Little Sioux Riverfront Boardwalk deemed substantially completed
After encountering numerous setbacks over the course of three years, the Spencer City Council had the opportunity to approve a certificate of substantial completion for the Little Sioux Riverfront Boardwalk Project. "Everything is done and the boardwalk is now useable," Matt Barstad, project manager with Cannon Moss Brygger Architects, said...
IGLLS blessed, dedicated
Rev. Dr. Steven Turner, president of the Iowa District West of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, explained the ABCs of a Christian school during the dedication service of the new Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School attached to the First English Lutheran Church Sunday afternoon. According to the reverend, the ABCs stand for the attitude of God, the Bible and Christ Jesus being interwoven with a student's education. (Photos by Hanna Russmann)
IGLLS first-grade teacher Emily Grabow talks about her classroom with Sharon McKeever and Lori Gamble during the open house following the dedication ceremony. During the open house, people had an opportunity to tour the school and see how the classrooms look since school has been in session.
Students to attend Nobel Conference on science
A group of eight or nine science students from Spencer High School will attend a conference Tuesday to listen to primary researchers and scientists, including a Nobel Prize winner, discuss a perspective of the topic of addiction. The Nobel Conference, hosted by Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, will look at addiction through many different views, including psychological, medical and ethical, among others...
FCC starts crisis hotline for domestic violence victims
A new helpline through the Family Crisis Centers in Sioux Center will better serve victims, survivors and friends and family of domestic violence in the northwest Iowa region. The number can be reached by calling 1-800-770-1650. With help from a $420,000 grant from the Iowa Attorney General's Office, the helpline will offer resources to better connect victims and survivors of domestic violence to services offered by the Attorney General's Crime Victim's Assistance Division...
City approves QRS economic development assistance contract
The Spencer City Council approved an economic development assistance contract between the city of Spencer, Quality Refrigerated Services and the Iowa Economic Authority Monday evening. The economic development assistance contract is for QRS's expansion project that the council approved in June. The project is estimated to cost over $4 million...
Bah Bah Babydoll
Schoelerman's Babydoll House of Everly swept the competition at the Iowa State Fair this year in its second ever Babydoll Sheep Show. The family took first place in 13 of the 19 divisions of the Babydoll Sheep Show including champion and reserve champion ram, champion and reserve champion ewe, and premier exhibitor...
A sea of pink
Approximately 500 people, including 36 breast cancer survivors, wore pink and walked in Spencer Hospital's 10th annual Breast Cancer Walk. The sea of pink gathered at Grand Avenue Park in front of Spencer Hospital, traveled south on Grand Avenue to East Leach Park and back, in an effort to raise awareness for breast cancer. (Photos by Hanna Russamann)
Barb Dean, a breast cancer survivor, shared her story with those who turned out for the event before the walk commenced. Dean said she was touched to see so much support for breast cancer awareness in the community.
Spencer firefighter Denny Klatt, a certified child passenger seat safety technician, shows Hilary Henningsen, who is expecting her first child, how to properly install her new child safety seat during the child safety seat check at the Spencer Fire Department Saturday. The child safety seat check is conducted biannually in the spring and fall so that parents can be sure their child's safety seat is properly installed. Twenty-three car seats were inspected during the three-hour event. Only five child safety seats were found to be properly installed. (Photos by Hanna Russmann)
Spencer Police Office Tyler Heck goes through his safety check list while inspecting a child safety seat. Certified child passenger seat safety technicians check safety seats in case they have been recalled or expired. When installing a car seat, safety technicians like Heck check to make sure that the seat is properly restrained and secured so that it does not move around in the vehicle.
Longhouse-Northshire staff, residents bring back 'Green Acres'
Tim Christy, administrator of Longhouse-Northshire, attended the IHCA ICAL Convention this fall in Des Moines. Each year they offer a different contest at the convention and this year's challenge was to create a poster featuring staff and residents posing as their favorite characters/actors in a retro or current TV show. Longhouse-Northshire chose "Green Acres," the popular TV series from 1965-71. Staff members and residents recreated characters from "Green Acres." The entries were judged by an independent panel of judges during the convention. Prizes were awarded during the Convention's Awards Luncheon and Program held Sept 30. The Longhouse-Northshire poster placed in the top five. Character and cast were: Doris Ziffel (staff Dorothy Brons), Fred Ziffel (Harold Ness), Hank Kimball (John Ingvall), on the John Deer tractor Lisa and Oliver Wendal Douglas (staff Norma and Jack Fitgerald -- owner of the tractor), Eb Dawson (Hugh Cooper), Sam Drucker ( Harold Bryan), Mr. Haney (Herb Hanson), and Alf Monroe and Ralph Monroe (staff Ron and Dawn Feucht).(Photo submitted)
Across the country, "help wanted" signs and job postings online and in local newspapers can be found for anything from retail to nursing. But one industry that's seeing a lot of shortage, and has been for a while, is carpentry. Locally, nearly every construction company is seeing a shortage of capable, motivated workers...
Food truck offers new lunch options in Spencer
Spencer's one and only food truck is never in the same place twice during the week as it makes it rounds to different area businesses providing employees with a convenient meal option at lunch time. The bright orange food truck belongs to husband-wife team Mark and Cassie McCreary, owners of McCreary's Creative Catering and began taking to the streets at the end of May. On July 1, the McCreary's made the food truck a full-time gig...
Fagen removes name from Ottumwa finalist list
Spencer City Manager Bob Fagen announced Friday morning that he has removed his name from the list of finalists for the Ottumwa city manager position. "I decided to stay (in Spencer) because there are things I want to continue to be involved with in the community and I had agreed to serve as president of the church council next year. I wanted to fulfill that obligation," Fagen explained...
A fundraising campaign which originally started in the spring recently got a strong boost of support from the Spencer area community banks. The Northwest Iowa Soccer Club is attempting to raise $375,000 which will allow the local organization to install a new concession stand and permanent restroom facility, as well as locker rooms for Iowa Lakes Community College and Spencer High School programs, and a new maintenance shed...
Johnson reacts to operation investigated in fish kill
MAY CITY -- An 18-mile fish kill on Stony Creek in Osceola and Clay counties has been traced back to an egg-laying facility according to information released by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. A tank that contained egg washing liquid at Sunrise Farms near May City in Osceola County was dumped into a corn field and flowed into Stony Creek. The amount of liquid released has not yet been determined...
Commercial property assessment increase from revenue department
John Lawson, Clay County assessor, announced Friday morning the Iowa Department of Revenue, pursuant to Iowa Code Section 441.49, has ordered a seven percent increase on the 2015 assessed values for commercial property located within Clay County. This order is based on the sales ratios of commercial properties which sold in 2015. ...
Clay County assessor president-elect of ISAA
John Lawson, Clay County assessor, was installed as president-elect of the Iowa State Association of Assessors Wednesday during the 67th annual School of Instruction and Conference called by the Iowa director of revenue held in Des Moines. Prior to assuming the position of president-elect, Lawson served as ISAA vice president, as well as serving on numerous ISAA committees throughout his involvement with the ISAA, most notably this past year as chairman of the Ag Land Use Adjustment Committee. ...
Hospice forum hosted at The Highlands
Three regional hospice providers will take part in a public forum designed to present valuable information about end-of-life care, as well as answer questions about this area's various hospice program offerings. The Hospice Public Forum, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6, will be hosted at The Highlands at 1211 St. Luke Dr. in Spencer...
3 charged with narcotics violations following traffic stop
A traffic stop by the Clay County Sheriff's Office landed a male and two female adults in the Clay County jail on various narcotic charges. At approximately 6:35 p.m. Monday, a Clay County deputy initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle operated by David Richard Hofman, 29, of Heron Lake, Minnesota, at U.S. Highway 18 and 270th Avenue. After running the license plate, the deputy learned Hofman had an active arrest warrant, and following confirmation he was taken into custody...
