News and Events

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Community Foundation & United Way: Making Fort Dodge Better

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Terrence Dwyer Just about everyone favors making Fort Dodge a better place to call home. The opportunities to be part of accomplishing that goal are many. Helping make charitable giving easy and effective is at the heart of the mission of the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way. This nonprofit organization links those with philanthropy in mind with worthy recipients. It is a multifaceted clearinghouse for a wide assortment of projects and causes. “As a philanthropic organization its sole purpose is to help Fort Dodge and Webster County become a better place to live, work and raise families,” said Randy Kuhlman,...
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Friendship Haven: Making a home

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Hans Madsen Without any major building or renovations projects in 2018, Friendship Haven is working hard on making the facility the best home that it can be, for residents, staff and the community. Julie Thorson, president and CEO, said they want it to be home, not just home-like. “Our focus is on creating a home,” she said. “We define home as a feeling of comfort, love and security. Nobody wants to live in a home-like place. People want to live at home, We’re responsible for creating that home.” Thorson said that their employees are the key to doing that. “We are working and moving forward...
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Leah Glasgo is new CEO at UnityPoint Health — Fort Dodge

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Chad Thompson When Leah Glasgo, the new president and CEO of UnityPoint Health — Fort Dodge, interviewed for that position, she was thrilled to learn about the economic developments in the Fort Dodge area. “The economic development has been really impressive,” Glasgo said. “It was actually one of the reasons I came here after having a tour of the hospital and the community. Seeing all the great things that are happening and the way people have come together to improve the community was really impressive.” She said it’s those strengths that the hospital will use to tackle one of its biggest challenges —...
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Mercy Clinics Family Medicine: Expanding Services

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Bill Shea A new organization entered the local health care scene in 2017, when Mercy Clinics Family Medicine opened in Fort Dodge. The clinic, affiliated with Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, has since cemented its presence in the community. “Mercy has a proud history of providing primary care to central Iowa and we are excited to expand our services into Fort Dodge,” Sharon Phillips, the vice president of operations for Mercy Clinics, told The Messenger previously. “We’re excited and proud to be in that community,” she added. “We have been so excited to partner with some high quality physicians.” The clinic at 119 Ave....
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UnityPoint Health - Fort Dodge:Facing Forward

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Jane Curtis The year 2019 is rolling out new needs in the medical treatment realm, as well as some more familiar patterns. We asked leaders at UnityPoint Health — Fort Dodge some pointed questions about issues facing the area’s largest health care provider, which is also one of the area’s biggest employers. Here are the questions we asked, and their answers. Recruitment: Are the current conditions favorable for UnityPoint’s local recruitment? In asking this, I factor in local industrial/economic growth and the overall jobless rate. Knowing that recruitment is particularly at issue with the most highly trained of your personnel, talk about the...
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Community Christian School: ‘This is huge’ — day care added

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Chad Thompson A new day care center was recently added at Community Christian School, 2406 9 1/2 Ave. S. According to Angila Moffitt, CCS principal, the day care center, called Little Crusaders Daycare, is the first faith-based day care-school combination in Fort Dodge. “This is huge,” Moffitt said. The day care opened Jan. 7. It serves infants through elementary-aged children before and after school. The hours are from 5:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. According to Moffitt, the day care provides meals, outdoor time, and activities. Kathy Dencklau, who had been providing child care from her home for more than 18 years, was hired to...
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Energy giant moves into new regional office and service center in Fort Dodge

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Chad Thompson More than 60 employees of MidAmerican Energy Co. have settled into a modern and spacious facility recently constructed in the Decker Development Park on the east side of Fort Dodge. It is the first new facility built under the MidAmerican Energy name. The new customer office and service center has consolidated multiple other facilities and departments under one roof, and, according to Dave Ostheimer, manager of electric operations, the additional space was much needed. “We came from around a 3,000-square-foot facility and a 4-acre lot and now we are in a 72,000-square-foot facility with a just under 20-acre lot,” Ostheimer said. “Effectively,...
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Fort Dodge Community School District: Striving, taking pride — a diverse student population

