Democrats Advance Their Health Care Plan For Low-Income Iowans

iowa state capitol svaDes Moines, Iowa — The 26 Democrats in the Iowa Senate have voted to accept federal tax dollars to cover more low-income Iowans who’re uninsured — another chapter in a long-running dispute with Iowa’s Republican governor. Democrats like Senate President Pam Jochum of Dubuque argue the state should extend government-paid Medicaid coverage to as many of 150-thousand more Iowans.

(as said) “I have no doubt in my mind or in my heart that the Medicaid expansion is not only financially smart, it is morally the right thing to do,” Jochum said.

All 23 Republicans in the Iowa Senate Monday night voted against the Democrats’ plan. Senator Mark Segebart, a Republican from Vail, urged Democrats to wait until Branstad unveils the details of his “Healthy Iowa” alternative.

(as said) “This is not our final vote on this issue and I think we need to do more due diligence until we can vote on this issue,” Segebart said.

Governor Branstad argues the State of Iowa could eventually have to shoulder the entire cost for expanding Medicaid coverage to tens of thousands more Iowans. Senator Jack Whitver, a Republican from Ankeny, says he shares the governor’s fear that the federal government will fail to fulfill its promise to pay the bills.

(as said) “We need a solution that is best for Iowa and the care of our citizens,” Whitver says, “not a one-size-fits-all federal entitlement program that is unsustainable and is bankrupting both the federal government and many states.”

Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, calls Republican complaints “bizarre.”

(as said) “When did you all stop believing in America?” Bolkcom asks. “When did you give up on the ability of the greatest country in the history of the world to solve a simple problem: providing access to health insurance?”

Republican Senators like David Johnson of Ocheyedan suggested once the details of Branstad’s plan are revealed, it could be compared and perhaps merged with the Democrats’ plan.

(as said) “St. Augustin once wrote: ‘Let us not on either side claim we have already discovered the truth,'” Johnson said.

Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says legislators have been waiting nine months for Branstad to produce details.

(as said) “The governor will leave out 65,000 Iowans — we do have one detail,” Gronstal said. “I’m pretty sure if that’s where we end up, that will not be our finest hour.”

Senators debated the issue for an hour and a half Monday night. Republicans in the House are waiting for the governor’s bill to be drafted and they’ll use it as the foundation for their debate on the issue.

Sheldon Police Make Several Arrests, Cover Accidents

sheldon pd police car rearSheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon Police made a number of arrests and handled a number of accidents recently.

The police arrested 22-year-old Taylor Teut of Le Mars on March 17th for driving while suspended. He was cited and released.

They arrested 22-year-old Shannon Chindlund of Sheldon on March 17th for driving while suspended and on a Kossuth County Warrant for Contempt of Court and Failure To Pay Fines. He was taken into custody and transported to jail.

Also arrested on March 17th was 24-year-old Laurie Phillips of Spirit Lake. Officers charged her with driving while suspended and expired registration. She was cited into court and released.

The Sheldon Police have also sent us a late report of an arrest on March 12th. They arrested 24-year-old Jesus Arizmendi of Sheldon on that date for driving while barred. He was taken into custody and transported to jail.

A Sheldon man’s car and a Granville man’s SUV were damaged in an accident last Wednesday, March 20th in Sheldon.

The Sheldon Police Department reports that about 8:00 AM, 21-year-old Timothy Imel of Sheldon was eastbound in the 1500 block of East Ninth Street in a 2001 Ford Mustang. A 2003 Ford Excursion owned by Matthew Van Essendelft of Granville was legally-parked on East Ninth Street.

Imel struck the rear of the Van Essendelft vehicle. Imel stated that his windshield fogged up and the sun created a glare that made it impossible to see.

Imel’s Ford Mustang received $5000 damage. Van Essendelft’s Ford Excursion received $1500 damage.

There were no injuries reported.

Imel was charged with Driving with Obstructed View or Control.

A Sheldon teen’s car and a Omaha man’s pickup were damaged in an accident on Thursday (3/21) in Sheldon.

The Sheldon Police Department reports that about 8:25 AM, 18-year-old Kami Ackerman of Sheldon was eastbound on Highway 18 in a 2007 Pontiac. Sixty-six-year-old Richard Rothe of Omaha, Nebraska was also eastbound on 18 in a 2008 Chevy pickup, in front of Ackerman.

Ackerman noticed she was eastbound in the westbound lanes and corrected to the eastbound lanes, where she collided with the Rothe vehicle. The front of Ackerman’s Pontiac struck the rear of Rothe’s pickup, just as Rothe began to move from being stopped at a traffic signal. Both vehicles moved forward from the collision, but then Ackerman struck the pickup in the rear again.

The police report says Ackerman’s Pontiac had a frosted-over windshield and with the glare of the sun, Ackerman couldn’t see where she was going.

Ackerman’s Pontiac received $2500 damage. Rothe’s Chevy pickup received $1000 damage.

