Brains Together For A Cure raises $11,000
Spencer area walkers came together at Fairview Elementary School Saturday morning to raise money for brain tumor research and to honor local teacher Jo Merrill who started the 5K run/walk eight years ago to honor her husband Bruce, who she lost to terminal brain cancer. A total of 223 registered walk participants, along with those who came to participate in a bake sale and silent auction, raised approximately $11,000 for research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Merrill, who is currently undergoing treatment herself for a brain tumor, appeared at the Brains Together For A Cure event, spending about half an hour with those who put the day's festivities together in her honor. (Photos by Randy M. Cauthron)
Job fair concludes
During each day of the Clay County Fair, Iowa Lakes Corridor Development invited employers to the Innovation Pavillion as part of a job fair promoting the Five by Five Campaign, which is an effort to increase the regional population by 5 percent in five years. IowaWorks also took part in the job fair and utilized three different booths to provide the public with information and guidance on employment issues in Iowa...
Iowa history in schools to advance
A list of recommendations to improve Iowa history education throughout the state was released from the governor's office compiled by the Iowa History Advisory Council. The list outlines 11 different adjustments to the Iowa history education curriculum on the district level that will provide enhanced understanding of the subject...
Seasons receives $150,000 grant for Children's Mental Health
Crisis Services Plan
Seasons Center for Behavioral Health has been awarded a $150,000, nine-month planning grant from the Iowa Department of Human Services. The purpose of the grant is to fund the continued development of children's mental health crisis services throughout the state of Iowa. ...
Free child car seat safety check Oct. 1
How certain are you that your child is the safest they can be while riding in the car? With car crashes being a leading cause of death for children 1 to 12 years old in the United States, it's very important to make sure your child is in the correct safety seat to accommodate their growing bodies...
Airport seeks home for its house
Last week, the Spencer Municipal Airport Board decided to seek proposals for either the removal or demolition of the house located on the airfield. The house is included in the contract Leading Edge Aviation holds with the city of Spencer for operation of the airport. ...
Can some police records be forever sealed?
DES MOINES -- Monica Speaks wants answers about her father's death 30 years ago. But like dozens of other Iowans this year, she was shut down by the Iowa Department of Public Safety. The reason is a controversial and relatively recent interpretation of a 45-year-old Iowa law in which the department claims any document created or collected as part of an investigation can be considered confidential forever...
Ready, Set, Retire!
Elderbridge in Spencer will be hosting "Ready, Set, Retire," a retirement preparation workshop. This workshop will be conducted from 5:45-7:30 p.m. on two separate dates, Wednesday, Oct. 12, and Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Spencer Public Library. The event will cover multiple facets of retirement and aging including Medicare A, B and D, Medicare supplements, Social Security information, guardianship, conservatorship, power of attorney as well as many other aging resources...
PSY, GAIC offering free 'Toy Story' showing
Positively Spencer Youth is once again partnering with the Grand Avenue Improvement Corporation to host a free family movie in the park this Saturday, Sept. 24. The two organizations will be showing "Toy Story" at the Spencer Hospital Park on Grand Avenue. Popcorn and drinks will be available.
'Come Home to the Clay County Fair' in 17
"You hate to always say 'if' -- but if we had a full day on Thursday, we possibly could have had a record day in all aspects," Clay County Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons said, reflecting on the 2016 edition of the "World's Greatest County Fair." In terms of attendance, 2016 came up short of last year's 330,000 which is the second highest figure of all time. The all-time record was set in 2013 with 334,000 guests visiting the grounds. This year's fair topped out at 325,011...
Spencer High School culminated a week of homecoming festivities Friday when they took to the streets for a parade beginning at the Spencer Middle School and ending with a pep rally at Dale Norton Field. Homecoming Queen Olivia Fletcher and King Hunter Miller had a nice ride to the pep rally. The pregame fun wrapped up with the seniors yanking the underclassmen around the field in a tug-of-war. (Photo by Randy M. Caithron)
Local banks report positive loan growth
The Iowa Bankers Association announced recently Iowa banks have seen continued improvements in loan demand from the second quarter results, outpacing the nation in loan growth. Iowa carried positive loan growth in categories such as real estate, farm, commercial and consumer segments...
