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Everyone has a story

Everyone has a story. Not everyone decides to share it. Aayan Thomas is not one of those people. She has quite literally, taken a leap of faith. She just completed a manuscript and sent it off for a review in anticipation of publication of her first book.

“It’s the story of my life. what God has brought me through — hard situations — and how God has worked in me, in my heart and around me. … I hope my book gives hope, or points people to where hope comes from.

Guest Commentary: Quality long-term care at risk in rural Iowa

In 2022, 19 nursing homes closed in Iowa due to many different factors affecting operations. On Feb. 1, 2023, another four nursing homes went into receivership, and a fifth announced its closure on Feb. 8. Most of these closures are in rural Iowa locations.

IRRHOF announced Hall of Fame inductees

ARNOLDS PARK — The Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association is pleased to announce the Hall of Fame Class of 2023 that will be honored during the Hall of Fame Induction Spectacular on Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31 through Sept. 3.

Iowa PBS presents ‘Meredith Willson: America's Music Man’

JOHNSTON — Dive deeper into the life and legacy of the renowned Iowan in the Iowa PBS documentary, “Meredith Willson: America's Music Man.” He performed under Sousa and Toscanini. He scored films for the likes of Chaplin and wrote popular songs performed by Sinatra and The Beatles. And when the River City boys band marched on Broadway, Meredith Willson caught the whole world's ear.

ILCC records measured enrollment growth

ESTHERVILLE — Iowa Lakes Community College has measured enrollment growth for the 2022-23 academic year, moving the College’s enrollment closer to pre-pandemic figures.

Petrick wins Top 10 photography award

Dave Petrick, photography instructor at Iowa Lakes Community College, won the Top 10 Award from the Professional Photographers of Iowa convention held in Des Moines in February 2023.

The top 10 scores in two categories, master photographer and non-master photographer, earn the Top 10 Award. Petrick competed in the non-master category with four submissions for the competition.

“I enter professional competitions to challenge myself to be a better photographer,” Petrick said.

Around Campus

STORM LAKE — Buena Vista University congratulates more than 140 students who graduated in the fall of 2022.

Business Brief: Jacobs to join Thrivent

Jason Jacobs, of Spencer, has joined Thrivent as a financial advisor working with Brad Bernardy, a financial associate with the organization. Thrivent is a Fortune 500 diversified financial services organization that offers advice, investments, insurance, banking and generosity programs and solutions to clients nationwide. Jacobs comes to Thrivent ready and eager to support clients in every stage of their financial journey.

Ambassadors visit Drivensole Boutique owners

Tuesday, the Spencer Chamber Ambassadors checked in with sisters Abby Rutledge and Lisa Raper at Drivensole Boutique. Since opening the store in June, Drivensole has become one of the first boutiques to join the Chamber Gift Card Program offering a unique options for youth and women's apparel, accessories and gifts. This month if you share a photo shopping at the store to the Chamber Facebook page and tag Drivensole, you will be entered to win a free Chamber Gift Card. (Photo submitted)

St. Luke holds first Faith Outreach Prom

An adult prom for disabled individuals was held Friday at St. Luke Lutheran Home. The prom was organized by the Faith Outreach Prom Committee and was hosted by Trinity Lutheran Church. Over 60 participants arrived at St. Luke Friday night, delighted to find the nursing home decorated to resemble a winter wonderland. Prom attendees enjoyed meeting up with friends and showing off their moves on the dance floor. (Photos by Celia Brocker)

District ag team advised on duties

USDA State Executive Director Matt Russell and Karen Rawson, the administrative officer in the Iowa FSA state office, are providing training to county committee members around the state. There are eight districts in Iowa — 12-13 counties per district — and a training is being hosted in each district. District 1 training was held in Spencer on Feb. 6, with Gary Yoch, the District 1 director.

Spencer Girl Scouts fundraise after downtown fire

Members of Girl Scout Troop No. 1175 held a special fundraiser out at East Leach Park Saturday, with all proceeds going toward businesses affected by the Grand Avenue fire in January. The girls, along with some volunteer parents, assembled a meal of spaghetti, side dishes and a few desert options. The Girl Scouts were all smiles as they served up meals and accepted donations. (Photos by Celia Brocker)

Library board hears planning process proposal

The Spencer Library Board is considering implementing a new planning process to determine future services the library could provide. Joined by Bonnie McKewon, library services consultant of the State Library of Iowa, the board discussed using a planning process during its meeting on Thursday.

State changes to effect city budget

Spencer’s Finance Committee dedicated two meetings Thursday and Friday to review the city’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. However, the city is still waiting to hear from the state about changes which will affect the budget.

Feenstra joins meeting of Spencer Rotary, Hy-Noon Kiwanis

The Spencer Rotary Club and the Hy-Noon Kiwanis were joined by a special guest during a joint meeting on Monday. U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra of Iowa’s 4th Congressional District stopped by to chat with club members about hot topics he is handling in Washington, D.C.

As he kicked off the meetings discussion, Feenstra wanted to remind those present of America’s status compared to other countries. The congressman insisted Americans should appreciate and never forget their privileges.

County deputies awarded for blizzard services

Thursday, four employees of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office were awarded for their service during a hazardous blizzard this winter. Deputy Zach Larsen, Sgt. Joe Schueller, Deputy Brian Mehan and Civil Deputy Ryan Lefuer received accommodation awards for assisting county residents during the snowstorm on Dec. 23.

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