Council To Review Potential Event Center Names

Event CenterSheldon, Iowa — Housing, rezoning, and names for the new Events Center will be among the agenda items for the Sheldon City Council meeting which will be held at noon Wednesday July 6th.

The Council will consider the final reading of the new Water and Sewer Ordinance which, if passed, will increase the water and sewer rates by three percent.  They will also consider a request from the Sheldon Chamber & Development Corporation to approve a housing program.

In other action, the Council will discuss a full-time paramedic position, and set the date for a public hearing regarding a rezoning request.   The council will also review the name suggestions submitted by the public, for the new events center.

Wednesday’s Council meeting will begin at 12:00 noon in the upper level of the Sheldon Community Services Center.

Two other meetings of interest will also be held Wednesday at the Community Services Center.  The Sheldon Board of Adjustment will meet at 4:00 p.m. to consider a Side Yard Setback Request at 940 Lincoln Avenue.  That meeting will be followed at 4:30 by a meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission, which will hold a discussion on the rezoning of property, as well as a discussion of zoning the Sheldon Crossing Development.

Board Seeking Input For New Hospital Design

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A new hospital is being planned in Rock Rapids. The owner of the current hospital, which is leased to Sanford Health, is the Merrill Pioneer Community Hospital Association.

Proposed Front Entrance
Proposed front entrance (click to enlarge)

In January of this year, the association and Avera Health jointly announced that Avera will lease the operations of the Rock Rapids community hospital and clinics beginning in May, 2019.

The Hospital Association Board and Avera have sought financing for a new hospital and clinic to be built in southwest Rock Rapids, hopefully by the time Avera takes over. They established a design team including members from both organizations. The team is seeking community input on the design through focus groups and community meetings, some of which were held recently.

Community and design team members are currently deciding on the look of both the outside and the inside of the building. Community members are suggesting slight changes in the design and floor plan, and the architectural firm chosen for the project, BWBR of St. Paul, Minnesota is taking those ideas to Avera officials.

Proposed Site Plan
Proposed site plan (click to enlarge)

At this point the color palette is being chosen, and the floor plan is being finalized. Currently the plan is to have two driveways into the hospital campus — one for visitors and one for emergencies and deliveries, both off of an extension of South Tenth Avenue. The plan right now is for the clinic to be on the east side of the building and the hospital on the west, with the two public entrances to the south, and the emergency department on the north.

Board members say that while more senior members of the community have come to the meetings, they are looking to get more input from the younger members of the community, and are actively asking for their opinions.

If you would like more information, MPCH board president Jim Vander Woude encourages you to contact him or another board member. Vander Woude can be reached at 712-348-2442.

Man Dies In Motorcycle Crash

Hawarden, Iowa — A Hawarden man died late Sunday in a motorcycle crash near Hawarden.
Hawarden Ambulance
It happened about a mile and a half west of Hawarden, into South Dakota.

According to the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, a 1974 Harley Davidson, driven by 39-year-old Jason Kuil of Hawarden, was traveling east on 302nd Street when the driver failed to negotiate a curve. The motorcycle went into the ditch and hit the culvert.

Kuil, who was not wearing a helmet, was thrown from the motorcycle. He later died as a result of his injuries. No one else was involved in the crash.

South Dakota’s Highway Patrol continues to investigate. Other agencies on scene were the Union County Sheriff’s Office, and Hawarden Ambulance.

Meteorologist: Fewer Tornadoes So Far This Year

Northwest Iowa — Experts tell us that we are past the “peak” tornado season in Iowa — and we have had fewer tornadoes this year than normal.

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Phil Schumacher is a meteorologist and serves as the Science and Operations Officer at the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Sioux Falls. He says their office has not warned for very many tornadoes this year.

He says considering recent years, that’s much below average.

According to Schumacher, past performance is no guarantee of future results.

He also says that since this is farm country and hail can do a lot of damage to crops, he checked those stats as well, and found there have been fewer reports of large hail in the area this year as well.

He says that while he’s not sure if ocean temperature events like El Niño and La Niña have had any effect, he does have a theory as to why there have been fewer thunderstorms this year, and he explains what we would need for thunderstorm development.

The Weather Service says we’ll have a chance of thunderstorms many days this week, and in the next couple of weeks, we can expect warmer than normal temperatures, and more than the usual precipitation.

Riley Talent Show To Showcase Young O’Brien Co Talent

Primghar, Iowa — If you’re between ages 2 and 21, your chance to showcase your talent is coming up in Primghar.
Bill Riley Talent
As in past years, there will be a Bill Riley Talent Show at the fair this year. One of the people coordinating the event is Sharon Schnepf. She tells us about the Bill Riley Talent Search.

She says there are two age divisions, Sprouts, which is for ages 2 through 12; and Seniors for those who are ages 13 through 21. Schnepf says at the O’Brien County Fair, they are limited to 15 acts per division, so while you can register up until the fair, it would be to your advantage to register soon, or you might not get to perform.

She says not only is there no entry fee, but the O’Brien County Fair Board generously gives prize money for winners. Plus the show is a qualifying event for the Bill Riley Iowa State Fair Talent Search held at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.

She tells us about the show in Primghar.

While the State Fair Talent Search was started in 1959 by Bill Riley Senior; it has been taken over by his son, Bill Riley, Jr. In fact, Bill Jr. will be at the O’Brien County show, says Schnepf.

Schnepf says Riley doesn’t come to every show, but he will be in Primghar. She says if you’d like more information or if you’d like to enter, contact her soon at or call her at 712-541-8628.

Firefighter Taken To Hospital, Barn Lost In Fire

Hull, Iowa — A firefighter was taken to the hospital and a barn was destroyed in a fire near Hull on Sunday morning, July 3.
Hull Fire 7-3-16b
The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 10:50 AM, the Hull Fire Department responded to a report of a structure fire at 3418 Ibex Avenue, two miles southeast of Hull.

Emergency responders report that when they got there, they saw a large barn fully engulfed by fire.

A Hull Fire Department firefighter was transported by the Hull Ambulance to the Sioux Center Health Hospital. His injuries were described as “minor.”
Hull Fire 7-3-16a
The barn had not been occupied by farm animals at the time of the fire, and was completely destroyed. A nearby empty hog confinement on the property sustained minor damage. There is no word on the cause of the fire.

The Hull Fire Department reports that the Hull Ambulance crew, Sioux Center Fire Department, Boyden Fire Department and the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office assisted them.