Sioux Center, Iowa — A request for an administrative review came before the Sioux Center Board of Adjustments from a group of concerned neighbors wondering about the designation and legality of the construction of a house in their neighborhood.

The home being built by Hope Haven is already under construction and will eventually house Hope Haven clients. According to residents bringing the review request, their concern comes from information found on the construction permit that they say seems to contradict the actual zoning ordinance of the city. They were concerned the city changed the zoning for the property without a public hearing, and without providing information to the neighborhood.

Sioux Center Building Code Official Joel Gonzalez explains that on the building permit submitted by Hope Haven, the R-3 designation refers to the use of the structure, not the type. Sioux Center City Attorney Brian Van Engen says that designation comes from the International Building Code and does reflect what the property is zoned for.

After more questions and clarification, the Sioux Center Board of Adjustment took comments from Hope Haven CEO Matt Buley. Buley says words from Leviticus direct the mission of Hope Haven, to love our neighbors as ourselves. Buley says the people who will live in this house will be good neighbors.

He says it’s about inclusivity.

Hope Haven legal counsel told Buley that to refuse housing like this “violates the Fair Housing Act, and the law is on your side.” The Board of Adjustment moved at the end of discussions to deny the request for an administrative review and allow plans to continue for the new home for Hope Haven clients.

Hope Haven started in 1964 as a school providing education to individuals with disabilities. As more students from far away enrolled, the need for housing became a serious need. Families opened their homes to host these students, and soon Hope Haven began providing their own housing for them.

Courtesy fellow Community First Broadcasting station KSOU in Sioux Center

Clive, Iowa — The Iowa Pork Producers Association has released its list of five finalists for its “Best Breaded Pork Tenderloin” contest, and one of them is in Orange City.

The association says they had a record nine-thousand nominations for the contest to select the best battered piece of pork that has become one of Iowa’s iconic sandwiches. Those entries are the sandwiches from 774 restaurants across the state.

The Roadhouse in Orange City is one of the top five. The other four are Cliff’s Place in Manning, the Spillway Supper Club in Harpers Ferry, Stumpy’s Bar & Grill in Duncombe, and ToJo’s Bar & Grill in Jamaica, Iowa. The winner will be announced later this month.

Sioux Center, Iowa — The interim outreach director for the Iowa Association of Christian Schools says the new state-funded Education Savings Account program is likely to lead to the opening of more private schools.

That’s Josh Bowar, who is also head of school at Sioux Center Christian School. Forty-two Iowa counties do not have a private school. Seventy-five counties do not have a private high school. Bowar says there are discussions.

Bowar made his comments during a recent appearance on Iowa Press on Iowa PBS. He is an administrator at one of the 15 private schools in Sioux County. Just over six percent of all applications for a taxpayer-funded account to cover private school expenses came from Sioux County.

Bowar, in a letter to the Sioux Center Christian School community, announced he will be leaving as Head of School at the end of this academic year. He will pursue work in developing new Christian schools in Iowa and nationwide as well as providing continual improvement and strategic planning for current Christian schools nationwide. He will work with the Iowa Association of Christian Schools, Dordt University, and the Center for the Advancement of Christian Education, and will provide development and leadership coaching.

Courtesy of fellow Community First Broadcasting station KSOU in Sioux Center, Radio Iowa, and Sioux Center Christian School

September 27, 2023 - 8:03 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — The filing deadline has passed and candidates for City and School positions have filed their papers. There will be a number of contested city positions, as well as a couple of contested school board positions in Sioux County.

In Alton, Justin Mulder is running for re-election. Leon Kleinhesselink is running for Sarah Krull’s position, both unopposed. And Amy Jungers is running to fill a vacancy held by Brenda Richardson as a hospital trustee.

In Boyden, Mayor Laryl Koerselman is running unopposed. For council, Robin Jungers, Robert Koerselman, and Nathan Alexander are running for re-election, unopposed.

Chatsworth’s Mayor Gregory Arens is stepping down. Robert Baker is running unopposed for the mayor seat, and is giving up his council seat. Kim Baker will run for his council seat instead, unopposed.

Granville Mayor Karl Kellen is also stepping down. No one filed to replace him, so the winner will be a write-in. On the council, Kay Koob and Matt Rinehart did not file. Running unopposed to replace them are Jim Schlichte and Mark Von Arb.

Hawarden Mayor Ricard Porter also did not file, and no one filed to replace him either, so that winner will be a write-in as well. On the Hawarden council, John Feldhacker did not file, but councilmember Travis Olson did. He is in a field of five candidates running for the two open positions. The other candidates are Michael Finch, Derek Allen, Kristi Warner, and Benjamin Bouza. For hospital trustee, Israel Curiel, Matt Hummel, and Emma Bouza are all running for re-election, un-opposed.

