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Emmet County Sheriff charged with driving while intoxicated

Emmet County Sheriff Mike Martens was arrested in Spirit Lake on Saturday, June 8 for operating under the influence of alcohol. According to the criminal complaint, Martens was driving a side-by-side at the Marble Beach State Recreation Area, located on the west side of Big Spirit Lake, when he passed two signs which stated that side-by-sides were not allowed on the trail. Additionally, Martens did not have a drivers license on hand at the time of the arrest.

Heavy rain floods local farmland

Dickinson County experienced some flooding following heavy amounts of rainfall last month. From April 10 to June 10, Spirit Lake alone received 15.79 inches of rainfall — more than double the typical amount for the area.

Sioux Falls man threatened to 'blow up' local convenience store

Sioux Falls local Darin John Naatjes, age 43, was arrested on the charge of terrorism, a class B felony, at 7:53 p.m. Friday, June 7, after he threatened to shoot and kill several people at Vick's Corner Store just west of Spirit Lake. According to the criminal complaint, Naatjes allegedly made threats to store employees that he was going to shoot up the store as well as blow up the store itself. When asked to leave by store employees, Naatjes refused.

Tweeter's unconventional traditions make for an Okoboji classic

It takes a lot to stand out in an area as saturated with local business as the Iowa Great Lakes Region. For some, it's the restaurant's aesthetics. For others, it's all about the myriad events hosted at the venue. For 52-year-old Tweeter's Bar and Grill in Okoboji, restaurant owner Kae Hoppe says it all comes down to tradition.

"We've been here for just over half a century," Hoppe said. "One phrase I keep in mind; consistency and reliability are important."

High winds and waters lead to damage in Lakes Area

High water, following a spring of heavy rainfall, and winds of up to 50 miles per hour caused damage to boats and docks around Dickinson County late last week, according to Dickinson County Emergency Management. Multiple boats were reported to be capsized or washed up on the shores of Big Spirit, East Okoboji and West Okoboji Friday. Local posts on social media showcased some of the damage.

Bruinsma places in poster contest

Lydia Bruinsma, a third-grader attending Spirit Lake Elementary has won third place in Community Bankers of Iowa’s (CBI) annual poster contest. As the third-place prize winner, Lydia received a $300 certificate of deposit. Lydia’s poster was submitted for judging by Northwest Bank in Spirit Lake, headquartered in Spencer. This marks the 10th year in a row that Northwest Bank has submitted a prize-winning or honorable-mention poster.

Spirit Lake Library News 06-13-24

We are in the middle of the third week of the Summer Reading Program (SRP) already, but there are still plenty of great activities coming up.

At 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 17, there will be a high-energy percussion performance at the Pearson Lakes Art Center — the group is called Sheltered Reality.

Okoboji Summer Theatre tickets discount book now on sale

Discount Tickets for the 2024 Okoboji Summer Theatre season are now on sale at Northwest Bank in Spirit Lake, Arnolds Park, Milford and Spencer, Liberty National Bank and Pearson Lakes Art Center in Okoboji, and Arts on Grand in Spencer. For mail orders and Venmo purchasing, email ostavoucherbooklet@gmail.com. Discount Books cost $150 each — saving $18 to $42 off box office prices. Each book has vouchers for eight main stage shows.

Milford Memorial Library News 06-13-24

Help us honor and celebrate Jim Ramsey from 3-5 p.m. on Friday, June 14, at a farewell reception hosted by the Friends of the Milford Library. Library Jim has spent 20 years with the Milford Memorial Library after moving from California to Iowa. He is the friendly voice people hear when being called for overdues and loves chatting with patrons. We wish Jim the best of luck in whatever he decides to fill his time with, and we will miss him greatly.

Community Briefs 06-13-24

Northwest Iowa Community College graduates

Sirens 06-13-24

Crystal Marie Wallskog, age 28, of Spirit Lake was arrested at 2:18 p.m. Friday, June 7 on charges of driving while license suspended and failing to obey a stop sign at the corner of 23rd Street and Sunner Avenue in Spirit Lake. According to the criminal complaint, Wallskog failed to obey the stop sign and yield right of way.

Dullard takes District 3 in primaries

Steve Dullard took the District 3 supervisors chair from incumbent Jeff Thee during the June 4 election, according to the unofficial election night results. Dullard received 167 votes for 63 percent of the vote. In comparison, Thee earned 94, or 37 percent, of the total 261 votes.

Classic Bass Champion Tour coming to Okoboji

There is no doubt that the Iowa Great Lakes has its share of bass tournaments, pretty much every weekend. The Classic Bass Champions Tour is one with a twist. The bass fishing tournament trail will be holding its first regular season event of the 2024 season on Okoboji Tuesday, June 11 with its takeoff and awards spot being the Emerson Bay boat ramp.

Grace Lutheran Church celebrates 75th anniversary

Grace Lutheran Church is celebrating its 75th anniversary this weekend.

The two-day celebratory event will begin with an outdoor carnival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 8 at the church, located at 801 Hill Avenue in Spirit Lake. The carnival will feature live music, carnival games, food trucks, a bouncy castle and other family-focused activities.

‘Memory Lane’ writer Aubrey LaFoy turning 99

A well-known Lakes Area resident is turning 99 years old this year. His birthday happened to land right on Fathers Day, June 16 — something he is very happy about, given he has three sons.

Local history buff and avid writer, Aubrey LaFoy, has been writing for the Okobojian since 1992. This year, at the age of 98, LaFoy decided to throw in the towel and retire for good.

Lakes Area Senior Center to present ‘Events that Changed History’

The Spirit Lake Senior Center will host a public 10-week history program starting at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 5 and running every week (other than the week of July 4) through Aug. 14. The program is titled “Events that Changed History.” Every week, a new topic will be presented which highlights a major event in history, each video being approximately one hour in length.

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