No News About White Van Authorities Were Looking For On Friday

Cherokee, Iowa — The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office reports there is no news regarding the white van that officers were searching for on Friday.

Officers were looking for a white utility or cargo van being driven by two white men. The vehicle was last seen at the intersection of Highway 3 and Highway 59 on Friday morning, heading north. Cherokee county advised a child with their hands tied was witnessed banging on the back window of the van.

While law enforcement didn’t know for sure that a crime had been committed, they wanted to visit with the individuals in the white van.

A Cherokee County dispatcher says they never had any more calls, and there were no reports of missing people either.

She said it was hard to say what may or may not have happened.

For now, the case remains unsolved. If you have any information that may help law enforcement, call your local law enforcement agency.

As Many As 80 Cattle Escape Near Hospers/Sheldon; Some Still On The Loose

Hospers, Iowa — As many as 80 cattle owned by Galen Haack may have escaped overnight from a farm five miles due south of the southernmost Highway 60 Sheldon exit, on McKinley Avenue, or L26.

The loose cattle did cause one accident that we know of, just into Monday morning, at 12:30 AM.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that 57-year-old Alan Oberloh of Worthington was driving a 2010 GMC Sierra pickup northbound on Highway 60 and struck two cattle in the northbound lane.

No human injuries were reported.

The GMC sustained approximately $10,000 in damages. Both cows were a loss and are valued at $600 each.

UPDATE, 7 PM 5/7/12: Even though we were told on Monday afternoon that all the cattle had been accounted for, we have just received word from the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office that there are still cattle on the loose.

Sioux County Sheriff spokesperson Nate Huizenga says they don’t know how the cattle got out.

DNR Takes Enforcement Actions Against Three NW Iowa Entities

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has taken enforcement actions against four northwest Iowa entities — three individuals and a corporation.

Jeffrey Gerritson of Sheldon is to properly remove all discarded appliances and waste tires from his property and pay a $2,000 penalty. He has 30 days to appeal the order or 60 days to pay the penalty.

Kevin DeWeerd of Lyon County is to comply with manure certification requirements when transporting manure and pay a $2,500 penalty.

Harvey Koerselman of Sheldon is to cease acceptance of discarded appliances unless an appliance demanufacturing permit is obtained. Stipulated penalties apply if the order is violated.

Farm Nutrients, LLC of Sioux County is to ensure that all employees are properly certified to haul, apply or otherwise handle manure and pay a $5,000 penalty.

The last three actions are what the DNR calls “consent orders”. A consent order is issued as an alternative to issuing an administrative order. A consent order indicates that the DNR has voluntarily entered into a legally enforceable agreement with the other party.

Orange City Man Charged With Drug Offenses After Stop Near Rock Valley

Rock Valley, Iowa — An Orange City man has been arrested on drug charges.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 12:15 AM, just into Sunday morning (5/6), one of their officers 49-year-old Evan Haarsma of Orange City.

The arrest stemmed from a traffic stop that occurred on Highway 18, two miles west of Rock Valley. During the traffic stop, a deputy found that Haarsma was operating under the influence of a controlled substance and was also found to be in possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.

He was charged with operating while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance, both serious misdemeanors, and possession of drug paraphernalia and no valid driver’s license, both simple misdemeanors.

The Iowa State Patrol assisted the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office.

Spencer Mayor Excited About Blue Zone Opportunity

Spencer, Iowa — Four Iowa cities were tabbed Friday to become demonstration sites for the “Blue Zones Project.” The project uses BlueZones principles from some of the healthiest areas around the world and applies them to the Iowa cities in an effort to become the healthiest state in the nation.

The four chosen were Spencer, Cedar Falls, Waterloo and Mason City. Spencer Mayor Reynold Peterson, says his community is the smallest of the first four chosen.


He believes Spencer was chosen because of that community commitment and the programs they already have going.


While all the communities have started programs to make their residents healthier, they all have a way to go.

The communities that applied to be Blue Zone Communities were split into two groups, the larger and the smaller towns. In our area, Sheldon, Sibley, Sioux Center, and Orange City were put in the smaller town group, but none of those towns won the opportunity this year to receive the assistance in becoming a healthier community that is associated with becoming a Blue Zone community.

You can find out more about the principles of the Blue Zones at:

SD Woman Transported To Hospital, Winds Flip Semi Near Sioux Center

Sioux Center, Iowa — A Tyndall, South Dakota woman was taken to the hospital after the strong thunderstorm winds flipped the semi she was driving onto its side near Sioux Center.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 3:20 PM on Friday (5/4), 67-year-old Cheryl McClintic of Tyndall, SD was driving a 2012 Kenworth semi‐truck and trailer southbound on Highway 75. Due to the strong winds and rain, McClintic turned into Natural Food Holdings, about a mile south of Sioux Center. The wind caught the semi‐tractor and trailer and overturned it on its driver’s side.

McClintic received minor injuries and was transported to the Sioux Center Hospital by the Sioux Center Ambulance.

The semi‐tractor and trailer sustained about $40,000 in damages.

The Sioux Center Fire Department, Sioux Center Ambulance, and the Iowa State Patrol assisted the Sheriff’s Office at the scene.

(Photo courtesy Sioux County Sheriff’s Office)