FORT DODGE (AP) — Voters will decide on a proposed $25.5 million bond issue to pay for improvements at Iowa Central Community College.

The Fort Dodge Messenger reports the bond issue on Tuesday's ballot would pay for work at facilities in Eagle Grove, Fort Dodge, Storm Lake and Webster City.

Voters in Buena Vista, Calhoun, Greene, Hamilton, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Sac, Webster and Wright counties will decide on the request. To be enacted, the bond needs approval by 60 percent of people who cast ballots.

If approved, the measure would increase property taxes by $12 a year for the owner of a $100,000 home.

Projects that would be financed by the bond include a new student center in Fort Dodge, a new industrial training facility in Storm Lake and a new biofuels testing lab.

Northern Illinois city of Rockford sees 2017 drop in crime

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — The northern Illinois city of Rockford is getting some good news about crime.

Statistics released by the city's police department show that violent crime fell 5 percent in 2017 from the previous year and property crime dropped 8 percent during the same period.

Crimes such as robbery and homicide are of particular concern among residents in Illinois' third largest city. The Rockford Register Star reports the drop in those categories was significant. The number of robberies fell to 421 last year from 543 the year before.

And after the number of homicides climbed to 27 in 2016 — the most in the city since 1996 — the city recorded 18 homicides last year.

Man dies in northwest Iowa house fire

GEORGE (AP) — One person has died in a house fire in the small northwest Iowa city of George.

George Fire Chief Bill Sprock says the fire started early Sunday and took firefighters several hours to extinguish. He says crews from six communities helped fight the fire, which was complicated by cold temperatures that caused water from the trucks to repeatedly freeze.

Officials didn't immediately identify the person killed in the fire.

George is a city of about 1,000 people, located about 40 miles north of Le Mars.

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