Local News

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari

Chase Behrends, of Fort Dodge, gives a thumbs up as he poses for a photo with his fiancee, Sharay Benge, of Des Moines. Behrends graduated from Webster County Drug Treatment Court on Friday. He said the court helped him turn his life around.

Drug Treatment Court sees success

It was a day of celebration in a Webster County courtroom Friday as Chase Behrends became the latest graduate in the intensive Webster County Drug Treatment Court program. Behrends, of Fort Dodge, took part in the voluntary program to both kick his substance abuse problems and to avoid ...

Judge is concerned about court funding

Chief District Court Judge Kurt Wilke said Friday he’s concerned that a proposed state budget would cut money from the court system, leaving no money for Iowa’s specialty courts. Wilke said that the judicial branch appropriates money for both Drug Treatment Court and Family Treatment ...

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

Fort Dodge Assistant Police Chief Roger Porter, center, talks to members of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance Leadership Fort Dodge class Thursday afternoon as they visited the station to drop off gift bags for the officers and to tour the building. Gift bags will also be given to the Webster County Sheriff’s deputies, the state troopers at Post 7 and the firefighters at the Fort Dodge Fire Department.

Leading the way to gratitude

Each of the gift bags given Thursday to members of the Fort Dodge Police Department, the Webster County Sheriff’s Department, the Iowa State Patrol troopers at Post 7 and the firefighters at the Fort Dodge Fire Department included a handwritten note from an individual member of the Greater ...

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari

Gov. Terry Branstad speaks with The Messenger staff Thursday during a followup to his Condition of the State address.

Branstad’s tales of China

The seeds of friendship between Gov. Terry Branstad and Chinese President Xi Jinping were planted long before it was announced that Branstad would take on the role of U.S. ambassador to China in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration. Branstad credited Gov. Robert D. Ray, who served ...

Gregory Pulley

Pulley charged in two FD shooting cases

A suspect in two shootings in Fort Dodge over the past two months has been arrested by the Fort Dodge Police Department. Gregory J. Pulley Jr., 28, of Fort Dodge, is facing two counts of attempted murder: one for the shooting of Marquez Clayton, 23, of Fort Dodge, last November; and one ...

-Messenger photo by Adri Sietstra

The event Wednesday gave people the opportunity to see illustrations of the proposed Briggs Woods Conference Center.

Final plans unveiled for Briggs Woods center

WEBSTER CITY — The Briggs Woods Golf Course clubhouse was packed Wednesday night with people eager to see the finalized plans for the Briggs Woods Conference Center. “We provided the conceptual 3-D renderings and site plan, as well as the project itself,” Wayne Schlotfeldt, president ...

Man accused in drunk driving crash

A Spirit Lake man is accused of getting into a car accident while intoxicated, causing injuries to a passenger. Nolan Randall, 20, is charged with operating while intoxicated causing serious injury and failure to maintain control. He was allegedly driving while under the ...

Cady touts Iowa’s effective court system

DES MOINES — The head of Iowa’s court system says the Legislature is not providing enough money to sustain effective court programs that have been implemented in recent years. Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady made the remarks Wednesday to lawmakers, one day after Gov. Terry ...

Audit: FDCSD financial condition ‘excellent’

The Fort Dodge Community School District is spending within its means, according to an audit conducted by Schnurr & Company LLP. The FDCSD’s total revenues from fiscal year 2015-16 were $51,976,783. Total expenditures were $50,397,490. Brandon Hansel, FDCSD director of ...

To defund Planned Parenthood, Iowa would pass up federal money

By BARBARA RODRIGUEZ Associated Press DES MOINES — Gov. Terry Branstad’s plan to defund Planned Parenthood would cost Iowa millions of federal dollars that had gone to family planning services, and the state plans to replenish the losses by tapping a fund for vulnerable children, ...

Arrest made in Yesway, Clayton shootings

A Fort Dodge man has been arrested in connection with two shootings in Fort Dodge over the past two months. Gregory J. Pulley Jr., 28, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder for his alleged involvement in the November shooting of Marquez Clayton, 23, of Fort Dodge, and the ...

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

A motorist makes their way up the Veterans Memorial Bridge on First Avenue South Tuesday afternoon as a layer of ice continues to coat the sidewalk and railings after the early morning freezing rain.

Icy roads greet Webster County drivers Tuesday Slipping and sliding

Residents in Fort Dodge awoke to slick roads Tuesday as freezing rain turned to snow and covered the roadways. The weather caused the public and parochial schools in Fort Dodge, as well as Iowa Central Community College, to cancel classes for the day. Webster County Engineer Randy Will said ...

Webster County backs Fort Dodge in grant application

Webster County will join with Fort Dodge in seeking a grant for trails in the city. “This grant is to fund five trail connections in the city of Fort Dodge,” said Carissa Harvey, Fort Dodge senior planner. “Also acquisition of land in order to extend the trails into the ...

New drainage clerk to move from Child Support Recovery unit

Krystal Steck willl be the new Webster County drainage clerk. Steck and Sara Lewis have transferred from other government jobs to fill open positions in the Webster County auditor’s office. Steck was formerly a support recovery aide in the Child Support Recovery Unit, a state ...

Regent: Response to ISU plane scandal was ‘slap in the face’

By RYAN J. FOLEY Associated Press The Board of Regents’ decision to take no action against Iowa State University President Steven Leath for misusing university airplanes was “a slap in the face” to taxpayers, a regent later complained to his colleagues. Regent Subhash Sahai told ...

-AP photo

Rep. Helen Miller, D-Fort Dodge, center, poses for a photo with family members during the opening day of the Iowa Legislature Monday at the Statehouse in Des Moines.

Another opening

DES MOINES — Republican leaders on Monday kicked off the new session of the Iowa Legislature with a promise to make major changes to the workings of state government, though the party with new majorities in both chambers remained mum about specific details on plans to cut taxes, restrict ...

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson

Colten Bills, 21, of Dayton, left, listens as Chief District Judge Kurt Wilke prepares to announce his verdict in Webster County District Court Monday afternoon. Bills’ attorneys, Derek Johnson, center, and Charles Kenville, right, listen with him.

Bills guilty in crash that killed two

Colten Bills was distracted by texting when he got into a crash that killed two people in May 2015. That ruling was made Monday by Chief District Court Judge Kurt Wilke during a hearing in Webster County District Court. Bills, 21, of Dayton, was found guilty of two counts of homicide by ...

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter

Fort Dodge Salvation Army Capt. Rick Hamlund packs up some of the countertop kettles that were used during the holiday season.

Salvation Army comes up short

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign hasn’t gone as expected this holiday season in Fort Dodge. “We fell short,” said Capt. Rick Hamlund. “Quite a bit short. We were about $16,800 short of our goal.” The local Salvation Army post was hoping to bring in about ...