Local News

Sports betting bill coming, lawmakers say

Every Iowan who wants to place a bet on their favorite baseball or football team would be impacted by a proposal that area lawmakers expect to spend a lot of time on during this year’s legislative session. “This will probably be the biggest gambling bill we’ve done in 20 years,” state ...

Decker truckers join initiative to stop human trafficking

Up until about 10 years ago, human trafficking was a problem largely unrecognized and under-reported by the general public. Much of that had to do with a lack of education on the subject of human trafficking, which is the illegal transportation of a person to another location for the ...

Fort Dodge to consider hiring retail consultant

A new effort to draw retailers and restaurants to Fort Dodge will be considered by the City Council when it meets Monday. “We don’t have anything we do on a consistent basis on the retail and restaurant front,” said Chad Schaeffer, the city’s director of engineering, business affairs ...

Champion. robots.

Picking up a couple of plastic cubes and balls and putting them down a few feet away doesn’t seem like a particularly difficult task. It isn’t — for a person. They don’t have to think about the complex series of motions, decisions and judgments. They just do it. Getting a robot ...

Algona schools look to revise goals

ALGONA — Over the past year, the leadership of the Algona Community School District has been meeting and working on revising the goals of the school. Interim Superintendent Tom Williams said the school’s board of education has been looking for ways for the district to become more ...

Two districts become one

WEBSTER CITY — Reorganization? Merger?  Consolidation? Whatever you call it, it takes an immense effort to combine the Webster City and Northeast Hamilton school districts as the July 1 deadline approaches. Webster City Superintendent Dr. Mandy Ross, along with NEH Superintendent Mike ...

Growing — and learning at Northeast Hamilton

BLAIRSBURG — For the students in the Northeast Hamilton science classes, it’s OK to eat your school work. That’s because the fourth- through sixth-grade students are producing lettuce, radishes, peas and tomatoes in their new STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — ...

One hurt in crash that closed Highway 175

HARCOURT — A propane tanker ended up on its side Friday morning after the driver lost control of the truck just as he was entering a set of curves about a mile west of Harcourt on Iowa Highway 175. The driver, Gordon Duane Thompson, 51, of Renwick, was transported to UnityPoint Health ...

FD little dam has a date with wrecking crew

An excavator rumbled into the frigid waters of the Des Moines River Friday and began breaking apart what Fort Dodge residents often call the little dam. At times, the machine looked as if it would be swamped by the swirling water as it battered the concrete dam. Friday’s work was the ...

Fort Dodge man faces multiple charges

A Fort Dodge man is facing drug and forgery charges after law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at a house southwest of Duncombe Elementary School Friday morning, the Fort Dodge Police Department reported. Lucas Osborne, 30, is charged with possession with intent to ...

Lights in the dark

Half the gym at Butler Elementary School was enveloped in darkness Thursday night. In a small pool of light cast by her cell phone, second-grade teacher Alissa Martin sat with third-grade student Milynne Umsted, 8, against one of the walls. Umsted read a book out loud. Martin held the ...

New parking plan considered in FD

People who come to downtown Fort Dodge have been stuffing coins into parking meters for the past seven years. Now, city officials are considering a plan that may add more meters and a new enforcement tool to ensure people aren’t parking on the streets longer than they are allowed to. A ...

Will requests $12.1 million budget for 2020

Webster County Engineer Randy Will is requesting a $12.1 million budget for fiscal year 2020, which is an increase from the budget he received last year. Will presented his preliminary budget for the Engineering and County Road Department to the Webster County Board of Supervisors Thursday ...

FD man faces drug, forgery charges

A Fort Dodge man is facing drug and forgery charges after law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at a house southwest of Duncombe Elementary School Friday morning, the Fort Dodge Police Department reported. Lucas Osborne, 30, is charged with possession with intent to distribute ...

Before the cupboards are bare

The ongoing partial federal government shutdown could lead to more people than usual coming to a local food pantry during a time of year when its donations are down. The Lord’s Cupboard, which operates out of 127 N. 10th St., a part of First United Methodist Church, is experiencing the ...

Commission recommends urban renewal addition

The Fort Dodge Plan and Zoning Commission moved Wednesday to aid the eventual redevelopment of land near a busy intersection. The commission voted to recommend that the property at 512 S. 16th St. be added to a nearby urban renewal district. That move would allow the use of tax increment ...

Humboldt, Webster concerned for damaged tile under tracks

Humboldt and Webster counties are looking into repairs to a drainage tile alongside the Union Pacific Railroad tracks just south of Pioneer. “I was contacted by a farm manager in November to go take a look. At that time it looked like the railroad put in three culverts above the county ...

‘A great lady’

Shirley Brown, who prided herself on being a role model for African American youth in Fort Dodge, passed away on Tuesday. “I try to be there for all the kids and try to make them feel good about themselves,” Brown, who was 76, said in a Messenger story published in February 1997. ...

Rail cars used for road repair

DAKOTA CITY — On roads with lower weight requirements, counties have a way to save on bridge replacement costs — thanks to recycling and rail cars. Humboldt County will keep a road open after its bridge failed using a culvert made from an old railroad tank car that may have once carried ...

Webster County opens bids to fix leaking skylight

The Webster County Board of Supervisors opened bids for an upcoming project to repair the skylight located at the county-owned bank building on First Avenue South in Fort Dodge. Two bids were received for the project, and they were publicly revealed for the first time at the supervisors’ ...