Sheldon School Board Approves New Teacher Contract

Sheldon-Schools-logoSheldon, IA — At their regular monthly meeting Wednesday night, the Sheldon Community School District Board of Education approved the 2013/14 contract with the Sheldon Education Association, the union representing the District’s teachers.

The contract calls for a total package increase of 3.56% in salary and benefits over the current year’s contract.

They also approved the contract for Eric Maassen as High School Head Boys Basketball Coach, Chris Walker as Boy’s Assistant Basketball Coach, LaDonn Hartzell as School Business Official/Board Secretary, Christopher Stotz as Industrial Arts Teacher, Jerod Reinking as 4th Grade Elementary Teacher, and Maggie Lloyd as 9th Grade Girls Softball Coach.

The Board held a hearing on the 2013-2014 District Budget.  Superintendent Robin Spears told the Board that no written or oral comments had been received from the public on the proposed budget, and no one rose to speak at the Budget Hearing.  The Board approved the budget, which totaled $16,268,203.00.

In other action, the Board spent a significant amount of time on a teleconference with representatives of Cannon-Moss-Brygger, the architectural fir hired by the District for the East Elementary remodel/contruction project.  THe architects told the Board that there have been some contingency cost increases that have come up as the project moves forward. For example, substantially more asbestos was discovered than had originally been thought.  Removal of the asbestos will add a fairly significant amount to the project costs.  The architect assured the School Board, however, that they would do their best to find ways to keep the costs under control, and keep the project on budget.

The Board set Monday May 13th at 5:00 pm as the date and time for their May monthly meeting.  In addition, they set 5:30 pm the same day as the date and time for a Public Hearing on the 2012-2013 Budget Amendment.  Superintendent Robin Spears told the Board that there is a 50/50 chance that a budget amendment will need to be filed, so the hearing will be held if necessary.  The meeting will be held in the high school library.

The Board ended the meeting by adjourning into closed session to discuss strategy matters involving employment conditions of employees not covered under the collective bargaining agreement.

KIWA Radio Has To Back Down Power To Prevent Transmitter Damage Due To Ice On Antenna Bays, Tower

ice on antenna freezing rainSheldon, Iowa — Even radio stations are not immune from the effects of an ice storm. KIWA Radio had to fold back power due to all the ice accumulating on the tower and antenna bays.

KIWA Chief Engineer Wayne Barahona tells us what happens.

He says that means some listeners may experience weaker signals.

Barahona says KIWA hopes to gradually restore full power to both KIWA and KIWA-FM with the help of mother nature. He says in the meantime, you can listen online at

KIWA did fare better than one area radio station. We’re told a radio tower in Worthington completely collapsed, due to the ice.

Power Slowly Being Restored In Northwest Iowa

ice power lines sxcOrange City, Iowa — The wintery mix of weather that’s sweeping through the state has left hundreds of people without power. Up to one inch of ice has coated trees and power lines in northwest Iowa. Gaylene Eshuis is the Operations Coordinator with North West Rural Electric Cooperative.

Early Wednesday afternoon, more than 1,300 rural electric cooperative customers throughout northwest Iowa were without power as a result of the storm. MidAmerican Energy also had several hundred customers without power in northwest Iowa.

According to a statement from North West REC, their line personnel continue to make good progress on the electric service restoration efforts for their members. Crews from Ida County are assisting the crews on the north part of the Northwest REC service area since damage in the Ida County area was minimal. By 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, there were about 140 members out of power. The most extensive damage has been in northwest Sioux County. They also have a small number of members out of power in O’Brien and Plymouth counties. Northwest REC Manager Lyle Korver says they have had 15 to 20 broken poles and a number of line breaks.

It was believed that they would have most of their members back in power Wednesday night. However, it was expected that a few members would likely be without power overnight due to the pole replacements that are necessary in order to restore service.

Members are reminded to call the Outage 800 Number which is (800) 766-2099 to report an outage if they are still without power.

Members of Osceola Rural Electric are advised that due to the ice and wind OEC is experiencing county-wide outages. OEC crews and crews from three other cooperatives are working to restore power. Crews are concentrating on three phase lines currently and hope to start on single phase lines Thursday morning. We are told that outage durations could last into the weekend. Osceola County Emergency management is opening a shelter for people who don’t have electricity on Wednesday night at the Sibley Baptist Church and the Sibley Legion Hall, as well as the Ashton Legion Hall, Ocheyedan City Hall, and Melvin Lutheran Church.

Sheldon Woman Ticketed Following Saturday Fender-Bender

sheldon pd police car rearSheldon, IA — The Sheldon Police Department investigated a 2-vehicle accident Saturday afternoon on South 3rd Avenue in Sheldon.  Police say the accident happened about 3:20 Saturday afternoon when 20-year old Natosha Engelkes of Sheldon backed her 1998 Chevrolet Monte Carlo from a private driveway and struck a parked 2006 Dodge Caravan, owned by Tanner Lyons of Sheldon.

The Lyons van received an estimated $1200 in damage, with damage to the Monte Carlo estimated at $300.  Police say Engelkes was cited for Unsafe Backing on a Highway.

No injuries were reported.

Hull Man Arrested After He Allegedly Passed Checks Belonging To Someone Else

bank check fraudRock Rapids, Iowa — A Hull man has been arrested on felony theft charges after he allegedly passed checks belonging to someone else.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that they arrested 18-year-old Shane Joseph Meerdink of Hull on Sunday (4/7).

Meerdink was wanted on warrants. He is accused of using checks that did not belong to him, and cashing them, knowing them to be forged.

Meerdink was charged with Second-Degree Theft, and Forgery, both Class D felonies.

Boyden Man Sentenced For Burglary

Sioux County Courthouse Justice StatueOrange City, IA — A Boyden man will spend two years in prison following his guilty pleas Monday on multiple charges, in Sioux County District Court.

Sioux County Attorney Coleman McAllister says 20-year old Drew Alan Kersten of Boyden was sentenced for 3rd Degree Burglary, 3rd Degree Theft, and Possession of Marijuana.  McAllister says the case stems from a November 14th incident, where Kersten broke into a shop building in rural Sioux County and stole catalytic converters, scrap copper, batteries, and wheels that authorities say he sold to a scrap metal business in Sioux Falls.  At the time of his arrest on those charges, Kersten was also charged with Possession of Marijuana.

McAllister says Kersten was granted a deferred judgement on the burglary charge and placed on 3 years probation.  He was sentenced to 2 years in prison on the theft charge, and received a 180-day jail sentence on the marijuana charges.  Both were suspended with Kersten placed on probation for 2 years.  As a specific condition of his probation, Kersten was ordered to reside at the Residential Treatment Facility in Sheldon until maximum benefits have been achieved.   He’s be held for approximately  6 to 8 weeks in the Sioux County Jail, until bed space becomes available at the RTF.