Iowa, Minnesota COVID 19 Updates

(Des Moines)--The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 726 new positive cases of COVID 19 for the 24 hour period ending at 11 am this(Friday) morning for a total of 362,478. More than 313,000 cases have recovered. State officials reported 25 new virus related deaths for a total of 5,463.


Locally, Palo Alto County reported the most new cases with 4. Clay and Dickinson counties each had 3 new cases and Emmet and Kossuth counties each had one new case.


(St. Paul)— The Minnesota Department of Health today(Friday) reported 1,156  additional positive COVID 19 cases for a pandemic total of 482,978.  Officials reported 12 additional virus related deaths for a total of 6,462.


In this area, Faribault County reported 5 new cases, Martin County added 3 new cases and Jackson County had one new case.


Two People Wanted in Southern Iowa Arrested in Fenton

(Fenton)--A man and woman wanted on theft charges in Southern Iowa were taken into custody earlier this week in Kossuth County.


According to the Kossuth County Sheriff’s Office, Deputies were contacted on Tuesday by Law Enforcement officials in Clarke County about 43-year-old Christina Dunn and 45-year-old Christopher Dunn. Clarke County authorities stated they had reason to believe that the Dunn’s had taken up residence in Fenton.


Shortly before 4 pm Tuesday, Deputies were able to locate both individuals at a residence in Fenton and took them into custody. The Dunn’s are charged in Clarke County with 2nd degree theft, a class D felony.


The Dunn’s were booked into the Kossuth County Jail to await transport to Clarke County.

Three Sent to Hospital After School Bus-Semi Accident in Fairmont

(Fairmont, Minn.)--Three people were taken to the hospital after an accident involving a school bus and a semi Thursday afternoon on the south edge of Fairmont.


The Martin County Sheriff’s Office says the accident occurred around 2:55 pm at the intersection of Albion Ave and Lake Aires Road. Deputies say the semi was eastbound on Lake Aires Road as the bus was southbound on the Albion Avenue. The truck clipped the back of the school bus causing it to veer into the ditch where it ended up flipping onto its left side.


Inside the bus were 10 children and the driver. Three of the occupants were taken to Mayo Clinic Health System- Fairmont and treated for non-life threatening injuries. The semi driver was not injured. First responders to the scene were able to remove the children and the driver from the bus.


The Fairmont Police Department, Fairmont Fire Department and Mayo Clinic Ambulance assisted the Sheriff’s Office at the scene.


The crash is under investigation by the Martin County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Patrol.

Area Businesses Still Have Time to Apply for Micro Grants

(Spencer)—Businesses needing help with recovery from the coronavirus pandemic still have time to apply for a micro-grant from the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation and Northwest Iowa Planning and Development Commission. The grants are available to businesses in Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson and Emmet counties. Corridor Interim President and CEO Brian Dalziel says so far ,they’ve gotten a strong response to the program.






Dalziel says businesses can apply for up to $3,000 and must provide a 50-percent match.






Manufacturers can obtain funds for building a prototype. He says interested businesses should apply as soon as possible.






For more information, call the Corridor at 712-264-3474.


Spencer Chamber Announces Plans for Sesquicentennial Celebration

(Spencer)--The Spencer Chamber of Commerce held a news conference Thursday afternoon to announce several activities that will be taking place to celebrate the city’s sesquicentennial. Chamber Executive Director Sheriffa Jones says the city of Spencer, the chamber and a group of Spencer citizens are coordinating the activities to mark Spencer’s 150th anniversary. Jones says the main portion of the celebration will take place on Flagfest weekend beginning with the opening ceremony on Friday, June 11th.






Jones says several events are planned leading up to Flagfest.                   






She says a closing ceremony for the sesquicentennial celebration will be held on October 10th.






For more information visit the Spencer Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

Jackson Center for the Arts Awarded Grant

(Jackson, Minn.)--The Jackson Center for the Arts has been awarded a share of more than $27,500 in Art Project Grant Program grant funds through the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council.


The local art center will receive $7,000 to support its “Music at the Market” and “Arts in the Park” programs.


In collaboration with the Jackson City Council, the Jackson Parks and Recreation Department and the Riverside Farmer’s Market, the Jackson Center for the Arts plans to use the grant funds to expand and enrich the regular Thursday farmers’ markets offered to the public.


The local art center will offer six free concerts in Ashley Park, accompanied by a demonstration of plein air art, and creative arts classes that will be offered by art center staff for children who attend with their parents.


Algona Chamber Hosting Legislative Forum

(Algona)--The Algona Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Legislative Forum on Saturday.


The forum will begin at 10 a.m. and will be held in the Council Chambers at Algona City Hall.


State Senator Dennis Guth along with State Representatives Terry Baxter and Henry Stone have all confirmed their attendance.


The public is invited to attend. Masks are optional.

