Home News Monday News, August 29

Monday News, August 29


The Sioux County Attorney says a Hawarden man has been sentenced to prison for inappropriate actions with a child. Robert Schiefen, 63, was brought to the Hawarden Police Department by a family member on May 17. Schiefen admitted to his involvement with a minor victim. This was confirmed by a police investigation. Authorities later learned that the suspect had previously been found guilty of Indecent Contact with a Child and Willful Injury in 1999, but had been released from the state sex offender registry. In a plea agreement, Schiefen agreed to plead guilty to Lascivious Acts with a Child. He will be sent to prison for a period not to exceed five years. After release, he will be on the Sex Offender Registry for life, and will be on parole with the Iowa Department of Corrections for ten years.

There was very little measurable rain across northwest Iowa last week, but enough to pull part of the area back from the extreme to the severe drought category. Plymouth County continues to be ground zero for extreme drought, but surrounding counties got a little relief. There’s also another reason for our prolonged dryness this summer. There’s a monsoon going on in the southwestern U.S. Meteorologist Doug Kluck, climate services director with the National Weather Service, says heavy rains in the south are pulling moisture away from the Midwest and the Northern Plains. There is some good news, though. Kluck says long-term weather patterns have been moving more precipitation into the central parts of the country.


Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says the Republican Party must scale back a bloated government and recalibrate U.S. foreign policy, but she says the “most pressing” issue for the G-O-P is its stand against abortion.


Ernst spoke last week in California, invited by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation to define what it means to be a Republican and what principles are paramount for the party in the future. Ernst credited Donald Trump for refocusing the party and, in particular, coming up with his “drain the swamp” mantra.

Ernst says even the smallest change in the federal bureaucracy is a challenge and she criticized the Democratic Party for establishing new entitlement programs and tax credits for electric vehicles.

Ernst is urging Republicans to also push back on academics and those in the political class who she says are focusing on America’s past sins. As for the G-O-P’s approach to foreign policy, Ernst says chaos reigns in the world and the U.S. should pursue Reagan’s doctrine of peace through strength.

Ernst is among current and former Republican office holders who’ve been invited to speak at the Reagan Presidential Library as part of its “Time for Choosing” series. Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney was July’s keynote speaker. Arizona Senator Doug Ducey (DOO-see) is scheduled to speak in September.


As fall approaches, there are already reports of people finding bats in their homes. The Deputy Director of Siouxland Health, Tyler Brock, says bats can be scary to some and they also bring a worry about rabies, but you won’t get rabies just by being in the same room as a bat. You’d have to be bitten or scratched. If you are bitten it is important to have the animal tested. There is a series of vaccines, and Brock says it takes one or two days to get the test results.


Mike Franken, the Democrat running against Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, says the top secret documents that wound up at former President Trump’s Florida residence shouldn’t have left the White House. Franken is a retired Navy admiral who still has a security clearance due to recent work for a defense contractor. Franken says at one point in his military career he conducted national security briefings for the U.S. Defense Secretary where classified and top secret documents were reviewed.

An affidavit released Friday indicates Trump took information about U.S. spies and other top secret documents with him when he left the White House in early 2021. US Senate Candidate Mike Franken says human intelligence is vital to national security and the sloppy handling of the material is troubling.

A voter asked Franken about this month’s search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort during a “coffee with the candidate” forum in Nevada this weekend. The affidavit used to get court permission for the search indicates Trump gave the National Archives 184 documents marked as classified, secret or top secret in January of THIS year.
Witnesses say Trump was keeping other highly-sensitive records in Florida. During a speech Sunday night, Senator Chuck Grassley said F-B-I agents have shown political bias.

Grassley says the search of Trump’s property is disturbing and erodes confidence in the F-B-I.



The first phase of construction on US Highway 75 in Sioux Center begins this fall.  This is city manager Scott Wynja.

This will be a complete reconstruction of the highway in the south third of the city – even constructing a new road bed.

The work includes installation of a new stoplight at 20th St south, and a new median, complete with a new streetscape, to enhance safety and make the roadway more attractive.

Wynja says this fall they will expand an access road connecting to the highway, and extend a frontage road.

This will also open up additional property for future use.

Construction on US 75 starts next year.

The project will take place for the most part without detours. Construction will cover two lanes, then shift to the other two, so that traffic flow can continue.



The only Democrat in Iowa’s congressional delegation says the plan President Biden announced last week to forgive student loan debt is just a temporary solution that doesn’t address the core problem, the soaring cost of higher education. Congresswoman Cindy Axne, of West Des Moines, says the debt cancellation plan is a good start, but more work needs to be done. She says students need to understand their obligations to repay student loan, as well as postsecondary alternatives to four-year institutions, like trade schools and apprenticeship programs. Axne disputes comments from Republicans who say Biden’s plan will increase inflation and taxes.



A state investigation into a fatal shooting of a Sioux Falls man by a police officer and a Minnehaha Sheriff’s deputy has determined the shooting was justified.  The shooting occurred August ninth outside a Burger King in Sioux Falls.  State Department of Criminal Investigation officials say 21-year-old Jacob Michael James was shot and killed after he fired several times at a Minnehaha County investigator.  Sioux Falls Drug Task Force officials had been conducting a drug investigation in west Sioux Falls the day of the shooting.  After the report was released Friday, family and friends of James gathered outside the Burger King to march in protest of the investigation.  They said the case had not been transparent and still left questions unanswered.