NCC Offering Crane Operator Training

Sheldon, Iowa — It’s a first for northwest Iowa — crane operator training is being offered right now at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon.
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We had a chance to talk to NCC’s Director of Economic Development & Workforce Training, Jason Anderson, who tells us that the program started because local industry asked them to develop this type of training.

He says students are learning how to operate two different types of cranes.

He says there is a good mix of students that are being retrained for new professions and NCC students from the Heavy Equipment and Maintenance program that are taking this class to improve their credentials on their résumés, according to Anderson.

He says that NCC is the only school providing crane training in the state. In fact, a construction company in Sioux Falls and one in Sioux City asked NCC to offer the training because of the long travel distances to other areas where it is offered.

He tells us about the class’s NCCCO certification.
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Anderson says there’s some financial assistance available for this and some other courses too for those who qualify.

Anderson says NCC hopes to make the training available at least annually in March, and perhaps twice a year.

For more information, you can call NCC at 800-352-4907, or in the local Sheldon calling area, 324-5061.

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School Start Date Still Uncertain

Des Moines, Iowa — This fall’s start date for Iowa schools is still up in the air.
iowa state capitol sva
A bill that would have set “on or after August 23rd” as the school start date in Iowa has been tabled in the Iowa Senate. On the 10th of March, 32 of the 50 members of the senate voted in favor of letting school boards decide when school starts in the fall. This week, Senator Herman Quirmbach, a Democrat from Ames, asked his senate colleagues to vote in favor of that “local control” approach.

But when it came time to vote, a majority of senators sided with the House approach to set “on or after August 23rd” as the standard for a school start date. That prompted Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal to use a parliamentary maneuver which has tabled the bill. He’s not saying when it may be brought back up for a vote. He says he’s “in no rush”.

Sheldon Home & Design Expo Is Saturday

Sheldon, Iowa — It’s time for the annual Sheldon Home and Design Expo.
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It’ll be Saturday, March 28th from 9 AM to 4 PM at Northwest Iowa Community College’s Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center.

We had a chance to visit with Sheldon Chamber Director Allison Cooke, who’s been getting everything ready for Saturday’s expo.

She says they will have a wide variety of vendors.

KIWA will be there too. Stop and see us. Again that’s the 2015 Sheldon Home and Design Expo at the Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center, Saturday from 9 to 4.

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NOAA: Severe Storms Dangerous As Some Tornadoes

lightning sxcSheldon, Iowa — This is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa. Each day this week, the National Weather Service is focusing on a different severe weather topic.

Today’s topic is severe thunderstorms.

Thunderstorms are a common occurrence each spring and summer across the Midwest and Iowa is not immune. Each year sees hundreds of severe and non-severe thunderstorms. Thunderstorms can be extremely dangerous storms which may bring deadly tornadoes and lightning, damaging high winds and hail and can lead to flash flooding.

But many people do not pay as much attention to a severe thunderstorm warning as a tornado warning, saying, “it’s just a severe thunderstorm warning”. Meteorologists say that severe thunderstorms can be just as dangerous as tornadoes, perhaps more than some, it’s just that the winds are straight, not in a vortex. When you add in deadly lightning and hail, severe thunderstorms are quite dangerous, and some communities have now decided to activate their outdoor warning sirens not just for tornadoes, but also certain severe thunderstorms. Sheldon is one of those communities. Sheldon Emergency Management Director Walt Pruiksma says Sheldon’s outdoor warning system will be activated for tornado warnings, for severe thunderstorm warnings with straight-line winds forecast to be in excess of 65 mph and for any other emergency scenario affecting Sheldon.

The National Weather Service issues severe thunderstorm warnings for thunderstorms that are producing, or are capable of producing one of two weather events, says meteorologist and Lead Forecaster Chris Jansen with the Sioux Falls office.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means conditions are right for severe thunderstorms, and you should stay aware that a warning may be issued.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning means National Weather Service meteorologists have determined that a severe thunderstorm is occurring or likely to occur. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm.

Contrary to popular belief, a watch does not need to be in effect for a warning to be issued. If that happens, it just means conditions changed so quickly a watch wasn’t yet in effect.

Jansen says the weather service is also highlighting the fact that not all warnings are the same, and people need to listen.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

Also, although lightning can be deadly it is not a criterion for what the National Weather Service defines as severe since even ordinary thunderstorms can produce a lot of lightning.

To register for the Nixle service click here.

For more information, click here for the National Weather Service’s Severe Thunderstorm Pamphlet

For severe weather safety and preparedness information in Spanish, please click here (en Español).

Para obtener información sobre la preparación de mal tiempo, haga clic aquí. (en español)

Brands Pens Book

Bonnie BrandsIowa City, Iowa — Former Sheldon resident, and the mother of Olympic medalists Tom and Terry Brands has written a book chronicling her adventures in raising her twin Olympians.

The book, entitled, “I’m The Mom” tells the story of the Brands Boys from their birth in Omaha, through their years in Sheldon, and into adulthood.  KIWA talked with Bonnie Brands and she told us how this book came about.

She says she thinks the growing up years in Sheldon were good for her twins.

Bonnie says Tom and Terry’s fierce competitive spirit was evident from a very early age.

She does concede that sometimes, growing up, the boys could be a handful.

She says that raising the twin Olympians, while sometimes challenging, was a pleasure for her.

Tom Brands won a Gold Medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics, and twin brother Terry won Bronze at the 2000 Summer Olympics.  Tom is currently Head Wrestling Coach at the University of Iowa, and is a 3-time Big 10 Coach of the Year.  Terry Brands is Associate Head Coach of the Hawkeye Wrestling program.

Bonnie’s book, “I’m The Mom” is available online, and can be ordered by clicking here.

Pursuit Ends In Arrest Of George Man

Sibley, Iowa — A George man has been arrested on several charges after a pursuit in Osceola and Lyon Counties.
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According to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, the incident started on Tuesday afternoon, March 24th. About 4:15 PM, witnesses reported seeing a white car pulling a trailer recklessly on 160th Street west of Sibley. When an Osceola County deputy went to investigate, the white Chevy Monte Carlo, who they would later learn was driven by 27-year-old Joseph Lee Daggett of George, failed to pull over.

The pursuit entered Lyon County north of Little Rock, and Lyon County Deputies joined. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that the pursuit went through Little Rock and westbound on Highway 9.

Shortly before 4:50 PM, they report that a vehicle that was eastbound on Highway 9 was forced to take the south ditch after the suspect’s vehicle swerved at their vehicle. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the driver of this vehicle to call them at 712-472-8300.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says the pursuit then went south on County Road L-14 and entered the City of George. They say the suspect fled the vehicle on foot within the city limits of George.

Osceola County authorities charged Daggett with one count of theft in the 4th Degree, a serious misdemeanor, one count of Possession of Prescription Drugs, a serious misdemeanor, Eluding, an aggravated misdemeanor, two stop sign violations and reckless driving which are simple misdemeanors. At last report, he was being held in the Osceola County Jail on a $5000 bond, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

Lyon County officials report that charges are pending in their county while the investigation continues.

Deputies were assisted by the Iowa State Patrol.