News

Thu
14
Dec

County seeks input on wind power


Leah Manz (left) and Jessica Trunkhill, both freshman members of the Humboldt High School Student Senate, wrap a gift for the Humboldt County Christmas Basket program on Monday morning at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds. About 200 families received Christmas baskets thanks to the generosity of Humboldt County area residents, businesses and organizations. The Christmas basket program was organized by Pat Hill and the Humboldt County Ministerial Association. Humboldt Independent photo.

By Kent Thompson
The debate about wind power in Humboldt County continued Monday, even after the meeting of the Board of Supervisors was over.
Following Monday’s meeting, Humboldt County Economic Development Director Alissa O’ Connor talked to the Board about the wind generation and the Board’s thoughts on the matter.
O’Connor’s comments came on the heels of thoughts offered by Supervisor Erik Underberg of Livermore at the end of Monday’s meeting.
“I don’t want to let the windmill issue drop. Our county attorney needs to review the Kossuth County ordinance,” Underberg said.
O’Connor on Monday again pressed the Board to make a statement saying they were either in support of wind power generation or development in the county, or against it.

Thu
07
Dec

Shop with an Elf has successful day


Head elf Jeanie Stattelman (right) addresses a package for Jackson Heider (front left), who is pictured with his sisters Anna (center) and Mary (rear left). Elementary children picked out gifts for a dollar for family members and funds raised go to the Birthday Bag program for children in need through Upper Des Moines Opportunity Inc. Humboldt Independent photo.

By Kent Thompson
Certainly Santa’s elves at the North Pole have to be busy this time of year, but they had nothing on Jeanie Stattelman and her many elf helpers Saturday, as they helped local elementary children shop for that perfect gift.
From 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 2, elves dressed in costume and other volunteers helped elementary children shop in the basement of the American Legion building on Sumner Avenue.
For $1 per gift, children could pick out a personal gift for a parent, grandparent or sibling.
Gifts are donated by local businesses and individuals. Money raised, along with donations from Thrivent Financial and other contributions go to a worthy cause — this year, birthday bag gifts for Upper Des Moines Opportunity Inc. (UDMO) in Humboldt County. During the month of a child’s birthday, UDMO provides a birthday bag to client families so the child may have a birthday party.

Thu
07
Dec

Grand opening planned for new W&H location


Jim Pauk serves as the General Manager of W & H Cooperative, which recently built a new 60’ by 150’ office and shop area. Humboldt Independent photo.

A Grand Opening celebration is planned for Monday, Dec. 11, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the new headquarters of W & H Cooperative, 1021 16th Avenue North, in Humboldt.
Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by the W & H Cooperative Annual Meeting at 1:30 p.m. Those attending the Grand Opening will have the chance to sign up for several door prizes. Members of the cooperative will be able to pick up their dividend checks during the lunch.
Construction on the new 9,000 square foot office and shop area began in February and they moved in on Aug. 24.
W&H Cooperative General Manager Jim Pauk said the Cooperative is making about a $750,000 investment in the community with the new headquarters. The new building is highly energy efficient, the layout is designed for more efficiency for staff, and the building better meets the needs of today’s office and shop area.

Thu
30
Nov

LuVerne School embraces new initiatives


LuVerne Elementary School instructor Kira Carroll works with a kindergarten student during a classroom session. Independent photo.

By Phil Monson
Take a stroll through the LuVerne Elementary school building and you can’t help but notice the changes taking place in the classroom.
School superintendent Jon Hueser had a lot on his plate when he arrived in July of 2013 to take over leadership of the district.
While Hueser had to guide the district through the dissolution of the Corwith-Wesley district, LuVerne’s longtime educational partner since 1982, he kept a steady hand on improving the district’s financial position while focusing the staff on implementing new initiatives to better educate the 60-plus students in grades pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.
Upgrades and improvements have been large and small, inside and outside the LuVerne building.

Thu
30
Nov

Loots tabbed interim engineer


Longtime Humboldt County Assistant Engineer Ben Loots will assume the duties of interim Engineer beginning Saturday, Dec. 2. The contract is for seven months,but could be shortened or extended by action from either Loots or the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. Humboldt Independent photo.

By Kent Thompson
Following a 45-minute closed session to discuss “the professional competency of an individual whose appointment is being considered…” under Iowa Code, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors reconvened in open session Monday morning, and agreed to appoint Ben Loots as the interim Humboldt County Engineer, effective this Saturday, Dec. 2.
During a recent meeting, the Board discussed a letter received from Engineer Paul Jacobson, stating that his final day as acting county engineer would be Friday, Dec. 1.
Jacobson has been the county’s engineer for 17.5 years. The Board voted not to retain his services beyond the end of the calendar year during a special meeting on Thursday, Nov. 9. According to terms of his employment contract, Jacobson will be granted severance pay equal to one month’s salary.

Thu
23
Nov

Supervisors to update wind power ordinance


The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors decided on Monday against a moratorium on commercial wind turbines in the county, but are collecting information and conducting research to revise their 2015 wind ordinance to include specific parameters for large-scale wind farms.

