Fire Marshal’s Office Offers Propane Safety and Winter Weather Steps to Keep Your Family Safe

Propane Tank - WinterDes Moines, Iowa — Extreme cold, sleet, and ice may all be part of winter, but being unprepared for them shouldn’t be. If your home or business uses propane to generate heat or run appliances,  the State Fire Marshal’s office  and the Iowa Propane Gas Association have some safety tips for you.

  • Make sure your heating system and appliances are running efficiently.
  • Make sure you have an adequate propane supply. 
  • Mark the location of your tank with a flag, pole, or stake that is higher than the average snow cover depth for your location.
  • After a winter storm passes and it is safe to do so, check the entire area for downed power lines, damaged gas lines, or damage to your propane tank, and call a professional if there is damage.
  • Check your chimneys, flue pipes, vent connectors, and propane tank for damage, blockage, or debris caused by snow and ice. Use a broom rather than a shovel.
  • Never use a stove for space heating and never use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas, particularly in the event of a power outage.
  • Use extreme caution when operating portable generators, and never use them indoors either.

Click here for a link to more information.

George, Iowa To Have Lyon County’s Freedom Rock

freedom_rock2George, Iowa — The City of George is going to have a “Freedom Rock”. What is a “Freedom Rock”?

The original Freedom Rock is located in Adair County, just a mile south of Interstate 80 exit #86 near Greenfield. It is re-painted with a different tribute to our veterans annually. The rock was dug out of the nearby limestone quarry in the late 60’s. Since it was placed so close to Highway 25 it was frequently covered in crude graffiti from local teens, usually to taunt other town’s sports teams.

In 1999, Ray Sorensen II asked the owners of the quarry if he could paint a tribute to our military for Memorial Day. They agreed, and Ray, better known as Bubba, has painted a tribute each year for the past 14 years on what is now known internationally as The Freedom Rock, and during this time has been hired across the country to create his patriotic murals.

Next came the Freedom Rock Tour. That idea came about when Sorensen was thinking about traveling around painting murals for American Legions throughout the country. Ray thought that would be a cool tourism draw to have paintings in each American Legion across the country…then it hit him, what a neat draw it would be for Iowa to have a “Freedom Rock” in all 99 counties.

The hope is that this will be a one-of-a-kind statewide Veterans Memorial that will lead tourists across our state
to see each rock, providing small towns with a unique tourist attraction.

The George Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that they will be commissioning Sorensen to bring a Freedom Rock to Lyon County. The Chamber will be partnering with the City of George and the George Depot Committee to place the rock near the newly-relocated George Railroad Depot on George’s north side in Locker Park.

Over the next several months the George Chamber of Commerce will be soliciting funds and accepting donations to help cover the cost of the project. It is expected to cost around $8000.

For more information and to view a live map of counties as they commit to the project visit

Sheldon Police Investigate Accident, Make Four Arrests In Three Incidents

Sheldon PD car police spdSheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon Police investigated an accident, made an arrest for driving without a license, and arrested three young people for shoplifting and possession of alcohol recently.

A Sheldon woman’s minivan and a Sheldon woman’s car were damaged in an accident on Friday (12/28) in Sheldon.

The Sheldon Police Department reports that about 10:05 AM, 36-year-old Amber VanKekerix of Sheldon was northbound on South Third Avenue, just south of Wyman Street, in a 2005 Chrysler. Twenty-four-year-old Amanda Boone of Sheldon was backing westbound from a driveway on South Third, in a 1999 Chevy.

Due to another parked vehicle, Boone did not see the VanKekerix vehicle approaching. VanKekerix attempted to avoid the collision, but was not able to.

VanKekerix’s Chrysler received $2000 damage. Boone’s Chevy received $2000 damage.

There were no injuries reported.

Boone was charged with unsafe backing.

In other news from the Sheldon Police:

The police arrested 24-year-old Chan Sontay on Saturday, December 22nd, on a charge of Driving without a license. He was taken into custody and transported to jail in Primghar.

On Friday, the 14th, they took a shoplifting report from Hy-Vee. The police arrested three people in connection with the incident. Arrested were 19-year-old Jeremy Sheriff, 19-year-old Nathaniel May, and a 17-year-old juvenile. They were charged with Fifth Degree Theft, a simple misdemenor, and Possession Of Alcohol Under Age, a serious misdemeanor. The adults were cited and released and the juvenile was cited into juvenile court.

Authorities Investigate Several Business Burglaries In Northwest Iowa This Month

crime genericNorthwest Iowa — There have been a number of business burglaries in northwest Iowa recently, and authorities are wondering if there’s a connection.

In Sheldon, Los Tulipantes restaurant on Highway 18 East was burglarized on December 11th or 12th. Taken in the burglary was an undetermined amount of cash. Damaged in the break-in was a door jamb and filing cabinet. Damage was estimated at $125.

Three northwest Iowa men are behind bars in connection with a burglary that took place at the Little Rock grocery store on December 20th.

In Le Mars, Taco Johns Restaurant, Bob’s Drive Inn and Northwest Iowa Auto Center were all burglarized this month. Other break-ins have occurred in Remsen, Akron, Orange City and Storm Lake.

If you have any information on these or any other crimes, you’re encouraged to call law enforcement.

Sioux Center Food Pantry Gets 7,000 Pounds Of Food; Those Who Need Food Encouraged To Come

food pantry cans cannedSioux Center, Iowa — It’s an opportunity for the less fortunate amongst us.

The Siouxland food bank is taking 7,000 pounds of food today (Friday, 12/28) as an end-of-year donation to The Center For Financial Education’s food pantry location in Sioux Center.

Those that could benefit from this are welcome to go and get some food. The truck will be in the parking lot from 2-4 PM today (Friday).

Those receiving food will need to take their own bags and boxes to take the food home.

The Center For Financial Education’s food pantry is at 315 First Ave. N.E. in Sioux Center.

Couple Hauling MOC/Floyd Valley Band Gear To Rose Parade Injured In Accident

ambulance lightbarBarstow, California — The injured have been released from the hospital, and the cargo is safely in California, but two MOC/Floyd Valley band parents were injured in an accident en route to the Rose Parade — and no, it has nothing to do with the snow.

KTIV-TV is reporting that according to MOC/FV Superintendent Gary Richardson, Kevin and Nancy Jansen were using their semi to haul instruments and uniforms to the parade. They were stopped at a rest area in Barstow, California. They were walking on the sidewalk at the rest area, when a car lost control, came over the curb, and struck them.

According to Richardson, they have been treated and released from a hospital, and are now with the band, which arrived in Pasadena Thursday night. All the gear is safely there as well.

The 170-member band from MOC/Floyd Valley High School In Orange City raised almost $300,000 over the past four years to finance the trip. They will march in their wooden shoes in the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day. It’s the second trip to the Rose Parade in the band’s history. The band also performed there in 1993.