March 16, 2018 - 2:27 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Sioux County has been ranked the second healthiest county in Iowa in which to live, according to a report just released by Last year’s report had Sioux County rated #1.

The new report ranks all 99 of Iowa’s counties for their health, based on criteria like access to good doctors, education, and affordable housing. Katie Wehr, a senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, saya host of key factors like, where we live, play a definite role in how well we live, and for how long.

The new rankings list Iowa’s five healthiest counties as: Grundy, Sioux, Cedar, Dallas and Winneshiek, while the five counties in the poorest health are: Monona, Appanoose, Decatur, Audubon and Lee. Lyon County is ranked #8 in the latest report, with O’Brien coming in at #21, and Osceola County ranking #54 out of Iowa’s 99 counties.

Wehr says the rankings are a starting point, not an ending point, and there’s always room for improvement.

She says the local-level information makes it clear good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care including housing, education and jobs.

The new report says poverty limits opportunity and increases the chance of poor health. Children in poverty are less likely to have access to well-resourced and quality schools, and have fewer chances to be prepared for living wage jobs. The report reveals that in Iowa, 15-percent of children live in poverty, compared to the national rate of 20-percent.

For a complete look at the Iowa rankings, visit

March 14, 2018 - 5:19 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — The felony case against an Orange City woman accused of burglary and theft has been dismissed.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office says the charges against 24-year old Stacy Carr stem from the investigation into a residential burglary in Hull. Deputies say Carr is accused of entering a residence on Maple Street in Hull without permission and stealing a cell phone.

Carr faced charges of 3rd Degree Burglary, a Class D Felony, and 5th Degree Theft, a Simple Misdemeanor, in connection with the incident.

Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle says that Carr was charged in numerous cases. He says she pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor theft charge and was sentenced to pay a fine, surcharge and other fees and costs, plus 15 days in jail with credit for time served.

In exchange for the voluntary guilty plea in the misdemeanor case, Kunstle said it was decided that since the possibility for obtaining a conviction in the felony case was low, that they would dismiss the felony case. He says also, she is in custody awaiting trial in a class C felony willful injury case in Woodbury County.

March 14, 2018 - 5:18 pm - Posted in News

Primghar, Iowa — The case against a Boyden man who faced a felony burglary charge after an incident last summer in Sheldon has been closed for now.

Authorities say 37-year-old Casey VandenBosch was charged with Third Degree Burglary, which is a Class D Felony. Sheldon Police say the charges stem from the investigation into an incident that took place in Sheldon in which someone entered a house through a window.

If convicted of a class D felony, defendants face five years in prison and a fine of between $750 and $7500.

Court records say VandenBosch originally pleaded not guilty in August 2017 but changed his plea last month.

Judge Carl Peterson granted VandenBosch a deferred judgment in the case. But he will have to serve probation for four years, pay a $750 fine, pay a Law Enforcement Initiative Surchage of $150, pay pecuniary damages, and other costs and fees.

In his ruling, Judge Carl Petersen cited VandenBosch’s lack of record, his employment circumstances, contents of the pre-sentence investigation, the plea agreement, and VandenBosch’s comments as reasons supporting the sentence.

March 14, 2018 - 2:11 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The Sibley Acquatic Center ad the Sioux County Nature Center at Hawarden are two of the three projects that have been awarded Community Attraction and Tourism, or CAT, Grants by the Enhance Iowa Board.

According to a release from the Enhance Iowa Board, the Sibley Acquatic Center received a CAT grant in the amount of $250-thousand, the exact amount the group had asked Enhance Iowa to provide. That money will go toward the $2,568,488 required to complete the project, which includes the rehabilitation and expansion of Sibley’s existing swimming pool. The aquatic center will feature a new splash pad, zero-depth entry, water play structures, water bench, sunshades, a water therapy seat, volleyball net, lap lanes, log roll, climbing wall, a drop slide into the pool, and three-quarter-meter diving stand. The project also includes the complete remodel, rehabilitation and reuse of existing pool facilities like parking, concession stand, and bathhouse, and replacement of the existing clubhouse with a new facility that will host community celebrations, meetings and special events.

