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Local News

Fire ravages downtown building

A blaze that sparked a rare and dangerous smoke explosion destroyed a downtown Fort Dodge building and began spreading into the structure next door before it was extinguished Thursday morning. One firefighter was injured and the residents of eight apartments were forced out of their homes ...

‘We want to ensure everyone’s counted’

With the U.S. 2020 Census underway, it is relying on the public’s proactive participation more than ever, Census Bureau officials say. The constitutionally-mandated 10-year survey will be completed mostly online for the first time ever, and most of the follow-up functions in the Census ...

Made in Iowa

WEBSTER CITY — When President Donald Trump appealed to manufacturers to help in the production of personal protective equipment for health care workers and first responders, a Webster City firm immediately answered the call to action. Vantec Inc. is producing part of the vital face ...

No camping, for now

It wasn’t a bad April Fools’ joke. The Webster County Conservation Board and staff announced yesterday that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the campgrounds at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park and Gypsum City OHV Park won’t be opening on April 15. For now, the opening is delayed until May ...

Finding a ‘fur-ever’ home

While school is out and many adults are working from home to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, this could be the perfect time for some families to welcome a new four-legged, furry family member. Almost Home Humane Society of North Central Iowa, 725 S. 32nd St., is currently ...

Enjoying the fresh air

A young boy walking a dog — or rather the dog walking him. A fisherman casting his reel. A grandfather sitting on a bench as his grandson rides his bicycle around Oleson Park. With bright blue skies and warm temperatures, those were some of the scenes playing out in Fort Dodge and ...

Fire ravages downtown FD building

A building at 1103 Central Ave. was heavily damaged in a fire Thursday morning, and the building next to it, which houses some apartments, was also damaged. One firefighter was injured. Fire Chief Steve Hergenreter described the fire as ``very violent.'' He said a smoke explosion forced ...

Doing a good deed

HARCOURT — Basketball is Lincoln Akins’ game and to practice at home, a neighbor lets him use a hoop in their driveway. He is home from school due to the COVID-19 closure. His neighbor is also home, recovering from recent surgery. His mom, Kerry Akins, said the next idea just seemed ...

Virus interrupts Italian interlude

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a two-part series of Webster City graduate Cinestie Olson’s study-abroad trip to Italy. By CHRIS JOHNSON sports@messengernews.net WEBSTER CITY — When Cinestie Olson received the news that her four-month international journey was going to be cut ...

Doctor: COVID-19 risk varies by type of transmission

As experts gain knowledge on COVID-19, the infectious respiratory disease wreaking havoc on many facets of society, they are learning more about how it spreads and how long it can survive on surfaces. The respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus can be spread a few different ways, ...

Camping delayed at JFK, Gypsum City campgrounds

The opening of the John F. Kennedy Memorial and Gypsum City campgrounds will be delayed from April 15 to at least May 1, the Webster County Conservation Board announced on Wednesday. The delay includes all overnight accommodations in cabins, tiny houses and yurts. Shelter and lodge ...

School meals a source of relief for families

DAYTON — When Tyler Johnson drove up to the Dayton Elementary School Tuesday, he rolled back his truck’s sunroof and stuck his hand up with three fingers into the air. It wasn’t some sort of odd new greeting. It was his proper socially distanced way of letting food service worker Kim ...

Teaching ‘outside the box’

The Iowa Central Community College campus may be devoid of students now that the college has moved to virtual learning for the rest of the spring semester, but that doesn’t mean classes are over. With virtual learning, Iowa Central’s instructors are still holding class at the same times ...

Supervisors open construction bids, approve IDOT budget

Webster County Supervisors on Tuesday opened construction bids for five projects, authorized the Secondary Road Department’s five-year construction plan and approved two new truck purchases. The projects for construction pre-cast reinforced concrete box culverts, which serve drainage ...

Hy-Vee reserves time slots for high-risk customers

Hy-Vee, Inc. announced on Tuesday that it will be reserving one hour of Hy-Vee Aisles Online shopping time slots each day for customers who are considered “high-risk.” Aisles Online is Hy-Vee’s grocery ordering service available at hy-vee.com/grocery/ or via the Hy-Vee Aisles Online ...

Fire blazes through field

What started as a ditch burn spiraled out of control on Hayes Avenue, turning into a field fire that ravaged most of the property’s 80 acres west of Fort Dodge Tuesday afternoon. Barnum Fire Department responded to a call at 1637 Hayes Ave. at approximately 2:45 p.m. Residents Joyce and ...

Immersed in Italy

Cinestie Olson wanted to travel the world and absorb all it has to offer. The Iowa State University sophomore got the chance of a lifetime when she signed up to take a four-month study-abroad journey, which started with a stay in Italy. The trip was cut short because of the COVID-19 ...

Defendant in Green State robbery pleads not guilty

The man nabbed by Fort Dodge police outside Green State Credit Union after a reported armed robbery there earlier in March pleaded not guilty in a written arraignment Monday. Ted Hammersley, 29, of Fort Dodge, is charged with first-degree robbery, a class B felony; going armed with intent, a ...