Sanford Health Corporate Again Eyes Expansion

Bismarck, ND — The health system that runs the medical facilities in Sheldon, Rock Rapids, and several other area towns has announced that they’re looking to expand again — further into North Dakota.

Sanford Health had been Sioux Valley Health System for several years, changing it’s name to Sanford Health after a $400 million donation from businessman T. Denny Sanford in February, 2007. Sanford merged with Fargo-based MeritCare in November, 2009.

Now Bismarck and Mandan, North Dakota-based Medcenter One and Sanford Health have announced a memorandum of understanding and are moving forward with potential merger discussions.

The agreements are non-binding. The memorandum of understanding defines what the future organization would look like in the event of a merger. Both organizations are sharing financial, legal and business information as part of the due diligence process, and are evaluating how a combined organization could better serve patients and communities and advance their missions. Regulatory filings with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and North Dakota Office of Attorney General are moving forward as well.

Dr. Craig Lambrecht, Medcenter One President and CEO says that they are carefully evaluating this and see it as a positive opportunity for their patients and communities and for both the Medcenter One and Sanford organizations.

Medcenter One and Sanford Health have a similar integrated model, similar culture and a long-standing history of working together. The two health systems are exploring how they can work together on a new level to keep quality healthcare close to home for people all along the Interstate 94 corridor in North Dakota, as well as expand services to meet the growing needs in central and western North Dakota.

“We are excited about the opportunities of what we could do together. Two of Sanford Health’s guiding principles are that care should be delivered as close to home as possible, with access to healthcare provided regionally,” said Kelby Krabbenhoft, President and CEO, Sanford Health. “We believe strongly that patients shouldn’t have to travel more than 45 minutes for quality healthcare. We also trust local voices and local boards for idea generation and leadership. Sanford Health truly believes in the power of each local community it serves.”

Medcenter One’s longstanding goal has been to be the health system of choice in central and western North Dakota. Creating large healthcare networks can increase purchasing power, provide cost control and allow for further opportunity to provide specialized care locally. A merger would mean potential growth in organizational size, services, and job creation in central and western North Dakota. Sanford Health has added 1,300 new jobs in the Fargo area since it merged with MeritCare in November 2009.

Three Arrested Separately In Sheldon, But All For Driving Under Suspension

Sheldon, Iowa — Three people were arrested in Sheldon over the weekend, all for driving while their driver’s licenses were suspended.

The Sheldon Police Department reports that on Friday evening in the 9 PM hour, one of their officers arrested 30-year-old Nicholas Cain of Sheldon for driving under suspension.

They report that just after midnight Saturday morning, they arrested 21-year-old Patrick Hunt of Sheldon for driving under suspension.

Then, on Saturday afternoon, about 10 minutes to 3, they arrested 25-year-old Job Mendoza-Mendoza of Sheldon, also for driving under suspension.

All three were taken into custody and transported to the O’Brien County Jail.

Sheldon Man Arrested In Clay County On Warrant For Driving While Suspended

Spencer, Iowa — A Sheldon man was arrested on a warrant in Clay County early on Sunday (4/29).

Just before 2 AM, a Clay County Deputy initiated a vehicle stop in the 2400 mile of Hwy 18 for an equipment violation. It was discovered the driver, 42-year-old Robby Tankersley of Sheldon, was wanted on an O’Brien County warrant for driving while suspended. Tankersley was taken to the Clay County Jail where he was arrested for the warrant and booked without incident.

Boyden-Hull Junior Is Also One Of Five Finalists In Iowa Games National Anthem Competition

Hull, Iowa — After she told us — and we told you this past week that eighteen-year-old Kate Pomrenke, a senior at MOC/Floyd Valley is one of the five finalists in the second annual Iowa Games National Anthem Contest, a number of KIWA listeners and website readers came forth to let us know that there was not one northwest Iowa finalist, but two.

Boyden-Hull Junior Allison TeSlaa of Hull is also one of the top 5.

TeSlaa tells us how she became involved in the contest.


TeSlaa says music has almost always been a part of her life.


TeSlaa says her future and college plans are undecided as of yet.

TeSlaa is the daughter of Harwin and Diane TeSlaa of Hull.

Fans can vote by either ‘liking’ one of the videos or by completing a survey link available on the Iowa Games Facebook page and the Iowa Games website.The voting polls will close at midnight on Sunday (April 29).

The winner will be announced on the Iowa Games Facebook fan page and Iowa Games website on May 2. The competition winner will also be invited to sing at an Iowa Cubs baseball game on July 16.

Again, to vote for TeSlaa or Pomrenke, go to the Iowa Games Facebook page at

NW Iowa Development Presents Impact Analysis Of Closing Post Offices

Sheldon, Iowa — The moratorium on post office closings ends May 15th. That date means different things to different post offices in northwest Iowa. Northwest Iowa Development, a six-county economic development marketing region, has just completed an impact analysis on eleven proposed post office closures in their region. Osceola County Economic Development Director Kirk Grau has been spearheading the impact analysis and has been following the situations of the different offices very closely. He says that on May 15th, when the moratorium on post office closures is over, these post offices will again be considered for closure:

  • Archer
  • Calumet
  • Brunsville
  • Cleghorn
  • Larrabee
  • Meridan
  • Oyens
  • Quimby
  • Washta

The Ashton Post Office is in much the same boat, except that the case of the Ashton post office is getting a reprieve because the Postal Regulatory Commission remanded it to the US Postal Service for further consideration

According to Grau, it would basically take a miracle by May 15 to save the post offices in Alvord and Harris.

The USPS is proposing to close approximately 3,700 post offices across the United States and Iowa has more than 170 being considered for closure. That’s about 20 percent of Iowa’s Post Offices on the consideration list.

The consulting firm, Smart Solutions Group of West Des Moines completed the analysis. As the economic development professionals presented their analysis to representatives from Senator Tom Harkin’s office, Senator Chuck Grassley’s Office, and Congressman Steve King’s Office, on Friday, it became clear that the priorities of the people in the small towns were not the same as those of the people considering post offices for closing. The postal service is concerned with their own bottom line. Communities are concerned with growth and in some cases the very survival of their town, says Grau.


The Northwest Iowa Development impact study quantifies community impact and indicates that these rural post office closings are costing the region’s populations and businesses far more money than what is being stated in Postal Regulatory Commission-reported governmental savings that would come by closing post offices.  Research indicates that the postal closings and consequent projected savings are not well thought out, calculated inaccurately and that these post office closings have a direct adverse impact on the region and its ability to survive and prosper, according to the study.

We’ll have more on the analysis and comments from the representatives of the congressional delegation on future newscasts on KWIA.

Employment Connections Celebrates New Location In Sheldon With Friday Ribbon Cutting

A new business in Sheldon had a ribbon cutting on Friday.

Members of the community came out to support Employment Connections on Friday morning.

Speaking on behalf of the city of Sheldon was Greg Geels

[audio:|titles=Greg Geels City of Sheldon Employment Connections Ribbon Cutting]

Speaking on behalf of the Sheldon Ambassadors and presenting the plaque was Shanelle Matus.

[audio:|titles=Shanelle Matus Sheldon Ambassadors Employment Connections Ribbon Cutting]

Employment Connections Manager Sara Featherling tells us about the business.

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She tells us they’re happy to be in Sheldon.

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Again, that’s manager Sara Featherling at Employment Connections in Sheldon.