Ackerman was charged with driving with obstructed view or control.

There were no injuries reported.

The Police arrested 22-year-old Tony Holtrop of Sheldon on Friday (3/22). He was charged with domestic assault.

Sheldon officers also arrested 48-year-old Marc Muhlbauer of Sheldon on Saturday (3/23). He was charged with interference with official acts and false report to law enforcement.

On Thursday (3/21), the police arrested 49-year-old Timothy Smutzer of Sheldon on charges of OWI, second offense, driving while his license was suspended, and improper registration.

All three were taken into custody and transported to jail in Primghar.

A Ocheyedan man’s car was damaged in an accident on Monday (3/25) in Sheldon.

The Sheldon Police report that about 3:35 PM, 81-year-old Alan VanderMeulen of Ocheyedan was eastbound on Elm Court, in a 2012 Kia. Seventy-six-year-old Orville DeBoer of Little Rock was backing northbound from an angle parking spot near the Christian Retirement Home in a 2010 Dodge pickup.

DeBoer backed into the VanderMeulen vehicle.

VanderMeulen’s Kia received $3000 damage. DeBoer’s Dodge pickup was not damaged.

There were no injuries reported.

De Boer was charged with unsafe backing.

NCC LLRC To Operate Sanford Sheldon Wellness Center

NCC lifelong learning and recreation center LLRCSheldon, IA — Two Sheldon facilities with common goals are going to join forces.

The Northwest Iowa Community College Lifelong Learning & Recreation Center (LLRC) is set to take over operation of the Sanford Sheldon Wellness Center, which is located on the Sanford Sheldon Campus.

Coordinator of the Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center, Greta Giese says the merger will give both LLRC and Wellness Center members a unique opportunity.

Giese says that the merger will provide expanded facilities and services to members of both organizations.

Giese says the LLRC is very invested in maintaining the services of the Wellness Center.

Giese says the folks at the LLRC are excited to be partnering with Sanford’s Wellness Center.

Giese says anyone with questions or concerns can contact her by phone at 712-324-5061, ext. 152, or by email at

The merger becomes effective May 1st of this year.

Four NW Iowa Young People Charged With Alcohol Violations After Rural Sheldon Stop

Sioux Sheriff CarSheldon, Iowa — Four young people have been charged with alcohol violations after a traffic stop south of Sheldon.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports the stop occurred on McKinley Avenue, a mile south of Sheldon, on Saturday, March 23, at 11:30 PM.

Upon further investigation, the deputy determined that the driver, 18-year-old Shane Meerdink of Hull was driving with a suspended driver’s license and had been consuming alcohol. Three passengers in the vehicle were also allegedly illegally in possession of alcohol.

Meerdink was cited for underage possession of alcohol, driving while license suspended, and a .02 violation. Eighteen-year-old Samantha Thompson of Paullina and 20-year-old Brady Schelling of Hull were issued citations for underage possession of alcohol. Also, a 17-year-old boy from Hull was cited into Juvenile Court for underage possession of alcohol and was released to a parent.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Sheldon Police Department.

Here Are The Cost Estimates & Individual Property Assessment Estimates For Sheldon’s Downtown Infrastructure Project

streetscape_afterKIWA has obtained, from McClure Engineering, assessment estimates, plat and estimated cost figures for the proposed Sheldon Downtown Infrastructure Project.

The engineer’s estimate of probable costs for the project total just over 1 and a half million dollars, with the net cost after assessments of just over 1 and a quarter million dollars.  To see the complete engineer’s figures, click here.

The engineers have also provided the Preliminary Assessment Plat and Schedule, broken down by address and property owner, which can be viewed by clicking here.  (NOTE:  This is a large file and may take several seconds to load.)

The Sheldon City Council will hold a public hearing on the project on April 17th.  In addition, the Council has discussed holding a public meeting on the issue prior to the public hearing.  Stay tuned to KIWA Radio fore more information as the date draws near.

Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Now Using Nixle To Alert Citizens

nixleSibley, Iowa — The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is using a new technology.

Sheriff’s Office personnel say that the system, called “Nixle” will allow them to send important, valuable community information directly to residents. The system lets authorities create and publish messages to be delivered to subscribed residents instantly via cell phone text message and/or email.

sheriff doug weberOsceola County Sheriff Doug Weber tells us how it got started.

He says there are several situations in which Nixle would be helpful.

He says besides missing persons, they can also send out messages about traffic hazards, road closures, weather alerts and more.

He tells us how you can sign up for the Nixle service.

The messages can be sent to a very specific radius, set up by the Sheriff’s Office on a per-message basis. You can decide the agencies from which you want to receive messages, and how to recive the messages, by text, email, or both.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office and Sheldon Emergency Management Agency are also using Nixle.

Weber says while you’re on the Sheriff’s Office web site, you can also sign up for another important service called “A Child Is Missing”. He says each service is just another tool to get important messages to the public.

Click here to go to the Osceola County Sheriff’s web site.