ELC Students Perform Well at District Individual Speech Contest

(Estherville)--Several ELC students received high marks in the Individual Events District Speech competition on Wednesday.

Receiving I ratings and advancing to State Competition were Kai Li Dong and Emma Ross for Acting, Parker Duitsman, Miyah Paulson and Maggie Domek for Prose, Emily Paulson, Allison Young and Kaitlyn Pollock for Poetry, Shelby Brosh for Original Oratory, Kaylyn Domek and Quimby Ross for Storytelling, Elliot Palmer for Public Address, and Grace Johnson and Braxton Shryock for Musical Theater.

State will be held in a modified format at the ELC High School on Saturday, March 13th.


Iowa, Minnesota COVID 19 Updates

(Des Moines)--The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 678 new positive cases of COVID 19 for the 24 hour period ending at 11 am this(Thursday) morning for a total of 361,752. More than 311,000 cases have recovered. State officials reported 23 new virus related deaths for a total of 5,438.


Locally, Dickinson and Kossuth counties reported the most new cases with 5 each. Emmet and Palo Alto counties each had one new case. The number of cases in Clay County decreased by 2.


(St. Paul)— The Minnesota Department of Health today(Wednesday) reported 996 additional positive COVID 19 cases for a pandemic total of 481,831.  Officials reported 7 additional virus related deaths for a total of 6,450.


In this area, Martin County reported 7 new cases, Faribault County added 3 new cases and Jackson County had one new case.

Estherville Man Sentenced to Federal Prison on Drug Charges

(Sioux City)--An Estherville man who distributed methamphetamine in the Lakes area was sentenced this week to 7 years in federal prison.


26-year-old Chance Wetter of Estherville received the prison term after a guilty plea last September to one count of conspiracy to distribute meth within 1,000 feet of a protected location.


In a plea agreement, Wetter admitted he and others distributed meth in the Lakes area from October 2019 through February 2020.


On October 23rd, 2019, law enforcement conducted a controlled drug buy from Wetter utilizing an undercover officer in Spirit Lake. Wetter sold the undercover officer approximately 2 ounces of meth at the public library and then another 2 ounces of meth at his apartment which was within 1,000 feet of Memorial Park in Spirit Lake.  


Wetter was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Sioux City to 84 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve a 7-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.


Wetter is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.


Seasons Center Offering Suicide Prevention Training

(Spencer)--Seasons Center for Behavioral Health will be offering a free community suicide prevention training next week in Clay County. Taylor Prather, Prevention and Education Coordinator with Seasons Center, says the training will be held on Monday from 9 to 11 am at the Great Hall in Royal.





Prather says the training is called Question, Persuade and Refer.





She says anyone interested is encouraged to take the course.






You can register for the training by visiting the Seasons Center for Behavioral Health Facebook Page.

Two Fairmont Residents Sent to Hospital After Rollover on Highway 71 Near Windom

(Windom, Minn.)--Two people were sent to the hospital following a rollover accident early Wednesday on Highway 71, south of Windom in Jackson County.


The Minnesota State Patrol says at around 6:45 a.m., 27-year-old Glorisel Rojas of Fairmont was driving a 2008 Toyota Yaris northbound on Highway 71 near 510th Ave, when the vehicle left the roadway and rolled once.


Rojas and a passenger in her vehicle, 24-year-old Addel Luis Torres of Fairmont, were taken to the Windom Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Roads were reported as snow and ice covered at the time of the accident.


The Cottonwood County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene.

Three Area Housing Agencies Awarded HUD Grants

(Washington, D.C.)--The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded more than $2.7 billion in funding to nearly 2,900 public housing authorities (PHAs) in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, to make capital investments in their public housing units.


Grants awards in Iowa include $48,233 to the Low Rent Housing Agency of Bancroft.


In Minnesota, $210,695 was awarded to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Fairmont and $152,722 was awarded to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Jackson.


The grants announced Wednesday are provided through HUD's Capital Fund Program, which offers annual funding to all public housing authorities to build, renovate, and/or modernize the public housing in their communities.

Grassley Concerned About Biden's Foreign Policy Priorities

(Washington, D.C.)--Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s concerned the Biden Administration is bringing back many of the foreign policy priorities of the Obama Administration. Grassley says one of them is the Iran Nuclear Deal.






Grassley says he’s also concerned about the Biden Administration’s stance toward Israel.






On another topic, the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings this week on the nomination of Merrick Garland as the next U.S. Attorney General. Grassley, a member of the committee, says he is currently inclined to vote in favor of Garland.





Black Hills Energy Advises Customers to Prepare for Higher Natural Gas Bills

(Grimes)--Officials with Black Hills Energy are advising their customers to get ready for higher natural gas bills thanks to the recent cold weather.


