Dordt College Takes Stand Against “Contraceptive Mandate” in Affordable Care Act

Sioux Center, Iowa — Dordt College has made a stand against the contraceptive mandate provision in Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Dordt College filed a statement this summer with the Department of Health and Human Services objecting to the contraceptive mandate accommodation. The accommodation allows churches but not other religiously oriented institutions to be exempt from a new requirement that says all employers offering health insurance must cover contraceptive services, including pills like Plan B, which has been described by opponents as potential abortifacients, or substances that may end a pregnancy.

In the statement, Dordt writes:

“We are writing to express concern about the proposed accommodation addressing coverage of contraceptives/abortifacients for religious or religiously‑affiliated institutions. Because only churches are recognized as “religious employers” and fully exempt, an accommodation for other religious organizations effectively creates two classes of religious organizations in which only churches are accorded full protection of religious freedom.”

Dordt College objects to the fact that only churches will receive a special accommodation and exemption from the requirements. As part of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Dordt has signed on to a long list of religious institutions of higher education that have opposed the mandate from early on.

Here is the full text of the letter sent to the Department of Health and Human Services:

“We are writing to express concern about the proposed accommodation addressing coverage of contraceptives/abortifacients for religious or religiously-affiliated institutions. Because only churches are recognized as “religious employers” and fully exempt, an accommodation for other religious organizations effectively creates two classes of religious organizations in which only churches are accorded full protection of religious freedom.

“We object to the accommodation because it does not recognize Dordt College and similar faith-based institutions as organizations deserving protection of religious freedom. We object to the creation of two classes of religious organizations with different levels of protection. We also stand in solidarity with other religious communities and parachurch organizations that have a deep moral objection to the use of contraceptives and/or to drugs that can induce abortions, and we advocate for their freedom of conscience and their right to not be forced to cover drugs or procedures in strict opposition to their beliefs.

“We strongly object to having Christian colleges put in a different class of religious organizations with lesser protection under the law. There are some colleges that may be only Christian at a surface level. There are colleges that are Christian in the sense of having devotional activities or Bible classes alongside their regular academic work. However, there are also colleges that resonate with Dordt College’s founding statement, namely “to give young people an education that is Christian, not merely in the sense that devotional exercises are appended to the ordinary work of the college, but in the larger and deeper sense that all the class work, all the students’ intellectual, emotional, and imaginative activities shall be permeated with the spirit and teaching of Christianity.”

“Our ability to carry out this mission as a religious organization has always been protected under the Constitution and we expect that will continue.”

Lyon County Attorney Tops Short List Of District Judge Nominees

Lyon County Attorney Carl Petersen tops a short list of nominees for district judge for the 3A Judicial Sub-District vacancy.  This judicial vacancy was caused by the retiring of current district judge John P. Duffy. Petersen is up for the nomination against Jon Martin of Lake Park.

Governor Terry Brandstad will now have 30 days to decide who will be come the next 3A District Judge. If selected, Petersen’s term would begin on or before October 1st.

Judicial Sub-District 3A consists of Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Palo Alto Counties.

Two Of Sheldon’s Veterinary Services Combine And Expand Operations

Sheldon, Iowa — Two of Sheldon’s veterinary services have combined operations to provide both small animal and large animal veterinary care.

The Sheldon Vet Clinic has been purchased by the Worthington Vet Clinic and has combined its services and building with those of Drs. Duane Seeheusen and Jason Christiansen. Dr. Seeheusen and Dr. Christensen had been practicing large animal veterinary care in the Crossroads Court complex on the east side of Sheldon. Small animal veterinarian Dr. Sandy Schmith talks about the move:


The operation is now called the Sheldon Veterinary Medical Center and with the new name comes a new phone number: 712-324-0175

But, that is not the ONLY change taking place, Dr. Schmith explains:


In addition to some familiar faces at the new Veterinary Center, Dr. Schmith says you will see some new ones as well:


The new Sheldon Veterinary Medical Center is located in the old Sheldon Vet Clinic building, on 18th st in Sheldon, just off of Highway 18. Again, the new phone number for both routine and emergency animal care is 712-324-0175.

UPDATE: Names Released in Fatal Hartford, South Dakota Motorcycle Crash

Hartford, SD — An Illinois woman has died and her husband is seriously injured following single motorcycle crash about two miles east of the Hartford exit on Interstate 90 on Wednesday, August 8.

Sixty-one year old Bruce Iden of Normal, Illinois was driving a 2002 Harley Davidson motorcycle eastbound on I-90 when he lost control. The motorcycle overturned and threw both Iden and his wife, sixty-one year old Barbara B. Iden.

The motorcycle came to rest in the driving lane. Barbara Iden was pronounced dead at the scene while Bruce Iden was transported to a Sioux Falls hospital with life-threatening injuries. Neither rider was wearing a helmet.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating the incident,  Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office and the Sioux Falls Police Department assisted on the scene.

American Idol Small Town Bus Tour Auditions Coming To Rock Rapids This Saturday

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The details have been released, and it is confirmed that American Idol IS coming to Rock Rapids this Saturday!

The event is part of what’s being called the “AMERICAN IDOL Small Town Audition Bus Tour,” and according to their site — it’s one of the ways American Idol is expanding audition opportunities.

Auditions will be held at Island Park and unlike the stadium auditions, there will be no pre-registration. Auditions will begin at 8am.

The “AMERICAN IDOL Small Town Audition Bus Tour” is a 10-town nationwide mobile tour offering hopefuls a chance to audition for IDOL.

The bus is currently en-route to Rock Rapids from its last stop in Casper, Wyoming. The tour began on August 4th in Idaho Falls, ID.

Rock Rapids appears to be one of the smallest towns on the “AMERICAN IDOL Small Town Audition Bus Tour,” which will also stop at Billings, MT;  Iowa City, IA; Bowling Green, KY; Clarksdale, MS; Joplin, MO; Dodge City, KS; and Grand Junction, CO.

All AMERICAN IDOL auditioners must be between the ages of 15-28 (as of June 5, 2012), and a legal U.S. citizen or a permanent U.S. resident who is eligible to work full-time in the United States.

Two Vehicle Accident Near Rock Valley Sends Two To Hospital

Rural Rock Valley — A two-vehicle accident at the intersection of 350th Street and Fig Avenue, four miles southeast of Rock Valley, sent two men to the hospital  Monday afternoon.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports the 62-year-old Kent Pruismann, of Rock Valley was driving a 2000 Ford F250 pickup pulling an empty 2005 Wilson horse trailer southbound on Fig Ave. Jerry Nelson, age 54, of Volga, SD was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu westbound on 350th Street.

As Pruismann passed through the intersection, Nelson entered the intersection and collided with the rear of Pruismann’s trailer. The trailer detached from the pickup, rolled and entered the west ditch of 350th Street.

The Ford sustained approximately $500 in damages and the trailer sustained approximately $2,000 in damages. The Chevrolet, owned by Dairy Star, LLC of Sauk Center, MN sustained approximately $8,000 in damages.

Nelson and a passenger were both transported to Hegg Memorial Hospital for treatment of their injuries. Nelson was cited for failure to yield the right of way.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Iowa State Patrol, Rock Valley Fire and Rock Valley Ambulance.