Two Men Charged for Burglaries in Delaware County
Delaware County authorities have charged two men in connection with
burglaries that occurred in 2013. Burglaries were reported at the
Hopkinton, Ryan and Delhi City Hall's, along with the Delhi Library,
Delhi Insurance Agency and the “R” Place in Masonville. 26-year-old
Clayton Santee and 27-year-old Joshua McHale, both of Cedar Rapids,
face multiple counts of burglary, theft, trespass and criminal
mischief. Both men are in custody.
Woman Dies in Jackson County Fire
ANDREW, Iowa (AP) — A woman has died in a fire in Jackson County.
Firefighters were called to 13 North Franklin Street in Andrew just
before midnight Friday and found the home engulfed in flames.
Firefighters found the body of 34-year-old Theresa Blake-Johnson in the
rear bedroom of the home. The state fire marshal was called in to
investigate the cause of the fire.
Fire Destroys Millville House
Fire destroyed a home in Millville Saturday afternoon. The Guttenberg
Fire Department was called to the Joan Wacker residence at 2530 South
Main Street around 12:30 p.m. Officials say flames were coming through
the roof when crews arrived at the scene. Fire fighters worked to
contain the fire and protect surrounding structures. The cause of the
fire was undetermined due to the extent of the damage but officials say
it appeared to be accidental. Wacker escaped the home without
injury. The Guttenberg Fire Department was assisted by crews from
the Colesburg, Holy Cross and New Vienna/Luxemburg Fire Departments.
FBI Seeks Help in Solving Bank Heists in Oxford Junction and Baldwin
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The FBI is seeking the public's help in
identifying the person who may be responsible for three unsolved bank
robberies in eastern Iowa.
The FBI said Tuesday that it believes that the same person, or two people working together, is responsible for each.
The first two occurred at Citizens State Bank in Oxford Junction last
year. The latest occurred Jan. 31 at Ohnward Bank and Trust in Baldwin.
Investigators said the suspect has likely lived in the area because
rural gravel roads have been used as escape routes. The getaway
vehicles were described as farm trucks.
In each case, a man wearing a fake beard entered the bank and ordered
employees to the floor before making off with money. In the first and
last robberies, the man had a pistol.
Dyersville Man Dies in Train vs. Vehicle Crash
A Dyersville man was killed Monday morning when his vehicle was struck
by a train in Earlville. According to the state patrol, 36-year-old
Jose Moncada-Nava was going south on Northwest Street in Earlville when
his car was hit by an eastbound train. That crash happened at 4:45 a.m.
State Basketball Tournament Broadcast Schedule
Wed, March 5 -- Western Dubuque vs. Heelan Girls 11:45 AM
Thur, March 6 -- Cascade vs. Hudson Girls State Tournament 11:45 AM
Fri, March 7 -- Girls Tournament TBD
Sat, March 8 -- Girls Tournament TBD
Mon, March 10 -- Cascade vs. South Hamilton Boys 8:15 PM
Public hearing on Dyersville City Budget set for Monday
The Dyersville City Council will hold a public hearing on the fiscal
year 2015 budget at Monday's meeting. The new budget includes estimated
revenues of $6,164,000, with expenditures at just under $5.5 million.
The estimated tax rate is $9.85 per $1,000 valuation, with the tax on
ag land at $3. The Dyersville council meets at 7 p.m. Monday (March 3),
and the budget hearing will be the first item on the agenda.
Judge Delays Sentencing of Sweet until March
MANCHESTER, Iowa (AP) — A judge has recessed a sentencing hearing until
March in the case of a Manchester teenager convicted last year of
killing his grandparents.
The judge heard testimony Wednesday from Isaiah Sweet, his relatives, attorneys and a psychologist called by the defense.
Sweet pleaded guilty in October to two counts of first-degree murder in
the May 12, 2012, killings of his grandparents, Richard and Janet
Sweet. In exchange, all other charges were dropped and the sentences
for the murder convictions were to be served concurrently.
Defense attorneys are seeking a 25-year sentence with a chance of parole. Prosecutors want a life sentence without parole.
Sweet asked the judge to consider his age when making the sentencing decision.
The hearing was recessed until March 11.
Dubuque Man Killed in Jones County Crash
Dubuque mans was killed in a crash Tuesday afternoon in Jones County.
According to the state patrol, 45-year-old Daniel Power was southbound
on Highway 136 near 190th Street when his vehicle went onto the
shoulder. He over-corrected and lost control, causing the vehicle to
enter the ditch where it rolled multiple times, ejecting Power. That
crash happened at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Iowa National Guard Units Brace for Possible Cuts
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A proposal by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to
shrink the Army National Guard by 20,000 soldiers and the Army reserve
by 10,000 over the next few years has Iowa soldiers worried for their
jobs. The Iowa Army National Guard has 7,200 soldiers statewide. Guard
Spokesman Col. Gregory Hapgood Jr. says the worst-case scenario would
mean a loss of 500 to 600 soldiers. Or there could be no cuts. He says
the state's commanders are preparing for possible scenarios.
Gov. Terry Branstad, who commands the soldiers in peacetime, says
Democratic and Republican governors are telling federal government not
to cut the National Guard.
When not fighting war guard troops respond to natural disasters, such as floods and tornadoes.
Dyersville to Credit Water Customers
The City of Dyersville will reimburse water uses who kept faucets
running to avoid frozen water lines. Beginning with the March water
bill, average usage from 2013 will be used to determined what each
customer should pay,. The difference between that and the actual usage
will be credited back.
A home near Wyoming was destroyed by fire this morning. Firefighters
were called to 7723 20th Avenue around 6 a.m. While responding to
the scene, one fire truck lost control on the ice road and overturned
in a ditch. A second truck stopped to assist and the back of that truck
slid into the ditch. Other truck were able to make it to the residence,
but the home is a total losss. No one was injured.
Crop Values Decline on Lower Corn, Soybean Prices
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The value of crops fell last year as corn and
soybeans prices declined from record highs the year before.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in an annual report the value
of 2013 field crops fell 9.8 percent to nearly $167 billion from $185
billion in 2012.
The 2012 drought reduced the corn and soybean harvest and drove prices to record highs which resulted in increased crop value.
Friday's report says the average price of corn for 2012 was $6.89 per
bushel and the value of the crop that year was $74.3 billion. Last
year's average price was $4.50 and the overall value fell to $62.7
Top crop producers last year were Illinois with crops valued at $16
billion, Iowa at $15.9 billion, and Nebraska at nearly $12 billion.
The Dubuque County Sheriff's office is investigating an armed robbery
in Cascade. Officials said the suspect robbed a woman at her home at
about 5:30 Friday morning. The sheriff's office says it happened when
the victim walked into the detached garage of her home in the 300 block
of Polk Street.
The victim was not harmed. She said the suspect was wearing a ski mask and was armed with a handgun.
Preston Authorities Investigate Attempted Child Abductions
Preston police are investigating two potential child abduction cases.
Around 6:15 p.m. Friday, officers responded to the area of DeGroat and
Main Street after a girl reported that a white male approached her and
grabbed her by the shoulder. The girls bit the suspect who fled on
foot. A second incident was reported around 9 p.m. Two 13-year-old boys
said they had been approached by a male in the area of DeGroat and
Mitchell Street. The man exited his van and approached the boys, who
fled. They say the man yelled something at them before leaving in the
van. Anyone with info about this incident should call the Preston
Women's Night Out set for April 2 in Dyersville
The Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce will host the annual Women's
Night event on April 2 at Total Fitness. Tickets will go on sale
Wednesday, February 19. RSVP tickets will be sold at the chamber for
$15. General tickets will again be available at area financial
institutions for $12. They are also accepting nominations for Woman of
the Year. Those forms are available at the financial institutions that
are selling tickets or online at
Officials Give Causes of Death in Iowa House Fire
ARLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have determined the causes of death for five people found after a house fire near Arlington.
Ron Humphrey with the State Fire Marshal's office says the three adults
and two children died of burns and smoke inhalation. They all had
carbon monoxide in their systems, which indicate they were alive when
the fire broke out.
Humphrey says officials may never know what caused the Jan. 24 fire.
The house was completely destroyed and little evidence remained.
Shed Fire near Cascade Creates Smoke Plume Visible for Miles
CASCADE, Iowa (AP) — A machine shed fire near Cascade caused at least
one explosion and sent a plume of smoke into the sky that was visible
for miles. The Tuesday morning fire drew crews from Cascade, Bernard
and Monticello. Firefighters had to endure temperatures below zero as
they tried to contain the fire to a building housing several tractors
and other machinery. The fire destroyed the machine shed but no one was
injured. Cattle kept near the shed also were unharmed. Cascade
Assistant Fire Chief Ben Frasher says the homeowner was out of state.
Notice from City of Dyersville Regarding Frozen Water Lines
Due to the abnormally cold temperatures this season frost line has gone
below average depth in the ground. Because of this, the City of
Dyersville has been receiving several calls about water service lines
freezing. In order to prevent the service lines from freezing we ask
everyone to open one faucet to allow a small stream of water to run. A
stream, no greater than the size of a pencil lead, will be sufficient.
Please continue running water until further notice. If you have
questions, please contact Dyersville City Hall.
Fire Destroys Home Near Coggon
Fire destroyed a farm house near Coggon on Saturday. Crews were called
to 998 Monticello Road, about two miles east of Coggon, at around 9
a.m. Officials say the fire started in the basement but were still
investigating the cause. They said it did not appear suspicious. Two
people were home at the time of the fire but were able to escpae
unharmed. The home was a total loss.
Dubuque Woman Gets 7-year term in Craigslist Murder Scheme
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa woman has been sentenced to more than
7 years in prison for using a Craigslist help wanted ad to solicit
someone to kill her father.
U.S. District Judge Linda Reade gave the 87-month prison term Wednesday to 23-year-old Megan Schmidt of Dubuque.
Schmidt pleaded guilty in November to using interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire.
In a plea agreement, Schmidt admitted that she posted Craigslist ads
seeking someone to do a "one-time job" for $10,000. She later told one
man who responded that she wanted her father dead and it would be best
to "either shoot or stab him because he is a bigger man."
That man contacted authorities. The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office
then conducted an undercover operation that led to Schmidt's arrest.
Money for Little League Field Improvements Could be Cut from Dyersville Budget Plan
The Dyersville City Council held a budget work-session Monday night.
During that meeting,the council discussed cutting $250,000 in funding
from Capital Improvements that would pay for little league field
upgrades at Commercial Club Park. Last year the city reached an
agreement with Commercial Club Park officials that would allow for
upgrades to the current little league field and the addition of a
second field. The Dyersville City Budget will be officially set next
Dubuque County Considers Dropping Recorder Job
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Dubuque County officials are considering whether
to eliminate the county recorder position in an effort to save money.
The county recorder's office maintains marriage and birth certificates,
property records and other documents. That move would require a
petition with at least 12,055 signatures to get the issue placed on the
ballot for a vote.Kathy Flynn Thurlow, the outgoing county recorder,
says she doesn't support the idea. She adds that other counties have
rejected similar proposals because they determined it would not save
Lake Delhi Trustees Meet Tonight
Lake Delhi Trustees will meet tonight to discuss bids for phase 1 of
the restoration project. Officials last week received a federal permit
to allow for that work. Tonight they will review and possibly approve
bid specifications for that portion of the project. That meeting will
be held at 6:30 at Maquoketa Valley Middle School.
Fayette County Fire Victims Identified
Fayette County authorities have released the names of the five people
who died in a house fire in Arlington on Friday. The victims include
27-year-old Amanda Lynn Smith-Miller, 4-year-old Delacisey Seales and
1-year-old Isabella Miller, all of Oelwein; 84-year-old Gil Stachar of
Arlington and 30-year-old James McCain, both of Arlington. All five
died in last weeks fire at 5094 F Ave., about four miles southwest of
Arlington. Officials say the cause of the fire may never be determined.
5-year-old Found after Running from Anamosa School
ANAMOSA, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a 5-year-old eastern Iowa boy was found after he ran away from school at the end of recess.
The Anamosa Police Department says Strawberry Hill Elementary School
officials called a little after 3 p.m. Wednesday to report that a
kindergartner had run into a stand of timber just north of the school
along U.S. Highway 151. School officials say the boy ran from teachers
as children were lining up to return to class.
Anamosa officers, Jones County deputies and school staffers searched
the area, and a deputy found the child under a small creek bridge.
Police say he was dressed in snow clothing and was not injured. His name wasn't released.
Linn County Farm Bureau donates $40,000 dollars to the Lynn Dunn Memorial Building Project The Linn County Fair Grounds.
Linn County Farm Bureau has donated $40,000 to the Lynn Dunn Memorial
Building Project at The Linn County Fair Grounds. That donation will be
split up over the next five years. Linn County Farm Bureau President
Jason Russell said the building, which will have heat and air
conditioning, will be a great asset for the community.
The building is projected to be completed Spring of 2014.
Dunkel Announces Run for Re-election to Iowa House
State Representative Nancy Dunkel of Dyersville announced today that
she will seek re-election to the Iowa House of Representatives in House
District 57, which includes the western portion of Dubuque County.
“Last session, we worked together to grow the middle class by expanding
job training at NICC, lowering property taxes for our local businesses,
and improving education,” said Dunkel. “I’m proud to serve the people
of Dubuque County in the Iowa House and I will keep listening to them
to do what’s best for our community.” Rep. Dunkel is currently serving
her first term in the Iowa House. She serves on the Agriculture,
Appropriations, and Economic Growth Committees as well as the
Transportation, Infrastructure and Capitols Budget Subcommittee. “There
is more we can do to grow our rural economy and create good jobs,” said
Dunkel. “I know we’ll have a successful 2014 session if we put
politics aside and work together to move our state ahead.”
Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting
The Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting was held
Wednesday night in Farley. Victory Ford was named Business of the Year
for 2013. Other nominees were Jeff's Auto, Physical Therapy Solutions,
Plaza Antique Mall and Spireon. Jason Putz will serve as Chamber
President for 2014. Karen Kramer is the President-Elect.
Lake Delhi Officials Receive Federal Permit
Lake Delhi officials on Wednesday received a long-awaited federal
permit to begin reconstruction work. Officials say Work will begin in
early spring, with plans to refill the lake in early 2015. Lake Delhi
trustees will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Maquoketa Valley in Delhi to
review and possibly approve bid specifications for phase 1. They is
still working with the DNR to secure a required permit for phase 2,
which includes construction of an earthen dam and spillway.
A car and garage were damaged in a fire Sunday afternoon in Dyersville.
Firefighters were called to the Adam Nurre residence on Third Street NW
around 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Officials say a heater being used to thaw car
parts started the fire which spread to the garage. Damage was estimated
at around $60,000. No one was injured.
