Sioux Center, Iowa — Two law enforcement officers in one Sioux County community have resigned.

Sioux Center’s Police Chief, Mike Halma, and Officer Ulf Schäfer, both resigned this week from the Sioux Center Police Department. The city of Sioux Center has issued a statement stating, “The City of Sioux Center police chief and one police officer resigned from their positions this week. Due to this being a personnel matter, we cannot share any further details. We are thankful for their years of service in our police department.”

Mike Halma said he could not provide details of his resignation, except to say that it was “time to go”. He said he enjoyed serving Sioux Center for 39 years in the department, the last four years as Chief. He also says that the support given by the community during his time with the department was greatly appreciated. Twenty-four-year veteran of the department, Ulf Schäfer, said he could not comment on his resignation either. Similar to Halma, Schäfer states he appreciates the people of Sioux Center and enjoyed his service to the community.

According to Assistant City Manager, Dennis Dokter, all police matters for Sioux Center should be directed to Officer Kelly Willet; you can contact Officer Willet by calling the Sioux Center city offices at 712-722-0761.

Story by Mark Buss, KSOU

Sioux Center, Iowa — The drought has taken a toll in northwest Iowa, but two communities have found relief through hundreds of thousands of gallons of high-quality water from the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System piped into their communities.

Sioux Center and Hull had been waiting for more than 30 years for their hookups to the system. They celebrated Tuesday with ribbon cuttings, where Lewis & Clark Executive Director Troy Larson talked about getting the project to this point.

Larson says adding Lewis & Clark water, which comes from the Missouri River and an aquifer will be transformational for the communities of Sioux Center and Hull. Sioux Center will receive 600 thousand gallons each day, while Hull will receive 400 thousand gallons a day to blend with their current water supply. There were originally 59 communities which signed up for the project in 1993 –but the latest two bring the total hooked up to 20.

Larson says the project is working on expanding the system from producing 40 million gallons per day to 60 million gallons by 2031. Congressman Randy Feenstra grew up in Hull, and served on the Lewis & Clark board for seven-and-a-half years. He recalled the condition of the water in his hometown was so bad they gave visitors a warning.

Feenstra also recalls the meeting when funding plans were made known

Feenstra commends all those involved in connecting the 377 miles of pipe that were laid and the additional infrastructure. The remaining communities to be connected to the service include Sheldon, which should be connected to the system late this year or early next year; Madison, South Dakota should be connected in the middle of 2024; and Sibley should be connected in late 2024 or early 2025.

Sioux City, Iowa — A Hospers man has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for meth and gun convictions.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sioux City, 43-year-old Robert Nicholas Hansen conspired to distribute methamphetamine and illegally possessed firearms. He was sentenced on Monday, May 1, 2023, to 25 years in prison.

They tell us that Hansen was convicted by a jury of one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; two counts of distribution of methamphetamine; and one count of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm in November. Almost a year ago, on May 18, 2022, Hansen was convicted by a jury of two counts of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm (17 guns).

The jury found that, from January 2017 through January 2021, Hansen was involved in a conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of pure methamphetamine. The U.S. Attorney’s Office tells us evidence at trial showed that Hansen was involved with several other co-conspirators in the acquisition and distribution of more than 100 pounds of methamphetamine. (for reference, that could be over 180,000 doses) They report that evidence further showed that on two separate occasions, Hansen distributed one-half pound of methamphetamine to individuals cooperating with law enforcement and during one of the transactions was found to possess three separate bundles of cash, totaling $14,000. The jury verdict included findings that Hansen’s methamphetamine distributions occurred within 1000 feet of Hospers Elementary School and South Side Park in Hospers. The jury also found that Hansen illegally possessed a .223 caliber AR-15 style rifle. At trial, evidence was presented that Hansen had others store methamphetamine and guns for him when the “heat was on” him from law enforcement. At sentencing, Hansen’s illegal involvement with three other guns was also presented.

