Local News

Humboldt project approved

HUMBOLDT — Despite hesitation, the Humboldt City Council approved the 2019-20 Downtown Revitalization Project, which includes removal of all trees, improvement of storefronts, replacing a stop light with stop signs and converting all lighting to decorative street lamps. With a 3-1 vote ...

Safety first

As area residents prepare to celebrate America’s independence this week, local officials are reminding people to do so in a way in which everybody stays safe. When it comes to fireworks, Fort Dodge Police Capt. Ryan Gruenberg said there’s a lot that can be done to make sure they are ...

State auditor: Webster City Chamber of Commerce money misspent

WEBSTER CITY — More than $239,000 in Webster City Chamber of Commerce money was mishandled over five years, apparently by an employee whose actions went routinely unchecked, according to a report released Wednesday by Auditor of State Rob Sand. The report covered the period of Oct. 1, 2013 ...

Grassley talks rural health care during Lake City Visit

LAKE CITY — Rural hospitals across the nation have been closing their doors more frequently and at higher rates than urban facilities in recent years, but Stewart Memorial Community Hospital (SMCH) in Lake City is bucking the trend. U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley learned about SMCH’s new $30 ...

Missing Emmetsburg man found dead in submerged vehicle

EMMETSBURG — An Emmetsburg man who was reported missing almost two weeks ago was found dead in a submerged vehicle in an incident that investigators are saying is not suspicious. Colton Johnson, 19, was reported missing in the early morning hours of June 22. Emmetsburg Police Chief Ryan ...

Cut cable knocks out Mediacom services

A severed fiber optic cable knocked out phone, television and internet service to between 5,000 and 10,000 Mediacom Communications customers in the Fort Dodge area for several hours Wednesday. The service interruption started at about 11:05 a.m. Service was fully restored to most customers ...

It’s a no go, for now

ROCKWELL CITY — A planned fire station in Twin Lakes may have been stopped, at least for now, as a result of action by the Calhoun County Planning and Zoning Board. The board voted 3-2 Tuesday to recommend rejecting a proposed change to the county’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan to allow ...

Two languages

As a child, Desiree Pineda, of Fort Dodge, would answer her parents’ questions a little differently depending on who was asking. That’s because her dad’s questions were in a different language than her mom’s questions. “My dad would talk to me in Spanish and my mom would talk ...

Trump signs Grassley IRS bill

An Internal Revenue Service reform measure co-authored by U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley was signed into law by President Donald Trump on Monday. It is called the Taxpayer First Act. It contains a number of provisions the Iowa Republican said will protect taxpayers. ‘‘This bipartisan, ...

Remme held on bond

A Fort Dodge man accused of robbing the New Star Mini Mart has been ordered held on bond. Dakota J. Remme, 19, had his bond set at $40,000 cash-only during his initial appearance in Webster County Magistrate Court Tuesday. He is charged with first-degree robbery, trafficking in a stolen ...

Lawsuit: Woman says Fort Dodge physician assistant sexually exploited her

An Iowa woman has filed a lawsuit alleging that a physician assistant engaged in a sexual relationship with her while treating her for mental health problems. The lawsuit alleges that physician assistant Mervin Casey IV, of Fort Dodge, sexually exploited the patient and mishandled ...

New reporter joins The Messenger

Hi there, Fort Dodge. I’m your newest reporter at The Messenger. I’m looking forward to getting to know you by finding the stories you care about. I come to The Messenger from the Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune, where I got my start in the field as a general assignment reporter over the last ...

Midterm update to Comprehensive Plan coming

A midterm update to Webster County’s Comprehensive Plan will be coming soon after the Board of Supervisors approved the signing of an agreement with a Des Moines-based design firm. The agreement between the county and Confluence Inc. is for $13,920. Supervisor Keith Dencklau was absent ...

County buys land for water trail access

After more than a year of discussions with the property owners, the Webster County Board of Supervisors has agreed to purchase land in Kalo to build a water trail access point on the Des Moines River. The supervisors voted to buy a 2.73 acre parcel of land from Dean and Sharon Henderson for ...

More than $239,000 improper disbursements found in W.C. Chamber audit

More than $239,000 in improper financial disbursements were found following a special investigation of the Webster City Chamber of Commerce, according to a report released today by Auditor of State Rob Sand. The report covered the period of Oct. 1, 2013 through June 30, 2018. The investigation ...

Head East concert postponed to July 13

Due to the heavy rains in Fort Dodge Tuesday night, the Head East concert scheduled at Fort Frenzy tonight has been postponed to July 13. The fireworks show, set to begin around 10 p.m., will continue as planned, Fort Frenzy stated in a post on social media. The concert will be held July 13 ...

Broken fiber line cuts FD phone service

A broken fiber optic cable has interrupted phone service for parts of Fort Dodge. According to Phyllis Peters, a spokeswoman for Mediacom Communications, a contractor who is not doing work for Mediacom was setting up new utility poles north of Mallard. While the pole was being installed, it ...

Second chances

ROCKWELL CITY — A pilot program being administered by Iowa Central Community College, which allows inmates to earn a college education, could be one solution to Iowa’s workforce challenges, according to Gov. Kim Reynolds. “That’s the number one concern I hear when I talk to business ...