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Iowa Police Chief Quits Following Bus Flap

FAYETTE, Iowa (AP) — A northeast Iowa police chief who is accused of illegally passing a stopped school bus has quit his post.

Fayette Mayor Andrew Wenthe says Chief Brad Alan Gardner voluntarily resigned on Monday.  Gardner was placed on administrative leave after he was ticketed earlier this month. A bus driver for North Fayette Valley School District reported that the chief went around his bus while it was stopped and disabled students were getting off. Wenthe told the council on Monday that Fayette County sheriff's deputies will assist the one remaining Fayette police officer. The community has about 1,300 residents. Gardner said in his resignation letter that he was leaving to pursue other employment. Gardner joined the department on July 1, 2013.

Milwaukee Based Company to Purchase Henderson Products in Manchester

A Milwaukee-based company has has entered into an agreement to purchase a Manchester business. Douglas Dynamics, Inc., which makes plows and ice equipment for light-duty trucks, announced this week that it will acquire Henderson Products for $95 million in cash, subject to working capital, cash and other adjustments. The transaction is also subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions and is expected to close before the end of the calendar year.

Henderson manufactures snow and ice control solutions for trucks with a focus on state Departments of Transportation (DOT), counties, and municipalities. James L. Janik, Chairman, President, and CEO of Douglas Dynamics,  says the acquisition aligns perfectly with their core business and adds a layer of predictability and stability. In addition to its manufacturing facility in Manchester, Henderson has and five truck equipment upfit facilities located in New York, Iowa, Ohio, New Jersey, and Illinois.

One Injured in Car vs. Train Accident

One person was injured in a car vs. train accident near Dyersville early this morning. It happened on Olde Hawkeye Road and a private drive around 12:45 a.m. Authorities say the victims vehicle was struck on the railroad tracks facing east when it was struck head-on by the westbound train and thrown from the tracks. The female, whose name was not released, was taken to Mercy ER with what authorities called significant injuries. That accident remains under investigation.

Three Men Arrested Following Asbury Burglary

Three men were arrested in connection with a burglary in Asbury Thursday morning. Authorities say a resident reported that two men had walked into his residence around 6:55 a.m. and then left after they saw him. He then observed those two along with another man who was in a car go to 2448 Maplewood Drive and break into that residence. Officers located the car as it was leaving the area. Two men inside the car and a third who was on foot were taken into custody.

19-year-old Brandon Strub was charged with 3rd Degree Burglary, which is a Class D Felony, and Possession of Burglary Tools, an Aggravated Misdemeanor. 18-year-old Benjamin Taylor was charged with 3rd Degree Burglary, and 19-year-old Cody Gaulke is charged with Accessory After the Fact, which is an Aggravated Misdemeanor. All three were taken to the Dubuque County  Jail pending a court appearance.

Edgewood Man Injured Late Friday Night While Raccoon Hunting

LITTLEPORT – An Edgewood man received a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his leg while hunting raccoons near Littleport in Clayton County late Friday evening. According to the DNR, 20-year-old Kyle Fry was trying to get tracking dogs away from raccoons when the .22 caliber rifle he was holding discharged, hitting him in the thigh. Fry was taken to a hospital in Elkader and then later transferred to a hospital in Dubuque where he was being treated for what are believed to be a non-life threatening injuries.

Early Morning Fire Destroys Dairy Barn

An early morning fire has destroyed a dairy barn between Dyersville and Petersburg. The Dyersville Fire Department was called to the Gary Overman farm at 2988 197th Street at 3 a.m. The barn is considered a total loss, with damage estimated at $200,000. Officials say the cause will remain undetermined because of the extent of the damage. Mutual aid was provided by the New Vienna/Luxmberg, Earlville and Colseburg Fire Departments.

St. Paul's School in Worthington will Close

A local catholic school will be closing. St. Paul's School in Worthington will close at the end of the current school year. The school board made that decision at their meeting last Thursday.

Blum Beats Murphy for NE Iowa's 1st District Seat

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican businessman Rod Blum has been elected in northeast Iowa's 1st district, beating longtime Democratic state Rep. Pat Murphy.

Voters elected Blum on Tuesday to fill the seat held for four terms by Democrat Bruce Braley, who opted to run for U.S. Senate.

Blum, the co-owner of a software company, campaigned on a conservative agenda of reducing government regulation and cutting taxes. He opposed an increase in the minimum wage and supported changes to Social Security to reduce benefits to wealthy people and possibly increase the retirement age.

Murphy, who has served 12 terms in the Iowa House, supported increasing the minimum wage and opposed cuts to Social Security.

Both Blum and Murphy are Dubuque residents. Besides Dubuque, the 1st district includes Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and Cedar Falls.

Dubuque County Board of Supervisors (Vote for 2) Supervisor

>Tom Hancock (D) 18,348 32%

>Daryl Klein (R / Inc.) 17,112 30%

Donna Smith (D) 14,391 25%

Otto Krueger 6,541 11%

Darren White 1,535 3%

Delaware County Supervisor - District 2 (Vacancy)13 / 13 precincts in

>Douglas G Dabroski R 4,512 votes 78%
Denise L. Boudreau 1,282 votes 22%

Delaware County Jail Expansion 13 / 13 precincts in (needs 60%) *Unofficial Results

Yes 3,530 votes 57%
No 2,632 votes 43%

Jones County Supervisor (District 3) 15 / 15 precincts in

>Jon C. Zirkelbach R 4,384 votes 57%
Jeff Cruise D 3,293 votes 43%

State Senator District 29 District 29
Tod Bowman (D / Inc.)

James Budde (R)

State Representative District 57 District 57
Nancy Dunkel (D / Inc.)

Ryan Kilburg (R)

David Snowden Overby (L)

State Representative District 58 District 58
Brian Moore (R / Inc.)

Kim Huckstadt (D)

State Representative District 96 District 96
Lee Hein (R / Inc.)

Brian William Cook (L)

Vandals Damage Jones County Veterans Memorial

ANAMOSA, Iowa (AP) — Vandals have damaged a veterans memorial that stands in front of the Jones County Courthouse in Anamosa.

County auditor Janine Sulzner discovered the damage a little after 6 a.m. Tuesday.  An American flag and other flags that stood around the memorial were stolen or cut up. They included flags for Iowa and prisoners of war as well as flags for each military branch.

Sulzner says the flags are being replaced. No arrests have been reported.

Sheriff: Iowa Girl Injured in Drain Wagon Accident

VINTON, Iowa (AP) — The Benton County Sheriff's Office says a 12-year-old girl has been critically injured after falling into a grain wagon. Deputies say the girl and a 9-year-old child were playing on the wagon on Sunday afternoon as the girl's father was unloading it. They say she was nearly suffocated in 600 bushels of corn. First responders were able to remove her from the wagon and no other injuries were reported. The girl was taken to a Cedar Rapids hospital.

Anamosa Woman Killed in Jones County Crash

One was killed in a crash near Anamosa Wednesday evening. According to the state patrol, 79-year-old Mary Ellen Goldsmith of Anamosa was eastbound on Shaw Road when she failed to yield at Highway 151 and was hit by a northbound semi.  The driver of the truck was taken to Jones Regional Medical Center for treatment.  That crash happened 5:50 p.m.

No Injuries in Fire at Mills Manufacturing

EARLVILLE, Iowa (AP) —  No one was injured in a fire at a manufacturing business in Earlville Wednesday morning.  Earlville Mayor Dan Wheeler says about 25 to 30 people were evacuated during the fire a Mills Manufacturing Company.  Multiple area fire departments responded to the blaze, which was mostly confined to the ceiling of the 30,000-square-foot building.  Wheeler, who is also a volunteer firefighter, says the damage to the building was minimal but that there was serious damage to the equipment inside.  The cause is under investigation.

Two Girls Charged with Starting Dyersville Garage Fire

Two 13-year-old girls face felony charges for allegedly starting a garage fire in Dyersville earlier this month.  Daelin Carter and Toni Spencer are charged with first-degree criminal mischief and reckless use of fire.  That October 1st fire destroyed a seven-car garage.  According to court documents, officers spoke with the two girls, who confessed to starting the fire.

Horse Tracks Suspend Simulcast Signals to Dubuque

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Horse racing tracks in Kentucky have suspended simulcast signals to Dubuque, months after a group representing horse owners in Iowa raised concerns about recent greyhound racing legislation.  It's unclear what led to the suspension of simulcast signals to Mystique Casino. The racetracks include Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington and Churchill Downs.  The Iowa Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has expressed concerns about greyhound racing legislation that was passed earlier this year. They argued the Greyhound Association's ability to negotiate simulcasting contracts with other casinos would make them the sole beneficiaries of expanded agreements.  Jerry Crawford, an attorney for the greyhound association, says concerns from horse owners are among issues still being discussed.

Manchester Man Charged after Threatening Others with Gun

A Manchester man faces charges after threatening to shoot others. Police responded to an apartment at 1513 North Franklin Street on Wednesday after receiving a call about a man with a loaded shotgun making threats. Authorities say others inside the apartment were able to talk 21-year-old Jessie Carter into putting the gun down and leaving. Police later found Carter in his apartment and arrested him. He has been charged with Going Armed with Intent, Aggravated Assault and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Farmer Reports Soybean Bushels Stolen in Illinois

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa farmer says someone has stolen about $18,000 worth of soybeans from 18 acres on his farm in Illinois. Matt Schuster of La Motte, Iowa, says he is missing more than 1,600 bushels after someone took the crops in East Dubuque. He says he noticed the theft when he checked on the land over the weekend. The Jo Daviess County Sheriff's Office is investigating. Neighbors say they saw the crop being harvested but they thought Schuster had hired someone to combine the field. Schuster says his crop insurance will cover the loss but he has to produce about 1,600 bushels of soybeans by Nov. 1 to meet a contract. He says he hopes the incident turns out to be "just a big mistake."

Delhi Man Faces Charges Following Chase

A Delhi man faces charges following a chase that began in Dyersville. According to a press release, a Dyersville officer attempted to stop 40-year-old Jared Billings for a registration violation just before noon on Monday. Initially, the vehicle stopped at Mile Marker 295 on Highway 20 westbound, but as the officer approached, Billings sped off. The officer attempted to stop him again, but Billings continued on Delaware County roads after turning south from 20.

Officers with the State Patrol and Delaware County Sheriff's Office joined the pursuit, which finally ended at a residence just south of Delhi. The Dyersville Police Department charged Billings with Driving While Revoked, No Insurance, Registration Violation and Interference with Official Acts. State Patrol charges include OWI, Felony Eluding, Stop Sign Violation and Open Container. Billings was also charged with 2nd Degree Criminal Mischief by the Delaware County Sheriff's Office for damaging a corn field during the chase. Billings was being held at the Delaware County Jail.

Celebrate My Drive continues, Cascade High School in 1st place

Area schools continue to collect commitments for the State Farm Insurance Celebrate My Drive campaign. As of 7:10 a.m. today, Cascade was in 1st place in the small school category. The top school in the small and large group win $100,000 and a concert with the The Band Perry. Beckman is currently in 34th place in the small school group, and Western Dubuque is in 7th place among the large schools. The top 5 schools in each group with $100,000, and the next 45 schools each receive a $25,000 grant. That contest continues through Friday.

Drugs, Alcohol Killed Iowa Woman at Campground

MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) — The death of a woman at Maquoketa Caves State Park in September has been ruled an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription drugs.

Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy Russ Long says that there were no indications of foul play in the death of 40-year-old Stacy Sterrett, of Harper, Iowa. Authorities were called to the caves campground the morning of Sept. 9 and found Sterrett dead. A male companion told investigators that he found her unresponsive when he woke up.

Wisconsin Couple Sentenced in Iowa Meth Case

ELKADER, Iowa (AP) — A Wisconsin couple has been sentenced to five years in prison after Clayton County authorities discovered a methamphetamine manufacturing operation at their Iowa home. 34-year-old Jesse Lutz and 32-year-old Shara Lutz previously faced harsher sentences because their 7-year-old son lived in the home. The couple from Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, took a deal with prosecutors last week. Prosecutors say a state Department of Human Services worker visited the home in September 2013 and smelled meth. They were each charged and convicted with possessing drugs with intent to distribute and child endangerment. The couple assisted prosecutors in securing convictions against another man and woman connected to the same operation.

Area Schools Competing in State Farm Insurance “Celebrate My Drive” Contest

Area schools are again competing in the State Farm Insurance “Celebrate My Drive” contest. 90 schools will win $25,000 grants, 10 will win $100,000, and the top school in the small and large group will win a concert featuring The Band Perry. To support your registered school, go to celebrate my drive dot com and make a commitment using your e-mail addresses. You can make one commitment per day with each e-mail address. Currently, Western Dubuque is in 6th place in the large school division. In the small school group, Cascade is 5th and Beckman Catholic is in 18th place. The top 5 in each category win $100,000 and the next 45 schools receive $25,000. That contest ends on the 24th.

Tools Donated to Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A business has donated tools worth thousands of dollars to Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity after many of the group's tools were stolen last month. A thief broke into a locked trailer parked outside of the group's warehouse in September, taking off with the tools. On Tuesday, farm supply business Theisen's gave several brand new tools, worth an estimated $3,500, to the community organization. Its store manager, Bill Horrigan, says it's been wonderful to assist the group that's helped out the community with its efforts. Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity said volunteers would start using the new tools this weekend. Theisen's also gifted construction equipment to Dubuque's chapter of Habitat for Humanity when its tools were stolen earlier this summer.

Iowa Candidate for US Senate Dies in Plane Crash

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A Dubuque doctor who was running as a Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate has died in a plane crash.

The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office says Dr. Douglas Butzier (BUT'-zeer) was the pilot of the plane that crashed around 11 p.m. Monday near Dubuque Regional Airport. He was the sole occupant of the aircraft.

Butzier worked at Mercy Medical Center-Dubuque. Jennifer Faley, a hospital spokeswoman, confirms Butzier was running for U.S. Senate against Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley and Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the plane took off from Ankeny Regional Airport about an hour before the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

Hunter Found Safe at White Pines State Preserve

Emergency crews were called out to help find a lost hunter at White Pines State Preserve north of Luxemburg Monday night. Officials say the hunter, a 52-year-old Dubuque man, called friends for help around 7:30. After they were unable to locate him, they called 911 around 11:15. Members of the New Vienna/Luxemburg and Holy Cross/North Buena Vista Fire Departments responded to the area and found the man at 1 a.m. Officials say the steep terrain affected the search and their communication equipment. The hunter was not injured.

Feds: Pilot Dies in Small Plane Crash in Dubuque

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A federal official says the pilot of a single-engine plane has died in a crash near Dubuque Regional Airport.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the Piper PA-46 crashed around 11 p.m. Monday on approach to the airport, about a mile north of the runway.

Lunsford says law enforcement told him the sole occupant of the aircraft was killed in the crash but he has no other information. The Dubuque Police Department declined to comment to The Associated Press early Tuesday.

Lunsford says the plane took off from Ankeny Regional Airport about an hour before the crash.

He says the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

New Fair Building Honors Memory of Marion Man

CENTRAL CITY, Iowa (AP) — Linn County Fair leaders are celebrating the opening of a building dedicated to a Marion man who worked at the fairgrounds before he died of a heart attack.

The Lynn Dunn Memorial Building in Central City opened on Sunday and will host year-round events. The building's namesake died in 2008. His son, Ryan, says cutting the ribbon for the building was a surreal and bittersweet moment. He says he is glad his father's memory is being honored by the building.

Fair leaders say Dunn had always dreamed of a place people could come to for year-round events. They say grants and private donations helped pay for the $875,000 building.

Sheriff: Fire Extinguished at Iowa Business

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — Firefighters from four northeast Iowa departments have extinguished a fire at a transportation business after two days of battling flames.

The Buchanan County Sheriff's Office says the fire was reported after 5 p.m. on Saturday at Merfeld Transport Inc. near Independence. Firefighters fought the flames Saturday and worked Sunday to take care of hot spots.

No injuries were reported.

An Independence Fire Department assistant captain tells the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that a large machine shed and its contents were destroyed.

The cause of the fire is unclear. The State Fire Marshal's Office will investigate.

Authorities say Dyersville Baby was Stillborn

Authorities say a baby found dead in a Dyersville home last Friday was stillborn.  According to the State Medical Examiner’s Office, an autopsy indicated the baby was stillborn and no foul play was involved. The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office says the delay in reporting the death does not violate any laws and officials do not expect to file any charges.

Police: Dubuque Man Charged After High-Speed Chase

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Dubuque police have arrested a man who they say led officers on a high-speed chase before crashing into a building. 38-year-old Robert Schmitt of Dubuque was charged Thursday with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and felony eluding. Schmitt was also cited on other charges including having an illegal muffler and driving on the wrong side of a road. Police say an officer tried to pull Schmitt over because of the muffler but he drove off. They say he drove 90 mph down a 25 mph street before striking a building. No injuries were reported. Police say he had a blood alcohol content of 0.168 percent.

