Mason City leaders meet with IEDA about River City Renaissance project (AUDIO)

DES MOINES — The Board of Directors for the Iowa Economic Development Authority gave a favorable review Friday to the River City Renaissance redevelopment project that’s a part of the Iowa Reinvestment Act More »

Friday April 21st Local Sports

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Trevor Bauer struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings and Carlos Santana had two doubles and two RBIs to lead the Cleveland Indians over the Minnesota Twins 6-2 on More »

State to be updated on Mason City downtown redevelopment project Friday

MASON CITY — Mason City leaders will be heading to Des Moines tomorrow to update the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Board of Directors on the River City Renaissance redevelopment project that’s a More »

Legislature passing budget bills, adjournment could be near

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Legislature has approved most bills needed to finalize the roughly $7.2 billion state budget, an indication that adjournment is near for the session. The Republican-controlled More »

Meservey man’s kidnapping trial scheduled for July

MESERVEY — The trial of a Meservey man charged with kidnapping and assault has been rescheduled for this summer. 41-year-old Charles Albright is accused of holding captive a 36-year-old woman, who called More »

Two members of Iowa Board of Medicine, including Lake Mills woman, kicked off board

DES MOINES — The Iowa legislature’s on-going battle over abortion was waged on two fronts Wednesday. House Republicans pressed forward with their plan to deny state tax dollars to Planned Parenthood. It’s More »

Iowa Lottery’s chief, DNR’s director in limbo after missed confirmation deadline

DES MOINES — Two of Governor Branstad’s top administrators have been in danger of being out of a job on May 1st. The Iowa Senate and the governor have an April 15th More »

Taxing and regulating on-line E-cigarette sales proposed

DES MOINES — A proposal to try to regulate and tax electronic cigarettes and other so-called “vaping” products sold online to Iowans has emerged at the statehouse. Senator Charles Schneider, a Republican from West Des Moines, said those sales are happening now.

“We want to make sure that sellers of vaping products are verifying that the purchasers of those products are at least 18,” Schneider said, “and they ought to be paying sales tax to the state.”

Trial of two accused of abducting Buffalo Center child delayed again

BUFFALO CENTER — The trials of two people accused of child abduction in Buffalo Center have been delayed again. 30-year-old Daniel Smith and 29-year-old Ashley Machain are accused of abducting Machain’s biological children back on November 24th from a house in Buffalo Center. The children were recovered the next day in Fort Dodge. Machain and Smith were both charged with second-degree burglary, child endangerment, and assault while participating in a felony.

Probation for former Mason City pizza restaurant employee accused of double-cashing paychecks

MASON CITY — It’s a deferred judgment for a former employee of a Mason City pizza restaurant accused of illegally doubling his paychecks. Investigators accused 20-year-old Brandon Tonn of Plymouth of depositing eight paychecks from Domino’s Pizza twice by first using a smartphone application to deposit the paychecks into his account, and then later depositing those same checks again. Tonn was accused of illegally gaining just over $2000 by doing that between November 10th 2015 and August 18th of last year.

Judge orders University of Iowa to pay costs in lawsuit on scholarships

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The University of Iowa’s decision to eliminate and then reinstate scholarships for thousands of children of alumni will cost the university more than bad public relations.

A judge ordered the school Monday to pay the legal costs of a student who filed a class-action lawsuit to challenge President Bruce Harreld’s decision to eliminate scholarships they’d been promised. The bill’s expected to amount to a couple hundred dollars.

Nominations for best pork tenderloin in Iowa start today

DES MOINES — Nominations are being accepted starting today for the 2017 edition of Iowa’s best breaded pork tenderloin. Kelsey Sutter, spokeswoman for the Iowa Pork Producers Association, says competition is intense for the title and last year generated nearly two-thousand nominations.

Sutter says, “We’re going to judge the top five with the most nominations in each of our eight districts, so a total of 40 restaurants across the state of Iowa.” This marks the 15th year for the contest and Sutter says they always get plenty of calls from the state’s restaurant owners who want to get into the running.

Public hearings set on Mason City downtown hotel project

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City last night approved setting the date for public hearings dealing with the revised hotel plans as part of the River City Renaissance downtown project. One hearing deals with the city amending the downtown revitalization urban renewal plan to include the area that Gatehouse Capital wants to place a hotel in the southeastern part of the main parking lot of Southbridge Mall, as well as Music Man Square, which would be turned into a convention center.

Waiting period, 20 week ban on abortions headed for governor’s signature

DES MOINES — New abortion restrictions will soon be law in Iowa.

The Iowa Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill banning nearly all abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. Governor Branstad has signaled he’ll approve it.

Republican Senator Tom Costello of Imogene made a final pitch before senators voted on the measure.

“I’ve got five children and it was about five months when I could put my hand on my wife’s tummy and feel the baby kicking and she could feel the baby moving around and that life there as being very evident,” Costello said Tuesday  evening.

Fireworks bill passes House, headed to governor

DES MOINES — The red glare of bottle rockets soon may be legal again in Iowa.

“4th of July — what do you think about? Fun, freedom and fireworks,” Republican Representative Matt Windschitl of Missouri Valley said to open debate Tuesday.

The Iowa House has sent the governor a bill that would set up two holiday time periods when retailers could sell bottle rockets and other consumer fireworks in Iowa. In addition, the bill would erase the current prohibition against igniting nearly all fireworks in Iowa without a permit. Fireworks sales and explosions would be limited to the time around the Independence Day holiday and near the turn of the year, to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s.

