Spencer Man Arrested After Traffic Stop Near Royal

(Royal)--A Spencer man is facing charges after a traffic stop Tuesday evening near Royal.


The Clay County Sheriff’s Office says at around 11 p.m., a deputy stopped a vehicle in the 1600 block of 410th St. for a traffic violation. It was determined that the driver, Dalton Garrett of Spencer, was operating a motor vehicle while his license was revoked. Garrett was placed under arrest and transported to the Clay County Jail.


While in route to the jail, Garrett admitted he was in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Garrett was charged with driving while license revoked, violation of a restricted license, possession of a controlled substance-marijuana, 1st offense, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office says O.W.I. charges are pending test results.


Garrett was being held in jail to appear before the magistrate.

Okoboji Woman Facing Charges After Spirit Lake Traffic Stop

(Spirit Lake)--An Okoboji woman was arrested on multiple charges after a traffic stop early Monday in Spirit Lake.


Shortly after 1:40 a.m., the Spirit Lake Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a 2019 Chevrolet Colorado at the intersection of 15th Street and Hill Avenue. The vehicle was operated by 50-year-old Michele Zeisler of Okoboji. The Spirit Lake Police Department’s K9, Pistol, was deployed on the vehicle. The K9 did indicate to the presence of a controlled substance in the vehicle. A search was conducted and officers located a baggie containing a white crystal substance believed to be methamphetamine as well as drug paraphernalia.


Zeisler was arrested and booked into the Dickinson County Jail on the following charges: possession of contraband in a jail facility, a class D felony, possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, use of an electronic communication device while driving, stopping on a paved portion of highway, and open container.

ILCC to Host Annual Jobs Fair

(Estherville)--Iowa Lakes Community College will hold its annual job fair for all Iowa Lakes students as well as the public. This event will take place on Wednesday, March 4th from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Emmetsburg Campus Cafeteria, or Thursday, March 5th from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Estherville Campus Cafeteria and the SERT building from 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m. Melissa Lutat is Career Pathway Navigator for Iowa Lakes.






Lutat says between the two campuses, more than 100 employers are scheduled to attend this year’s job fair.






Lutat says the job fair is also open to the community. Those who attend can interview for part-time and full-time employment, as well as internship possibilities.






She says it’s a great opportunity for students.






Employers still have time to sign-up to participate in the job fair. For more information, contact Melissa Lutat at 712-362-7926. Lutat spoke with Dave Van Roekel Tuesday morning on KILR FM 95.9.


Emmet Co. Supervisors Approve Resolution Setting Maximum Property Tax Levy

(Estherville)--The Emmet County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a resolution setting the maximum property tax levy for the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year budget.


During a public hearing, Emmet County Auditor Amy Sathoff says the resolution and hearing is required under a new state law. The resolution states the maximum general service levy will not exceed $3.85 and the rural county services levy will not exceed $2.12.


Sathoff also informed the board that the county’s insurance will increase by 8.25 percent in the next fiscal year, which is less than she expected.


In other business, the board approved the low bid from Vogel Traffic Services of Orange City for pavement markings. The bid was $64,317 for Emmet County, $2,238 for the city of Estherville and $207 for the city of Ringsted.


Grassley Expresses Support for William Barr

(Washington. D.C.)--Republican Congressional leaders issued a statement Tuesday in support of Attorney General William Barr. More than 2,000 former Justice Department officials have called on Barr to resign for his role in politically sensitive investigations, after he intervened in the case of Trump associate Roger Stone. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he supports the Attorney General.






Grassley said many of Barr’s critics had no issues with President Obama’s first Attorney General Eric Holder.






On another topic, the Senate has approved a near record number of federal judges in the first three years of the Trump Administration.






Trump has nominated and won Senate confirmation for 192 federal judges, including 137 district court judges, 51 appellate judges and two Supreme Court justices.

