Parsons: 'They will be here'
Despite rumors to the contrary, Clay County Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons insisted Tuesday morning that one of the top country groups in America, Little Big Town, will appear to close out "the World's Greatest County Fair" on Sunday, Sept. 20. "Their management has confirmed that they will be here," Parsons said. "Everybody says no problem."...
Hessman leading Centennial Vision fund drive
Dave Hessman is no stranger to fundraising efforts. He's seen his share of time in the trenches when it comes to asking others to dig deep for a good cause. So it should come as no surprise that Hessman was tagged by members of the Clay County Fair Association to head the group's largest drive in recent years to fund the many projects associated with the Centennial Vision efforts -- targeting the 100-year anniversary of the Clay County Fair in 2017...
Electric bill savings not likely to have local effect
A proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants, called the "Clean Power Plan," would likely save U.S. households about $35 per month on their electric bills by 2030. But Spencer Municipal Utilities general manager Steve Pick said local residents may not see much of a change in their monthly bills...
Father, son die in manure pump pit incident
CYLINDER -- Palo Alto County Sheriff's deputies responded to a call Saturday afternoon where two males were submerged in a hog manure pump pit at 3268 510th Ave. Gene Opheim, 58, of Cylinder, and his son, 32-year-old Austin Opheim, also of Cylinder, were both pulled from the pump pit and life saving measures were performed on both. The two men were transported by ambulance to the Palo Alto County Hospital where both succumbed to their injuries...
Spencer Hospital to provide hospitalist service
In recognition of changing trends in the care of hospitalized patients, Spencer Hospital is launching a hospitalist program beginning Aug. 3. A hospitalist is a physician who specializes in the practice of hospital medicine and whose primary professional focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients...
Ag Partners recognized for environmental stewardship
Ag Partners was the recipient of the 2015 Environmental Respect Award for the state of Iowa, the agriculture industry's highest recognition for environmental stewardship among agricultural retailers in the U.S. Ag Partners was evaluated against 30 other companies in the state before being chosen for the award...
Rescue effort results in drowning
LOST ISLAND -- An attempted water rescue in Lost Island Lake on Friday has claimed the life of a Carroll woman. Just before 2:30 p.m. Friday, the Clay County Sheriff's Office received notice from the Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office, reporting a possible drowning in Lost Island Lake in Clay County. ...
Preparing for next year's RAGBRAI
Even though RAGBRAI is completed for the year, cycling enthusiasts will soon start preparing for next year's ride. Those who are a little less accustomed to bike riding, but who want to participate in RAGBRAI next year will have a better experience after several months ― even up to a year ― of preparation, according to avid cycler Kathy Fueston...
BVU travelers in Vietnam: A land of hospitality
This year marks the 40-year anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. Buena Vista University faculty went to go see modern Vietnam as McCorkle Travelers. The people of the land are described as having "wonderful hospitality" by those representing BVU who had visited. Faculty that went on the trip included Matthew Packer, James Hampton, Kathryn McKinley, Calle Friesen and Dixee Bartholomew-Feis. These travelers were in Vietnam and Cambodia from June 26 to July 9...
Debra Bobzien, 44, of Royal, was arrested at 9:25 p.m. July 18 at 4212 310th Ave. and charged with OWI, first offense and open container. --- Shannon Boever, 37, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was arrested at 10:50 p.m. July 18 at the Clay County Jail on a warrant for failure to appear and serve a jail sentence...
Rescue effort results in drowning
An attempted water rescue in Lost Island Lake on Friday has claimed the life of a Carroll woman. Just before 2:30 p.m. Friday, the Clay County Sheriff's Office received notice from the Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office, reporting a possible drowning in Lost Island Lake in Clay County. ...
Funding from 5K to build DARE account
Spencer Police Lt. Kyle Van Otterloo has worked with elementary-aged children for the last few years, leading the coursework associated with the DARE program in Spencer public and private schools. For those who successfully complete the course study, Van Otterloo rewards them with an annual trip to Arnolds Park Amusement Park...