Iowa DOT to discuss Clay County bridge replacement
The Iowa Department of Transportation will conduct a public information meeting from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, at Spencer City Hall to discuss the proposed bridge replacement on U.S. Highway 71 over Prairie Creek, 1.4 miles north of Clay County Road B-40. All interested persons are invited to attend...
Preparing for Maverick homecoming
Clay Central-Everly School District announced its senior homecoming king and queen candidates in preparation for its upcoming Oct. 3-7 homecoming week activities. Candidates include: (front row) Sarah Nehring, daughter of Dwayne and Vicki Nehring; Destiny Haack, daughter of Roger and Mindy Nelson; Aylin Garcia, daughter of Juan M. and Trina Garcia; Jasmine Kluender, daughter of Jason Kluender and LeAnn Najera; Kennedy Wilson, daughter of Stacy Knapp; Kirsten Glackin, daughter of Brad and Kelly Behrens and Steven Glackin; (back row) Sean Kosters, son of Doug and Jodi Kosters; Judge Altenburg, son of Corey Hofmeyer and Mandy Elders; Peter Trierweiler, son of Clint and Cammy Trierweiler; Jon DeWall, son of Kevin and Elizabeth White; Dayton Brugman, son of Dan and Darcy Brugman; and Nelson Findling, son of Jennifer Findling. Junior attendants (not pictured) are Kiptyn Rabel, daughter of Toni Tewes and Matt Rabel; and Connor Pearson, son of Adam and Lindsay Pearson. (Photo by Randy M. Cauthron)
People For Pets to host PetOberFest
People For Pets is inviting community members to participate in PetOberFest, a night of cheers to support and celebrate the shelter and saving local animals. PetOberFest will be an Oktoberfest event at the Spencer Community Theatre from 5:30-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1...
Black Knights drag races return to airport Sunday
The Black Knights Car Club will return to the Northwest Iowa Regional Airport in Spencer on Sunday for its Eighth Annual Airport Drags. Races will be conducted from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with gates opening at 9 a.m. The race will be run for 350 feet, side-by-side with a light start. Participating vehicles must be registered, licensed and have proof of insurance. All cars will be inspected prior to races with the final say for operation determined by the safety inspectors. DOT tires only...
Send off at the Heritage Center
Friday, the Clay County Heritage Center bid farewell to Executive Director Chelsea Loucks. Heritage Center intern Miranda Bartholomaus (left) joined Loucks (right) near the front door as visitors wrote down their congratulations and well wishes for Loucks. Friday marked Loucks' official last day. Loucks, who began at the Heritage Center in June 2015, accepted an unexpected job offer from the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., where she had worked while completing her graduate studies. (Photo by Seth Boyes)
The 'Walk' must go on
When Jo Merrill started Spencer's Brains Together for a Cure 5K seven years ago, it was done to honor her husband, Bruce, who had passed away from terminal brain cancer shortly before the event. This year a friend has taken up the call to see the event come to fruition as Jo herself now finds herself battling brain cancer...
Soybean farmer takes state leadership role
Stephanie Essick, a soybean farmer from Dickens, was elected to sit on the Iowa Soybean Association Executive Committee after rounding out her second year on the Board of Directors. The ISA is governed by the board of directors, a team comprised of 22 farmers from across the state. The executive committee is comprised of five individuals charged with more financial responsibility and leading committees...
Chilly Chili Cook-off seeking entrants
The first Chilly Chili Cook-off will be conducted at the downtown Spencer Riverfront Farmers Market from 9-11 a.m. tomorrow. The public is invited to sample chili entries and vote on their favorite recipe. Votes will then be tallied and prizes awarded...
