Two Emmetsburg Residents Arrested on Drug Charges

(Emmetsburg)--Two Emmetsburg residents were arrested earlier this week on drug charges.


Shortly after 5:25 pm Tuesday, the Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office went to 3484 440th Avenue for an investigation and a Deputy located drugs and drug paraphernalia. After an investigation and a search warrant, the deputies arrested 59-year-old John Gagen and 34-year-old Andrea Lee, both of Emmetsburg on charges of 3rd Offense Possession of a Controlled Substance-Methamphetamine, a Class D Felony, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Both Gagen and Lee were booked into jail to await an initial appearance in front of a judge.


The Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Iowa Department of Corrections.


Marathon Man Facing Charges After Domestic Incident in Palo Alto County

(Emmetsburg)--A Marathon man is facing charges after a domestic abuse incident early last Sunday near Emmetsburg.


Shortly before 2:45 am, the Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office was notified by the Pocahontas Police Department of a domestic abuse assault that had occurred near the 3500 block of 420th Avenue in Palo Alto County. After an investigation, The Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office requested and was granted an arrest warrant for 28-year-old Julius Blakeley of Marathon for the offenses of Domestic Abuse Assault Impeding Air/Blood Flow Causing Bodily Injury, a Class D Felony, and 2 counts of Harassment in the 1st Degree.  


Blakely was arrested on the warrant shortly before 9 :00 that evening. The arrest warrant carried no bond and Blakeley was placed in jail to await an initial appearance in front of a judge.


The Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office was assisted in the investigation by the Pocahontas Police Department, the Pocahontas County Sheriff's Office, the Buena Vista County Sheriff's Office, the Laurens Police Department and the Pocahontas Community Hospital.

Seasons Center Administrative Office to Close for Renovation

(Spencer)--Seasons Center for Behavioral Health’s Administrative office, located at 201 East 11th Street in Spencer, will be undergoing an office renovation beginning next month.  As of Monday, January 30th, all services normally provided at the 11th Street location will be temporarily moved to Autumn’s Center, located at 120 East 5th Street in Spencer.


Dan Ries, President & CEO of Seasons Center says in the coming months, a new heating and cooling system, fire suppression system and fire alarm system will be installed. Ries adds the elevator will be upgraded and a new dedicated space will be created to expand crisis services.


Seasons anticipates reopening the Administrative office sometime this summer.  To stay up to date on the remodel project, please visit or the Seasons Center for Behavioral Health Facebook page.

Iowa State Patrol Stresses Safety During Winter Games

(Estherville)--Thousands of people will be flocking to the Iowa Great Lakes this weekend for the University of Okoboji Winter Games. The Iowa State Patrol is reminding folks to keep safety in mind while enjoying all the winter games activities. Iowa State Trooper Kevin Krull says the State Patrol will again be assisting local Law Enforcement in enforcing traffic laws.





Krull says the number one safety tip is don’t drink and drive no matter what type of vehicle you are operating.





Krull says driving under the influence laws apply no matter where a vehicle is being operated.





With forecast highs in the single digits over the weekend and lows below zero, Krull says it’s vital to dress appropriately for the conditions.





Krull spoke with Dave Van Roekel Thursday morning on KILR FM 95.9.

Harris-Lake Park School Board Reviews Design Options for Building Project

(Lake Park)– The Harris-Lake Park School Board reviewed design options for a building project at their meeting this week. One option the board is considering is renovation of the existing elementary building which was built in 1976, according to Matthew Basye, an architect with FEH.





Basye says the other option is constructing an addition onto the middle school/high school building.





Basye estimated the cost of the new addition at between $12-million and $14 million. He says there are advantages and disadvantages with both options.





Basye says the board is considering a bond referendum to finance the project. He explains the next step in the process.





The board will review more detailed options and cost estimates at their February 20th meeting.


Emmet County Law Enforcement Reports

(Estherville)--A traffic stop earlier this month in Emmet County resulted in the arrest of a Terril woman on drug charges.


Emmet County Sheriff Mike Martens says shortly after 12:30 pm on January 12th, a sheriff’s deputy on patrol observed a traffic violation and initiated a traffic stop in the 1100 block of Highway 4


During the course of investigation, the deputy sheriff observed what was believed to be drug paraphernalia in the driver’s possession. Further investigation led to the discovery of controlled substances and additional drug paraphernalia.


