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Officials identify man, cop from shooting involving Union Pacific railroad officer in Mason City

MASON CITY | Authorities have identified the man who was transported to Mercy Medical Center–North Iowa after being shot by a railroad officer Nov. 29 in northwestern Mason City.

Photos: Shooting in Mason City

Union Pacific Special Agent Louis Miner stopped Nathan Lee Olson, 30, of Mason City, for trespassing across Union Pacific property, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said in a release.

The the department’s investigation determined that “an altercation ensued,” the release said.

The man was shot near the railroad crossing in the 900 block of Ninth Street Northwest about 4:25 p.m., Mason City Police Chief Jeff Brinkley said shortly after the incident. The crossing is located near All Aboard Storage.

Olson is still hospitalized and is listed in fair condition as of Wednesday afternoon, according to a Mercy spokeswoman. 

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Brinkley told the Globe Gazette after the incident that he didn't know where the man was shot or the extent of his injuries.

The officer was evaluated for minor injuries, the police department said in a news release Nov. 29.

The Union Pacific Railroad employs certified police officers to patrol rail properties across the Midwest.

Union Pacific Special Agents or railroad police are tasked with investigating crimes against the railroad that include trespassing, theft of railroad property, threats of terrorism and derailments.

They do have the power to arrest and issue citations.

According to Union Pacific’s job description, agents must have graduated from an accredited police academy and must have three years’ experience in a public law enforcement agency or military police.

Union Pacific has a police department staffed with more than 175 special agents. The department is responsible for all Union Pacific locations across 32,000 miles of track in 23 states.

“As with all law enforcement professionals, the Special Agent job carries with it a potential for dangerous situations,” Union Pacific’s website said. 

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is assisting in investigating the officer-involved shooting.

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This incident remains under investigation. Upon completion, the DCI will forward the results of the investigation to the Cerro Gordo County Attorney’s Office for review.

No other information is available at this time.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Mason City Police Department at 641-421-3636.

North Iowa's mugshots of 2018

North Iowa's mugshots of 2018

'Once Upon a Mattress' opens on Mason City stage Thursday

MASON CITY | A comical adaptation of the fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea” is taking the stage at Stebens Children’s Theatre in Mason City Thursday.

Photos: Stebens Children's Theatre the last five years in Mason City

And Tom Ballmer, Stebens executive director, said this production is bound to entertain all ages with its “stellar cast,” “wacky tongue-and-cheek stuff” and song and dance.

“We’re really having a great time with it,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

“Once Upon a Mattress,” sponsored by Children’s Dental Center of Mason City and Todd and Renee Hoeppner, runs from Dec. 6-9 and Dec. 13-16 at Stebens, 616 N. Delaware Ave. in Mason City. Performances are at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday with the exception of the 6 p.m. Dec. 15 performance.

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The musical, which appeared on Broadway twice, is a comedy about a kingdom ruled by a devious queen and a mute king where couples are unable to wed until their son Prince Dauntless, played by Grant Bohls, does.

In the queen’s attempt to keep her son single, she requires eligible women to take — and pass — a sensitivity test to marry him. Her plan is threatened when the “strong-willed” Princess Winnifred, played by Ava Ciavarelli, arrives in the kingdom.

“Prince Dauntless, who is abused by his mother the whole play, a kind of wilting flower, not the strongest of characters, loves her right away,” Ballmer said. “He thinks she’s just the greatest.”

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Bohls, 14, who is in his 16th on-stage production at Stebens, said he decided to audition for the musical because he loves singing and dancing and knew it’d be “a really fun show” with “a lot of fun characters.”

Having no idea what part he’d receive when he auditioned, Bohl said he’s pleased with being cast as Prince Dauntless, who he describes as weak, unintelligent, curious and so in love.

"He's very different from me," he said.

Lucas Bartholomew, 15, who plays King Sextimus the Silent, said he is appearing in his second Stebens production.

His character, who is mute, requires him to mime his lines much of the musical, which posed a new challenge for the actor.

“Before doing this show, I though acting was just memorizing lines and verbally speaking them,” Bartholomew said. “I just enjoy the extra challenge. He’s a very different character from the rest.”

• Officials identify man, cop from shooting involving Union Pacific railroad officer in Mason City

He described the king as someone who’s “just a big goofball, lovable character.”

The king’s miming is interpreted by the Jester, played by Tiyana Rogers, 15, throughout the show.

“He’s a hoot,” she said of the character she plays as a male. “He’s definitely a best friend of the king who knows mostly everything he’s going to say. He loves to have fun.”

