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Congressman King In Rock Rapids

Congressman Steve King is in northwest Iowa Monday afternoon.

He is making a fundraising appearance at Frontier Bank in Rock Rapids at this hour. King backers are hoping to raise $20,000 to aid the Congressman in his bid this fall against Democrat Christie Vilsack.

Lyon County Republican Chairman, Dr. Cody Hoefert says even though the new fourth district is made up of a majority of Republicans, the election will be a tough one because Vilsack has a lot of out-of-state funding.

Light refreshments are available. The event is supposed to last about an hour.


Sheldon School Board To Hear About Audit

The Sheldon Community School Board Of Education will hear the School District Independent Auditor Report when they meet Monday night in regular session. A representative from the State Auditor’s Office is scheduled to be present to provide the Board with a verbal presentation on the audit that was conducted last fall. This had been scheduled for a previous meeting, but had to be postponed due to inclement weather at that time.

In other action, the Board will view a Student Presentation from the Success Program at East Elementary, take up a couple of Open Enrollment applications, and consider several employment contracts for coaching positions, along with several items of general housekeeping.

Monday night’s meeting begins at 6:00 in the Sheldon High School Library.


Orange City Man Sentenced To Five-Year Prison Term For Assault

An Orange City man has been sentenced to a five-year prison term for domestic abuse assault.

Sioux County Attorney Coleman McAllister reports that 25-year-old Alan Joel Kooiker of Orange City has been sentenced for the crime of Domestic Abuse Assault, 3rd Offense, a Class D Felony.

On January 31, 2012, at about 2:15 PM, the victim, a 19-year-old Orange City woman, went to the Orange City Police Department and reported that Kooiker had assaulted her by throwing her down on a bed and “choking” her by putting his hands around her neck and squeezing until she could not breathe. The officer further observed injuries around the victim’s neck. The officer went to Kooiker’s residence to interview him, but Kooiker refused to make any statements to the officer.

Kooiker was subsequently arrested and charged with Domestic Abuse Assault – Third Offense.

Kooiker had been previously convicted of assault in 2008 and 2009.

He was sentenced to five years in prison. He must serve a mandatory minimum sentence of one year before he is eligible for parole. He was also ordered to again successfully complete a Batterer’s Education Program.


Three Arrested For Marijuana Possession In Sibley

Three people were arrested for drug offenses on Saturday in Sibley.

An Osceola County Deputy arrested three subjects from Mankato, Minnesota after locating a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana along with several pieces of paraphernalia.

Twenty-one-year-old Erik Gunnar Oas and 21-year-old Kyle David Van Vleet were both charged with possession of a controlled substance — marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia (both Simple Misdemeanors). Lindsay Rae Lawler Benishek was charged for alleged possession of drug paraphernalia.

Benishek posted a $300 cash bond while Oas and Van Vleet were held on a $1,300 cash bond in the Osceola County Jail. The arrests stemmed from a traffic stop in Sibley.


Friday Evening Rock Valley Fire Destroys Shop, Equipment, Car And Motorcycle

An attached shop housing a machining business in Rock Valley was destroyed in a fire Friday evening.

Rock Valley Fire Chief John Wallenburg reports that the fire was at Marv Hoogendorn’s home-based business at 1609 20th Street, where he manufactures motorcycle parts. The building that burned is a shop, which is attached to a garage, which is attached to the house. He reports that the fire did not reach the main garage or house.

The fire department was called out shortly after 7:15 PM. When they arrived, says Wallenburg, the shop was fully engulfed, with fire coming out of one side of the overhead door. He says they attacked the fire with probably 10 to 20 thousand gallons of water.

He says the shop and all its contents, including a car and a motorcycle are a total loss. He says it will be a high damage amount, due to the type and amount of equipment that was kept there. He estimates there was probably over $150,000 in damage.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Rock Valley firefighters were on-scene for two hours.


Weather Service Cautions: Wildfire Risk High Today, Avoid Use Of Fire If Possible

Very dangerous fire weather conditions are expected Saturday across far southeast South Dakota, northwest Iowa, southwest Minnesota and extreme northeast Nebraska. Strong south to southwest winds combined with dry air across the region will create the potential for rapid fire growth across the region today. As temperatures warm Into the 60s and 70s this afternoon, relative humidities are expected to fall to 15 to 25 percent. This will result in very dangerous fire weather conditions.

A warning for such weather is called a “Red Flag Warning,” and one has been issued for northwest Iowa today. Any fires that do start will spread rapidly due to the dangerous windy and dry conditions, coupled with dormant vegetation.

The grassland fire danger index will also be in the extreme category.

The National Weather Service advises that debris burning is the number one cause of wildfires. We are advised to please be careful with any use of fire, and postpone any use of fire if at all possible.