Iowa Man Faces Charges Following Police Chase

COLESBURG, Iowa (AP) — A Colesburg man faces charges following a police chase in Dubuque.Dubuque police say 30-year-old Aaron T. Weipert was arrested early Tuesday following a chase on the city's west side.A criminal complaint says officials had attempted to stop a white van linked to an earlier crime when the van sped away. The vehicle exceeded the speed limit on multiple streets, including going 60 in a 30 zone.Police used stop sticks to stop the van and arrest Weipert. He faces charges of eluding and operating while under the influence, along with several traffic citations.

Authorities Release More Information about Dyersville Infant

Dubuque County Sheriff’s deputies have released more information in the death of an infant on Friday in Dyersville. According to a press release, investigators are working to confirm that the infant was stillborn in the home of her mother on the northwest side of Dyersville, rather than dying after birth.
Authorities say the baby was reportedly delivered on Friday morning and remained in the home until they were notified of the incident Friday afternoon.

The body was taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny for an autopsy.

Authorities Investigate Infant's Death in Dyersville

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — The Dubuque County Sheriff's Department is investigating the death of a Dyersville infant. Sheriff's deputies, Dyersville police and Dyersville rescue workers were called to a home on the city's northwest side Friday. The infant was pronounced dead at the scene.
An autopsy was scheduled to determine the cause of death.

Judge Denies Lower Bond for Connolly

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A judge has denied a request to reduce bond for an Iowa man facing vehicular homicide charges in the deaths of four teenagers.

Dubuque District Court Judge Todd Geer wrote in an order made public Thursday that he considered multiple factors when making the decision on 24-year-old Joseph Connolly's bond. They included the nature of the charges, Connolly's prior record and the risk of flight. Connolly remains held on a $500,000 cash-only bond.

Connolly, of Holly Cross, faces multiple charges in connection with an August car crash near Epworth in eastern Iowa. Connolly is accused of being intoxicated prior to the crash, which killed four teenagers and injured two others. Connolly has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Fire Destroys Dyersville Garage

A structure fire was reported to the Dubuque Law Enforcement Center through a 911 call on October 1st at approximately 1804 hours.  The fire was to a 7 car garage, which was adjacent to an apartment building in the 500 block of 9th Street SE. 

The Dyersville Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire.  The building is believed to be a total loss and damage is estimated at $70,000.
There was also water and smoke damage to the apartment building.  The damage to the apartment building was estimated at $30,000.

At approximately 2226 hours, the fire department was called back to the garage because the fire had re-ignited.

Two juveniles were questioned at the police department shortly after the fire.  The case has been forwarded to the Dubuque County Attorney’s Office for review and possible charges. 

The Dyersville Police Department would like to thank the many citizens would called in tips that is helping bring this incident to a quick close.

Two People Arrested on Drugs Charges in Manchester

Two people face charges after authorities found a meth lab in Manchester. Officers were called to check on a suspicious car in the 200 block of South Franklin Street Wednesday morning. Evidence in the car led authorities to an apartment at 222 South Franklin where they found illegal narcotics, drug paraphernalia and items related to a meth lab. Officers arrested 33-year-old Stephanie Busch and 22-year-old Kodi Hettinger. Both were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. That investigation continues.

Iowa Corn, Soybean Harvest Lagging Behind Average

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Corn and soybean crops are in good condition but the challenge for farmers is getting the crops harvested before the weather turns cold.

Late planting caused the crops to mature later than normal. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in its weekly update Monday that 60 percent of the corn crop is mature, well behind the five-year average of 70 percent. Soybeans are two percentage points behind the average.

Just 2 percent of the Iowa corn crop is harvested far less than the 15 percent average. About 3 percent of soybeans are out of the fields, behind the 17 percent average.

Nationally, 12 percent of corn is out of the fields half the average at this point in time. Ten percent of soybeans are harvested, seven points behind the average.

Not Guilty Plea

The man charged with four counts of vehicular homicide in connection with an August crash that killed four teens near Epworth has pleaded not guilty.  The Dubuque County Attorney’s Office says 24-year-old Joe Connolly filed a written plea of not guilty at a hearing on Friday. He and his lawyer also requested a speedy trial.  Prosecutors have charged Connolly with four counts of vehicular homicide by OWI and four counts of vehicular homicide by reckless driving, in addition to other charges, after a truck he was driving hit and killed four 14-year-old boys riding in a utility vehicle in early August.  Earlier this month, Connolly’s lawyer asked a judge to reduce his client’s bond from $500,000 to $50,000. There has not been a ruling on that decision.

Linn County Death

A Linn County man died Monday night after a vehicle he was working on fell on him.  Just before 8 p.m. Deputies responded to the 1100 block of Dubuque Road, between Marion and Springville.  First responders arrived to find a minivan had fallen on a man. He was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.  The Linn County Sheriff’s Office will not identify the individual who died, pending notification of family.

Jackson County Assessor Shot at by Gunman Resigns

MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) — A county assessor who was shot at by a gunman earlier this month has resigned. Jackson County Assessor Deb Lane submitted her resignation letter Friday. She will step down from her position effective Jan. 2 but will use vacation and accumulated comp time until that date.Lane was in a county supervisors meeting at the courthouse in Maquoketa on Sept. 9 when Francis Glaser fired a handgun at her following a heated discussion about his property taxes. The bullet missed and Glaser was tackled. A second shot hit Glaser and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Lane has worked in the Jackson County assessor's office for 21 years.

Sheriff: Iowa Man Locked 5 Kids in Bedroom All Day

A man is charged with locking his girlfriend's five children in a bedroom for more than 24 hours without food or access to a bathroom. Fayette County Deputies who responded to a domestic disturbance at a home in Westgate on Friday saw children crying and yelling through a window for help.The children, ranging in ages from 3 to 9, told investigators they had been locked inside a bedroom by their mother's boyfriend, 28-year-old Joshua Steinbronn, on multiple occasions — sometimes for longer than 24 hours.The room locked from the outside, and the children say they were unable to leave. One girl told investigators she injured her leg trying to escape.But the children's mother, Jonya Smith, said those allegations were false. She said she and Steinbronn had locked the children in their rooms for disciplinary reasons and naps — but never for as long as 24 hours.

She said Steinbronn, who was released from jail Saturday, is not a bad person. She praised him for enforcing respect, calling her kids "uncontrollable."

Iowa Judge Considers Bond for Connolly

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A Holy Cross man charged in a crash that killed four teens is seeking a reduced bond. 24-year-old Joseph Connolly appeared in Dubuque District Court Monday for a bond review. He has been at the county jail since turning himself in earlier this month. Connolly's attorney, Mark Roeder, said his client's bond should be reduced from $500,000 cash-only to $50,000, with a requirement to pay 10 percent to get out of jail. Roeder said his client is neither a flight risk nor a continued danger to the community. A county prosecutor argued against it, saying Connolly has a history of charges related to operating a vehicle while intoxicated. The prosecutor also said Connolly is a flight risk given the severity of his charges. Judge Todd Geer plans to decide on the bond reduction request in a few days.

Regional Medical Center Asking for “Gifts of Grain” for Capital Campaign

Regional Medical Center in Manchester is asking area farmers to contribute to the ongoing “Together We Can” capital campaign. RMC is accepting donations of grain to help fund the expansion project at the hospital. Farmers who are interested should consult with a tax professional before giving grain. For more details, contact Kelly Walton at 927-7780.

Iowa DNR Traces Manure Spill to Dairy Operation

GRAF, Iowa (AP) — Officials say an unknown amount of manure from a dairy operation in northeast Iowa spilled into the Little Maquoketa.

The DNR said the spill has been linked to a report of dead fish in the Little Maquoketa, though an exact amount has not been released. Officials said they will attempt to count the dead fish today.

The spill was traced t Lawler Dairy Farm near Graf. One of the owners told officials the spill began around Sept. 13 and continued for several days. It released an unknown amount of manure during that time.

Officials determined manure overflowed from an existing earthen basin to a grassed waterway. That entered a ravine which flows into a tributary of the Little Maquoketa.

The farm owners at first built a pit next to the overflowing basin to help contain the manure. They later temporarily dammed the tributary to the river by building a dike at the property line, in an effort to pump manure from the stream into a nearby pasture.

DNR officials say the farm was late in reporting the spill and had an unregistered basin. The case remains under investigation.

Monticello Home Damaged by Fire

A Monticello home was damaged by fire Wednesday night. Fire crews first responded to the home near the intersection of Park Drive and South Gill Street around 7 p.m. At that time, there were flames near the back porch. Firefighters were called back out later in the night to put out a second fire that damaged the interior of the home. Officials say that same house had been hit by lightning a few weeks ago. The family that was renting the home was not there at the time of Wednesday's fires.

Former Oelwein Mayor Pleads Not Guilty

OELWEIN, Iowa (AP) — The former mayor of Oelwein pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges alleging he sexually abused two girls. Court records show 36-year-old Jason Manus entered the plea to five counts of second-degree sexual abuse. His trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 8. Manus is accused of assaulting a 14-year-old girl four times and a 9-year-old girl once in July and August 2010 at his home. He was arrested in August following an investigation by the Fayette County Sheriff's Office. Authorities said they had received info about the abuse allegations from DHS.

Manus resigned from office after his arrest. The City Council then appointed council member Peggy Sherrets as mayor.

Beckman's “Jam the Gym for a Million Dollar Night” Event Raises $1.35 Million

Beckman Catholic High School and Beckman Endowment Corporation have announced results of the Jam the Gym – Million Dollar Night held last week. Contributions made through this event netted $1.35 million, including an anonymous donation of $500,000.  This brings total contributions to the Blazing Forward Capital Campaign to just over $5.9 million. The goal for the Blazing Forward Campaign is $6.5 million.

Principal Pat Meade said their prayers were answered when the anonymous donor stepped forward with their gift, and the Beckman Catholic community quickly rallied to more than double their donation.  Meade added they are proud and humbled by the support of all donors, and have learned how much Beckman Catholic High School means to this area.”  Meade says they are by no means finished soliciting for this campaign. He said they are positioned well to finish strong.

Dyersville Council News

The Dyersville City council met Monday. They passed a resolution to establish a 4-way stop and other traffic controls at the intersection of 12th Avenue and 7th Street Southwest. Following that decision, the council voted no on a resolution to remove trees at that intersection. In other business, the council passed a resolution approving a sidewalk project to connect Dyersville Elementary to Westside Park. They selected option 3, with the sidewalk running east on the north side of 12th Avenue to 3rd Street, north on the east side of 3rd Street to the corner of 3rd Street and 9th Avenue, then crossing 3rd Street to the current sidewalk at the northeast corner of 9th Avenue.

Connolly Charged in Connection with August Crash

Charges have been filed in connection with a crash that killed four teens in Dubuque County last month. On Friday, Joseph Connolly surrendered himself at the Dubuque Law Enforcement Center. Connolly is charged with four counts of Vehicular Homicide by OWI, 1 county of Serious Injury by OWI, four counts of Vehicular Homicide by Reckless Driving, 1 count of Serious Injury by Reckless Driving and Failure to Stop for a Stop Sign. Vehicular Homicide by OWI is a Class B Felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Vehicular Homicide by Reckless Driving is a Class C Felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Serious Injuy by Reckless Driving and Serious Injury by OWI are both a Class D Felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Bond was set at $500,000.

Dyersville Man Faces Drug Charges

A Dyersville man is charged with two counts of distributing meth near a playground and one count of possessing pseudoephedrine for use in the manufacture of meth.

29-year-old Robert John Mueller is accused of distributing a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of meth within one-thousand feet of Candy Cane Park. That incident happened in June. He faces a possible maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and a two-million dollar fine.

Three Injured in Head-on Crash Near Bellevue

Three people were injured in a crash near Bellevue Saturday morning. According to the state patrol, 36-year-old Patrick Duhme, of Preston, was southbound on Highway 52 when he crossed the center line and hit a northbound vehicle, driven by 47-year-old Denise Michel of Bellevue. Duhme and his passenger were taken to a Dubuque hospital for treatment, while Michel was taken to the Maquoketa hospital. That crash happened just before 8 a.m. Saturday just north of 395th Avenue.

Dyersville Council

The Dyersville City Council will meet on Monday, September 15. Agenda items include a resolution to remove trees located at the intersection of 12th Avenue SW and 7th Street SW and providing an effective date. They will also discuss a resolution that would make that intersection a 4-way stop and a school zone. In other business, the council will consider a resolution approving a sidewalk route from Dyersville Elementary to Westside Park. Officials have identified four options for that sidewalk route. Monday's council meeting begin at 7 p.m.

Collector Sells Vintage Machines on Iowa Farm

HAZLETON, Iowa (AP) — An Amish collector's sale of antique farming equipment has drawn prospective bidders from as far away as Canada.

Bidders traveled to Rudy and Sara Gingerich's farm near Hazleton on Wednesday to view their collection of vintage threshers.

Rudy Gingerich developed a reputation for finding and fixing machines discarded by farmers. He said he was selling the machines because his family is moving.

USDA Boosts Corn, Soybean Harvest to New Records

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The nation's corn and soybean farmers will harvest by far the largest crops ever this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday in a new report. Bigger crops have been expected this year thanks to adequate rain and cool temps, but the new estimates far surpass previous records. Corn farmers are expected to harvest nearly 14.4 billion bushels of corn, up from last year's 13.9 billion bushel record. The 171.7 bushels per acre yield is significantly higher than the previous record set in 2009 of 164.7 bushels per acre. Record yields will be set in 18 states. Despite the strong forecast, concerns have grown in recent days that early cold weather is creeping into the upper Midwest and some crops are maturing later this year. Temperatures below freezing could slow or stop crops from reaching full maturity and affect the harvest. That possibility was not reflected in Thursday's report.

Authorities: Iowa Shooter Committed Suicide

MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) — The 71-year-old man who fired at the county assessor after a meeting at the Jackson County Courthouse committed suicide, authorities said.

The Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner said in a news release that Francis "Gus" Glaser died from a gunshot wound to his neck and head and that he'd killed himself. Jackson County Sheriff Russ Kettmann said investigators found evidence that suggested Glaser was going to commit suicide.

Glaser pulled a handgun from a briefcase Tuesday as a group prepared to leave a recently adjourned county supervisors meeting at the courthouse in Maquoketa. Glaser demanded the meeting resume so officials could discuss his rising property taxes, said county Supervisor Jack Willey.

Despite pleas to put down the gun, Glaser took a shot at county assessor Deb Lane and missed, several witnesses said. Larry Koos, another county supervisor, tackled Glaser to the floor. The gun went off again. Glaser was pronounced dead at the scene.

Man Fatally Shot During Public Meeting

MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man angry about his property taxes was fatally shot during a public meeting Tuesday after he pulled a gun from a briefcase and pointed it at the county assessor, the local sheriff said.

Francis Glaser, 71, had become agitated and vocal about his property taxes going up during a weekly meeting of Jackson County's board of supervisors in Maquoketa.

As the meeting ended in the local courthouse, Glaser pulled a gun and fired at the county assessor but missed, Jackson County Sheriff Russ Kettmann said. One of the county's three supervisors, Larry Koos, was nearby and stepped in. He struggled with Glaser, and a second shot was fired. Glaser was hit and died at the scene, Kettmann said.

The sheriff said Koos "probably saved a life." He was injured during the struggle, when his arm crashed through a glass door, and was sent to a local hospital for stitches.

The shooting occurred during a meeting in which officials were discussing property assessments.

Five Teens Injured in Clayton County Crash

MONONA, Iowa (AP) — Five Iowa teenagers have been hospitalized after a single-vehicle rollover in Clayton County. A trooper says that accident occurred around 4 p.m. Thursday near Monona. 17-year-old Dylan Oelke of McGregor was northbound on Hickory Avenue when lost control of his truck, which went into a ditch and flipped.

Oelke and his four passengers were injured. They were transported to the Prairie du Chien Hospital. Their conditions are unknown.

British Olympic Silver Medalist Rowing for Charity

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A British man who won a silver medal in the 1980 Olympics is rowing down the Mississippi River to raise money for a charity.

John Pritchard earned the medal at the 1980 Olympics and competed four years later. He has also participated in the three University Boat Races on the River Thames for Cambridge University.

Pritchard is trying to raise $1 million for Right To Play UK. It's a charitable group that uses sports and games to help teach children communication and teamwork skills in war-torn countries. So far he's raised about $250,000.

Pritchard and his rowing partner reached Dubuque on Tuesday and left for Bellevue on Wednesday. He and various rowing partners expect to reach New Orleans in October.

Beckman to Host “Jam the Gym for a Million Dollar night” as Part of Capital Campaign

Beckman Catholic High School will hold special event next month to help raise funds for the “Blazing Forward” capital campaign. An anonymous donor will match up to $500,000 in contributions, and the school will hold a “Jam the Gym for a Million Dollar Night” event on September 10th to solicit donations toward meeting that donation. So far, Beckman has received about $4.6 million in contributions and pledges. Their goal for the capital campaign is $6.5 million.  

