November 30, 2014 - 12:50 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Iowa House

Mr. Dwayne Alons, age 68, of Hull, entered into the arms of his Lord and Savior, by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, on Saturday, November 29, 2014, at Sioux Center Health.

There will be a family prayer service on Wednesday, December 3, at 9:30am, at the First Reformed Church in Hull. There will be a graveside service on Wednesday, at 10:15am, at the Sheridan Township Cemetery near Boyden, with a Gideons circle and military rites, to which all are welcome. There will be a public memorial service on Wednesday, at 11:00am, at the First Reformed Church. The Rev. Randall Widbin will officiate.

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

Arrangements are with the Oolman Funeral Home in Hull.

Dwayne Arlan was born on October 30, 1946, in Hull, the son of Gerrit and Henrietta “Hattie” (Tensen) Alons. He was raised in the Boyden-Hull area. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics at Northwestern College in Orange City in 1968 and a Master’s Degree in management from the University of Arkansas in 1974. He served in the United States Air Force in Texas, Arizona, West Germany, and Pennsylvania for seven years.

On July 15, 1967, he married Clarice Elaine Ahlers in Yankton, South Dakota. After 1975, they farmed by Boyden. In 1991, they moved into Hull. He also worked part-time in the Air National Guard in Sioux City, where he flew fighter jets. He retired from the Guard in 2002, as a Brigadier General.

In November of 1998, Mr. Alons was elected representative for Iowa House District 5, which became District 4, a position he still held at his death.

He was a member of the Christ Community Church in Sioux Center, the Gideons International, and the William Monster American Legion Post in Boyden. He also belonged to the Hull Kiwanis Club, the Sioux County Farm Bureau, and several other agricultural organizations.

Survivors include his wife of more than 47 years; four children and their spouses and fourteen grandchildren, Kevin and Ngu Alons, of Salix, and their children, Ashley, Andrew, and Anna; Kyle and Kristie Alons, of Colorado Springs, Colorado; and their children, Kylee, Mackenzie, Caleb, Josiah, and Grace; Kristin and Craig Hoftyzer, of Boyden, and their children, Isaac, Jacob, and Chloe; and Karena and Brian Topf, of Wellington, Colorado, and their daughters, Genevieve, Annalise, and Josephine; and two sisters and their husbands, Marcia and Bob Mantel and Glenda and John De Koster, all of Hull.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorials will be directed to the Gideons International.

November 30, 2014 - 12:46 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — A northwest Iowa legislator has passed away.Iowa House

Rep. Dwayne Alons (R-Hull) was 68 years old. He announced in early October that he had been diagnosed with renal cancer of the left kidney.

At that time he said he wanted to thank his wife, Clarice, his family, and close friends and neighbors for their support and prayers.

Upon learning of the passing of Alons, Iowa Republican Party Co-Chairman Cody Hoefert of Rock Rapids released this statement:

Alons was first elected in 1998. He was a farmer and retired Iowa Air National Guard Brigadier General.

According to the Iowa House Republicans web page, Alons attended the elementary school system in Boyden. He graduated from Boyden-Hull High School in 1964. Following high school, he graduated from Northwestern College in Orange City and received his Master’s degree from the University of Arkansas.

In 1967, Alons married Clarice and together they have four children, Kevin, Kyle, Kristin, and Karena. They have 13 grandchildren.

Alons and his wife attended Christ Community Church in Sioux Center where Dwayne served as a Deacon and as an Elder.

Alons won re-election to his ninth term in the Iowa House earlier this month. He ran unopposed.

Funeral arrangements are pending with the Oolman Funeral Home in Hull.

If your browser or device cannot access the audio players above, here is the direct link to the audio file:
Hoefert Audio Cut

Northwest Iowa — Public information meetings are scheduled in the coming week in regard to a Texas company’s plan to construct an underground crude oil pipeline that will run from the Baaken oil fields in North Dakota where the crude comes from, to a refinery near St. Louis. The plan calls for the pipeline to run across the state of Iowa from northwest to southeast, entering Iowa in Lyon County.Welder Welding Pipes

Energy Transfer Partners L.P. is the company proposing the pipeline, and according to the company’s website, the pipeline would carry at least 320,000 barrels of oil each day through the KIWA listening area on its way to the refinery.

