June 30, 2017 - 8:22 am - Posted in Sports

Sioux Center Iowa — Mike Byker of Dordt College has been selected as the 2016-17 Hauff Mid-America Sports/Great Plains Athletic Conference Sports Information Director of the Year.

The award is voted on by the league’s sports information directors. He will be honored at the 2017 GPAC Football Media Day on Thursday, August 3 in Sioux City, Nebraska, at the Marina Inn in South Sioux City, Nebraska.

Byker has been at Dordt College since 2001 and also serves as Sports Director for the Dordt College radio station. Known as the “Voice of the Defenders”, Byker promotes the 18 varsity sports at Dordt College. He maintains the Dordt College athletic website as well as coordinating broadcasts and all of the Defenders social media platforms.  Byker was the Sports Director at KIWA AM and FM Radio in Sheldon prior to taking his current position at Dordt.

Byker is an active member of Co-SIDA and has worked on-site assisting the NAIA Volleyball and Women’s Division II Basketball Championship Tournaments in Sioux City, Iowa, as a media coordinator and play-by-play voice on the NAIA Network.

Dordt College Athletic Director Glenn Bouma said, “I am very excited for Mike to win this award. “He goes above and beyond working many hours to promote our student-athletes.” “Defender Nation is very grateful to Mike for his work both on the air and off as he is a huge asset for Dordt College and very deserving of this honor from the GPAC.”

GPAC Commissioner Corey Westra said, “Mike is very deserving of this award in the GPAC and has great passion for his work at Dordt College. “The GPAC is successful because of hardworking SID’s like Mike, and his colleagues around the league. He and the other SID’s are critical to the promotion and success of the league day in and day out.”

This is the third year of the GPAC Sports Information Director of the Year award. Byker is a 1992 graduate of Dordt College with a BA in Radio/TV Communication. He and his wife Maria, live in Orange City and have three children. Klay, Sam, and Emma.

June 29, 2017 - 1:34 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — With the Fourth of July coming up, and with the new Iowa fireworks law having just gone into effect, now is the time to familiarize yourself with the law and how it applies to your Independence Day celebrations.

The state law, as it applies to the discharge of fireworks states that consumer fireworks may only be used between June 1st and July 8th and December 10th through January 3rd. It also limits the hours of use to 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., except that the hours are extended to 11:00 p.m on July 4th, and the Saturdays and Sundays immediately preceding and following July 4th; to 12:30 p.m. on January 1st and 11:00 p.m. on the Saturdays and Sundays immediately preceding and following December 31st. The law also says that you may use fireworks only on your own property or the property of someone who has consented to fireworks being used on their property. There are also several stipulations on the sale of fireworks. Click here for the text of the state law.

Some cities have enacted stricter rules, however. Those that have, generally also mention that no one under the age of 18 may light fireworks unsupervised, fireworks may not be altered, they may not be used by people appearing to be intoxicated or under the influence of a drug or narcotic, and they may not be used in a reckless manner.

In Sheldon, the dates and times of use are both stricter than the state law. Fireworks may be used from June 20th through July 5th and December 17th through January 2nd, between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., except for extended hours until 11:00 p.m. on July 4 and on New Year’s Eve until 12:30 a.m. (January 1st). If you’d like to read the Sheldon Fireworks Ordinance in its entirety, you can do so by CLICKING HERE.

In Orange City, the dates of use are the same as the state law, but the dates with extended times do not include the weekends before and after the holiday, and only include the holiday itself. Orange City’s ordinance also talks about open-flame sky lanterns and that they are prohibited unless the lantern has a tether and is under control. Find a copy of the Orange City Ordinance here.

Use of fireworks is allowed in Sioux Center from June 13 through July 8. The city will follow the state law regarding the times of day during which fireworks are allowed. Information about the Sioux Center ordinance can be found here.

In Sanborn, the fireworks ordinance states that fireworks may be discharged from June 15th through July 8th, and from December 10th through January 3rd. The times of day are the same as the state law, but the dates with extended times do not include the weekends before and after the holiday and only include the holiday itself. Click here for the full Sanborn Ordinance.

