Body Found in Plymouth County

Plymouth County authorities have found a dead body in a rural wooded area.
The Plymouth County County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Monday, about 7:30 PM, they received a call of a missing person in rural Plymouth County. Deputies went to a rural home to speak with the family of the missing person. Authorities conducted a search near the home, and at about 11:30 PM, a female body was located east of the residence in a wooded area. It appears that the woman sustained a single gunshot wound which appeared to be self-inflicted.
The woman was identified as 44-year-old Amy Lynn Mace of rural Westfield.
No foul play is suspected in the incident. The body was sent to the state medical examiner’s office in Ankeny for further examination.
The incident remains under investigation by the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office.
The Akron Fire and Rescue, Akron Ambulance, Akron Police Department, Iowa State Patrol, Plymouth County Conservation, and the Plymouth County Medical Examiner’s office assisted the Sheriff’s Office at the scene.

Hunting Meeting

Iowans have a chance this week to express their opinions about several proposed changes in hunting and trapping regulations for next fall. Perhaps the biggest change would apply to deer hunters.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources wildlife bureau chief Dale Garner says some areas of the state have too many deer, but other areas have dropped below or near department goals. “We would like to reduce the antlerless tags to stabilize the herd,” Garner said.
The proposed changes involve shortening the length of the January deer hunting season, eliminating the November antlerless season and changing the early muzzleloader season to reduce the harvest in the antlerless portion of the deer herd. The proposals are meant to satisfy the concerns of hunters who believe deer reduction efforts have gone too far. The DNR estimates deer numbers in Iowa are down 30% compared to a high mark in 2006. Iowa hunters, during the recent 2011-12 deer hunting seasons, killed 121,407 deer — down 4.5% from the previous year.
Changes are proposed for waterfowl hunting and trapping as well. “We’re looking to potentially increase quotas for both otters and bobcats,” Garner said. “For migratory birds, we have an opportunity to possibly add a (third) zone to the state, which will impact us for four years, so this is a chance for people to think about what that might do.”
The possible changes will be discussed during public meetings Tuesday night from 6 to 9 p.m. at 18 locations across the state.
For those who cannot make the meeting, comments may be emailed to

Sheldon Police Report

In the latest report from Sheldon Police:
The police report that two Sheldon students were cited after an assault at the Sheldon High School on Friday (3/2). They report that a 17-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy were cited for assault.
They report they arrested 21-year-old Benjiman Matthews of Sheldon on Saturday morning for driving while his license was suspended. He was cited and released.
They arrested 23-year-old Ryan Wood of Hartley on Saturday morning for operating while intoxicated and driving while his license was suspended. He was taken to the O’Brien County Jail.
They arrested 25-year-old Job Mendoza-Mendoza of Sheldon on Sunday for driving without a license. He was also taken to the O’Brien County Jail.
The new Hy-Vee gas station has had its first gas drive-off. They reported somebody drove off without paying on Saturday morning. The gasoline was valued at $46.
Someone also reported their wallet was taken from Dave’s Auto Wash. The wallet contained a social security card, driver’s license, Medicare card, a script card, a food stamp card and $8 cash. Total value was about $38.

Richard “Ricky” Mason

Richard “Ricky” Mason, age 57, of Sheldon, IA formerly of Estherville, IA passed away on Tuesday, March 6th, 2012 at the Rosewood Manor in Estherville.

His services will be held Saturday, March 10th at11:00am at the Henry-Olson Funeral Chapel inEstherville,IA.

Visitation will be held Saturday, March 10th from10:00am until11:00am at the Henry-Olson Funeral Chapel inEstherville,IA.

Richard Ray Mason, the son of Raymond and Deloras (Field) Mason was born February 9, 1955, in Estherville, Iowa. He passed away Tuesday, March 6, 2012, at Rosewood Manor in Estherville, Iowa, at the age of 57.

Richard made his home at Village Northwest Unlimited in Sheldon, Iowa.

Left to cherish Ricky’s memory is his mother, Deloras Mason; bother, Steve Mason and his special friend, Kim all of Estherville; LuAnn Swanson and her husband, Kim of Dolliver; nieces, Jana Vazquez and her husband, Jose and their children, Liana and Elaisa; Lindsay Steffen and her husband, Aaron; nephew, Steven Mason; aunts, Helen Shull; Margaret Fouts; Lucille Phillips; Ardeth Field and many cousins.

