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Local News

Oh, baby!

A Humboldt couple welcomed their first child on New Year’s Day. Hazel Carol Ann Suntken was born to Erin and Zach Suntken at 1:10 p.m. Friday, measuring 19 inches long and weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces. The couple came in for delivery on New Year’s Eve, though they said Hazel was a ...

Citizen on patrol

After 32 years of law enforcement service, former Chief Deputy Rod Strait didn’t pride himself on being an extraordinary hero, but rather an ordinary “citizen on patrol” — a cop. But reflecting after nearly 33 years spent at the Webster County Law Enforcement Center, his retirement ...

Agriculture: a year in review

Trade, coronavirus, derecho and drought — those events will definitely bring the year 2020 into the history books. “When we look back, we will all remember the year 2020, but it is one of the few years that farmers will be able to say, ‘hey you know what? We actually had a better year ...

Shevelia to perform in Triton Jazz Festival

Shevelia will be the headline act of the Thursday night concert of the 2021 Triton Jazz Festival Though high school bands will not be able to perform on the Decker Auditorium stage this year, Iowa Central Community College is offering them all a virtual option to gain an educational ...

She was the match

Tonya Peltz gave the ultimate Christmas gift this year, and it was one she’d hoped to give for the past three years — the gift of life. The Coalville mother of six flew to Washington, D.C., just three days before Christmas to donate bone marrow to a complete stranger. Peltz has been ...

Since November, 47 dead from COVID in Webster County

As 2020 came to a close Thursday, Webster County celebrated a new year with at least 64 fewer residents, all lost to COVID-19. The death increases over the last week have kept almost the same pace with the rate of increases through most of November and December. Since Nov. 6 alone, 47 ...

Longtime prosecutor honored

A longtime prosecutor whose resume includes transforming the war on drugs in the Northern District of Iowa and serving as lead prosecutor in the prosecution and conviction of 11 members of the Sons of Silence Outlaw Motorcycle Club, has been honored by the Executive Office for U.S. ...

Bouncing back from 2020

There’s really no getting around it: 2020 has been a bad year for just about everyone. But with a new year just a day away and a COVID-19 vaccine bringing a small but distant light to the dark tunnel, some are realizing that recovery will be more than just getting a new calendar. With ...

Making the best of 2020

The year 2020 has, objectively, been a challenging one for just about everyone. Canceled events, virtual learning, unemployment, a global pandemic. As difficult as 2020 was, it wasn’t all bad — friends and neighbors stepped up to help each other when they needed it most and people ...

Beacon of Hope locks down

The Wednesday before Christmas, three men at the Beacon of Hope men’s shelter learned that they tested positive for COVID-19, according to the shelter’s executive director, Steve Roe. And in the week that followed, four more men tested positive. “Our guys are getting sick,” Roe ...

Bailed out: PPP loans benefit Webster Co. companies

Millions of dollars in Paycheck Protection Program funds have been handed out by the federal government to companies and organizations in Webster County that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Fort Dodge alone, the COVID bailout subtotal was $55.52 million. The average ...

Snow day

The winter storm anticipated by residents on Tuesday passed through the Fort Dodge area throughout the late morning and early afternoon — leaving the city with about 3.5 inches of snow on the ground. Fortunately, the ice and snow covered roads resulted in few accidents. Sgt. Steve ...

Four charged in Halloween bar riot

Four Fort Dodge and Des Moines residents appeared in Webster County Magistrate Court Tuesday on charges of participating in a riot that Fort Dodge Police say happened on Halloween. Jacob Clayton, 24, of Fort Dodge; Josh Coleman, 30, of Fort Dodge; Alexander Pallos, 23, of Des Moines; and ...

Big books

GOWRIE — Driving down Market Street in Gowrie, a new sight has emerged near the city’s public library. In fact, it’s exactly what you’d see if you walked in the library’s doors — a shelf full of books. Only these books are about five feet tall and are the work of local artist ...

Dunham’s to close on Jan. 17

Dunham’s Sporting Goods, located in the Crossroads Mall, will close its doors for good next month, a district manager confirmed to The Messenger on Monday. The store’s last day will be Jan. 17, 2021. The district manager declined to be named. The manager referred questions about if the ...

Sewer rate increase to go into effect on Friday

New year, new sewer rate. This Friday, Fort Dodge residents will see their monthly sewer bills go up again. Fort Dodge City Council unanimously passed a third reading Monday of the sewer rate increase first introduced on Nov. 23. The first 3% increase will raise homeowners’ bills to a ...

City awards drainage improvement contract

The Fort Dodge City Council awarded a nearly $1 million contract Monday to Rasch Construction to help alleviate flooding in some of the worst parts of town — a contract that came in well under the engineer’s estimate. The contract for $977,318 was awarded to the Fort Dodge company that ...

FD officials contemplate solid waste rate increase

With no rate increase for the last 11 years, City Manager David Fierke said Fort Dodge’s current path to maintain sanitation equipment with rising landfill costs is unsustainable. For years, the number of customers has stayed nearly as constant at the monthly rate. But if that continues to ...

Manson PD seeks information on hit and run

MANSON — The Manson Police Department is seeking more information after a child was hit by a car while walking to school. According to MPD Chief Gerald M. Frick, the driver of the car hit the child on Dec. 22 at about 7:15 a.m. The child was walking in the area of 12th Avenue and 16th ...