July 13, 2018 - 6:39 pm - Posted in Obituaries

Leon H. Koele, age 80 of Sheldon, passed away on Thursday, July 12, 2018, at Sanford Senior Care in Sheldon.

His celebration of life will be at 10:30 A.M. on Thursday, July 19, 2018, at First Reformed Church in Sheldon with Pastor Dave Van Kley officiating.

The graveside service will be at 9:15 A.M. on Thursday, July 19 at Hope Cemetery in Hull.

Visitation will be after 4 P.M. on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, with family present from 5 – 7 P.M. at Vander Ploeg Funeral Home in Sheldon.

July 13, 2018 - 2:46 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — Saturday will be the last full day of activities at the 2018 Sioux County Youth Fair.

The Fair Board Breakfast Fundraiser will begin the day Saturday at the fair, and will run from 7:00 to 10:00 am. At 10:00 am the 4-H Building opens, BBC Interviews begin, and the 4-H Beef Show gets underway.

Mr. Twister will be on hand from noon to 3:00, with shows at noon and 1:30 pm. The 4-H BBC Show starts at 2:00, with the 4-H Showmanship Contest scheduled for 3:00. Special K’z the Clown will be on-hand from 3:00 until 6:00 pm.

Kids can have fun on the inflatables, mini-train rides, pony rides, and the petting zoo from 4:00 until 8:00 pm. Commercial Exhibits will be open from 4:00 until 9:00 pm.

The Tractor Pull starts at 5:00, and will be followed at 7:00 by the Truck Pull. Saturday’s Sioux County Youth Fair schedule culminates with a free concert by Locked N Loaded, from 8:00 to midnight.

No activities are scheduled for Sunday at the Sioux County Fair, and the lone item on the schedule for the fair’s final day, Monday, July 16th, is the 4-H Ribbon Auction, which will be held at 9:00 Monday morning.

July 12, 2018 - 3:23 pm - Posted in Sports

Spirit 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.


Black Hawk Lake
Water temperatures are around 80 degrees. Water levels are 7 inches over the crest of the spillway. Bluegill – Slow: Try Town Bay, Ice House Point, and the North Shore. Use a small hair or tube jig with a small piece of crawler fished under a bobber in 3-6 feet of water. Target deeper fish this time of year on the rock piles near Gunshot Hill, Cottonwood Point, and the East Basin. Walleye – Fair: Try leeches or crawler harnesses around Ice House Pt, the dredge cut near Denison Beach, and around the rock piles near Gunshot Hill, Cottonwood Point and the East Basin. Largemouth Bass – Good: Catch largemouth all over the lake using traditional bass lures. Many anglers have found good bass action at the Ice House Point, the east shoreline,and the lake side of the inlet bridge. There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Black Hawk Lake. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use stink bait, cut bait, or crawler fished on the bottom along Ice House Point and in Town Bay. Look for fish along rocky shorelines this time of year.

Brushy Creek Lake
There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Brushy Creek Lake, and a 40 inch minimum length limit for musky. Walleye – Fair: Use minnows and leaches in 15-20 feet of water. Black Crappie – Fair: Try minnows on a jig in 10-20 feet of water near submerged structure. Yellow Perch – Fair: Find perch along the vegetation and deeper structure. Largemouth Bass – Good: Catch bass along weed lines near shore just about anywhere with traditional bass lures. There is a 15 inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass in Brushy Creek Lake.

Storm Lake (including Little Storm Lake)
Storm Lake has a daily limit of 3 walleye and all 17- to 22-inch walleye must be released; no more than one walleye longer than 22 inches may be taken per day. Walleye – Fair: Boat anglers are picking up fish trolling crankbaits or drifting crawler harnesses on the edges of the dredge cuts around the lake in about 8 feet of water. White Bass – Fair: Use crankbaits; most action has been from boat while fishing dredge cuts.

Swan Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Use a small jig tipped with crawler along the dam and off the jetties in 3-6 feet of water. Most fish are 6-7 inches.

Beeds Lake
Black Crappie – Fair: Drift fish or troll with tube jig or a small minnow.

Clear Lake
Clear Lake is 3.5 inches above crest. Surface water temperature is 76 degrees. Walleye – Fair: Troll spinners near the edge of vegetation in 3 to 6 feet of water. Yellow Bass – Fair: Try a jig tipped with a small piece of crawler at the edge of vegetation. Channel Catfish – Fair: Use stink bait or cut bait after dark.

