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Iowa Lakes students selected for Iowa All-Star Honor Concert Band

ESTHERVILLE — Three musicians attending Iowa Lakes Community College were selected for the Iowa Collegiate All-Star Honor Concert Band as part of the 76th Annual Iowa All-State Music Festival from Nov. 17-19.

Local community college earn top scholarship ranking

Iowa Lakes Community College has earned top rankings for 2023 from, which recently ranked Iowa Lakes Community College as the top community college in Iowa for best scholarship options and the sixth-best community college overall.


A large group of girls from the Spencer Just For Kix dance program will be among those performing in the ReliaQuest Bowl — formerly called the Outback Bowl — in Tampa, Florida. The game and dance performance will be played at the Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, just after New Years, at 11 a.m., Jan 2. The game will feature Iowa’s Big 10 rival and neighbor, Illinois taking on Mississippi State.

Shayla Bee to welcome Snel

In December the Shayla Bee Board approved three new Shayla Bee families. On Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 6 p.m., the Shayla Bee team will meet and present to family 239, Caleb and Britney Snell, and 3-month-old son Micah at the Grand Avenue Community Outreach Center, at 605 Grand Ave., in Spencer. Enter via the south entrance. Micah has been diagnosed with Stickler syndrome which has resulted in a soft pallet and a variety of other medical challenges. The family was anonymously nominated.

Library board reviews facilities assessment

Spencer Public Library officials discussed future areas of improvement in the building during its Library Board meeting on Thursday. A recent facilities assessment produced a list of areas the library should focus on moving forward, such as electrical replacing outside light fixtures with LED lights along with the main panelboards.

Audiences experience 'It’s a Wonderful Life' in radio form

A beloved Christmas classic was brought to life at Arts on Grand last weekend in the form of a live radio adaptation. As part of its Midwest Tour, Coffee Beans Theatre Group performed “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” at the gallery. Featuring the a group of actors voicing the iconic characters, sound effects, throwback costumes and a set reminiscent of the 1940s, audiences were transported into the world of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” (Photos by Celia Brocker)

Local bankers weigh-in on ‘strong’ state figures

JOHNSTON — In the third quarter, the Iowa banking industry demonstrated strength and met Iowans’ financial needs amidst persistent inflationary pressures and rising interest rates, according to data recently released by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. At Iowa banks, loan growth continued and asset quality measures remained favorable.

Glenn Henriksen performs Christmas concert

Churchgoers of Grace United Methodist Church were treated to a Christmas concert Saturday from Glenn Henriksen, an accomplished piano and organ player from Spirit Lake. Joined by vocalist Sara Taylor, Henriksen performed many iconic Christmas carols. Always a fan of improvisation, Henriksen took requests and encouraged audience members to sing along to their favorite tunes. (Photos by Celia Brocker)

Christmas donations distributed at GACO

Embracing the spirit of giving this holiday season, His Hands Extended offered Christmas food boxes at Grand Avenue Community Outreach Monday. Several food options, blankets and Christmas gifts were put together by a team of volunteers to distribute to those in need. (Photos by Celia Brocker)

Tiger girls finish in 3rd at Fort Dodge

FORT DODGE — The Spencer girls wrestling team was scheduled to wrestle twice over the weekend. Mother Nature had other ideas, canceling the girls Austin Roberts Tournament on Friday. The Tigers hit the road on Saturday to compete in the Fort Dodge Girls Invitational. Three girls were crowned as champions for Spencer, Olivia Huckfelt, Kaylee Nachtigal and Shaylee Sutherland claimed the top spot for the Tigers. A third place team finish was the result of the day for the girls.

VFW breakfast supports Special Olympics

Clay County VFW Post 3159 recently hosted its annual benefit breakfast for Clay County Special Olympics organization. Proceeds from benefit breakfast support Special Olympics operating budget as well as expenses to attend the Iowa Track and Field games. (Left to right) Chris Raveling, VFW; Special Olympics representative Mishelle Howard; Katrina Howard; Frank Lehman, Commander VFW; Abby Rob, representative; and Jody Wilkerson Jr. Vice VFW. (Photo submitted)

Outdoors: Summer seasonal positions open at fisheries offices

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Bureau has openings for seasonal fisheries aides for the summer 2023 season at fisheries offices across Iowa.

Learn about fisheries careers and gain valuable experience while working alongside biologists and technicians. Positions are available in research, management, culture and aquatic invasive species.

Outdoors: Snowmobile and off-highway vehicle registrations set to expire

Registrations for snowmobiles and OHVs purchased during the 2022 registration cycle expire Dec. 31. Any decal displayed on a machine with a 22 printed on it will no longer be valid for machines used

Outdoors: Black Hawk Lake restoration efforts receive national recognition

Project partners behind a major restoration effort to improve water quality in Black Hawk Lake, located in Sac County, received national recognition for their achievements.

Outdoors: Ongoing projects in northwest Iowa

As we come to the end of 2022, it's a good time to look at all of the projects completed this year in northwest Iowa.

First, a major shoreline restoration on Silver Lake (Lake Park).

According to Iowa Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist Mike Hawkins, “This was a pretty massive shoreline project. It covers a little over a mile of shoreline restoration.”

And the winner is …

On Dec. 10, Michael Hyde, of Spencer, had his name was drawn for the quilt which was raffled for the Michael Rohan Memorial Fund. This was the seventh quilt donated and raffled to help fund the Michael Rohan Memorial Fund. This fund was established by Michael’s parents, Kevin and Susan Rohan, after Michael’s accidental drowning at 6 1/2 years old in 2012.

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