September 21, 2017 - 12:00 am - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A pretrial conference has been continued in the case of a Hawarden mother and stepfather who are facing felony charges of child endangerment after her 11-year-old told a teacher he was being abused.

According to court records, 33-year-old Nina Spaans and 35-year-old Matthew Spaans were to have had a pretrial conference on Monday of this week. But the conference has now been scheduled for Monday, October 2nd in Sioux County District Court.

Court records say authorities believe that Matthew Spaans abused his 11-year-old stepson, causing injuries. Authorities also believe Nina Spaans told the boy to make up stories about how the injuries were received.

Both Matthew and Nina Spaans are charged with three counts each of Child Endangerment Causing Bodily Injury, a class D felony, and have pled “not guilty.”

A trial in Matthew Spaans’ case has been scheduled for Tuesday, November 14th. Court records do not indicate a trial date in Nina Spaans’ case.

September 20, 2017 - 3:27 pm - Posted in News

Sioux County, Iowa — Harvest season will be upon us in a matter of days, and the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office has published a list of harvest safety tips for motorists, as well as operators of farm implements.

Sioux County Chief Deputy Nate Huizenga says one type of crash involving motorists and farm equipment is the most common this time of year.

Huizenga says if you run up on the back of farm equipment on the roadway, you should pass very carefully.

He reminds motorists that farm equipment has a right to share the road with motorists.

Huizenga also has some advice for the operators of those farm implements.

Deputy Huizenga reminds us that for the next couple of months we should expect to encounter farm implements on the road, and we may have to have a little patience getting to our final destination.

You can find the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office complete list of Harvest Safety Tips by CLICKING HERE.

September 19, 2017 - 7:27 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — Another source has named one of the Sioux County colleges as one of the best in the state.

According to, Northwestern College in Orange City is number nine out of the ten best 4-year colleges in Iowa.

Other colleges in order are, number one, Iowa State University, followed by the University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, Briar Cliff University, Grand View University, Mount Mercy University, Graceland University of Lamoni, and Maharishi University of Management. Loras College is number ten. says the data they used came from the National Center for Education Statistics and other U.S. Department of Education Sources. They say they analyzed the stats that covered 13 categories of comparison, from tuition and fees affordability to flexible scheduling factors like the availability of online degrees.

September 19, 2017 - 8:33 am - Posted in News

Rock Valley, Iowa — No one was injuries were reported after a silage truck and an SUV collided at an intersection near Rock Valley on Friday, September 15th.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that just after 5:45 pm on Friday, 23-year-old Ethan McKenney of Larchwood was driving a 1993 Peterbilt silage truck northbound on Cherry Avenue, eight miles west of Rock Valley. Sixty-three-year-old Randall St. Peter of Audubon was driving a 2012 Honda CRV westbound on 300th Street. According to the report, St. Peter turned right onto Cherry Avenue where he was struck by McKenney in the intersection.

The Peterbilt received $15,000 damage; the Honda received $10,000 damage.

No injuries were reported.

September 17, 2017 - 8:13 am - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — The name of the next musical for the annual “Night Show” at the Orange City Tulip Festival has been announced.

The Tulip Festival Steering Committee says the production for next May’s Tulip Festival will be Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. It will be performed at the Unity Knight Center.

Tulip Festival 2018 is scheduled for May 16-19, 2018.

Directing the show will be Todd Vande Griend, who says he is excited to take on the challenge of “this enormous production, and bringing the enchantment and excitement of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to Tulip Festival stage in 2018.”

Vande Griend is joined in the leadership of the 2018 Night Show by producer Sarah Weber, and choreographer Becky Donahue.

The cast of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will consist of approximately 35-40 people ages 16 and older. Auditions will be held in January 2018, and tickets will go on sale at the end of January as well.

Disney’s Beauty and The Beast is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.

In other Tulip Festival news, the Tulip Festival Tulip Court Election is scheduled for this Wednesday, September 20th from noon to 8 p.m. at Stadcentrum in downtown Orange City. Eligible voters include adults with an Orange City address and seventh through twelveth grade students at MOC/Floyd Valley.

September 15, 2017 - 6:43 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The unofficial results from Tuesday’s election are now official.

The county boards of supervisors of the four northwest Iowa counties met on Friday, some for a slightly-rescheduled regular meeting and some for the special purpose of canvassing the results of this past Tuesday’s school election.

The O’Brien County Board of Supervisors met at 9 a.m. on Friday. County Auditor Barb Rohwer reports that other than a few changes to write-ins, everything stayed the same, and those who appeared to have received the most votes have been officially declared the winners.

The Sioux County Board of Supervisors met at 1:00 p.m. Friday afternoon. Sioux County Election Clerk Lisa Rowenhorst says the situation was similar in Sioux County. After the canvass, Gary Witt was the confirmed write-in winner for West Sioux District 2. He is the incumbent but did not file papers, and won anyway.