Crystal Lake
Bluegill – Fair: Bluegill are biting. Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water. Largemouth Bass – Fair: Bass are biting spinners and plastic baits. Black Crappie – Good: Drift or troll small tube jigs in the dredge cut.

Lake Smith
Largemouth Bass – Good: Largemouth bass are biting on a variety of baits. Bluegill –Good: Bluegill are biting. Use a small piece of crawler and a bobber in 2 to 3 feet of water.

East Okoboji Lake
The boat dock at Hattie Elston (North ramp) has been pulled. Yellow Bass – Good: The bite has picked up; good numbers of fish are being caught. Cast mini-jigs or hair-jigs in the evening. Walleye – Good: Numbers of fish are being caught with traditional baits; good numbers of yellow bass are mixed in with the catch. Bluegill – Good: Anglers report an improving panfish bite of bluegill and crappie. Use small jigs tipped with waxworms in the weed lines.

Lake Pahoja
Bluegill – Good: Recent surveys show good numbers of large angler size fish in the lake.

Lost Island Lake
Walleye – Good: Walleye action has improved; reports of the best action in areas with flow. Yellow Bass – Good: Reports of yellow bass being caught. Use small lures such as a twister tail or hair jigs.

Silver Lake (Dickinson)
Walleye – Fair: Walleye action has slowed on the lake; persistence will be rewarded with nice fish caught.

Spirit Lake
The south boat ramp (Orleans) is closed. Walleye – Good: The good walleye bite continues; troll live bait in the morning. Yellow Perch – Good: Report of yellow perch action “picking up” on the lake; sorting is needed.

West Okoboji Lake
The Triboji boat ramp is closed due to flooding. Bluegill – Good: Wooden docks in deeper water and new aquatic growth will produce good numbers of angler acceptable sized fish.

July 12, 2018 - 2:29 pm - Posted in News

Rock Valley, Iowa — Construction continues on a $1.7 million construction project at the Rock Valley Community School.

Rock Valley Community School District superintendent Chad Janzen‎ tells us about the project.

He says originally the construction was supposed to have started in April, but due to the late snow, it got pushed back to May.

Janzen says they’ll make do until then.

He says that they didn’t need to bond for this project, so there was no public vote. Janzen tells us that the money for the project will come from the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy or “PPEL” funds and penny sales tax dollars.

July 12, 2018 - 1:00 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — Two of four people charged after an assault in Orange City in March have been sentenced.

Court records indicate that 24-year-old Julian Barrientos of Sioux Center and 18-year-old Gustavo Rodriguez of Orange City were charged with willful serious injury, a class C felony, and trespassing while causing injury or damage, a serious misdemeanor. The records say that Orange City Police believe that on March 18th, Barrientos and Rodriguez went to an address on Second Street Southwest in Orange City to pick up the female living at the home. When they got there, officers believe that they assaulted a male victim, breaking his leg.

Orange City Police report that there were two others involved in the alleged assault. One was a juvenile. The other was 21-year-old Gabriel Barajas of Orange City, who they say they arrested the previous week on similar charges.

Barrientos and Barajas have now been sentenced.

Court records indicate that Barrientos has been sentenced to 90 days in jail with credit for time served, and one year of probation. He must also pay a $300 fee and a $315 fine, plus court costs and a surcharge.

They say Barajas will also serve a 90-day jail sentence with credit for time served. He must also complete an anger management course, pay a $315 fine, plus court costs and a surcharge.

The trespassing charges against both Barrientos and Barajas were dismissed.

The case against Gustavo Rodriguez continues in Sioux County District Court.

July 11, 2018 - 3:44 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center — The Sioux County Youth Fair has another full day scheduled for Thursday.

The day begins with the Fair Board Breakfast Fundraiser from 7:00 to 10:00. The 4-H Sheep Show gets underway at 7:30 Thursday morning. The 4-H Exhibit Building opens at 10:00 am, with 4-H Communication Evaluations scheduled for 10:30.

Thursday afternoon’s activities begin with the 4-H Dairy & Dairy Goat Show at 12:30. Commercial Exhibits will be open from 4:00 until 9:00 pm. Special K’z the Clown will be on the fairgrounds from 4:00 until 7:00 pm Thursday, with inflatables, mini-train rides, the petting zoo, and pony rides operating from 4:00 until 8:00 pm.

