December 31, 2013 - 12:46 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Mrs. Evelyn Van Leeuwen, age 86, of Hospers, passed away on Tuesday, December 31, 2013, at the Orange City Area Health System Hospital.

There will be a funeral service on Saturday, January 4, at 10:30 am, at the First Christian Reformed Church in Hospers.  The Rev. Marvin Leese will officiate.  Interment will follow at the Hospers Cemetery.  Visitation will be after 4:00 pm on Friday, with the family present from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, at the Oolman Funeral Home in Hospers.

Evelyn Pearl was preceded in death by her husband, Henry John Van Leeuwen; daughter, Linda Van Leeuwen; parents, Peter and Mary Swets; husband’s parents, Al and Agnes Van Leeuwen; and three sisters, Nell Vanden Berg, Wilma Mouw, and Kathryn Rensink.

Survivors include six children, Pat (Gordon) Bruxvoort, of Orange City; Barb (John) Van Vugt, of Hospers; Mary (Ron) Jansen, of Dorr, Michigan; Joel (Doris) Van Leeuwen, of North Liberty; Emily (Darwin) Boer, of Boyden; and Tom (Jodi) Van Leeuwen, of Hull.

This kind hearted grandmother is sadly missed by 23 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandson.

Also mourning are a sister, Della Mae Kreykes, of Sheldon; a brother-in-law, Bill Beltman, of Sheldon; and three sisters-in-law, Corky Van Leeuwen, of Jenison, Michigan; Joan (Andy) Miedema, of Orange City; and Betty Van Schepen, of Hull.

Born and raised on a dairy farm just outside of Hospers, Evelyn met John shortly after the end of World War II. They were married in 1948, making their home in Hospers for 54 years. Through the years, John and Evelyn were blessed with seven children.

Evelyn very much loved the people and town of Hospers and the Hospers Christian Reformed Church. She excelled in extending her own style of Iowa hospitality to many friends, acquaintances, and family members. She was known to have a quick wit and enjoyed sharing her signature jokes with her grandchildren. Evelyn enjoyed visiting and having coffee with the many friends and family who came to visit her around her kitchen table and later in the Prairie Ridge Care Center in Orange City.

Memorials are being directed to the Christian Education Fund at the Christian Reformed Church. 

A couple of reminders from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources………………..

All 2013 Iowa hunting and fishing licenses expire on January 10, 2014.  All hunters and anglers will need a 2014 license to hunt or fish beginning January 11, 2014.

Iowa’s pheasant, late muzzleloader and archery deer, and archery fall turkey seasons close on January 10th.  The January antlerless deer season is January 11 to 19, in select counties.  Fur-bearer seasons, squirrel, quail, partridge and grouse remain open until January 31st.

Rabbit season is open until February 28th.  Crow season is January 14th to March 31st.  Beaver trapping season closes on April 15th.

For waterfowl, the north zone Canada goose season closes on January 3rd, and the light goose season closes on January 12th.  The south zone for Canada goose season closes January 10th and the light goose season closes January 17th.  The Missouri River zone Canada goose season and light goose season both close on January 17th.

The light goose conservation order season is open January 18th to April 15th statewide; additional regulations apply.

ice power lines sxcDes Moines, Iowa — The campaign to get federal assistance to help pay to repair northwest Iowa rural electric lines after this spring’s ice storm has received some more help.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) submitted an appeal to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the reconsideration of an earlier FEMA decision to deny funding to four rural electric cooperatives (REC) in northwest Iowa in the aftermath of an ice storm that struck the state earlier this year.

The April 9, 2013, storm caused millions of dollars in damage to electrical utility lines in five Iowa counties: Dickinson, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux. The damage was so extensive that a Presidential Disaster Declaration was issued on May 6, 2013.

FEMA originally denied funding to restore the downed utility lines in the amount of $19 million on August 30, 2013. The reason FEMA gave for the denial was because the utilities did not conduct “comprehensive laboratory testing.”

Branstad says they hope FEMA will come to a fair and just decision regarding this REC appeal. He says the funding is important for the recovery of Iowa communities, and denying such assistance could result in a financial burden for the customers of these cooperatives.

HSEMD filed the appeal in conjunction with Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative, Lyon Rural Electric Cooperative, Osceola Electric Cooperative, and Sanborn Electric and Telecommunications Utility. FEMA has 90 days from the date they receive the appeal to make an evaluation and then, issue a determination.

