Orange City Area Health System Auxiliary Board presenting a check to health system CEO Marty Guthmiller

Orange City, Iowa — A local area hospital has received a substantial donation for the beautification of their property.

Officials with the Orange City Area Health System tell us the Auxiliary of Orange City Area Health System has gifted $50,000 to the health system. They say the funding comes from fundraisers and hospital gift shop sales.

Officials tell us that this year’s donation is earmarked for landscaping enhancements at the Orange City hospital campus, including outside of the Surgical Center private exit, the healing garden near the outdoor patio dining, and the area between the health system’s pond and the PuddleJumper Trail.

May 22, 2023 - 2:45 pm - Posted in News

Ireton, Iowa — Two women were taken to hospitals after an accident on Saturday moring, May 20th near Ireton.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that just before 10:30 a.m., 28-year-old Megan Ciampo of Sioux Falls, SD, was driving a 2021 Cadillac eastbound on 420th Street, six miles northwest of Ireton. They tell us 20-year-old Miranda Bloemendaal of Hawarden was driving a 2008 Chevrolet Impala southbound on Dogwood Avenue.

The report alleges Bloemendaal failed to yield from the stop sign at 420th Street, entered the intersection and struck the Ciampo Cadillac.

The Ireton Ambulance took Ciampo to Hawarden Regional Healthcare, and Bloemendaal to the Orange City Area Health System.

The Cadillac sustained approximately $10,000 in damage, with damage to the Chevrolet estimated at $5,000.

Bloemendaal was cited on a charge of failure to obey stop sign.

The sheriff’s office reports taht the Ireton Ambulance Squad and Ireton Fire Department assisted with the response to the accident.

Sioux Center, Iowa — The construction going on now in Sioux Center has already taught some lessons. One of them is how to handle traffic for future phases of construction.

Sioux Center City officials tell us that they’ve decided that rolling closures and a detour route will be part of the plan for Highway 75 construction in 2024-25. Head-to-head traffic was initially planned for most of construction, but they say the current year’s construction, plus conversations with contractors, brought to light the challenges and safety considerations of that style of work for the rest of the project.

Trent Bruce, of DGR Engineering, says they found out that head-to-head would be challenging, take longer, and cost a lot more money. He says they’ve looked at this pretty deeply and are now recommending a full detour around the project, with rolling closures. He says that means that starting next year they won’t close down the entire roadway for the entire time, but will only close down certain sections.

Bruce says rolling closures would start on the south end and continue north, closing 3-4 block sections at a time. The shorter closures can shorten the duration any one residence or business is impacted during the project and allow the contractor to work more quickly with full access to the roadway, Bruce said.

Bruce says, “Ultimately, the ease of construction will reduce the time, reduce project cost, and improve the safety of the project.”

With this plan, a detour/truck route will be set up for through and truck traffic during each of the two construction seasons. Business access signs will direct people into Sioux Center at various locations, encouraging regular traffic to take the business route into town.

The rolling closures will, at times, limit front-door access to properties and businesses, as would a head-to-head traffic plan. This type of phasing will require additional communication with property owners, business owners, residents, and the traveling public, according to City Manager Scott Wynja.

Opportunities are being set up for business owners and property owners to meet with the engineers and city planners to review the plan and talk through access for construction in 2024 and 2025.

The council approved the rolling-closure phasing for the 2024 and 2025 Highway 75 construction.

Mayor David Krahling says, “For me to think about not learning lessons from the first phase of this project as it applies to future project, would seem foolish. From a safety perspective, from a cost-saving perspective, shortening the duration of some of these interruptions, I’m fine if we have to take some heat for changing our mind. We’re changing our mind for the right reasons.”

Story from Mark Buss, KSOU

Sioux Center, Iowa — A Sioux Center man has been arrested on theft charges after an incident in Sioux Center.

According to a criminal complaint filed with the Sioux County Clerk of Court’s Office by the Sioux Center Police Department, 22-year-old Suvaco Eriko Hartanto of Sioux Center is accused of using someone else’s credit card. He was arrested on Monday.

In his statement, the officer states that in March and April of this year, Hartanto allegedly used his roommate’s credit card to make online transactions totaling over $10,000.

Hartanto was charged with first degree theft and unauthorized use of a credit card, both class C felonies. If convicted, Hartanto could face up to ten years in prison on each charge.

Hartanto faces a preliminary hearing on the charges on Tuesday, May 23rd.

At last report, Hartanto remained in the Sioux County Jail in Orange City in lieu of a $10,000 bond.

May 17, 2023 - 5:28 pm - Posted in News

Sheldon, Iowa — A Minnesota woman evaded injury, but her car struck a Sheldon business on Tuesday, May 16th.

According to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, at about 4:00 p.m., 26-year-old Luz Guzman-Lira of Austin, Minnesota, was driving a 2014 Honda CR-V northbound in the motel parking lot when she pressed the accelerator instead of brake. She lost control of the vehicle, which struck the building.

No injuries were reported.

The Honda sustained approximately $3,000 in damage. The Sheldon Motel sustained damage estimated at $6,000.

May 17, 2023 - 4:12 pm - Posted in News

Rock Valley, Iowa– A Rock Valley man was taken to the hospital after an accident in Rock Valley on Monday, May 15, 2023.

The Rock Valley Police Department reports that at about 12:10 p.m., 21-year-old Karla Talavera of Rock Valley was driving a 2005 Chevy eastbound on Highway 18 at 10th Avenue. They tell us that 22-year-old Brianna Koenen of Hawarden was westbound on 18 in a 2015 Ford.

The report says that Talavera was attempting to turn left to go northbound on 10th Avenue when the vehicles collided in the intersection. Both drivers denied fault, saying they both had green lights. Video from a nearby business showed that the turning vehicle had a blinking yellow light.

