April 3, 2018 - 4:33 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — Unused, unwanted drugs can become a target for addicts and thieves. That’s the main reason that the national “Prescription Drug Take-Back Day” was created. And now you have even more options when it comes to a location for dropping off these drugs.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office now has a prescription drop off box. The drop box, called MedReturn, is located in their public lobby which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The Sheriff’s Office tells us they partnered with Cheryl Buntsma to obtain the drop box. Buntsma is a Certified Prevention Specialist at Compass Pointe Behavioral Health Services of Sioux and Lyon Counties, which specializes in Healthcare, Health Services and Mental Wellness Therapy.

Buntsma tells us how it works.

She tells us one of the reasons why it’s important that these drugs that are not being used are removed from the home.

She says another reason is that the strength and efficacy of expired medications cannot be relied upon, and it could be dangerous to your health if you take them.

She says they’re trying to get people to realize that when they have prescriptions in the home, they are just like valuables.

She says that’s the theme of the Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this year, which this year is on Saturday, April 28th.

Buntsma says that while you can drop off your unwanted prescriptions 24/7 at the Sheriff’s Office and during regular business hours at northwest Iowa Lewis Family Drug locations, on April 28th from 10 until 2, they’re going to weigh the drugs received and report the total for the national observance.

She says most other pharmacies also accept unwanted prescriptions, but only the locked boxes at Lewis Family Drug and the Sheriff’s Offices in the area can accept Schedule 2 drugs, which are the stronger drugs with a high potential for abuse.

April 3, 2018 - 9:43 am - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A Hawarden man was sentenced to prison, and his wife to probation, in Sioux County District Court Monday on multiple charges of Child Endangerment.

Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle says Matthew and Nina Spaans both pled guilty to four counts of child endangerment. The State recommended both Mathew and Nina be sentenced to up to 4-years in prison each. However, Kunstle says the Court sentenced Matthew to such a prison term, but suspended Nina’s sentence, allowing her to serve a period of probation with the possibility that she resides at the residential treatment facility in Sioux City, as determined by her probation officer.

According to Kunstle, the sentences stem from a case that arose in February of last year when the couple’s childdren began telling authorities that various injuries they had received over the last two and a half years were inflicted by Matthew Spaans. Kunstle says that all children were removed from the couple’s home at that time.

According to Kunstle, the physical abuse included Matthew Spaans hitting a child with a metal sword, hitting a child on the head with a plastic shovel breaking the shovel, pushing a child under a recliner and repeatedly slamming the footrest shut, pushing a child inside a dryer, and attempting to break a child’s arm. Before February 2017, Kunstle says the children were claiming their injuries were caused by accidental means, though some were, according to medical authorities, clearly inflicted. He says the children were fearful to tell the truth as their mother, Nina Spaans, threatened they would never see each other again. Nina reportedly further directed them to share false explanations for their injuries when questioned by school officials.

March 30, 2018 - 6:24 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The filing date has come and gone for candidates to get their names on the ballot for the June 5th, 2018 Iowa Primary, and some area candidates are facing challenges.

In Sioux County, two people are running for the Republican nomination for Board of Supervisors, District 2. They are Arlyn Kleinwolterink and Jerry Muilenburg, both of Orange City. There are five candidates running for the GOP nomination for Board of Supervisors, District 5, which is in the Hull and Rock Valley area. They are Ted Salazar, Carl Vande Weerd, Warren Vander Pol, Ken Nielsen, and Howard J. Van Ginkel. There are also three candidates who want to be the Republican nominee for County Recorder in Sioux County. They are Kathleen Mulder and Kathyrn C. Wetter, both of Orange City, and Jessica Kooiker of Boyden. County Attorney Thomas Kunstle and County Treasurer Randall J. Jacobsma are both running unopposed for the Republican nomination to their offices. At the county level, no Democrats filed for their party’s nomination in Sioux County.


March 30, 2018 - 6:21 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — Republican Congressman Steve King’s supporters and opponents gathered in Sioux Center on Thursday night as the “Sioux County Conservatives” hosted King at a public event. Steve Mahr helped organize a protest outside the venue, before the meeting began.

King later responded to the assertion he doesn’t represent the views of Iowans in the fourth congressional district.

During Thursday night’s forum, King was asked to explain a comment posted on his campaign’s Facebook page that criticized one of the students who survived the Florida school shooting. It accused Emma Gonzalez of betraying her Cuban heritage by speaking in favor of gun restrictions during her speech at last week’s march in Washington. That Facebook post motivated Mahr and others to protest King Thursday night.

