Local Columns

There’s a pilot shortage.

Air service is critically important to each of our state’s key economic drivers. Iowa’s largest employers rank commercial air service in the top three factors influencing expansion and relocation decisions. Recently, major business relocations in other parts of the country have supported ...

Why the pilot shortage matters to Fort Dodge

Pilots used to need 250 hours of flight time to get hired by a regional airline. Now, they need 1,500 hours. The genesis of the 1,500-hour rule, as it came to be known, can be traced to Feb. 12, 2009, when Colgan Air Flight 3407, operating as Continental Connection, crashed into a house on ...

Mean girls are after Melania Trump

The media, including magazines that purport to empower women, are behaving as “mean girls” when it comes to their deplorable treatment of first lady Melania Trump, who is a class act by any standards. Women’s magazines that never missed an opportunity to heap lavish praise upon Michelle ...

Remember ‘Uncle Dick’s Fun House’?

For years, Dick Johnson put smiles on the faces of hundreds of Fort Dodge girls and boys and helped many of them usher in another birthday — made all the more special by celebrating it on live television. Those lucky kids who appeared on “Uncle Dick’s Fun House” are now in their 60s ...

I am disappointed

I am not a dispatcher. I am a journalist. But you probably wouldn’t realize how our lives parallel unless you stepped into the newsroom of The Messenger at any given moment on any given day and heard dispatch coming across the scanner. The Webster County Law Enforcement Center is literally ...

If the coat fits …

Shimkat Motor Co. and Community Health Center of Fort Dodge are once again collecting winter clothing for children who need those items. The annual clothing drive, Coats for Kids, is a collaborative effort between Shimkat and Community Health Center to help area school children stay warm. ...

Lord, I am thankful

Dear Lord, I am thankful. I am thankful that as I drive through this grey fall landscape we know as Iowa after the harvest, it is cold and my windows are up. Once, years ago, my best friend was driving through Iowa to interview for a teaching job. It was hot and her car windows were down. A ...

UnityPoint at Home gives thanks

November is here and the holiday season is beginning. This time of year we often find ourselves giving thanks and reflecting on “what matters.” At UnityPoint Health we have a lot to be thankful for and we know people matter. November also happens to be National Homecare and Hospice month ...

This church ministers to inmates

All of his parishioners have been convicted of crime and are serving prison time for their offense, but there’s no job the Rev. Paul Stone would rather do than to serve as their pastor. “I feel like I’m working with people who recognize that to change their lives, they can’t do it ...

Whatever this has been, it is behind us

Whatever this has been, it is behind us. Whatever wave of emotion that has swept us from the center, pushing us against one another either to the left or to the right, where, from across the ensuing chasm we could no longer find civil words to greet our neighbors, it is behind us. That ...

Iowa is exactly the right place to raise pigs

October is Pork Month. Consumers here in Iowa and across the U.S. should be aware that pork is a great value now with all our retail and restaurant partners. Pork is nutritious, safe and very diverse with menu and meal planning. Iowa pig farmers are doing what is right for Iowa. You may be ...

It was a long road to four-lane US 20

Finally! Statewide Four-Lane US 20 Opens Opportunity Hallelujah! Decades of tireless advocacy will be rewarded when a ribbon cutting marking completion of statewide four-lane US 20 is cut today on Oct.19, 2018. In the early 1950s, plans for upgrading US 20 to a four-lane highway from Sioux ...

Early detection is key in beating breast cancer

Mammography is the process of using low energy X-rays to make pictures of human breast tissue, looking for nodules, masses or clustered calcifications. This year more than 250,000 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and at least 40,000 women will die from their breast cancer. ...

FD Fine Arts

Supporting artists and donors, the Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association is able to fulfill its mission of strengthening our community by fostering creativity and celebrating life through the arts. FDFAA is nearing the end of its second full year with Executive Director Shelly Bottorff. Shelly has ...

The long and winding road to four-lane Highway 20

It has been a project 60 years in the making, since the first four lane section was opened in Moville in 1958. But in 2018, a day we have waited six decades for is finally here. We’ve reached the end of the long and winding road leading to the opening of a four lane Highway 20 through Iowa. ...

It’s time to think about financial aid

For most of us, Oct. 1 means the changing of seasons, pumpkin spice, and Halloween. For high school seniors, Oct. 1 also means it’s time to begin filling out college applications and applying for financial aid. The 2019-2020 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) became available on ...

In the rearview, there’s a giant pothole

In the rearview, there’s a giant pothole. Well, actually a sinkhole. Every Wednesday, in the early afternoon, I meet with my colleague, Anne Blankenship, who is the Daily-Freeman Journal’s managing editor. At those meetings we sit at a conference table, make plans and share ...

Charles Clayton shares his lessons

Charles Clayton is the first to admit that he learned life’s lessons the hard way. He was a member of the Dodgers’ 1988 state championship basketball team coached by Tom Goodman but his playing time was limited by an attitude problem, he said: “I thought I could buck the system and just ...

United Way campaign kicks off

The 2018-2019 United Way campaign has kicked off with a campaign theme of “Offering our Kids a Brighter Future.” This year’s goal is $425,000. National research by United Way of America shows 25 percent of the youths in our community live at or close to poverty and more than 50 percent ...

Lost & found

The ups and downs of a newsroom’s week are the rollercoaster of the events it reports. And just like a rollercoaster, there are lulls that our readers would probably cast as boring. I suppose the coverage of budget season would cruise into that territory. But then there are weeks like the ...