Sheldon School Board To Meet In Special Session

Sheldon-Schools-logoSheldon, Iowa — The Board of Education of the Sheldon Community School District will meet in special session Friday morning, June 19th at 8:00 am in the library at Sheldon Community High School.

The lone item on the agenda for this special meeting is the approval of the 2015-16 Administrative Salary Adjustments.  This item was on the agenda when the Board met in regular session last week, but was tabled since the Board indicated they’d need more time to review the proposal.

Friday morning’s meeting begins at 8:00 o’clock in the Sheldon High School Library.

Governor Issues Bird Flu Emergency Proclamation

Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has signed a disaster emergency proclamation for 18 Iowa counties adversely affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza, which would assist with disposal and clean-up efforts on affected sites.
Branstad signs
The state of disaster emergency proclamation temporarily allows impacted chicken and turkey producers to dispose of manure and compost generated at a premise infected with HPAI as a Bulk Dry Animal Nutrient under Chapter 200A of Iowa Code. The material can only be moved off-site if the United States Department of Agriculture has certified that the material is virus-free. Normally, only un-manipulated animal manure qualifies for distribution under this code section.

This proclamation only applies to impacted chicken and turkey producers in the 18 counties with confirmed cases of HPAI. Counties included in this proclamation are: Adair, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Hamilton, Kossuth, Lyon, Madison, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, Sioux, Webster and Wright.

The proclamation is effective until July 15, 2015.

The proclamation of disaster emergency can be read below:

WHEREAS, beginning on April 13, 2015, and continuing thereafter, there have been seventy-six confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the State of Iowa; and


WHEREAS, highly pathogenic avian influenza is a contagious and economically devastating disease that has threatened turkeys, chickens, and other poultry in our state; and


WHEREAS, the spread of this highly contagious disease continues to threaten the public peace, health, and safety of the citizens of the State of Iowa and has the potential to quickly destroy private property and exhaust local resources and capacities unless its spread is stopped.  These facts provide legal justification for the issuance of this Proclamation of a State of Disaster Emergency. Iowa Code §§ 29C.1, 29C.2 (1), 29C.6 (1); and


WHEREAS, Iowa poultry producers typically dispose of animal manure generated by their facilities under the provisions of Iowa Code Chapter 200A, and


WHEREAS, Iowa Code § 200A.3 (6) requires that animal manure must be “unmanipulated” and composed of “primarily of animal excreta” in order to be considered “dry animal nutrient product” to come under the regulation of Iowa Code Chapter 200A.  As defined, Iowa Code § 200A.3 (6) creates a particular hardship for turkey and chicken producers on sites infected by highly pathogenic avian influenza by making them ineligible to dispose of their animal manure under the authority of Iowa Code Chapter 200A, and


WHEREAS, producers with sites infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza in the following eighteen (18) Iowa counties are adversely effected by the definition of “dry animal nutrient product” in  Iowa Code § 200A.3 (6): Adair, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Hamilton, Kossuth, Lyon, Madison, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, Sioux, Webster and Wright County.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, TERRY E. BRANSTAD, Governor of the State of Iowa, by the power and authority vested in me by the Iowa Constitution Art. IV, §§ 1, 8 and Iowa Code §§ 29C.6 (1), 163.3A (2) and all other applicable laws, and in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the authority granted to it under Iowa Code § 163.3A, do hereby proclaim a STATE OF DISASTER EMERGENCY specifically for the following eighteen (18) Iowa counties: Adair, Buena Vista, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Hamilton, Kossuth, Lyon, Madison, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, Sac, Sioux, Webster and Wright and do hereby ORDER and DIRECT the following:


SECTION ONE.  I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 200A.3 (6) requiring that animal manure be “unmanipulated” and composed of “primarily of animal excreta” in order to be considered “dry animal nutrient product” as defined by this section.  This suspension shall be effective only to manure and compost generated at a premise infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza and quarantined by the Iowa Department of Agriculture, in the counties delineated above, provided said material has been released for application in writing by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.  All other provisions of Iowa Code Chapter 200A shall apply to the above-described material.

