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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.

HAPPY HOMECOMING: Indians cap homecoming week with win over rival Pioneers

In a matchup between bitter Dickinson County rivals, Spirit Lake earned its intracounty bragging rights with a dominant victory over Okoboji on Friday, Sept. 22. The sixth-ranked (2A) Indians pounded the Pioneers 58-0 on homecoming night in Spirit Lake.

Wolves football suffers first district loss

Harris-Lake Park’s odds of three-peating as district champions took a major hit with a 42-18 loss to West Bend-Mallard on Friday, Sept. 22. It was the Wolves’ first and only district loss of the 2023 season.

While the loss stung, Harris-Lake Park coach Lane Gunderson said he was proud of how his team battled throughout.

Despite a West Bend-Mallard score near the end of the first half, the Wolves trailed just 16-6 at halftime.

Okoboji’s Osler leads the field at Sioux Center

Okoboji’s Evan Osler — the top-ranked boys runner in Class 2A — put another notch in the win column Thursday, Sept. 21 when he took first place at a meet hosted by Sioux Center. Osler finished in 16 minutes, 17.58 seconds to lead the Pioneers to a fifth-place team finish at Dordt University.

Okoboji senior Akron Jostand joined Osler in the top five, placing fourth with a time of 17:04.16.

Spirit Lake volleyball falls to top-ranked Wolfpack at home

Spirit Lake — in the midst of its worst season in more than 15 years — faced a tall task when the top-ranked Western Christian volleyball team came to town for a meeting of former Lakes Conference foes on Tuesday, Sept. 19. The Indians battled, but the Wolfpack had too much firepower in a 3-0 (25-12, 25-8, 25-13) victory in Spirit Lake.

GRIDIRON GLANCE: No. 6 Spirit Lake (4-1, 2-0) vs. ELC (3-2, 2-0)

Spirit Lake is rolling.

Since suffering a 10-point loss to now-ninth-ranked (3A) Sioux Center in the second week of the regular season, the sixth-ranked (2A) Indians have won three straight games by an average margin of more than 47 points — including a 58-point drubbing of Dickinson County rival Okoboji on homecoming night last week.

The Indians will face yet another bitter rival this week when they travel to take on Estherville Lincoln Central.

GRIDIRON GLANCE: Okoboji (0-5, 0-2) vs. Garner-Hayfield-Ventura (1-4, 0-2)

The Pioneers hope to stop a five-game losing streak this week when they travel to take on one-win Garner-Hayfield-Ventura.

These two teams have met just once in the last decade. The Cardinals won their 2020 meeting 34-7 over the Pioneers.

WEEK 6 MATCHUP: Okoboji coach Eric Clouse said this is a game both teams feel like they can win. First, the Pioneers will need to stop the Cardinals’ run game.

GRIDIRON GLANCE: Harris-Lake Park (3-2, 2-2) vs. GT/RA (3-2, 2-2)

The Wolves are coming off of a tough district loss last week to West Bend-Mallard. If Harris-Lake Park hopes to secure a share of a third straight district title, they Wolves need to win the final three games of the regular season. That quest begins Friday when they host rival Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire on homecoming night in Lake Park.

Spirit Lake’s Hughes earns runner-up finish at Algona

Spirit Lake’s boys and girls cross country teams competed at a meet hosted by Algona on Monday, Sept. 25. The boys squad — led by meet runner-up Brandon Hughes — placed fourth overall, while the girls placed 11th.

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