One Arrested On Theft Charge, One On Domestic Assault Charge In Separate Cases

Orange City, Iowa — The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office has made two recent arrests in separate cases.
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A Rock Valley man has been accused of taking money meant for his former employer.

The sheriff’s office says that on Wednesday morning, January 28, they arrested 30-year-old Damon Van Veldhuizen of Rock Valley.
The arrest stemmed from an extensive investigation into an alleged financial crime that had occurred at the Double V Dairy near Rock Valley. Upon further investigation, deputies believe that Van Veldhuizen misappropriated funds meant for his former employer, the Double V Dairy.

Van Veldhuizen was arrested on a charge of Second Degree Theft.
The case remains under investigation.

A Sheldon man has been accused of domestic assault.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that they investigated a report of a domestic disturbance on Tuesday evening, January 27. The alleged assault is reported to have occurred at a home two miles northwest of Sheldon. Upon further investigation, deputies believe that 70-year-old John Wolfswinkel of Sheldon allegedly assaulted a family member.

Wolfswinkel was arrested and charged with domestic assault.  

Hundreds Without Power Wednesday Evening In Hospers Power Outage

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Hospers, Iowa — A power outage affected the entire town of Hospers on Wednesday evening, January 28th.

MidAmerican Energy confirms that the outage affected 835 customers in the Hospers area.

It started about 5:03 PM, and power was restored by 6:46 PM, according to MidAmerican Vice President for Corporate Communications, Dave Caris.

He reports that equipment failure at a substation in that area caused the outage.

Power was off for a total of an hour and 43 minutes.

State Unemployment Rate Down; Lyon County Still Lowest

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa unemployment rate is down, and while unemployment is up just a little in Lyon County, it’s still the county with the lowest unemployment in the state.
The state unemployment rate dropped down in December, and a spokesperson for Iowa Workforce Development says the state is getting close to “full employment.” I-W-D spokesperson, Kerry Koonce, says the December unemployment rate hit four-point-one percent, compared to four-point-three percent in November.

(as she says)”Four-point-one percent is actually the lowest rate we’ve had since June of 2008. The national rate is still standing at five-point-six percent for December,” Koonce says.

She says the national experts believe Iowa is getting close to what’s called full employment, or the percentage of the labor market that is able to find a job if they want a job.

(as she says)”It’s between three-and-half and four percent for Iowa, closer to the four percent,” Koonce says. “It used be closer to the three, three-and-a-half, but as the economy has changed over the years, they say the full employment for Iowa falls in that three-and-a-half to four percent range.”

It is the third straight month that the unemployment rate has dropped.

(as she says)”What we’ve seen is we’ve seen a decrease in the number of people who are unemployed, plus a continued increase in the size of our labor force couple with adding 21-hundred jobs to the economy in the month of December, that’s what allows us to bring that rate down continually,” Koonce explains.

She takes about the areas where the state gained jobs.

(as she says)”A large portion of the jobs were in manufacturing — that was 16-hundred of them — another 500 still in construction, plus we saw 15-hundred in business and professional services, and 600 of those were also in what we call other services, which is kind of a combined category,” Koonce says.

The state lost one thousand jobs in the trade and transportation area, which Koonce says included the retail sector.

(as she says)”You saw a lot of people leave at the end of the holiday season, plus the retail trade is just seeing a lot more people move to on-line shopping, so that just decreases the numbers they need in the actual stores,” she says.

Local and state government saw the loss of 900 jobs in the month, but she says but many of these losses were seasonal transitions and should be recovered in January. Iowa’s largest manufacturing employer, Deere and Company, announced the layoff of 900 workers last week. Koonce says that won’t have an immediate impact on next month’s unemployment numbers.

(as she says)”We’ll see it in the job numbers, but it may be kind of a slow progression. And that’s because the layoffs are spread out over three to four months with John Deere,” Koonce explains. “So they won’t be completed until the end of April, so it would be our May report which is for April numbers, when all of that would have taken effect. But if it’s spread out over several months it will be a small decline, you are not going to see a sudden drop of 900 all at once.”