Bird flu clean up almost complete
Iowa has gone more than a month without a new case of bird flu. The last case was reported in Sioux County in early June. Seventy-seven sites and 34 million birds have been affected by avian influenza H2N5 across the state. According to the Iowa Department of Agriculture, all 77 affected sites have been depopulated and 59 have completed disposal. Disposal continues to be ongoing at 18 sites...
Northwest Iowa mystery book author to visit Spencer library
Not only is the plot of the story a mystery in the "Trestle Over No Name Creek" trilogy, so is the setting of the books' events. Author Marie Senter wanted to keep the reader guessing when she crafted the fiction series based on her childhood memories of growing up in northwest Iowa. Senter grew up in the Iowa Great Lakes area, but refuses to divulge which town so as not to ruin the mystery of the book...
Saving life and property
Regardless of the time of day, the dinner menu or the amount of groceries in the cart, when the call goes out the Spencer volunteer firefighters drop whatever they were doing and respond to the need. Terry Peterson has been a volunteer firefighter for over 32 years, both in Spencer and in northwest Wisconsin, where he lived before moving to the area...
Feeding the Hungry
Many homebound, elderly residents of Spencer depended on a hot, healthy meal delivered to their home each weekday in an effort conducted by Elderbridge Agency on Aging. But that service is now in jeopardy due to the lack of a volunteer network of delivery drivers...
4-H, Clay County Conservation partner
ISU Extension and Outreach Clay County 4-H Youth Development Program partnered with Clay County Conservation Board to host "Outdoor Adventures" SpIn Events. The fun, educational events conducted by Clay County naturalist, Stacie Young, were offered to area youth in grades K-12. The many events occurred both during summer months as well as the winter months. Offered were such events as canoeing (above) as well as snowshoeing and ice fishing in the winter months. These events introduced students to the world of nature as well as taught them outdoor survival skills. The younger youth were able to fish, to dip net (right), as well as to hike in the surrounding area. All the youth gained knowledge and understanding of nature and the environment and will be able to apply their new found knowledge within their family structure as well as the community. For more information about Clay County 4-H and SpIn Events call 262-2264.
Hospice of Spencer Hospital offers 'Understanding Grief' support group
Losing a loved one is indescribable to someone who has not felt the loss of death. Hospice of Spencer Hospital's professional team understands the tragedy of losing a loved one and they identify with the difficult decisions and emotions that the person left behind faces...
Mental health in crisis
Gov. Terry Branstad's veto this month of mental health compromise legislation that would have salvaged the hospital facilities in Mt. Pleasant and Clarinda has sent shockwaves through the mental health care field statewide. The facilities are being closed, with workers laid off. ...
St. Alban's holds annual service on the Queen II
ARNOLDS PARK -- St. Alban's Church, located in Spirit Lake, has been holding services locally since 1886. Sunday's service calls on the congregation and guests to board the Queen II at 9 a.m. as part of an annual tradition. As it so happens, the sermon will even have a nautical theme as well. An excerpt from the book of Mark will touch on the famous story of Jesus walking on water...
Lake Park welcomes new grocery store with open arms
LAKE PARK -- The community of Lake Park was losing its only grocery store when the Sunshine Foods bought out BuyRite in Milford this spring. The BuyRite owners also owned the BuyRite in Lake Park. Tiffany Mejia lives in Sheldon. Her parents, Scott and Theresa Vogelaar are the owners of Sanborn Foods...
Area school registration schedule
Spencer Community Schools will host early registration for the 2015-16 school year from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, July 27-30, at the central office in Conference Room B. Regular registration will be conducted at Spencer Middle School from 11 a.m. ...
Developer eager for 'go time' on Storm Lake condos
STORM LAKE -- Dan Pomerenke, with Orton Homes LLC based in Clive, is thrilled to have a condominium project in the works for the long-abandoned Sunset Bay site in Storm Lake. The City Council announced a proposed $225,000 agreement this week to sell the site to the firm's development organization, pending a public hearing next month and final city approval afterwards...