Winter really has been colder than normal
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — There's a reason this winter feels as if it's dragging from one endless arctic chill to another.
State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says Monday his records show this winter has been unusually cold.
Temperatures in Iowa between Oct. 1 and Jan. 23 represent the ninth
coldest for that period in the past 121 years. The average statewide
temperature was 30.1 degrees over the 115 days, compared with the
So the perception that it's been really cold is true, but at least snowfall hasn't been above normal.
Hillaker says when temperatures are lower than normal, snowfall usually is heaver.
Of the 24 coldest starts to winter in state history, only three had
below normal snowfall in the 115-day period starting Oct. 1, and this
year is one of them.
Dyersville Parks and Rec Director Resigning
Dyersville Parks and Recreation Director Pete Bonifas is resigning. His
last day will be Friday, February 7. In his letter of resignation,
Bonifas said he appreciates the opportunities he has been provided by
the city and wishes the city staff and elected officials continued
success moving forward. Bonifas has been Dyersville's Parks and Rec
Director since 2007.
Authorities Seek Cause of Fire at Iowa Home where 5 were Found Dead
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are piecing together what happened
at a northeast Iowa house where five bodies have been recovered after a
The fire in Arlington early Friday left just a charred pile of smoking
metal and siding. Ron Humphrey with the fire marshal's office says
there's not much evidence left to determine the cause.
The victims are believed to be three adults and two children. Humphrey
says autopsies will determine if any foul play was involved.
He says the house was owned by a man who rented out part of it to others.
City of Cascade Must Update Wastewater Treatment Plant
The City of Cascade has been notified by the Iowa Department of Natural
Resources (DNR) that it has to upgrade or replace its wastewater
treatment plant to meet the stricter rules for the plant’s discharge
into the North Fork Maquoketa River by April 30, 2016. The plant,
which was constructed in 1967 and 1977 when Cascade’s population was
25% less than today, is operating near its capacity. The City has
thoroughly examined options for retro-fitting the existing plant, but
it isn’t practical to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for a
short-term fix to re-utilize that plant. The new plant will not
only be more effective and efficient, it will also meet the future,
more stringent pollution control requirements that the current facility
could not. This is taking place because of U.S. EPA and
Iowa DNR requirements to improve all Iowa and midwestern wastewater
From Monday’s agenda, the Council decided unanimously to proceed with a
complete plant upgrade to meet the April 2016 deadline, and to
determine the necessary funding to meet the estimated cost of
construction of $5 Million dollars. MSA, Inc. is the project
IHSAA Board of Control Tweaks Football Issues
In its monthly meeting, Wednesday, January 22, the Board of Control
acted on football recommendations coming from the Iowa Football Coaches
Association and the IHSAA Football Playoff Committee. The
recommendations had been tabled by the Board of Control from their
At the center of discussions and action was a proposed 8-game regular
season which would allow the playoffs to fold into a weekly
format. Since December, Board members had contacted constituent
groups and in a unanimous vote agreed to stay with the 9-game regular
Other football items that were approved included: (1) discontinuing
"sister districts" for the regular season and post season classes in
8-player through 3A and to have a 125-mile limitation for first round
games; and (2) no preset pairings will be made for the playoffs and
pairings will be determined after each round of the playoffs.
Reasonable attempts will be made to find non-district playoff opponents
for the first and second round games, but district match-ups could
reoccur if an opponent cannot be found within a reasonable distance
Dyersville Council Approves New Meeting Time, Receives Update on Highway 20 Interchange
Dyersville City Council meetings will have a new start time. During
Monday's meeting, a motion was made to approve an ordinance to change
the start time from 6 to 6:30, but that was defeated 3-2. A motion was
then made to approve a new start time of 7:00, and that ordinance was
approved by a vote of 3-2. In other business, the council received an
update on plans for a new Highway 20 Interchange. DOT officials say
final engineering and design is underway, and they are working on
appraisals for Right of Way acquisition, which should be completed by
mid-March. They say the acquisitions will need to be completed this
spring so they can begin the property transfers by fall. Bid leetings
and awards will take place late this year with construction to begin in
Agriculture Scholarships Available to Iowa Seniors
ANKENY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa high school seniors with plans to pursue
agricultural studies in college have a chance at some scholarship money.
The Iowa Soybean Association is offering 10 scholarships worth $1,500 each.
A student in each of the state's nine crop districts will be awarded a
scholarship. Officials will then select one student from that winning
group for an additional $1,500 prize.
Applications, which include an essay and recommendation letters, are due March 1. The winners will be announced April 15.
The association says scholarship recipients work in agriculture careers that range from sales to research.
Iowa DOT Offers Map Showing Location of Snowplows
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials want people to know where snowplows are working during winter weather.
The state Department of Transportation is offering an interactive
online map that shows where the vehicles are currently located. It's
under the agency's winter driving section.
When snowplow icons are clicked, a visitor can see where its location
was last reported and what direction it was headed. It also gives the
reported air temperature.
Data is fed automatically every two minutes from the snowplows.
The map is available via desktop or mobile device.
More People Flying Out of Dubuque Airport
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Preliminary data show more people are flying out
of the Dubuque Regional Airport. More than 32,200 passengers boarded
flights out of Dubuque last year. That's up about 3.65 percent from
2012. Airport Manager Robert Grierson says the numbers won't be
official until an audit by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Report: Less Corn Planting Planned for 2014
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Corn is the top crop for U.S. farmers but the
golden luster has faded with much lower corn prices prompting many to
consider switching to more soybeans this year. A recent survey of more
than 1,600 producers indicated they intend to reduce corn planting 3
percent from last year and boost soybeans about 8 percent. The
Department of Agriculture won't release its first official report on
farmer intentions until March 31st. Last year U.S. farmers harvested
nearly 14 billion bushels of corn, four times the soybeans produced.
Epworth Man Injured in Highway 136 Crash
One person was injured in a crash north of New Vienna on Thursday.
According to the State Patrol, 23-year-old Caitlyn Deutmeyr of New
Vienna was northbound on Highway 136 when she lost control on the icy
roadway and crossed the center line. Deutmeyer's collided with
56-year-old Timothy Nadermann of Epworth who was southbound. Nadermann
was taken to Finley Hospital in Dubuque for treatment. that crash
happened at 1:15 p.m. Thursday.
IAHSAA Considers Cutting Football Season to 8 Games
The Iowa High School Athletic Association’s board of control will vote
next week on a proposal that would cut one game off the prep football
regular season. According to an article in the Des Moine Register,
proponents of the plan want to provide postseason qualifiers more time
between rounds. High school football coaches voiced concerns in recent
years about a stretch that requires some playoff teams to compete four
times in 15 days. After recommendations from the Coaches Association
and a state football advisory committee, the IHSAA board of control
will vote next Wednesday on whether to cut the regular season from nine
games to eight and space out the postseason schedule. IHSAA assistant
executive director Todd Tharp said there are three possible outcomes:
Leaving the format as it is, cutting the regular season to eight games
or pushing the season ahead a week.
Two Waterloo Residents Charged in Manchester Drug Bust
Two Waterloo residents face charges following a drug bust in
Manchester. Police were called to check on a suspicious vehicle at EZ
Pickins early Tuesday morning. During a search of the vehicle, officers
round nearly one pound of crystal meth valued at $40,000. The vehicle's
occupants, 56-year-old George Mitchell Junior and 24-year-old Hannah
Moline, were charged with Possession of Meth with intent to deliver,
Drug Tax Stamp Violation and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Mitchell
faces additional charges as well. Both were taken to the Delaware
Manchester Man Charged With Stealing From Walmart
A Manchester man accused of stealing items at the Manchester Walmart
has been arrested. 23-year-old Dustin Stone was charged with second and
third-degree theft. Police say he stole electronic items by taking them
out of the packaging in the store and then walking out. In one
instance, he took two rifles by concealing them in his clothing. Police
found the items, valued at more than $2,000, at Stone's appartment. He
paid bond and was released from jail on Wednesday.
Dubuque Plant Lands Hormel Foods Expansion Project
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Hormel Foods has chosen its Dubuque plant for the first phase of a major expansion project.
Hormel will add a new line for bacon toppings at its Progressive
Processing plant, which opened in 2010. It's unclear how many jobs will
come with the first phase. But if Hormel puts a second new line into
the plant later, the $36 million, two-phase project would create a
total of about 90 more jobs at the plant.
Sites in Minnesota and Nebraska were among those considered for the expansion project.
Mark Seckman with the Greater Dubuque Development Corp. says the
announcement about the second phase is expected within two years.
Austin, Minn.-based Hormel declined to release more details about its plans.
Wegmann to Retire after 44 years with Western Dubuque School District
Western Dubuque School District Business Manager Dave Wegmann is
retiring after 44 years on the job. The school board accepted his
resignation on Monday. Wegmann says it has been a pleasure to work with
many great administrators and other employees and is glad to have been
part of the many great things that the district has accomplished.
Delaware County Dairy Royalty Candidates Sought
The Delaware County Dairy Council has announced that the Annual Dairy
Banquet will be held on Saturday March 1st 2014 at the Delaware County
Fairgrounds Pavilion, Manchester. At the banquet a new Dairy Princess,
Little Miss Squirt and Mr. Herdsman will be announced.
The Dairy Council is asking any girl age 16 (as of March 1st) up to 20
years old who would like to be a Dairy Princess for 2014 to call Edith
Comley at 563-932-2537. To qualify, the girls parents must be actively
engaged in dairy farming in Delaware County or the girl herself must be
employed full time on a dairy farm for a period of one year as of March
The Dairy Council is also looking for girls in kindergarden or first
grade to run for Little Miss Squirt. Girls must be residents of
Delaware County. Their parents must be actively engaged in dairy
farming or employed full time on a dairy farm. Any girls interested
should call Lindsey Tauke at 563-608-6188 or call Heather Tauke at
Also the Dairy Council is looking for boys in kindergarden or first
grade to run for Mr. Herdsman. Boys must be residents of Delaware
County. Their parents must be actively engaged in dairy farming or
employed full time on dairy farm. Any boys interested should call
Lindsey Tauke at 563-608-6188 or Heather Tauke at 563-929-6046
Deadline for any of these contest is February 12th 2014.
The Dairy Council has chosen Hypnotis, Dan Lornitis as the
entertainment for the Dairy Banquet that evening. Tickets will be
available from any council member or at the area banks.
Iowa Legislature will Convene for 100-Day Session
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lawmakers are back in Des Moines as the
legislative assembly convenes for a session with low expectations.
The House and Senate will rap gavels and start work Monday morning for a planned 100-day session.
Gov. Terry Branstad has offered several proposals that legislative
leaders will likely support. They include efforts to expand Internet
access, reduce school bullying and give greater aid to veterans.
Legislative sessions held in election years are typically shorter and
less ambitious as legislators want to finish their work and get back
home to campaign for re-election.
This year, Branstad also is up for re-election.
Delhi Man Charged with Homicide by Vehicle
EARLVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a Delhi man has been arrested in
connection with a December crash that killed a Dyersville woman.
The Department of Public Safety says in a news release Friday that Dean
Dempster III was charged Friday with homicide by vehicle.
Dempster was the driver of a pickup truck that veered off the road two miles east of Earlville and rolled on Dec. 21.
Dempster and four other people were injured. Another passenger, 23-year-old Brittany Honkomp, died in the crash.
Dempster was being held in the Delaware County Jail on Friday with bond set at $500,000.
Dubuque Museum Looks Toward Recovery from Fire
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Officials at a Dubuque museum say it could cost
more than $1 million and months of work to recover from a December fire.
Fire damage was minimal during the Dec. 14 fire at the National
Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, but there was extensive smoke
and water damage to one of two primary buildings.
John Oglesby, the museum's facilities manager, says a sprinkler system
drenched an exhibit area and gift shop. It eventually entered a
Museum officials have asked for some financial support since insurance
won't cover it all. Visitors can expect to see some evidence of the
recovery effort in the months ahead.
Mercy and Finley Initiate Visitation Restrictions
In response to an increase in the number of viral illnesses throughout
the area, Mercy Medical Center and Unity Point Health-Finley Hospital
have initiated visitation restrictions. Children under age 14 will not
be permitted to visit inpatients at Mercy in Dubuque and Dyersville or
Finley. The visitation restriction will remain in effect at both
facilities until further notice.
Dyersville Chamber Hosting Legislative Luncheon
The Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce will host a Legislative
Luncheon this Friday, January 10. That event will be held at Country
Junction beginning at noon. The cost of lunch is $10. Those planning to
attend need to RSVP to the chamber by Wednesday.
Dyersville Council Meeting
The Dyersville City Council met on Monday. Mayor Alvin Haas opened the
meeting by reading a statement regarding a recent health scare. Haas
says he was admitted to Mercy in Dubuque on New Year's Eve due to
plaque build-up in an artery. Haas is taking medication and says his
doctor told him he will be good as new. Haas appointed Ray Sauser as
Mayor Pro-Tem and re-appointed Al Wessels a Fire Chief. Brent Schroeder
was re-appointed as Police Chief and Tricia Maiers was re-appointed at
City Clerk. In other business, the council voted to table the first
reading of an ordinance that would change the time of the regular
council meetings and passed a resolution approving an agreement with
IIW for Radium removal in well 4.
Coldest Air in a Decade Headed for Iowa
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say even colder weather has been detected on its way to much of Iowa and the Midwest.
In an urgent winter weather message, the National Weather Service
warned Friday morning that more life-threatening cold will hit the
region Saturday night or Sunday morning. The service says temperatures
could plummet to minus 30 and wind child readings could reach minus 60
and remain dangerously low through Tuesday morning.
The service says "this will be the coldest air seen across the area since February 1996."
Most of Iowa is in a deep freeze Friday morning. The weather service
reported overnight lows of minus 20 in Waterloo, for example. In Des
Moines the low temperature of minus 6 overnight has risen 3 above zero.
Independence Woman Killed in Delaware County Crash
An Independence woman was killed in a crash Tuesday morning in Delaware
County. Authorities say 24-year-old Ashlei Connolly was westbound on
255th Street when she pulled into the path of a northbound vehicle
driven by Emily Grant of Delhi. Connolly died in the crash, while Grant
was taken to a hospital for treatment. That crash happened around 10:45
a.m. Tuesday between Manchester and Ryan.
After Seeing Altercation, Police Chief Arrests Man
WEST UNION, Iowa (AP) — A police chief says he arrested a felon
wielding a firearm after witnessing an altercation outside his own
home. West Union Police Chief Brent Parker says he saw 49-year-old Doug
Bunn holding a shotgun during the altercation with another man
Wednesday. Parker ran out of his residence after witnessing the
altercation through a window and took Bunn into custody. West Union
authorities seized multiple firearms from Bunn's home. He was arrested
for possession of a firearm as a felon, going armed in a city and two
counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. He's being held at the
Fayette County Jail.
