News Brief

Iowa lawmakers near end of session, a week ahead of schedule

DES MOINES (AP) — The flurry of activity that often signifies the end of a legislative session is evident at the Iowa Capitol this week. The exact end of the 2019 session isn’t set, but lawmakers were preparing Thursday to wind down their work and go home for the year. A Friday ...

Ex-western Iowa teacher accused of sex with student

COUNCIL BLUFFS (AP) — A former western Iowa high school teacher has been arrested and charged on suspicion of having sex with one of his students. Council Bluffs police say 56-year-old Mark Mendell was arrested Thursday at his home on two charges of sexual exploitation by a school ...

Woman accused of stealing from dad’s estate gets probation

DUBUQUE (AP) — A Dubuque woman accused of stealing more than $35,000 from late father’s estate has been given probation. Dubuque County District Court records say 54-year-old Molly Behnke was sentenced Monday to a suspended prison term of five years and two to five years of probation. ...

Fort Dodge Police respond to suicidal male

A suicidal man was transported to UnityPoint Health — Trinity Regional Medical Center Wednesday after police were contacted about him early in the afternoon. Fort Dodge police Capt. Ryan Gruenberg said the unidentified man was in the area of the Dean Hearn Skateboard Park and not far from ...

Omaha motorcyclist killed in 3-vehicle crash near airport

OMAHA (AP) — Police say a motorcyclist has been killed in a crash in northeastern Omaha near the city’s airport, and an Iowa driver could face charges. Police say 45-year-old Michael Laughlin was on a motorcycle Wednesday afternoon heading south on 11th Street when a northbound car ...

Sac City men charged in burglary

SAC CITY — Two Sac City men are facing charges after allegedly stealing a handgun from a Sac City home, according to the Sac City Police Department. Ethan Sorenson, 22, and Kylin Kruckenberg, 18, are each charged with second-degree burglary, a class C felony; and third-degree theft, an ...

Spring cleanup continues in Fort Dodge

The annual spring cleanup collection in Fort Dodge will be conducted Wednesday for the area south of Second Avenue North and east of 15th Street. Items to be picked up must be placed at curbside not more than 24 hours before the collection, but they must be placed curbside before 8 a.m. on ...

Otho Fireman’s Ball is scheduled for Saturday

The 17th annual Otho Fireman’s Ball is 5 p.m. to midnight Saturday at the Webster County Fairgrounds, 22770 Old Highway 169. Dinner will be served from 5 to 7 p.m., auction at 6 p.m. and music and dance until midnight. There will be door prizes and a raffle. Advance tickets are $10 for ...

Part of Third Avenue South to close

The 1700 block of Third Avenue South will be closed Monday due to construction, the Fort Dodge city engineer’s office reported.

Lane restriction to be on First Avenue South

Drivers will find a section of First Avenue South to be a bit narrower beginning tonight. Traffic lanes on First Avenue South west of 29th Street will be reduced beginning tonight and continuing through Monday to allow for work in the right of way, the city engineer’s office has announced. ...

Eighth Avenue South intersection to be closed

The intersection of Eighth Avenue South and 31st Street will be closed Monday, according to an announcement from the Fort Dodge city engineering staff. Detours will be in place. The intersection is being closed as part of the ongoing reconstruction of Eighth Avenue South.

Bankers survey: March floods in hitting farmers hard

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly survey of rural bankers in parts of 10 Plains and Western states shows about one of every five expects an increase in farm loan defaults stemming from last month’s devastative Midwest floods. The Rural Mainstreet survey for April, released Thursday, shows ...

Iowa population up in largest cities, down in 69 counties

DES MOINES (AP) — Census estimates show strong growth in the Des Moines metro area as well as the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City areas, but more than two-thirds of Iowa’s counties have lost population since 2010. Polk County remained the most populous, growing by 56,572 residents since 2010 ...

Teen hospitalized after falling from bridge onto tracks

BOONE (AP) — Authorities say a 17-year-old girl was hospitalized after falling from a road bridge onto busy railroad tracks in central Iowa’s Boone County. The girl fell about 30 feet Monday on Union Pacific tracks west of Boone. First responders used GPS to reach the site after ...

Wheels of Gowrie Youth Center breakfast is Saturday

GOWRIE — Wheels of Gowrie Youth Center is holding a pancake breakfast and silent auction skate fundraiser from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Gowrie Community Center. The breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, orange juice, milk and coffee. The suggested donation is $5 ...

Closure of Williams Drive is postponed until May 1

Williams Drive is currently open to through traffic. The closure of Williams Drive will be postponed due to a delay in the delivery of storm water structures. Construction is expected to begin around May 1. A new closure notice will be issued at that time. The eventual closure will be part of ...

FD spring cleanup begins Wednesday

The annual spring cleanup collections in Fort Dodge will be conducted on the last two Wednesdays of April and the first two Wednesdays of May, according to the Public Works Department. Here is the schedule: • April 17 for the area north of Second Avenue North and east of 15th Street, ...

Fifth Avenue South project to begin

The reconstruction of part of Fifth Avenue South in Fort Dodge will begin Monday. Both eastbound lanes of Fifth Avenue South between 31st and 32nd streets will be closed beginning Monday, according to the Fort Dodge city engineering staff. The westbound lanes will be temporarily converted to ...

Part of Williams Drive to be closed

Williams Drive between 11th and 14th avenues north will be closed beginning Monday, according to the Fort Dodge city engineering staff. It will remain closed for about a month. Detours will be in place. Local traffic will have access. Williams Drive is being closed in that area so that it ...

FD water main flushing continues

Fort Dodge city crews are now flushing water mains in a northern section of the city, according to the Public Works Department. The flushing will be done between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. through May 3. The affected area is bordered by the intersection of 12th Avenue North and Ninth Street ...