In Hartley, city officials say that the city council feels they have not had enough time to review the law and come up with any new policy. We are told that the old fireworks ordinance, which prohibits fireworks in the city limits still technically applies in Hartley.

The situation is similar in Sibley. Jerolyn Huisenga with the City of Sibley says that the Sibley City Council also has not passed any new fireworks ordinance, so the old ordinance remains in effect in Sibley — meaning fireworks will not be allowed in the city limits.

In George, city officials state that their city council also has not passed any new fireworks ordinance. But they stated that the new state law will apply in George, so it is legal to use fireworks in George as long as people follow the state law.

The Rock Rapids City Council has enacted a new fireworks ordinance. Fireworks may be discharged from June 15th through July 8th and December 10th through January 3rd with the same times of day as the state law, except no extended hours are included on the weekends before or after the holidays.  Information about the Rock Rapids ordinance can be found here.

The community pointed to when people ask why fireworks have been banned in Iowa for almost 80 years — is Spencer. And in Spencer, people are still not going to be able to use fireworks. Spencer City Manager Bob Fagen says, “we know what [fireworks] can do for your community.” He says the rules on the use of fireworks will be the same in Spencer as before — only sparklers and snakes will be allowed. Fireworks were prohibited in Iowa a few years after a devastating fire caused by a sparkler being dropped into a fireworks display in Spencer in 1931.

June 29, 2017 - 12:51 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Mr. David Van Wechel, age 73, of Orange City, passed away on Thursday, June 29, 2017, at his residence.

There will be a memorial service on Wednesday, July 5, at 10:30am, at the Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City.  The Rev. Robert De Boer will officiate.  Interment will be prior to the service at the West Lawn Cemetery in Orange City.  There will be a family prayer service on Wednesday, at 9:30am, at the church.

Visitation will be after 3:00pm on Tuesday, with the family present from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, at the church.  Arrangements are with the Oolman Funeral Home in Orange City.



June 29, 2017 - 8:15 am - Posted in Sports

Sheldon, Iowa — #2 Sioux Center defeated the Sheldon Orabs 6-4 in softball action Wednesday night.

Sioux Center jumped to a quick 2-0 in the top of the 1st inning. Camryn Cleveringa reached on a single to left field, and would later come into score on a Shayla Post single to first base. Post later came into score to make it 2-0 on a Hannah Dykshorn single to center.

The Orabs countered with 2 runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Nicole Johnson reached the bases on a single to right center and came into score on a shot to left center from Tayler Weber, and Weber would come into score on a single by Nicole Meyer.

The Warriors put two more on the board in the top of the 2nd after Cleveringa went yard with a two run shot to left making it 4-2. Sioux Center added another pair of runs in the 5th to push the score to 6-2.

The Orabs got back on the board in the bottom of the 5th after Alexa Vanden Hall drove in McKenzie Wagner with a shot to left field making the score 6-3.

Sheldon added another run in the 6th with a bases loaded walk to Weber to make it 6-4, but #2 Sioux Center would stifle the Orab bats in the 7th and come away with the 6-4 victory.

Hannah Dykshorn got the win for Sioux Center. She went 4 1/3 innings, giving up 2 earned runs, struck out 4, and gave up 9 hits.

Nicole Johnson took the loss, giving up 6 earned runs on 11 hits in 7 innings of work. Johnson also struck out 2 and walked 2.

With the win Sioux Center improves to 20-5 on the year 12-2 in the Siouxland. Sheldon falls to 9-13 on the year and 5-8 in the conference.

Up next for the Orab softball team, they close out the regular season at home against West Lyon on Friday night.

Sioux Center is in action Thursday night hosting Spirit Lake. They close the regular season with a big home game Friday against Boyden Hull Rock Valley.

