Category Archives: Featured

Trump budget proposes cutting Essential Air Service program, would impact MCW

MASON CITY — The manager of the Mason City Municipal Airport says President Trump’s proposal to eliminate the Essential Air Service program would have a big impact on the airport. Pam Osgood says while Trump has cut it from his proposed budget, the elimination of EAS funding has been unsuccessfully threatened in the past. She says there’s been discussion of eliminating the program since 1982. “We just all need to keep in mind that the presidential budgets are policy recommendations and Congress has to ultimately be the one that decides on what the budget is going to be.”

Winnebago Industries posts strong second-quarter earnings

FOREST CITY — Second-quarter earnings at Winnebago Industries show the company had a profit of over $15 million. The Forest City-based recreational vehicle manufacturer reports on a per-share basis, it had a profit of 48 cents. Earnings were 46 cents per share. Winnebago posted revenue of $370-and-a-half million for the period, exceeding Wall Street forecasts. Company CEO Michael Happe says the company is building the foundation for a stronger future.

Lake Mills man accused of bilking investors pleads not guilty

LAKE MILLS — A Lake Mills man accused of bilking investors out of more than $800-thousand over a four year period has pleaded not guilty. 53-year-old Randall Finer was arrested in February on a charge of ongoing criminal conduct. The Winnebago County Attorney’s Office accuses Finer of soliciting more than $800-thousand from community members for investment purposes from 2011 to 2015 and issuing promissory notes equal to the amount of the loan, plus a guaranteed rate of return.

Fireworks bill passes Iowa Senate

DES MOINES — Iowans may soon be able to buy their bottle rockets, Roman candles and smoke balls at fireworks stands within the state’s borders. The Iowa Senate has voted to make it legal for Iowans to buy and ignite consumer fireworks in celebration of a few major holidays.

Iowa Senate votes to lift cap on enrollment in online academies

DES MOINES — The Iowa Senate has voted to expand on-line learning options for Iowa students. If the bill wins House approval, too, there would be no longer be a limit on the number of Iowa students who may take classes online rather than attend a traditional school in their neighborhood. The measure addresses other education issues as well. Senator Amy Sinclair, a Republican from Allerton, says the bill has two main purposes.

Bill drafted in response to verbal abuse at Glenwood facility headed to governor’s desk

DES MOINES — The Iowa legislature has unanimously passed a bill that expands the definition of dependent adult abuse. Senator Mark Costello, a Republican from Imogene, says it’s partly in response to the verbal abuse of mentally disabled residents at the state-run facility in Glenwood. “Caretakers were swearing at the residents and had inappropriate sexual conversation with the residents,” Costello says. “…They were abusing them by repeatedly saying these things that were inappropriate.”

Two bald eagles shot to death in Webster County

FORT DODGE — Two more bald eagles have been found shot to death in Iowa. This time, both cases are in Webster County. Iowa Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Bill Spece says the first bald eagle was found two weeks ago in the Boone Fork Wildlife Area. The second bald eagle was found this past Saturday near Lehigh. It was alive, but had been shot twice.

Wednesday March 22nd Local Sports

AMES — After starting 14 games at quarterback the past two years for Iowa State Joel Lanning is the Cyclones starting middle linebacker. ISU linebacker coach Tyson Veidt says Lanning is at the top of the depth chart heading into this weekend’s scrimmage. Lanning passed for more than 25 hundred yards and rushed for nearly 550 yards the past two seasons.

Mason City council approves Gatehouse hotel proposal (AUDIO & VIDEO)

The City Council in Mason City last night approved allowing city staff to start negotiations for a development agreement between the city and Gatehouse Capital for their hotel and conference center plan. Gatehouse is proposing to construct a hotel in the southeastern part of the main parking lot of Southbridge Mall, which would be connected by a skywalk to Music Man Square. The concept calls for the renovation of Music Man Square into a conference center, with the museum portion of the facility being moved into a new building across the street next to the hotel.

Grassley satisfied with information provided by the FBI director

WASHINGTON — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley got a private briefing Monday about the F-B-I’s latest investigations of the White House. F-B-I Director James Comey announced publicly Monday there is -no- evidence President Obama had then-candidate Trump’s New York offices bugged and Comey adds, the bureau -is- investigating President Trump’s ties with Russia and that nation’s role in last year’s presidential election. Grassley, a Republican, is no longer demanding Comey appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which Grassley chairs.

