Western Christian Jets Compete Nationally

The Western Christian JETS (Junior Engineering) program recently competed in a national engineering test based on the theme of “The Power of Engineering”.

Western Maroon
Western Maroon picture: Front Row: Carter Vanden Bos, Alejandro Castelan, Jackson Kleinwolterink. Back Row: Dana Faber, Kaysha Steiger, Brittany Buren, Samantha Pausma, Amanda Van Tol
Western White
Western White Team: Bottom Row L to R: Avery Kats, Mariah Kleinwolterink, Kyle Vander Plaats, Ryan Zevenbergen. Back L to R: Jordan Walhof, Treyton Schemper, Alex Vander Stoep, Aaron Van Middendorp

Three Western Christian teams (2 varsity and 1 junior varsity) took on the task of answering engineering questions related to biofuel, nuclear and solar energy, wind turbines and many more topics. In the JV division the JV team finished 15th out of 42 teams nationally. At the varsity level, the Western Maroon team finished 5th in the state of Iowa and 27th nationally. The Western White team finished 1st in the state and 3rd nationally in division 1. Because of Western White’s high ranking, the team moves on to the next round of the national testing which will be written essays that will be evaluated and scored by test judges.

Western JV
Western JV picture: Front Row: Kailey Heemskerk, Rachel Heynen, Lindsey Zuidema, Brooke Haverhals. Back Row: Trent Van Maanen, Nolan Vande Griend, Tanner Miedema, Emily Van Ginkel

The JETS program is led by Shawn De Stigter, Science Instructor at Western Christian High School.

Half Staff Flags To Honor President Lincoln

Washington, DC — President Barack Obama has declared this Wednesday, April 15, 2015 as a Day of Remembrance for President Abraham Lincoln.
half staff NCC
As one of the signs of remembrance, Obama has requested the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff. He also encouraged all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes and businesses.

Full proclamation from President Obama:

President Abraham Lincoln believed that we are, at heart, one Nation and one people. At a time when America was torn apart and our very future was in doubt, he knew our country was more than a collection of States, and that we shared a bond that would not break. One hundred fifty years after President Lincoln’s death, Americans join together across the Union he saved to honor his memory and celebrate the freedom for which he gave his last full measure of devotion.

A self-taught man, rugged rail-splitter, and humble lawyer from Springfield, Illinois, President Lincoln believed in the fierce independence that lies at the heart of the American experience. But he also knew that together, we can do great things — that it is through the accumulated toil and sacrifice of ordinary women and men that our country is perfected and our liberty preserved.

President Lincoln understood the immense sacrifices required to give meaning to our founding principles. With enduring faith and steady resolve, he led our Nation through Civil War, knowing the blood shed was in painful service to those same ideals. He sought to reunite our people not only in Government, but also in a freedom that knew no bounds of color or creed. It was in this spirit that he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, forever joining the cause of our Union with the advancement of liberty. As our Nation gave birth to a new era of freedom, President Lincoln charted a course that would help bind the wounds of a divided country and bring healing to a people who desperately needed it.

Even while his Presidency was characterized by war, his ambition was a just and lasting peace. Amid the discord of great conflict, President Lincoln demonstrated the wisdom to look forward. He knew a united America could serve the hopes of all its people if they seized the opportunity of their time. He established land-grant colleges and committed to a railroad connecting East to West, even as he fought to hold together North and South. He fueled new enterprises with a national currency, spurred innovation, and ignited America’s imagination with a National Academy of Sciences.

As we reflect on the Great Emancipator, we are reminded that we will be remembered for what we choose to make of the moment we are given. President Lincoln has passed on a tremendous legacy to us, and we too are called to do great things. His example gives us confidence that whatever trials await us, this Nation and the freedom we cherish can, and will, prevail. Today, we reflect on the extraordinary progress he made possible, and with one voice, we rededicate ourselves to the work of ensuring a Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 15, 2015, as a Day of Remembrance for President Abraham Lincoln. I call upon all Americans to honor his life and legacy with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. I also call upon the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on the Day of Remembrance for President Abraham Lincoln. I further encourage all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes and businesses on that day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.


Two Taken To Hospitals After Accident

Hartley, Iowa — A Hartley woman and a Sanborn teen were taken to area hospitals after an accident near Sanborn.
The O’Brien County Sheriff Office reports about 6:20 AM on Monday, April 13th, 56-year-old Charlene Schwien of Hartley was driving a 2000 Ford minivan westbound on Highway 18, a mile east of Sanborn. Eighteen-year-old Megan Kroese of Sanborn was eastbound on 18 in a 2005 Honda.

The report says Schwien was making a left turn onto Highway 59 and according to the deputy, failed to yield to the Kroese vehicle. The report says the units collided in the eastbound lane causing Kroese car to spin around and hit a stop sign pole.

The Sanborn Ambulance took Schwien to Baum Harmon Mercy Hospital in Primghar. A private vehicle took Kroese to Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley.

Schwien’s Ford sustained $2500 in damages. Kroese’s Honda sustained about $9000 in damages.

Schwien was charged with failure to yield on left turn.

Deputies Investigate Vandalism In Park

Hull, Iowa — The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office is looking for one or more people who they say defaced a Hull park.
Sioux Sheriff Car 84-
They report that on Monday morning, April 13, they investigated a report of vandalism that was said to have occurred at the Kids Kingdom Park in Hull.  

Upon further investigation, deputies believe the perpetrator or perpetrators used a black and a grey marker to write obscene drawings and graffiti on extensive areas of park property.

Deputies say they don’t know when this crime occurred.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the sheriff’s office.

Bird Flu Found In NW Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa — A strain of bird flu that can easily cause illness in birds has been found in northwest Iowa.
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Buena Vista County.  This is the first confirmation in a commercial flock in Iowa.  The flock of 27,000 turkeys is located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) considers the risk to people from these H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.  No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time.

Samples from the turkey flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames confirmed the findings.

APHIS is working closely with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure that they are taking the proper precautions.

More information from the Iowa Department of Agriculture:

These virus strains can travel in wild birds without those birds appearing sick. People should avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife. If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.

All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard flock owners, should continue to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state/federal officials, either through their state veterinarian at 515-281-5321 or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593.  Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.


For more information about the ongoing avian influenza disease incidents visit the APHIS website. More information about avian influenza can be found on the USDA avian influenza page. More information about avian influenza and public health is available on the CDC website.  Information will also be posted to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.iowaagriculture.gov/avianinfluenza.asp.


View the complete USDA Stakeholder Announcement.

Deputies Investigate Vehicle Burglaries

Maurice, Iowa — If you’ve parked your vehicle in Maurice recently and have noticed items missing from your vehicle, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office wants to talk to you.
Law Enforcement Lightbar red
They report that during the early hours of Sunday, April 12, they investigated reports of burglary and theft that are said to have occurred from a motor vehicle in Maurice.
Upon further investigation, deputies found that someone had allegedly witnessed a perpetrator illegally enter their vehicle and take property from it. When confronted, the person is reported to have left the area driving westbound from Maurice.

Deputies say the suspect vehicle was stopped a short time later by a Plymouth County Sheriff’s Deputy near Le Mars. As a result of the traffic stop, deputies cited a 17-year-old boy from Sioux City on charges of burglary of a motor vehicle and theft.

The investigation revealed that there may be additional residents of Maurice who also had items stolen from their vehicles. If you are missing property and believe that it was stolen when these crimes took place, you are asked to contact the sheriff’s office.

Police Departments from Hawarden, Sioux Center, Orange City, and Le Mars, and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies remind you to lock your vehicles and remove valuables from them.

They say the case remains under investigation.