News

Fri
19
Oct

Scholten to visit Dakota City


J.D. Scholten

U.S. Congressional Candidate J.D. Scholten continues his barnstorming tour of the 4th District in Humboldt County on Monday, Oct. 22 from 12-1 p.m. at the VFW Hall, 412 Main St., Dakota City.
Scholten welcomes everyone, regardless of party affiliation (or lack thereof) to attend, ask questions, and join in conversation about the issues impacting Iowans.
This is the Sioux City Democrat’s third stop in Humboldt County. He is looking forward to the opportunity to hearing from county residents.
Scholten will also be in Fort Dodge on Sunday, Oct. 21, at the Iowa Central Community College Biohealth Science Auditorium for a town hall focused on Social Security and senior issues. Appearing with Scholten will be Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The event is free and the program will begin at 11:30 a.m.

Thu
18
Oct

Ernst to hold town hall meeting Oct. 24


Senator Joni Ernst (R-Red Oak) will be in Humboldt on Wednesday, Oct. 24 for a town hall meeting at 4:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Humboldt High School. The meeting is open to the public.

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst has announced that she will be holding a town hall meeting at the Humboldt High School R. Wesley Carlson Auditorium on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 4:30 p.m. The high school is located at 1500 Wildcat Road.
According to Sen. Ernst's office, the town hall meeting in Humboldt is part of Ernst's 99-county tour to hear from constituents about the issues most important to them. The public is welcome to attend this meeting.

Thu
18
Oct

Pork processing plant to open soon


This is a photo of the plant exterior of the Prestage Foods of Iowa pork processing plant located five miles south of Eagle Grove on Highway 17. The 725,000 square foot plant would be the equivalent of 12.5 football fields. The facility plans to process 10,000 hogs per day in its state-of-the-art facility. Submitted photo.

By KENT THOMPSON
Nestled among the farm fields of southwestern Wright County sits the largest production facility in a four-county square area.
The 160-acre tract of land is five miles south of Eagle Grove and just west of Highway 17. It will be the home to a Prestage Foods of Iowa pork processing plant
“We feel we are largely on schedule. Our plans are to begin commercial production with the entire workforce in early January,” said Jere Null, Prestage Foods of Iowa Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Ground was broken for the $325 million, 725,000 square foot facility on March 30, 2017.
Prestage Farms is the fifth largest pork producer and the fifth largest turkey producer in the U.S., producing 421 million pounds of turkey and 922 million pounds of pork per year.

Thu
18
Oct

New bus garage in Humboldt


This is an exterior view of the front of the new Co-City bus garage at 1310 7th Avenue North. Humboldt Independent photo.

By KENT THOMPSON
The final touches are being completed in the construction of a new bus garage for the Co-City transit line.
After several years of planning, ground was turned in May on the new location for the Co-City bus garage at 1310 7th Avenue North, directly west of the AgWest Commodities and the Nokomis Wood Working Association building.
“This is something we’ve been planning for several years and we are very excited for it. It’s a good move for us, because we’ve outgrown our current leased space (south of Witz End on 6th Street South) and several of our buses have to sit outside,” said Jay Kammerer, transit manager for MIDAS in Fort Dodge.
The new building is approximately 5,000 square feet and will feature four drive-through bays as well as one wash bay and a small office area. Sande Construction and Supply of Humboldt is the general contractor for the project.

Thu
11
Oct

Pumpkins and Ponies cancelled


The inordinate amount of rain this summer and early fall has forced the cancellation of a popular seasonal event, Pumpkins and Ponies. The event is held every October at the SpringVale Farm located on Lone Tree Road, southeast of Dakota City. Five inches of rain early this week caused already saturated ground to become even wetter, forcing the cancellation of the Oct. 13-14 event, according to organizers Bob and Lonnie Larson. Humboldt Independent file photo.

Robert “Bob” and Lonnie Larson, owners of SpringVale Farm, 2603 Lone Tree Road, are saddened to announce that the annual Pumpkins and Ponies event has been cancelled, due to the extremely wet grounds.
“Starting Monday night and throughout the day Tuesday we had another five inches of rain,” Lonnie Larson reported.
She said the ground was so saturated before that there were few places to park on the property and areas around the farmstead are too soft for a lot of activity.
L. Larson said there were a lot of hurdles the weather threw up. “We’re very disappointed that we needed to reach that decision (to cancel), but we feel it’s the right thing under the circumstances.”
The couple was really looking forward to this year’s event, as tremendous crowds the past few years made for the necessity of adding an extra day. The event was to be held Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13-14, before weather changed the plans.

Thu
11
Oct

BREAKING NEWS: Humboldt pain care provider found dead


Greg Pekkala, a pain care management health professional who has served the Humboldt community for several years, was found dead in his rural Hamilton County home Tuesday morning by law enforcement authorities. An autopsy has been ordered. No word has been received on funeral services for the 59-year-old Webster City man.

