Category Archives: Local News

Cambrex announces expansion in Charles City

CHARLES CITY — Cambrex has announced a major expansion of their Charles City facility.

The pharmaceutical company has announced a $24 million project that would add 4500 square feet of production area that would include reactor vessels ranging from 200 to 1000 gallons. The company says the project will also reconfigure their existing small-scale manufacturing area and create a single high containment building to support early stage development.

Wright County man now facing federal child pornography charges

EAGLE GROVE — A Wright County man facing 11 state-level child pornography-related charges has now been indicted with similar federal charges.

30-year-old Jason Marvets of Eagle Grove was charged in US District Court with sexual exploitation of a child, enticement of a minor, distribution of child pornography, receipt of child pornography, two counts of possession of child pornography, extortion, and destruction of evidence.

Lake Mills man accused of “revenge porn”

MASON CITY — A Lake Mills man is being accused of “revenge porn”. Authorities arrested 27-year-old William Eldridge in Mason City on Tuesday night after a reported disturbance.

Eldridge was wanted on an outstanding warrant from Faribault County Minnesota after being accused of posting nude images online of a woman from Kiester Minnesota. The criminal complaint was filed against Eldridge in March.

Voting opens on three new Iowa license plate designs

DES MOINES — Officials have unveiled three new options for the state-issued license plates for Iowa motorists. Governor Kim Reynolds said her office and several state agencies provided input to the graphic designers in the Iowa DOT who were responsible for coming up with the three alternatives.

“The three new designs represent what makes us special as Iowans,” Governor Kim Reynolds said. “We’re patriotic. We’re forward-thinking. We take pride in our state’s natural beauty and embrace both our rural and urban heritage.”

You may vote for your preferred design here.

The current Iowa license plates have been in use since 1998. They’re blue and white and feature a city and country image. One of the new options is red, white and blue — the colors of the state flag — and includes the image of the eagle that’s in the center of the flag. The design has been dubbed: “Flying Our Colors.”

Toyota and Mazda considering Iowa as site for new car factory

DES MOINES — State economic development officials confirm two Japanese automakers are considering Iowa as a possible location for a major new manufacturing plant.

Iowa is among 11 states trying to lure the joint venture by Toyota and Mazda. The $1.6 billion plant would employ up to 4,000 workers.

Tina Hoffman, communications director for the Iowa Economic Development Authority, says it would be a huge boost for Iowa to land such a facility.

Iowa scientists’ report: ‘It’s the humidity’

DES MOINES — A group of Iowa scientists say humidity levels are intensifying in Iowa and it’s a signal climate change is real.

The group’s “2017 Iowa Climate Statement” uses a familiar adage as its title: “It’s not just the heat, it’s the humidity.”

“Certainly it’s the combination of temperature and humidity that makes it feel so hot in Iowa in the summertime,” says Elizabeth A. Stone, a chemistry professor at the University of Iowa.

Stone and the other climate scientists report that humidity levels in the state have been rising significantly since 1971.

DeJear discusses campaign for Secretary of State

DES MOINES — The woman who directed outreach to African American voters in Iowa for President Obama’s 2012 campaign is running to be the state’s top election official. Democrat Deidre DeJear of Des Moines says if she’s elected as Iowa’s Secretary of State, encouraging Iowa voters to participate in ALL elections will be her top goal.

“Getting people engaged at the grassroots level — city council elections, school board elections,” DeJear says. “2016 wasn’t just a presidential election. We had things on that ballot that were going to impact our cities, our counties more immediately than what the federal election was going to do.”

Iowa Utilities Board deregulates land-line phone service

DES MOINES — More and more Iowans are getting rid of their “land lines” and the Iowa Utilities Board has issued an order that deregulates that original form of phone service.

The Iowa Utilities Board decision means it will no longer require telephone companies to offer land-line service statewide. Most state standards for the quality and customer service provided to Iowans who still have a land-line are being shelved. State regulators say there’s effective competition for phone service now from mobile wireless, internet and cable providers.

Iowa State University proposes five years of 7% tuition hikes

AMES — Iowa State University is proposing an increase in tuition for undergraduate residents of 7 percent for each of the next 5 years.

Interim president Ben Allen unveiled the proposal during the second Board of Regents Tuition Task Force meeting. He says the proposed increases are based on a couple of assumptions.

“Our general operating state appropriations will remain flat. Our enrollment will remain flat. The HEPI index rate will be 2.14. The HEPI is the inflation rate used in higher education, and 2.14 is the average for the last five years,” Allen says.

Crabb says he’s running for another term as Clear Lake’s mayor

CLEAR LAKE — Clear Lake’s mayor says he’s running for another term. Nelson Crabb is completing his third term as the community’s mayor. He says, “When you have people that we have there that are very enthusiastic, that are very positive, that want to see the community move forward…you know, I really love that community.”