In Hospers, running for election to three available positions are Jillian Jager and Kelly Kooistra. The third winner will be a write-in.

Hull Mayor Roger Buys didn’t file, but running unopposed to succeed him is Arlan J. Moss. Incumbent council members Faye De Kam and Kyle Te Slaa are running, as is Scott Westra.

In Ireton, Kent Hoogland is running unopposed for re-election as mayor, and six people have filed for three council positions. They are Pamela Lewis, incumbent Kevin Eisma, incumbent Dawn Mueller, Gage Klein, Rod Ten Napel, and Darrell Hoogendoorn.

Matlock Mayor Charles Schwebach is running unopposed, as are council members Scott Maggert, Lance De Jong, and Tony Hughes.

None of Maurice’s three incumbent councilmembers whose terms are up filed papers, but three other people did. They are Sharon Vermeer, Roger De Weerd, and Cindy Larsen.

In Orange City, Mayor Deb De Haan is running unopposed. Daron De Jong is running for re-election to the council, among a field of four who are vying for the three available seats. The others are Olivia Chapman, Bret Walinga, and Kenton Vore. For hospital trustee, Daryl Beltman is running unopposed for Olivia Chapman’s seat. Incumbents Tim Zeutenhorst, Wade Hofland, and Kathy Alons are a field of three running for three available positions.

Rock Valley Mayor Kevin Van Otterloo is running for re-election unopposed. Incumbents Mark Faber and Jeff Koldenhoven are in a group of three running for two available seats. The other candidate is Cara Suter.

In the school races:

At Boyden-Hull, Laura Woelber and Jason Moser are two candidates running for three school board positions.

At MOC/FV, incumbents Amy Kleinhesselink and Shane Jager will join John Fernstrum running for three positions, unopposed.

For the Rock Valley Community School District Board of Education, two incumbents are running for two available positions. They are Stacy Remmerde and Jerry Kelderman.

A very similar thing will happen in the Sioux Center Community School Distirct, where incumbents Tim Gesink and Scott TeStroete are unopposed.

Three people are running for the privilege of being West Sioux’s Director of District 2. They are Colene Jahn, Jeff Schurman, and Sunday Ford. Larry Gregg is running unopposed for his District 3 position, and incumbent Ken Koch faces challenger Marissa Rehder for the District 4 spot.

And all four of the incumbent directors of the Northwest Iowa Community College Board are running unopposed. They are Steve Simons, Loretta A. Berkland, Adam Besaw, Leroy A. Van Kekerix, and Ron Heemstra.

Orange City, Iowa — Scammers are making it look like they are calling from the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, and sheriff’s officials want you to know, so you don’t fall victim to one of their ploys.

Sioux County Sheriff’s officials tell us they would like to make everyone aware of the scam involving the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office and local police departments.

They tell us that people are reporting receiving a phone call that appears to be from 712-737-2280, which is the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office’s actual business phone number. The caller, who claims to be a Sioux County Sheriff’s Office employee, gives a fictitious name, tells you that you missed a certain court date and you are in contempt of court. In some cases, the caller wanted the person to record their name on a recorded line.

The sheriff’s office says DO NOT agree to do this. They say the scammer wants to use your recorded name to use in fraudulent transactions posing as you.

Sheriff’s office officials tell us they are informing the public that phone calls like these are not coming from their agency or any local police departments in Sioux County. They ask the public to be aware and not to give out any personal information. If you are in any doubt, they invite you to call their dispatch number to verify: 712-737-3307.

And, for whatever it’s worth, Sioux County Sheriff Jamie Van Voorst says if you actually were in contempt of court or facing some other kind of charge, it’s much more likely that officers would just show up looking for you, rather than call you on the phone.

Sioux Center, Iowa — There were a few tense moments for a driver in Sioux Center on Monday, September 25, 2023 when the electronics on her door started on fire and she couldn’t get out.

According to Sioux Center Fire Chief David Van Holland, at about 4:00 p.m., the Sioux Center Fire Department was called to the report of a vehicle fire on North Main Avenue (Highway 75).

The chief says the fire department saw a bunch of smoke coming from the vehicle as they approached the scene. He says they used a water extinguisher to fight the fire.

Van Holland says no injuries were reported, but at first, the driver was not able to exit the vehicle as the doors were locked when the fire started and she was unable to unlock the door to escape. Van Holland says she was able to crawl over the center console and exit from the passenger side before the fire could cause any injury.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be electrical in nature, but he’s not sure what started it beyond that.

Chief Van Holland reports that there was minimal damage to the older vehicle. In fact, the driver was able to drive it away after the incident.

He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene for about 15 minutes.

