Orange City, Iowa — An Orange City man has been arrested on a burglary charge after an incident in Orange City. Read The Full Story…

Sioux Center, Iowa — Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon has purchased some property in Sioux Center and plans to open a “Career Academy” there.

President of NCC, Dr. John Hartog tells us that in December, the college was awarded a one-million-dollar grant through the Career Academy Incentive Fund. He says NCC was able to use that grant and some additional funding from the Accelerated Career Education Infrastructure Allocation for the State of Iowa to make an offer on the Northwest Area Education Agency (AEA) property in Sioux Center.

Hartog says they are going through with the transaction and the property will become a new Career Academy location. Basically, he says that there are several ways that high school students can take concurrent enrollment classes through NCC. Some of them are available online, some are available through a local instructor at a high school, and some are available on campus at NCC in Sheldon. That arrangement has students attending classes both at their local high school and also at the NCC campus in Sheldon. And that’s what they want to offer in Sioux Center.

Dr. Hartog tells us that doesn’t mean they will be offering fewer opportunities in Sheldon, however.

He says they also won’t be pulling back from their center in Orange City.

Hartog says it may take a while to get things up and running. He also tells us what high school students can hope to study at their Career Academy in Sioux Center.

Dr. Hartog says that the current owner of the property — the Northwest AEA — wanted to scale back how much area they used, but they will also be renting some of the property back from NCC. Hartog calls that a “win-win for northwest Iowa taxpayers.” The building is in northeast Sioux Center, across the street east of the south end of Smithfield Foods, about a block northeast of McDonald’s in Sioux Center.

For more information on the NCC Sioux Center Career Academy, you can call NCC at 800-352-4907, or in Sheldon, call 324-5061. Or check them out online at

Washington, DC — Congressman Randy Feenstra (R-Hull) voted for, and the U.S. House of Representatives passed, the Parents Bill of Rights Act last week, which affirms and codifies the right of parents to be involved in their children’s education.

Feenstra says that parents have a “fundamental right to be involved in their children’s education.” He says that after years of lockdowns, mask mandates, and school closures, it’s “…clear that parents should have a stronger voice in our educational system than unelected bureaucrats and teachers’ unions. As a father of four, I am proud to join my Republican colleagues in passing the Parents Bill of Rights Act to ensure that every parent has a voice and every child can succeed.”

The Parents Bill of Rights Act outlines five core principles that would apply to every school nationwide that receives federal funding at the expense of American taxpayers.

Parents have the right –to know what their children are being taught, to be heard, to see the school budget and spending, to protect their child’s privacy, and to keep their children safe.

In addition to the overarching legislation, Feenstra also supported three amendments – that were approved – to the bill, including requiring parents to be given timely notice of any major cyberattack against their child’s school that may have compromised student or parent information, helping offer school choice to every child in the United States and ensuring that Title 1 dollars of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 be block granted to each state for the state to carry out educational activities, and requiring school districts to inform parents of plans to eliminate college credit courses, including Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and dual enrollment courses.

March 27, 2023 - 8:15 pm - Posted in News

Hawarden, Iowa — A business building in downtown Hawarden was extensively damaged in a fire on Monday, March 27, 2023 and six fire departments fought the blaze.

According to Hawarden Fire Chief Duane Schiefen, at about 11:10 a.m., the Hawarden Fire Department was called to the report of a structure fire in the 800 block of Central Avenue in Hawarden.

The chief says the fire department saw smoke coming out of both the front and rear of the Big Sioux Screen Printing building as they approached the scene. He says they used an interior attack to fight the fire.

Schiefen says no injuries were reported.

The fire department was assisted by the Ireton, Akron, and Sioux Center, Iowa; and Hudson and Alcester, South Dakota fire departments. One of the trucks the Sioux Center department brought was their aerial truck.

He says the cause of the fire is undetermined.

Chief Schiefen reports that there was extensive damage. There was also smoke damage in adjacent buildings, according to Schiefen, some of which had smoke damage from the Central Café fire a little over a year ago, in the final days of 2021. There is only one building between the café and the screen printing shop. The in-between building had recently changed into a clothing store.

He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene for about three hours and 40 minutes.

Des Moines, Iowa — Numbers out this past week showed Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped below three percent in February.

Iowa Workforce Development director, Beth Townsend, says that’s one of the positives for the state.

She says the participation rate is important as they have been working to get more people back into the workforce.

Townsend says manufacturing added 700 jobs in February.

Townsend says leisure and hospitality jobs are up almost 45 hundred jobs over the course of the year, and the service industries had the biggest increase in jobs this past month.

The construction industry did lose 16 hundred jobs in February — which Townsend says is probably related to bad weather. She says they expect to see the industry gain back jobs as the weather improves and more projects get underway outside.

Closer to home, the latest numbers for county-by-county unemployment are the January figures. And for the first time in recent memory, Osceola County has the lowest unemployment in the state, beating out even Lyon and Sioux counties. January unemployment in Osceola County was a mere 1.8 percent. Unemployment was still pretty low in the other three counties in our coverage area, but many other counties elsewhere in the state had similar or lower figures. O’Brien County’s unemployment was at 2.9 percent, Sioux’s was at 2.7 percent, and Lyon’s was at 2.6 percent.

March 26, 2023 - 12:59 am - Posted in News

Hawarden, Iowa — The Sioux County Conservation Board is presenting a number of upcoming camps and other activities.

Staff with the Conservation Board tell us that April 3rd is the date for Summer Camp Sign Up. It’s online and begins at 8:00 a.m. They tell us this is the day to sign your child or children up for this year’s summer camp season. Topics, dates, and times will be posted beforehand. You can register at

On April 12, they’ll have their Wild Child Nature Series. You can choose either 10:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. It’s for animal and nature lovers ages 2 through 5, and is billed as a one-hour nature-based experience that will get your child exploring, moving, playing, and using their senses. An adult is required to join the child or children. There’s no fee, but pre-registration is required. The topic will be Wildlife is Everywhere.