During Hansen’s other trial, the jury found that, from 2017 through November 2017, Hansen illegally possessed seventeen firearms. At sentencing, Hansen’s illegal involvement with four other guns was also presented. Hansen was previously convicted of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver in 2003 in the Iowa District Court for Sioux County.

United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand sentenced Hansen to 25 years in federal prison. He must also serve a 10-year term of supervised release following the imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Shawn Wehde and Patrick Greenwood and was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, the Orange City Police Department, the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement and the Tri-State Drug Task Force based in Sioux City, Iowa, that consists of law enforcement personnel from the Drug Enforcement Administration; Sioux City, Iowa, Police Department; Homeland Security Investigations; Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office; South Sioux City, Nebraska, Police Department; Nebraska State Patrol; Iowa National Guard; Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement; United States Marshals Service; South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation; and Woodbury County Attorney’s Office.

Sioux Center, Iowa — The Sioux Center Fire Department responded to two fire calls in two days this week.

According to Sioux Center Fire Chief David Van Holland, at about 1:35 p.m. on Tuesday, May 2nd, the Sioux Center Fire Department was called to the report of an unknown fire at 3127 370th Street, just north of Sioux Center.

The chief says the fire department noticed thick black smoke on the way to the fire so he radioed to dispatch to have them page the Rock Valley and Hull Fire Departments to the scene as well, but when they found out what they were dealing with, he told them they could turn around and go back to their stations.

What they were dealing with was someone who was using gasoline and somehow it ignited. He says they assume some sort of static electricity was created and the tiny spark was enough to ignite the fumes. He says the worst part about it is the individual did sustain some burns to their feet and was taken to the Sioux Center Health Hospital by the Sioux Center Ambulance.

He tells us the only thing that really burned in the fire were about six tires in the shed where the accident happened.

He says the firefighters who responded were on that scene for a half hour to 45 minutes.

Van Holland says that the night before — Monday — they were called to a baler fire in the 11 p.m. hour. He says they found the baler on fire along with a couple of bales in the field. He says the baler was totaled in the blaze, and they were on that scene for about 45 minutes.

Sioux Center, Iowa — A Sioux County institution of higher learning says three of their students have received substantial scholarships recently.

Dordt University officials tell us they have just announced the recipients of the Lambertus Verberg Prize for Excellence in Kuyperian Scholarship, one of the largest scholarships made available to Dordt students.

Eoghan Holdahl, a junior from Watertown, South Dakota who is studying agriculture: missions and community development, will receive a one-year $15,000 scholarship.

And, for the first time in the history of the Verberg Prize, two students were selected as runners-up and will each receive a one-year $10,000 scholarship, thanks to the generosity of the Barnabas Foundation and the estate gift of Rimmer and Ruth de Vries. The two runners-up are Audra Kooi, a sophomore from Bellflower, California who is studying psychology and health and human performance, and Jaelyn Dragt, a junior social work and community development major from Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Dordt officials tell us the Lambertus Verberg Prize for Excellence in Kuyperian Scholarship is funded by an estate gift from Rimmer and Ruth de Vries, in memory of Rimmer’s great-grandfather, who settled in Sioux Center in the 1890s.

Click here for more information on the students and the essays they wrote.

Hospers, Iowa — Eight different buildings and their contents were destroyed in a fire on Monday, May 1, 2023, near Hospers.

According to Hospers Fire Chief Jason Overmole, at about 12:25 p.m., the Hospers Fire Department was called to the report of two buildings on fire at 4190 410th Street, two miles west and a mile south of Hospers.

The chief says the fire department saw heavy smoke and flames as they approached the scene. He says there were at least three large structures on fire.

Overmole says no injuries were reported to people, pets, or livestock.

The fire department was assisted by Granville firefighters through their auto aid agreement as well as the Alton, Orange City, Boyden, and Sioux Center fire departments.

