City Of Sheldon Gets “Clean” Audit Report

New-Sheldon-SignSheldon, Iowa — The annual audit of the finances of the City of Sheldon once again resulted in what one of the auditors called a ‘clean report’.  The representative of the City’s auditing firm, Winther Stave and Company, told the City Council Wednesday that they were very pleased with the work of the city office and their cooperation with the auditors.  And there were no non-compliance findings that caused concern. He noted that the report of the fiscal year 2014-2015  does show that the cash on hand was down from the previous year, but that was because the City had paid off a considerable amount of debt using cash reserves.  And he noted that no new debt was incurred during that time.

In other business Wednesday the Council approved an extension of up to one year in the cable franchise agreement with HTC  Communications.  This will allow time for the agreement to be brought up to date with needed changes to fit the code.

The Council also heard a report from O’Brien County Development Director Kiana Johnson.  She named some of the significant initiatives and programs the group has undertaken or is planning, including programs to capitalize on the wind turbine project by looking for businesses or industries related to that project.  She said they’ve also worked on developing a Home Base Iowa Community, and want to develop a program to attract or recruit O’Brien County high school and college graduates.  She says they’re also talking about developing a commercial and industry Tax Abatement program and are looking for new technology to connect government, employers, employees, citizens and potential entities.  Johnson also reported that out of 385 grant applicants, O’Brien County has received the 9th largest USDA Rural Business Development Grant in the nation.  This grant totaled $196,910 and has been used for the County’s Revolving Loan Fund.

Speaking of grants, Sheldon City Manager Scott Wynja reported that the City has been awarded a ‘Moving Ahead for Progress’ grant in the amount of $498-thousand  for improvements to 16th Street.  This grant is for work to be done in the year 2018, consisting of the complete removal and replacement of the current street surface beginning at Iselin Avenue, and continuing east to a point just beyond the junction with 8th Avenue.

The Council also agreed on a change in date and time for the first meeting in May.  That meeting will be held Tuesday May 3rd at noon.

At the close of the meeting, Mayor Tricia Meendering asked residents to please clean up behind their dogs, especially when they are walking them in the City Parks and ball diamonds.  She says the doggie deposits have been a problem in the past, and she is asking for the cooperation from dog owners this Summer.

Iowa Is Drought-Free

Iowa DNRDes Moines, Iowa — All of Iowa remains drought free, according to the National Drought Monitor, and the average stream flows for the state have returned to near normal levels.

In the first quarter of 2016, Iowa averaged 3.97 inches of precipitation, slightly drier than the 30-year normal, but was significantly wetter than in 2014 or 2015. Precipitation amounts generally were above normal across the northern one-third of the state and well below normal over east central, southeast and southwest Iowa.  January was the driest of the three months over most of Iowa, while March accounted for 61 percent of the first quarter precipitation.

For a thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends, go to

The report is prepared by the technical staff from the Iowa DNR, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering and the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department and the National Weather Service.

Jinkinson Feature In “People Magazine” Hits Newsstands Friday

Ali JinkinsonSheldon, Iowa — A Sheldon native will be featured in the newest issue of People Magazine, that hits the newsstands Friday (April 22nd).

Ali Jinkinson was born without a specific gender identity, but had that situation corrected last summer.  She says she’s very excited about the release of the People Magazine article.

She says the article chronicles her nearly lifelong struggle with gender identity.

Jinkinson says the article came about after she met the Editor of People while she was in Los Angeles.

She says that now, at this point in her life, she feels more like herself than ever before.

The People Magazine issue featuring Sheldon’s Ali Jinkinson hits the newsstands Friday.   If you’d like to see the online version, please click here.

April Is Autism Awareness Month

autism_5Northwest Iowa — April is Autism Awareness Month.  One in sixty-eight children in the United States suffers from this disability.

Jan Turbes is the Autism Specialist for the Northwest Area Education Agency, and tells us a little bit about autism.

Turbes says that autism manifests itself in different ways from person to person.

She says that the national logo for autism is a puzzle piece, and for a very good reason.

Turbes says the four colors of the logo, blue, red, yellow, and green all have a different meaning.

If you’d like more information on autism, it’s symptoms, or it’s causes, Turbes offers a couple of resources.

Those websites again are, and

DOT Warns Of Layoffs/DL Station Closures If House Bill Becomes Law

DOTDes Moines, Iowa — Republicans in the Iowa House say the Iowa D-O-T got a significant budget boost when the state gas tax went up a dime-a-gallon last year, and the agency should reallocate money within its budget to pay for negotiated employee pay raises.

Northwest Iowa Representative Dan Huseman, a Republican from Aurelia, says this is a “tough budget year” and other state agencies will have to do that.

Iowa D-O-T officials say without the extra money, up to 400 employees will be laid off, plus some of the state’s Driver’s License stations and D-O-T maintenance garages will have to be closed. Lee Wilkinson, director of the D-O-T’s operations and finance division, isn’t saying which locations might be targeted.

Wilkinson says the D-O-T cannot use any of the additional gas tax revenue to cover salaries, because of legislative action in 2015 that barred the practice.

The House Appropriations Committee met Wednesday night and voted to remove the money for D-O-T salary hikes that Senators had included in a transportation budget bill.

Mind Body Day 2016 Is April 30th

LLRC-YogaSheldon, Iowa — You’ll have an opportunity to calm your mind, boost your energy and strengthen your body, when NCC’s Lifelong Learning & Recreation Center, or LLRC, presents Mind Body Day 2016, Saturday April 30th at the LLRC.

LLRC Director Greta Giese says the April 30th Mid Body Day will be the second annual event held at the LLRC.

Giese calls last year’s event a wonderful day.

She says they will be having guest yoga instructors from around the area for this free event.

Giese says there will be several different sessions throughout the day, including:  Hatha Flow with Melissa Remme at 9 am; Vinyasa Flow with Brian McCormick of Evolve Studio in Sioux City at 10 am; Soul Flow with Ariel Gonzalez from Evolve Studio at 11 am; Peaceful Warrior Flow at noon; Kundalini at 1 pm, and Yoga Nidra at 2 pm, both led by Jackie Paulson of {be} Studio in Sioux City.

She says that, while pre-registration is not required, it would be appreciated.

If you’d like to pre-register, you can do so by calling the LLRC at 712-324-2493.  They ask that you bring your yoga gear (mat, block, strap, etc.), if you have it.  If not, the LLRC will have some equipment available for those that do not have their own yoga equipment.

This event is FREE to the community.  Giese says the Lifelong Learning & Recreation Center is committed to being a resource for wellness information and promoting lifelong wellness and learning.