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Chad Thompson Serving a diverse student population is a constant challenge, but also a source of pride for the Fort Dodge Community School District, according to Superintendent Jesse Ulrich. “We continue to strive and take pride in the fact that we are serving a very diverse population of students that is high in poverty and has many needs and that’s just another reason why we need more support and continued support from the community,” Ulrich, who is in his first year as superintendent, said. About 60 percent of students in the district have a low socioeconomic status, according to the Iowa Department of...
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Iowa Central Community College: Growing its training, area businesses benefit

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Bill Shea A strong local economy has led to Iowa Central Community College partnering with area industries to provide the specific training their workers need. “We’re doing a lot more business and industrial training,” said Dan Kinney, the president of the Fort Dodge-based college. “We’re seeing a real increase in our non-credit offerings out there.” The college has partnered with Jensen Builders Ltd. in Fort Dodge recently to train some of its workers. Each week, those workers spend one day at the college and four days at the construction company. Another example of such a partnership can be found in Storm Lake, where employees...
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Manson Northwest Webster: Reaching more grades — Expanded FFA, robotics

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Hans Madsen At Manson Northwest Webster High School, several programs that in the past had been reserved for freshman through seniors have expanded and are now available to eighth-grade students. Those include both FFA and Robotics. “We’ve added an eighth-grade FFA chapter,” Principal Kevin Wood said. “It was only ninth to 12th before. They have their own officers, it’s new for us.” Wood said FFA is a very active program at the school with more than 70 students participating. The group is mentored by instructor Doug Gaul who teaches a variety of programs that the students enjoy. “Our students raise fish and chickens,” Wood said....
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Southeast Valley: Renovations are complete, grade sharing is in fifth year

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Joe Sutter When the students came back to Southeast Valley High School in the fall, there were some big changes in progress. Work was almost done on some major renovations at the school building, including a new entryway, new office and new carpet and air conditioning in the south wing. Now the major changes are complete, and workers are installing the final touches — new windows throughout the oldest portion of the building. “Our biggest challenge this year was to try to interrupt learning as little as possible while the construction is going on,” Principal Kerry Ketcham said. “We kept one classroom open so...
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St. Edmond Catholic Schools: Building a new church and academic success

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Peter Kaspari The construction of a new church and academic successes are just a few of the reasons why administrators at St. Edmond Catholic School say last year was a positive one. Construction began on the new Holy Trinity Catholic Church last August, and it is set to be completed in early 2020. Mary Gibb, St. Edmond president, said the project has many people excited. “You can actually see construction on the new church,” she said. “It has brought excitement to the Catholic community.” The new church will help connect St. Edmond students and staff with the rest of the Catholic community in Fort Dodge. “The...
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St. Paul welcomes new principal

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Joe Sutter With a new principal at the helm, St. Paul Lutheran School is looking to provide more child care for the area, and more science/technology/math training for its own students in the coming year. Barb Kozisek has been at her new position since July, working three days a week for the school. Kozisek is excited about offering day care because of the need in the area. “We did add wrap-around care for our 4-year-old preschool,” she said. “We do have that option for our parents, so they don’t have to worry about the transportation issue.” Parents can now let their 4-year-olds stay all day...
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Award nominations open

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Peter Kaspari The Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance is now accepting nominations for the annual Catalyst Award, which will be presented at the group’s dinner next month. The award, which will be presented Feb. 28, honors a business leader who has contributed to the growth of the Fort Dodge community. Last year’s winner was John Taets, regional bank president of Northwest Bank. According to the Growth Alliance, the Catalyst Award celebrates the “inspiration, charity, wisdom, unifier, and breath of life” of a professional in the community. There are four requirements to be nominated for the Catalyst Award: • The nominee must be a current member of...
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The day care ‘crusade’

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Chad Thompson Parents in the Fort Dodge community in need of child care services now have another option available to them. Community Christian School, 2406 9 1/2 Ave S., recently announced the opening of its new day care center — Little Crusaders Daycare. The day care opened Jan. 7. It serves infants through elementary-aged children before and after school. The hours are Monday through Friday, from 5:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. “This is huge,” Angila Moffitt, CCS principal, said. According to Moffitt, the day care provides meals, outdoor time, and activities. Kathy Dencklau, who had been providing child care from her home for more than 18 years,...
Thank You for an Incredible 2018!

