Northwestern, Dordt Advance In GPAC Men’s Basketball Quarterfinals

GPAC Mens BasketballThe Northwestern Red Raiders and Dordt Defender basketball teams posted wins on Wednesday night as the 2013 Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Men’s Postseason Basketball Championships got underway with quarterfinal round action.

In Orange City,  top seed Northwestern was a 77-63 winner over 8th seeded Dakota Wesleyan, while five seed Morningside was a road winner at 4th seed Doane 69-66.  On the bottom of the bracket two seed Dordt posted a home win over 7th seeded Briar Cliff 91-76 and three seed Midland won over 6th seed Hastings 84-60 in Fremont, Nebraska.

On Saturday in the GPAC Semifinals it will be fifth seed Morningside at top seed Northwestern, while two seed Dordt will host three seed Midland.  Both games will tip off at 3pm.

The Red Raiders went 17-3 in the league to win the GPAC regular season championship and secured an automatic berth to the NAIA Men’s Division II National Tournament in Point Lookout, Missouri.

Sixth Annual “Heroes Behind the Badges” Blood Drive Pits Police/SCAT vs. Fire/EMA

Sheldon, Iowa — The annual Heroes Behind the Badges Blood Drive will be on Monday in Sheldon. (2/18) It’s not only a great opportunity to help bolster the area blood supply, but an opportunity to give two city emergency services bragging rights.

Ken Ver Steeg, spokesman for the Community Blood Bank says that it’s a friendly competition between two teams of Sheldon emergency responders.

heroes behind badgesHe says they could use some more donors as well. That’s because people who want to donate sometimes are prevented from doing so because they have a cold or flu at the time the bloodmobile is in town.

He says they would like to encourage you to give, even if it’s your first time — not only because they really need the blood right now but also so that you can show your support for our local heroes, as well as those receiving treatment in the hospital.

Ver Steeg also says they encourage donors to support their blood type. Especially if you have a rare blood type, your donation is always welcome. But they need all blood types to keep the supply where it should be in case of an emergency.

This fun competition between the departments will be held on Monday, February 18 from 10:00am to 2:00pm and 3:00pm to 6:00pm at the Community Services Building in Sheldon.

It couldn’t have been closer last year — in the end it was the Fire Department / EMA winning with 59 donation votes vs. the Police Department / SCAT with 58 donation votes. The turnout was also the highest ever last year for this event.

Community Blood Bank is the sole provider of blood and blood products to Sanford Sheldon and 29 other local hospitals.

The public is encouraged to designate their blood donation in honor of the department of their choice. The department with the most donations will receive the traveling trophy and bragging rights for the year.

Henry Wielenga

Mr. Henry Wielenga, age 89, of Orange City, passed away on Friday, February 15, 2013, at the Orange City Area Health System Hospital in Orange City.

There will be a memorial service on Tuesday, February 19, at 10:30am, at the First Reformed Church in Orange City.  The Rev. Mark Haverdink will officiate.  Interment will be prior to the service at the West Lawn Cemetery in Orange City.  There will be a prayer service on Tuesday, at 9:30am, at the Oolman Funeral Home in Orange City.

Visitation will be after 5:00pm on Monday, with the family present from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, at the funeral home.

Betty Marco

Betty Marco

Betty Marco, age 76, of Ocheyedan, Iowa, passed away on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at Sanford Hospice in Worthington, Minnesota.

Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 10:30 A.M. at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Sibley. Father John Vakulskas officiating. Burial in St. Andrew’s Catholic Cemetery in Sibley.

Visitation will be Friday, February 15, from 2:00 to 8:00 P.M. Catholic Daughters of America Rosary will be at 5:00 P.M. with Scriptural Wake Service at 7:00 P.M. Family will be present from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. at the Andringa Funeral Home in Sibley.

Online Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to

The Andringa Funeral Home of Sibley and in charge of arrangements for Betty Marco.

Gwen Meester

Gwen Meester, age 43 of Ellsworth, MN died as the result of an extended illness Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at her home in Ellsworth, MN surrounded by her family.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, February 15, 2013 at Bethel Reformed Church at Little Rock, IA with Rev. Matt Miller, officiating.  Burial will follow in the Bethel Reformed Cemetery at Little Rock.

Visitation will be Thursday, February 14th from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. with the family present from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Jurrens Funeral Home of Rock Rapids.

Gwendolen Denise Meester was born March 1, 1969 in Ft. Meade, Maryland to Wendell and Mildred (Gertsma) DeBeer. She was raised and educated in George, IA and graduated from George High School in 1987. On October 22, 1988 she was united in marriage to Larry Meester at Bethel Reformed Church. The couple first made their home in Rock Rapids and in 1989 they moved to George. In 1991 they moved to Ellsworth, MN. Gwen and Larry welcomed their daughter Samantha in 1993 and their son Riley in 1997. Gwen worked for K-Products, Chase Bag Company and upon moving to Ellsworth, she worked for Parkview Manor. After working at Parkview for 10 years she went back to school and earned her LPN degree. Gwen went to work for Rock Rapids Health Centre in October of 2002 as a Nurse/Social Services Director. She loved her work very much. It was a great fit for her because of the natural gift she had for hospitality, compassion and being a wonderful caregiver. She remained at the Health Centre until declining health forced her to stop working in December of 2012. She was a member of the Bethel Reformed Church of Little Rock, IA. She enjoyed gardening, camping, games of many kinds, and especially card games. Gwen loved company and always looked forward to hosting friends and family in her home. This past Tuesday, February 12, 2013 she passed away at her home, surrounded by family. She will be greatly missed.

Gwen is survived by her husband of twenty-four years, Larry Meester of Ellsworth, MN; daughter, Samantha Meester and fiancé Gaje Sammons of Sioux Falls, SD; son, Riley Meester, of Ellsworth, MN; and honorary daughter, Anne Reschke of Berlin, Germany; parents, Wendell and Millie DeBeer of George, IA; sisters, Michelle (Scott) Timmer of Rock Rapids, IA; and Becky (Mark) Stueven of George, IA; parents-in-law Gary and Judy Meester of Sioux Falls, SD; sister-in-law Dawn (Michael) Van Den Top of Rock Rapids, IA; brother-in-law Dominic (James) Meester of Sioux Falls, SD; nieces Kate Timmer of Rock Rapids, IA; Ashley Stueven of George, IA; nephews, Jessy Stueven and Gregory Stueven, both of George, IA; Christopher Van Den Top of Edina, MN; and Jonathon Van Den Top of Sioux Falls, SD; and other extended family members.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Otto and Ida DeBeer and Harry and Grace Gertsma; and Uncle Dennis DeBeer.


Joanne Lopez

Joanne Lopez, age 75 of Marshalltown, IA and formerly of Hartley, IA, passed away at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown, IA, on Monday, January  21, 2013.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 16th at 11:30 a.m. at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Hartley, with Rev. Jeff Filkins officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the memorial service at the church.  Inurnment will be held at Pleasant View Cemetery in Hartley.

The Hartley Funeral Home in Hartley is in charge of the arrangements for 75 year-old Joanne Lopez of Marshalltown, IA and formerly of Hartley, IA.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at