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Monday, March 2 -- Cascade vs. Unity Christian Girls State Tournament 5 PM

Wednesday, March 4 -- Western Dubuque vs. Indianola Girls State Tournament 11:45 AM

Tuesday, March 10 -- Cascade vs. Regina Boys State Tournament 10:30 AM
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Record Cold Recorded in Several Iowa Cities

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — An arctic winter weather system led to record-breaking cold in the state.

Mason City hit a record low of 18 degrees below zero at 6 a.m. Friday, shattering its 115-year-old record at 12-below, set in 1899.

Waterloo also reached a record low of 24-below zero on Friday. The previous record of 14-below was set in 1897.

Records were also broken Friday in Dubuque and Elkader. Dubuque reached -21 Friday morning, well below the record of 12-below set in 1879, and Elkader had a Friday reading of 28-below. The previous record had been 18-below set in 1935.

Iowa Rracing Officials Look at Plan to Distribute $72 Million

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Iowa racing officials are reviewing a plan to distribute a $72 million settlement related to the end of greyhound racing in Council Bluffs. The Racing and Gaming Commission plans to review that report on Thursday.  Half of the money would support the Greyhound Association's operation of the Dubuque track, which plans to run races from April 29 to Oct. 25 on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Most of the rest of the money would go to greyhound breeders based on their past performance. Dubuque's Mystique Casino and Bluffs Run Greyhound Park in Council Bluffs agreed to pay the settlement in exchange for ending subsidized racing.  About $1.2 million would be set aside for closing expenses at Bluffs Run and greyhound adoption centers.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad Signs Fuel Tax Increase into Law

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Fuel prices will soon go up in Iowa now that Gov. Terry Branstad has signed a tax increase into law.

Branstad announced this morning that he had signed the bill, which will raise the state fuel tax by 10 cents a gallon. The Legislature gave bipartisan support to the measure Tuesday.

The legislation will provide more than $200 million annually for Iowa's bridges and roads. The price change will go into effect March 1.

Branstad says he recognized the state needs more money for infrastructure. He praised lawmakers for reaching a bipartisan consensus.

Officials Continue to Handle Fallout from Derailed Train

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Officials say they're still dealing with the aftermath of a freight train that derailed about three weeks ago and spilled ethanol into the Mississippi north of Dubuque.

Kevin Baskins, spokesman for the DNR said that 55,000 gallons of ethanol remain unaccounted for at the site where three train cars went off the tracks and fell into the Mississippi. A total of eight cars that derailed appeared to spill ethanol.

Baskins says some fuel burned, some leaked into the water and some soaked into the soil, but that there's no way to gage how much had dispersed in each case.

Officials with Canadian Pacific say the cause of the derailment of its freight train has not been determined.

Authorities Investigating Robbery in Andrew

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is investigating an armed robbery at the Andrew Country Mart. An employee stated that a male and female wearing ski masks entered the store around 10 p.m. Saturday. They displayed a handgun and ordered the employee to give them the store's money. The suspects then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. Anyone with info about that incident should contact the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

Legislative News

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Senate panel has approved a bill that would ban people in Iowa from holding a cellphone and talking while driving. A transportation subcommittee discussed the bill today. It now moves to a full committee for consideration. The Department of Public Safety is sponsoring the bill, and it has Governor Terry Branstad's support.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen made some key changes to a House committee to help ensure there were enough votes to pass a bill raising the state fuel tax. Paulsen says today he had replaced one member of the ways and means committee, bringing in a lawmaker who supports the bill instead of a member who opposed it. Paulsen also planned to temporarily replace another committee member so that he himself could cast a yes vote.

Iowa Farms Decreased

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in a new report that the number of farms in Iowa continues to slide. In an annual report released today, the USDA says Iowa farms fell to 88,000 last year, 500 fewer than the year before.

Western Dubuque Community School District Announces its Superintendent Selection

The Western Dubuque Community School District Board of Directors is pleased to have offered the position of Superintendent to Richard C. Colpitts. Colpitts, who is currently serving as Executive Director of Human Resources at Dubuque Community School District, has accepted the offer. He will replace Superintendent Jeff Corkery, who will retire at the end of the current school year, and he will assume the duties of superintendent beginning July 1, 2015.

WD Board Presents Options to Balance Class Sizes

The Western Dubuque School Board has presented options to balance class sizes in the district's elementary schools. For the northern portion of the district, one option is to re-draw boundary lines and limit waivers to attend Dyersville and Peosta. The second option would realign grades at Epworth and Farley with existing boundaries. Epworth would have Pre-K through 1st grade or Pre-K through 2nd grade, with 2nd through 4th or 3rd through 5th Farley.  For the southern portion of the district, one option is to use Bernard for pre-K through 1st grade and Cascade for 2nd through 6th grade classes. Option 2 would move any class with 10 students or less to Cascade and begin preparing to close Bernard Elementary by the end of the 2017-2018 school year at the latest unless there is significant enrollment changes at either center.  Officials noted that none of these options are set in stone. Follow up meetings will be held March 3rd at Western Dubuque High School and March 4th at Cascade High School.