He says the cause of the fire is officially undetermined and still under investigation, but is believed to be embers from a burning pile that hadn’t been used for several days that rekindled in the strong wind. He says there were people there earlier, but they had left for lunch.

Chief Overmole reports that eight buildings were totaled, including three large ones, and all their contents. He says a worker’s pickup was also destroyed, as well as some older tractors and miscellaneous scrap.

He says the firefighters who responded were on the scene for about five and a half hours.

May 2, 2023 - 3:06 pm - Posted in News

Hawarden, Iowa — A man has been arrested on burglary charges after an incident in Hawarden.

According to a criminal complaint filed with the Sioux County Clerk of Court’s Office by the Hawarden Police Department, 48-year-old Celedonio Guzman-Santillan is accused of burglary and assault. He was arrested on Friday, April 28th.

In his statement, the officer states that he believes that on March 25th and April 5th of this year, Guzman-Santillan entered an occupied structure without the right to do so. The first time he is accused of taking several items from the residence and the second time he is accused of assaulting the occupant.

Guzman-Santillan was charged with second and third-degree burglary. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison on one count and ten years on the other. He was also charged with domestic abuse assault and violation of a protection order.

He faces a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, May 9th, 2023.

Guzman-Santillan was released two days after his arrest after posting a $15,000 bond.

Sioux Center, Iowa– A Rock Valley woman was taken to the hospital after an accident in Sioux Center on Sunday, April 30, 2023.

The Sioux Center Police Department reports that at about 2:00 p.m., 23-year-old Daniel Van Beek of Sioux Center was driving a 2016 Ford pickup southbound on Highway 75, by Pizza Hut. They tell us that 67-year-old Rachel Kvigne of Rock Valley was eastbound on 20th Street Southwest in a 2014 Chevy.

The report says that Kvigne was attempting to turn north onto Highway 75 and had a green light at the new stoplight at that intersection.

The Sioux Center Ambulance took Kvigne to Sioux Center Health Hospital.

Van Beek’s Ford pickup sustained $8000 in damages, and Kvigne’s Chevy sustained $7000 in damages.

Van Beek was charged with failure to obey a traffic control device.

Paullina, Iowa — If you travel on Highway 10 west of Paullina you’ll probably want to be aware of a bridge replacement project that may impact your travel.

The Iowa Department of Transportation tells us that weather permitting, they’d like to start on the bridge work at 7 a.m. on Monday, May 1st. The project will last the entire construction season. They hope to wrap up the work by Thursday, November 16th, weather permitting.

While the roadway is closed, the DOT tells us that drivers will be detoured around the work zone using Iowa 143 and O’Brien County roads B-62 and L-48.

DOT officials tell us they’d like your help to keep everyone on the road safer. Drive with caution, obey the posted speed limit and other signs in the work area, and be aware that traffic fines for moving violations are at least double in work zones. The DOT advises that as in all work zones, you should “stay alert, allow ample space between vehicles, and wear seat belts.”

The latest traveler information is available anytime through the DOT’s 511 system. Visit; call 511 (within Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide); stay connected with 511 on Facebook or Twitter; or download the free app to your mobile device.

They also remind us that it’s easy to subscribe to “Your 511” and sign up to receive email/text alerts. Click here to sign up. Click here for instructions and help with this feature.

April 28, 2023 - 10:04 pm - Posted in News

Alton, Iowa — An Alton man has been arrested on sex abuse charges.

According to a criminal complaint filed with the Sioux County Clerk of Court’s Office by the Orange City/Alton Police Department, 40-year-old Jorge Montejo of Alton is accused of forcing himself on a 16-year-old victim. He was arrested on a warrant this week.

The officer’s statement alleges that in February of this year, Montejo had relations with the 16-year-old victim, who was, at the time, a houseguest in the Montejo family’s home.

Montejo was charged with third-degree sexual abuse, a class C felony. If convicted, Montejo could face up to ten years in prison.

He faces a preliminary hearing on the charges on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023.

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