Vander Plaats Talks About Family Leader’s Presidential Lecture Series

Urbandale, Iowa — Sheldon native and Family Leader CEO Bob Vander Plaats is planning some upcoming presidential forums.

Bob Vander Plaats
Bob Vander Plaats

The events will feature national conservative leaders, including many presidential hopefuls. The Family Leader organization says that the end goal is educating Iowans about the men and/or women who want to lead our nation.

We had a chance to talk with Vander Plaats recently, and he told us about what they are calling the “lecture series”.


He tells us they think that it will be a great “first date” — a first opportunity to meet the candidates.

Vander Plaats says the events will be free, but you will need a ticket to attend. He says you can find more information on their web site, thefamilyleader.com. The Sioux Center event will be on March 23rd, and at this time it’s planned to be at Dordt College. It’s slated to run from 6:30 to 9 PM.

Several Republicans may be running for President in 2016, possibly including Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Scott Walker, and many more. Vander Plaats says no candidates have been formally invited yet, so they are not sure yet who’s going to be there, but as soon as they know, they will be making an announcement.

The forums, Vander Plaats says will lead up to the organization’s big annual event, the Family Leadership Summit in August.


Plus, he says they’ll have a Presidential Family Forum in November.


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Deputy Checking To Make Sure Travelers Are OK Results In Alcohol Arrests

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A deputy’s stopping to make sure travelers were okay south of Rock Rapids has led to alcohol arrests.
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The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 2 AM on Saturday, January 17, 2015, one of their deputies came upon a vehicle on A34 at the stop sign of Highway 75, about five miles south of Rock Rapids. One of the passengers was standing outside of the car and a second passenger had her door open, so the deputy exited his car to check welfare of the passengers.

After investigating, the deputy believed all four passengers of the vehicle were under the age of twenty one and had been consuming alcohol. The driver, also under the age of twenty one, had not been consuming alcohol, according to the report.

Nineteen-year-old Jessica Mehls of Sibley was cited for possession of alcohol under the legal age. Three juveniles were cited for possession of alcohol and referred to juvenile court.


Milford Man Arrested On Drug Charges Near Harris

Harris, Iowa — A Milford man has been charged with drug offenses after he was arrested near Harris.
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The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 2:20 AM on Sunday morning, January 18, 2015, one of their deputies arrested 21-year-old Brandon Michael Koch of Milford.

The arrest stemmed from a traffic stop on Highway 9 east of Harris.

Koch was charged with the alleged Possession of a Controlled Substance, Marijuana, a Serious Misdemeanor; and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Simple Misdemeanor.

Koch was transported to the Osceola County Jail and was later released on bond.


Hog Confinement Fire Near Boyden Causes A Quarter Of A Million Dollars In Damage

Boyden, Iowa — A hog confinement near Boyden sustained about $750,000 in damages in a fire on Friday night.
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The Boyden Fire Department reports that they received the call for a structure fire at 7:05 PM Friday night. The fire occurred at 3768 360th Street, seven miles southwest of Boyden.

Upon arrival, firefighters found a hog confinement with heavy smoke coming from it. The building contained 2,800 pigs. One of the four 75-foot by 125-foot sections of the building was fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire after about three hours. There were no pigs in that particular room at the time of the fire.

At this time there has not been a loss of any of the animals.

Fire officials say the building sustained about $750,000 in damages.

Boyden Ambulance personnel, the Hull Fire Department, Hull Ambulance personnel, fire departments from Orange City and Sioux Center, and the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Boyden Fire Department on the scene.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Boyden Fire Department and the Iowa State Fire Marshal.


Proposed Oil Pipeline Raises Questions

Des Moines, Iowa — A Dallas, Texas based company proposing to build a crude oil pipeline that would cross 18 Iowa counties will file for a permit to build with the Iowa Utilities Board later this month. Energy Transfer Partners Senior Vice President Joey Mahmoud says the company has permission from 80 percent of landowners along the proposed route to survey. If the petition is approved, he says the company will seek eminent domain powers to survey the rest of the land.
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(as he says)“Is it reasonable to think we’ll have 100 percent voluntary easements, probably not. In those rare cases, we’ll have to rely on the power of eminent domain if we’re able to secure it from the I-U-B,” Mahmoud says.

Iowans have spoken out in favor of and against the project so far in public information sessions held in the state. Opinions also vary outside the state. A Michigan State geoscientist is warning about a possible oil spill from the proposed pipeline, which Energy Transfer Partners says they intend to bury between three to four feet deep across Iowa farm fields. Geoscientist Bruno Basso says that’s not deep enough.


(as he says) “Three feet will not even be close to be safe for crop production. Roots will reach at least three to five feet, especially in those good Iowa soils. I mean, long story short, crops cannot grow if there is an oil spill,” Basso says.

Basso and Mahmoud made their comments on a recent broadcast of the Iowa Public Radio “River to River” program.

The proposed pipeline is expected to run through our area from northwest to southeast in Lyon, Sioux, and O’Brien Counties, as well as 15 more, on its way to a refinery.

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Trial Date Set For Akron Man Accused Of Murder

Le Mars, Iowa — A trial date was set Friday in Plymouth County for accused murder Jonathon Neunaber of Akron.
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Neunaber is accused of murdering his mother Esther Neunaber. Both of his parents, Esther and Donald, were found dead at their rural Akron home last July. Neunaber was located a day later at LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

Judge Steven Andreasen announced the trial date would be set for March 31st.

Neunaber was brought to the Plymouth County Courthouse by Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo, although he waived his rights and did not appear in the courtroom.

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