6 Spencer teens participate at Boys State
Six Spencer teens attended the 2015 American Legion Hawkeye Boys State at Camp Dodge for a week in June. Cole Jacobson, Dylan Ellis, Andrew Christy, Josh Johnson, Jon Coulander (above) and Parker Schenk (not pictured) participated in what is regarded as the premier educational program in the nation. Boys State, held in 49 states, is designed to help high school students develop a better understanding of the United States system of government and create a desire amongst the populace to preserve the democratic ideals of the nation's founding. Approximately 500 teen boys took part. The American Legion, American Legion Riders and the VFW sponsored the Spencer participants. (Photo submitted)
MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- Haley Wilson, of Spencer, has graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee and earned a Bachelor of Arts, Interdisciplinary International Affairs. --- SIOUX CITY -- Briar Cliff University is pleased to announce that 303 students have been named to the dean's list for the second semester of the 2014-15 academic year. Local students on the list included: Slone Masters, of Albert City; Alesha Sikora, of Ruthven; and MacKenzie Schindler, of Spencer...
Support needed for Classroom Collections
Local organizers with Classroom Collections are seeking additional donors as the annual program -- designed to help elementary-age children in need of assistance with school supplies costs -- is running behind in contributions. With crunch time at hand -- early school registration begins locally next week -- the effort needs only $3,000. Last year, more than $7,800 was spent on necessary supplies. The purchase order needs to be submitted next week so the items can be collected and distributed to the schools on Aug. 5. Financial contributions or supplies can de dropped at Southpark Mall. For more information on how to become involved, contact Kathy Anderson at 262-8700.
SCT utilizes 'VolunteerSpot'
Spencer Community Theatre has begun to reach out to volunteers online using the website VolunteerSpot to announce volunteer opportunities at the theater. Traditionally, SCT would contact volunteers over the phone or via email. "We are adding this as another option for people to sign up and volunteer for the non-technical jobs," SCT Executive Director Connie Goeken explained. ...
Local program offers potential opportunity for new medical outlook
The typical fee-for-service model of medical care may soon shift into a population-health model, a model that's being tested through "demonstrations" -- or pilot programs -- across the nation. While many demonstrations are occurring in larger populated areas, the National Rural ACO (accountable care organization) is working to offer lesser populated areas of the country the opportunity to demonstrate a population-health approach to medical care. ...
It's getting 'crazy' downtown
Emily and Lily Gross, of Royal, took their time Thursday picking out a number of new Christmas ornaments during the Crazy Days sale in downtown Spencer. The mother-daughter team said it is a family tradition to take advantage of the bargains on Christmas ornaments each year during the event.
Shoppers meandered between tables and stores looking for a good deal during the Crazy Days kickoff on Thursday. Stores participating in the "crazy" celebration outdoors downtown are Carrick's Hallmark, The Hen House, Steffen Furniture, Kari's, Goal Kick, Squire Shop and Miss Behavin' Boutique. The deals will continue through 5 p.m. Saturday. (Photos by Hanna Russmann)
The 'heat' of competition
Fairgoers and competitors searching for blue ribbons are invited to take in the "heated" competition at the 2015 Clay County Fair, Sept. 12-20. This year, the oven products department has 16 different special contests being judged daily. "No matter your level of cooking experience or expertise, there is a competition for everyone at this year's fair," Clay County Fair Manager Jeremy Parsons said. ...
Thanks by the slice
Pizza Ranch offered area patrons a free slice of pizza as a show of appreciation for their business during Thanks with Franks Thursday evening. (Photos by Hanna Russmann)
Nicole Jones and Karlie Sellner served up hot dogs in front of Howie's Big Top Pizza during Thanks with Franks. Each year, local downtown retailers show their appreciation to area residents for their support with free hot dogs during Crazy Days.
