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Local Columns

Naig: Iowa ag community continues to support US food, energy security

As Iowans continue to fight against the spread of COVID-19 with extraordinary public health measures, it’s important that “National Ag Week” is now. Our farmers and the entire Iowa food and ag community are continuing to step up, providing food and energy security when it matters most. ...

Don’t put it off — get a colonoscopy

In the United States, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women. It’s expected to cause about 53,200 deaths during 2020. Yet, nearly one-third of American adults choose to forgo recommended screenings, putting them at even greater risk for ...

Marching along

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that, effective July 1, 2019, there are 328.2 million people in the United States. It has been estimated there are around 54 million Americans who have a disability. According to the National Institute on Mental Health, one in five people live with a mental ...

Fort Dodge and gypsum

On the Earth’s surface, the community was formed from an abandoned Army fort along the Des Moines River amidst the fertile soil of northwest Iowa. Underneath that soil, deep underneath, workers mined gypsum from one of the purest deposits of the mineral in the world. “Gypsum runs in ...

Invest in Iowa Act would plant the seeds for the future

There’s an old Greek proverb that says, a society grows great when people plant trees in whose shade they know they will never sit. And even though opportunity lives here today, with a strong, growing economy, we have to be planning for tomorrow, not today. That’s what the Invest in Iowa ...

Iowa should invest in natural resources, recreation and water quality

Iowans have a reputation of being hard workers, honest, neighborly, connected to the land and genuinely “Iowa nice”. Unfortunately, this reputation does not hold true when we look at our state’s record of protecting its natural resources and investing in outdoor recreation. It has been ...

Heart and stroke screenings done in an hour

February is Heart Month. Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, yet many people have no symptoms? To prevent a cardiac event from affecting your life, it’s essential to learn what puts you at risk of developing heart disease, and how to keep it from ...

What’s wrong with the caucuses?

There’s something wrong with the Iowa Democratic caucuses. But it isn’t just about an app malfunction or how members of the party report the results. In my Fort Dodge precinct, 112 showed up to caucus. It was well run by our temporary chair. The process as it’s currently designed, ...

Newspaper man Breen finds new role in radio

His uncle was a Fort Dodge icon, a broadcasting pioneer who introduced the first radio and television stations to the city. But a young Ed Breen was a newspaperman at heart and believed he needed to leave the city to pursue that dream. After all, editors at The Messenger believed his first ...

Iowa industry leaders call for commitment to the bioeconomy

We appreciate the presidential candidates’ commitment to environmental and agricultural issues, and we know that they understand the importance of investing in rural communities. But as the Iowa caucuses approach, we have yet to hear their views on one of the most impactful ways to address ...

Hospice ball to remember loved ones; honor caregivers

“What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” -Helen Keller Please join us on Feb. 1, 2020, for an important, memorable and fun evening. This event recognizes support and love; compassion and excellence, and most important, ...

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 ...