December 28, 2013 - 11:09 am - Posted in Obituaries

Mrs. Nettie (Smit) Mellema, age 91, of Orange City, passed away on Friday, December 27, 2013, at the Orange City Area Health System Hospital in Orange City.

There will be a memorial service on Tuesday, December 31, at 11:00am, at the Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in Orange City.  The Rev. Robert Drenten will officiate.  Interment will be prior to the service at the Hospers Cemetery near Hospers.  There will be a prayer service on Tuesday, at 9:30am, at the church.

Visitation will be after 4:00pm on Monday, with the family present from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, at the church

Arrangements are with the Oolman Funeral Home in Orange City.

Nettie Alvina was born on January 3, 1922, in Orange City, the daughter of John and Nettie (Vink) Fedders. She was raised at Orange City and Alton, graduating from the Orange City Christian School. 

On May 4, 1945, she married George Smit at the Alton Reformed Church. They farmed near Hospers, where she was a homemaker. George passed away on April 14, 1973, in Orange City. 

On November 29, 1974, she married Henry Mellema in Sioux Center. They made their home in Orange City, where she was employed in the laundry service at the Orange City Municipal Hospital. In September of 2007, they became residents of the Pioneeer Memorial Home in Orange City. In November of 2009, they transferred to the Happy Siesta Care Center in Remsen. Henry passed away on June 16, 2011, in Remsen. 

Nettie then moved to the Landsmeer Ridge Retirement Community in Orange City. 

She was a member of the Immanuel Christian Reformed Church and a former member of the Hospers Christian Reformed Church. She was active in Bible studies, Coffee Break, the Crossroad Bible Institute, and Friendship Series. 

Mrs. Mellema enjoyed baking, handwork, singing, and walking. She was also a senior aide at the Orange City Christian School. 

Survivors include her two sons and their wives, David and Marian Smit, of Sioux Center; and Don and Myra Smit, of Alamosa, Colorado; two step-sons and their wives, Melvin and Linda Mellema, of Maurice; and Brian and Barb Mellema, of Sioux Center; six grandchildren and their spouses, Jana (Travis) Peck, Jeff (Gina) Smit, Joel (Stefanie) Smit, Jennifer (Justin) Nemeth, Leslie (Jonathan) Velasquez, and Lance (Melissa) Smit; five step-grandchildren and their spouses, Teresa (Stacey) Jasper, Tammy (Rick) Fowler, Cherie (Gary) Van Donkelaar, Maggie (Jesse) Hagey, and Lee (Jenni) Mellema; 25 great-grandchildren; and two sisters and their husbands, Marie and John Maassen, of Sioux Center; and Johanna and Frank De Haan, of Hudsonville, Michigan. 

In addition to her parents, step-father, Dick Verdoorn, and husbands, she was preceded in death by a step-son, Robert Mellema; a grandson, Loren Smit; two brothers, Dick and Gerald Fedders; a sister, Bernice Pruis; and a special family friend, Dick Prins. 

Memorials will be directed to the Orange City Christian School and the Crossroad Bible Institute. 


December 27, 2013 - 4:00 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Funeral - femaleKaren Klein, 56 years old, of Glenwood, IA and formerly of Granville, IA, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, at Creighton Medical Center in Omaha , NE.

A private funeral service will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Granville with Rev. Terry Roder officiating. Burial will be in the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Granville.

Condolences may be sent online to

Karen was born Feb. 19, 1957, at Sheldon, IA, the daughter of Marcel and Ann (Goergen) Klein. She was the 7th of 8 children. Karen lived at her Granville home until spring 1972 at which time she became a resident of the Glenwood Resource Center.

Karen enjoyed the simple things in life. Her family knew they had an angel on earth and they loved her dearly. She brought joy to those who knew her and cared for her.

Those left to cherish her memory are her brothers, Donald Klein of Sioux Falls, SD, Walt (Paula) Klein of Spencer, IA, Dave (Jeanie) Klein of Sioux Falls, SD, Mike (Elaine) Klein of Sioux City, IA, John (Rose) Klein Omaha, NE; Her sisters, Susie (Mark) Ruden of LeMars, IA, Debbie (Steve) Wandersheid of Sheldon, IA, along with many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.  Preceded by: her parents, a great niece Olivia Grace Gourley.

December 26, 2013 - 7:19 pm - Posted in News

Rochelle Sapp

Orange City, Iowa — The Orange City woman accused in the death of a toddler in her care in Orange City has pled not guilty to the charges against her.