SECTION TWO.  This state of disaster emergency shall be effective on June 15, 2015, shall continue for thirty (30) days, and shall expire on July 15, 2015, unless sooner terminated or extended in writing by me. Iowa Code § 29C.6 (1).



IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused the Great Seal of the State of Iowa to be affixed at Des Moines, Iowa this fifteenth day of June in the year of our Lord Two Thousand Fifteen.

Christian Reformed Synod Meeting In Sioux Center

Sioux Center, Iowa — Delegates from across Canada and the United States have been meeting since Friday at Dordt College in Sioux Center for the Christian Reformed Church of North America’s annual synod.
Dordt Clock Tower
Delegates to Synod 2015 participated in a listening session to share ideas about how churches can respond pastorally in a variety of situations involving the issue of same-sex marriage. Rev. Rolf Bouma, the chair of the synodically-appointed Committee to Provide Pastoral Guidance Regarding Same Sex Marriage emphasized that the committee was specifically instructed not to revisit the denominational stance on homosexuality, but to “address the cultural and legal aspects of same-sex marriage as they impact the church and its ministry.”

In a historic move, Synod 2015 voted to make deacons full participants in the broader decision-making bodies of the Christian Reformed Church. Throughout CRC history, only elders and ministers have been delegated to synod from classes, but now delegations will consist of a minister, an elder, a deacon, and, in the case of synod, one other officebearer who may be a minister, an elder, or a deacon.

After heated discussion at last year’s synod about articles printed in The Banner, the magazine of the Christian Reformed Church, Synod 2015 approved a slightly changed mandate. The mandate was revised to more clearly specify the parameters of how the Banner editor exercises editorial judgment.

For more Synod news click here.

RCA Elects Sioux Center Man, Discusses Homosexuality

Palos Heights, Illinois — Delegates to The Reformed Church in America’s General Synod elected a Sioux Center man as their new president-elect. They wrapped up their six-day meeting on Tuesday in Illinois.
Delegates elected Evan Vermeer of Sioux Center as the new president of the General Synod. Vermeer, an elder at First Reformed Church in Sioux Center has served as synod vice president for the last year. He was installed during General Synod closing worship, will serve over the coming year, and will preside over General Synod 2016.

This year, the RCA’s General Synod voted to instruct the general secretary, in consultation with the Commission on Christian Unity, to establish, for a period of three years, a General Synod task force on inter-religious understanding and relations, in order to explore the challenges and opportunities of relationships between Christians and people and groups of other religions. They said the task force should work closely with the Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations Committee of the Christian Reformed Church and other ecumenical partners already involved in interfaith discussions and work, both in North America and globally, reporting annually to General Synod.

A resolution was tabled until next year that would have spelled out that a church’s consistory or governing body should determine what marriages may be solemnized in a church or congregation.

Saying that it’s time for the RCA to settle constitutional issues related to homosexuality, synod president Greg Alderman proposed a special council to develop a way forward for the RCA. Delegates debated and then approved the formation of the special council to engage with questions of human sexuality and propose a constitutional way forward for the RCA. The council, to be convened early in 2016, will be planned by five past presidents of General Synod and include 74 people from across the RCA.

Synod also implored RCA congregations, office holders, and assemblies to exercise a season of restraint until the council reports back to General Synod next year. Delegates called for restraint in performing same-sex marriages, ordaining practicing homosexuals, separating from the denomination, and initiating judicial actions related to homosexuality.

For more news from the RCA General Synod, we turn to this report from the Synod news line.

Click here for more news about the RCA’s General Synod, 2015

If your browser or device cannot access the audio player above, click here for the audio.

