August 23, 2019 - 3:16 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Corn farmers are not exactly pleased about the news that more ethanol waivers are being given to oil refineries that — in their opinion — do not need them.

We talked to Kelly Nieuwenhuis of Primghar, who is the northwest Iowa director for the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. He tells us how he sees it.

Nieuwenhuis says that’s not being done either.

He says that it really doesn’t make sense, because the EPA is tasked with keeping cleaner air, and reducing the amount of ethanol that is to be used seems to go counter to that task. According to Nieuwenhuis, for the first time in 20 years, ethanol usage has dropped, due to the exemptions. He says it’s huge demand destruction for U.S. corn.

We asked Nieuwenhuis what he’d tell people who asked why — 30 years ago — all the corn got used, and there was no ethanol demand. He says there’s one reason — improvement in farming has meant bigger yields, so there’s more corn to use.

And he says with less demand, and more corn being grown, it would follow that corn prices will be going down as well.

Sioux Center, Iowa — A South Dakota man faces multiple charges following the investigation into a burglary in Sioux Center.

Sioux Center Police say the charges against 50-year-old Mark Alan Jacobson of Valley Springs, South Dakota, stem from a residential burglary that occurred in Sioux Center back on August 12th. According to authorities, Jacobson is accused of entering a Sioux Center Residence and making off with miscellaneous groceries and other items.

Charges against Jacobson include two counts of 3rd-Degree Burglary, and one count of 2nd-Degree Theft. All are Class D Felonies. In addition, Jacobson is charged with Possession of Burglary Tools, an Aggravated Misdemeanor, and 5th-Degree Theft, a Simple Misdemeanor.

Sioux County Jail Records indicate that Jacobson was arrested Thursday (August 22nd) in Minnehaha County, South Dakota on the warrants from the Sioux Center Police Department.

Online Jail Records indicate that, as of mid-afternoon Friday, Jacobson was being held in the Sioux County Jail in lieu of a $5,500 bond.

August 22, 2019 - 3:27 pm - Posted in News

Hospers, Iowa — A semi-tractor and trailer were damaged in a fire on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, near Hospers.

According to Hospers Fire Chief Jason Overmole, about 11:15 a.m., the Hospers Fire Department was called to the report of a semi with two tires on fire about a mile south of Alton on Highway 60.

The chief says the fire department saw lots of black smoke as they approached the scene. He says they used water and foam to fight the fire.

Overmole says no injuries were reported.

He says the driver told him that a tire blew, and the friction caused the fire.

Chief Overmole reports that there was moderate damage to the back of the tractor and the front of the trailer.

He says the nine firefighters who responded were on the scene for about 45 minutes.

Hospers, Iowa — The report of a disturbance at a residence in Hospers in the wee hours of Sunday morning has resulted in felony charges against two area women.

According to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, their response to the disturbance call caused them to discover people under the age of 21 who had consumed alcohol. As a result of the investigation that stemmed from that disturbance call, 19-year-old Jennifer Gomez of Sioux Center, and 21-year-old Tonia Hernandez of Sheldon were arrested, and a female juvenile was cited into juvenile court, according to authorities.

Deputies say Gomez and Hernandez were each charged with Delivery of a Controlled Substance to a Minor, which is a Class B Felony, and supplying alcohol to persons under the age of 21, a misdemeanor. The juvenile was charged with underage possession of alcohol.

Photo (L to R): Tonia Hernandez, Jennifer Gomez

Photos courtesy Sioux County Sheriff

August 22, 2019 - 2:45 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The first day of school for most students in our area is this Friday, August 23rd. The beginning of a new school year also means the return of the big yellow vehicles that transport schoolchildren to and from class.

Iowa State Patrol Trooper Nick Erdmann reminds motorists that they’ll be encountering school buses, so pay attention and be patient.

Trooper Erdmann says there are severe penalties for any motorist passing a stopped school bus.

He says the stiff penalties are the result of what is known as “Kadyn’s Law”, which is named for Kadyn Jade Halverson.

Erdmann has this advice for students who ride the bus to and from school.

And to drivers he warns you need to expect the unexpected.

Schools in most all districts here in our area get underway Friday, with Boyden-Hull Schools beginning the school year for students this coming Tuesday.

August 21, 2019 - 3:16 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A northwest Iowa institute of higher learning has been honored again.

Northwestern College of Orange City has again been named one of the nation’s Colleges of Distinction.

