MASON CITY IOWA
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Latest News - MASON CITY IOWA

Minnesota man pleads guilty to child sex abuse in Iowa


A Minnesota man faces up to 50 years in prison in Iowa when he's sentenced in June for sexually abusing a child younger than 12. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that 43-year-old Jasen Maran Salin, of Maynard, Minnesota, recently pleaded guilty to two ...

Iowa ranks sixth in number of foster children


MASON CITY, Iowa – The number of children in foster care has Iowa ranked 6th around the country. May is Foster parent Appreciation Month. A time where we give thanks to the families who’ve opened their homes and hearts to the thousands around the ...

Union Pacific investing $109 million in Iowa


The railroad, with just more than 1,800 employees in Iowa and annual payroll of $147.4 million, will invest $18.3 million in the rail line between Bradford and near Mason City to replace more than 34 miles of rail, repair the surfaces at 37 road crossings ...

Mason City man sentenced to prison for fatal crash


MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Mason City man must serve at least 17 years in prison after being sentenced in the hit-and-run death of a motorcyclist last November. The Globe Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/1FLdGoC) a judge Monday sentenced 47-year-old Victor ...

Mason City woman receives DMACC award


the Mason City YMCA and Crisis Intervention Services. She is a member of the DMACC Alumni Association and was recently appointed to the board of directors of the North Iowa Vocational Center. She has received the Midwest Region’s 2002 Award of ...

26 new sculptures to be shown in downtown Mason City


MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — Officials plan to install 26 new sculptures next week in downtown Mason City as part of a popular arts program that displays the pieces for a year. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/1dCPie5) that the new ...

Mason City man injured in Steele County rollover


MEDFORD, Minn. (KTTC) -- A Mason City, Iowa man was hurt after rolling his suburban Friday afternoon in Steele County. According to the State Patrol, 73-year-old Ronald Johnson was driving north on I-35 at about 1:45 p.m. Friday. That's when he lost ...

Around Iowa: Mason City seeks input for improvements


Mason City officials are calling for a meeting with residents living in the city's north side to reach a consensus on how to improve the area. The City Council met Wednesday to discuss properties in disrepair on North Federal Avenue in Mason City.

Mason City officials seek input for north end improvements


MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — Mason City officials are calling for a meeting with residents living in the city's north side to reach a consensus on how to improve the area. The City Council met Wednesday to discuss properties in disrepair on North Federal ...

Vehicle impoundment proposal sputters in Mason City


MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — A proposed ordinance that would let police impound vehicles for any of 10 violations has sputtered under the weight of doubts from Mason City officials. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that Police Chief Mike Lashbrook told a ...

Iowa ranks sixth in number of foster children


MASON CITY, Iowa – The number of children in foster care has Iowa ranked 6th around the country. May is Foster parent Appreciation Month. A time where we give thanks to the families who’ve opened the…

Solar bike in North Iowa


MASON CITY, Iowa – Monday was a great sunny day to be riding your bike out, and one area lady is taking the sunshine to a whole new level. Hanna Elshoff has made her way from Rochester to Mason City.…

Guilty plea from Mason City teen


MASON CITY, Iowa – The teenager accused of a vehicular rampage in north Iowa has changed his plea. 18-year-old Michael Juwan Jacob Hughes of Mason City was charged with 2nd degree robbery and 1st off…

Next Reading in Culver City


I’ll be reading at Antioch University Los Angeles’ Literary Uprising on May 19th! Come on down for an evening of great literature and good company! Hope to see you there!

Mason City city council hosts work session


MASON CITY, Iowa -The Mason City City council held a work session to discuss certain issues that led to some opinion ated conversations. Wednesday’s main focus involved whether some local properties s…

Guilty plea in fatal Mason City crash


MASON CITY, Iowa – Victor Rivera is pleading guilty for his role in a deadly crash. The 47-year-old Mason City man was arrested after a fatal collision on November 22, 2014.  Authorities say Rivera w…

Mason City Area Chamber of Commerce website hacked by group claiming to be ISIS


MASON CITY, Iowa – Web surfers looking for information on the upcoming North Iowa Band Festival activities, or anything else having to do with the Mason City Area Chamber of Commerce, were greeted wit…

Mason City Chamber site among many hit by ‘pro-ISIS’ hackers


MASON CITY, Iowa – Web surfers looking for information on the upcoming North Iowa Band Festival activities, or anything else dealing with the Mason City Area Chamber of Commerce, were greeted with a s…

Decker House in Mason City offers public a delicious Brunch


The innkeepers are busy planning the next next public event at The Decker House in Mason City! Pictured below is the ever delicious Decker House Eggs Mornay, one of the options on the brunch menu!    …

Rugby on the rise in Mason City


The Mohawk Rugby Club is picking up steam in their first year.  Mason City is 2-2 this season.  They will be hosting their home tournament. Click on the video tab for more on the growth of their team…




SPECIAL INFORMATION FOR MASON CITY

Giving Every Young Person in MASON CITY IOWA a Path to Reach Their Potential

Our nation’s most basic duty is to ensure that every child has the chance to fulfill his or her potential. This isn’t the responsibility of one individual or one neighborhood: it’s up to all of us to pave these paths of opportunity so that young people — regardless of where they grow up — can get ahead in life and achieve their dreams.

