Sibley, Iowa — The man who authorities say rammed his vehicle into a Sheriff’s pickup in Sibley last year has been sentenced.
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The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that 26-year-old Ricky Robert Jeppesen of Sibley pled guilty to Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree, an aggravated misdemeanor. He had been originally charged with First Degree Criminal Mischief, a Class “C” Felony.

On October 13, 2014, the Sheriff’s Office says Jeppesen intentionally drove his 1997 Lincoln into a parked and unattended 2014 Ford Pickup belonging to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. Jeppesen allegedly drove into the pickup twice causing the 2014 Ford to strike another parked and unattended 2007 Ford belonging to an on-duty dispatcher. The incident occurred in front of the sheriff’s office in the parking/driveway area.

Jeppesen was immediately taken into custody by an Osceola County Deputy. All three vehicles involved received extensive damage.

In addition to other fines and fees, Jeppesen was ordered to pay restitution to the Osceola County Sheriff in the amount of $597. He was sentenced to a year in the Osceola County Jail with all of that time suspended except for 15 days which must be served. He will also serve two years probation.

Orange City, Iowa — An Orange City man has been arrested after he allegedly misused his emergency lights.
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The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Thursday evening, February 19, they arrested 20-year-old Benton Vargason of Orange City.

The arrest stemmed from an incident that occurred on Wednesday evening, February 18 in Sioux Center. Deputies say Vargason is accused of vandalizing another person’s vehicle.

Following that incident, they say the victim of the vandalism followed Vargason. They allege that Vargason used his blue volunteer firefighter emergency lights to stop the person’s vehicle at the intersection of 380th Street and Harrison Avenue, one mile east of Sioux Center.

Vargason was arrested and charged with harassment and unlawful use of emergency vehicle lights.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — A Lennox, SD man is behind bars in Lyon County after he was allegedly found with drug paraphernalia, and then later is accused of running from a deputy.
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The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says that 19-year-old Ozra Holzer of Lennox was stopped earlier this month, and a deputy found a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. Holzer was then released from the scene, but five days later, on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 arrest warrants were issued for Holzer for Possession of a Controlled Substance, a Serious Misdemeanor, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Simple Misdemeanor.

On Friday afternoon, February 20, 2015, a deputy stopped Holzer in Inwood. During the investigation, the Sheriff’s Office reports that Holzer allegedly fled the scene on foot and was later located as a passenger in a motor vehicle. Holzer was taken into custody on the two outstanding warrants and was also charged with Escape From Custody, a Serious Misdemeanor and Interference With Official Acts, a Simple Misdemeanor.

Holzer is currently being held in The Lyon County Jail. The Sheriffs’ Office says the investigation is on-going and additional charges are pending.

Des Moines, Iowa — Two food distribution companies are considering a merger, and nine states’ attorneys general are not in favor of it.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and a bipartisan group of state attorneys general have joined the Federal Trade Commission’s administrative complaint challenging a proposed merger between food distribution giants Sysco and US Foods.

Miller says they allege this merger would violate antitrust laws by significantly reducing food distribution competition across the country, and particularly in western Iowa. He says that the result would be higher prices for Iowa consumers who eat away from home, and higher costs for Iowa restaurants, school districts, hospitals and hotels.

Attorneys general from nine states including Iowa, plus the District of Columbia, signed onto the complaint.

The complaint alleges the merger would affect the broadline food distribution industry nationwide, and would significantly reduce competition in 32 local markets, including the Omaha-Council Bluffs market.

Sysco and US Foods offer extensive product lines, including national-brand and private-label food products, and provide frequent and flexible delivery, high levels of customer service, and other value-added services such as order tracking, menu planning, and nutritional information. The two are by far the largest such distributors in the United States.

For more information, click here to go to the Iowa Attorney General’s Office page about the complaint.

Rock Rapids, Iowa — Rock Rapids Mayor Jason Chase says there’s been some confusion over the city’s plans for the big dam in the city’s Island Park.

Big Island Park Dam in minor flood stage in 2012

Big Island Park Dam in minor flood stage in 2012

We had a chance to talk with him, and he says the city council is not trying to get rid of the historic dam, despite what public opinion appears to be.

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Chase says that despite the fact that the dam is not needed to provide water power to run a mill as it was in its early days, the council is well aware of the recreational, historic and aesthetic aspects of the dam. However, they also need to keep safety of citizens and other park users in mind. He says the DNR and the council are considering several options to make the dam safer.

