January 6, 2023 - 4:32 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — The Orange City position formerly held by former Sheldon Chamber and Development Director Mark Gaul has been filled.

Gaul left Sheldon ten years ago for a similar position — Community Development Director — in Orange City. In July of last year, Gaul made another career move, and is now the Community Development Director for the City of Le Mars.

Meanwhile, back in Orange City, City officials tell us they have filled Gaul’s position. Orange City City Administrator Earl Woudstra tells us about Ryan McEwen.

Woudstra gives us some of McEwen’s background.

Woudstra says their development position has multiple prongs.

McEwen will start on Monday, January 30th.

January 6, 2023 - 4:13 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A northwest Iowa internet provider is announcing plans to install fiber-to-the-premise throughout the entire town of Orange City.

Premier Communications, based in Sioux Center tells us the investment is part of Premier’s ongoing commitment to providing the community with state-of-the-art communications technology. Premier’s Chief Marketing & Sales Officer, Scott TeStroete tells us about it.

He tells us it will be an upgrade to their current system and will allow them to plan for the future.

As if to underscore the point that the future is all about fiber, TeStroete tells us they don’t even know the limits of fiber yet. He tells us that not only will the installation of fiber to your building not cost you extra, you don’t even need to be a Premier customer — the installation of fiber optic cable to your building will be free. He does say, however, if you decide to upgrade service, there will be the normal upcharge for that.

TeStroete tells us they’re glad to be able to get the project underway.

For more information, you can call Premier at 800-741-8351 or visit mypremieronline.com

Sioux Center, Iowa — The soft opening of the new sports dome in Sioux Center has happened, and people are getting their first look at the facility. In fact, there’s an event planned this Friday, January 6th, for people to do just that.

Sioux Center City Manager Scott Wynja tells us about the event.

While the Sioux Center Community School District is not one of the partners in the facility, Wynja tells us they will be one of the entities using the facility.

He says they’ll also have an open turf field for the public.

The open house is this Friday, January 6th, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wynja says they’ll have a more formal dedication and program on January 20th.

January 4, 2023 - 10:10 pm - Posted in News

Tea, South Dakota — The water system bringing Missouri River aquifer water to Sheldon, Sibley, Hull, Sioux Center, and a number of other communities is announcing some funding.

Lewis & Clark Regional Water System Executive Director Troy Larson tells us the FY23 Appropriations Bill that was signed into law on December 29, 2022 by President Biden includes $18.6 million for the ongoing construction of the water system. This total includes the funding proposed by the Administration, as well as a congressionally-directed spending request made by Senators Amy Klobuchar, Mike Rounds, and Tina Smith.

Larson says the funding is keeping pace with the amount received last year.

Larson tells us in a way, the funding is already earmarked for bills.

He tells us this really doesn’t change the expected timeline.

Larson tells us they now see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s been a long time coming. The ideas started flowing over 30 years ago in the 1980s. Lewis & Clark was incorporated in 1990 and authorized by Congress in 2000.

December 31, 2022 - 6:11 pm - Posted in News

Orange City, Iowa — A Sheldon man was arrested by Sioux County authorities Friday evening on a felony burglary charge.

According to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, shortly before 6:30 Friday evening, authorities were called by a resident north of Orange City, who reported that 81-year-old Dennis Van Roekel, of Sheldon, allegedly entered the victim’s home without permission, confronted the resident and wouldn’t leave.

Deputies say Van Roekel allegedly attempted to keep the victim from calling 9-1-1, placing the person in fear for their safety, but the victim was eventually able to get to safety and call for help.

As a result of the investigation, Van Roekel was transported to the Sioux County Jail where he was charged with 3rd Degree Burglary, which is a Class D Felony.

Rock Valley, Iowa — As the year draws to a close, Rock Valley city officials are happy with the progress that has been made on their new aquatic center.

Rock Valley City Administrator Tom Van Maanen gives us an update.

He says they haven’t really had any surprises.

Van Maanen tells us even dealing with the supply chain issues hasn’t been much of a problem.

He says they’re really looking forward to being able to use the pool again.

According to Van Maanen, they are on track for a June 1st opening.

Sheldon, Iowa — As more and more people buy electric vehicles, the question keeps coming up — how are we going to charge all those “EVs”? People are saying they don’t think the electric grid will be able to handle it.

MidAmerican Energy is the company that provides electricity (and natural gas) to Sheldon and a number of other northwest Iowa communities. Their spokesperson Geoff Greenwood says he doubts it will be a problem. He says the recent grid problems that have happened have not been in MidAmerican’s territory.

He says switching to EVs won’t happen overnight, and that will allow them time to boost capacity if needed.

As a side note, Greenwood reminds us that MidAmerican is even installing a DC Fast Charging Network so people can fast-charge their EVs. In fact, there’s a charging point right in Sheldon at Fareway.

December 27, 2022 - 6:54 pm - Posted in News

Sioux Center, Iowa — A Sioux Center teen was taken to the hospital after an accident on the outskirts of Sioux Center on Christmas Day.

According to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, at about 3:05 p.m., 17-year-old Katie Van Maanen of Sioux Center was driving a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee eastbound on 380th Street at the northeast corner of the Sioux Center city limits. The report says she attempted to turn south onto Harrison Avenue, but lost control of the vehicle, which entered the ditch southeast of the intersection and rolled.

The Sioux Center Ambulance took Van Maanen to the Sioux Center Health hospital.

The Jeep sustained about $5,000 in damage.

Van Maanen was cited on a charge of failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle.

The sheriff’s office says the Sioux Center Ambulance Squad, Sioux Center Fire Department, and the Sioux Center Police Department assisted with the response to the accident.

Hull, Iowa — Iowa Congressman Randy Feenstra from Hull is pushing to expand a 2018 law about a new technology that processes data dramatically faster than traditional computers do.

It’s called quantum computing and it has the potential to improve existing industries — and create new ones.

Here’s how the concept works: computers use quantum mechanics to store data on what are called subatomic particles — basically the fragments of atoms. Quantum computing has the potential to process data in seconds that would take a traditional computer days or even months to sort. Congress is expected to reauthorize the government’s National Quantum Initiative in 2023. Feenstra says agricultural applications need to be specified.

Federal spending on quantum information science has doubled in the past two years. Feenstra says it has the potential to expand battery storage and create more effective medications as well as create the next generation of farm fertilizers.

Sheldon, Iowa — An annual meeting for farmers is coming up in Sheldon once again.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialists tell us the 2023 Crop Advantage meetings will give producers a solid foundation of current research-based crop production information to help make smart, informed decisions for their farming operation.

They say the meetings are an opportunity for farmers and crop advisers to hear current research and crop production information. Experts will travel to 14 locations around Iowa from Jan. 3-26, providing updated management options and recommendations on crop production issues facing Iowa growers.

Northwest Iowa Extension agronomist Leah Ten Napel tells us about the meetings coming up in this area.

They tell us meetings include continuing education credits for Certified Crop Advisers and pesticide applicator recertification. All sites offer private pesticide applicator continuing instruction which is included in the registration fee.

For locations, times and program details visit www.aep.iastate.edu/cas.

Early registration for each location is $75; late registration made less than seven days prior to the meeting, or on-site, is $100. Registration includes lunch, private pesticide applicator recertification, and CCA credits. Online registration and additional information are available at www.aep.iastate.edu/cas. For more information, contact ANR Program Services at 515-294-6429, or anr@iastate.edu, or contact your regional ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomist.