News

Thu
19
May

Board approves settlement in Sexe lawsuit


Humboldt County Supervisor Erik Underberg (left) is also the chair of the Humboldt County 911 Service Board, made up of elected officials and representatives of entities using 911 dispatch in Humboldt County. Cherese Sexe (right) has been the Humboldt County 911 database manager for the past 25 years. In January 2021, she filed a civil suit against the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, the 911 Board and several county entities and individuals, claiming sexual discrimination and harassment.

By KENT THOMPSON
Following a 20-minute closed session with a Des Moines attorney, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors on Monday unanimously agreed to terms of settlement in a civil lawsuit involving 911 Database Manager Cherese Sexe and Humboldt County.
The meeting was held in closed session under Iowa Code 21.5 (1) of the open meetings law, “to discuss strategy with counsel in matters that are presently in litigation or where litigation is imminent where its disclosure would be likely to prejudice or disadvantage the position of the county in such litigation.”
Meeting with the five-member board was Hugh J. Cain, attorney with the Des Moines law firm of Hopkins & Huebner.
District 3 Supervisor Rick Pedersen moved to approve the settlement as discussed in closed session with District 4 Supervisor Erik Underberg seconding. Supervisors Sandy Loney, Dave Lee and Chairman Bruce Reimers also voted in favor.

Thu
19
May

Humboldt School Board approves new food service


The Humboldt Rotary Club hosted the Top 20 Humboldt Community High School students and their parents with a banquet on May 11. Pictured front row from left: Chloe Mayall, Adalyn Lawman, Allison Hoag, Kinzie Peyton, Brett Harklau, Ashlee Wergeland, Paige DeWinter, Grace Smith, Nora Carlson and Morgan Olson. Pictured back row from left: Jenna Wickre, Hannah Point, Grace Minor, Luke Sievers, Isaiah Kahl, Ryder Wickett, Jacob Pedersen, Jackson Fischer, Tabitha Kimball and Kaitlyn Thompson. See this and other photos for purchase at www.humboldtnews.com. Humboldt Independent photo.

By Phil Monson
A major change in the Humboldt school lunch program will take place this fall after action by the board of education in their monthly meeting Monday night, May 16.
The board approved a contract with Opaa Food Management, Inc, to lead the district’s food service program for the 2022-23 school year.
“We’ve been working the whole year on this. It’s a big project,” Humboldt School Superintendent Jim Murray said.
“After we pay for their services after the year, they project us coming in $103,451 to the good,” Murray said. “One of the rules is the food service director, the nutrition director, can’t be employed by the school.”
“It’s not going to cure our staff issue (shortage). This company services several school districts in Iowa, the nearest St. Edmond in Fort Dodge. But they have the expertise to help us get that food out,” Murray said.

Thu
19
May

Emerald Ash Borer located near Dakota City


The Emerald Ash Borer, an insect that causes significant damage and death to ash trees, has been identified near Dakota City, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship reports. Photo courtesy of the USDA.

Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been found in Dickinson and Humboldt counties for the first time. The invasive, ash tree-killing insect from Asia has now been confirmed in all but eight of Iowa’s 99 counties since its original detection in 2010.
EAB larvae were collected by Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship staff just outside the eastern city limits of Arnolds Park (Dickinson County) and rural Dakota City (Humboldt County). Federal identification confirmed the samples positive for EAB.
Indicators of an infestation may include canopy thinning, leafy sprouts shooting from the trunk or main branches, serpentine (“S”-shaped) galleries under the bark, bark splitting, woodpecker damage, and 1/8-inch D-shaped exit holes.

Thu
19
May

Open House for HHS Building Trades house


Members of the Humboldt High School 2021-22 Building Trades class present for a photo include (l to r): Johnny Rivera, Julian Harvey, Christian Alcala, Noah Skow, Casey Westling, Jace Baker, Nolan Lammers, Conner Andersen, Jacob Heier, Joe Weydert, Evan Harris, Carson Berte, Levi Newton, Dan Oswald (Instructor) and Hayden Holm. See this photo and more at www.humboldtnews.com

The Humboldt High School Building Trades class will host an Open House at their latest project on Saturday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to noon. The public is invited to come view the house, which is for sale.
The students, under the direction of instructor Dan Oswald, gutted and totally remodeled the home at 509 5th Street South in Humboldt.
The 1,700 square foot home includes a large 36’ by 40’ detached garage, plus a lot that is 360’ deep.
There’s a master bedroom and master bath on the main floor, plus two bedrooms and a bathroom on the second level.
A total of 14 students, 13 seniors and one junior, were enrolled in the Building Trades program which is supported by the Humboldt County Housing Development Corporation.

Thu
12
May

Board of Adjustment denies campground


Humboldt County Zoning Board of Adjustment members clockwise from left: Louis Fallesen, Dave Lee, Harley Friesleben and Tim Burres, listen to property owner Mitch Fridolfson (second from right) explain his plans for establishing a trailer campground on property he owns on Gotch Park Road, north of Gotch Park. At right, partially hidden, is Zoning Administrator Randy Krecklow. Humboldt Independent photo by Kent Thompson.