Snowmobile VS. Car Accident
A 10-year-old boy was treated for non-life threatening injuries after
the snowmobile he was riding was struck by a vehicle Friday.
According to Iowa State Trooper Jeff Driscoll, the accident happened at
11:20 a.m. on Highway 136 about two miles south of Dyersville. The boy
and his father were riding separate snowmobiles, and the boy was struck
by a Northbound vehicle when he tried to cross Highway 136.
The Delaware County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help to locate a missing man.
Brian "Farmer" Burns, 55, was last seen on Thursday, December 19, at
his home in Delaware County. Mr. Burns is 6 feet tall and weighs 240
pounds. He has short gray hair and is bald on top of his head. He also
has a beard.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Delaware County Sheriff's Office 563-927-3135.
Dubuque Sees Burglaries after Death of Residents
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Dubuque police say they're investigating two
burglaries in which thieves may have targeted homes where residents had
Lt. Scott Baxter says both burglaries occurred following a resident's
death and soon after an obituary was published in the local newspaper.
One burglary occurred last week while the family of Robert Schoenberger
was attending his funeral. When relatives returned, they found the
house in shambles and all their Christmas gifts opened. The thieves
Schoenberger's daughter-in-law Shawna Lipper says the burglary left the already distraught family in shock.
Baxter recommends that people not list their home address in obituaries
and ensure they have quality locks. They also could ask someone to stay
in their home during a funeral.
Dyersville Council Election Result Upheld
Mark Wagner's victory in the Dyersville City Council election has been
upheld. Dan Willenborg had challenged the results of election, but the
constest board ruled 2-1 that the result will stand.
Fire Destroys Dyersville Home
A house under construction in Dyersville was destroyed by fire Saturday
night. Firefighters were called to the home on Stone Briar Lane shortly
after 10 p.m. Saturday. The structure, owned by Duane Thole, was fully
engulfed when crews arrived. Damage is estimated at $200,000. Officials
are investigating the cause of that fire.
Jackson County Authorities Investigating Domestic Attack
Jackson County authorities are investigating a shooting and stabbing
that occurred there Saturday night. According to a press release, the
Jackson County Sheriff's Office took a report of a shooting at a
residence on High Bridge Road. The woman who called authorities said
she had been stabbed and shot in the leg with a gun and the person who
shot her was still in the residence. Deputies said the shooting victim
and the alleged shooter are married. The husband was found in an
upstairs bedroom with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the facial
area. Both parties were taken to a hospital for treatment. The husband
was later transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Jackson County authorities are withholding the couple's names. The
investigation is ongoing.
One Person Killed in Crash Near Earlville
One person was killed in a crash near Earlville Saturday morning.
According to the state patrol, 23-year-old Dean Dempster of Delhi was
westbound on D22 when he lost control of his pickup which crossed the
road, entered and ditch and rolled onto its side. One of the
passengers, 23-year-old Brittany Honkomp of Dyersville, died in the
crash. Dempster and his other passengers, 22-year-old Ryan Fischer of
Manchester, 23-year-old Holly Hoeger of Earlville, 24-year-old Amber
Fischer of Manchester and 22-year-old Dylan Flattery of Manchester,
were taken to Regional Medical Center for treatment. That crash
happened at 2:09 a.m. Saturday, two miles east of Earlville.
Two parties at odds over future development near the Field Of Dreams
Movie site have ceased legal action against each other. The
Residential and Agricultural Advisory Council (RAAC) and Go the
Distance Baseball LLC, the two parties involved in a dispute
surrounding the All- Star Ballpark Heaven development for youth near
the Field of Dreams Movie Site, have mutually dismissed their legal
claims against one another. Neither party has offered additional
comment on these legal claims.
No Decision in Dyersville Election Dispute
A hearing was held Wednesday concerning a disputed city council
election in Dyersville. Dan Willenborg is challenging his loss to Mark
Wagner for an at-large council seat. Willenborg contends that Wagner is
not a full-time resident of Dyersville. The election contest board
heard testimony from both sides, but did not issue a ruling on
Wednesday. Presiding Judge Jeff Walters said they will file their
opinions as soon as possible, noting that Wagner is scheduled to be
sworn in to office in January.
Branstad Suspends Propane Delivery Rules
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has suspended rules limiting the work hour of truck drivers who haul propane.
Branstad announce his action Wednesday evening. It's effective Thursday and will continue through Jan. 2.
Branstad signed a proclamation saying the suspension of work rules is
necessary because of a shortage of propane. That's due in part due to a
late harvest that caused demand in the fall for the fuel, which is used
by farmers to dry crops. Demand for propane is strong throughout the
state, leading to some shortages.
Drivers must still abide by standard rules and can't drive if they're ill or overly sleepy.
Hearing on Contested Dyersville Council Race Set For Today
A hearing on the contested Dyersville City Council race is scheduled
for today (Dec. 18). Dan Willenborg is challenging his loss to Mark
Wagner for an at-large seat based on Wagner's residency within
city-limits. Today's hearing is scheduled to begin at 9:30 at the
Dubuque County Courthouse.
Cattle Industry Expert: Profitability Returning
AMES, Iowa (AP) — A livestock specialist at Iowa State University says
falling corn prices are generating some optimism that cattle farmers
can again make money.
Historically high corn prices during the last several years drove up
the cost of feed and many producers cut herd numbers as drought
Lee Schulz, a livestock specialist and assistant professor of
economics, says producers have been in survival mode but are beginning
to talk about expansion. There's interest in building new facilities
and growing herds.
Feedlots made money on cattle sold in October, breaking a long streak of monthly losses.
He says it will take several years to build the herd with increased
calf crops and increasing cattle supplies because of the time it takes
for calves to mature.
State Rep. Tyler Olson Dropping out of 2014 Race for Governor
Olson made the announcement Tuesday, about two weeks after
acknowledging that he and his wife planned to divorce and that he would
scale back his campaign for the rest of the year. Olson says he needs
to focus on his children.
Clinton Woman Charged in Dubuque Payroll Scheme
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A Clinton woman has been sentenced to 90 days in
jail for organizing a payroll scheme and defrauding two Dubuque
42-year-old Geraldine Hayward, formerly of Maquoketa, was sentenced in
Dubuque District Court. Hayward previously pleaded guilty to a felony
charge of forgery and misdemeanor third-degree theft.
Hayward will received five years' probation and was ordered to pay restitution to Diamond Jo Casino and Hy-Vee.
Hayward was arrested in April after authorities found out about people
attempting to cash fraudulent payroll checks at Diamond Jo and Hy-Vee.
Hayward was arrested on charges of organizing the payroll fraud, as
well as forging the paychecks.
River Museum in Dubuque Seeks Donations after Fire
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium
is seeking donations after a small fire caused damage around its
No humans or animals were harmed, but the William Woodward Discovery
Center at the museum will remain closed. The nonprofit museum is
reducing its admission fees by 50 percent until the center reopens.
The fire was reported shortly before 2:30 a.m. Saturday. A fire
sprinkler system extinguished the fire, but the extent of the smoke and
water damage was still being evaluated. Investigators are still
determining what caused the fire.
Donations can be sent to the museum's fire recovery fund at 350 East Third Street in Dubuque.
ISU Survey Shows 5.1 pct Hike in Farmland Values
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The 2013 Iowa Land Value Survey says farmland
values rose 5.1 percent from last year, setting another record.
The new survey shows farmland values rose to more than $8.700 an acre.
It was the fourth year in a row that farmland values rose in the Iowa
State University survey of nearly 500 real estate experts. Last year's
figure was nearly $8,300 an acre.
Despite the new high, some of the experts say values may be eroding.
Land demand could slow because Iowa farmers are concerned about lower
commodity prices and a proposed rollback in the mandate for corn-based
ethanol. There's also uncertainty over interest rates and over the
prospects for a new farm bill.
Colesburg Man Gets 25 Years in Prison for Shooting Wife
COLESBURG, Iowa (AP) — A Colesburg man has been sentenced to 25 years
in prison for shooting his wife in the head and injuring her.
30-year-old Adam J. Every-Harbaugh was sentenced Tuesday.
He pleaded guilty last week to two counts of willful injury and one
count of going armed with intent. Charges of attempted murder and
drunken driving were dropped as part of a plea deal.
Police say Every-Harbaugh hit his wife, Jessica Harbaugh, with a gun
before shooting her in the head at their home in 2012. She survived the
Dubuque Child Neglect Case Pushed Back to 2014
The trial for a Dubuque man charged in the death of his girlfriend's
son will take place in 2014. Nicholas Reed was scheduled to stand trial
beginning next Monday, but it has been rescheduled for May to allow his
attorney's more time to prepare. Reed was initially charged with
first-degree murder and child neglect following the death of Bently
Randall, the son of Reed's ex-girlfriend. The murder charge was dropped
after prosecutors said they could not prove guilt beyond a reasonble
Monona Man Faces Prison Time for Child Endangerment
A Monona man convicted of injuring a child will be sentenced today.
21-year-old Troy Laufenberg was found guilty last week on a felony
charge of child endangerment causing serious injury. He pleaded guilty
to misdemeanor charges of child endangerment in exchange for a drug
charge being dropped. Police say Laufenberg injured his
then-girlfriend's daughter in July at their home in Monona. He faces a
maximum of 14 years in prison during today's sentencing.
Court Overturns Man's Sex Abuse Convictions in Delaware County
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Court of Appeals has thrown out the
convictions of an eastern Iowa man who had pleaded guilty to lascivious
acts with a child and sexual abuse.
Richard Dustin Scott Blanchard appealed his convictions in Delaware
County claiming his lawyer should not have allowed him to plead guilty
to lascivious acts with a child because the girl involved in his case
was 14. In Iowa criminal cases anyone 14 or older is not legally a
child. Court documents say he was 24 when he had sex with the girl last
The justices say since the girl didn't meet the legal definition of a
child there's no factual basis for the charge. Justices say in
Thursday's ruling prosecutors may refile charges they believe they have
evidence to prove.
Official: Calls Still Coming on Slain Iowa Cousins
EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) — Investigators are still getting calls regarding
two Iowa cousins whose bodies were found a year ago about 25 miles from
where they were last seen.
Gerald Meyers of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation told The
Des Moines Register that investigators have had more than 1,10 leads.
The bodies of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins were found Dec. 5, 2012,
at Seven Bridges Wildlife Area in Bremer County. Elizabeth was 8 and
Lyric was 10 when they vanished while bike riding in Evansdale.
Officials continue to search for any link to Michael Klunder, who
police say abducted two girls from Dayton in May and killed one before
Meyers says no evidence linking Klunder to the Evansdale case has been found, but investigators haven't ruled him out either.
State Investigates Manure Leak near Central City
CENTRAL CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa environmental regulators are investigating a manure leak from a dairy farm in eastern Iowa.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says an unknown amount of
manure leaked into a tributary of the Wapsipinicon River from Dairy
Venture, a farm located southeast of Central City in Linn County.
The manure traveled down the tributary on Tuesday afternoon but most
was stopped by a dam the dairy operator had built in the creek. Much of
the manure was pumped out and spread on a farm field.
The DNR says about 20 dead minnows were observed in the tributary and a
fisheries biologist has been assigned to investigate the fish kill.
Some manure is believed to have flowed into the Wapsipinicon.
The DNR will monitor the clean-up and consider appropriate enforcement action.
Delaware County Authorities Investigating after Shot Fired Near Dyersville
Delaware County authorites are investigating a call about a shot being
fired along 310th Avenue southwest of Dyersville Tuesday morning. The
sheriff's department says a witness reported that a vehicle pulled off
the road and a man got out, firing a shotgun once across the roadway
before leaving the area. Authorities say because of the fog, it's
unclear what the suspect was shooting at. That incident happened at
about 8 a.m. Tuesday. Anyone with info should contact the Delaware
County Sheriff's Office.
Dyersville Council Approves Commercial Club Lease Agreement
The Dyersville City Council has approved a lease agreement between the
city and Commercial Club Park. That lease is for the current little
leage field and space for the construction of a second field. Council
member Molly Evers moved to table the resolution to allow newly elected
officials a chance to dicuss the issue, but that motion died for a lack
of a second. Thate lease agreement will run now through November 30,
Dyersville, Alliant Reach Deal for Property
The City of Dyersville and Alliant Energy have reached a deal to end
the disputed closing of the company's Dyersville location. Under that
deal, Alliant will deed property to the city for $1, and the council
will drop litigation protesting the closure. Alliant announced earlier
this year that it would close it's Dyersville location and relocate
those employees to Dubuque. Company officials say it will save them
between $20,000 and $30,000 a year.
Dubuque County Adopts 'Smart911' Service
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Dubuque County says it is the first county in Iowa
to adopt a technology designed to give responders more info about
families facing emergency situations.The county announced today it will
make "Smart911" available to residents who choose to participate by
creating household profiles online at www.smart911.com.
The free profiles are designed to give dispatchers and first responders
info that could help them respond to emergencies such as a fire,
including how many residents and pets live there and where their
bedrooms are located. The info would be displayed to a dispatcher when
a person from the household calls 911.County officials say the $14,000
annual cost will be split between the sheriff's department and the
Dubuque police department.
Authorities Identify Suspect Who Hit Dyersvlle Police Car
Authorities have charged the person who crashed into a Dyersville
Police vehicle last week. The incident began Thursday morning when
officer Dan Recker attempted to stop 22-year-old Nathan West of Dundee.
West, who did not stop, collided with a car and backed his pickup into
the police car before fleeing. The state patrol has charged West with
failure to obey stop sign, failure to yield to emergency vehicle and
leaving the scene of an accident. That incident happened last Thursday
just beofre 10 a.m..
Deer Donation Program Starting Up
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A popular deer donation program is starting up again in Iowa.
The DNR says the program, Help Us Stop Hunger, involves hunters
bringing in a whole deer that will be processed into packages of ground
The Food Bank of Iowa coordinates the distribution of the meat to local food pantries.
Hunters have donated more than 56,000 deer to the program since it
began. More than 5,200 deer were donated last year, resulting in
Iowa Road Fatalities have Dropped in Past Year
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The number of fatalities has dropped to 280 in Iowa as the state heads into the holiday season.
Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Scott Bright says that the total was 42 under the 322 fatalities Iowa had suffered by this date in 2012.
Bright cited several reasons for the drop. They include increased
enforcement and driver education and improvements in vehicle safety
features and design.
Bright also said new safety features on Iowa's interstates are helping
keep people alive. Among them are cable barriers that keep vehicles
from crossing into oncoming traffic.
Craigslist Murder for Hire Suspect Pleads Guilty
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Dubuque woman who used Craigslist to solicit
a person to kill her father has pleaded guilty to a murder for hire
Megan Schmidt of Dubuque posted the ad in July seeking a person to do a
"one-time job" for $10,000. A Dubuque man identified as "M.T."
responded, saying he would do just about anything for that money.
