Autopsy shows man died of heart attack at Cerro Gordo County Jail last week

MASON CITY — Authorities say the man who died while being held in the Cerro Gordo County Jail last week died of a heart attack. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says More »

Democrat who lost to Steve King in 2016 election wants rematch

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Democrat Kim Weaver wants a rematch against U.S. Rep. Steve King after losing to the Republican congressman in 2016. Weaver announced Sunday she would challenge King in More »

Iowa officials agree to help Medicaid firms with shortfall

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Newly released documents show Iowa officials have agreed to help private Medicaid management companies shoulder huge losses they’ve suffered in covering more than 500,000 poor or disabled More »

Financing plan for water projects seems positioned for passage

JOHNSTON — Key legislators say there is not consensus on a bill that would reorganize the drinking water system in metro Des Moines, but it appears a statewide water quality initiative may More »

Report critical of agriculture nuisance bill headed to governor

IOWA CITY — An Iowa City based research organization has released a report that’s critical of a bill approved at the statehouse dealing with nuisance claims against large livestock operations. David Osterberg More »

Community meeting about RAGBRAI Tuesday night in Clear Lake

CLEAR LAKE — A special community meeting will take place Tuesday night in Clear Lake about RAGBRAI. Chamber of Commerce executive director Tim Coffey says there will be a lot of information More »

Monday March 27th Local Sports

MASON CITY — The North Iowa Bulls have qualified for the Silver Cup Tournament once again after sweeping LaCrosse in the Central Division final playoff series over the weekend. On Friday night More »

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.

Mason City council to discuss hotel proposals at meeting tonight

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City tonight is being asked to approve the start of negotiations to develop the terms of a development agreement with Gatehouse Capital on 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 ballroom and conference center, with the museum portion of the facility being moved into a new building across the street next to the hotel.

Plea change hearing set for Wright County man accused of sexual abuse, incest

EAGLE GROVE — A plea change hearing has been scheduled for an Eagle Grove man charged with multiple sexual abuse counts. 37-year-old Jeddy Nicholas was arrested on November 18th and charged with one count of second-degree sexual abuse, one count of third-degree sexual abuse, two counts of lascivious acts with a child, two counts of incest, two counts of assault with the intent to commit sexual abuse causing bodily injury, and two counts of indecent exposure.

Mason City man sentenced to ten years on burglary charge

MASON CITY — It’s up to ten years in prison for a Mason City man who kicked in the door of a home of a person who had a no-contact order against him. 25-year-old Montez Guise entered a guilty plea last month to a charge of second-degree burglary, with a charge of false imprisonment being dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

Man arrested after pool cue attack

MASON CITY — A Mason City man was arrested over the weekend after allegedly using a pool cue stick to cause injury. 38-year-old Joshua Homan is accused of hitting someone three times in the head with the pool stick early Sunday morning just before 1:00 AM while at Burke’s Bar & Grill at 1221 North Federal Avenue. The attack caused an open wound or a gash on the victim’s head. Homan is charged with willful injury causing bodily injury, a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Homan is due in court for a preliminary hearing on Friday.

Former Webster County Democrat official charged with theft

FORT DODGE — A former treasurer with the Webster County Democratic Central Committee is accused of stealing more than ten-thousand dollars from the organization over five years. Seventy-year-old Diana Petraline of Ankeny, formerly of Fort Dodge, made an initial appearance Monday in Webster County Magistrate Court in Fort Dodge. Petraline is charged with first-degree theft and first-degree fraudulent practices.

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.

Branstad says Steve King’s words shouldn’t deter tourists

DES MOINES — State tourism officials say they’re fielding “hundreds” of phone calls, emails and Facebook messages, suggesting people are cancelling trips to Iowa because of comments from Congressman Steve King. On March 12th, King tweeted that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” King has said in national media interviews that he stands by the remark and that it wasn’t about race. For the second week in a row, Governor Branstad has distanced himself from King’s comments.

State tax credit backers unite against plan to cap credits

DES MOINES — Representatives of Iowa businesses and individuals who might be affected are pushing back against a G-O-P lawmaker’s plan to limit state tax credits. This past year, the State of Iowa awarded 427-million dollars in tax credits. The top tax credits benefit businesses with significant research programs and investors who restore historic properties. One of the other top tax credits is the “Earned Income Tax Credit” for low-income Iowans.

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 “Airbnb.com”. 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.

What should be done with Iowa’s old state penitentiary complex?

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) – A nonprofit is trying to save an empty Iowa penitentiary that dates to the 1830s as questions loom about what to do with a sprawling complex. The Historic Iowa State Penitentiary is trying to save the prison that for many was only a place of misery but has played a key role in the state’s history.

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