The Band Perry Performs at Cascade High School

Cascade Jr/Sr High School hosted The Band Perry today as part of the State Farm Celebrate My Drive Campaign. Cascade won the grand prize, which included $100,000 dollars and a private concert. Riley Green was one of the lucky students who were able meet The Band Perry before the show and talked about that meeting.  Senior Reis Rausch talked how his and others driving habits have changed since taking part in the Celebrate My Drive Campaign. You can check out some photos from today's event on the KDST Facebook Page.

Cedar County Cruelty

A Stanwood man and two juveniles were charged with animal abuse Thursday. The charges stem from their involvement in killing cats with a BB-gun and baseball bat at a home in rural Mechanicsville last weekend.

Thirty-seven year-old Cory William Maschmann was charged in Cedar County District Court with five counts of aiding and abetting of animal torture, an aggravated misdemeanor, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one count of criminal trespassing, all simple misdemeanors. His bond was set at $100,000 cash only and he remains in the county jail.

The two juveniles were also charged and will be referred to juvenile court at a later time.
After receiving information Monday, deputies located four dead cats in a creek east of a residence in Mechanicsville. Another cat was located alive, with had an eye shot out. The homeowner confirmed all the cats belonged to her.

Maschmann told police during an interview that he drove the two juveniles to the location and instructed them to “kill as many cats as they could,” according to the complaint. Maschmann said he wasn’t asked to come over to the residence or to harm the cats. The juveniles told police they were driven to the home with the intent to harm the animals, according to the complaint. They both admitted to killing the cats and putting them in a creek east of the residence. They also claimed that they videotaped shooting the cats but the recording had been erased.

Bullets Discovered in Dubuque Elementary School's Bathroom

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Dubuque school district officials say several bullets were discovered in the toilet of an elementary school's bathroom.

But they say a police sweep of Bryant Elementary School on Wednesday found no evidence of additional ammunition or weapons.

Spokesman Mike Cyze of Dubuque Community Schools says several .380-caliber pistol bullets were found late in the school day, but couldn't say exactly when they were found.

He says school officials alerted a school resource officer, who's a member of the Dubuque Police Department, immediately after the ammunition was found.

The school's principal says students remained in their classrooms for the rest of the day. They had their coats checked before they left and were asked to leave their backpacks in the building.

Iowa Lawmakers Approve Different Bills on Early School Start

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lawmakers are working on bills that would decide when classes can start for Iowa school districts. A Senate education committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would give control to school districts. Lawmakers on a House education committee later approved a bill that would require classes to start on or after August 23rd, with a stipulation that school districts cannot seek a waiver to begin sooner.

Both the full Senate and House will now be able to debate the bills. The school start issue emerged as a top issue for the Legislature after state education officials said they would stop issuing automatic waivers that allowed districts to start early. District leaders say they need to cater to students. Tourism officials argue the early start hurts businesses.

Iowa Man Gets 25 years for Using Donations for Drugs, Sex

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man has been sentenced to up to 25 years in prison for using donations to his charity to buy drugs and pay for sex. 52-year-old Christopher H. Simms, formerly of Durango, Iowa, was sentenced Monday for charges of ongoing criminal conduct. According to court records, Simms solicited money for his charity, telling contributors their donations were going to help military personnel. Records show he instead used the money to buy drugs for personal use and pay for sexual favors.

In addition to his prison term, Simms has been ordered to pay more than $800 to 13 businesses and others who donated.

Charges Pending Against Man in Eastern Iowa Car Chase

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — The Linn County Sheriff's Office says charges are pending against a man who tried to elude deputies during a high-speed chase.

The Tuesday afternoon chase ended after the man drove his vehicle into a Cedar Rapids intersection, resulting in his car being hit, along with a pickup truck and a Cedar Rapids school district bus.

School officials say no students on board the bus were hurt. The other vehicle's driver and a child inside were taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries not considered life-threatening.

Law enforcement officials caught the 46-year-old man after he tried to flee the scene. He was taken to a hospital for injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

The sheriff's office says the pursuit began after the man after failed to stop for deputies on Highway 13.

Official: Ethanol Levels Low in River Following Derailment

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's Department of Natural Resources says results from several monitoring stations along the Mississippi River show much of the ethanol that leaked into the water after several train cars derailed has dissolved.

DNR spokesman Kevin Baskins says the highest levels of ethanol have been detected nearest the site where 14 cars containing the fuel went off the tracks Wednesday in a remote area north of Dubuque.
Baskins says ethanol dissipated fairly quickly in the first mile downstream, with fuel levels undetectable 10 miles away.

Officials say they're still unsure how much ethanol spilled into the Mississippi, but Baskins says the approximately 55,000 gallons that remain unaccounted for were involved in a three-car fire, pooled over an acre of ice, soaked into soil in the area and leaked into the river.