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Chase says he is taking at least some of the blame for the misunderstanding. He says he found an article in the Des Moines Register talking about how, in communities that actually had removed their dams — the fishing had actually improved, due to better chance for the fish to travel and spawn. Chase says he sent this article to a resident, who sent it to another resident who had just heard about the grant that the city was getting to study the dam, and in the Mayor’s words, “the whole thing just spiraled out of control.”

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Some of the options being considered are side channels, stair steps, and more. He says that’s why they need to bring in professional help.

Little Dam Rock River Island Park

Small Island Park Dam in low water over 10 years ago

Chase says the smaller dam downstream just north of the old railroad trestle is actually more of a concern.

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Before the flood in the summer of 2014, the city had contracted with park planning firm, Confluence, to get some ideas for improving the park. The flood had an impact on those plans, but that is still moving forward too. One of the things the plan calls for is a new Mini Zoo to replace the one that was destroyed in the flood. We’ll tell you more about that in future newscasts and on kiwaradio.com.

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Sibley, Iowa — Sentencing has been postponed for a former Osceola County Sheriff’s Deputy who pled guilty in a plea agreement in the case of several stolen items being found on a farm place in rural Osceola County.

Block, Michael

According to court records, sentencing for 52-year-old Michael Lawrence Block of Sibley has been pushed back a month, to March 20th, 2015. Block pled guilty earlier this month in Osceola County District Court to seven counts of first-degree theft, as well as a serious misdemeanor charge. Block is alleged to have been in possession of several pieces of stolen agriculture and construction equipment from Osceola, O’Brien, Sioux, and Lyon Counties.

As part of the plea agreement, eleven other charges were dropped.

Sioux Center, Iowa — Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will participate in the Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the new Preschool Learning Center on the Discovery Campus in Sioux Center.
New Sioux Center Preschool facility
Dordt College’s preschool, Stepping Stones, is one of the schools housed in the new building.

Dr. Timothy Van Soelen, head of the Dordt College education department, says that they are excited about the collaborative venture. He says that the facility has classrooms and playgrounds that allow the curriculum to extend beyond the four walls of the classroom. And the opportunity to participate in the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program will allow all children to attend preschool, as well as providing a wonderful environment in which Dordt’s early childhood majors can teach and learn.

The ribbon cutting program will be held Thursday, February 26, from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. Refreshments will be available.

The event is a public recognition of the ongoing partnership between Sioux Center Schools and Dordt College, as well as an opportunity to celebrate partnerships with local businesses, according to Sioux Center Community School District Superintendent Pat O’Donnell.

The preschool is a collaborative endeavor between the City of Sioux Center, Dordt College, Sioux Center Health, Sioux Center Community Schools, and Mid-Sioux Opportunity.

Orange City, Iowa — A Vermillion woman has been sentenced in Sioux County Court for conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine.
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Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle says that 34-year-old Shelly Lee Snow of Vermillion, SD, was found guilty in December of Conspiracy to Deliver and/or Possess with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine, a Class C Felony, and was sentenced this past week.

On July 11, 2013, a controlled drug buy was set up by the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office through a confidential informant being utilized and monitored by the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office. Police placed a “wire” audio transmitting device on the confidential informant so they could hear what was going on inside the home during the buy. Deputies also gave the confidential informant $350 to purchase an “8-ball” of methamphetamine, after which he entered the home stating he was “looking to buy meth.”

Two deputies set up surveillance to monitor the Hawarden home where the controlled buy was to take place. Deputies observed a black Cadillac Escalade, a vehicle they knew to be driven by Shelly Snow, arrive at the home. The deputies also heard the female voice they recognized to be Shelly Snow through the “wire.”

Inside the home, the confidential informant handed the $350 to Shelly Snow saying he “needed an 8-ball.” Court records indicate she left the home, drove to Sioux City, returned to Hawarden, and someone else gave the meth to the informant.

Snow was sentenced to a suspended ten year prison sentence and three years of probation. Among other conditions, she also has to pay a fine and is to obtain a substance abuse and/or mental health evaluation and follow any recommended treatment; maintain full-time employment; not frequent places that primarily serve alcohol and/or beer; abstain from all alcohol and illegal drugs, and be subject to random drug and alcohol tests.

sheldon police pd car door logoSheldon, Iowa — Two vehicles were damaged in an accident in Sheldon on Wednesday, February 18th.

The Sheldon Police report that at about 2:48 pm, 17-year-old Mitchell Meyer of Sheldon was driving a 2003 Pontiac Bonneville eastbound on 6th Street in Sheldon. Twenty-Five-year-old Jodi Daniels of George was driving a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox southbound on 4th Avenue.

According to the report, Daniels failed to yield at the intersection and collided with Meyer.

Meyer’s Pontiac received $1500 damage; Daniels’s received $3000 damage.

No injuries were reported.