Memorial snowmobile race ends 10-year run

CLEAR LAKE — Organizers have announced the end of a memorial snowmobile race on Clear Lake in northern Iowa.

The organizers of the Jack Helgren Memorial Race say the event has been discontinued after its 10-year run because members of the original organizational group have decided to retire.

The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that the race is named after Jack Helgren, an area businessman, former snowmobile dealer and avid racer who died in 2009. The event featured snowmobile races, a vintage snowmobile show and live music.

The event, historically scheduled in January, was postponed to February this year because of unseasonable temperatures and poor ice conditions. The race was held on the lake ice, and snowmobilers and spectators parked on the ice as well.

Suspect arrested in shooting death of Burlington man

BURLINGTON — Authorities have arrested a 25-year-old suspected of shooting to death a Burlington man.

Des Moines County Jail records say Diavontae Davis remained in custody Tuesday. Burlington police say he’s charged with first-degree murder and other crimes in the slaying of 28-year-old Reynaldo “Rey” Villarreal. Court records don’t yet list the name of an attorney who could comment for Davis.

Officers were sent early Sunday morning to check a report about several gunshots. They found the man later identified as Villarreal suffering from a gunshot wound. Police say he died later at a hospital.

Board to discuss liability concerns of Hula Hoop Tree

AMBER — Liability concerns have been raised about the Hula Hoop Tree that sits alongside a county road in eastern Iowa.

The Jones County Board of Supervisors was scheduled to discuss the concerns at the board meeting Tuesday in Anamosa. The discussion could include proposals to move it, tear it down or find another tree or place for the hoops.

Some local folks say the first hula hoop on the tree was blown there during a storm, but there are other, competing versions about what happened. Hundreds of colorful hoops now adorn the dead tree, which has become a quirky landmark that’s drawn visitors from around the Midwest and beyond.

Supervisor Lloyd Eaken worries that the tree is in such bad shape it won’t be able to hold up the weight of the hoops for much longer. County Sheriff Greg Graver says the tree’s location near Amber makes it an unsafe place for motorists to stop.