September 22, 2023 - 10:59 am - Posted in News

Statewide Iowa — Autumn arrives Saturday but many Iowa farmers are already starting the fall harvest, and motorists in rural areas will need to share the roads with large, slow-moving farm equipment for the next several weeks.

Law enforcement officer Aaron Dodd says he’s already spotted drivers taking big chances when they shouldn’t, like trying to pass tractors on a hill.

Such risky behavior might result in a collision, or at least a ticket.

Distractions are also causing crashes, and Dodd says people need to put down the number-one distraction — their smartphones — while driving.

From 2017 through June 30th, 2022, the Iowa Department of Transportation reports 30 people died in crashes involving farm equipment in the state. This is National Farm Safety and Health Week.

September 22, 2023 - 10:58 am - Posted in News

Hawarden, Iowa — A Hawarden man faces a felony charge after a traffic stop in Hawarden.

According to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, on Wednesday afternoon, September 20th, they received a report of a possible impaired driver leaving Ireton driving a Nissan Altima.

Deputies located the Nissan and stopped it in Hawarden. Deputies suspected that the driver, 27-year-old Jordan Holmes of Sioux City was under the influence of a drug. They tell us while Holmes was being placed under arrest, he attempted to flee on foot but was apprehended a short distance from the location.

Upon further investigation, a passenger in the vehicle, 26-year-old Heriberto Armenta-Robles of Hawarden is believed to have been in possession of a controlled substance and a firearm. Deputies say Armenta-Robles is not eligible to carry a fiream, as he is a felon.

Deputies transported Holmes to the Sioux County Jail where he was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and interference with official acts; he was cited for operating a motor vehicle with a suspended driver’s license.

The Hawarden Police Department transported Armenta-Robles to the Sioux County Jail where he was charged with felon in possession of a firearm, second offense possession of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Additionally, there were three outstanding arrest warrants for Armenia-Robles.

The sheriff’s office says the case was a joint investigation between their office and the Hawarden Police Department, and it remains under investigation with the possibility of additional criminal charges.

September 22, 2023 - 10:57 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The first installment of your 2023-24 property taxes (also called real estate taxes) is due. County treasurers in northwest Iowa are reminding you that the payment may be made without penalty on or before Monday, October 2nd.

If you own real estate you’re required to pay a half year’s taxes on that real estate every six months. Or you can elect to pay the full year’s taxes in one payment. The first payment is due now, in the fall of the year, with the last payment due the following spring. If you have a mortgage, your property taxes are probably paid by your lender through an escrow account, but check with them to know for sure.

Most property owners receive a mailing about the taxes. The paperwork includes two stubs — one for the fall payment and one for the spring payment, clearly marked “1” and “2.” The one marked with the “1” gives you the option of paying the full year amount or just what is due as of September 1st.

Taxes can be paid online, in person, or by mail. The treasurers advise that if you want to pay your taxes online, the website to use is Paying online requires the payment of a convenience fee. If you pay by credit card, the treasurer’s offices say that the fee is a percentage of your tax payment plus a flat fee. But if you pay with an e-check, the entire fee is usually less than a dollar.

The county treasurers’ offices in the four-county area are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If you’re going to pay your taxes in person at your county treasurer’s office, the treasurers want the proper stub to accompany your payment. If you’re mailing or using a drop box, the stub should be included in the envelope.

Payments made using a drop box or in person must be done before 4:30 p.m. on October 2nd. If mailing, the postmark has to be on or before October 2nd.

For more information, call your county treasurer’s property tax department.

September 22, 2023 - 10:56 am - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — While we don’t often see moose in northwest Iowa, you can’t say we NEVER see them. For instance, a moose has been spotted recently in the Sioux Center area.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office says if you see it, please keep your distance and you can report the location to Sioux County Communications at 712-737-3307. The sheriff’s office says they then report the current location to the Iowa DNR who is tracking the moose. Last night, it was near Rock Valley. The public also reported it north of Carmel.

The Sioux Center Police Department says the moose has been reported roaming in Sioux Center near Dordt University. They too are telling the public not to get close to it, and to keep watch for it while driving.

The last moose reported on KIWA was in Plymouth County. One was found dead there in April of 2022. Another was found there over a year earlier, in January 2021. In November of 2021, a moose came down from Luverne, Minnesota and was seen in Lyon County.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says moose aren’t all that unusual. They tell us they don’t normally attempt to relocate them. DNR officials tell us it is illegal to hunt moose in Iowa.

Wildlife officials with the DNR say the home habitat for moose ends in northern Minnesota, but they often venture into central Minnesota. They say it’s a little more unusual to see them in southern Minnesota or northern Iowa, but it does happen.

People across northwest Iowa should probably be on the lookout, as the DNR says moose can travel as far as 150 miles per day if they want to.