Firefighters Extinguish Linn County Bridge Fire

COGGON, Iowa (AP) — Firefighters say they have extinguished flames on a historic railroad bridge in Linn County.

Coggon Fire Capt. Jason Hartman says firefighters doused the flames on the Buffalo Creek bridge Wednesday night. It's unclear what started the fire.

No injuries were reported. The damage to the bridge is unclear.

Hartman says smoke from the flames could be seen from the fire station. He says the curved truss bridge is unique and of historical value to the people of Coggon.

Authorities Release Details from Hospital Shooting

WEST UNION, Iowa (AP) — The Department of Public Safety is releasing details about a weekend shooting at a northeast Iowa hospital that left an inmate dead.

The department Tuesday identified the Fayette County Jail inmate as 32-year-old Steven Harreld and the deputy as Jeremy Stiefel.

The Saturday incident happened at Palmer Lutheran Hospital in West Union, where Harreld had sought treatment. Stiefel released the inmate from his handcuffs as he changed into his jail clothes and was releasing his leg cuffs when Harreld attacked.

Harreld grabbed the deputy's gun and demanded his release. While searching for handcuff keys Stiefel reached his stun-gun-like device. Harreld shot Stiefel, who deployed the device.

Stiefel wore a ballistic vest and wasn't seriously hurt.

Harreld shot himself in this head and died. An autopsy ruled it a suicide.

Inmate Shoots Iowa Deputy at Hospital, Kills Self

WEST UNION, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a jail inmate committed suicide after grabbing a gun and shooting a sheriff's deputy at a northeast Iowa hospital.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is looking into the shooting, which happened around 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Palmer Lutheran Health Center in West Union.

Authorities say the unidentified inmate attacked the Fayette County deputy when one of his hands was released from handcuffs. A struggle ensued and the inmate was able to grab the deputy's gun.
The deputy used a non-lethal device on the inmate, and the inmate shot the deputy before turning the gun on himself. The deputy was wearing a bulletproof vest and was not seriously hurt.

Hospital CEO Steve Stark says the hospital limited access to some areas on Saturday, but no services were interrupted.

Authorities Investigating Arson at Luxemburg Business

LUXEMBURG — Authorities are asking for help to find the person responsible for starting a fire earlier this week at a Luxemburg business.

Officials say the New Vienna/Luxemburg Fire Department responded around 4:50 a.m. Monday to Moser’s Gas Station in Luxemburg. An employee opening the store called 911 after discovering the fire, which was put out after causing minimal damage.

Investigators determined someone broke into the business just before the employee arrived and set the fire with the intent of burning the entire structure.

Anyone with information is asked to call Dubuque/Jo Daviess Crime Stoppers at 1-800-747-0117 or 563-588-0714.

Four Injured in Clayton County ATV Crash

Four people were injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident in Clayton County Tuesday afternoon. According to the state patrol, 19-year-old Colton Wegmann of Edgewood was driving the vehicle across a farm pasture when it hit a rut and overturned. One of the passengers, 17-year-old Abby Ramsey, was taken to University Hospitals in Iowa City by Lifeguard Air. Wegmann and the other two passengers, 17-year-old Bailey Ramsey and 12-year-old Jorgan Wegmann, were taken to Regional Medical Center in Manchester for treatment. That crash happened around 2:15 p.m. Tuesday near Eagle Avenue and East Mission Road.

Dyersville Man Arrested on Drug Charges

A Dyersville man faces drug charges after authorities raided his home. 26-year-old Kevin Deutmeyer was arrested Wednesday and charged with possession of precursors with intent to manufacture meth. Officials say the Dubuque Drug Task Force found items used in the “one-pot method” where ingredients are mixed in a single container. Deutmeyer was arrested around 1 p.m. Wednesday at his home on 2nd Street Northeast. He was being held at the Dubuque County Jail.

Anamosa Rollover Accident Victims Names Released

The Jones County Sheriff’s Office has released the names involved in a single-vehicle rollover northwest of Anamosa. Authorities responded to a call just after 8 PM Monday for a crash on Ridge Road E28 where it intersects with Fremont Road. The report says the driver, 54-year-old Phillip Pierce of Springville was pronounced dead at the scene. 60-year-old Merle Pierce, of Cedar Rapids, was sitting in the passenger seat and transported to Jones Regional Medical Center before to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Another passenger, 54-year-old Randy Rhodes of Cedar Rapids was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital. The Jones County Sheriff’s Office says Phillip and Merle are brothers, and Rhodes was a friend. Deputies say Pierce and Rhodes condition was unknown as Tuesday afternoon.

Dubuque Changes Severals Streets

The City of Dubuque is changing several one way streets to two ways. Starting Monday morning, traffic can go both ways on 9th, 10th, 11th and Pine Streets. The city has been getting the message out about the change to as many drivers as possible. Warning signs went up on Monday. The city has been using newsletters and social media to get the word out to residents as well. Engineers say the point of the conversion is to help traffic flow between the Historic Millwork District and the rest of the downtown area. The city has reduced those streets down to one lane so crews can change the paint on the road from white to yellow. The project will cost the city 1.7 million dollars. The city says that money is being used to change traffic signals, install fiber optics, and change the street signs. That includes the cost to reconstruct Pine Street.

Fire at Monticello Restaurant

Fire crews were called to battle a blaze that destroyed a Monticello restaurant Saturday afternoon. That fire started around 3 p.m. at the Wagon Wheel. A cause had not yet been determined. The restaurant was not open at the time of the fire.

Holy Cross Man Wins Auctioneer Contest at Fair, will Donate Prize Money to Families Of Boys Killed in Accident

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An eastern Iowa man has been crowned the top auctioneer of an annual bid calling contest at the Iowa State Fair, and he says he will donate the prize money to the families of four teenage boys killed earlier this month.

Tim Markham, of Holy Cross, was named the winner of the Iowa State Champion Auctioneer Contest on Tuesday. He was one of 20 contestants vying for the championship title.

Markham, a full-time auctioneer, says he will donate his $1,000 prize to the families of four boys killed in a utility vehicle accident in Dubuque County on Aug. 2.

The bid calling contest was organized by the Iowa Auctioneers Association. The contestants were judged on speed, salesmanship and appearance, among other factors, as they sold random items to the audience.

Oelwein Mayor Charged with Sexually Abusing 2 Girls

Oelwwin, Iowa (AP) — The first-year mayor of a northeastern Iowa city is behind bars after being charged with sexually assaulting two girls in 2010.

Deputies with the Fayette County Sheriff's Office arrested Oelwein Mayor Jason Manus at his home Monday.

He's charged with five counts of second-degree sexual abuse for allegedly assaulting a 14-year-old girl and a nine-year-old girl. Each count carries up to 25 years in prison.

During an initial court appearance, Manus was ordered held on a $125,000 bond. He said he anticipated retaining attorney Craig Ament, who didn't immediately return a message.

Manus narrowly defeated the incumbent mayor, Larry Murphy, in November 2013 and took office in January.

Sheriff Marty Fisher said his office launched the investigation a month ago after receiving information from the Iowa Department of Human Services.

Iowa's Corn, Soybean Crops Looking Good

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A U.S. Department of Agriculture report indicates Iowa's corn and soybean crops are looking good.

The USDA says Monday that 76 percent of the corn crop was in good to excellent condition, and 75 percent of the soybean crop was in good to excellent condition.

Topsoil moisture also was in good shape in most areas, with 71 percent of Iowa farmland rated as adequate, 23 percent short and 3 percent very short. The remaining 3 percent had surplus moisture.
Recent rains soaked some areas of Iowa while leaving others relatively dry. That's reflected in the survey showing some areas had only three days suitable for field work while other had more than six days during the week ending Aug. 10

Authorities Identify Eastern Iowa Drowning Victim

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have identified a man who drowned in the Mississippi River as 53-year-old Jerry Thill, of Dubuque.

Authorities say Thill was camping on an island on the Wisconsin side of the river across from Finley's Landing, north of Dubuque. Thill went into the river around 4:40 p.m. on Friday.

Other men who were camping with Thill say he was in water up to his chest, when he suddenly appeared distressed and tried to swim. One of the men swam out to try to help Thill, but was not able to keep a strong hold on him. Thill went under the water and did not resurface.

Thill was pronounced dead after authorities brought him to shore in Potosi, Wisconsin.

Dubuque County Jail Inmate Fails to Return from Furlough

A Dubuque County Jail inmate has failed to return following a furlough. Eric Burkholder was released on Thursday for a court ordered furlough to attend a funeral, but failed to return Saturday morning. Burkholder was serving a 240 day sentence for domestic assault and public intox. Anyone with info on his location should contact the Dubuque County Sheriff's Office.

Four Teens Killed in Crash South of Epworth

Four teens were killed in a crash Saturday afternoon in Dubuque County. According to the preliminary investigation, 24-year-old Joe Connolly of rural Holy Cross was driving a pickup pulling a livestock trailer south on Hartbecke Road when he failed to stop at the stop sign. His pickup collided with a John Deere Gator Utility Vehicle that was eastbound on East Pleasant Grove Road. The four occupants on the Gator died in the crash. They were identified as 14-year-old Bryce Wilwert, 14-year-old Mitchell Kluesner, both of Epworth, 14-year-old Sean Kenneally of Peosta, and 14-year-old Nicholas Kramer from Dyersville. Two passengers in the pickup were injured. 25-year-old Joe Lucas, of Epworth, was taken to University Hopsitals in Iowa City where he was listed in stable condition. 21-year-old Elissa Ericson, of Cedar Rapids, was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital. That crash, which happened just after 1:30 p.m. Saturday, remains under investigation. The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office is conferring with the county attorney on any possible charges.

Hammann Resigns as Beckman Football Coach

Gregg Hammann has stepped down as Beckman Football Coach. Hammann says he wants more time to watch his older sons play in college. In five years as head coach, Hammann lead the Blazers to a 44-15 recored with three district titles. They reached the playoffs all five seasons, including the semi-finals in 2011 and 2012.  Assistant Jim Derr has been appointed as head coach for the upcoming season.

Dubuque Bridge Across Mississippi Could Open Early

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Iowa transportation officials say repairs to the Julien Dubuque Bridge are ahead of schedule, and the span across the Mississippi River could reopen sooner than expected.

The bridge, which connects Dubuque, Iowa, and East Dubuque, Illinois, closed Monday and was scheduled to reopen July 31.

However, Iowa Department of Transportation engineer Hugh Holak says that good weather and the threat of stiff penalties for missing a 10-day deadline have resulted in quick work by contractor PCiRoads, of St. Michael, Minnesota.

Holak says he hopes the bridge will open "a couple days early."

The bridge work includes replacing deck joints and sealing a barrier rail.

Upper Iowa University Redesigns Offerings

FAYETTE, Iowa (AP) — Upper Iowa University officials say it has redesigned its academic offerings to better meet student demands and the needs of the job market.

UIU President William Duffy says the redesign is not only about adding or deleting majors. He says it is about expanding opportunities for the university's students worldwide. He says the university has "refreshed and updated programs to add specific skills that can be taken into the 21st-century workplace."

The 2014-15 class catalog for the private, not-for-profit university will list 36 majors, compared with 45 in the 2013-14 catalog.

University spokeswoman Monica Bayer Heaton says the school had 939 students attending classes on the Fayette campus last fall but had nearly 6,300 in total enrollment after its education centers, international locations and distance education programs are counted.

Manchester Zoo Owners Seek Lawsuit Dismissal

MANCHESTER, Iowa (AP) — The owners of a Manchester zoo, sued for allegedly mistreating animals, are asking a judge to dismiss the case.

Tom and Pam Sellner, owners of Cricket Hollow Zoo, were sued by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, a California-based group, in June. Area residents claim to have witnessed poor, unsanitary conditions for zoo animals and have joined the lawsuit.

An attorney for the Sellners denies most of the accusations in a court document filed July 17. It says many issues cited have already been addressed.

Allegations focus on violations of the Endangered Species Act and point to the treatment of tigers, lions, and gray wolves.

An attorney for the advocacy group says the organization wants the animals moved to a sanctuary.

Dyersville Napa Burglarized

Police are investigating a break-in at the NAPA story in Dyersville. That burglary took place sometime between Saturday and this morning. Authorities say money and numerous tools were taken. Farm Bureau Insurance Company is offering a reward for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons involved. Anyone with info about that crime is asked to contact the Dyersville Police Department at 875-7724.

Woman Drowns while Tubing in Eastern Iowa River

TROY MILLS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have identified the 29-year-old woman who drowned while tubing down an eastern Iowa river over the weekend.

The Linn County Sheriff's office says Andrea Zimmermann of Cedar Rapids died Saturday on the Wapsipinicon River. Rescuers were called to the river after four people riding tubes went over the dam in Troy Mills. Authorities say Zimmerman couldn't immediately be found after the tubes went over the dam in the swift current.

A small crowd of people gathered on the bridge above the dam to watch the search.

Rescuers recovered Zimmerman's body from the river.

Black Bear Sighting in Clayton County

WADENA — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has confirmed tracks and scat left near Clayton County beehives came from a black bear.
A DNR wildlife depredation biologist responded to a report from a beekeeper south of Wadena, near the Clayton-Fayette county line, who had found his beehives torn up. The DNR found bear scat within 25 feet of the hives. Another nearby landowner reported tracks, which were also confirmed by the DNR. That same landowner reported that he had seen a bear, which he estimated to be a female around 200 pounds, as well as two cubs. The DNR is continuing to investigate and more work is being done to confirm the size or number of bears.
The DNR encourages people to leave the bears alone and to not feed them.

Officials Approve Disincorporation of Millville

MILLVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Officials have approved the disincorporation of a tiny city in northeast Iowa. The state's City Development Board recently approved the disincorporation of Millville, a community along the Mississippi River with about 20 residents and few operating businesses. The disincorporation process began last year.

The board will handle outstanding claims against the city, which is located in Clayton County. Legal and historical documents will be moved to the county courthouse. Surplus tax money will be used on several costs, including street repair.

Former Iowa Town Clerk Imprisoned for Embezzlement

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A former clerk for a northeastern Iowa town has been given 21 months in prison for embezzling more than $81,500 in public funds.

Former Masonville clerk Christine King was sentenced in federal court in Cedar Rapids on Monday. She'd pleaded guilty to mail fraud. She also was ordered to pay more than $81,500 in restitution to Masonville and $10,000 in restitution to an insurance company.

In a plea agreement, she admitted that she issued herself fraudulent payroll and expense reimbursement checks between July 2002 and October 2011.

King says she falsely inflated the balances on the town's bank accounts on reports provided to the town council and state auditor.

Iowa Man Arrested in Death of Woman Found on Road

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — A Waterloo man has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder in the death of a woman found in the middle of a rural road.

The Linn County Sheriff's Office says 36-year-old Shaun Michael Hogan was taken into custody Thursday in connection with the death of 29-year-old Crystal Marie Gaffney, also of Waterloo. He is being held without bond at the county jail.

The state medical examiner's office says Gaffney died from head trauma. She was found Wednesday morning near Walker.

The sheriff's office says Gaffney is the mother of three girls who were the subject of a Wednesday night Amber Alert. They were found safe. Hogan and Gaffney are the parents of a young child, but additional information was not released.

Hogan will make an initial court appearance Friday.

Authorities Investigating Woman's Death, Child Abduction

Authorities say a woman who was found dead near Walker Wednesday morning is the mother of the three children involved in an AMBER alert last night. The Department of Public Safety issued that alert at about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, and canceled it an hour later after the girls were found safe in Waterloo. The man suspected of taking the girls, 36-year-old Shaun Hogan, remained at large and should be considered dangerous. The woman, who was not identified, was found on a road northeast of Walker. An autopsy has been scheduled. DCI officials say that investigation is ongoing.

Field of Dreams Sculpture to Accompany Butter Cow at 2014 Iowa State Fair

DES MOINES, IA -- The Iowa State Fair Butter Cow will be featured alongside a sculpture celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Field of Dreams at the 2014 Fair. The sculptures will be on display in the John Deere Agriculture Building's 40 degree cooler throughout this year's Fair, which runs August 7-17.

Runaway Boy Steals County Truck, Crashes into Pole

(AP) — A boy who ran away from a Dubuque juvenile facility has been hospitalized after he stole a county road department pickup and crashed it into a utility pole.

The boy left Hillcrest Family Services and took the truck shortly after noon on Wednesday. Police say the boy, whose age was not immediately released, had minor injuries.  Police say multiple charges are likely to be filed. The crash shut down a portion of Dodge Street for about three hours as police investigated, causing traffic to back up.

Police were looking for the boy when several calls were made from the public about a reckless driver in a truck.

