December 31, 2012 - 9:32 am - Posted in Obituaries

Mrs. Marcene Kroeze, age 89, of Orange City, passed away on Monday, December 31, 2012, at the Orange City Area Health System Hospital in Orange City.

There will be a memorial service on Thursday, January 3, at 2:00pm, at the American Reformed Church in Orange City.  The Rev. Donald Lenderink and the Rev. Jonathan Opgenorth will officiate.  Interment will be prior to the service at the West Lawn Cemetery in Orange City.  There will be a prayer service on Thursday, at 1:00pm, at the Oolman Funeral Home in Orange City.


Visitation will be after 5:00pm on Wednesday, with the family present from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, at the funeral home.

crime genericNorthwest Iowa — There have been a number of business burglaries in northwest Iowa recently, and authorities are wondering if there’s a connection.

In Sheldon, Los Tulipantes restaurant on Highway 18 East was burglarized on December 11th or 12th. Taken in the burglary was an undetermined amount of cash. Damaged in the break-in was a door jamb and filing cabinet. Damage was estimated at $125.

Three northwest Iowa men are behind bars in connection with a burglary that took place at the Little Rock grocery store on December 20th.

In Le Mars, Taco Johns Restaurant, Bob’s Drive Inn and Northwest Iowa Auto Center were all burglarized this month. Other break-ins have occurred in Remsen, Akron, Orange City and Storm Lake.

If you have any information on these or any other crimes, you’re encouraged to call law enforcement.

underage drinkingHull, Iowa — Six northwest Iowa young people were charged with alcohol violations after Sioux County authorities broke up a party in Hull on Sunday.

In the early hours of Sunday, they were called to investigate a report of suspicious activity at a home on Division Street in Hull.

Upon further investigation, deputies determined that several minors were gathering at the residence where alcohol was being consumed.

As a result of the investigation, 18-year-old Jennifer Miller and 19-year-old David Grave, both of George and 20-year-old Dakota Acevedo of Rock Rapids were each cited for underage possession of alcohol.

Nineteen-year-old Brandon Lund and 20-year-old Brett Stark both of Hospers were both arrested for 5th Degree theft and cited for underage possession of alcohol.

Twenty-one-year-old Kent Vink of Doon was arrested for supplying alcohol to underage persons.

ambulance lightbarBarstow, California — The injured have been released from the hospital, and the cargo is safely in California, but two MOC/Floyd Valley band parents were injured in an accident en route to the Rose Parade — and no, it has nothing to do with the snow.

KTIV-TV is reporting that according to MOC/FV Superintendent Gary Richardson, Kevin and Nancy Jansen were using their semi to haul instruments and uniforms to the parade. They were stopped at a rest area in Barstow, California. They were walking on the sidewalk at the rest area, when a car lost control, came over the curb, and struck them.

According to Richardson, they have been treated and released from a hospital, and are now with the band, which arrived in Pasadena Thursday night. All the gear is safely there as well.

The 170-member band from MOC/Floyd Valley High School In Orange City raised almost $300,000 over the past four years to finance the trip. They will march in their wooden shoes in the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day. It’s the second trip to the Rose Parade in the band’s history. The band also performed there in 1993.

food pantry cans cannedSioux Center, Iowa — It’s an opportunity for the less fortunate amongst us.

The Siouxland food bank is taking 7,000 pounds of food today (Friday, 12/28) as an end-of-year donation to The Center For Financial Education’s food pantry location in Sioux Center.

Those that could benefit from this are welcome to go and get some food. The truck will be in the parking lot from 2-4 PM today (Friday).

Those receiving food will need to take their own bags and boxes to take the food home.

The Center For Financial Education’s food pantry is at 315 First Ave. N.E. in Sioux Center.

The Dordt College men’s basketball team will face Webber International Friday, December 28 and Warner on Saturday, December 29. Both games will tip off at 6:00 pm central time. The games will be played in Babson Park, Florida.

Webber International is 7-4 this season and is on a five game winning streak after losing four games in a row at one point from November 9 to November 28. Webber International is averaging 71 points per game and allows 67.3 points per outing while making 42.8 percent of their field goals.

Warner is 8-4 overall and 0-3 in Sun Conference play. The Royals average 84.6 points per game and allow 59.2 points per outing

Dordt College is 11-3 overall and are 5-3 heading into the Christmas Break. The Defenders started the season with six straight non-conference wins. The Defenders have won three of their last four after splitting four games from November 17 to December 1. Dordt College is averaging 80.8 points per game and allows 65.1 points per game.

The Dordt Defender Women will face Clarke on Saturday, December 29 at 2:00 at the Bultman Center in Orange City. At 6pm the Northwestern women will go against Clarke.

Clarke is located in Dubuque, Iowa and is a member of the Midwest Collegiate Conference. The Crusaders are currently 3-8 overall and haven’t opened conference play. Clarke is averaging 62.2 points per game and allows 66.8 points per game.