That’s why My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) is such an important initiative. Launched by President Obama last year, MBK brings communities together to ensure that all youth — including boys and young men of color — can overcome barriers to success and improve their lives. I got to see this work up close during a recent trip to Oakland, California. I joined Mayor Libby Schaaf, City Council President Lynette McElhaney, and other stakeholders for a conversation about efforts that are making a difference in the lives of local youth.

One of the participants was a teenager named Edwin Manzano. The son of a hard-working single parent, Edwin found encouragement and support at the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC). Thanks in part to the academic and mentoring services offered by the EOYDC, Edwin will become the first member of his family to attend college when he begins his studies this fall at San Francisco State University.

Edwin is grateful for the opportunities that EOYDC afforded him. “Everyone needs a support system,” he says. That’s true whether you are a teenager or HUD Secretary. I was lucky when I was growing up on the West Side of San Antonio. Although it was a modest community in terms of resources, it was rich with folks who took an interest in my future. I had family members, teachers — and even policymakers — who paved a path that allowed me and other young people like me to succeed.

Unfortunately, not every child is as fortunate. That’s why My Brother’s Keeper is so close to my heart. The future of every young person in America should be determined by their heart, their mind and their work ethic. It should never be determined by their zip code.

In Oakland, I talked with 17 young people who have big hopes and aspirations for the future. It’s in our nation’s interest to help them achieve their goals. And we’re committed to doing our part at HUD.

For example, we’ve introduced a Jobs-Plus pilot program that will provide public housing residents in eight cities with intensive employment training, rent incentives and community building focused on work and economic self-sufficiency.

We’re also working on a broadband initiative to ensure that students living in HUD-assisted households will benefit from the life-changing opportunities available through high-speed internet. This project will provide the access to online resources that young people need to succeed in the 21st century global economy.

On the housing front, we expect the recent expansion of our Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) initiative to aid HUD-assisted properties in raising billions of dollars in private sector investment — funding that will be used to secure our nation’s affordable housing future. And recently, our Federal Housing Administration lowered its Mortgage Insurance Premiums to make homeownership more affordable for responsible families, helping them put down roots and build wealth for the future.

But I know HUD alone won’t solve the issues facing America’s youth. These challenges require our Department to maintain longstanding, effective partnerships with other federal agencies and key stakeholders. Most importantly, President Obama understands that My Brother’s Keeper will only succeed if local leaders take his call to action into their own hands.

Folks in Oakland are stepping up to answer this call. During the Community Conversation, I spoke with leaders from Oakland’s nonprofits, philanthropic institutions, and faith-based organizations that are putting our young people on the path to success. Groups like the East Oakland Youth Development Center, the East Bay Foundation, and the Allen Temple Baptist Church are using promising and proven approaches to make a real difference in their communities.

This kind of work is happening all across the nation and will benefit generations of Americans. We’ve got to keep it going by continuing to support our young people. When they succeed, our nation grows stronger, and our future becomes brighter. And by giving everyone an opportunity to reach their goals, we can ensure that the 21st century is another American century.

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MASON CITY IOWA tspan:3m MASON CITY IOWA




Responding To and Protecting Students from Sexual Assault in MASON CITY IOWA

January 26, 2015

Courtesy of Eve Hill and Mark Kappelhoff, Deputy Assistant Attorneys General for the Civil Rights pision

Note: The sample MOU can be found at here.

President Obama established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault one year ago. On this anniversary, the task force has released a sample memorandum of understanding (MOU) to assist campuses and law enforcement agencies to work together in their efforts to protect students, address the needs of sexual assault survivors, and ensure a prompt, thorough, and fair response to allegations of sexual misconduct. This is yet another important step in the task force’s effort to help colleges and universities, as well as their partners in the community, address the problem of campus sexual violence.

While colleges and universities can do much on their own, communication and collaboration between campus administrators, campus police and local law enforcement is critically important to address the problem of sexual assault on campus.

The sample MOU reflects input from task force members and agencies, outside experts on sexual assault, police associations, state attorneys general, and campus administrators and counsels.

