Akron Area Standoff Ends Peacefully After Several Hours

law enforcement lightbarAkron, Iowa — A standoff that lasted for hours in Plymouth County ended peacefully on Friday.

The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 3 PM on Friday, Deputy United States Marshals and the Woodbury County Task Force Officers from the Northern Iowa Fugitive Task Force attempted to arrest Geovany Gonzales-Gonzales at a rural home near Akron on K18 in Plymouth County.

Gonzalez-Gonzalez was wanted for failing to appear as ordered for a court hearing. He had originally been charged with drug trafficking.

Marshals were told by family that Gonzalez-Gonzalez was in the house and had a .38 caliber pistol in his possession. Gonzalez-Gonzalez was ordered out of his home, but did not surrender. Family members indicated that Gonzalez-Gonzalez was suicidal.

U. S. Marshals requested the assistance of the Plymouth/Sioux/LeMars Police tactical team to assist with the arrest. Iowa State Patrol officers as well as the Tactical Team and the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office arrived to assist. At about 7:30 PM, an Iowa State Patrol negotiator, negotiated the safe surrender of Gonzalez-­Gonzalez to law enforcement personnel. Gonzalez-Gonzalez was booked into the Woodbury County Jail, and is waiting for court hearings.

Officers on the scene were assisted by Siouxland Paramedics and the Akron Fire Department.

Central Lyon Middle School Students Win National Cyber Safety Award From FBI

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Central Lyon Middle School has earned the FBI-SOS (Safe Online Surfing) Internet Challenge’s National Award for November 2012 in the Middle School category. The Central Lyon students posted the best scores in the country amongst the “Shark” category to claim the highly coveted national award.

At the FBI-SOS Internet Challenge National Champions for November 2012, the students at Central Lyon Middle School received the FBI-SOS National Trophy and a visit from the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI. The official award ceremony took place on Monday, January 7, 2013, at 12:15 p.m. at Central Lyon Middle School in Rock Rapids.

Under the guidance of Mrs. Susan Van Wyhe, the students produced the top cumulative results on the FBI-SOS Internet Challenge post-quiz. The FBI-SOS is an Internet safety program developed and administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The monthly program, which runs each school year from September through May, is a free educational program that delivers critical Internet safety information in a fun, competitive format to students in grades three through eight. The program is open to public and private schools and is designed to meet state and federal Internet safety mandates. The goal of the program is to provide students with knowledge about how to avoid dangerous situations on the Internet, specifically Internet predators. Each month, students from registered schools learn about Internet safety as they participate in online games and activities. Upon completion, the students take an online quiz to test their knowledge. At the end of each month, three trophies (one for each school size category) are awarded to the schools with the highest scoring students on the FBI-SOS post-quiz.

For more information about the FBI-SOS program, please visit https://sos.fbi.gov.

Lt. Governor Reynolds Says She Looks Forward To Pointing To Orange City As Example of “STEM” Academy

Lt Governor Kim ReynoldsOrange City, Iowa — Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds says she’s looking forward to pointing to Orange City as an example of what can be done to focus students on science and math.

The MOC/FV School District, Unity Christian High School, and Northwest Iowa Community College launched the STEM Career & College Academy to help students seeking degrees in certain areas on Friday. STEM stands for “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.” Nearly 50 educators and business leaders were on hand.

Reynolds says the emphasis on these areas benefits the whole community, and she urged businesses to rally behind the effort.

The new Academy is the result of collaboration between the three educational institutions to address the shortage of high school graduates seeking 4-year college degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. It will also address the need to further develop a skilled workforce. Educators hope to open the academy to high school juniors and seniors in the fall. They say the focus will be on hands-on experiences.

It was also pointed out that educators need to do a better job of teaching students about the jobs available in this area, so they aren’t under the impression that they need to leave the area to find a good science or technology job.

NW Iowa State Senator Says Compromise Will Be Important This Year In Iowa Legislature

Randy Feenstra 2
District 2 State Senator Randy Feenstra (R), Hull

Hull, Iowa — The Iowa Legislature is on the brink of a new year.

We had a chance to talk to Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull, who now covers not only Sioux and O’Brien Counties, but also Cherokee County and a sliver of eastern Plymouth County.

He told us that he expects the name of the game this year to be “compromise”.

He says Governor Terry Branstad wants tax reform to be a huge priority this year.

Feenstra says he doesn’t see much hope this year for changing social issues like marriage and abortion.

He says the governor also hopes to make strides in mental health reform and education as well.

The Iowa Legislature convenes for the 2013 session on Monday.

For the full interview, click the play button below.

Grassley A “No Right Now” On Assault Weapon Ban

Senator GrassleyJohnston, Iowa — Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says there are new measures he’d support in reaction to recent mass shootings, but an assault weapons ban isn’t one of them.

(as said) “We’ve got to look at things different than just guns,” Grassley says. “I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment…I also think, though, that we do have to do things to make sure the database of the FBI has all the information so people can’t buy guns that shouldn’t have guns.”

According to Grassley, states need to do a better job of forwarding information to the F-B-I about people who shouldn’t be sold guns — felons and those suffering from mental illnesses. Grassley’s not embracing or ruling out the idea of limits on ammunition, for instance restricting the number of bullets that can be fired from an assault-style weapon.

(as said) “I think that’s a whole different issue and can maybe be dealt with without violating the Second Amendment, but I want to see the legislation,” Grassley said. A reporter followed up, asking Grassley: “So you might vote for something that would limit the size of magazines, the number of bullets?” Grassley replied: “I would not say at this point.”

Vice President Biden is expected to unveil his gun safety recommendations to the president on Tuesday. President Obama has publicly expressed support for banning military-style weapons capable of firing a large number of rounds of ammunition in a short amount of time.

(as said) “I would have to say no to that now,” Grassley says. “Passing a law on sale of guns is not going to solve the problem that we had in Connecticut because the Columbine School affair, where 12 people were murdered in Colorado, that was during the ban.”

In 1994 Grassley voted against the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. Grassley made his comments Friday during taping of the Iowa Press program which airs tonight at 7:30 on Iowa Public Television.

Story from RadioIowa

Village Treasure Chest Celebrates New Location With Ribbon Cutting

Village Treasure ChestSheldon, Iowa — A Sheldon thrift store owned by Village Northwest Unlimited celebrated their new facility with a ribbon cutting on Friday (1/11).

The Village Treasure Chest is now in a new, 10,400 square foot building on one and one half acres of land immediately west of the new Hy-Vee store on the north side of Highway 18 in eastern Sheldon. Sheldon City Manager Scott Wynja congratulated the Village on the new building.

Sheldon Chamber and Development President Blake Beahler spoke on behalf of the SCDC.

KIWA’s own Tom Traughber presented Village CEO Barry Whitsell a plaque with a portion of the ribbon from the ribbon cutting.

Whitsell says they simply outgrew their old location.

He says due to the great business in December, they are in need of donations — especially kick-knacks.

The Village Treasure Chest will be open longer than before too. They’re open Monday through Thursday from 9 to 6, and Fridays and Saturdays from 9 to 4.