November 13, 2017 - 10:13 am - Posted in News

Alton, Iowa — An Oakland, Iowa man’s trailer was damaged after it tipped over while trying to miss a deer on the roadway near Alton on Friday, November 10th.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that just after 3 am on Friday, 52-year-old Troy Akers of Oakland, Iowa as driving a 2016 International semi-tractor pulling a Wilson trailer northbound on Highway 60, one mile south of Alton. According to the report, Akers reported he swerved to avoid deer on the roadway, entered the median, re‐entered the roadway and the trailer detached, rolling onto its side on the roadway.

The trailer received $2,000 damage.

No injuries were reported.

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

November 10, 2017 - 5:58 pm - Posted in News

Rock Valley, Iowa — A house was damaged in a fire early on Thursday, November 9, 2017 in Rock Valley.

According to Rock Valley Fire Chief Brent Eshuis, about 2:35 a.m., the Rock Valley Fire Department was called to the report of a house fire at 1712 Main Street in Rock Valley.

The chief says the fire department saw smoke coming from the roof and a few flames in the attic area as they approached the scene. He says they sprayed water from the outside into the attic and the interior team was able to gain access to the attic, where they extinguished the fire with water and ventilated the building through the roof.

Eshuis says no injuries were reported. He says the Hull Fire Department assisted them.

He says that while the cause of the fire is undetermined and under investigation, they’re pretty sure it started in the attic.

Chief Eshuis reports that there was moderate to extensive damage.

He says they used 300 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene until about 4:20 a.m.

Sioux Center, Iowa — Earlier this week we told you about a Sioux Center teacher who is facing 140 sex-related criminal charges following his arrest by Sioux Center Police.

36-year old Curtis Van Dam taught 5th Grade at Sioux Center Christian School. Josh Bowar is head of that school, and says a “dark secret has been brought to light.”

Van Dam had been arrested on two separate charges in late October, and at that time police advised that their investigation was ongoing, and that more charges could be filed. He was fired from the school on October 19th, the day after the initial allegation of misconduct had been filed. Bowar says there were no suspicions about Van Dam, and that there had been no indication of questionable behavior.

The school is offering counseling, special sessions and therapeutic tools, according to Bowar, to help bring healing and recovery to the school. Bowar is asking the community for their prayers.

The charges against Van Dam include alleged crimes dating from 2013 through October of this year. Police say the alleged crimes took place at various locations, including the school, and involved multiple victims.

November 10, 2017 - 2:23 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — We will know soon who will be the Tulip Queen for the Orange City Tulip Festival this coming spring.

Rick Droog is on the executive committee for the Tulip Festival, and he tells us what’s planned.

Droog says that unlike the Tulip Court Election earlier this fall, you do not need to be an Orange City resident to vote at the pagaent.

He says you’ll have a chance to get to know the candidates before voting.

Droog says some more information will also be released that night about the musical that they do every year — also known as the Tulip Festival Night Show.

Again, the 2018 Tulip Queen Pageant will be held Monday night, November 13th at the Unity Christian Knight Center. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the event will begin at 7:00 p.m. Admission is $5 for all attendees, regardless of age or whether they choose to vote.

Candidates for the 2018 Tulip Queen include Alexa Arends, daughter of Troy and Darla Arends; Josie Maasdam, daughter of Kirk and Becky Maasdam; Haley Smit, daughter of Jason and Kara Smit; Juliana Tien, daughter of Gale and Cathie Tien; and Corinne Wiese, daughter of Robert and Tricia Wiese.

Rock Valley, Iowa — A Rock Valley man faces charges of 1st Degree Murder, and 1st Degree Arson, as a result of the investigation into a fire that killed an elderly Rock Valley man about two weeks ago.

Shortly before 2:30 am 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 were told there was someone inside the dwelling. Firefighters gained entry into the residence, extinguished the fire, and discovered the body of a male in the dwelling.

Authorities identified the victim as 84-year old Luis Luevanos of Rock Valley.

Rock Valley Police Chief Monte Warburton says the death of Mr. Luevanos, connected to the fire, sparked an investigation by the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office and Rock Valley Police Department, in consultation with the Sioux County Attorney. Warburton says the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation was also contacted, and special agents were brought in to assist in the investigation.

Warburton says the investigation revealed that the victim had suffered multiple stab wounds to his body prior to the fire.

Chief Warbutron says investigators learned that Santos Rodriguez, Jr., a grandson of the victim, had resided in his grandfather’s home, and had travelled to Utah after the fire. DCI agents reportedly travelled to Utah and interviewed  Rodriguez, Jr. Officials say he admitted to stabbing his grandfather and inentionally setting the fire afterward.

Warburton says Santos Rodriguez, Jr. was arrested Wednesday (November 8th) in Utah on warrants charging him with Murder in the First Degree, a Class A Felony, and Arson in the First Degree, a Class B Felony.

At last report, Rodriguez, Jr. was being held in a Utah jail awaiting extradition back to Sioux County. Bond in the case has been set at $1-million, according to Warburton.