Schmidt explained that she wanted her father killed. M.T. contacted police.
An undercover investigator set up a meeting with Schmidt, where she
showed a picture of her father, divulged his address and promised she'd
pay once he was dead.
The 23-year-old pleaded guilty to using a telephone in the commission of murder for hire.
Monticello to Redevelop Downtown Area
The Monticello City Council has approved plans to redevelop a portion
of the downtown that was impacted by a fire last fall. Under that plan,
Monticello Carpet and Interiors plans to rebuild its store, and the
city will purchase Tom Keleher's building on East First Street, with
donors paying for the cost of that acquisition. They will also purchase
a duplex on East Grant Street to construct a parking lot, and Steve
Intelkofer will give the city his lot at 112 East First Street. The
plans also include a downtown walkway.
Lake Delhi Board Meets Tonight
The Combined Lake Delhi Recreational Facility and Water Quality
District Trustees will meet tonight (Nov. 21). That agenda includes
consideration and possible payment to the Lake Delhi Recreation
Association for property transfer, a presentation on alternate public
access options, and possible action on the transfer of the Turtle Creek
property. That meeting will be held at the Maquoketa Valley Middle
School conference room beginning at 6:30.
Board to Begin Work on Dyersville Council Dispute
A panel that will decide a disputed result in the Dyersville City
Council election meets today. Current Ward 3 councilman Dan Willenborg
is challenging his loss to Mark Wagner for an at large seat, arguing
that Wagner is not a full-time resident in the city. Willenborg
selected Mayor Jim Heavens for the panel, while Wagner picked attorney
Dan McClean as his rep. They will meet this afternoon to appoint a
third person to that Election Contest Board. They will have three days
to agree on that person, and if there is no consensus, a judge will
make the appointment. The board will then meet to decide the fate of
the election result.
Western Dubuque Wins $100,000, Beckman $25,000 in Celebrate My Drive Campaign
Western Dubuque and Beckman will receive money through State Farm
Celebrate My Drive campaign. Western Dubuque finished in the top 5 of
the large schools category, which had more than 2,000 schools competing
for the prize money. They will use the $100,000 to upgrade the
auditorium which is under construction. Beckman, which was in the
small-schools categorie, wins $25,000. Both schools would like to thank
all those who participated in the campaign.
Western Dubuque Wins $100,000 from Celebrate My Drive Campaign
On Wednesday, November 20th Western Dubuque and State Farm announced
the results of the “Celebrate My Drive” contest that captivated our
entire school community. We are absolutely thrilled to announce
that we finished in the top 5 and won $100,000! We were not told
exactly where we placed we finished, only that we were somewhere in the
top 5 places.
I know some people were disappointed that we did not win the grand
prize and the Kelly Clarkson concert. I agree that would have
been pretty incredible but we cannot lose site on how tremendous of an
accomplishment this was for Western Dubuque High School. There
were over 2,000 schools in the large division which consists of schools
with an enrollment last year of 750 or more. Last year, WDHS had
an enrollment of 795 so that means virtually all of the schools in our
division had more students than us. When we started this contest,
it was very difficult for anyone to imagine us finishing in the top 5
so this really was and tremendous victory for all of us.
This was an incredible experience for everyone at Western
Dubuque. Parents, staff, and community members still tell us how
neat this experience was for everyone involved. We are all
fortunate to be reminded how great of a community we have at Western
We will be using the $100,000 to upgrade our beautiful new auditorium
which will be the nicest classroom in school for all of our
students. We still have many items we wish to purchase for the
new building so if you are interested is supporting our efforts,
especially for the fine arts, please visit our WDHS website for more
We want to express our deepest gratitude to everyone who supported our
students and school community. We would also like to thank State
Farm for supporting safe driving initiatives for students and for all
of their support during this contest. This was an incredible
experience for everyone. State Farm may sponsor this contest
again next year so keep those email addresses!
Dave Hoeger and Western Dubuque High School.
Elm Street Facility Escapee Arrested in Dyersville
A man who escaped from the Elm Street Facility in Dubuque was arrested
in Dyersville Monday. Police say 34-year-old Lafayette Dean was arreted
without incident at the Colonial Motel on a warrant for escape. Dean
was taken to the Dubuque Law Enforcement Center. The state patrol
assisted with that arrest.
Willenborg Challenges Dyersville Council Election
Current Dyersville councilman Dan Willenborg is challenging the result
of the recent election. Willenborg, who lost to Mark Wagner for an
at-large seat, is disputing that Wagner is a full-time resident of
Dyersville. Wagner, who registered to vote at his Dyersville address
earlier this fall, also has a residence in Delaware County. Dubuque
County election official Tom O'Neill says a citizen brought up the
issue prior to the election, but no official protest was filed.
Willenborg and Wagner can help pick a three-person panel to review the
election. That panel can toss out the results or say the election
stands as is.
Fire Damages Cascade Business
Fire has damaged a Cascade business. Fire crews were called to the
Dreams to Reality building around 7:15 this morning. Officials say the
business owners son was using a torch to make a design on some wood
when a spark started the insulation on fire, which spread through the
building. There was also smoke damage to the buildings that house Ohr
Appliance and Callahan Insurance. The Cascade Fire Department was
assisted by the Worthington, Bernard, Monticello and Dubuque Fire
Departments. A damage estimate were not yet available. No one was
New Lanes on Highway 52/61/151 Open
The southbound lanes on Highway 52/61/151 between Dubuque and Key West
are open for traffic. Those lanes were rebuilt, and a new bridge was
installed over Catfish Creek. Crews will now fix the potholes in the
northbound lanes, which will be rebuilt in 2014.
Democratic Governor Hopeful Wants to Raise Gas Tax
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democratic candidate for governor Jack Hatch
says he wants to hike Iowa's fuel tax to pay for road improvements in
In a policy plan released Thursday, the Des Moines lawmaker says he
would raise the tax — now 22 cents per gallon for gasoline, including
fees — by two cents a year for five years. That money would go to
fixing deteriorating bridges and roads. Hatch also wants to direct some
surplus budget dollars to infrastructure projects.
Iowa's fuel tax hasn't been raised since 1989. A commission appointed
by Gov. Terry Branstad in 2011 recommended an increase of 8 to 10 cents
a gallon to boost funding for the state's network of bridges and roads.
But changing the tax rate has been unpopular in the state legislature.
Feds Arrest Iowa Gun Atore Owner after Sting
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Federal investigators have arrested an eastern
Iowa gun store owner who is charged with illegally possessing a machine
Larry Lee Brauer, owner of Lone Wolf Outdoor Supplies in Calamus, made
a brief appearance Wednesday in federal court in Davenport following
his arrest. He is in federal custody until a detention hearing Friday.
A criminal complaint signed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms charges Brauer with knowingly possessing a fully automatic
machine gun that was not registered to him. The charge is the result of
a sting operation in which a longtime customer worked with ATF to
purchase the weapon from Brauer last month.
ATF arranged the sting after the customer complained that Brauer was breaking numerous rules governing firearms sales.
Dubuque Station to Offer Gas, Diesel Alternative
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A new public pumping station in Dubuque is
offering an alternative to gasoline and diesel. Rainbo Oil's compressed
natural gas station opened on Friday. Compressed natural gas can be
used in lieu of diesel and gasoline to fuel certain vehicles.Compressed
natural gas is a clean-burning gas that costs up to 40 percent less
than gasoline or diesel. It's composed of approximately 95 percent
methane, and compressed to pressures of 3,600 pounds per square inch.
One thousand cubic feet of natural gas has the same amount of energy as
roughly 7 gallons of diesel fuel.
Police Investigating Damage at Eagle Point Park
DUBUQUE, Iowa - Dubuque Police are investigating vandalism at Eagle
Point Park. Police say somebody broke into the park early last week and
damaged multiple items, including a bench which will cost about $10,000
to repair. Anyone with info about this incident should call Dubuque
Iowa Grant Gives Boost to Plan for Manchester Whitewater Park
MANCHESTER, Iowa (AP) — A plan to build a whitewater park on the
Maquoketa River in downtown Manchester is a major step closer to
The Vision Iowa Board on Wednesday approved a $300,000 grant for the nearly $1.8 million project, which will opens in 2015.
The whitewater course is expected to span 900 feet and be used by rafters, kayakers and others.
The project involves removing the top of the Marion Street dam,
building five other drop points, restoring and beautifying the
shoreline and developing locations for spectators.
A combination of other funding sources from the city, state and private donors have been secured for the project.
Iowa Corn Garvest 88 Percent Complete
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The corn harvest is 88 percent complete in
Iowa, about 8 percentage points ahead of normal and soybeans are 98
percent done, three days ahead of average. Iowa Secretary of
Agriculture Bill Northey says farmers finished with harvest have begun
fall field work including tilling, fertilizer applications, and
conservation practice construction.He says the 12 percent of the corn
crop still in the field represents an estimated $1 billion worth of
grain yet to be harvested in Iowa. Much if it is showing high moisture
levels and may require drying before it's marketed. Iowa is on track
for a 2.2 billion bushel corn crop, up 18 percent from last year.
Soybean production is estimated at 415 million bushels, slightly above
last year's 414 million bushels.
Two Injured in Crash Near Bellevue
Two people were injured in a crash near Bellevue late Tuesday night.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office says Brady Hutchcroft was on 320th
Street when his vehicle left the roadway and went into a field on the
north side of the road. Huthcroft, who was ejected, was found about 50
feet from the vehcile. He and his passenger, Brent Hutchcroft, were
taken to Mercy in Dubuque. Brady Hutchcroft was then airlifted to
University Hospitals in Iowa City. Their conditions were not available.
That crash happened at 10:51 p.m. Tuesday.
Authorities ID Man Found in Burning House in Jones County
Officials have identified the man whose body was found in a burning
home in Jones County. 53-year-old Mark Mayberry was found by
firefighters as they battled the blaze in Hale Township early Friday
morning. An autopy was conducted, but the officials did not say if he
died as a result of the fire or other causes.
USDA: 2013 Corn Harvest a Record 13.9B Bushels
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — This year's corn crop is the largest U.S. history, and exceeds projections.
In its first report since the shutdown, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture said it expects 13.99 billion bushels of corn. It had
forecast 13.8 billion bushels. The previous record was 13.1 billion in
Rain delayed planting in some area and drought conditions returned to parts of the Midwest.
But adequate rain and cooler temperatures at pollination time produced
exceptional results, especially in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana,
Prices dropped below $4.20 a bushel Friday, the lowest since 2010.
Dyersville Citizens Group May Proceed with Lawsuit
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Court of Appeals says a group of
Dyersville citizens may move forward with a lawsuit against the city as
the group tries to block a zoning change that would turn farmland into
a baseball complex around the "Field of Dreams" movie site.
A group of 21 citizens filed a lawsuit last year asking a judge to halt
city plans to rezone land from agricultural use to commercial.
Group members say they don't oppose the project but don't want good farmland used for it.
In October 2012 a judge declined to stop the rezoning, concluding the City Council did nothing illegal.
The committee appealed. The appeals court on Wednesday says the judge
had improperly dismissed the petition and sent the case back to the
judge for further proceedings.
Dyersville Vote Prompts Speculation about Project
DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — The election of a new mayor and three new City
Council members in Dyersville is prompting speculation about what the
vote means to plans for a 24-field youth baseball and softball complex
near the "Field of Dreams" movie site.
Jim Heavens, who lost his bid to be re-elected mayor in the Tuesday
vote, says his defeat and the ouster of council members means the
project is, "dead."
Nearby property owners have filed lawsuits against the city, arguing
that officials illegally rezoned and approved building permits for the
Denise Stillman, who heads a group backing the development, says it's too early to comment on the election.
Dyersville Has New Mayor, Council Members
The Dyersville City Council will have a new look beginning in January.
Voters on Tuesday elected a new mayor and three new council members.
Alvin Haas defeated Incumbent Mayor Jim Heavens 604 to 566. The
At-Large position was won by Mark Wagner who defeated Dan Willenborg
633 to 530, Teresa Bockensted defeated Robert Platz 228 to 172 in Ward
1, and former council members Ray Sauser was elected in the 3rd Ward by
write-in vote. The City of Peosta will also have a new mayor in 2014.
Larry Mescher defeated incumbent Dick Avenarius and write-in candidate
Jim Weydert. In Hopkinton incumbent Cathy Harris was re-elected Mayor,
and Greg Gerdes won another term as Olin's Mayor.
Iowa Crash Involving Off-Road Motorcycle Kills 1
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have identified the person who
was killed in a dirt bike crash in Linn County Sunday morning. The Linn
County Sheriff's office says 27-year-old Kole Kromminga of Anamosa was
riding the bike near Troy Mills when he crashed into a skid loader
operated by Kurtis McCabe of Marion. Kromminga died at the scene.
That investigation continues.
Dubuque Preparing Incentives for Hormel
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The city of Dubuque is proposing a plan that could
provide about $4 million in city and state benefits to Hormel Foods as
an incentive to expand in Iowa. Hormel is considering Dubuque for a $31
million expansion that would create 100 jobs in two new production
lines at its meat processing plant. Hormel says it's also considering
other locations for the project. The Dubuque City Council will decide
whether to ask the state to contribute to an incentives package worth
up to $4.2 million.
It will include $1.3 million in city property tax benefits over five
years. The package also includes state investment tax credits, sales
tax exemptions, and job training funds in partnership with NICC.
Iowa Crash Involving Off-Road Motorcycle Kills 1
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are investigating an off-road motorcycle crash that killed one person in eastern Iowa.
The Linn County Sheriff's office says the accident happened around 11:30 a.m. Sunday near Troy Mills.
Paramedics and sheriff's deputies responded to the crash and found that a dirt bike had struck the back of a skid loader.
Authorities say the dirt bike's driver died at the scene. That person's name wasn't immediately released Sunday.
Iowa Harvest Update
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports 55
percent of Iowa's corn crop and about 88 percent of the soybean crop
have been harvested.
The weekly report released Monday showed the corn crop was about 5
percentage points behind normal. The soybean harvest was about two days
ahead of normal.
Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey noted that farmers spent long
days in the fields in anticipation of expected soggy weather that could
slow the remaining harvest.
Linn County authorites are looking for the person or persons who
poisoned animals in Prairieburg. Pet owners say eight to ten meatballs
laced with a former rat poison were placed in kennels or left near
homes on East Main Street. Five dogs and one cat ate the tainted meat,
and at last report, two of the dogs had died.
Early Voting Being Held Oct. 24th in Dyersville
Dyersville voters will have a chance to cast their ballots for the
municipal election. The early voting satellite station will be open
from 11 to 2 Thursday, Oct. 24th at city hall. Eligible voters can
register to vote, change their address or vote by absentee ballot
during todays event. You can also vote by absentee ballot at the Dubueu
County Election Office now through November 4th.
