News

Thu
05
Dec

Supervisors discuss snow removal route times


This is an Iowa DOT snowplow, but Humboldt County Secondary Roads workers say they are often clearing county roads before Highway 169 gets cleared of snow. Snow removal operations and start and end times were a matter of discussion Monday during the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting. Submitted photo.

By KENT THOMPSON
Up well before the break of day, Humboldt County’s secondary road workers clean roads and move snow long before most people have had their first cup of coffee.
So, would there be any benefit for county road crews to be out any earlier?
That was the point of discussion during a work session between County Engineer Ben Loots and the three county shop foremen: Jeff George (Humboldt), Denny Lippolt (Hardy) and Tom Collins (Bode).
The consensus from the engineer and road foremen was that heading out earlier would have little benefit in most cases and could be a safety and efficiency of work issue in some cases.
The standard operating procedure for cases of overnight snowfalls of a measurable amount is for the three foremen to go out at 3 a.m. to 3:15 a.m. and run the route, or at least a portion of the route.

Thu
05
Dec

Community meeting planned about Humboldt betterment


Following the downtown lighted parade last Saturday was the lighting of the community Christmas tree in Parley Finch Plaza. With the Humboldt/Dakota City Chamber disbanding at the end of the year, some people are wondering who will take over some Chamber duties. To discuss, attend a community open house Wednesday, Dec. 18, 4-7 p.m. at the Humboldt Community Seniors Center, 607 1st Avenue South. Short presentations will be at 4 and 5:30 p.m.

By KENT THOMPSON
Humboldt City Administrator Travis Goedken announced that the city will be hosting a community open house from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at the Humboldt Community Center (Senior Citizens building), 607 1st Avenue South. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss community betterment (future Chamber of Commerce-type activities) wanted in the community.
Goedken said organizers are not just looking for community celebration and recognition activities, but potential volunteers and ideas for big ticket items like the Des Moines River Reasoner Dam and the Wildcat Wonderland Playground.
He asks interested citizens to attend and offer their input and be willing to provide their names and emails for activities and projects they are interested in volunteering for.

Wed
04
Dec

BREAKING NEWS: Coralville man arrested in murder and robbery


Thirty-five-year-old Valentino Williams of Coralville has been arrested and charged with first degree murder and first degree robbery in the murder of Jessica Weishaar of Algona and the bank robbery of the Security State Bank in Lu Verne Wednesday morning. Williams is being held in the Kossuth County Jail on the forcible felony charges.

By KENT THOMPSON
An arrest has been made in the Wednesday, Dec. 4 shooting and bank robbery in Lu Verne.
Valentino Williams, 35, of Coralville, has been charged with murder in the first degree and robbery in the first degree in connection with the murder of Jessica Weishaar, 43, of Algona, an employee of the Security State Bank, 102 Dewitt St., Lu Verne.
The criminal complaint states that Williams did willfully, deliberately and with premeditation while participating in a forcible felony, kill Jessica Weishaar.
On Dec. 4 at 8:40 a.m. the Kossuth County Sheriff’s Office received a request for an ambulance. Reports came into 911 in Kossuth County that a female victim had been shot outside the Security State Bank in Lu Verne. The victim was later determined to be Weishaar, who died at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds.

Thu
28
Nov

All Aboard the Christmasland Express


Santa Claus has a new house at Kiwanis Christmasland in Humboldt, thanks to the architectural and design talents of club member Kristi Carlson and helpers. Humboldt Independent photo by Kent Thompson.

By KENT THOMPSON
A constant of Kiwanis Christmasland during the past three-plus decades has been its long narrow-gauge train tracks and its model trains.
“Kids love the trains,” Humboldt/Dakota City Noon Kiwanis President Dave Lee said.
The term “kids” is used loosely here, as they could be age 60, 70 or older.
“A model train is something that not only fascinates the little ones, but takes some of us adults back to our youth and getting a train set on Christmas morning,” Lee said.
The train has been part of the Kiwanis Christmasland display for more than 25 years, Lee reports.
Kiwanis Christmasland will be open this Friday, Nov. 29 from 6:30-8:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2:30-4:30 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m. The attraction will be closed Monday-Wednesday, Dec. 2-4, and reopen on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m.

Thu
28
Nov

HCMH celebrates with public open house


Humboldt County Memorial Hospital celebrated its new wellness hub addition with a Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday afternoon, kicking off a community open house and tour of the recently completed facility. Pictured front row from left: Chief of Medical Staff Dr. Cassidy Long, HCMH Trustee Molly Varangkounh, former Trustee Steve Long, Trustee Pam Olson, Trustee David Boswell, Trustee President Kevin Bornhoft, Trustee Ashley Emick, former Trustee Scott Curran, Trustee Tim McCartan, HCMH Chief Executive Officer Michelle Sleiter and Chamber President Kiersten Beilke. Humboldt Independent photo by Kent Thompson.

By KENT THOMPSON
Four-and-one-half years after conception planning began and 19 months after the first shovels of dirt were turned, on Sunday, Humboldt County Memorial Hospital (HCMH) celebrated a well deserved victory.
The hospital hosted an open house and community tours of the new 40,000 square foot, two-story addition, which incorporates the UnityPoint Family Medicine – Humboldt Clinic, as well as many other hospital services and specialties.
People also got a glimpse of repurposed space in the front portion of the old hospital entrance, which includes a new home for the laboratory and additional space for Genevieve’s and the patient registration area.
It was announced earlier this fall that the Humboldt County Hospital Foundation would be leaving a $1 million gift to the 2019 HCMH building project, to be paid in $100,000 installments over a 10-year period.

