Black Hills Energy Announces New Supervisor For NW Iowa

The natural gas provider for much of northwest Iowa — Black Hills Energy — has announced they have a new Operations Supervisor for the Spencer area.

Kristen Souder will be in charge of maintenance and operation of the gas distribution system in northwest Iowa and will also head up the company’s Service Guard program for appliance repair.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design and master’s degrees in both architecture and construction management, and has previously served as a natural gas field engineer for Alliant Energy.

The Spencer office’s area includes Paullina and Primghar, as well as several communities further south and east.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

Weather Causes Widespread Disruptions

The overnight snowfall has caused a number of weather related announcements this morning. If you must travel this morning, take appropriated precautions and allow extra time.

For the full listing of weather related announcements, click here.

For road condition reports: go to

Here is the latest weather graphic from the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, SD

Rock Valley Teens Charged With Possession of Synthetic Marijuana

On Saturday, January 21, at 8:10 pm, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office was called to assist a motorist with vehicle problems near the intersection of Highway 18 and K22, one mile west of Rock Valley.

When officers arrived it was discovered that the 17-year-old boy from Rock Valley who was driving had a suspended driver’s license. Further investigation by officers revealed the driver and his passenger Kevin Esquivel, age 18, from Rock Valley were in possession of K2 or synthetic marijuana.

The juvenile driver was cited for driving while suspended, no insurance, and was cited into juvenile court for possession of synthetic marijuana.

Esquivel was booked into jail for possession of synthetic marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Rock Valley Police Department.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

Poet Pipeline On Hold For One Year

The company that runs the Ashton ethanol plant — POET LLC, has had to put plans on hold for an ethanol pipeline that was to have had a terminal in our area.

POET’s plan with pipeline company Magellan Midstream Partners, LLC to build an ethanol pipeline to the Atlantic coast has been put on hold for one year because of the lack of prospect for a federal loan guarantee.

A study had said the $4 billion project will create over 80,000 jobs during its 5-year construction phase. The study predicts the jobs will be in all sectors of the economy.

The pipeline is proposed to start near Mitchell, SD and have at least one midstream terminal in or very near O’Brien County.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

Sheldon United Fund Finishes Just Under Goal

The Sheldon United Fund for 2011 ended the fund drive just under the goal.

According to United Fund board members, the goal was $33,000, and the final total was $31,219. In order to meet the goal, the fund needed roughly $2000 per week from when the drive started in the fall until the end of the year.

The United Fund Drive board members asked us to express their thanks to the businesses and individuals of Sheldon and surrounding communities for their support and contributions.

The United Fund is going to assist 24 different organizations in Sheldon and the surrounding communities this year.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

Two Transported To Sanford Sheldon After Two Separate Sheldon Area Crashes

A Sheldon man and a Boyden man were injured in an accident on Wednesday (1/18) near Sheldon.

The Iowa State Patrol reports that about 5:45 PM, 29-year-old Deric Bootsma of Sheldon was northbound on Monroe Avenue, about a mile west of Ritter in a 1996 Chevy. Twenty-two-year-old Brian Van Der Waal of Boyden was westbound on B14 in a 2002 Chevy Pickup.

The report says Bootsma failed to stop at the stop sign and pulled into the path of Van Der Waal. The Van Der Waal pickup struck Bootsma’s car on the right side. Both units then left the roadway and came to rest in the northwest ditch of the intersection.

Bootsma and Van Der Waal were both transported to Sanford Sheldon by SCAT.

Bootsma’s Chevy was totaled with $3000 damage. Van Der Waal’s Chevy Pickup was also totaled with $9000 damage.

Charges are pending against Bootsma—-

A Colorado man was transported to Sanford Sheldon after he hit a guardrail while driving on Highway 60 near Sheldon.

The O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 2:30 PM on Wednesday (1/18), 33-year-old Jason Berges age 33 of Ovid, CO was was northbound on Highway 60, about 2 miles north of the Highway 18 Sheldon exit. Berges became sleepy and awoke with his car inches from the left guardrail. Berges then swerved and braked hard, but collided with the guardrail.

He was taken to Sanford Sheldon by SCAT. He had been wearing his seatbelt.

The 2010 Chevrolet he was driving received $3000 damage.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director