As a result, the driver 64-year-old Debra Wessling of Terril was placed under arrest and transported to the Emmet County Jail where she was booked for: Driving with a suspended driver’s license, Possession of controlled substance-marijuana, 2nd offense, Possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine, 2nd offense and Possession of drug paraphernalia.



(Estherville)--The Emmet County Sheriff’s Office has released details on a traffic accident last month that led to the arrest of a Blue Earth, Minnesota man on drug charges.


According to Emmet County Sheriff Mike Martens, the sheriff’s office received a report of a vehicle in the ditch in the 5000 block of Highway 9 on December 22nd.


Upon investigation at the scene, sheriff’s deputies located a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle involved in the accident.


As a result the driver, 28-year-old Branden Torgerson of Blue Earth was placed under arrest and transported to the Emmet County Jail.


Once at the jail Torgerson was found to be in possession of additional marijuana on his person.


Torgerson was booked for Possession of contraband in a correctional institution, a class D felony, Possession of marijuana, Possession of drug paraphernalia and no valid driver’s license.






Death of Child in Emmetsburg Under Investigation

(Emmetsburg)--The death of a child in Emmetsburg is under investigation by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.


Shortly after 1:30 pm on January 19th, the Palo Alto County 911 Emergency Center received a 911 call of an unresponsive child at 1605 8th St. in Emmetsburg.  Palo Alto County EMT’s and Emmetsburg Police responded to the scene and attempted life-saving measures before transporting the child to the Palo Alto County Hospital.  Later that afternoon, the child was transported to Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines.  The child passed away on Tuesday.  An Autopsy was conducted on Wednesday at the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny.


The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation started an investigation into the incident at the request of the Emmetsburg Police Department on January 19th.  The investigation is ongoing, and no further details are being released at this time.



Jackson, MN Man Killed in North Dakota Snowmobile Crash

(Bowdon, ND)--A Jackson, Minnesota man was killed in snowmobile accident Wednesday in central North Dakota.


The North Dakota Highway Patrol says the crash occurred 10 miles southeast of Bowdon, in Wells County.


The body of a 67-year-old man from Jackson, Minnesota was found around 5:10 p.m. Wednesday.


There were no witnesses to the crash.


An investigation into the incident is underway.


Rowley Supports New School Choice Law

(Des Moines)--As previously reported on KILR, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed her school choice bill into law Tuesday less than 12 hours after the bill cleared the Iowa Senate. Area State Senator Dave Rowley of Spirit Lake was one of the 31 Republican Senators who voted for the measure.





Rowley disagrees with critics who say the new law will hurt public schools.





He says there are other financial benefits for public schools.





Rowley says he doesn’t think public schools in this area will be impacted by the measure.





New 8th Grade Sharing Opportunity at GTRA Districts

(Graettinger)--A new sharing opportunity got underway this week for 8th grade students in the Graettinger-Terril and Ruthven Ayrshire School Districts. The sharing was developed by Ruthven-Ayrshire Middle and High School Principal Jon Josephson and Graettinger-Terril Middle and High School Principal Jeremy Simington.





Josephson says by bringing the students from both schools together and then splitting them in half they were able to create a better class size environment.





Josephson says the sharing mainly affects English and Language Arts classes. He and Principal Simington began talking about the issue back in August.





Monday was the first day the 8th  grade students from both schools were together. Simington says students are excited about the opportunity.





Josephson says  currently the 8th grade sharing arrangement is only for this semester but it could be a model for the future.

Two People Facing Multiple Charges After Clay County Traffic Stop

(Spencer)--Two people are facing numerous charges after a traffic stop last week north of Spencer.


A Clay County Deputy initiated the traffic stop on January 18th in the 4300 block of Highway 71.  Upon pulling in behind the vehicle, the Deputy witnessed the female driver switch places with the male passenger.  25-year-old Kyle Williams of Des Moines, the male passenger, was taken into custody for interfering with official acts.  20-year-old Bayli Jordan of Spencer, the driver, was placed under arrest for Driving While Barred.  Both subjects were transported to the Clay County Jail.  Upon further investigation Jordan was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia and Williams was found to be in possession of Oxycodone. 


Jordan was charged with Driving While Barred, Driving Under Suspension, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Operation without Registration, No Insurance, and Speeding.  Williams was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance-Oxycodone and Interference with Official Acts. Jordan and Williams were released on bond.