Boating Not Recommended on the Mississippi River
DES MOINES – Boating is currently not being recommended on the Mississippi River along the entire eastern border of Iowa due to flooding.
High water has not only resulted in a large amount of debris in the water, but is also posing a problem with flooded cabins along the river from boat wakes.
“A lot of boaters are probably unaware that they can be liable for damages their boats may cause on flooded structures. A boat wake is essentially an extension of the boat,” said DNR Conservation Officer Burt Walters.
Walters said access is also a major issue with an estimated 95 percent of the boat ramps under water along Iowa’s border.

Delaware County Authorities Investigate Vandalism at Grant View Cemetery

Delaware County authorities are investigating vandalism Grant View Cemetery near Greeley. The sheriff's office received info on Wednesday that gravestones at the cemetery had been vandalized. Several Juvenile suspects have been identified as being involved. Charges are pending upon completion of that investigation.

2-Year-Old Girl Dies After Being Found in Pool in Lamont

LAMONT, Iowa (AP) — The Buchanan County Sheriff's Office says a 2-year-old girl has died after being found unresponsive in a family swimming pool.

Sheriff Bill Wolfgram says the girl was found about 10 a.m. Wednesday in a pool in Lamont.

She was taken to a hospital in Manchester, where she died later in the afternoon.

The girl's name wasn't released.

Two Injured in Jones County Crash

Two people were injured in a crash Wednesday afternoon in Jones Count. According to the state patrol, 88-year-old Geraldine Levsen of Anamosa was eastbound on Old Dubuque Road when she pulled into the path of a car that was southbound on 151. Levsen was eventually airlifted to University Hospitals in Iowa City. The other driver, 27-year-old Gemma Blair or Middleton, Wisconsin, was taken to Jones Regional Medical Center for treatment. That crash happened just after 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Cascade Council Approves Pay Raise for City Employees

The Cascade City Council has approved a pay increase for city employees. Council members voted Monday night to approve a 3 percent raise beginning in July. In other business, the council again delayed action on purchasing property for a new wastewater treatment plant. Officials say the city's attorney and landowner still need to finalize details of that agreement, and they plan to take a vote in July

Dubuque County Supervisor Primary Recount

A recount of the results in the Democratic primary for Dubuque County Supervisor has been completed. Dave Baker, who trailed Tom Hancock by 40 votes, requested the recount, which found that Hancock won by 37 votes. Hancock, along with Donna Smith and Republican incumbent Daryl Klein will vie for two seats on the board during this fall's election.

Iowa Man Accused of Placing Devices in Restroom

SOLON, Iowa (AP) — An eastern Iowa man has been arrested on suspicion of placing audio and video recording devices inside a portable restroom. The Dubuque County Sheriff's Department says 48-year-old Donald E. Born, of Solon, turned himself in to authorities Wednesday. He faces two charges of trespassing.

Authorities say the devices were found June 3 at a baseball field near Cascade High School. Middle school students were playing a baseball game at the time, and a student reported finding a suspicious device in the portable restroom. Born was released after posting a $300 bond.

Field of Dreams Anniversary Event

Thousands attended the weekend anniversary celebration at the Field of Dreams movie site. Prior to Saturday's celebrity game, Dyersville Mayor Alvin Haas proclaimed that the third weekend in June will be “Field of Dreams Weekend” and presented a Key to the City to owner Denise Stillman. Kevin Costner said during the weekend that “Field of Dreams” remains a “high mark” in his career.

Guttenberg Fire

On Tuesday the Guttenberg Fire Department was dispatched to 131 Garber Road in Guttenberg on Tuesday just after 6:20 PM.  Upon arrival they saw what appeared to have been an explosion in a two story home. The fire department began work in the home to contain the fire.   Because of the suspicious nature of the fire and no witnesses being present, the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office was contacted. After an initial investigation the cause of the fire and explosion are undetermined. Investigators were able to locate the origin of the fire, but are still not certain on the cause. 

Fortunately the owner, was not home when the explosion occurred and there are no reported injuries.  The Guttenberg Fire Department was assisted by the Garber Fire Department, Garnavillo Fire Department, Guttenberg Ambulance, Guttenberg Police Department, Clayton County Sheriff’s Department, and Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Barn Fire Caused by Twins

ZWINGLE, Iowa (AP) — A fire that destroyed a barn was apparently caused by twin 5-year-olds who were curious about fire.

Friday's fire near Zwingle destroyed an old barn and damaged another nearby barn as well as other out buildings.

LaMotte Fire Chief Joe Kilburg says the property was being rented. Two 5-year-old children of the renter apparently started the fire by using a cigarette lighter to burn twine in the barn.

Kilburg says the children had received fire prevention training in school and "were apparently curious."

The children escaped unharmed. The names of those involved weren't released.

A business on the property, Mike's Antiques, wasn't damaged.

Delaware County Supervisors Delay Bridge Bids

LAKE DELHI, Iowa (AP) — Delaware County supervisors have delayed bids for a planned bridge replacement because of concern the project timing might interfere with grant funding from the state.
The Delaware Board of Supervisors rejected the lone bid of $426,673 to replace the Turtle Creek Bridge. The bridge is intended as part of an effort to improve public access to Lake Delhi, which was drained in 2010 when a dam collapsed.

The supervisors decided to delay bidding for the project until this fall after County Engineer Anthony Bardgett told them the timeline for the bridge replacement would violate an Iowa Department of Natural Resources water-access grant. That grant requires that no expenses can be incurred before Oct. 1.

Slain Boy's Family Protests Possible Plea Deal

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The family of a toddler killed in 2012 is protesting a possible plea deal for a Dubuque man charged in the boy's death.

About 30 family members and supporters held large signs Friday outside the Dubuque County Courthouse protesting any deal for 36-year-old Nicholas Reed.

Last year, prosecutors dropped a first-degree murder charge against Reed in the death of 2-year-old Bentley Randall, saying there was not enough evidence to convict. A count of child neglect and two drug counts remain against him, but family members say they were recently informed that prosecutors will offer Reed a deal.

Police say the boy had been left in Reed's care when he was brought into a hospital unresponsive and severely burned.

Cameras Found in Porta-Potty in Cascade

CASCADE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have identified someone suspected of placing two video cameras in a portable toilet at a baseball field by Cascade High School.

The cameras were discovered by a student during a game Tuesday at a practice field by the high school.

Dubuque County sheriff's investigator Bob Lynn says the toilet is kept at the field throughout the baseball season. He says evidence is being reviewed to determine what charges are appropriate before the suspect is arrested.

Western Dubuque Community Schools superintendent Jeff Corkey says more cameras weren't found when other district portable toilet facilities were checked.

High Times for Iowa Greenhouse Maker

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — A greenhouse maker in northeast Iowa is reporting a boost in sales as more states legalize the medical use of marijuana.

Demand from marijuana growers has caused an estimated 25 percent increase in greenhouse production in the past six to eight months at Growers Supply in Dyersville.

Growers Supply is a division of FarmTek.

General manager Martina Bockenstedt of Engineering Services says most of the growth is coming from Arizona, Colorado and Washington.

Bockenstedt says a thriving local food movement in Iowa and elsewhere also has driven interest in the company's hydroponic and aquaponic systems.

Iowa Girl Accused of Sttacking Facility Staffer

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — Prosecutors are considering their options against a 14-year-old girl accused of using a cord to choke a staff member at Four Oaks, a facility on the state's Mental Health Institute campus in Independence.

The girl was arrested May 29 and is charged with several felonies, including attempted murder. Buchanan County prosecutor Michael Hudson says the juvenile system has the case so far, but it could be moved to the adult level.

Court records say the girl has a history of aggressive behavior toward others. The girl has been diagnosed with disruptive mood dysregulation, conduct disorder and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Smith, Hancock win Dubuque County Supervisor Primary

Donna Smith and Tom Hancock have won the primary for the Dubuque County Board of Supervisors. According to the unofficials results, Smith received 2,680 votes and Hancock had 2,521. Dave Baker finished third with 2,477 votes. Vote totals will be official after next weeks election canvass. If those totals stand, Smith and Hancock will join Daryl Klein on this fall's ballot, with two seats up for election.

Branstad Wins GOP Nomination for Record 6th Term

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has easily won the GOP nomination as he seeks a record sixth term in office. Branstad now will run against State Sen. Jack Hatch of Des Moines in the general election.

Polls indicate Branstad is the favorite to win re-election.

Ernst Wins Iowa Republican Primary for US Senate

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State Sen. Joni Ernst has won the GOP primary for a U.S. Senate seat held for 30 years by the retiring Tom Harkin.

The 43-year-old Ernst will face Congressman Bruce Braley in the general election. If Ernst wins, she would become the first Iowa woman elected to Congress.

Murphy and Blum win Nominations in District 1, Miller-Meeks wins GOP Nominated in District 2

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Longtime State Representative Pat Murphy has won the Democratic nomination in the 1st Congressional District.

Murphy defeated four other candidates in Tuesday's primary election. He will face Dubuque business owner Rod Blum who won the GOP nomination.

Blum, who also ran in the primary in 2012, has called for balancing the federal budget, reducing taxes and cutting regulations. In District 2, Mariannette Miller-Meeks has again won the GOP nomination and will face incumbent Democrat Dave Loebsack in the general election.

Dubuque Man Gets Probation in Pills-Plot Case

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A Dubuque man has been given probation for trying to convince his daughter to get harmful pills he could slip into his wife's drink.

55-year-old Michael Schoonover was sentenced on Monday in Dubuque County District Court. The judge followed the prosecutors' recommendation that Schoonover receive five years of probation and a suspended prison sentence of five years.

A criminal complaint says Schoonover asked his 17-year-old daughter to get "unknown pills" for him so he could secretly put them in a drink for his wife. He said he wanted to put the girl's mother in a hospital or "to sleep."

The girl contacted an older sister and police.

Child Enticement Case Closed

The possible child enticement case in Dyersville yesterday has come to a close, after it was determined to be unfounded. The suspect vehicle in the 500 block of 2nd Avenue SE in Dyersville was occupied by what appeared to be two high school age males, drinking beer and asking young females if they “wanted some candy”.  At that time, the vehicle was unable to be located.

A witness to the incident called the Dyersville Police Department around ten AM and identified the driver of the vehicle.  The driver and his parent came to the police department and were interviewed about the incident.  It was determined that it was a statement made using poor judgment.  Neither of the occupants meant any harm by their statement, rather they thought they were being funny.  It was also determined that alcohol was not a factor

The suspects would like to apologize to anyone that they may have frightened including the parents of those children and anyone else affected by their actions.

The matter is being turned over to the individual’s parents.

The Dyersville Police Department would like to thank the many citizens would called in tips that helped to bring this incident to a quick close.

Authorities Investigating Dyersville Incident

Authorities are looking for a group of teens who reportedly attempted to lure children to their truck in Dyersville. Officials say the Dubuque County 911 Center received a call around 12:30 p.m. Thursday about a group of males driving in the area of Second Avenue and Fifth Street Southeast. The caller told the dispatcher that the males asked kids in the area if they wanted candy then showed them beer they had in the pickup. The caller did not have the license plate number and could not identify the occupants. Police were unable to located the truck. Anyone with info about this incident should call the Dyersville Police Department at 875-7366.

Dubuque County Fair Seeks Help after Financial Losses

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The Dubuque County Fair Association is blaming declining attendance and rising energy costs for losses that have put the organization in a financial bind.  The fair's finance committee will meet with bank advisers Thursday to develop a plan in which the organization would seek help from the Dubuque County Board of Supervisors.  Officials say the fair has had losses totaling more than $100,000 in the past few years while energy costs have climbed by about $10,000. As a result, the fair is at the limit of its $100,000 line of credit.  Fair officials outlined the situation last week to the Board, which is asking for a funding request.  Chairman Wayne Demmer says officials need a better understanding before taking action.

Feds Investigate Handling of Ancient Remains

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Investigators are looking into whether a long-retired superintendent of Effigy Mounds National Monument committed any legal violations in his handling of ancient tribal remains that ended up in his garage.

The investigation is separate from a scandal involving another superintendent who oversaw $3 million in illegal construction projects that damaged the northeastern Iowa site, which features 200 burial and ceremonial mounds. But it's become another headache for the National Park Service.

The case started in 2011 when former superintendent Tom Munson reported that he had a box filled with bone fragments in the garage of his Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, home and returned them. Those artifacts had once been part of the monument's collection.

Munson's attorney, Leon Spies, says Munson is cooperating with an inquiry being handled by federal prosecutors.

Former Dubuque School Board Member gets Probation

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A former Dubuque school board member has been given two years of probation for getting into an argument with a bus driver in a country club parking lot.

Dubuque District Court Senior Judge Lawrence Fautsch sentenced 51-year-old George A. Davis on Wednesday to probation with a deferred judgment.

Davis entered Alford pleas to misdemeanor charges of third-degree criminal mischief and trespassing. The plea means the defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a conviction.

Davis was accused in October 2012 of pounding on the hood of a bus at the Dubuque Golf & Country Club. He entered the bus to confront the driver because he believed it was parked in his way. He later apologized for the incident.

Groundbreaking Held for Finley Hospital Expansion

UnityPoint Health-Finley Hospital has broken ground on a major expansion. The four-story addition will include a new emergency department, surgical suites with robotic equipment and a heart and vascular center. That project, which will cost $42 million, will add 70,000 square feet to the hospital. Officials say the addition should be completed by the end of 2015.

Field of Dreams Owner Says No Pro Baseball in 2014

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — The president of the group that owns the Field of Dreams says the site won't host professional baseball this year. Denise Stillman, who leads the group Go the Distance Baseball, says the Northern League won't have teams ready to play this season. Go the Distance Baseball plans to build a sports complex near the Field of Dreams that initially would feature six fields, including one that could be home to a Northern League team. The group wants to expand in the future with ultimate plans for 24 fields for youth baseball and softball. Stillman says plans to find an owner for a local team are ongoing.

Iowa Releases Five-Year Highway Spending Plan

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's preliminary five-year highway spending plan includes more than $900 million for state-owned bridges and more than $1.2 billion for highways. The Iowa Transportation Department's estimated $2.7 billion plan covers fiscal years 2015 through 2019. Locally, the Fiscal Year 2015 budget includes money for the new Dyersville Interchange. The current estimate for that project is $16,880,000. In Dubuque County, there is money for an arterial connecting Highway 20 with 61/151, with that funding spread out over four years. The total projected state spending for the Southwest Arterial is nearly $78 million. Another major project is replacing the Mississippi bridge at Sabula. The state's share of the project is more than $36 million.

Illegal Park Service Projects Damage Sacred Site in Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Records show that National Park Service officials approved $3 million in illegal construction projects over a decade that damaged one of the nation's most sacred American Indian burial sites.

Investigation documents posted on the agency's website show that superintendent Phyllis Ewing and a subordinate repeatedly ignored laws that required archaeological studies and input from tribes before building boardwalks, trails and a maintenance shed at Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa.

Regional officials in Omaha uncovered the violations in 2009 but waited years to take formal disciplinary action against Ewing, who was fired Feb. 28 and is contesting the decision.

One watchdog says Ewing oversaw a stunning pattern of desecration.

Ewing's attorney says the Park Service is making her a scapegoat.

3 Years after Flood, East Iowa Residents Get Help

SAGEVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Nearly three years after floodwaters swamped their homes, residents of Valley Hill Trailer Park have received federal flood aid, and demolition of homes is set to begin soon.

Mobile home owners were reimbursed this spring for each trailer's pre-flood value, which averaged $15,000 per trailer. That's in addition to up to $22,500 in relocation assistance.

The buyout and demolition is expected to cost about $2.5 million, with the federal government covering 75 percent, the state of Iowa 10 percent and the city of Sageville 15 percent using grant funds.

The trailer park sits in shambles after dirty floodwater poured into 19 of the 37 trailers and damaged another 15 in July 2011.

Dabroski Appointed to Delaware County Board of Supervisors

A committee has appointed a new Delaware County Supervisor. On friday, the three-member committee approved the appointment of Doug Dabroski to replace Jerry Ries, who resigned on  March 31. Dabroski will serve on the board until this fall's election.

Dubuque Man Dies in Accident Near Epworth

A Dubuque man died in a crash Wednesday morning south of Epworth. According to the  sheriff's department, 61-year-old Dennis J. Recker was southbound on Then Road, a quarter mile south of Pleasant Grove Road, when he lost control. His vehicle entered the ditch and rolled once before coming to rest. Recker was pronounced dead at the scene. That accident, which happened at 5:58 a.m., remains under investigation.

Cascade will Hire New Administrator

The Cascade City Council has decided to hire a new City Administrator. Following the resignation of Tim Long, they considered the option of relying on the city clerk to handle day-to-day business. Following a meeting to discuss the issue Monday afternoon, the council voted to hire a search firm to find a full-time administrator. That search will take about three months and cost between $6,000 and $10,000.

Dyersville Council

The Dyersville City Council met Monday. They set May 19th as the date to consider a development agreement with JEDA Polymers, including tax increment payments. They will also consider a development agreement with KC Kramer at that meeting. They also accepted the resignation of Park and Rec Director Kevin Cartee.

