Student Teams To Participate In Egg Toss Contest

Sheldon, Iowa — Launch a raw egg and hit a target several feet away. Sounds messy, huh? That’s the object of the NCC Engineering Expo in which many local teams are participating this Wednesday, May 4th, at Northwest Iowa Community College. Barbosa Barbosa

Organizers say it also aims to promote engineering as an exciting field for young people, to provide a service to society, to encourage teamwork, and to assist in STEM education outside of the classroom. The teams designed their catapults to launch raw eggs a specified distance, but they don’t know until the day of the event what the exact distance will be. The catapults are designed and built by the teams. The winning teams will have launched their eggs the farthest distance.

NCC organizers say each team will set up their catapult, which was designed and built by their team, in a designated launch area and will launch raw eggs at a bull’s-eye target on the opposite end of the playing field. Each team will get three practice shots and five scored shots. This field competition will count for 50 of the total 100 possible points.

Each team will also compete in a set of 5 timed problem-solving contests. The students know there are on-site problems, but they don’t know what they are until they walk in the room for the competition. Each team will also be scored on a presentation highlighting how they built their catapults and their findings.

Participating will be teams from Orange City Career Academy, Sheldon, two teams from Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, Trinity Christian, Central Lyon, three teams from Sioux Center, and a team from South O’Brien.

Primghar Gas System Purchase Fails; Moermond Wins In Hartley

Primghar, Iowa — The people of Primghar have defeated a measure that would have forced Black Hills Energy to sell their Primghar gas system to the city of Primghar.
gas blue flame burner
The unofficial vote was 160 yes to 179 no votes. That’s 47.2% yes votes, and 52.8% no votes.

If the measure had passed, the City would have purchased the system at a price set by the court, and they would have established a municipal gas utility.

In Hartley, the only person with her name on the ballot to fill a vacancy on the city council was the winner of the election. Unofficially, Valerie Moermond received 106 votes. Two people received write-in votes. Randy Kramer had 3 and Kevin Snider received one vote.

Suspect Photo Released In 1978 Murder Case

Rock Rapids, Iowa — There have been no new leads in the Wilma June Nissen Cold Case in Lyon County — BUT — investigators have now released more information than has ever been released before. And for the first time in public, they’re calling one wanted individual a “suspect.”

unidentified suspect
unidentified suspect

On October 4th, 1978, the badly-decomposed body of a young woman was found in a ditch southwest of the West Lyon School in Lyon County.

Since no one in the area would say they knew who she was, she remained a “Jane Doe” for 27 years. In 2006, some fingerprint records from an arrest in California matched up with those taken from the body, and her name was released. She was identified as Wilma June Nissen from California.

Investigators say there is very little information about Nissen’s whereabouts between early in 1978 and the time her body was found in October, 1978.

Lyon County Chief Deputy and detective Jerry Birkey tells us that although they have known what he’s about to tell you for some time, this is the first time they have gone public with it.

wilma nissen
He says that while they are not releasing the name of the woman they believe killed Nissen, they have released a photograph of her from around 1978. He says they know their suspect worked for the Sioux Falls escort service, know as “Playmates” or “Playgirls”. He says one witness says Nissen did too. He says he knows where the suspect lives, and he’s even spoken to her about the case, but he can’t get her to confess. He says he needs someone to help link the two women.

Birkey says that due to the manner of death, they believe that at least two people were involved in murdering Nissen. They don’t know who the other person may be, but they would like to talk to another person, who went by the name, “Peaches.”

He says “Peaches” is a light-complected black female from Thunder Bay, Canada. To clarify, they have released a picture of a woman whose name they are not releasing, and they are also looking for the woman who was called “Peaches.” — two separate people.

Birkey says they think they know the killers’ motive.

He says he realizes that people may not want to come forward, but in the interest of justice, he hopes someone will.

If you have any information about “Peaches” or the woman in the photograph, or about Wilma June Nissen, Birkey would like you to call his office at 712-472-8300.