Crabb credits City Administrator Scott Flory for the community’s continued success. He says, “If Scott Flory wasn’t going to be there, I wouldn’t do this. There is a man who is very, very bright. Many times he says what he thinks, and I don’t want to hear it, but he is factual on everything. He does his research.

Meservey man to be sentenced Friday for kidnapping, pleads not guilty to having offensive weapons

MASON CITY — A Meservey man already facing a life sentence after being convicted of kidnapping has pleaded not guilty to a charge of unauthorized possession of offensive weapons.

41-year-old Charles Albright was convicted last month by a Franklin County jury of first-degree kidnapping and willful injury after being accused of kidnapping and torturing his girlfriend on October 7th of last year in Meservey and Sheffield.

Albright was separately charged on June 26th of this year with unauthorized possession of offensive weapons, alleging that he possessed a bomb, explosive or combination of such parts comprising an offensive weapon.

Worth County man has vehicular homicide trial delayed again

MASON CITY — Another continuance has been granted in the vehicular homicide trial of a man from Manly.

59-year-old Paul Wood was involved in a fatal accident on the evening of November 25th between Mason City and Rockwell. Authorities at that time said a car driven by 22-year-old Griselda Tello of Hampton was southbound on US Highway 65 when a northbound pickup driven by Wood crossed the center line and struck Tello’s vehicle, with Tello being pronounced dead at the scene. A third vehicle was also involved in the accident.

Second-degree sexual abuse trial of Mason City man delayed

MASON CITY — A Mason City man’s sexual abuse trial has been delayed.

21-year-old Antonio Sandoval was charged on May 18th with second-degree sexual abuse and three counts of lascivious acts with a child. Police say he committed a sexual act on a child between 2011 and 2013 in Mason City, and that he and the child knew each other prior to the alleged incident.

Mason City man pleads guilty in high speed chase case

MASON CITY — A Mason City man accused of leading authorities on a high speed chase back in June has pleaded guilty to one of the charges he was facing.

Mason City police say they tried to pull over a vehicle on the evening of June 11th driven by 26-year-old Jesse Halfpop near the intersection of 19th and South Jefferson. The driver failed to pull over and accelerated above the speed limit heading eastbound on 19th Southwest and Southeast to South Kentucky, where he turned south and left the city limits at a high rate of speed.

New state license plate designs to be revealed Thursday

DES MOINES — The choices for a new license plate design will be revealed Thursday.

The governor and the Iowa Department of Transportation announced they will reveal the three designs proposed for the new plates at the Iowa State Fair.

The DOT announced earlier this year it planned phase out the 20-year-old design for the standard plates that now features a rural theme with a silo and blue sky. The department also announced the public would get a chance to vote on the replacement plate choices.

Items linked to Iowa’s history now available to view online

DES MOINES — Iowans can now use the internet to access dozens of unique items from Iowa and U.S. history.

The collection contains 174 items — including rare photographs, maps, audio recordings and documents. Jennifer Cooley, the education and outreach manager for the State Historical Museum of Iowa, says the items are considered “primary sources” which help researchers to answer questions about history.

Iowa commodities group leader calls Gulf dead zone “disturbing”

DES MOINES — Scientists says the largest-ever dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is now about the size of New Jersey. They blame nutrient pollution coming primarily from farms, as well as urban and suburban runoff.

Iowa Soybean Association President Rolland Schnell says he’s concerned agriculture is being unfairly blamed for a large part of that oxygen-starved watery graveyard. “It’s definitely disturbing,” Schnell says.

Charles City woman dead after single-vehicle rollover in east central Iowa

SOLON — A Charles City woman is dead after a single-vehicle accident in Johnson County last night.

The Iowa State Patrol says 35-year-old Tiffany Beckles was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which took place at about 10:35 PM along State Highway 1 about two miles north of Solon.

Marble Rock man accused of dealing weapons to felon

MARBLE ROCK — A Marble Rock man has been indicted on federal weapons dealing charges.

41-year-old Jonathan Duncomb is accused of selling six pistols and a rifle between May 2015 and October 2015 to a convicted felon living in Mason City, Levi Andersen. Andersen was arrested in a high-profile, multi-agency raid at Gracious Estates in December 2015

Reynolds says EPA chief pledges to partner, not dictate to farmers

DES MOINES — Iowa’s governor, the state’s ag secretary and both United States Senators were among those who met privately Tuesday with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Pruitt’s agency is rewriting rules that clarify which “Waters of the United States” are subject to federal regulation. Governor Kim Reynolds said Pruitt pledged to partner with farmers rather than dictate to them.

“To maintain the environment as well as work to not shut down growth and our ability to do what we take very seriously,” Reynolds told reporters late Tuesday morning, “and that is feeding the world.”

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