Iowa Supreme Court

Iowa Supreme Court

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Supreme Court has thrown out evidence used to convict a Rock Valley man of drunk driving.

Leon Kooima had been at a charity golf event in Okoboji and was driving home with five other men when they decided to stop at the Doon Steakhouse.

When Kooima and the other men decided to leave, another customer at the establishment called police. The caller told the dispatcher that the men were “big money Rock Valley merchants” and said he knew they were drunk. Rock Valley police were alerted by the dispatcher and two officers followed Kooima’s vehicle as it came into town. The officers did not spot any violations, but pulled over the Suburban based on the tip from the caller. Kooima tested over the legal limit for alcohol and was charged with second offense O-W-I.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the stop of Kooima was unconstitutional. The court said the person who called police simply said he knew the men in the vehicle were drunk, and even after being asked by the dispatcher, did not say he had actually seen any evidence that Kooima was driving while drunk. There were also no traffic violations witnessed by officers prior to the stop. The ruling said the justices do not condone drunk driving, but have to uphold the U-S Constitution regarding illegal search and seizures. The court ruled all evidence from the traffic stop cannot be used in the case.

sioux county courthouseDes Moines, Iowa — It should be a little easier to get a hold of somebody at the Clerk of Court’s office in northwest Iowa after July 15th.

The Iowa Supreme Court is bringing back some hours in the clerk of court offices of Iowa’s 99 counties. Court spokesperson, Steve Davis, says a three-point-five-percent increase in the court budget for the new fiscal year that begins in July is allowing the change.

(as he says) “Clerks of court offices in all 99 counties and the appellant clerks’ office has been closed on Tuesday afternoons from 2:30 to 4:30 so that the clerks can catch up with the backlog. With the new budge that was approved by the legislature and signed by the governor, those offices are now going to be open full time from 8 (a.m.) to 5:30 five days a week,” Davis says.

The increase in hours means they’ll be adding some staff.

(as he says) “There’s several different types of positions in the clerk’s office, there’s a total of 40 positions that are going to be open,”

Davis says. He is not sure yet how many people will be hired in each office.

(as he says) “Each of the different judicial districts are looking at the best use of positions and where they are needed most,” Davis explains. “Moving forward, they are going to begin advertising those positions.”

The plan is to have 29 offices in northwest Iowa open by July 15th, with the remaining offices open full time by September third. The court system will also add 13 new juvenile court officers.

(as he says) “One of the goals of the Supreme Court was to have enough juvenile court officers so when a juvenile enters the court system the young offender is able to sit down face-to-face with a juvenile court officer so they can find the best matches for the services in the community that may be able to help that child,”

Davis says. The budget also includes four new information technology positions that will help implement electronic filing in the state. Only half of the state now has the electronic filing available. Davis says everyone in the court system looks forward to the additions.

(as he says) “It’s nice to look forward and look to the future of the court,” Davis says, “we’ve been talking about the chief justice’s goal of being the best, most advances, and most responsive court system in the nation this entire year, and this is a step toward reaching that goal.”

Davis says those who use the court system should notice fewer postponements. The clerk of court offices to open full-time on July 15, 2013 are: Boone, Buena Vista , Calhoun, Carroll, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Dickinson, Emmet, Greene, Hamilton, Hardin, Humboldt, Ida, Kossuth , Lyon, Marshall, Monona, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, Sioux, Story, Webster, Woodbury, and Wright.

Story from Radio Iowa

June 27, 2013 - 12:44 pm - Posted in Sports

Northwesstern logoMonserrat Figueroa of Rock Valley has signed a letter of intent to continue her softball career at Northwestern next fall.

Figueroa is a 5’3” catcher who is in her third year of playing for the Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley softball team. Figueroa hit .340 with two home runs and 38 RBIs last season, earning third team all-state and first team all-district and all-conference honors. She is currently hitting .443 with three home runs and 11 extra-base hits in leading her team to a 17-2 record and #6 ranking in the latest poll. Figueroa also earned second team all-conference honors as a sophomore (2011) and was an honorable mention all-conference selection in basketball this past year.

