Cleanup Takes Months; Governor Extends Disaster

Northern Iowa — Employees of a business called Veteran Enterprises are working on six poultry operations in Minnesota and Iowa to clean and disinfect the facilities in the wake of the bird flu outbreak. Garth Carlson, who runs the business, says the job will take several months to finish.
bird flu barns

(as said) “It’s a lot of square inches to cover. You’re just power washing. You’ve got 35,000 PSI water coming out of there and 180 degree water to clean up all the dust and everything to get everything looking like new,” Carlson said. “So, power washers are running all the time.”

Veteran Enterprises does state and federal contracting and gives hiring preference to vets. Carlson, a Madelia, Minnesota resident, served two tours in Kosovo and two tours in Iraq with the Army. He now oversees a workforce of roughly 60 people who are mostly young war veterans.


(as said) “Since they’ve been 18, out of the house, they’ve been in the military. So they’ve been told what to do, where to do it, and all that,” Carlson said. “We kind of give them that guidance along the way, and kind of teach them how to think on their own…to be a little more of a civilian.”

Carlson also employs poultry workers who lost their jobs as a consequence of the bird flu.

At least 75 poultry operations in Iowa were impacted by the bird flu epidemic, resulting in the loss of 32 million chickens and turkeys. Governor Branstad on Monday signed a disaster emergency proclamation extension for 18 Iowa counties adversely affected by avian influenza which would assist with disposal and clean-up efforts on affected sites. The original proclamation, which included just four counties, was set to expire on Wednesday. The new extension is good for the rest of the year.

Story from Radio Iowa

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Altena: Policy Doesn’t Make County A “Sanctuary”

Orange City, Iowa — It’s the juxtaposition of a federal law and a federal agency’s contrary request. That’s what a debate about immigration amounts to, according to Sioux County Sheriff Dan Altena.
Sioux Co Jail
The term “sanctuary cities” has been in the news a lot recently after the murder of a woman in San Francisco, California by someone who was in the country illegally, and especially since the presidential race is heating up.

San Francisco is what many people call a “sanctuary city”. However, the term “sanctuary city” is defined differently by different people. Some define it as when a city council or governing board passes actual ordinances banning police from asking questions about citizens’ residency status, or when police departments have the equivalent of a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” when it comes to immigration status.

However, the Center for Immigration Studies, in a new report, uses a much broader brush, also including cities and counties whose jails will not hold anyone for Immigration and Customs Enforcement — or “ICE” — who is not either a.)charged with a crime and waiting to see the magistrate or b.) serving a sentence.

Sioux County Sheriff Dan Altena says that would include most, if not all the county jails in Iowa.


Altena says while he can certainly understand why ICE would want the jail to hold someone like that, he says legally, their hands are tied. If they were to hold someone without a charge, they could put the county at risk.


In speaking with Altena, he says he has no moral issue with holding someone in jail for ICE, but jailers and the Sheriff’s Office need to obey the law as it currently stands. He says if the law were to be changed, it would be a different story. In fact, he says the current situation leaves the Sheriff’s Office in a bad spot, and he wishes the issue would be cleared up by Congress.

The new report even says, “One way to address this problem is for state governments to pass legislation or issue legal opinions clarifying that law enforcement agencies are authorized and expected to comply with all ICE detainers or make other arrangements with ICE for the transfer of inmates on the path to deportation.”

The Center For Immigration Studies’ new report says that some 276 cities or counties — nearly 50 percent more than previously thought — released over 8000 people who were in the country illegally and had criminal records or were facing charges, despite ICE requests to hold them for 48 hours to give ICE enough time to arrive and pick them up.

The report’s author, Jessica Vaughan says that those 8000 are part of an even larger release of 17,000 undocumented immigrants with criminal records. She says many of them have been rearrested after release and were charged with 7,500 new charges.

The report is called “Ignoring Detainers, Endangering Communities — State/local agencies release criminals rather than obey law.”

Click here for the report.

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Body Found On Railroad Tracks Near Sibley

train tracks 1Sibley, Iowa — The investigation is continuing into the death of a man found on the railroad tracks north of Sibley Monday.  According to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, they received a call about some suspicious items on the tracks about a half mile north of Sibley.

Officials say that, upon further investigation it was determined that a male had fallen from the train and was run over.  The man was pronounced dead at the scene.  At this time, the name of the deceased hasn’t been released.

The incident remains under investigation by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation and the Union Pacific Police.


Sheldon Eagle Riders Present Honor Flight Check

Eagle Riders PresentationSheldon, Iowa — Three veterans from the American Legion McGlothlen-Cowie Post 145 will be taking part in an Honor Flight in September, thanks in large part to a local motorcycle group.

The Eagle Riders group of the Sheldon Eagles Club #2297 recently presented the American Legion Post with a $600.00 check to use toward the Bush Creek Honor Flight.  As a result, three members of the McGlothen-Cowie Post will board an airplane this September to take part in the Bushy Creek Honor Flight.  American Legion Post Adjutant Jeremy Beenken identified the trio as Dean Olson, Harvey Bauman and Merlin Beerman.

According the the Honor Flight website, the organization flies veterans to Washington DC to visit memorials built to honor their service to the nation.

Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. They transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.

Of all of the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation—and as a culturally diverse, free society. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 640 WWII veterans die each day. Our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out.

Beenken went on to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to this cause.  He says that it’s good to see that people haven’t forgotten how much our veterans have done for this country.


Sheldon Council Meets Tuesday This Week

city councilSheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon City Council will meet this week at noon on Tuesday, with a public hearing on Sunshine Addition Lot Prices. In an effort to create more housing in Sheldon, the City Council is proposing to offer five un-sold lots in the Sunshine Addition for only one dollar each. Anyone who buys a lot for a dollar must begin new construction of a residence within twelve months of the purchase, and agree to a minimum tax assessment showing a valuation of two hundred thousand dollars for the lot. This minimum assessment will go into effect if construction does not begin within that twelve month period. The five lots involved in this offer are on the North end of Ninth Avenue in the Sunshine Addition.

Other Agenda items include approval for the Sheldon Housing Review Board’s Authorized signers.

Please note the change in date and time. This Council meeting will be held at noon Tuesday July 14th in the upper level of the Sheldon Community Services Center.


Feed Store in Ireton Heavily Damaged In Fire

Ireton, Iowa — A feed store in Ireton sustained heavy damages in a fire on Sunday, July 12.
Fire Lightbar
The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office says that about 8:35 PM, they paged the Ireton Fire Department to a report of a structure fire at Deluxe Feeds, Incorporated at 801 Main Street in Ireton.

Firefighters say that when they arrived, they found smoke and flames coming from the building.

Several area fire departments later responded and assisted the Ireton Fire Department.

No injuries were reported.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the feed store sustained extensive damages and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

They say the Ireton Ambulance crew, Hawarden Fire Department, Maurice Fire Department, Sioux Center Fire Department, Rock Valley Fire Department, Orange City Fire Department, the Hawarden Police Department, Sioux County Sheriff’s Office and Sioux County Conservation Department assisted at the scene. Sioux Center Ambulance’s Rehab Trailer was also at the scene.