Business Value Workshop Coming Up

Sheldon, Iowa — There’s a free workshop coming up for those who want to know what their business is worth.
adult education notebook
The “What Is My Business Worth?” workshop is planned for Thursday, April 30, 2015 from 2–4 PM at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon.

While the workshop is sponsored by the Western Iowa Score Sheldon chapter, NCC and the Small Business Development Center of Iowa, any area business owner is welcome to register for this event.

Kelly McCarty, Regional Director of the Northwest Iowa Small Business Development Center tells us about the workshop.

He says Schoville will take the time to cover the common challenges of preparing your business for sale, not only to a family member or key employee, but also to an outside buyer.

McCarty says that thanks to SCORE, the class is free.

Even though it’s free, organizers would appreciate knowing who plans to attend to better plan for materials and refreshments. If you are interested in attending, you’re asked to contact Lesa Stofferan at Northwest Iowa Community College (712) 324-5061 ext.195 to reserve a seat for the workshop.

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New NCC Building Under Construction

Sheldon, Iowa — A new Applied Technology Building is going to be built at Northwest Iowa Community College.

We talked to Steve Waldstein with NCC, and he told us about the building.

Left: Hole being drilled for GeoPier. Right: GeoPier being compacted.
Left: Hole being drilled for GeoPier. Right: GeoPier being compacted.

He tells us what’s going to happen to Building D.

NCC Heavy Equipment Operation & Maintenance instructor Roger Solberg says the building is being built using some technology that’s somewhat rare in northwest Iowa. He says it’s called Geopier Foundation Systems, and Peterson Contractors, Incorporated of Reinbeck, Iowa is helping them install the “GeoPiers.”

He says there are several reasons the new technology was used.

L to R: Collin McNeil, Drew Konfrst, Colton Mesman, Conor Heiden, Will Hilpipre

He tells us about the experience that the students gained while helping out.

Ground breaking ceremonies for the Applied Technology Building will be held at NCC on April 24. The ceremony will be from 9:30–10:30 AM with the Sheldon Chamber of Commerce ceremony at 10 AM.

The public is invited to attend the ceremony.

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Garage Destroyed In Fire

Germantown, Iowa — A garage was destroyed in a fire on Thursday, April 16, 2015 in Germantown.
Rotating Light FS Wheeler
According to Paullina Fire Chief Brian Feltman, the Paullina Fire Department has two stations, one in Paullina and one in Germantown. He says about 3:45 PM, they were called to the report of structure fire on the northwest edge of Germantown, on a place owned by Ron Maranell.

The chief says as they approached the scene, the fire department saw a fully engulfed garage and fire in the grove. He says they used water and broke up some of the building to fight the fire.

Feltman reports that there was an explosion while they were fighting the fire. He says they think it was an acetylene or propane tank in the garage. He says there were no injuries.

The fire department was assisted by the Granville fire department, and they had the Marcus department on standby, but the chief says they didn’t need them.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be sparks from a burn pile.

Chief Feltman reports that the garage was totaled, and there was some damage to other buildings. He says they were able to save another outbuilding behind the garage, the barn, and the house.

He says they used about 8000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for about an hour.

Public Hears Sheldon Park Plan Proposal

SheldonSheldon, Iowa — For the past several months, the Sheldon Chamber and Development Corporation and the City of Sheldon have been working with RDG Planning and Design to update the community Park Master Plan adjacent to the Sheldon Crossing Development.

Wednesday evening that updated plan was shown to a public meeting attended by about forty people. Since the Planning Committee had focused on an Events Center as a priority this was the center of the presentation by Mike Bell of RDG. He showed a street leading along the east side of the park beginning at the existing roundabout to the proposed site of the Events Center on the north side of the pond. The proposed Events Center often has been referred to as having a capacity of three hundred people, but this was based on widely spaced large round table seating. He demonstrated that this could easily be re-arranged to seat nearly four hundred people for such events as a wedding dinner. If the center is used for a seminar or conference it could possibly accommodate up to six hundred.

