Concealed Carry Permits Coming Up For Renewal

Statewide Iowa — A new state law regarding the issuance of concealed weapons permits was enacted in 2010 and took effect January 1, 2011. It made significant changes.
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Given that the Nonprofessional Permit to Carry Weapons is valid for five years, many permit holders issued a permit in 2011 are now seeking information about renewals, which are available only through your local county sheriff’s office.

We talked to Sioux County Sheriff Dan Altena, who says that both the new permit and renewal processes, while they sound complicated, really aren’t.

Altena says if you were among the first to get a new permit in January of 2011, and you haven’t yet applied for your renewal, you may already be too late, due to the 30-day application requirement. Altena says there are two options for training for the renewal of a permit.

He says if you’ve missed the window, it’s probably not that big of a deal.

Altena says depending on how much the training or shooting with an instructor costs you, some people have said that it might be just as cost-effective to let your permit expire and then apply for a new permit, because only the renewal has the stipulation that the training or shooting with the instructor has to have been within the last 12 months — the new permit only requires proof of training anytime in the past.

He says it basically boils down to a little more fuss to possibly pay a little less for a renewal, or possibly a little more money and less fuss for a new permit.

Incidentally, Altena says they have over 1900 concealed weapons permit holders in Sioux County at this time. He says that’s up from around 400 before the law changed five years ago. He also says that while it may not be such a good idea in all places, the concealed carry permit also allows the holder to “open carry,” or carry the weapon in plain sight. Some experts advise against “open carry” in public because it might make others nervous and could give away a tactical advantage in an active shooter situation.

For more information, he encourages you to visit their website at If you need more clarification, he says feel free to call their office.

If you live in another county, call that county’s sheriff’s office.

Frequently asked questions about renewal of the permit to carry weapons, as well as other common questions, are available in a new FAQ on the Department of Public Safety web site. Frequently asked questions regarding SF2379 may be viewed here.

Iowa Ag Department Requests Funding In Budget Meeting

Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has requested $10 million for the Iowa Water Quality Initiative and a half million for avian influenza response efforts, among other requests. The requests came in a public meeting with Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds as part of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s fiscal 2017 budget request.
Bill Northey
Northey requested a half million dollar appropriation to aid in preparing for and potentially responding to a foreign animal disease outbreak, such as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). The funds would be used to increase the capacity of the animal industry bureau and provide resources to better equip and prepare for future responses.

Northey says that the USDA has identified the recent avian influenza outbreak as the worst animal health emergency in U.S. history and unfortunately, Iowa was at the center of it. He says that animal agriculture adds so much to the state and the requested funds would help the Department continue to prepare for another animal disease situation, whether it is avian influenza or another disease.

The $10 million request for the Water Quality Initiative would allow the Department to continue offering cost share statewide to farmers trying new water quality practices, expand work in targeted watersheds to achieve measurable water quality improvements, and continue to develop new programs to help engage all Iowans in water quality efforts. The Department received $9.6 million for the current fiscal year for the Water Quality Initiative.

Northey also requested $7.5 million for conservation cost share. For over four decades, Iowa’s soil conservation cost share program has encouraged the adoption of conservation structures and practices to protect and preserve our state’s natural resources. Last year alone, the state’s $9.8 million investment generated $12.8 million in matching funds from Iowa farmers and land owners to support conservation practices.

Northey also asked for $150,000 from the Technology Reinvestment Fund to begin the process of updating the Iowa Commercial Pesticide License and Certification Database. The current database system was developed in 1987 and is unsupported by current Windows operation systems.

Council To Hold Hearing On 5-YR Capital Improvement Plan

city councilSheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon City Council will meet this Wednesday, December 2nd, with the main topic a Public Hearing to consider the Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan. This plan projects the capital improvement needs for the next five years, and the approximate budget costs for those needs.

The Public Hearing will begin at 4:30 pm, followed by consideration of the Airport Capital Improvement plan.

Wednesday’s Sheldon City Council meeting will be held in the upper level of the Sheldon Community Services Center.

UPDATED: Semi VS Car Crash Sends One To Hospital

AccidentGeneric 2Sheldon, Iowa — One person was taken to the hospital following a car vs semi accident north of Sheldon early this (Tuesday) morning.

