of Le Mars was driving a 2015 Chevrolet Equinox northbound on Highway 60 behind Starling.

The report says Juzek rear-ended the Starling pickup, causing Starling to lose control of the Ford. The pickup entered the east ditch where it rolled onto its top.

The Alton Ambulance took Starling to the Orange City Area Health System Hospital.

His Ford sustained about $9,000 in damage. The Juzek Chevrolet sustained about $20,000 in damage.

Juzek was cited on a charge of following too closely.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Alton Ambulance Squad, the Alton Fire Department, and the Orange City Police Department.

December 12, 2017 - 6:45 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — “Medical marijuana is not the same thing as recreational marijuana.” That’s from Iowa State Senator Randy Feenstra, who will be one of the members of a panel discussion about marijuana this Wednesday night, December 13th.

The discussion is aimed at college students but is open to the public. It’s going to be on the Dordt College campus in Sioux Center at 7:00 p.m.

Feenstra, Trooper Vince Kurtz, and Cheryl Buntsma will be presenting the latest information regarding legislation, prevention, and impairments.

Buntsma is a Prevention Specialist with Compass Pointe Behavioral Health Services. She says that it will be a wonderful opportunity to share knowledge with the college students and the community, including the difference between medical and recreational marijuana, its impairment affects, and what citizens can do to protect their communities should it ever be fully legalized.

Senator Feenstra says that the media has led us to believe that this drug does little harm. But he says that if one looks at Colorado where it is legal, one can quickly see the dramatic affects it has on people, society, and the cost of government. he says while limited medical marijuana use is legal now in Iowa, most lawmakers are not in favor of fully legalizing the drug for general use.

He says they will talk about the seriousness of marijuana abuse.

Trooper Vince Kurtz, Public Resource Officer with the Iowa State Patrol will lend his knowledge on what is happening in Iowa regarding impairment issues. Kurtz says that even though Iowa has not legalized recreational marijuana, the effects of other states’ actions are already having an impact on statistics here in Iowa. He says that marijuana impairment is similar to that of alcohol, and should be considered just as dangerous.

Again, the discussion is open to the public and there will be ample time for questions and answers after all presenters have shared.

It will be in the Commons area near the Grill on Dordt’s main campus.

December 12, 2017 - 6:43 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — An Orange City man accused of multiple felony sex crimes has entered a plea of “not guilty.”

According to court records, 56-year old Scott McAdam of Orange City faces two counts of Second Degree Sexual Abuse, a class B felony; four counts of Third Degree Sexual Abuse, a class C felony; six counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, a class C felony; an additional count of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, this one an aggravated misdemeanor; eight counts of Invasion of Privacy, an aggravated misdemeanor; and Lascivious Conduct With A Minor, a serious misdemeanor.

The charges were filed in a sex assault investigation that led to McAdam’s arrest on November 20th. Authorities say the investigation led them to believe McAdam allegedly engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with two minor victims that allegedly took place at a home over a two-year time period.

Court records only list one set of initials of a minor victim, but the counts of Invasion of Privacy do not list any victim initials.

Iowa code says class B felonies are punishable by a prison term of 25 years and class C felonies are punishable by a prison term of 10 years and a fine of between $1000 and $10,000 if the defendant is convicted.

At last report, no further court dates had been scheduled in McAdam’s case.

December 12, 2017 - 6:41 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A Rock Valley man who, according to authorities, admitted to stabbing his grandfather and setting his home on fire — has now pleaded “not guilty.”

According to authorities, on or about Sunday, October 29th, 19-year-old Santos Rodriguez, Jr. allegedly killed his grandfather, 84-year old Luis Luevanos; set fire to his grandfather’s home; and then left for Utah.

Agents from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation traveled to Utah and interviewed Rodriguez. Officials say he admitted to stabbing his grandfather and intentionally setting the fire afterward.

But on Monday, December 11th, Rodriguez filed a plea of “not guilty” to the charges of First Degree Murder (a class A felony) and First Degree Arson (a class B Felony) in Sioux County District Court.

No further court dates have yet been scheduled.

If convicted of a class A felony, Iowa code states that Rodriguez would face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. If convicted of a class B felony, he could face up to 25 years in prison.

December 11, 2017 - 5:33 pm - Posted in News

Boyden, Iowa– A Boyden teen was taken to a hospital after an accident near Boyden on Sunday, night December 10, 2017.

The Iowa State Patrol reports that about 10:00 p.m., 16-year-old Brandon Roemeling of Boyden was driving a 1999 Jeep Wrangler eastbound on Highway 18, two and a half miles west of Boyden. They report that 49-year-old Dean Sanford of Lincoln, NE was westbound on 18 in a 2013 Peterbilt semi owned by TMC of Des Moines.

The report says that Roemeling failed to stay in his lane and struck the semi head-on.

The Hull Ambulance took Roemeling to Orange City Health System Hospital. Sanford was checked out but was not transported to a hospital.

Roemeling’s Jeep Wrangler sustained $5000 in damages, which was enough to total the vehicle. Sanford’s Peterbilt semi sustained $50,000 in damages.

Boyden emergency responders also assisted at the scene.

December 8, 2017 - 2:37 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — A hog confinement near Sioux Center was damaged in a fire on Friday, December 8, 2017.

According to Sioux Center Fire Chief David Van Holland, about 7:50 a.m., the Sioux Center Fire Department was called to the report of a hog confinement fire near 420th Street and Fig Avenue, about a mile south of Sioux Center’s south edge and then five miles west.