During the traffic stop, the Clay County Sheriff's Office deployed their drug detection K9 on the vehicle and the K9 detected the odor of an illegal substance.  A search warrant was granted, then executed on Monday.  A search of the vehicle located numerous items of drug paraphernalia.   Bayli Jordan and Kyle Williams were taken into custody on Tuesday.  Jordan was charged with Minor in Possession of Tobacco and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Williams was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.


Both were being held in the Clay County Jail to appear before the magistrate.

Emmetsburg Elementary School Receives $5,000 Donation for New Playground

(Emmetsburg)--West Elementary School in Emmetsburg received a $5,000 donation Wednesday from Summit Carbon Solutions to build a new playground with inclusive equipment for children with mobility aids, varying ranges of motion, and sensory needs.


Partners in Education (PIE) is raising money for the upgrades. The fundraising efforts began this past summer after the old equipment was removed due to safety concerns. 


The money will be used to buy equipment such as a fitness challenge course, a wheelchair-accessible covered tunnel, sensory tunnel, and stationary musical instruments. 


The West Elementary playground serves nearly 300 students daily during the school year. The goal is to have the new, inclusive equipment installed this spring.   

Minor Injuries Reported in Rollover Accident Near Graettinger

(Graettinger)--Minor injuries were reported in a rollover accident last Thursday east of Graettinger.


The Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office says the accident happened around 7:25 pm at the intersection of 480th Avenue and 280th Street. Deputies say 20-year-old Jordan Humphrey of Leavenworth, KS was northbound on 480th Avenue in a 2002 Ford Taurus. Humphrey was operating the Taurus too fast for the snow/ice covered roadway and began sliding through the intersection. As Humphrey was attempting to turn east onto 280th Street the vehicle caught the gravel on the shoulder and flipped into the north ditch, coming to rest on the top of the vehicle.


One occupant of the vehicle was treated at the scene by the Graettinger Ambulance Service and released.


Damage was estimated at $5,000 to the Taurus.


Humphrey was issued a citation for Failure to Maintain Control.


The Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Graettinger Ambulance Service, the Emmetsburg Police Department and a towing service.


Time for 43rd Annual University of Okoboji Winter Games

(Arnolds Park)—The 43rd Annual University of Okoboji Winter Games get underway Thursday in the Iowa Great Lakes. Kiley Zankowski with the Iowa Great Lakes Chamber of Commerce says registration is still available for some events.





Tens of thousands of people visit the lakes area each year to participate in the Winter Games. Zankowski says there are several new events this year including the Night Kite Festival on Saturday.





Zankowski says Friday evening’s schedule is highlighted by the annual Chili Cook-Off at the Dickinson County Expo building from 5 to 7 p.m.





After highs in the mid-30s on Friday, the forecast calls for highs in the low single digits Saturday and Sunday. Zankowski says for those who don’t like being out in the cold, there are also plenty of things to do indoors.





Saturday evening is highlighted by the Burning of the Greens and Fireworks Extravaganza at Preservation Plaza in Arnolds Park. A complete schedule of events is available on-line at: u-of-o-winter-games-dot-com.


Emmet County Supervisors Hear Update on Pipeline Ordinance

(Estherville)--The Emmet County Board of Supervisors Tuesday received an update on the county’s pipeline ordinance.


Emmet County Attorney Melanie Summers Bauler told the board that the county has received the proposed ordinance from Ahlers and Cooney. Bauler says the first step will be for the ordinance to go through the Planning and Zoning board before it comes before the Board of Supervisors. Zoning Director Barb Bohm says she is setting up a planning and zoning meeting to set the date and time for a public hearing on the pipeline ordinance.


In other business, the board approved a deed exchange with the Ingham Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp. Supervisor Jeff Quastad says the deed exchange was needed to clarify ownership of a piece of property and does not result in any land changing hands.


The board also voted to reschedule the Peter’s Subdivision public hearing to February 14th at 9:30 am. Since the land is located within two miles of the City of Estherville, the City Council also needs to approve the Subdivision.

Okoboji Summer Theatre to Unveil 2023 Schedule During Winter Games

(Okoboji)--The 2023 Okoboji Summer Theatre productions will be unveiled at this weekend's Okoboji Winter Games on Saturday at 1 pm at the Okoboji Bible Conference in Arnolds Park.


