O’Brien County Fireworks Information


The July 4th holiday will be here soon.  We have collected information from the towns in the county and have listed their ordinances pertaining to fire works.  We have also included a copy of the Iowa State law that details what is permitted in areas not covered by a city ordinance and provided a copy of the description of what is considered Consumer Fireworks.  The O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office will strictly enforce the fireworks law within the county this holiday season.  Fireworks are only allowed at specific times on specific days.  Please read the ordinances and see what rules apply to your situation.  If you have any questions contact your local law enforcement agency.  Take a few minutes and review the following safety tips and have a safe and happy 4th of July.  Sheriff Allen Schuknecht

State of Iowa Code 727.2 Fireworks   

Iowa Code 100.19 Consumer Fireworks

City of Archer

City of Calumet – no City Ordinance – Follow State law.

City of Hartley

City of Paullina

City of Primghar

City of Sanborn

City of Sheldon

City of Sutherland






May 14 2018 Bicycle Safety at South O’Brien

The O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office has worked with the South O’Brien Elementary School to provide bike safety for over 25 years.  Primghar Community School wanted to have their third grade students receive proper bike safety and reached out to Sheriff Michael Anderson (retired) to help them.  What started with Primghar Community School has continued with South O’Brien.  Deputies go into the classroom and give instructions on proper bike safety and using correct hand signals.  In late 1990’s the Primghar Ambulance team approached the Primghar Jaycees to provide bike helmets for all third grade students.  The helmets are purchased through Sheas True Value in Primghar and as part of Bike Safety Day each third grade student is fitted by Primghar Ambulance team members with a helmet.  This year, Deputy Bradley Stevens and Deputy Timothy Rohrbaugh taught the bike safety class.  The O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office is proud to be a part of this great program.

Pictured below are a few pictures from the day.

South O’Brien Fingerprinting day

February 16, 2018

In the early 1980’s the Primghar Community School working with the Primghar Jaycees invited the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office into the school to fingerprint the elementary students.  That first year, with parents permission the entire elementary was fingerprinted.  Each year after that, the second grade would be fingerprinted and any students that were new or had missed were fingerprinted.  In the early years the fingerprints were stored in the First National Bank basement but now the prints are sent home with the parents for safe keeping.  There has been one occasion where the fingerprints were needed to help identify a student that was involved in a traffic fatality.







This year the tradition continues, Sheriff Allen Schuknecht is shown here with a few of the second graders (L-R) Andie Gay, Addison Triplett and Trevor Hogan

RAGBRAI rolls through O’Brien County

RAGBRAI (Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) came through O’Brien County on Sunday.  Traveling on Highway 10, the first town stop was in Paullina, they headed north to Primghar and then east to Hartley.  A gravel route also took some riders through Sutherland.  The weather was great and a good time was had by all.  Each one of these towns put in a tremendous amount of time planning for this one day event and kudos to all the volunteers that put in so many hours.  Here are a few pictures.

SSgt Byron H Nelson returns home






Army Air Forces Staff Sgt. Byron H. Nelson, Missing from World War II, has now been accounted for.  On April 25, 1944, Nelson was a member of the 721st Bomb Squadron, 450th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force, and was the nose gunner aboard an American B-24G Liberator bomber. While flying from Manduria, Italy, three aircraft became separated from the formation due to dense clouds.  Nelson’s aircraft was one that disappeared.  It was later learned that eight of the 10 people in his aircraft parachuted from the bomber after being attacked by German fighters. Six crewmen were able to successfully escape and two were captured.  A captured crewman was told that two perished in the crash, one being Nelson.

On September 9, 1947, the American Graves Registration Service disinterred remains from a cemetery near Fognano, Italy, where they were reportedly buried by local residents following the crash.  The remains were unable to be identified and were re-interred as “Unknown X-190” in the Florence American Cemetery on May 26, 1949.

Due to new historical investigations and new technology that could link an identification to Unknown X-190, the remains were disinterred in August 2015.

DNA analysis and circumstantial evidence were used in the identification of his remains.  (information retrieved from www.findagrave.com)

SSgt. Nelson was escorted to Primghar by the Freedom Riders, Iowa State Patrol, and O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office.  The procession was met by the Iowa National Guard Military Honor Guard.

A memorial service will be held at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, 5831 380th Street, Primghar on Saturday, July 1 at 1:30 p.m. with full military honors.  The family of SSgt. Byron H. Nelson will be at the Primghar Community Building, 215 1st Street. SE, following the service.

Deputy Lee Reuvers and K9 Ella attend training

Deputy Lee Reuvers and K9 Ella attended the 2017 Midwest Canine Alternatives K9 Trials at Camp Ripley, Minnesota.  From May 14th through May 16th they participated in several events.  Reuvers and Ella took 2nd place in Evidence Searching, 2nd place in Tracking, 2nd place in National Advanced Narcotics and 3rd place in Basic Narcotics.  Congratulations Lee and Ella!


There are new regulations in regards to the storage, transportation, handling, and use of flammable liquids, combustibles, FIREWORKS and explosives.

— Licensed retailers and community groups will be allowed to sell the fireworks out of permanent structures to adults between June 1 and July 8, and again between Dec. 10 and Jan. 3.
— They will be allowed to sell from temporary structures, such as tents, from June 13 to July 8.
Fireworks can be set off from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on June 1 to July 8 and again on Dec. 10 to Jan. 3 each year, but with some expanded hours on certain dates.
— Those expanded hours will be between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. July 4 and the Saturday and Sunday before and after it; between 9 a.m. Dec. 31 and 12:30 a.m. Jan. 1; and between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. on the Saturday and Sunday before and after Dec. 31.

Please read Senate File 489 for additional information  Senate File 489 – enrolled

Prior to setting off any fireworks within city limits, contact your local city office.   Fireworks are NOT allowed in O’Brien County parks.   


2017 South O’Brien Bike Safety

The tradition continues!  For almost 15 years the Primghar Jaycee’s, Primghar Ambulance Team, and the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office have worked together to provide bike safety to South O’Brien 3rd graders.  The Jaycee’s purchase the helmets through Shea’s True Value in Primghar and the Primghar Ambulance Team fit the helmets to each student.  Deputy Brad Stevens instructed the students in the classroom on bike safety.  After class, the students went outside to practice what they learned, including the correct hand signals.  Here are a few pictures from the day.