Respond To Call Of Structure Fire

Rock Valley, Iowa – Some equipment and a cold storage room were damaged in a fire on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 in Rock Valley.
RVFD Rock Valley Fire
According to Rock Valley Fire Assistant Chief Heath Wallenburg, just after midnight, the Rock Valley Fire Department was called to the report of a structure fire at Prairie Land Ag Supply at 198 Westview Drive, a mile west and a little south of the Highway 18 and Main Street intersection.

The fire was called in by a passerby who thought they saw flames through the roof. Acting on this information, Wallenburg asked for the Hull Fire Department to come to the call as well. However, when they got there they found the flames were not through the roof.

The assistant chief says the fire department did see flames visible through a window as they approached the scene.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be a malfunction in an electric ceramic tube heating unit. He says the ceramic tube broke and hot pieces of tube fell on a pallet with cardboard and rubber hose on it, and that was pretty much the extent of the fire.

Wallenburg reports that there was moderate damage. He says it was contained to a six by six foot area under the heater, but there was also some smoke damage and the damage to the heating unit. He says there was no structural damage to the building.

No injuries were reported.

He says they used about 500 gallons of water to fight the fire in addition to some water from a hydrant.

Wallenburg says although the fire was out within five minutes, crews were on scene for two hours doing overhaul and cleanup.

Cedar Cabin To Be Burned Saturday

Cedar CabinAshton, Iowa — A northwest Iowa landmark is scheduled to go up in flames Saturday morning.

The Cedar Cabin Restaurant closed it’s doors in June, 2013, after operating in their Ashton location since 1938.  On December 1, 2014 the Osceola County Secondary Road Department bought the property at auction, with plans to raze the restaurant building and construct a new County Shop.  But about a week later, plans changed again, when someone approached the Osceola County Board of Supervisors indicating an interest in re-opening the restaurant.  At that time, the board decided to finalize the purchase of the Cedar Cabin Property by the Secondary Road Department, but said they would sell it to someone interested in re-starting a restaurant in that location.  Nothing came of that, however, so the county decided to move forward with the new shop.

As a result, Saturday morning, the restaurant building that served steaks, chops, seafood and more to multiple generations of northwest Iowans will be burned to the ground to make way for the new County Shop.

Firefighters from Ashton, Sheldon and Sibley are expected to take part in Saturday morning’s controlled burn as a training exercise to keep their fire fighting skills sharp.

Huckabee Visits Sheldon

Huckabee in SheldonSheldon, Iowa — Former Arkansas Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee made a brief stop in Sheldon Thursday evening, visiting Jard, Inc., a local firearms manufacturer.

About 35 people were on hand to meet and greet Huckabee, a much smaller crowd than that which greeted the candidate this past August when he last visited Sheldon.

Huckabee spoke for about 15 minutes, touting, among other things, his proposal to dismantle the Internal Revenue Service and replace the Federal Income Tax with a National Sales Tax.  Huckabee told those gathered that it would be a more fair tax, because it would also collect taxes from some who avoid taxes now by accepting wage payments under the table.  He said that, not only do those workers avoid paying income tax, but their employers avoid paying Social Security taxes, as well.

Huckabee then spent about thirty minutes or so answering questions from the crowd, that ranged from Second Amendment issues to dealing with ISIS.

Huckabee left the gathering after about 45 minutes to head to two additional campaign appearances that were scheduled for Thursday evening.

Hangar Bids Well Over Engineer’s Estimate

Sheldon, Iowa — When the bids were opened for the Sheldon Airport Hangar project, Airport Commission members were surprised to learn that the lowest of the three bids was much higher than expected. 

Wind storm damage at Sheldon Regional Airport on June 22, 2015
Wind storm damage at Sheldon Regional Airport on June 22, 2015
McClure Engineering had estimated that the project which involves damage done by tornadic winds in July, would cost about $372,000.  However, the lowest bid, submitted by L & L Builders of Sioux City, was for $479,000, which is more than one hundred thousand dollars higher than the Engineer’s Estimate.  The highest bid submitted by Jensen Builders Ltd was for $522,000.  Most of the additional bids for insulation, wall paneling and roof drainage were also higher than the engineer’s estimates. The City has $420,000 available from the insurance company, which doesn’t come close to covering the lowest bid on the project.  The Airport Commission rejected all bids and the City Council agreed.  After the Commission discusses the problem with the engineering firm they will ask for bids again, hoping to have the work done before winter.  In the meantime, owners of the planes who used this hangar are either sharing space with other owners, or have found space elsewhere.