Graettinger School Building Forced to Evacuate Due to Bomb Threat

(Graettinger)--No one was hurt after the school building in Graettinger was forced to evacuate due to a bomb threat Tuesday afternoon.


Graettinger-Terril Superintendent Andrew Woiwood said shortly before noon, students discovered the written threat in one of the school's restrooms at the middle school/high school building.


After the students notified school administrators, the school contacted law enforcement who advised the school to evacuate the building.


Woiwood said students in the school were evacuated to two nearby churches. Construction workers who were building an addition to the school were also evacuated.


The school was given the "all-clear" by authorities shortly after 3 p.m.


If anyone has information on the threat, they are asked to call school administrators.

Fire Destroys House and Garage in Jackson

(Jackson, Minn.)--Fire destroyed a house and garage Monday evening in Jackson.


Shortly after 11:45 p.m., Jackson firefighters were called to 52 River Street for what was initially reported as a garage fire. Authorities say the fire quickly spread to the house. The Alpha Fire Department responded to the scene after mutual aid was requested.


A dog that was in the garage perished in the fire.


Firefighters were on the scene for about five and-a-half hours. They were called back to the address late Tuesday morning when the fire re-kindled.


The Red Cross is providing assistance to those who were living at the residence.


There was no immediate word on the cause of the fire.

Two Facing Charges After Palo Alto County Traffic Stop

(Emmetsburg)--Two people are facing charges after a traffic stop on Saturday evening in Palo Alto County.


Shortly after 8:20 p.m., the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the 4300 block of 360th St., for improper passing on the right. As a result of the stop, the driver of the vehicle, 60-year-old Roger Kruse of Ruthven, was placed under arrest and charged with driving while suspended, improper passing on the right, and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.


A passenger in the vehicle, identified as 35-year-old Jonathan Sutherland of Ruthven, was also placed under arrest and charged with possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.


Both subjects were transported without incident and booked into the Palo Alto County Jail to await their initial appearance before a judge.

Details Announced for Upcoming Family Nature Nights at Dickinson County Nature Center

(Okoboji)--A nature night hike through Kenue Park is planned for this month’s Family Nature Night at the Dickinson County Nature Center in Okoboji. Environmental Education Coordinator Bryanna Kuhlman says this month’s event will be held on Friday, February 28th at 7 p.m.






Kuhlman says the March Family Nature Night will have a Rock Kitchen theme. She says the program will be held on Friday, March 27th at 7 p.m.






She says pre-registration is encouraged for both programs.






To pre-register, call the Dickinson County Nature Center at 712-336-6352.

Estherville Council Sets Public Hearing Date for 2020-21 City Budget

(Estherville) – The Estherville City Council Monday evening set a public hearing date on the proposed 2020-21 City Budget for March 16th. Estherville City Administrator Penny Clayton details some changes in the budget.






Clayton also gave an update to the council that starting March 2nd, Anthony Gray will begin his duties as the Water Superintendent for the city of Estherville.


Another topic discussed was the possibility of having a youth center available for kids who want to have a place to hang out after school. Estherville Mayor Joseph May explains why he brought the idea forward to the council.






May details the next steps in bringing the idea of a youth center in Estherville to fruition.






Estherville resident Jessica Brashear, who was in attendance, shared her thoughts on the youth center proposal.






The council also tabled a citizen’s concern about recycling hours and animals on South 8th Street to their March 2nd meeting.


Spencer Woman Injured in Two Vehicle Accident

(Spencer) – A Spencer woman was injured in a two-vehicle collision Saturday at the intersection of Highway 71 and 435th Street in Clay County.


Shortly after 10 a.m., the Clay County Sheriff’s Office says 72-year-old Virginia McGuire of Greenville was driving a 2004 Ford Ranger and had stopped on the highway to turn onto 435th Street when the rear of her vehicle was struck by a 2002 Ford Taurus driven by 67-year-old Mary Henderson of Spencer.


