March 31, 2016 - 5:59 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa -– A rally against child abuse is happening this Friday, April 1, 2016, at the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office in Orange City.
Seasons Center Logo
Seasons Center for Behavioral Health is hosting the 2nd Annual END IT! for Autumn Rally in support of Child Abuse Prevention Month at 10:00 AM.

Northwest Iowa law enforcement, DHS offices, county attorneys, County Board of Supervisors, area Senators and Representatives have all been invited to participate. All community members in support of ending child abuse are welcome to join in the rally. Cupcakes and refreshments will be served following speeches from Kim Scorza, Executive Director of Seasons Center, Dan Altena, Sioux County Sheriff, and Jen Elgersma, mother of Autumn Elgersma, who died from injuries sustained while in the care of her babysitter.

Phil and Jen Elgersma and family from Orange City, Iowa, have partnered with Seasons Center as a way to honor and memorialize Autumn’s life. They say they look forward to kicking off Child Abuse Prevention Month with the rally. Jen Elgersma says it is a good way for them to show support and appreciation for all involved in the lives of kids who are hurting, and to raise awareness at the same time.

The rally will be held at the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office at 4363 Ironwood Avenue located northwest of Orange City. The rally will be a time to reflect on victims of child abuse and learn what our communities can do to help prevent it.

March 31, 2016 - 3:44 pm - Posted in Sports

Hull, Iowa — Western Christian High School Director of Development & Promotions, Wes Fopma, has announced the naming of the school’s new Head Boys Basketball Coach.

New Western Christian Boys Basketball Coach, Bill Harmsen

New Western Christian Boys Basketball Coach, Bill Harmsen

Fopma says Western Christian is pleased to announce that Bill Harmsen has accepted the position as Head Boys Basketball Coach at Western Christian High School for the 2016-17 school year.  Harmsen has been the head coach of the girls varsity squad for the last five years where he led the Wolfpack girls team to three state championships, one state runner up trophy, and one state semifinal trophy.  Prior to that Harmsen coached the boys junior varsity team at Western for 11 years and the boys freshman team at Western for 10 years.  Earlier this spring Harmsen was appointed the new Activities Director at Western Christian High School. He also will serve as the Assistant Principal at Western.

Harmsen replaces Jim Eekhoff who coached 34 years as the Boys Varsity Basketball Coach at Western and recently announced his retirement. Eekhoff set the state record for state championships by a boys head coach with his 8th state championship a few weeks ago.

March 31, 2016 - 3:42 pm - Posted in Sports

fishing 2Spirit Lake, 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. For more information contact the Spirit Lake fish Hatchery at 712-336-1840.


Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)

Water temperatures are in the mid-40s. Expect good walleye fishing near shore this weekend and next week as water temperatures continue to climb and walleye exhibit spawning behavior. Try areas near shore that contain sand, rocks, and/or gravel substrate.

Clear Lake

Docks are in at MacIntosh State Park and Lynne Lorenzen ramp. Walleye – Fair: The bite has been slow this week for wader fisherman near the outlet on the east side of the lake. An occasional walleye has been taken near the Ventura grade. Channel Catfish – Good: Catfish action has been good this past week. Use cut bait, worms or minnows near inlets and windblown shorelines in the early season. The water is still very clear in the shallows, so fish a little deeper, on calm days. Bluegill – Fair: A few bluegills have been caught in the canals. Use small ice jigs under a bobber or add a split shot or two and vertical jig near structure. Muskellunge – No Report: Target shallow flats along the shoreline on the east end of the lake. Use a jig and minnow or a slow moving artificial. Walleye anglers have caught a few near the outlet on the east end and also by the Marsh inlet by the Ventura grade. Black Crappie – Good: Crappies have been caught in the canals. Use small ice jigs under a bobber or add a split shot or two and vertical jig near structure. Check out the edges or inside the rushes around the lake as crappies will likely be found near them as well. White Bass – Fair: Anglers have had some occasional good days in the past weeks for white bass near the Ventura grade.

Big Spirit Lake

Black Crappie – Slow: The bite has slowed after the cold snap. Look for fishing to pick up as the water temperatures increase. Anglers are still catching a couple of crappies at Templar Lagoon and Buffalo. Use small tubes or a minnow under a slip bobber. Smallmouth Bass – Fair: Anglers have started to pick up some smallmouth bass on the rock piles. Use tubes or jerk baits.

East Okoboji Lake

Yellow Bass – Fair: Anglers have been picking up a few yellow bass in the evenings on Jingles point.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)

Walleye – Fair: The walleye bite has been picking up with the warming water temperatures. The north bridge, the island, and the east shoreline have been producing fish in the evening. Jigs tipped with minnows fished slowly works best.

West Okoboji Lake

Bluegill – Good: Anglers have been picking up a few nice bluegills on the trestle and in Triboji. Use small tungsten jigs tipped with maggots. Black Crappie – Fair: The crappie bite has picked up in Triboji. Small minnows or mini jigs worked well the past week.

Walleye season is closed on Big Spirit, West and East lakes.

March 31, 2016 - 8:17 am - Posted in Sports

HeynenOrange City, Iowa — Collin Heynen from Boyden has signed a letter of intent to continue his basketball career at Northwestern College next fall.

Heynen is a 6’4” forward who starred three years for the Trinity Christian High School basketball team. Heynen averaged 22 points and an impressive 16.5 rebounds per game in earning first team all-conference honors for the second straight year. He shot nearly 50% from the field and also registered 2.5 blocks per game. Heynen finished his career with over 1,000 points and also was a second team all-Northwest Iowa selection. Heynen earned academic all-state honors and plans to major in business at Northwestern. He is the son of Veryl and Kandace.

