Jodi Huisentruit. Courtesy:

Police Still Looking for Mason City TV Anchor Who Disappeared 20 Year Ago

Saturday marks 20 years since the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit. The 27-year-old Long Prairie, Minnesota native and TV News anchor for KIMT-TV in Mason City was abducted outside her Mason City apartment early on June 27th, 1995. Police found her car, blood, other personal belongings and evidence of a struggle in the parking lot. Investigators say the case remains open and they’re following leads. Lieutenant Rich Jensen, of the Mason City Police Department, says they’ve been committed to the case since that morning 20 years ago. Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Marriage Ruling Similar to 2009 Iowa Supreme Court Ruling

Legalizing gay marriage in Iowa carried a heavy cost for three justices of the Iowa Supreme Court who were booted off the bench in a subsequent judicial retention election. More than 11,000 same-sex couples have married in Iowa since the unanimous 2009 court decision, which made Iowa the third state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage. The federal court ruling vindicates the Iowa justices’ decision, ruling similarly that same-sex couples have a right to marry under the Constitution. It affirms the practice in 37 states, which have declared same-sex marriage legal and will legalize the practice in the remaining 13 states that currently don’t allow it. Continue Reading

Iowa State Fair Announces New Food Options, Includes ‘Ultimate Bacon Explosion’

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa State Fair has announced new food items for this summer’s contest. Three finalists have been chosen for the New Food Contest, and fairgoers will be able to vote on them. Corn in a Cup is one of the finalists. Sweet corn is cut off the cob and then mixed with pork chorizo, butter, chayote cheese, lime juice, sour cream, mayonnaise and “Magic Dust.” The second finalist is the Toasted Coconut Caramel Cluster, a combination of toasted coconut, caramel fudge and pretzel bits that’s frozen on a stick and dipped in chocolate. Continue Reading

Ernst “Concerned” With New Hostage Ransom Policy

U-S Senator Joni Ernst says she is “deeply, deeply concerned” about the direction the president is going in allowing U-S families to offer private ransom payments for relatives kidnapped overseas. “I do not believe families should be negotiating with terrorists,” Ernst says. Ernst, a Republican from Red Oak, says the president is sending a mix message. The federal government will continue its policy of not making ransom payments, but president signed an executive order creating a new office to deal with hostage families, including the facilitation of communications with terrorist groups that could theoretically be used to organize ransom payments. “I don’t agree with what the president is doing, and I think he puts a number of these families at great peril by encouraging them to do so,” according to Ernst. Continue Reading

Two Injured When Building Collapses in Evansdale

Two people were injured when a building under construction collapsed in Evansdale Wednesday afternoon. Elwin Huffman reports. One man who was trapped under the rubble was pulled from the debris and placed on a stretcher. A second man who had been standing after the accident was later loaded into another ambulance. Both victims were taken to a local hospital for what treatment of what officials are calling non-life threatening injuries, although Evansdale’s police chief described the injuries to one of the victims as serious. Continue Reading

Court: Iowa Universities Can’t Be Sued for Unpaid State Fees

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s public universities can’t be sued for allegedly refusing to pay their share into a state program that subsidizes insurance for Iowans with health risks. The Iowa Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal Wednesday of a lawsuit that seeks millions in assessments from the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa. The Iowa Individual Health Benefit Reinsurance Association contends that the universities, like other agencies that offer self-funded health insurance plans, are legally required to pay those fees. ISU and UNI had paid them for years but all three universities refused to participate when the University of Iowa became self-insured in 2010. The Board of Regents contends the schools aren’t covered by the law. Continue Reading

Details Released on Tornado Touchdown Near Albia

The National Weather Service is reporting the tornado that ripped through parts of southern Iowa Monday night covered a 25-mile long path and stayed on the ground for just over an hour. Meteorologist Craig Cogill says the tornado hit portions of Marion, Lucas and Monroe Counties. “The peak wind gusts were up around 142 miles an hour. That’s an EF3 tornado, which occurred at a farmstead southwest of Lovilia,” Cogill said. At its peak, the tornado had an estimated width of 440 yards. Continue Reading

Branstad Reacts to Telemed Abortion Ruling

Governor Terry Branstad talked Monday about Friday’s Iowa Supreme Court ruling that allows so-called telemed abortions to continue. “I was very disappointed in the court decision, and we are going to be reading and reviewing and analyzing that and determining what is the best course of action for us to take,” Branstad says. Branstad says its’ too early to say if the state will appeal the ruling to the U-S Supreme Court. “I do respect the fact that the courts are a separate branch of government from the executive branch of government. And I have not had the chance to review this in great detail. Continue Reading

Albia Hy-Vee May Have Been Hit by Tornado

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The National Weather Service is sending a survey team to check damage and confirm a suspected tornado that ripped into a grocery store and nearby homes in southern Iowa. An estimated 40 to 50 Hy-Vee store employees and customers in Albia took shelter in the store cooler when the storm struck Monday evening, shattering store windows and sending glass flying into a nearby neighborhood. Homes in the area lost roofs and windows as well. Trees and power lines were knocked down around the city, but no injuries have been reported. In northwest Iowa, straight-line winds approaching 100 mph destroyed a hangar at Sheldon Regional Airport and disabled five aircraft. Continue Reading