Memorial Day services around the county

The Avenue of Flags at the Dakota City Courthouse will be on display this weekend in honor of Memorial Day on Monday, May 29. Humboldt Independent file photo.

There will be a number of Memorial Day observances in the area on Monday, May 29.
Humboldt’s annual Memorial Day program will be held on Monday, May, 29, starting with a parade at 9:15 a.m. The parade route is from the Humboldt County Law Enforcement Center west on Sumner Avenue to Bicknell Park.
There will be a salute to those lost at sea on the Sumner Avenue bridge at 9:25 a.m., followed by the Memorial Day program at Bicknell Park at 9:30 a.m.
Giving the Address of the Day will be Sandi Lee of Dakota City. Sandi is a Vietnam War Veteran, serving in the Navy at a Navy flight training school. Ron Rasmussen will serve as the master of ceremonies, Rev. Christy Ehrle will give the invocation and benediction. Members of the Humboldt High School Marching Band will provide special music.


Humboldt High graduates 115 in class of 2017

Six Humboldt High School seniors were honored with Valedictorian or Salutatorian awards.

Katheryn Curran, Sophia Luu, Ivan Rasmussen, Johnathon Wer-geland, and Abigail Zaugg were named Valedictorians of the Hum-boldt High School graduating Class of 2017 at commencement ceremonies held Sunday afternoon, May 21, in the high school gymna-sium. The Salutatorian honor went to Elizabeth Duffield. Sophia Luu and Ivan Rasmussen were awarded the Marvyl Friesth Award.
The Marvyl Friesth Award orig-inated over 80 years ago following a tragic accident in which a student passed away. Because the class-mates of Marvyl Friesth felt so strongly about the high caliber of living and participation exempli-fied by this young woman, they initiated what has become an an-nual award to the top senior boy and girl.


Sumner Avenue to close temporarily

Workers with Denver Underground work on constructing new storm sewer along Lewis Street last week. Work on the project is continuing. There will be some temporary closings of Sumner Avenue next week while work is completed. Humboldt Independent photo by Phil Monson. See more photos at

Humboldt City Administrator Travis Goedken reported Thursday morning that Sumner Avenue will be closed Thursday afternoon (May 18), so that construction workers can conduct saw cutting on the road in an anticipation of a more extensive project next week to replace storm sewer pipe from Lewis Street to the west side of Sumner Avenue Hill. Citizens using the road can access the bridge, turn onto Hall and Lewis Streets to avoid the temporary construction. More details will be announced on the street closure for next week.


Council approves $500K fire truck purchase

Humboldt firefighter Matt Newton (right) talks to third graders from Mrs. Case’s class last Thursday afternoon at Humboldt City Hall. Taft elementary students had an opportunity to hear about several city departments and how they operate, the fire department being one of them. Humboldt Independent photo by Kent Thompson.

By Kent Thompson
Humboldt City Administrator Travis Goedken likened the city’s purchase of new fire engine pumper truck to buying a new vehicle.
“You can get a Kia or a Toyota or a Cadillac. The purchase we are making is closer to the Cadillac end, but it has what the fire department wants and feels it needs to serve the city and county residents now and in the future,” Goedken said.
Humboldt Fire Chief Jim Gronbach and Humboldt Fire and Rescue firefighter Matt Newton went over the plans and specifications with the Humboldt City Council at its bi-monthly meeting on Monday.
“This is something that is going to have to last this department 40-45 years, so we are looking at warranties, high-quality and getting what we want from a reputable provider that also stresses customer service,” Gronbach said.
In dealing with the three companies handling the fire trucks, Newton said there was no comparison in what would be the best fit for Humboldt.


Storms cause damage in county

Paul Davis attaches plywood to what was his living room picture window Monday evening, about two hours after a hailstorm caused extensive damage to the exterior of the home on Monday. Paul and his wife, Pam, said they were thankful no one was hurt by the flying projectiles. See this and other photos at Humboldt Independent photo by Kent Thompson.

By Kent Thompson
Round three arrives, be on the lookout for round 4 (anticipated for Friday). That's been a synopsis of the wicked area weather this past week in and around Humboldt County. After heavy rain and hail was reported in eastern Humboldt County/western Wright County late Monday afternoon, more rain and damaging winds and light hail were reported in the area Tuesday night, May 16. Another heavy thunderstorm rolled through the area Wednesday afternoon, May 17, shortly after 5 p.m.
There were reports of some structural damage to outbuildings around the county Tuesday night from shear winds clocking in at 70 miles per hour.


Humboldt Newspapers has new owners

Humboldt Newspapers has been sold. Jim Gargano (center), Publisher of Humboldt Newspapers since 1985, has announced the sale of the business to two of his children, Jaime Zweibohmer (left) and Jeff Gargano (right). Humboldt Newspapers is Humboldt’s longest continuous business dating back to 1860.

