Sioux Center, Iowa — The DNR is investigating a fish kill in the West Branch of the Floyd River, about two and a half miles south of Sioux Center.

A resident reported the stream was very murky and the fish looked stressed when he saw them this weekend.

The Department of Natural Resources reports their staff found elevated ammonia levels and several dead fish north of the Highway 75 bridge. The DNR specialists are working their way upstream to see if they can find the source of the fish kill.

High ammonia content generally indicates the source is a nutrient, often fertilizer, manure or wastewater.

DNR officials remind Iowa residents and visitors that it’s important to call the DNR’s 24-hour spill line as soon as possible after seeing a fish kill. The greater the delay between the event and the reporting, the less likely it is that the source of the pollution can be traced.

That spill line, for future reference is 515-281-8694.

October 30, 2012 - 10:31 am - Posted in Obituaries

Mrs. Ruth De Vries, age 86, of Orange City, passed away on Tuesday, October 30, 2012, at the Heritage House Nursing Home in Orange City.

There will be a funeral service on Saturday, November 3, at 10:30am, at the First Reformed Church in Orange City.  The Rev. Mark Haverdink will officiate.  Interment will follow at the West Lawn Cemetery in Orange City.

Visitation will be after 4:00pm on Friday, with the family present from 5:00pm to 7:00 pm, at the Oolman Funeral Home in Orange City.


October 30, 2012 - 9:24 am - Posted in News

Pacific Junction, Iowa — An Orange City woman has died from injuries sustained in an accident on Monday (10/29) on Interstate 29 near Pacific Junction in southern Iowa. Her husband was injured.

The Iowa State Patrol reports that 59-year-old Galen Kleinwolterink of Orange City was southbound on I-29, near Pacific Junction, south of Council Bluffs in a 2005 Chevy Uplander.

The trooper’s report says at that moment the tire went flat on driver’s side rear, causing Kleinwolterink to lose control. The vehicle entered the west ditch and rolled multiple times.

A passenger in the vehicle, 54-year-old Rebecca Kleinwolterink was not wearing a seatbelt. She was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at Creighton Medical Center after being transported by Lifenet Helicopter.

Galen Kleinwolterink was wearing his seatbelt. He was transported to Creighton Medical Center by Glenwood Rescue. At last report he was listed in stable condition with only minor injuries.

Hospers, Iowa — A Hospers man was arrested after he threatened people with a gun.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 3:20 AM, early on Sunday, their deputies investigated a report of a person causing a disturbance at a home on Fourth Avenue North in Hospers.

Upon further investigation, deputies determined that 23-year-old Gary Hovey of Hospers had assaulted a person at the residence while a two year old child was present. The child was unharmed. When people came to the aid of the assault victim to assist her in leaving the residence, Hovey displayed a shotgun to threaten the people outside in attempt to make them leave.

Hovey was arrested for domestic assault, a serious misdemeanor, assault with a firearm, an aggravated misdemeanor and child endangerment, an aggravated misdemeanor.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Sioux Center Police Department.

October 29, 2012 - 3:12 pm - Posted in News

Remsen, Iowa — A Remsen teen has died as the result of a farm accident near Remsen on Saturday (10/27).

The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office reports that just after 2 PM, their office received a 911 call of a subject that was trapped under a skid loader at 190th Street and Polk Avenue. Remsen Fire and Ambulance were dispatched and also Mercy Air Care advised.

Firefighters were able the free the person from under the skid loader and emergency care was administered. However, the subject’s injuries were severe and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim was identified as 19-year-old Alexander Keith Renken of Remsen. His body was transported to Floyd Valley Hospital for examination.

The report says that investigation shows that the skid loader was being operated by Andrew Vaske and that Renken was assisting him in putting fence posts into the ground. Renken would hold the posts while Vaske would push the posts into the ground with the skid loader. Vaske had put dirt into the bucket for added weight in pushing the posts. As Renken was holding a post, the skid loader began to tip forward, the weight in the bucket causing the skid loader to tip all the way forward. The bucket struck and pinned Renken.

