Sheldon School Board To Enter Special Education Services Contract

The Sheldon Community Schools will be entering into a Special Education Services contract with KeBecca Education Services and Hope Haven, following action taken at Monday nights monthly School Board meeting.

Currently, the school district sends some Special Education students to Sioux Falls each day for services that are beyond the Districts capacity to provide. Following more than a year of research, Superintendent Robin Spears recommended to the Board that they contract the joint services of KeBecca to provide instructors, assistant instructors and curriculum for these students.

In addition, the District will contract with Hope Haven for their services in conjunction with those provided by KeBecca. The classes will be held at Hope Haven’s facility in Rock Valley. Spears told the Board that, among other advantages, the students would receive about 2 additional hours per day of educational opportunity, due to the closer proximity of Rock Valley over Sioux Falls.

The contract with KeBecca will cover 4 grade levels, K-3, and will call for a maximum of 7 students. Spears said hes been in contact with other area school superintendents, and there is what he called a high interest regarding participation by other school districts, if the Sheldon District doesnt need to utilize all 7 spots.

The Board also approved a Participation Agreement with PaySchools at their Monday meeting. PaySchools will allow the Sheldon District to conduct online financial transactions for school-related fees. Spears said that, initially, PaySchools would give parents the option of purchasing their child’s school lunches online, with more items being added as time goes by.

Spears also reported to the Board on a recent meeting held between representatives of the school district and the City of Sheldon in conjunction with the proposed joint development of a new baseball/softball/soccer/football complex north of the high school football field.

He said they discussed numerous topics, including; storm sewer along Highway 18, the proposed new concessions/storage building, bleacher design and seating capacity, dugout design and seating capacity, and a playground area, along with other items. He said that it was decided to visit similar sites in other communities to get more ideas on the final design of the facility.

A representative from the State Auditor’s Office had been scheduled to be present at Monday’s meeting, to provide the Board with a verbal presentation of the independent audit of the School District that was conducted last fall. However, the weather prevented the representative from attending, so the presentation will be rescheduled.

The Board also dealt with numerous normal housekeeping items before adjourning into closed session to discuss bargaining strategy in the contract negotiations with the union representing Sheldon’s teachers.

By Tom Traughber Reporter

Sanford Gets New Helicopters

Perhaps you’re familiar with this sound.

For a number of years, especially those of us who live in a community served by a Sanford Hospital — have come to know that sound as the sound of Trauma One — Sanford Health System’s Bell 222 helicopter. It usually means that someone at the local hospital needs to be transferred “stat” — as they say in the medical world — to Sanford Hospital and USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls.

Well, that sound won’t be going away entirely, but starting this month, we will also be hearing this:

That’s the sound of one of Sanford’s new Eurocopter EC-145 helicopters. In October, Sanford Health announced the purchase of three Eurocopters. One will be used in the Sioux Falls region and two in the Fargo region. The new Eurocopters are larger, making it easier to transport patients and equipment across the region.

Sanford officials say the new helicopters will improve occupant safety. They are also more convenient, as the patient can be loaded from the rear rather than from the side of the helicopter. Plus, the stretcher rolls out instead of having to transfer patients to another cot. Additionally, the helicopters have autopilot, reducing the workload for the pilot.

The helicopters can also fly in IFR conditions, and even in clouds. That means they can fly more often, in weather they wouldn’t have been able to fly in before.

Plus, the old helicopter will stay on at Sanford, and will be able to serve in a backup role, when the Eurocopter is being serviced. Sanford officials say that means they’ll be in service nearly 100% of the time.

Incidentally, many tri-state area hospitals have switched to Eurocopters, including Avera McKennan’s Careflight out of Sioux Falls and Mercy Hospital’s Mercy Air Care out of Sioux City, as well as Sanford’s Trauma One.

