George Emergency Crews Called To Report Of Barn Fire Wednesday Morning

George Fire 8-14-13Rural George, Iowa — The George Fire Department was paged to the report of a barn fire on Wednesday morning (8/14/13) in the 11:00 hour. The George Emergency Medical Service also responded along with the fire department. The call was at 2323 Indian Avenue — which is K60 or the Edna blacktop; about five miles west and a little over two miles south of George.

From eyewitness reports the fire call didn’t amount to much and may have been an electrical issue. Crews were finished within an hour and back enroute to George.

Sheldon Streetscape Construction Continues; Removal Underway On Ninth Street

Road ClosedSheldon, Iowa — As you may have noticed, downtown construction in Sheldon continues, and the street removal is underway on the 400 block of Ninth Street in front of KIWA.

Some people that have come in to our studios have asked about the project, so we talked to city manager Scott Wynja, and asked him why crews were starting with a third block when they were only supposed to do one block at a time, later increased to two blocks to make up for lost time.

He says that construction crews needed to begin taking out the 400 block of Ninth Street so that the paving crews could move directly from one part of the project to another. He says they’re going to be wrapping up work on Third Avenue sometime in the next two weeks, so they needed to get started on the removal work on Ninth, otherwise the paving crew and equipment would sit idle.

Wynja says they moved to the east end of Ninth at the city’s request, to minimize work in the central part of downtown — in the 300 block of Ninth Street.

Sheldon School Board To Meet Wednesday Evening

Sheldon high school 100_2191Sheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon Community Schools Board of Education will meet in regular session Wednesday evening at 6 PM in the Sheldon Senior High School Library.

Superintendent Robin Spears says the building principals will not be at the meeting as they make final preparations for the the first day of school, which is tomorrow, Thursday, August 15th.

Those present will hear about a groundbreaking ceremony for the East Elementary Building/Remodeling Project, which will take place on Friday, August 16, 2013 at 2 PM. Spears says actual work on the project should start the end of August or first part of September.

Planning continues between the school board and Sheldon City Council regarding the details of the ball field/recreation project. Both groups will have to sign off on the final specs before seeking bids. Spears says NCC should be on site soon to start grading work.

The board will consider four open enrollment requests into the district.

The Sheldon School Board will also consider a license agreement between LRG Prep and the Sheldon Community School District. This agreement provides a payment back to the school when local businesses sell merchandise that contains school district reference information like the school logo.

And they’ll consider a contract with Iowa Lakes Community College for Student Alternative Vocational Education, or “SAVE” program services for a Sheldon student.

The school board will also consider the transportation of pre-school students to St. Pats, Children’s World, Sheldon Christian School, and Head Start; among other items.

We’ll have a report after the meeting.

O’Brien County Agriculture Hall Of Fame Award Winner To Be Announced Tuesday

Farm BureauSheldon, Iowa — The O’Brien County Farm Bureau is having their annual meeting Tuesday night (8/13/13) at the Sheldon Community Services Center.

The O’Brien County Value-Added Agriculture Steering Committee gives a special award at that meeting. O’Brien County Economic Development Director Kiana Johnson tells us about it.

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Johnson says the winner was selected Monday night by the committee, and has been notified, but she did not release the winner’s name.

Again, the Hall of Fame Award Winner will be announced at the Farm Bureau Annual Meeting to be held Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at the Sheldon Community Services Center.

MidAmerican Energy Continuing With Wind Development In O’Brien County

wind turbine_sxcDes Moines, Iowa — MidAmerican Energy Company has announced that they are pleased by the Iowa Utilities Board’s recent decision, which allows the company to move forward with wind development of up to 1,050 megawatts of additional wind generation in Iowa by the end of 2015 — some of it in O’Brien County.

MidAmerican Energy announced plans May 8, 2013, to invest up to $1.9 billion to expand its wind generation fleet in Iowa. The company continues working with county officials and landowners and has secured development and interconnection rights for the wind farm sites, which are planned to be located in Grundy, Madison, Marshall, O’Brien and Webster counties. Construction is expected to begin in September 2013, and all projects are planned for completion prior to the end of 2015.

O’Brien County Economic Development Director Kiana Johnson says MidAmerican has struck a deal to put up wind turbines.

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Gov. Terry Branstad commented on the expansion in his weekly press conference by saying that MidAmerican continues to be a great partner in enhancing the state of Iowa’s leadership in wind generation and expanding our renewable energy portfolio. He says that this expansion will bring quality jobs and significant economic benefits to Iowa.

The wind expansion will enhance economic development and provide in excess of $360 million in additional property tax revenues over the next 30 years. Landowner payments totaling more than $3 million per year also are expected as a result of the expansion. The expansion is planned to be built at no net cost to the company’s customers. In fact, MidAmerican claims the wind project will help stabilize electric rates over the long term by providing a rate reduction totaling $10 million per year by 2017, commencing with a $3.3 million reduction in 2015. The rate reduction will begin after MidAmerican Energy installs the first 350 megawatts of generation capacity. They also claim that during construction, approximately 460 jobs will be added to the Iowa economy, and nearly 50 new permanent jobs will be added when the expansion is complete.

Sioux Center Man Faces Up To Life In Prison After Admitting To Sex Acts With Children

Jail Door2Sioux Center, Iowa — A Sioux Center man is behind bars and will stay there for at least 17 and a half years, and possibly up to the rest of his life after he pled guilty to committing sex acts with children.

Sioux County Attorney Coleman McAllister reports that 33-year-old Philip Eddie Stacy of Sioux Center, pled guilty and has been sentenced for the crimes of Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree, a Class B Felony, and Lascivious Acts with a Child, a Class C Felony.

McAllister says that on November 23, 2012, Stacy’s wife discovered sexually explicit text messages he had sent to a 13-year-old girl as well as nude photos of the same 13-year-old girl on his cell phone. The Sioux Center Police were called to investigate and the girl was interviewed. The girl advised police that Stacy had repeatedly sexually abused her on as many as 100 occasions during the preceding 18 months, beginning when she was 11 years old.

Stacy was arrested that day and charged with Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree.

After his arrest, another 13-year-old girl who was unrelated to the first victim came forward and contacted the Sioux Center Police to report that Stacy had fondled her in 2011 when she was 11 years old. Stacy was arrested again on January 2, 2013, and charged with Lascivious Contact with a Child.

This week, Stacy pled guilty to both offenses, and he was sentenced to 25 years in prison and was immediately taken into custody by the Sioux County Sheriff. Stacy will be required to serve 70 percent of his sentence, or 17 and a half years, before he is eligible for parole. Stacy was further sentenced to a special sentence committing him into the custody of the Director of the Iowa Department of Corrections for the rest of his life, with eligibility for parole after he’s completed the initial sentence. The Court also ordered that upon any release from prison, Stacy must register as a sex offender.