Local News

-Messenger photos by Joe Sutter 

Travis Filloon explains the layout of the lobby for Fort Dodge Senior High’s new auxiliary gym, which will have a family restroom and men's and women's rooms, and can be opened without opening the school for events. Filloon said the structure should be ready by the time school starts.

Almost finished

By the time school begins on Sept. 5, the students at Fort Dodge Senior High will have a brand new auxiliary gym to enjoy for sports practices and some small events. Hopefully. “It will be real close to the start of school,” said Travis Filloon, director of buildings and grounds. ...

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter

Timothy Wood, right, speaks to Chief Judge Kurt Wilke, of the 2nd Judicial District, during a guilty plea hearing in Webster County District Court Monday. Wood pleaded guilty to second-degree arson. First Assistant Webster County Attorney Ryan Baldridge takes notes at left.

Wood pleads guilty to arson

The day before he was set to go to trial for burning down a root beer tent at the Fort Museum and Frontier Village, Timothy Wood has pleaded guilty in the case. Wood, 29, of Fort Dodge, pleaded guilty to second-degree arson, a Class C felony, during a hearing in Webster County District Court ...

George McGuire

EG city admin resigns

EAGLE GROVE — Eagle Grove’s city administrator has unexpectedly submitted his letter of resignation after less than six full months on the job. George McGuire’s resignation was unanimously accepted at Eagle Grove’s City Council meeting Monday night. He cited “personal reasons” ...

-Messenger photo by Karen Weld

Eighteen-month old Brit is new to Wright County and is being trained as the county’s drug dog. Deputy Sheriff and Canine Officer Adam Nerlien is Brit’s handler. He is the third dog to serve the county. According to Nerlien, the average drug dog has a life expectancy of about a dozen years, but they work for eight years, giving each dog a few years for retirement.

Protecting area residents

CLARION — Within the last month, Wright County has added a new resident. That resident is 18-month-old Brit, who is Wright County’s new drug dog. The German shepherd and Belgian Malinois mix is now part of the Wright County Sheriff’s Department and is handled by Deputy Sheriff Adam ...

Laurens man dies in ATV rollover

LAURENS – A man has died after the ATV he was riding rolled. The Pocahontas County Sheriff's Department identified the man as David Woodin, 63, of Laurens. According to the sheriff's office, Woodin was spraying weeds near a farm drive on a gravel road in Pocahontas County. His side-by-side ...

Wood pleads guilty to root beer tent fire

A Fort Dodge man has pleaded guilty to burning down a root beer tent just before Frontier Days earlier this year. Timothy Wood, 29, of Fort Dodge, pleaded guilty to second-degree arson in Webster County District Court Monday afternoon. Although he admitted that he had no memory of the night ...

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

Alexandra Grammatikaki, of Crete, Greece, works on cleaning the altar painting at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Dayton earlier this week. The project, commissioned to help the church celebrate their 150th anniversary in 2018, took about 4 days of work.

Under the soot

DAYTON — Alexandra Grammatikaki, of Crete, Greece, carefully wetted a cloth rag with a solvent, then ever so gently rubbed a small section of the altar painting at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Dayton. She worked in small circles, cleaning a small area at a time. Her “office” is near ...

Sherry Washington

Diversity pageant is follow-up to Miss Black FD

The Pleasant Valley Awareness group is hoping to rebuild a tradition celebrating diversity and educating young women. The Miss Diverstiy Pageant will be held Saturday, and will teach girls ages 10 to 18 about good health and how to manage money, in addition to encouraging them to be ...

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

Fort Dodge Middle School substitute teacher Martha Mericle poses in a classroom at the Fort Dodge Middle School with a typical message she might write for a class when she's filling in.

As school year nears, substitute teachers are scarce

The number of available substitute teachers in Fort Dodge has declined in recent years, according to Rob Hughes, Fort Dodge Community School District assistant superintendent, and that creates a need. “We have seen in the last five to 10 years a reduction in the amount of people ...

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

Fort Dodge firefighter Pat Greve helps remove a burned up box spring from an upstairs bedroom Friday afternoon at 1607 Fourth Ave. S. as crews work to put out a fire in the home.

Fire damages FD home

An alert neighbor and quick response by the Fort Dodge Fire Department quickly helped bring a Friday afternoon house fire at 1607 Fourth Ave. S. in Fort Dodge under control and prevented it from spreading beyond an upstairs bedroom. According to Fort Dodge Fire Chief Steve Hergenreter, ...

-Messenger photo by Dawn Bliss

Taylor Parsons, of Bancroft, studies eggs in an incubator in the Kossuth County Agriculture Education Center Thursday during the Kossuth County Fair in Algona. Parsons was waiting to see if a chick would hatch.

Learning, eating, at the fair

ALGONA — People drifted in and out of the Kossuth County Agriculture Learning Center Thursday afternoon as they waited to hear word of the next new arrival at this year’s county fair. The buzz of activity centered around a live farrowing station and chick hatching incubator set up at ...

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter

Two new principals pose outside the Southeast Valley High School. High School Principal Kerry Ketcham, left, and Middle School Principal Greg Slininger were hired this summer and are working to be ready when school starts Aug. 23.

Leading the Jaguars

GOWRIE — Two new principals are taking the reins at Southeast Valley Middle School and High School. Kerry Ketcham, who will lead the high school, comes with experience working in the largest districts in Iowa, and was previously assistant principal at a West Des Moines high school. ...

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

Webster County Sheriff Jim Stubbs holds up a sample Star Energy "Help Fuel the Thin Blue Line," card and the brochure explaining their use. Proceeds in Webster County go the Webster County Crime Stoppers.

Fueling the Thin Blue Line

A new fundraiser aims to help raise money for law enforcement with the help of a credit card and gas purchases. Star Energy FS, which owns Fast Stop and Fast Stop Express locations across Iowa, recently began its Fueling the Thin Blue Line program. Customers who sign up for a Thin Blue ...

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

Maureen Hans, of Ankeny, at left, makes sure her daughter, Peyton Hans, 11, has enough carrot sticks Friday evening to go with her pork loin sandwich at the 8th annual Legends Tailgate at Friendship Haven.

Legends Tailgate to support residents of Friendship Haven is today

The ninth annual Friendship Haven Legends Tailgate kicks off this afternoon starting at 5 p.m. on the Friendship Haven campus. Denise Halverson, director of engagement at Friendship Haven, said that there are multiple items for guests to bid on during the live auction segment of the ...

Property damaged during high-speed FD chase

A man reported as suicidal was taken to the hospital about an hour after police say he led officers on a high-speed chase throughout Fort Dodge Thursday. Due to the medical nature of the call, Fort Dodge Police Capt. Ryan Gruenberg said officers are not identifying the man at this time. At ...

Iowa sales tax holiday starts today

Shoppers will have a chance for some savings on clothing and footwear today and Saturday during the annual Iowa Sales Tax Holiday. The holiday began at 12:01 a.m. today and ends at midnight Saturday. During that period, no taxes will be collected on sales of clothing or shoes that have a ...

FDPD investigating car fire

A car fire Wednesday night is being treated as suspicious by the Fort Dodge Police Department. The fire was reported at 10:11 p.m. Officers were dispatched to the area of North 26th Place and Fourth Avenue North after receiving a report of a car on fire in a parking lot, according to Fort ...

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

Fort Dodge earned its Main Street Iowa designation Wednesday.

Main Street Iowa is a go

Fort Dodge has been designated as a Main Street Iowa community, Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, announced Wednesday. Main Street Iowa is a program led by the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Its goal is to improve the downtown area of the cities that ...