Elevator Unification Vote Continues

Rock Valley, Iowa — Voting continues on the unification of several grain cooperatives in northwest Iowa. Three co-ops would merge into one: United Farmers Cooperative, Farmers Elevator Cooperative and Cooperative Elevator Association. UFC general manager Jeff Christiansen says the ballots that were sent to co-op members last week will be tabulated next week.
grain elevator silos

(As above) “The ballots were sent out to the patrons on the 6th of April and they have to be back in by the 17th, which is Friday,” Christiansen says. “They will be counted by each of our audit firms individually on Monday the 20th.”

If approved, the company’s new name will be Cooperative Farmers Elevator, with the corporate headquarters in Rock Valley. Administrative offices will remain open in Ocheyedan and George. FEC general manager Mark Finck says a merger has several benefits for farmer members. He says all three have “decent balance sheets,” they can share technology and with a merger, there will be four rail lines that can bring in fertilizer. Finck says 100-percent of member equity would be preserved under the new structure.

(As above) “It would be board members from all three co-ops that would serve on the new board,” Finck says. “The continued long-term financial success is always a positive. The ballots will be opened next Monday. If all three companies would pass it, then the unification start date would be September 1.”

Cooperative Elevator Association general manager Rob Jacobs would be CFE’s new general manager, operating out of Ocheyedan. Finck would be the Chief Financial Officer, and Jeff Christiansen from UFC would be manager of the grain division.

Radio Iowa assisted with this story.

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King Calls For End Of IRS

Washington, DC — April 15th is Tax Day in the United States. Congressman Steve King has released a video statement calling for the end of the IRS and the establishment instead of what he calls a “Fair Tax”.
steve king forster center
He says when people get a refund they act as if the IRS is paying them.

He says under his plan, all tax would be tied to purchases for personal use.

The Congressman says that an income tax penalizes production, and therefore economic development.

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Western Christian Jets Compete Nationally

The Western Christian JETS (Junior Engineering) program recently competed in a national engineering test based on the theme of “The Power of Engineering”.

Western Maroon
Western Maroon picture: Front Row: Carter Vanden Bos, Alejandro Castelan, Jackson Kleinwolterink. Back Row: Dana Faber, Kaysha Steiger, Brittany Buren, Samantha Pausma, Amanda Van Tol
Western White
Western White Team: Bottom Row L to R: Avery Kats, Mariah Kleinwolterink, Kyle Vander Plaats, Ryan Zevenbergen. Back L to R: Jordan Walhof, Treyton Schemper, Alex Vander Stoep, Aaron Van Middendorp

Three Western Christian teams (2 varsity and 1 junior varsity) took on the task of answering engineering questions related to biofuel, nuclear and solar energy, wind turbines and many more topics. In the JV division the JV team finished 15th out of 42 teams nationally. At the varsity level, the Western Maroon team finished 5th in the state of Iowa and 27th nationally. The Western White team finished 1st in the state and 3rd nationally in division 1. Because of Western White’s high ranking, the team moves on to the next round of the national testing which will be written essays that will be evaluated and scored by test judges.

Western JV
Western JV picture: Front Row: Kailey Heemskerk, Rachel Heynen, Lindsey Zuidema, Brooke Haverhals. Back Row: Trent Van Maanen, Nolan Vande Griend, Tanner Miedema, Emily Van Ginkel

The JETS program is led by Shawn De Stigter, Science Instructor at Western Christian High School.

Half Staff Flags To Honor President Lincoln

Washington, DC — President Barack Obama has declared this Wednesday, April 15, 2015 as a Day of Remembrance for President Abraham Lincoln.
half staff NCC
As one of the signs of remembrance, Obama has requested the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff. He also encouraged all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes and businesses.

Full proclamation from President Obama:

President Abraham Lincoln believed that we are, at heart, one Nation and one people. At a time when America was torn apart and our very future was in doubt, he knew our country was more than a collection of States, and that we shared a bond that would not break. One hundred fifty years after President Lincoln’s death, Americans join together across the Union he saved to honor his memory and celebrate the freedom for which he gave his last full measure of devotion.

A self-taught man, rugged rail-splitter, and humble lawyer from Springfield, Illinois, President Lincoln believed in the fierce independence that lies at the heart of the American experience. But he also knew that together, we can do great things — that it is through the accumulated toil and sacrifice of ordinary women and men that our country is perfected and our liberty preserved.

President Lincoln understood the immense sacrifices required to give meaning to our founding principles. With enduring faith and steady resolve, he led our Nation through Civil War, knowing the blood shed was in painful service to those same ideals. He sought to reunite our people not only in Government, but also in a freedom that knew no bounds of color or creed. It was in this spirit that he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, forever joining the cause of our Union with the advancement of liberty. As our Nation gave birth to a new era of freedom, President Lincoln charted a course that would help bind the wounds of a divided country and bring healing to a people who desperately needed it.

Even while his Presidency was characterized by war, his ambition was a just and lasting peace. Amid the discord of great conflict, President Lincoln demonstrated the wisdom to look forward. He knew a united America could serve the hopes of all its people if they seized the opportunity of their time. He established land-grant colleges and committed to a railroad connecting East to West, even as he fought to hold together North and South. He fueled new enterprises with a national currency, spurred innovation, and ignited America’s imagination with a National Academy of Sciences.

As we reflect on the Great Emancipator, we are reminded that we will be remembered for what we choose to make of the moment we are given. President Lincoln has passed on a tremendous legacy to us, and we too are called to do great things. His example gives us confidence that whatever trials await us, this Nation and the freedom we cherish can, and will, prevail. Today, we reflect on the extraordinary progress he made possible, and with one voice, we rededicate ourselves to the work of ensuring a Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 15, 2015, as a Day of Remembrance for President Abraham Lincoln. I call upon all Americans to honor his life and legacy with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities. I also call upon the Governors of the United States and its Territories, and appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on the Day of Remembrance for President Abraham Lincoln. I further encourage all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes and businesses on that day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.


Two Taken To Hospitals After Accident

Hartley, Iowa — A Hartley woman and a Sanborn teen were taken to area hospitals after an accident near Sanborn.
The O’Brien County Sheriff Office reports about 6:20 AM on Monday, April 13th, 56-year-old Charlene Schwien of Hartley was driving a 2000 Ford minivan westbound on Highway 18, a mile east of Sanborn. Eighteen-year-old Megan Kroese of Sanborn was eastbound on 18 in a 2005 Honda.

The report says Schwien was making a left turn onto Highway 59 and according to the deputy, failed to yield to the Kroese vehicle. The report says the units collided in the eastbound lane causing Kroese car to spin around and hit a stop sign pole.

The Sanborn Ambulance took Schwien to Baum Harmon Mercy Hospital in Primghar. A private vehicle took Kroese to Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley.

Schwien’s Ford sustained $2500 in damages. Kroese’s Honda sustained about $9000 in damages.

Schwien was charged with failure to yield on left turn.

Deputies Investigate Vandalism In Park

Hull, Iowa — The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office is looking for one or more people who they say defaced a Hull park.
Sioux Sheriff Car 84-
They report that on Monday morning, April 13, they investigated a report of vandalism that was said to have occurred at the Kids Kingdom Park in Hull.  

Upon further investigation, deputies believe the perpetrator or perpetrators used a black and a grey marker to write obscene drawings and graffiti on extensive areas of park property.

Deputies say they don’t know when this crime occurred.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the sheriff’s office.