Sutherland, Iowa — A conservation project in southeast O’Brien County is done, and a celebration is planned. Prairie Heritage Center

The O’Brien County Conservation Board has just announced the completion of the Waterman Wildlife Addition project. This land acquisition will add a 134-acre parcel adjacent to the Prairie Heritage Center site. This project has been a partnership of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP), O’Brien County Sportsmen’s Club, O’Brien County Pheasants Forever, Little Sioux Valley Conservation Association, O’Brien County Conservation Board and other special donors.

This achievement is a realization of the mission to provide outdoor recreation, prairie protection, wildlife restoration, environmental education and much more.  They say it an amazing outcome of what can be achieved in a short amount of time by many partners working together.

A special signage ceremony will take place during the upcoming Bison Burger Picnic and Lawn Concert on Tuesday, August 19. The short presentation taking place at approximately 6:30 PM will recognize the partners who took part in this project. You are asked to consider joining the Conservation Board for this special celebration.

The public is also invited to attend the annual fundraiser – Bison Burger Picnic and Lawn Concert – which will be underway on that evening. Food will be served from 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM Bison burgers will be served hot off the grill and with side dishes and watermelon. After the meal, you can enjoy a pleasant evening listening to music by Bill Carpenter and Mel Kimblad.  If you go, you are asked to take along your lawn chair for the outdoor concert, and relax with your neighbors. They also invite you to take part in naming this year’s bison calf. There will also be additional opportunities to help support our educational materials, displays and special programming.

Tickets for the event are $9.00 for adults, $4.00 for ages 5 – 8, and those under 5 years of age are free. There will be a discount for families. Advance tickets can be purchased from the Conservation Board, and tickets will also be available at the door.

The Prairie Heritage Center is located a mile north of Highway 10 on Yellow Avenue.  The Conservation Board asks you to make plans to join them for an evening of good food and great music at the Prairie Heritage Center.

Des Moines, Iowa — Six Iowans were honored at the Iowa State Fair on Friday for actions they took that likely saved the lives of other citizens, and two of them happened in our neck of the woods.

Seth Thompson and family receive award from Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov Reynolds

Seth Thompson and family receive award from Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov Reynolds

Seth Thompson of Treynor was presented with a Governor’s Lifesaving Award for his bravery on the morning of December 14, 2009. The wind chill was five-below-zero and roads were icy at the time Thompson and a co-worker were driving near Storm Lake on their way to Okoboji for a construction job. The truck in front of them spun around, rolled twice off the road, and landed upside down in a frozen creek. Thompson and his co-worker, Nolan Strobehn, stopped, ran through the snow, and jumped a fence to reach the truck.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

(as said) “We both jumped down on our stomachs and started feeling around in the water. We just barely felt a hand or an arm or something, grabbed a hold of that and pulled the guy out,” Thompson said. “As we were all standing there, in disbelief of what just happened, the guy slowly muttered out as he was freezing, ‘there’s another guy.’”

Thompson reached back in the submerged pickup and pulled the driver out as well. Thompson said both men in the pickup, Jesus Alvarado and Joshua Allsup, would have likely drowned had they not been followed on the highway.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

(as said) “If we were not behind them, there was nobody else on the highway…the truck was not visible from the highway, so there would have been cars passing all day,” Thompson said.

The two men in the pickup suffered only minor injuries and were treated at a hospital for symptoms of hypothermia. Thompson credits his six years of service in the Coast Guard for his quick response to the accident.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

(as said) “I was used to crazy, gruesome stuff happening, so it was just respond, do what you need to do to help out, and that was it,” Thompson said.

While Thompson has not kept in close contact with the men he helped rescue over five years ago, he did hear that one of the men, inspired by the incident, became a volunteer firefighter.

Another of those honored at the fair was Tara Dekkers of Ireton.

On December 6th, 2013 at approximately 3:30 in the afternoon, she was driving with her daycare children to a local book fair. After driving approximately a mile, Dekkers heard a noise come from the rear of the van and the children began to complain of an odor. Dekkers looked in the rearview mirror and saw smoke in the rear passenger compartment. She pulled the van safely onto the side of the roadway and observed that the smoke had now spread to the driver area as well.

Dekkers went to the back of the vehicle to open the rear door and saw flames underneath the vehicle near the rear axle. As the fire grew closer to the fuel tank Dekkers worked quickly to have the children unbuckle their seatbelts and evacuate to a nearby ditch. The temperature was just 5 degrees that day with a wind chill of 14 below. Thankfully a passerby noticed their situation and stopped to assist. Dekkers began removing the younger children from their safety seats and handed them to the passerby who then placed them in a nearby vehicle to keep them warm. Once all children were evacuated they backed the passerby’s vehicle away from the burning van and waited for fire and rescue. They watched as the van became totally engulfed in flames. The Governor’s office says that thanks to Dekkers’s bravery everyone escaped. unharmed.

Sheldon, Iowa — A burglary at J & B Bar in Sheldon is the latest to be reported by Sheldon Police in what appears to be a string of bar and restaurant burglaries. Sheldon’s Subway restaurant and Langer’s Bar and Grill were also hit.J & B Bar

In the J & B burglary, a thief or thieves are alleged to have damaged three video machines and they are alleged to have taken out the coins. Taken from the machines was $951.75. The damage to the three machines is estimated at a combined total of $360, for a total of over $1300 of loss for the bar. The crime is thought to have occured on Friday, August 8.