According to court records, 33-year-old Rochelle Lynn Sapp of Orange City is accused of picking up three-year-old Autumn Elgersma of Orange City and throwing her to the floor on October 28, 2013, when she wouldn’t remove her coat, causing injuries that proved to be fatal three days later.

Originally Sapp claimed that Elgersma was injured in a fall down a flight of stairs. Elgersma was taken to the Orange City Health System Hospital, and then transferred to Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls. Medical providers there called the Sioux Falls Police when they discovered the three-year-old’s injuries were not consistent with a fall.

Autopsy results show Elgersma died of blunt force trauma. Sapp was arrested and now faces charges of murder in the first degree and child endangerment of a child resulting in death.

Contrary to published reports, the Sioux County jail and Chief Deputy Nate Huizenga confirm that Sapp was released on bail on Thursday. Her bail had been set at $250,000, but a judge allowed her to pay ten percent of the bail and be released.

Sioux County Jail staff also confirm that Sapp did make a personal appearance at her hearing.

A pre-trial conference has been set for April 8.

OC Barn FireOrange City, Iowa — Three fire departments responded, and barn on a farm near Orange City was destroyed in a fire on Christmas Day.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that just before 3 PM, Orange City emergency crews responded to the report of a barn fire at 3931 Jackson Avenue, four miles north of Orange City.

When they got there they found the barn with heavy smoke coming from it. It rapidly became engulfed by fire. The barn was owned by 78-year-old Peter Vander Zwaag of Orange City.

No injuries were reported.

The barn and its contents are considered a total loss. It appears a heat lamp inside the barn started the fire, according to authorities.

The Sioux Center Fire Department, Alton Fire Department and the sheriff’s office assisted the Orange City Fire Department and Orange City Ambulance on the scene.

Pictures courtesy Sioux County Sheriff’s Office

OC Barn Fire 2

December 25, 2013 - 10:03 am - Posted in News

Sioux Sheriff Car 84-Boyden, Iowa — Two people, one from Orange City, and one from George were arrested on Saturday after an incident in which they were both found to be driving drunk.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that the arrests stemmed from a traffic stop on Saturday afternoon at 330th Street and Jackson Avenue, three miles southwest of Boyden.

A deputy stopped 30-year-old Yesina Gomez of Orange City for a traffic violation. Upon further investigation, the deputy suspected that Gomez was under the influence of alcohol. Five children were found inside the vehicle and some of them were improperly secured in their seats. Gomez was arrested and was asked to contact a responsible family member or friend to take custody of the children.

Gomez contacted 34-year-old Jimmy Elnei of George to come to the location of the traffic stop. When he got there, the deputy suspected that Elnei was also driving while under the influence of alcohol. He was also driving while his license was suspended.

Gomez was arrested and charged with operating while intoxicated, five counts of child endangerment and cited for failing to secure a child in the vehicle. Elnei was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and driving with a suspended driver’s license.

The five children were transported to the sheriff’s office where the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) assisted in finding a family to take custody of them.

December 24, 2013 - 10:44 am - Posted in Sports

western logoThe latest Radio Iowa High School Boys Basketball Poll is out and Western Christian has moved to the top in 2A following a loss by Kuemper Catholic.









Class 4A
1. Iowa City West (6-0), LW #1 vs Dubuque Hempstead 1/3
2. Bettendorf (5-0), LW #2 @ Assumption 1/2
3. Dubuque Senior (5-0), LW #4 vs Maquoketa 1/4
4. North Scott (7-0), LW #6 vs Davenport North 1/3
5. Ankeny Centennial (7-0), LW (X) vs Dowling Catholic 1/3
6. Southeast Polk (6-1), LW #3 vs Marshalltown
7. Waukee (5-2), LW #5 vs Urbandale 1/3
8. DSM North (6-0), LW #9 vs Indianola 1/7
9. Sioux City North (7-1), LW #7 @ Lewis Central 1/3
10.DSM Hoover (4-2), LW (X) @ Indianola 1/7

Class 3A
1. Harlan (5-0), LW #1 @ St. Albert 1/3
2. Central DeWitt (5-0), LW #10 vs Mount Vernon 1/3
3. Dallas Center-Grimes (6-1), LW #4 vs Adel ADM 1/3
4. Carroll (5-0), LW #7 @ South Central Calhoun 1/3
5. Solon (4-1), LW #2 @ Maquoketa 1/3
6. Dubuque Wahlert (5-1), LW (X) @ #2 Central Dewitt 1/4
7. Sioux City Heelan (4-1), LW (X) @ LeMars 1/4
8. Clear Lake (5-0), LW (X) vs Algona 1/3
9. Western Dubuque (4-1), LW #9 @ Benton 1/3
10.Grinnell (4-1), LW (X) @ Williamsburg 1/4

