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The gospel on celebrity and pop culture

Los Angeles Times From the Los Angeles Times’ Ministry of Gossip blog: ——— ZOE SALDANA, BRADLEY COOPER REPORTEDLY DATING — HEAR THE SIZZLE? Zoe Saldana? Hottie. Bradley Cooper? Hottie. And…

‘Mission: Impossible’ expected to ring in 2012 still at No. 1

By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times – LOS ANGELES — The party won’t stop for Tom Cruise over New Year’s, as the actor’s latest “Mission: Impossible” sequel is expected to be…

GOP candidates split into 2 tiers in Iowa

By David Lightman, William Douglas and Steven Thomma, McClatchy Newspapers DES MOINES, Iowa — The volatile struggle for votes in next Tuesday’s Iowa Republican presidential caucuses featured two different fights…

Team Obama lays out electoral map strategy

By Peter Nicholas, Tribune Washington Bureau – WASHINGTON — The mood in President Barack Obama’s camp is picking up these days, with his poll numbers inching northward and Republicans mired in…

As Newt Gingrich surged, cash rolled in

By Kim Geiger, Tribune Washington Bureau – WASHINGTON — Newt Gingrich will report raising at least $9.3 million since the beginning of October, including more than $4.6 million in the month…

Mitt Romney continues final push in Iowa

By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times – CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Reflecting a growing confidence in scoring a top spot in the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney on Thursday scanned a diner…

Suddenly, Santorum gets the attention in Iowa

Suddenly, Santorum gets the attention in Iowa

By James Oliphant, Tribune Washington Bureau – MUSCATINE, Iowa — For Rick Santorum, it was the paparazzi moment that looked like it would never come. Cameras and correspondents awaited him Thursday…

Iowa State Women Knock Off New Hampshire, 71-57

Iowa State Women Knock Off New Hampshire, 71-57

AMES, Iowa – Chelsea Poppens recorded her fifth double-double of the season (14 points/16 rebounds) to help Iowa State cruise to a 71-57 win over New Hampshire Thursday night in…

Authorities alerted for controlled fire near Nora Springs

Authorities alerted for controlled fire near Nora Springs

By Jody Spear and Kelly Meyer Around 5:30 pm Thursday night, a fire was reported to the Mason City Fire Department at 250th Street and Warbler Avenue (east of Mason…

Verizon to begin charging $2 fee for many online bill payments

By David Sarno, Los Angeles Times LOS ANGELES — Verizon Wireless is about to make paying your monthly cellphone bill a little more expensive. Starting Jan. 15, the nation’s leading mobile…

Iowa Ethanol Production Ticked Up in 2011

Growth Slows as E10 Market Becomes Saturated  JOHNSTON, IA – The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) announced that Iowa’s ethanol production ticked up in 2011, but the rate of annual…

Eaton Completes Acquisition of Medium Voltage Switchgear Manufacturer E.A. Pedersen Company

CLEVELAND – Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation (NYSE:ETN) today announced it has completed its acquisition of E.A. Pedersen Company, a manufacturer of medium voltage switchgear primarily for the electrical utilities…

2011 is the Best Holiday Ever for Kindle

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 29, 2011– (NASDAQ: AMZN) – Amazon.com, Inc. today announced that 2011 was the best holiday ever for the Kindle family as customers purchased millions of Kindle Fires and millions of…

Mason City KMart and Sears stores safe for now, despite closings

Mason City KMart and Sears stores safe for now, despite closings

NEW YORK — At a time when holiday season sales overall have turned out better than expected, Sears Holdings Corp. was an exception: It said Tuesday that it will close…

Mitt Romney arrives in Mason City

Mitt Romney arrives in Mason City

Former 1-term Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney arrived in Mason City on Thursday, December 29th for a town hall meeting at the Music Man Square. Click here to view photos. Romney…

Obama’s Hawaii vacation marks contrast to opponents’ activities in Iowa

Obama’s Hawaii vacation marks contrast to opponents’ activities in Iowa

By Peter Nicholas, Tribune Washington Bureau HONOLULU — As Republicans who want to be president slog through chilly Iowa in the run-up to next week’s caucuses, the man who is president…

Police arrest 4 protesters, clear Occupy camp in Washington town

By Zoe Fraley, McClatchy Newspapers BELLINGHAM, Wash. _ Police dressed in riot gear cleared the Occupy Bellingham camp at Maritime Heritage Park, arresting four protesters who refused to leave Wednesday.…

Florida police officer faces financial misconduct allegations

By David Ovalle, McClatchy Newspapers MIAMI — A high-ranking Miami-Dade County police officer is suspected of misappropriating nearly $23,000 by using it to bankroll his unofficial department flag football team, court…

Sean Bonniwell, lead singer of the Music Machine, dies at 71

By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times LOS ANGELES — Sean Bonniwell, lead singer and songwriter of the Music Machine, a 1960s Los Angeles band regarded as one of the most…

