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Opinion

Goodbye, Fort Dodge! It’s been quite a journey

Local Columns

“Watch your step in Fort Dodge,” a Fort Dodge native said to me in Storm Lake as I prepared to leave the Pilot-Tribune for my new job at The Messenger in July 2019. It was one of several similar comments I received, alluding to the town’s infamous nickname around the state. And I’m ...

AFES should move forward with preschool concept

Editorial

The value of preschool can be summed up in one statistic found in Fort Dodge Community School District assessments from the current academic year. Those assessments revealed that kindergarteners who did not attend preschool performed on average about 18 percent lower than their classmates who ...

STEM kits keep kids learning during break

Editorial

Spring break is underway in the Fort Dodge Community School District, but that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. In fact, students in the afterschool program called Dodger Academy have a fun way to learn some things about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) thanks ...

Says Webster County needs to improve child care

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: I’m reading in The Messenger that the Childcare Discovery Center will receive $600,000 over a period of years to relocate, which I applaud, however, all that grant accomplishes is to keep the status quo and a new building will require time to build and the Childcare ...

Thanks Niki Conrad

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: Thank you Niki Conrad for setting a good example, following the CDC guidelines and standing up for what is right at the recent March meeting of Webster County Supervisors. Shame on others present for not wearing masks and pouting bout having to continue with mask wearing (we are ...

Low state unemployment rate is positive sign

Editorial

Iowa continues to lag behind the rest of the nation in one economic category, but in this case, that is a good thing. Iowa’s unemployment rate for January, the most recent month for which statistics are available, was 3.5 percent. The national unemployment rate for January was 6.3 ...

Thanks The Messenger

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: Thank you to those responsible for producing The Messenger. We are fortunate to have this newspaper six days a week, although I did enjoy having that seventh day. The number of newspapers in the United States that are able to survive has decreased significantly in the past few ...

“Feeling Lucky?”

Local Columns

This St. Patrick’s Day certainly feels better than last year’s. Celebrating the “luck of the Irish” was the furthest thing from my mind in 2020. In fact, for those in the field of aging services, “luck” took on an entirely different meaning. Our guidance (or our curse) was, ...

Sunshine Week affirms freedom of speech

Editorial

For more than two centuries, the bedrock of our liberty and prosperity as Americans has been our right to know what is going on around us and to discuss it freely. Our nation’s founders believed that was so important that when they wrote the Bill or Rights, they made freedom of speech the ...

New approach to border issue is needed

Editorial

President Biden is facing a critical test as a surge of migrants, emboldened by the end of the Trump era, is arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border in hopes of forging better lives here in the U.S. One challenge in particular is the sharp increase in unaccompanied minors. Federal agents ...

Iowa facing maternal health crisis

Local Columns

Like the rest of the United States, Iowa is facing a maternal health crisis. The maternal mortality rate in Iowa has almost doubled in recent years and significant racial disparities exist. Black mothers in Iowa have a pregnancy-related maternal mortality over six times higher than their white ...

Webster County Drug Treatment Court works

Editorial

For those living for their next high and turning to crime so they can afford it, the future is bleak. They will inevitably end up in one of two places: the cemetery or the penitentiary. In Webster County, there is a relatively new program that offers people a chance to avoid both ...

Grant for Badger firefighters is good investment

Editorial

Like most small town fire departments, the all-volunteer Badger Fire Department has a small budget. The cost of the specialized gear needed to fight fires, perform rescues and provide emergency medical care is not small, however. The Badger firefighters have dealt with that reality for ...

Support for child care center is necessary

Editorial

To experts in the field, Webster County is a child care desert. This desert has nothing to do with sand, however. Just as a desert is an open and empty space, Webster County is open and empty when it comes to available positions in programs for children who need care while their parents are ...

Iowa Central manages federal COVID relief funding

Local Columns

Iowa Central received a total of $3,204,692 in total federal first round of CARES Act (COVID) relief funding in the spring of 2020, of which $1,526,599 was used for institutional costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the CARES Act. (COVID) The ...

Thanks Red Kettle volunteers

Letters to the Editor

To the editor: The Salvation Army would like to thank all the volunteers who signed up and rang the bell during the 2020 Red Kettle season. A special thank you goes out to all the donors that believe in the mission of the Salvation Army. This year we came up short of our goal of $52,500, by ...

Funnel week ends, vaccination effort continues

Local Columns

Thursday was the last day of funnel week. If a bill does not make it through committee by the end of this week, it is not eligible for consideration on the House floor. It was a busy week of subcommittee and committee work. Last week, the Iowa House passed a COVID-19 relief package for Iowa ...

Biden failed to get tough with Saudi prince

Editorial

When Joe Biden was running for president, he was asked if — unlike then-President Trump — he would punish senior Saudi leaders for the 2018 murder of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Biden answered "Yes," and went on to say that he believed ...