News and Events

A sign for the times

Friday, November 09, 2018

Hans Madsen The members of the Fort Dodge Fire Department got a souvenir of sorts Thursday after the crew from Mid Iowa Sign finished putting up the new LED illuminated signs at the fire station downtown. That memento is the old sign that had been on the side of the building since it was constructed. It was coated with 53 years of streaked grime and no longer lit up. Fort Dodge Fire Chief Steve Hergenreter is happy to see it down. “I’m glad the ugly old sign is gone,” he said. “It had become an eyesore.” The new signs are a result of the Fort...
CJ Bio America is booming

Monday, November 05, 2018

Two major construction projects are under way at the CJ Bio America Webster County plant. Both illustrate why this major manufacturing facility is destined to play an important role in the economic future of our community and region. A $53 million addition to the huge main plant is being built with an expected completion date in the first quarter of 2019. This enhancement will enable the diversification of the product lines. An amino acid called L-Threonine, which is an additive for livestock, will be produced. This increased manufacturing capability is expected to increase the company’s Webster County work force by about...
Pederson strives for quality in all things

Monday, October 29, 2018

What is important to you? Family, service, quality. Family is always first. Nothing means more to me than my wife Jennifer, and our sons Gavin and Kyle. They influence all of my decisions. Service to my community is also very important to me. That’s why I’m a member of groups like the Noon Sertoma, Fort Dodge Young Professionals, and the First Presbyterian Church. It’s very important to give back to your community, and I want to pass that passion on to my sons. Quality is something I strive for in everything I do, quality of interactions I have with others, quality...
Into the world

Friday, October 26, 2018

Hans Madsen “So what do you want to be when you’re grown up?” A common question posed to children by adults. How about this question: “So what are you going to be now that you’re almost grown up?” For high school students that are trying to answer that, or have already decided and want to explore their chosen field a bit, the annual Iowa Central Community College Career Day Thursday gave them a chance to do just that. Grace Amos, a senior at Southeast Valley, got to try her hand at cleaning teeth during a session in the dental hygiene program. Using a model mouth with...
Fort Dodge seeks King’s help

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Bill Shea A hike up eight flights of dusty, debris-covered stairs in the Warden Plaza Monday afternoon gave U.S. Rep. Steve King a firsthand look at the insides of the battered downtown edifice. The Republican from Kiron and a handful of local officials ended up on the roof of the building at 908 First Ave. S. and got a sweeping view of the city and pondered the possibility of a rooftop restaurant there someday. King got the tour Monday as Fort Dodge officials, led by Mayor Matt Bemrich, explained the plans for renovating the Warden Plaza, creating a new cultural and recreation center...
On the horizon

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Bill Shea U.S. Highway 20 is now a four-lane route stretching across northern Iowa from Dubuque to Sioux City. But it wasn’t always that way. The miles and miles of concrete paving that exist today are a monument to the persistence of highway advocates, elected officials and many others who labored for 60 years to get the highway completed as a four-lane route for its entire length. Work on the project advanced slowly, starting in 1958. That year, the first four-lane segment opened near Moville in Woodbury County. “The largest quadrant of land in Iowa without a four-lane was northwest Iowa, from 35 to...
Downtown Fort Dodge to Host Three Shop Local Events

Monday, October 15, 2018

Fort Dodge’s downtown businesses are actively working with the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance to prepare for what will be an exciting holiday season. “We have a great group of downtown business owners who are enthusiastic about creating fun events and a welcoming holiday experience for our community” said Kris Patrick, Executive Director for Main Street Fort Dodge. There will be three main shop-local events leading up to the 2018 holiday season – Black Wednesday, Black Friday, and Small Business Saturday. During all three, shoppers will have the opportunity to win several gift baskets valued at over $150 each. Shoppers will...
National Manufacturing Day is here

Friday, October 05, 2018

Chad Thompson Students throughout the Fort Dodge region will get an inside look at the manufacturing world today as part of National Manufacturing Day. According to the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, National Manufacturing Day is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Four main purposes exist for National Manufacturing Day, according to the Growth Alliance. They are: ∫ to inspire the next generation by showing them how they can make a difference in manufacturing; ∫ provide guidance on how to take the first steps toward starting a career in modern manufacturing; ∫ make it clear that manufacturers need the next...
Supervisor candidates focus on mental health and hogs

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Joe Sutter Candidates for Webster County Supervisor focused on hog confinements, tax rates and mental health at a forum in Fort Dodge Wednesday night. Republican incumbent Merrill Leffler talked about his business background and his six-year experience on the board. An opponent, Democrat Niki Conrad, spoke of her business experience, especially in budgeting and dealing with customer complaints. Independent Eugene Melvin Newsome implored the voters to give him a chance, and talked about big ideas for the region. On the subject of the master matrix, which is set by state legislators to control the placement of large animal confinements, Leffler said the board has asked...
Off and running

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Bill Shea Republican state Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink and his opponent, Democrat John O’Brien, clashed over taxes and collective bargaining rights for public employees during a forum in a crowded auditorium Wednesday night. Earlier in the evening, Republican Ann Meyer and Democrat Megan Srinivas who are seeking a seat in the Iowa House of Representatives both listed health care and mental health care in particular as a top priority. The four candidates fielded questions during a forum at Iowa central Community College attended by about 250 people. Kraayenbrink v. O’Brien Kraayenbrink, of Fort Dodge, said that during this year’s legislative session, he voted for what he...
The Messenger’s annual Bridal Spectacular is Sunday

