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American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals volunteers rescue 170 dogs from a puppy mill at a home west of Manly in November. The dogs were found in "appalling and overcrowded conditions," according to a press release.

'They are grateful for any assistance': Son caring for aging North Iowa parents seeks Cheer Fund help

MASON CITY | A man caring for his aging parents and grandparents hoping to buy presents for their grandchildren are seeking assistance from the Christmas Cheer Fund.

The man, who filled the application out on behalf of his parents, ages 78 and 79, said they need to buy food. 

"My mom used to be my dad's caregiver until her health declined. I am now both their caregiver," he wrote in the application. "I try to help in many ways as their funds don't cover expenses. They are grateful for any assistance."

A 68-year-old Mason City man and 77-year-old Clear Lake woman says they want to be able to buy presents for their grandchildren. 

The woman says she'll also use the money to "put Xmas dinner on the table."

Since the Cheer Fund began in 1927, more than $3 million has been raised to help about 2,700 North Iowa families.

This year’s goal is $125,000.

The Christmas Cheer Fund was established by Globe Gazette Publisher Lee Loomis in 1927 so every child could have a present on Christmas morning. In the years since it has come to mean a little help at Christmastime to people of all ages.

Donations may be dropped off or mailed to the Globe Gazette office, 300 N. Washington Ave., Mason City, IA 50402-0271.

Any remaining funds not distributed for the holidays will be given to local nonprofits. The Christmas Cheer Fund balance will return to $100 in January to maintain the checking account.

Those in need can apply for help from the Cheer Fund at the Globe Gazette between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Applicants must use the 2018 request form. The last day to apply is Dec. 18.

ARIAN SCHUESSLER, The Globe Gazette 

The Globe Gazette received more than 2,600 applications from North Iowans for the 2017 Christmas Cheer Fund. 

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Remains of Corwith sailor who died at Pearl Harbor identified

CORWITH | The remains of a sailor from Corwith who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor have been identified. 

The remains of Navy Reserve Musician First Class Henri C. Mason, 48, were accounted for on March 26, 2018, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced in a news release Monday. 

The agency said Mason was assigned to the USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, when it was attacked by Japanese aircraft Dec. 7, 1941.

The battleship sustained multiple torpedo hits, capsizing quickly and resulting in the deaths of 429 crewmen, including Mason. 

From December 1941 to June 1944, the DPAA said Navy personnel recovered the remains of the deceased crew, which were subsequently interred in the Halawa and Nu'uanu cemeteries.

Members of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) in September 1947 disinterred the remains of U.S. casualties and transferred them to the Central Identification Laboratory at Schofield Barracks.

Laboratory staff was only able to identify 35 men at the time, according to the agency. The remainder of unidentified remains were buried in 46 plots in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

Mason and others who would not be identified were classified as "non-recoverable" by a military board in October 1949. 

In June 2015, DPPA said its personnel began exhuming remains from the Punchbowl for DNA analysis. 

Mason's remains were identified by mitochondrial DNA analysis, anthropological and dental analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence, according to the agency. 

Mason's name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others missing from WWII. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died during the war.

Currently there are 72,772 still unaccounted for from World War II. Of those, about 26,000 are assessed as possibly recoverable. 

The DPAA said it is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for its partnership with Mason's recovery. 

Photos: Seaman First Class Leon Arickx's funeral service in Osage

Photos: Seaman First Class Leon Arickx's funeral service in Osage

Photos: Army Pvt. Donald Brown's funeral service in Thompson

Photos: Army Pvt. Donald Brown's funeral service in Thompson