November 9, 2017 - 3:52 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — This Saturday, November 11th, is Veterans Day in the United States — a day set aside to give honor and thanks to the brave men and women who have proudly served in our nation’s armed forces.

The observance started out as Armistice Day, to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France.

The Orange City American Legion is doing a supper on Thursday night, November 9th. Registration is closed, but they are planning on 110 veterans, according to American Legion Pressman Kosters Post 329 Commander Arlyn Kleinwolterink. He says all veterans are invited to a countywide veterans appreciation breakfast at the Terrace View Event Center in Sioux Center from 7:30 to 10:00 a.m. on Friday, November 10th. He says it’s catered by Hy-Vee and all vets are welcome. Kleinwolterink says their legion post will also be providing a color guard on Friday night, November 10th at a Northwestern College Symphonic Band Concert celebrating America and veterans. It’s at 7:30 p.m. in Christ Chapel on the campus of Northwestern College in Orange City. The event is free and open to the public. He says there will be a Veterans Day observance at the MOC/Floyd Valley Middle School in Alton on Friday morning, November 10th at  10:15 a.m. He says the ringing of the bell will be at 11 a.m. — the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

November 9, 2017 - 12:19 pm - Posted in News

Alton, Iowa — The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft of a Utility Terrain Vehicle, or UTV, from a farm two miles east of Alton.

Deputies say that sometime during the overnight hours of Tuesday (11/7) night and Wednesday (11/8/) morning someone made off with a red 2011 Kawasaki Teryx UTV from the property.

If you have any information you’re asked to call the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office at 712-737-2280.

Sioux Center, Iowa — A couple of weeks ago we told you about a Sioux Center Christian School teacher who had been charged with a pair of sex-related crimes. Sioux Center Police say further investigation has led to 140 counts of various sex crimes charged against 35-year old Curtis Van Dam of Sioux Center.

Sioux Center Police say they have now arrested and charged Van Dam with the following alleged crimes: 14 counts of Sexual Exploitation by a Teacher, all of which are Class D Felonies; 72 counts of Sexual Abuse in the 2nd Degree, Class B Felonies; 12 counts of Sexual Abuse in the 3rd Degree, Class C Felonies; 2 counts of Lascivious Acts With a Child, Class C Felonies; 1 count of Lascivious Acts with a Child, a Class D Felony; 34 counts of Lascivious Conduct with a Minor, a Serious Misdemeanor; and Indecent Exposure, a Serious Misdemeanor.

Authorities say the charges were filed 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.

Sioux Center Police say they discovered that the earliest alleged crime occurred in August of 2013, with subsequent allegationsallegedly 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.

Authorities say the investigation into further allegations is continuing, and additional charges are possible.

Sioux Center Police stress that an arrest is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

November 8, 2017 - 3:38 pm - Posted in News

Newkirk, Iowa — Five people were taken to area hospitals, and one of them was later airlifted to a Sioux City hospital after a crash on Tuesday night near Newkirk.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 6:35 p.m., 40-year-old Mathew Ennema of Sheldon was driving a 2015 Ford F‐350 pickup eastbound on 400th Street, also known as B-40, five miles west of Hospers. They report that 82-year-old Harriet Vander Stoep of Orange City was driving a 2000 Buick LeSabre the other direction — westbound –on 400th Street.

The report says that Vander Stoep crossed the center of the roadway and sideswiped Ennema. The car entered the south ditch, rolled, and came to rest on its top back on the roadway.

The Hospers Ambulance took Ennema to the Orange City Health System Hospital. The Orange City Ambulance took Vander Stoep to that hospital, but she was later flown to Mercy Hospital in Sioux City for further treatment of her injuries.

There were three passengers in the Vander Stoep Buick. The Sheriff’s Office says the Sioux Center Ambulance took 84-year-old Joan Spronk of Orange City to the Sioux Center Health Hospital. The Orange City Ambulance and Alton Ambulance took 86-year-old Evelyn Kroeze and 78-year-old Eleanor Van Grouw, both of Orange City to the Orange City Health Hospital.

Sheriff’s officials say the Ford pickup sustained about $40,000 in damage. They say the Buick sustained approximately $5,000 in damage.

The Sheriff’s Office reports that the Hospers Fire Department, Hospers Ambulance, Orange City Ambulance, Sioux Center Ambulance, and the Alton Ambulance assisted them, and they say the accident remains under investigation.

November 8, 2017 - 2:23 pm - Posted in News

Maurice, Iowa — The Maurice Fire Department was called out on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 to a field near Maurice.

According to Maurice Fire Chief Jeff Vander Weide, about 5:10 p.m., the Maurice Fire Department was called to the report of a tractor on fire near 5028 Hickory Avenue, two miles east and three and a quarter miles south of Maurice.

The chief says there had been a little fire but as they approached the scene, no flames were visible. He says they did find a hot tractor, however. He says he thinks some debris may have started smoldering and possibly caught flame. He says they cooled down the tractor with about 200 gallons of water.

Chief Vander Weide says that there was basically no damage to report, as the tractor was running again when they left. He says they had been applying manure at the time.

He says the fire department was on scene for about 20 minutes.