O’Brien Community Foundation Awards Grants

Primghar, Iowa — The O’Brien County Community Foundation (OBCCF) recently awarded 27 grants totaling $89,615 to nonprofit organizations and units of local government in support of projects throughout O’Brien County.
o'brien community foundation
Since the first grants were made in 2006, over $833,877 has been awarded. Funding for the grant program is a result of County Endowment Fund legislation (HF2302) passed in 2005 which provides that a percentage of state gambling revenues be distributed among all Iowa counties that do not have a gambling entity.

The biggest grant this year went to the Calumet Fire Department, in the amount of $10,000. They said they’d use their grant for “‘GEARING’ FOR THE FUTURE”. Receiving grants in the amount of $6,000 were Hartley Community Day Care for renovations, safety, and updating their play toys; and the Sanborn Ambulance crew, for an “Emergency Services Communication Upgrade.” Receiving a $5,800 grant was the RL Johannsen Community Center in Sutherland. Their project’s title is “Seating For The Future.”

Receiving $5000 grants were the Baum Harmon Mercy Hospital Foundation, Kids Kampus Daycare, Little Sioux Valley Conservation Association, the O’Brien County Fair, the Primghar Fire Department, and the Sanborn Fire & Rescue Department. Seventeen other organizations received grants less than $5000. Find the full list below.

The OBCCF was formally established in 2005 through affiliation with the Siouxland Community Foundation and is governed by a local nine-member advisory board composed of representatives from each of the communities in O’Brien County: Archer, Calumet, Hartley, Paullina, Primghar, Sanborn, Sheldon, and Sutherland; as well as one county-at-large member.

The mission of the O’Brien County Community Foundation is to enhance the quality of life in the communities served by encouraging permanent charitable giving to meet the needs of present and future generations.

The following grants were recently awarded by the Community Foundation:
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Lewis And Clark Receives Minnesota Funding

Tea, South Dakota — The Lewis & Clark Regional Water System has received another shot in the arm.
The Minnesota Legislature has approved a $373 million Bonding Bill that included a $19 million “federal funding advance” for Lewis & Clark. The bill was signed by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. Along with L&C’s $9 million in FY15 federal funding, the $19 million is estimated to cover the construction of three things; the pipeline to Lincoln Pipestone Rural Water System’s connection three miles east of Adrian, a four million gallon ground storage reservoir four and a half miles southwest of Luverne and a booster pump station three miles southeast of Luverne. The funding will also allow project officials to get the segment of pipeline between Adrian and Worthington shovel ready in terms of design and easements.

Chairman Red Arndt of Luverne said, “It went into extra innings so to speak, but with strong support and leadership from Governor Dayton and our legislative leaders, including Senator Bill Weber, Representative Paul Torkelson, Representative Rod Hamilton and Representative Joe Schomacker, they got the job done! We cannot thank them enough. This is an incredibly huge boost for the project. If all goes according to plan Lincoln Pipestone will receive water at their Adrian connection in the fall of 2017. This also gets us one big step closer to Worthington.”

Background Information:
Minnesota also approved a $22 million federal funding advance during the 2014 legislative session. Those funds, along with $8.3 million L&C received in FY14 federal funding, are being used to construct the line from the Iowa/Minnesota border to Luverne and then east to Magnolia.

The term “federal funding advance” is used to describe zero interest loans from the states (South Dakota approved a total of $8.7 million in advances the last two legislative sessions) that will be paid back using future federal funding once all 20 members are connected and L&C is able to produce 45 million gallons a day of “non-firm capacity.” After the members are connected, an estimated $33 million is still needed to complete the project and make it more reliable (i.e. “firm capacity”). To ensure the states are not last in line in terms of future federal funding, the members have agreed to defer this construction until the states are repaid.

Iowa legislators have to-date not provided any federal funding advances for Lewis & Clark, but Lewis & Clark Executive Director Troy Larson says, “We’re working on them.”

In addition to the communities that are already connected in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Rock Rapids, Iowa, the system is eventually supposed to provide water to Hull, Sheldon, Sibley and Sioux Center, as well as two more systems in Minnesota and one in South Dakota.