Olin Woman Injured in Linn County Crash
An Olin woman was injured in a crash early this morning in Linn County.
Deputies say 47-year-old Christine Egger-Jacobson failed to stop and
the intersection of Sawyer and Prairieburg Roads and went into the
ditch. She struck a utility pole, which broke off and fell on her
vehicle. Egger-Jacobson was flown to University Hospitals in Iowa City.
Her condition was not released. That crash happened at 12:39 a.m.
Manchester Teen Agrees to Plead Guilty to Murder
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A Manchester teenager has agreed to plead guilty
to two charges of first-degree murder, ending a trial before the
defense called any witnesses.
18-year-old Isaiah Sweet agreed to the deal Monday. It was announced
after the prosecution rested its case in the trial against Sweet, who
was charged in the May 2012 killings of his grandparents.
Defense attorneys say as part of the deal, the sentences will run concurrently.
Prosecutors played a taped interview in which Sweet says he kissed his
grandparents after shooting them and apologized before fleeing.
The sentencing hearing will take place later this year in Delaware County.
Judge Denies Mistrial Request in Teen's Trial
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A judge has rejected a defense lawyer's request
for a mistrial in the case of a Manchester teenager accused of killing
of his custodial grandparents.
District Court Judge Michael Shubatt denied the request Monday morning
in the trial of 18-year-old Isaiah Sweet. Sweet is charged with
first-degree murder in the killings of 55-year-old Richard Sweet and
62-year-old Janet Sweet. Defense lawyer Jill Eimermann sought a
mistrial Friday when a prosecution witness testified he found child
pornography on a computer in the family home. Shubatt acknowledged
defense concerns the jury might think Isaiah Sweet accessed child
pornography, but he decided the jury wouldn't put too much weight on
the statement. Prosecutors planned to call more witnesses Monday, the
third day of testimony in the trial.
Western Dubuque High School Taking Part in Celebrate My Drive Campaign
Western Dubuque High School is taking part in the "Celebrate My Drive"
campaign through State Farm Insurance. To vote for Western Dubuque, go
to celebrate my drive dot com and follow the steps. The winner will
receive either $25,000 or $100,000 and a Kelly Clarkson concert for the
students. 10 percent of the winning would be used for a safe driving
campaign and the remainder for the auditorium project. Again the
website is celebrate my drive dot com. Anyone 14 and older can vote.
The contest will run October 18th through the 26th
Man Testifies Manchester Teen Sought Killing Tips
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A man testified that a teenager charged with
killing his parents had earlier asked him about different methods for
killing a person.
21-year-old Brandon Ahlers testified Thursday that 18-year-old Isaiah
Sweet texted him in May 11th, 2012, about how to kill someone,
including references to poisoning, beating someone with a baseball bat
and using a gun.
Sweet is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of his
custodial grandparents, 55-year-old Richard Sweet and 62-year-old Janet
Their bodies were found May 13th, 2012, in their Manchester home.
Isaiah Sweet was arrested the next day.
Ahlers was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the help he gave Sweet in planning the deaths.
Jury Selection Completed in Sweet Trial
A jury has been picked for the Isaiah Sweet trial. 10 women and 2 men
were selected this morning. Sweet is charged with shooting his
Granparents at the Manchester home in May 2012. Attorneys estimate the
trial, which is being held in Dubuque County, should conclude by
DNR Investigating Death of Hunter in NE Iowa
HARPERS FERRY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a northeast Iowa man has
died while hunting. The Allamakee County Sheriff's Office says deputies
were called Monday night to a wooded area near Harpers Ferry.
A hunter had found an acquaintance who had also been hunting on the property.
The body was identified as 70-year-old Serenus P. Platten, of Harpers Ferry.
Platten had fallen from a tree stand.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is investigating the death.
Winthrop Woman Convicted of Child Endangerment
INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — A Winthrop woman has been convicted of child
endangerment. 51-year-old Wendy Brown was convicted Monday after a
four-day trial in Buchanan County District Court. Authorities say Brown
deprived a child of food, clothing, shelter and health care, and harmed
the child's mental, emotional or physical health. The abuse took place
between Jan. 1 and March 25, 2012. Brown faces up to two years in
Isaiah Sweet Murder Trial Begins Wednesday
The trial for a Manchester teen charged with killing his grandparents
is scheduled to begin Wednesday. 18-year-old Isaiah Sweet is charged
with two counts of first-degree murder for the May 2012 shootings of
Richard and Janet Sweet. That trial will take place in Dubuque County
District Court due to a change of venue order. The witness list will
include Brandon Ahlers, who was charged with helping Sweet. Ahlers
entered an Alford Plea and was sentenced to 18 years in prison. As part
of the deal, Ahlers will testify against Sweet.
Clayton County Clock Should Return Next Summer
ELKADER, Iowa (AP) — The owner of a Minneapolis company says it could
take a year before the Clayton County Courthouse clock is repaired and
back atop a tower overlooking Elkader.
Workers from Mechanical Watch Supply dismantled the clock last week and shipped it to Minneapolis.
The clock, known as an E. Howard No. 1 striker tower clock, had been in
the courthouse tower since 1896. It worked until last spring.
Mechanical Watch Supply owner Rory DeMesy says the clock is in "pretty
nice shape," but a gear sheared and damaged the winding wheel,
requiring replacement of some parts.
DeMesy says the clock likely will be reinstalled by late next summer.
The restoration is being funded by a $32,000 state grant and another $16,433 from Clayton County.
2 Killed, 3 Hurt in Northeast Iowa Collision
OELWEIN, Iowa (AP) — Two pickup drivers have been killed and three
other people have been injured in a collision in northeast Iowa.
Authorities say the accident occurred Sunday evening at a rural intersection northeast of Oelwein in Fayette County.
The Iowa State Patrol says a southbound pickup driven by 18-year-old
Dakota Rohde, of West Union, collided with an eastbound pickup driven
by 28-year-old Shawn Brehme, of Tripoli.
A male passenger in Rohde's truck and two children in Brehme's truck
were injured. They were flown to University of Iowa Hospitals and
Clinics in Iowa City.
Two People Injured in Motorcycle Crash near Anamosa
Two people were injured in a motocycle crash west of Anamosa Saturday
night. The Iowa State Patrol says 58-year-old William English of
Anamosa was on Ridge Road when he entered a curve and left the roadway.
English and his passenger, an un-named child from Muscatine, were
ejected from the motorcycle. Both were taken to University Hospitals in
Iowa City by aircare.
Loras College Raises Money to Pay Professors Better
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Loras College in Dubuque has launched a campaign
to pay its professors better. The school kicked off the campaign
Thursday to raise $75 million. Administrators hope higher salaries will
attract quality teachers and encourage them to stay.
The school also aims to use some money for student financial aid.
Trustees say they've already raised $44 million during the silent phase
of the campaign.
Western Dubuque School District Wins Monsanto Grant
The Western Dubuque School District has won a grant through Monsanto's
America's Farmers Grow Rural Education program. The $25,000 grant can
be used to enhance math and/or science education. The check
presentation will take place prior the varsity football game at Cascade
Three People Injured in Crash near Maquoketa
Three people were injured in a crash north of Maquoketa Monday evening.
Authorities say 22-year-old Taylor Muller of Maquoketa was eastbound
and crossing the northbound lanes of Highway 61 when she stopped at the
entrace to Hurstville Road. She believed she was unable to proceed
through the intersection because crews were cleaning up after a crash
at that site earlier in the day. Muller then proceeded to back her
vehicle onto the northbound lanes of 61 and was broadsided by a semi.
The truck, which was hauling hazardous materials, entered the ditch,
causing the trailer to break open. A hazardous materials response team
was called to the scene to help clean up. Muller and her passenger,
along with the truck driver, Carl Johnson of Eldridge, were taken to
the Jackson County Health Center with minor injuries. The investigation
is ongoing and charges are pending.
Asbury Planning for New Municipal Building
Asbury officials are working on plans for a new municipal building. It
would include space for Asbury's city hall, police station and library.
The nearly 16,000 square foot building, with an estimated price tage of
$5.2 million, would be located on city-owned land near Asbury Park. The
city will hold a public meeting on the plans this Thursday at 6:30 at
Meadows Golf Course. They hope to begin construction next year.
Manchester Zoo Cited for Animal Welfare Issues
MANCHESTER, Iowa (AP) — A privately owned zoo in northeast Iowa is
under the watchful eye of federal inspectors and animal rights groups
after it has paid fines for poor sanitation, inadequate staffing and
Cricket Hollow Zoo has paid $6,800 in fines for violations of the
Animal Welfare Act between 2011 and February of this year.
Inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited the zoo for
unhealthy levels of animal and food waste in cages and inadequate
staffing. The zoo located near Manchester has been owned and
operated by Pam and Tom Sellner for 13 years. It has about 350
birds and animals. Pam Sellner says the outcry is from groups of people
who oppose zoos ideologically and they will never be satisfied.
One Person Killed in Linn County Crash
One person was killed in a crash involving a vehicle and fertilizer
spreader in Linn County. The crash happened Wednesday afternoon at the
intersection of Hill's Mill Road and Upper Boulder Road, about three
miles east of Coggon. Linn County Sheriff's Deputies say the driver of
the vehicle died at the scene. The driver of the fertilizer spreader
was flown to the hospital with what appeared to be non-life threatening
injuries. Both names were being withheld.
Tourist and Travel Spending Rises 5.6 pct in Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new study says tourists and travelers spent
$7.6 billion in Iowa last year. That's 5.6 percent more than the
previous year. The U.S. Travel Association did the study for the Iowa
Economic Development Authority and the Iowa Tourism Office.
LuAnn Reinders of the Iowa Tourism Office says that people who are
traveling "spend money on restaurants, gasoline and entertainment, and
that really adds to the economy."
The national increase last year was 4.4 percent.
Prairieburg Man Injured in Highway 13 Crash
A Prairieburg man was injured in a crash on Highway 13 in Linn County
Wednesday morning. The sheriff's Office said Brady Vanamburg was
southbound when he lost control of his car which went through the
median and flipped, landing on its roof in the northbound lanes.
Vanambug was airlifted to Saint Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids with
what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries. That accident
happened just north of Burnett Station Road.
Iowa Drivers' Chances of Hitting Deer Have Dropped
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — New data show Iowa remains among the top states
for drivers' chances of striking a deer, but the likelihood has dropped.
State Farm Insurance said in rankings released Monday that Iowa ranks No. 3 behind West Virginia and Montana.
The Iowa chances have dropped to a 1-in-73 chance of a collision within
the next year. That's down from the 1-in-67 odds last year.
Iowa Natural Resources Department spokesman Kevin Baskins says the
reduction reflects a decline in the state deer population. The
department says that in 2004, Iowa had an estimated 600,000 deer.
That's dropped to an estimated 350,000.
State Farm's projections are based on licensed driver counts from the federal government and State Farm's claims data.
Cedar Falls Legislator Says He'll Run for US House
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Cedar Falls legislator Walt Rogers says he
will seek the Republican nomination for Iowa's 1st Congressional
In announcing his candidacy Tuesday, Rogers called for creating a "smaller, smarter government."
Rogers was elected to the Iowa House in 2010 and served as an assistant majority leader.
Cedar Rapids businessman Steve Rathje and Dubuque businessman Rod Blum
also are seeking the GOP nomination, and former Cedar Rapids Mayor Paul
Pate is expected to announce his candidacy soon.
The 1st District seat is open because incumbent Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley is running for U.S. Senate.
The district includes 20 northeast Iowa counties.
Five candidates are vying for the Democratic nomination.
Dubuque Man Gets 30 Years in Prison for Heroin Death
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A Dubuque man has been sentenced to 30 years
in federal prison for selling heroin to a person who overdosed and
died. The U.S. Attorney's Office says 50-year-old Alvin Stanley Briggs,
Jr. was sentenced in Cedar Rapids. Briggs pleaded guilty in July
to distribution of heroin resulting in death. He admitted that he sold
$100 worth of heroin in July 2012 to an individual who later died as a
result of the drug.
Fire Destroys Colesburg Home
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A fire destroyed Colesburg couple's home and
forced them to relocate nine years after a flood made their previous
home unlivable. Keith and Judy Steger's home was damaged by fire on
Friday after something on the stove caught fire. The Stegers and their
seven children spent the weekend trying to salvage what they could from
the home. In 2004, the Stegers lost their home in Elkader to flooding.
The couple's son, Jeremy Steger, says it's hard to express what it's
like to lose a home. He says the family just has to keep moving
forward. For now, the Stegers are planning to live in another building
on their property.
Branstad Proclamation Allows Heavier Loads
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farmers will be able to carry heavier
loads of corn, soybeans and other items for the next two months.
Gov. Terry Branstad signed a proclamation Friday allowing the heavier loads, a move Iowa governors usually take in the fall.
The proclamation allows people to haul loads of soybeans, corn, hay,
straw, silage and stover up to 90,000 pounds of gross weight without a
permit for 60 days. The temporary allowance doesn't apply to interstate
The move is intended to help farmers efficiently move crops after harvest.
Garnavillo Man Killed in Accident
A Garnavillo died in a two vehicle crash late Thursday night in Clayton
County. The Iowa State Patrol says 21-year-old Lee Smith of Garnavillo
was eastbound on Millville Road when he pulled into the path of a truck
that was southbound on Highway 52. The driver of the truck, 62-year-old
Craig Jones of West Liberty, attempted to swerve but struck Smith's
vehicle. Jones' truck, which caught fire, went into the ditch. He was
taken to the Guttenberg Hospital for treatment. That crash happened at
11:54 p.m. Thursday south of Guttenberg.
Northeast Iowa City Dismisses Police Chief
STRAWBERRY POINT, Iowa (AP) — The police chief in Strawberry
Point has been dismissed and another city official has resigned.
Mayor Dale Fox says that Police Chief Bob Pope was dismissed at a
Wednesday night City Council meeting. Fox says City
Clerk/Administrator Deanna McCusker also resigned at the meeting.
Fox says Liz Jaster was named the interim city administrator. The
Clayton County Sheriff's Office will take on the city's law enforcement
duties. The mayor didn't explain the reasons behind the firing
Changes for All Star Ballpark Heaven
Teams planning to take part in camps at All Star Ballpark at the Field
of Dreams will likely be playing in Dubuque in 2014. Officials say the
fields might not be ready, so they will hold weekend tournaments at the
Dubuque Sports Complex instead of the week-long camps at the Field of
Dreams. The delay would also impact plans for the the complex to be
home to a Northern League baseball team. Officials with Go the Distance
Baseball say they will meet with the league commissioner this week to
dicuss their options.
