Two People Reportedly Struck By Lighning Friday Evening In Sheldon

Sheldon, Iowa — Just after 4 pm Friday afternoon two individuals leaving work at Maintainer Corp in Sheldon were struck by lightning.  The pair were transported to Sanford Sheldon by SCAT and reportedly life-flighted to Sanford Sioux Falls.  KIWA has no condition report as of Saturday morning.

According to Walt Pruiksma, Sheldon Emergency Management Director, both Wayne Barahona and he were in the radio station’s front lobby after hearing the first of two loud cracks of thunder.  Peering south both individuals witnessed the bolt that apparently struck the Maintainer employees.  Barahona said the bolt of lightning went east to west and then down in a fork pattern.  At first the pair thought the bolt struck a cell tower south of town but then emergency crews were paged to Maintainer for two individuals struck by lightning.  Both were also watching radar and have indicated only light showers were observed.

Here are lightning safety tips from the National Lightning Safety Institute:

Personal Lightning Safety Tips

1. PLAN in advance your evacuation and safety measures. When you first see lightning or hear thunder, activate your emergency plan. Now is the time to go to a building or a vehicle. Lightning often precedes rain, so don’t wait for the rain to begin before suspending activities.

2. IF OUTDOORS…Avoid water. Avoid the high ground. Avoid open spaces. Avoid all metal objects including electric wires, fences, machinery, motors, power tools, etc. Unsafe places include underneath canopies, small picnic or rain shelters, or near trees. Where possible, find shelter in a substantial building or in a fully enclosed metal vehicle such as a car, truck or a van with the windows completely shut. If lightning is striking nearby when you are outside, you should:

A. Crouch downPut feet together. Place hands over ears to minimize hearing damage from thunder.

B. Avoid proximity (minimum of 15 ft.) to other people.

3. IF INDOORS… Avoid water. Stay away from doors and windows. Do not use the telephone. Take off head sets. Turn off, unplug, and stay away from appliances, computers, power tools, & TV sets. Lightning may strike exterior electric and phone lines, inducing shocks to inside equipment.

4. SUSPEND ACTIVITIES for 30 minutes after the last observed lightning or thunder.

5. INJURED PERSONS do not carry an electrical charge and can be handled safely. Apply First Aid procedures to a lightning victim if you are qualified to do so. Call 911 or send for help immediately.


Sheldon Police Cover Four Accidents, Make Arrest, Take Vandalism Report

Sheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon Police Department has been busy. They report four accidents, and an arrest — plus they took a vandalism report as well.

A Hereford, Arizona man was taken to the hospital after an accident on Thursday, May 17 in Sheldon.

The Sheldon Police Department reports that about just before 4 PM, 23-year-old Christopher Tatsumi of Hereford, Arizona was westbound on Highway 18, near 19th Avenue in a 2007 GMC pickup. Eighteen-year-old Payge Blumeyer of Sheldon was also westbound on 18 in a 2002 Pontiac.

Tatsumi was approaching the intersection when his pickup was rear-ended by Blumeyer.

Tatsumi was transported to Sanford Sheldon by his grandmother.

Blumeyer’s Pontiac received $3000 damage.

Tatsumi’s GMC pickup was not damaged.

Blumeyer was charged with failure to have control.

A minivan and a pickup, both driven by Sheldon women were damaged in an accident on Monday, May 21 in Sheldon.

The Sheldon Police Department reports that about 8:20 AM, 31-year-old Diana Lerma of Sheldon was southbound on Washington Avenue, near East Sixth Street in a 2005 Chrysler. Twenty-Eight-year-old Crystallyn Sterler of Sheldon was southbound also on Washington in a 2005 Ford pickup.

Sterler’s pickup was facing southbound waiting to make a left turn onto East Sixth. Lerma was behind Sterler, but thought Sterler’s vehicle was parked, so she tried to pass. At that time, Sterler made the turn and Lerma’s minivan collided with Sterler’s pickup.

Lerma’s minivan and Sterler’s pickup received $2800 damage, each.

There were no injuries.

Lerma was charged with unsafe passing.

Three cars were damaged in a chain-reaction accident in Sheldon on Wednesday, May 16.

