×

Local Columns

‘Photo Fred’ Larson is back – lifting spirits, telling his jokes

The coronavirus pandemic could hold him down for just so long. “Photo Fred” is back! Fred Larson, who has been photographing the people and places of Fort Dodge since he bought his first camera at 9 years old (”for 10 cents and three box tops”), has resumed self-appointed duties as ...

UnityPoint, Blank Children’s Hospital begin partnership

I am extremely excited to share UnityPoint Health – Fort Dodge has formed a strong partnership with Blank Children’s Hospital to enhance pediatric care in our community. We have officially welcomed six full-time pediatric-trained nurse practitioners to our Fort Dodge team, who are dedicated ...

Grateful for Lifeworks

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. It is a good time to consider disability, how it impacts individuals and families, and learn more. The sister of a person currently served by LifeWorks, who wished to remain anonymous, shares her family’s story here. The LifeWorks ...

With the right mix of policies, we can address the child care crisis

Just recently, I was catching up with a friend from Montgomery County who confessed she had been having a difficult time balancing both her job as an essential worker and her responsibilities as a mother of three. When COVID-19 hit last spring, and schools transitioned to virtual learning, her ...

Delivering relief for victims of natural disasters

On Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, a massive storm system with high winds and isolated tornadoes tore through the Midwest, leaving a 700 mile path of destruction in its wake – from Nebraska all the way to Indiana. In Iowa, early estimates indicated that 43 percent of cropland was impacted across the ...

Know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack

As more and more individuals receive the COVID-19 vaccine, there is hope for returning to some old routines yet this year. In the meantime, we encourage everyone, including those who have received the vaccine, to wear a face covering, social distance and wash your hands frequently to help stop ...

Let’s do better than normal

We’ve all said it. “I can’t wait for things to get back to normal.” I think there are times during the last few weeks I’ve either said it or thought it many times during the day. During the pandemic there are levels of “normalcy” that come and go. Sometimes they last more than a ...

Deficit reduction and control is paramount

The state of Iowa is one of the best financially managed states in the nation. In the Iowa Legislature, we maintained a balanced budget because we abided by a simple budgeting principle — one that businesses and families across the state live by every day: don’t spend more money than you ...

The journey, not the destination

In December of 2019, I made the decision to sign back up for taekwondo classes at Faiferlick Martial Arts after about an 18-year hiatus from the sport. When I was a child, going to taekwondo was a family affair for my dad, two older brothers and myself. I was about 5 years old when I first ...

Lessons learned in Fort Dodge forged Boake Sells’ business career

It was a seminal moment in Boake Sells’ life as he and his wife Marian loaded up their belongings in a U-Haul to move with their two young children from Fort Dodge for a new job in Milwaukee. He was 29 and in his first job out of college. He worked for a phone company, but lost the job for ...

Minute With Mike: Ag, education measures keep lawmakers busy

Before I start Minute with Mike for the week, I usually go back and read what I have written for the same legislative week from the previous two years. Last year at this time, I wrote about the upcoming county caucus. It seems like such a long time ago when the presidential campaign ...

Area Clergy To Be Honored

In observance of Clergy Appreciation Month, the local Fort Dodge Civitan Club is asking the citizens of the city to say thank you to their ministers for their service and dedication they do. The idea for Clergy Week is to help promote world brotherhood and religious understanding among all ...

Good-bye 2020, hello 2021!

It’s a new year and a fresh start. Even though I am happy to be finished with 2020, I cannot help but be thankful for what the year taught me, namely, being intentional. This past year, I realized how precious life can be, the importance of community, and making sure we take good care of ...

Recovery on demand

“A short time after taking [methadone] daily, I noticed my desire to use starting to subside. My thoughts of using were diminishing and I felt human again.” Human again. Such a description may sound peculiar to the uninformed regarding the science of addiction, but it is an apt ...

Hospice Ball is coming up

‘‘Unseen, unheard but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear.” - Unknown Author We are honored and excited to invite you to virtually participate in the 29th annual Hospice Ball on Feb. 6. For the safety of everyone and in compliance with CDC social distancing guidelines, ...

Fort Dodge group marched in JFK parade 60 years ago

Sixty years ago today, Fort Dodge experienced perhaps its finest hour on the world stage when 53 of its young people marched in the Inauguration Parade for President John F. Kennedy. A million people lined Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., and many millions more throughout the world ...

Hope heals

Swallowing the bitterness over the past few weeks has been challenging. We’ve watched as the rest of the country and certain individuals shared in their excitement of receiving the vaccination for COVID-19. It was very difficult as we asked ourselves, “Why do we have to wait until Jan. ...

Time is now to solve childcare challenges

Iowa residents and businesses have been devastated by the global pandemic and derecho this year, many still hoping for relief and a path forward. While these disasters have caused short-term emergencies, they have also brought challenges to light that we need to resolve for the health of Iowans ...

A UnityPoint Health year in review

I am proud of our amazing UnityPoint Health — Fort Dodge team members today and every day. During this unprecedented year, they have kept the care of our patients and communities first and have accomplished so many great things. As the New Year approaches, I wanted to do a quick year in ...