Shirley Welte, Vice President of Operations, says customers can expect to see an increase in their March bills after the huge increase in demand earlier this month due to the extreme weather. Welte says issues with supply and demand caused the wholesale price of natural gas to spike to the highest level in 20 years. She says that cost will get passed on to customers.


Welte says Black Hills Energy will work closely with the Iowa Utilities Board to manage the long term impact of the increased cost of natural gas on their customers.

Armstrong City Clerk Reaches Plea Deal

(Estherville)--One of the current and former Armstrong City officials accused of misconduct in office has entered a plea agreement.


According to Emmet County Court records, City Clerk Tracie Lang has agreed to plead guilty to one count of falsifying public documents, a class D felony. In exchange, seven other felony counts and two misdemeanor counts will be dismissed.


The state will also move that Lang’s bond be reduced to $10,000 cash or surety so the defendant may elect to post 10-percent or $1,000. Bond for Lang was set at $44,000.


As part of the agreement, Lang agrees to testify truthfully against Mayor Greg Buum, Police Chief Craig Merrill and former City Clerk Connie Thackery.


Buum, Merrill and Thackery have all entered written pleas of not guilty to the charges they are facing. All three are scheduled to stand trial beginning May 4th at 9:30 a.m. in Emmet County District Court. A pre-trial conference is set for April 6th at 9:30 a.m.


Another former City Clerk, Mary Kate Staton, has been charged with two misdemeanor counts. She is scheduled to be arraigned on March 1st at 9:30 a.m.

Iowa, Minnesota COVID-19 Updates

(Des Moines)--The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 796 new positive cases of COVID-19 for the 24 hour period ending at 11 am Wednesday for a total of 361,074. More than 311,000 cases have recovered. State officials reported 15 new virus-related deaths for a total of 5,415.


Locally, Dickinson County reported the most new cases with 9 followed by Kossuth County with 7. Clay County added 5 new cases, Emmet County had one new case and Palo Alto County had no new cases.


(St. Paul)—The Minnesota Department of Health Wednesday reported 761 additional positive COVID-19 cases for a total of 480,845. Officials reported 9 additional virus-related deaths for a total of 6,443.


In this area, Faribault County reported 5 new cases, Martin County had 1 new case and Jackson County had no new cases.

Two Facing Charges After Traffic Stop in Clay County

(Spencer)--Two Dickinson County residents were arrested on multiple charges following a traffic stop Monday afternoon in Clay County.


The Clay County Sheriff’s Office says the traffic stop occurred around 4:40 pm at intersection of 270th Street and 320th Avenue. While conducting the traffic stop, the deputy learned the driver, 21-year-old Autumn Petska of Milford, was barred and suspended by the state of Iowa. It was also learned Petska had two valid Clay County warrants for failure to appear on driving while suspended and failure to provide proof of financial liability, both had a bond of $600. After further investigation it was discovered the vehicle was not currently registered and there was no proof of financial liability. The passenger, 38-year-old Santos Beal of Terril, had a valid Dickinson County warrant for probation violation, which had a bond of $2,000. Both Petska and Beal were taken into custody. Beal was released, from the scene, to a Dickinson County deputy for transport to their jail.


Petska was transported to the Clay County Jail where she was served her two warrants and  charged with driving while barred, driving under suspension, operating a non-registered vehicle, and failure to provide proof of financial liability. Petska was being held in Jail to appear before the magistrate.


ISU Extension Emmet County to Participate in Read Across Iowa Program

(Estherville)—Read Across Iowa, a month-long celebration to bring the joys of reading to kids of all ages, will launch on March 1st. Read Across Iowa is organized as a collaborative effort between the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa 4-H Youth Development, and the Iowa State Education Association. Megan Janssen is Program Coordinator for the Emmet County ISU Extension Office.






Janssen says the Emmet County ISU Extension Office will host a book drive during the month of March.






She says ISU Extension will be hosting live book readings all month long.






The first book reading will be held on March 1st at 11a.m. For more information visit:

Line-Up Announced for Live at the Lake Concert Series

(Arnolds Park)--Arnolds Park Amusement Park has announced its 2021 “Live at the Lake” concert series.


There will be free concerts at 7:30 every Saturday night at Preservation Plaza beginning the week after Memorial Day and ending Labor Day weekend.


The schedule is highlighted by Boz Scaggs who will perform on August 7th with special guest J.D. McPherson as part of the Okoboji Blue Water Festival.


The majority of acts are 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s cover bands. The schedule also features one night of Disco, one night of Christian Rock, and a Johnny Cash tribute.


You can see the full schedule at the Arnolds Park Amusement Park website.




Sportscast 02/27/21

ELC Superintendent Spotlight

Superintendent Spotlight with Tara Paul - FFA week

GT/RA Superintendent Spotlight

GT/RA Superintendent Spotlight - Middle & High School Principal Jeremy Simington - FFA week

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North Union Superintendent Spotlight - Mitch Mart - Large Group Speech Director

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