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Highway 71 bridge reopens ahead of schedule

Traffic is once again flowing to and fro across the causeway bridge which connects the cities of Arnolds Park and Okoboji.

Officials with the Iowa Department of Transportation informed the public on Thursday that the bridge would reopen by 5 p.m. that day — 17 days ahead of schedule. The lone crossing between the cities was closed on Sept. 18, and was expected to remain closed for approximately four weeks as part of a major, multi-phase repaving project along U.S. Highway 71.

'The best food in the world is all around you'


Cherry Lane Farm sees big role for microgreens in local food movement

For Calvin and Krissy Thiessen, what began as a basement trial has become a major operation. The couple owns Cherry Lane Farm north of Spirit Lake near the Minnesota border, were they've cultivated a market for microgreens over several years.

Court to hear from Winterfeld after appeal of murder conviction failed


A Spirit Lake man twice-convicted of murdering a Cleghorn resident is preparing to once again make his case to a court in hopes of a more favorable outcome.

Gregg Eugene Winterfeld asked the court earlier this year to grant his request for post conviction relief — a process by which he and his attorney may raise additional issues about the case and conviction after a verdict is handed down. A non-jury trial in the matter was recently scheduled for mid-April of next year.

Replica war cap added to Gardner Cabin Museum space


It has the aura of a historic artifact about it, but it's really a reproduction — the original was destroyed in a house fire about 160 years ago.

U of O Oktoberfest set for Saturday

Organizers at the Iowa Great Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce are preparing to welcome riders and revelers alike to the annual University of Okoboji Oktoberfest.

The annual celebration will be held this Saturday and will feature a variety of entertainment and competition.

Iowa Lakes offers Night at the P.A.C.

The Iowa Lakes Community College Music Department recently announced Night at the Performing Arts Center will take place at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Janice K. Lund Performing Arts Center on the Estherville Campus.

This event is free and open to the public. Night at the P.A.C. will feature performances from Iowa Lakes students and community members, showcasing a variety of musical genres, including country, jazz, pop and show tunes.

Rotary members provide grant to support Youth In Philanthropy

The Iowa Great Lakes Rotary Club presented a $500 donation to the Youth in Philanthropy program of the Okoboji Foundation during its recent quarterly giving meeting. YIP member Nora Conover, along with Okoboji Foundation PresidentMindy Gress and Executive Assistant Ali Schmitz were in attendance to accept the gift.

Sirens 09-28-23

Amy Ann Harbst-Baschke, age 50, of Milford was charged with operating while intoxicated — third offense — and failure to use a continuous turn signal at approximately 9:07 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19 near the intersection of 16th Street and H Avenue in Milford. She was booked into the Dickinson County Jail at 9:57 p.m. the same day.

Area Library News 09-28-23

Join author James Kenyon for his presentation "Echoes in the Hallways" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3 in the Milford Community Center. The presentation will give a historical account of the former high schools of our area. Kenyon mes traveled for more than 18 months to all of Iowa’s 99 counties, and a story from each county is told in this book. Some school buildings are still standing and have been converted for community use; others are gone.

Belken graduates from Buena Vista University

Jennifer Belken of Spirit Lake graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in human services from Buena Vista University in the Summer 2023. Belken was among more than 130 students who received degrees.

Mobile Food Pantry to return in October

The mobile food pantry from the Food Bank of Iowa is returning again. The free distribution will take place from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Good News Estherville Church. The food will be distributed inside the church.  Recipients are asked to bring bags, laundry baskets or boxes to carry the food. At the September Food Bank, 491 individuals (174 families) received 6,120 lbs.

Seasons Center receives $1,000 grant from Dickinson County Endowment Fund

Seasons Center for Behavioral Health has received a $1,000 grant from the Dickinson County Community Endowment Fund for its Family Wellness Baskets. The baskets will be distributed to approximately 30 families in Dickinson County.

Bates selected as IBA board chair

The Iowa Bankers Association recently elected officers and directors to serve on its 2023-24 board of directors. Mary Kay Bates of Bank Midwest in Spirit Lake was elected as board chair. Greg Post of Northwest Bank in Spencer will also serve on the 2023-24 board, representing the northwest region. The board's leadership assumed their roles during the IBA Annual Convention, held Sept. 17-19 in Des Moines.

Local officials have potential to block carbon dioxide projects


Iowa cities and counties have the authority to restrict building permits for the carbon-capture facilities that would feed proposed carbon dioxide pipelines in the state, the Hardin County attorney argues in a recent state regulatory filing.

Voters to consider several contested races this November


Filing deadlines closed Thursday for candidates seeking local city offices and school board seats. Dickinson County voters will cast ballots in 11 different contested races this November, and additional ballot measures will be posed to voters in some areas.

School board ballots to be sizeable

Stolen History - Part V
No one knows how two teens got inside the Gardner Cabin Museum all those decades ago and made off with two pieces of history. But, in August of 2023, the one surviving piece – a beaded leather pipe bag – finally made its way back to the site of the 167-year-old log cabin in Arnolds Park.
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