Peosta Officials Talk about Annexing Thunder Hills

Peosta officials will meet to discuss the possibility of annexing Thunder Hills into the city. Mayor Larry Mescher said they want to talk to Thunder Hills residents to discuss their thoughts. The city council will hold a work session at 7 tonight at the community center.

Ex-Masonville Clerk PleadsGuilty to $30K Fraud

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — The former clerk for a tiny town in northeastern Iowa has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $30,000 in public funds.

Former Masonville clerk Christine Anne King pleaded guilty Monday to one count of mail fraud during a hearing in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

In a plea agreement, she admitted that she routinely issued herself fraudulent payroll and expense reimbursement checks between July 2002 and October 2011.

To cover up the fraud, King says she falsely inflated the balances on the city's bank accounts on routine reports provided to the city council and state auditor.

The 42-year-old resident of Strawberry Point will be sentenced at a later date. She faces a possible prison term, plus restitution.

Man Charged in Connection with 2011 Fire in Delhi

A Delhi man has been charged in connection with a 2011 fire. Investigators with the Delaware County Sheriff's Office and State Fire Marshal's Office determined that the fire on August 15th, 2011 at 2398 220th Avenue was intentionally started. 28-year-old Chad J. Naderman of Delhi was charged this week with First Degree Arson, a Class B Felony, and Second Degree Burglary, which is a Class C Felony.

Field of Dreams 25th Anniversary Celebration to Include Parade

The upcoming “Field of Dreams” 25th Anniversary celebration will include a parade. That parade will be held Saturday, June 14th at 9 a.m. in downtown Dyersville. Area baseball and softball teams, marching bands and others are invited to participate. To register a parade entry, contact the Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Cascade Council

The Cascade City Council met Monday. They voted 3-2 to appoint City Clerk Shelly Annis and Public Works Superintendent Phil Gehl and interim City Administrators. In other business they approved the final reading for an ordinance to increase water and sewer rates effective with the May billing. And Councilman Bill Hosch requested the city clerk draft a resolution requiring all committee hearings be open to the public. Hosch raised that issue at the April 14 meeting and wants it on the agenda for the next meeting.

State Awards $23.8 Million to 70 Small Communities

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The state has awarded $23.8 million in grants to communities across Iowa for infrastructure improvements, community planning and building renovations. Those block grants, which use federal funds, were announced on Tuesday. Locally, Worthington will receive $130,000 to add a disinfection treatment process to the sewer system. McGregor was awarded $300,000 for project to reduce infiltration and inflow to the sanitary sewer system. And the city of Garnavillo will receive $300,000 for improvements to the sanitary sewer lift stations and force main.

Decorah Man Killed in Dubuque Quarry Crash

A Decorah man was killed in a crash at rock quarry south of Dodge Street on the west end of Dubuque Monday morning. According to the sheriff's office, 57-year-old Arnold Fortman had extended the end-dump trailier upward and as he moved his truck forward to finish dumping the load, the truck rolled onto its side. Fortman was pronounced dead at Mercy Medical Center. An autopsy has been scheduled. That investigation continues.

Man Fatally Injured in Dubuque Accident Identified

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a man who was fatally injured in a Dubuque workplace accident.

The man was identified as 19-year-old Colin Jackson, of rural Bellevue.

The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office says he was caught in industrial equipment around 5:15 p.m. Friday at Jackson Concrete Pumping near the Dubuque Regional Airport.

The accident is being investigated.

1 Person Dies in Northeastern Iowa House Fire

MARION, Iowa (AP) — Investigators are trying to determine what caused a house fire in northeast Iowa that killed one person.

The fire was reported around 2:45 a.m. Sunday in Marion.

When firefighters arrived, three people had already exited the home safely, but a fourth family member did not make it out. That person died.

The Marion Fire Department says the fire started in the room where the individual died, but they are still investigating.

The name of the victim wasn't immediately released.

Bill to End Dog Racing Surfaces in Senate

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A bill that would end greyhound racing in Council Bluffs but permits racing to continue in Dubuque is scheduled to be considered Thursday morning by a Senate panel. A bill was introduced late Wednesday that would pay out $72 million to the industry. Mystique Casino in Dubuque would pay $7 million and Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs casino would pay $65 million. The bill would end live racing in Council Bluffs in 2015. The Greyhound Association would be allowed to negotiate a five-year lease to manage racing at the Dubuque track, but Cedar Falls Senator Jeff Danielson says racing would end there too if it's not profitable.

Officials ID Body Found in Burning Iowa Field

ONEIDA, Iowa (AP) — Officials have released the name of a 78-year-old woman whose body was found by firefighters battling a blaze in a northeast Iowa field.

She was identified as Generose "Genny" Bennett, of Oneida.

The Greeley Fire Department responded around 2 p.m. Sunday to the report of a cornfield fire in Oneida, three miles to the south.

Fire investigators suspect Bennett was burning brush when flames got out of control.

Schedule Announced for "Field of Dreams" Fathers Day Weekend Events

The schedule for the "Field of Dreams" anniversary event on Fathers Day Weekend has been announced. Events on Friday, June 13th include a Q & A with the cast at 7:30. They will then show the film on a big screen at the field. Saturday will begin with a Fathers and Sons "Wanna Have a Catch" at 10 a.m., followed by a sponsors baseball tournament and then a celebrity game at 4 p.m. Cast members who are currently scheduled to attend are Kevin Costner, Timothy Busfield and Dwier Brown. Matt Lauer will conduct the Q & A, and Bob Costas will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Kevin Costner and his band Modern West will perform June 14th at America's River Festival in Dubuque.

Lake Delhi Officials to Hold Ground-Breaking Ceremony

A ground-breaking ceremony will be held this week at Lake Delhi. That event will mark the beginning of phase one of the reconstruction, which includes concrete work and replacing the gates. Officials are still waiting on a DNR permit for phase two, which includes the spillway. They anticipate receiving that approval in the next few weeks. The ground-breaking ceremony for phase one will begin at noon Thursday at the site of the dam.

Today Marks 25th Anniversary of the Release of "Field of Dreams"

In 1989, the baseball fantasy "Field of Dreams," was released by Universal Pictures. The film, which opened in 22 theaters and later played in more than 1,000, has a domestic gross total is $64,431,625. Besides the actual field, filming locations included Farley, Dubuque, Galena and Boston. A 25th Anniversary celebration will take place later this year, with an official announcement expected today.

Clarke U. Denies Claims in Former Coach's Lawsuit

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Officials at Clarke University are denying claims by a former head softball coach that she was fired because she rejected efforts by the school to make her appear more feminine.

Brendan Quann, an attorney representing the university and two employees, recently submitted a reply to a lawsuit filed by Jaclyn Salzwedel in Dubuque District Court.

The Telegraph Herald reports Quann denied that Salzwedel was fired in May 2012 because she didn't wear more feminine clothing or because of her sexual orientation.

Salzwedel claims in her lawsuit that the school hired a consultant to discuss her appearance and to arrange a new haircut and style at a salon.

Quann says a consultant was hired, but he denies any knowledge about a salon appointment.

Iowa Court Seeks New Sentencing for Convicted Man

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's appeals court has ordered a new resentencing hearing for a man convicted of robbery and shooting a Dubuque police officer.

The Iowa Court of Appeals filed an opinion Wednesday overturning a 50-year prison sentence for Eddie Chest. The judge ordered that prosecutors comply with a 25-year plea deal agreed to in Dubuque District Court.

In 2011, the 76-year-old Chest was sentenced to two consecutive 25-year prison terms for first-degree robbery and attempted murder in the 2009 shooting of Dubuque police Lt. Scott Baxter. Chest agreed to a plea deal if the two sentences ran concurrent. A district judge rejected the agreement. The appeals judges say statements by the assistant Dubuque County attorney during sentencing improperly presented the plea deal.

Iowa Authorities Suspect Man a Longtime Fugitive

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials are awaiting a fingerprint check to confirm that a man being held in Waterloo is a fugitive of more than 40 years from North Carolina.

The man was arrested after the Iowa Transportation Department's facial recognition system flagged his driver's license photo. Officers say they found information in his residence that identified him as 68-year-old Ronald Dwaine Carnes.

Records say Carnes was convicted of robbery in the Winston-Salem, N.C., area in November 1970 and sentenced to 20 years. He escaped the Mecklenburg Correctional Center in Huntersville, N.C., in August 1973.

Authorities say the man they believe is Carnes moved to Waterloo from Washington state last summer. Authorities say he used the name Louie Vance to apply for an Iowa license in March.

Hud and City of Dubuque Settle Allegations of Discrimination Against African Americans
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced today an agreement with the city of Dubuque, settling allegations that the City discriminated against African Americans in the administration of its Housing Choice Voucher Program. HUD conducted a review about three years ago and found that Dubuque imposed policies that discriminated against housing choice voucher applicants based on their race. Specifically, the review found that, in response to racial tensions and concerns about crime, the City established a residency preference point system that effectively imposed a residency requirement, putting those from predominantly African American areas at a disadvantage.

Under the terms of the agreement, Dubuque eliminated its preference system, and will submit any future changes to its voucher distribution to HUD for review and approval. In addition, the City agreed to undertake outreach activities, meet increased and expanded reporting requirements, comply with additional oversight from HUD, and obtain fair housing training for core city employees.

Western Dubuque School Board Approves Budget and School Calendar

The Western Dubuque School Board has approved the 2014-2015 budget. The budget includes expenditures totaling $43,320,456, with a tax rate of $13.07. They also approved the 2014-2015 school calendar. It has a start date of August 18, with the final day of school on May 22.

Volunteers Needed to Help Assess Dyersville Sidewalks

Volunteers are needed to help the Dyersville Walking Club Coalition assess the community’s sidewalks.  Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and Iowa State University will be assessing the walkability of Dyersville on May 6.  Volunteers will be provided complete training and all materials needed for this event.  Training will start at 9:30 AM and volunteers will be assigned specific routes to walk and document sidewalk availability and condition.  No previous experience is needed but you must be able to walk for up to 12 blocks.  Individuals need only be available for the morning. For more information about this event, please call Janet Buls at 800-779-8707 or Lois Kern at 563-875-2600.

Report on Armed Male Prompts Monticello School Lockdown

MONTICELLO, Iowa (AP) — A 17-year-old carrying two knives was taken into custody after schools in an eastern Iowa city were locked down.

Monticello police said in a news release Thursday that a school principal reported that two males dressed in black had walked past the school and that one had a large knife in a sheath on his belt. All Monticello Community School District buildings were locked down and officers were sent to each.
An officer stationed at Central Middle School later saw two males matching the description. One was an adult who wasn't armed. The teenager with him was held pending charges for carrying dangerous weapons.

So far investigators have found no indication that the teenager intended to pose a threat.

Costner Says He will Return to Field of Dreams

Actor Kevin Costner says he will return to the Field of Dreams to help mark the 25th anniversary of the film. Costner made that announcement during an interview with HuffPost live on Thursday. He also said that his band would be playing in Dubuque during his return.  Actor Dwier Brown, who played Ray Kinsella’s dad in the film, recently posted on his Facebook page that much of the cast will be there. An official announcement is planned on April 21st, which is the 25th anniversary of the films release.

Donor Helps Fund Polling Center at Loras College

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — An anonymous donor has helped fund the establishment of a polling center at Loras College in Dubuque. The Public Opinion Survey Center will conduct periodic professional polls on political and social questions. Officials also hope the polling will increase national attention for the Catholic liberal arts college and attract more student interest.The center is currently conducting its first statewide poll on the races in Iowa's June primary election.Some Loras faculty and students will work with a survey research team to develop poll questions. They'll also analyze and interpret data.

Man Offers Children Candy at Peosta Convenience Store

The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office says a man approached children in a Peosta convenience store, offering them candy if they went out to his vehicle. That incident happened around 8 p.m. Wednesday at Casey's in Peosta. The children refused and contacted law enforcement. Authorities say the white male, who is likely in his 60s, was driving a white Tahoe. That investigation continues.

Dyersville Council News

The Dyersville City Council met Monday. They approved a request from FarmTek to apply for a permit to construct a building that would house livestock. They also approved a street-closure request from the chamber for Downtown Friday Nights, approved a lease agreement with Moser School of Dance and Gymnastics, and approved   a $2,000 budget amendment for the library.

New Delaware County Supervisor to be Appointed in May

A new Delaware County Supervisor will be appointed next month. The vacancy committee announced Monday that a replacement for Jerry Ries will be named on May 9. Ries, who had about two years left on his term, resigned on March 31. The committee will hold a public forum for applicants on April 23 at the Delware County Courthouse.

Burn Ban for Jackson County

The State Fire Marshal has issued an open burning ban for Jackson County. That ban will take effect at 8 this morning.

Man Faces Charges Following Assault in New Vienna

A man was arrested following an assault in New Vienna early this morning. According to the Dubuque County Sheriff's Office, 27-year-old Troy Devore assault his son, along with his live-in girlfriend, who was punched in the head and face before being strangled by Devore. Devore's mother and step-father tried to intervene and were attacked by Devore, who threatened to kill his mother and chased his step-father. He left the residence prior to officers arriving. A Dyersville officer who later tried to subdue Devore was injured. Devore was charged with Domestic Abuse Assault with Strangulation, Domestic Abuse Assault with injury, Domestic Assault while displaying a weapon, Child Endangerment, Harassment and Interference with injury. He was being held at the Dubuque County Jail.

Epworth Man Killed in Car vs. Pedestrian Crash

FARLEY, Iowa (AP) — Authorties have identified a man who died after being hit by a vehicle whose driver is suspected of drunken driving. The Dubuque County Sheriff's Department says 21-year-old Dawson Besler, of Epworth, was struck and killed early Sunday on Highway 20 at Farley. Authorities say 24-year-old Alex Hannan, of Dubuque, was merging onto the highway around 3 a.m. Sunday when he struck Besler.

Besler was pronounced dead at the scene. It's unclear why he was on foot in the area.

Hannan faces a simple misdemeanor charge of operating while intoxicated.

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. Monday.

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

A 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.

Wyoming Fire

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 billion.
Top crop producers last year were Illinois with crops valued at $16 billion, Iowa at $15.9 billion, and Nebraska at nearly $12 billion.

Cascade Robbery

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 Police Department.

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 www.dyersville.org/downloads/WOYNNomination.pdf

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 month.

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 them money.

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.

Dyersville Fire

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 normal 34.2.

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 fire.

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 plant discharges.
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 engineer.

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 December meeting.

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 season format.
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 2015.

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 County jail.

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 1st.

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 563-929-6046.

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 basement.

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 died recently.

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 took $120.

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.

Lawsuits Dismissed

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 intensified.

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 businesses.

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 tortoise exhibit.

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 attack.

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 doubt.

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 summer.

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 killing himself.

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, 2028.

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 meat.

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 800,000 meals.

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 charge.

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 Dubuque.
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 information.
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 injured.

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 the state.

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 gun.

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 Crime Stoppers.

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 reality.

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 2009.

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, and Ohio.

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 project.

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.

Poisoned Pets

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 Sweet.

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 Tuesday.

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 prison.

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 this Friday.

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 other problems.

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 District.

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 highways.

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 and resignation.

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 county.

The previous landowner told officials there was a cave with ancient artifacts on the more than 500 acres acquired by the Jones County Conservation Board.

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 waterways.

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 available.

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 preventing closure.

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 drought.

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 roads.

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.

Arsons Cases
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 of fire.

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 employees.

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 investigation.

Crop Report
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 last year.

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 punitive damages.

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 Beckman.

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 aid.

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 danger.

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 not released.

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 Winneshiek.

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 company.

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 9.

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 bidding process.

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 construction projects.

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 District Court.

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 of 2014.

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.
  • 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 eligible.    
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 sfreiburger@operationnewview.org

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 River.
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 today.
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 the Maquoketa.

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 Development.

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 council.

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

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 span.

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 24th.

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 benefits.

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 harvest.

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 10th archbishop.

Jackels urged more people to consider religious vocations. He also praised the work of people who labor in the church and their communities.

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 several years.

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 $100.

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 processing them.

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 Tom Harkin.

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 verbal threats.

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 Iowa City.

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 Bishop."

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 City, Mo.

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.

Jager would also like to thank those that helped with the event and those who attended.

The Midwest Pride in Your Ride event has raised more than $116,000 for Relay during its first three years. This years Dyersville Area Relay for Life is set for August 2 and 3 at Beckman Catholic High School.

Weather Info
Due to a power outage, LaSalle schools in Luxemburg and Holy Cross are closed today (Monday, May 20). Also, Highway 52 from Luxemburg to Holy Cross is closed due to downed power lines.

Anamosa Man Injured in Crash
A Jones County man was injured in a crash near Solon Wednesday morning. The state patrol says Larry Shelton of Anamosa was southbound on Highway 1 and started to pass other vehicles. Another car also attempted to pass, forcing Shelton onto the shoulder. His vehicle entered the ditch, struck a field drive and rolled, coming to rest in the field. Shelton was taken to Univeristy Hospitals by Air Care. That crash happened at 5:56 a.m. north of Solon.

