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Spencer man charged in Pelican Ridge thefts


Second thief suspected of helping steal car, trailer and audio equipment


A Spencer man was charged last month in connection with the theft of several items —totaling almost $30,000 — from storage units in Arnolds Park.

Learning to SWIM: Local church aids nonprofit in clean water efforts


There are many ways to purify water — sunlight, osmosis, filtration — but when it comes to more remote areas of the world, Earl Ratcliff suggests salt, or rather the chlorine it contains.

Lake Park man found guilty of sexually abusing young relatives

By Seth Boyes - News Editor


A Lake Park man has been found guilty of all but two charges filed against him after he was accused of sexually abusing two of his young relatives — both under the age of 12.

Elijah Samuel Paulson waived his right to a trial by jury in a November motion, and Iowa Third Judicial District Court Judge Don E. Courtney filed a verdict on March 14.

Highway repaving gets go ahead from Arnolds Park council


The Iowa Department of Transportation now has agreements from both Lakes Area cities which will be directly impacted by an upcoming highway repaving project.

Trial dates scheduled for Estherville murder suspects


Trial dates have been scheduled for both suspects accused in the October murder of David McDowell of Estherville.

Spirit Lake street lights going up after steel supply setbacks


Some of the main streets in Spirit Lake will soon be a little bit brighter — at least after sunset.

The replacement of city light poles along Highway 71 began in late February, after supply chain issues delayed the project. The city's plans call for poles to be replaced in other areas of the city as well, such as 41st Street and Sunner Avenue.

Withdrawn zoning app quells community qualms


Attendance at Monday night's Lake Park City Council meeting quickly dropped mid-session after local developer Seth Hellinga announced he was withdrawing his request to rezone an area near Silver Lake. With no rezoning application for the council to consider, the agenda item was scratched, and dozens of community members exited the Lake Park Community Center as the council continued with the evening's business.

Milford man sentenced on charges of threats and mischief

A Milford man will be put on probation for two years after pleading guilty to one of several charges which stemmed from a July incident in downtown Milford.

Milford pair ejected during Friday-morning collision


Authorities said two Milford residents were taken to separate hospitals after being ejected from a vehicle early Friday.


Okoboji council approves Highway 71 agreement with DOT


Bridge to temporarily close in mid-September

Local and state officials are one step closer to finalizing plans for improving the Lakes Area's main thoroughfare.

Suspect in Milford murder pleads not guilty, trial set


A man accused of shooting and killing a woman outside a Milford business last month has pleaded not guilty.

Possible injuries reported after drive-thru rollover


A Spirit Lake woman was possibly injured Monday morning when her minivan ended up on its roof in the parking lot of a local restaurant.

'The story is unfolding in front of us'

A previous version of this story stated certain paintings displayed at the Abbie Gardner Cabin Museum were painted by Gardner herself. While the Dickinson County Museum houses some items painted by Gardner, it is unclear whether she herself painted the depictions of the Spirit Lake Massacre which once hung in her pioneer museum. This story was updated March 10, 2022.


Local group aims to preserve Gardner Cabin site

Champion State of Mind broadens care options


The staff at Champion State of Mind welcomed the public last week during an open house at their updated facility on 16th Street in Spirit Lake.

The mental health and addiction counseling service has been expanding both its services and its team of providers in hopes of better serving the public.

Second suspect charged in Virgin Lake murder

Authorities have filed charges against an Emmetsburg man in connection with a 2020 murder in rural Palo Alto County. Brice Patrick Colling has been charged with first-degree murder in the case. He was arrested Monday evening by the Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office and agents of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. The 22-year-old is among three individuals believed to have participated in the murder of Rollin "RJ" Bontrager in July of 2020.

Renewed Stevens Block aims to beckon businesses


Some remember it as the opera house. Others recall its days as a bank. More recently it was home to the YMCA's Healthy Living Program Center, and current renovation work aims to continue the Stevens Block's iconic role in downtown Spirit Lake.

The building was purchased by Kuhlman Lake Service and Welding in mid-January, and plans are underway to convert the building into several leasable commercial units.

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