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Local Columns

Olson’s harp music brings comfort to the dying, their families

Plucking the strings of his harp, a musical instrument that is one of the oldest known to man, Dayle Olson brings peace and comfort to the bedsides of those who are in their final stage of life. His music is often the last sound they will hear. Olson is a harp therapist – trained to ...

What’s important to you?

It was a year of transition for The Messenger newsroom in 2019. We said goodbye to our editor, Jane Curtis, who had led the staff since 2015. I am grateful for her contributions. She worked to develop our skills. She challenged us to do better and look harder. We wish her well in her ...

Iowa Congressional delegation united to fix electric co-op tax problem

It’s no secret that Washington politics have become so polarized that it can be tough for Democrats and Republicans to come together to tackle challenges that their constituents face. But that’s exactly what happened recently on Capitol Hill thanks to Iowa’s Congressional delegation. ...

Hospital CEO reflects on 2019

You’re what we care about most and why we do what we do. As we wrap up 2019, I want to share my sincere thanks to you — members of our community. Thank you for trusting us to care for you and your family when you need it most. I also want to thank our team of health care ...

Holiday gambling begins at a young age

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, a large number of young people report their first gambling experience occurs around 9 to 11 years of age. Early gambling experiences, including lottery products, are risk factors for later problem gambling. Research has also shown that ...

Changes continue in Corpus Christi Parish

For 136 years, Christmas services have been celebrated at Corpus Christi Church — through two world wars, the Great Depression and many other major events as Fort Dodge grew from a town of 2,500 residents when the church was founded to a city of 25,000. This year’s services will be the ...

There’s No Place Like Home effort seeks to bring people back to Fort Dodge

To attract and retain a workforce that matches the needs of our existing industry and future industries is a challenge. Workforce has been the largest challenge to growth not only in Fort Dodge, but also in Iowa and the Midwest. At any given time, there are well over 700 job openings in ...

United Way’s campaign — offering Hope 4 Kids

The 2019-2020 United Way campaign is taking place with a theme of “Hope 4 Kids — Offering our Kids a Brighter Future.” This year’s goal is $425,000. In 1928, a group of generous and committed Fort Dodge leaders established the Fort Dodge Community Chest. Frank W. Griffith, a noted ...

Remembering the Webster County men lost in the Vietnam War

Terry Griffey may have become a college professor. Tim Green may have incorporated his love of music in the practice of the ministry. Roger Olson may have become an architect and home designer. Pat Trotter may have developed turbo engines. Lee Peters may have become an attorney. But ...

Municipal broadband utilities can succeed, provide competition

On Tuesday, Fort Dodge will vote on whether to create a municipal telecom utility and possibly move into a future where it can create local Internet choice. The alternative is to settle for some of the lowest-rated Internet providers in the nation and hope that some other company will create ...

Fort Dodge official offers facts on broadband

To give the public more information about the Nov. 5 referendum on a potential municipal broadband utility in Fort Dodge, Ryan Maehl, the assistant director of parks, recreation and forestry, has submitted this outline of key points. Municipal Financing 101 • A broadband network is a ...

When invisible illness becomes visible

Living with mental illness is tough. It’s even harder when it’s written across your face. For most of my life, I’ve struggled with my mental health. I have anxiety, clinical depression, trichotillomania and its cousin, dermatillomania. Trichotillomania is a disorder where you have an ...

Perception versus reality

I’ve been reading a lot of comments about the crime in Fort Dodge lately. Some people are scared. Some people believe that Fort Dodge is a dangerous place to live. And given the violent nature of some recent crimes in the city, I am sympathetic to those fears. But if I asked you how ...

President Trump is listening to us on biofuel

During my recently completed 39 county town hall tour of the 4th Congressional District, one of the issues that I discussed at nearly every stop was the importance of protecting the Renewable Fuel Standard’s volume obligations. As a member of the Congressional Biofuels Caucus, I welcomed ...

Education is key foundation in Nancy McCarthy Snyder’s life

Growing up in a two-story brick house on 16th Street, a block away from Duncombe School, Nancy McCarthy Snyder has always believed there was “something in the water” that seemed to promote education in the Fort Dodge neighborhood where she and her four sisters grew up in the 1950s and ...

Oversight is needed to ensure quality care in nursing homes

Oversight is often a vehicle for change in the federal government. In order to solve a problem, you need to know what it is, how bad it is and why it’s happening. Oversight is an important tool to find answers to those questions as well as ensure the appropriate steps are taken to solve the ...

Colonoscopies save lives

If you had the opportunity to avoid the third-leading cause of cancer death in the United States, you would, wouldn’t you? Then, why is that that nearly one-third of American adults choose to forgo recommended screenings, putting them at even greater risk for developing late-stage colorectal ...

A vote for a broadband utility is a vote for a blank check

Recently, the Fort Dodge City Council decided to put a referendum proposal to allow the Council to establish a new government-controlled broadband utility on the Nov. 5 ballot, doing so under the guise of a purported need for faster, cheaper, more reliable internet service in the City of Fort ...

Parents and adult fans: The biggest challenge facing high school sports today

Inappropriate adult behaviors at high school athletic events across the country have reached epidemic proportion. When more than 2,000 high school athletic directors were asked in a recent national survey what they like least about their job, 62.3 % said,”dealing with aggressive parents and ...

Decker trucks represent Fort Dodge on nation’s highways

Decker Truck Line Inc. is Fort Dodge’s ambassador to travelers on the nation’s highways. Along the millions of miles of U.S. interstates and roadways, the bright red-and-gold semi-trailer trucks operated by its drivers make no secret that they’re from Fort Dodge. The city’s name is ...