Northwest AEA Math Bee Winners

Sioux Center, Iowa — Savanna Busch, Sheldon Middle School Team A, placed first individually at the north Northwest Area Education Agency (AEA) Sixth-Grade Math Bee competition in Sioux Center.

Top 20 Individual Winners
Top 20 Individual Winners

Teams consist of four students and one alternate, and the students participate on an individual as well as a group level. The number of teams from each school is based on enrollment totals for the 6th grade. During the individual competition students completed five rounds of 10 questions each in the following categories which align with the Iowa Core: number systems, expressions & equations, geometry, statistics, ratios, and proportional relationships.

The team competition featured 12 problems selected from the five categories. Team members who participated in the individual competition worked with the alternate on the team round. Scores were determined by the sum of the top three individual rounds, plus the scores from the team exercise.

Math Bee Sheldon Team A
Sheldon Middle Team “A”

Sheldon Middle Team A participants placed 1st overall. Their team members were: Savanna Busch, Ethan Paulson, Zac Stellinga, Brooklyn Grady and Alex Kavanagh.



Math Bee Sheldon Team B
Sheldon Middle Team “B”

Team B came home with 3rd, and that team was comprised of  Michael Paulson, Charlotte Cook, Brady Waldstein, James Naves and Jalyn DeBoer.



Six of the ten students from Sheldon placed in the top 20 individual contest: Michael Paulson, Brooklyn Grady, Charlotte Cook, Zac Stellinga (4th overall), Ethan Paulson (tied for 2nd), and taking first from the 220 participants was Savanna Busch. Both teams were coached by teacher Connie Van Meeteren.

Math Bee South O'Brien
South O’Brien Team

South O’Brien came home from the competition with 2nd place. Their team members were Angela Nyunt, Bryce Rasmussen, Eric Mars and Aidan Rehder.


Math Bee Sioux Center Christian
Sioux Center Christian Team

Coming away from the day with 4th was the team from Sioux Center Christian. Tyra Hulstein (who tied for 4th overall), Tyrell Hulshof, Logan Franken, Megan Vander Kooi and Ross Tiedeman. They were coached by teacher Rebecca DeSmith.

School Will Start August 26th In Sheldon

Sheldon, Iowa — The first day of classes for the 2015-16 school year for students in the Sheldon Community School District will be Wednesday, August 26th, with the school year ending June 1, 2016, barring an abundance of snow days next school year.

Sheldon High SchoolAt Wednesday’s regular monthly meeting of the Sheldon School Board, Superintendent Robin Spears told Board members that legislation has been passed designating August 23 as the earliest start date for public school districts.  Previously, state law dictated the school couldn’t start prior to the week containing September 1st, unless individual school districts petitioned the State of Iowa for a waiver allowing them to start school prior to that date.  Earlier this year, the State informed districts that the waivers would no longer be granted in most cases.  This threw districts across the State of Iowa into limbo until a compromise was reached at the state level.  Governor Branstad is expected to sign the new law soon, paving the way for districts across Iowa to firm up their 2015-16 school calendars.  You can see the 2015-16 Sheldon Community Schools Calendar by clicking here.

In other action, the Board approved the 2015-16 District Budget of just over $17.86 million.  Click here to view the District’s Budget Summary.  The Board chose a different auditing firm to conduct the next District Audit.  Previously, the Iowa State Auditor’s Office had conducted the District audits, but this year the Board took bids, and voted to accept the low bid from King, Reinsch, Prosser & Co, LLP of Sioux City.  The accepted bid was more than $10,000 less than that of the State Auditor’s Office, and $1,000 lower than the nearest competitor.

Superintendent Spears told the Board that the District has been notified by the City of Sheldon that they are considering a proposed amendment to the Urban Renewal (Tax Increment Financing) Plan.  The City is required by law to consult with affected taxing entities, including the Sheldon Community School District.  City Manager Scott Wynja will appear at the May School Board Meeting to discuss the proposed changes.

Spears also told the Board that interviews to fill the vacant High School Principal position will begin Saturday, April 18th.  24 applications have been received by the District.  He also told the Board that the dedication of the completed East Elementary School is scheduled for April 27, from 5 to 7 pm.

The Board also accepted the resignation of Katie Pruiksma from her Middle School Basketball Coaching position, and Carla Kleinwolterink from her Middle School Volleyball Coaching position, as well as awarding several employment contracts, approving four Open Enrollment Applications, and approving the Class of 2015.

The Board voted to move their regular May meeting to Monday, May 11th at 6 pm in the high school library.  Regular Monthly Meetings are normally held the 2nd Wednesday of each month, but the Board made the date change due to a scheduling conflict on May 13th.

Sibley Woman Arrested On Drug Charges

Sibley, Iowa — A Sibley woman has been arrested on drug charges.
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The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Thursday April 9, 2015, one of their deputies arrested 32-year-old Nicole Lynn Ruffcorn of Sibley.

They say she was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance 2nd Offense, an Aggravated Misdemeanor and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Simple Misdemeanor.

Deputies report that the arrest stemmed from a traffic stop north of Sibley.

They say Ruffcorn is currently being held in the Osceola County Jail on a $2300 bond.

Rock Valley Man Arrested On Felony Count

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Rock Valley man has been arrested on a felony charge after several incidents.
Lyon County Sheriff Car Door 60-8
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that they arrested 53-year-old Michael Eugene Kats of Rock Valley early on Wednesday April 8, 2015.

Deputies say the arrest stems from a search after Kats allegedly made a 911 call to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Department and sent multiple text messages to Lyon County Deputies.

Kats was charged with Harassment of a Public Officer, a Simple Misdemeanor, and Threats of Terrorism, a Class C Felony.

The Rock Valley Police Department, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Department, and the Iowa State Patrol assisted the Lyon County Sheriff’s Department.

2011 Firearms Permits Coming Due

Sheldon, Iowa — The new law for permits to carry firearms in Iowa was enacted in 2011. Those that were issued when the law changed are coming up for renewal, but there are some important things to keep in mind.
tom with gun
Tom Traughber of 10-Ring Firearms Training tells us the history of the situation.

Traughber tells us about the requirements before you can renew your permit.

He says he and other instructors teach these classes.

Traughber clarifies the time periods specified in the law.

He says for more information, including class schedules, you can go to

If your browser or device cannot access the audio players above, here are the direct links to the audio sound bytes:

Man Faces Burglary & Drug Charges

Hand Cuffs sxcSheldon, Iowa — A Sheldon man faces several criminal charges after being arrested in connection with a trio of burglaries that reportedly took place over the past week in Sheldon.

The Sheldon Police Department says 22-year old Andrew Burnette of Sheldon is charged with the felony of 2nd Degree Burglary after being arrested late Sunday afternoon.  Police say the charge stems from three separate burglaries at the same residence on 10th Street in Sheldon over a one week period of time.

In addition, police say they charged Burnette with 5th Degree Theft, a simple misdemeanor, Possession of Methamphetamine, and Possession of Marijuana, both serious misdemeanors, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.

Burnette was taken to the O’Brien County Jail in Primghar following his arrest.