Man credited with helping people out of Mason City house fire

MASON CITY — A Mason City man is being credited with helping his neighbors escape a Sunday night house fire in Mason City. 33-year-old Toyon Hamilton helped three clients of Opportunity Village and their caretaker from the home at 22 North Jefferson after seeing a fire in the structure shortly after 11 o’clock on Sunday night. Firefighters say the fire started on the porch and entered the house through two windows that broke from the heat.

Embers from burning cardboard cited as cause of rural Mason City house fire

MASON CITY — A rental home in rural northeastern Mason City was destroyed by fire Monday morning. Firefighters were called at about 10:30 yesterday morning to 19288 280th Street, just outside of the Mason City city limits near the intersection of 280th Street and Spruce Avenue. The structure was fully engulfed when fire crews arrived, with firefighters then concentrating on preventing the fire from moving to other structures on the property.

Clear Lake council starts process of reviewing vacation rental ordinance

CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council last night approved referring a possible ordinance to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission dealing with the short-term rental of residential dwellings. The council back in September approved allowing city staff to create a work group to address the issue. City Administrator Scott Flory says vacation rentals are going to become a bigger business in Clear Lake’s future, especially with the growth of vacation rental websites like “”. He said the city was lacking a system that holds property owners and home-owners more accountable for their guests. Flory says most property owners won’t have an issue with this ordinance.


Governor Branstad and state senator spar over state of DHS

DES MOINES — A Democrat in the Iowa Senate is calling for legislators to investigate “tragic failures” in the Iowa Department of Human Services, while Republican Governor Terry Branstad Monday said the investigation should wait.

“Let’s not do any harm to the county attorney’s effort to bring justice to those people that were responsible. Let’s wait ’til that’s accomplished.,” Branstad told reporters.

Senator Matt McCoy, a Democrat from Des Moines, spoke with reporters about half an hour later: “We’re trying to address the real problems in the department and that’s what he doesn’t want us to get to.”

The Iowa Department of Human Services is being criticized for failing to investigate after getting reports two teenage girls in central Iowa were being abused. The department’s also in charge of the Glenwood Resource Center, where workers were fired for abusing mentally-disabled residents.

Iowa Senate votes for some limits on medical malpractice awards

DES MOINES — Republicans in the Iowa Senate have passed a bill they say will reduce medical malpractice insurance premiums for doctors.

Senator Charles Schneider, a Republican from West Des Moines, said malpractice insurance premiums in Iowa are a deterrent to getting doctors to practice here.

Tuesday March 21st Local Sports

IOWA CITY — Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz met with the media Monday as the team prepares to begin spring drills Wednesday. The Hawkeyes lose five starters on offense, three on defense and must find a new punter. Ferentz says the good thing about graduation is that it creates new opportunities for the returning players as they says goodbye to those who graduated. The players have 15 spring practices to show their stuff.

Iowa State president headed to Auburn

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) – Auburn University is hiring Iowa State president Steven Leath as its new president. Auburn trustees voted Monday to name Leath as the replacement for Jay Gogue, who plans to retire this summer. Leath has recently been under fire for his use of university aircraft at Iowa State. Last month, officials decided against filing criminal charges against Leath following an investigation into whether he broke the law with his use of school aircraft.

Investigation continues into Sunday night Mason City fire

MASON CITY — Firefighters are continuing their investigation into a house fire Sunday night in Mason City that resulted in five people being sent to the hospital. Firefighters were called shortly before 11:15 PM to 22 North Jefferson, just west of the downtown area, owned by Opportunity Village, a non-profit serving people with intellectual disabilities. Three residents and an employee were inside the home at the time of the fire.

Fire at rural Mason City home

MASON CITY — Firefighters responded before 11 o’clock this morning to a house fire just northeast of Mason City. The fire apparently is at 19288 280th Street, just outside of the Mason City city limits near the intersection of 280th Street and Spruce Avenue. That’s less than a mile north of the North Iowa Area Community College campus. It appears nobody was home at the time of the fire. No other details are available at this time.

Mason City fire sends five to the hospital

MASON CITY — Five people were taken to the hospital late last night after a house fire in Mason City. Firefighters were called shortly before 11:15 last night to the home at 22 North Jefferson owned by Opportunity Village. Three residents and an employee were inside the home at the time of the fire. One of the residents heard a popping sound that alerted them to the fire. Fire officials say another person helped pull the four house occupants out, with all five then being taken to Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa to be treated for smoke inhalation. Fire officials say the entire structure suffered smoke damage while up to 50 percent of the house was involved in the fire. No cause has been released at this time.

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