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Campus News 06-30-22

Thoreson named to Loras College's spring 2022 dean's list

Loras College recently announced the names of students who achieved dean's list status for the 2022 spring semester. Carter Thoreson of Okoboji was among the honorees. A student must earn a 3.5 grade point average and carry a minimum of 12 credit hours to be recognized.

Local students recognized by WITCC

Community Briefs 06-30-22

Mobile food pantry returning to Estherville

Decker found guilty of murdering Lake Park woman


A judge said state prosecutors proved beyond a reasonable doubt that 27-year-old Allison Marie Decker murdered 25-year-old Angel Bastman of Lake Park in December of 2020.

Family Diner to become Toast on Hill


Matt and Darlene Hall had decades of experience in food service before they started the Family Diner.

They purchased the building in October of 2004, and customers regularly flocked to the diner near the corner of Hill Avenue and 16th Street in Spirit Lake for breakfast. But the Halls eventually started looking to retire and hand off the keys to their downtown staple — the doors have been locked since the last customer left on May 14.

Prominent local marina excavated Okoboji without permit


Parks Marina, a staple of East Lake Okoboji in northwest Iowa, removed lake bed sediment last year near its boat forklift station without a permit — a repeat offense, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The marina was recently fined $5,000 for the infraction but was granted an “after-the-fact permit” to approve the excavation, DNR documents show.

University of Okoboji to hold 38th Annual Cycling Classic

The 38th Annual University of Okoboji Cycling Classic Campus Bike Ride will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 25, in Florence Park in Milford. The Boy Scouts will serve their world-famous pancake breakfast from 7-9 a.m. Riders may choose from a 25, 50 or 100-mile bike ride through the Iowa Great Lakes area.

Chamber tours Great Lakes Dental Associates' combined clinic

Staff at Great Lakes Dental Associates in Spirit Lake welcomed representatives of the Spirit Lake and Iowa Great Lakes Area Chambers of Commerce to their Friday open house. The clinic combined several local practices under Dr. Shaun O'Neill, who co-owns the local dental center with Dr. John Clay. The group first acquired Bieri and Christensen Dentistry in 2018, the Great Lakes Dental Center in 2019 and Spirit Lake Dental in 2020.

Commodores help slice ribbon outside West O pizza kitchen

The Iowa Navy Commodores headed to West O Beer Friday afternoon to celebrate the addition of the brewery's pizza kitchen. West O opened for business nine years ago, with a focus on beer rather than food, but owner Matt Matthiesen said the market has changed some in the last several years and West O hopes to attract more customers in the off season by expanding its offerings.

Cook named Spirit Of Okoboji Director of Philanthropy


Spirit of Okoboji recently announced Angie Cook has been named its director of philanthropy. Cook assumed the role June 1.

“Our goal with the Spirit of Okoboji nonprofit is to create and foster new opportunities in the Iowa Great Lakes area,” said Tim Kinnetz, president of Spirit of Okoboji. “Angie brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our organization and will help us with the management and oversight the various projects we have under our umbrella.”

Spirit Lake Chamber welcomes new area architect

Representatives from the Spirit Lake Chamber of Commerce welcomed a nearby business Thursday — a very near one. Architect Edward J. Shannon moved into an office space across the hallway from the chamber's director earlier this year, but waited until the summer weather arrived in earnest to hold a ribbon cutting event. Shannon holds degrees from both Iowa State University and Virginia Tech.

Kelly to speak at ILUUF


Edward Kelly will be the speaker at the June 26 Iowa Lakes Unitarian Universalist Fellowship hybrid service. He will share his personal journey out of Christian Nationalism and provide tips on how one can become an ally and an advocate for LGTBQ and other marginalized groups of people and defend communities from threats to democracy. His presentation will provide hope that it is never too late to give up one’s prejudices.

Sirens 06-22-22

Kyle Calvin Taylor, age 36, of Lake View was charged with second-degree theft and driving while barred. Criminal complaints said the offenses occurred sometime between Dec. 1, 2021 and June 14, 2022 at the Spirit Lake Walmart. Taylor is accused of under-scanning items from the store — exceeding $1,500 in value.

Okoboji Summer Theatre set to open next week, discount booklets on sale

Okoboji Summer Theatre discount booklets are available at a cost of $140 at Liberty National Bank (Okoboji), Northwest Banks (Spirit Lake, Arnolds Park, Milford), Pearson Lakes Art Center (Okoboji), Arts on Grand (Spencer) or by emailing Each booklet includes eight vouchers, redeemable toward four musicals and three non-musicals. The eighth voucher can only be redeemed for an 8 p.m.

Recent study shows LRH's economic impact

Lakes Regional Healthcare generates 554 jobs which account for roughly 6 percent of all jobs in Dickinson County, according to the latest study by the Iowa Hospital Association. In addition, wages generated total $30.8 million, representing 8.1 percent of Dickinson County’s wages. The study also found that Lakes Regional Healthcare provides almost $10 million in community benefits to about 4,000 people in Dickinson County.

Area Library News 06-22-22

Join the hilarious comedian, Dennis Porter, around the campfire for stories, singing, magic, games and a whole lot of silliness. He will take you on an adventure through Camp Poison Oak, and he needs your help to solve the mystery of what creatures lie beneath Lake Poison Oak. But don’t worry, there will be no tents, sleeping bags or anything itchy during your time at this camp. Dennis will have programs at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday June 24 at the Pearson Lakes Art Center.

Enrollment for Iowa Rocks Talent Contest now open

Enrollment for the 2022 Iowa Rocks Talent Contest opened June 15.

“We are proud to present the 8th annual 'Iowa Rocks Talent' competition," said Ralph Kluseman, president of the board of the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association. "This is a statewide competition for Iowa’s young musicians to showcase the music they love and to compete for a grand prize of recording time at a major Iowa recording studio and a scholarship toward music education.”

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