Family to get $17.8 million after Marine jet crash that killed 4

By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times SAN DIEGO — A federal judge Wednesday ruled that the federal government should pay $17.8 million to the grief-stricken survivors of four family members killed…

GOP lawmakers target Endangered Species Act

GOP lawmakers target Endangered Species Act

By Rob Hotakainen, McClatchy Newspapers WASHINGTON — The gray wolf hit a major milestone on Dec. 21, when the Obama administration said the wolf’s population in the Great Lakes region…

High court to weigh immigration rulings

High court to weigh immigration rulings

By David G. Savage and Carol J. Williams, Tribune Washington Bureau – WASHINGTON — Federal judges have blocked strict new immigration laws adopted by conservative legislatures in half a dozen states,…

Lawmaker doesn’t want TSA to pocket change left at checkpoints

By Richard Simon.Los Angeles Times WASHINGTON — Ever wonder what happens to the loose change that harried travelers leave behind at airport checkpoints? One lawmaker has his sights on the…

Gay nativity scene vandalized at Southern Calif. church

By Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times LOS ANGELES — An unusual nativity display at a Claremont church that conveyed a gay couple was vandalized over the weekend in an incident authorities…

Iraqi interpreters for US military in dangerous limbo

Iraqi interpreters for US military in dangerous limbo

By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times BAGHDAD — He rarely leaves his house. He’s been shot at by gunmen in a passing car. He gets death threats over the phone. “Traitor,”…

Pakistani death squads go after informants to U.S. drone program

By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times PESHAWAR, Pakistan — The death squad shows up in uniform: black masks and tunics with the name of the group, Khorasan Mujahedin, scrawled across the…

Chavez: Is U.S. responsible for Latin American leaders’ cancer?

By Helmut Reuter and Nestor Rojas CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speculated late Wednesday that the United States may be responsible for a spate of cancers among Latin…

Egyptian forces raid offices of 17 nongovernmental organizations

By Jeffrey Fleishman and Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times CAIRO — Egyptian security forces on Thursday raided the offices of 17 nongovernmental organizations, including three U.S.-based agencies, as part of crackdown…

Turkish airstrikes along Iraq border kill dozens

By Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times BEIRUT — Dozens of people were killed in Turkish airstrikes along the country’s border with Iraq, and an official with Turkey’s ruling party acknowledged Thursday…

Meet the brewer: Peter Ausenhus

Brandi Hagen, Albert Lea Tribune – NORTHWOOD — For the last five years, Peter Ausenhus has been brewing beer with a three-vessel system in the back room of what used to…

Pinstripe Bowl analysis: Iowa State vs. Rutgers

Pinstripe Bowl analysis: Iowa State vs. Rutgers

Scott Dochterman, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Stop Sanu. Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu is tall at 6-2 and physical at 215 pounds and prolific with a Big East record 109…

ISU officials, player ring bell at NY Stock Exchange

Scott Dochterman, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa NEW YORK — Iowa State linebacker Jake Knott will graduate with a business management degree and minor in finance. He had a keen interest…

BRIEF: Trial reset to March for man accused of sexually assaulting resident at Anamosa care center

Trish Mehaffey, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa The trial for one of the men accused of sexually assaulting a resident at a care facility last summer has been reset to March…

The one that got away

The one that got away

John Bohnenkamp, The Hawk Eye – The Hawkeyes wrestled with Purdue for the entire game in Wednesday’s Big Ten opener. But the Boilermakers had every answer in a 79-76 win at…

Waiting for Mitt

Couple of quick interviews while waiting for Mitt Romney to arrive at Music Man Square in Mason City on December 29th, 2011.…

Occupy Mason City foresees no disruptions at local caucuses

Occupy Mason City foresees no disruptions at local caucuses

Occupy Mason City’s Robin McClelland (pictured) urged supporters of the movement to get out and vote. She said she didn’t think there would be any disruptions at any of the…

Iowa State’s A.J. Klein accepts coaching, becomes tenacious LB

Iowa State’s A.J. Klein accepts coaching, becomes tenacious LB

Scott Dochterman, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa NEW YORK — A.J. Klein never was an obstinate pupil in his early days at Iowa State, but he wasn’t always the best football…

Former state worker pleads guilty to embezzling jobless benefits

Trish Mehaffey, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa – UPDATE: A former Iowa Workforce Development employee, previously convicted of similar charges in 2000, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to embezzling more…

Reiff making no decisions yet

Reiff making no decisions yet

By Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic, Mitchell, S.D. Dec. 29–Riley Reiff is well aware his name is being brought up in NFL mock drafts. The Parkston native and junior offensive…

What 2011 in rock teaches us about the future

By Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune CHICAGO — The year has brought music-lovers some fascinating shifts in what they listen to — and how — and also set off some flares about…