Fri
22
Nov

BREAKING NEWS: Humboldt Council member charged with OWI


Humboldt Ward 1 City Council member Matt Dominick has been charged with operating while intoxicated following a traffic accident on the city's southwest side Thursday night. Dominick, 40, was elected to the seat in August and was elected to a four-year term earlier this month.

By KENT THOMPSON
A Humboldt City Council member has been arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated following a motor vehicle accident on the city’s southwest side.
According to a report issued by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), Matthew J. Dominick, 40, of Humboldt, was traveling south on 13th Street Southwest and was attempting to make a left turn in an easterly direction onto 10th Avenue SW, when he lost control of the 2020 Chevy Traverse he was driving. The vehicle struck a properly parked 2009 Ford Fusion SE belonging to Craig Orness of Humboldt. As a result of the collision, Dominick’s vehicle overturned and came to rest on its top. The accident occurred on Thursday, Nov. 21, at 7:51 p.m.
Dominick suffered minor, non-incapacitating injuries in the accident, but was not transported.

Thu
21
Nov

H/DC Chamber of Commerce to dissolve


The Humboldt/Dakota City Chamber of Commerce have voted to dissolve the organization effective Dec. 31, following a vote last week. The lighted parade, which has been planned for Saturday, Nov. 30, will go on as planned. That will be the final Chamber-sanctioned activity in the community. Any outstanding Chamber Bucks will need to be redeemed at local businesses by Dec. 31.

The Board of Directors of the Humboldt-Dakota City Chamber of Commerce voted on Tuesday night, Nov. 12, to dissolve the organization effective Dec. 31.
In a letter to members, the board said: “We regret to inform you that due to a decrease in the number of memberships of the Humboldt-Dakota City Chamber of Commerce, we can no longer meet the needs of our members and provide the services our communities desire.”
Chamber President Kiersten Beilke said when Chamber Administrative Assistant Cassie Harklau resigned recently the board starting looking at the future.
“We looked at whether we should hire someone. But with the decrease in dues (memberships) the last couple years we decided it wasn’t feasible. It was a very hard decision to make because you still want to support your community,” Beilke said.
Beilke said they hope to work with community partners in an effort to provide services to the community’s desire.

Thu
21
Nov

HCMH is 'Building into the Future'


Christie Vitzthum (left) and Jan Bratland (right) are pictured in one of the new patient exam rooms in the UnityPoint Clinic at Humboldt County Memorial Hospital.Humboldt Independent photo.

By KENT THOMPSON
When Humboldt County Memorial Hospital (HCMH) holds an open house this Sunday to celebrate its new expansion, people will see not only a modern and expanded space for patient care, they will see the largest building project in Humboldt County’s history, in terms of size and scope.
It was just over two years ago that HCMH Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michelle Sleiter held a press conference and announced the construction of a two-story, 40,000 square foot addition to the hospital, as well as extensive remodeling to the front patient service area of the hospital.

Thu
21
Nov

Welcome Buck's Back Seat Diner


Robert “Buck” Nelton is the new owner of Buck’s Back Seat Diner in Humboldt. The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Humboldt Independent photo.

The new owner of Back Seat Diner in Humboldt brings a wealth of experience with him.
Robert “Buck” Nelton of Algona took over from Jeff Davis on Oct. 30.
The name has changed to Buck’s Back Seat Diner.
“It’s the same operation, just a different owner. The name is the only change right now. We’ll review the menu and make adjustments over time,” Nelton said.
Buck’s Back Seat Diner, located on Highway 169 in Humboldt, offers breakfast, lunch and dinner with breakfast served all day.
“We’re working on grab and go sandwiches and salads. Maybe you come for breakfast and would like to take something for lunch later,” Nelton said.
The restaurant currently employs nine people and is looking to hire three more people right now.
Read more about Nelton and his journey to Humboldt in this week's Humboldt Independent. Subscribe by clicking on the link at the top of this page.

Thu
14
Nov

Snow and zero degrees play havoc with sidewalk progress


Workers from Sande Construction battle wind chills only slightly above zero on Monday as they level rock in front of Humboldt Mutual Insurance for more concrete pours expected with warmer days ahead. Humboldt Independent photo by Kent Thompson.

By KENT THOMPSON
When the Humboldt Downtown Revitalization project started this past summer, it was known that it was going to take a lot of cooperation among the parties involved.
Will someone please get the word out to Mother Nature. The weather has been the one wild card that while expected, can never be entirely predicted.
First there was heavy rains in August and September and that trend continued into October, with Humboldt checking in with just over 5 inches for the month, about 2 inches above normal. Temperatures in October also averaged about 3-4 degrees below normal.
Here comes November with more sidewalk work in the 500 block of Sumner Avenue to finish and record cold temperatures. Monday’s high was only 19 degrees in Humboldt with a recorded low Tuesday morning of 0.
All this along with some other delays has meant slow going for the downtown project.

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