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 »

Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act easily clears Senate

DES MOINES  — The Iowa Senate has sent a significant message to the Iowa House. A bill that would let doctors to prescribe marijuana as treatment for Iowans who suffer from 18 chronic and debilitating conditions passed the Senate by a 45-5 vote.

Republican Senator Brad Zaun of Urbandale pleaded with Republicans in the House who are wary of this bill.

“Please,” Zaun said tonight. “…Eighty percent of Iowans support this.”

Zaun said cannabis can be “important medicine.”

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.”

Budget plans starting to gain speed at the statehouse

DES MOINES — Republicans in the Iowa legislature advanced key parts of their state budget plan on Monday.

“As we put this budget together, we’ve had to prioritize our priorities within state government,” Republican Representative Pat Grassley of New Hartford, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said to open a public hearing on the budget.

Dangerous drugs getting into Iowa’s prison system

FORT MADISON — Changes have been made at Iowa’s maximum security prison in Fort Madison due to a dangerous drug getting into the hands of inmates. The union that represents a majority of state workers claims there’s a rising drug problem at the Iowa State Penitentiary. AFSCME Council 61 president Danny Homan says the synthetic drug K2 is making the rounds and a few inmates have been “near death” from overdoses.

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.

Man accused of double-cashing paychecks from Mason City restaurant to plead guilty

MASON CITY — A plea change hearing is scheduled for tomorrow 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 is accused of illegally gaining just over $2000 by doing that between November 10th 2015 and August 18th of last year.

Man wanted in Johnston woman’s murder arrested in northern Minnesota

JOHNSTON — A central Iowa man who was wanted in the weekend murder of his girlfriend was arrested near the U-S-Canadian border. Police in the Des Moines suburb of Johnston got multiple 911 calls on Saturday night of shots fired at the Providence Pointe apartment complex. When officers arrived, they found 34-year-old Agnes Yarlee who died at the scene within minutes.

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.

Private colleges group slams University of Northern Iowa lobbying push

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) – A group representing private colleges is slamming the University of Northern Iowa’s attempt to get a piece of its schools’ state financial aid program as “despicable and greedy.”

UNI’s Panther Caucus said in an email Friday that “it’s not fair” UNI students are shut out of the $50 million Iowa Tuition Grant program, which awards up to $6,000 to students at eligible private schools. It urged supporters to contact lawmakers seeking change in the upcoming state budget.

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.

Study shows impact of biodiesel & ethanol production in Iowa

DES MOINES — A study finds record ethanol and biodiesel production in Iowa in 2016 had a significant impact on the state’s economy. The report says renewable fuels supported more than 42-thousand Iowa jobs and generated 2-point-3-billion dollars in household income for Iowans. Study author John Urbanchuk says because the fuels are produced in the state, impacts on the state economy are even more important.

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.

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