Monday Morning Fire Damages Hope Haven Home

Rock Valley, Iowa — A Hope Haven home in rural Rock Valley sustained extensive damage in a fire on Monday morning.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s office reports that Rock Valley Fire crews responded to a fire page on Monday, about 8 AM at a Hope Haven home a mile and a half southeast of Rock Valley.

When they got there they found a fire in an office and fitness room in the northeast portion of what is called the Niessink Home.

Rock Valley Fire and Ambulance were called first, and assistance was later requested from
the Hull Fire Department.

No injuries were reported and the residents that were present were safely moved to another location.

The fire was contained to those two rooms and was determined to have started in an unused kitchen area. It was additionally declared to have been accidental.

The building sustained approximately $50,000 in damages.

The Rock Valley Ambulance, Hull Fire Department, Rock Valley Police Department and the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Rock Valley Fire Department.

City Council Addresses Several Highway 18 Issues

Last year, a portion of Highway 18 in Sheldon was widened into a three lane highway, and the city has planned for that widening to be continued this year from 24th Avenue going East all the way past the new Industrial Park. But, the city council was told at last week’s meeting that this might be put on hold for another year. City Manager Scott Wynja told the council that the Sioux City office of the D.O.T. also would like to install a new blacktop overlay on Highway 18 all the way from old Highway 60 to new Highway 60. If the State D.O.T. approves this project, it might be combined with the widening project. If this happens, all of the work would probably not be completed until 2013.

The complete overlay project will cost about 1.45 million dollars. The City of Sheldon would only be responsible for the administration costs of about $215,000.

The council also heard several complaints about the faded yellow lines on Highway 18, mainly near the turning lanes into Hy-Vee. The faded lanes are a traffic safety hazard and several ‘near misses’ have already been reported in that area. The painting of the yellow lines is a D.O.T. responsibility and they have been notified of the problem by the City.

Sylvan Learning Centers To Open Satellite Center In Sioux Center

Sioux Center, Iowa — With school letting out all around northwest Iowa, one company is looking to help kids with math and reading this summer and into the future. Sylvan Learning Center in Spencer will be bringing their proven math and reading tutoring programs to a satellite location in Sioux Center beginning in June. Brent Burns, the executive director of Sylvan’s Spencer location says the center will be operated within and in cooperation with the Sioux Center Public Library.


Burns says it’s a first for the area, and one of the first of this type of satellite center in North America.


Burns says the “SylvanSync” program, which combines teacher-led instruction, a personal learning plan and an effective use of iPad® technology is what will be used to deliver the programs in the Sioux Center location. Sylvan will offer tutoring hours in both the morning and late afternoon during the summer months and after school during the school year.

Burns tells us what a Sylvan experience is like.


He says just like any other service, there is a cost associated with using Sylvan, but it’s not that much compared to the benefit.


Sylvan’s Math and Reading programs are designed for school age children, grades 2-12. Following the individual learning plan helps to build the skills students need to do better in school and to give them the confidence to do better in everything else. The student’s program is delivered in a 3:1 student to teacher ratio and regular progress assessments are administered to track the student’s success. He says they work much faster than they do in a school and thanks to the individualized attention, they’re able to bring students quickly up-to-speed.

Student applications are being accepted now. You can get more information by calling the Sylvan Learning Center in Spencer, Iowa at (712) 580-2008.

Sioux Center College Campus Mourns Loss Of Student

Sioux Center, Iowa — The Dordt College campus community is mourning the loss of a student who had just completed his freshman year.

Nineteen-year-old Joshua L. Tucker from Springfield, Missouri, was a history major studying pre-law. He played on the golf team and was active in campus life. Tucker was the son of Jeff and Donna Tucker of Springfield.

According to police reports, Josh was struck by a car and was killed on impact at U.S. Highway 65 just south of Battlefield, Missouri.

Dordt College golf coach Mark Christians says that Tucker was a Christian young man with high integrity and a great work ethic. He always had a positive attitude, even if things didn’t go his way on the golf course, says Christians.

Visitation: 6-8 p.m. Sunday, May 20, at High St. Baptist Church, 900 N. Eastgate Ave., Springfield, MO 65902 (417) 862-5502

Funeral: 10 a.m. Monday, May 21, at High St. Baptist Church

Burial: 1 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, at Forrest Cemetery Association, 634 North 9th St., Oskaloosa, IA 52577 (641) 672-2243

The funeral home in charge of arrangements is Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home in Springfield, MO. Memorials can be directed to the Missions Fund at either of the following churches: High St. Baptist Church or Heartland Covenant Church, 1700 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, MO 65807 (417) 865-5556.

Sibley Man Flown To Sioux Falls Hospital After Accident Near Harris

Harris, Iowa — A Sibley man was flown to a Sioux Falls hospital after an accident on Tuesday (5/15).

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 7 AM, 22-year-old Jesse Alan Richardson of Sibley was driving a 1992 Pontiac Bonneville, northbound on Warbler Avenue, a mile and a half northwest of Harris.

Sixty-year-old James Francis Schroder, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was driving a 2000 Chevrolet pickup, eastbound on 130th Street, and failed to stop at the stop sign for Warbler Avenue.

Schroder’s vehicle broadsided Richardson’s vehicle, causing Richardson’s vehicle to came to rest in the northeast corner of the intersection.

Richardson was freed from the vehicle by mechanical means, and was transported to the Osceola Community Hospital where he was then airlifted to a hospital in Sioux Falls.

Both vehicles were a total loss.

Schroder sustained no injuries. He was ticketed for Failure to Obey Stop Sign and Failure to have a Driver’s License.

The Harris Fire Department, Ocheyedan Fire and Rescue, Ocheyedan Ambulance, and Sibley Ambulance assisted the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at the scene.

O’Brien Sheriff Seeks Help To Solve Primghar Burglary Case

Primghar, Iowa — Two Primghar businesses were broken into a week ago and it appears the perpetrators attempted to break into a third business.

The O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office reports that the burglaries are believed to have occurred on Saturday night, May 12, 2012 and into the early morning hours of Sunday, May 13, 2012. The suspect or suspects gained entry into the Pizza Ranch Restaurant and the Primghar Library and stole an undisclosed amount of cash. Also during this same time frame the suspect or suspects attempted to gain entry into Baxterz Bar & Grill in Primghar but were unsuccessful.

The Crime Dusters program is offering a $200 reward to anyone who provides information on this crime that leads to the arrest and conviction of the offenders.

Call the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office at 712-957-3415 if you have information on this or any other crime. People can also provide information or tips on crimes by using the “Hot Tip” link or “e-mail” button on the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office website at

Arrangements can be made to assist anyone who wants to remain anonymous but still be eligible for the reward.