This Week in the Corridor
Tornado sirens and social distancing
My family is not known for moving fast. With the possible exception of my older son, a pretty decent cross country runner, we lack significant straight-line speed.

We’re even slower in collective action. Faced with a joint decision, my daughter crafts a plan, I and that same middle son argue against said plan, my wife offers an intelligent compromise against which I also argue, and my youngest son thumbs through Instagram.

But set off a tornado siren when we’re sleeping in tents and, by gosh, we can get up and move.

I know this because it happened last week at a campground in Oacama, South Dakota. The weather apps on our phone had warned that a storm was on the way, but in the Miller family, if it ain’t raining, we ain’t really camping. So we snuggled down into our sleeping bags and prepared for six hours of soggy.

I’d barely drifted into dreamland, though, when from the distance we heard the mournful ebb-and-flow of a siren saying, “Get the heck out of your tents, you idiots.” And we did. Faster than a zipper tug, we were sheltered in the campground’s cinder-block laundry room, listening to thunder and watching other people’s sundries tumble around the dryers.

We were camping because we couldn’t be at my nephew’s wedding. And we couldn’t be at my nephew’s wedding because one of our kids tested positive for COVID-19. That kid never showed symptoms and the rest of us tested negative—I now know what it feels like to scrape the inside of my skull with a Q-tip—but we still had to isolate for 14 days.

What’s interesting is how much more urgency I assigned to that tornado siren than I did the Coronavirus. A falling tree can kill me, so I sought safety. I was not a diligent mask wearer or social distancer because, candidly, I’m not all that afraid of getting sick.

But what about others around me? Subconsciously, I was saying screw ‘em.

This weekend, I’m going to do better. There will be thousands of folks about for the Fourth of July. How much does it really hurt to stay a few extra feet away, or to pull on a mask before stepping into a store? Masks and stopping the spread should not become a political issue in Iowa, a state where we’re known for looking out for our neighbors. Surely we won’t allow the screaming polarization on our TVs, as insightful as a toddler’s tantrum, to erode our basic rural decency.

My nephew is named after me. He was there as a toddler the day I got married. He is one of the best, the truest-hearted young men I know. And I missed seeing him kiss his bride. I don’t want to cause someone else a similar loss.

The huddle in the laundry room ended for my family in a matter of minutes. We were back in our tents as soon as the siren stopped.

This virus is different. There is no all-clear signal. The threat travels with us. If we truly believe what we claim here in the United States and in northwest Iowa—in personal responsibility, self-governance, and generosity—then Independence Day is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate those ideals.

Even the Millers can hold fast to that, no argument.   

Featured Real Estate
Site: 4th Avenue West

Location: 4th Avenue West
Spencer, IA 51301
11 acres

Sale Price: $390,000
(in three parcels)

For more information visit the Corridor website!
Around the Corridor
Hansen's legacy continues

Hansen's clothing store has been established in Spencer since 1902, nearly 118 years. Hansen's was a three generation owned business and now has a new ownership group with big plans including remodeling and reopening the Hansen's storefront in Spencer.

Lakes Area Young Professionals to hold virtual 5k to benefit CAASA July 11-12

The Lakes Area Young Professionals is a networking organization that helps connect people in the first 10 years of their job to others in similar places in their careers. They have put together a virtual 5k to benefit CAASA during the weekend of July 11 and 12. There will be awards given out to people who run it the fastest, slowest, ect. It will be the experience of a real 5k just without the group setting.

Iowa Lakes Community College: Leadership Training Fall 2020 & Spring 2021

Iowa Lakes Community College is offering leadership training classes during the fall 2020 and spring 2021 sessions at both Spencer and Estherville campuses. There are 18 different classes on leadership skills, team work, workplace professionalism, and communication.

Grant for international marketing

The Iowa Economic Development Authority's International Trade Office offers grants to eligible Iowa companies to support international marketing efforts.

Investor Spotlight
Each week we want to feature and thank the businesses and individuals that have committed to economic development and growth in our communities. To learn more about these investors and others, visit our  Business Directory !
GF Land Partnership
Sector: Agriculture Services
Location: Spirit Lake
Description: Real Estate Leasing and Rentals
GKN Armstrong Wheels
Sector: Manufacturing
Location: Armstrong
Description: GKN Land Systems is a global leading supplier of technology differentiated power management solutions and services. They design, manufacture and supply products and services for the  Agritechnical Construction, Mining and Utility  vehicle markets and key  Industrial  segments, offering integrated PowerTrain solutions.
Jobs in the Iowa Lakes Corridor
Post your jobs where quality candidates are already looking:

See current job openings here.
Questions? Want to be featured in next week's newsletter?
Contact the Iowa Lakes Corridor at ,
or call us at 712.264.3474.