June 29, 2017 - 8:14 am - Posted in Sports

Northwest Iowa — Brackets are out for Class 1A and 2A baseball tournament action. Sheldon is in Class 2A District 2 and will open tournament play at Okoboji on Saturday July 8th. The Orabs square off against Emmetsburg in the upper bracket quarterfinals. The winner will meet Estherville Lincoln Central in the semis on Tuesday July 11th at 7:00 pm at Estherville. In the lower bracket it’s Sibley Ocheyedan and host team Okoboji meeting at 7:00. The winner will meet West Lyon in the semis at 5:00 pm on Tuesday also in Estherville.

In Class 2A District 1 Cherokee got the top seed and will host the semifinals. Sioux Center also got a bye into the semis. Quarterfinal games Saturday the 8th will be at Hinton matching Unity and Maple Valley Anthon Oto in the upper bracket. OA-BCIG and Hinton meet in the lower bracket quarterfinal.

In Class 1A District 1 there will be one play in game on Saturday  July 8th as George Little Rock hosts Clay Central Everly at 7pm. The winner will be at top seed West Sioux on Tuesday the 11th.

In Class 1A District 2 Remsen St Mary’s got the top seed. Quarterfinal game are scheduled for Tuesday July 11th.

In Class 1A District 16 Akron Westfield is the top seed and with no play in games the quarterfinals open district play on Tuesday July 11th.

Both MOC Floyd Valley and Boyden Hull Rock Valley are in Class 3A and the brackets have not been released.

For all the 1A and 2A brackets click here

June 28, 2017 - 9:38 pm - Posted in News

Boyden, Iowa — A tree pile was destroyed in a fire on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 near Boyden.

According to Boyden Fire Chief Chris Starkenburg, about 8:55 p.m., the Boyden Fire Department was called to the report of a brush fire near the home of Kevin Maassen at 3128 Kennedy Avenue, about a half a mile north of Boyden on the blacktop.

The chief says the fire department saw the pile of trees on fire as they approached the scene. He says they used water to fight the fire.

He says the wind appears to have kicked up embers from a previous fire, and that started the tree pile on fire. Chief Starkenburg reports that there was minimal damage. Starkenburg says no injuries were reported.

He says they used 500 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for about 45 minutes.

June 28, 2017 - 12:14 pm - Posted in News

Boyden, Iowa — A Boyden woman was taken to the hospital after a crash on Tuesday night, June 27th.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 9:40 p.m., 30-year-old Alisha Horn of Boyden was driving a 2003 Pontiac Bonneville westbound on Highway 18, two miles east of Boyden, when, according to the report, she lost control of the vehicle and it entered the south ditch.  

The Boyden Ambulance took Horn to Sanford Sheldon Hospital.

The Pontiac did not sustain any damage.

Horn was cited on a charge of failure to maintain control. The Sheriff’s Office says the Boyden Fire Department and Boyden Ambulance Squad assisted with the response to the accident.

June 28, 2017 - 9:44 am - Posted in Sports

Sioux Falls, South Dakota — Todd Heitkamp, the owner of Dakota Angler in Sioux Falls, SD, provides the latest fishing report for the Tri-State area of Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota. Want to know the latest fishing reports for your Fourth of July Holiday Get-Away? Check out the latest Dakota Angler 2-Minute Fishing Report and feel free to share it with your friends!

Northeast South Dakota

Lake Fishing Report
Enemy Swim A few walleyes and perch.
Horseshoe A few walleyes and smallmouth.
Pelican A few walleyes and perch.
Dry Lake #2(By Willow Lake) Walleyes fair to good.
Big Stone Lake Perch fair along with a few walleye.
Poinsett Perch and walleye fair. A few pike.
Lake Hendricks A few walleye.
Bitter Lake Walleye fair. A few perch.
Waubay Walleye and perch fair.
Reetz N/A.
Dry Lake #3 (By Florence) A few walleye..
Pickerel Lake A few walleye, crappie, and perch.
West Oakwood A few perch and walleye.
Swan Lake A few walleye.
Lake Kampeska Walleyes fair.
Piyas A few perch.
Blue Dog Walleyes fair to good.
Lake Cochrane Few reports.
Casey’s Slough A few walleye.
Indian Springs Walleyes fair and a few perch.
Lynn Lake A few walleye.
Dry Lake #1 (Clark/Garden City) A few walleye.
Traverse A few walleyes.
Lake Albert Walleyes fair to good.
Lake Henry Walleyes fair.
Roy Lake Few walleye and smallmouth bass.
Buffalo Few reports.

