Man Faces Burglary & Drug Charges

Hand Cuffs sxcSheldon, Iowa — A Sheldon man faces several criminal charges after being arrested in connection with a trio of burglaries that reportedly took place over the past week in Sheldon.

The Sheldon Police Department says 22-year old Andrew Burnette of Sheldon is charged with the felony of 2nd Degree Burglary after being arrested late Sunday afternoon.  Police say the charge stems from three separate burglaries at the same residence on 10th Street in Sheldon over a one week period of time.

In addition, police say they charged Burnette with 5th Degree Theft, a simple misdemeanor, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Possession of Marijuana, both serious misdemeanors, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.

Burnette was taken to the O’Brien County Jail in Primghar following his arrest.

8th Graders Return From Nation’s Capitol

Washington Tour GroupHartley, Iowa — We told you last week about a group of 8th graders from the Hartley, Melvin and Sanborn area who took a trip to Washington, DC.  Two of the youth who made the trek to our nation’s capitol talked to KIWA about their experiences on that trip.

Adam Heyn says that, after a midnight bus trip to Omaha, followed by an early morning flight to DC, the group hit the ground running.  He said that one of the highlights of the first day of the trip was a visit to George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon.


Another of the stops on the first day was the Pentagon.  Heyn says he was amazed at the level of security at that location.


Another of the students who made the trip to Washington, DC, was Easton Thorn.  He said that the group’s visit to Arlington National Cemetery, where they laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, was a very moving experience.


Easton told us that the group also visited the Senate side of the Capitol Building, as well as the Washington Monument.


Easton said he came away from the trip with a stark realization.


Adam and Easton were two of the 24 eighth graders, and 6 chaperons, who left Hartley shortly after midnight on April 1st, and arrived home in the wee hours of Easter morning.

NW Iowa Farmers Preparing For Planting

Le Mars, Iowa — The U-S-D-A’s first crop update for the 2015 growing season says nearly 75-percent of Iowa’s cropland has adequate-to-surplus soil moisture. It also finds almost one-third of the state’s fields are short-to-very short of moisture for the upcoming growing season. Iowa State University agronomist Joel DeJong, based in Le Mars, says the dry conditions during March helped many growers to check off their pre-planting chores.

(As above) “We had a lot of manure to haul because we froze so early last fall, so, we’re getting quite a bit of manure hauled,” DeJong says. “There’s some fertilizer being applied and they’re taking advantage of the opportunity. The soil conditions, most people tell me right now, are really pretty good for getting that done.”

DeJong says a little rain could help, but soil conditions are okay.

(As above) “The subsoil moisture actually for most of northwest Iowa last fall was pretty good,” DeJong says. “The surface was dry but the subsoil was pretty good, except as you get close to the Minnesota border. Those areas, the eastern half of Lyon County as you head east of the Okoboji region, that was actually below normal.”

He says he’s optimistic about the chances of growers getting the needed moisture to recharge the soil once they begin seeding.

(As above) “Our top five feet of soil in this region can hold about ten and a half inches of water,” DeJong says. “We were at around seven to eight inches on the first of November last year. The true moisture need for the crop doesn’t kick up until we get into mid-June and the corn plant’s starting, as far as that subsoil moisture.”

Right after planting, he says the crop will need water to re-wet that top surface so the seeds will get started and get those root systems growing down to where that water is stored.

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Orange City Retirement Community Expanding

Orange City, Iowa — The Landsmeer Ridge Retirement Community in Orange City is expanding.
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We talked to Orange City Health System CEO Marty Guthmiller, and he tells us about it.

He says the hospital won’t exactly own the property right away but they will be leasing it from the Orange City Area Health Foundation.

For more information about the Orange City Area Health System and Landsmeer Ridge, you can visit

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Agency Advises Of Programs To Help Seniors

Spencer, Iowa — The area agency on aging in our area is called “Elderbridge”.
We had a chance to talk to Doug Merbach with Elderbridge recently, and he told us about two of the programs that they have to help senior citizens and those who love and care for them in northwest Iowa. The first one is called “Lifelong Links.”

Merbach says you’ll speak with a live person.

He says the idea is that there’s only one place to go for all the information.

He says the statewide number is 866-468-7887.

The other service that Merbach wanted to tell us about deals with Medicare.

He says a big part of it is trying to prevent ID theft.

He says they’re always looking for volunteers. To volunteer, or for more information on these or any other programs, you can contact the Spencer office of Elderbridge at 800-243-0678 or visit

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Reward Offered In Car “Keying” Case

Sheldon, Iowa — A $350 reward is being offered for information that leads Sheldon Police to whoever damaged some vehicles.
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The Sheldon Police Department is investigating two criminal mischief incidents during which suspects used a sharp instrument to scratch the paint on vehicles causing a significant amount of damage to the paint surface. They say the incidents occurred sometime on April 1 or 2, 2015 while the vehicles were parked either in the 500 block of Tenth Street or the 400 block of Ninth Street in Sheldon.

The Crime Dusters program is offering a $350 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 Sheldon Police Department at 712-324-2525. When you call, they’ll connect you with a police officer who will take your information.

People can also provide information or tips on crimes by using the “Hot Tip” link or “email” button on the O’Brien County Sheriff’s web site. Arrangements can also be made to assist anyone who wants to remain anonymous but still be eligible for the reward.