Category Archives: Featured

UPDATED — Filing deadline passes for city elections

Click on this story to see the full list of candidates running in Cerro Gordo County

MASON CITY — With the filing deadline for November’s election being this afternoon, candidates are completing their paperwork to be on the ballot for city offices in Mason City and Clear Lake:

 

=== For the At-Large seat currently held by Bill Schickel, former Globe-Gazette staffer Tom Thoma is being challenged by Max Weaver. Weaver filed his nomination papers Thursday afternoon, two days after only getting 28-percent of the vote in the Third Ward special election won by Joshua Masson.

 

=== In the Second Ward, former Mason City Human Rights Commission director Lionel Foster has declared his candidacy for the seat being vacated by two-term councilman Travis Hickey. Park Board member Troy Levenhagen and Will Symonds had previously announced their candidacy.

Interim city administrator approved by Mason City council

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City this week unanimously approved naming an interim city administrator.

The city’s finance director Kevin Jacobson will add the duties of interim city administrator starting on October 1st as the city prepares for Brent Trout to exit in mid-October for his new job as city manager in Topeka Kansas.

Trout says Jacobson is a perfect fit for being the interim. He says Jacobson is the only department director who regularly works with all the other department directors.

Reynolds: budget fix without special session ‘right thing to do’

DES MOINES — There will be no “special session” of the Iowa legislature this fall to discuss fixes to the state budget and the debate is now shifting to topics for the 2018 legislative session. Governor Reynolds announced yesterday she’d be able to cover the short-fall in last year’s state budget by withdrawing $13 million from the state’s economic emergency fund.

Reynolds said in July, she was getting “a lot of push” to have legislators reconvene to fix things.

“That was reckless and we took our time and we monitored where the revenue stood and it was the right thing to do,” Reynolds said during a stop in southwest Iowa on Wednesday.

Veal appeals murder conviction, sentence

MASON CITY — A Lake Mills man recently sentenced to two life prison sentences for murder has filed an appeal.

31-year-old Peter Veal is seeking the appeal of his final judgment and sentence of two consecutive life sentences plus 25 years for the murders of Mindy Kavars and Caleb Christensen and the attempted murder of Ron Willis at a house in the 1600 block of North Hampshire Avenue in Mason City last November 17th.

Thursday September 21st Local Sports

NEW YORK (AP) – Aaron Judge hit his AL-leading 45th home run and topped 100 RBIs, Didi Gregorius surpassed Derek Jeter for the most home runs by a Yankees shortstop and New York beat the Minnesota Twins 11-3 Wednesday for a three-game sweep.

The game was briefly halted in the fifth inning when a foul ball down the third-base line off the bat of Todd Frazier struck a young girl, who was carried out of the stands and taken to a hospital. The protective netting at Yankee Stadium ends at the home plate side of each dugout, and the team said in July it is “seriously exploring” extending the netting for 2018.

Card skimmer possibly used at Mason City credit union

MASON CITY — Mason City police say they believe a card skimmer was recently attached to at least one automatic teller machine in the community. The North Iowa Community Credit Union confirmed through a social media posting this week that they identified through a regularly scheduled inspection that an ATM at their west branch at 4063 4th Southwest may have had a skimming device attached and removed.

Police Chief Jeff Brinkley says their investigation into the case started last week. He says they had a local resident call about some suspicious transactions on their bank account. That led them back to the ATM machine where they found evidence of the skimmer.

City of Mason City gets funding for road expansion, new buses from DOT commission

MASON CITY — The City of Mason City received good news on a couple of different items approved by the Iowa Transportation Commission.

The city has been approved for a Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy grant of $1-point-1 million to improve road access to more than 61 acres of industrial land on the city’s south side. The project is in the area of Golden Grain Energy’s plant, with the construction of approximately 24-hundred feet of 27th Street Southwest, turn lanes at 43rd Southwest and Pierce Avenue and also at 27th Southwest and Pierce.

Mason City schools new human resources director is longtime county employee

MASON CITY — The Mason City School Board this week approved the hiring of a longtime Cerro Gordo County employee as the school district’s new human resources director.

Tom Drzycimski has been employed by Cerro Gordo County for nearly 20 years as the administrative officer and zoning administrator. Prior to that he worked with the North Iowa Area Council of Governments, worked for a community planning agency in Cedar Rapids, and then moved back to Mason City to work for the county.

Reynolds says no special session needed for FY 2017 budget

DES MOINES — Governor Kim Reynolds says there will not be any need for a special session later this fall to deal with the Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

State budget officials say the expected shortfall for Iowa’s 2017 budget is $14-point-6 million. Reynolds says she’ll combine $13 million from the state’s economic emergency fund with the $1-point-6 million ending balance.

In a written statement, Reynolds says it’s been a difficult budget year, but she’s pleased the state was able to manage lower-than-expected revenues without cuts to education or Medicaid. She says her office has been monitoring funds daily since the end of the fiscal year on June 30th and took a measured approach in dealing with the state’s finances.

Girls found safe after AMBER Alert, search continues for mother

ROYAL — Authorities say three northwest Iowa girls who were the subject of an Amber Alert Tuesday are safe, but the search for the girls’ biological mother continues.