Henderson was taken to the Spencer Hospital by ambulance with possible injuries. Damage to McGuire’s Ford Ranger was estimated at $3,000, while damage to Henderson’s vehicle was estimated at $4,000.


Royal Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

Three People Injured in Highway 86 Crash North of Iowa-MN Border

(Lakefield, MN) – Three people were injured in a one-vehicle accident Monday morning on Highway 86, just north of the Iowa border.


A report issued by the Minnesota State Patrol says at around 8:40 a.m., 62-year-old Dallas Stark of Okoboji was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado northbound on Highway 86 near 740th Street when he lost control, entered the ditch and rolled.


Stark and two passengers in his vehicle, 44-year-old April Stark and 15-year-old Tyler Stark, both of Okoboji, were all taken to a Spirit Lake hospital with non-life threatening injuries.


The Spirit Lake and Lakefield Ambulance assisted at the scene.


Officials say the roadway was said to be completely covered with ice at the time of the accident.

Spencer Police Asking For Assistance in Locating Robbery Suspect


(Spencer) – The Spencer Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in regards to a robbery investigation at the Casey’s General Store in Spencer.


On February 14th, at approximately 4:11 a.m., an armed suspect approached an employee who was opening the store. The suspect displayed a pistol and forced the employee inside where an undetermined amount of cash was taken. The suspect then made the employee drive him to a secondary location in Spencer where he then fled on foot.


The suspect is described as a male, standing at about 5’8”-5’10” tall, wearing all black and a ski mask at the time of the incident.


The department is asking for anyone who has video security systems that record roadways or sidewalks to please contact the Spencer Police Department at 712-262-2151.

911 Service in Eastern Portions of Emmet County Back Up and Running

(Estherville) – Officials in Emmet County say its 911 service that was out in portions of eastern Emmet County are back up and running.


At around 2 p.m. this afternoon, officials were able to restore the 911 service via landline in the Dolliver, Armstrong and Ringsted communities. 


Emmet County Emergency Management would like to thank the public for their patience as crews were working to get the service restored. 

Ruthven Cabin Fever Weekend This Saturday at Lost Island Nature Center

(Ruthven)--The Lost Island Nature Center is hosting several family-friendly events this Saturday as part of the Ruthven Cabin Fever Weekend. Palo Alto County Naturalist Kaitlin Anderson says first up will be a youth ice fishing clinic.




Anderson says there will be horse drawn sleigh and wagon rides from noon to 3 p.m. at Houston Prairie, followed by the chili cook-off inside the Nature Center.




Anderson says a couple of other events are also on the schedule.




To register for the kids ice fishing events or the chili cook-off, contact the Lost Island Nature Center at 712-837-4866.

State Lawmakers Working on Welfare Reform Proposal

(Des Moines)--State lawmakers are working on a welfare reform proposal to expand the workforce and encourage people to get back to work. Area State Senator Zach Whiting, a Republican from Spirit Lake, is Vice-Chair of the Senate Labor and Business Relations Committee.




Whiting says eligibility is currently checked manually by DHS employees. 




On another topic, lawmakers are looking at a bill that would crack down on distracted driving. Whiting says the bill would place further restrictions on using your cell phone while operating a vehicle.




This is funnel week at the statehouse. After this Friday, any policy bill not passed through subcommittee and full committee in one chamber is dead for the year.

Iowa Senate Endorses Proposed Constitutional Amendment on Abortion

(KILR)--One a straight party line vote, the Iowa Senate has endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment that says the state's founding document does not protect abortion rights.  Area Senator Zach Whiting of Spirit Lake is one of the 32 Republicans who voted in favor of the resolution. Whiting says the proposed amendment is in response to an Iowa Supreme Court ruling.






Whiting says the proposed amendment has a long way to go before it becomes part of the state constitution.






In other business, the Senate passed a bill increasing funding for Iowa K-12 schools by about $90 million or 2.1 percent.









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