Category Archives: Featured

Defenders of ISU’s Leopold Center, victim services speak at statehouse hearing

DES MOINES — The granddaughter of a man who was instrumental in promoting the use of hybrid corn is urging GOP lawmakers not to close an ag-related research center at Iowa State University.

Liz Garst, who manages her family’s 3500 acre farm in the Coon Rapids area. said the work of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is not done.

“Thanks to the help of the Leopold Center, we have started doing more and more with cover crops,” Garst said. “…There is a huge amount of research that still needs to be done to make this technology viable, which will help protect our soil, which is Iowa’s most important asset.”

Tuesday April 18th Local Sports

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Danny Salazar finished six innings strong after a shaky start, Michael Brantley homered and drove in two runs and the Cleveland Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 3-1 on Monday night.

Salazar (1-1) struck out seven and retired 15 of his last 18 batters after allowing five hits and one walk over a seven-batter stretch spanning the first two innings. Brantley’s groundout tied it in the third, and Edwin Encarnacion’s single gave the reigning AL champions the lead on their way to only their third win in 10 games.

Clear Lake council approves second reading of vacation rental ordinance, receives gift from Earth Day Committee


CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council last night without discussion unanimously approved the second reading of an ordinance dealing with vacation and short-term rentals of residential dwellings. The proposed ordinance would regulate vacation rental properties in residentially-zoned areas, and to establish regulations for rentals in order to protect and preserve the public health, safety and welfare.

Cerro Gordo County supervisors want “Master Matrix” revisited

MASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors at their meeting tomorrow will consider a resolution that would revisit the “Master Matrix” that scores potential animal feeding operations. The 44-question survey is used in 88 of Iowa’s 99 counties to evaluate the siting of permitted confinement feeding operations. Producers in counties that have adopted the matrix must meet higher standards than other permitted facilities.

Plea change hearing set for Mason City man accused of kidnapping, attempted murder

MASON CITY — A plea change hearing has been scheduled for a Mason City man charged with kidnapping, attempted murder and burglary. 43-year-old Jason Clausen was accused of assaulting his girlfriend on the morning of May 29th of last year. The woman was taken to Mercy-North Iowa with what investigators described as serious injuries including a stab wound to the throat. Clausen was arrested and charged with first-degree kidnapping, which carries a life prison sentence, as well as attempted murder and first-degree burglary, both Class B felonies punishable by 25 years in prison.

Governor signs two traffic-related bills into law

DES MOINES — Iowa is no longer one of the most lenient states when it comes to texting and driving.

That’s Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds. She kicked off an event outside the Iowa Department of Public Safety Monday morning. Governor Branstad was joined by legislators and public safety advocates who lobbied for two bills. One sets up a new monitoring program for repeat drunken drivers and toughens the penalty to a felony for drivers on their smart phones who kill others on the road. The other bill will let police pull a vehicle over if they suspect the driver is using their smart phone for anything OTHER than navigation or to make a phone call.

Prosecutors seek reversal of Charles City man’s conviction

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) – State prosecutors have taken the rare step of asking the Iowa Supreme Court to reverse the conviction of a Floyd County man sentenced last year to up to 10 years for sexually abusing a teenage boy.

The Iowa Attorney General’s Office says in a new filing that Doug Lindaman, of Charles City, was allowed to represent himself at his trial without knowingly waiving his right to have an attorney.

Clear Lake council to discuss second reading of vacation rental ordinance

CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council tonight will hold the second reading of an ordinance dealing with vacation and short-term rentals of residential dwellings. The council two weeks ago passed the first reading of the proposed ordinance to regulate vacation rental properties in residentially-zoned areas, and to establish regulations for rentals in order to protect and preserve the public health, safety and welfare.

Iconic Madison County covered bridge destroyed by fire

WINTERSET, Iowa (AP) – An iconic Madison County covered bridge – pictured on the cover of the best-selling novel “The Bridges of Madison County” – has been destroyed by fire.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office says that the fire at the Cedar Bridge was reported around 6 a.m. Saturday. Officials say the bridge was fully engulfed by the time firefighters got to the bridge near Winterset in south-central Iowa.

GOP legislators’ state budget plan is $38 million below governor’s

DES MOINES — Lawmakers are aiming to finish the work of the 2017 Iowa legislative session this week, but it will require a flurry of votes in the House and Senate.

A series of bills outlining more than $7.2 billion in spending for the next state budgeting year have been drafted, but none have reached Governor Terry Branstad’s desk yet.

“I think it’s going to be a very productive session, under difficult circumstances,” Branstad told reporters late last week.

New law bans project labor agreements on government construction

DES MOINES — A new state law will prevent state and local governments from striking “project labor agreements” with union workers on construction projects.

Supporters of these agreements say they ensure workers are paid a fair wage and the construction is completed on time and within the budget. Opponents, like Governor Terry Branstad, say non-union contractors lose out on big projects that are financed with government dollars.

Motorists finding higher gas prices

MASON CITY — Iowans who were on the road for the Easter weekend paid higher prices for gasoline as they travel across the state. Gail Weinholzer, at AAA-Iowa, says pump prices are up about a nickel a gallon in the past week, but it’s not due to the holiday.

