MASON CITY, Iowa – The recent vandalism of a billboard asking for tips in the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruit has the North End upset.
"We don't have any more crime down here than they do in other parts of Mason City, it's just that it's highlighted more affluently here on the north end and so it's unfortunate," said Vickie Lau, who owns the Blue Heron.
She thinks the recent vandalism of the billboard down the street does not reflect the values of the North End - saying the area is experiencing a renaissance.
"We would love to see more businesses come down this way. There’s a couple of new places that have opened up just recently and we just welcome. The more people coming to the north end is better for everyone and then it just builds more community spirit,” said Lau.
Jimmy Akbar owns Northside Liquor, which is right across the street from the defaced billboard. He also is disappointed by what happened, but says the North End is a great place to run a business and does not deserve its reputation.
"We are very happy on this side of the town. Everybody has their own opinion, I have my own. I think this is the best side. We do very good business around on the north end."
Akbar also thinks the area is having a turnaround, with empty storefronts being filled with new businesses. He too is planning on expanding, all thanks to his loyal customers.
"Our plans are to remodel the store, make it bigger, develop the north end and make better things on the north end so people can come on this side of the town too,” he said.