“Colleges of Distinction” is an organization that helps students and parents choose the right college. Their staff and advisory group have visited hundreds of colleges and talked to thousands of students, professors, and graduates. They say they recognize schools that deliver on four overarching distinctions: Student Engagement, Teaching, Community, and Outcomes.

Northwestern College officials say the selection was in acknowledgment of Northwestern’s “continued dedication to high-impact educational practices.” Northwestern officials say the college is the only Iowa institution to be named a 2019–20 Christian College of Distinction and one of seven selected as Iowa Colleges of Distinction.

Northwestern’s first-year seminars, collaborative assignments, and projects, undergraduate research, capstone projects, study abroad programs, internships, Honors Program, service-learning programs, Spring Service Partnerships, intensive writing courses and interdisciplinary programs are among the factors that led to the Colleges of Distinction recognition.

Tyson Schritter, the chief operating officer for Colleges of Distinction says that Northwestern takes an innovative approach with its curriculum: Its high-impact educational practices ensure the undergraduate experience is worthwhile and unique.

Northwestern’s business, education, and nursing programs have also received specific recognition for investing in student engagement that prepares students to thrive after graduation.

Find out more by clicking here.

Northwest Iowa — After a very iffy spring, with some very late planting dates, most of the crops in our area are looking pretty good.

But Iowa State University Extension Agronomist Joel De Jong says the different planting dates still have the potential of being a long-term problem.

De Jong tells us that besides the possibility of a wet harvest season and immature crops adding up to a bigger problem, there are other issues to keep in mind as well.

As we always hear, the further out you try to predict the weather, the less certain forecasts are. But the National Weather Service says that 30 days from now, chances are favoring slightly above-normal precipitation and below normal temperatures. The three-month outlook is similar for precipitation, but it’s predicting ABOVE-normal temperatures.

August 21, 2019 - 10:54 am - Posted in News

Alton, Iowa — There were a few tense moments at a church in Alton on Monday, August 19, 2019.

According to Father Daniel Greving of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, about 1:00 p.m., the Alton Fire Department was called due to smoke in the building.

Fr. Greving says there was a small amount of smoke in a sacristy due to a malfunctioning water heater under a sink.

Greving says there were no injuries reported. Firefighters from both Alton and Orange City responded to the call.

Greving says the damage was limited to the water heater itself.

He says fire crews were on scene about an hour making sure everything was out and that the issue was contained in the water heater.

Northwest Iowa — During the recently completed Iowa State Fair for 2019, the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office conducted a straw poll to gauge voter support for candidates that are running for statewide and national elective office.

One of the races, of course, involved the four individuals running for the Republican nomination for the 4th District seat in the U.S. Congress, the seat currently held by Steve King. The Straw Poll revealed some interesting numbers in the Republican field for that race.

Four individuals are seeking the 4th District nomination. State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull, received 29.86% of the votes in the Secretary of State’s Straw Poll. Bret Richards garnered 8.46%, and Jeremy Taylor grabbed 7.17% of the vote. Despite the criticism aimed at the incumbent, Representative Steve King, he received a whopping 55.51% of the votes in the Straw Poll.

For a look at the 4th District race, as well as all the other statewide races included in the Straw Poll, visit the Iowa Secretary of State’s website by CLICKING HERE.

August 20, 2019 - 3:14 pm - Posted in News

Statewide, Iowa — This being an odd-numbered year, the election this fall on election day will not feature the President, members of Congress, or state legislators. It will, however, feature both city and school candidates and issues. So it’s your chance to help with local government.

According to the Iowa Secretary of State, some cities have a primary system. And for those cities, the candidate filing period is underway from now until August 29th, with the primary election on October 8th.

Most cities in our area, however, are not on a primary system. For those cities, the candidate filing period opens this coming Monday, August 26th, and wraps up on September 19th. The general election is on Tuesday, November 5th. Elections of school board members, community college board members, city council members, mayors, and other questions may all be on your ballot.

This will be the first time that city and school candidates will be on the same ballot. School board of education elections used to be held in September, but a law passed in 2017 requires them to be held in November — on the same day as city elections. The new law will require election officials to prepare more types of ballots because school elections sometimes cover several cities, plus rural areas. Many polling locations will remain the same, but there will be some changes. The Secretary of State says you can check out where to vote by clicking here. If you have questions, you can contact your county auditor’s office. Find that contact information here. Find the County Auditor Directory, select your county, and click “go.”

Absentee ballots will be available by October 7th, and are due October 25th. They need to be requested on an official form. You can also vote in person at your auditor’s office, starting October 7th. Call them for more information.