Hula hooping, face painting
Mariel Muggy, of Spencer, shows off her custom-made hula hoops as Mandie Roberts tries one out during Mainstreet Market Thursday. Muggy makes custom-made hula hoops as part of her business The Insprialation Station and was selling them at her booth set up on the Clay County Courthouse lawn. (Photos by Hanna Russmann)
Morgan Zanfes, 7, waits patiently as her face is painted like a mermaid at the Arts on Grand booth at the market. Children and adults could choose to have their faces painted as a mermaid, shark, fish or pirate during the event.
RAGBRAI makes an impression in Storm Lake
STORM LAKE -- Estimated at more than 20,000, the rolling stream of humanity that is the annual statewide RAGBRAI ride survived almost 80 miles under a hot sun on day one Sunday. Some of the riders had dipped their tires in the Missouri and hit the road before dawn, arriving in Storm Lake before the hottest part of the day and staking out prime lakefront tent sites...
BV FAIR ROYALTY
ALTA -- Eight years ago, Carli Grau was named the Buena Vista County Fair Little Miss, and she's still friends with most of the girls she met that day in 2007. Wednesday night, she was crowned fair queen. The Newell-Fonda student also competed in the National American Miss and Miss Teen Iowa USA pageants in 2014. Named this year's Little Miss was McKenna Ricketts, of Alta. Carli and McKenna got to know each other after the pageant. The fair runs through Sunday. (Photo by Dana Larsen)
Vintage setting fits Lowry at Okoboji Bible Conference
ARNOLDS PARK -- New look. Old favorite. These catchphrases capture both spirits of the Okoboji Bible Conference's historic tabernacle at 69 W. Broadway in the heart of Arnolds Park and opening night Christian comedian/musician Mark Lowry. Those attending will see a refaced street-side tabernacle portico. Lowry and the affectionately referred to "Tab" welcome guests to the 81st Okoboji Bible Conference Saturday, Aug. 1, which officially begins at 7:15 pm...
Massive Brass Attack tonight at Boji Bay
MILFORD -- Boji Bay Fun House and Pavilion located, on U.S. Highway 71 in north Milford announced the Massive Brass Attack as its next free outdoor concert at the Boji Bay music festival grounds tonight. Massive Brass Attack is the biggest horn rock group playing the tri-state area today. They have the most powerful horn section in the region. Featuring former members of the Fabulous Flippers and the Temptations backing band...
Wailers concert on Preservation Plaza July 25
ARNOLD PARK -- Preservation Plaza will be the site for the Wailers concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. This will be a night filled with great reggae music. Together with Bob Marley, the Wailers have sold in excess of 250 million albums worldwide. In England alone, they've notched up over 20 chart hits, including seven Top 10 entries. ...
Local 4-Hers showcase projects during annual event
Clay County 4-H members participated in the annual Achievement Day and Communications Fair Tuesday in the 4-H building on the Clay County Fairgrounds. Area 4-Hers spent the day presenting a variety of projects to judges who then recognized the various presenters for their achievements and offered critiques. (Above) Spencer Sparks members Janae Hassman demonstrates while partner Grace Klatt explains how to make frozen hot chocolate during a Pride of Iowa project presentation. The two girls explained how they incorporated Iowa-made items milk and ice cream into their final product. (Right) Molly Crew, of Spencer, visits with Judge JoAnn Gano, of Milford, regarding her Child Development/Personal Development/Self Determination project titled, "Westward Bound." (Photos by Randy M. Cauthron)
City election ballots open for candidate nominations
Three council seats and the mayor's office in the city of Spencer are open to accept candidate nominations for the upcoming city elections on Nov. 3. Incumbents Ward 2 Councilman Bill Orrison, Ward 4 Councilman Randy Swanson, at large Councilman Rich Prentice and Mayor Reynold Peterson have each made it known they plan to run to retain their office...
