September 29, 2014 - 5:05 pm - Posted in News

Council Bluffs, Iowa — Orange City is among three area cities that have been recognized as All-Star Communities by the Iowa League of Cities.Phoenix Project OC

The league cited Orange City’s Phoenix Project. The Phoenix Project — bringing to mind an image of a mythical Phoenix rising from the ashes — was a unique public/private partnership conceived after a fire destroyed the historic Hawkeye Building in the summer of 2008—taking with it a Hallmark store and a popular clothier.

Phase one of the Hawkeye project was the Hawkeye Center — a replacement building on the corner where the 2008 fire was. The two-story brick structure with Dutch-themed architecture complements Orange City’s “Dutch Village” concept. The upper level features five high-end residential loft condominiums, with underground parking for tenants, and the main street level features a Hallmark Store with an ice cream and coffee shoppe.

Phase two was the Prairie Winds Events Center on the city’s east side. The 17,000-square-foot multi-purpose facility features authentic old-world Dutch architecture on the exterior, and a unique Northern Plains decor inside.

Phase three is the new shared performing arts center at Unity Christian High School, a shared project between the city and the school.

Other projects, such as the new Hampton Inn were also on the list.

Other area cities honored as All-Star Communities by the League of Cities included the city of Spencer, honored for their housing initiatives to help increase the workforce, and Storm Lake, honored for their innovative flood control projects.

Click here to see all the All-Star Communities’ videos.

September 29, 2014 - 5:03 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — There’s a great workshop coming up in Orange City for business people and those thinking of going into business.score_logo

Small business owners, entrepreneurs and individuals exploring a business start-up are invited to attend the free educational workshop on October 8, 2014 at the NCC College & Career Center in Orange City.

The workshop, which will run from 3 to 5 PM that day, will help participants understand the basic things you need to know about cash flow and how important it is to the survival of a business.

This free workshop is sponsored by SCORE (The Service Corps of Retired Executives). To register for the workshop, contact Lesa at 712-324-5066 or 800-352-4907, Extension 195.

Again, it’s offered through SCORE and NCC, but it will be at the new NCC College & Career Center in Orange City on Highway 10 east.

NWC Athletic Practice Facility

Concept drawing of Ron & Peg Juffer Fieldhouse

Orange City, Iowa — Ground has been broken for the new athletic training facility at Northwestern College in Orange City, and the future facility has a name.

“We’re excited to see work begin on this facility,” says Dr. Earl Woudstra, director of athletics. “It will benefit all athletes by providing a place for strength and conditioning work and allow our spring sports teams to better prepare for their seasons by practicing indoors.”

The $3.2 million, 33,000-square-foot building will include a multipurpose area for team practices, an athletic conditioning space, batting and pitching cages for baseball and softball, hitting nets and a practice green for golf, and a weight room for athletes. Located just west of the Rowenhorst Student Center and connected to the DeWitt Physical Fitness Center, it will relieve demands placed on the fitness center’s four-court area, which currently serves athletes, students and Orange City community members.

At the ceremony last week, the building’s name was announced. It will be the Ron and Peg Juffer Fieldhouse. The name honors now-retired longtime education professor and baseball coach Ron Juffer and his wife.

September 26, 2014 - 8:23 am - Posted in News

Ireton, Iowa — Two people were arrested after a crash was discovered near Ireton on Wednesday night.
Sioux Sheriff Car 84-
About 11:40 PM, Sioux County Sheriff’s deputies found a 2001 Toyota Tundra that had rolled into the east ditch on Fig Avenue, two miles east of Ireton. Prior to their arrival the driver left the area and could not be located. After nearly two hours of searching deputies located the driver of the Toyota, 23-year-old Maria Cortes of Le Mars at her home. Deputies determined that a four-year-old child had been inside the vehicle with Cortes when the accident occurred.

Cortes reported minor injuries but refused further medical treatment. The child was not injured. The Toyota sustained approximately $10,000 damage.

After the accident investigation, deputies believe Cortes had been driving the Toyota southbound on Fig Avenue when she lost control of the vehicle, which entered the east ditch and rolled.

Cortes was arrested and charged with failing to report a personal injury accident, driving without a valid driver’s license and failure to maintain control of her vehicle. Forty-one-year-old Norma Topete-Duenas of Orange City was arrested and charged with providing false information to law enforcement officers.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by the Orange City Police Department, Hawarden Police Department and the Ireton Ambulance.

Sioux Center, Iowa — A Sioux Falls man was taken to a hospital after an accident near Sioux Center on Wednesday.
Sioux Center Ambulance
The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 7:45 AM, 57-year-old Richard Remillard of Sioux Falls, SD was driving a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee southbound on Garfield Avenue, five miles northwest of Sioux Center, when he experienced an apparent medical issue and lost control of his vehicle. It entered the east ditch, went through a corn field and struck a MidAmerican Energy utility pole. The utility pole was knocked over, causing damage to some overhead power lines and a junction box at a home on Garfield Avenue. The pole also struck a nearby unattended 2004 GMC Envoy, owned by James White of Rock Valley.

The Jeep sustained approximately $4,000 in damages. The GMC sustained an estimated $2,500 in damages. Damage to the utility pole, electrical lines and junction box was estimated at $2,500.

Remillard was injured and the Sioux Center Ambulance transported him to the Sioux Center Hospital.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by the Sioux Center Fire Department and Sioux Center Ambulance crew.