Jim Gargano, publisher of Humboldt Newspapers, has announced the sale of the business to two of his children, Jeff Gargano and Jaime Zweibohmer. The transition will take place June 1.
Jim Gargano will remain with the business on part-time basis with the title of Publisher Emeritus. Jim and Rosie Gargano purchased the Humboldt Independent Newspaper on March 1, 1985, and the Humboldt Reminder in June of 1992. Rosie worked in the family business for many years. He launched the very popular Humboldt NOW magazine in 2010. His newspaper career has spanned 38 years, including publishing the Belmond Independent from 1979 until 1986.


Work on new track begins May 18

This is an aerial image of the Humboldt High School football field and track facility. Construction of a new polyurethane surface will take place this summer with work starting May 18. Photo courtesy Tate Satern.

A new all-weather track surface will be installed at Humboldt High School this summer with demolition work to begin on May 18.
Greg Thomas, activities director, says removal of the old surface will begin next week. The track and football field were opened in 1983.
“The last surface was put down about 20 years ago. We’ve been patching it for several years now and just getting by,” Thomas said. “Basically, it is to the point where we have to go all the way down to our base level, the dirt and rock and start over.”
“Just like any highway in Iowa, once the foundation has cracks and faults, it works its way up to the surface,” Thomas said.
Iowa Athletic Field out of Webster City is the main contractor for the project, which will cost $330,007.35. A new, polyurethane surface track will be in place for the start of the new school year in late August.


Supervisors to engineering firm: ‘unacceptable’

Gilmore City-Bradgate Elementary School students in grades 3-6 cleaned up a portion of the Three Rivers Trail near Bradgate. The trail is supervised and maintained by Humboldt County Conservation. Pictured above, front row (l-r) Mitchell Ohnemus, Kylie Ohnemus, Jack Habben, Carter Jensen, Emma Weydert, Neleigh Almond, Kory Jones, Dawsyn Harris and Alex Wiemers. Back row: James (Jim) Tuite, Cyler Cirks, RJ Metzger, Joey Hollar, Chevy Harris, Houston Nielsen, Kiera Flynn, Aaliyah Spitler, Macy Eastman, DNR conservation officer Bill Spece, Chloe Dickey, Addi Price, Lacota Metzger, Klayton Jones, Alicia Anderson and Coltin Hoover. Submitted photo.

By Kent Thompson
The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors have vowed to get tough on drainage engineering specifications and inspections for county drainage district projects. On Monday, the Board put their words into actions, denying a suggested change by a drainage engineering firm the county hired.
Late last week, the Board found out that there was a tile connection issue at the confluence of two drainage district laterals in Drainage District No. 33, northeast of Humboldt. Holland Construction of Forest City has been doing work on the project for the past two months. The work includes a new branch relief tile and lateral improvements on branch D, principally on the Virgil and Richard Williams farms, northeast of Humboldt.
I&S Group of Algona and Kent Rode were in charge of the project. Rode told the Board that the existing lateral D-1 and D-4 tiles were found to be approximately one foot lower than the original tiles.


Sande Construction chosen for Taft remodel

The Humboldt High School Math Department received Champions for Children recognition from the Board of Education last week. Board member Suzanne Newton (left) made the presentation. Pictured from left: Newton, Chandra McMahon, Kathi Beach, Paul Lauger, Pam Swan and school superintendent Greg Darling. The group puts in many hours each year to organize a Pi Day assembly for students and staff. Submitted photo.

By Phil Monson
Sande Construction Company of Humboldt has been awarded the contract for the Taft Elementary School addition and remodel project.
In their regular monthly meeting on April 18, the Humboldt Board of Education approved a contract with Sande totaling $2,077,226. The other two bids considered for the project include $2,186,000 from Kolacia Construction of Fort Dodge and $2,580,000 from Jensen Builders of Fort Dodge.
The Sande bid includes an alternate bid for additional concrete work at $8,772.
The project, which has been in the planning stages for several years, will create much-needed new classroom space in the center playground area, along with changes to the front entrance area to the south. Among the many interior upgrades include installation of new metal lockers, replacing the open, wood lockers in the hallways.


Firefighters conduct controlled house burn

Twenty of twenty-one Humboldt volunteer firefighters participated in a controlled house burn on 1st Avenue South on the city’s east side Saturday morning. See this and other photos in the April 27 Humboldt Independent. Purchase photos at this site, and like the Humboldt Independent Newspaper on Facebook. Independent photo by Kent Thompson

The Humboldt Fire Department conducted a controlled house burning exercise Saturday morning at 211 1st Ave. S., southeast of the Humboldt Family Aquatic Center.
The property has been purchased by Habitat for Humanity and will be the site of a new habitat home, the first in Humboldt in several years.
Humboldt firefighters conducted some mini-fires in the home and extinguished them to practice firefighter training skills before setting the entire home ablaze about 9:45 a.m. Saturday morning.
The home had been vacant for several years and was believed to be about 1910 construction.

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