“Collin is a quality young man, an excellent student and a good athlete,” commented head Northwestern College basketball coach Kris Korver. “Collin played well at our camps over the last few summers and had an outstanding senior season. He competes, rebounds, hustles and does the little things well. We are excited to have Collin join us at Northwestern College.”

Northwestern College is a Christian college of more than 1,200 students in Orange City, Iowa. Rated a top-five Midwestern baccalaureate college by U.S. News & World Report magazine, Northwestern provides an education that combines academic rigor with a faith perspective.

March 30, 2016 - 4:27 pm - Posted in News

Le Mars, Iowa — Two related contests for Iowa entrepreneurs and their ideas are coming up. One of them is this Thursday night, March 31st.
dream big grow here logo
The main contest, called “Dream Big Grow Here” was supposed to happen in May at the statewide EntreFEST. However, EntreFest was cancelled. Organizers said EntreFEST had run into many unexpected changes and production delays over the past several months. The event was in the middle of transitioning from being run by the three state universities, to one being run by the state’s economic development community. They hope to bring it back in 2017.

However, even though EntreFEST is not going to happen this year, the statewide “Dream Big Grow Here” contest WILL still happen. In fact, it’s been moved up to April 14th, in Des Moines, at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center. Two businesses from our area are among several statewide that will have a chance to make their pitch for a $10,000 grand prize. They are Van Shrimp of Rock Valley and American Hero Clothing of Larchwood.

Seventeen entrepreneurs from northwest Iowa entered the statewide contest. All of those are also entered in a separate regional contest called, “Iowa’s West Coast Dream Big Grow Here Regional Contest.” That pitch-off event is this Thursday, March 31st, 2016 at 5 PM at the Willow Creek Golf Course in Le Mars. At that event, the six finalists will present their dream to start or expand a business. Three of those six are from our area. They are Van Shrimp and American Hero Clothing, as well as Simply Jade Boutique from Sioux Center.

The event is free and open to the public.

lifeserve logo

Help your community and roll up your sleeves to saves lives! Donate today with LifeServe Blood Center.


Tuesday, April 12th LifeServe will be in George at the Community Building, located at 117 S. Main St, from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

LifeServe will be in Orange City on Thursday, April 14th at the American Reformed Church, located at 407 Albany Street SE, from 12:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, April 19th LifeServe will be in Hull at the Hull Library, located at 1408 Main St, from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

LifeServe will be in Sioux Center on Thursday, April 21st at the Centre Mall, located at 251 N. Main Ave, from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

You can donate on Wednesday, April 27th with LifeServe in Rock Valley at the Faith Reformed Church, located at 1305 7th St, from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m

LifeServe will be in Orange City on Thursday, April 28th at the American Reformed Church, located at 407 Albany Street SE, from 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.


March 30, 2016 - 10:45 am - Posted in News

Rock Valley, Iowa — A Sioux Center man faces charges after a tip to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office via their Text-A-Tip program.

According to authorities, on Tuesday, March 29, at 6:30 a.m., the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office arrested 23-year old Mario Olmedo-Lira, of Sioux Center.  Deputies say the arrest stemmed from the investigation into a report of an identity theft that occurred at Kooima Company in Rock Valley.

The investigation began, according to authorities, after Sheriff’s Office received information via their Text-A-Tip program.  Deputies say that, upon further investigation, it was discovered that Olmedo-Lira was illegally using a Texas resident’s identity to gain employment.

Olmedo-Lira was arrested for forgery and identity theft, according to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office.

March 30, 2016 - 10:44 am - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A second lawsuit has been filed lawsuit has been filed in federal court against the Pizza Ranch after 13 E. Coli cases were linked to the Orange City-based restaurant chain.

According to the court filing, the lawsuit, which was filed by the father of a 8-year old from Lincoln, Nebraska, alleges that the plaintiff took his family to the Pizza Ranch in Lincoln, Nebraska on December 31, 2015, where the child dined on chicken fries, cheese pizza and dessert pizza.  The suit alleges that on January 3, 2016 the child began to feel ill.  A visit to the child’s pediatrician caused the doctor to hospitalize the girl due to severe dehydration, according to court filings.  The suit says the child was hospitalized in Lincoln where tests revealed she had E Coli O157.  She was later transferred to an Omaha children’s hospital.

The suit alleges negligence on the part of Pizza Ranch for allegedly failing to ensure safety in the foods served to customers, including this 8-year old girl.

The plaintiff has requested a jury trial, and is seeking damages in an amount greater than $75-thousand, according to the court filing.

March 29, 2016 - 4:25 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Mr. John Roos, age 96, of Orange City, passed away on Tuesday, March 29, 2015, at the Prairie Ridge Care Center in Orange City.

There will be a funeral service on Saturday, April 2, at 1:00 pm, at the Calvary Christian Reformed Church Chapel.  The Rev. Aldon Kuiper will officiate.  Interment will follow the service at the West Lawn Cemetery in Orange City.  Following the committal service at the cemetery, there will be visitation with the family, and refreshments, at the church.

Arrangements are with the Oolman Funeral Home in Orange City.

March 29, 2016 - 4:24 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Pearl DeJongMrs. Pearl De Jong, age 87, of Alton, passed away on Tuesday, March 29, 2015, at the Happy Siesta Care Center in Remsen.

There will be a memorial service on Saturday, April 2, at 11:00 am, at the Alton Reformed Church. The Rev. Scott Bonestroo will officiate. Interment will be prior to the service at the Nassau Township Cemetery near Alton. There will be a family prayer service on Saturday, at 10:00 am, at the Oolman Funeral Home in Orange City.

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