He has been preceded in death by his grandparents and father.

Online Expressions of Sympathy can be sent to:

Several Public Hearings Scheduled for Sheldon Council Meeting

The Sheldon City Council meets Wednesday at 4:30 with several public hearings.

Hearings will be held on the preliminary and final plats of the Runger’s 4th Addition, rezoning of a parcel of land on the west side of the new Hy-Vee property, and rezoning of the property at 730 Western Avenue.

Also they will consider the sale of property to Evelyn Kats. This is a strip of property two and one-half feet wide along the east edge of the former Pucci’s property which is already occupied by part of the adjacent Kats building.

The Council will also hold a public hearing on refinancing of a loan which helped finance the City’s obligation to the Lewis and Clark Water project.

The refinancing at a lower interest rate will result in a savings of about $l60,000 to the city.

In other business, the council will hear the annual audit report, consider the third reading of the golf cart ordinance, and consider approving the precinct population for Crossroads Industrial Park. With the annexation of that area into the city limits, the population of the first precinct will be increase by one person, and that needs to be reported to the state of Iowa.

Wednesday’s 4:30 meeting will be held in Council Chambers on the upper level of the Sheldon Community Services Center.


CHP, Iowa St. Patrol, Sioux Co. Sheriff’s Office Mount Anti-Distracted Driving Campaign

Community Health Partners, the Iowa State Patrol, and the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office are announcing the beginning of the “Put it Down” Campaign.

The goal of the campaign is to reduce motor vehicle injuries by reducing the number of drivers who use electronic devices or engage in other types of distracted driving. The campaign evolved from the Community Health Needs Assessment in Sioux County which revealed Sioux County’s rate of motor vehicle injury rates as an area of concern.

DISTRACTED DRIVING is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract them from the primary task of driving and increases the risk of crashing. Distractions include: talking or texting on a cell phone, grooming, eating or drinking, changing radio stations, or talking to passengers. Lt. Darin Fratzke of the Iowa State Patrol recalls the tragic examples we’ve had in northwest Iowa; “One fatality accident due to distracted driving is one too many”.

Motor vehicle crashes are the LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH for teens in the United States and drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction related fatal crashes. Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. Angela Kroeze Visser, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Coordinator for Community Health Partners of Sioux County said, “Public health focuses on prevention and preventing injuries begins with changing behavior. We know that crashes and injuries can be prevented by putting down your phone.”

While cell phone use is not against the law for adult drivers, it is illegal for teen drivers. The Iowa law states that no teen driver holding a restricted driver’s license (GDL instructional permit, GDL intermediate license, minor school license, special restricted license) shall use ANY electronic communication device or electronic entertainment device while driving a motor vehicle including phone calls (even hands free) and texting. A violation of this law can cost up to $127.50. It can also result in additional restrictions or even a suspension of your license. Sioux County Sheriff Dan Altena believes distracted driving is one of the most important things parents can model and talk to their teens about. It could be a matter of life and death.

The “Put it Down” campaign will consist of a public education campaign including posters, display boards, PSA’s, in-school presentations, and enforcement of Iowa’s current texting law.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s office, the Iowa State Patrol, and local law enforcement will be giving in school presentations on the dangers of distracted driving at each of the high schools in Sioux County during the week of March 26. The public is welcomed and encouraged to attend those presentations. The dates and locations are:

  • Monday, March 26th

    • 2:45 PM — MOC/Floyd Valley
  • Tuesday, March 27th

    • 8:15 AM — Spalding Catholic
    • 9:54 AM — Unity Christian
    • 1:00 PM — West Sioux
  • Wednesday, March 28th

    • 9:20 AM — Western Christian
    • 11:30 AM — Trinity Christian
    • 1:30 PM — Sioux Center
  • Thursday, March 29th

    • 2:00 PM — Rock Valley
  • Friday, March 30th 10:45 AM . Boyden-Hull

    • 1:40 PM — Netherlands Reformed

For more information Contact: Angela Kroeze-Visser, MPH
Health Promotion Disease Prevention Coordinator
Phone: (712)737-2971

Deputy Waylon Pollema
Sioux County Sheriff’s Office
Phone: (712)737-2280

Trooper Vince Kurtz, Badge 495
Iowa State Patrol Post 6 Safety Education
Office: (712)262-1424

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director