Tyson Considers Expansion at Independence Plant
Officials at Tyson Pet Products say they hope to decide soon whether to expand operations in Independence and add more than 100 full-time jobs. The state awarded tax incentives about a month ago for the proposed project, and the city of Independence gave its official backing of the plan on Monday night. The company is considering a $24.1 million expansion at the plant, which produces dog treats sold under three brands.

The plan calls for adding 133 new jobs, more than doubling employment at the plant.

New Wine Bridge Reopened with Weight Limit
The bridge at New Wine Park has been reopened. County officials closed the bridge after it was hit by an ice jam this winter. Inspectors recently deemed it safe for traffic, but there is currently a 10-ton weight limit. The bridge will be inspected monthly to ensure its safety. The Dubuque County Conservation Board is studying plans to either repair or replace the bridge.

Crews Respond to Hay Bale Fire near Dyersville
The Dyersville Fire Department was called to a fire on Blackhills Road Thursday evening. Officials say around 80 large round bales were burning at the Mitch Reittinger farm. The bales were valued at about $10,000. That fire was reported around 5:50 p.m. No one was injured. The Farley Fire Department provided mutual aid.

Events to Recall 2008 Raid at Postville Slaughterhouse
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Events in Cedar Rapids on Friday will mark the five-year anniversary of a devastating immigration raid at an Iowa meatpacking plant.

Immigrants and their families, church representatives, lawyers and other advocates will gather near the federal courthouse at noon for a ritual remembering the 389 people arrested during the raid of the Agriprocessors plant in Postville on May 12, 2008.

Event organizers say they'll then walk to Immaculate Conception Church for an interfaith service in which they will pray to reconcile with the federal officials who executed the raid, and call for immigration reform to protect future workers and families.

Most of the immigrants arrested were charged with identity theft, spent five months in prison and were deported. At the time, it was the largest workplace immigration raid in history.

Ghost Players to Return to Field of Dreams for "Ghost Sunday's"
The Ghost Players will return to the Field of Dreams later this year. Go the Distance Baseball announced today that "Ghost Sunday's will begin July 7 and continue every other Sunday through September 29.

Greeley Teen Charged With Making Bomb Threat at Ed-Co
A Greeley teen has been charged with making a bomb threat at Ed-Co High School. According to a press release, 13-year-old Jacob Ahlers called the Delaware County Communications Center at 6:30 Tuesday morning and said there were bombs at Ed-Co High School. Authorities responded to the school and conducted a search, but no explosives were found. Ahlers was charged in juvenile court with two counts of Threat of Terrorism and two counts of False Reports, which are all class D felonies.

Fire Damages Home in Luxemburg
The New Vienna/Luxemburg Fire Department was called to a house fire in Luxemburg late Wednesday night. Crews responded to 102 South Andres Street around 10:50 p.m. No one was home at the time of the fire, which heavily damaged the second floor. Officials say the fire was possibly caused by an electrical appliance. A damage estimate was not available. Fire crews were on scene until about 12:50 this morning.

Dyersville Council Votes to Deny Use of County Smart Plan
The Dyersville City Council has voted against using the Dubuque County Smart Plan. The council on Monday approved a resolution denying the use of that Smart Plan for the city's Comprehensive Plan. They previously tabled the issue, and last week held a special public input session at which the majority of speakers opposed the plan. The city will continue work on forming a comprehensive plan.

Midwest Pride In Your Ride Events Postponed until Saturday

Friday's events at the Midwest Pride In Your Ride truck and tractor show have been moved to Saturday.  The "Truck Teeter" will take place at 9AM, the Truck Rodeo will follow at 10AM with the kiddie tractory pul at Noon.  The live auction will take place at 12:30, followed by the survivor convoy.  Semi drag races will happen at 2:00 with the Semi pull at 4:00. 

Gates will open at 8AM as scheduled.

Dubuque Police Try to Curb Underage Drinking
Police in Dubuque are stepping up patrols and listening for loud parties in an effort to curb excessive underage drinking.

The Dubuque Police Department says officers will do special foot and vehicle patrols to look for signs of loud music and groups that appear to promote social disorder.

Dubuque Police says the project will last several weeks, especially around celebrations like high school and college graduations.

The state Department of Public Health is funding the project, which is being conducted in partnership with the Helping Services of Northwest Iowa.

Gas Leak Near Monticello Leads to Evacuation
Authorities say a ruptured propane line in Jones County forced the evacuation of nearby homes. The Jones County Sheriff's Office says a farmer was using a tractor Wednesday and struck an above ground pipeline near County Road X44 south of Monticello. Authorites evacuated residents within one mile in all directions of the leak. Crews sealed off both ends of the line and are letting the remaining propane drain out. The evacuation order remains in affect at this time.

Family Seeks Diploma in Honor of Their Son
The family of a West Delaware student who passed away is working to get him a diploma. Travis Krapfl, who battled Muscular Dystrophy, passed away at the beginning of his senior year. According to KCRG, Krapfl's sister and parents are hoping they can receive a diploma in his honor, but district officials say Travis didn't have enough credits to graduate.

Superintendent Dr. Kristen Ricky says the state has requirements to earn a diploma and if they bend the rules, it would affect future decisions regarding graduation. School officials decided to stay with current policy in honoring students who pass away, including a flower and chair for them onstage during the cermony. The Krapfl's say the hope the district will change the ruling. West Delaware's graduation ceremony is set for May 19.

Independence Man Charged with Kidnapping
An Independence man faces kidnapping charges in connection with an incident earlier this year. Authorities say Matthew Noack forced his victim from a residence and took them to another location where the victim was sexually absued. The incident happened on January 13 in Independence. Noack was arrested Monday on a charge of First Degree Kidnapping. He is scheduled for a court appearance today.

Dyersville City Council to Hold Worksession on Smart Plan
The Dyersville City Council will hold a worksession tonight (April 29) to discuss the city's Comprehensive Plan. The council earlier this year tabled a resolution to adopt the Dubuque County Regional Smart Plan as the city's comprehensive plan. Tonight's workshop will be held at the Dyersville Social Center beginning at 6.

Go the Distance Responds to RAAC Counterclaim
Go the Distance Baseball has filed a response to a counterclaim from the Residential and Agricultural Advisory Committee. In a recent court filing, the development group denies its lawsuit against members of the committee is frivolous. The RACC counterclaim alleges that the Go the Distance lawsuit intentionally incflicted emotional distress on committee members. The recent filing by Go the Distance seeks to have the counterclaim dismissed.

Maquoketa Police Investigate Shooting
Maquoketa police are investigating a shooting. Officers were called to the home at 208 South Niagara Street late Thursday for a disturbance. There they found 63-year-old Gerald Edwards, who had been shot. Edwards indicated there was an intruder in his home when he was shot. The intruder had fled before officers arrived. Edwards was air lifted to University Hospitals in Iowa City and was listed in stable condition. Authorities say the gun used in the shooting has been secured and there is no public safety concern. Anyone with information about that incident should contact the Maquoketa Police Department.

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad Signs 34 Bills into Law, Including Lake Delhi Measure

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has signed 34 bills into law, including a measure to aid rebuilding Lake Delhi and another making a new criminal offense for stealing a police officer's radio.

Gov. Terry Branstad signed the bills into law Wednesday.

The Lake Delhi measure exempts the area along the Maquoketa River from a requirement that owners of a soon-to-be-rebuilt dam buy easements for any property that could flood if water overtops the dam.
Some lawmakers argued the bill could leave taxpayers vulnerable if future flooding damages homes surrounding the eastern Iowa lake, which drained when a dam collapsed in 2010.

The radio measure makes it a simple misdemeanor to steal an officer's radio or cellphone. Penalties can be enhanced to a felony if the officer is injured during the theft.

Officials ID Body of Man Found in Turkey River
ELKADER, Iowa (AP) — Officials have released the name of an elderly man whose body was pulled from a river in northeast Iowa.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier says the Clayton County Sheriff's Office identified him as 74-year-old James Halverson, of Elkader.

Deputies took a report early Sunday morning about Halverson being missing. Deputies later found tire marks going into a ditch and then into the Turkey River near Ten Mile Bridge on Chariot Road. A vehicle and the body were found in the water about 250 yards from the tire marks.

Missing Jones County Man Found

JONES COUNTY, Iowa - Officials in Jones County say they have found a man last seen in Cedar Rapids. The Sheriff's Office says Glen Thomas was last seen on April 4th. On April 11th, Thomas' family reported he was missing. The Sheriff's office sent out a release searching for the man April 17th. Officials say Thomas has been located and say he is OK.

Bellvue Stampede Lawsuits Settled

BELLEVUE, Iowa (AP) - Two lawsuits have been settled over a stampede during a Fourth of July parade in the eastern Iowa city of Bellevue. Court records show the lawsuits were settled and the case was dismissed April 12 in Jackson County District Court. Details about the settlement were not made public. The lawsuits were filed by the parents of two children injured in the 2010 accident, which injured two dozen people. A team of horses bolted during the parade. The owner of the horses, Mardell Steines, was driving a buggy with his wife, Janet and three relatives. Janet Steines was thrown from the buggy and died. The lawsuits alleged Mardell Steines and the city were negligent, though the city was dismissed from the suits last year.

Body Pulled from Turkey River in Northeast Iowa
ELKADER, Iowa (AP) — The body of a missing elderly man has been pulled from the Turkey River in northeast Iowa. Clayton County deputies took a report early Sunday morning about the missing man. Deputies found tire marks going into a ditch and then into the river near Ten Mile Bridge on Chariot Road. A vehicle and the body of the missing man were found in the river later Sunday morning. The man's name and other details about the incident haven't been released.

Manchester Good to Great Will Host Show and Tell Tour on Wednesday
The Manchester Good to Great Committee will host a Show and Tell Tour on Wednesday (April 24). The evening will include a free bus tour highlighting current projects, including the skateboard park and the white water park. Those planning to go on the tour should meet at the West Delaware High School Commons by 5 p.m.

Lake Delhi Movie to Premier in Manchester
The premier of the movie "We Will be Back, the Lake Delhi Story" is set for May 18 at the Castle Theatre in Manchester. Show times are 1, 3 and 5 p.m. Advance tickets are available at lake delhi will be back dot com. Following the 5 p.m. screening, there will be a Lake Delhi Celebration and Info event at the Pin Oak Country Club in Manchester.

Fire Destroys Beef Building at Fayette County Fairgrounds
No one was injured in a fire that destroyed a building at the Fayette County Fairgrounds.

The fire, which was reported around 6:30 p.m. Saturday, destroyed the beef building where cattle are housed during the fair. Officials say there were campers and a tractor stored in the building. The cause of that fire has not been released.

Dubuque Officials Close Flood Gates

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Officials in Dubuque closed flood gates along the Mississippi as water begins to crest. But at least one official says there is no sense of emergency in the city. The city closed the Ice Harbor gates on Thursday when the Mississippi surpassed the 17-foot mark, considered flood stage in Dubuque.

But the Public Works Director Don Vogt says it "doesn't seriously grab our attention until it gets to about 20 feet." The Mississippi is expected to remain near 17 feet for several days.

Drought Conditions Improve in Iowa
Thanks to above-normal rainfall this month, Iowa's drought condition continues to improve. The DNR says 35 percent of the state is no longer in drought. Buchanan, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Jones and Linn are among the group of eastern Iowa counties no longer in drought. Officials say nearly all of the state has above average precipitation so far in April, including up 300 percent of normal in most area counties.

Update on Flood Warnings for Mississippi at Dubuque and Maquoketa River at Manchester


Lansing Man Gets Prison Term for Threats
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Lansing man has been sentenced to more than 2 years in prison for making threatening telephone calls and sending harassing emails to judges, law enforcement officers, and court employees.

The federal prosecutor's office in Cedar Rapids says Kenneth Haag was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to using a telephone to threaten injury to another person. Judge Linda Reade noted Haag had sent hundreds of communications about what he perceived as wrongful criminal convictions in 2004, when he pleaded guilty to criminal trespass and assault on a peace officer.

Many of the threats were directed at judges, law enforcement officers and the victim involved in the 2004 case in Allamakee County.  Haag also must complete a substance abuse testing and treatment program.

Hopkinton Fire Department Receives Grant
The Hopkinton Fire Department will receive money through a federal program. Senator Tom Harkin announced Wednesday that the department was awarded $110,000 through the Assistance to Firefighteers Grant Program. That money will be used to increase the effectiveness of operations and support firefighter safety.

Hearing Set For Man Arrested for Demanding Money from Digga
A preliminary hearing has been set for the man who demanded money from Digga North America in Dyersville. According to police, Curits Jasa was involved in a incident with an employee of Digga the weekend of April 6.  Police were notified of e-mails that Jasa had sent to the company.  In the emails Jasa referred to the incident and demanded an apology and payment.  An undercover officer contacted Jasa and an agreement was made for a payment to him if he would cease negative comments about the company.  The undercover officer made arrangements for Jasa to come to Digga on April 15th to pick up a check in the amount of $24,000.  Jasa entered the business and was given an envelope.  As he attemped to open the envolope, he was taken into custody and charged with one count of extortion, a Class D Felony. Jasa was released Tuesday on an appearance bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 1.

Cedar Falls Police Say Pipe Bomb Found
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say they are investigating a pipe bomb found near a Cedar Falls neighborhood.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (http://bit.ly/13bppuN ) reports authorities have blocked off the 2300 block of Royal Drive and its surrounding neighborhood. Cedar Falls Police Chief Jeff Olson says nothing has exploded.

Olson says his department and the Waterloo Police Department bomb squad have been dispatched to the area. University of Northern Iowa police also have been dispatched.

Olson says a nearby day care is on lockdown and officials at a junior high school are monitoring the situation.

Dubuque County Baseball Hall of Fame Dinner, All Star Game set for July 12/13
The dates for the 2013 Dubuque County Baseball Hall of Fame Dinner and All Star Game are set. The dinner and program will be held July 12th at Happy's Place in Key West, with All Start game in Peosta on the 13th. They are currently taking nominations for the Hall of Fame. To nominate someone, send their name, team and a short list of stats to Rich Knepper at PO Box 370, Cascade, Iowa 52033.

Lawmakers Say State Could Pay for Flooded Homes at Lake Delhi
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Some lawmakers say a bill recently passed by the Legislature could leave taxpayers vulnerable if future flooding damages homes surrounding a lake in eastern Iowa.

The measure exempts Lake Delhi along the Maquoketa River from a requirement that dam owners buy easements for any property that could flood if water overtops the dam. Some lawmakers say it's a liability issue, since lakefront owners could sue the state if their homes are damaged.

Gov. Terry Branstad hasn't decided if he will sign the bill.

A 2010 storm caused the river to overtop the dam and destroy it. Some have criticized funding to restore the dam because they argue there's limited public access.

A homeowners group says the dam has a huge economic impact on Iowa.

Dyersville Council Approves Building, Flood Plain Permits for All Star Ballpark Heaven
The Dyersville City Council has approved two permits for the All Star Ballpark project. The council voted 4-1 Monday night to approve a Building Permit for phase 1 of the project. They also approved a Flood Plain Development permit to allow for filling and grading the baseball and softball fields. In other business, the council approved the second readings of ordinances setting the water and sewer rates, and voted to refer a notice of monitoring violation from the DNR to the Water and Sewer committee.

Asbury Fire Department Receives Grant
The Asbury Fire Department will receive funding through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program. Senator Tom Harkin announced Wednesday that the Asbury department was awarded $91,000. That money will be used to improve operations and support firefighter safety. Harkin co-sponsored the legislation that authorized the grant program.

Monticello Schools Hosting Facility Workshops
The Monticello School District is making plans for future facilities needs. As part of that process, they are hosting a design workshop today and tomorrow (Apr. 11-12). These events will give the public a chance to offer input on the district's needs. The workshops will be held at the district office from 9 to 6:30 today and tomorrow.

Western Dubuque School Board News
The Western Dubuque School Board met Monday. The board approved the 2013-2014 budget. Estimated expenditures, including construction, will be $54,671,507. The tax rate will be $13.10, which is an increase of 3 cents. In other business, the board set public hearing and bid award dates for the Cascade and Western Dubuque High School projects. The hearing and bid awarding for the Cascade project is set for May 29, and the hearing and bid awarding for Western Dubuque will take place June 24. Current cost estimates at this time are $8.04 million for the Cascade HS project and $7.88 million for the Western Dubuque Project.

Iowa Supreme Court to Hear 2 cases in Dubuque
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases during a visit to Dubuque. The court will convene Wednesday evening at Loras College to consider a case involving job protections for whistleblowers in health care fields and a murder case. The first involves a woman who was fired in 2008 from a Dubuque assisted-living center after she alleged that colleagues falsified training documents. She sued for wrongful termination, and a jury awarded her more than $350,000. An appeals court ruled that companies that operate health care facilities cannot fire employees who report potential violations of safety regulations. The second case involves Christopher Thompson, who's appealing his second-degree murder conviction in the 2010 shooting death of his girlfriend at their home near Monona

Kirkwood Community College says Hackers Accessed Student Data
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa community college says that hackers may have stolen personal info for thousands of students who applied to take credit classes in the last eight years. Kirkwood officials said Monday that "sophisticated hackers" using an international IP address hacked into its website on March 13.