Seasons Center in Emmetsburg relocates to Palo Alto County Hospital
EMMETSBURG -- Effective immediately, providers at Seasons Center for Behavioral Health will begin seeing clients at a new office location in Emmetsburg. Seasons' new office is located within the Palo Alto County Hospital at 3201 First St. in Emmetsburg...
Live Well Workplace combats population health issue
During the Spencer Hospital Board of Trustees meeting, Director of Rehabilitation Services Jordan Reed updated the board on the Live Well Workplace service line offered through the hospital. "Live Well Workplace is a suite of services that utilizes expertise from departments across the hospital and we package that together to provide employers with solutions to improve the health of their workforce," Reed said...
Oktoberfest Bike Ride rolls through Iowa Great Lakes
OKOBOJI -- Cyclists from around the Midwest will travel to the Iowa Great Lakes this weekend to pedal into the fall season. The University of Okoboji will host the 25th annual Oktoberfest Bike Ride Saturday, Sept. 24. An estimated 500 cyclists will participate in the nearly 27-mile ride. Some of the proceeds from the event go to benefit the Dickinson County trails systems...
The power to stand: Chris Norton shares story of tragedy and triumph
On Oct. 16, 2010, Chris Norton sustained a spinal injury while playing football for Luther College in Decorah. The injury left him with only a 3 percent chance of regaining feeling or movement below the neck. He defied those odds, and now travels the country to share his story, including an April 15 stop in Spirit Lake. This is the first part of a two-part series...
Senators launch Senate Opportunity Coalition
WASHINGTON -- A group of conservative U.S. senators came together this week to announce the launch of the Senate Opportunity Coalition, a new initiative aiming to ensure every family across our nation has access to the American Dream. Sens. Tim Scott, R-S.C., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, James Lankford, R-Okla., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska. ...
Tyson announces $30M Storm Lake expansion
STORM LAKE -- Tyson Fresh Meats has planned a new $30 million improvement project at the Storm Lake pork plant that is designed to improve production and ensure product quality. On Friday, the project was awarded tax incentives from the Iowa Economic Development Authority...
Christensen sentencing cancelled
ESTHERVILLE ― Judge David Lester has postponed sentencing for a 19-year-old Estherville man who was convicted of second-degree murder. A new trial remains a possibility for Lee Christensen, who was convicted July 1 at the Emmet County Courthouse. A jury found him guilty of using a .45 pistol to intentionally end the life of 19-year-old Thomas Bortvit of Estherville on June 6, 2015. The two were at odds because Bortvit was dating Christensen's ex-girlfriend at the time...
Experience Morningside visit days for high school seniors
SIOUX CITY -- High school seniors will have an opportunity to learn more about college life during Experience Morningside senior visit days that begin Sept. 30 at Morningside College. Experience Morningside visit days also are scheduled for Oct. 8, 28 and Nov. 11. A new visit day event has been added on Oct. 18 specifically for students interested in careers in the health sciences or law...
ILCC electrical, engineering programs highlighted
ESTHERVILLE -- The Electrical and Engineering programs at Iowa Lakes Community College were featured at the Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday afternoon in Estherville. Estherville Campus Executive Dean Bob Leifeld introduced the instructors of the two programs. Doug Zemler teaches credit and non-credit electrical coursework and Chad Tischer instructs the engineering courses...
Jones talks communications during Evertek visit
Roxanne White, CEO of Evertek, gave Iowa Second District Rep. Megan Jones, R-Sioux Rapids, a guided tour of the company's central office, showing the fiber panel where each customer has an individual direct line. Jones has been an advocate of legislative efforts for the rural Iowa communications industry. White, a former chair of the Iowa Communications Alliance explained to Jones the TelePac represents 125 rural incumbent broadband companies that make up the Alliance and the companies that own and operate Aureon. White discussed the investment of fiber optics in the rural areas and how companies like Evertek are able to offer speeds of 50 Mbps in rural areas. She also discussed the impact that this brings to our economy in property taxes for our local district. On average a fiber optics network provides $5 per month per customer in property taxes alone. Evertek has been serving northwest Iowa for more than 30 years. (Photo submitted)
Ruby Nitzel, of Clay County Abstract LLC, in Spencer, recently attended the 2016 Iowa Land Title Association Regional Meeting. A number of topics were covered and included a report from the Title Standards Committee, current legislation relevant to the title business, and a presentation by a licensed land surveyor highlighting the process of obtaining accurate legal descriptions. ...
