Rock Rapids Island Park Getting Two New Shelters

Rock Rapids, Iowa — One of the most popular features of Rock Rapids’ Island Park was lost in the flood of 2014. The Mini Zoo hosted several types of fowl including several pheasant species as well as turkeys, peacocks, and sometimes pigeons. It also held deer and waterfowl.

Old Mini Zoo (file photo)
Old Mini Zoo (file photo)

While they can’t promise the same types of animals, a new mini zoo is being planned. This time the Rock Rapids City Council plans to have it further from the flood plain. The council had decided to use the current open shelter house west of the swimming pool for the new Mini Zoo, and put a shelter house near where the old mini zoo was.

While that is still roughly the plan, Rock Rapids Mayor Jason Chase says now they are going to build two shelter houses.

Chase says the other new shelter house will be to replace a smaller one that was also taken out by the flood.

The mayor says building a shelter with bathroom facilities will help alleviate some bathroom congestion for campers. The only bathrooms currently are on the island and at the swimming pool, where the bathrooms each have a shower.

He says the new shelter will be closer to the pool than the old mini zoo was.

He says the bathroom/showers will be unisex. And in a throwback to the original shelter houses, the new ones have been designed with stone-wrapped pillars. And once the shelter houses are built, the new mini zoo can be developed.

Farmers Need To Sign Forms To Receive Checks

Northwest Iowa — If you’re a farmer, you probably selected either Price Loss Coverage or Agricultural Risk Coverage — that’s PLC or ARC at your FSA office earlier this year. And that choice is good for the rest of this farm bill.
corn field
So perhaps you think you’re done. Well, not quite.

Shane Ellis, a farm management specialist with Iowa State University Extension says you can’t decide to change what program in which you’re participating, but you do have to sign another paper that confirms that you’re “in”.

He says if you haven’t been to your FSA office to sign something since about mid-summer, you probably should check to make sure that’s taken care of.

Ellis says the great majority of farms signed up for the ARC program, and the reason it’s so important to check your sign-up status is that the ARC program participants could stand to receive substantial payments, or lose them if they don’t sign the paperwork.

Ellis says in this case it’s basically a matter of going to your FSA office and signing on the dotted line saying that yes, you want your check.

If you need more information you can contact your local FSA office.

It’s Sheldon Homecoming Week

Sheldon, Iowa — An annual football season tradition visits Sheldon Community Schools this week.  Homecoming week begins Monday, and continues throughout the week.

The Sheldon Community Schools have different themes for each day this week, along with various activities.  Monday is PJ Day, where students and faculty will attend classes in sleepwear.  Monday will also see the 9th Grade Volleyball Team play at Spirit Lake, JV Volleyball at Spencer, and 9th and JV Football taking on South O’Brien at Paullina.

2015 Orab Homecoming Court
2015 Orab Homecoming Court

Tuesday has been declared Twin Day for the Orabs.  In addition, the Cross Country team will host a meet at the Sheldon Country Club.  Tuesday night at 8:00 it’s Pride Night, complete with the Coronation ceremonies for the Homecoming Queen and King at Orab Gym.  The guest speaker for the event will be former Orab Head Boys Basketball, and 2013 State Tournament Champion Coach, Claude Struve.

Wednesday will be Workout Day in the Sheldon School District, while Thursday will be Beach Day.  The Orab Cross Country Team will run against Sioux Center at the Ridge in Sioux Center Thursday afternoon, while 9th and JV Volleyball will host Sioux Center.

Friday is the big day of Homecoming Week, with such activities as He-Man Football, Powder Puff Football, Talent Show, Pep Rally, and a burger, chips, bar and drink supper hosted by the FFA prior to Friday night’s Homecoming game in which the Orabs will host the Sioux Center Warriors.  The annual Homecoming Dance will take place after the football game.

Homecoming week wraps up on Saturday, when they Orab Varsity Volleyball Team will be in action at the Sioux City East Tournament.

Health System CEO Receives Honor

Orange City, Iowa — Orange City Area Health System CEO Marty Guthmiller has received a nice honor.
Orange City Area Health System
Becker’s Hospital Review has identified health system’s leader as one of 50 “Critical Access Hospital CEOs to Know.” Guthmiller tells us about the publication.

When we asked Guthmiller why he was chosen for the honor, he said it was probably due to an honor the health system had received earlier.

He says that while it was nice to be recognized, he again attributed the health system’s success to their staff.

For more information, click here.

Northwest Iowa Development Opposes EPA Plan

Northwest Iowa — An area development group is expressing its concern over the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to re-adjust air quality standards.
EPA logo
Northwest Iowa Development, an organization that represents six counties in northwest Iowa, has passed an official resolution in opposition to the EPA’s decision to consider lowering the National Ambient Air Quality Standard, commonly referred to as ground-level ozone or smog.

One of the members of Northwest Iowa Development, Lyon County Economic Development Director Steve Simons tells us about it.

He tells us why this is so important.

Simons says new lower standards were set in 2008, and levels continue to come down.

He says the required emission reduction plans will be expensive, and difficult to navigate for existing businesses and will choke new business growth.

Again, the EPA is set to announce their final decision on the standard October 1, 2015. Simons encourages people to contact their Congressional Representatives and Senators, the EPA and the White House.

It appears that after any new standards go into effect on October 1st, only a lawsuit could force change of the standards.

King Votes “Present” On Planned Parenthood Funding Bill

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Steve King voted only “Present” in regard to H.R. 3134, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act this week.
steve king forster center
King says the federal government should not be sending any funds whatsoever to Planned Parenthood. He says H.R. 3134 simply restates current law. He further explains why he didn’t vote “yes” or “no” but simply, “present.”

King says the bill takes a huge step backwards from the initial conservative position that Planned Parenthood should not be receiving federal funds. He says, “The gruesome practices that have been brought to light in the recent Planned Parenthood videos are appalling and have proven that they have no intention to follow current law.”

King says the way the bill is written leaves the administration an “out”.

King says “no taxpayer should be compelled to fund abortion, especially through Planned Parenthood.”