This will be the 65th season of Stephens College of Columbia, Missouri operating Okoboji Summer Theatre. Four musicals and three non-musicals will be part of the 2023 season. The announcement of the shows will be made by Okoboji Summer Theatre staff. The Children's Theatre Boji Bantam shows will also be announced.


Earlier in the day the Summer Theatre Association's annual omelet brunch will be held from 8:00am to 12:30pm at the Okoboji Bible Conference. Proceeds from the omelet brunch go towards Summer Theatre student scholarships. The summer season discount admission booklets will be available at the meeting and the omelet brunch.

Spencer Chamber Hosting 1st Eggs and Issues Forum of 2023

(Spencer)--The Spencer Chamber of Commerce will hold its first Eggs and Issues forum of the 2023 legislative session this Saturday, January 28th. The event will be held in the council chambers at Spencer City Hall from 9:00 am to 10:30 am. The doors will open at 8:30 am.


Area lawmakers are expected to be on hand to provide a legislative update and answer questions from the audience.


Additional Eggs and Issues sessions are scheduled for Saturday, February 25th with the final one of the session scheduled for March 4th.

UDMO Conducting Homeless Count is 12 County Service Area

(Graettinger)--Upper Des Moines Opportunity this week is conducting a count of the homeless population in their 12 county service area. UDMO Housing Services Coordinator Tanya Thelen says the annual Point in Time Homelessness Survey is required by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.





Thelen explains how the survey is conducted.





She says the count is being conducted across the entire state of Iowa.





Again, the phone number to call is 515-269-7105.


Iowa Legislature Approves Gov. Reynolds School Choice Plan

(Radio Iowa)--Most Republicans in the Iowa legislature have voted for Governor Kim Reynolds' top 2023 priority -- a bill that will provide state-funded accounts for the parents of private school students. Reynolds planned to sign it into law late this morning. Republican Representative John Wills of Spirit Lake opened yesterday's (Monday's) House debate by saying the bill is about freedom.





Representative Skyler Wheeler, a Republican from Hull who backed the bill, says public school parents got frustrated during the pandemic and asked for this alternative.





Wills says if Iowans didn't want school choice, they wouldn't have expanded the Republican majorities in the legislature -- and would not have reelected Governor Reynolds by a 19-point margin.





The measure passed the House by a vote of 55 to 45 and the Senate by a vote of 31 to 18. All Democrats and a total of 12 Republicans voted against the measure.

ELC School Board Accepts Anonymous Donations

(Estherville)--The Estherville Lincoln Central School Board Monday evening accepted two anonymous donations, one for the school district and one for the Regional Wellness Center. ELC Superintendent Tara Paul says one of the donations came in Monday afternoon.





Paul says they will check with the donor to see if there are any stipulations on how the funds can be used. She says the other donation was for $750.





The funds are to be used for girls’ athletics. In other business the board set their next meeting on February 13th as the date and time for a public hearing on the 2023-2024 academic calendar. Paul says the administrators considered several options before settling on a final draft.





Under the proposed calendar, the first day of classes would be on August 24th and the last day on May 20th. The board also approved a contract for a government teacher for the 2nd semester.





The board also heard a report on the 2021-2022 Fiscal Year Audit from Danny Decker of Williams and Company and then approved the audit.

Jackson Farm and Home Show Cancelled Due to Scheduling Conflict

(Jackson, MN)--The annual Jackson Farm and Home Show that was scheduled for February 25th at Jackson County Central High School has been canceled due to scheduling conflicts.


In a statement, the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce announced that they were disappointed to announce the inability to host the show. The area where the show is held at the high school will be unavailable on February 25th, due to the section wrestling tournament being held there. The chamber worked hard but was unable to find a suitable replacement location.


The statement says they are looking forward to the 2024 Jackson Farm & Home Show, and they plan on making it bigger and better than ever.



Sportscast - 01/28/23

ELC Superintendent Spotlight

Superintendent Tara Paul - school choice passes

GT/RA Superintendent Spotlight

G-T Principal Jeremy Simington and R-A Principal Jon Josephson - 8th Grade Sharing Agreement

North Union Superintendent Spotlight

Superintendent Travis Schueller - Snow Days/Administrative Goals for Second Half of School Year

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Dwight Kummer, Matt Beaver, & DVR, talk Arnold Palmer, Bay Hill, Augusta, & mentoring