Scott Van Aartsen

Economic Development On Sioux Center’s North Side Includes New Digs For Car Dealership

Sioux Center, Iowa — Economic development continues in Sioux Center.
Sioux Center Chamber
The city is selling about a half acre of land to the Iowa DOT to improve access to the Highway Commercial Park in north Sioux Center. The DOT will build a turning lane to allow access at Highway 75 and 22nd Street. That new development area already has one tenant there. Ver Hoef Chevrolet is building a new dealership there, and will receive a five year property tax abatement.

Meanwhile it looks like Sioux Center could stand to get some more road use tax revenue if they can prove the city’s population is over 75-hundred people. They’re going to do a special census of the city to find out. If it is over that threshold, the city would be eligible for an additional 45-thousand dollars a year in road use tax revenue.

ISU Extension Offering Training Courses For Pesticide Applicators

Orange City, Iowa — Iowa State University Extension is launching a series of training sessions for private pesticide applicators. Joel De Jong, an extension field agronomist in northwest Iowa, says the sessions target farmers who apply restricted-use pesticides to their own fields.
sprayer pesticide application

(As above) “If you have a private pesticide applicator license in Iowa, the first time around, you have to take and pass the test offered by the Department of Agriculture,” Dejong says. “After that, you can continue to renew that three-year license by attending a training session every year or by taking a test every three years.”

De Jong says the sessions will cover a variety of information that’s important to anyone who will come in contact with and use all kinds of pesticides.

(As above) “We spend a lot of time talking about health and safety and the risks that go with application, how do we keep the product on the location and reduce the amount of drift,” De Jong says. “We spend time talking about what happens with those pesticides in the environment so we know and understand what kind of risks for the long-term they might cause.”

He says the session will also cover what’s known as integrated pest management.

(As above) He says, “We talk a lot about when we need to use pesticides and when we need to scout for pests so we know when — or when not — to use those products.”

The Sioux County Extension Office will host a training session on January 15th at 7:00 PM, among the first of some 25 meetings being held across Iowa for about 22-hundred private applicators to gain re-certification. That first meeting will be in the Extension Office, Lower Level Meeting Room in Orange City. The registration fee is $20 and pre-registration is required.

Find more information by clicking here.

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Crude Oil Pipeline Company Chooses Sources Of Agriculture Expertise

Dallas, TX — The company that wants to build the pipeline to carry crude oil from the Bakken oil fields across northwest Iowa on its way to a refinery has chosen two companies to help them with agriculture issues.
Welder Welding Pipes
Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. has hired Key Agricultural Services, Inc. of Macomb, IL and Duraroot of Colorado Springs, CO to serve as independent sources of agriculture expertise to advise and monitor the acquisition, construction and reclamation processes of its proposed 1,134 mile Dakota Access Pipeline Project.

Energy Transfer Partners says Key Agricultural Services and Duraroot will work with landowners along the route to develop site-specific agricultural mitigation plans to ensure the full restoration of all impacted land. Energy Transfer Partners says their commitment to landowners extends from initial surveys to the reclamation of land after construction through the ongoing operation and maintenance of the proposed crude oil pipeline that will carry domestically produced oil through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois.

The track record and commitment of these companies to protecting valuable natural resources will aid in the construction process of the Dakota Access Pipeline, according to Energy Transfer Partners. In addition to working with landowners, Energy Transfer Partners says that Key Agricultural Services and Duraroot also will be important overseers of the entire construction process to ensure land, soil, and other resources are respected and returned to their pre-construction state.

Additionally, Energy Transfer Partners has committed to using union labor, with at least 50% of the workers sourced locally, to construct the pipeline. Energy Transfer Partners says they are also committed to procuring local products and services during the construction process when possible to provide an economic boost to the communities along the route.

Energy Transfer Partners hopes to receive the appropriate permits by late 2015 with a projected in service date for the pipeline of the fourth quarter of 2016.

Republican State Central Committee Co-Chair From Rock Rapids Weighs In On Straw Poll

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Governor Terry Branstad and others have suggested the Ames Straw Poll should be scrapped. Branstad says it used to be an organizational test and then it became a really big money thing and he says now he thinks it’s become less relevant in light of the last couple of elections. Former Congressman Tom Latham worries that Iowa could lose it’s first-in-the-nation caucus status if the straw poll is continued.
Dr Cody Hoefert
Meanwhile, Congressman Steve King thinks the Straw Poll should be saved. He says, “Some in positions of power want to take away the Straw Poll to suppress the influence of grassroots conservatives.”

We had a chance to talk with Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee Co-Chair Dr. Cody Hoefert of Rock Rapids about it.

He tells us that they’re not sure whether the state’s first-in-the-nation caucus status would be in jeopardy if the Straw Poll continues.

Dr. Hoefert says he likes the straw poll and hopes it can continue.

Again, Hoefert says the decision will probably be made when the Republican Party of Iowa State Central Committee meets on this Saturday, January 10th.

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O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office Investigating Report Of Vandalism At Sanborn Pipeline Terminal

Sanborn, Iowa — The O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the report of an alleged criminal mischief incident at the Mid-America Pipeline Terminal one mile east of Sanborn near the junction of Highways 59 and 18. The incident is believed to have occurred between 2:00 PM and 11:45 PM on December 29, 2014.
crime scene tape over lightbar
The Sheriff’s Office reports that it appears that a vehicle was used to ram the main gate of the security fence that encompasses the property. The gate was heavily damaged in the process of the collision and the suspect’s vehicle also sustained front end damage. But the vehicle had left the scene prior to the officer’s arrival.

The Crime Dusters program is offering a $400 reward to anyone who provides information on this crime that leads to the arrest and conviction of the offender. You can provide information on this crime or any other crimes by calling the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office at 712-957-3415. When you call, they’ll connect you with a deputy who will take your information. You can also provide information or tips on crimes by using the “Hot Tip” link or “e-mail” button at If you want to remain anonymous but still be eligible for the reward, arrangements can be made for that as well.

John Kooiker Wins Iowa House Seat Formerly Held By The Late Dwayne Alons

Orange City, Iowa — The results are in. It appears that Iowa District 4’s new representative to the state House will be John Kooiker of rural Boyden. The Republican candidate won Tuesday’s election with over 60 percent of the vote.
John Kooiker cropped
Dennis Wright, a write-in candidate for the position, actually came in second, with about 25 percent of the vote. The Democratic candidate, John Buntsma came in third with about thirteen and a half percent. There were also a scattering of write-in votes, which amounted to about a third of a percent.

Find the full results from all precincts here.