News

Thu
23
Jan

New restauranteur to take over Gordy's at Rustix


Jason Rogers, General Manager for 209 Main in Paton, is shown in the front entry of what will soon be 716 Main in Humboldt. The former Gordy’s at Rustix has been purchased by Vaughn and Lori Bauer of Paton and after remodeling will open in March as 716 Main. Humboldt Independent photo.

Gordy’s at Rustix has been purchased and after a remodeling project will reopen as 716 Main. The goal is to open in March.
Jason Rogers, General Manager of 209 Main in Paton, said 716 Main is owned by Vaughn and Lori Bauer of Paton. Rogers is spearheading the effort to remodel and open the new Humboldt restaurant.
“Vaughn and I have been looking, ready to take the concept from Paton on the road. Aaron Lenning, who I knew from our time working together at Wallaby’s in Ames, told us about this place. We fell in love with the space. Everyone I’ve met in Humboldt has been great. It’s just a bigger small town like Paton with great people,” Rogers said.

Thu
23
Jan

Police Administrator told to 'get tougher'


Humboldt City Administrator Travis Goedken (left) and Humboldt Police Administrator Dean Kruger (right) are receiving contrasting reports on how the Humboldt Police Department and the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office are meshing and working together. Read about it in this week's Humboldt Independent.

By KENT THOMPSON
Humboldt County Sheriff Dean Kruger has served as the city of Humboldt's police administrator for the past decade. On Monday night, Travis Goedken, Humboldt City Administrator, told Kruger that he needs to take a more aggressive role as the city's police administrator.
“We have issues in the police department,” Humboldt City Administrator Travis Goedken reported bluntly. “I have members of the police department and sheriff’s deputies calling and emailing me saying that if we don’t get someone over there (at the LEC) we are going to get someone hurt.
“I get emails saying that the two departments are not working together. I get sheriff’s deputies saying, ‘I am not going to help that officer,’” Goedken stated. “I’ve heard that from two different deputies.”

Wed
22
Jan

Superintendent placed on paid leave


GREG DARLING

Humboldt School Superintendent Greg Darling has been placed on paid administrative leave, after action by the Humboldt School Board at their regular monthly meeting on Jan. 20.
The board voted 3-0 to immediately place Darling on paid leave, at the recommendation of the district’s legal counsel. Board members Suzanne Newton, Kristi Clark and Kathy Yoakam voted for the assignment. Board member Robert Myott was not present.
The action came five minutes after the start of the meeting before a packed board meeting room in the administration office. Board president Tate Satern later read a statement at the end of the meeting, stating the district would have a temporary superintendent in place soon.

Thu
16
Jan

Swan soiree rescheduled


Trumpeter swans were once common in Iowa but where nearly hunted to extinction because of its skin, feathers, meat and eggs. By 1930, only 69 remained in the continental U.S. Birds like these two in Humboldt grow up to 32 pounds, making them the largest among North American’s waterfowl species. Celebrate swans at Walnut Woods State Park in Des Moines Feb. 15, an event rescheduled from Jan. 18. Humboldt Independent file photo.

The Trumpeter Swan Soiree, originally scheduled for Jan. 18, and reported on in this week's Humboldt Independent has been rescheduled to Feb. 15 due to anticipated winter weather.
The event will celebrate North America’s largest waterfowl species from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 15 at Walnut Woods State Park in West Des Moines.
Programs will be given both indoors and outdoors at the Walnut Woods State Park lodge with concurrent outdoor viewing and interpretive presentations of trumpeter swans and wildlife.

Thu
16
Jan

School Board delays action on early retirement


Humboldt School Superintendent Greg Darling mentioned during a special Humboldt Board of Education meeting on Monday that he may be considering retirement on or before June 2021. The item came up during the board's discussion of revising its early retirement policy.

By Phil Monson
After considering a change in the district’s early retirement policy, the Humboldt School Board tabled action on its approval in their special meeting held on Monday night (Jan. 13).
Among the three items on the agenda, discussion on proposed changes to the district’s early retirement policy dominated much of the discussion in the 35-minute meeting.
At the Oct. 24 board meeting, the board approved an early retirement policy for classified employees, which pays a set amount of money for each unused sick day for up to three years. The amounts are $125 for teachers and $225 for administrators for each day up to 120 days.
The proposed change brought forward by School Superintendent Greg Darling would add “superintendent” to the policy and extend the payment to five years for all retirees, along with an additional $100 per day of each sick day for the superintendent.

