Sioux City To Be Home Of “Hard Rock Casino”

Hard Rock Sioux CitySioux City, Iowa — Sioux City will soon have a glowing 30-foot electric guitar added to its skyline — advertising the Hard Rock Casino.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission voted 3-2 in their meeting in Council Bluffs to award a license for a new land-based casino to the group that proposed a Hard Rock Casino in the downtown area. Bill Warner is the head of the Sioux City Entertainment group, which won out over three other proposals. Warner says they’ll get to work quickly on building the casino on the city’s west end.

(as he says) “We began the design process in advance of this, hopeful that we would get this outcome. So, our intent is to begin right away with getting the site ready for construction,” he says. “Our intent is to begin construction in the summertime and finish by summer of next year.”

The vote also means that Missouri River Historical Development, also known by the acronym, “MHRD” will continue to hold the non-profit license for the casino, as it has for the Argosy Riverboat Casino that’ll be replaced. MHRD board president, Mark Monson had this response after the vote.

(as he says) “Happy, MHRD has a lot of work to do. We have about a year or so to develop a plan to become involved in the development of the Woodbury County area. We have some suggestions for our board that we will have to consider,” Monson says.

Under Iowa gambling law, the nonprofit holds a license to conduct gambling games, while the operator holds a license to operate the casino gambling structure or boat. Two of the commissioners took Monson and the MHRD board to task for the deterioration of their relationship with riverboat operator Penn Gaming. The deterioration of that relationship led the board to open up the license process for the land-based casino. Penn did submit a proposal for the land-based casino, but lost out to the Hard Rock proposal.

Foreign Candy Company Celebrates New Outlet Store Location

TFCCOutletStore640pxHull, Iowa — The Foreign Candy Company in Hull has decided to co-locate their outlet store with their corporate offices, and now they’re having a grand opening celebration. The offices had been in the same building with Agropur Cheese, and the outlet store was in downtown Hull. Years ago the Foreign Candy Company had offices on Highway 18 west of Hull, and their brand new location is close to that location, but on the south side of the highway instead of the north.

We talked with Bill Lange, director of marketing at Foreign Candy Company, and he tells us about the move and the grand opening.

He says they’ve got some big events planned.Foreign Candy New Building

He says they decided to build the new facility so that all their departments, including the outlet store and corporate offices could be in the same location. He says it works much better, logistically.

Lange invites everyone to their celebration and to “share the smiles that candy can bring you”.

Nw Iowa Couple Is Sentenced In Four Bank Robberies

gavel_sxcWall Lake, Iowa — A Wall Lake couple has been sentenced in connection with the robbery of four banks.

In December, 48-year-old Jeffrey Alan Schoon and 40-year-old Roxena Lee Schoon pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank robberies, and Jeffrey pled guilty to four counts of bank robbery and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a conspiracy.

They were sentenced Wednesday, with Jeffrey Schoon receiving 15 years in prison. In addition, he must pay over 32-thousand dollars in restitution to the banks. Roxena Schoon was sentenced to five years in prison.

Court records state the Schoons robbed the Iowa State Bank in Odebolt on December 29th, 2011; on January 11th of last year they robbed the Citizens First National Bank in Early. On January 28th, 2012, they robbed the Westside State Bank in Vail. And on March 23rd, 2012, they robbed the Heritage Bank in Lytton.

All the banks were within 20 miles of their home in Wall Lake.

Jefferey Schoon admitted to carrying guns and a Molotov Cocktail during the robberies.

Story from Radio Iowa

UPDATE: Two Dead After Superior, Iowa Accident

fatal ambulance IISuperior, Iowa — Two people are dead after an accident last night (4/17) near Superior, Iowa.

The Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office reports that the accident happened just before 7 PM, in the 1800 block of 310 Ave (N-14). That’s about four miles southwest of Superior.