By Kent Thompson
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors on Monday agreed to move forward with a revised and expanded wind turbine/wind generation ordinance, without resulting in a moratorium.
In a special work session held Nov. 15, the Board talked about issuing a six-month moratorium on any wind turbine permit applications. It was revealed Monday that no applications are expected during the three-month or less process it will take the Board to decide on a new ordinance and the language contained in such a document.

Thu
23
Nov

Library Foundation donors leave lasting legacy


Pictured clockwise from left: Library Foundation Board member LeRoy Jorgensen, bench donor Gary Strachan, bench donors Candy Carlson and Karen May, representing the Humboldt County Genealogical Society, Board member Jean Holste (standing), Library Director Demi Johnson (standing), Foundation Board President Linda Clasen, Board members Joan Lindaman, Katy Lemmenes and Jane Wickett. The four benches at the site were donated by Gary Strachan in memory of his wife, Janice; by Marvin Grebner in memory of his wife, Donna; the Humboldt County Genealogical Society in honor of its members; and Dan Holste in honor of his wife, Jean and the couple’s daughters. Humboldt Independent photo.

By Kent Thompson
Just as great works of literature can leave a lasting impression on the mind, making a donation to the Humboldt Public Library Foundation can leave a lasting legacy.
It can be a legacy of knowledge and learning, or a tangible asset.
One such asset that gives the library grounds a sense of relaxation and repose is the new benches that grace the front of the library. They are lasting memorials to people who have had or are having a special connection to the library, or just a way to remember someone who loved to read.
Gary Strachan, Marvin Grebner and Dan Holste all donated funds in honor or memory of their wives and the Humboldt County Genealogical Society donated funds for the fourth bench.
The Library Foundation used some existing funds coupled with a $1,193 grant from the Humboldt County Community Foundation to provide matching funds for a dedicated sidewalk and landscaping around the benches.

Thu
23
Nov

Downtown business owners start teacher supply swap


High School special education instructor Cassie Smith (left) and volunteer Louise Hauck-Chinn (right) are pictured with some of the supplies Smith needs for her classroom students on a daily basis. Humboldt’s Deb Davis and Hauck-Chinn are organizing a Teacher Supply Swap store in a portion of the Uptown Humboldt Mercantile building, 609 Sumner Ave. The store, for teachers only, plans to be open in January. Humboldt Independent photo.

By Kent Thompson
When Deb Davis saw a video on Facebook about a teacher supply swap, she knew she had to get involved. That means starting a Teacher Supply Swap in Humboldt, the first of its kind in the state and only the fourth in the U.S.
The particular episode Davis saw was about Baltimore, MD, teacher Melissa Badeker. She told about spending $1,000 out of her own pocket as a beginning teacher to purchase school supplies and needed items for students in her classroom. After some of the supplies had been used, she would be tasked with the chore of trying to get rid of things of which she no longer had a need.

Thu
16
Nov

Veterans tell personal stories at OSLC meal


Veterans Sherman Silbaugh, Gordon VanGronigen, Roger Heiter and Gene Ruby stand during the singing of the National Anthem at the Veteran’s Meal at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church last Thursday, Nov. 9. Humboldt Independent photo.

By Jeff Gargano
It was an emotional night as more than 150 people enjoyed the Veteran’s meal served by Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church last Thursday evening.
Attendees included five World War II Veterans all the way up to Veterans of the wars in the Middle East.
The Veterans and their families enjoyed a free dinner of grilled steak or grilled chicken breast. To begin the event, Sidney Burns sang the National Anthem. Everyone in the room stood, even those in wheelchairs.
There were three speakers during the evening: Humboldt County Veteran’s Affairs Director Dean Ewoldt; Jim Fevold, who spoke about his life changing Honor Flight experience; and Seth Dencklau, who served in the Middle East.
Jim Fevold is a Vietnam War Veteran. He said while he was at war he heard stories of how his fellow soldiers were being treated when they returned home. Then he experienced it when he returned to the United States.

Thu
16
Nov

Ron and Mary Reedy lead the way on show ring project


Members of the Humboldt County Fair Board accepted a check from Ron and Mary Reedy, Grand Champion sponsors ($10,000 or more) for a new show ring at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds. Pictured from left: Fair Board member David Boswell, Ron Reedy, Mary Reedy, Fair Board member Paul Davis (background), Fair Board President Jeff Haselhuhn and Fair Board member Kevin Cordray. Humboldt Independent photo.

By Kent Thompson
The Humboldt County Agricultural Society (Fair Board) is pleased to announce a lead donor in its effort to raise $90,000 for a new show ring.
Ron and Mary Reedy of Humboldt, longtime supporters of agriculture and 4-H in Humboldt County, have been identified as a Grand Champion Sponsor of the new building with a generous donation of $10,000 or more.
“We are very pleased to accept Ron and Mary’s donation and hope it will encourage others to donate,” Humboldt County Fair Board President Jeff Haselhuhn said.
“We think it’s great. We have received other smaller donations and it all helps,” Fair Board member Kevin Cordray said.
Donations large and small are welcome and accepted and can be sent to Humboldt County Fair, PO Box 391, Humboldt, IA 50548 or people can contact any member of the Fair Board.

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