Ahlers Gets 18 Years in Manchester Slayings
MANCHESTER, Iowa (AP) — A man accused of suggesting killing methods to
a teenager charged with fatally shooting his grandparents has been
sentenced to 18 years in prison.
A judge signed off on a plea deal Tuesday for 21-year-old Brandon Ahlers of Manchester. Ahlers entered an Alford plea in July.
Prosecutors say Ahlers helped 18-year-old Isaiah Sweet plan the May
2012 deaths of Richard and Janet Sweet, both of Manchester. Ahlers is
also accused of disposing of evidence.
Ahlers was originally charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
His plea deal means he will be asked to testify against Sweet.
Sweet's trial on two charges of first-degree murder is set to begin on Oct. 16.
No Charges in Dyersville Incident
A man who offered candy to some children in Dyersville will not be
charged. Dubuque County Attorney Ralph Potter said the three children
involved in the incident testified that the man offered them candy but
did not try to lure them into his vehicle. The incident happened Sunday
near the apartments on 9th Stree SE. The man left the area after
residents at the apartment yelled at him. He later returned and was
punched by one of the residents. Potter said the man will not press
charges against the person who punched him.
Authorities Investigating Possible Child Enticement Incident in Dyersville
Dyersville police responded to a report of a possible child enticement
incident on Sunday. According to a press release, the incident occurred
just before noon on sunday near the apartment building on 9th Street
SE. Residents at the location claim that a man had offered candy to
some kids. He told officers that he left the area, but later returned
and was motioned to stop by one of the residents. When he stopped, the
resident prevented him from leaving until police arrived and reportedly
punched him. Officials determined that no immediate charges would be
filed. The Dubuque County Attorney's Office is reviewing the incident
and will make the final determination on charges.
Teen Injured in 40-foot Fall from Bluff at Maquoketa Caves State Park
MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) — A 14-year-old boy from Illinois is hospitalized
after falling nearly 40 feet from a bluff at an eastern Iowa state park.
The Jackson County Sheriff's office says the teenager fell at Maquoketa Caves State Park, shortly after 11 a.m. on Saturday.
The boy's name has not been released. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment, but his condition has not been released.
Great River Road Turns 75
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Great River Road, a 3,000-mile stretch of highway
along the Mississippi River, is turning 75. The Mississippi River
Parkway Commission will gather tomorrow in St. Louis to celebrate the
milestone. Officials say travelers spend more than $25 billion annually
in communities on the Great River Road.
Officials: Teens Brought Air Guns to Iowa School
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Officials say three teens accused of bringing
airsoft pistols to a Dubuque middle school face disciplinary action.
A 14-year old and two 13-year-olds have been charged in violation of a
city ordinance that prohibits carrying concealed weapons without a
permit. The ordinance includes air guns.
Washington Middle School was briefly placed on precautionary lockdown
Thursday morning after an airsoft pistol was found in a student's
backpack. Two more were later found.
The students have been suspended pending further disciplinary action.
Dubuque police say they don't believe there was an intention to use the pistols in a violent way.
Jones County's Newly Acquired Cave Yields Artifacts
MONTICELLO, Iowa (AP) — Artifacts estimated at 1,000 to 1,500 years old
have been found in a cave on land recently bought by an eastern Iowa
The previous landowner told officials there was a cave with ancient
artifacts on the more than 500 acres acquired by the Jones County
That's proved to be true, and state archaeologist John Doershuk and some volunteers have been unearthing the cave's secrets.
Pottery shards, tools, animal bones and a spear point are among the
pieces sifted from the dirt. The digging will continue through Sept. 26.
Officials say the site was looted about 20 years ago by pilferers who pushed around dirt and the small artifacts.
U.S. Economic Development Administration Awards $1 million to Dyersville
The U.S. Economic Development Administration has awarded $1 million to
the city of Dyersville to make wastewater treatment facilities
improvements to support future business growth. The improvements will
eliminate the need to pump untreated wastewater into the North Fork
Maquoketa during floods and aims to allow for uninterrupted operations
of local businesses during future flooding.
Iowa Agrees to More Livestock Farm Inspections
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State officials have signed an agreement with
the EPA that increases the amount of livestock farms routinely
inspected, requires more farms to obtain permits, and more strictly
enforces violations when manure leaks into waterways.
The DNR signed the work plan Wednesday after years of negotiating with
EPA, which had threatened to take over enforcement of federal Clean
Water Act rules.
The agreement requires on-site inspections of farms with more than
1,000 cows or 2,500 hogs. That's about 3,200 farms in Iowa. Smaller
farms also may be inspected if they've had recent spills or are near
Environmental groups which have lobbied for stricter enforcement say the plan is a good first step.
Marion Man Dies after Car Hits House During Chase
MARION, Iowa (AP) — A 30-year-old Marion man has died after his car crashed into a house during a chase by police.
The Marion Police Department says the chase began around 1:10 a.m.
Tuesday after a driver wouldn't pull over for police after committing a
traffic violation. The chase ended when the vehicle left the roadway
and struck a house.
Police say the driver died at the scene. He was identified as Matthew
Gates. He was alone in the vehicle. The house's occupant wasn't injured.
The Linn County Sheriff's Department is investigating the accident.
Sheriff: Body Found in River Likely Snowmobiler
SABULA, Iowa (AP) — The body of a man missing since 2011 when his
snowmobile plunged into an icy river apparently has been recovered in
the Mississippi River.
Jackson County Sheriff Russ Kettmann says authorities believe they have
recovered the body of Shawn Berthel, who hasn't been seen since Jan.
22, 2011, when he and others were attempting to jump over open water in
the Maquoketa (muh-COKE'-ih-tuh) River.
Berthel and a friend, Brett Stalker, plunged into the river. Stalker reached the shore but Berthel didn't.
Despite weeks of searching, Berthel's body wasn't found.
Kettmann says on Monday, the Corps of Engineers was dredging the
Mississippi River just north of Sabula and found a body in a snowmobile
suit. Kettmann says an autopsy will confirm the identity of the body,
but it's clear it's Berthel.
School Board Elections Today
Today is School Board Election day in Iowa. The only locally contested
race is in the Ed-Co district, where six candidates are running for
three spots. The candidates are Jason Jones, Jeff Lincoln, James
Lueken, Douglas Moser, Robert Schilling and Steve Schwietert. In the
Western Dubuque District, Incumbent Mark Knuth is unopposed in District
3, and Mark Tilson is the only candidate in District 1. Polls will be
open from Noon to 8 p.m.
Central City Man Pleads Guilty in Shooting Death
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A Central City man has pleaded guilty to
charges in the 2012 death of a Cedar Rapids man. Martin Wilkinson
pleaded guilty Friday to charges of involuntary manslaughter and
possession of a firearm as a felon. Wilkinson initially had been
charged with first-degree murder. Police arrested Wilkinson after a
standoff at his home. He was charged in the killing of 47-year-old
Gregory O'Hare, who was shot eight times.
O'Hare's body was found Aug. 24, 2012, in a rural area near Wilkinson's home.
Police found 37 weapons in the home, including shotguns, rifles, revolvers and pistols.
A sentencing date hasn't been set.
Officials: 2 Injured after Truck Explodes in Iowa
WYOMING, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say two people have been injured after a truck exploded in rural eastern Iowa.
The Jones County Sheriff's Department says the explosion happened
Thursday morning several miles east of the small Iowa town of Wyoming.
Police say 45-year-old John Ralston and 33-year-old Jamaica Ralston
were scrapping metal from an old pickup truck and ignited fumes from
the gas tank.
John Ralston received burns to his face, chest, back and arms. Jamaica
Ralston received burns to her neck, chest and arms. Both were flown to
the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Their conditions are not
Matt Tobin Makes Eagles Active Roster
Worthington native and former Beckman standout Matt Tobin has made the
Philadelphia Eagles active roster. A three-year letterman at Iowa, Matt
Tobin signed with the Eagles as a rookie free agent during the 2013
offseason. Tobin started the final 22 games of his Iowa career, seeing
time at both left tackle and left guard. He earned honorable mention
All-Big 10 accolades as a senior in 2012 and was named the recipient of
the Brett Greenwood award following the season, which is given annually
to the best walk-on student-athlete.
Dubuque Archdiocese Announces Settlement Agreements
The Archdiocese of Dubuque has announced that is has completed
settlements with person who reported they were sexually abused by
priests of the Archdiocese. According to the press release, the
Archdiocese will pay $5.2 million to settle 26 claims. Attached is the
entire press release.
City of Dyersville Files Complaint with Utilities Board Concerning Alliant Plans
The City of Dyersville has filed a complaint with the Iowa Utilities
Board concerning Alliant's plans to close its Dyersville location.
Alliant officials announced in July that they will close the Dyersville
facility and consolidate those operations with Dubuque. The city if
asking for a stay on the closure, an investigation and an order
Ghost Players to Appear at Field of Dreams Sunday Night
The Ghost Players will appear at a special time this weekend. For the
first time, the group will play under the lights at the Field of
Dreams. Sunday's show will begin at 7:30. The Ghost Players will be
available to sign autographs and take pictures following the show.
Alliant Sticks With Plan to Close Dyersville Location
Alliant Energy is sticking with plans to close its Dyersville location.
Earlier this year the company announced it would close the office and
move the operations and employees to Dubuque. Dyersville officials met
with Alliant's President and CEO last week, but were told the company's
position has not changed. According to Alliant, the move will save the
company between $20,000 and $30,000 each year.
Epworth Man Injured in Highway 20 Crash
One person was injured in a crash Monday afternoon on Highway 20 in
Dubuque County. Authorities say Joseph Manos of Dubuque was westbound
on 20 and attempted to turn south onto Swiss Valley Road. His vehicle
struck an eastbound motorcycle driven by 44-year-old Jeff Ernzen of
Epworth. The motorcycle slid into another vehicle that was stopped at
the intersection. Ernzen was taken to Mercy and then flown to
University Hospitals in Iowa City. His condition was not released.
Manos and the other driver were not injured. That crash happened
shortly after 1 p.m.
Iowa Crops Set Back in Dryer than Normal Week
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The condition of the corn crop in Iowa and
nationally has declined slightly as a late summer dry hot spell settles
in over Iowa and other Midwest states renewing fears of a crop damaging
The Department of Agriculture says in Monday's weekly report that corn
is about two weeks behind schedule in Iowa as 21 percent is now rated
poor or very poor up from 18 percent the previous week and 44 percent
is good or excellent, down from 48 percent previously. The remaining
portion is fair.
Nationally a larger portion of the crop similarly slipped into poor or very poor category.
Iowa soybeans are now 20 percent poor or very poor, up from 18 percent
the week before. A similar decline is reported nationally.
Child Abuse Arrest
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A 21-year-old Iowa man has been charged with
causing serious injuries to a toddler earlier this year. Dubuque
authorities say Troy Laufenberg was arrested there Saturday evening. He
is accused of causing 18-month-old Myah Larson's brain damage on July
15. Doctors say her injuries are consistent with shaken baby syndrome.
Laufenberg faces a child endangerment charge. He's also charged with
possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia. He was being held Sunday in
the Dubuque County Jail.
Iowa Teen Dies after Fall from Park Overlook
DECORAH, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are trying to determine why a
16-year-old girl fell from an overlook and died in northeast Iowa.
Decorah police say Kellie Sharp of Decorah died Friday evening after
falling from the overlook at Palisades Park. Officers found her at the
bottom of the overlook when they arrived at the park. An autopsy of
Sharp is planned, and the police investigation is ongoing.
Dubuque Woman Faces Federal Charge in Craigslist Hit-Man Case
A Dubuque woman accused of trying to hire hit man to kill her father
faces a federal charge. 23-year-old Megan Schmidt was charged Wednesday
in federal district court with murder for hire. Authorities say Schmidt
posted an ad on Craigslist in June offering $10,000 to do a job.
Schmidt told callers that she wanted her father killed. An officer
contacted Schmidt and she was arrested on charges of solicitation to
commit murder and attempted murder. Those charges will be dismissed
because of the federal charge.
Vehicles Stolen in Farley and Epworth
Authorities say five vehicles were stolen in the Farley and Epworth
areas in the past few days. According to the Dubuque County Sheriff's
Office, three trucks and two motorcycles were stolen. Two of the trucks
have been found. Anyone with info on the thefts should contact police
or the sheriff's office.
Dubuque Airport Construction
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration is awarding a nearly $2 million grant to the Dubuque Regional Airport.
U.S. Representative Bruce Braley announced the grant Thursday. The
money will go toward construction of the airport's new terminal.
The work is part of a $39 million project at the airport that includes
a new passenger terminal, airplane taxiway, parking facilities and
The FAA is paying for most of that work.
Home Gun Sales Restriction Triggers Dubuque Debate
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — New restrictions on gun sales from homes have been passed in the first vote by the Dubuque City Council.
The council voted 5-2 on Monday to approve an ordinance amendment that
would add firearms businesses to the list of businesses barred from
residential neighborhoods. Council members will consider the proposal
at least once more before it could be adopted.
Some residents who attended the meeting cited security concerns as they urged the council to approve the measure.
Other residents said the measure is based on unreasonable fear stemming
from a handful of horrible shooting incidents elsewhere in the country.
Iowa Crops Slip Slightly as Rain Again Falls Short
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Another dry week has caused the condition of Iowa's corn and soybean crops to slip backward.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday's report that 48
percent of the corn crop is good or excellent, down 1 percentage point
from the week before. Eighteen percent is poor or very poor, one point
above the previous week. About a third of the crop is fair, the same as
the previous week.
Soybeans retreated with 18 percent now rated poor or very poor. That's up three percentage points from the week before.
Corn pollination remains significantly behind normal.
Statewide average precipitation was less than half an inch while normal for the week is nearly an inch.
It was the sixth week of the past seven to bring less than normal rainfall.
WEST UNION, Iowa (AP) — An 18-year-old man has been charged with arson
and reckless use of fire after investigators say they tied him to
grass, brush, and trash can fires in Fayette County.
Cody Cooley of Fayette was arrested by deputies on Thursday and charged
with two counts of second-degree arson and five counts of reckless use
Sheriff Marty Fisher says a year-long investigation into fires in West Union, St. Lucas, Clermont and Wadena led to the arrest.
Cooley is in the Fayette County Jail on $25,000, cash bond.
He's also charged with arson in Delaware County.
2 Eastern Iowa Credit Unions Announce Merger Plans
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Two eastern Iowa credit unions have announced plans to merge.
Dupaco Community Credit Union and Iowa Community Credit Union say
they'll operate under the Dupaco name. Combined, they'll have more than
80,000 members and 18 branches, including locations in Platteville,
Wis., and Galena, Ill.