Southeast South Dakota

Lake Fishing Report
Madison Walleyes fair along with a few crappie and perch.
Vermillion Walleyes fair late afternoon and evening.
Lake Herman A few walleyes.
Wall Lake Walleyes and perch fair.
Lake Alvin Crappie and Walleyes fair, along with a few perch.
Diamond Walleyes fair.
Scott’s Slough N/A
Island A few walleye and perch.
81 Ponds A few walleyes.
George WPA A few walleye.
Twin Lakes (by Montrose) N/A.
Thompson Walleyes fair to good. A few perch and crappie.
Brandt A few walleyes.
Whitewood A few perch.
Spirit Lake (North of De Smet) A few walleyes.
Henry WPA A few walleyes.
Family Park (Western Sioux Falls) A few bluegills, crappie, and pike..
Mitchell A few crappie and perch..
Menno A few walleye.
Beaver A few walleye.
Sinai Walleyes fair along with a few crappie.
Brush A few walleye.
Loss N/A
East Oakwood Walleyes fair.

Northwest Iowa

Lake Fishing Report
Spirit Lake Yellow bass fair to good. Walleyes fair. A few bluegills and crappie..
Silver Lake Walleyes fair to good.
East Okoboji Few walleyes, perch and bluegills.
West Okoboji Bluegills fair; A few perch and walleyes.
Lake Pahoja A few bluegills.

Southwest Minnesota

Lake Fishing Report
Shetek Walleyes fair and a few perch.
Sarah Walleyes fair to good.
Benton Few walleye.
East Twin Walleyes fair.
Round A few walleye.
Okabena Few walleye.

Missouri River

River Fishing Report
Mobridge Fair to good for walleyes.
Pierre Walleye bite is getting better.
Fort Thompson Walleyes fair to good.
Chamberlain Walleyes fair to good.
Platte Walleyes fair to good.
Pickstown Walleyes fair.
Yankton A few walleyes.

Other Rivers

River Fishing Report
James River Slow.
Big Sioux A few cats.

Orange City, Iowa — A proposal for an $8.7 million addition to Unity Christian High School was defeated by the Unity constituency last night.

According to information on the school’s website, the vote was 46% in favor and 54% opposed.

The proposal was to build an addition to the west and east sides of the school for a projected cost of $8.7 million, of which $3 million had been pledged by ten donors in a silent phase of the campaign.

According to information provided to constituents, the board felt that the athletic facilities needed upgrades and expansion, to include court space, new locker rooms, and a turf field. They also said that their student musicians would be best served by moving the music room next to the Knight Center as originally intended. The project also would have expanded the cafeteria into the current music room. It also would have created a secure home for school buses and vehicles. They say that freeing up the current bus barn would have provided space for the shop area to expand in service to the agricultural program.

The information says that business partners Dale Zevenbergen, Jay Schuiteman and Jesse Moret would have managed the new addition as a health and wellness business. Their lease payments, estimated to be $200,000 a year, would have been applied toward the building project’s expected debt.

The City of Orange City also was committed to giving a half a million dollars toward the project, as the City would have used the new athletic facilities for their recreational needs.

June 27, 2017 - 10:57 am - Posted in News

Rock Valley, Iowa — A Rock Valley teen was injured after her vehicle rolled near Rock Valley on Saturday, June 24th.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that just before 8:30 pm on Saturday, 15-year-old Mikayla Kooima of Rock Valley was driving a 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer eastbound on 330th Street, two miles south of Rock Valley. According to the report, Kooima lost control of the vehicle, entered the south ditch and rolled into a cornfield.

The Trailblazer received $8,000 damage.

Kooima reported minor injuries but decline further medical attention.