Congressman King Makes Brief Campaign Stop In Sheldon

Our northwest Iowa Congressman, Steve King made a brief stop at the Community Services Building in Sheldon Wednesday afternoon. In front of 30-40 people Congressman King touched on topics ranging from foreign policy to the need to repeal President Obama’s healthcare program.

In what he calls “one of the most hotly contested and expensive elections” coming in November, King will run against Christie Vilsack for the newly formed Congressional 4th district.

King has probably been the strongest opponent of Obamacare in the whole Congress. He came up with the first legislation to repeal it. He also came up with a bill to de-fund it. Both have failed. But King hasn’t given up.

He lobbied each Republican Presidential candidate to ask them to make the repeal of Obamacare a centerpiece of their campaign. All of those who remain still remain committed to that end.

Congressman King says he’s pretty sure that the Supreme Court will strike down the mandate that every American needs to buy health insurance as unconstitutional.


King says the second part is — is it sever-able from the rest of the bill?


Congressman King says he still feels that he needs to stay the course to repeal Obamacare because of what President Obama could do in a second term.


King says the viability of our Constitution as a limited government document is in question as well. But if the Supreme Court finds Obamacare unconstitutional, they will at least have protected the letter of the Constitution in regards to the commerce clause, in King’s words.

Sheldon City Council Discusses Easement For AT&T, TIF Application, Community Park Master Plan at Wednesday Meeting

The Sheldon City Council needs more information before they can act on a request from AT&T for a change in their tower site lease agreement with the city.  The city collects twenty thousand dollars every 25 years on the lease, which has two more 25 year periods left on the agreement.  AT&T wants to change this into a perpetual lease with a one time up-front payment of $125,000.  City Manager Scott Wynja told the council that he had a few issues with the proposal and the council members agreed.  Wynja will try to get some of their questions answered before any action is taken.

In other business, the council approved a TIF request by Deluxe Feeds.  They plan to build a new feed mill on their property in the old Sheldon Industrial Park.  Deluxe Feeds will get a tax increment financing rebate of 75 percent the first year, sixty percent the second year, 45 percent the third year, thirty percent the fourth year and fifteen percent the fifth and final year of the agreement.  SCDC Executive Director Mark Gaul said Deluxe Feeds has agreed to a 1.25 million dollar minimum assessment which would result in an annual tax of $42,000. The new mill will add three to five jobs to their current work force of 37 full time employees.

The Council also discussed how to approach the development of the planned new community park.  The City Manager said he is contacting all the members of the community park committee, asking them if they would be willing to serve on a new committee that would help plan and recommend how to proceed.  Council members agreed that the first step is to get possession of the borrow pit and get an agreement as to who will be responsible for maintenance of the area.  After some discussion the council also agreed that they should get in touch with RDG planning to see if they would be interested in a long range contract to guide the city in this process.

In other business, the Council also agreed to move forward in formulating  an agreement with the Sheldon Community Schools for the development and operation of the new recreation facilities near the High School and Middle School.  And did not act on a request by several parents to require all moped operators to wear helmets.

The Sheldon School Board and City Council will continue discussions concerning the creation and operation of new sports facilities near the school. The plan is to have three new ball fields. Two of them will be youth softball fields and the third a Middle School Baseball field. There will also be bleachers plus a concession, restroom and storage building. In addition they will have two green space areas which can be used for football practice and soccer fields. This will all be constructed on the land in front of the Middle School, the Boone property which is being purchased by the school, and the former O’Brien County Implement property which the City would deed to the School. The city Council was told at their meeting Wednesday that RDG Planning had estimated the cost between 1.2 and 1.3 million dollars, but it was felt this could be scaled down to $800,000 to one million dollars. The cost would be split fifty-fifty between the City and the School District.

Although a final agreement needs to be worked out, the council was provided a list of preliminary ideas. The School District will be responsible for regular annual maintenance with the City paying part of their cost. The School District and City of Sheldon will each be responsible for field preparation for their activities. Long term maintenance costs would be shared fifty-fifty. Both entities feel that they can work out schedules compatible with their individual activities. It is expected that the new facilities could be ready for use in the Spring of 2014.

In other business Wednesday, the Council read a letter from several Sheldon citizens asking that the City enact an ordinance requiring moped operators to wear helmets. In the letter the parents said they encourage their children to wear helmets, but they felt if the kids knew that they could be stopped by a police officer they would be more willing to wear them.