By KENT THOMPSON
The Humboldt County Zoning Board of Adjustment has made a decision, but a final determination on whether or not Mitch Fridolfson of Humboldt can build a campground north of Gotch Park, appears to be far from over.
Following two public hearings and meeting with Fridolfson and adjoining neighbors, the Zoning Board of Adjustment spent over one hour deliberating Monday, May 2, before reaching unanimous decision not to allow Fridolfson’s request. Fridolfson has appealed the board's action. Read about the details in this week's Humboldt Independent. Subscribe to receive the print or digital editions of the full newspaper each week by clicking on the Subscribe link at the top of this page and order online.

Thu
12
May

Dettmann honored for excellence in education


Mel Dettmann, fifth grade teacher at St. Mary School in Humboldt, will be awarded the Excellence in Education Award from the Diocese of Sioux City in September. Dettmann was surprised with the announcement of the award during school Mass on April 29. Pictured from left to right: Patty Lansink, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Sioux City Diocese; Corey and Kailee Dettmann, Marjean Riedell, Mel Dettmann, Mike Riedell, Laina Dettmann, Father Dan Guenther, Chris Dettmann and St. Mary School Principal Sara Bormann.

Mel Dettmann, fifth grade teacher at St. Mary School in Humboldt, will receive the Excellence in Education Award from the Sioux City Diocese. The award ceremony will take place during the Bishop’s Dinner in Sioux City on Sept. 17.
St. Mary School surprised Dettmann with the announcement of the award at the all-school Mass on April 29. The Mass was attended by Superintendent of Catholic Schools Patty Lansink along with Dettmann’s parents and her family. She was nominated for the award by her father, Mike Riedell.
“I feel very blessed to work in a very rewarding job and to be around great people and students that I love and enjoy,” Dettmann said.
Read more about the local educator in this week's Humboldt Independent, your trusted source for local news and sports.

Thu
12
May

More than 90 awards and scholarships at HHS


Greg Thomas (left) is pictured with North Central Conference All Academic Award winners (l to r): Allison Hoag, Isaiah Kahl, Jacob Pedersen, Kaitlyn Thompson, Ben Kuehnast, Grace Smith, Luke Sievers, Ashlee Wergeland and Ryder Wickett. See this photo and others from senior awards night in this week's Humboldt Independent, your full-coverage newspaper for local education.

On May 4, Humboldt High School held their Awards Night with more than 90 awards/scholarships presented. There were 74 students honored and more than 50 members of the community presented more than $185,000, plus military compensation to the students. See all the honorees in a special section in this week's Humboldt Independent. Purchase a photo at www.humboldtnews.com and click on the Buy A Photo link.

Thu
05
May

Supervisors turn down matching funds


The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors have been wanting to get something done with the Reasoner Dam in Humboldt, but on Monday turned down a chance to possibly receive state grant dollars for the project, because the Board did not want to commit to 60 percent in matching funds. Read about it in this week's Humboldt Independent. Independent file photo.

By KENT THOMPSON
The saga of what will happen to the Reasoner Dam in Humboldt took another bend in the river Monday when the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors denied approval of matching funds to support the dam project as part of a Destination Iowa outdoor recreation grant.
Humboldt County Conservation Director Todd Lee told the Supervisors that the new state grant program, which has $100 million available, including $40 million for outdoor recreation, is looking for big ticket projects which show cooperation with other entities. Lee presented the Board with options that could get the county a reasonable chance of getting some funding, but the Board wanted to be cautious about committing county monies.

Thu
05
May

Livermore cow-calf man grows the herd


Tyler McCullough of Livermore is growing his agricultural enterprise over time. He helps Mike Behounek with farming, raises his own and Mike’s cattle on the farm and purchased a custom baling business last year. He has five Vermeer round hay balers and a New Holland square baler. Humboldt Independent photo by Kent Thompson.

By KENT THOMPSON
There has been a lot of talk in recent years about succession planning when it comes to Iowa agriculture and small business.
The average age of an Iowa farmer is 57 years old. Did you know that there are more than four times as many Iowa farmers over the age of 65 than there are under the age of 35? That should give all of us pause. Who is going to farm and put food on the table in the future?
Well there is a story about a Humboldt Township farmer and a young cattle producer who are making the whole ag succession discussion work in practice. Read about how Tyler McCullough got into the cattle business in the Salute to Area Beef Producers, a full section of news articles, photos and advertisements about beef and animal agriculture, exclusively in this week's Humboldt Independent. Subscribe today by clicking on the link at the top of this page and read what you are missing.

Thu
05
May

HCMH keeping masking requirement


Adam Duffy (center) of Humboldt rode his bike through colored powder sprayed in his path as he participated in the annual color/run walk held on May 1 at the high school grounds. The event is led by Humboldt County Memorial Hospital to raise funds to support mental health and suicide awareness. Independent photo. To buy this photo and more, visit our photo gallery at www.humboldtnews.com.

By KENT THOMPSON
Humboldt County Memorial Hospital (HCMH) Chief Executive Officer Michelle Sleiter said while no new COVID cases have been reported in Humboldt County during the past 10 days, HCMH will continue to require masks for all public spaces in the hospital.
“While many hospitals and clinics are loosening their masking requirements, Humboldt County Memorial Hospital will continue to mandate masks and screening for all staff, patients and visitors within the public/common spaces of our hospital. As of today (Monday, May 2) the guidance from our regulatory bodies, Medicare and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), continue to require masking for all individuals within the public spaces of the hospital. Having a nursing home within the hospital does create additional regulations that a hospital or clinic without a nursing home may not have,” Sleiter said.

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