Thursday night will culminate in the Sprint Car Races, which start at 7:00.

The Sioux County Youth Fair Continues through July 16th at the fairgrounds in Sioux Center.

July 11, 2018 - 2:42 pm - Posted in News

Primghar, Iowa — Northwest Iowa families can now visit six libraries throughout the region and check out STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) educational backpacks.

The backpacks were created by Iowa State University students and are sponsored by local county extension councils and an Excellence in Extension grant, according to ISU Extension and Outreach Human Sciences Program Coordinator Mackenzie DeJong.

She says there are two books in each bag.

DeJong says that each library is free to determine their own plan for checkout and use of the backpacks. Some of them may offer them for checkout, some may have patrons use the backpacks and their materials only at the library. But she encourages people to “check out” the backpacks. Again, they are available at the public libraries in George, Hull, Sibley, Sanborn, Everly, and Milford.

Photo caption: Mackenzie DeJong (left) and Sue Boettcher (middle) deliver four STEM backpacks to Gillian Anderson (right), Milford Public Library Director.

Orange City, Iowa — A northwest Iowa institution of higher learning has been named in three lists honoring online college programs.

SR Education Group, an education publisher founded in 2004 says Northwestern College in Orange City has been ranked in their 2018 Top Online Christian Colleges list and their 2018 Most Affordable Online Christian Colleges list.

SR Education Group says that to develop these rankings, they researched over 300 Christian colleges offering online degrees, looking into religious affiliation, online degree offerings, annual tuition, and academic strength, among other details.

SR spokesperson Kelsey D’Ewart says their methodology for the Best Colleges list considers academic strength scores and annual tuition rates in order to provide a list based on value.

On the Most Affordable list, she says they highlight the 25 most-affordable online Christian colleges according to annual tuition rates. Northwestern College is ranked 4th on the Best Colleges list and 17th on the Most Affordable Online Christian Colleges list.

Also on the “best” list is Augustana University in Sioux Falls at number two. Augustana is also listed on the “affordable” list, tied for number ten. All of the others mentioned on both lists are outside our area.

The full rankings and additional details are available here:

Best: http://www.guidetoonlineschools.com/online-schools/christian#featured-schools
Most Affordable: http://www.onlineu.org/most-affordable-colleges/christian

Meanwhile, Northwestern College’s online RN to BSN program has been ranked among the nation’s top-50 programs of its kind by BestCollegeReviews.org.

The website ranks Northwestern’s program 41st on its list of the Top 50 Online RN to BSN Programs for 2018. The ranking is based on recognition by U.S. News & World Report as a top school for online bachelor’s programs, program customization options, a “wow” factor as determined by the ranking site, and cost. The website collected its data from College Navigator and PayScale.com.

July 10, 2018 - 3:16 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — Wednesday is a big day at this year’s Sioux County Youth Fair. The day starts bright and early with the Fair Board Breakfast Fundraiser serving from 7:00 to 10:00 am.

At 8:00 Wednesday morning the 4-H Rabbit Show gets underway, with the 4-H Horse Show getting underway at 9:00. The 4-H Exhibit Building will be open from noon to 9:00 pm Wednesday.

At 1:00 Wednesday afternoon, Greased Pig Sign-Up begins. At 3:30 is the 4-H Meat Goat Show. The Northwest Iowa Youth Classic Open Swine Show gets underway at 6:30 Wednesday evening, with the Great Rhubard Contest & Games, and the Best Pie Contest both scheduled for 7:00 Wednesday evening.

The 4-H County Awards Program and Clothing Event Fashion Show will begin at 7:30 pm, and will cap off the day.

The 2018 Sioux County Youth Fair continues through July 16th.

July 10, 2018 - 3:11 pm - Posted in News

Hull, Iowa — The summer festivals keep rolling in northwest Iowa. It’s just about time for what’s billed as the “biggest and best candy parade in northwest Iowa.” That would be the Hull Summerfest.

Hull Chamber Director Faye DeKam tells us it starts this Wednesday, July 11th.

She tells us about Thursday’s activities.

Friday’s activities start with a Shoot For a Cure golf tournament.

Saturday’s first activity is the American Legion Pancake Breakfast, starting at 7:00 a.m. at the West Side Park.

DeKam tells us they’ve also got a tasty way to put the final touches on the 2018 Hull Summerfest.

Click poster to enlarge.