Koonce says Iowa Workforce Development already is responding to help the Deere workers as they face the layoffs. I-W-D says the total number of working Iowans reached a current-year peak of one-million-642-thousand-900 in December. This figure is 31-hundred higher than November and 38-thousand-100 higher than one year ago.

Lyon County is the county with the lowest unemployment rate in the state for December at 2.1 percent. That is up a little from November when it was 1.9. Sioux County is number eight on the list with 2.9 percent, also up slightly since November, when it was 2.3. Plymouth County is 13th, with 3.1 percent. O’Brien is 23rd, with 3.6 percent unemployment in December, up from 2.9 in November. Clay is 25th with 3.7 percent. Osceola is 46th with 4.0 percent unemployment, up from 3.1 percent in November.

We should mention that the state figures are seasonally-adjusted, while the county figures are not adjusted for seasonal layoffs.

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Daffodil Cancer Society Fundraiser Continues

Sheldon, Iowa — A fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life — Daffodil Sales — are going on in O’Brien and Sioux Counties.
One of the first flowers of Spring, the daffodil is the symbol of hope. O’Brien County Daffodil orders will be taken from January 19th through February 12th. To place your order, please call Cindy Runger at 324-4833; Loretta Vander Linden at 324-2273, Hair Headquarters; His and Her Hair, or stop at the Sheldon Library. Daffodils will be available for pickup on Tuesday, March 10th at Cook’s Cafe.

In Sioux County, American Cancer Society Spokesperson Teresa Vande Pol says you can order your daffodils by February 14th at Flowers by Jan in Hawarden, Personal Touch Designs in Hull, Something Special in Rock Valley, Orange City Floral Company in Orange City, and Petals and Perks in Sioux Center. They are $10 a bunch. They must be prepaid with checks payable to “Sioux County Daffodils”. Sioux County daffodils may be picked up March 10-13th.

If you have any questions, you can contact Teresa Vande Pol in Hawarden for the Sioux County Daffodil fundraiser and Cindy Runger in Sheldon for the O’Brien County Daffodil fundraiser.

Event/Convention Center Still A Priority For New Sheldon Park

Sheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon Community Park Planning Committee has re-affirmed their consideration of an Events/Convention Center as their top priority for the new community park area New-Sheldon-Signon the east side of the City.

At their meeting Tuesday, Mayor Katricia Meendering reported that a small core group of their committee is having discussions about this project and would like to see that moved on a faster track than the rest of the process. The SCDC, City of Sheldon and the Marketing Committee have agreed to share a portion of the cost of moving forward with more specifics.

The committee also discussed a wide range of other possibilities for the park area. This included a playground, open shelter houses, basketball courts, and sledding hills, as well as an open space area of 5 to 7 acres. The development of the pond is being coordinated with the O’Brien County Conservationist and will be stocked with fish this year.

It was generally agreed that the recreational trails should circle the pond with some access points to the water. Trail features such as shelters, benches and connection with other park amenities were also discussed.

The next meeting of the committee will be set on a date when a representative of RDG Planning and Development can attend.

Ten-Year-Old Boy Charged With Aggravated Assault

Storm Lake, Iowa — A 10-year-old boy from Storm Lake faces an assault charge after authorities say he stabbed his 9-year-old brother.
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According to Storm Lake Police, the alleged incident happened in a Storm Lake apartment on Monday evening. The report was that a woman was looking for a ride to the hospital after her child had been stabbed.

After a preliminary investigation, police believe the two brothers had gotten into an argument. The 10-year-old threw a kitchen knife at the 9-year-old, stabbing him in the back.

Both the mother and the 10-year-old are charged in the case.

Forty-two-year-old Jennifer Means-Delcid was arrested and charged with child endangerment. She was booked into jail on a $2,000 bond.

The 10-year-old faces a charge of aggravated assault. He was released to a family member and is supposed to make an appearance in juvenile court.