Class 2A
1. Western Christian (6-0), LW #2 @ Spencer 1/7
2. West Fork (5-0), LW #3 @ St. Ansgar 1/7
3. Cascade (5-0), LW #4 @ N.E. Gooselake 1/3
4. Carroll Kuemper (4-1), LW #1 vs Atlantic 1/3
5. MFL-MarMac (4-0), LW #9 vs Waukon 1/2
6. Fort Dodge St. Edmond (6-0), LW #7 vs Eagle Grove 1/3
7. IKM-Manning (7-0), LW (X) @ Maple Valley/Anthon-Oto 1/7
8. Rock Valley (5-1), LW #6 @ #10 Sioux Center 1/3
9. Treynor (6-1), LW #5 @ AHST (Avoca) 1/7
10.Sioux Center (6-1), LW (X) vs #8 Rock Valley 1/3

Class 1A
1. Dunkerton (5-0), LW #1 @ Don Bosco 1/3
2. Iowa Mennonnite (5-0), LW #2 vs Winfield-Mount Union 1/3
3. Lamoni (7-0), LW #3 @ Orient-Macksburg 1/7
4. Newell-Fonda (7-0), LW #5 vs Alta-Aurelia 1/3
5. Nodaway Valley (6-0), LW #7 vs East Union 1/7
6. LeMars Gehlen (8-0), LW #10 @ Remsen St. Mary’s 1/3
7. Keota (6-0), LW #9 vs Montezuma 1/3
8. West Lyon (6-0), LW (X) @ Sheldon 1/3
9. Belmond-Klemme (6-0), LW (X) vs CAL Latimer 1/6
10.Gladbrook-Reinbeck (4-1), LW #8 vs Denver 1/4

December 23, 2013 - 1:18 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Funeral services for Kenneth R. Meyn, age 88, of Boyden, Iowa who passed away on Monday, December 23, 2013 at the Sheldon Sanford Medical Center in Sheldon, Iowa. His services will be 10:30 A.M. on Friday, December 27, 2013 at the United Presbyterian Church in Boyden, Iowa with Rev. Rollin Haynes officiating.

Burial will be in the Sheridan Township Cemetery in Boyden, Iowa, with a Military Flag Presentation by the: William Monster Post # 272 of the American Legion in Boyden, Iowa.

Visitation will be Thursday, December 26, 2013 after 4:00 P.M. with the family present from 5:00 to 7:00pm at the United Presbyterian Church in Boyden, Iowa.

The Vander Ploeg Funeral Home in Boyden is in charge of Arrangements for Kenneth R. Meyn of Boyden.

Online memorial condolences may be sent to:

Kenneth Roy Meyn, the son of William and Frances (Latcham) Meyn was born June 17, 1925 in rural Boyden, Iowa. He attended Boyden schools, graduating from Boyden High School in 1942. He farmed with his father until he was drafted into the Army in 1950. He was united in marriage to LaVonne Rowenhorst on December 30, 1950in Petersburg, Virginia. He returned from serving his country in September of 1952. The couple moved to the family farm west of Boyden, where they farmed for many years until moving into Boyden in 1986. Ken and LaVonne enjoyed many winters in Texas and summers at their Spirit Lake cabin. He passed away on Monday, December 23, 2013 at the Sanford Sheldon Medical Center in Sheldon reaching the age of 88 years, 6 months and 6 days.

Ken enjoyed carpentry as well as farming and spent many hours helping build the United Presbyterian Church after the old one burned down. He loved playing games with the grandchildren.

He was an active member of the United Presbyterian Church in Boyden where he served as Sunday School Superintendent, Trustee and Elder for many years. He also served on the Boyden Produce Board and the Boyden-Hull School Board.

Ken leaves to cherish his memory his wife, LaVonne of Boyden, three sons, Craig Meyn of San Antonio, Texas; Jeff and his wife, Cheri Meyn of Boyden, Iowa; Kent and his wife, Glenda Meyn of Ames, Iowa; and Gina Salerno of Omaha, Nebraska; also eleven grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents.