Hometown Pride

Down at Junior’s Motel

OTHO — There’s a place to go, a mile west of Otho, tucked away on a gravel road, it’s called Junior’s Motel. But it’s not a bed and breakfast. Owned by Kirk Kaufman, Junior’s Motel is a professional recording studio concealed by green ivy and situated behind a house and next to ...

PICA

Members of PICA have found it is a way to become active and gain lifetime friendships with a group of people doing good. PICA, which stands for Pride in Community Appearance, began in 2002, a creation of Jan and Phyllis Wilson, of Fort Dodge. It is one of only two groups in Iowa doing this ...

Al Nelson

Fort Dodge historian Al Nelson’s interest in the past goes back to his childhood. “When I was a little kid,” he said, “my mother had this leather-bound genealogy book. It fascinated me. I’d sneak a peek through it. I was just amazed at the fancy handwriting and script.” After ...

Bob Thode

On the afternoon of June 19, 2017, Fort Dodge Police Capt. Bob Thode made one last call on his radio. It was heard and recorded in the Webster County Communications Center by the other officers on duty and anyone with an ear turned to the local scanner traffic. “It’s been an honor ...

Jeff Brundige

BADGER — Jeff Brundige has seen plenty of changes since he became a Badger volunteer firefighter 23 years ago. The training and requirements for firefighters have shifted in many ways. And this year, his own duties have changed as Brundige took on the role of Badger Fire ...

Rick Winegarden

POCAHONTAS — Auctioneering is more than just a job to Rick Winegarden. It’s in his blood. Winegarden, of Pocahontas, learned all he needed about the job from his father, who was also an auctioneer. “I went to auctioneer school in Mason City, but most of the experience comes from ...

Sherry Washington

Sherry Washington learned tolerance at an early age growing up in Fort Dodge. She was one of the first black students to attend Cooper Elementary School in the early 1970s. Prior to that she was attending Pleasant Valley Elementary School near her home, Washington recalled. Earl O. ...

Steve Gerry

SAC CITY — No matter where he’s gone in his life, Steve Gerry always ends up back in his hometown of Sac City. Gerry, who was born and raised in town, said he’s left two or three times, but he always comes back. And not only has he lived in his hometown much of his life, but over ...

Lynn Kueck

ALGONA — Lynn Kueck, Algona’s mayor, is all about giving back to his hometown and making it be the best it can be. He also likes to share his knowledge of history with the community whenever he gets the chance. An Algona native, Kueck graduated valedictorian from Algona High School ...

Lehigh Betterment Committee

LEHIGH — A place where families can play and neighbors know and support each other are the benefits of living in a small town. Lehigh is no exception, and Melissa Bintz, the president of the Lehigh Betterment Committee, and fellow committee members Melissa Rude, Becky Davis and Joe ...

Linda Donner

That saying, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree? It can be applied to Linda Donner. Since 1981, when she and her husband, Tom Donner, moved to Fort Dodge right after he finished pharmacy school, Linda Donner has been, you could say, channeling her inner Lucy Olson. Olson was ...

Webster County Crime Stoppers

When a local law enforcement agency needs help solving a crime, or if there’s someone with a warrant who can’t be located, there’s usually one group of people in Webster County that the officers turn to for help. That group is Webster County Crime Stoppers. For almost 35 years, ...

Operation Christmas

It all started with two women, Cele Sanders and Denise O’Brien, the wives of doctors, driving around in their cars to make deliveries to the less fortunate in Fort Dodge. These two saw the need was great, and recruited the women from the local Catholic parishes to help them. In 2017, ...

Jill Heisterkamp

ROCKWELL CITY — What would it look like to combine time travel with economic development? It’s an intriguing question for Jill Heisterkamp, who is helping revive the Calhoun County Historic Preservation Commission. “You have to give people a reason to come to your area,” said ...

Marcie Boerner

GOWRIE — Marcie Boerner’s passion to see a small community in Webster County thrive comes from the fact she lives and works there. “I was born and raised in this area. If something is not here, that I wish was here, how do I make that happen,” Boerner said. Boerner is office ...

Mary Tesdahl

CLARION — For 35 years, Mary Tesdahl was a middle special education teacher; 28 of them in the Clarion schools. After her retirement, she has continued her work as an educator, serving as co-chair of Clarion’s Heartland Museum. She begins her third year heading the all-volunteer board ...

Joan Meyer

Originally from Lytton, Joan Meyer first moved to Fort Dodge back in 1982 after graduating college, and it didn’t take long for her to become an active member in the community of Fort Dodge. Now she works at Cornwell, Frideres, Maher & Associates PLC as an accountant. She also ...

Goldfield Community Women’s Club

GOLDFIELD — Goldfield Community Women’s Club, nearly 40 strong of varying ages, has a reputation in the community of about 600 residents of “getting things done.” The group meets about a half dozen times a year. Group members learn all about what is happening in both their ...

Dan Stewart

DAYTON — It’s a common problem and an ongoing issue in many small rural communities — local fire departments and EMS services that rely on volunteers can’t get enough of them to fully meet their needs. Volunteer Dayton Firefighter Dan Stewart is helping to reverse that. Stewart ...

Josh Waller

MANSON — A small sign on Josh Waller’s desk at Rost Motor Inc., in Manson, asks a big question. “What is your most important asset?” Ask Waller, a sales consultant at Rost Motor, what this means for Manson and the answer is straightforward. “Manson’s greatest asset is our ...