Older adults are invited out on April 18 for Senior Environmental Learning and Fellowship or “SELF” at 10:00 a.m., 12:30, or 2:30 p.m. They tell us it’s a great place to gather with friends and enjoy coffee, treats, fellowship, and a short presentation. The topic will be Anthecology, the study of pollination.

On April 27, 29, and May 6, they’ll have Fly Fishing and Fly Tying with Donald Mulder. It’s free basic instruction from local hobbyist, Donald Mulder of Sioux Center. They tell us the three-session course will cover everything from equipment, casting techniques, fly tying, knots, matching flies to fish, and presentation. Each session includes participants actively fly fishing at Oak Grove Pond. All sessions will be based out of the Prairie Woods Nature Center at Oak Grove Park, and are geared towards teens and adults, although anyone is welcome. A current valid Iowa fishing license is needed for ages 16 and older for the fishing session. Bring a sack lunch and equipment if you have it. You can attend one or all sessions.

For more information on any of these opportunities, you can call Sioux County Conservation at 712-552-3057, email Naturalist Sunday Ford at, or visit

Orange City, Iowa — The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office is advising of two scams they have encountered recently, and they’re explaining them for the public.

The first scam involves a call from someone claiming to be with the “Spirit Lake Police Department.” The caller stated that the person on the phone had a warrant for their arrest because they did not show up for jury duty. The caller tells the victim that for a mere $5,000, they could get that warrant recalled. The person who received the scam call then called the Spirit Lake Police to ask if they had received any calls reporting this activity. We are told that the Spirit Lake Police reported they had taken similar calls. One of the reporting parties said that the scammer even knew some of their personal information, such as address and family member names. While most people would be able to find that information through an internet search, the Sheriff’s Office says they felt that elderly citizens may fall victim to this type of scam.

The second scam that was encountered by the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office involves the reception of a fictitious e-mail from the Security Administration informing them that their “SSN has been terminated.” There was also an attached PDF to the message. In this scam, if the recipient clicks on links in the message, they will be prompted to enter personal banking information. This has been reported to representatives of the Social Security Administration, who were already aware of it, according to Sioux County Sheriff’s officials. They tell us that the e-mail looked “official” enough that sheriff’s office personnel would suspect the scammers could be successful.

They tell us that if you receive scam calls or emails like these, don’t give out any information. If you live in Sioux County, contact the Sioux County Public Safety Center Communications Center at 712-737-3307 and an officer will be happy to help you determine the validity the situation. If you live elsewhere, call local law enforcement on their non-emergency line.

March 24, 2023 - 3:09 pm - Posted in News

Rock Valley, Iowa — A Sioux Center man was taken to the hospital after an accident near Rock Valley on Thursday, March 23, according to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office.

They report that at about 6:55 a.m., 41-year-old Guillermo Luna-Perez of Sioux Center was driving a 2015 Chrysler 300 northbound on Garfield Avenue, three miles southeast of Rock Valley, when he lost control of the vehicle, which entered the west ditch, struck a culvert and rolled.

Luna-Perez was trapped and was extracted from the vehicle by responders of the Rock Valley Fire Department; he was transported to Hegg Health Center for treatment of his injuries.

The Chrysler received $10,000 in damage.

The sheriff’s office reports that the Rock Valley Police Department, Rock Valley Fire Department, and the Rock Valley Ambulance squad assisted with the response to the accident.

Sioux City, Iowa — A Sioux City man who was arrested in Rock Valley after an incident in June of 2021 has now been sentenced to eight years in federal prison.

Authorities say the Rock Valley crime was only one of the crimes referenced in the trial of 28-year-old Carter Brinkerhoff.

The Rock Valley event involved Brinkerhoff pointing a rifle at victims during an argument. The charges filed at that time, which were dismissed in favor of federal charges were Felon in Possession of a Firearm-a Class D felony, Going Armed with Intent-a Class D felony, and Intimidation with a Dangerous Weapon-a class C felony. Drugs were also allegedly found in his vehicle.

The US Attorney’s office says Brinkerhoff illegally possessed a firearm as a felon on multiple occasions and was sentenced last week to eight years in federal prison. They tell us he received the prison term after a guilty plea to one count of felon in possession of a firearm.

In addition to the June 2021 incident in Rock Valley, evidence in the case showed that on May 4, 2019, and August 20, 2020, Brinkerhoff also knowingly possessed firearms. Each of the occasions was discovered when law enforcement responded to allegations of other crimes of violence involving Brinkerhoff.

According to the US Attorney’s office, Brinkerhoff was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand, to 96 months (8 years) in prison. He must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

March 21, 2023 - 3:55 pm - Posted in News

Rock Valley, Iowa — A car was destroyed in a fire on Monday, March 20, 2023, near Rock Valley.

According to Rock Valley Fire Chief Brent Eshuis, at about 8:50 p.m., the Rock Valley Fire Department was called to the report of a car fire at 2417 340th Street, three miles south of Rock Valley’s west side.

The chief says the fire department saw the car outside a garage with its engine compartment fully engulfed as they approached the scene. He says they used water and foam to fight the fire.

Eshuis says no injuries were reported.

He says someone had been working on the fuel line, went to start the car and it started on fire. The chief says the fire may have been accelerated by the fact that there may have been some gasoline on the ground.

Chief Eshuis reports that the vehicle was totaled in the blaze and some siding on the garage melted and will need to be replaced.

He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene for about 20 minutes.