Rock Valley Man Sentenced On Felony Drug Charges

Austin Richard MulderOrange City, Iowa — A 29-year old Rock Valley man was sentenced earlier this week on a charge of Possession of Pseudoephedrine as a Precursor with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine.

This case stems from an October 11, 2014 incident, in which police reportedly located a methamphetamine lab and remnants from a previous meth cook at a residence in Rock Valley.  A law enforcement clandestine meth lab specialist assisted in neutralizing the potentially explosive substances. The Sioux County Attorney’s Office says that further investigation revealed that Austin Richard Mulder of Rock Valley had made multiple contacts to obtain pseudoephedrine for the purpose of manufacturing methamphetamine.

Mulder was reportedly sentenced to five years in prison on the felony precursor charge with the sentence to run concurrently to a current prison terms imposed in two other Sioux County cases for Forgery and Credit Card Fraud and Theft in the Second Degree.  Officials say Mulder was also sentenced to 100 hours of community service as required by law, a $750 fine, a $125 law enforcement initiative surcharge, a $10 DARE surcharge, and other prosecution costs.

Former Sibley-Ocheyedan Educator Releases Second Novel

Jeff ZwagermanSibley, Iowa — A former Sibley-Ocheyedan High School Teacher and Administrator has just released his second novel.  Jeff Zwagerman’s novel, “A Full Bubble Off Plumb” is available online.

Zwagerman says “A Full Bubble Off Plumb” is the continuation of a story that he began with his first novel, “Always A Kicker”, which was released last spring.

The protagonist of Zwagerman’s novels is a character called “Zander”.  Zwagerman tells us a little about Zander.

He says that, while he’s always wanted to write a novel, he has no idea where the idea for these books, and the characters, came from.

We asked Zwagerman how long it takes him to pen each novel.

Zwagerman’s 3rd novel in the “Zander” series is scheduled to be released later this year.

If you’ve read any of the Virgil Flowers or Prey novels by Minnesota author John Sandford, or the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child, you’ll most likely notice the influence each of those authors have had on Zwagerman when you read A Full Bubble Off Plumb.

Both of Zwagerman’s novels, Always A Kicker, and his most recent release, A Full Bubble Off Plumb are available from Amazon, both in standard and Kindle format, from Barnes & Noble for the Nook e-reader, and from the books’ publisher, Oak Tree Press.

2016-17 SHS Calendar Adopted

Sheldon-Schools-logoSheldon, Iowa — After hearing no comments on the matter from the public, the Sheldon Community School Board of Education adopted the proposed District Calendar for the 2016-17 school year at their regular monthly meeting Wednesday night.  The first day of school for students in the 2016-17 school year will be August 24th, with the last day of school set for May 26th.  Winter break will run from December 23rd through January 2nd.  The approved 2016-17 Sheldon Community Schools Calendar can be viewed here.

In other action, the Board voted to expel a student for the remainder of the 2015-16 school year.  According to Superintendent Robin Spears, a student had violated the school district Code Of Conduct.  The Student, along with his parents, voluntarily entered into an agreement to waive their right for an expulsion hearing with the Sheldon Community School District Board of Education and accept the consequence of expulsion for the remainder of the 2015-16 school year.

The Board also approved a resolution adopting the O’Brien County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazardous Mitigation Plan.  Three Open Enrollment Applications were accepted at Wednesday night’s meeting.  One was for a Kindergarten student Open Enrolling from the Sheldon District to Sibley-Ocheyedan, the second was for an elementary student Open Enrolling from the George-Little Rock District into the Sheldon District, with the third being for a 10th grade student coming into the Sheldon District from South O’Brien.

Seven District employees had their resignations approved at Wednesday’s meeting.  Five were teachers, including:  Elementary Teacher LuAnn Snyder; Middle School Teachers Cathy McWilliams and Connie Van Meeteren; and High School Teachers Marlene Haupert and Steve McWilliams.  In addition, Haupert resigned as FCCLA Advisor, and Steve McWilliams resigned his Wrestling Coach position.  Two other athletic coaches resigned from their positions, as well.  Leon Kleinwolterink resigned from his Assistant Football Coaching position and Taylor Morris resigned as Orab Baseball Coach.  All five of the teachers who resigned are taking advantage of the District’s Licensed Employee Severance Benefit Option, or Early retirement.

Following the open meeting the Board moved into Closed Session to hold a Superintendent Evaluation Conference.

Wednesday night’s meeting was held in the Sheldon High School Library.

Eager For Your Refund? Taxes Can Be Filed Starting Next Week

1040 income tax formNorthwest Iowa — If you’re hoping for a tax refund this year, and can’t wait to get your hands on the cash, you can file your tax returns as early as next week.  Filing season officially opens January 19th and ends -this year- on April 18th.

Christopher Miller, the Iowa spokesman for the Internal Revenue Service, says there’s plenty of free filing help available.

He says electronic filing remains the best way for Iowans to complete their returns.

Plus, he says e-filing will speed up a refund, if you have one coming. He suggests Iowans should start getting their financial documents together now, like charitable donation receipts and health care information.

Miller says one -new- document you’ll need this year is the 1095-A, B or C, which you should have received if you’re getting health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Grant Writing Workshop Planned

Primghar, Iowa — If you’re someone who works for or with an organization that could benefit from government or private grants, there’s a workshop coming up in Primghar that aims to help you get that funding.
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Beth Bunkers with the O’Brien County office of Iowa State University Extension says Grant Writing 101, which is sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach, will provide hands-on training in seeking and writing successful grant applications.

Bunkers says the phrase “writing a grant” has become the vernacular in the field when someone means “writing a grant proposal for submission to an agency that’s offering a grant.”

She emphasizes that not only will they talk about writing the proposal, they’ll also suggest possible grants. She gives us an idea of people who might benefit from attending the workshop.

Again, the workshop will be presented from 5:30 to 8:30 PM on Tuesday, January 26th at the O’Brien County Extension office, at 340 Second Street Southeast in Primghar.

Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop, iPad or tablet device to the workshop, if they have one available.

Cost of the workshop is $20, with registration required by Friday, January 22nd. A light meal will be served at the beginning of the program. Call the O’Brien County Extension office at 957-5045 or email to register.

The presenter, Jane Goeken has more than 27 years of successful grant writing experience, including extensive work with a variety of federal, state, local and foundation grant programs. She has also served as a grant application reviewer and has helped set up grant award and review programs.

For more information about the workshop, contact Jane Goeken at or 712-240-2504.

King’s Seat Empty During State Of The Union Address

Steve King OfficialWashington, DC — 4th District Iowa Congressman Steve King did not attend President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

Congressman King left his seat in the House chamber empty, and instead went to the House Member’s Chapel to, in his words, “pray for God to raise up a leader whom He will use to restore the Soul of America.”

In addition, in response to the President’s decision to leave an empty seat next to the First Lady in the House Gallery to commemorate the, “victims of gun violence who no longer have a voice.”  King said that, “the San Bernardino victims’ body temperatures had declined only from 98.6 to 93 degrees when President Obama twisted the ‘Allahh Akbar’ screaming bloodlust of the shooters into an anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment tirade.”

King says he is sickened by the acts of war twisted into ‘workplace violence’ and by a president who would veto the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, H.R. 3504 that would protect the lives, at least of those who survived the attempt on their lives, by abortionists.

King says his decision to leave the seat empty was designed to commemorate the lives of more than 55 million aborted babies, ‘the chorus of voices that have never been heard in this world but are heard beautifully and clearly in the next world.’