King says his campaign is using Facebook to provide “a rebuttal” to what he says are the “irrational arguments” about guns being made by Gonzalez and other high school students.

King spoke with reporters after his supporters AND opponents attended the meeting in the Sioux Center library.

March 30, 2018 - 10:23 am - Posted in News

Hawarden, Iowa– A storage shed and its contents were damaged in a fire on Thursday, March 29, 2018, in Hawarden.

According to Hawarden Fire Chief Duane Schiefen, about 8:45 p.m., the Hawarden Fire Department was called to the report of an unknown fire. He says it was at 1712 Avenue F in Hawarden.

The chief says the fire department saw smoke and flames coming from the shed as they approached the scene. He says they used water to fight the fire.

Schiefen says no injuries were reported.

He says that the Ireton Fire Department gets paged to all structure fires in Hawarden through an agreement he calls “Auto Aid,” but he says when Hawarden firefighters got to the scene, they told Ireton they could turn around.

He says a boy admitted to playing with matches before the fire, which probably started the blaze. The chief says the family was attending church services when the fire was called in by a neighbor.

Chief Schiefen reports that there was moderate to extensive damage to the older 15 x 20-foot shed. He says the insurance company may decide it was a total loss, but that’s yet to be determined.

He says they used between 150 and 200 gallons of water to fight the fire, and the 29 firefighters and one student firefighter who responded were on scene for about an hour.

Schiefen says firefighters and parents need to remind children not to play with matches.

Sioux Center and Sibley, Iowa — Sibley-Ocheyedan is going to lose a high school principal, but Sibley-Ocheyedan’s loss is Sioux Center’s gain.

According to Sioux Center Community Schools Superintendent Pat O’Donnell, current Sibley-Ocheydan High School Principal Brent Town has been hired to be the high school principal at Sioux Center High School. O’Donnell says Town has been the principal for grades 7-12 at Sibley Ocheyedan for the last five years and was at MOC/Floyd Valley before that for seven years as a teacher, an assistant activities director, and a coach.

O’Donnell says Town and his wife, Chelsea, have four younger children. He says Town will start in early August 2018.

He says the position became available after O’Donnell announced his retirement and current Sioux Center High School Principal Gary McEldowney was hired to fill the superintendent chair.

According to O’Donnell, Town was hired during the March meeting of the Sioux Center Board of Education.

Sibley-Ocheyedan superintendent Bill Boer says the search is underway to find Town’s replacement at Sibley-Ocheyedan High School. He says they’ve posted the position to the Teach Iowa website and other locations. Boer says the listing will close on April 4th, at which time they will do screening and reference checking. He says they hope to do interviews April 9th through the 12th.

Northwest Iowa — Three northwest Iowa communities rate in the Top 10 for Most Tax-Friendly Towns in the state of Iowa, according to the website smartasset.com.

The website’s study named Orange City as #4, with Sheldon coming in at #7, and Le Mars at #9.

To find the cities with the most tax-friendly policies for retirees, smartasset.com looked at how the tax policies of each city would impact a retiree with a $50-thousand income. Their hypothetical retiree is getting $15-thousand from Social Security benefits, $10-thousand from a private pension, $15-thousand from retirement savings like a 401(k) or IRA and $10-thousand in wages.

To calculate the expected income tax this person would pay in each location, the website applied deductions and exemptions. This included the standard deduction, personal exemption and deductions for each specific type of retirement income. They say they then calculated how much this person would pay in income tax at the federal, state, county and local levels. Average property taxes paid were also calculated.

In order to determine sales tax burden the study estimated that 35% of take-home (after-tax) pay is spent on taxable goods. they multiplied the average sales tax rate for a city by the household income less income tax. That product is then multiplied by 35% to estimate the sales tax paid.

For fuel taxes, they first distributed statewide vehicle miles traveled down to the city level using the number of vehicles in each county, then calculated miles driven per capita in each city. Using the nationwide average fuel economy, they calculated the average gallons of gas used per capita in each city and multiplied that by the fuel tax.

For each city they also determined whether or not Social Security income was taxable.

Finally, they created an overall index weighted to best capture the taxes that most affect retirees.