By Scott Van Aartsen News Director

Photo Caption: Top picture is new Eurocopter Sanford Helicopter, bottom is the old Bell helicopter. Photo courtesy Sanford Health

Two More Teens Arrested, Charged With Remsen Burglary

Two more teens, implicated in a burglary and assault in rural Remsen last week have turned themselves in.

Nineteen-year-old Dylan Michael Corbin of Sioux City turned himself in last week.  The next day, 18-year-old Christian Alexander of Sioux City turned himself in.  They each had had Plymouth County Warrants for Burglary 1st degree, a Class B Felony, and are both being held on $25,000 bond.

Nineteen-year-old Gregory Steven Hueser of Sioux City and 17-year-old Beau Joseph Mogensen of Moville were arrested after the crime. They were charged with Burglary in the 1st Degree, a Class B Felony, and both were held on $25,000 bond.

The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 1:15 AM on Wednesday (2/8), their deputies responded to a call at a rural residence east of Remsen for an assault complaint.  The owner of the residence reported that four males forcefully entered the residence and committed an assault on one of the residents.

By Scott Van Aartsen News Director

Orange City Woman Dies In Skiing Accident In Western South Dakota

An Orange City woman has died in a skiing accident in western South Dakota.

Authorities say 24-year-old Tina Heilman of Orange City hit a ski lift tower Saturday as she was skiing down a beginner’s slope at the Terry Peak Resort in the Black Hills.

Terry Peak president Tom Marsing said Heilman was a novice skier and she wasn’t wearing a helmet.

Heilman worked as a nurse in Sioux Falls and was a graduate of Dordt College in Sioux Center.

Story from RadioIowa

Northwest Iowa Farmers Get Grants For Community And Non-Profit Organizations

A lucky farmer in every one of Iowa’s counties as well as several others in other states have received grants to help community and non-profit organizations from Monsanto Corporation.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, to support farming communities by offering farmers the opportunity to register to win a $2500 donation for their favorite community charity. Recipients could include FFA, 4-H, schools or other civic organizations hospitals, fire departments or food pantries.

This program is designed for farmers who live in one of the 1,245 counties, are 21 years or older, and actively engaged in farming at least 250 acres of corn, soybeans and/or cotton, or farm 40 acres of open field vegetables, or at least 10 acres of tomatoes, peppers and/or cucumbers grown in protected culture. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.

In our four-county area:

The Osceola County winner was David Rossman. He picked May City Fire & Ambulance to get the $2500 designated for Osceola County. Jay Hofland was the O’Brien County winner. That $2500 went to the Sanborn Fire Department for Bin Rescue Equipment. Nathan Rath was the Lyon County winner. He picked Lyon County Extension 4-H to get the $2500. Craig Wegner was the winner in Sioux County, and he picked the West Sioux FFA.

Now, Monsanto is coming out with another program. Annie Kayser, Community Outreach Coordinator with Monsanto says they’re happy to be introducing America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education.

She says it’s similar to the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program but they have their differences too.

For more information, you can go to

By Scott Van Aartsen News Director

Sheldon Community School Board To Meet Monday Evening

Among the items on the agenda when the Sheldon Community Schools Board of Education meets Monday will be a report on the School District Independent Audit from a representative of the State Auditors Office.

They will also hear reports from the Principals of East Elementary, the middle school and the high school, along with a financial report from Bill Borchers, and a report from Superintendent Robin Spears. One of the items Spears will report on is a recent meeting held between representatives of the school district and the City Council on the Joint Baseball/Softball Fields Development Project.

The Board will also review some District policies, consider an Open Enrollment Request, a resignation, and contracts for an open coaching position. They’ll also consider the purchase of school vehicles, consider a Special Education Services Contract with Woodward-Granger Community Schools, as well as with KeBecca Education Services and Hope Haven.

The Board will also hear a presentation from Sheldon Middle School with information about a variety of e-readers that are used at the middle school.

Monday’s meeting begins at 5:30 in the High School Library.