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Joe Sutter For 10 years, The Messenger’s Bridal Spectacular has been the top spot for anyone who’s tying the knot. The 10th annual event will be held Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Career Education Building at Iowa Central Community College. Brides and grooms have a lot of vendors they need to connect with, and what better chance than when they’re all together in one room, said Regina Suhrbier, the multimedia sales manager for The Messenger. “Helping local businesses promote their goods and services is our specialty,” said Suhrbier. “Bringing this to brides seemed like a natural fit for us.” There will be...
Decades-old vision is rising out of the ground on former family farm

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Bill Shea More than 40 years ago, the late Bill Scheideman envisioned turning his family’s farmland on the east side of Fort Dodge into a new neighborhood full of houses for families. An informal conversation on the floor of the Iowa Senate last year has finally led to Scheideman’s vision becoming reality. A recently dug foundation just south of 10th Avenue North not far from the eastern city limits marks the spot where the first of 70 single-family attached homes will be built in the new Gypsum Creek Crossing neighborhood on ground once farmed by Bill and Eva Scheideman. The housing area will encompass...
Forum will introduce state, Webster County candidates

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Bill Shea Candidates for state and county offices will answer questions from the public during a forum Wednesday in Fort Dodge. The forum will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Bioscience and Health Sciences Center at Iowa Central Community College. The first candidates to field questions will be Democrat Brenda Angstrom and Republican Kate Stucky, who are seeking to become the next Webster County treasurer. They are vying to replace Treasurer Jan Messerly, who is retiring when her current term ends. At 5:50 p.m., the candidates for Webster County supervisor from District 4 will take the stage. They are Democrat Niki Conrad, Republican incumbent Merrill...
New Age Media Productions moves

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Terrence Dwyer New Age Media Productions has moved from downtown Fort Dodge to the Crossroads Mall near Riddle’s Jewelry. Joel Johnson, who co-owns the business with his wife, Alisha Johnson, said the move will improve community awareness of the multitude of specialized options the enterprise has to offer. “It will get us in front of a different demographic,” he said. “Provide a little more exposure.” He said the extensive memory-preservation services New Age Media Productions has to offer will remain the same. The Johnsons help people make sure that visual recordings and images as well as audio recordings made in the past are preserved...
Marian Home dedicated

Friday, September 28, 2018

Peter Kaspari The Marian Home and Village celebrated the completion of a multi-year, multi-million dollar renovation project with a dedication and open house Thursday. Local dignitaries, as well as the bishop of the Diocese of Sioux City, spoke at the ceremony, held near the new main entrance of the facility, located at 2400 Sixth Ave. N. Bishop R. Walter Nickless said a prayer at the ceremony before speaking about the facility itself. “I can’t believe it,” he said. “It’s just so beautiful and gorgeous.” He even halfheartedly said it may be the perfect place for him to retire to. “And I already told one of the...
Growth Alliance: FD poised to grow with manufacturing

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Bill Shea Fort Dodge remains poised for growth with manufacturing as a key driver of the economy, according to leaders of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance. ”I do think that Fort Dodge is extremely well-positioned,” Dennis Plautz, the chief executive officer of the Growth Alliance, told the City Council Monday. ”You are getting investments that can’t be moved,” he added. ”They’re using so many indigeneous materials. They have a reason to be here. And most importantly, these are companies that are worldwide and have access to the global markets.” Plautz, along with Kelly Halsted, the alliance’s economic development director, and Jill Nelson, its...
Ready for business

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Joe Sutter With a land purchase approved Tuesday morning, Webster County will now own all the land between Harvest and Grain avenues in the ag/industrial park west of Fort Dodge. The Webster County Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of about 40.4 acres for $23,500 per acre, or about $949,400 total, for what’s called parcel No.2. Three such parcels have been purchased this year. “With this purchase we own the whole thing between both roads,” Supervisor Keith Dencklau said. Cargill Inc. plans to purchase the eastern portion of the area between the roads, Supervisor Merrill Leffler said. “This will be over three payments; 10 percent...
Greehey digs in

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Bill Shea When Bill Greehey graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High decades ago with dreams of going to college, today’s Iowa Central Community College didn’t exist. But now his name will always be tied to the college. Greehey, from Texas, joined about 150 people, including members of his family, college leaders and local officials for a Wednesday afternoon event to formally launch the construction of the Greehey Family Student Success Center on the Fort Dodge campus. A $3 million donation from the Greehey Family Foundation is helping to pay for the roughly $6 million center. “You’re not really a success until you share that success,...
Access Systems Named One of Iowa's Top 5 Workplaces 2018

Monday, September 24, 2018

Access Systems was named second in the mid-sized company category for Top Workplaces in Iowa for 2018 by the Des Moines Register. This year marks the fourth year in a row Access Systems has been named an Iowa Top Workplace, but it is their first time in the mid-sized category. In addition, Access System’s president and CEO, Shane Sloan, was awarded as Top Leader for the mid-sized group.