Many colleges and universities already have MOUs in place with local law enforcement authorities covering a variety of areas. Our conversations with campus administrators, campus police, and law enforcement have underscored the need for additional tools and strategies that are specifically tailored to the dynamics of sexual assault on campus, as well as the needs of sexual assault survivors. The task force is providing this sample MOU with that in mind.

We recognize that every campus and community is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The sample MOU is, therefore, intended to be a starting point for a conversation between campus administrators, campus police and local law enforcement on how to improve collaborations between critical first responders. We fully expect that, in partnering to address the issue of sexual violence on campus, campus administrators and law enforcement will adapt the provisions of the sample MOU to meet their particular needs and circumstances. For example, some campus and law enforcement authorities may wish to incorporate some or all of the provisions into an existing general campus safety MOU, while others may prefer a standalone agreement specifically addressing campus sexual violence. Still others may decide that some different method of collaboration better meets their needs. We hope that this sample MOU will be an important resource in collaborative efforts between campus administrators, campus police and law enforcement to eradicate sexual assault from college communities nationwide.

Posted in: 

Civil Rights pision

Office on Violence Against Women

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Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day in MASON CITY IOWA

The U.S. Treasury Department’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) today released a new Quarterly Report detailing how the program continues to help small businesses grow and create jobs. Since the beginning of the program, the Treasury Department has disbursed more than $1.1 billion to participating states.

The Internal Revenue Service is partnering with community-based organizations across the country to promote Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day, an effort to alert millions of low and moderate-income workers who may be missing out on a significant tax credit that can be as much as $6,000.

Millions of workers who earned $52,427 or less last year may qualify for EITC for the first time in 2015, making awareness of the credit critical. About a third of the people eligible for EITC fluctuate each year based on changes to their marital, parental and financial status. All across the United States, local officials and community organizations are holding events highlighting this key benefit.

“About four out of five eligible workers and families get the credit they earned. That leaves millions missing EITC every year,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “It’s an important credit and one of the government’s best tools to fight poverty.”

Last year, almost 28 million eligible workers and families received $66 billion total in EITC, with an average EITC amount of $2,400.

The IRS website is a valuable first stop to help taxpayers get it right this filing season, from information on claiming the EITC, to learning about the Affordable Care Act (known as the health care law), to finding free tax help. The IRS encourages everyone to use the EITC Assistant on IRS.gov/eitc, an interactive tool to find out if they are eligible for the credit. The IRS website also provides helpful information on the health care law and how it may affect tax returns at IRS.gov/aca. There is also an interactive tool that helps individuals determine if they are eligible for the premium tax credit. And qualified taxpayers may also find a free tax return preparation site on IRS.gov/vita.

The amount of EITC varies depending on income, family size and filing status. Those who work for someone else or those who run a business or farm and who earned $52,427 or less during 2014 could receive larger refunds if they qualify for the EITC. This could mean up to $496 in EITC for people without children, and a maximum credit of up to $6,143 for those with three or more qualifying children.

The EITC is refundable. This means those eligible may get a refund from the IRS even if they owe no tax or had no taxes withheld from their paycheck.

Workers potentially eligible to claim the credit should visit IRS.gov/eitc to learn if they qualify, how to claim the credit and more. The EITC Assistant will also determine their filing status, if they have a qualifying child or children and estimate the amount of the EITC they could get. If an individual doesn’t qualify for EITC, the Assistant explains why and a summary of the results can be printed.

Get the Credit — How to Claim the EITC

To get the EITC, workers must file a tax return, even if they are not legally required to file, and specifically claim the credit. Free tax help is available to those eligible for the EITC:

The Internal Revenue Service is partnering with community-based organizations across the country to promote Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day, an effort to alert millions of low and moderate-income workers who may be missing out on a significant tax credit that can be as much as $6,000.

Millions of workers who earned $52,427 or less last year may qualify for EITC for the first time in 2015, making awareness of the credit critical. About a third of the people eligible for EITC fluctuate each year based on changes to their marital, parental and financial status. All across the United States, local officials and community organizations are holding events highlighting this key benefit.

“About four out of five eligible workers and families get the credit they earned. That leaves millions missing EITC every year,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “It’s an important credit and one of the government’s best tools to fight poverty.”

Last year, almost 28 million eligible workers and families received $66 billion total in EITC, with an average EITC amount of $2,400.

The IRS website is a valuable first stop to help taxpayers get it right this filing season, from information on claiming the EITC, to learning about the Affordable Care Act (known as the health care law), to finding free tax help. The IRS encourages everyone to use the EITC Assistant on IRS.gov/eitc, an interactive tool to find out if they are eligible for the credit. The IRS website also provides helpful information on the health care law and how it may affect tax returns at IRS.gov/aca. There is also an interactive tool that helps individuals determine if they are eligible for the premium tax credit. And qualified taxpayers may also find a free tax return preparation site on IRS.gov/vita.