After the regular agenda items, Brad Hindt expressed concerns about the need for crosswalk signs to be placed at the intersection of Washington Avenue and 6th Street.  Since this requires council action, it will be on the agenda for their next meeting.  Motorists are asked to be cautious at this intersection when children are present because there is no specific place for children to cross this busy street.

For the last agenda item of Wednesday’s meeting the council met in closed session to discuss the purchase of property.  No action was taken after the closed session.

The next council meeting will be Thursday morning January 27th at 6 a.m.  for a Budget Session.

Sheldon Jazz Band At IHSMA Jazz Festival Monday

musicSpirit Lake, Iowa — The Sheldon High School Jazz Band will be one of ten high school jazz bands participating in the Iowa High School Music Association Jazz Band Festival Monday, January 25th at the Sami Bedell Center for the Performing Arts at Spirit Lake High School.

The Bedell Center is home to #17 of 30 Yamaha limited-edition red concert grand pianos signed by music legend Elton John, and Sheldon High School Band Director Cliff St. Clair says one of the cool parts of the event is that each band will use that piano in their performances.

This will be the second year in a row that Spirit Lake has hosted the Iowa High School Jazz Band Festival.  We asked St. Clair if he knew why it was being held in the same location again this year.

The thirteen Orab students who comprise the Sheldon High School Jazz Band will take to the stage at 5:40 Monday afternoon.  St. Clair gives us a preview of what they’ll be playing for the festival.

He says that the Iowa High School Jazz Band Festival is no longer just a contest, but includes a clinic to help the young musicians improve their craft.

In addition to Sheldon, jazz bands from Harris-Lake Park, Boyden-Hull, Rock Valley, Sibley-Ocheyedan, West Lyon, Okoboji, Estherville- Lincoln Central, Spencer and Spirit Lake will also be performing, and evaluated.

For a complete schedule for Monday’s Iowa High School Music Association Jazz Band Festival, click here.

Information For Those Attending Trump Sioux Center Visit

TrumpSioux Center, Iowa — Presidential Candidate Donald Trump will appear in Sioux Center Saturday, January 23, at 11 a.m. at the B.J. Haan Auditorium on the campus of Dordt College, and college officials warn that the event will affect traffic and parking around the vicinity.  In preparation for the visit, the college is advising those who live nearby and might be traveling to events in the vicinity to be aware of the following details:

Parking is expected to fill up streets and parking lots nearby. The Dordt College Recreation Center and Campus Center will be closed on Saturday morning due to preparations for the event, as will all other campus buildings.

Security preparations have been directed by the United States Secret Service. Security during the event will be provided by the Secret Service and the Sioux Center Police Department. Emergency services will be on standby.

The number of EventBrite responses from people who registered for the event exceeds the amount of space available, so the campaign has asked would-be attendees to keep the following in mind:

  • You must have an EventBrite ticket (either printed or on your phone) to get in.
  • Tickets do not guarantee entry: attendance is first come, first served until capacity is reached.
  • No posters, banners, or signs maybe be brought into the event.
  • There is no dress code.
  • No professional cameras with detachable lens, tripods, monopods, selfie sticks, or GoPros are allowed.
  • ID is not required.
  • The Secret Service will secure the auditorium and the Rec Center prior to the event, and will open the doors at 9 a.m.
  • For ease of getting in, please minimize the items you bring in. Bags will be searched; metal detectors will be used.
  • Dordt will attempt to accommodate overflow for registrants who did not get into the B.J. Haan Auditorium by providing space in the Rec Center to watch a live stream provided by the campaign.
  • Attendees are advised that once they are in the auditorium, they will not be able to come and go.

Dordt College buildings will not be open prior to 9 a.m. Saturday.  Event registrants who intend to stand in line for hours should keep in mind that temperatures are forecast to be in the low to mid teens, with windchills in the single digits to near zero. There will be portable toilets available.

Dordt College will direct traffic and help ensure that parking goes as smoothly as possible, with help from the City of Sioux Center. Please use care when traveling along 7th Street and 4th Avenue on Saturday morning, and be aware of pedestrians.

A girls’ basketball clinic in the DeWitt Gymnasium is still slated for 9 a.m. However, the Rec Center will not be open to the public at all on Saturday morning. Dordt College buildings are expected to reopen by 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

Dordt College welcomes all attendees as well as peaceful protesters to campus; Sioux Center police and campus personnel will be on campus and available to ensure peaceable assembly both outside and inside the buildings.

Dordt College President Erik Hoekstra says the college had received some concerns about Trump being allowed to speak on campus.  Hoekstra addressed those concerns in an open letter posted on the college’s website.