Thu
16
Jan

Community Chorus presents Showstoppers


The Humboldt Community Chorus under the direction of Terry Nelson and the Humboldt Big Band will perform their annual winter show Feb. 7-9 at the R. Wesley Carlson Auditorium at the Humboldt High School. Tickets are now on sale.

The Humboldt Community Chorus will present “Showstoppers” on Friday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8 at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m. Shows are at the R. Wesley Carlson Auditorium at Humboldt High School. The Big Band will be playing one-half hour before each show.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 18.
Tickets are available at Hy-Vee, V&S in downtown Humboldt, from Chorus members or call (515) 379-1072. For more information or to purchase tickets online go to www.humboldtchorus.com.

Thu
16
Jan

Former auditor to be honored with bench


Former Humboldt County Auditor Jerry Diedrick, who died in December, will have a memorial bench in his honor at the Humboldt County Courthouse grounds in Dakota City after action by the Humboldt County Supervisors.

During an abbreviated regular meeting agenda, the Board of Supervisors on Monday approved the placement of a memorial bench on the courthouse grounds to honor Jerry Diedrick, a longtime county employee and former Humboldt County Auditor from 1980 to 1995. Diedrick also worked in the assessor’s office and served as the county sanitarian before being elected to office in 1980. Diedrick and his wife, Rose Mary, also ran the Corner Inn Motel in Humboldt for 27 years. Diedrick passed away on Dec. 3 at the age of 83.
“I was approached by Jerry’s son, Chris, who asked if the county would consider a bench in his honor from memorials received,” Supervisor Dave Lee said.
Current County Auditor Peggy Rice reported that it would be nice to have additional seating outside the courthouse for people walking by the area.
Supervisor Bruce Reimers moved to allow the placement with the Board unanimously agreeing.

Thu
09
Jan

Optimistic corn grower sees better times ahead


With more than 6 million square inches in every acre, having equipment like the Great Plains vertical tillage machine increases yields by not disturbing density change layers in a soil, increasing root development and providing for more nutrient optimization. Humboldt Independent photo by Kent Thompson.

By KENT THOMPSON
“Politics aside, I think ag has set itself up for a good year and an improving future. For the past three years, everyone seems to be doing good but the farmers and we have been going backwards," said Jerry Maier, who farms in Wright County near Eagle Grove.
Maier said he is encouraged with the announcement of Congress’ intent to pass the United States/Mexico/Canada Trade Agreement. “Under Obama, they swore up and down that NAFTA would never get renegotiated, but now in less than three years, it has been. It took a lot of work by a lot of people.
“I think that will be tremendous and should be a shot in the arm for Iowa farmers. I am also optimistic that a new agreement with China can be reached,” Maier said.

Thu
09
Jan

City of Pioneer at crossroads on well issue


District 4 Supervisor Erik Underberg of Livermore was elected Board Chairman during the organizational meeting last week. Rick Pedersen of Humboldt will serve as the Vice Chair.

By KENT THOMPSON
The city of Pioneer is at a crossroads as to what to do with their city well system. On Monday, Pioneer City Clerk Janet Berte met with the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to explain the situation and discuss possible options moving forward.
Berte shared a letter she received from Kristine Stone with the Ahlers Cooney law firm in Des Moines regarding possible options for the public well in Pioneer.
Berte said the well currently serves three residences and the Pro Cooperative grain elevator in the community of less than 20 residents. The community plans to un-incorporate, probably at the end of the fiscal year.
Berte said to discontinue as a city and let the county take over ownership/operation of the well would cost less than $5,000. To establish a rural water district within the city would require a petition with 30 signatures, establishment of a board and by-laws and would cost an estimated $12,000-$17,000.

Thu
09
Jan

Lu Verne Elementary embraces new way of teaching math


Jon Hueser, school superintendent at Lu Verne, displays the new 65-inch interactive television boards installed over the summer. Independent photo by Phil Monson.

By Phil Monson
Teachers at Lu Verne Elementary School aren’t afraid of change.
In fact, they embrace change and they have the statistics right out of the classroom to prove.
Last year it was the EL Program to improve literacy. This year they are implementing Bridges Mathematics.
Molli Leiting, instructional coach in Lu Verne and Algona, and Lu Verne School Superintendent Jon Hueser, can’t help but praise staff for implementing another new program.
“We knew last year using the old Everyday Math program didn’t meet all of the standards and benchmarks. We still had to pull a lot of things in to meet the core standards,” Hueser said. “Since we did the big change in literacy last year, we decided that the teachers were ready for changing math as well.”
“Everyone agreed that Bridges Mathematics is the best curriculum for us,” Leiting said.

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