Christmas Trees Enjoy Good Growing Season

tree farm 1Northwest Iowa — The search for the perfect Christmas tree is a family affair shared by many northwest Iowa families each year, and this year’s crop is good, thanks to a good growing season.

The president of the Iowa Christmas Tree Growers say you’ll have a good selection of Iowa-grown trees this year. Jan Pacovsky, says the growing season that helped the state’s two main crops of soybeans and corn was also kind to tree growers.

Pacovsky says too much water and not enough can impact tree growth, but the growers she’s heard from are pleased.

While growers across the state are looking forward to a good season, Pacovsky won’t have trees again this year as they continue to recover from a heard of deer which ate the trees on her farm. If you head out to a farm to cut your own tree, she says look for one that appears to be in good health.

She says many people think tree farmers simply put the trees in the ground and wait until they are tall enough to be cut and trimmed.

While there are all kinds of artificial trees that come in box and some with lights already in the branches, Pacovsky says many of the customers at the tree farms are repeat customers. Many parents bring their kids to re-live the tradition of when they went out and got a tree as kids.

The Iowa Christmas Tree Growers Association represents 98 tree farms in the state. A directory of tree farms across Iowa is available at: Go to the “Find a Farm” link on the top left-hand corner of the page. The location of the farms is listed as well as a phone number and hours of operation for each farm. The Iowa Agriculture Department says the farms devote over 15-hundred acres to Christmas tree production in Iowa and as a result harvest approximately 39-thousand-500 Christmas trees each year. The Ag Department says Christmas Tree growers contribute a one million dollars to Iowa’s economy.

Trump Coming To Northwest Iowa

TrumpSpencer, Iowa — Another Republican Presidential candidate is coming to northwest Iowa.

Republican front-runner Donald Trump is scheduled to make a campaign appearance in Spencer on Saturday, December 5th.  The event will be held at the Clay County Regional Event Center in Spencer, and will begin at 11:00.

The Trump campaign advises people to arrive early to make sure they can get into the event.  Doors for the 11:00 am appearance will open at 9:00 am that morning.

Sheldon Tour Of Lights Is Thursday Night

Christmas lights 2Sheldon, Iowa — With the Thanksgiving leftovers tucked away in the refrigerator, it’s time to look ahead to the next major winter holiday, Christmas.  Many traditions surround the Christmas season, and in Sheldon one of the most well loved is the annual Tour of Lights.

Allison Cooke of the Sheldon Chamber tells us about this year’s Tour of Lights.

She says entering Sheldon’s Tour of Lights contest is very simple.  In fact, it requires nothing more than hanging your lights.

Cooke says that, to complete the holiday mood during the Tour of Lights, Christmas music will be played to enhance your viewing experience.

Again, this year’s Tour of Lights in Sheldon will be held this coming Thursday evening, December 3rd.

Be Warned: New “Computer Doctor” Scam Circulating

computerNorthwest Iowa — Iowans may be getting into the swing of the Christmas shopping season, but don’t be surprised if, some day soon, the phone rings and it’s someone offering to help you and your “ailing” computer.

Jim Hegarty, with the Better Business Bureau, is warning people to beware as it’s a scam, often involving con artists claiming to be with a company called Team Viewer.

The next mistake, he says, is giving them permission to fix something on your computer that’s not really broken.

No matter how good the story may sound, he says not to believe it and certainly don’t give them any personal financial information or computer passwords.

Hegarty says if you get one of these calls, the Better Business Bureau wants to hear about it. You can log on to to report the scam or call it in. He says they have “first responders” ready to help.

If you think that there may actually be a problem with your computer, consult a trusted, reputable, local computer repair company to diagnose and repair the problem.

Sibley Man Faces Felony Meth Charge

Sibley, Iowa — A Sibley man has been arrested and faces a felony drug charge after a traffic stop north of Sibley.
jail behind bars
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Tuesday, November 24th, 2015, they arrested 24-year-old Sergio Francisco Lopez Granillo of Sibley on two Sioux County warrants including Assault and Identity Theft.

During the arrest, officers located what is believed to be methamphetamine and charged Lopez Granillo with Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, a Class B Felony. Lopez Granillo was booked into the Osceola County Jail and held on a $100,000 bond.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that the Iowa State Patrol assisted with the investigation and traffic stop.

Sheldon Businesses Remind You To Shop Locally

Sheldon, Iowa — Retailers are looking forward to this “Black Friday” — the day many can say they are now operating “in the black.” Online retailers have come to expect big sales on “Cyber Monday”, the Monday after Thanksgiving. A few years ago, the concept of “Small Business Saturday” started to take hold.
The Sheldon Chamber’s Allison Cooke says that it’s something that Sheldon businesses are embracing.

She says some Sheldon retailers are offering a special promotion as well.

She says that the rules about the discount and how it’s handled are up to the individual merchants.

Sheldon businesses remind you that when you shop locally, your dollars stay local and help fund things at home, rather than funding things in another community.