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“No, Doc,” Windy said, “don’t hurt or nothin’ like that, but you know, with all the plagues goin’ on right now, figgered it’s better to be safe than … "


“I ain’t never sorry I come to see ya, Doc. You know that. Fell to sleep t’other night when all them ad shows is on … you know. Like how to cut yer boots with a knife and feel younger by wearin’ a new shirt … that stuff.”

Outdoors: Ice fishing ideas

Some friends found ice that was safe for ice fishing recently. These are hard-core ice anglers who, as soon as the ice is safe for walking, are walking on it. They’ve been after walleyes, crappies and bluegills and have had success.

In conversations with a couple of those anglers, I learned a few of their keys to success. Some of those keys are early ice things, others will help an angler catch more fish whenever they go ice fishing. Here we go.

Outdoors: Ice fishing finally begins — sort of

My wife often tells me that I am never satisfied, “You always have something to worry or complain about.” You know what? I’ll admit it. She’s right! It sometimes has something to do with either the Hawkeyes, Vikings or Twins … but then my greatest worries usually revolve around the weather. No matter the time of year, I always have something to worry about: too much rain, not enough rain, too much wind, too calm, too hot, too cold, too much snow, not enough snow. It goes on and on.

Letter to the Editor: Thank you from the Spencer Messiah Board

It is with a grateful heart, we take a moment to try and thank everyone who shared their time and talents with our Spencer Messiah Board and our recent “Selections from Handel’s Messiah” on Dec. 4.

Letter to the Editor: CCFFL needs your financial support

Clay County Food For Life is a nonprofit organization that's involved in providing meat to people in Clay County. CCFFL works closely with Upper Des Moines Opportunity which distributes the meat. Individual and families that meet established income guidelines receive meat on alternate months. For many, this is the only source of meat in their diet. Meat is also included in emergency food pantries for families who find themselves in a financial crisis.

One Man’s Perspective: Sorry readers, I’m accepting an offer I can’t refuse

I have a huge announcement to make.

For the past 30 years, I have dedicated many hours to providing community news throughout northwest Iowa. And I have loved every minute.

More than half of my life on this earth has been spent sharing the stories of people of all ages and the towns which help make this region such a great place to live and raise a family. So it is with a heavy heart that I share this will be my final column in the Spencer Reporter.

Lawn & Garden: Keep holiday greens looking their best

Wreaths, door swags, garlands and containers filled with evergreens have long been part of winter celebrations and displays. Keep them fresh and looking their best throughout the holidays with minimal effort.

Extension Outreach: Holiday spending

Despite the challenges facing consumers — inflation, fear of recession and tragic events in the U.S. and abroad — holiday shoppers appear to be in fairly high spirits leading up to the 2022 holidays. According to TransUnion's 2022 Consumer Holiday Shopping Report more than half of holiday shoppers (56%) plan on spending the same as last year with 26% planning to spend more this year.

The CommStock Report: Back from our trip south ... my Civil War ancestry exploration

This is late for Veterans Day but sharing the experience of the family connection to the men described below is meant as my reverence to them for what they did for this country.



Ready Seth Go: Well wrought words from a past pressman

I'm finding more and more that I and one of my predecessors long-past would have probably gotten along quite well.

Concert jazzed us into the Christmas spirit

If you weren’t full of Christmas spirit by Saturday night, the Jazzed Up Big Band of Okoboji brought you there in style.

The band’s concert in the Roof Garden at Arnolds Park was everything one could hope for. Outstanding musicians, lively music, colorful decor and a big crowd.

Guest Commentary: Qatar is the ally we need to counter Putin's growing influence

Russia's reprehensible invasion of Ukraine has made one thing clear: The global order is changing. An axis of repressive, authoritarian world powers — all with ties to Vladimir Putin — is growing bolder and more confident, and wants to see America's influence decline.

Pastors Column: Out of the darkness

Eighteen years ago on Dec. 7, I discovered my father’s lifeless body hanging from the ceiling. This is probably not how you expected a pastor’s column to begin. Please keep reading.

Randy’s Review: ‘Violent Night’

When a group of bad guys execute a plot to hold a wealthy family hostage on Christmas Eve in an attempt to access the family fortune, the one thing they don’t count on is Santa Claus.

A blend of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Die Hard,” “Home Alone” and “Bad Santa,” this R-rated holiday tale offers few “Ho-Ho-Hos” in its merge of comedy, action and violence.

Outdoors: Happy birthday to a fishing icon

I have to give a shoutout to a special friend of mine: Dave Genz! He celebrated his 75th birthday on Thursday, Nov. 28. In the ice fishing world, he’s known as Mr. Ice Fishing for his revolutionary ice fishing ideas that truly brought ice fishing out of the Ice Age! He most definitely changed the ice fishing game when he invented the original Fish Trap portable shelter.

Outdoors: An angler’s evolution in ice fishing

It’s interesting how things evolve. Change is part of the world that we live in. If we don’t accept change, we’re not going to be as productive as we could be.I’ve learned that especially with computers and digital cameras. They’ve made my life easier (usually) and more productive (sometimes).

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