Public Information Board refuses to release audio of meeting about Burlington police video

DES MOINES — The state board that oversees openness in government has voted not to release a recording of its own closed meeting. Bert Dalmer of the Iowa Ombudsman’s Office is seeking More »

ACLU of Iowa to sue over denial of Medicaid coverage for transgender care

DES MOINES — The ACLU of Iowa will go to court to try to lift the state’s ban on Medicaid coverage for transgender surgical care. Joe Freund is a family practice doctor More »

Bankers: Rural economy continues to struggle in 10 states

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A new report says low commodity prices and weak farm incomes are continuing to hamper the rural economy in parts of 10 Plains and Midwestern states. The Rural More »

UPDATED — Filing deadline passes for city elections

Click on this story to see the full list of candidates running in Cerro Gordo County The ballot is set for city elections this November as the filing deadline for candidates to More »

Flu cases starting to show up in Iowa

MASON CITY — We are just heading into fall and winter is still weeks away, but cases of the flu are already showing up in Iowa. Health Department Medical Director Patricia Quinlisk More »

Iowa party leaders debate state’s finances, federal health care bill (VIDEO)

JOHNSTON — The leaders of Iowa’s two major political parties had a face-to-face discussion of state government finances Thursday. It’s a debate likely to continue for months among the 2018 candidates for More »

Friday September 22nd Local Sports

THIS WEEKEND: == FRIDAY 93.9-FM KIA — Newman at Rockford — pre-game 6:45, kickoff 7:00 AM-1300 KGLO — Mason City at Cedar Falls — pre-game 6:45, kickoff 7:15 AM-1490 & 96.7-FM KRIB More »

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.

Insurance commissioner changes view, believes stopgap insurance plan will get approval

DES MOINES — Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen says he’s changed his feeling about the prospect that federal regulators will approve his plan to help thousands of Iowans keep health care coverage next year. Ommen said last week that he was growing “less optimistic” about approval.

“A little over a week or so ago I was starting to be a little be concerned — but since that time we’ve had some really good communication with the federal government and the Trump Administration. So, we are very, very optimistic we will receive approval,” Ommen says.

Two officials to reveal crucial state budget details today

DES MOINES — There’s likely to be a “big reveal” today at the statehouse. Governor Kim Reynolds has the authority to withdraw up to $50 million from the state’s cash reserves to cover expenses in last year’s state budget.

If the deficit is larger than that, Reynolds will have to call the legislature back in special session this fall to withdraw more.

The final accounting report on the budgeting year that ended June 30 is nearing completing, according to the governor.

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.

Charles City man accused of Jasper County murder has trial delayed

NEWTON — A Charles City man accused of murdering a Jasper County man earlier this year will not stand trial until next year.

52-year-old Randy Linderman was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on July 13th. He’s accused of the March 6th murder of Jose Ramirez-Berber, who was found dead inside his home in rural Jasper County. An autopsy revealed that Ramirez-Berber died of blunt force trauma. Authorities say DNA at the crime scene links Linderman to Ramirez-Berber.

Iowans still waiting to be confirmed for USDA positions

WASHINGTON — Two Iowans who are nominated by President Trump for top posts at the U-S Department of Agriculture are still waiting on confirmation hearings before the U-S Senate with no dates set for either of them.

Current Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey and Hinton native Sam Clovis (pictured) are the president’s picks for two undersecretary jobs at U-S-D-A, but Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says there are more delays. “I thought it was going to be today because we do have two undersecretaries of agriculture up today and I thought we’d even have Northey on here,” Grassley says. “Evidently, some papers from the Commission on Ethics haven’t reached Capitol Hill yet and you have to have those papers to move ahead. There’s no problems with Northey.”

Board of Regents proposal requests more state funding with scholarship promise

DES MOINES — The Board of Regents will consider a plan to ask the governor and state lawmakers for more funding when they meet next week.

The board will meet next Monday and consider a proposal that asks for 16 million more dollars in state funding for the 2018-19 academic year. That request comes with the promise that a majority of the money — $12 million — will go to increase the amount of financial aid giving to students at Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa.

Department of Education releases plan for Every Student Succeeds Act

DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Education released its new plan Monday to meet the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Department of Education director, Ryan Wise, says they put a lot of effort into the plan and got input from all across the state.

“We’ve said from the beginning this is about ensuring opportunity for all students and that is really state and locally driven, and that we would carry that through the entire process,” Wise says. The new federal legislation replaces the old No Child Left Behind, and Wise says it does something the old plan didn’t

ISU expert advises breaks for farmers to keep on top of safety

AMES — This is National Farm Safety Week. It is designed to call attention to the dangers of farming, especially during harvest season.

Iowa State University Extension Agricultural Engineer and Safety Specialist Chuck Schwab says agriculture ranks as one of the most dangerous and deadliest occupations.

He says agriculture has roughly 2.2 deaths for every 100,000 workers, which is a highest rate in the U.S., surpassing mining, construction, manufacturing and transportation. He puts the issue in perspective.

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.

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