July 31, 2016 - 11:31 am - Posted in Obituaries

Hildred HoekstraMrs. Hildred Hoekstra, age 80, of Hull, passed away on Sunday, July 31, 2016, at her residence.

There will be a funeral service on Wednesday, August 3, at 10:30 am, at the Hull Protestant Reformed Church. The Rev. James Laning will officiate. Interment will follow the service at the Hope Cemetery in Hull. Visitation will be after 4:00 pm on Tuesday, with the family present from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm, at the church.

Arrangements are with the Oolman Funeral Home in Hull.

July 29, 2016 - 7:17 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — There’s been an interesting development in the case of a Matlock man facing two counts of sexual abuse.
According to court records, Sioux County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested 30-year-old Daren Thomas Leikvold of Matlock at his home on a warrant on Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Court records indicate that Leikvold is accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old on two separate occasions. The incidents are alleged to have occurred in October of last year, and in January of this year.

A bench trial was held last week, but no verdict has yet been entered in the case. On Thursday, July 28th, defense attorney Angela Kayl filed a motion to strike any and all reports, exhibits and testimony from the DCI lab where Amy Pollpeter was employed.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety says Amy Pollpeter, an analyst at the Iowa state crime laboratory, was fired on Tuesday, July 26th. The DPS issued a statement saying she was fired for a post on social media, but did not say what the post contained. According to Radio Iowa, the Des Moines Register reported that Pollpeter, in a Facebook post on July 8, lashed out at the Black Lives Matter movement and wrote that, “Because of blacks” she now does notice skin color and “frankly, I no longer feel safe around them.” The post followed the killings of several police officers in Dallas, Texas.

Pollpeter, who worked as a state criminalist for 10 years, has posted on Facebook that “there is more to the story than the Department of Public Safety is letting on” and she’s “disappointed that the department has chosen to disregard the policy of keeping personnel matters confidential.”

July 29, 2016 - 7:14 pm - Posted in News

Sioux City, Iowa — Ranae Harriet Van Roekel, 48, of Hull pled guilty Thursday in federal court in Sioux City and was convicted of one count of mail fraud and one count of filing a false tax return.
Evidence produced at the plea hearing revealed, from about January 2008 to about June 2012, Van Roekel, used the internet, phone networks, and the United States Mail, to claim to have access to tickets to various events (including Super Bowl XLVI) at steeply discounted prices because of some claimed personal relationship, membership, or association with the events or related organizations. For example, she claimed to have come by access to discounted Super Bowl XLVI tickets by fraudulently claiming she was a member of the Super Bowl Planning Committee. She then collected money from victims, through the United States Mail purportedly for the purpose of obtaining these tickets, hotel rooms, and other goods and services, but then claimed she could not fill most of the orders. Defendant paid some victims “refunds” with money from newly acquired victims to prevent detection of the scheme

Sentencing before United States District Court Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Van Roekel remains free on bond previously set; Van Roekel faces up to 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and up to three years of supervised release following any imprisonment on the mail fraud count, and up to 8 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and up to one year of supervised release following any imprisonment on the filing a false income tax return count.

July 29, 2016 - 4:32 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — A $235,000 grant is making it possible for a victim advocate from a northwest Iowa center for victims of abuse to be available at a northwest Iowa community health center.

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see caption below

Staff with Family Crisis Centers, or “FCC” say that not all crime victims will give them a call or walk up to their doors to receive the help that they need.

So the Sioux Center-based agency is taking its victim advocate services to where people from vulnerable populations may already feel comfortable going for care.

Family Crisis Centers and Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center have forged a partnership to place a full-time victim advocate in the health center – which has successfully reached out to and served many people from underserved populations in northwest Iowa since it opened in 2008.

The project was made possible through a $235,000 federal grant awarded by the Iowa Attorney General’s Office from the Victims of Crime Act or “VOCA” fund.

Shari Kastein, executive director of Family Crisis Centers says that they just felt there were referrals out there that weren’t reaching FCC because of safety, the fear of the unknown or some other reason. She says that they talked about how they could bridge that gap so they could better serve their vulnerable populations in the area. She says that the key thing is to meet them where they are.

Nancy Dykstra, executive director of Promise, says she thinks the project aligns well with the mission and vision of the health center. She says that it was a natural marriage between the two organizations because of what Promise is, who Promise serves and how they serve people. She says that Promise and FCC want to reach vulnerable populations and get them the support that they need at a vulnerable point in their life. She says that Promise and FCC are taking what they do and what they stand for and mixing them to come together on this project.

Kastein said the project stems from an attorney general’s office challenge that asked crime victim organizations to come up with new and innovative solutions to reach unserved and underserved populations. That prompted Kastein to reach out to Dykstra late last year to discuss a partnership and write the joint grant application.

Kastein says their program was the most comprehensive program in the state, so it is really a pilot now for the state. She says they appreciate Promise’s willingness to pilot this program because “the state of Iowa has its eyes on Sioux Center once again for this.”

According to the agreement, Family Crisis Centers will provide the funding via the grant for the personnel and supplies for the program. Promise will provide the office space for the victim advocate and will refer people to her for services. Key questions will be developed for Promise staff to ask patients as a means to identify referrals. The victim advocate, who is trained as an interpreter for Spanish-speaking people, will assume her role at Promise on Monday, August 1st.

