22nd Annual Great Akron Scarecrow Festival is today at the Akron City Park. From 10 am to 3 pm, the events include a scarecrow decorating contest, homemade food and baked goods, kids game and activities, a petting zoo, and dozens of craft vendors. Winners of the scarecrow judging will be announced in the afternoon, concluding with a scarecrow auction. This is a fundraiser of the Akron Friendship and Service Club.
The Orange City Tulip Festival Steering Committee has announced the annual Night Show musical production for the 82nd annual Tulip Festival, as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. This is a reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, eleven brothers and the coat of many colors. The story is told entirely through song with the help of a main character Narrator. The cast will consist of approximately 40-60 people and will include a small children’s chorus. Auditions will be held in Orange City in January, 2023, for those who are freshmen in high school or older. Information on the children’s chorus will come at a later date. Ticket sales for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, will begin on Monday, January 16, 2023. With a minimum contribution of $100 to the Friends of the Festival Foundation, you can receive early access to purchase your tickets to the Night Show starting December 1, 2022. The live production will take place May 16-20, at the Town Hall, in Orange City.
Two men were arrested late Thursday evening for sexual assault in Sioux County. The arrests follow an investigation earlier this year into an assault which took place at a residence in Hull. Jesus Soto-Gonzalez, 21, of Le Mars, and Royce Cox, 22 of Hull were both charged with third degree sexual assault. Cox was also charged with a pair of drug violations.
A two vehicle crash Thursday injured two people south of Sheldon. The Sioux County Sheriffs Department says an SUV driven by Paula Haarsma, 55, of Sioux Center, went out of control on Iowa Highway 60, crossed the median and struck another SUV driven by Leah Herda, 42, of Alton. Both drivers were injured. Haarsma was transported to Sanford Sheldon with minor injuries. Herda was transported to Orange City Health for treatment. The accident remains under investigation.
CLAY COUNTY ELECTION
Clay County officials are hoping voters will support plans for a new public safety center. A 42-million dollar bond issue will be on the November 8th election ballot. A similar measure was defeated last June by a margin of nearly two-to-one. The current facility is more than 110 years old and it houses the police department, the 9-1-1 call center, the emergency management office, and the jail. Because it is out-of-date and unable to meet current legal standards the jail can old house inmates for up to 72 hours. Clay County Sheriff Andy Howe says the new facility is planned to serve the county for “maybe 50 years.”
The Storm Lake Police Department is among 15 national recipients of the 2022 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. Gerardo Bravo, a member of the Iowa National Guard, joined the Storm Lake Police Department in 2016 and he nominated the agency for the award.
Bravo is one of seven Storm Lake police officers who are Iowa National Guard members.
Becky Coady, State Chair of the Iowa Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, says the judges cited the Storm Lake Police Department for its flexible scheduling, and its training and support for Guard members before their deployments and after they returned.
More than 28-hundred public and private sector employers were nominated for the same award. The Storm Lake Police Department is just the 6th award recipient ever from Iowa and is the state’s first ever winner in the public sector category.
It’s the highest U.S. government honor recognizing employers that support of National Guard and Reserve employees.
BLUE RIBBON SCHOOLS
The U-S Secretary of Education says five Iowa Schools have earned Blue Ribbon status this year. All five schools were chosen based on overall academic performance on state assessments or national tests. These are three elementary schools located in Ankeny, Glenwood and Mt Ayr; a middle school located in Vinton, and Van Meter High School. They are among the 297 schools recognized nationwide.