Plot your route for Artisans Road Trip
Arts on Grand is gearing up for 13th annual Artisans Road Trip. The yearly event is an opportunity for the public to tour the region and see artisans in local galleries or, in some cases, the artist's studio. The event will take place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 8 and noon to 5 p.m. on Oct. 9. The gallery held an opening reception Thursday evening to recognize the artists participating in this year's event and give the public a chance to view some of the artwork they create...
19th annual Manhattan Short to premiere at PLAC
s who unite in over 250 cinemas, museums, universities, and more, across six continents for one purpose -- to view and vote on the Finalists' Films in the 19th annual Manhattan Short Film Festival. Pearson Lakes Art Center will host the Manhattan Short Film Festival at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, in the Lauridsen Performing Arts Theatre...
Fletcher, Miller hold court
Spencer High School seniors Hunter Miller and Olivia Fletcher were selected from the 10-person homecoming court to represent the school as the 2016-17 king and queen Wednesday evening before a large crowd at the Spencer Field House. The theme -- "Dale Norton Field, Livin' Life in Paradise" -- offered a Hawaiian theme for the decor as colored lays were the preferred attire of the evening. Festivities conclude Friday with "Tiger Pride Day" which will include a public parade along 10th Avenue East between the middle school and high school, pep rally at Dale Norton Field, a football game against Sergeant Bluff-Luton and the homecoming dance in the student center. Miller and Fletcher were surrounded by their royal court which included (left to right) Grace Ahern and Nick Sundblad, Emma Fratzke and Dylan Holst, Taylor Rouse and Carter Vanderah and Brandi Botcher and Jacob Pingel. (Photos by Randy M. Cauthron)
Fagen to represent Spencer at Blue Zones Summit
Spencer City Manager Bob Fagen has been chosen to represent the Spencer area at the Blue Zones Project Summit. The summit will take place in Fort Worth, Texas, Oct. 16-18. Fagen said that this will be the second Blue Zones summit, the first being held in Des Moines last year...
Spencer students receive security training
A new security method is now being taught at Spencer Community Schools in case of an active shooter emergency. School Resource Officer Mike Wilson worked with Spencer High School Assistant Principal Jade Beehler, Spencer High School Principal Elli Wiemers and Spencer Chief of Police Mark Warburton to educate students on methods that will save their lives in a crisis situation...
Mandelkow trial moved to December
Judge Nancy Whittenburg on Wednesday set a new trial date for the Lake Park man accused of robbing a rural northwest Iowa restaurant at gunpoint. Joshua Mandelkow was scheduled to go on trial Oct. 18. His new court date is 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the Clay County Courthouse in Spencer...
On the move
Traffic on Grand Avenue was slowed temporarily Wednesday morning as a two-story home was moved from its original location on the northwest corner of West Ninth Street and First Avenue West to its new destination on 25th Street Southwest. Spencer Police assisted with automobile flow as the large home navigated traffic control devices through busy downtown Spencer on its way south on U.S. Highway 71. (Photos by Randy M. Cauthron)
Shayla Bee family continues to grow
Before the sun began to set Tuesday, motorcycles rumbled up the driveway at the Raper residence as the group welcomed them into the Shayla Bee family. The Rapers are the 116th family to receive the support of the Shayla Bee fund. While young Talen Raper was undergoing several medical procedures, his mother Lisa was unable to work and eventually went so far as to sell their house...
