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And let the holidays begin

Downtown Spencer was packed with foot track Monday night as Spencer Main Street hosted its 37th Grand Meander. With approximately 30 activities scheduled, a variety of family friendly events — coupled with nice seasonal weather — local businesses and organizations welcomed crowds. Santa was also welcomed as part of the festivities, which included the popular musical favorite TubaChristmas.

Reporter has new home starting Monday

Effective Monday, Dec. 11, the Spencer Reporter will operate at a new location, 22 E. Fourth St., in downtown Spencer.

The move is the only change being made to the operation of the newspaper and Northwest Iowa Shopper. No employees are impacted, and no changes are being made to the publications themselves.

The new location will house the operations of the Spencer Reporter, the Northwest Iowa Shopper and the website at

County commits quarter million to Southpark 7 remodel

Clay County has jumped on board a $3 million plan to renovate and update the Southpark 7 movie theater in Spencer.

Fridley Theaters, the Southpark 7 theater’s parent company, announced the plan last summer and asked the city of Spencer and the Southpark Mall if they’d be willing to split the cost of the $3 million project three ways. The Southpark 7 theater is located in the Southpark Mall.

Preschoolers create, enjoy 'Stone Soup’

Brenda Kirschbaum, Spencer preschool teacher, brought in ingredients for stone soup after reading the book, “Stone Soup.” Each student shared their ingredient with the class and added it to the soup. At pickup time, they offered their soup to their parents. (Photos submitted)

SCT announces 2023-24 season plays

Spencer Community Theatre will be hitting the stage in the coming months with two shows guaranteed to encourage people to once again experience live theater at the Playhouse, “The Music Man” and “Lend Me A Tenor.”

Reporter's Holiday Family Adoption drop-off next 2 Saturdays

Individuals and groups who adopted a family for Christmas through the Spencer Reporter's Holiday Family Adoption Program can drop off gifts the next two Saturdays, Dec. 9 and 16, from 9 a.m. to noon at The Depot on the Clay County Fairgrounds.

The gifts should be wrapped, and they should be tagged for the individuals specified in the listings that were published in the newspaper in November. For example, follow this or something close to it: "Family 34, son 10 years old."

Bountiful harvest?

Gentry Sorenson, regional field agronomist with Iowa State University Extension & Outreach, indicated that for the most part, harvest wrapped up near mid-November as all bean fields and most of corn fields had been cleared.

Tiefenthaler to join Corridor board

The Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation welcomed two new board members for 2024 — Brenda Tiefenthaler, CEO at Spencer Hospital, and Drew Hage, loan portfolio manager at Northwest Bank.

Tiefenthaler and Hage were voted by membership to three-year terms on the board, and will begin Jan. 1.

Local sailor was among those lost at Pearl Harbor

Each of Dickinson County's four newspapers had already gone to print by the time the roar of Japanese bombers was heard in the sky over Pearl Harbor naval base near Honolulu, Hawaii — the now infamous attack occurred on this day in 1941. Local pressmen scrambled in the days following the attack, as they tried to confirm the safety of local servicemen thought to be in the Pacific.

Steele, fellow students share life-size gingerbread house

DMACC Newton campus baking and pastry arts students (left to right) Allison Steele, of Spencer, and Payton Cobler, Veronica Marks and Emma Camarata — all of Newton, share a life-sized gingerbread house inside the DMACC Newton campus at the seventh annual Holiday Celebration. Hundreds of youngsters and their parents enjoyed making crafts, decorating cookies and visiting with Santa.

Iowa Lakes receives $240K for CDL training

ESTHERVILLE — Gov. Kim Reynolds recently unveiled the recipients of the CDL Infrastructure Grants, and Iowa Lakes Community College was among the beneficiaries. The grants, totaling $4.84 million, have been awarded to 10 of Iowa's esteemed community colleges. These funds will facilitate the acquisition of new equipment and the establishment or renovation of driver training facilities. These grants are estimated to increase annual program participation by 1,305 individuals collectively.

Get to Know: Jackson Smith

Teaching: Instrumental music

Education: Music education and music performance degrees from Buena Vista University


Q: What is your teaching background?

A: I student taught in Spencer and Cherokee two years ago. I was then the drumline coach last fall and taught algebra and geometry in a long-term sub position.


Q: Any additional highlights to share?

Church Briefs

Kid’s Day Without Parents

Spencer Sparks 4-H Club will host a Kid’s Day Without Parents from 1:30-5 p.m., Saturday, at Grace United Methodist Church, in Spencer. Inflatables, gingerbread house making with Santa and elves. Kids age 2 through fifth grade invited to allow parents an opportunity to finish shopping, enjoy lunch or catch a movie. Free entry, register at 262-5970.


Education Briefs

4-H Foundation applications now open

AMES — The Iowa 4-H Foundation shared that the application for 2024 Iowa 4-H Scholarships is now open. Deadline for application is March 1. This year, 129 scholarships will be available worth a total of $132,000. Scholarships range from $500 to $4,000. Scholarships are funded by donors with a variety of criteria and are open to current high school juniors and seniors through current undergraduates.


BVU choir students work with Grammy-winning vocal band

STORM LAKE — The acclaimed vocal band Roomful of Teeth performed at Buena Vista University recently as part of the Doris Grau Performing Arts Series. In addition to Roomful of Teeth, BVU choral ensembles also performed at the concert.

Knights make omelets to fund Birthright

Knights of Columbus Council 3965 and Spencer’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church donated 1,200 to Birthright from their first omelet breakfast of the season. (Photo submitted)

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