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Duaine Holck was celebrated Tuesday night.

After learning less than 12 hours earlier that he had been named the 2021 Spencer Citizen of the Year, Holck — with wife Sally by his side — stood in the doorway of the Clay County Regional Events Center Ballroom, welcoming family, friends and well-wishers attending a ceremony in his honor.

“I was definitely surprised,” Holck said. “My wife kept the secret for about a week. She got me up at 5:30 (a.m.), it was unusual.”

GACO provides early Thanksgiving meal

An early Thanksgiving was celebrated at Grand Avenue Community Outreach Monday night. The Grand Avenue Community Kitchen provided all the traditional Thanksgiving staples — including mashed potatoes, stuffing and, of course, pumpkin pie — to anyone who wanted to stop by for a community meal. GACK offers regular weekly meals on Monday and Thursday evenings in downtown Spencer. (Photos by Celia Brocker)

Holiday Family Adoption

A Spencer-area holiday staple, the Holiday Family Adoption Program allows generous families, businesses and service groups to share the holiday spirit and bounty. Thanks to the generosity of families and businesses, area families will be gifted with items to help make this Christmas season a little bit brighter.

City approves increased recycling contract

During its meeting on Monday, the Spencer City Council agreed to renew its recycling contract with Van’s Sanitation at an increased price. The new four-year agreement will increase the city’s pay from $12 per ton to $25 per ton, along with a fuel surcharge of $20 per load should the local diesel fuel price exceed $5.75 per gallon.

Spencer Schools contributes to county behavioral health position

The Spencer School Board is the latest of community entities to contribute their financial support toward Clay County’s Behavioral Support Network. At their Tuesday meeting, the board committed to providing $5,000 a year for three years.

Seasons Center to host training for foster, adoptive, kinship families

Seasons Center for Behavioral Health will host a free virtual training for Foster, Adoptive and Kinship families on Thursday, Dec. 1, from 6-8 p.m.

Spencer board, superintendent honored by IASB

DES MOINES — The Iowa Association of School Boards presented the 2021-22 Annual Board Awards, on Nov. 17, during the IASB Annual Convention in Des Moines.

Spencer Board President Bob Whittenburg and board members Shelby Haak and Brea Schmidt were presented within Individual Achievement Awards; and joined fellow Spencer board members Bill Zinn and Jeremy Parsons in receiving the Team Achievement honor.

Annual Candlelight Memorial Service honors loved ones

The holidays can be a difficult time for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one; yet it’s also an important time to remember those we’ve lost. The annual Service of Remembrance — sponsored by Warner Funeral Home, Avera@Home of Spencer Hospital’s hospice services, Abben Cancer Center, and area clergy — is a special time to remember those loved ones.

Outdoors: Grants available for fishing and boating education programs

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ Fish Iowa! angler education program has partnered with the Recreational Fishing and Boating Foundation’s Vamos A Pescar program to provide funding to local 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations to support local efforts to educate and engage families in high-density Hispanic communities through programs, classes and fishing activities. Minimum grant request is $5,000 with a 1:1 cash match required.

Outdoors: Rathbun Lake walleye length limit changes effective Jan. 1

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is implementing a 15-inch minimum length limit on all walleye captured from Rathbun Lake, starting Jan. 1.

All walleyes measuring less than 15 inches must be immediately released. Anglers can keep five walleyes per day. This regulation does not apply to the Chariton River below Rathbun Dam; the upper limit of the regulation will be the Wayne/Appanoose county line.

Outdoors: Shotgun deer seasons begin Dec. 3

Iowa’s most popular deer hunting seasons are just around the corner, when roughly 100,000 blaze orange clad hunters take to the timber and wildlife experts are forecasting another good year.

“Our deer population is stable to slightly increasing statewide, so hunters should expect to see numbers similar to last year,” said Tyler Harms, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Holiday Open House at IRRMA HOF

ARNOLDS PARK — The Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association is holding a Holiday Open House at the Iowa Rock Association’s Hall of Fame & Museum, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., on Saturday, Dec. 3. Rock ‘n Roll memorabilia and collectables will be for sale as well as discounts on in-line merchandise. The proceeds benefit the Association and their many programs and events.

Electrical technology featured at ILCC meeting

ESTHERVILLE — Iowa Lakes Community College Trustees convened at the Administration Building in Estherville last week for tits regularly scheduled monthly board meeting.

Jones ‘proposes’ popular state cookie choice

ROYAL — On Wednesday, Nov. 16, Clay Central-Everly Elementary School hosted Iowa House District 2 Rep. Megan Jones for their school for a Leader-in-Me ribbon cutting assembly.

Director of Student Services Michelle Huntress kicked off the event with a story on how the Leader-in-Me curriculum came to CC-E. She followed that with an overview of what the program offers and why CC-E chose to dive into the new program, starting it at the beginning of this school year.

RISE Ministries Christmas Program premieres Dec. 17

SHELDON — RISE Ministries has announced its Christmas Program will premiere on Dec. 17.

For the third year in a row, RISE Ministries will host their Christmas program on local TV stations and online! Filmed live on the RiseFest grounds, it features Christian music artist Jason Gray and speaker Rob Roozeboom.

“Finding Joy” will premiere on Dec. 17, at 6:30 p.m., on KTIV Channel 4, Facebook and YouTube.

Messiah Moments: Meet our soprano and alto soloists

Rehearsals have started for this year’s presentation of Handel’s “Messiah” on Sunday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m., at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Additional information can be found on Facebook at The concert is free and an offering will be taken to support the concert.

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