Iowa Community said the impending retirement of President/CEO Mark Heth
prompted the credit union board to examine the union's future. The
board decided the merger was good for the credit union members and
The merger faces regulatory approval and a vote by Iowa Community Credit Union members.
All Star Ballpark
The developers of the All Star Ballpark project at the Field of Dreams
are still working on securing investors. Denise Stillman with Go the
Distance Baseball says they need to obtain full financing before
officially beginning the project. Stillman says they are still on track
to open a portion of the facility in time for the 2014 season. Current
plans call for having six fields ready by next spring.
Clayton County Fire
The Guttenberg Fire Department responded to a fire Wednesday night.
Crews were called to 36052 Omega Road just after 8 p.m. The home was
fully engulfed when firefighters arrived at the scene, and was ruled a
total loss. No one was injured in that fire. The cause is under
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has again
lowered its estimate of this year's corn and soybean harvest, assessing
the impact of the wet spring in many states that delayed planting and
damaged some crops. Early wet weather concerns have shifted to concerns
about the return of drought in portions of the western corn belt.
Still, the USDA says in its monthly crop update released Monday that
farmers are on track to bring in a record corn crop and the third
largest soybean crop. The department expects a harvest of 13.8 billion
bushels of corn, up 28 percent from last year.Soybean farmers are
expected to bring in nearly 3.26 billion bushels, up 8 percent from
Court Tosses Punitive Damages in Dubuque Case
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled a Dubuque care
center unfairly fired an employee who witnessed supervisors forging
documents, but the court says the woman shouldn't have received
Friday's ruling eliminated the $178,500 punitive-damage award jurors gave to Karen Dorshkind.
An award of $178,500 in compensatory damages, including payments for lost pay, benefits and emotion distress, still stands.
Dorshkind was fired after she relayed her suspicion to superiors about
heath care document forging and a relationship between two employees.
A state investigation later concluded documents had been forged and the facility was fined $10,000.
The court ruled Dorshkind was protected from being fired for reporting
a possible state law violation, but the jurors shouldn't have been
allowed to award punitive damages.
Relay For Life Holds Bank Night
The Dyersville Area Relay for Life held its bank night on Wednesday.
The total raised so far is $115,348. Their goal this year is $151,000.
This year Relay begins at 6 pm Friday and runs through 6 am Saturday at
Machine Shed Fire on North Bankston Road
The New Vienna/Luxemburg Fire Department was called to a fire on North
Bankston Road earlier this morning. Crews responed to the Kevin Pitz
farm at 5 a.m. for a machine shed blaze. The shed, which contained
machinery and and has is a total loss. A damage estimate was not yet
available. The Dyersville and Farley Fire Departments provided mutual
Missing Teen Found in Jones County
Officials say a teen who went missing at Camp Courageous has been
found. The 13-year-old boy, who went missing Monday evening, was found
at about 9 this morning. A camp official says the boy appeared to be
fine, but he was taken to a medical center to be evaluated.
WWII-Era Planes to Fly Over Dubuque
The skies over Dubuque will be buzzing with dozens of World War II era
trainer planes this week. 60 of the AT-6 Texans will operate from
the Dubuque Regional Airport from Thursday to Sunday. The North
American Trainer Association is training in the planes at Dubuque for
the seventh year. The event is private, but people can see the planes
at an observation area near the airport's entryway. The planes were
used to train hundreds of thousands of pilots during World War II. The
plane was known for its versatility and easy handling.
Fire Destroys Restaurant, Damages Other Buildings in Wyoming
Firefighters from at least nine departments battled a blaze that destroyed one business in the Wyoming and damaged others.
The fire started Sunday in the building that housed Ted's Swinging Door
restaurant. That building was destroyed and surrounding buildings were
damaged, including the Wyoming Museum. Volunteers carried artifacts out
of the museum until firefighters forced them to stop because of the
One firefighter was taken the hospital for treatment, but condition and
his name wasn't immediately available. Officials say no one was in the
restaurant building when the fire started. The cause of that fire was
Cedar Rapids Man Charged in Connection with Fatal Crash in Central City
A Cedar Rapids man has been charged in connection with a fatal crash
earlier this year in Central City. 25-year-old Brandon Schaul is
charged with vehicular homicide, OWI, driving while barred and serious
injury by vehicle. Authorities say Schaul's pickup collided with a van
near the intersection of Highway 13 and Valley Farm Road. The driver of
the van, 26-year-old Rachel Denny of Coggon, was pronounced dead at the
scene. Her 2-year-old daughter was injured in that crash, which
happened May 18. Schaul was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Branstad Seeks Presidential Disaster Declaration for Area Counties
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad is seeking a presidential
disaster declaration for 10 Iowa counties that were hit by storms and
flooding in June.
Branstad says he signed a letter Thursday for President Barack Obama
seeking the declaration for the counties of Allamakee, Benton,
Buchanan, Butler, Cedar, Clayton, Delaware, Howard, Jones and
The counties experienced tornadoes, thunderstorms and flooding from June 21 through June 28.
A preliminary damage assessment found the severe weather caused about
$5.3 million in damage that could be eligible for public assistance
funds. If granted, this would be Iowa's fourth presidential disaster
declaration since April.
Wyoming Man Charged with Stealing Iowa Cattle
MARTELLE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a 42-year-old man has been charged with stealing cattle in eastern Iowa.
Jones County Sheriff Greg Graver says in a news release that Barry Bieber, of rural Wyoming, is charged with felony theft.
Graver says the theft occurred over a three-day period from a farm
about four miles east of Martelle and was reported July 7. The 18
animals were recovered from a sale barn near Cascade. Their value was
estimated at nearly $30,500.
Iowa Man Reaches Plea Deal in Manchester Slayings
MANCHESTER, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man accused of suggesting killing
methods to a teenager who's charged with killing his grandparents has
reached a plea deal.
Twenty-year-old Brandon Ahlers entered an Alford plea Tuesday to lesser
charges in connection with the May 2012 shooting deaths of Richard and
Janet Sweet of Manchester. Their grandson, 18-year-old Isaiah Sweet,
faces first-degree murder charges.
Ahlers faces 18 years in prison if a district court judge approves the deal.
Ahlers is accused of suggesting ways to carry out the killings and
trying to dispose of the gun police believe was used in the crime.
Ahlers to Plead Guilty in Manchester Murder Case
One of the two men charged in a Manchester murder case is expected to
plead guilty to lesser charges. 20-year-old Brandon Ahlers of
Manchester will appear in Delaware County Distrcit Court at 1 p.m.
today. Ahlers was charged with two counts of aiding and abetting
first-degree murder in connection with the shootings of Richard and
Janet Sweet in May 2012. Authorities say Ahlers spoke with the Isaiah
Sweet and suggested ways to kill his grandparents. Isaiah Sweet is
charged with two counts of first-degree murder. His trial is scheduled
to begin October 16. He is seeking a change of venue.
McGregor Man who Died after Hay Bale Fell on Him ID'ed
MONONA, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have identified a man who died after a
hay bale fell on him. The Allamakee County Sheriff's office says
63-year-old Daniel Specht of McGregor was killed in the Friday morning
accident. Specht was using a tractor to move round bales when a bale on
the front loader rolled back and fell on him.
Arlington Man Gets Prison for Fraudulent Schemes
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A northeast Iowa man who pleaded guilty to
two fraudulent schemes has been given nearly four years in prison.
Prosecutors say 47-year-old Michael Recker, of Arlington, was sentenced
to 46 months earlier this week in federal court in Cedar Rapids. He'd
been convicted of conspiring to fabricate grain elevator scale tickets,
one count of bankruptcy fraud and one count of interfering with
Internal Revenue laws.
Prosecutors say Recker admitted that in 2008 and 2009 he bribed an elevator worker to create the false tickets.
Recker also admitted selling a combine at auction for about $50,000
before filing for bankruptcy. He admitted that he didn't disclose to
the bankruptcy court that money was still owed him by the auction
Recker must make restitution of more than $26,000 to the elevator.
Dubuque Woman Enters Plea in Craigslist Hitman Case
A Dubuque woman accused of using Craigslist to hire a hitman to kill
her father has entered a not-guilty plea. 23-year-old Megan Schmidt
posted a listing in June that offered $10,000 for an undisclosed job.
Interested callers were then told about the murder-for-hire job.
Authorities say concerned callers contacted them about Schmidt's ad. An
officer responded to the post and met with Schmidt, who gave the
officer a photo of her father and repeated the request to have him
killed. Schmidt is charged with solicitation to commit murder and
attempted murder. Her trial is tentatively scheduled to begin September
Three People Escape Early Morning Fire in Delhi
(Delhi) -- An early morning fire has damaged the Delhi Power Sports
building. The Delhi Fire Department was called to business at 506 3rd
Street around 1:45 a.m. Three people living in a portion of the
building were able to escape.
The State Fire Marshall was called in to investigate the cause of that fire.
Iowa Court: Dyersville Violated Open Records Law
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court says the city of
Dyersville violated the state open records law in 2010 because it took
more than two months to respond to a request for documents from a
construction supply business that sued the city over its contract
Horsfield Materials of Epworth sued Dyersville claiming the city
violates state public bidding laws by allowing only three preapproved
companies to bid on contracts to supply concrete and rock for
The court finds in Friday's ruling city practices do not violate bidding laws.
However, the court says Dyersville took too long to respond to requests
from Horsfield for documents, handing over 600 pages after about 70
days. The court sends that portion of the case back to Dubuque County
Iowa Counties Receive Federal Disaster Declaration
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — President Barack Obama has issued a disaster
declaration for 47 Iowa counties hit by recent storms and
flooding. Gov. Terry Branstad announced Tuesday that Obama had
approved his request for a presidential declaration. The declaration
means the counties will be eligible to receive federal funding for
recovery efforts. Those funds could go to repairs, debris removal,
loans for communities or grants to schools. The counties covered by the
declaration include Buchanan, Clayton, Delaware, Jones and Linn.
Branstad also said that as part of this declaration the state will
receive funding to take steps to strengthen infrastructure and limit
the impact of future natural disasters.
Manure Spill Near Garnavillo Elevates Ammonia Levels in Stream
The DNR responded to an anonymous report of manure odor Friday,
checking ammonia levels in an unnamed tributary of South Cedar Creek
near Garnavillo in Clayton County. Rick Martens, a DNR
environmental specialist, found high levels of ammonia in the tributary
and traced it back to a 300-head hog finishing building owned by
Douglas Reimer of Guttenberg. He also found a leaking pipe at the hog
facility with liquid manure entering an inlet to an underground tile.
In addition, he found flattened grass, ponding and some manure solids
in a grassy area that Reimer said he had used for emergency land
application. Both the tile line and the grassy area drain to a
small intermittent stream, which flows about one mile to South Cedar
Creek. There is no estimate of the amount of manure which reached the
stream. Reimer immediately closed the intake to the tile line and
repaired the pipe. Martens found elevated ammonia levels downstream in
South Cedar Creek Friday. There was no evidence of a fish kill. By
Saturday, field tests showed elevated ammonia levels in the tributary
but not in South Cedar Creek. Water samples have been sent for
laboratory testing. The DNR will continue to monitor the situation and
take appropriate enforcement action.
Western Dubuque Board Approves Contracts for WDHS Project
The Western Dubuque School Board has approved contracts for the
auditorium project at Western Dubuque High School. The general
construction contract was awared to Larson Construction for just under
$4.9 million. Other contracts include electrical, plumbing and heating,
with a total project cost of just under $7.4 million. The new
construction will also include offices and rooms for the music
department. Work will begin soon, with completion slated for the fall
Access to Wapsipinicon State Park Affected by Flooding
High water could close portions of Wapsipinicon State Park and affect access.
If the forecast is accurate, the Wapsipinicon River is expected to
reach a flood stage of 27 feet, one foot higher than the 2008 floods,
by Friday. Currently, the Wapsipinicon River is at 17 feet.
Should the Wapsipinicon River reach that depth, the Rotary lodge,
playground shelter and the Dutch Creek Shelter at Wapsipinicon State
Park in Jones County will be inaccessible due to roads flooding.
Depending on if, and how badly these areas are damaged, these areas may
be closed during the week of Fourth of July. The Boy Scout Lodge,
campground and golf course are not expected to be affected.
The county has closed E-24 until further notice. As a result, Wapsipinicon State Park is only accessible from the south.
Flood Help for Delaware County Residents
The State of Iowa IA Program for those affected by disasters is open to
help Delaware County residents whose homes that were affected by the
flooding again this week.
Delaware County residents with losses are also eligible for support
from the Delaware Disaster Recovery Committee. If you feel
that you qualify for either of these funds or have any questions
regarding losses, please call Operation New View at 563-927-4629
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- This is a $5000 program that provides support to those with losses of clothes, food, appliances, and structural damages.
- All water and/or sewer backup problems in homes are eligible to apply.
- This program does have an income guideline that
governs who is eligible. 200% of Federal poverty level is the standard
that has been set. An annual household income of $31,020 or less for 2
or an annual income of $47,100 or less for a family of 4 is
Harkin Announces More than $330,000 in Fire Assistance for Dubuque County
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin announced that Eastern Iowa Iowa
fire departments will receive a total of $333,182 for their Operations
and Safety programs from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s’
Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Harkin is a senior member of
the Senate Appropriations Committee and was a cosponsor of the
legislation that authorized this program. The Key West Fire
Department in Dubuque County will get $9,500 of the award and the
Centralia Peosta Volunteer Fire Department in Dubuque County: $323,682
The AFG Program assists rural, urban, and suburban fire departments
throughout the United States and places a particular emphasis on rural
fire departments. At least 55 percent of the program’s funding must go
to fire departments that use volunteer firefighters.
Report: Multiple Tornadoes Spotted in Eastern Iowa
SOLON, Iowa (AP) — Weather officials say there are reports of multiple tornadoes in eastern Iowa.
The National Weather Service says a confirmed tornado was located near
Solon shortly before 3 p.m. Monday moving northeast at 50 mph.
There are reports of a confirmed tornado six miles southwest of
Mechanicsville as well as one near Stanwood. A tornado was later
reported southeast of Olin moving northeast at 40 mph.
Information about damage or injuries was not immediately available.
DOT to Discuss Highway 20 Interchange on Wednesday
AMES, Iowa – The Iowa DOT will hold a public meeting Wednesday to
discuss plans for Highway 20 interchange between 330th Avenue and 332nd
Avenue near Dyersville. The public is invited to attend the meeting
anytime between 4 and 6 p.m. at the Dyersville Social Center. DOT staff
will be present to discuss the interchange, but no formal presentation
will be made.
Police: Dubuque Woman Uses Craigslist for Hit Job
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A Dubuque woman has been accused of using a Craigslist ad to try to hire someone to kill her father.
The Dubuque County Sheriff's Department says 23-year-old Megan Schmidt
posted an inquiry Saturday that offered $10,000 for an undisclosed job.
