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.


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.

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.


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.


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.

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.


Breaking News! Fort lights to shine once again

Merlin Fort has decided to put up his Christmas lights one more time. This will be the 35th year for the Christmas light display located on 2nd Street South in Dakota City.
The 90-year-old had said last year would be the last year he put up the 100,000 plus light display.
“I just thought if I’m able why not do it. It will make thousands of people happy,” Fort said. “I’m going to do it this year but I’m almost positive I won’t next year.”
He’s been putting up lights since about Nov. 1, despite below normal temperatures, snow and ice. He hopes to have the display ready to turn on the night before Thanksgiving.
“I’ve had some help from Tim Greene and Don Stowell and I appreciate that,” Fort said.
The light display has drawn thousands of visitors young and old to Humboldt-Dakota City over the years and it looks like they’ll get to see it one more time.


Former Hawkeye Long to headline Kiwanis fundraiser

Former Iowa Hawkeye Chuck Long, CEO of the Iowa Sports Foundation, will be the guest speaker Monday, Nov. 18 at the VFW Hall in Dakota City for a fundraiser for Kiwanis Christmasland and other local projects and groups helping children and families in the area. The evening will begin with a freewill donation soup supper beginning at 5 p.m. Long will speak after 6:15 p.m.

Hawkeyes’ great Chuck Long will share stories of his football career, preview his new coaching opportunity with the XFL St. Louis BattleHawks and sign copies of his biography Destined for Greatness as a guest of the Humboldt/Dakota City Noon Kiwanis.
Long will keynote a special community soup supper Monday, Nov. 18 at the VFW Hall in Dakota City, 412 Main St. The event will begin at 5 p.m. with a soup buffet and live auction. Chuck will speak at 6:15 p.m., joined by author and West Bend native Aaron Putze. There will be time for autographs and photos at 7 p.m.
The meal will be a free-will donation and will include a choice of ham and bean, chili and chicken noodle soups, sweet roll and a drink.
The club invites everyone to enjoy a fun evening at the VFW Hall in Dakota City, Monday, Nov. 18, beginning at 5 p.m. with the program starting at 6:15 p.m.


New store in downtown Humboldt now open

Deb Peterson has opened ReMix Boutique and Simply Coffee at 627 Sumner Avenue in downtown Humboldt. She is shown in the coffee portion of the store. Humboldt Independent photo.

ReMix Boutique and Simply Coffee opened this week in downtown Humboldt at 627 Sumner Avenue.
Owner Deb Peterson formerly worked for her son-in-law Rick Hjelmeland at Hjelmeland Flooring.
“I’ve always wanted a coffee shop. The clothing side came because there is such a need in the Humboldt area,” Peterson said.
In looking for a location, this building at the corner of Taft Street and Sumner Avenue had already been remodeled and was well set up for what Peterson wanted to do.
“I love a good cup of coffee. I’m not a Starbucks fan. I don’t like a lot of extra stuff dumped in my coffee,” Peterson said.
Coffee beans are ground fresh each day and coffee is brewed fresh each day. Initially Simply Coffee is offering light roast, dark roast, flavored coffee, decaf, cappuccino, iced coffee, hot tea, and iced tea.


Pasquale's frozen pizza opens in former Fareway store

Dave and Pam Stockdale are pictured inside Dave’s office at the soon to be new location of Pasquale’s frozen pizza, the former Fareway building in downtown Humboldt. A ribbon cutting and tours will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

Pasquale’s frozen pizzas will be moving to their newly remodeled facility, the former Fareway building, in downtown Humboldt next week.
A ribbon cutting and tours will be held from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
The move will nearly quadruple their space going from 4,800 square feet at their Highway 169 location to 16,000 square feet in the new location.
“We just outgrew our space. It will definitely be nice to have space to work. Additional freezer space will allow us to continue to grow,” Dave Stockdale, who owns the business with his wife, Pam, said.
Stockdale said if there is demand they will easily be able to double production at the new facility.
Pasquale’s employs 12 people currently and will be looking to add four or five more employees in the near future.
Marv and Marlene Stockdale started Pasquale’s in 1959.


Council approves old post office purchase for $1

The building at 30 North Taft Street, referred to as the “old post office,” will soon have a new owner and may have a new purpose in early 2020, if a plan put in place by the Humboldt City Council on Monday is realized. Humboldt Independent file photo

After more than a dozen years of dormancy, something may be moving besides dead letters at the old Humboldt Post Office Building, 30 Taft Street North.
After several failed attempts to purchase the abandoned property, it looks like the city of Humboldt will be able to obtain the building for $1 and then will seek grant funding and a buyer to revitalize and repurpose the former old post office site.
Humboldt City Administrator Travis Goedken reported that the city has been working with the absentee property owners of the building for years to try to rehab or purchase the property. He reported that the property has changed hands during that time.
On Oct. 29, the city received an email from Postal Realty Trust that they would sell the building to the city for $1.
He said the plan is for the city to apply for a Community Catalyst Grant in the maximum amount of $100,000.


Scholl edges Jensen, challengers top Humboldt School Board races

Winners from Tuesday's general election included from left: Dan Scholl as mayor of Humboldt, Joel Goodell as Ward 3 Council member, Kathy Yoakam, Kristi Clark and Tate Satern as members of the Humboldt Community School District Board of Education.

Contested races for the Humboldt Community School District Board of Education earned sweeping victories for the challengers, while the Humboldt mayoral race was closer than some people may have thought.
The complexion of the Humboldt Board of Education will change, as three new members will take seats on the Board.
Tate Satern was running unopposed in Director District No. 1 and he won with 1,477 votes.
In Director District No. 2, Kristi Clark outpolled incumbent Kyle Kluender 1,050 to 583, a 64 to 36 percent margin.
In Director District No. 4, Kathy Yoakam received support from 1,186 voters to 424 votes for incumbent Brody Clark, a 74 to 26 percentage advantage.

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