School Board Discusses In-Town Route Capacity Shortage

school busses_sxcSheldon, Iowa — A major source of discussion during Wednesday night’s meeting of the Sheldon Community School District Board of Education was the overwhelming demand for after school in-town busing of students.

You may recall that, shortly after the start of the current school year, the Sheldon District encouraged parents to have their children, whenever possible, walk or ride their bicycles to school, or have someone drop them off in the morning and pick them up at the end of the day.  They further said that if parents chose to rely on school transportation for in-town bus stops, they were requested to have a backup plan in place, just in case their child was not able to utilize school transportation due to the bus being filled to capacity.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Superintendent Robin Spears explained to the Board that the capacity shortage existed, not because the District is short of buses, but that they have a shortage of drivers, and that is what’s causing the issue of too few available bus seats to meet the demand.  The problem is made worse on days when there are after-school extra-curricular activities in other towns, which take one bus out of action in Sheldon to transport the extra-curricular students to and from their activities.

Superintendent Spears told the Board that Sheldon is not alone in facing such a problem.  He related how, when traveling, he has seen parked school buses with signs attempting to recruit bus drivers.

The Board took no action on the matter, but intend to continue monitoring the situation.  They also instructed Spears to poll the other Siouxland Conference schools to see what solutions they’re finding for the issue.

In other action, the Board approved the Open Enrollment applications of seven students.  Four will be transferring into the Sheldon District from Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, and three from Boyden-Hull.

They also approved the employment of four people for the Food Service Department at the high school, and one as a Custodian at the high school, as well as approving Chrissy DeKok as a Volunteer Coach for the High School Dance Team, as well as education service contracts for three students who receive educational services in other school districts or care facilities.

Wednesday night’s meeting was held in the high school library.

Clay County Fair To Start Saturday

Spencer, Iowa — Final preparations are underway in northwest Iowa for what’s billed as “The World’s Greatest County Fair.” Jeremy Parsons is general manager of the Clay County Fair, which opens this Saturday.
Clay Co Fair

This marks the 98th year for the Clay County Fair in Spencer. Parsons says the event thrives in month of September despite schools being back in session.

The fair also hosts a field trip program that draws around 1,000 elementary school students to the fairgrounds to learn about agriculture.

There are daily livestock and horse shows, auto racing and tractor pulls, and of course – plenty of food on sticks. The Grandstand headliners this year include Casting Crowns, Herman’s Hermits, Oak Ridge Boys and Little Big Town.

Find out more by clicking here.

Story from Radio Iowa

King Weighs In On County Clerk’s Jailing

supreme court of the US_sxcWashington, DC — Republican Congressman Steve King says if the courts can command a Kentucky clerk to violate her religious beliefs and issue same-sex marriage licenses, then the courts can order same-sex marriage ceremonies at “any altar” in a church, synagogue or mosque.

Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was found in contempt of court and jailed when she refused to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, was released from jail yesterday (Tuesday). Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz were in Kentucky, holding a rally for Davis, when Davis walked on stage and spoke to the crowd.

Rosa Parks, an African American who was arrested for not giving up her bus seat to a white passenger, was a prominent figure in the Civil Rights movement. There are many scholarships, awards and events around the country that carry the Rosa Parks name. Many Rosa Parks Awards are given by N-Double-A-C-P chapters.

Story from Radio Iowa

SiouxPreme Packing Sold As Part Of Larger Transaction

Sioux Center, Iowa — The SiouxPreme packing plant is changing hands.
Perdue and LNK Partners have announced that Natural Food Holdings, including the well-known Niman Ranch® brand, is being purchased by Perdue. Natural Food Holdings is also the parent company of SiouxPreme.

LNK Partners, a private equity firm, is selling Natural Food Holdings to Perdue for an undisclosed amount. The two companies signed a definitive agreement for the sale and expect to close the transaction soon.

Niman Ranch began in the early 1970s on a small ranch in California, and has grown to include more than 700 independent family farmers and ranchers, spread across the country. The Niman Ranch brand covers a complete line of pork, beef, lamb, cage-free eggs and a variety of smoked and cured meats. All products are sourced from animals raised to high welfare standards and without any antibiotics.

Through the acquisition, Perdue also acquired the Prairie Grove brand as well as the SiouxPreme Packing plants in Sioux City and Sioux Center.

Click here for a link to more information.

NCC To Offer Crane Operator Training

ncc 1Sheldon, Iowa — Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon will be offering a Certified Crane Operator training course, beginning October 19th.

The training, which is intended for new crane operators with no previous experience, will cover a multitude of topics, and will lead to Crane Operator Certification.  NCC instructor Scott Abbott tells us about this three week course.

Abbott told us about some of the things you’ll learn during this course.

He says the classes will consist of about 30% classroom time, and 70% hands-on with the crane.

Abbott says that this training is important, since OSHA regulations will require certification in the near future.

He says that financial aid, including free tuition, may be available depending upon income guidelines.  To register, or for more information, call Scott Abbott at Northwest Iowa Community College, at 712-324-5061, extension 104.  Abbott says space in the class is limited, so he advises that you register early.

Construction Means Congestion During Fair

Spencer, Iowa — Construction on what’s known as the “North Y” at Spenconstruction road work pyloncer is going to mean even more traffic congestion with the Clay County Fair starting this weekend.

Iowa State Patrol Trooper and Safety Officer Vince Kurtz tells us what to expect.

Kurtz says there are some alternate routes.

The Clay County Fair has released a map of suggested routes and some directions to which Kurtz is also directing people.

Approaching from the West on Hwy 18:
Turn South (right) on 180th Ave (by the airport)
Turn East (left) on 340th St.
340th St will become W. 18th Street and take you straight to the west side of the fairgrounds free parking
Approaching from the South on Hwy 71:
Turn West (left) on 360th St. (by Menards)
Turn North (right) on 200th Ave
Turn East (right) on 340th St.
340th St will become W. 18th Street and take you straight to the west side of the fairgrounds free parking
Approaching from the East on Hwy 18:
Turn North (right) on M50
Turn West (left) on 340th St.
340th St will become W. 18th Street and take you straight to the east side of the fairgrounds free parking without having to turn across traffic.
ccf 2015 map