Interested callers were then told upfront about the murder-for-hire job.
Capt. Bob Lynn says several concerned callers contacted authorities
about Schmidt's ad. An undercover officer responded to the post Sunday
and met with Schmidt. Lynn says Schmidt gave the officer a photograph
of her father and repeated the request to have him killed.
Schmidt was arrested and is at the Dubuque County Jail on $50,000
cash-only bond. She faces felony charges of attempted murder and
solicitation to commit murder.
Maquoketa Valley School Board News
The Maquoketa Valley School Board has approved student fees for the
2013/2014 school year. The voted to increase breakfast and lunch prices
by five cents each, and approved a $5 increase for Driver Ed, which
will cost $330. In other business the board approved the hiring of
Creig Dunlap as Varsity Boys Basketball Coach and Ron Besler as
Assistant Varsity Coach. The district also announced recent grants thru
the Dubuque Racing Association. All three elementary centers received
$5,000 each to purchase iPads. The district also received $9,500 to
replace doors at the Delhi Elementary and Middle School center.
Maynard Wastewater Bypass Goes to Little Volga River
MAYNARD – The city of Maynard in Fayette County reported a discharge
that sent about 200 gallons of untreated sewage to the Little Volga
The bypass occurred at 10:35 a.m. Friday when one of two pumps at a
pumping station overheated. The city acted quickly to repair that pump
and stopped the discharge within 10 minutes.
The second pump was out of commission while the city waited for parts
delivery. However, the city wastewater operator expects to repair it
The DNR will continue to monitor the situation.
Officials Report Minimal Storm Damage in Delaware County
There was minimal damages associated with this morning’s weather. The
damages align with the National Weather Service’s prediction of up to
60 mph with small hail and heavyrain. Most of my reports came regarding
trees. There were some awing problems on campers at Backbone. Backbone
also had a tree down blocking 1 road. There was a power line arcing in
a tree in Earlville.
Our potential problem will come from flash flooding if we receive
additional rain in the next 24 hrs. We received 1 to 2 inches from
Dundee thru Hopkinton. There are reports of 3 to 4 inches of rain in
Buchanan, Fayette and Clayton Counties. Some of these areas drain into
Iowan Taken into Custody after 2-hour Standoff
INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — A two-hour police standoff with an armed man in eastern Iowa has ended with an arrest.
The Independence Police Department says officers were sent to an
apartment complex about 10:40 p.m. Thursday after someone reported that
a man had pointed a gun at someone else.
Officers say 50-year-old Daniel Flack shut himself inside his apartment
and initially wouldn't come out. Flack did leave after a couple of
hours and was taken into custody. Police say he's charged with assault,
terroristic threats and some weapons counts.
No shots or injuries have been reported.
Buchanan County Jail records say Flack remained in custody on Friday. Online court records don't list the name of his attorney.
Dubuque Regrets Housing Program's Impact on Blacks
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The city of Dubuque is acknowledging that changes
to its low-income housing program have had an unintended negative
impact on black applicants.
The city said in a statement Thursday that it "deeply regrets these impacts" and would seek to correct them as soon as possible.
The problems were identified during a review of the city's Section 8
rental assistance program by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
HUD sent a letter Wednesday describing several "findings of
noncompliance" after a review analyzed the program from 2007 to 2011.
During that time, the city changed program residency requirements and
cut the number of vouchers offered. The city says those changes were
made "with the intent to address funding concerns" and improve service
but had an unintended impact on African Americans.
Dubuque Man Pleads Guilty in Heroin Death
A 50-year-old Dubuque man has pleaded guilty to selling heroin to
someone who died from the drug. The U.S. Attorney's Office says Alvin
Briggs, Junior was convicted after admitting Thursday that he sold $100
worth of heroin in July 2012 to an individual who died from an
overdose. Brigss faces a minimum of 20 years in prison, with a possible
maximum sentence of life in prison. A sentencing date has not been set.
Dyersville Council News
The Dyersville City Council met Monday. The council approved a
resolution adopting the plans and estimate of cost for the 12th Avenue
SE street project, and approved a resolution endorsing the expansion of
Heritage Trail from the trail head at Beltline Road to 2nd Avenue SE.
In other business they approved the salaries for appointed officers and
employees of the city, an approved an ordinance providing for
designation of duties, compensation and terms of employement for the
Governor Says Iowa School Start Rules are Too Lax
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says the rules for school
start dates in Iowa are "too lax." Branstad told reporters Monday that
the existing policy hurts tourism in the state and that he expects to
see some changes made by the Department of Education. Under current
Iowa law, schools are supposed to start the week that includes Sept. 1.
But nearly all districts apply for and get waivers to start earlier in
August. A group led by State Fair Manager Gary Slater has filed a
petition with the state Department of Education seeking tougher
enforcement of the law.
Department of Education Director Jason Glass says the department is reviewing the petition, but no final decision has been made.
Dardis, Inc. to Open Professional Apparel Distribution Center in Dyersville
Dardis, Inc., plans to break ground this summer on a 25,000-square-foot distribution center in Dyersville’s Industrial Park.
The distribution center will ship and store apparel for Dardis
Clothiers, a component of Dardis, Inc.’s growing business and
comprehensive approach to developing its clients’ professional image.
The company expects the facility to be completed by Sept. 1.
Dardis, Inc. has two main divisions: Dardis Communications, which
offers executive training and skill-building for business
professionals, and the Dardis Academy, a business training program for
high school and college students was Founded by Farley-native Greg
Dardis Communications has offices in Chicago, Des Moines and
Coralville. Greg Dardis say he is pleased to be locating the Dardis
Clothiers’ distribution center near his hometown.
Dardis says they looked at a number of possible locations, and
Dyersville came out on top. He says he was impressed with the
Dyersville Economic Development Corporation and their dedication to
helping businesses thrive.
Former Baseball Players to Visit 'Field of Dreams'
DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Several former major league baseball players
are scheduled to participate in a game this fall at the "Field of
Dreams" movie site in eastern Iowa. More than a dozen former players
are scheduled to participate in the September 14 event. They include
Hall of Fame players Johnny Bench, Wade Boggs, Rod Carew, and Carlton
Fisk. Organizers of the event are calling it the "Team of Dreams."
Proceeds from the game will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
State Plans Repairs to Dubuque Bridge Next Spring
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Iowa transportation officials plan to close or
limit traffic on Julien Dubuque Bridge while crews make repairs to the
Transportation department planner Sam Shea says workers must replace
deck joints on the bridge before they fall into poor condition.
The agency will hold a public meeting Thursday where people can respond to the closure options.
One would close the bridge for 10 working days while repairs are made.
Another would close the bridge for six to eight weekends. Crews also
could limit traffic to one lane for 10 to 12 weeks.
Workers also will make other fixes, such as repairing concrete.
The work will be done next spring at a cost of $780,000.
John Deere Plant in Dubuque Lays off 65 Employees
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The John Deere plan in Dubuque has laid off 65
employees in its manufacturing section. The employees at John Deere
Dubuque Works were notified Thursday. The layoffs are effective June
John Deere spokesman Ken Golden says despite recent strong earnings,
the decision is based on sales and demand in its construction and
forestry division. Golden says the layoffs were according to seniority.
Employees will receive compensation through the union and unemployment
Work Continues on New Delaware County Fairgrounds Show Ring
Workers are making good progress on the new Delaware County Fairgrounds
show ring. Fair Manager Jeannie Domeyer says the shell of the building
is almost complete, and contractors are working on electricity and
other inside projects. Domeyer says donations are still needed to reach
the final fundraising goal. If you are interested in making a tax
deductible contribution, contact the fair office.
CenturyLink to Improve Internet in Dubuque Area
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A communications company has announced a $2.3
million investment into bringing more reliable Internet and data
service to the Dubuque area.
CenturyLink announced Wednesday a project that will create a second
fiber optic line that's nearly 70 miles. The project is part of an
effort to prevent major outages in the area. The company made the
investment without public assistance and without a rate increase to its
customers. CenturyLink officials say the move was prompted by a June
2012 incident involving an excavator accidentally severing the first
fiber optic line. Residents and businesses, including emergency
responders, had no phone service or Internet for hours.
Dyersville Council Sets Public Hearing, Meeting Dates
The Dyersville City Council met Monday. They set a public hearing for
June 17 on the plans for the construction of the 12th Ave Southeast
project. They also set a public meeting for June 10 at 6 pm to dicuss a
grant application for a concrete trail from Heritage Trail to
Commericial Club Park and then to Candy Candy Cane Park. They will also
hold a meeting June 26 to discuss the proposed Highway 20 interchange.
Both of those meeting will be held at the Social Center.
Farmers Struggle to Finish Planting Corn, Soybeans
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Wet fields from too much rain continues to
delay corn and soybean planting in Iowa reaching the point where
farmers are likely to see at least some reduction in this fall's
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Iowa farmers planted only an
additional 3 percent of the crop last week. Corn is 88 percent planted,
behind the five-year average of 99 percent. Seventy-three percent of
corn plants have emerged from the ground. Normal is about 91 percent.
Iowa soybean farmers have just 44 percent planted, trailing the five-year average of 91 percent.
Nationally, just 57 percent of soybeans are in the ground, significantly behind the five-year average of 74 percent.
St. Francis Xavier Parish 125th Birthday Sunday
St. Francis Xavier Parish will celebrate their 125th birthday this
Sunday, June 2. All are invited to walk in the Annual Corpus
Christi Procession following the 10:30 am Mass. There will be a Picnic
Lunch with Birthday cake following the Procession. You can enjoy a
hamburger lunch for $5.00 or hotdog lunch for $3.00. Lunch includes
sandwich, potato salad, chips, baked beans, watermelon, lemonade,
coffee and birthday cake and ice cream.
Archdiocese of Dubuque Installs New Archbishop
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The Archdiocese of Dubuque has installed its new archbishop.
More than 1,200 people gathered Thursday at the Church of the Nativity
in Dubuque to watch Archbishop Michael Jackels get installed as the
Jackels urged more people to consider religious vocations. He also
praised the work of people who labor in the church and their
The archdiocese announced Jackels' appointment by Pope Francis in
April. Jackels replaced Archbishop Jerome Hanus, who announced his
resignation due to declining health. Jackels was previously bishop at
the Catholic Diocese of Wichita.
Iowa Rodeo Clown gets Prison Time for Growing Marijuana in Jones County
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A professional rodeo clown has been sentenced
to 20 years in federal prison for growing marijuana in rural Iowa for
U.S. District Judge Linda Reade announced Thursday the sentence of
55-year-old Roy Meeks, of Marion. He was given a special assessment of
Meeks, who worked as a rodeo clown and bullfighter in local and
national rodeos, was convicted in March of one count of conspiracy to
manufacture marijuana. He was acquitted on a second charge.
Prosecutors say Meeks conspired with others to plant marijuana along
corn and soybean fields in secluded spots in Jones County. He is
accused of tending the plants throughout the summer then harvesting and
Prosecutors say Meeks was involved in growing more than 1,000 marijuana plants between 2004 and 2011.
Soggy Weather Delays Corn, Soybean Planting
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 85
percent of Iowa's corn crop and 40 percent of the state's soybean crop
has been planted.
The estimates released Tuesday by the USDA's National Agricultural
Statistics Service show the corn crop is far behind the
five-year-average of 98 percent for this time of year. The soybean
crop's five-year average is 83 percent planted by this time.
Although planting is behind the average due to a cold spring and recent
persistent rain, farmers were able to make a lot of progress during a
dry stretch last week.
The rain also has improved pasture and range conditions, with 89
percent now seen as in fair, good or excellent conditions, though some
land along streams has flooded.
Iowa House Leader Considering Race for Congress
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says
he's seriously considering running for the congressional seat being
vacated by Bruce Braley.
Paulsen says he is contemplating the 2014 race now that the legislative
session has concluded. He says he expects to make a decision within two
months. Paulsen, of Hiawatha, was elected to the state House in 2002
and was made Speaker in 2010. Democratic state Rep. Pat Murphy from
Dubuque has announced he will run. Steve Rathje of Cedar Rapids and Rod
Blum of Dubuque say they will run on the Republican side. The seat will
be open because Braley plans to seek the Senate seat being vacated by
Dyersville Man Arrested Following Domestic Assault
A Dyersville man was arrested following a domestic disturbance Monday
night. According to police, Darla Goerdt stated that her husband,
Michael, and herself were arguing at their home. During the argument,
he slapped a cell phone out of her hand and pushed her, and later made
Darla Goerdt left the area and called police. Responding officers were
unbale to locate Michael Goerdt, and the Jones County Tactical Response
team was called in to search the home. A citizen later saw Goerdt
walking in a different area of Dyersville and he was taken into custody
without incident. Goerdt, who was charged with domestic assault, was
being held at the Dubuque County Jail.
Teen Fatally Injured in Delaware County Crash
DUNDEE, Iowa (AP) — A 13-year-old girl has been fatally injured in a rollover crash on a county road in northeast Iowa.
The Iowa State Patrol says the accident occurred about 2:15 p.m. Sunday near Dundee.
The patrol says 36-year-old Amber Rutherford, of Cedar Rapids, lost
control of her vehicle on a curve. The vehicle ran off the road and
into a ditch before rolling into a wooded area.
The patrol says a passenger, 13-year-old Chloe Estes, of Cedar Rapids, died at Regional Medical Center in Manchester.
Rutherford and three other passengers were taken to the Manchester
hospital and then taken to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in
Dubuque Toddler Dies After Being Hit by Car
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in Dubuque are investigating the death of a 3-year-old boy hit by a vehicle.
Dubuque police say Edgar Joel ran into the street Monday night and was struck by a car driven by 59-year-old Donald Makovec.
Edgar was airlifted to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He died Tuesday afternoon.
County prosecutors have not filed any charges.
'Bishop' Would-be Pipe Bomber Gets 37 Years
CHICAGO (AP) — An Iowa letter carrier has been sentenced to 37 years in
prison for sending dud pipe bombs with threatening letters signed "The
U.S. District Judge Robert Dow issued the sentence Tuesday afternoon,
saying John Tomkins "engaged in a reign of terror." The 48-year-old
Dubuque, Iowa man previously apologized, saying there were "no words to
describe" his "shame." Tomkins was trying to drive up the value of
shares he owned. One package was sent to Denver and another to Kansas
Jurors convicted Tomkins last year. The most serious charge was for use
of a destructive device while mailing threatening communications. It
carried a mandatory sentence of at least 30 years.
Tomkins last month said the mandatory minimum was unfair. Prosecutors sought a sentence of around 45 years.
Midwest Pride in Your Ride Raises $47,000 for Relay for Life
The Midwest Pride in Your Ride Truck Show has again raised thousands of
dollars for Relay for Life. Eldy Jaeger talks about this years event.