Both the front and back doors were damaged as well, but the report says the dollar amount of the damage is still unknown.

The Sheldon Police also took the report of a stolen car on Thursday.  The crime is thought to have occurred on Thursday, August 14th.

The car was reported to have been stolen from the garage of the owner’s home in the 1900 block of East Sixth Street.  The maroon 2010 Ford was valued at $12,000.

If you have any information that you think could help the police, you can contact them at 324-2525.

Officers also report that they arrested 18-year-old Eduardo Juarez Jr. of Sheldon on Tuesday, August 12. He was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, a serious misdemeanor, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor. Juarez was taken into custody and was transported to jail in Primghar.

Ashton, Iowa — The summertime festivals continue in northwest Iowa. This weekend, it’s Ashton’s turn.Ashton sign

We talked to Dawn Rutzen, who is one of the people who put the festivities together. She told us what to expect.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

She says they’ve got several vendors lined up.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

She says the parade starts at 1:00. And if you have musicians in band, there’s another reason you may want to come.

Click or tap the play button above or this link to listen.

There’s also a big raffle and there’s a gun auction. We’ll tell you about those in future newscasts here on KIWA and

Since we talked to Rutzen, the weather has forced a couple of changes.  The Bean Bag Tournament was moved indoors into the Legion Hall, with the raffle to follow, and the dance also to be in the Legion Hall, but now have been moved back outside.

Sheldon, Iowa — A Sheldon woman and a Hiawatha, Iowa teen were taken to the hospital after an accident on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 in Sheldon.SCAT back 2012

The Sheldon Police Department reports that about 2:10 PM, 83-year-old Bonnie Miller of Sheldon was southbound on Country Club Road, near Fareway in a 2006 Buick. Fifteen-year-old Paige Browning of Hiawatha, Iowa was eastbound on Highway 18 in a 2001 Chrysler minivan.

The report says that after stopping for the stop sign, Miller pulled onto Highway 18 and was struck by the Browning vehicle.

Both Miller and Browning were transported to Sanford Sheldon by SCAT.

Miller’s Buick received $7000 damage. Browning’s Chrysler minivan received $8500 damage.

Miller was charged with failure to yeild from a stop sign.

Sheldon, Iowa – Both the City of Sheldon and the Sheldon Community School District have been concerned about the 45 miles per hour speed DOTlimit on Highway 18 near the Sheldon Schools. At Wednesday’s School Board meeting Superintendent Robin Spears reported that after a speed study requested by the City of Sheldon, the Iowa Department of Transportation recommends that no changes be made to the currently posted speeds. He added that they have added signage to designate this area as a school zone, but this does not automatically lower the speed limits. As development continues along this corridor, the school district as well as the City of Sheldon feel it is in the best interest to continue to ask the D.O.T. to evaluate the speeds and traffic patterns.

Spears also reported that the City of Sheldon continues to ask the D.O.T. to review the intersection of Country Club Road and Highway 18 as well at the Sheldon Crossing intersection for possible traffic signals. However the D.O.T. says there is insufficient data to support these additional signals at this time. School Board members commented that on the day of their meeting, Wednesday August 13th there was another personal injury accident in that general area. The School Superintendent commented that the mission of the D.O.T. is to keep traffic flowing as efficiently as possible and in his opinion ‘that means speed’.

NeunaberAkron, Iowa — An Akron man has pled not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of his mother.

Jonathan Neunaber entered his written plea to the murder charge Wednesday in Plymouth County District Court in Le Mars, five days before his scheduled arraignment hearing. Neunaber is being held in the Plymouth County jail on a 100-thousand dollar bond. Plymouth County Attorney Darin Raymond has said Neunaber has previously admitted to causing the death of Esther Neunaber. Both Esther, and her husband, Don, were found dead at their rural Akron home on July 9th.

Neunaber has not been charged in his father’s death, and investigators have not said anything about charges in connection to his death.

Primghar, Iowa — O’Brien County jurors will not be getting an attempted murder case from Kossuth County after all.gavel_sxc

Court records indicate that 26-year-old Andrew Zeitler of Wesley, Iowa was initially charged with attempted murder. The Kossuth County Sheriff’s Department says the alleged crime happened on Sunday, July 21st, 2013. Zeitler is accused of allegedly shooting a man several times during a dispute. The Sheriff’s Department says Zeitler was also charged with going armed with intent. He was arrested after a three-hour manhunt that ended in a cornfield near Corwith.

He originally pled not guilty. This past November, a judge granted a change of venue to O’Brien County.

However, the case has been moved back to Kossuth County, as Zeitler has pled guilty to lesser charges. Court records indicate he pled guilty to willful injury and two weapons counts.

His sentencing hearing has been set for September 8, in Kossuth County.

Fostoria, Iowa — A rural Clay County woman has been arrested and faces criminal charges for allegedly trying to set her ex-boyfriend on fire.

Booking Photo of Montana Marie Wells

Booking Photo of Montana Marie Wells

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office says 38-year old Montana Marie Wells of rural Fostoria has been arrested on warrants charging her with 3rd Degree Arson, and Aggravated Assault in connection with the incident.

According to the report, Wells allegedly poured gasoline on her ex-boyfriend, as well as on the inside and outside of his residence, before attempting to ignite the ex-boyfriend and his home with a lit cigarette.

Wells was arrested on those warrants Wednesday evening in Spencer.

3rd Degree Arson and Aggravated Assault are both aggravated misdemeanors, according to the Sheriff’s Office.