A passenger in Talavera’s vehicle, David Blandon of Rock Valley was taken to Hegg Health Center Avera by the Rock Valley Ambulance.

Talavera’s Chevy sustained $6000 in damages, which was enough to total the vehicle, and Koenen’s Ford sustained $4000 in damages.

Talavera was charged with driving without a license, operating a non-registered vehicle, and failure to yield upon left turn.

May 17, 2023 - 3:58 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa– An Orange City man was taken to the hospital after an accident in Orange City recently.

The Orange City Police Department reports that 39-year-old Jonathan Schuiteman of Orange City was driving a 2019 Chevy northbound on Albany Avenue Northeast (that’s K64), near 7th Street Northeast.

They tell us that a police officer was on patrol and heard a collision. In his mirror, he witnessed Schuiteman’s vehicle driving over the top of the Frontier Communications boxes and the stop sign at the corner of Albany and 7th Street Northeast. He turned around to approach the scene and then saw the vehicle drive into an electrical box. He got out and approached the vehicle but while Schuiteman appeared to be awake, he would not respond to commands. Schuiteman then put the car in reverse and began to back into traffic. The officer broke a couple of the vehicle’s windows to attempt to gain access into the vehicle to stop it. He was finally able to get in, put the car in park, and remove the keys.

The officer says it was determined that Schuiteman had had a medical emergency behind the wheel. And before the officer had started witnessing what had happened, Schuiteman’s vehicle had veered off the road to the left and struck a parked 1999 Jeep Wrangler owned by Shantel Oostra of Sheldon.

The Alton Ambulance took Schuiteman to Orange City Health System Hospital.

Schuiteman’s Chevy sustained $12,000 in damages, and Oostra’s Jeep Wrangler sustained $2750 in damages. Two communications pedestals received $350 in damage, each, and an electrial box received $3000 in damages.

Sioux Center, Iowa — Dordt University in Sioux Center and a former student claiming sex discrimination have apparently settled out of court.

The documents filed in 2019 allege the plaintiff, who was only identified as “John Doe” was a male undergraduate student in his final semester at Dordt University, and was falsely accused, in the final semester of his senior year, of sexually assaulting a fellow Dordt student, identified only as “Jane Roe,” in violation of Dordt’s student conduct code. The suit says the claim arose out of an encounter between Doe and Roe, wherein it says “both parties consumed alcohol and engaged in consensual sexual activity, which was undisputedly initiated by Roe.”

The suit alleges that Dordt officials proceeded as if this were a sexual assault perpetrated by Doe. It accuses Dordt officials of trampling on Doe’s rights during the process and delaying his appeal until it was impossible for him to graduate. It says when he tried to re-apply, Dordt officials denied him a full re-admission unless he would sign a statement saying he would not file a Title IX suit against Dordt.

Doe claims that the actions are gender-biased, contrary to Title IX, which protects people from sex discrimination at schools and universities that receive federal funds.

The trial in the case was to have started this week, but a document recently filed with the court states that the parties have settled and will no longer go to trial. The court is still awaiting a written, finalized, signed agreement. It says that the Court asked whether the parties would file the fact of settlement publicly, and the parties said this would occur. But until that happens, the case has been placed on “stay” status until it’s all official.

Sioux Center, Iowa — If you live in the Sheldon area and use B40 West at Hospers to get to Sioux Center or for any other reason you use that stretch of road, you may want to listen up, as construction appears to be a popular activity this summer in Sioux County.

Officials tell us a five-and-a-half-mile overlay project will impact traffic this summer on B40, near Kinsey Elementary in Sioux Center to the four-way stop intersection at K64 north of Orange City.

Sioux County is resurfacing the aging asphalt with a six-inch concrete overlay.

This section of road is planned to be closed to through traffic all summer — from May 30th through the month of August. Only traffic traveling to and from properties along the closed route will be allowed in the construction area. The road department will set up signs to direct traffic around the project on a detour route.

Access for local traffic will be maintained to properties along the project, including Sioux Center Health and Sandy Hollow Recreation Area.

For most of the five and a half miles, the concrete will be laid on top of the existing asphalt, but the section in eastern Sioux Center will be milled down about four inches before the overlay to facilitate driveway connections. The concrete overlay will be the same width as the existing road.

Sioux County Engineer Joel Sikkema says the project contractor will be reaching out to property owners along the project and maintain communication throughout the work.

He asks people to take another route if possible.

There will be a detour in place. We’re told that starting at the B40 and K64 intersection north of Orange City, the route takes westbound traffic north on K64 to B30 (the Middleburg blacktop), then to Highway 75 to Sioux Center.

In addition to this overlay on B40, Sioux County officials tell us they are also planning three miles of six-inch concrete overlay on K42 near Siouxland Energy Cooperative west of Sioux Center this summer. That section will also be open to local traffic only during the project.

Plus, with the two Highway 75 projects going on in Sioux Center — the emergency repair project and the new road project in southern Sioux Center — it’s going to be a busy construction season in that area.

May 13, 2023 - 6:40 pm - Posted in News

Hull, Iowa — Sioux County authorities are investigating a pair of business burglaries that took place last weekend.

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

According to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, their deputies responded to the report of burglaries at both Automated Waste Systems, Inc., and Van Der Zwaag Customs, both of Hull. Authorities say burglars entered each business through windows.

Once inside the businesses, deputies say office drawers were gone through. Automated Waste Systems reportedly had cash stolen from multiple areas inside the business.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office says the two burglaries were committed during the overnight hours of Friday May 6th into Saturday May 7th.

Authorities say they believe both burglaries were committed by the same suspect, or suspects.

If you have any information about these crimes, you’re asked to contact the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office.