The amount of EITC varies depending on income, family size and filing status. Those who work for someone else or those who run a business or farm and who earned $52,427 or less during 2014 could receive larger refunds if they qualify for the EITC. This could mean up to $496 in EITC for people without children, and a maximum credit of up to $6,143 for those with three or more qualifying children.

The EITC is refundable. This means those eligible may get a refund from the IRS even if they owe no tax or had no taxes withheld from their paycheck.

Workers potentially eligible to claim the credit should visit IRS.gov/eitc to learn if they qualify, how to claim the credit and more. The EITC Assistant will also determine their filing status, if they have a qualifying child or children and estimate the amount of the EITC they could get. If an individual doesn’t qualify for EITC, the Assistant explains why and a summary of the results can be printed.

Get the Credit — How to Claim the EITC

To get the EITC, workers must file a tax return, even if they are not legally required to file, and specifically claim the credit. Free tax help is available to those eligible for the EITC:

  • Free File on IRS.gov. Free brand-name tax software walks people through a question and answer format to help them prepare their returns and claim every credit and deduction for which they are eligible. Free File also provides online versions of IRS paper forms, an option called Free File Fillable Forms which is best suited for taxpayers comfortable preparing their own returns.

  • Free tax preparation sites. EITC-eligible workers can seek free tax preparation at thousands of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites. Taxpayers can locate the nearest site using a search tool on IRS.gov or through the IRS2go smartphone application.

    It is important for taxpayers to bring along all the required documents and information to make sure they get the EITC they deserve. Also, those who bought coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace should receive Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, from their Marketplace in early February. It’s important to also bring the Form 1095-A to the volunteer site. Any taxpayer who does not receive it by early February should contact their Marketplace, not the IRS. The IRS will not have access to the information on the form.

Like last year, the IRS expects to issue more than nine out of 10 refunds within 21 days. The IRS reminds taxpayers that the fastest way to get a refund is to e-file their tax return and choose direct deposit. It takes longer to process paper returns. Because of budget cuts resulting in a smaller staff, it will likely take an additional week or more to process paper returns, meaning that those refunds are expected to be issued in seven weeks or more. Taxpayers can track the status of their refund with the “Where’s My Refund?” tool available on IRS.gov or on IRS2go.

Similar Benefits Available Through the Health Care Law

The Affordable Care Act requires that a taxpayer and each member of his or her family have qualifying health insurance coverage for each month of the year, qualify for an exemption from the coverage requirement, or make an individual shared responsibility payment when filing a federal income tax return.

Premium Tax Credits: If taxpayers bought coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, they should receive Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement from their Marketplace by early February. They should save this form because it has important information needed to complete their tax returns. 

If a taxpayer is expecting to receive Form 1095-A and has not received it by early February, they should contact the Marketplace where the coverage was purchased. Due to the fact that the IRS does not have this information, it is recommended that taxpayers contact the appropriate marketplace.

Anyone who benefited from advance payments of the premium tax credit must file a federal income tax return. The taxpayer will need to reconcile those advance payments with the amount of premium tax credit they’re entitled to based on actual income. As a result, some people may see a smaller or larger tax refund or tax liability than they were expecting. When filing their return, taxpayers will use IRS Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit (PTC), to calculate the premium tax credit and reconcile the credit with any advance payments.

Reporting requirements: Most taxpayers will simply check a box on their tax return to indicate that each member of their family had qualifying health coverage for the whole year. No further action is required. Qualifying health insurance coverage includes coverage under most, but not all, types of health care coverage plans. Taxpayers can use the chart on IRS.gov/aca to find out if their insurance counts as qualifying coverage.  

Exemptions: A taxpayer may be eligible to claim an exemption from the requirement to have coverage. If eligible for an exemption, the taxpayer will need to complete the new IRS Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions and attach it to their return. The individual must apply for some exemptions through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  However, most of the exemptions are easily obtained from the IRS when filing a tax return.  

Individual Shared Responsibility Payment: If an individual does not have qualifying coverage or an exemption for each month of the year, they will need to make an individual shared responsibility payment when filing their return for choosing not to purchase coverage. Examples and information about figuring the payment are available on the IRS Calculating the Payment page. More information about the Affordable Care Act and the 2014 income tax return is available at IRS.gov/aca.

Get It Right

Taxpayers are responsible for the accuracy of their tax return even if someone else preparers it for them. The rules for EITC are complicated. The IRS urges taxpayers to seek help if they are unsure of their eligibility, whether from a paid tax professional or at a free tax return preparation site. Deliberate errors can have lasting impact on future eligibility to claim EITC and leave taxpayers with a penalty.

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