News

Thu
04
Mar

County looks at additional paving in 2021


The county is looking at adding to five paving projects already set for this summer, by adding sizeable sections of County Road C-20, north and west of Bode and east of Livermore. Submitted photo.

By KENT THOMPSON
Humboldt County Secondary Roads will be receiving improvements according to the county’s five-year plan and action taken at Monday’s weekly meeting of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors.

Thu
04
Mar

Speech students excel in competitions


Nearly 30 Humboldt High School students have participated in district and state group speech competitions recently. Humboldt Independent photo.

Nearly 30 Humboldt High School students participated in district and state speech competitions during recent Saturdays. State I ratings included Short Film - "The Date" with Luke Sievers, Jacob Pedersen, Ryder Wickett, Sam Numedahl, Brody Paterson, Allison Lynch, and Nathan Kuehnast. Short Film - "The Return" with Aiden Christensen, Quinton Orr, and Eric Wittrock. The Ensemble Acting team scored a I rating with "Keeping Score, featuring Jayda Vitzthum, Grace Smith, Nora Carlson, and Lillian Holm. The Mime Group of Adalyn Lawman and Leah Johnson scored a I with their performance "The Ultimate Cure." Receiving a I rating and All-State Nomination was the Group Mime performance "Ritual of Friendship" with Chloe Carlson, Cassondra Ruzicka and Sydney Savery. Students also performed well at district speech. Read the full story in this week's Humboldt Independent, your trusted source for local news and sports.

Thu
04
Mar

Three named to All-Iowa Honor Dance Team


Humboldt High School students, Morgan Smith, senior; Lydia Witzke, junior; and Aneisha Sritharan, senior, were selected for the All-Iowa Honor Dance Team. The performance by the All-Iowa Honor Dance Team will take place during the 4A girls’ basketball championship game Saturday, March 6. (Game time is 1:30 p.m.) The halftime performance will be aired on Iowa PBS at approximately 2 p.m.

Three Humboldt High School students, seniors Morgan Smith and Aneisha Sritharan and junior Lydia Witzke, were selected for the All-Iowa Honor Dance Team. The girls will be among 238 dancers representing 90 schools at this weekend's Iowa Girls' High School Basketball Tournament. The All-Iowa Honor Dance Team will perform during halftime of Saturday's 4A championship game, which begins at 1:30 p.m. and is being aired on Iowa PBS channel 11. All dance teams represented are members of the Iowa State Dance Team Association, and the dancers were chosen based on ability, attitude, dedication and leadership qualities. Five hundred twenty dancers auditioned virtually last fall.

Wed
03
Mar

Humboldt's Trumpeters depart together


Humboldt's pair of Trumpeter Swans spread their wings and departed this world Tuesday afternoon, according to Humboldt Parks Director Clayton Vorland. The pair were at separate locations, the male at the SOAR Raptor Center near Carroll, and the female on the pond in Humboldt. Fred (left) and Wilma (right) are pictured in May 2015. Humboldt Independent file photo.

Humboldt Parks Director Clayton Vorland said the city was heartbroken Tuesday afternoon to find out both Trumpeter Swans had died within a short time of one another. They graced the city ponds by the Highway 169 Bridge for the past 12 years. Vorland is hopeful the Iowa Department of Natural Resources can find at least one swan for the city.

The city of Humboldt reported some unfortunate news Tuesday, March 2. Both Trumpeter Swans, Fred and Wilma, the largest flying birds in North America, perished within a short time of each other. To find out more, we posed some questions to Humboldt Parks Director Clayton Vorland.

1. What was the extent of Fred’s injuries, how long was he at the raptor rehab near Carroll and what was the diagnosis? Evidently he wasn’t improving.
A: From what I was told is that it just looked like joint deterioration/arthritis of his knee joints. He was to the point he couldn’t get up and even if you picked him up, he wouldn’t stand and he would just fall back down. They tried to work with him to try and get him to stand up on his own but he was just not improving at all. He was taken to SOAR (Saving Our Avian Resources) on Dec. 31, 2020.

2. What time did you find out that he had died?
A: I was informed that Fred had been put down shortly after finding Wilma.

Thu
25
Feb

Water main project gets green light


Jackson Chambers, 17, of Humboldt, enjoys a friendly game of pickle ball recently on the courts at the Humboldt Recreation Center. Humboldt Independent photo.

By KENT THOMPSON
A new contractor with a competitive bid price is expected to complete the long-awaited Highway 169 water main replacement project this coming construction season.
That was the word reported at the Humboldt City Council’s bi-monthly meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 16.
ISG, the city's civil engineering firm, estimate of probable cost of the construction, which has become more complex over time, was $1,060,938. Work will include installation of new eight-inch water main, hydrant assembly, storm sewer, sanitary sewer and sub-drain assembly, curb and gutter, pavement removal and two-inch hot mix asphalt base, full depth patching and driveway construction, among other costs.
Bids received were a quote of $1,005,726.40 from Reding’s Gravel and Excavating Co. of Algona, and a bid of $807,254.70 from Brian Nettleton Excavating Inc. of Joice.