Seventy-one-year-old Marie Petersen of Spencer was southbound in a 2005 Ford Focus, when she lost control of the vehicle on icy roads. The Focus crossed the center line and collided with a northbound 2009 Peterbilt Semi tractor/trailer driven by 55-year-old Kevin Graven of Rippey, Iowa.

Marie Petersen and her passenger, 72-year-old Duane Petersen were killed in the accident. Graven was uninjured.

Damage was estimated at $6900 to the Ford and $3500 to the Peterbilt.

The accident remains under investigation.

The Iowa State Patrol, Superior Rescue, Superior Fire Department, The Milford Rescue Extrication unit, Spirit Lake Ambulance, and Jennings Repair & Tow assisted the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office on the scene.

Lyon County Authorities Handle Gas Drive Off, OWI Incident

Lyon County Sheriff Car DoorRock Rapids, Iowa — Lyon County Sheriff’s Officials have handled a couple of recent incidents.

They report that they charged 31-year-old Heidi Vanden Bosch of Orange City on Sunday (4/14) with Fifth Degree Theft after a gas drive off from Todd’s in Rock Rapids.

They also filed multiple charges against a Larchwood man after an incident on Monday night (4/15).

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 9 PM, deputies arrested 20-year-old Phillip Feucht of Larchwood on charges of operating while intoxicated, a serious misdemeanor; reckless driving; underage possession of alcohol; and causing a safety hazard at a rail road crossing, all simple misdemeanors.

Sheldon Council Hears Comments on Downtown Improvement Assessments

streetscape_afterSheldon, Iowa — There was a good turnout of business people, property owners  and the general public Wednesday to hear details about the proposed downtown infrastructure project.  Derrick Anderson of McClure Engineering explained that from the beginning they encouraged full re-construction in order to reduce the difference in the elevation of the streets and the sidewalks.  Also they would make the downtown compliant with the American Disabilities Act.  And of course, beautification of the downtown was also a priority.

Anderson showed where the bump-outs would be located, pointing out that at the request of the City Council they were smaller than the original plan.  There was a good turnout of property owners, business people and the He also said the bump-outs would better define the crosswalks and twelve of them will have a tree in them.  Planter boxes are not part of the engineer’s plan, but can be added later. According to the plan, the work would be done in phases with the first stage to begin June third with the final work completed by November 1st.

Since there is concern about the loss of downtown business during construction,  SCDC Director Mark Gaul  told the group that he is organizing a committee to work with the city and SCDC  on a public awareness, and advertising campaign. Immediately after this meeting, the City Council room was filled with people ready to comment on the assessment process during a public hearing. In order to give everyone time to speak, each person was allowed up to three minutes.  Al Kats told the council that he had been in favor of downtown improvements, but didn’t think he would be paying for it.  He defined parking as a major concern and recommended all one way streets downtown with angle parking on both sides.

Eileen Marten, operator of  His and Her Hair told the council that she has always been proud to be a part of the downtown  but is opposed to the project.  She said it might look beautiful in Sioux City or Omaha, but would not be cost effective in Sheldon.  She is also worried that with her large assessment she might not be able to stay here.


The owner of the Ben Franklin Store, Phil Warnke told the council that he has talked to dozens of stores in other towns where this type of work had been done.  He said that they had averaged a 25 to 30 percent drop in business during the construction…some lost up to ninety percent or closed completely.  With this in mind, the assessments just add insult to injury. John Locke who with his wife Angie own the Locke’s of Hair building said the project is ‘neat looking’  but their assessment is ten thousand dollars   and can’t see how they will get a return on this “investment.”Several other people addressed the council including Lori Letner who said she is absolutely for the project but questioned the assessment.  She liked the one way street idea.  She added, “we need to draw people downtown and then look nice for them”.

After the hearing, the four council members present, Hindt, Seehusen, Geels and Popkes all voted in favor of a Resolution of necessity concerning the Preliminary Assessment Plat and Schedule.  It was explained that these are the maximum amounts that can be assessed.  They could be lowered.

We’ll have more City Council news on later KIWA newscasts.