Dordt College is 8-8 this season and 4-4 in GPAC games. Dordt has won two games in a row twice this season after starting the season with three losses. The Defenders have lost five games by eight points or less and have outscored teams 68.6-58.1 this season.

The Northwestern men will be in action Friday and Saturday as well with the Red Raiders hosting Graceland Friday night at 8pm and William Penn on Saturday at 6pm.

December 26, 2012 - 1:19 pm - Posted in Sports

Winter has arrived. The storm that ushered in winter last week brought with it cold temperatures covering most area lakes with a layer of ice. Since most lakes froze after the snow storm, there is a good chance for rapid ice development.

That’s good news for the ice fishing crowd who have spent most of December looking at green grass and open water. As a reminder, a minimum of four inches of quality ice is recommended for fishing and at least five inches for snowmobiles and ATVs. “Ice fishing is one of our great winter sports and is really a fun, social activity best enjoyed with a group of friends,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of fisheries for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Early ice offers an excellent chance for success. If fish are finicky, plan to cut a series of holes and spend 15 minutes at each hole targeting active fish. Make sure to use small baits and light line.

Getting the equipment ready should also include ice safety tips. “Now that we have ice, we need to go through our mental safety check list. Go with a friend and be sure to cut some test holes for ice thickness as you go out,” Larscheid said.

Safety Tips on the Ice

There is no such thing as 100 percent safe ice.

New ice is usually stronger than old ice.

Ice fishing is a social activity, don’t go out alone. If the worst should happen, someone would be there to call for help or to rescue.

There could be pockets of thin ice or places where ice recently formed, so it would be wise to check ice thickness as you go out.

Ice thickness is not uniform on any body of water. Things like current and springs slow ice growth. Rocks, trees or docks that poke through the ice like will conduct heat and make the ice around it less stable.

Avoid off-colored snow or ice. It is usually a sign of weakness.

The insulating effect of snow slows down the freezing process.

Safety items in the bucket: Ice picks, about 50 feet of rope and a throwable floatation seat cushion for use in case of rescue.

December 26, 2012 - 9:19 am - Posted in News

A storm system will move across the northern plains Thursday and Thursday night and will produce widespread snow across the region. Snowfall amounts Thursday and Thursday night will vary from 2 to 3 inches north of Interstate 90, to 3 to 5 inches to the south.

We’ll have further details about this upcoming winter storm later today.

A blizzard was not the way Iowa’s pheasant and quail wanted to start winter. About half of Iowa received 6 to 12 inches of wet heavy snow that collapsed most “grassy” cover. The cover that did not collapse was drifted full of snow from the high winds.

“This was a bad storm for upland game birds,” said Todd Bogenschutz, state upland game biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “It’s very likely we saw some bird mortality with this blizzard.”
Winter snowfall from December 1 thru March 31 is a good predictor of whether upland bird populations will increase or decrease the following year, and to have upwards of one foot of snow only 20 days into December does not bode well for pheasants, said Bogenschutz.

“Iowa had only 17 inches of snow last winter. Parts of Iowa are close to that total already with this first storm,” he said.

Iowa’s pheasant and quail populations were decimated by five consecutive winters of 30-50 inches of snow from 2007 thru 2011. The winter of 2011-12 with only 17 inches of snow led to the first increase in pheasant numbers in years.
“Upland bird hunters were hopeful this winter would also be dry and mild to speed a population recovery. Let’s hope there are no more storms like this for the rest of the winter,” Bogenschutz said.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Pheasants Forever chapters will meet jointly next month to discuss methods to improve winter habitat for pheasant and quail.

Iowa has 50,000 acres under a new Conservation Reserve Program called Iowa Pheasant Recovery SAFE. Landowners have the opportunity to enroll in this program first come first serve until the acres are gone.

Unfortunately county FSA offices cannot enroll Iowa landowners until Congress gives USDA authority to begin enrollment under a new farm bill.

December 24, 2012 - 8:59 am - Posted in News

siouxsheriffIreton, Iowa — A Sioux City man was arrested after an accident near Ireton on Tuesday (12/18).

The Sioux County Sheriff’s office reports that just after 8 AM, 25-year-old Shannon Chaffins of Le Mars was driving a 2008 Pontiac G6 northbound on Dipper Avenue, six miles southwest of Ireton. Twenty-four-year-old Milton Ramirez‐De La Rosa of Sioux City was driving a 1995 Chevrolet Lumina northbound behind Chaffins.

De La Rosa attempted to pass Chaffins when he lost control of his vehicle, which struck the Pontiac. The Chevrolet then entered the west ditch where it struck an electric utility pole.

Ramirez‐De La Rosa fled the scene of the accident on foot; deputies apprehended him a short time later walking a mile and a half east of the accident location in the middle of a field.

Ramirez‐De La Rosa was arrested for interference with official acts, no insurance, failure to maintain control, no driver’s license and improper use of registration.

The Chevrolet sustained approximately $500 in damages. The Pontiac sustained approximately $1,000 in damages.  The electric utility pole, owned by the rural electric cooperative, sustained approximately $400 in damages.

No injuries were reported.