The chief says the fire department saw a fair amount of smoke coming from the building as they approached the scene. He says they found that plastic sheeting in the building was on fire, and it was also behind the walls and in the ceiling, so they had to tear the ceiling down and
extinguish the fire with water.

Van Holland says no injuries were reported. He says there were hogs in the building at the time of the fire but none of them were injured.

The fire department was assisted by fire departments from Ireton and Maurice.

He says the cause of the fire is undetermined but it is not suspicious.

Chief Van Holland reports that there was extensive damage, but said it was fixable.

He says they used one to two thousand gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for a couple of hours.

December 8, 2017 - 7:42 am - Posted in News

Hull, Iowa– Three people from Hull were taken to hospitals after an accident near Hull.

The Iowa State Patrol reports that about 4:35 PM on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 16-year-old Jacob Van Voorst of Hull was driving a 2000 Ford pickup northbound on Highway 75, nearly a mile south of Perkins Corner– the south intersection of Highways 75 and 18. They report that 80-year-old Leroy Intveld of Hull was southbound on 75 in a 2015 Honda.

The report says that Van Voorst lost control on ice and his pickup crossed the centerline and struck the Intveld car.

The Hull Ambulance took Intveld and a passenger in his car, 80-year-old Wanda Intveld, to the Sioux Center Health Hospital. A parent took Van Voorst to Hegg Health Center Hospital in Rock Valley.

Van Voorst’s Ford pickup sustained $8000 in damages, and Intveld’s Honda sustained $20,000 total in damages. The damage was enough to total both vehicles.

The accident report says there was blowing snow at the time of the accident and ice on the road.

December 6, 2017 - 4:45 pm - Posted in News

Rock Valley, Iowa — A Rock Valley implement dealer has received a high honor from the implement company that they represent.

Recently, Case IH recognized Town and Country Implement in Rock Valley for achieving what they call “Pinnacle Excellence status” in all six areas of their business – Parts, Operations, Service, Marketing, Sales and AFS.

We asked Town and Country’s business manager, Kevin Eppinga what the award entails.

He tells us they are proud to have received the award.

He says they have won Pinnacle Excellence in individual categories in previous years, but this is the first time that they have won it in every category.

Eppinga says the award is also good news for their customers and prospective customers as well.

Town and Country Implement was established in 1979.

December 6, 2017 - 4:42 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — More information is now available in the case against a former Sioux Center teacher who is accused of sexually abusing several students.

Authorities say charges were filed against 35-year old Curtis Van Dam of Sioux Center after a complaint was lodged with police on October 18th, alleging inappropriate conduct between Van Dam, a teacher at Sioux Center Christian School, and a student attending the school. Further investigation led to over 140 counts of sex-related crimes being filed against Van Dam.

Sioux Center Police say they discovered that the earliest alleged crime occurred in August of 2013, with subsequent allegations allegedly happening through October of this year. The alleged violations took place at various locations, including the Sioux Center Christian School, and involved numerous children, according to the Sioux Center Police Department.

According to formal charging documents filed by Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kuntsle, Van Dam faces 146 counts, including:

  • 73 counts of Second Degree Sexual Abuse, a class B felony
  • 12 counts of Third Degre Sexual Abuse, a class C felony
  • 3 counts of Lascivious Acts with a Child, a class C felony
  • 1 count of Lascivious Acts with a Child – Solicitation, a class D felony
  • 15 counts of Sexual Exploitation by a School Employee, a class D felony
  • over 40 related misdemeanor counts

Of the 73 counts of Second Degree Sexual Abuse, the documents say the majority were alleged to have been with three victims, with 20, 25, and 24 counts.

The documents did not identify the victims or their gender, except by 13 sets of initials. They say some or all of the children were under 12 or 13 years of age. The 85 counts of sexual abuse involved six children, according to the documents.

Van Dam bonded out of jail on Tuesday (December 5) after using a bail bondsman to post a $150,000 bond. He faces a pretrial conference on Monday, December 11th and the trial at this point is scheduled for March 6th, 2018.

December 6, 2017 - 4:40 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — The Rock Valley man accused of murdering his grandfather and then setting a fire to hide the evidence has now been formally charged.

Shortly before 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 29th, Rock Valley firefighters were called to the report of a house fire at 1416 15th Street in Rock Valley. Upon arrival, firefighters discovered a portion of the house was fully engulfed by fire, and they were told there was someone inside the dwelling. Firefighters gained entry into the residence, extinguished the fire, and discovered the body of 84-year old Luis Luevanos inside the residence.

Luevanos death sparked an investigation which led investigators to believe that he had been stabbed to death prior to the fire being intentionally set.

The victim’s grandson, Santos Rodriguez, Jr. had lived in his grandfather’s home prior to the fire. Investigators say Rodriguez traveled to Utah after the fire.

Agents from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation traveled to Utah and interviewed Rodriguez. Officials say he admitted to stabbing his grandfather and intentionally setting the fire afterward.

On Monday, Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle filed documents formally charging Rodriguez with First Degree Murder, a class A felony; and First Degree Arson, a class B felony.

Iowa code stipulates that if he pleads guilty or is convicted of First Degree Murder, Rodriguez would face life in prison. If he pleads guilty or is convicted of First Degree Arson, he could face up to 25 years in prison.