City now accepts credit cards
Spencer residents can now use their credit cards as a form of payment for different city bills and fees. City locations that will accept plastic are City Hall, the transfer station, Spencer Police Department, Spencer Public Library, the Spencer Municipal Golf Course and the East Leach Park Campground. The library will require a fee to be at least $3 before accepting a credit card payment...
Looking for a quick weekend getaway? Each Thursday throughout the summer, Daily Reporter staff intern Will Musgrove will offer a special event within driving distance for a Saturday and Sunday of fun. MASON CITY ― It has been 19 years since the last time the Mason City Municipal Airport has held an air show. This weekend, that changes...
Local districts weigh in on funding veto
In signing the bill earlier this month that allocated a 1.25 percent state supplemental aid increase to educational funding, Gov. Terry Branstad vetoed the additional $55.7 million in one-time funding to be added to the supplemental aid. Locally, that money amounted to $214,000 for the Spencer Community Schools and about $42,000 for the Clay Central-Everly Schools...
Busy night tonight
Ryan and friends headline Mainstreet Market, downtown retailers say 'Thanks With Franks'
Tonight's Mainstreet Market will feature a performance by Jack Ryan and Friends as part of the Spencer Alliance for a Creative Economy's second week on the Clay County Courthouse lawn. The market will be open from 5-8 p.m. and feature a variety of artists, locally grown produce and various food vendors. Simultaneously, as part of Spencer Mainstreet's Crazy Days celebration, several downtown retailers will sponsor the annual business Thanks With Franks promotion from 5-8 p.m. There will be 10 locations along Grand Avenue in downtown Spencer where the hot dogs will be given away. (File photos)
Expect 3 fun-filled Pioneer Days
MILFORD -- The Milford Pioneer Days begin this weekend. Here is what's going on: The 2015 version of the annual Milford Pioneer Days celebration is three days long and filled with a variety of activities for all ages. The festivities begin on Friday morning July 24 and conclude later on Sunday afternoon, July 26...
Popular boat show set for this weekend
Classic, meticulously-restored boats will grace the waters of the Lakes Area Saturday as the Antique and Classic Boat Show Rendezvous takes place. The annual event is put on by the Jerry Dyhrkopp Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society. Event organizer Mike Hagen says they anticipate between 3,000 and 5,000 people will converge on the docks next to the amusement park to see the boats. ...
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. "In general, crops are in pretty good shape with 83 percent of corn and 77 percent of beans rated good to excellent. ...
Ambassadors welcome new Heritage Center collections director
The Spencer Chamber Ambassadors welcomed Chelsea Loucks who recently took over the position as director of collections at the Clay County Heritage Center. The position offered Loucks a homecoming of sorts as the Aurelia native made her return to northwest Iowa. She received her undergrad from the University of Northern Iowa in History, and earned her Master in Museum Studies from the University of South Dakota. Louck spent the last six months working in the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. She said she has lots of plans and will work with current director Cindy McGranahan to best go about revamping the existing museum space and education programs. (Photo by Randy M. Cauthron)
Governor orders flags to half-staff for fallen soldiers
DES MOINES -- Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad today ordered flags in Iowa will be lowered to half-staff today until Monday, July 27 to honor the five soldiers killed in the terrorist attack at military facilities last week in Chattanooga, Tenn. President Barack Obama today issued a proclamation calling for flags to be lowered on federal buildings...
Hope Haven partners with Sunshine Services
Hope Haven Incorporated expanded its role in Clay County on July 1 when it began to provide services to the clients with physical and mental disabilities at Sunshine Services in Spencer. "We're looking forward to working with everyone at Sunshine Services," Hope Haven Executive Director David VanNingen said. ...
City to purchase $65,000 phone system
The Spencer City Council approved the purchase of a citywide phone system from Scott Technologies and Telecom and an application for Iowa Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Funds Monday night. The new citywide phone system to replace the current system will cost $65,106. The purchase was budgeted into the city's Capital Improvement Plan...