News

Fri
21
Jan

Conservation Board favors option to lower the dam


The Humboldt County Conservation Board is recommending a lowering of the Reasoner Dam for safety, recreational and financial concerns after studying three alternatives and reviewing public comment on a study completed this past fall. The recommendation will be presented to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors at its Monday meeting. Humboldt Independent photo.

By KENT THOMPSON
The Humboldt County Conservation Board is recommending alternative 2 for the Reasoner Dam on the West Fork of the Des Moines River in Humboldt.
Alternative 2 would lower the crest of the concrete spillway by seven feet and create a rock ramp across the width of where the coffer cells are and downstream.
For more than a year, the Conservation Board and County Board of Supervisors have been studying possible improvements. The Board hired Stantec, a Des Moines area architectural firm, to study the existing dam and provide alternatives and cost estimates for improvements.
An estimated 188 people attended an open house presentation of three alternatives in late October at the fairgrounds. Alternative 1 was to rehabilitate the existing dam and restore it original structure and flow status. Alternative 3 was to remove the dam altogether.

Thu
20
Jan

Northland Auto moving to fomer Shopko building


Preston and Jadie Peterson stand in front of the former ShopKo building, which is currently being remodeled to be the new home of their business, Northland Auto. The Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge and Ram auto dealer plans to be open at the new location by March 1. Humboldt Independent photo by Jeff Gargano.

The former Shopko building next to Hy-Vee on Highway 3 in Humboldt will soon become the new location for Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge and Ram auto dealer Northland Auto.
Northland owners Preston and Jadie Peterson said remodeling is underway with the move to the new location happening by March 1.
“We’ve outgrown our current location (on Highway 3 West),” Preston Peterson said. Northland also has a location on Highway 169 north of the AmericInn hotel. They’ll be combining everything into one location next to Hy-Vee.
The former ShopKo building is going through quite a transformation. Most of the front (south side) will be a glass front. The 25,000 plus square foot facility will allow for a large 6,000 square foot indoor showroom where six or more vehicles will be on display. Read more about the change in this week's Humboldt Independent. Subscribe to print or digital editions by clicking on the link at the top of this page.

Thu
20
Jan

School sets design meetings for building updates


Humboldt Community School District maintenance supervisor Michael Duffy uses a pickup and blade to clear snow Saturday at the Humboldt Middle School. See this and other photos at www.humboldtnews.com. Humboldt Independent photo by Kent Thompson.

By Phil Monson
Last month the Humboldt School Board gave their approval to begin the process of upgrading the district’s facilities and infrastructure.
Now a series of planning and design meetings are set to take place starting this week, according to a report by Humboldt School Superintendent Jim Murray Monday night at the board’s regular monthly meeting.
Murray said the first planning meeting with Sande Construction officials will take place on Jan. 19 and Feb. 2 on proposals for the sports complex upgrades and improvements. The meeting for creating safe office entry will be on Jan. 26 at 4:30 p.m.
Murray said the district is probably more than a year away from any construction taking place.
Read more about the Humboldt Community School and see photos of student activities every week in the Humboldt Independent, your trusted source for local news and sports.

Thu
20
Jan

Supervisors ask Comp Board to reconvene


Humboldt County Supervisor Rick Pedersen made a motion at this week's meeting requesting the Humboldt County Compensation Board reconvene to consider additional financial information. Last week, the Comp Board recommended to the Supervisors an 18 percent raise for the county sheriff and 6 percent raises for all other elected officials.

By KENT THOMPSON
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors has the final say over the salaries of elected officials in the county.
After a decision made by the Compensation Board last week to recommend an 18 percent raise for County Sheriff Dean Kruger and a 6 percent raise for the county attorney, county auditor, county recorder, county treasurer and all five county supervisors, on Monday, the Supervisors unanimously agreed to ask the Compensation Board to reconvene and consider additional information.
“I visited with Kristi Harshbarger, general counsel for the Iowa State Association of Counties last week and she said we can request the Compensation Board to reconvene and provide them with additional information,” District 3 Supervisor Rick Pedersen said.

Thu
13
Jan

Sexe files civil suit against county, sheriff


Humboldt County E911 Database Manager Cherese Sexe (left) has filed a civil suit in Humboldt County District Court against the Humboldt County 911 Service Board, Humboldt County LEC Board, Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Dean Kruger (right) individually, along with Taylor Kunert, Cory Lampe, Joel Sanders, Dan Scholl and Erik Underberg. She alleges sexual harassment by Kruger and makes claims of slander and libel.

By KENT THOMPSON
Humboldt County’s longtime E911 Database Manager Cherese Sexe has filed a civil lawsuit against the entity she works for, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and Humboldt County Sheriff Dean Kruger, among others.
In the suit, Sexe claims sex discrimination, sexual harassment on the part of the sheriff and violation of her rights under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, Iowa Code Chapter 216.
Named as defendants in the suit, which was filed on Dec. 29, 2021, in Humboldt County District Court are: The Humboldt County 911 Service Board, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors and the Humboldt County Public Safety Commission.
Read full details of the civil suit in this week's Humboldt Independent.