Two public information meetings are scheduled for Monday, December 1st. One will be at 1:00 PM at the Inwood Community Center. The other will be at Sioux Center’s Terrace View Event Center at 6:00 PM that evening. The Sheldon meeting will be on Tuesday, December 2nd at the Sheldon Community Services Center beginning at 9:00 AM. Other meetings that are fairly nearby include one in Cherokee on Tuesday, December 2nd, and one at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake on Wednesday, December 3rd.

For a full list of the meetings, click here.

November 29, 2014 - 8:51 am - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A 113-year-old discount store company with stores in Orange City and Canton is closing its doors in all locations.ALCO going out of business

ALCO Stores, based in Texas, has filed for bankruptcy, and will close next year. The small-town discount retailer is closing after a U.S. Bankruptcy court in Dallas approved an order by the company’s creditors to shutter its stores. ALCO has ten stores in Iowa, including Orange City, Estherville, and Emmetsburg; nine in South Dakota, including Canton, eleven in Minnesota and 16 in Nebraska.

In all, there are 198 stores in 23 states. The chain used to have stores in Cherokee and Le Mars as well. The store sells home furnishings, outdoor products, electronics, sporting goods and clothing.

According to the company’s web site, they will continue to honor their rewards programs. They also say they will honor all gift certificates and store credits, but only through December 4th. The site says they plan to be open regular hours until the closing, and that they will also sell store furniture and fixtures.

Orange City, Iowa — Orange City’s 2015 Tulip Queen was chosen at a pageant this past week.TulipCourt2015

Cara Venema is the new queen. Her parents are Dan and Tonya Venema.

Rounding out the 2015 Tulip Court are Micah Vande Vegte, daughter of Gary and Amy Vande Vegte; Emily Wielenga, daughter of Kevin and Dixie Wielenga; Jennifer Droog, daughter of Rick and Sue Droog; and Sydney Huizenga, daughter of Darren and Dawn Huizenga.

Orange City Tulip Festival organizers are planning the 75th Tulip Festival next May.

Also announced at the pageant was the name of the 2015 Tulip Festival Night Show. This year, the actors will put on Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins.

Auditions for the show are scheduled for January 15th, 19th, and 22nd, 2015 at the Orange City Town Hall. Children can audition on Tuesday, January 20th.

Orange City, Iowa — Northwestern College in Orange City apparently is planning for future expansion.

northwestern nwc zwemer hall

A public hearing is planned for Monday afternoon, in which the City of Orange City will take any public comments about their intent to vacate and “dispose of” a portion of Arizona Avenue Southwest.

Northwestern has purchased all the homes on that block and reportedly they intend to use the land for future development and expansion of their campus. The master plan at Northwestern does call for new residence halls in that location.

The meeting will be on Monday afternoon, December 1st at 4:30 PM at the Orange City Council Chambers at City Hall.

For the record, this is not the first time a portion of Arizona Avenue was vacated for Northwestern. Several years ago the city vacated the portion of the street that used to be to the west of what was then Ramaker Library and Heemstra Hall in order to build what was then going to be North Hall, now called Stegenga Hall.

Granville, Iowa — A Granville teen was taken to the hospital after an accident early on Wednesday, November 26.Granville Ambulance

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 12:40 AM, 29-year-old Andrew Pearson of Orange City was driving a 2001 Pontiac Aztec westbound on Highway 10, three miles west of Granville. Nineteen-year-old Susana Salazar of Granville was driving a 2008 Pontiac Torrent eastbound on Highway 10. Pearson lost control of his vehicle, entered the eastbound lane and struck Salazar.

The Granville Ambulance transported Salazar to the Orange City Hospital.
Pearson sought medical attention on his own.

The Aztec sustained approximately $6,000 in damages. The Torrent sustained an estimated $7,000 in damages.