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day A Success

prescription rxNorthwest Iowa — As we told you last week, this past Saturday, April 30th, law enforcement agencies in O’Brien, Osceola, Lyon and Sioux counties partnered with Compass Pointe Behavioral Health to take part in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

We checked back with Cheryl Buntsma, who is a Certified Prevention Specialist with Compass Pointe, and she provided us with some interesting information regarding Saturday’s collection.

In Osceola County, the Drug Take-Back was held in downtown Sibley, where three large garbage bags full of unused or outdated prescriptions were turned in.  In Osceola County, if you missed Saturday’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, you can drop off your unused or outdated prescriptions, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office in Sibley.

In Sioux County, the Drug Take-Back location was at the Hawarden Police Department.  Buntsma tells us that more than 20 pounds of prescriptions were collected at that site, more than five times the amount turned in during the 2015 Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

At this time, no numbers are available from the sites in Lyon and O’Brien counties.  If you missed Saturday’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in Lyon County, you can drop off your unused or outdated prescriptions 24/7 at the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office in Rock Rapids.

The annual Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is done in partnership with Compass Pointe Behavioral Health, area law enforcement, and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.

Major Events Center Donor Identified

Events Center 7Sheldon, Iowa — The name of a major donor to the new Sheldon Events Center has been announced.

In a news release, the City of Sheldon and the Sheldon Chamber and Development Corporation have expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the Arlan Van Wyk Family for their generous contribution of $500-thousand to the Sheldon Regional Events Center project. To quote the release, “The ultimate vision and financial support of the Arlan Van Wyk Family for this project and what it will mean to move our community forward is very much recognized and appreciated”.

A total of $960-thousand in contributions has been raised so far from businesses and individuals. The City and SCDC have set a goal of raising an additional $725-thousand toward the Events Center project. This fundraising effort is set to begin immediately.

Sheldon Council Disposes Of Several Agenda Items

city councilSheldon, Iowa — Development in Sheldon’s Runger Addition continues, with the sale of two more lots announced at the Sheldon City Council meeting Tuesday.  Sheldon Development Director Curt Strouth reported that Southwest Wholesale is purchasing lots ten and eleven, located just North of their existing property in the Runger Addition. Southwest Wholesale will pay $25,369.50 for the lots with a ten year minimum assessment of sixty thousand dollars. They also plan to erect a 2400 square foot spec building on one of the lots. This property will generate $1,836.00 annually in property taxes.

In other action, the Council approved the Preliminary Official Statement with regard to the $3.4-million General Obligation Capital Loan Notes that will be used to help fund the new events center.  City Manager Scott Wynja explained that this is just one more step in the loan process.  He said the City has been notified that it has an A-Plus bond rating, which is a good sign of where the city stands financially.  The rates and terms of the bond will come later, and it is expected that they will close on the bonds in the first part of July.

The Council also affirmed the appointment of Erin Brown to the Library Board and agreed to increase the payment to Wolff, Whorley, Dehoogh and Schreurs to $200 per hour for their legal services. There has been no fee increase since it was set at $185 per hour in 2013.

Several safety related concerns were heard during the Council Comments period.  Councilman Brad Hindt brought up concerns from citizens who would like to see some kind of signage along West 7th Street, warning motorists about ‘Children At Play’.  Council members said they’ll survey the situation to see if they feel it requires action.

Councilman Pete Hamill called everyone’s attention to a bike ride that will take place May 21st.  The ride will follow the recreational trails, but will also include Country Club Road and 16th Street.  Hamill reported that Sioux County has now placed ‘Share the Road’ signs on certain roadways and wondered if O’Brien County would be willing to do something similar.

It was also reported that the Sheldon Police Department is aware of speeding vehicles on East 6th Street from Washington Avenue to Country Club Road. The public should be aware that officers will act to enforce the speed limit on 6th Street as a public safety measure.

The City Council went into closed session to discuss the purchase of property, and took no action following that closed session.