The Sheldon Police Department reports that about 4:25 PM, 67-year-old Carol Buteyn (BYOO-tine) of Sanborn was eastbound on Highway 18, near the Pamida driveway in a 2006 Toyota. Eighty-four-year-old Merlynn Miller of Sheldon was also eastbound on 18, in front of Buteyn in a 2004 Ford pickup. In front of him was 45-year-old Kathryn Groen of Sanborn in a 2010 Ford.

Groen was making a left turn into the Pamida driveway. Miller was waiting for Groen to complete the turn, and was rear-ended by Buteyn who was unable to stop in time. That caused Miller’s pickup to strike Groen’s car too.

Buteyn’s car sustained about $5000 in damages. Miller’s pickup sustained about $1500 in damages, and Groen’s car only had about $500 in damages.

No one was transported to the hospital.

Buteyn was charged with failure to maintain control.

A van and a semi, both driven by Sheldon men were damaged in an accident on Monday, May 21 in Sheldon.

The Sheldon Police Department reports that about 11:35 AM, 22-year-old Austin Fischer of Sheldon was eastbound on Highway 18 just west of the Old 60 intersection in a 2010 Ford van, stopped at the stop sign. Fifty-four-year-old Leroy Kreykes of Sheldon had pulled the tractor portion of the 1995 Freightliner semi he was driving onto 18, from the west side of the Casey’s parking lot, behind Fischer.

Fischer noticed another semi making a left turn in front of him from northbound on Old 60 to westbound on 18, and Fischer backed up to give the semi more room. That’s when he backed into the semi driven by Kreykes, which had pulled in behind him.

The vehicles received $2000 damage, each.

There were no injuries.

In other police news, the City of Sheldon reports that sometime between Tuesday, May 15 and Monday, May 21, someone damaged a park bench on the Rec Trail. The damage was estimated at $100.

Plus, the police report one arrest. They arrested 41-year-old Jamison Engelkes of Sheldon on Tuesday on a Dickinson County warrant for the original charges of Second Degree Burglary and Second Degree Theft.

Democrats Field Candidates For O’Brien County Offices

Primghar, Iowa — It’s an unusual primary election that’s coming up in O’Brien County. On June 5th, both Democrats and Republicans will be selecting candidates for the general election. As we’ve recently told you, Republicans have a tough job ahead of them as there are several candidates for some of the seats.

But it’s an unusual year for Democrats as well — unusual in that they don’t normally field any candidates for county offices. This year, of course Christie Vilsack is running for the Democratic nomination for the Fourth District Congressional Seat, but Democrats also have candidates in County Board of Supervisors, districts 2, 3, and 5. In fact, there are two Democrats running for the nomination in the new Sheldon district — District 3. They are Dennis Brower and Duane Koistra. In District 2, Greg Fritzsche is running for the nomination. In District 5, the Democratic candidate on the ballot is Darwin Dau.

Again, the primary election is June 5, and you can switch your party affiliation at the polls if you so desire, but you may only vote once. You can register to vote when you come in to vote, but you are encouraged to do that now to limit your wait and that of other voters at the polls on election day. Call your County Auditor’s office for more information.

National EMS Week Wrapping Up

(By Anne Koontz, O’Brien County Emergency Management Coordinator)

The American College of Emergency Physicians and citizens around the country are celebrating the 39th Annual Emergency Services Week this week. The event brings together local communities and medical personnel to publicize safety and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services on the medical “front line”.

The theme for 2012 is “EMS: More than a Job, a Calling”. This theme celebrates the exceptional serve being provided to countless patients every day, often under incredibly challenging circumstances. It illustrates the fact that EMS providers are dedicated to saving lives and limiting suffering on a daily basis. They are selfless professionals who put their own lives on hols to respond to the emergency needs of their neighbors.

People know when they call 911 they will get help, no matter what their circumstances. It is true that much of what the EMS providers do isn’t always full of drama, but it is just as important to a patient or family who is facing the unknown.

EMS has made a serious commitment to the communities they serve. This dedication to their mission provides round-the-clock care to communities across the nation.

“This job is different from any other job you can have,” says Anne Koontz, County EMA Coordinator. “You are under tremendous pressure; you have to react quickly; you have to make flawless decisions. Many people don’t understand what EMS providers do and how far their services reach into their communities. Many of these providers are volunteers, and receive little or no compensation for their time and dedication.”