The Lyon County Board of Supervisors met at 9 a.m. on Friday. Lyon County Election Clerk Carrie Johnson says there were no changes to the Lyon County results, and those who appeared to have the most votes were officially declared the winners there as well.

The Osceola County Board of Supervisors met at 8:45 a.m. on Friday and there were no changes there either according to their auditor’s office. The Osceola County Auditor’s office only handles the Sibley-Ocheyedan district. There are portions of other districts within the county’s borders, but they are administered by surrounding counties. For instance, the Harris-Lake Park results are canvassed by the Dickinson County Board of Supervisors, and according to the Dickinson County Auditor’s Office, there were no changes there either from the numbers reported on Tuesday night.

September 15, 2017 - 6:40 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — This Monday is shaping up to be a busy day in northwest Iowa courtrooms.

If all the events happen as scheduled, there will be events in six cases that we’ve been covering.

In Lyon County, Cassandra Joy VanBerkum of Rock Rapids is accused of theft of medication. According to court documents, Van Berkum has filed a written arraignment and plea of “not guilty” to the charges. Her pretrial conference is this Monday. The trial is scheduled for Tuesday, October 3rd in Lyon County District Court in Rock Rapids.

Julian Barrientos of Doon is charged with felony eluding among several other offenses after a chase in Lyon County in April. Barrientos filed a plea of “not guilty” on May 30th. His court dates have been postponed several times. His pretrial conference is also this Monday. No trial date has been set.

Trysten Robinson, formerly known as Trysten Ramsey of Rock Rapids is accused of sexual contact with a girl who was 14 years old at the time of the alleged incident in December, 2016. Dates have been pushed back in his case as well. A hearing on the case is scheduled for this Monday. A suppression hearing is scheduled for October 2nd. No further dates have been set.

In Osceola County, David Lee Buss of Ashton is accused of a felony Controlled Substance Violation. He faces an initial appearance on his charges this Monday.

In Sioux County, Nina Spaans of Hawarden is charged with three counts of Child Endangerment Causing Bodily Injury, a class D felony in connection with alleged child abuse. She has pled “not guilty.” The pretrial conference has been pushed back several times. It is now scheduled for this Monday morning. No trial date has been set.

Gretchen Scott (also known as Gretchen Gardner) of Hudson, SD is accused of writing over $1000 in bad checks to two Sioux Center businesses. She is scheduled for arraignment this Monday in Sioux County District Court.

September 15, 2017 - 6:39 pm - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — If you haven’t paid them yet, you have about two weeks left to pay the fall installment of property taxes in Iowa without having to pay a penalty.

If you own real estate you’re required to pay half-a-year’s taxes on that real estate each six months. Or you can elect to pay the full year’s taxes in one payment. Taxes were actually due on September 1st, but may be paid without penalty by October 2nd. Normally the deadline is the last day of the month, but this time September 30th falls on a Saturday, so you get until Monday, October 2nd to pay this year.

The County Treasurers in northwest Iowa remind you that there are three different ways to pay your taxes. you can choose to pay your taxes online, at You can go to your County Treasurer’s Office and pay them in person, or you can mail your check to your County Treasurer’s Office. If you go to your Treasurer’s Office, or if you mail your tax payment, be the proper stub accompanies your payment. And remember, if you mail your payment, it MUST BE postmarked on or before October 2nd to avoid a penalty.

The County Treasurer’s Offices in the four-county area are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

September 14, 2017 - 5:10 pm - Posted in News

Rock Valley, Iowa — A Rock Valley woman was taken to a hospital after an accident on Tuesday, September 12th.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 10:55 a.m., 67-year-old Sylvia Pruismann of Rock Valley was driving a 2014 Polaris Sportsman ATV northbound on Fig Avenue, about three miles southeast of Rock Valley, when she attempted to make a U‐turn and lost control of the vehicle. It rolled into the east ditch.

The Rock Valley Ambulance Squad took Pruismann to the Hegg Health Center Hospital in Rock Valley.

The Polaris ATV sustained about $100 in damage.

September 14, 2017 - 5:09 pm - Posted in News

Hawarden, Iowa — Construction is very close to complete in Hawarden on a $14 million hospital construction and renovation project.

Hawarden Regional Healthcare Administrator Jayson Pullman gives us an update on the project for which planning began several years ago.

He says the celebration will probably be in the spring of 2018.

According to Pullman, one of the services that they will soon be able to offer after new construction is 3D mammograms.

Previously, he says they had to do mammograms on a specially-built truck that would come to the hospital periodically. He says they’re adding outreach services and expanding their operating room to keep services close to home for area residents.

Pullman says of the $14 million price tag, $8.8 million came from a USDA Rural Development Loan, $2 million came from local bank participation, $2.5 million came through fundraising, and the rest will come through equity.

Photo Caption: Hospital Construction in spring, 2017