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Local News

The next chapter

Staci Laird knew she wanted to be a teacher way back when she was in the first grade, but she never planned on going into administration. Today, however, she is the head principal at Fort Dodge Senior High. A native of Fort Dodge, Laird has been teaching for 23 years, and 18 of those ...

Recognizing the value of volunteers

CLARE — Darci Mersch, of Clare, has some simple advice to people hesitant to volunteer. “Do it,” she said. “You get more out of it than you can imagine.” Mersch got more than she expected when she received the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for the hours and effort she ...

FD police continue investigation of shootings

Investigations continue into two recent shootings, one of which killed 17-year-old Daiqualis Poe and another which left one injured. Capt. Ryan Gruenberg, of the Fort Dodge Police Department, said officers are continuing to work with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation on what events ...

Assessor’s office announces inspections

The Webster County Assessor’s Office has announced that the door-to-door inspections of all commercial, industrial, and multi-residential properties in Wester County will begin approximately Oct. 14. A reappraisal project was approved by the Conference Board in February 2016. The ...

Rock painting

Classrooms of preschool students learned the lesson of friendship and uniqueness at Riverside Early Learning Center this week. On Tuesday morning, outdoor classroom teacher Ann Moenck led students to a picnic table covered with bottles of paint, where she let each student pick out a rock ...

Tanner King trial moved to Story County

After nearly two days of tedious selection processes to convene a fair jury for Tanner King’s double homicide trial, District Court Judge Kurt Stoebe ruled Tuesday that it would be unlikely for the court to find 14 impartial jurors in Webster County. Thus, the trial that has been scheduled ...

Gabbard hosts town hall in Fort Dodge

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, of Hawaii, believes that “we the people” need to rise up to “actually make our democracy work for us.” Gabbard, a Democratic candidate for president, made a stop in Fort Dodge on Tuesday evening to host a town hall at The Lion’s Den at Armstrong ...

Housing trust fund supports local homeowners

By BILL SHEA bshea@messengernews.net A new organization dedicated to helping low income people in Webster and Hamilton counties stay in their houses has been busy, aiding at least 24 homeowners with everything from roofs to water heaters. The Heart of Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund was ...

Getting to Know Our Teachers: Melissa Elsbecker

Name: Melissa Elsbecker Where do you teach? Fort Dodge Middle School What grade/subject do you teach? I am the eighth-grade reading teacher on the Blue team. Why do you teach? I became a teacher because I enjoy working with and getting to know young people. I enjoy my ...

White Transfer plans expansion

A moving and storage company plans to add a 50,000-square-foot building to its facility west of Fort Dodge. On Tuesday, the Webster County Board of Supervisors declared its intent to use tax increment financing to help Crimmins Investment LLC with the $2 million project. The new building ...

Reconfiguring

The Fort Dodge Community School District Board of Education is considering a proposal that would move the district’s fifth-grade classes down from the middle school level to the elementary school level. If implemented, the changes proposed by FDCSD Superintendent Jesse Ulrich during a ...

Jury selection begins in King’s double murder trial

Jury selection for a Fort Dodge man charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder from an October 2018 shooting started Monday. Every bench and seat in the Webster County Courthouse’s largest court room on the third floor was filled as a pool of 100 ...

Double murder trial’s venue to be moved

After nearing the point of exhausting a large jury pool and receiving reports of jury tampering, Judge Kurt Stoebe has ruled a change of venue is necessary to find a jury that can deliver a fair and impartial verdict for Tanner King as he faces two first-degree murder charges and one count of ...

Neglected animals found in Manson trailer home

MANSON — Five dogs and seven cats found living in filthy conditions in a Manson trailer home were given to local authorities, and an arrest warrant has been issued for their owner, according to police. Manson Police Chief Gerald Frick said Monday evening that one of the cats has ...

Guns and Hoses: Blue, gray and red

The long-standing friendly rivalry between firefighters and police officers will get another go-around during the upcoming Guns and Hoses softball games at Harlan and Hazel Rogers Sports Complex. It will be settled in innings, on bases and with lots of good natured ribbing from the ...

One injured in early morning shooting

One person was injured in an early morning shooting on the 900 block of Fourth Avenue North, according to the Fort Dodge Police Department. The incident happened around 3 a.m. Sunday morning. “Multiple rounds were fired,” said Lt. Matt Lundberg, with the FDPD. One victim was injured ...

From the ground up

PHOENIX — The foundation to what would quickly become two successful businesses for Liz Illg started in the halls at Fort Dodge Senior High. Illg, a 2005 graduate of FDSH, is the owner of five pet grooming businesses in Arizona along with her own consulting firm for small ...

Serving those who serve

It started out as just a seed of an idea about five years ago when the Rev. Al Henderson was looking for a way to show appreciation to public servants. The Serving Our Servants group was born. “I thought we could do something for Jesus’ sake in Jesus’ name,” he said. Early ...

Danielle’s fight

When Fort Dodge parents Amanda and Ben McMullen brought their newborn daughter home from the hospital in the spring of 2016, they were overjoyed. They named the newest member of their family Danielle. “We were just happy,” Amanda McMullen said. “An almost 10 pound little girl. ...