The production is Rogers’ first in more than two years. She said she wanted to return to the theater to get closer to her Stebens friends again.

“It’s definitely a great show to come back to,” she said.

Rogers said the audience is bound to fall in love with Princess Winnifred as well as the musical’s songs and dances.

“I bet you’ll walk out of here singing one of our songs because they get stuck in your head so easily,” she said.

Bohls and Bartholomew agreed, adding how humorous the show is and how much work the cast and crew have put into it.

“It’s going to be a really good time,” Bohls said.

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The production features a cast and crew of more than 40 members.

“It’s a big cast and it’s a really stellar cast,” Ballmer said. “We have a lot of singing talent on the stage.”

Those cast in “Once Upon a Mattress” are: Jackson Everist, minstrel; Seth Pistek, wizard; Jennaya Everist, Princess No. 12; Makenna Hansen, Lady Larkin; Kylie Hansen, Queen Aggravain; Grant Bohls, Prince Dauntless; Lucas Bartholomew, King Sextimus the Silent; Tiyana Rogers, Jester; Kyler Fredricks, Sir Studley; Daniel Stephenson, Sir Luce; Alex Bohls, First Knight; Bennett Hansen, Second Knight; Kaleb Hrubetz, Third Knight-Sir Harold; Annemarie Hansen, First Lady in Waiting-Rowen; Abby Hartkopp, Second Lady in Waiting-Merrill; Maggie Gerrietts, Third Lady in Waiting-Lucille; Julia Arickx, Lady Emily; Katelyn Hagenow, Lady Mabelle; Ishnoor Kaur, Lady Beatrice; Romey Navarette, Lady H; Marcus Buttweiler, Sir Harry; Ava Ciavarelli, Princess Winnifred; ladies-in-waiting Naomi Garrett, Myia Innis and Lauren Jurgens; knights Cian DeVary, Rebecca Kadera, Benny Schutt, Marcus Shaffer and Alexander Shipman; and children Peyton Bobolz, Elsa Bookmeyer, Henry Hansen, Elexander Johnson-Rodriguez, Addi Menke and Riley Navarette.

The crew is Olivia Schissel, assistant stage manager; Madilynn Loats, assistant director; Brynn Christianson, assistant to the director/props; Emily Ogaard, lights; Myia Innis, makeup; Janae Hansen, makeup/spot operator; Amelia Mirowski, sound; Lauren Hermanson, spot operator; Eden Lewerke, stage manager.

Tickets are $13 for adults and $10 for children 18 and younger. They are available at the theater or by calling the box office 641-424-9802 between noon and 5 p.m. weekdays.

• Photos: Stebens Children's Theatre the last five years in Mason City

Photos: Stebens Children's Theatre the last five years in Mason City

Nation bids farewell to Bush

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation bid goodbye to George H.W. Bush with high praise, cannon salutes and gentle humor Wednesday, celebrating the life of the Texan who embraced a lifetime of service in Washington and was the last president to fight for the U.S. in wartime. Three former presidents looked on at Washington National Cathedral as a fourth — George W. Bush — eulogized his dad as "the brightest of a thousand points of light."

After three days of remembrance in the capital city, the Air Force plane with Bush's casket left for a final service in Houston and burial Thursday at his family plot on the presidential library grounds at Texas A&M University in College Station. His final resting place is alongside Barbara Bush, his wife of 73 years, and Robin Bush, the daughter who died of leukemia at age 3.

The national funeral service at the cathedral was a tribute to a president, a patriarch and a faded political era that prized military service and public responsibility. It was laced with indirect comparisons to President Donald Trump but was not consumed by them, as speakers focused on Bush's public life and character — with plenty of cracks about his goofy side, too.

Trump sat with his wife, a trio of ex-presidents and their wives, several of the group sharp critics of his presidency and one of them, Hillary Clinton, his 2016 Democratic foe. Apart from courteous nods and some handshakes, there was little interaction between Trump and the others.

George W. Bush broke down briefly at the end of his eulogy while invoking the daughter his parents lost in 1953 and his mother, who died in April. He said he took comfort in knowing "Dad is hugging Robin and holding Mom's hand again."

The family occupied the White House for a dozen years — the 41st president defeated after one term, the 43rd serving two. Jeb Bush stepped up to try to extend that run but fell short when Trump won the 2016 Republican primaries.

The elder Bush was "the last great-soldier statesman," historian Jon Meacham said in his eulogy, "our shield" in dangerous times.

