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North Iowa man sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for illegal gun possession

CEDAR RAPIDS - A North Iowa man with a history of illegally possessing guns was sentenced Wednesday to more than a year in federal prison.

Duane Richard Fisher, 48, of Rockford, received the prison term after making a guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a felon Oct. 9, 2018.

Fisher was sentenced to 15 months in prison. He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

103 odd North Iowa crime stories from 2018: Pasta salad evidence, cigarette robbery, stolen pigs (with mugshots)

In March 2018, law enforcement found a vehicle registered to Fisher’s girlfriend with a loaded rifle inside but no occupants in rural Rockford.  

Fisher was found hiding in the woods in the area and claimed to be looking for deer antlers.  At the plea hearing, Fisher admitted possessing the rifle.

Fisher was previously convicted of possession of a firearm while being an unlawful user of methamphetamine in federal court in 2001 and possession of a firearm by a felon in state court in 2015.  

He was also convicted of harassment and assault causing bodily injury in 2018.

High speeds, thefts, cases, assaults and verdicts: North Iowa crime and courts news for February (with mugshots)

Fisher was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  

Fisher is held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Emily K. Nydle and investigated by the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).  PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  

North Iowa's mugshots of 2018 

North Iowa's mugshots of 2018


Osage school bus crashes due to icy roads, one child injured

OSAGE - One child was injured after an Osage school bus crashed into a utility pole due to icy roads.   

At about 9:25 a.m. Wednesday, Osage Schools School bus driven by John Morische, 58, of Rudd, was travelling westbound on 316th Street west of Jersey Avenue.

According to Iowa State Patrol, the bus crested a small hill and then slid off of the road due to icy road conditions.

The bus struck a utility pole, causing the power lines to land on the bus in the ditch. Heartland Power verified that the power was turned off and the 10 students and driver were able to evacuate the bus.

The road was 100 percent ice covered, according to the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office.

“Emergency and school personnel responded to the scene and it was determined that there were no life-threatening injuries,” Osage Superintendent Barb Schwamman said.

A 10-year-old male student was injured and transported to Mitchell County Regional Health Center by EMS as a precaution.

The other nine students were transported to Osage Community School.

Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office Assisted at the scene.

“We are extremely grateful to the police, first responders, and Heartland Power who quickly responded to this incident,” Schwamman said. “We are in the process of establishing hard surface routes.”

Live road conditions: North Iowa DOT webcams

Live road conditions: North Iowa DOT webcams


Low cost dinner for Veterans Thursday night, American Legion celebrates 100 years

MASON CITY - The American Legion Post 101 and VFW in Mason City will host a dinner for the public Thursday.

The dinner is held at 5 p.m. each Thursday for a low-cost meal at the All Vets Center, 1603 South Monroe Avenue in Mason City.

Anyone interested in the Legion or any other veterans organization are welcome to attend.

The American Legion is celebrating its 100th anniversary across the country through Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

The organization as a whole traces its roots to March 15-17, 1919, in Paris, France, in the aftermath of World War I. The American Legion was federally chartered on Sept. 16, 1919.

A year after it was formed, the Legion chartered more than 5,400 local posts that continue to operate today. Since then it has grown to more than 13,000 posts around the world and more than 2.2 million wartime-veteran members.

Throughout its first century, the Legion lead the way to create U.S. Flag Code, helped start the Veterans Administration, drafted the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 known as the GI Bill and helped veterans receive benefits for health-care conditions based on their honorable service.

Today, The American Legion has nearly 3,000 accredited service officers worldwide who assist veterans with their benefits claims and other concerns.   

American Legion posts annually donate more than 3.7 million hours of volunteer service in their communities, provide assistance on more than 181,000 VA benefits cases, sponsors more than 2,500 Scouting units serving more than 64,000 young people and awards more than $4 million in college scholarship.


Tim Hynds, Lee Enterprises 

West Hancock players, from left, Riley Hiscocks, Kennedy Kelly, Madison Eisenman and Rachel Leerar celebrate the team's 59-50 win over Montezuma in class 1A semifinal-round girls state basketball action played Friday in Des Moines.

CHRIS ZOELLER The Globe Gazette 

People walk in front of the vacant JCPenny building in a nearly empty wing of the Southbridge Mall on Monday. A multi-million dollar lease agreement with Southbridge Mall Realty Holding LLC is being considered by the city as bids are are being weighed for the new multipurpose arena as part of the River City Renaissance Project in downtown Mason City.