Car Damaged In Fire Near Larchwood

Larchwood, Iowa — A car received major damage in a fire on Friday, March 4, 2016 near Larchwood.
Fire Lightbar
According to Larchwood Fire Chief Damon Langenhorst, about 3:45 PM, the Larchwood Fire Department was called to the report of vehicle that was fully engulfed in fire at Birch Avenue and Highway 9, about two miles northwest of Larchwood.

He says the cause of the fire appeared to be a problem under the hood, as the fire was pretty much contained to the engine compartment.

Langenhorst says no injuries were reported.

Chief Langenhorst reports that the car was probably totaled.

He says they pulled hose lines and used a small amount of water to fight the fire, and crews were on scene for a short time.

Goal Of Health Grant Is Prevention

Orange City, Iowa — Last week we told you that the Sioux County public health department, known as Community Health Partners, or “CHP” has been awarded a grant to implement the State Innovation Model or “SIM” initiative in Sioux County. CHP is one of only 6 grant recipients state-wide.
We had a chance to talk with Angela Kroeze Visser about the grant. She says that through the SIM program CHP will collaborate over the next 3 years with the 4 hospitals in the county, as well as community partners and community members, to integrate public health and primary medical care to “transform the health care delivery system, with the goal of a healthier population and decreased health care costs.” She says the focus will be on prevention.

She tells us what that coalition will be doing.

She says they hope to have a community care coordinator at each of the hospitals in the county and at the Community Health Partners office. She says there is already a community care coordinator at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center. She says the idea there is for a doctor or other provider to refer patients in need of help in the grant’s focus areas of obesity, tobacco use and chronic diseases like diabetes to the community care coordinator, who can help the patient find available resources.

Kroeze Visser says the SIM grant will allow CHP and its partners to continue our efforts to make Sioux County a healthy place for all to live, work, play and learn.

She says the $179,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Public Health will include staffing all of the positions around the county.

State officials expect future funding from these grants will reach all counties in the state.

Sheldon Troop Celebrates National Girl Scout Week

Sheldon, Iowa — The week of March 7, 2016, is Girl Scout Week in the United States, and local Sheldon Girl Scouts are celebrating.Sheldon Girl Scouts

Cindy Talsma, one of the leaders of the Sheldon Girl Scout Troop says that March 12, 2016, marks the 104th anniversary of Girl Scouts of the USA, founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912 in Savannah, Georgia.

She says the local troop has 49 girls in the four different age levels.

She tells us about the different levels of Girl Scouting.

Talsma says the local Girl Scout Troop can trace its roots back to 1921.

Girl Scout officials say that through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience girls develop the skills and lessons that will serve them throughout their lives so that they may contribute to their communities; and that Girl Scouting takes an active role in increasing girls’ awareness of the opportunities in math, science, sports, technology, and many fields of interest that can expand their horizons.

If you have a girl that’s interested in scouting, you can call Talsma at 712-348-1969 or visit

Osceola County Volunteer Weather Observers Wanted

rain gaugeOsceola County, Iowa — If you enjoy following our ever-changing weather conditions, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow network, or CoCoRaHS is looking for you.

Iowa State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says volunteers are needed as part of a national network of weather observers.

The data that’s collected by the volunteer observers is available for free online and helps the National Weather Service with flood forecasting, drought assessments, and more.

The CoCoRaHS network was established in Colorado in 1998 and has spread to all 50 states. Iowa joined the volunteer network in 2007. Hillaker says weather observers are needed statewide, but the most critical needs are in Osceola County, among others.

Hartley Special Election Set For May 3rd

vote_hereHartley, Iowa — The resignation of a Hartley City Councilman has left an empty seat on that governmental body that will be filled in a Special Election to be held May 3rd.

Hartley City Clerk Patty Anderson says Councilman Brad Meendering resigned his council seat at their February 22nd meeting, citing life changes as his reason for stepping down.

In the wake of Meendering’s resignation, the Hartley City Council had the option of appointing someone to fill out Meendering’s unexpired term, or holding a Special Election to fill the seat.  The Council opted to go the Special Election route, according to Anderson.

Anderson says any Hartley resident interested in serving on the City Council can pick up nomination papers for the May 3rd Special Election at either the Hartley City Hall, or at the O’Brien County Auditor’s Office in Primghar.  She says the completed nomination papers must be filed by 5:00 pm Monday April 4th at the Auditor’s Office.

Hy-Vee Warns Of Social Media Scam

Hy-Vee LogoNorthwest Iowa — A fraudulent scam has been reported in this area, this time on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.  This scam is a fraudulent Hy-Vee grocery giveaway post circulating on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

Hy-Vee company officials say the giveaway is not affiliated with or supported by Hy-Vee, and they urge their customers to not engage with the scam website or provide their personal information.

According to Hy-Vee, in recent weeks, these posts have surfaced using the likeness of other major retailers, as well.  Hy-Vee says they suggest that you beware of any offers that sound too good to be true, have unaffiliated URLs and contain grammatical errors or misspellings.

Hy-Vee says they are diligently working to get the website taken down. In the meantime, they recommend that you not share the post and simply delete it. The fraudulent post states people will receive $150 worth of groceries for their birthday.

Hy-Vee says they want their customers to know this giveaway is in no way affiliated with Hy-Vee.  The company also wants to educate customers on the dangers posed by sharing and clicking on the post, according to Hy-Vee Vice President of Communications Tara Deering-Hansen.

People who have accidentally clicked on the scam link and provided their personal information will want to scan their computer for viruses and malware and change any password information.