Ceremonial Swearing-In And Public Reception Honoring New District Judge Friday In Rock Rapids

Rock Rapids, Iowa — The ceremonial swearing-in ceremony and public reception honoring a Lester man as a new district judge is Friday in Rock Rapids.

Judge Carl J. Petersen of Lester has already started his judgeship.  He’s been a judge since October 1.

The ceremonial swearing-in and reception is at the Lyon County Courthouse in Rock Rapids at 2 PM on Friday (10/26).

Petersen was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Duffy.  He had served as Lyon County Attorney since 2000.

The counties in the Third District are Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Crawford, Dickinson, Emmet, Ida, Lyon, Kossuth, Monona, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Sioux, Woodbury.

Peterson says the Lyon County Board of Supervisors have entered into a 28-E agreement with Osceola County to share Osceola County Attorney Bob Hanson for now. But he says the law stipulates that the county board appoint a new county attorney within 40 days of Peterson’s resignation, which went into effect the same day he started his new judgeship, October first.  That means the new County Attorney must be in place by November 10.

He says the newly-appointed attorney will then serve until the next general election in November of 2014, unless a Lyon County resident files a petition containing at least 505 signatures to force a special election.

O’Brien County Burning Ban Lifted

Primghar, Iowa — We’re still in extreme to exceptional drought conditions in northwest Iowa, but at least O’Brien County residents can breathe one sigh of relief.

The O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office advises O’Brien County residents that the Open Burning Ban has now been lifted. The burning ban had been in effect since July 27th in O’Brien County.

The criteria for lifting the ban is that each fire department having all or part of their fire district within the county has to notify the State Fire Marshal’s Office and tell them that conditions are no longer dangerous to life or property.

According to the Iowa Fire Marshal’s web site, the other three counties in our primary coverage area — Sioux, Osceola, and Lyon Counties are still under open burning bans at this time. We have been told that discussions between fire officials continue about lifting the ban in some areas still under a burning ban.

Fire officials still advise extreme caution when burning, even if it is now legal in your area.

Hulstein To Be Sentenced On Firearms Charges On Friday

Sioux City, Iowa — A Sheldon man faces a possible sentence of 10 years in prison and a quarter of a million dollar fine when he’s sentenced on Friday (10/26).

The US Attorney’s Office in Sioux City reports that 62-year-old Tony Hulstein of Sheldon was convicted of one count of dealing firearms without a license and four counts of traveling in interstate commerce to deal firearms. He was convicted by a jury on March 1st (2012), after a 3-day trial in federal court in Sioux City.

The verdict was returned following about three hours of jury deliberations. The evidence at trial showed that Hulstein, over a period of about four and a half years, obtained and disposed of over 800 guns and was in possession of nearly 100 more at the time of his arrest. Hulstein also traveled to Michigan three times and Texas once to acquire firearms in furtherance of his unlicensed dealing.

Sentencing before United States District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett is this Friday (10/26) in US District Court in Sioux City.

Hulstein faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, $500 in special assessments, and up to three years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office and was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Sheldon Police Department, and O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office.

Court file information is available at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl. The case file number is 09-4028.

Sheldon United Fund Progressing But Could Use Some More Funds To Keep On Pace For Goal

Sheldon, Iowa — The 2012 Sheldon United Fund Drive is underway and will continue through the rest of the year. The goal is $33,000.

The fund is up to $13,323.

The fund-raiser is about 43% finished. The funds are at about 40% of goal. To finish on goal, the fund should average about $1,941 per week. This past week $430 was donated.

The United Fund will be assisting 23 different organizations in Sheldon and the surrounding communities. Contributions may be left at any of the four Sheldon banks, or you can also send them to PO Box 41, Sheldon. Essays explaining each organization are available at the banks. The United Fund thanks you for your contribution.

Sheldon Police Cover Property-Damage Accident, Take Report, Make Two Arrests

Sheldon, Iowa — A Sheldon woman’s car and a Sanborn man’s car were both totaled in an accident on October 16 near Sheldon.

The Sheldon Police Department reports that about 5:05 PM, 26-year-old Lindsay Heitritter of Sheldon was northbound on Marsh Avenue, near NCC, just south of Highway 18 in a 2001 Pontiac. Eighty-one-year-old Henry Kiers of Sanborn was southbound on Marsh in a 1987 Mercury.

The report says Kiers turned into the private drive in front of Heitritter, and struck her vehicle in the process.

Heitritter’s Pontiac was totaled, with $7000 total damage. Kiers’s Mercury was also totaled, with an estimated $2000 damage.

Kiers was charged with failure to yield on left turn.

The Sheldon Police also say that someone reported two tires slashed on a Chevy pickup on Sunday or Monday while the pickup was parked in the parking lot at 405 Pine Street. The tires were valued at $300.

The police also say that Phil Warnke at the Ben Franklin store reported a shoplifter on Friday (10/19). Taken were 19 crystal stickers, 2 hats, a pair of gloves, and 2 pairs of slippers, valued at a combined total of $115.07. The police apprehended 43-year-old Lusia Learing of Sheldon, and charged her with Fifth Degree Theft.

The police also arrested 49-year-old Mark Allan Peterson of Sheldon on Saturday (10/20) on an RTF Hold Order. He was taken into custody and transported to jail in Primghar.

FBI Searches Sioux Center Business

Sioux Center, Iowa — Details are sketchy at this time, but FBI agents were in Sioux Center on Monday and Tuesday at the Sioux Automation Company.

The company sells, manufactures, and repairs agricultural equipment such as feed mixers, manure and silage handling equipment, and scale systems.

Sandy Breault, spokeswoman for the FBI’s Omaha bureau says that FBI agents searched Sioux Automation on Monday and Tuesday, but would not comment on the nature of the search, or if anything was found or taken. She also wouldn’t say if any charges had been filed.

We called Sioux Automation CEO Ron Hulshof, and he read from a prepared statement, and said that they had a visit from the Department of Labor Investigative Group. He says company officials feel that this was QUOTE, “a bizarre overreaction to a civil issue.” He says that the company has been working with The Department of Labor for 8 months, cooperating fully. Hulsolf went on to say that they don’t believe they have QUOTE, “done anything to warrant this type of treatment.”

He says they have secured legal counsel. He says their focus remains on understanding, cooperating fully, and caring for their employees, customers, and community as they have for more than 50 years.

He says it’s his understanding that they have not had any charges filed against them and that the investigators were there seeking additional documentation to support the discussion they are having with Sioux Automation.

KIWA Radio has reports that because the building housing Sioux Automation’s administrative offices was locked down on Tuesday — as up to 30 federal agents went through company files — many employees were asked to report to an assembly plant north of Sioux Center.