Sioux County Sheriff’s Office Seeks Public’s Help To Solve Rural Sioux Center Burglary Case

Sioux Center, Iowa — The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office is looking for the public’s help to solve a burglary case.

They report that on Friday (9/28), at 10:15 AM, they investigated a burglary that occurred at 4063 Fir Avenue, four miles west of Sioux Center.

Sometime between 8:30 PM on Thursday and 10:00 AM on Friday, someone entered the residence and stole Milwaukee and De Walt power drills, saws, battery packs, hand tools, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Sr. 1/16 th and 1/64 th scale Nascar die-cast race cars and Nascar memorabilia, sports trading cards, CB radios, stereo equipment, speakers, an amplifier and a .22 caliber Smith and Wesson handgun.

Anyone with information is asked to contact to the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office or by using the Text-a-tip program. Or you can also call the Sheriff’s Office at 712-737-2280.

Find more information about the text a tip program by clicking here.

Two Satellite Early Voting Station Events Planned In O’Brien County

Primghar, Iowa — Early voting is becoming more and more popular, for several reasons.

O’Brien County Auditor Barb Rohwer says that in addition to voting by mail or in person at the Auditor’s office, her office was also petitioned to have satellite early voting stations this year. So, she says they will have two early voting events — one in Sheldon and one in Hartley in the coming weeks.


  • Sheldon Hy-Vee
  • Friday, October 19
  • 1 PM to 7 PM

  • Hartley Public Library
  • Wednesday, October 24
  • 1 PM to 7 PM

She also says that if you’re going to vote at one of the early voting satellite stations, it doesn’t matter where in the county you live — they will have all ballots for all precincts available at both early voting events.

Rohwer says you may also request an absentee ballot to fill out before the event, and then turn it in at the event.

She says the person who turned in the petitions to ask the county to have satellite early voting stations said that they just wanted to make sure that every avenue and opportunity was given to the public.

The auditor’s office will also be open extended hours — on two Saturdays before the election, says Rohwer.

They’ll be open on Saturday, October 27th from 8 to 5 for both registration and absentee voting. They’ll also be open on Saturday, November 3 from 9 to 5 for absentee voting. You can also register to vote that day, but it will be more like registering at the polls. You’ll need a photo id, current address, or someone to vouch for you.

Of course you may also vote the old-fashioned way — at the polls the day of the election. In fact, as we alluded to, you can even register to vote at the polls. But Rohwer encourages people to take care of that ahead of time if they have the opportunity, as registering at the polls slows down the whole process.

She says it’s helpful to get any paperwork taken care of ahead of time.

Any Iowa voter may request an absentee ballot if they expect they cannot go to the polls on election day. Voting an absentee ballot may be done in one of three methods:

1. Voters may vote in-person in their county auditor’s office during the regular business hours. The last day that a voter can vote an absentee ballot at the county auditor’s office is Monday, November 5th. Regular business hours for Iowa county auditors can be found by clicking on the relevant county at this link:

2. Voters may request an absentee ballot be mailed. The last day to request an absentee ballot by mail is Friday, November 2nd at 5:00. If you request a ballot by mail, it must be returned to the county auditor’s office by the following deadlines:

· In-person delivery – Tuesday, November 6th by 9:00 PM

· Mail delivery – postmarked no later than Monday, November 5th and received no later than 12:00 PM on Tuesday, November 13th. Postmarks are not guaranteed. Please mail your ballot early to make sure it is received on time.

3. Satellite voting stations are offered in some locations. Check with your local county auditor’s office to see if satellite voting is available.

A voter who chooses to vote an absentee ballot by one of these methods will be asked to fill out an official Iowa absentee ballot request form.

Persons soliciting absentee ballot request forms while acting as an agent for a political party or candidate must offer a receipt to the voter for the completed request form.

Track your absentee ballot at

Additional information and the official absentee ballot request form can be found at

Early Harvest Also Means Deer On The Move

Des Moines, Iowa — As autumn days grow shorter, Iowa drivers are urged to keep a cautious eye on roadsides. In the coming weeks, whitetail deer will become more active as the ‘rut’ or breeding season approaches.

The early harvest also removes standing crops. As a result, deer are on the move to more wooded or brushy areas. And finally, with shorter day length, our peak driving times coincide with sunrise and sunset, when deer are active, traveling between food and cover.

Although deer vehicle collisions increase in the fall with the increase in deer movement, the good news is that over the last decade the rate of deer/vehicle collisions has declined significantly. The decline is a result of actions taken by the DNR to reduce Iowa’s deer population; primarily through hunters harvesting more does.

The reduction was the intent of Iowa legislators in 2003 when they instructed the DNR to reduce deer populations. Those goals have been reached in most counties and are close to being met in remaining counties.

Deer vehicle collisions are down, even though Iowans drive an estimated 4.3 billion miles more (18.6 billion/2011) than 20 years ago.

“Last year the rate of deer killed in Iowa was down from the peak years of 2004 through 2006 and is actually similar to levels reported from the mid-1980s to mid-90s,” says Tom Litchfield, forest wildlife biologist for the Iowa DNR.

“It is important to consider the number of miles driven, when looking at vehicle-deer mishaps; in particular rural miles,” emphasizes Litchfield. “Insurance industry figures often overlook the fact that most miles driven on Iowa’s highways are in rural areas where most deer live.”

Drivers can reduce the chance of hitting a deer by remaining alert for deer crossing the road and by scanning road shoulders, especially near creeks and wooded areas.