After the partnership template is developed and refined at Promise, Kastein said Family Crisis Centers will expand the project to Storm Lake and Carroll during the first year of the grant program. The program then might be eligible for two additional years of funding.

Photo caption:Pictured (left to right): Amy Kleinhesselink, Promise chief financial officer; Kelsey, victim advocate; Shari Kastein, FCC executive director; Nancy Dykstra, Promise executive director; and Alison Hofmeyer, FCC Project Director

Rock Valley — There’s going to be a snowmobile race in Rock Valley. That sounds like something we should be announcing in January. But there’s a twist. These snowmobiles are going to be racing on WATER.
snowmobiles on water
We talked with Kelly Roder, who’s one of the individuals helping with what they call the “Rivers Bend Shootout”, and he tells us what’s happening.

He says there will be plenty of racing action, with cash payouts for the winners.

And the action continues the next day, he says.

He says the venue is the Rivers Bend Campground ponds. He says the area used to be the Van Zee gravel pits, and the City of Rock Valley has transformed it into a nice campground and some ponds.

He says most of the riders are from up north, but one of their club members is taking part.

Roder says there will be food vendors available on-site, and there isn’t a bad seat anywhere around the pond. Again, that’s the Rivers Bend Shootout this weekend at Rivers Bend Campground northwest of Rock Valley. Check out their Facebook page for ticket prices and other details.

July 28, 2016 - 2:37 pm - Posted in News

fatal ambulance IIRock Valley, Iowa — A Rock Valley man has died as the result of a single-vehicle crash near Rock Valley Wednesday (July 27th) night.

Sioux County authorities received the call of an accident that happened about 10:15 Wednesday night on Elmwood Avenue, about four miles south of Rock Valley.

Deputies say their investigation revealed that a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, driven by 27-year old Victor Tellez of Rock Valley, was northbound on Elmwood Avenue, when the vehicle drove onto the east shoulder of the road, where Tellez lost control and entered the west ditch, where the truck rolled.  Authorities report that Tellez was ejected from the vehicle.

Tellez was transported to Hegg Memorial Hospital in Rock Valley, by Rock Valley Ambulance, where he was pronounced dead.

Deputies estimate the damage to Tellez’ pickup to be approximately $10-thousand.

Sioux County Sheriff’s Deputies were assisted by the Rock Valley Ambulance and Rock Valley Fire Department.

blue ribbonSioux County, Iowa — Two Sioux County communities have been included on the list of “Ten Most Successful Cities In Iowa” by the website zippia.com.

According to the Zippia website, they took into account poverty level, median household income, and unemployment rate when compiling the list.  Zippia says they collected data from all 80 communities in Iowa with more than 5-thousand people, and ranked each from 1 to 80 for each of their criteria, with #1 being the most successful.  They say at that point they averaged all the rankings for a town into what they call a “Success Score”, with the place having the lowest overall “Success Score” crowned the “Most Successful City In Iowa.”

Two Sioux County communities made the Top 10 in the Zippia list, with Sioux Center ranked #5, and Orange City coming in at #10.

Other northwest Iowa cities that didn’t make the Top 10 include:  Sheldon at #19, LeMars #20, Cherokee #31, Spencer #32, and Estherville #33.  The other communities in northwest Iowa weren’t ranked, since they didn’t meet the minimum population threshold of 5,000 people.

For more details on the “Ten Most Successful Cities In Iowa” list, click here.

July 28, 2016 - 10:12 am - Posted in News

Nohemi Garcia-De La CruzSheldon, Iowa — A Sheldon woman faces Identity Theft and Forgery charges, following her arrest Wednesday, July 27th.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office says the charges against 30-year old Nohemi Garcia-De La Cruz are the result of the investigation into a complaint by a Mississippi resident that their identity was illegally being used in Sioux County.

Deputies say their investigation discovered that De La Cruz was illegally using the victim’s identity to gain employment at Natural Beauty Growers of Boyden.

According to authorities, Garcia-De La Cruz was arrested for Identity Theft and two counts of Forgery.  Each charge is a Class D Felony.

July 28, 2016 - 8:54 am - Posted in News

Sioux Sheriff 84-8 FacebookAlton, Iowa — An Alton man’s vehicle was damaged after he hit a deer in the morning hours of Wednesday, July 27th near Alton.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that at about 6:38 am on Wednesday, 22-year-old David DeHaan was driving a 1997 Buick LeSabre southbound on Highway 60, one mile east of Alton. According to the report, DeHaan struck a deer on the roadway.

The Buick received $3,000 damage.

No injuries were reported.

softballDes Moines Iowa — The IGCA All-State Softball Teams are out. In Class 1A War Eagle Conference Champion Akron Westfield had two players named to the first team. Katie Johnson and Ann Hedlund both earned spots. Payton Ahrenstorff of Harris-Lake Park was named to the third team.

In Class 2A Micayla Ter Wee of West Lyon earned a spot on the first team. Abbie Klatt of Okoboji was named to the second team. Named to the third team were Emily Wintz of Okoboji along with Anna Christians of Unity and Kylie Vant Hul of Western Christian.

In Class 3A Cassie Van Beek was named to the first team All-State. Jessica Harald of Sioux Center was named to the third team.

For complete teams click on the links below

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2A__All___State_Teams.docx (2)