Pearson was cited for failure to maintain control of his vehicle and failure to use a seatbelt.

The Granville Fire Department and Granville Ambulance crew assisted the Sheriff’s Office.

November 26, 2014 - 2:46 pm - Posted in Sports

Des Moines, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources issues a weekly fishing report on Thursdays in an effort to provide the latest information heading into the weekend. The weekly fishing report is compiled from information gathered from local bait shops, angler creel surveys, and county and state parks staff.



Big Spirit Lake

Poor ice conditions. Open areas reported last week are expanding in size on the main basin due to the mild weekend weather and high winds experienced this week. Crappie – No Report:


Center Lake

Aeration system is active on the northwest corner, caution is advised as thin ice and open areas exist in this area. Channel Catfish – No Report:


East Okoboji Lake

No fishing activity. Due to high winds the very large open area on the south end of the lake is expanding this week. Channel Catfish – No Report:


Silver Lake (Dickinson)

Aeration system is active on the east side of the lake.  Caution is in order as thin ice and open water exists in this area. Crappie – No Report:


West Okoboji Lake

As of Nov. 24 West Okoboji remains ice free. Crappie – No Report:


Ingham Lake

Aeration system located on the south west corner is active with open water and thin ice exists in this area. Crappie – No Report:


Five Island Lake

Aeration system is active in Town Bay. Caution is advised as open water and thin ice exists in this area. Bluegill – No Report:


Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

There are scattered pockets of open water on Storm Lake.  Travel on the ice is not advised.  Channel Catfish – No Report:


No fishing activity reported in the Spirit Lake District.  Most lakes are ice covered; however, ice conditions are poor with 4 inches or less measured on area lakes.

Sheldon, Iowa — There are two arms of the federal farm program, and producers are going to have to choose one of the two. Several meetings are planned in northwest Iowa including one at Northwest Iowa Community College.corn on stalk plant sxc

We had a chance to talk with Iowa State University Extension expert Melissa O’Rourke, who is facilitating some of the meetings.

She tells us about the next step.

She says there are some tools to help you do that on the ISU Extension Ag Decision Maker web site. Then, O’Rourke says farmers will need to select either Price Loss Coverage or Agriculture Risk Coverage.

She stresses that all of this is in addition to whatever private crop insurance farmers may decide to buy. She says that there are meetings planned to help farmers and landowners make these decisions.

O’Rourke says they’ve been averaging over 200 people per meeting, and she tells us about some of the meetings in our area.

Again, for more information you can call your local extension office. There are several other meetings planned as well if one in a different location or on a different date works better for you. You don’t have to go to the meeting in your home county, as O’Rourke says they’re all basically the same.

Incidentally, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is also hosting a number of meetings about the same topic. Those meetings start December 15th and run through February 3rd. There is no cost to attend, but registration is requested. A complete list of the meetings and their locations can be found at If you have questions about the Farm Bureau meetings, you can call 515-225-5633.

If your browser or device cannot access the audio players above, here are the direct links to the audio sound bytes:
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ARC-PLC decisions

November 24, 2014 - 4:34 pm - Posted in News

Hull, Iowa — A Lennox, SD woman was taken to the hospital after an accident near Hull on Friday, November 21.Ambulance rear blue and white

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that just before 4 PM, 20-year-old Jeremy Van Den Berg of Rock Valley was driving a 2005 Dodge Stratus westbound on Highway 18, two miles east of Hull. Twenty-three-year-old Michelle Donelson of Lennox, SD was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier westbound on 18 behind Van Den Berg.

Van Den Berg slowed down for a school bus and the Donelson Chevy struck the Van Den Berg Dodge.

The Hull Ambulance transported Donelson to Sanford Sheldon Hospital.

The Dodge sustained about $2,500 in damages. The Cavalier sustained about $5,000 in damages.

Donelson was ticketed for following too closely.

The Hull Fire Department, Hull Ambulance crew and the Iowa State Patrol assisted the Sheriff’s Office.