News and Events

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...
Red doors

Friday, September 14, 2018

Hans Madsen Red doors on fire stations are an old tradition. It’s one that the Fort Dodge Fire Department can now uphold after three coats of fire engine red were applied to its truck bay doors Thursday afternoon. The paint job is the result of a fundraising project by the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance Image Committee. Fire Chief Steve Hergenreter was all smiles as he watched the paint being applied. “They were the ones that brought the idea to us,” he said. “It means a lot to us. It looks a lot nicer now. Our staff really appreciates it.” In addition to the repainted doors,...
Casablanca Steak House by Lomitas opens

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Terrence Dwyer Two well-known cooks with a long history of preparing tasty steaks and prime rib have reunited at Casablanca Steak House by Lomitas, 140 S. 25th St. This latest addition to Fort Dodge’s blossoming restaurant world is owned by Alfonso Galvan, who also owns Lomitas Mexican Restaurant 2223 Fifth Ave. S. Gregg Harris and Jim Nicola are the managers and lead cooks at this new enterprise. The two have worked together for nearly a quarter century, first at The Cellar and most recently at Eilers Steakhouse. Over the decades the steaks and prime rib that are their specialty have been big draws...
Main Street Fort Dodge needs you

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Chad Thompson Main Street Fort Dodge is asking community members to fill out a survey on how to improve the city’s downtown. “We want to know the shopping habits of everybody,” said Kris Patrick, executive director of Main Street Fort Dodge. “Is internet shopping more important to you? Is that how you utilize your disposable income or do you actually shop in bricks and mortar stores?” The survey is part of a market analysis of the 33-block Main Steet District, according to Patrick. It can be accessed through the following link, https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FortDodge_Consumer or by visiting the Main Street Fort Dodge office, 24 N Ninth...
Townhome plan for Second Avenue South unveiled

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Bill Shea Twelve townhomes will be built near downtown Fort Dodge by the firm that’s converting the former Phillips Middle School into apartments. The first six townhomes to be built along Second Avenue South by Foutch Brothers LLC, of Kansas City, Missouri, should be finished in the fall of 2019, under a plan unveiled Tuesday. The townhomes will be two-story buildings with two or three bedrooms, according to Vickie Reeck, the city’s community and economic development director. She said they will have a selling price of about $225,000. Those new homes will be constructed on what’s now a little-used city parking lot on the...
Webster County prepares agreement with Cargill

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Joe Sutter Webster County is moving forward with plans to offset water treatment costs for Cargill Inc. at the county’s ag industrial park. The Webster County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a resolution to prepare an agreement to pay back Cargill for expenses it incurred in preparing for future growth at the park west of Fort Dodge, known as Iowa’s Crossroads of Global Innovation. Waste treatment equipment was oversized when it was put in, in order to be ready for more companies moving into the park, said Dennis Plautz, chief executive officer of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance. Cargill has been...
River Hops Brewing opens

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Terrence Dwyer Downtown Fort Dodge is experiencing a commercial renaissance. It is becoming the home to a diverse array of specialized small businesses. The latest arrival is River Hops Brewing at 1014 Central Ave. This new enterprise in the city’s historic center offers a unique selection of beers that have been crafted onsite by Ron Grebner, who co-owns the business with his wife, Diane Grebner. The combination brewery, taproom and entertainment venue began serving the public on July 25. The establishment welcomes customers from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Additionally, River Hops Brewing can be booked for private parties and events. What...
Driving for education

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Olivia Hanson Fort Dodge Ford Lincoln Toyota will host the Ford Drive 4 UR School event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 18 at the dealership at 2723 Fifth Ave. S. Ford Drive 4 UR School is an event that supports education at the Fort Dodge Community School District. At the event, any community member is able to come and test drive a car. For every unique test drive, $20 will be donated to the Fort Dodge Community Schools Foundation. Only one person per household is eligible and they also must be 18 or older with a valid driver’s license. The money from this...
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.
Iowa Central to break ground for new student success center

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Bill Shea A new student success center, to be paid for with a large donation and bond issue money, will be built on the Fort Dodge campus of Iowa Central Community College. The construction will get a ceremonial start with a groundbreaking on Oct. 15, college President Dan Kinney announced Tuesday. Bill Greehey, a Fort Dodge Senior High graduate who was the chief executive officer of Valero Energy Corp., donated $3 million for the center’s construction. He is expected to be at the groundbreaking ceremony, according to Kinney. Greehey’s donation will cover about half the cost of the $6 million center. The other $3...