Sentence In Sioux County Burglary Case

Orange City, Iowa — A Le mars man has been sentenced on in a rural burglary case.
Sioux County Courthouse_sva
Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle says that 47-year-old Tracy Lee Snedeker of Le Mars pled guilty on Monday, July 13, 2015, in Sioux County District Court to the crime of Burglary in the Third Degree, a Class D Felony.

The County Attorney’s Office says on May 9, 2014, Snedeker entered a home in rural Sioux County with the intent to commit a theft. The homeowner was home at the time and confronted Snedeker, who gave the homeowner a false name and fled.

Snedeker was located when the homeowner ran into him several months later at a grocery store in Le Mars and called law enforcement.

Snedeker was sentenced to five years in prison, and was ordered to turn himself in on September 30, 2015, to begin serving his sentence.


Railroad Traveler’s Death Accidental

Sibley, Iowa – The man who fell off a northbound train north of Sibley and was run over by a train was not a railroad employee, but was riding the rails. That from the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation — the DCI.

The DCI is assisting the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office with the death investigation.
grain car
They say that on July 13, 2015, the body of 29-year-old Brandon Joseph Sage Gould was found near railroad tracks by a pedestrian, approximately a mile-and-a-half north of Sibley. The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office says Gould was from Pleasanton, California.

The DCI and Sheriff’s Office believe he fell off the train and was run over by the train. It is unknown, at this time, how or why Gould fell off the train.

It is believed that he was traveling with his wife, Yvette Gould, aboard a Union Pacific railcar, which was carrying grain. Yvette Gould reported her husband missing to the Union Pacific Railroad Police during the afternoon hours of July 13, 2015, once the train arrived in Mankato, MN. It is not known yet how long the two had been riding aboard the railcar. The train, like most northbounds on that stretch of rail was headed from Council Bluffs to Union Pacific’s Valley Park Yard in Shakopee, Minnesota.

An autopsy was performed on the body of Brandon Gould at the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny. His death has been ruled as accidental.

The DCI says it is an on-going investigation and further information will be released as it becomes available.


Sheldon School Board To Meet Wednesday

Sheldon-Schools-logoSheldon, Iowa — A Closed Session for the Quarterly Evaluation Conference for Sheldon Community School District Superintendent Robin Spears is on the agenda when the Sheldon School Board holds their regular monthly meeting Wednesday evening.

In addition, the Board will appoint the Board Secretary-Treasurer for the 2015-16 school year.  They’ll also scheduled to discuss contracts for students receiving educational services from Children’s Home Society, approve Partnership Agreements between the District and Northwest Iowa Community College, and approve the Teacher Evaluation Process and Procedures Manual.

Superintendent Spears is scheduled to give a review of the Ball Field-Recreation Area Project, as well as provide a review of the Health Insurance Program.

The Board will also consider a change of date for their regular August meeting.

Wednesday’s meeting of the Sheldon Community Schools Board of Education will be graveled to order at 6:00 pm in the Sheldon High School Library.


Library Says They’re Not Raising Funds Now

Sheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon Chamber of Commerce says people have been getting calls claiming to be raising funds for the Sheldon Public Library.
Scam Alert
The chamber says in an email that the information they received indicates that the calls were being made primarily to businesses.

Chamber officials say the library has not contracted with anyone to raise funds, so the call is quite possibly a scam. In fact, those in charge at the Sheldon Public Library say that if they were raising funds, they would not do so through a third party agency. They advise that if you receive a call such as this, be aware that it is possibly a scam.


Sunshine Addition Hot Topic of City Council Meeting

city council 1Sheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon City Council has approved a plan designed to increase housing development in the city.  This plan is for the five unsold lots in the Sunshine Addition.  These five lots will be sold for only a dollar each, but the buyer must sign a minimum assessment agreement showing a valuation of two hundred thousand dollars for the lot.  This assessment would only come into play if no construction of a residence begins within the first twelve months after the purchase.  If construction begins within that twelve-month period and is completed within 24 months of the lot purchase the real estate taxes would be based on the value of the new structure.  City Manager Scott Wynja told the council that he has already heard some interest in these lots.  A list of those who apply for the purchase of one of these lots will eventually be presented to the City Council for their approval.

At their Tuesday meeting the council also named Dennis Gorter and Curt Strouth as authorized signers for the Sheldon Housing Review Board, with Scott Wynja as alternate.  There is forty thousand dollars in the fund which is an income-based program for new home construction.


Firefighters Duck Shrapnel In Propane Truck Fire

Carmel, Iowa — A semi trailer and its load of filled propane tanks was destroyed in a fire on Monday, July 13, 2015 near Carmel.
RVFD Rock Valley Fire
According to Rock Valley Fire Chief John Wallenburg, about 6:00 PM, the Rock Valley Fire Department was called to the report of semi fire about a half mile east of Eagle Avenue on B30, or about three and a half miles west of Carmel.

The chief says the fire department saw the fire from a long way away as they approached the scene. They found a semi with a trailer full of filled 20 and 40-pound propane tanks, similar to the ones used for grills and forklifts. He says by the time they got there, some of the over 200 tanks were already exploding. Wallenburg says the 40-pound aluminum tanks were the most dangerous, as they tended to shatter, sending shrapnel several feet away at high speed. The smaller 20-pound steel tanks either released their gas from the release valve or exploded by blowing the top off the tank.

He says they used lots of water to fight the fire, and they had to spray it from a distance. The chief says that in the most critical moments of the fire, they had to use their fire engine as a shield from the flying shrapnel. When it cooled down somewhat, he says, they had another challenge. The propane delivery truck had rollup doors on the sides, similar to a soft drink or beer delivery truck – and when those doors get hot, Wallenburg says they will not open. So they had to chop through the doors in some spots to get at the fire.
Propane Tank - Winter
Wallenburg says no injuries were reported – in part because the driver, after trying in vain to unload the burning truck – evacuated the area when the propane tanks began to explode.

The fire department was assisted by the Sioux Center; Ireton; and Hudson, South Dakota fire departments, who provided manpower and tankers of water. The Rock Valley Ambulance crew also provided assistance on the scene.

He says the fire was caused by a burning tire – the rear inner tire on the driver’s side. He says he’s not sure how the tire caught fire, but he would suspect that perhaps it had run flat.

Chief Wallenburg reports that the entire trailer, owned by Tri-County Propane of Irene, South Dakota, and all the propane tanks were destroyed. He estimates that there had to have been at least $50,000 in damage.

He says they used 30,000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for three hours.