The Sioux County Nature Center at Hawarden received the $600-thousand grant they had applied for, which will go toward the $4,269,318 cost of the new two-story nature center at Oak Groves Park. The nature center will provide office space for conservation staff, exhibit spaces and classrooms for educational programming.

The CAT Grants were announced during Wednesday’s (March 14th) meeting of the Enhance Iowa Board.

The Enhance Iowa Program provides financial incentives to communities for the construction of recreational, cultural, educational or entertainment facilities that enhance the quality of life in Iowa. To date, 31 CAT awards have been granted by the board, totaling $10,808,802. The next Enhance Iowa Board meeting is scheduled for April 11, 2018, in Sheldon.

March 9, 2018 - 5:08 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — An Orange City man was sentenced ealier this week in federal court in Sioux City for manufacturing anabolic steroids.

23-year old James Nhan was sentenced to 2-years’ probation, with a condition that he spend two consecutive weeks in jail, according to federal authorities. Nhan received the sentencing after pleading guilty, in November of last year, to one count of manufacturing anabolic steroids.

According to authorities, in a plea agreement, Nhan admitted that from late 2014 to late 2015 he manufactured anabolic steroids and intended to distribute some of the steroids to various customers. In December, 2015, law enforcement executed a search warrant on Nhan’s residence and reportedly seized numerous vials containing the drug, as well as laboratory equipment, packing material, labels and sheets of paper listing the names and addresses of individuals who had purchased, or intended to purchase the drug.

Federal authorities say the case was investigated by the FBI, DEA, Iowa DCI, Sioux County Attorney’s Office, Department of Homeland Security, Nebraska State Patrol, and FDA Office of Inspector General.

March 9, 2018 - 3:28 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Have you noticed that the sun is coming up earlier in the morning and staying up later at night? The longer days are a sure sign that spring is on the way. The days are about to seem even longer at sunset, however.

Daylight Saving Time returns at 2:00 a.m. this Sunday morning, March 11th. You’ll have to turn your clocks AHEAD one hour if you don’t want to be an hour late for church on Sunday morning.

Daylight Saving Time is 100 years old this year. The law authorizing Daylight Saving Time was signed into law on March 15th, 1918 with the Calder Act, which was implemented to help conserve fuel during WWI. It’s been modified several times, including year-round “War Time” during WWII. The latest modification happened 11 years ago. While it was called the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and extended Daylight Saving Time by four weeks, it actually didn’t take effect until 2007.

Fire safety experts remind us that as long as you’re going around your house changing clocks, you might as well take some batteries with you on your journey around the house and change out your smoke alarm batteries as well.

Fire safety experts say that not only should you have smoke alarms installed on every floor of your home but in every bedroom as well. The U.S. Fire Administration says that you should change the batteries at least every year unless the alarms are over ten years old. If that’s the case, the whole alarm should be replaced.

Tea, South Dakota — The Lewis & Clark Regional Water System, which was organized in the mid-1990’s, continues to deal with slow funding from Washington. Officials with the system say that the local communities and water systems paid their share several years ago, but the federal government continues to be slow to pay what they’ve promised, so other arrangements continue to be worked out.

We had a chance to talk to Lewis & Clark Executive Director Troy Larson, and he tells us what’s next on the construction schedule.

Larson says that the Sibley stub also branches off of the Adrian to Worthington line, so it’s good news for Sibley as well.

As far as the line coming from South Dakota and going to Sioux Center, Hull, and Sheldon, Larson tells us some changes have been made as to what sections of the system get built first. He says they’re no longer going to do the Big Sioux River crossing first.

So instead of doing the Big Sioux River crossing first on that line, they’re planning to do it last on that list. Larson says that once Sioux Center is connected, it’s just a matter of opening a valve and Hull will be connected as well, as that segment was installed years ago to let Hull buy water from Sioux Center.

After that, the pipeline will be laid from Hull to Sheldon. But Sheldon won’t actually be the last Iowa community connected, says Larson. He says the line from Minnesota to Sibley is scheduled to be constructed after the Sheldon line.

