Three NW Iowa Coops Consider Unification

Rock Valley, Iowa — Three agriculture coops in northwest Iowa are considering unification.
grain elevator silos
United Farmers Co-op based in George, Farmers Elevator Coop, based in Rock Valley, and Coop Elevator Association, based in Ocheyedan are looking at the move. We talked with Farmers Elevator Coop General Manager Mark Finck, who explains the difference between the term “unification” and the term “merger.”


He tells us why they’re looking at unification.


He says the move just makes sense to him.


Finck says eleven meetings are being held throughout the areas of the three companies, and the findings of the different committees are being reviewed.

He says the meetings wrap up on Wednesday, April 1st, and then the vote will be taken.


He says on April 20th, the companies’ auditors will count the votes. And, says Finck, it’s important that everyone make an informed decision and vote. He tells us why.


Finck shares with us the proposed new company name and leadership structure.


He says while they will not be closing any locations, the head office would be in Rock Valley. Each of the three companies were formed over 100 years ago, with the oldest — Farmers Elevator Coop in Rock Valley — being formed in 1899. He says that’s one of the reasons Rock Valley was selected as the location for the head office.

Finck says no employees would be cut in the move, and everyone’s job is safe.

The new company would have over 20 locations, including two in Minnesota and one in South Dakota. For more information, including meeting times and locations, you can contact any of the local locations, or visit the companies’ websites.

www.farmerselevatorcoop.com
www.ceacoop.com
www.unitedfarmerscoop.com

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Man Faces Charges In Alleged Burglaries

Primghar, Iowa – A Paullina man has been arrested on several felony charges. He is accused of committing several burglaries in the four northwest Iowa counties.
Hand Cuffs sxc
The O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office reports that they arrested 29-year-old Seth William Johnson of Paullina and he has been charged with six counts of Second Degree Theft, a class D felony; seven counts of Third Degree Burglary, a class D felony; and seven misdemeanor counts of Third Degree Burglary.

The Sheriff’s Office says that numerous northwest Iowa law enforcement agencies including the O’Brien, Osceola, Lyon and Sioux County Sheriff’s Offices and the Sheldon, Sutherland and Paullina Police Departments have worked jointly on a series of burglary and theft investigations. They say the investigations involved burglaries to businesses, homes, and vehicles between May and October, 2014 and involved items including guns, cash, jewelry, a motorcycle, tools and fishing equipment.

The charges which are a class D felonies are punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $7,500. The charges that are aggravated misdemeanors are punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $6250. Johnson has been booked into the O’Brien County Jail on the charges and will make appearances in District Court in the respective counties at a later date.

The public is reminded that a criminal charge is merely an accusation. All persons are innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected as a part of this investigation.


Be Prepared For Severe Weather

Sheldon, Iowa — This is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa. Each day this week, the National Weather Service is focusing on a different severe weather topic.

Today’s topic is family preparedness.

Disasters of all kinds disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year. FEMA and the National Weather Service say that each disaster has lasting effects, both to people and property. If a disaster occurs in your community, local government and disaster-relief organizations will try to help you, but you need to be ready as well. Local responders may not be able to reach you immediately, or they may need to focus their efforts elsewhere. Being prepared for a disaster can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters.

According to FEMA, There are five key elements to a disaster plan:

  1. Learn about possible dangers in your area and become familiar with your community’s disaster response plan. Common disasters in Iowa include flooding, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.
  2. Talk to your family about what to do in the event of an emergency. Pick two locations where you will meet: one close to your home and another removed from your neighborhood to be used if you are unable to return to your residence.
  3. Develop a crisis communications plan to insure that your family will be able to stay in contact if you are separated during a disaster.
  4. Create emergency preparedness kits for your home, office and car.
  5. Practice your plan.

Sioux County Emergency Management Director Nate Huizenga says there are certain things we should keep in a disaster kit.


Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

For more information about what to keep in a disaster kit and a first aid kit, developing your family evacuation plan, preparing your home and just generally being prepared for disasters, follow these links.

To register for the Nixle service click here.

For more information, click here for the National Weather Service’s Family Preparedness Pamphlet.

For severe weather safety and preparedness information in Spanish, please click here (en Español).

Para obtener información sobre la preparación de mal tiempo, haga clic aquí. (en español)


NCC Offering Crane Operator Training

Sheldon, Iowa — It’s a first for northwest Iowa — crane operator training is being offered right now at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon.
Crane 1
We had a chance to talk to NCC’s Director of Economic Development & Workforce Training, Jason Anderson, who tells us that the program started because local industry asked them to develop this type of training.


He says students are learning how to operate two different types of cranes.


He says there is a good mix of students that are being retrained for new professions and NCC students from the Heavy Equipment and Maintenance program that are taking this class to improve their credentials on their résumés, according to Anderson.

He says that NCC is the only school providing crane training in the state. In fact, a construction company in Sioux Falls and one in Sioux City asked NCC to offer the training because of the long travel distances to other areas where it is offered.


He tells us about the class’s NCCCO certification.
Crane 2

Anderson says there’s some financial assistance available for this and some other courses too for those who qualify.


Anderson says NCC hopes to make the training available at least annually in March, and perhaps twice a year.

For more information, you can call NCC at 800-352-4907, or in the local Sheldon calling area, 324-5061.

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School Start Date Still Uncertain

Des Moines, Iowa — This fall’s start date for Iowa schools is still up in the air.
iowa state capitol sva
A bill that would have set “on or after August 23rd” as the school start date in Iowa has been tabled in the Iowa Senate. On the 10th of March, 32 of the 50 members of the senate voted in favor of letting school boards decide when school starts in the fall. This week, Senator Herman Quirmbach, a Democrat from Ames, asked his senate colleagues to vote in favor of that “local control” approach.

But when it came time to vote, a majority of senators sided with the House approach to set “on or after August 23rd” as the standard for a school start date. That prompted Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal to use a parliamentary maneuver which has tabled the bill. He’s not saying when it may be brought back up for a vote. He says he’s “in no rush”.


Sheldon Home & Design Expo Is Saturday

Sheldon, Iowa — It’s time for the annual Sheldon Home and Design Expo.
LLRC3 250
It’ll be Saturday, March 28th from 9 AM to 4 PM at Northwest Iowa Community College’s Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center.

We had a chance to visit with Sheldon Chamber Director Allison Cooke, who’s been getting everything ready for Saturday’s expo.


She says they will have a wide variety of vendors.


KIWA will be there too. Stop and see us. Again that’s the 2015 Sheldon Home and Design Expo at the Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center, Saturday from 9 to 4.

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