She plans to major in sports marketing/media at Northwestern and is the daughter of Juan and Claudia.

“We are very excited to have Monserrat join our program,” commented head coach Chris Nachtigall. “She has proven to be a great softball player that comes from a terrific high school program. Her work ethic, leadership ability and understanding of the game will allow her to have great success at Northwestern.”

June 27, 2013 - 10:46 am - Posted in News

Les DoumaOrange City, Iowa — The mayor of one northwest Iowa town has decided he will not run again when his term is up.

Orange City Mayor Les Douma has notified the Orange City City Council and the City Manager. The letter was also posted on the city’s web site.

Douma says his present term as Mayor of Orange City comes to a close at the end of this calendar year, and he says he does not intend to seek another term as Mayor of Orange City.

Douma goes on to say that it has been a privilege and honor to partner with the council and citizens of Orange City, in pursuing excellence within the community. Douma writes, QUOTE “Indeed, Orange City is a special community [in which] to live, work and worship.”

He says he has been blessed, and he continues to be blessed, to serve as Mayor and he looks forward to a productive and successful completion of his responsibilities.

OC Fire1

Picture courtesy Sioux County Sheriff’s Office

Orange City, Iowa — An Orange City home sustained about $300,000 in damage in a fire in the early hours of Wednesday morning (6/26/13), and one firefighter was taken to the hospital.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 1:40 AM, their emergency center paged the Orange City Fire Department to a report of a structure
fire. The fire was reported to be at 508 Providence Avenue Southeast in Orange City.

When the fire department got there, they could see the roof of the house and garage were engulfed in flames.

Everyone who had been in the home had safely evacuated by the time emergency personnel arrived.

OC Fire2

Picture courtesy Sioux County Sheriff’s Office

An Alton Firefighter sustained minor injuries at the scene and was treated and released from the Orange City Hospital.

The cause of the fire has been determined to be due to spontaneous combustion from wood‐stain soaked rags that were left in the garage.

The house and its contents sustained an estimated $300,000 in damages.

The Orange City Fire Department remained at the location until nearly 5 AM.

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

June 27, 2013 - 10:27 am - Posted in Sports

warriors logoSheldon hosted Sioux Center Wednesday night for a Siouxland Conference doubleheader. The Orabs won the softball contest 4-2 with baseball going to the Warriors on an 8-2 final.


On the baseball diamond Sheldon took a 2-0 lead in the third inning as Jake Rosburg walked and came in to score on an rbi single by Grant Weaver. Weaver scored on an error as Sheldon took the early lead.

Sioux Center took a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the fifth. Kamden Glade and Drew Kortlever had back to back rbi singles to key the inning. The Warriors broke it open with a five run sixth inning as they took an 8-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth and that would be the final score.

Graham Zomermaand went the first 4 innings for the win. he gave up 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 4 and struck out 5.

Ben Marshall was tagged with the loss going the first five and a third. He gave up 3 runs on 9 hits, walking 2 and striking out 4.


In the softball game Sheldon took the lead for good with a three run second inning keyed by an rbi double by Tori Meendering followed by a Sami Kleinwolterink home run. Sheldon’s final run came in the sixth inning as Jessica Van Beek scored from second on a Krista Bousema double.

Sioux Center had cut the Orab lead to 3-2 as Allison Sandbulte drove in a pair of runs in the top of the fourth as part of a 2-for-3 night at the plate.

Allie Jongewaard got the win scattering 6 hits striking out 1 and did not walk a batter. Megan Cleveringa took the loss giving up 4 earned runs on 6 hits. She walked 1 and struck out 5.

June 23, 2013 - 3:54 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Viola Catherine Schmit, 81 of Hospers, IA passed away Saturday, June 22, 2013 at her home in Hospers, IA.

Funeral Service will be Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. from St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Hospers, IA with Rev. Terry Roder officiating.  Burial will be in St. Anthony’s Catholic Cemetery in Hospers, IA.

