St. Patrick’s School Receives New SmartBoard Courtesy of Hy-Vee

SmartBoard2-smSheldon, IA — St. Patrick’s Catholic School in Sheldon was the recipient of a new piece of technology, a SmartBoard, Thursday, courtesy of the Hy-Vee Food Stores “Smart Points” program.  Hy-Vee employees were on hand Thursday for the presentation of the SmartBoard to St. Patrick’s.

Sheldon Hy-Vee Store Manager Keith Van Gent says that the program is a cooperative effort between Hy-Vee and Proctor & Gamble.

The “Smart Points” program allows Hy-Vee shoppers to acquire “Smart Points” for the purchase of specific advertised Proctor & Gamble products.  Customers then visit a website where they can select the school they want to receive credit for those “Smart Points”.  At the end of the promotional period, the school that has amassed the highest number of “Smart Points” is given a SmartBoard for their school.  One SmartBoard is given to a school from each Hy-Vee store location.

Van Gent says the program has been going on for several years, but only recently went online with “SmartPoints” redemption.

This is the third time that St. Patrick’s has won a SmartBoard through the “Smart Points” program.  The two they previously received are set up on a mobile platform so they can be moved from room to room, while the new one will be permanently mounted in a classroom at the school.

Alton, Orange City Invite Public To Discussion About Dunlop Wildlife Area

oc altonAlton and Orange City, Iowa — The cities of Alton and Orange City are again teaming up. They’re trying to develop the Dunlop Wildlife area into more of a destination area.

Right now, the area is a popular fishing spot for local anglers, just north of Alton. The communities have been in discussions about the area and some ideas have surfaced.

The two communities and the Sioux County Conservation Board are inviting those interested to participate in discussion on the development of the Dunlop Wildlife Area, Trails, and Roadside Park. That meeting is this evening (3/21), starting at 6:30. The viewing of the current ideas will be at 6:30 PM, and they will hold the formal discussion starting at 7:00 PM. That’s all at the Town Hall in Orange City.

Sheldon City Council Sets Date for Hearing on Downtown Project Assessments

SheldonWhen the Sheldon City Council met Wednesday they adopted the preliminary assessment plat and schedule for the downtown infrastructure project.

That document shows the amount that each parcel of downtown property will be assessed to help fund the endeavor.  The assessments will produce about two hundred and seventy thousand dollars toward the total cost of the project.  It was pointed out that the assessments were based as a percentage of their assessed value.  If the total cost of the project exceeds the engineer’s estimate the assessments will not go up.  But if the total cost is lower than the estimate, the assessments will go down.

Phil Warnke, operator of the Ben Franklin store thanked the council for working toward downtown improvements, but voiced his concerns about the economic impact the assessments will have on property owners.   As an example, he said the  property his stores occupy will be assessed seventeen thousand dollars.  Warnke said he felt that since the property owners installed the sidewalks, and the city will tear them up, the city should pay for their replacement.  And he said he fears that some stores would be put out of business by the cost. Council member Duane Seehusen told Warnke that when the city worked on the street in front of his home they tore out the sidewalk, and he was assessed  the replacement cost.   Dave Popkes said there have been concerns about the fact that some businesses have just installed new sidewalks to comply with the city code.  Now these sidewalks will be torn out and the businesses will have to pay again.  Popkes said he was one of those businesses, but he feels this is ‘just a part of being downtown’.

The Council set April 17th as the date for a public hearing on the assessments. At the suggestion of council member Geels,  the city will consider holding an open public meeting prior to the public hearing.  The engineer said he would be happy to attend that meeting to answer questions. There would be ample news announcements to make the public aware of when they can attend this meeting as well as the public hearing.   Also, all affected property owners will be sent an official notice of the time and place of the hearing. It was emphasized by City officials that nothing about the project is set in stone, and no construction details have been approved at this time.

O’Brien County Community Foundation

o'brien community foundationPrimghar, Iowa — This is the time of the year that government subdivisions and non-profit organizations are finalizing their applications for grant funding through the O’Brien County Community Foundation.

Foundation officials report that the deadline for submitting applications for this grant program is April 15.

Applications are available at each City Hall and library in O’Brien County or may be downloaded at

Since the first grants were awarded in 2006, the foundation has awarded nearly $549,000 to non-profit organizations to help support present and emerging needs in O’Brien County. A detailed list of grants awarded in the last three years is available on the foundation’s website.