Reducing speed slightly will also increase the amount of time the driver has to react if a deer appears on or near the road. This is especially important around dawn and dusk, when deer are more active.

In the unfortunate event that a collision cannot be avoided—it is usually safer to slow down as much as possible and hit the deer, than to veer into oncoming traffic or leave the roadway.

Iowa Road Kill Table

(Deer kill/Billion Miles Driven)

Road Kill Total
2002 662  12,377
2003  726 13,720
2004 803  15,361
2005 760  14,364
2006 783  14,940
2007 720 13,730
2008 602 10,961
2009  726  13,518
2010 547 10,153
2011 570 10,626

Another Man Charged In Connection With August Beating Death In Spencer

Spencer, Iowa — A second man has been charged in the case of a fatal beating in Spencer in late August.

Spencer Police say 59-year old Edward Kitto was found beaten and unresponsive in the backyard of a Spencer home on August 27th. Twenty-one-year-old Christopher Fitzpatrick is already charged with First Degree Murder, First Degree Robbery, and Willful Injury in the case, and has pled not guilty to all charges.

Now a second man has been charged in the case. According to Spencer Police, 21-year-old Cody Millard of Spencer is now charged with First Degree Murder as well. Dickinson County authorities picked him up Thursday (9/27) at work.

Orange City’s Northwestern College Plays Host To Fourth District Congressional Debate

Orange City, Iowa — The fourth face-to-face debate between Republican Congressman Steve King and Christie Vilsack, his Democratic challenger, was held last night (Thursday) in Orange City. King opened with a subtle attack on Vilsack, who moved to Ames to run in the new fourth congressional district.

(as said) “I live here. My roots are here,” King said. “They’re going to stay here, whatever happens in November.” Later, King said he wanted to know whether Vilsack and her husband — former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack and the current U.S. Secretary of Agriculture — supported a particular bill, prompting Christie Vilsack to make this declaration:

(as said) “Congressman King, you’re running against me, not against my husband.” The two quarreled over the languishing Farm Bill as they have in their three previous debates.

(as said) “I’m sitting in a position where I expect to be on the conference committee and we’ll have a voice of Iowa there when we hammer the last bill out,” King said. Vilsack replied: “I don’t think that you’re going to be on a conference committee. You haven’t shown leadership in other situations either and I don’t think you’re going to show leadership here.” Vilsack suggested there was a reason King was the only member of Iowa’s congressional delegation who did not sign a petition calling for a vote in the House on the Farm Bill.

(as said) “I think there are $136,000 reasons why he didn’t do that and those are the dollars that he is receiving from the Club for Growth,” Vilsack said. The Club for Growth issued a statement saying support of that petition would “count heavily as anti-growth” on the group’s “congressional scorecard.” King immediately shot back by criticizing the way Vilsack’s husband is running the U-S-D-A’s food stamp program.

(as said) “The USDA has been spending millions of dollars advertising food stamps. They’ve gone from 19 million people on food stamps a few years ago to 47 million today,” King said. “That’s the bigger part of the argument going on in congress and that is hurting our agriculture.”

Another hot topic was that of illegal immigration.  Vilsack says while we should secure our borders, we have a responsibility to be civil to illegal immigrants.

(She says we need to keep people, guns, and drugs from coming in illegally, but that once they’re here, there should be a path to citizenship, because these workers are important to the economy)

King agrees we should secure our borders, but he says there’s a reason they’re called “illegals.”

(He says we have to uphold the rule of law.  If you reward law breakers you get more law breakers.)

The debate was held in Orange City, on the campus of Northwestern College and sponsored by K-T-I-V television.

For the video of the whole debate, click here.

Three Injured; Two Trucks, SUV Damaged In Rural Hull Accident

John Fogo was driving a 2005 Peterbuilt semi‐tractor, not a 2007 Kenworth as previously reported.  

On Friday, September 28, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office cited Jacob Bickett for failure to yield half of roadway upon meeting vehicle.

Hull, Iowa — Three people were taken to hospitals, and two trucks and one SUV were damaged in an accident on Thursday morning (9/27) northwest of Hull.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that 21-year-old Jacob Bickett of Beresford, SD was driving a 2010 Dodge Ram 3500 utility truck southbound on Highway 75, four miles northwest of Hull. Bickett reported he fell asleep and drifted into the northbound lane. Fifty-eight-year-old John Fogo of Clay Center, NE was driving a 2005 Peterbuilt semi-tractor pulling a flatbed trailer northbound on Highway 75 when Bickett entered the northbound lane and the two collided. Following the collision, Fogo lost control of the semi-tractor, which entered the west ditch.

Sixty-three-year-old Kathy Van Essen of Sioux Center was driving a 2004 Ford Explorer northbound on Highway 75 behind Bickett. In an attempt to avoid the collision between Bickett and Fogo, Van Essen took the west ditch where the vehicle rolled onto its top.

Van Essen and a passenger, Orlan Van Essen, were both transported to the Sioux Center Hospital by the Sioux Center Ambulance. Fogo was transported to the Rock Valley Hospital by the Hull Ambulance.

The Dodge, owned by Cummins Central Power of Sioux Falls, SD sustained about $40,000 in damages. The Peterbuilt, owned by WN Morehouse Transportation of Omaha, NE sustained about $70,000 in damages. The cargo on the flatbed trailer, consisting of cement cattle feed troughs, sustained about $15,000 in damages. The Ford Explorer sustained about $15,000 in damages.

The Hull Fire Department and personnel from the Hull Ambulance and Sioux Center Ambulance squads assisted the Sheriff’s Office at the scene.

The accident remains under investigation.