Man Detained Following Incident at Bernard Elementary

BERNARD, Iowa (AP) — Police say an intoxicated man was been arrested after he caused a commotion at a Dubuque County school, leading to a lockdown.

39-year-old Scott M. Menadue was detained Friday after officials at Bernard Elementary School called authorities about an angry man inside the school who they believed was intoxicated.

Principal Tesha Ruley says the school was placed on lockdown for about 20 minutes following the call until Dubuque County Sheriff's Department officers arrived and escorted Menadue from the premises. She says he wasn't armed and didn't make any threats.

According to a news release, Menadue faces charges of disorderly conduct, child endangerment and operating a vehicle while under the influence.

Fire Damages Edgewood Auto and Tire, Edgewood Saw and Supply Building

Fire crews were called to battle at blaze at the Edgwood Auto and Tire and Edgewood Saw and Supply building early this morning. That blaze started in the area of the building where the tires were stored. Other details were not yet available.

Fire Still Burning Where Tanker Cars Derailed in East Iowa

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A railroad spokesman says one fire is still burning where several tanker cars filled with ethanol derailed in eastern Iowa.

The cars went off the tracks at 11:20 a.m. Wednesday in a remote area about 10 miles north of Dubuque. Local authorities say three cars caught fire and three more plunged into the Mississippi River. Officials said ethanol was leaking from some of the cars.

Canadian Pacific spokesman Jeremy Berry said in an email Thursday that of the 15 cars and two engines that derailed, 14 were carrying ethanol. No injuries have been reported.

Berry didn't immediately respond to questions about track repairs, recovery efforts and any environmental fallout. An Iowa Natural Resources Department spokesman didn't immediately return a message.

Evansdale Police Flooded with Calls after Public Help Sought

EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) — Evansdale police say they have been flooded with phone calls since investigators asked the public this week for help in the case of two girls' deaths.

Police Chief Kent Smock said that as of Wednesday, more than 100 people called in, requiring the department to reign in city staff, retired officers and others to help answer the phones.

Investigators asked on Tuesday for tips from anyone who's been to a remote wildlife area where the bodies of 10-year-old Lyric Cook and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins were found.

Police think the killer is likely very familiar with that area.

Collins' mother says the large volume of calls has given her hope in finding the person responsible in the girls' deaths.

Dubuque County Authorities Investigating after Lights are Shot Out at Intersections

The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office is looking for the person or persons responsible for shooting out intersection lights along Highway 151 and Highway 52 South. According to a press release, lights at the intersections of 151 and Sundown, Monastery and 12 mile road, along with the intesections of Highway 52 and Massey Station, Schueller Heights and St. Catherine roads were shot out in the past 30 days. Anyone with info about these incidents should contact the Dubuque County Sheriff's Office.

Dubuque Man Sentenced for Taxi Drivers Death

LANCASTER, Wis. (AP) — A Dubuque man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for robbing, kidnapping and killing a Platteville taxi driver.

26-year-old Tommy L. Johnson Jr. was sentenced Thursday in Lancaster, Wisconsin, on charges of kidnapping, armed robbery and first-degree reckless homicide. Johnson pleaded no contest in connection to the June murder of 79-year-old Merle Forbes.

Police say Johnson attacked Forbes, put the man in the trunk of his own cab while he was still alive and drove off.

Johnson's attorney says his actions were a result of undertreated mental illness, and that he meant to kill himself, not anyone else.

But prosecutors say Johnson's 30 prior convictions demonstrate a pattern of dangerous behavior.

WesternDubuque Community School District Announces Finalists for Superintendent Interviews

Farley, Iowa – The Western Dubuque Board of Education ispleased to announce that they have selected 4 candidates to interview for theirsuperintendent vacancy. The candidates selected for interviews are:
  • Dave Hoeger,Farley, Iowa – Principal at Western Dubuque High School
  • Steve Bass,Osage, Iowa – Superintendent at Osage Community School District
  • Dr. Dirk Halupnik, Marion, Iowa – Deputy Superintendent at Linn-Mar Community SchoolDistrict
  • Rick Colpitts, Dubuque, Iowa – Executive Director of Human Resources at DubuqueCommunity School District
Interviews are scheduled to be conducted theweek of February 9, 2015. Numerousstakeholder groups will have the opportunity to meet the final candidates andsubmit input to the board about each of them.
WesternDubuqueretained the services of McPherson & Jacobson L.L.C. to assist inconducting their search. Gary McAndrew was the consultant from McPherson &Jacobson L.L.C that conducted the search. McAndrew reviewed, screened, and conducted extensive background checkson 30 applicants. On January 26, 2015, McAndrew presented theapplicants to the Board of Education and provided them detailed backgroundinformation on each applicant. The board selected candidates as finalists.
After the superintendenthas been hired, McAndrew willfacilitate a Board/Superintendent workshop to assist in the establishment ofperformance objectives for the new superintendent.


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