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‘Dean of Senate’ sworn in for 8th term

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, took the oath of office to begin his eighth term in the Senate. Grassley will also become the dean of the Senate, or longest serving member, with the beginning of the 118th Congress, which convened Tuesday for the first time.

Finance committee discusses future of ARPA funds

City officials discussed potential plans for the city’s American Rescue Plan Act funds during a Finance Committee meeting on Thursday. The city currently has $1.6 million in ARPA funds, with approximately $300,000 allocated to wastewater treatment plant improvements, leaving approximately $1.3 million.

City officials discuss contract with Retail Coach

The city of Spencer may use the services of a retail recruitment partner to assist with developing recently purchased city land. In a committee meeting Tuesday night, city officials discussed a proposal from Retail Coach to provide recruitment services and retail economic development initiatives.

SMU surplus property transferred to city

A transfer of surplus property in Pedersen Park from Spencer Municipal Water Utility to the city was approved by the Spencer City Council on Tuesday. City Attorney Don Hemphill said the transfer was the culmination of a long process.

Davis to perform with NISO

SIOUX CENTER — The Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra will be performing their Pops Concert on Saturday, Jan. 28, at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be performed in the BJ Haan Auditorium on the campus of Dordt University in Sioux Center.

Spencer resident Anna Davis, a flutist, will perform with the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra.

Entertainment Briefs

NWIA Area Singles host dance with Cold Brew

EVERLY — The Northwest Iowa Area Singles will be hosting a dance at the Hap Kettelson Center in Everly on Saturday, Jan. 7. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with the dance from 7:30-10:30 p.m. The band will be Cold Brew. Admission is $15. Soup will be served. Singles and married couples are welcome. Snacks to share are welcome.


Iowa PBS to provide live Condition of the State, inauguration

Around Campus

LAMONI — The honor roll lists for Graceland University's 2022 fall term have been announced, and Breanna Small, of Spencer, has been named to the president's list.


CEDAR RAPIDS — Kirkwood Community College has released its dean's list for the fall 2022 semester. Cole Brumley, of Spirit Lake, was among the students to have achieved a 3.3 GPA or higher after completing 12 or more credit hours at the college.

Sacred Heart Catholic Daughters donate quilts to UDMO

The Spencer Sacred Heart Catholic Daughters quilters, along with other area quilting volunteers, made and donated 45 quilts to Upper Des Moines Opportunity to help keep local residents warm this winter. Upper Des Moines representative Dawn Dahm accepted the donation from Catholic Daughter member Sheila Currans. (Photo submitted)

Northwest Iowa ag land continues to lead

AMES — One year after skyrocketing 29%, the average value of an acre of Iowa farmland jumped another 17%, or $1,660, to $11,411 per acre. The nominal value of an acre of farmland is again higher this year than at any point since Iowa State University began surveying values in 1941. When adjusting for inflation, the 2022 average value surpasses the previous inflation-adjusted record value set in 2013 for the first time.

No. 1 Feature Story of 2022: Jaci’s life continues to make a difference

• Our top feature story of the year celebrates the bravery and legacy of Jaci Hermstad. In February, the Spencer Reporter shared the impact she left behind following her passing.

No. 1 News Story of 2022: City cuts ribbon for Rocket Slide

• After years of waiting, fundraising and anticipation, the refurbished Rocket Slide was relocated to East Leach Park, near the existing large playground. The iconic play structure was placed on a freshly poured slab and surrounded by a chain link fence to allow the foundation to stabilize. Families anxiously waited for the security to come down so a new generation of kids and families could enjoy the former landmark from West Leach Park.

Clay County Fair Executive Committee member elected to state fair board

For the first time in 60 years, a representative of the Clay County Fair has been elected to the Iowa State Fair Board. VerDon Schmidt, of Every, was elected to represent the Northwest District at the Iowa Association of Fairs Conference and Annual Meeting on Dec. 11.

Schmidt currently serves as a member of the Clay County Fair Executive Committee, and he is heading into his 12th year of service this year.

Spencer schools receive IASB Team Achievement Award

SPENCER — The Spencer School Board has received the Team Achievement Award from the Iowa Association of School Boards. Only 15 board teams in the entire state earned this award in 2022. To qualify, the majority of board members must have earned Individual Achievement Awards through the IASB Annual Board Awards program.




Seasons Center receives a 5-year SAMHSA grant

As part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative, Seasons Center for Behavioral Health will receive $400,000 a year for the next five years to enhance partnerships in rural northwest Iowa and increase access to specialized, trauma-informed, and evidence-based mental health services for foster, adoptive, and kinship children and their families.

Nemmers to extend red 'stop' sign

Spencer Schools Transportation Direct Julie Nemmers has announced her intention to retire from the position at the end of the current school year. After joining the district in July 1, 2006, Nemmers became a huge advocate of bus and child safety working alongside local law enforcement and media to promote caution on the roadway.

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