Sanborn Family Escapes House Fire; House, Garage Sustain Damage

fireSanborn, Iowa — A Sanborn family is temporarily without a home after a house fire early Sunday morning (1/13), but their smoke alarms were all functioning, and woke them up.

Sanborn Assistant Fire Chief Scott Vogelaar says they were paged to a house fire about 3 AM Sunday morning. It was at 212 West Fourth Street in central Sanborn, the home of Kyle Carlson.

When the department got there, Vogelaar says they found heavy smoke, but not a lot of fire. He says the fire was contained to the garage, but the house did have significant smoke damage.

He says they fought the fire with two hose lines, and then to make sure they got all the fire, they pulled some ceilings down and removed some insulation. While they were doing that, he says they were also ventilating the building.

At this time, the assistant chief says the cause appears to have been electrical in nature. He says the fire started in the garage, possibly in an old fuse box.

All the occupants of the house were out by time they got there, but they were checked over by ambulance personnel just to make sure they were okay.

Vogelaar says damage was extensive. He says he would call the damage severe in the garage, but there was moderate smoke damage in the house.

The Sanborn Fire Department had about nine firefighters that responded. They also asked for help from the Sheldon Fire Company. They sent six firefighters. Vogelaar says Sheldon was basically called for an extra pumper and manpower.

Crews were on scene about 3 hours — until about 6 AM.

The assistant chief says the family is temporarily without a home, but he believes the family will be able to move back in.

According to Vogelaar, the Sanborn Police officer on duty that night actually called the fire in.

Three Arrested On Drug-Related Charges Near Sheldon, Hospers

Drug Paraphernalia (file photo)
Drug Paraphernalia (file photo)
Sheldon, Iowa — The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office has arrested three people in two recent incidents on drug-related charges near Sheldon and Hospers.

They report that on Friday evening (1/11), they investigated a report of a disturbance at an apartment complex near Northwest Iowa Community College, a mile west of Sheldon. As a result of the investigation, 22-year-old Bocephus Stell of Sheldon was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Then, in the early hours of Saturday, (1/12), they arrested 19-year-old Brandon Lund and 20-year-old Brett Stark both of Hospers on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. The arrests stemmed from an investigation that led to the execution of a search warrant on Friday, (1/11) at a Hospers home.

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

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.