The Hartley Sentinel-The Everly/Royal News - Serving O'Brien & Clay Counties

10/29/20: Area Happenings & Accomplishments


October 29, 2020

Burn ban lifted in Clay County

A burn ban that affected all of Clay County was lifted Oct. 21. It had been in place since Aug. 20 due to dry and hazardous conditions.

The request to lift the burn ban was sent to the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office for review and was approved.

Named to dean’s list at SDSU

South Dakota State University in Brookings has announced the dean’s list for academic excellence for the spring 2020 semester. To earn dean’s list distinctions in SDSU’s colleges, students must have completed a minimum of 12 credits and must have earned at least a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Students with an asterisk received a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Everly: *Anne Elizabeth Dragseth, College of Education and Human Sciences.

Hartley: *Reece William Petersen, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Joie Deve Schmidt, College of Nursing.

Seasons relicensed to treat substance use disorder

Seasons Center for Behavioral Health in Spencer was recently awarded a Certificate of License to continue providing Substance Use Disorder services through the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH).

Following an extensive review of agency processes, practices, client records and a virtual on-site visit, Seasons was awarded a three-year certificate by the Substance Abuse/Problem Gambling Program Licensure Committee. A three-year certificate is the longest term provided by the committee.

ILCC awarded $20,000 mental health grant

A $20,000 grant from Northwest Iowa Care Connections (NWIACC) Mental Health and Disability Services will assist Iowa Lakes Community College in providing mental health services to current students coping with the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

This grant will provide Iowa Lakes students with access to mental health services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year through Talk Campus. Talk Campus is a mental health app that offers a way for students to obtain instant support in an anonymous, safe space.

Additionally, the grant will allow the college to contract with Synergy Therapy to provide online therapy sessions with a licensed therapist in Sioux City for both students and staff. The Synergy Therapy portal will be active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with therapy sessions offered by appointment.

Grant funds will also be used to develop a marketing and awareness campaign to help students understand the impact COVID-related issues play in their daily lives and discover resources to deal with mental health concerns arising due to the virus. The awareness campaign will provide a foundation for understanding the effects of critical issues such as anxiety, stress, depression, and more on a student’s daily life.

In a survey conducted by Active Minds in April, 80 percent of college students reported COVID-19 had a negative effect on their mental health. One-fifth of the students surveyed said that their mental health has significantly worsened due to the pandemic.

Iowa Lakes recognizes that students’ mental health impacts their study habits, success rates, family relationships, and their social life. In the 2019-20 academic year, educational counselors at Iowa Lakes conducted 84 total screenings dealing with alcohol abuse, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, depression and substance abuse. Because of COVID-19, Iowa Lakes has seen an increase in the need for mental health services.

By offering immediate access to mental health services, Iowa Lakes students will get the support they need when they need it wherever they are.

ILCC Student Senate launches stuffed animal drive

The Iowa Lakes Community College Student Senate on the Estherville campus will be accepting stuffed animal donations through Nov. 6. The stuffed animals collected will be donated to local hospitals and first responders for children to help them deal with tragedy, loss or illness.

Donators may place new, unused stuffed animals in the drop off box located outside Door 1 of the Estherville campus. A phone number will be listed for donors to call on the door, allowing someone to collect the donation right away.

If you have any questions, please contact Katie Larson at (712) 362-8367

Iowa PBS seeks stories of rural Iowa

Iowa PBS has launched a new initiative intended to celebrate rural America by showcasing the diversity, traditions and richness of small town and rural life in Iowa.

During this ongoing research project, Iowa PBS will conduct interviews with stakeholders from all across the state that serve rural Iowa as well as partner with local filmmakers and journalists to shine a spotlight on compelling, relevant and authentic stories.

“These stories will be told from the ground-level so viewers get a close-up look at the different ways we all see ourselves as Iowans.” said David Miller, senior producer of the project. “The idea is that the people who are watching will say, ‘That’s me. They’re telling my story.’ “

In addition to these interviews, Iowa PBS is looking for rural residents to share what “home” means, in terms of pride of place, culture, belonging and shared values. These stories will help frame Iowa PBS’s work for future productions and programming decisions by providing a better understanding of rural Iowans’ needs, concerns and accomplishments.

To share a story about you or your community’s greatest hero, victory or struggle, visit or leave a message at 800-373-6306. No story is too big or too small. Stories will be accepted until Nov. 30.

“Only those who reside in these incredible communities can showcase what it truly means to be part of rural Iowa,” said Director of Programming and Production Justin Beaupre. “We’re hoping to collect stories about the challenges and successes that people in Iowa communities have been experiencing.”

Gift will establish wildlife management area in Dickinson Co.

The Andrea Waitt Carlton Family Foundation committed $750,000 to Ducks Unlimited to help protect nearly 160 acres of land for wildlife habitat, water quality and public recreation in Dickinson County.

Ducks Unlimited will use the gift to help fund a $1.2 million conservation project to acquire a 159-acre former farm from the Reed family east of Okoboji in the heart of the Iowa Great Lakes region. The land will be turned over to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for the establishment of a new wildlife management area.

Acquisition and future restoration of this mix of prairies, wetlands and cropland will improve local water quality, increase public-use lands within the state and provide wildlife habitat for pollinators, waterfowl and other wildlife and birds.

The Reed property contains a mix of prairies and wetlands. Protecting this land from future development and restoring wetlands and grasslands is a priority for Ducks Unlimited. Irene Reed and the Bendixen family owned the property for nearly 83 years, and they wanted to see the land protected for wildlife and recreational use.

“Farmers are some of our best partners in conservation,” said Michael Shannon, Ducks Unlimited regional biologist in Iowa in a news release. “Landowners are proud of their property, respect the land and appreciate the importance of a healthy ecosystem.”


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