Add some eye candy to your garden this fall
Shorten the winter season with the help of spring flowering bulbs that you plant in fall. These beauties often provide the first bit of color, fragrance and winter relief each year. Look for new and unique ways to incorporate bulbs into your landscape. ...
Ambassadors meet new bank vice president
The Spencer Ambassadors made a stop at Community State Bank in north Spencer on Tuesday morning to meet with its new vice president of commercial and agriculture lending, Seth McCaulley. McCaulley joined the bank less than two months ago and said he and his family -- which includes a wife and two children -- are "loving Spencer" and said they have enjoyed a "whirlwind of good experiences" since coming to the area. McCaulley is a Lake City native who attended Iowa State University for ag business before returning home where he got involved in banking while also farming. He was there for seven years before taking the position with Community State Bank. Bank hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the lobby and 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the drive-thru Monday through Friday. The bank also offers morning drive-thru hours on Saturdays. (Photo by Randy M. Cauthron)
Clay Central-Everly School Board elects new officers
The Clay Central-Everly School Board met to discuss new door system installations, approving open enrollment requests and electing new board officers Monday night. The school has decided to get new door lock systems installed for their buildings to enhance security, monitor those who come and go from the school and to eliminate issues from extra keys in the public. ...
Hero of Benghazi comes to Spencer
Former Army ranger and co-author of the book "13 Hours, " Kris "Tanto" Paronto spoke at a special event at the Clay County Fair Saturday. Paronto was a member of a six-man team who took part in the 13-hour stand at a compound in Benghazi. A customer appreciation event was held in the Events Center Ballroom to thank lang standing customers of CommStock Investments, Inc. ...
Riverfront matter tabled until next meeting
Having previously authorized the Riverfront Committee to negotiate a contract with RDG Planning and Design up to $50,000, the Committee of the Whole was informed that a price of $42,000 was negotiated. This price includes a portion of the work which will be performed by Bolton and Menk, which will serve as a subcontractor. The contract would cover the development of a master plan for the Riverfront District...
Council discusses property and taxes
The Spencer City Council briefly paused during the consent agenda items during last night's meeting to clarify an item proposing the transfer of city real property to Faith Pentecostal Church. City Manager Bob Fagen indicated that the property had been purchased by the city from Holiday Inn Express some time ago...
Color run launches Spencer homecoming week
Homecoming week kicked off with the annual Tailtwister spirit run. Faculty members and the homecoming court coated runners in purple and gold to celebrate Spencer's homecoming. At the end of the 5K, the runners celebrated by throwing purple and gold into the air.
The excitement of the opening event took a toll on some of the younger participants. Declan Raveling takes a spirited victory nap at the end of the race to refuel for the rest of the week. (Photos by James Tillison)
Standing strong for 45 years
Tom and Shirley Smith opened a popcorn and snow cone stand at the Clay County Fair in 1971 in front of the Ag Building. The Smiths ran the stand for 25 years, until they retired. The stand switched ownership for 15 years until it was offered to Becky and Brent Smith...
Blue Ribbon Fun
Abbigail Tyler (left) and her sister Eryn Tyler (right) enjoyed traditional corn-dogs while strolling through the fairgrounds. The two girls took in all the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the fair. (Picture by James Tillison)
Gary's On The River changes hands
Dave and Leann Jacobsen, owners of the Gary's On The River complex in Spencer, have sold the restaurant operation to Lakes area food industry entrepreneurs Dave and Rabab Koepp, owners of Colonial Nut Roll Company, Rabab's At The Lake and formerly Rabab's at Brooks, now owned by their son Zach...
SHS makes top 5 in Iowa Traveling Challenge Cup field
WEST DES MOINES -- Spencer High School made another strong showing in the Bank Iowa Traveling Challenge Cup competition among 3A schools. Spencer ranked fifth overall in the state with Decorah High School capturing the top spot among 3A schools. Introduced in 2007, the Bank Iowa Traveling Challenge Cup is a statewide competition designed to recognize Iowa high school students for academic excellence and outstanding achievement during state competitions. ...