Council members felt that this should be handled by the parents and also noted that if there was a moped helmet law 16 year old kids would have to wear a helmet while riding a moped, but could legally ride a motorcycle without a helmet.

Emergency Crews Respond To Injury Accident In Sheldon

Sheldon emergency crews and the Boyden Ambulance were called to the scene of an injury accident on Wednesday afternoon.

The call went out at about 3:25 PM. The accident was located at the intersection of Highway 18 and Country Club Road in eastern Sheldon.

Responding to the call were the Boyden Ambulance and SCAT crews, as well as Sheldon Fire, Police, and Emergency Management.

Two victims were transported.

Highway 18 was limited to one-way traffic for 30 minutes

Two From Rock Valley Transported To Hospital After Rock Valley Accident

A Rock Valley woman and a Rock Valley man were taken to a hospital after an accident on Sunday in Rock Valley.

The Iowa State Patrol reports that about 6:25 PM, 63-year-old Linda Koedam of Rock Valley was eastbound on Highway 18, in a 2007 GMC Yukon.  Twenty-four-year-old Kyle Munneke of Rock Valley was westbound on 18  on a 1999 motorcycle.

Koedam was attempting to turn left and proceed north on 10th Avenue in Rock Valley.  She turned into the path of the Munneke motorcycle.  The motorcycle struck the left front of the Koedam vehicle.

Koedam and Munneke were transported to Heeg Memorial Hospital:  Koedam by private vehicle and Munneke by Rock Valley Ambulance.

Koedam’s GMC Yukon received $3500 damage.  Munneke’s motorcycle received $5000 damage.

Koedam was charged with failure to yield on left turn.

This Is Severe Weather Awareness Week: Today’s Topic Is Tornadoes — Tornado Drill Today

This is Severe Weather Awareness Week In Iowa. Each day this week, the National Weather Service is focusing on a different severe weather topic.

Today’s topic is tornadoes.  Because of that, there is a statewide tornado drill scheduled for today.  Outdoor warning sirens, weather radios, and other devices will all be activated today in the 10 AM hour.  Sioux County Emergency Management Director Nate Huizenga says everyone should participate in the drill and practice going to your place of safety to work out any possible problems with the plan.


Huizenga says even individual people and families should practice tornado safety today, as we never know where we might be when a warning is issued.  Tornadoes can happen any time of the day.  Huizenga gives us some advice on what to do if a tornado warning is issued for our area.


The weather service says a tornado is a rapidly rotating column of air in contact with the ground. A visible cloud is not needed for a tornado to be in progress. Some tornadoes may not appear to extend to the ground but are causing considerable damage. Tornadoes take on various shapes and sizes, and most produce winds less than 120 mph. However, a few are capable of producing winds over 200 mph. Some tornadoes are very small and last for only a minute or so, while others can be a mile wide or larger and stay on the ground for over an hour.

In addition to the tornado watch which means conditions are right, stay alert — and the tornado warning which means take cover now — the weather service is now issuing a product called a “Tornado Emergency” It is not a new warning, but is used to highlight a confirmed tornado which is expected to be strong and violent.  A Tornado Emergency means that significant, widespread damage with a high likelihood of numerous fatalities is expected to continue.

To register for the Nixle service click here.

For more information, click here for the National Weather Service’s Tornado Safety Brochure.

For severe weather safety and preparedness information in Spanish, please click here (en Español).

Para obtener información sobre la preparación de mal tiempo, haga clic aquí. (en español)

Rock Valley Police Arrest One For Felony Child Endangerment And Another For Felony OWI

A Rock Valley man has been arrested on several charges including a felony count.
The Rock Valley Police Department reports that in the late evening hours of Sunday (4/1), their department responded to a 911 call just northwest of Rock Valley.
An investigation was conducted and resulted in the arrest of 50-year-old Mark Bakker of Rock Valley. Bakker was charged at the Sioux County Jail with child endangerment (a class “D” felony), domestic abuse assault (an aggravated misdemeanor), false imprisonment (a serious misdemeanor), and 2 counts of obstructing of emergency communications (both simple misdemeanors).
The Rock Valley Police Department was assisted by the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office.
A Rock Valley man has been arrested on felony OWI charges.
The Rock Valley Police Department reports one of their officers conducted a routine traffic stop on Saturday (3/31) for a violation of a city ordinance.
As a result of the stop the officer charged 26-year-old Jason Vis with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated 3rd offense, (a class “D” felony).
Vis was transported and booked into the Sioux County Jail.