September 25, 2014 - 5:16 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa – The 2015 Tulip Court was elected on Wednesday, September 24, 2014.orange city tulip festival logo 2015

Tulip Court members for the 75th annual Tulip Festival include: Jennifer Droog, daughter of Rick and Sue Droog; Sydney Huizenga, daughter of Darren and Dawn Huizenga; Micah Vande Vegte, daughter of Gary and Amy Vande Vegte; Cara Venema, daughter of Dan and Tonya Venema; and Emily Wielenga, daughter of Kevin and Dixie Wielenga.

A Queen’s Tea and Pageant will be held in November to crown the 2015 Tulip Queen. The Queen and Court will serve as ambassadors for Orange City’s 75th Annual Tulip Festival, slated for May 14-16, 2015.

Tulip Festival news, event information, volunteer opportunities and more can be found on the festival’s website at www.octulipfestival.com, as well as the festival’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

September 24, 2014 - 2:56 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines — A new judge will be serving our area.gavel_sxc

Governor Terry Branstad has appointed Patrick H. Tott as a District Court Judge in the Third Judicial District (3B).

Tott, of Sioux City, earned his law degree from Creighton University School of Law and is currently working in private practice and as a judicial magistrate.

District 3 includes Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Dickinson, Emmet, Ida, Lyon, Kossuth, Monona, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Sioux, and Woodbury counties.

Tott fills the vacancy left by Judge D. Scott.

http://www.iowacourts.gov/About_the_Courts/District_Courts/District_Three/index.asp

Northwest, Iowa — A chase that started in Orange City and went all the way into Minnesota ended south of Rock Rapids Tuesday night, September 23, 2014.
Police lightbar chase

The Orange City Police Department says that at about 8:17 pm, an officer attempted to stop a 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser on Seventh Street Northeast in Orange City. The vehicle matched the description of a vehicle that was involved in an earlier incident that occurred in Sioux Center. The driver was also wanted on several outstanding warrants. The driver refused to stop for the officer and a pursuit began. The vehicle traveled eastbound on Seventh Street Northeast, continued eastbound on 440th Street, went northbound on Kingbird Avenue, and entered into Lyon County.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Department says that they were advised as the chase was nearing Lyon County. At about 8:45 PM the pursuit came into Lyon County southeast of George, where Lyon County Deputies joined in an attempt to stop the vehicle. The pursuit continued into Minnesota and began traveling west where stop sticks were deployed partially disabling the vehicle. The vehicle then continued west before going south. The pursuit successfully ended with the vehicle becoming disabled near the intersection of A-34 and K-52, about five miles southeast of Rock Rapids.

The driver, 36-year-old David Cyril Cephas Wilson of Orange City, was arrested and in Lyon County was charged with eluding a peace officer, an aggravated misdemeanor; six stop sign violations, all simple misdemeanors, and careless driving, a simple misdemeanor.

Wilson is currently being held in the Lyon County Jail.

This incident is still under investigation and charges are pending from the Orange City Police Department.

The Orange City Police Department was assisted by the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office and the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.

Orange City, Iowa – Elections for the 2015 Tulip Court will be held on Wednesday, September 24, 2014.Orange City Tulip Festival Windmill Information Booth smaller for web_sva

Voting for the 2015 Tulip Court will take place from 3:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Windmill Information Booth, located on the corner of Central Avenue and Second Street in Orange City.

Eligible voters are adults with an Orange City address and 7th through 12th grade students at MOC-Floyd Valley, Unity Christian High School, and Orange City Christian School.

Tulip Festival news, event information, volunteer opportunities and more can be found on the festival’s website at www.octulipfestival.com, as well as the festival’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

September 24, 2014 - 8:10 am - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Governor’s Office has released some data regarding property tax relief.moneybag

The data from the Iowa Department of Revenue shows that Iowa counties are receiving over $78.3 million in state backfill funding and taxpayers are receiving over $49 million in credits, for a total of roughly $127.3 million, in the 2013 assessment year, as part of the historic property tax reduction bill advocated for by Governor Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Reynolds.

The plan includes many benefits. Part of the plan is permanent property tax relief protected by a standing appropriation, that represents the largest tax reduction in Iowa history – $4.4 billion over 10 years. Another part is property tax reduction for all classes of property: agricultural, residential, commercial and industrial, without shift of the tax burden to other classes of property. Changes the school finance formula so that “allowable growth” is replaced by 100% state aid. Finally, commercial and industrial property are being taxed at 95% of assessed value this year, eventually moving to 90% of assessed value next year.

The historic tax reform passage of 2013 received strong bipartisan support. It passed the Iowa Senate 43-6, and the Iowa House 84-13 in May.

State funds, called “backfill” were paid to counties to ensure they did not see a loss in revenue from the property tax reduction. This is permanent relief protected by a standing appropriation.

State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull says that the state has seen an uptick in the economy since 2008 and 2009. He says that the governor and legislature have used this increased revenue and “plowed it back into commercial tax relief.” Feenstra says that it is actually a tax shift when you backfill using other tax money.

The money to pay the backfill comes from the ending balance. It’s unspent money left over at the end of the state fiscal year.

Critics of the deal say this spending is crowding out other priorities for state government and they say with the escalating commitment, the governor may have set the stage for future tax increases; all of which Branstad rejects.

In our area, O’Brien County, state backfill amounted to $230,325.56. State tax credit to taxpayers amounted to $383,546.68, and total tax relief funding to the county was $613,872.24. Sioux County’s backfill was $651,173.77. And credit to taxpayers was $765,007.94, for a total of $1,416,181.71. In Osceola County, the backfill amounted to $148,531.07; individual relief was $158,800.32; for a total of $307,331.39. And in Lyon County, the backfill was $175,878.11; individual relief amounted to $216,668.63; and the total tax relief funding to the county was $392,546.74.

Click here for a pdf file of the figures for the rest of the state.

Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson assisted with this story.