Authorities were called to the scene of the crash, about one and one half miles south of POET Biorefining on Highway 60 shortly before 6:30 this morning. According to the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office, a 2003 Volvo semi tractor and trailer, driven by 28-year old Mahad Ismail of St. Cloud, Minnesota, was southbound on Highway 60.  A 2003 Ford Explorer, driven by 62-year old Steven Tatman of Sheldon was stopped at the eastbound stop sign and intended to travel across Highway 60.  Tatman told deputies he failed to see the semi, and pulled into its path.  The semi struck Tatman’s SUV in the side, spinning it into the median, where the semi came to rest as well.

Tatman was taken to the Sanford Sheldon Medical Center by the Sheldon Community Ambulance Team.

Tatman was cited for Failure To Yield Upon Entering A Through Highway.

Departments responding to the scene included the Ashton Fire Department, Sheldon Police Department, and the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office.

Lawsuit: Officers Pointed Guns At Innocent Man, Child

Orange City, Iowa — A traffic stop in Orange City over a year ago in which officers allegedly pulled their weapons on the wrong man, as well as his six-year-old son has caused a federal lawsuit to be filed, with claims of racial profiling.
According to court documents, 32-year-old Levi Wilson of Orange City was the driver of the car. The documents say that the officers were actually looking for Wilson’s brother David, who they say was a sex offender and was wanted on outstanding warrants. According to Wilson, when the officers pulled their guns, they asked, “Are you David?” Wilson says one of the officers told him that a local convenience store had just called and reported that a dark-skinned person had just drove off without paying for gas. Court documents report that Wilson is dark-skinned.

Court documents also say that the officers allege that David and Levi Wilson sometimes used the same truck. Levi Wilson says that is not the case.

Wilson alleges that his detention and the searches of his person and his vehicle took place without his consent and were not made in the furtherance of a warrant.

Federal Judge Mark W. Bennet has decided not to dismiss the case, ruling that it may proceed.

Wilson is claiming unreasonable search and seizure, excessive force, and invasion of privacy.

Iowa Forestry Nursery Has Gift Ideas

tree farm 1Des Moines, Iowa – You can add some special interest to your winter landscape, or maybe the yard of someone on your gift-giving list, with the Winter Wonderland specialty packet from Iowa’s State Forest Nursery.

State Forester Paul Tauke says the packet consists of two evergreen species and three varieties of shrubs that add color and beauty all year long, but particularly during Midwest winters.

In addition to the seedlings, those ordering this month’s packet will receive a copy of Guide to Common Trees & Shrubs of Iowa – a perfect stocking stuffer. This 100-page booklet contains detailed descriptions, information and illustrations of more than 40 Iowa trees and shrubs.

As a special bonus, the first two individuals to order the Winter Wonderland packet will receive a $50 gift card to Scheels All Sports store, according to Tauke.

This Winter Wonderland packet, available this month only, may be just be the gift you are looking to give, or get, this holiday season. Cost for the 250 bare-root seedlings is $110, the same price as a regular 200-seedling packet, plus tax, shipping and handling. The Winter Wonderland packet includes 50 each of the following: 

White pine

The only common pine in Iowa, the white pine has long narrow cones and soft plumy grass-like needles in bundles of five. Its curved upper branches provide hauntingly beautiful asymmetry. The white pine will grow 50 to 80 feet tall and likes well-drained, sandy soil.


White spruce

With dense foliage and a pyramid shape, the white spruce can withstand extremes of heat and cold and grows to be 50 to 80 feet tall.


Redosier dogwood

This shrub grows from 4 to 20 feet tall and displays vibrant red stems, attractive white flowers and white berries. It tolerates wet soil well.


Gray dogwood

Its white flowers, white berries and blue-green foliage provide great winter interest. This shrub tolerates wet soil and will grow 10 to 15 feet tall.



This shrub keeps things interesting in the winter with its brown shaggy peeling bark and white to slightly pink flowers. It’s drought tolerant and grows 6 to 10 feet tall.


The seedlings are between 8 and 24 inches, depending on the tree or shrub species.

To take advantage of this offer, call the State Forest Nursery at 1-800-865-2477 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and mention the “Winter Wonderland packet.”  Landowners purchasing this packet will receive delivery in the spring.

Each month, the State Forest Nursery creates a different specialty packet to offer a unique mix of tree and shrub species for that month only. This month’s specialty packet is only available through Dec. 30, 2015.  Look for an announcement of next month’s specialty packet Jan. 5.

Anyone can purchase seedlings from the Iowa State Forest Nursery for CRP projects, to increase wildlife habitat, pollinator potential or diversify backyard woodlands.  More than 40 species are available from the nursery. Seedling choices, including photos and descriptions, can be seen in the seedling catalog at