The events terrorism in our country, the hurricanes the hundreds of tornado and flooding disasters across our nation have brought the courageous efforts of EMS personnel dramatically into the public eye. And yet the determination and selflessness these EMT’s, law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, and fire rescue personnel displayed during unusually harrowing circumstances is far from unique. It is unfortunate that national tragedies should remind us of what they bring to their communities every hour of every day. EMS workers touch lives in so many ways.

These EMS workers are our everyday heroes who have always been, and will continue to be on the front line when we need them. Even now some of our EMTs, law enforcement, and firefighter heroes have been or are being deployed to war zones in other countries. We honor them and pray for their safe return to our emergency services community.

In O’Brien County, all first responders, fire/rescue personnel, and ambulance personnel are volunteers. This represents a great contribution to our County. These volunteers take the initial training to become certified at their individual levels of emergency medical care, and then must take 14 to 24+ hours of continuing education every two years to maintain these certificates.

Even though law enforcement personnel are paid, they attain and maintain a certified level of medical training as well. In their off duty hours, some of them volunteer on local ambulance services as drivers or on fire departments as firemen to help out their communities. This represents a genuine commitment to quality emergency services in O’Brien County. EMS Week is a great opportunity to recognize these special people and their extraordinary mission.

Whether you live in the country or in a city, an EMS System is in place for you. All you need to do is dial 9-1-1.

AGP Announces Retirement of CEO

Omaha, NE — Ag Processing Inc (AGP) a cooperative, has announced that Marty Reagan, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, has informed the Board of Directors of his plan to retire in early fall 2012. Reagan will continue in his role as CEO until a successor is named and the transition in leadership is complete.

“After nearly 40 years in the agriculture/commodity business and having good health I look forward to spending more time with my family and friends,” said Reagan, who began his career with AGP in 1991 as part of the cooperative’s acquisition of the agricultural operations of International Multifoods. “I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead and be part of a team comprised of employees and executives from AGP and its subsidiaries. AGP’s business platform, sales, and earnings continue to improve, as we have been able to continually add value back to our cooperative members and their producer-owners. Our cooperative members and their producers are among the best owners any cooperative could ask for. AGP, with its dedicated employees and management team, is well positioned for the future to capitalize on domestic and international markets.”

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and everyone at AGP, I would like to thank Marty not only for his leadership over the past 12 years as Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, but also for the dedication and commitment he has given AGP throughout his tenure,” said Brad Davis, Chairman of the AGP Board of Directors. “Marty has created a work environment and business culture that has produced excellent results for this cooperative.”

“The Board is committed to conducting a thorough search to identify AGP’s next Chief Executive,” added Davis. “We have retained the services of AgriFind, a nationally recognized executive recruiting firm headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri to assist us in our efforts.”

AGP ( a regionally federated farmer-owned cooperative, holds the distinction of being the largest cooperative soybean processor in the world. Annual sales in fiscal 2011 totaled over $4 billion. AGP is owned by 176 local cooperatives representing over 250,000 farmers throughout the Midwest, and five regional cooperatives with farmer-owners throughout the U. S. and Canada. AGP operates nine soybean processing plants, three vegetable oil refineries, three soy biodiesel plants, one ethanol plant, several grain elevator locations throughout the Midwest and the Texas Panhandle, an export terminal at the Port of Grays Harbor in Aberdeen, WA, and international businesses in Canada, Venezuela, and Hungary. Additionally, AGP has trade representatives located in several countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, Slovakia, Turkey, and the Philippines.

Sioux County Drug Dog And Handler Honored

Orange City, Iowa — A Sioux County Drug Dog and her handler have received high honors.

This week Sunday through Wednesday, Deputy Justin De Bruin and his canine partner Molly competed in the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA) National Detector Canine Trials in Lakeland, Florida.

Out of 57 detection canines, De Bruin and Molly placed 22nd overall and received trophies for 5th place in the outdoor search and 5th place in the regional team divisions.

The Sheriff’s Office says all of the canines competing at the USPCA event have certified at the regional level and are considered to be the best of the best.

Here’s a link to the the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, where they posted a video about the contest. The last scene of the video shows De Bruin with Molly.