Local News

FD council goes back to the drawing board on abandoned house

Fort Dodge officials continue to consider options for disposing of an abandoned house that has some maintenance needs. The property is at 801 N. 16th St. The city government recently used the state’s abandoned buildings law to take ownership of it. Three bids were received for it. • ...

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson

Larry Bickford, of Fort Dodge, scrapes some of the old paint off of a window frame at 1100 Central Avenue recently. The three-story building was damaged by the storm on May 16.

Bickford remodeling historic building on Central after storm

The storm that swept through Fort Dodge on May 16 damaged more than just trees, homes and cars. Historic buildings in downtown Fort Dodge were also tested by the 70 mph straight-line winds. A three-story building owned by Brooke Bickford at 1100 Central Avenue was impacted. About 20 ...

-Messenger photo by Bill Shea
These devices will be coming to all Fort Dodge homes beginning this summer as a major water meter replacement project begins. On the left is a radio transmitter that will send water usage data to the Fort Dodge Municipal Building. On the right is one of the new water meters.

New water meters coming to FD

A new generation of water meters will be installed in every Fort Dodge home beginning this summer. City residents will soon be receiving letters informing them of the project and asking them to arrange a time to have their new meter installed. ‘‘We can’t do it without their ...

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari

Roxanne Leadley, a civil clerk with the Webster County Sheriff's Department, goes over some paperwork.

Learning the position: New sheriff’s office clerk adjusting to new role

Six months ago, Roxanne Leadley was hired by the Webster County Sheriff’s Department as its newest civil clerk. And in that time, Leadley said her new role has been going very well. “The people I’m working with are just extremely helpful,” she said, adding everyone — from her ...


Two departments respond to grass fire

Lt. Rod Case, an Otho volunteer firefighter, works to put out a grass fire Sunday afternoon near 2589 Nelson Ave. The fire was reported at 1:48 p.m., Case said. Firefighters monitored the area until about 5 p.m., according to Case. The cause of the fire is unknown, said Case, but he did not ...


Tree falls on car in FD

Justin Pickett, of Fort Dodge, looks over his car after heavy branches fell on the vehicle Sunday night at 1339 Third Ave. N. Pickett was not home at the time of the incident, he said. A neighbor called and told him. His wife, Jessica Pickett, said the tree was in rough shape. “That tree ...

-Submitted graphic
This drawing shows what a 128,000-square-foot cultural and recreation center in downtown Fort Dodge may look like. The center would extend east from the east side of the Warden Plaza. Constructing it would require demolishing two buildings and closing part of South 10th Street.

Building for the future

It’s dark, dusty and vacant now, but someday the Warden Plaza in downtown Fort Dodge may be home to hundreds of people. Those residents might be able to leave their upstairs apartments to go shopping in stores on the building’s first floor. Or they could go right next door to see a play ...

DART invites everyone to get on the bus

Dodger Area Rapid Transit is inviting everyone to take a free bus ride this week. The Fort Dodge bus service will offer free rides on all six of its regular fixed routes Monday through Friday, according to Jay Kammerer, the transit manager for MIDAS Council of Governments. “We just want ...

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter

Gerald Wagner, at right, looks over the ISU solar car that stopped through Fort Dodge Friday. The car is designed for the best possible aerodynamics, including this odd tunnel through the center that makes it look a little like a boat. The students say this is the first "solar utility vehicle", because of its generous interior space.

Here comes the sun

The solar vehicle Iowa State University students are showing off across the state doesn’t look a lot like your standard American car. But then again, it doesn’t look much like the tiny, slim solar racers you might be familiar with either. In fact, with four doors and roomy cargo space ...

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen

Cooper Elementary School nurse Juli Springer works on finishing up all her paperwork Friday morning in her office. There is plenty of work for teachers, administrators and support staff to do before they get to start their summer vacation.

School’s out for summer

While last Friday was the last day of school for the students in the Fort Dodge Community School District, it wasn’t the last day of school for everyone. District staff, teachers, support staff and administrators get to stay a little longer. Juli Springer, the nurse at Cooper ...

Supreme Court denies Green appeal

SAC CITY — A man convicted of the 2009 murder of his roommate in Sac City had his appeal denied by the Iowa Supreme Court. John David Green, 57, formerly of Sac City, was convicted of second-degree murder in 2015. He is serving a 35-year prison sentence at Anamosa State ...

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter

Thompson Mays, vice president and senior council for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, gives the keynote address on "Why old places matter" at First United Methodist Church to start off the Preserve Iowa Summit Thursday.

Why old places matter

Why do old places matter? According to Thompson Mayes, more reasons than you might think. Mayes was the keynote speaker at the first day of the Preserve Iowa Summit, held throughout Fort Dodge Thursday, today and Saturday. He is vice president and senior council for the National Trust for ...

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson

Sgt. Dennis Quinn, of the Fort Dodge Police Department, prepares to enter a home at 1130 S 19th St. late Wednesday night after a man barricaded himself inside the residence. After a two-and-a-half hour standoff, police were able to talk the man out of the house. He was transported to UnityPoint Health - Trinity Regional Medical Center for an evaluation.

Suicidal man surrenders after two-and-a-half hour standoff in FD

A standoff that lasted two-and-half hours Wednesday night ended peacefully after Fort Dodge police officers convinced a suicidal man to surrender. Officers were called to 1130 S 19th St. at 9:07 p.m. for a man who had an active arrest warrant for absence from custody, according to Sgt. ...

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter

Dennis Jones, left, attorney Ernie Kersten, Coleman Sanitary District Trustee Larry Pingle, and attorney Eric Eide look over the proposed budget for the district next year. Jones previously sued the district in an open records case, represented by Kersten, while the district was represented by Eide. Jones was elected to the board of trustees Thursday night.

Jones elected, Echelberger resigns, Ely elected

Nearly four years after they attempted to alter the makeup of the Coleman Sanitary District Board, Dennis Jones and Shannon Ely have been elected as board trustees. What was to be a meeting for one election became two elections when Trustee Joseph Echelberger resigned his position after Jones ...

Paton man dies after semi rear ends tractor

PATON — A Paton man is dead after the tractor he was driving was hit from behind by a semitrailer east of Paton Tuesday morning, according to Iowa State Patrol crash reports. Patrick Fields, 47, was driving a Farmall tractor eastbound on 130th Street near X Avenue in Greene County. Troy ...