ISTANBUL (AP) — A Turkish court has again rejected a request for businessman and human rights defender Osman Kavala’s release from jail, despite a European Court of Human Rights ruling that called for his freedom. On Friday, the court in Istanbul also ruled to merge two proceedings against Kavala. The 63-year-old was on trial accused of espionage and attempting to overthrow the government in connection with a failed coup in 2016. Last year, he was acquitted of terrorism-related charges for allegedly organizing and financing mass anti-government protests that erupted in 2013. But a higher court later overturned the acquittal, paving the way for a re-trial. He will now be tried in connection with the failed coup and the mass protests.
MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City last night approved an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Forest City on building inspections. It allows Mason City building inspectors to inspect buildings within Forest City as that community is working to address blight and dilapidation. Mason City’s city administrator Aaron Burnett says Forest City’s needs do not warrant employing staff specifically dedicated to building inspections. “We received the request from Forest City to see if there was an ability to partner to help them essentially pursue 657As and other delinquent properties. When you’re in a smaller community, you just really don’t have the staff that we have here in Mason City. So with that, and understanding that very well from my previous work in smaller communities, it’s a good opportunity to be a good regional partner and help kind of raise the tide for the whole area.” Burnett says the work for Forest City would be on an overtime basis with all costs being covered by the City of Forest City. “We reached out to staff before we even started the 28E to see if they were interested in the overtime opportunity, and if at some point they’re not interested we would not provide staff towards that purpose. It will not affect service because it will be all overtime. It’s all time that they would not be working anyway, and all of that time will be fully reimbursed, mileage and hours. So as far as our services I don’t think we will have a problem.” — The council also passed the second reading of an ordinance for increasing water, sewer and sanitation rates. The council approved the increases in the city’s fiscal year budget that started on July 1st, with increases in the water and sewer rates to help fund capital projects, and the increase in the sanitation rate to build funds for vehicle replacements in future fiscal years. The water rate increase is 2.55% and will increase about 71 cents per month for the homeowner that averages 500 cubic feet of monthly use. The sewer increase is 2.83% and will increase about 49 cents per month for the typical homeowner. The sanitation rate will go up 40 cents per month to $12.05 starting for the July utility bill.