By: Hollie Hojek firstname.lastname@example.org Kaitlyn Bourn is spending her Memorial Day Weekend making a splash at AquaVenutre water park in Norfolk, Nebraska. "You just play around here, you play in the waterMore>>
AquaVenture Water Park Opens Up in Norfolk, Nebraska. More>>
By: Hollie Hojek email@example.com For the 3rd Memorial Day Weekend in a row, the Girls of '68 celebrated and shared part of Sioux City's rich history. The local organization dedicated to keeping SiouxMore>>
Girls of '68 Share Story of Sioux City's First White Settler, Theodiphile Bruguier. More>>
By: Diana Johnsen firstname.lastname@example.org On Saturday, at Wal-Mart and the Southern Hills Mall in Sioux City, the Sioux City Police Department helped parents create "children identification kits". TheMore>>
On Saturday, at Wal-Mart and the Southern Hills Mall in Sioux City, the Sioux City Police Department helped parents create "children identification kits". More>>
By: Diana Johnsen email@example.com On your mark…get set...paddle! About 130 kayakers took to the Missouri River in the "3rd Annual South Dakota Kayak Challenge" on Saturday. "It's an opportunityMore>>
About 130 kayakers took to the Missouri River in the "3rd Annual South Dakota Kayak Challenge" on Saturday.More>>
By: Hollie Hojek firstname.lastname@example.org Rain, rain go away, come back and other weekend but this one. The rain in the forecast isn't ruining everyone's plan, but it is keeping some campers away. The sunMore>>
Siouxland Campgrounds Still Packing in the People Despite Poor Weekend WeatherMore>>
By: Tim Seaman email@example.com On Thursday, a pretty cool relay put on by law enforcement officers from across the state ran through central Iowa for the Special Olympics Torch Run. The event helpsMore>>
When the torch arrived Sioux City West sophomore JJ Reeg–Beckner had the honor of igniting the Special Olympic cauldron. Reeg-Beckner was selected from more than 2,500 athletes to finish the run.More>>
By: Channel 9 Eyewitness News (AP) About 110,300 South Dakotans are expected to travel over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a slight decline from last year. AAA says that mirrors an expected dropMore>>
About 110,300 South Dakotans are expected to travel over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a slight decline from last year.More>>
By: Channel 9 Eyewitness News (AP) Nebraska students showed improvement in this year's statewide writing proficiency test. Nebraska Education Commissioner Roger Breed announced Friday that 66 percentMore>>
Nebraska students showed improvement in this year's statewide writing proficiency test.
Nebraska Education Commissioner Roger Breed announced Friday that 66 percent of 8th graders met or exceeded state standards, a 2 percent increase over the previous year.More>>
By Channel 9 Eyewitness News firstname.lastname@example.org Iowa investigators say the discovery of blood of a missing 15-year-old girl has diminished hope of finding her alive. Bill Kietzman of the Iowa DivisionMore>>
15-year old Kathlynn Shepard went missing on Monday.More>>
By: Scott Larson email@example.com How comfortable do you feel strolling the streets in Sioux City? That's a question that the Blue Zones Project is asking. And today they brought in an expert toMore>>
Walkable and Livable Communities Institute's Dan Burden assists Sioux City & Blue Zones Project with working out more pedestrian friendly roads.More>>
Out on the Janssen family farm there are over 30 types of household pets, all with one very important job to do.
From the roosters, to the rabbits, to even the mini horses...all the animals on the 4-acre farm help the Janssen family in a unique way.
You see, Steve and Reta always knew they wanted to raise a family out in the country, so when they couldn't have kids of their own, they decided to adopt. And in one years time, they adopted four children. All four children were born with some type of disability, whether it was Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder, or Sensory Integration Disorder...And growing up on a farm seemed to be just what the doctor ordered.
"The animals sometimes will even be their calming, when Jesse, like I'll see him go out and he'll have his headphones on and he's singing to the horse and he's just in his own space..." says Reta Janssen.
The Janssens say the animals give their children a sense of calming and companionship that has really helped them develop as special needs children. All four kids participate in 4-H, which has been a rewarding opportunity for all of them.
"They've been able to blossom I think, just by being able to go out and talk to other people and share their animals and they've participate in special Olympics and I think the animals have been part of some of that," says Reta.
For Mr. Janssen, he's just grateful his kids have place where they feel they belong, and can grow.
"They can't go play sports like any other kids, because they can't keep up with the other kids, they got a sense of well-being out here with the animals that way," says Janssen.
The Janssens want other families with special needs children to know just how helpful animal interaction can really be, because they've seen it for themselves.