The Events Center would have a patio on the south side, overlooking the water. There would be a seven-and-one-half acre green space on the southwest side, and a large parking lot for cars and buses. Other features of the park would include a recreation area with such features as basketball hoops. This would be located near the housing development. There would be several picnic shelters and rest rooms in the park, as well as trails. The DNR surveyed the pond, and it has been stocked with the appropriate fish. The estimated cost of the building, the road to the Center and the parking lot is 4.6 million dollars. Bell also discussed the possibilities of grants which might be available to help defray the cost.

Bell emphasized that marketing the Events Center will be important, noting that it will have many advantages over others in the area. This includes the water area, plenty of nearby parking, and an adjacent grassy area where children could go to play during events. One problem that will need to be resolved is who will manage the facility. It could be run by the City or contracted to a private party.

The general plan was met with approval by the majority of those speaking at the meeting and Bell explained the next steps. First of all their company will develop a detailed preliminary plan. As a second step they will get a third party to determine the estimated cost. Then, they will develop an estimate of what it will take to operate the facility. This will be done with the help of a firm that specializes in this kind of work.

When all this information is compiled, RDG Planning and Design will bring it to the City for their consideration. It is expected that this will take place in July.

Branstad, Reynolds Headed For Rock Valley

Rock Valley, Iowa — The Rock Valley Community School District is one of three districts to which Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds are paying a visit this month to learn more about how the first year of Iowa’s new Teacher Leadership and Compensation System has gone.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad

The Governor’s office says Iowa’s Teacher Leadership and Compensation System is the centerpiece of Iowa’s landmark 2013 education reform package. It is being phased in over three years, with a price tag of $150 million annually when fully in place in 2016-17. The Governor’s staff says Iowans agreed to make this investment because it’s critical to restore our schools to best in the nation and give students a globally competitive education.

According to Branstad, better utilizing the expertise of many of Iowa’s top teachers in new roles will help schools improve instruction and raise achievement. Those new roles include instructional coaches, mentors and model teachers. With higher expectations for all students, teacher leaders support the more demanding work teachers must do by analyzing data, fine tuning lessons and co-teaching. The goal is for all districts to have their teacher leadership systems in place in 2016-17.

Branstad says that they are confident that this unprecedented collaboration by teacher leaders, teachers and school administrators will transform education across Iowa. He says that broad, bipartisan agreement in the Legislature allowed them to create the most extensive teacher leadership system in the nation.

Reynolds says that one of the biggest selling points for new Iowa’s Teacher Leadership and Compensation System is that it will do more to attract and retain highly effective teachers. She says that it is changing the culture of schools with more opportunities for ongoing professional development right in the classroom.

The executive pair will be at the Rock Valley Community School District Library on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 12:30 PM for a Sioux County Teacher Leadership Presentation. A tour of Rocket Manufacturing will follow.

Buddz Arson Suspect Pleads Guilty In Plea Agreement

Spirit Lake, Iowa — One of the defendants accused of arson in the Buddz’s Rec Bowl case has pled guilty in a plea agreement.
According to Assistant Attorney General Coleman McAllister, 37-year-old Adam Sickles has pled guilty to an amended charge of Second Degree Arson. Court records indicate Sickles had previously been arraigned and had entered a plea of not guilty to First Degree Arson.

In a plea proceeding that had been moved to the Dickinson County Courthouse in Spirit Lake, District Court Judge David Lester accepted the motion to change the charge to Second Degree Arson.

Sickles entered an oral plea of guilty, which was accepted by the court.

Court records indicate that there is a plea agreement between the parties that requires the concurrence of the court. Concurrence was deferred until sentencing, which is scheduled for May 26, 2015, at 10:00 AM, at the O’Brien County Courthouse.

A pre-sentence investigation is also required, which will need to be filed by May 22.

McAllister says Manasil’s case remains pending and her jury trial on charges of First Degree Arson and Insurance Fraud is set to begin on Tuesday, April 28, 2015.