Local Columns

Meet the O’Leary twins

Their lives began minutes apart in 1946 at Mercy Hospital in Fort Dodge and were intertwined through their first 22 years. Jim and Bill O’Leary grew up on Fourth Avenue North where they ran a neighborhood candy store and enjoyed the outdoors, shared a Messenger paper route, attended the ...

That password is taken

So I thought I’d sign up for Medicare today before I came to the office. First, I decided to create an online Social Security personal page. It went something like this: “Enter your user name.” Jane Curtis “Do not use your name.” OK. How about She Retires? The website gave ...

Supervisors: matrix needs updates

As Labor Day approaches, signaling the closing phase of the election cycle and the subject matter for the next state legislative session begins to formulate, we believe now is the time to address the updating of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources matrix application for the siting of new ...

A little girl named Valerie also came to harm

I don’t know about you, but I’m more than ready to kick last week to the curb. It was a bad week all around, but it was a particularly bad week for Iowa. It was the week when we were reminded that going for a simple run alone in our state can end in devastating results. I’m talking ...

An open letter to the community

It is an honor to be welcomed back to our community and region as your new superintendent of Fort Dodge Community Schools. With the excitement of a new school year upon us, I wanted to take a moment to share some core values I have, and together, hope to instill in our schools and ...

A town counted on a hospital’s promise

It appears that young mothers who wanted their babies to be born at Van Diest Medical Center in Webster City will have to look elsewhere. That is, unless the VDMC board and the hospital’s management, MercyMedical Center, of Des Moines, have a sudden change of heart. VDMC announced in the ...

Preparing tomorrow’s workforce

Iowa Central Community College will host its annual career day, “The Game of Life,” on Oct. 25 for high school students in our area. The day is designed to be an interactive day for students to learn and explore various career opportunities available in our region. We anticipate ...

Incontinence Q&A

As a urologist, one main things I deal is incontinence for both men and women. The following is a basic question and answer guide about incontinence, the misconceptions and how treatments today can make a big difference in someone’s life. What is incontinence? Incontinence is simply the ...

Fort Dodge Police Department shows it has the spirit we need

In case you missed it, the Fort Dodge community rose up this week and shined. I’m talking about the Lip Sync Challenge video in which the Fort Dodge Police Department redefines the iconic rock band Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” Thank you, Officer Matt Weir. If you missed his ...

Remembering the school patrol

Wearing distinctive shoulder harnesses, bright yellow helmets and shiny badges, Fort Dodge school patrol boys and girls once were responsible for the safety of their fellow students crossing streets at the beginning and the end of each school day. Hundreds of youngsters — chosen by teachers ...

Summer dwindles, and we say good-bye

It’s that point in the summer when I don’t want to let go. Too soon, evenings are cooling and locusts are calling. With the Fourth behind us, back to school has returned to the collective vocabulary. It also means we say good-bye to our summer intern this week. Olivia Hanson, of ...

It’s time to get screened for lung cancer

We all know of a friend or family member who has been affected by cancer, which is why there is such an emphasis on screening and early detection for a variety of cancers. In 2013, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) implemented lung cancer screening recommendations for ...

Iowa Central is making career connections

Iowa Central Career Connections is a work-based learning program designed to help prepare students to be successful as they transition into the workforce. By connecting them to local businesses to explore an assortment of fulfilling career options through work-based learning.We partner with ...

A tornado puts a T-shirt in perspective

The focus of this column was going to be the unfortunate choice Iowa City’s softball team made in applying the words “Dirty Dodge” to their competition shirts. But then an EF-3 tornado hit downtown Marshalltown and life, once again, came into a meaningful perspective. So this column is ...

Here’s to that first Dodger softball team

Back when I was in high school, girls state sanctioned competitive sports were not on my radar. Heck, it wasn’t on a lot of people’s radar. In 1971, when I graduated high school, few area schools fielded girls teams in any sports. So I suppose I come by my ignorance ...

‘You have diabetes’

There are many things we do not want to hear when we go to a medical appointment, and the three words, “You have diabetes” are among them. The diabetes diagnosis is based on lab numbers, but the impact of the diagnosis means major changes to the person who hears those words. Better ...

Summer learning loss

Summer is a wonderful time for kids. There is more play time, fewer schedules, and more time with family and friends. For kids, summer can be a carefree time and a chance to just be a kid. It’s easy for children and their families to get caught up in the less disciplined routine of ...

We wager our lives on hope

I’m not sure what to say here. I feel strangely numb to the shooting of five newspaper employees in Maryland late last week. After reading the coverage and hearing people deplore the violence, I still feel numb. I feel numb because this is the risk journalists take. We report things that ...

A lifetime of service

Rich Lennon bleeds Army green. The U.S. Army has been a part of the Fort Dodge man’s life for 48 of his 66 years — and the retired colonel has no plans for that to end anytime soon — continuing to serve his country as commander of a rifle squad for military funerals and as a driver to ...

That, folks, is hometown pride

John Hawkins, Webster City’s mayor, popped in while I was getting my hair done Saturday. That’s not unusual. His wife is my stylist. I’ve known John Hawkins for a bunch of years now. It stretches back to when he began dating my friend, Marcia, and I wanted to make sure he was good ...