Thu
13
Jan

Frerk named president of Bank Iowa's Humboldt Region


Bank Iowa announced this week that Angie Frerk has been named president of the bank's Humboldt Region. Frerk began her banking career at the local bank after graduating from the University of Northern Iowa.

Bank Iowa has announced the promotion of Angie Frerk to regional president of Bank Iowa’s Humboldt Region. Frerk succeeds David Boswell, who concluded his 27-year years with Bank Iowa in April of last year.
“I have the utmost confidence in Angie’s abilities to successfully lead the Humboldt Region,” said Jim Plagge, CEO of Bank Iowa. “She has served the Humboldt community in various roles for the bank for almost 20 years and we are excited to see her flourish in this new leadership role.”
Read more about Frerk's promotion in this week's Humboldt Independent. Subscribe today by clicking on the link at the top of this page.

Thu
13
Jan

Hartmann is solution-oriented agriculturalist


Clint Hartmann of Hartmann Ag Solutions is pictured at his desk in his office south of Ottosen. He has been operating his seed, chemical and sprayer parts business for the past 11 years. Humboldt Independent photo.

Clint Hartmann's sprayer covers 120 feet and can handle 48 rows of crop on a single pass.

By KENT THOMPSON
Taking care of seeds and growing crops is more than just a profession for Clint Hartmann.
It is a way of life that has carried on through the generations, even though Clint was a “town boy,” growing up in Dakota City.
“When I was real little I would come up to the farm and help my grandparents. They would be cleaning seed and I would pick out the “off types” out of the clean holding tank. As soon as I could start lifting bags I was stacking pallets. I grew up with seed so I have to stay with it,” said Hartmann, who has expanded his ag business, Hartmann Ag Solutions, to include not only seed, but chemicals and ag sprayer parts.
“I enjoy all aspects of the business. I wake up and I’m excited to go to work that day," he said. Read more about the area agribusinessman in this week's special Celebrate Corn Month section in the Humboldt Independent, your trusted source for local news and sports.

Wed
12
Jan

Two drivers seriously injured in separate accidents


Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputy Kenny Vorland (right) visits with an accident victim following a two-car collision west of Humboldt Wednesday morning, Jan. 12. Humboldt Independent photo by Kent Thompson.

Humboldt County emergency personnel load an injured driver, Malea Brown of Pocahontas, into the Humboldt Ambulance late Wednesday morning following a two-vehicle personal injury accident west of Humboldt on 230th Street. Brown was taken to Humboldt County Memorial Hospital and then sent by Life Flight to another hospital. Humboldt Independent photo by Kent Thompson.

Two drivers sustained serious/incapacitating injuries following separate accidents that occurred in the county on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
An unusual single-vehicle accident on Tuesday night, Jan. 11, resulted in serious injuries to a Dakota City man.
The accident occurred off of Wildcat Road in the Humboldt Middle School parking lot.

Thu
06
Jan

COVID spike begins to strain health resources


Humboldt Bomgaars and its customers raised $392.60 for the Humboldt County Memorial Hospital Foundation to go toward the radiology department for equipment needs and to provide financial assistance to uninsured Humboldt County residents needing breast cancer testing, thanks to a Ladies Night shopping event on Oct. 24, 2021. Unfortunately, the Foundation announced this week that it is forced to postpone its annual gala due to the pandemic. It has been rescheduled for Jan. 21, 2023. Submitted photo.

COVID-19 cases in Humboldt County struck pretty hard around Christmas.
From Dec. 20-27, there were 85 positive COVID-19 cases in the county, according to Michelle Sleiter, CEO of Humboldt County Memorial Hospital.
“COVID did strike us pretty hard and pretty quickly. We are assuming it is the Omicron variant because of the fast spread,” she said noting the testing to determine which variant is done at the state level.
“85 positives in seven days is very high compared to other variants we’ve experienced,” Sleiter said.
On Monday, Sleiter released updated figures showing Humboldt County with 205 positive cases between Dec. 20 and Jan. 3.

Thu
06
Jan

Council talks about new industrial park


Sisters Kendra and Keira Long of Humboldt enjoyed ice skating Monday at the city fish ponds along 13th Street South. Humboldt Independent photo by Kent Thompson.

By KENT THOMPSON
The Humboldt City Council wants new business and industry but it also seeks to be good neighbors to rural landowners in the area.
At Monday’s Humboldt City Council meeting, two local property owners Tim Burres and Louis Fallesen addressed the Council about the proposed voluntary annexation of 133 acres located north of the current Northwest Industrial Park on 16th Avenue North.
The property is the Ben Bjornsen estate located north 16th Avenue North (also known as 215th Street) and east of Kentucky Avenue on the northwest edge of the city limits.
The Humboldt County Development Association (HCDA) in an agreement with the city, purchased the property last year for future industrial development.

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