The school says the hackers gained access to archived application info from 2005 to present that included names, social security numbers and birthdates. The school says it has contacted those who may have been affected to offer free assistance, including guidance from identity theft and restoration experts and credit monitoring alerts.

New Archbishop of Dubuque says He's Ready for Job

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The newly appointed archbishop of Dubuque says he is "ready to follow God's will" with the job.

Bishop Michael Jackels, of Wichita, Kan., spoke at a news conference Monday about his new role as archbishop of Dubuque. He will be installed on May 30.

The Dubuque Archdiocese announced Jackels' appointment by Pope Francis on Monday. Jackels replaces Archbishop Jerome Hanus, who resigned due to declining health. Hanus says he will serve as apostolic administrator until the installation, and then resume life as a monk in Missouri.

The Wichita diocesan website says Jackels was named the Wichita bishop in January 2005 by Pope John Paul II. He worked for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome for eight years.

Fire Damages Delaware County Community Center
Cleanup is underway following a fire at the Delaware County Community Center in Manchester. The fire started in a freezer and spread to a nearby wall causing the sprinkler system to engage. The sprinkler system extinguished the fire but caused water damage to portions of the building, including the utility rooms, kitchen and restrooms. Facilities Manager Jeannie Domeyer says they hope to have the restoration completed in 3 to 4 weeks. Domeyer says anyone with questions about an upcoming event at the community center should contact the fair office.

Dyersville Council News

The Dyersville City Council met Monday. They approved the first reading of ordinances changing the water rate to $4.15 per 1,000 gallons and the sewer charge to $7.40 per 1,000 gallons. Both ordinances need to pass two more readings to be approved. In other business, the council set the fee for garbage and recycling collection at $12.50 per month and approved salaries for the City Clerk, Public Works Director and Parks and Rec Director, with all three receiving raises. They also authoritzed the mayor to sign a new lease agreement with Moser School of Dance and Gymnastics.

Trials Delayed for Men Charged in Manchester Murders
The trials for two men charged in connection with a murder in Manchester have been rescheduled. The trial for Isaiah Sweet was continued until October 16 after he waived his right to a speedy trial.  Sweet is charged with first-degree murder in the shootings of his grandparents, Richard and Janet Sweet, last spring.  The trial for Brandon Ahlers, who is charged with aiding and abetting murder, is now scheduled for May 22. Both trials were previously set for mid April.

Cascade Chamber Hosts First Annual Dinner
The Cascade Chamber of Commerce hosted its first annual dinner Wednesday night.  The evening included a taped apperance by Cascade native Gary Dolphin. The Voice of the Hawkeyes was choosen as the guest speaker for the dinner, but was unable to attend due to the Hawkeye's NIT game at Virgina.  Dolphin was part of the Cascade business community early on as his parents ran "Dolphin's Corner" on the the east side of Cascade. The dinner concluded with the naming of the business of the year which was awarded to Annie's Treasures and owner Joyce Fagan.

Kluesner Named "Woman of the Year" at Women's Night
The Dyersville Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Women's Night on Wednesday. They again presented the Woman of the Year award, which went to Amy Kluesner of Farley. Kluesner is a founding member of Outrun the Rays, a non-profit organization that raises funds to fight skin cancer.  She is also very involved with Seton Schools. Kluesner founded the Seton Gala and was a member of the Seton Capital Campaign committee that helped raised funds for the new Peosta Center.

Republican Announces Candidacy for Congress
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Dubuque businessman Rod Blum says he'll run for the GOP nomination in Iowa's 1st Congressional District.

In a statement Wednesday, Blum announced his plans. He lost the Republican nomination for the seat in 2012 to attorney Ben Lange.

The seat will be open in 2014 because Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley has announced his intent to seek the Senate seat being vacated by longtime Sen. Tom Harkin.

Blum says in his announcement that he will work to keep more tax dollars in Iowa.

Democratic state Rep. Pat Murphy has also announced plans to run for the seat. More candidates are expected to come forward.

The 1st District in northeast Iowa includes Waterloo, Dubuque and Cedar Rapids.

Vote Canceled on Closure of Iowa Girl Scout Camps

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A decision on whether to close four Girl Scout camps in eastern Iowa is off the table after heavy community backlash.

The Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois announced Wednesday it will not vote on whether to sell the camps in Scott County, Dubuque County, Des Moines County and Allamakee County.

Citizens reacted to the possibility of the camps closing by filing an injunction Friday against letting the organization vote on the matter.

The group's board will now meet Thursday for a collaborative work session to review the issue. A new recommendation will later be given.

The Girls Scouts says the camps may be underused and outdated. Some camp supporters also disagreed with the argument that girls were demanding a more posh camp outfitted with technology.

Womens Night 2013
The annual Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce Womens Night Out will take place March 27. The nights events will again include the Woman of the Year award.  The nominees are Mickey Burlage of Worthington, Mary Heoger of Delhi, Amy Kluesner of Farley, Linda Martin of Zwingle, Mary Lakeman, Jacque Rahe and Kari Wittmeyer, all of Dyersville, and The Lemon Sisters group.  Womens Night will be held at the Total Fitness Rec Center from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are available at the chamber or area financial institutions.

Iowa DOT Hosting Open House on Higwhay 52/61/151 Project
The Iowa DOT will hold and open house to discuss upcoming projects on Highways 52, 61 and 151 in Dubuque County.  That project will include reconstruction of 52/61/151 from the Grandview interchange to the Highway 52 intersection, the replacement of the bridges spanning Catfish Creek, installing a median barrier and improvements at the Highway 52 intersection.  The open house will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at Table Mound Elementary School.  The road projects are scheduled to begin April 1.

Iowa Educator's Attorney in OWI Charge Argues Case

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — An attorney for an eastern Iowa school superintendent accused of drunken driving wants evidence collected during his arrest to be inadmissible at trial.

Robert Bembridge says neither a witness nor officer saw Jeff Corkery (KORK'-ur-ree) turn on his car or drive it when he was arrested in November.

Bembridge says there was no probable cause to stop Corkery and search him, and evidence collected cannot be introduced at trial.

Corkery, superintendent of Western Dubuque County Community School District, pleaded not guilty in December to a misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

The officer says he found Corkery in a pickup in a bar parking lot. He says he failed field sobriety tests.

A Buchanan County judge has pushed Corkery's trial to May.

Dubuque Airport to Lose Air Traffic Control Tower
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration says it will shut down an air traffic control tower at a Dubuque airport due to federal budget cuts.

The FAA released a final list Friday that shows Dubuque Regional Airport is slated to lose an air traffic control tower starting early next month. It's one of 149 air traffic control facilities around the country that will close due to the federal spending cuts known as sequestration.

The towers scheduled to close are at smaller airports with lighter traffic, and all pilots are trained to land without help. They can communicate among themselves on a common radio frequency.
The Dubuque airport provides flights to Chicago O'Hare through American Airlines.

Ex-Assistant Principal Convicted in Sex Case Freed

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A former Dubuque public school assistant principal convicted of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student has been released from prison.

Former Hempstead High School Assistant Principal Shane Oswald was released Friday morning.

Oswald was arrested in January 2010 on suspicion of having sex with a 17-year-old student. He was also charged with distribution of a controlled substance and providing alcohol to a minor, but those charges were dropped in exchange for his guilty plea to sexual exploitation by a school employee.

Oswald must now register as a sex offender.

Dubuque Man Charged Following Assault in Dyersville
A Dubuque man was arrested following an assault in Dyersville early this morning. Dyersville police were called to 505 9th Street Southeast around 2:50 a.m.  The responding officer was met by the victim, Deanna Quinn, who was running from the residence.  Quinn, who had blood on her face, said she had a fight with her boyfriend who was still inside.  The officer returned to the residence and was met by a man later identified as 29-year-old Deshone Dodson.  Officers interviewed Quinn and Dodson's daughter, who said her dad was strangling her mom.  The girl also said her dad punched her mother multiple times.  Dodson was taken into custody and charged with assault causing bodily injury and interference with officials acts.

New Vienna Ice Jam 2013

A Bridge in New Vienna already slated for repairs, may need them sooner than expected.  A recent ice Jam has damaged bridge pilings that support the New Wine Park Bridge.  Those pilings have been gouged and degraded by a build-up of large sheets of ice on the North Fork of the Maquoketa River.  The bridge was closed last week when conservation officers noticed the damage.  The conservation department had already requested $215,000 for bridge work in the upcoming fiscal year, before the current damage occurred.  That project was not approved by county supervisors.

Police Still investigating

Dubuque Police are still investigating the death of a woman who was run over and killed in her own driveway Saturday.  Fifty-four year old Debra Laughlin was run down in her driveway around 5:30 PM.  She had to be removed from under the vehicle and was transported to Mercy in Dubuque where she died that evening.  According to a search warrant, the driver of the vehicle, 48 year old Lynn M. Hillard of Bernard and Laughlin had been arguing over a restaurant bill.  No charges have been filed in the incident, but police have not ruled that out.

Dyersville Council Requests that County Deny Zoning for Horsfield
The Dyersville City Council met Monday night.  The council voted 4-1 to approve a resolution requesting that Dubuque County officials deny a zoning request by Horsfield Materials.  Horsfield is seeking to have property along Christoph Road north of Dyersville rezoned from agricultural to heavy industrial for a concrete batch plant. The resolution lists many reasons for the request, including increased traffic on Christof road and the bridge that are not constructed for such weights or traffic volume. The Dubuque County Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on the rezoning request during its meeting tonight.

Dubuque Council Reverses Course on Pets in Parks
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The Dubuque City Council has reversed course and given initial approval to an ordinance that would let pets into most city parks. On March 4 the council voted 5-1 against the ordinance. But some council members' minds were changed, and the council voted 4-3 for the ordinance on Monday. The ordinance requires pets to be on leashes 6 feet long or shorter and requires owners to clean up after their pets. The proposal bars pets from Eagle Point Park, Marshall Park and the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. The second reading of the ordinance likely won't occur until at least April 15.

Authorities ID Woman Hit by Car in Dubuque
Authorities have identified a Dubuque woman killed after a car struck her.

54-year-old Debra Laughlin died Saturday night after being run over by a vehicle at her residence. Police say Laughlin was removed from under the vehicle and transported to Mercy Medical Center-Dubuque, where she later was pronounced dead.

Police have identified the driver as 48-year-old Lynn Hillard, of Bernard.

Additional information about the incident has not been released. No charges have been filed.

Fire Spreads to 2nd House Near Rickardsville

A fire that began in a wood stove on the porch of one house spread to a second house in rural Dubuque County. The fire was reported Sunday afternoon at a home south of Rickardsville. The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office says the fire began in the wood stove on the front porch and spread to the house. The flames then spread to a nearby house.

Firefighters from three departments battled the blaze. No injuries have been reported.

The cause is being investigated.

Iowa Woman Dies After Being Struck by Vehicle
Iowa authorities are investigating a crash that killed a Dubuque woman while she was walking. The fatal crash happened around 5:30 p.m. Saturday evening.

Authorities say the woman had to be rescued from underneath the vehicle that struck her, but she died later at Mercy Medical Center. Police did not immediately identify the woman who will killed or the driver who struck her on Sunday. More details are expected to be released Monday.

Iowa Man Pleads Guilty to Fraudulent Schemes
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A northeast Iowa man has pleaded guilty in federal court to two fraudulent schemes.

Prosecutors say 47-year-old Michael Recker admitted in federal court in Cedar Rapids last week to 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. The elevator paid Recker more than $20,000 based on 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 company. Recker also admitted trying to conceal taxable income.

His sentencing hasn't been scheduled.

9 Catholic Schools in Cedar Rapids are Rebranding
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Nine Catholic schools in Cedar Rapids and Marion will be rebranded as Xavier Catholic Schools.

The Gazette reports that each school will be adorned with Xavier High School's cross-style X but will retain their names. They also will use the same tagline in their various materials: "Learning with a higher purpose."

The schools are All Saints Catholic School, Regis Middle School, St. Ludmila Elementary School, St. Jude Elementary Center, St. Joseph School, St. Matthew School, St. Pius X, LaSalle Middle School and Xavier High School.

Administrators began sharing the rebranding strategy with students, parents and staffers earlier this week.

Superintendent Jeff Henderson, of the Archdiocese of Dubuque schools, says the rebranding is part of an effort to reverse declining enrollment and raise the schools' visibility.

Northeast Iowa Firefighters Find Body

POSTVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Firefighters have found a body while battling an apartment blaze in northeast Iowa.

Postville Fire Chief Jeffrey Bohr says in a news release that firetrucks were dispatched a little before 11 a.m. Wednesday to an apartment on the southwest side of Postville. Firefighters saw heavy smoke and flames as they arrived, so Bohr called Castalia and Ossian fire departments for mutual aid.

Bohr says the body was found inside a burned apartment. Two occupants of an adjacent apartment suffered minor burns.

Their names haven't been released.

The fire cause is being investigated. The loss is estimated at $200,000.

Rodeo Clown Convicted in Iowa Marijuana Conspiracy
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A professional rodeo clown is headed to prison after a jury convicted him of a lengthy conspiracy to grow marijuana in rural Iowa.

Rory Meeks of Marion was convicted Friday on one count of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, and acquitted on a second charge.

Federal prosecutors said Meeks planted marijuana along corn and soybean fields in secluded spots in Jones County, tending the plants throughout the summer. They say the 55-year-old and others harvested and processed the plants in the fall, and sold the marijuana in fall and winter.

Jurors found Meeks was involved in growing more than 1,000 marijuana plants.

Meeks had worked as a rodeo clown and bullfighter in local and national rodeos. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Golden Butter Knife

A Dyersville restaurant received the Dubuque Dairy Association’s Golden Butter Knife Award at their annual banquet Saturday night.  The Golf Side Grille on Olde Hawkeye Road, owned by Jeff and Terri Ehlers was the 2013 award recipient.  Judges rate nominated restaurants on the variety of dairy products offered and how tasteful and eye appealing those products are, as well as other factors such as service and cleanliness.  Golf Side Grille spent about $78,000 on dairy products last year.

Dyersville Fire, Meth Discovered

Authorities have discovered items used to manufacture methamphetamine after a house fire.  Dyersville police and fire departments responded to a report of a fire at the residence of Clifford Williams at 119 8th ave NE, and observed several people fleeing the scene.  Upon searching the property, authorities said they found items used in the manufacture of meth.  Several items of drug paraphernalia were found in a second floor apartment belonging to 27-year-old cliftom dye.  The Dubuque drug task force assisted Dyersville police in that search.

Lost Nation Woman Dies in Highway 64 Crash
One person was killed and two others injured in a crash near Maquoketa Thursday evening.  The state patrol says 83-year-old Jacqueline Fischer of Lost Nation was eastbound on Highway 64 when she crossed the center line. Her car collided head-on with a vehicle driven by 30-year-old Zachary Schmidt of Maquoketa.

Fischer died in the crash. Schmidt was airlifted to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. His passenger, 24-year-old Bridgit Moran of Maquoketa, was taken to the Maquoketa Hospital for treatment. That crash happened at 6:50 p.m. just east of Maquoketa.

Voters OK Casino Gambling for Linn County

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Voters in Linn county are in favor of allowing casino gambling. The measure was approved by a 22-percentage point margin, 61 percent to 39 percent. A group of investors plans to build an $85 million casino in Cedar Rapids. Voter approval is just the first step in the process. Now the investors must work to secure a license from the Racing & Gaming Commission.

Manchester Hit-and-Run

A Manchester man is facing charges after a hit and run on Friday night.

Manchester Police responed to the 300 block of East Fayette Street late Friday after a caller reported that a vehicle struck a 24-year-old man and then drove away. When police arrived, they found the man lying on the sidewalk. Police talked to witnesses and then arrested 40-year-old Charles Wright at a nearby house.

Police said Wright and the victim got into a fight earlier in the night near a local bar. The 24-year-old male was treated for injuries. Wright, who is charged with attempted murder, was in the Delaware County Jail on $25,000 bond.

'Field of Dreams' Lawsuit to go to Trial

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — A lawsuit filed by the owners of the "Field of Dreams" movie site against a group of local residents will go to trial next year. A jury trial in the lawsuit has been set for Feb. 4, 2014.
Go the Distance Baseball LLC is suing the Residential and Agricultural Advisory Committee, a group of area residents opposing a sports complex. Go the Distance filed a petition in October saying the committee interfered with contracts related to the site's sale. Two members of the group are also being sued for libel for their alleged involvement in the distribution of fliers critical of the development.

