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Northern lights shine over Iowa Great Lakes

Spirit Lake photographer Dave Petrick recently captured the northern lights as they danced across the sky over northwest Iowa. Petrick set up his camera near the grade. (Photos by Dave Petrick)

YMCA of the Okobojis receives 2023 Excellence in Fundraising Award

The YMCA of the Okobojis was recently awarded the 2023 Eagle Award for Excellence in Fundraising by the North American YMCA Development Organization, an association in partnership with YMCAs from Canada and the United States.

Birding on the Green to begin next week

The annual bird migration has begun, and the public is invited to join local bird enthusiasts this May for Birding on the Green. Whether beginner or expert, bird watchers can participate in this free annual program, which will take place May 1, June 5, July 10, Aug. 7 and Sept. 11. There is no need to pre-register and all ages are welcome.

Iowa Lakes to offer spring concert

The Iowa Lakes Community College Music Department will offer a spring concert at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 2 at the Janice K. Lund Performing Arts Center on the college's Estherville Campus. The free concert is expected to not only welcome the spring but showcase the musicians who make up the Iowa Lakes music ensembles.

Northwest Bank employees honored by Iowa Mortgage Association

The Iowa Mortgage Association recently announced several mortgage professionals from Northwest Bank were accepted into the IMA’s 2022 President’s Club, including Angie Peterson in Spirit Lake and Jason Warren in Spencer. The President’s Club is an ongoing recognition program to recognize outstanding mortgage loan production in Iowa. To be eligible for the President’s Club award, 2022 loan origination required at least $20 million in loan production or 130 units of residential loan volume.

OHS Jazz Band takes second place at state competition

Congratulations were recently extended to the Okoboji High School Jazz Band. Not only did the band qualify for Iowa Jazz Championships for the 28th consecutive year, they reached the finals again and claimed second place among all the state's class 2A schools.

Special congratulations were given to senior Connor Cunningham, who was named outstanding soloist for his baritone saxophone solo.

YMCA offers more than physical fitness

Sabrina Hook said her time at the Bedell Family YMCA has provided more than physical health.

September of 2022. She additionally took advantage of registering for Personal Training with guided instruction from YMCA Fitness Director Brittney Janicek. Hook said, prior to her visits to the Y, she felt she was struggling with mental health, felt defeated and was generally uncomfortable in her own skin.

Sirens 04-27-23

Police talk down suspect brandishing handgun Sunday night


Elderly property tax assistance claims now being accepted

The 2021 session of the Iowa legislature expanded property tax assistance to those Iowans who are 70 and older. County treasurer offices across Iowa are accepting claims now for those who were 70 or older as of Dec. 31, 2022, based on their 2022 household income, which must be less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level. The deadline for applications is June 1, 2023.

Spirit Lake Library News 04-27-23

National Library Week is an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening our communities.

Milford Memorial Library News 04-27-23

Congratulations to Milford Memorial Library’s Spring Egg Hunt Winners: Willow, Stella and Luna. Thank you to everyone who participated in MML's 2023 Spring Egg Hunt. We are looking forward to next year. Thank you to the Friends of the Milford Library for sponsoring the prize.

Community Briefs 04-27-23

Spirit Lake Schools to host auction, talent show

Organizers with Spirit Lake Schools recently announced they plan to host an art show, silent auction and talent show from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday May 9 in the Spirit Lake Middle School gymnasium. The event will feature art and performances by students in transitional kindergarten on up to eighth grade. Admission is free.

Respite Angels plans container gardening session

Senate modifies public notices bill to maintain newspaper requirement

An Iowa Senate bill that would have eliminated a requirement for public entities to publish certain notices in newspapers was significantly altered on Thursday to keep the newspaper requirement.

Senate File 546 was then approved by a 37-12 vote.

Supreme Court denies appeal in pipeline trespassing case

Legal challenges to carbon dioxide pipelines continue amid changes to a board that oversees them

The Iowa Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a carbon dioxide pipeline surveyor who was charged last year with trespassing in northwest Iowa and wanted the case dismissed before trial, according to court records.

House, Senate advance competing bills on property tax reductions

Both the Iowa House and Senate passed separate bills on property tax relief Wednesday as the chambers try to find a compromise on the best way to limit costs for property owners.

State GOP senators’ property tax plan focuses on reducing levies for local governments

An Iowa Senate panel started discussion Tuesday on a wide-ranging property tax bill that would consolidate and reduce local governments’ levy rates and change course on lawmakers’ approach to debt levies.

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