Teen Pleads Not Guilty To Sexual Exploitation Of Minor

Inwood, Iowa — An Inwood teen has pled not guilty on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor.
Lyon Courthouse SVA
The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that 19-year-old Jesse Eugene Visser of Inwood was arrested on April 30th on several warrants. They report that the charges are a result of an investigation that began on April 6, 2015.

Visser is charged with eight counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, all Class C Felonies; five counts of Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree, all Class C Felonies; and one count of Assault causing Bodily Injury, a serious misdemeanor.

According to court documents, Visser is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl at least five times in March and April and receiving nude photos of her from September, 2014 through February, 2015. He’s also accused of punching her in the face, according to court documents.

Pediatric Cardiologist Joins Sanford Outreach Team

Sheldon, Iowa — If your children need to be seen by a cardiologist, you now have another option.
A fellowship-trained pediatric cardiologist has joined the team at Sanford Sheldon. Nofil Arain, M.D. started outreach services in Sheldon on June 1st.

Arain received his medical degree from the University of Debrecen Medical and Health Science Center in Hungary and did his pediatric residency at the University of South Alabama. He also completed a fellowship in pediatric cardiology at the University of Minnesota and holds certifications from the American Board of Pediatrics in pediatrics and pediatric cardiology.

He says that the addition of outreach service bolsters Sanford’s commitment to specialized care for those in the Sheldon area, especially children. He says he looks forward to helping the people of northwest Iowa, providing expert pediatric care close to their homes.

Arain specializes in acquired pediatric and congenital heart disease, transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography, fetal cardiology and Holter and event monitors.

Arain also practices at Sanford Children’s Hospital and Sanford Children’s Specialty Clinic in Sioux Falls. He lives in Sioux Falls with his wife and kids.

To make an appointment with Arain, call (605) 312-1000.

CRC Synod Approves Changes To Governance

CRC synod
Elder delegate Lenore Maine, Classis Hackensack: “You need a new engine to make [the new car] go further!” Photo: Karen Huttenga
Sioux Center, Iowa — The Christian Reformed Church Synod has wrapped up their annual meeting in Sioux Center, and they have approved sweeping changes to the Christian Reformed Church’s governance structures.

Synod officials say the move comes after more than 30 years of discussing denominational structure and adopting “half measures” at various synods. The proposal came to synod – the annual leadership meeting of the Christian Reformed Church – from a task force that was appointed in 2011 following the resignation of the CRC’s top two administrative leaders. That task force has reported on its progress to each synod since then.

The plan will see the denomination’s 30-member Board of Trustees, which conducts the work of synod when synod is not in session, replaced by a council of delegates of perhaps 60 members by 2018 or sooner.

Although many details still have to be finalized, the proposal presented to synod suggested that instead of representing regions, delegates might come from the classes (regional groups of churches). Plus there may be several at-large members of the council.

That would result in the council resembling synod in that the U.S. delegation would outnumber Canadians by a about three to one. The current Board of Trustees has an equal number of Canadian and U.S. members.

It is yet to be determined how often the council would meet. It would have a smaller executive committee, perhaps with 12 members, that would meet more frequently.

Another major change will be the combining of the boards of the CRC’s mission agencies – Back to God Ministries International, Christian Reformed World Missions, and Christian Reformed Home Missions – into a missions committee that would be a sub-committee of the council.
Rev. Nick Overduin, Classis Toronto, said this is the perfect time to make such a change, with new leaders in place on the administrative executive team.

Elder Lenore Maine from Classis Hackensack, didn’t want synod to be held back by lack of detail. Referring to decisions synod had made earlier in the week, she said, “We’ve been going forward, voting forward all week. We’ve built a brand new car and now you want to put a beat up engine in it. You need a new engine to make it go further!”

Synod tasked a transition committee with working out the details, including the size and composition of the council and how often it will meet. The transition committee is expected to work on a three-year time frame, reporting to synod on its progress each year.

Burnouts, Parade, Rib Fest Highlight Festival

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Last year it almost didn’t happen, due to the flood. But it’s time for Heritage Days in Rock Rapids. Lots of fun events are planned including a parade, Figure 8 Races, Kids Fun in the park and much more. We had a chance to catch up with Rock Rapids Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Angie Jager and she highlights some of the events.
New Rock Rapids Water Tower

She says the fun continues on Saturday.

The festival wraps up on Sunday.

Click here for the full schedule.

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School Board Approves Administrative Salary Adjustments — With A Few Changes

Sheldon-Schools-logoSheldon, Iowa — At their regular monthly meeting held June 10th, the Sheldon Community Schools Board of Education voted to table the Administrative Salary Adjustments for the 2015-16 school year, saying they needed more time to review the information.

The Board met in special session Friday morning, June 19th, and approved the recommended salary adjustments, with a few changes.  The adjustment recommended for the District’s Transportation Director was $1,000, but the Board voted a $1200 increase instead.  For the Activities Director, the recommendation had been a $2000 salary increase, but the Board approved a $2600 increase instead.  In the case of the Elementary and Middle School Principals, the Board approved the recommended $3600 raises.  The Board also approved the recommended $2500 salary increase for the District’s Business Manager.  The District Superintendent will receive an increase of $4600 rather than the recommended $5200 raise.

These salary increases go into effect for the 2015-16 year.

Details Being Decided On Event Center

Sheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon Community Park Committee met Thursday morning to address further updates on plans for an event center in the new park on the east side of Sheldon.
Mike Bell of RDG Planning told the committee that they have already made some changes in response to feedback at the last meeting. He said the plans now call for the ‘great room’ to accommodate over four hundred people, but it will have two movable partitions which would make it possible to hold three events at one time. He also said they have lowered the height of the building by six feet but still wanted to retain the three tier approach on height.

A mechanical engineer and an electrical engineer joined the discussion via speaker-phone. They had many questions that had to be answered before they could continue with an assessment of what would be needed. One of those questions concerned the kitchen. The community felt that the kitchen should be used mainly in conjunction with catering services, but a stove would be needed as well as a freezer and refrigerator. The committee also asked Bell to expand the size of the women’s rest room and eliminate the staff rest room.

The committee will split up into small groups to make decisions on some of the features, and the city staff will provide the engineers with some of the information requested.

Bell told the committee that he hoped to have the updated preliminary plan ready for their review sometime in July. The next step would be to get an estimate of the cost of the project.