Finally, he says they’ll connect to Madison, South Dakota. That community is already receiving Lewis & Clark water through a wheeling agreement with another system, but ultimately Larson says Lewis & Clark will run a line to Madison as well as the finale to the project.

Of course, the timeline for the construction of each segment is dependent on the timeliness of the funding.

March 8, 2018 - 6:06 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa– A George man and an Iowa State Patrol trooper were taken to the hospital after an accident near Sioux Center.

The Iowa State Patrol reports that about 4:50 p.m on Monday, March 5, 2018, about three miles north of Sioux Center, a 2004 Chevy had been northbound on Highway 75. The road was slippery and there was blowing snow. Just north of 370th street, the driver of the Chevy lost control of his vehicle and it became stuck. The driver called for law enforcement to assist with traffic control. Trooper Jeremy Hilt arrived in his patrol car and pulled in behind the Chevy on the northbound shoulder with his emergency lights on and arrow stick activated.

The report says that 18-year-old Candyce Eubank of Little Rock was traveling northbound on Highway 75 in a 2002 Saturn when she failed to stop and hit the back of the trooper’s car, causing it to slide forward and hit the Chevy. After that, a 2014 Jeep driven by 35-year-old Nicholas Vachon came upon the accident scene, also northbound, and attempted to swerve out of the way, but was unable to move far enough over and struck Eubank’s Saturn.

The trooper and 40-year-old Robert Dillard of George were in the patrol car when it was struck, and were taken to Sioux Center Health Hospital — Dillard by Sioux Center Ambulance, and Trooper Hilt by Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Chase Hesse.

The Chevy sustained $500 in damages, Hilt ‘s Dodge Charger patrol vehicle sustained $12,000 in damages, Eubank’s Saturn sustained $8000 in damages, and Vachon’s Jeep sustained $500 in damage.

Eubank and Vachon were each charged with failure to stop in assured clear distance.

March 7, 2018 - 5:07 pm - Posted in News

Maurice, Iowa — The conviction of a Maurice daycare provider on charges of Felony Child Endangerment Causing Bodily Injury, and Misdemeanor Assault Causing Bodily Injury, has been upheld by the Iowa Court of Appeals.

According to Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle, the case against 34-year old Dianna Marie Winder originated in November, 2015, and involved injuries to a 15-month old in her daycare.

Kunstle says on November 15, 2015, around 5:00 pm, the child’s mother arrived, and it was immediately apparent the child bore concerning marks on his face. Winder suggested an allergy caused the marks. Kunstle says the mother brought her son to a local emergency room where medical professionals were concerned the child was hit, and contacted police and social workers, leading to Winder’s arrest in late December of 2015.

Winder pled not guilty and the case proceeded to a four-day jury trial in November, 2016, after which, the jury returned a guilty verdict on both charges. On February 6, 2017, the District Court sentenced Winder to immediately serve 150 days in the Sioux County Jail with work release and four-years of probation. Winder’s jail sentence had been temporarily suspended pending her appeal, where she argued she received ineffective legal assistance, according to Kunstle.

This Wednesday morning, March 7th, the Court of Appeals ruled that the trial record revealed substantial evidence supporting the jury’s finding of guilt; and because of that, Winder’s claim her attorney was ineffective was denied.

The Appeals Court says that, unless Winder appeals to the Iowa Supreme Court, she must now serve her 150-day sentence.

Hospers, Iowa– A Sioux County Sheriff’s Deputy was taken to the hospital after an accident near Hospers.

The Iowa State Patrol reports that about 10:40 PM on Saturday, March 3, 2018, 31-year-old Deputy Caleb Haverdink of the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office was driving a 2017 Ford Explorer police cruiser eastbound on B40, just west of Hospers.

The report says that Deputy Haverdink was tired and started to drift off the roadway to the right. His patrol vehicle went onto the right shoulder and down a steep ditch. The trooper says the deputy was unable to get the vehicle stopped, and it went airborne down into the Floyd River, ending up on the driver’s side.

The report says another deputy took Haverdink to the Orange City Health System Hospital.

The Ford Explorer patrol vehicle, owned by the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office was considered totaled with about $27,500 in damages.

The deputy was charged with failure to maintain control.