Visitation will be anytime after 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, 2013.  There will be a parish rosary at 5 p.m. and a vigil prayer service at 7 p.m., all at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Hospers.

Services have been entrusted to the Fisch Funeral Home & Monument of Remsen. Condolences may be sent online to

Viola was born Nov. 27, 1931, at rural Hospers, IA the daughter of Aloysius & Rose (Niichel) Hoffmann. She was raised and educated in the Hospers area. She graduated from Hospers High School in 1949. She then worked at Hospers Savings Bank.

She married Milton Schmit on May 20, 1952 at Hospers where they made their home. She served as the town Clerk for Hospers for several years. She was an active partner in Milton’s carpentry business for numerous years. Milton passed away May 12, 2003. After Milton’s death she worked along her son who took over Milton’s carpentry business.

Viola was a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, church guild and church choir. Viola was a very talented seamstress and loved quilting. She loved spending time with her family.

Survivors include; her five children, Tom (Karen) Schmit Laramie, WY, Judith (Harry) Honan of Buzzards Bay, MA, Patricia Whitley of Calhan, CO, Larry Schmit of Granville, IA, Scott (Katherine) Schmit of Brighton, CO; 12 grandchildren, Kelly (G.) Benedick, Alan, Karlton & Michael Schmit, Erin Andrews, Brian and Kathryn Honan, Jacob and Nichole Whitley, Curtis and Mark Robbins, David Gallegos; two sisters, Alice Stapenhorst of Sheldon, IA, Pat Steffes (Darrel) of Granville, IA; Four brothers, Jerry Hoffmann (Jeanie) of Loveland, CO, Marvin Hoffmann of Hospers, Bob Hoffmann (Ruth) of Archer, IA, Jim Hoffmann of Bloomington, MN; one brother-in-law, Reginald Schmit of Aurora, CO; one sister-in-law, Mildred Schmit of Cottage Grove, MN; Several nieces & nephews, & great-nieces & nephews;

Preceded by: her parents, sister, Bernice (Robert) Konz, brother, Wilfred Hoffmann.

Casket Bearers will be Nichole and Jacob Whitley, Kelly Benedick, Alan, Karlton and Michael Schmit.

Boyden, Iowa — On Friday, June 21, at 4:38 p.m., the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office investigated a motor vehicle accident that occurred in Boyden at the intersection of Webb and Sherman Streets.

Robin Jungers, age 37 of Boyden was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe westbound on Webb Street approaching the intersection with Sherman Street. Elizabeth Hernandez-Ramos, age 19, also of Boyden, was driving a 2002 Pontiac Grand AM southbound on Sherman Street. The vehicles collided within the intersection.

Jungers had minor injuries but did not request medical attention at the scene.

Both vehicles had $1,500 damage.

Hernandez-Ramos was cited for failing to obey a yield sign, no insurance, and violation of instruction permit.

June 23, 2013 - 7:09 am - Posted in News

Ireton, Iowa — On Saturday, June 22, at 12:50 a.m., the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office investigated a motor vehicle accident that occurred on Eagle Avenue, one mile north of Ireton.

Jose Barrera-Vargas, age 34 of Sioux Center, IA was driving a 2003 Mini Cooper north on Eagle Ave. He struck a sheep that was in the roadway. The sheep was owned by Howard Van Engen, of Hawarden.

No injuries were reported.

Barrera-Vargas’ vehicle received $2,000 dollars in damage.

avera mckennan careflight newHull, Iowa — One man was taken to a Sioux Falls hospital, and another was arrested following an altercation in Hull on Saturday night.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 10:15 PM, deputies were called to the scene at a home on Chestnut Drive in Hull, where they discovered that an assault occurred between two people.

As a result of the altercation, one person sustained serious injuries and was transported to the Sioux Center Hospital by the Hull Ambulance. That person was later flown to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls.

Later that night, deputies arrested 32-year-old Joel Gonzalez of Rock Valley and charged him with willful injury and strangulation.

The incident remains under investigation.

The Hull Ambulance and the Sioux Falls Police Department assisted the Sioux County Sherifff’s Office in handling the incident.