The Remsen Fire Department, Remsen Ambulance, Mercy Air Care, and the Plymouth County Medical Examiner assisted the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office.

October 29, 2012 - 9:26 am - Posted in Obituaries

Mrs. Jeanette Vande Griend, age 88, of Orange City, passed away on Monday, October 29, 2012, at the Orange City Area Health System Long Term Care Facility.

There will be a funeral service on Thursday, November 1, at 10:00am, at the American Reformed Church in Orange City. The Rev. Donald Lenderink and the Rev. Jonathan Opgenorth will officiate. Interment will follow at the West Lawn Cemetery in Orange City.

Visitation will be after 4:00pm on Wednesday, with the family present from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, at the Oolman Funeral Home in Orange City.





Rock Valley, Iowa — A Hull teen was transported to the hospital after an accident on Thursday near Rock Valley.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 4:30 PM , 17-year-old Shane Meerdink of Hull was driving a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am northbound on Coolidge Avenue, four miles west of Rock Valley, when he lost control and the vehicle rolled into the east ditch.

Meerdink was transported to Hegg Memorial Hospital by the Rock Valley Ambulance. Two passengers in the vehicle, 19-year-old Frederick Hinojosa of George, and 19-year-old Marcus Negaard of Rock Valley each received minor injuries and refused medical treatment.

The Pontiac sustained approximately $4,000 in damages.

Meerdink was cited for failure to maintain control and violation of conditions of a restricted license.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Rock Valley Fire Department and Rock Valley Ambulance.

Boyden, Iowa — It may be another new record farmland price in Iowa — and it’s right here in our area.

According to the Sioux City Journal, an 80.5-acre plot near Boyden, sold for $21,900 on Thursday (10/25). That works out to over $1.76 million for the plot. Vander Werff and Associates was the auction company. The buyer was not disclosed. The seller was Henry Boelsma. The property is near 330th and Kennedy Avenue, just a mile south of Highway 18 in Boyden.

The last record we reported wasn’t too far away — a 74-acre plot near Hull sold for $20,000 per acre in December, 2011.

October 26, 2012 - 8:06 am - Posted in Obituaries

Mrs. Daloris Rensink, age 85, of Sheldon, formerly of Hospers, passed away on Thursday, October 25, 2012, at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.

There will be a memorial service on Monday, October 29, at 11:00am, at the First Reformed Church in Hospers. The Rev. Milton Sikkema will officiate. Interment will be prior to the service at the Hospers Cemetery. There will be a prayer service on Monday, at 10:15am, at the church.

Visitation with the family present will be on Sunday,  from 2:30pm to 4:30pm, at the church. Arrangements are with the Oolman Funeral Home in Hospers.


October 24, 2012 - 10:22 am - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — Details are sketchy at this time, but FBI agents were in Sioux Center on Monday and Tuesday at the Sioux Automation Company.

The company sells, manufactures, and repairs agricultural equipment such as feed mixers, manure and silage handling equipment, and scale systems.

Sandy Breault, spokeswoman for the FBI’s Omaha bureau says that FBI agents searched Sioux Automation on Monday and Tuesday, but would not comment on the nature of the search, or if anything was found or taken. She also wouldn’t say if any charges had been filed.

We called Sioux Automation CEO Ron Hulshof, and he read from a prepared statement, and said that they had a visit from the Department of Labor Investigative Group. He says company officials feel that this was QUOTE, “a bizarre overreaction to a civil issue.” He says that the company has been working with The Department of Labor for 8 months, cooperating fully. Hulsolf went on to say that they don’t believe they have QUOTE, “done anything to warrant this type of treatment.”

He says they have secured legal counsel. He says their focus remains on understanding, cooperating fully, and caring for their employees, customers, and community as they have for more than 50 years.

He says it’s his understanding that they have not had any charges filed against them and that the investigators were there seeking additional documentation to support the discussion they are having with Sioux Automation.

KIWA Radio has reports that because the building housing Sioux Automation’s administrative offices was locked down on Tuesday — as up to 30 federal agents went through company files — many employees were asked to report to an assembly plant north of Sioux Center.