Here is the complete Top 10 List of Most Tax-Friendly Iowa Cities For Retirees:
#1 – Eldridge, IA
#2 – Algona, IA
#3 – Carroll, IA
#4 – Orange City, IA
#5 – Asbury, IA
#6 – Clive, IA
#7 – Sheldon, IA
#8 – Bondurant, IA
#9 – Le Mars, IA
#10 – Iowa City, IA

For more information, visit the smartasset.com website.

March 28, 2018 - 9:56 am - Posted in News

Hull, Iowa — A local Christian High School FFA chapter says they have received a donation from a pipeline company.

Kylie Miller, Ag instructor and FFA Sponsor for the Western Christian High School FFA chapter tells us that Dakota Access Pipeline LLC gave a donation to the Iowa FFA Foundation and it has been split up among the FFA Chapters along the pipeline route.

She says Western is pleased to have received a commitment for a gift of $1,427 from the pipeline company.

She tells us how Western Christian FFA plans to use these funds.

Miller says the funding will also be used to buy other materials and equipment that is needed for the agricultural courses that are taught at Western Christian. She says that using the donation in these areas will positively impact members because it will provide “hands-on” learning opportunities. She says that opportunities that involve working with your hands are essential to an agricultural program and vital to encouraging students to develop agricultural skills that can be used in the future.

Miller says the Western Christian FFA program is a fairly young program.

Miller says word of the gift came recently from the Iowa FFA Foundation.

March 28, 2018 - 9:54 am - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — A tech retail and repair business in Sheldon and Orange City is expanding into Sioux Center.

Wayne Barahona and Jon Hellinga own SuperHiTech. Barahona tells us about the business.

He says they’ve been poised for expansion for a while and have done their research into the Sioux Center market.

Barahona tells us that their Sioux Center location is on the west side of the street in the block just north of the downtown stoplight — northeast of the Centre Mall.

He says that while they started out as mainly a computer store, they continue to change with the times.

Barahona says their tech Tony Altena will be taking the lead at the new store, but both Barahona and Hellinga will be helping as well. He says they’re also going to hire new techs for the Sioux Center location.

He reminds us that while they will have a retail and service location in downtown Sioux Center, much of their business is what he calls “technology house calls,” in which a technician comes to your location to troubleshoot or install equipment. He says they handle everything from a printer not working at someone’s home up to managing corporate IT structures for large businesses.

Barahona tells us that their Sioux Center location at 317 North Main Avenue in Sioux Center will be open from 9 to 6, Monday through Friday and from 9-1 on Saturdays. He says they hope to open in May. For more information, you can go to super-ht.com or visit them on Facebook.

March 28, 2018 - 9:52 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Winter overnight parking bans in a number of communities are set to expire soon.

Several cities in the KIWA listening area have ordinances regarding overnight parking, especially during the snow removal season. But with the coming of spring, you soon should be able to park on the street again overnight in most cases.

In Sheldon, the overnight parking ban expires April 1st. Police Chief Lyle Bolkema says that motorists are not allowed to park on any street in the city between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. from November 1st to April 1st.  Violation of Sheldon’s overnight parking ban is subject to a citation that carries a $10 fine.

Sanborn’s city-wide overnight parking ban expires on March 31st. However, no parking is allowed from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m., year-round, on Main Street. Violation of Sanborn’s overnight parking ban carries a $15 fine.

According to Sibley city officials, their overnight parking ban will remain in effect until April 15th. It calls for no parking on any city street between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., from November 1st through April 15th.  The fine for violating Sibley’s overnight parking ban is $25.

Orange City officials say that their parking ban expires on April 1st. It says no parking is allowed on any of their city streets between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., from October 15th through April 1st.  The fine for noncompliance in Orange City is $10.

There are a couple of cities in our area that don’t have an actual overnight parking ban but do have an ordinance that’s effective when snow falls. So motorists who park on the street need to keep up-to-date on the weather forecast.

Hartley City officials tell us there is no overnight parking ban in that city. However, their ordinance says that vehicles must be off the streets when snowfall begins and must remain off the streets until the streets are cleared of snow.  Failure to do so will result in a $15 fine from the City of Hartley.

Rock Rapids officials say their ordinance expires on April 1st. It bans parking on all city streets and alleys from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. — but only during snow removal operations. The fine for non-compliance in Rock Rapids is $25. In addition, no overnight parking is allowed in the central business district year-round.

With that being said, even if the overnight parking ban expires for the season in your community — if we get some late-season snow, it’s always a good idea not to park overnight on the street. Your city crews that have to move the snow would appreciate not having to plow around your vehicle.