Teen accused of setting fire to Madison County covered bridge

WINTERSET — A teenager is accused of setting one of the famed Madison County covered bridges on fire this weekend.

Madison County Sheriff Jason Barnes announced the arrest at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Seventeen-year-old Alexander Hoff of West Des Moines is charged with first-degree arson. Barnes refused to discuss motive or what led them to Hoff.

Wednesday April 19th Local Sports

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Jose Ramirez homered and drove in two runs and Josh Tomlin gave up three runs in six innings to lead the Cleveland Indians to an 11-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night.

Francisco Lindor broke the game open with a two-run triple in the sixth and struggling slugger Edwin Encarnacion also went deep for the Indians. Tomlin (1-2) allowed seven hits and struck out two after entering the game with an 18.47 ERA from his first two starts.

Cerro Gordo supervisors call for Master Matrix to be revisited

MASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors this morning unanimously approved a resolution asking that state officials revisit the “Master Matrix” system that scores potential animal feeding operations. A handful of counties have passed similar resolutions asking for changes in the master matrix as environmental groups have lobbied for tougher standards and more local control.

Supervisor Tim Latham says the scoring system needs to be re-done. He says, “I believe it’s time for the governor and the legislators to look at it. It needs to be adjusted, it hasn’t been looked for many years. But I also want to go on record that I support agriculture because it is a big part of our county and our state.”

Mason City council to set public hearings on hotel development

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City tonight is being asked to set the date for public hearings dealing with the revised hotel plans as part of the River City Renaissance downtown project. One hearing deals with the city amending the downtown revitalization urban renewal plan to include the area that Gatehouse Capital wants to place a hotel in the southeastern part of the main parking lot of Southbridge Mall, as well as Music Man Square, which would be turned into a convention center.

Lake Mills man charged with murder wants to know when he’s going to get treatment for mental illness

MASON CITY — A Lake Mills man accused of murdering two people in northeastern Mason City back in November has filed a motion demanding a hearing to find out when he’ll be treated for mental illness. A judge ruled in March that Peter Veal was not competent to stand trial. The 30-year-old was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Melinda Kavars and Caleb Christensen at a residence in the 1600 block of North Hampshire on November 17th.

Plea change hearing scheduled in courthouse assault case

MASON CITY — A plea change hearing has been set for a Mason City woman who was accused of assaulting a woman outside the Cerro Gordo County Courthouse. 50-year-old Misti Thoe was accused of waiting outside for a woman to exit the building in the late morning hours of January 19th and allegedly smashing her head into a concrete corner of the building. The complaint says four people witnessed the assault and it was captured on courthouse security cameras.

Grassley says House is “determined” to replace Obamacare

NEW HARTFORD — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says his confidence level is relatively low that Congress will be able to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act anytime soon. A scheduled vote on the Republican replacement for the A-C-A was cancelled last month in the U-S House after it was determined it wouldn’t have the votes to pass.

“It isn’t real high, my expectation, because of the failure three weeks ago,” Grassley says, “but I’ve heard rumors that there’s a real determined effort within the House of Representatives to get the necessary votes and get something passed.”

Late session push for water quality bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Some Iowa Republicans are supporting a late-session push to pass a water quality bill but acknowledge they could run out of time.

Two GOP-led Senate committees voted Monday to approve the legislation, which would gradually increase spending on water quality initiatives by about $27 million a year by 2021. The bill needs a full Senate vote and procedural votes in the Republican-controlled House.

Iowa OKs bill capping payouts in medical malpractice suits

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Legislature has passed a bill that would cap payouts to patients in some medical malpractice lawsuits.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 37-12 Monday with bipartisan support to approve the legislation. The House passed it earlier this month and it now heads to GOP Gov. Terry Branstad.

House bill would increase hunting, fishing license fees

DES MOINES — Members of the Iowa House have overwhelmingly voted for a bill that ultimately will increase the license fees for people who wish to legally hunt, fish and trap in Iowa. Republican Representative Terry Baxter of Garner is one of the 86 House members who voted yes.

“It’s exciting to see this bill come forward. I’ve got to say some of my redneck hunting buddies are a little bit opposed to this, but every sportsmen’s group in Iowa has written me and they stand with this bill,” Baxter said. “It’s time to get some of these resources going. It’s been a long time since we had a fee increase.”

Weather hampering farmers

DES MOINES — The first corn seeds got into the ground last week, but weather has kept most farmers out of the fields. The U-S-D-A’s week crop report says there were just three days suitable for fieldwork last week thanks to wet weather. Soil temperatures that are warm enough for planting have also been an issue. But there were some farmers who pulled the planter into the field — and two percent of the new crop is now in the ground. The crop report says this year’s start is five days behind last year and three days behind the five-year average for corn planting.

Sculpture purchased from downtown Mason City exhibit, will be placed in Clear Lake

MASON CITY — Another one of the sculptures that’s part of the “River City Sculptures on Parade” display in downtown Mason City has been purchased and will find a new home in Clear Lake. Jim and Ann Kuhlman have purchased “Sentinel”, a marble piece by Deb Zelenak of Lander Wyoming, and it will be placed on permanent display in Clear Lake’s Central Gardens in honor of their 50th wedding anniversary.

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