But he took a lighter tone, too, noting Bush, campaigning in a crowd in a department store, once shook hands with a mannequin. Rather than flushing in embarrassment, he simply quipped, "Never know. Gotta ask."

Meacham recounted how comedian Dana Carvey once said the key to doing an impersonation of Bush was "Mr. Rogers trying to be John Wayne."

None of that would be a surprise to Bush. Meacham had read his eulogy to him, said Bush spokesman Jim McGrath, and Bush responded to it with the crack: "That's a lot about me, Jon."

The congregation at the cathedral, filled with foreign leaders and diplomats, Americans of high office and others touched by Bush's life, rose for the arrival of the casket, accompanied by clergy of faiths from around the world. In their row together, Trump and former Presidents Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton stood with their spouses and all placed their hands over their hearts.

Alan Simpson, former Republican senator from Wyoming, regaled the congregation with stories from his years as Bush's friend in Washington. More seriously, he recalled that when he went through a rough patch in the political game, Bush conspicuously stood by him against the advice of aides. "You would have wanted him on your side," he said.

Simpson said Bush "loved a good joke — the richer the better. And he threw his head back and gave that great laugh, but he never, ever could remember a punchline. And I mean never."

George W. Bush turned the humor back on the acerbic ex-senator, saying of the late president: "He placed great value on a good joke, so he chose Simpson to speak."

Meacham praised Bush's call to volunteerism, placing his "1,000 points of light" alongside Abraham Lincoln's call to honor "the better angels of our nature" in the American rhetorical canon. Meacham called those lines "companion verses in America's national hymn."

Trump had mocked "1,000 points of light" last summer at a rally, saying "What the hell is that? Has anyone ever figured that one out? And it was put out by a Republican, wasn't it?"

Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney praised Bush as a strong world leader who helped oversee the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union and helped bring about the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, signed into law by his successor, Clinton.

With Trump, a bitter NAFTA critic, seated in the front row, Mulroney hailed the "largest and richest free trade area in the history of the world." The three countries have agreed on a revised trade agreement pushed by Trump.

Earlier, a military band played "Hail to the Chief" as Bush's casket was carried down the steps of the U.S. Capitol, where he had lain in state. Family members looked on as servicemen fired off a cannon salute.

His hearse was then driven in a motorcade to the cathedral ceremony, slowing in front of the White House, the route lined with people much of the way, bundled in winter hats and taking photos.

Waiting for his arrival inside, Trump shook hands with Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, who greeted him by saying "Good morning." Trump did not shake hands with Bill and Hillary Clinton, who looked straight ahead.

Bill Clinton and Mrs. Obama smiled and chatted as music played. Carter was seated silently next to Hillary Clinton in the cavernous cathedral. Obama cracked up laughing at someone's quip. Vice President Mike Pence shook Carter's hand.

Trump tweeted Wednesday that the day marked "a celebration for a great man who has led a long and distinguished life."

Bush's death makes Carter, also 94 but more than 100 days younger, the oldest living ex-president.

Following the cathedral service, the hearse and its long motorcade drove to the National Mall to pass by the World War II Memorial, a nod to the late president's service as a World War II Navy pilot, then transferred his remains at Joint Base Andrews for the flight home with members of his family aboard the plane that often serves as Air Force One.

Bush will lie in repose at St. Martin's Episcopal Church before his burial Thursday.

On Tuesday, soldiers, citizens in wheelchairs and long lines of others on foot wound through the Capitol Rotunda to view Bush's casket and honor a president whose legacy included a landmark law affirming the rights of the disabled. Former Sen. Bob Dole, a compatriot in war, peace and political struggle, steadied himself out of his wheelchair and saluted his old friend and one-time rival.

Trump ordered the federal government closed Wednesday for a national day of mourning. Flags on public buildings are flying at half-staff for 30 days.

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Diabetic Hampton man requests Cheer Fund help for Christmas

MASON CITY | A Hampton man with diabetes is hoping the Christmas Cheer Fund will brighten his holidays.

The 55-year-old man said he’s unable to work because of a foot infection that doesn’t allow him to put any weight on it.

“I’m a diabetic and fighting depression because of it,” he wrote in his Cheer Fund application.

His application states if awarded Christmas Cheer Fund assistance, it’ll be used to purchase Christmas dinner.

“Thank you,” he wrote in his application.

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.

As of Tuesday, the Cheer Fund has received $28,076.43 in donations, which isn't enough to cover the $46,500 in application requests submitted as of Nov. 30. The disbursement of gift cards is expected to begin next week.

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.