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Crime-and-courts
Trial date set in Mason City in fatal motorcycle crash homicide

MASON CITY | A trial date has been set for a Mason City man charged with vehicular homicide in a motorcycle crash that killed a Mason City woman in September.

Brandon Roy Kellar, 40, was charged with felony homicide by vehicle -- operating while under the influence.

Kellar did not appear for his arraignment. According to court documents, he was represented by his attorney Alfred Willett, out of Cedar Rapids and filed a written plea of not guilty Dec. 12. Kellar waived a speedy trial as well.

His jury trial is scheduled for Feb. 12 in Cerro Gordo County District Court.

Court documents say Kellar had a blood alcohol content exceeding Iowa's legal limit of .08. Police didn't specify an exact number in court records.

A conviction of homicide by vehicle involving OWI can result in up to 25 years in prison and a six-year driver's license revocation. No court date has been set.

Shawn True, 36, who was riding on Kellar's motorcycle, was killed after Kellar rear-ended a car near 15th Street Southeast and South Pennsylvania Avenue about 11 p.m. Sept. 28, according to police.

True and Kellar both flew off the motorcycle when it collided with the car, court documents said. Kellar was treated and released at Mercy Medical Center--North Iowa.

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

The Mason City Police Department executed a search warrant in connection with the investigation, listing Kellar as the interested party on the warrant.

All documents related to the search warrant, including what police were seeking, have been sealed.

Kellar owns Kellar Construction, Inc. in Mason City. The company describes itself as a "family-owned business" that has completed more than 60 new homes and hundreds of other projects in nearly two decades, according to its website.

North Iowa's mugshots of 2018

North Iowa's mugshots of 2018

Local
Longtime Mason City car wash, gas station demolished for Kwik Star (with photos)

MASON CITY | The former Wooz’s Car Wash in Mason City has been demolished.

On Tuesday, crews knocked down the last of the building at 1502 S. Federal Ave. to make way for a new Kwik Star gas station and convenience store.

Kwik Star, a La Crosse, Wisconsin-based chain, purchased Wooz’s, a longtime car wash and full-service gas station, and parking surrounding the building for $488,000 in June.

Wooz’s, a staple in southern Mason City, was in operation for more than 40 years and washed hundreds of thousands of cars.

In 1978, Wooz’s sold Christmas trees outside. Four years later, they installed a temporary photo hut where customers could get their film developed.

Construction on the new store, after demolition of Wooz's, is tentatively slated to begin next July, said Steve Wrobel, a spokesman for Kwik Star. It’s expected to open in mid- to late November 2019.

This summer, he said the new store will be about 10,000 square feet, will have a car wash and 10 multi-product dispensers and two diesel ones. It will have 25 to 30 full- and part-time employees.

The chain has more than 400 stores, including ones in Clear Lake, Charles City and Garner. Its stores in Minnesota and Wisconsin are known as Kwik Trip, while the locations in Iowa are called Kwik Star to avoid confusion with QuikTrip stores.

There are about 70 Kwik Star locations in Iowa with more scheduled for construction in 2019, like Mason City, Grimes and Hiawatha, Wrobel said.

A 7,500-square-foot Kwik Star location opened in Garner in August, including 10 multi-product pumps, diesel and E-85.

Kwik Star in Clear Lake opened in 2015 as a truck center. It's located on a 19-acre parcel at the intersection of Highway 122 and North 32nd Street, east of Interstate 35.

Photos: Wooz's Car Wash in Mason City

Photos: Wooz's Car Wash in Mason City

Local
Mr. Churro closing end of December in Mason City

MASON CITY | Another business is leaving Southbridge Mall in Mason City.

Mr. Churro, an authentic Mexican dessert shop, made the announcement on its Facebook page Tuesday afternoon.

“We are sad to say we are closing Mr. Churro in the Southbridge Mall at the end of the month. Don't worry! We may have something in the works for a different location at some point,” the business said on its Facebook page. “Thank you so much to all of our customers.”

Mr. Churro opened in July 2017 across from Mr. Taco to offer a variety of authentic Mexican fried and frozen desserts: churros, sopapillas and cheesecake burritos. There are also fair favorites like funnel cakes and mini doughnuts. Both are owned by Luis Garcia of Northwood.

Mr. Taco will remain open, the business said on Facebook.

Garcia said the opening of Mr. Churro was “another dream” come true.

The idea for Mr. Churro, Garcia’s daughter Rosita Cansino said, was sparked when her father decided to experiment with the family's churro maker.  

Mr. Churro joins other Southbridge Mall tenants, like The Submarine, Hallmark, Tradehome Shoes and Younkers, that closed earlier this year.

The Buckle, a men’s and women’s clothing retailer, will be leaving Southbridge Mall at the end of January. It’s moving into a portion of the former MC Sports building on the west side of Mason City.

• County attorney: 13 animals endured 'life of neglect,' should not be returned to North Iowa woman

Mr. Churro is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in the Southbridge Mall at 100 S. Federal Ave. in Mason City.

Photos: Mr. Churro First Look

Local
Updated: Names released in fatal three-vehicle crash near Garner

GARNER | A Garner woman was killed Monday afternoon in a three-vehicle crash near the intersection of highways 18 and 69 in Hancock County.

Michele Andrea Young, 47, was fatally injured when the 2006 Nissan Murano she was driving struck a semi-trailer, according to an Iowa State Patrol report.

The State Patrol said a 2017 Ford Fusion, driven by Lois Ann Eenhuis, 73, of Garner, attempted to turn left onto Highway 18 from a business district about 1:30 p.m. Monday when it hit a semi traveling westbound head-on.

The semi, driven by Conner James Hazleton, 22, of Pipestone, Minnesota, crossed the centerline and was struck by the Nissan Murano traveling eastbound.

Eenhuis was transported by Garner Ambulance to Mercy Medical Center – North Iowa with injuries, the report said. She is in "serious condition," a Mercy spokeswoman said Tuesday afternoon.

Eastbound and westbound traffic on Highway 18 was diverted for more than four hours Monday while the scene was cleared. The vehicles were towed by Britt Auto, the report said.

The Garner Police Department assisted at the scene.

- Ashley Stewart

103 odd North Iowa crime stories from 2018: Pasta salad evidence, cigarette robbery, stolen pigs (with mugshots)
Photos: Semi-vehicle crash near Marble Rock

Crime-and-courts
breaking
Osage student charged with terrorism following school threat

OSAGE | A juvenile has been charged with felony terrorism after a threat against Osage Community School District.

According to Osage Police, Osage Schools staff members became aware of the threat on Wednesday, Dec. 12, and district officials contacted law enforcement that evening.  

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

The threat involved violence with a firearm against the school, Osage Police said in a release Tuesday. Osage Police said the alleged threat was made on social media.

“The threat was made by an Osage High School student and the likelihood exists that they (sic) will be suspended,” the release said.

The juvenile was taken into custody and placed in a secure juvenile detention center. The juvenile was charged with felony threat of terrorism.

Police did not identify the juvenile neither by name, sex nor grade level.

A detention hearing will be held at a later date at the Mitchell County Courthouse.

The incident follows felony charges against two eighth-graders in October for planning to shoot four students and one teacher at Osage Middle School. Their cases are proceeding in juvenile court.

In Iowa, court records for those under age 18 are confidential by law, unless a juvenile is charge with a forcible felony, such murder or robbery, or charged in adult court.

North Iowa's mugshots of 2018

North Iowa's mugshots of 2018