Authorities say at about 7:30 yesterday morning, 26-year-old Danica Noel Arzaga abducted her eight-year-old twins and four-year-old daughter from a relative’s home in Royal. It’s a small community near Spencer. An Amber Alert for the girls was issued late Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday September 20th Local Sports

NEW YORK (AP) – CC Sabathia recovered from a shaky start to pitch six innings, Brett Gardner had a pair of tying hits and the New York Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins 5-2 on Tuesday night to ensure their sixth straight series win.

With their ninth victory in 11 games, the Yankees remained three games behind AL East-leading Boston and opened six-game lead over the Twins for the top AL wild card. At 84-67, the Yankees are 17 games over .500 for the first time since September 2015.

Minnesota, which started the night 1 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels for the second AL wild card, has lost four of five.

BREAKING — Masson gets 72% of vote to beat Weaver in Third Ward special election

MASON CITY — On his third attempt to win a seat on the City Council in Mason City, Joshua Masson was victorious on Tuesday, winning the special election for the council’s Third Ward position. Masson received over 72-percent of the vote in a 667-to-253 decision over Max Weaver.

The 46-year-old Masson is a manufacturing business systems analyst at Curries. He had lost to Brett Schoneman in the Third Ward race two years ago, and he did not make the runoff in the special election last year to fill the at-large seat on the council that eventually was won by Paul Adams. Masson will be sworn in to office after the election is canvassed on Thursday.

River City Renaissance measures formally approved for November ballot

MASON CITY — Voters in Mason City will get to decide the fate of the River City Renaissance project after the City Council last night formally approved placing two measures on the ballot in November.

The council agreed to have voters decide on the issuance of bonds not to exceed $18 million toward the construction of an ice arena and multi-purpose center complex in the former JC Penney store area in Southbridge Mall.

The other measure deals with the issuance of up to $14 million in general obligation urban renewal bonds that would help finance the city’s part of the Gatehouse Mason City LLC project

Mason City council tonight to officially place downtown project votes on ballot

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City tonight will vote on officially placing two public measures on the November general election ballot related to the River City Renaissance downtown project.

== One measure deals with the lease agreement between the city and Southbridge Mall involving the issuance of not to exceed $18 million of bonds that would facilitate the construction of an ice arena/multi-purpose center complex in the area previously occupied in the mall by JC Penney. Enough residents signed a petition to require the city to put the lease agreement to a public vote.

North-central Iowa hog confinement wins approval despite local opposition

GARNER, Iowa (AP) – Officials have approved a permit for a hog confinement facility in northern Iowa despite opposition from local residents.

The Hancock County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the project at a meeting on Monday. A handful of residents urged the county to deny a permit for the facility which will house thousands of hogs.

Clear Lake council passes first reading of ordinance banning smoking, tobacco products from parks

CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council last night on a 4-to-1 vote approved the first of three readings of an ordinance that would ban smoking, all tobacco and nicotine products, as well as e-cigarettes and vaping devices from the city’s parks.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board recently made the recommendation for the ban to the council in an effort to protect visitors, especially children, from unhealthy behavior and exposure to second-hand smoke.

The only councilman objecting to the ordinance as written was Gary Hugi, who says he doesn’t see the benefit of banning smokeless tobacco, such as chew, from the parks.

EPC rejects bid to toughen livestock confinement rules

DES MOINES — State regulators have unanimously rejected a petition seeking tougher environmental standards for livestock confinements. Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement sought the changes.

Members of the group immediately voiced their anger after the Environmental Protection Commission’s vote.

“This is not over,” the group chanted in the commission’s meeting room. “We will keep fighting.”

Regulators determined they lacked the authority to adjust the so-called “master matrix.” Those are the rules that govern where livestock confinements may be built.

Commission recommends status quo budget for Iowa DNR

DES MOINES — The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission is recommending that the general operating budget for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for next year be the same as this year’s budget. That recommendation now goes to Governor Reynolds and she’ll submit her proposed budget to legislators in January.

DNR director Chuck Gipp expects the hiring freeze in his agency will stay in place. He’s been shifting staff around to deal with vacancies and retirements in the state park system.

Tuesday September 19th Local Sports

NEW YORK (AP) – Aaron Judge hit his 44th home run, Aroldis Chapman pitched out of big trouble in the eighth inning and the New York Yankees edged the Minnesota Twins 2-1 on Monday night to increase their AL wild-card lead.

Todd Frazier hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the sixth, and Jaime Garcia gave the Yankees a splendid performance against the team that traded him this year after only one start. New York, still chasing first-place Boston in the AL East, won the opener of a three-game series that could serve as a potential postseason preview two weeks from now.

Mason City Third Ward special election Tuesday

MASON CITY — Voters in Mason City’s Third Ward head to the ballot box tomorrow to decide whether it will be Joshua Masson or Max Weaver as their next city councilman.

The 46-year-old Masson is a manufacturing business systems analyst at Curries. It’s his third try at running for the City Council, losing to Brett Schoneman for the Third Ward seat two years ago, and not making the runoff election when Paul Adams won the seat to fill an at-large seat.

65-year-old Max Weaver has served three terms on the City Council, but has lost in his last couple of attempts to be elected to city office, losing to Eric Bookmeyer in the mayor’s race four years ago and also not making the runoff for the at-large opening last fall.

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