The purpose of the foundation is to respond to present and emerging needs within O’Brien County by making grants in the categories:

• Arts & Culture: Provide or increase access to theatre, music, arts, dance, museums, historical events.
• Civic: Community betterment/beautification, city government, emergency services, citizen participation, parks and recreation.
• Education: Early childhood development/daycare, primary, secondary, and continuing education; libraries.
• Environment: Pollution control, natural resource conservation, protecting wildlife, botanic/horticultural activities.
• Health: Promotion and maintenance of physical, dental and mental health; rehabilitative services, crisis intervention.
• Human Services: Housing/shelter, public safety, services for the elderly, youth, families, handicapped, economically disadvantaged, minorities or other special groups.

Those eligible to apply include nonprofit organizations and units of local government that serve O’Brien County and are tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Those not qualified directly, such as service clubs and other non-501(c)(3) organizations, are encouraged to collaborate with a qualified nonprofit agency on projects or seek a fiscal sponsor. Information about fiscal sponsorships is available on the foundation’s web page.


The OBCCF Advisory Board will carefully review grant applications and recommend grants to be awarded. Priority consideration will generally be given to projects and programs that:
* Have potential for long-term impact.
* Address a significant need affecting a broad segment of the county’s population or special
populations considered at risk.
* Provide evidence of careful planning to address county/community needs and access
county/community resources.
* Demonstrate organizational expertise in delivering quality service.
* Document capacity to mobile resources including financial support, in-kind support, and
* Have support already committed.
* Have been developed in collaboration with other nonprofit entities or volunteer groups.
* Do not duplicate existing services.
Lower priority consideration will be given to one-time events. Generally, requests for the following will not be given consideration: general operating expenses, budget deficits, annual fund drives, individuals, political activities, endowment, religious activities, multi-year grants.

The OBCCF is governed by a local nine-member advisory board composed of representatives from each of the communities in O’Brien County. Technical assistance and staff support is provided by the Siouxland Community Foundation which currently works with twelve affiliate Foundations.

Questions about the grant program or application process may be directed to Denise Steffen, OBCCF Advisory Board Chair, at 712-260-6282, or Debbie Hubbard at 712-293-3303.

King Questions ICE Director Over Release of Illegal Aliens

Steve-King ICE 3-20-13Washington, DC — Iowa Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Kiron questioned the director of the U-S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about the release of over two-thousand illegal aliens by the Obama administration. During a House Judiciary Committee meeting today, King asked director John Morton why the agency didn’t take other options to handle budget cuts.

(as he says) “When you looked at your options, of releasing these 22-hundred and 28 into the street, of which 629 are criminals, what was the rationale? If you needed to free up your budget, why didn’t you just go ahead, those who were adjudicated with deportation, remove them?,” King asked. “Or accelerate that process so you could remove them and relieve your budget in that fashion? Release people into the streets of their home country rather than into the streets of our home country?”

Morton responded.

(as he says) “We’re doing everything we can to remove people. So I don’t believe there were any removal cases that were ready to go that we delayed on,” Morton says.  King followed up asking, “but why didn’t you accelerate that as another option rather than releasing people into the streets?” Morton then replied,”We go as fast as we can, I’m not aware of any power that we had to accelerate.”ICE-director

King pressed the question again to Morton.

(as he says) “Did you consider that as something you might want to develop, an ability to accelerate the removal so that you could free up your budget and not people into the streets,” King said. “I am a supporter of trying to make sure that immigration proceedings proceed in a timely fashion, we have a number of proceedings that take too long,”

King has been an outspoken opponent of the administration’s immigration policy.

Accident Caused By Icy Road Damages Marcus Man’s Vehicle

o'brien county Sheriff EmblemPrimghar, Iowa — A Marcus man’s vehicle was damaged in an accident on March 12th.

The O’Brien County Sheriff’s office reports that about 2:20 PM, 51-year-old Paul Tuttle of Marcus was eastbound on 500th Street approaching a bridge. The road was icy due to blowing snow. Tuttle lost control and struck the guardrail on the northwest side of the bridge.

Tuttle sustained possible injuries and was wearing vehicle safety restraints.

Estimated damage to the Tuttle vehicle was $1,500.