Sept. 23 -- Smokey Joe Stover, 22, Greenville Possession of controlled substance, second offense Possession of drug paraphernalia Proof of insurance --- Sept. 23 -- Makenna Lorraine Helena Howe, 18 Possession of a controlled substance Possession of alcohol under legal age...
New dealership to sell Polaris motorcycles
SPIRIT LAKE -- Residents of northwest Iowa will soon be able to purchase their favorite Indian, Victory or Slingshot motorcycle. Brent Burns and Ken Kemna, of AutoSmart, plan to open a new dealership in Spirit Lake, exclusively offering the three Polaris manufactured brands...
Clay Central-Everly September Students of the Month
Bradyn Petersen (business, math, science departments), Alex Jorgenson (English, social studies departments), Kylara Steffen (agriculture, technology, vocational departments), Carissa Doran (fine arts, physical education, Spanish departments) and Savannah Handy (reading department).(Photo submitted)
Fight Mavericks Fight!
Clay Central-Everly students, staff and supporters celebrated homecoming Friday with an afternoon of activities including a special parade through downtown Everly followed by a pep rally in the CC-E gymnasium in Everly. Spirit was on display as students, cheerleaders and staff broke out the red and gold, then busted out some of their finest dance moves. Homecoming week culminated with a game against Marcus-Meridan-Cleghorn in Royal followed by the big dance. (Photos by Randy M. Cauthon)...
Fall colors beginning to show across Iowa
DES MOINES -- This year may be a good one for leaf viewers, according to Jeff Goerndt, the state forest section supervisor at the Iowa DNR. "I think we're going to have a decent fall color year because of the weather we're currently having," Goerndt says. "You get the best and brightest colors when you've got the kind of fall weather we are currently having with sunny days and crisp, cool nights...
Stewardship tip -- Keep to the trail
Wednesday, Sept. 23, marked the first day of fall. Dropping temperatures are a sign to Mother Nature that the time is coming to shed her summer foliage in preparation for winter. For many, fall is a favorite time of year to visit state and local parks to enjoy some incredible colors...
Increase in zebra mussels evident in Iowa Great Lakes
SPIRIT LAKE -- As docks and hoists are being removed from most of Iowa's Great Lakes, a most unwelcome visitor is being discovered in greater numbers. Zebra mussels, first discovered in East Okoboji Lake and Upper Gar Lake in the fall of 2012, have been increasing in numbers and distribution the past few years throughout most of the Iowa Great Lakes. Spirit Lake is the only lake where adult zebra mussels have not been found...
Iowa's archery deer season began Oct. 1
DES MOINES -- Iowa's popular archery deer season opened Thursday, Oct. 1. An expected 50,000 hunters will be hiding among the branches on tree stands in the timber across Iowa forests and field edges waiting for the next legendary Iowa buck to walk by...
Now is the time for northern pike
I'm going fishing next week. Late September and October are wonderful times to be on the water almost anywhere in the Midwest chasing walleye, largemouth and smallmouth bass, and panfish. On the fishing trip I have in mind however, those species will all be safe: We're going after northern pike. Pike are very susceptible under certain conditions in the spring, but in some bodies of water, they're even more susceptible now...
Hawkins takes SLFH natural resources biologist position
SPIRIT LAKE ― Kim Hawkins, who has been with the Spirit Lake Fish Hatchery (SLFH) for the past 14 years, recently accepted the position of the natural resources fisheries biologist position at the hatchery. According to Jay Rudacille, Warm & Coolwater Fish Culture Supervisor with the Iowa DNR, "Kim brings a diverse multitude of fisheries experiences to this Team Leader role at SLFH. I am excited for Kim and for the future of the SLFH under her leadership."...
Artisans Road Trip preview at AOG
Deb Yellick-Manly discusses the 2015 Artisans Road Trip preview exhibit at Arts on Grand with Jane Lieb during an artist reception conducted Thursday night. Yellick-Manly is one of the 35 artists taking part in the tour this year, which will begin Saturday, Oct. 10. The exhibit at AOG features 51 pieces of art from 29 of the Artisans Road Trip artists and will be on display until Oct. 31. (Photo by Hanna Russmann)
Fall leaf maintenance
The time of year has come once again when the leaves will turn shades of orange and brown and fall from the trees. And, while the fallen leaves can be both seasonally fun and a nuisance, there are certain methods of disposing of the raked leaves that are preferred by the city of Spencer...
