National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

telephoneSibley, Iowa — They are the calm voice you hear on the other end of the phone when you need help, and dial 911.  They are the public safety telecommunicators, more commonly known as 911 dispatchers, who send the help you need, when you need it the most.

This week, April 10th through 16th, is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.  We talked to Osceola County Sheriff Doug Weber, who says his 911 dispatchers have a great deal of responsibility.

Weber says that, in Osceola County, all  of his 911 dispatchers do double duty.

He says that, despite the small size of his dispatching crew, they are a very diverse group.

Weber says that, while their primary duties are answering calls and dispatching emergency services, his 911 dispatchers carry out a variety of other duties, as well.

The Sheriff says he’s very proud of his dispatching crew, and the work they do to help the residents of Osceola County in times of emergency.

School Board To Discuss Building Potential “Snow Make-Up Days” Into 2016-17 Calendar

Sheldon-Schools-logoSheldon, Iowa — When the Sheldon Community School District’s Board of Education meet for their regular April meeting, one of the items on their agenda will be whether or not to build “Snow Make-Up Days” into the 2016-17 school calendar.

As adopted, the calendar for the 2016-17 school year has August 24th listed as the first day of school, with May 26th the last scheduled day of classes.  However, the calendar also lists May 30th and 31st, along with June 1st and 2nd, etc., as Snow Make-Up Days.  This school year, classes have been extended into June to make up for the days missed due to weather this past winter.  Recently, the Administration of the Sheldon Schools distributed a survey to District staff regarding their opinion on the possibility of building some potential “Snow Make-Up Days” into the school year, should they be needed.  The results of that survey will be shared with the Board at Wednesday’s meeting.

The Board will also hold a Public Hearing on the District’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget, and set the date and time for the Budget Amendment Hearing, as well as consider a proposal to re-sand and re-paint the floor in the high school gym.

In other action, the Board is scheduled to receive and approve the list of members of the Class of 2016 who have qualified for graduation, deal with an Open Enrollment Application, and approve a half dozen summer coaching contracts during Wednesday’s meeting.

The April meeting of the Sheldon Community Schools Board of Education will begin at 6:00 pm Wednesday in the high school library.

Beware Of Current IRS Telephone Scam

1040 income tax formSheldon, Iowa — With the April tax filing deadline approaching, the scammers are at it again.

Sheldon Police Chief Lyle Bolkema says he has received calls from local tax preparers who were contacted by multiple clients saying they had received telephone calls from someone claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service.  Bolkema says the caller told these people that there had been a lawsuit filed against them.  The caller then proceeded to try and get bank account information, and other information, such as Social Security numbers from the potential victims.

Bolkema says, if you get one of these calls, hang up.  The Internal Revenue Service contacts taxpayers by mail, first, concerning tax-related issues, and never asks for your banking information over the phone.

Don’t forget that the deadline for filing your Federal Income Tax forms this year is April 18th.  The deadline for filing your Iowa Income Tax Returns in April 30th.

FD Called To Structure Fire Near Hospers

Hospers, Iowa — The Hospers Fire Department was called to a barn fire on Monday, April 11, 2016 near Hospers.
generic fire truck
According to Hospers Fire Chief John Schwartz, about 9:40 PM, the Hospers Fire Department was called to the report of structure fire with smoke coming from the roof of the barn at 3727 Kingbird Avenue, two and a half miles north of Newkirk. Schwartz says that’s Rod Korver’s place.

The chief says the fire department saw smoke coming from the roof as they approached the scene. He says they used water both inside and outside of the building to fight the fire.

Schwartz says no injuries were reported.

He says the property owner had been tearing the roof off of the barn, and was burning the old shingles. He says that fire got out of control and started the barn on fire.

Chief Schwartz reports that there was minimal damage.

He says they used about 300 gallons of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for about an hour.

Landowners File Lawsuit To Block Bakken Pipeline

Des Moines, Iowa — Nine Iowa landowners have filed a lawsuit against the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) in Polk County District Court over the permit issued for the Bakken oil pipeline.
Stop Bakken
The suit filed Friday by the Northwest Iowa Landowners Association and individual landowners argues that Dakota Access, which is building the pipeline, does not qualify as a utility and therefore should not have the ability to use eminent domain to forcibly access property to build the pipeline across the state.

The Iowa Utilities Board decided in March that Dakota Access did have the right to use eminent domain and could proceed under certain conditions. The Davis Brown Law firm in Des Moines is representing the landowners and will hold a news conference on Tuesday at 3 PM to discuss the lawsuit.

In a news release, the law firm says they will argue that the Iowa Utilities Board has misinterpreted Iowa law, specifically the 2006 law designed to protect Iowa farmland.

The pipeline would enter the state near Inwood, and would cross portions of Lyon, Sioux, and O’Brien counties on it’s way to south-central Illinois.

Farmers Waiting On Soil Warm-Up Before Planting

JoelDeJongNorthwest Iowa — The U-S-D-A crop report released Monday showed high winds and frequent showers kept many northwest Iowa farmers from getting the planting season underway.

Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist Joel DeJong says despite the cooler temperatures most of the signs are positive.

DeJong says the four-inch soil temperature was 35 on Saturday and up to 41 on Sunday, so it is moving in the right direction.

Many farmers are still applying anhydrous ammonia for fertilizer. DeJong says conditions are still favorable, if farmers make certain they are applying that anhydrous ammonia at deep enough levels.

While some farmers in southern Iowa are into the fields, he says here in northwest Iowa farmers may want to wait a few more days, even though research studies indicate better yields are obtained with early planted seed.

He says each farmer can decide what they want to do, but there is no rush.

The U-S-D-A report shows west-central and southwest Iowa had the best conditions last week for working in the fields.