Thu
25
Feb

Musical concerts planned for March at HHS


The eighth grade chorus will be one of the groups performing in the upcoming days in Humboldt. Middle school chorus and high school choir members will be performing Thursday, March 4 at 7 p.m. at the high school. Spectators will be limited. Humboldt Independent photo.

Winter/spring concert dates have been set by the Humboldt Community School District.
The first concerts will be held Thursday, March 4, at 7 p.m. with the middle school chorus in the auditorium and the high school choirs in the gym.
On Monday, March 8, fifth and sixth grade band will perform at 6 p.m. followed by the seventh and eighth grade bands at 7 p.m.
On Tuesday, March 9, the high school band will perform at 7 p.m.
Soundsations is scheduled for Saturday, March 27, at 7 p.m.
Concerts will be held virtually and a limited audience will be invited to attend in person. Every student will be able to have a limited number of spectators depending on what ensemble they are in.
Activities Director Greg Thomas said the pandemic has created challenges for everyone.

Thu
25
Feb

Dance Team performances are Friday


Humboldt High School Dance Team members Clara Bormann, Leah Manz, Makenna Naeve, Morgan Smith, Aneisha Sritharan, Lylah Tinken, Ashlee Wergeland, Lydia Witzke, Jennika Beach, Elle Clark, Tricia Kellner, Riley Kunert, Mckenna Mathis, Lydia Origer and Kaycee Rubel will be performing and instructing on Friday, capped off by performances of preschool to eighth graders in the late afternoon, followed by the high school "Out of This World," show at 7 p.m.

The 2021 Dance Team Clinic will be held Friday, Feb. 26, from 3-5 p.m. (no school that day) at the Humboldt High School gym. The performance will be between 5 and 5:30 p.m. during set time slots due to COVID-19.
Participants will learn a routine taught by Humboldt High School Dance Team members and their coed partners. This is for girls and boys grades preschool through eighth grade. All participants will receive a Dance Team Night t-shirt.
All participants must wear a mask. Participants are to wear black pants, shorts, or leggings to the clinic. All participants are to bring their own water bottle labeled with their name. There will be no snack this year.
Time slots for clinic performances are as follows: 5:01-5:04 p.m. preschool; 5:05-5:08 p.m. Kindergarten; 5:09-5:12 p.m. first and second grade; 5:13-5:16 p.m. boys perform; 5:17-5:20 p.m. third and fourth grade; and 5:21-5:24 p.m. fifth through eighth grade.

Wed
24
Feb

Virtual meeting on future of dam planned


A Zoom meeting to discuss public visioning about the Joe Reasoner Dam in Humboldt is planned for Tuesday, March 2 from 7-8:30 p.m. Items to be discussed will be information included in the interactive Story Map, which people have been posting on; new information about fisheries on the Des Moines River; and information from members of two Iowa communities who have addressed their aging dam infrastructure. A master list of concerns and opportunities will be compiled. Register: https://cutt.ly/reasoner-registration

Humboldt County Conservation is considering future visions for Reasoner Dam and the Des Moines River in Humboldt County.
Do you have thoughts about how to move forward now that the dam has reached the end of its life in terms of materials and construction?
Join a Reasoner Dam public visioning meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, March 2 from 7-8:30 p.m.

Thu
18
Feb

School improvement plan focuses on students


High School Principal Dr. Paul Numedahl (left) and Humboldt Superintendent Jim Murray (right) outlined a School Improvement Action Plan for next year on Monday night, with an emphasis on improving student engagement and connectivity.

By Phil Monson
Just how much change can the Humboldt Community School District and its staff and students handle in one year?
That was the big question Dr. Paul Numedahl, Humboldt High School Principal, asked during the Humboldt board of education meeting Monday night, Feb. 15.
Numedahl is among six new administrators who are in their first year in the district. Numedahl reported the district will implement a School Improvement Action Plan with its professional development during the 2021-22 school year.
Numedahl said the district will create Professional Learning Communities with an emphasis on improving student engagement and connectivity.
“We have looked at certain data sets, school attendance and school culture survey, along with informal conversations with students and staff. We asked ourselves ‘what should we be focusing on for school improvement?’ That’s the goal that really came out,” Numedahl said.

Thu
18
Feb

Lu Verne Elementary students learn about careers


Lu Verne fourth grade students researched and conducted interviews for careers that might interest them.

Fourth graders at Lu Verne Elementary School already have an idea of some career paths they might enjoy thanks to a career unit put together by their teacher Kristyn Olson, guidance counselor Courtney Fannon and Janie Eischen of the AEA.
After the spring shutdown due to COVID-19, some students were having difficulty getting motivated to learn again.
“We wanted to do something to bring meaning to every day life in school. Why is fourth grade important?” Olson said. “There are academic needs, but there are social needs we need to balance.”
Students researched careers and then conducted an interview with a professional in a given field. Read more about the project in this week's Humboldt Independent newspaper.

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