Volunteer Network to sponsor free weatherization program
The Volunteer Network of Clay County will sponsor a free weatherization program for veterans, elderly, disabled or low-income residents. Last year, in its first year, the program assisted in about 16 or 17 projects with the assistance of grant dollars. This year, there are no grant dollars available, but using some left over material from last year, as well local partners and volunteers, the effort will move forward for a second year...
Bringle, McCarty crowned CC-E homecoming king, queen
EVERLY -- Nathan Bringle and Katrina McCarty were crowned the Clay Central-Everly 2015 homecoming king and queen at the school's coronation Thursday night. Other members of the court included Cassie Day, Tari Knock, Madison Manwarren, Sonya Newkirk, Henry Rinehart, Dylan Rutter, Bailey Stimson and Eric Thorne. Junior attendants were Martina Harmon and Hunter Pearson. Homecoming week will continue today with a parade at 1:30 p.m. in Everly, a pep rally following the parade in the new gym in Everly, a football game versus Marcus Meriden Cleghorn at 7 p.m. in Royal, and a dance beginning after the game at 9:30 in the old gym in Everly. (Photo by Kate Padilla)
A 'car collector's dream'
"Every one of these cars was once someone's dream car," Steve Hurst said of the more than 200 cars and trucks on the lot of Hurst Auto Salvage. According to Steve, it is his hope the vehicles find new life after they are auctioned off Saturday beginning at 10 a.m...
Students introduced to local opportunities
For a second year, Spencer High School hosted a job fair during the various lunch waves in the school's commons area. Employers set up displays and visited with students about opportunities available to them through employment at their local business operations. Students were able to pick up applications and have face-to-face conversations with those charged with making hiring decisions. (Photo by Randy M. Cauthron)
Breast cancer walk brings hope, awareness to Spencer
The 10th annual Walk/Run for Awareness to draw attention to prevention, detection and treatment of breast cancer is set for 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4. Men, women and children of all ages are encouraged to join the fun walk -- or run -- which will begin at Spencer Hospital's Grand Avenue park, proceed down Grand to Leach Park and then back to the hospital for refreshments...
Schable joins First Lutheran as music director
First Lutheran Church announced the hiring of Jessica Schable to the position of director of worship and music at First Lutheran Church on Oct. 1. She is originally from Milford and graduated from Okoboji High School in 2000 where she was active in the music program including the state winning jazz band two years in a row, in the award winning choir, and four years of solo and ensemble competition. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in 2005 from Simpson College.
Spencer's Emagine merges with BissoTech
Emagine, a Spencer-based Web design and development firm, announced today its merger with Bisso Technologies -- BissoTech, an Urbandale-based technology company specializing in the development of innovative software solutions. "The timing is right and our businesses' skill sets couldn't be more complimentary," Logan Wood, partner at Emagine, said. ...
Local artist honored in Art EMC 2015
Northwest Iowa artist Bruce Morrison has just been notified that EMC Insurance Company, headquartered in Des Moines, has selected three of his oil paintings for the EMC corporate art collection this year. EMC Insurance Companies developed a corporate art program, Art EMC, in 2005 and continues it to this day. ...
City ATV ordinance under discussion
After receiving a petition from citizens in August, the city of Spencer has begun drafting an ATV ordinance which would allow use of all-terrain vehicles on city streets. This comes after the Clay County Board of Supervisors approved a countywide ordinance allowing the use of such vehicles on county roads outside of town limits...
Clay County hosts Region 3 REAP Assembly
Representatives of nine Iowa counties ― Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto and Sioux ― attended the biannual Region 3 REAP Assembly at the Clay County Regional Events Center Wednesday evening. Iowa REAP, also known as Resource Enhancement and Protection, is a program that was established by the Iowa Legislature in 1989 and invests approximately $16 million in natural resources throughout the state. ...
