Sioux County Capital Democrat

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The Sioux County Capital-Democrat has been a principal newspaper in Sioux County serving local readers. It is one of the largest circulating newspapers in Sioux County with a subscribership of more than 1200. The heaviest circulation for The Sioux County Capital-Democrat is in the southern section of Sioux County, serving primarily the cities and rural routes of Orange City, Alton, Hospers, Maurice, and Granville, with subscribers in Sioux Center, Sheldon, Boyden, Hull, Rock Valley, Hawarden and Ireton.


The Sioux County Capital Democrat is one of the largest circulating newspapers in Sioux County with a distribution in excess of 1,200. The heaviest circulation is in the south section of Sioux County, serving primarily the cities and rural routes of: • Orange City • Hospers • Alton • Sioux Center • Granville • Maurice Also serving: Sheldon, Boyden, Hull, Rock Valley, Hawarden and Ireton.


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This week in the news!

International book features 

Orange City resident


      ORANGE CITY — Helen Huitink first heard about the Facebook page, a view from my window, from her daughter Kelly. “She said she came across a site she thought I would be interested in and encouraged me to post a photo.” The concept was in response to the COVID-19 shutdown last year when the entire world was on lockdown. The page’s founder, Belgian freelance graphic designer Barbara Duriau is quoted saying she “wanted to know more about the situation and reality of life across the world.” So she posted a simple photo of a view from outside her window. She said, “I realized all of us were stuck with the same view, stuck and home,” and the idea was to bring together people confined in lockdown all over the world.

The result; in a short time, over 2.3 million people joined the page. Duiau was flooded with thousands of photos of various’ views from a window’ worldwide. And one of those people was Helen Huitink.

“It was April 13, I live outside of town, and I was trying to explain what a ground blizzard looks like to someone, so I thought I would take a picture.” It was the Easter blizzard of 2020 and the days of blowing snow that followed inspired Huitink. Her simple photo captured a look at winter in the midwest and particularly in Orange City. Huitink focused her camera toward the barn the former Pumpkinland building. The sign remains standing, and the words often reflect the changing seasons. Her sign read ‘He is Risen,’ and the photo shows the ground blizzard in action between the sign and the barn. It is a typical thing to experience living in Northwest Iowa, and Huitink shared it with the world.

“I posted the photo on April 13, and I watched every day to see if it showed up on the page, but it didn’t.”

Huitink didn’t know that across the world, in Belgium, Barbara Duriau was dealing with an unanticipated flood of people looking for ways to connect with the outside world.

But Huitink was still thankful for the Facebook page. “My experience in a pandemic is you hardly leave your home, but with this site, I had access to 2.3 million people around the world in the same situation. In a way, I felt more connected.”

It wasn’t until June that Huitink’s photo showed up on the site. “My daughter was visiting at the time, my husband passed away, and my daughter came for what would have been our 50th anniversary.” She was scrolling and saw Huitink’s photo on the website. “I received comments on the photo from California, Brazil, and the site administrator thanking me for submitting the photo.”

Shortly after it posted, Huitink received an email saying her photo was preselected for a book in development. “There were 1500 photos preselected, of the thousands, submitted, and nearly 400 would be bound for a full-color book,” she said. Huitink’s photo was one of those selected. The book was published in 2020 and is now available online. It is a beautiful compilation of images from around the world, capturing the quiet essence of a piece of history. The entire world pushed pause, and the book shows how people chose to look and reflect on the world around them. 

It was published in Belgium using a unique printing process using vegetable oil ink. The result is a 397 hard-bound full-color display of the time when the world stood still. Of the submissions, 84 are from the United States, only one from Iowa. It ends with a simple quote from one of the group members merely saying, “Now I want to travel!” 

Huitink is “thankful she was chosen” but is quick to point out, it isn’t about her. “I like to think this put Pumpkinland on the map; it put Iowa on the map,” on an international stage.

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