Friday, January 04, 2019

2018 has been a productive year – a year of growth and progress in the Fort Dodge region. We want to thank our members/investors for their continued commitment to our organization’s mission and to the initiatives aimed at growing our local economy and improving the quality of life for all our residents. The staff at the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance acknowledges that we could not do what we do without your continued support. 2018 Highlights New businesses have opened or broke ground in Fort Dodge, including Kwik Star, Brookstone Lodge and Suites, The Big Picture and Taste of Something Different –...
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Former Phillips school apartments ready

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Peter Kaspari The former Phillips Middle School is nearly ready for people to move in as the building’s conversion into apartments nears completion. Since 2014, Foutch Brothers LLC, of Kansas City, Missouri, has been working on remodeling the property. Shawn Foutch, co-owner of Foutch Brothers LLC, which has developed and owned the property, answered some questions about the project and its upcoming completion date. Q: Talk about the ongoing project to convert Phillips Middle School into apartments. Foutch: The Phillips project is a historic renovation from the prior use as a school to its new use as a residential rental building. The building is placed...
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In Washington, FD group makes case for intermodal grant

Friday, November 30, 2018

Bill Shea   A small group of Fort Dodge representatives spent Thursday in Washington, D.C., making the case for a $7.63 million federal grant to help pay for a new intermodal hub that would be key to redeveloping the Warden Plaza and building a new cultural and recreation center. That hub, basically a parking ramp with additional features, would be located on First Avenue South, east of the now vacant Warden Plaza. The hoped-for grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation would pay much of the cost of the $11.5 million center. Mayor Matt Bemrich, who led the delegation to Washington, has described the Better...
There are Many Reasons to be a Member of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance is working for the betterment of our entire community. By focusing efforts around the economic growth of our region, we are actively taking steps to grow local businesses, recruit new ones, create jobs and enhance the quality of life for our residents. Your membership makes this possible. Why Local Businesses Support the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance Business owners, executives, civic leaders, non-profit agencies, and community members support the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance because of its daily focus on growing our regional economy. “Being a member of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance is an investment...
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Investing in Fort Dodge

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Chad Thompson Nestle Purina PetCare Co., a worldwide pet food company, continues to invest in its Fort Dodge facility, located along Fifth Avenue South — the city’s Corridor of Commerce. The company is constructing a 10,000-square-foot water treatment facility, which will increase energy efficiency of the plant, according to Mark Layton, Purina factory manager. Purina produces dog and cat food at its Fort Dodge location. Layton said the multi-million-dollar water facility will optimize water use and treatment in the making of pet food. It will also minimize waste, he said. “It’s doing our part environmentally,” Layton said. “Especially in the community we are living in,...
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Residents and Business Executives Can Fly Direct To and From Fort Dodge Iowa

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Fort Dodge Regional Airport has been expanding service to destinations throughout the United States. With a runway large enough to fit President Trump’s’ Boeing 757, the Fort Dodge Regional Airport is the ideal solution for companies looking to land corporate aircraft, those flying in aircraft for distribution purposes, and consumer airline Air Choice One. Businesses can benefit from utilizing the Fort Dodge Regional Airport As a rural community, Fort Dodge offers businesses a unique combination of advantages, including a lower cost of doing business and access to a regional airport with a runway that can handle the largest of corporate jets....
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...
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Governor Kim Reynolds Visits Spin Markket On Condition Of The State Tour

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Iowa Workforce Development recommended Spin Markket as a business that the Governor should visit. The discussion focused on how Spin Markket works with businesses around the state to tell their story about their business for customers and use that same strategy for recruiting new employees. https://www.prweb.com/releases/governor_kim_reynolds_visits_spin_markket_on_condition_of_the_state_tour/prweb16077253.htm