Monday April 17th Local Sports

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Avisail Garcia had a career-high four hits, including an opposite-field, two-run homer in the 10th inning that led the Chicago White Sox over the Minnesota Twins 3-1 on Sunday. Leury Garcia doubled off Ryan Pressly (0-2) leading off the 10th and advanced on Tyler Saladino’s sacrifice. Jose Abreu struck out and Garcia drove a high fastball over the seats and into the right field plaza.

Names Released in Fatal Car Accident

MASON CITY- The names of the five individuals killed in a Monday morning car accident in Mason City have been released. According to the Mason City Police Department, the driver of the vehicle, 20 year old Zachary Wolf Hartley of Mason City along with passengers Donte William Foster, 17, of Mason City; Roderick Lemeual Lewis, 18, of Mason City; Sydney Nikole Alcorn, 14, of Mason City and Alex Parvon-Charles Wiebke, 19, of Mason City died in the crash.

The 2007 Jeep Liberty driven by Hartley struck an electrical wire and tree in the 400 block of 6th Street Southwest in the early morning hours on Monday. All of the occupants were pronounced dead at the scene.

The collision investigation is still on-going. Anyone with information about the crash should contact the Mason City Police Department at 641-421-3636.

One of the victims of Monday’s accident, Sydney Alcorn, now has a Go Fund Me page setup for funeral expenses. You can find the link at:

Statement From Mason City Schools Following Monday’s Accident

On Monday, Mason City Schools Superintendent Michael Penca released a statement about the accident.

“All of us at the Mason City Community School District are saddened by the news of this morning’s tragic car accident involving current and former students of Mason City schools and our district. Upon learning of this information, additional counselors and support staff were called to the buildings to support students and staff, and they will continue to be available as needed in the days to come.  The AEA 267 Crisis Response Team and community leaders are also assisting us in helping students, families and staff deal with this news. Please do not hesitate to let us know how we can be assistance to you and your family.” –Michael Penca, Superintendent

A vigil was held at the crash scene last night in Mason City. Memorials have also been placed at the scene of the accident as well.

Talking To Your Kids About a Tragedy

MASON CITY- When tragedy strikes, people deal with it in different ways. Figuring out how to explain a tragedy to your children can be a tall task as a parent. Nick Kmoch, Ministry and Operations Director with North Iowa Youth For Christ in Mason City, says that it can be as easy as simply listening.


Kmoch says that helping young children process tragedy is especially important because they may not fully understand things like death.


When it comes to high school aged kids, Kmoch says it’s about helping them process the situation.


Kmoch also says that there really is no timeline when it comes to the process of grieving. However, if a parent sees a child grieving for an extended period of time, they may want to seek additional help.


Many kids and adults came to North Iowa Youth For Christ yesterday (Monday) to grieve and Kmoch says they provided an ear to listen and a safe place to visit.


Kmoch says that Youth For Christ is available and open for anyone who needs to talk about yesterday’s events or any other events of this nature.


Overnight Crash Kills Five People

MASON CITY- Five people are confirmed dead after a single vehicle accident early Monday morning in Mason City. At around 2:40 a.m. officers noticed a power outage west of downtown and began to search for a cause. Shortly after that an officer discovered the crash in the 400 block of 6th Street SW.

The vehicle, a 2007 Jeep Liberty, was on fire and heavily damaged in the accident. The Mason City Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the fire. None of the five occupants in the vehicle were responsive and all were pronounced dead at the scene. The victims include two white males, two black males and a white female who are all believed to be young.

The Mason City Police Department believes they have identified all five of the occupants of the vehicle. They expect to release names sometime Tuesday to allow time for the families of the victims to contact loved ones.

Alliant Energy reported just over 1300 people without power for about two hours Monday morning as a result of the accident. The vehicle struck an electrical wire and a tree which caused the outage.

See photos of the accident site below. We’ll continue to follow this story and provide updates as they become available.


Man sought in Polk County triple homicide arrested in Missouri

BONDURANT — The man sought for questioning in the murders of his mom, dad and sister last night in Bondurant has been found.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office reports 20-year-old Chase Nicholson was arrested after turning himself in to Neosho, Missouri, police. Polk County Detectives are enroute to Neosho, Missouri, to speak with Nicholson and Neosho Detectives.

Polk County issues a warrant for Nicholson as a person of interest in the case at 10 a.m.  He is wanted for questioning in the deaths of his father, 58-year-old Mark Alan Nicholson, his mother, 56-year-old Charla Lee Nicholson, and his 24-year-old sister, Tawni Alexis Nicholson.

Neosho is in far southwest Missouri near the Oklahoma/Arkansas border.

Ernst says Trump showing ‘global leadership’ with Syria strikes

WASHINGTON — Iowa Senator Joni Ernst — a combat veteran — is praising President Trump’s decision to launch air strikes in Syria. Ernst says Trump “followed through with the red line drawn by the Obama Administration.” Ernst called Syria’s president a “war criminal” for using chemical weapons against civilians and she blasted Russia for backing the Assad regime. Syria’s civil war “has gone on far too long,” according to Ernst. Ernst says Trump “is showing global leadership.” She adds, though, it’s time to “find an end to the root causes of this crisis.”

Lake Mills man charged with murder accused of fighting in jail again

MASON CITY — A Lake Mills man accused of murdering two people in Mason City back in November has been charged with punching another prisoner in the Cerro Gordo County Jail. 30-year-old Peter Veal was charged on Wednesday with assault causing bodily injury. Veal is accused of punching a prisoner in the face on Wednesday night while they were sitting at a table in a common area of the male maximum-security unit at the jail.

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