Fight On To Decide Admissible Evidence In Minten Trial

The fight is on to determine what evidence will be admissible in Former Osceola County Deputy Dan Minten’s case against Osceola County Sheriff Doug Weber. A judge has already granted a summary judgment in Minten’s favor. That means the trial will only decide what damages the sheriff will have to pay.

Minten claims he was wrongly fired after he offered to testify in a case against the sheriff. He made this offer while he was on duty, during a traffic stop.

Weber’s attorney’s have asked that the outcome of the unemployment hearing not be admitted. Meanwhile Minten’s attorneys want to keep references to other workplace disciplinary violations and complaints out of the trial.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

Area Snowfall Totals

At the 7 AM reading KIWA recorded 0.6″ of snow which melted down to .06″ of precipitation with trace amounts falling since that time.

Here are what some other areas are reporting:

Orange City – 0.6″
Rock Rapids – 1.25″ (0.03″ moisture)
George – 0.5″ (0.01″ moisture)
Rock Valley – 0.5″
3 NNE of Sibley – 0.2″

If you have totals you would like to share, e-mail us at

Spencer Man Dies As A Result Of Injuries Sustained In Saturday Accident Near Primghar

A Spencer man is dead after an accident near Primghar on Saturday morning.

The The O’Brien County Sheriffs Office received a report of a single vehicle crash, about 6:20 AM.

Further investigation revealed that 40-year-old Lance Vergith of Spencer was apparently westbound on 390th street, five and a half miles east of Primghar. He was driving a 2007 Chevrolet HHR and apparently lost control. The vehicle went into the north ditch where it rolled three times and came to rest on its wheels.

Vergith was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected through the sunroof of the vehicle.

He was transported initially to the Baum Harmon Hospital in Primghar and subsequently to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls. Vergith later passed away from injuries sustained in the crash.

The vehicle sustained approx. $10,000 in damage.

The Iowa State Patrol, Primghar Fire Department and the Hartley Ambulance assisted the Sheriffs Office at the crash site.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

Sibley Farmer Featured In Guideposts Magazine

A chance meeting with an NFL football player has turned into a strong friendship for a Sibley farmer — and their strong bond was featured in a recent article in Guideposts magazine.

Ryan Odens is a farmer who lives between Little Rock and Sibley. Over 11 years ago, he had a bad car accident.

Fast forward a number of years. Easter Seals has made it possible for Odens to attend a Dallas Cowboys game. There, he had a chance to meet Cowboys Guard Cory Procter.

Odens says he even had a chance to host Proctor for a few days at his home near Sibley. That’s where they really had a chance to get to know one another.

Procter recently got married, and Odens said he was even invited to the wedding.

To hear more about their friendship and why Procter says he thought he was tough until he met Odens, you can read the article in the January edition of Guideposts magazine. The article is called “A Different Kind of Strong” and can be found on page 58. The article is also available at You can call Guideposts at 800-932-2145.

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

Big Cat Tracks Found Five Miles North Of Melvin

Could it be another mountain lion or cougar in northwest Iowa?

A Melvin man has emailed our studios pictures of tracks he found in the snow across his frozen farm pond. They definitely appear to be cat-like. But they are bigger than any domestic cat’s feet.

Robert Keller lives 5 miles north of Melvin. He took pictures with his large tom cat and that cat’s tracks — but the tracks he found are bigger than the tom cat’s head.

He says the tracks are from an animal with pads in back and it looks like 4 claws in front.

So far, it’s a mystery.

If anyone has seen an animal that could make tracks like that — let us know by calling 324-2597 or emailing

By Scott Van Aartsen
News Director

School Board Meeting

At the Wednesday meeting of the Sheldon Community School Board, Superintendent Robin Spears told the board that the school had received recognition for the new track.

The contractor who installed the new surface had submitted the project to the Asphalt Paving Association of Iowa. Due to the quality of the finished project, the Association sent Sheldon a certificate of recognition as a finalist for it’s Quality In Construction Award.

East Elementary Principal Tanya Langholdt reported to the board that there are some new faces in the elementary building. Four student teachers have either begun, or are set to begin, their student teaching experience at East. They are: Brianna Wright, who will be in Mrs. Haning’s 2nd Grade; Adam Liker, who is currently teaching in Mrs. Thornton’s 1st Grade; Amanda Horstmand, who will be working in Mrs. Whitsell’s 4th Grade classroom; and Jerilyn Stofferan, who will be teaching in Mrs. Zehnder’s Kindergarten classroom.

Activity Director Mike Niece told the board that he has learned there will be a shake-up in district football assignments next year. Due to some area schools moving from one class to another, there will be a district realignment for the 2012-2013 school year. In addition, Niece told the board that each district will be comprised of 7 schools, which will add an additional non-district game to every team’s schedule.

Niece told the board that he had been the administrator sent with the high school dance team to Florida for the Outback Bowl performance. He said he was very pleased by the way in which the kids represented themselves, the school and the community. He said he had been very proud of the kids, and told the board they should be, as well.

In other action, the board approved the contract for Sandra Wolthuizen as a Special Education Transportation Aide, and approved the resignation of Justin Albers as Assistant JV Baseball Coach, effective 2012, subject to the school being able to find a replacement.

The board ended the evening by adjourning into closed session for a strategy meeting on the District’s collective bargaining agreement.