Energy assistance applications accepted today
Beginning today, applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for households with elderly people or people with disabilities will be accepted by Upper Des Moines Opportunity. Applications for the general public will be accepted beginning Nov. 1 and will be accepted until April 30, 2016...
A group of Spencer High School junior's participated in the first session of Spencer Chamber of Commerce's Junior Leadership Spencer course Wednesday afternoon. The first course was conducted at Iowa Lakes Community College, who is partnering with the chamber on the program. Following the tour, the participants discussed how to brand themselves. The program, scheduled in conjunction with early-out Wednesday afternoons throughout the school year, will involve guest speakers, field trips and events designed to develop leadership skills and create meaningful community experiences As with the adult program, participants will tour the city and meet face-to-face with many of the region's leaders in business, government, nonprofits, the arts, health care and education. Five more classes are scheduled, one a month, through April. (Photo by Randy M. Cauthron)
Amended DD 26 improvements move forward
The Clay County Board of Supervisors conducted a public hearing Tuesday on proposed improvements for Drainage District 26 to the southeast of Royal. Some adjustments were made to the improvements in DD 26 after the decision was made that DD 108, which is the outlet for DD 26, would only deepen its drainage ditch but not replace its main tile line...
Tiger Marching Band receives high honors at first event
Spencer High School's Tiger Marching Band was recently rewarded for their hard work and efforts this season as they received the second place trophy in Class 3A at the North Central Iowa Marching Invitational held on Saturday, Sept. 26 at Fort Dodge...
'Everything was too loud'
Numbers are important when lights go on over football fields on Friday nights. Aplington-Parkersburg's Ed Thomas had them. The high school coach's career spanned 37 years. He compiled a 292-84 record. He had a pair of state championships -- another four teams reached the state finals -- and four players went from Friday nights in his small community to Sunday afternoons in the NFL...
Iowa Crops and Weather Report
DES MOINES -- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October. "Combines have started to roll and 5 percent of corn and 7 percent of soybeans have already been harvested. ...
Re-evaluating No Child Left Behind
The Iowa Department of Education director, Ryan Wise, commented in a statement after the report on student performance under the federal No Child Left Behind Law was released. Based on state tests taken during the 2014-15 school year, more students fell short of annual targets set by the law...
Ambassadors cut ribbon at new Advanced Systems location
Staff and product line representatives met with the Spencer Ambassadors Tuesday morning at Advanced Systems as it celebrated an open house and ribbon cutting at its new location at 207 10th St. SW. The new office space and show room offers a great deal more space to showcase the business technology supplier's equipment offerings. Advanced Systems has also added Xerox to its product offerings so it currently carries the top two copier systems -- with Cannon. Management said it's role is to partner with its customers to help them reach their respective business goals through the use of Advanced Systems various technology offerings. Spencer's office is the the third largest branch of Advanced Systems. The company has 10 offices with its corporate home in Waterloo. Advanced Systems covers most of Iowa, some of southern Minnesota, some of Illinois and the Sioux Falls area in South Dakota. (Photo by Randy M. Cauthron)
Stoney Creek fish kill reported
EVERLY -- The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is investigating a fish kill running about 20 miles along Stoney Creek northwest of Spencer.
The fish kill was reported north of Everly Monday morning, but residents in the area said they'd been seeing dead fish over the weekend.
Two crews from the Spencer field office found heavy concentrations of dead fish west of Fostoria, then traced dead fish northwest to the Osceola-Dickinson county line, approximately 11 miles west of Milford.
So far, DNR staff have not identified the pollutant source, but believe it is from fertilizer or animal manure because of elevated ammonia levels found just west of Spencer.
"We've had a number of calls into the field office, mostly from people concerned about watering their cattle from the creek," Ken Hessenius, supervisor of the DNR Spencer field office, said.
Man cited on firearms-related charge
A call regarding a man firing a pellet gun outside his residence escalated Sunday evening when, as Spencer Police officers were responding to the scene, a second call to the Clay County Communications Center suggested the firearm was a much larger weapon...