By KENT THOMPSON
Hamilton County authorities with assistance from the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation are investigating a suspicious death that involves a health care professional who has practiced in the Humboldt area for several years.
Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 9:18 a.m., the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office was called to 724 Kendall Young Road east of Webster City for a welfare check.
Upon arrival, authorities found a deceased male subject. The man was identitfied as Gregory Allen Pekkala, 59, of Webster City.
Authorities have not said if they believe foul play was involved. The body has been sent to the state medical examiner’s office in Ankeny for an autopsy. The area around Pekkala’s rural Hamilton County home was marked with crime scene tape. However, Hamilton County authorities say there is no reason to believe there is a threat to other citizens in the community.

Thu
11
Oct

HCMH time capsule reveals handwritten scroll


HCMH CEO Michelle Sleiter (left) and Director of Community Relations Mardi Ratzlaff (right) hold on to a long scroll of names of hospital foundation donors from 50 years ago. Humboldt Independent photo.

By KENT THOMPSON
In the process of reconstruction, construction workers and members of the Humboldt County Memorial Hospital (HCMH) maintenance staff unearthed something that the hospital administration did not know existed, a 1969-70 era time capsule.
Sealed in a brazed rectangular cooper box were three issues of the Humboldt Republican and Independent, including the July 25, 1970 special edition, signifying the grand opening and open house celebration of HCMH. There were also two Humboldt Reminders, a 1921 silver dollar, a hospital foundation flyer and a hospital promotional piece about the new building.
Hospital Board of Trustee members at the time were Joe Dodgen, Elden Collins, Jack Campbell, Les Mealiff, Earl Clabaugh and Jean Kleve.
Perhaps most unique of the items in the copper box is a scroll of writing papers, affixed together, with the handwritten names of 2,200 people who contributed to the hospital’s building fund 50 years ago.

Thu
11
Oct

Children's mental health is a growing concern


Prairie Lakes AEA Administrator Jeff Herzberg is part of a 23-member state task force whose charge is to come up with a plan for a mental health system to treat children with mental health needs in the state. Humboldt Independent photo.

By KENT THOMPSON
Children’s mental health is becoming an increasing societal concern. Finding ways to assist children is a point of emphasis among parents, school administrators, teachers, health care providers and politicians.
Last April, Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency (AEA) Chief Administrator and Gilmore City-Bradgate School Superintendent Jeff Herzberg was one of 23 people named to a task force by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds to research and come up with a recommendation to the Iowa Legislature to create a mental health system for children in the state of Iowa.
On Monday, Herzberg visited the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to get some of their thoughts on mental health services for children.
“We’ve had two meetings and will be having two more, with the express purpose of making a recommendation to the Legislature,” Herzberg said.
He said the target group would be from birth to either age 18 or 26.

Thu
04
Oct

Taft Park Shelter House is a target for vandals


Pictured are scratches/carvings to wood in the structure. Humboldt Independent photo.

By KENT THOMPSON
Punching holes in walls, defecating in the corner, attempting to rip out electrical outlets, littering with trash, writing, carving and spray painting graffiti on walls – “anything and everything has happened to this building so far.”
That is the current report, on what has happened to the Taft Park Shelter House, according to Humboldt Parks Superintendent Clayton Vorland. Much of that activity has occurred during the past two years.
“We have repainted it three times already this year, choosing red paint. The inside walls used to be sealed wood. One whole wall was decorated (by graffiti) so we had to fix that," Vorland said.
Both the Humboldt Park Board and Humboldt City Council have had preliminary discussions about what to do about the matter.
“The answer is probably having an enclosed locked shelter house that will require a key and a small rental fee and deposit if someone wants to use it,” Goedken said.

Thu
04
Oct

Oak Hill Church continues remodel with addition


This is one of the classrooms used by King’s Kids preschool as well as Wednesday night classes and Sunday School at the Oak Hill Church.

Phase two of a remodeling and expansion project has been completed at Oak Hill Church in Humboldt.
The project involved constructing a 10,000 square foot addition, and also remodeling existing classroom space. Sande Construction of Humboldt was the general contractor on the project.
Construction on the phase II started almost immediately after phase I was completed. Phase I included expanding the office area, adding accessible restrooms and a conference room area.
“The main reason for the expansion is the increased number of children and young families that God is bringing to Oak Hill,” Pastor Doug Wolter said.
Future plans include offering a coffee bar between services in the fellowship area. Oak Hill would also like to pave the north parking lot in the near future.
Read the full story in this week's Humboldt Independent newspaper. Subscribe by clicking on the link at the top of this page.

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