Asbury Man Accused of Shooting Dad Reaches Plea Deal
(ASBURY, Iowa (AP) — An eastern Iowa man has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in connection with the shooting of his father. Anthony Podnar pleaded guilty Thursday to willful injury with a dangerous weapon. The reduced charge is part of a plea deal that includes other gun charges. Podnar pleaded innocent last month to a charge of attempted murder related to the January shooting of his father, 60-year-old Adam Podnar. Anthony Podnar was arrested at his home in Asbury after his father drove himself to a convenience store and reported being shot in the stomach. The elder Podnar later was treated at a hospital. Anthony Podnar is scheduled to be sentenced Monday.

Hearing Delayed for Iowa Man Facing Murder Charge
WEST UNION, Iowa (AP) — Lawyers for a former Iowa care facility resident facing a murder charge are requesting a delay on his competency hearing.

Matthew Braun's defense counsel requested a delay on the hearing scheduled Monday. A judge reset it for April 29th in Fayette County District Court.

Braun is accused of assaulting 57-year-old Kris A. Simpson in September at the Prairie View Residential Care Facility in Fayette. Simpson died days later.

Investigators say security camera footage shows Braun attacked Simpson for no apparent reason. Braun pleaded not guilty in October to a first-degree murder charge. His trial was scheduled to begin at the end of January, but it was pushed back due to the pending competency hearing.

Gunman Robs Bank in Eastern Iowa's Oxford Junction

OXFORD JUNCTION, Iowa (AP) — No arrest has been reported in the robbery of a bank in eastern Iowa.

The FBI says a man entered the Citizens State Bank branch in Oxford Junction around 8:55 a.m. Wednesday. He was armed with a pistol.

He demanded money from tellers, who handed over an undisclosed amount of cash. No shots have been reported.

The FBI says the man left the bank, climbed into a pickup parked near the bank's front door and drove away.

Nearby schools briefly were locked down as a precaution after the robbery was reported.

Independence Considers Eliminating Police Department

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — The northeast Iowa city of Independence is considering replacing its police department with contracted sheriff's deputies.

The city will hold a public workshop on the matter Thursday night. Council member Bonnie Davis says the city can spend up to $8,000 to study whether to retain the police department or rely on contracted county deputies.

Davis says the City Council wants to know whether residents support the feasibility study.

Independence is the county seat of Buchanan County and has a population of about 6,000.

Dubuque Casino Owner Opposes Cedar Rapids Casino

The president of a casino in Dubuque is opposing a proposed casino in Cedar Rapids.

Jesus Aviles, president and CEO of Mystique Casino, says there's no need for another casino in eastern Iowa. He says customers are satisfied with the number of casinos in the area.

But Aviles says he is not donating to a group trying to defeat a March 5 referendum in Linn County on casino gambling. The Just Say No Casino campaign has received financial support from the Isle of Capri casino in Waterloo and a casino in Riverside.

A spokeswoman for Diamond Jo Casino, which has locations in Dubuque and Northwood, says owners also have not given money to the campaign.

Judge Won't Lift No-Contact Order for Iowa Suspect

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A judge won't let the mother of a 2-year-old Dubuque boy who died last year speak to the man accused of killing him.

Judge Monica Ackley rejected a request by Kylee Vander Meulen to lift a no-contact order between her and her former boyfriend, Nicholas Reed. She had said she needs to communicate with Reed because she's pregnant with his child.

Reed faces first-degree murder and other charges in the death of Vander Meulen's son, Bentley Randall. Reed has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities say Reed was baby-sitting Bentley while Vander Meulen was at work. She later took the boy to a hospital for treatment of burns and head trauma.

Doctors say Bentley died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Dyersville City Council News
The Dyersville City Council met Monday.  They held a public hearing on using the Dubuque County Regional Smart Plan as the city's Comprehensive Plan.  One person who spoke on the plan feels it is too vague and that the city should have its own system that better suits the community.  Following the hearing, the council voted to table that resolution until the March 4 meeting to allow for additional review.  In other business, the council approved a resolution accepting work on the 2004 First Avenue reconstruction project.  They also approved a resolution adopting the final assessment schedule for that project and amending the assessments with an interest rate of 5 percent.  In other action, the Dyersville City Council approved a resolution endorsing the southewest bike and walking trail project, and set March 4th as the date for a public hearing on the budget estimate.

Authorities Respond to Highway 38 Crash
Authorities were called to a single-vehicle crash early Saturday morning on Highway 38 in Delaware County.  According to the Sheriff's Office, 17-year-old Alexandria Chapman of Monticello was southbound on 38 when she lost control.  Her car left the roadway and struck a tree.  One of the passengers, 19-year-old Troy Stumpf of Monticello, suffered serious injuries and was taken to Regional Medical Center.  Chapman and two other passengers were treated for minor injuries.

Details on Delaware County Incident
A Hopkinton man died following a chase with authorities on Tuesday.  According to a press release, Delaware County deputies attempted to stop a vehicle driven by 45-year-old Ronald Schuman of Hopkinton.  Authorities say Schuman had been involved in an incident with his ex-wife in Earlville and was wanted for questioning.  As deputies approached, he displayed a handgun and pointed it at one of the officers.  Schuman then pointed the gun at himself and continued southbound on Highway 38.  About a half mile north of Delhi, Schuman apparently shot himself.  His vehicle left the roadway, coming to rest in a field.  Schuman was flown to University Hospitals in Iowa City where he died.  That incident remains under investigation by the Delaware County Sheriff's Office and State Patrol.

Dubuque legislator says he'll run for US House 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democratic state Rep. Pat Murphy of Dubuque says he's running for the Iowa congressional seat that will be vacated by Bruce Braley.

Murphy announced today he would run in next year's election for Iowa's 1st Congressional District. Murphy has served in the state House since 1989 and was House Speaker for four years.

Murphy says he will focus on issues like jobs, education and health care. Other possible Democratic candidates include state Sen. Liz Mathis and state Rep. Tyler Olson.

The 1st District seat will be open because Braley has opted to run for the Senate.

Audit: Coggon Power Plant Official Bought Gas, Tickets

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An audit report says the superintendent of a municipal power plant repeatedly used its credit cards to pay for gas for personal vehicles and to buy concert tickets, pet medicine and other personal items.

The report blames the board of trustees of the light plant in Coggon (CAHG-in) for allowing misspending by Superintendent William Edgerly. The report criticizes the board for rehiring Edgerly in the middle of the audit with a 23 percent salary increase, after he'd resigned.

Auditors caught Edgerly on surveillance footage filling up his vehicle and those of his son and girlfriend. They say he bought items from Victoria's Secret, Ticketmaster, a pornographic website and a website promoting a supplement for male erectile enhancement.

Coggon Mayor Pro Tem Dan Huber says the city will take "immediate action."

Cascade Council Appoints Hosch to Fill Vacancy
The Cascade City Council has appointed a new member to fill a vacancy. The council on Monday appointed Bill Hosch to replace Scott Soppe, who resigned because he is moving. That term runs through the end of the year. In other business the council apporved a cost sharing agreement with the DOT for the reconstruction of the Highway 136/1st Avenue intersection. The total project cost is estimated at $190,000. The state will pay 80 percent, or $152,000, and the city's cost will be $38,000. That project will be done later this year.

Former Masonville City Clerk Charged with Theft
A former Masonville City Clerk is facing theft charges. 41-year-old Christine King of Strawberry Point was charged today with 1st Degree Theft following an investigation into unauthorized payments she received while employed as the city clerk. Investigators say King made unauthorized payements to herself from various Masonville accounts.  The disbursements total about $80,000.  King was released on a signature bond. The 1st Degree Theft charge is a Class C Felony.

Dubuque County Sheriff's Office Awarded Proceeds from Fofeiture Case
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The sale of a farm linked to a stolen meat scheme will benefit the Dubuque County Sheriff's Office.

Federal authorities awarded more than $742,000 to the office Friday, the proceeds of a forfeiture action brought in connection with a scheme in 2006 and 2007 to steal meat from interstate trucking shipments and resell it.

Four Dubuque-area residents were convicted and sentenced to prison for their role in stealing the meat from a storage facility in East Dubuque and reselling it.

Prosecutors say the rural Dubuque farm was owned by a trucker and used to unload and store stolen cases of meat, which were resold to residents and businesses.

The owners of the farm had agreed to forfeit their interest in the property as part of a plea agreement.

Authorities Identify Woman Killed in Asbury Crash
Authorities have identified a Dubuque woman who was killed in a crash Wednesday morning in Asbury.  Deputies say 40-year-old Laura Mitchell was northbound on Hales Mill Road when her vehicle crossed the center line and collided with a southbound vehicle driven by 18-year-old Travis Boleyn of Asbury. Boleyn was treated at Mercy and released.  That crash happened about 7:30 Wednesday morning just north of Asbury Road.

Iowa Democrat Braley announces 2014 US Senate bid
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Rep. Bruce Braley says he will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.

Braley said Thursday in an email to potential supporters that the decision is "a big responsibility" and he's forming a fundraising committee to get started.

The Waterloo Democrat was elected to the House in 2006.

He has been eyeing a Senate run since 2010 and his announcement follows Harkin's Jan. 26 announcement that he will not seek a sixth term.

Braley had already said he was weighing a run, and he met last week in Washington with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and chairmen of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Among Republicans, Iowa Reps. Tom Latham and Steve King are considering Senate campaigns.

Girls Scout Camps Could Close
The Board of Directors for the Girls Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois will vote on whether to close all four Girl Scout camps in the region, including Camp Little Cloud. Regional Director Allison Johnson says that if the vote does pass, they will look to partner with other organizations so that the Girl Scouts are still getting an outdoor experience. Johnson said Girl Scout camp will proceed as planned this year at the four locations. The board is scheduled to vote March 28th.

Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce holds annual meeting
The Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting was held Wednesday.  K&K Logo designs was named the 2012 business of the year.  Jason Waterman with Victory Ford will serve as president of the chamber board for 2013.

Peosta Company to Add Jobs
A Peosta Company that makes tracks for ag machinery is expanding its workforce.  Camoplast Solideal, which recently moved to a larger building, plans to add a total of 23 jobs in the assembling, welding and paint departments.  Camoplast opened its original Peosta facility in 1998.

Sentencing Scheduled for "Bishop Bomber"
A sentencing date has been scheduled for a Dubuque man known as the "Bishop Bomber".  John Tomkins will be sentenced April 19 in US District Court in Chicago.  He was convicted in May on nine counts of mailing threatening communications, two counts of illegal possession of a destructive device and one count of using a destructive device in connection with a crime of violence. Tomkins faces a minimun of 30 years in prison for using a destructive device.  The possession charges could bring a maximum of 20 years, and the nine counts of mailing a threatening communication each carry a maximum of 20 years in prison. Tomkins has been in custody since his arrest more than five years ago.

No One Injured in Durango Fire
A Durango family was able to escape a home fire Monday night.  Firefighters were called to the home at 14628 Burtons Furnace Road around 6:30.  There was smoke throughout the house and flames shooting out of one room after crew arrived.  The owner, Karen Kennedy, says the family smelled something burning and ran out of the house unharmed.  The cause of the fire was under investigation.  The Red Cross is assisting the family.

Fire Destroys Home in Morley
A Jones County home has been destroyed by fire.  Firefighters were called to 18192 County Road E-45 in Morley, where they found the home fully engulfed in flames.  No one was injured in that fire.  The cause is under investigation.

Man pleads guilty to threatening Iowa deputy
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A Lansing man accused of threatening to kill an Allamakee County sheriff's deputy has pleaded guilty to a federal charge in the case.

Kenneth Haag was charged with using a telephone to transmit an interstate communication threatening to injure another person.

Prosecutors say that Haag made numerous calls and sent emails and faxes threatening to injure or kill various county officials. In a plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to one instance of calling and threatening to kill a sheriff's deputy.

Haag, who remains in federal custody, faces up to five years in prison when he's sentenced at a later date.

Illinois Man to Begin Iowa Trial in Boating Death
Jury selection is scheduled to begin today in Dubuque for an Illinois man charged with manslaughter in a fatal boating accident on the Mississippi. Kent Hoffman, of Galena, Ill., also is charged with operating a boat while intoxicated, causing a fatal accident. He's pleaded not guilty to both charges. Authorities say Hoffman was operating a boat that ran over another boat in Schmidt Harbor in Dubuque. The driver of the other boat, 45-year-old James Sutton, of Maquoketa, was killed.

One Injured in Crash at Wapsipinicon State Park

One person was injured in a crash Sunday evening at Wapsipinicon State Park in Anamosa.  Authorities say the driver lost control of his vehicle and became trapped.  He was freed from the vehicle and taken to St. Luke's Hospital with multiple injuries.  The driver's name was not released.

Work on Lake Delhi Dam Expected to Begin in Spring

Issues remain, but lake district officials say reconstruction of the Lake Delhi dam probably will start this spring.

Steve Leonard is president of the board of trustees of the Combined Lake Delhi Recreational Facility and Water Quality District. He says the project "has definitely gone slower than we'd have liked, but it's looking good for a spring start on phase one," which includes work on the original concrete portion of the dam. Leonard says the remaining issues include flood plain easements and permits from the Corps of Engineers and DNR, along with the weather. Leonard says given those issues, it's impossible to predict when refilling of the lake might begin.

New Attorney Appointed for Manchester Murder Suspect

A Manchester teen accused of killing his grandparents has a new attorney.  The switch in state-appointed representation for Isaiah Sweet is the result of a conflict between the office of his previous public defender, Tom Goodman, and a potential witness.  Due to that change, Sweet's trial has been rescheduled for April 17th.  Brandon Ahlers, who is also charged in the murder case, is currently scheduled to stand trail beginning March 6.  The Delaware County Attorney wants to consolidate the trials, but a judge has not yet ruled on that motion.

Dubuque Man Killed in Highway 151/61 Crash

A Dubuque man was killed in a two-vehicle crash Wednesday morning on Highway 151/61.  Authorities say 65-year-old Michael Maher was southbound near the Catfish Creek Bridge when he lost control of his vehicle and crossed the median into the northbound lanes, striking another vehicle.  Maher was pronounced dead at the scene.  His passenger, 61-year-old Donald Krier of Dubuque, was air-lifted to University Hospitals in Iowa City for treatment.  The driver of the northbound vehicle, 33-year-old Rachel Fitzpatrick of Dubuque, and her two passengers were treated at Mercy and released.  That crash happened just after 8:30 a.m.

Vehicle Recovered

Authorities have recovered a vehicle stolen from a Cascade garage.  The 2005 Chevy Trailblazer had been reported stolen Tuesday from a residence on 3rd Avenue Southeast and was recovered by Delaware County authorities.  Anyone with further information regarding the suspect, should call the Dubuque County dispatch center, Cascade Police Department or the Jones County Sheriff’s Office.

Fayette County Man Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident

One person was killed in a single-vehicle traffic accident in Fayette County early Tuesday morning.

Sheriff Marty Fisher said deputies responded around 4:25 a.m. when a passer-by reported a pickup that apparently had crashed near the intersection of Echo Road and 180th Street. The pickup was off the gravel road, which is located between Elgin and Wadena, and fully engulfed in flames. A body was found inside the pickup.

According to a press release, the 2001 Chevrolet pickup was owned by Steven Bilden, of rural Elgin. Authorities believe the deceased person was a roommate of Bilden's, but will not know positive identification until an autopsy is completed.

Officials are conducting interviews in the case. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is participating in the investigation.

Dubuque Family Hits Horses on Highway 61

A Dubuque family suffered minor injuries after hitting four horses on Highway 61 Monday night.  The car rolled after hitting the animals. 

The driver and his wife suffered minor injuries, a child in the car was not hurt.  The accident  happened just after 9:30 a.m. near the intersection of Pitz Road, about 2 miles south of the Dubuque Regional airport.  Sheriff's deputies say more than a dozen horses got loose from a nearby farm. The owner was able to catch most of them except the four that ran all the way to the highway.  A semi hit the horses first, then the car. Three of the horses were left in the median and one other was on the shoulder of the road. the owner removed the dead horses around 1 PM Tuesday.

Dyersville Council News

The Dyersville City Council met Monday.  They approved a resolution authorizing the payment of the judgement in the matter of Horsfield Construction vs. the City of Dyersville.  The payment, including the judgement amount and interest, will be just over $273,000. In other business, the council accepted the Community Visioning Final Report and Feasiblity Study.  That resolution authorizes city officials to proceed with the study recommendations.  The council also tabled the resolution on the plat of survey for H.M. Jasper's 3rd addition due to a potential water well issue.

Cascade Council Member Resigns

The Cascade City Council will be getting a new member.  Scott Soppe, who was elected in 2009, resigned from the council this month due to an impending relocation to Iowa City.  The council is expected to consider appointing a replacement at and upcoming meeting.  Soppe's seat on the council will be up for election this fall. Today the Cascade Council will meet to discuss the first draft of the fiscal year 2013-2014 budget.  That meeting begins at 5.

Dubuque County Reaches Agreement with Property Owner for Asbury Road Project

Dubuque County officials have apparantly reached an agreement to acquire the final property needed for the Asbury Road project. 

Marianne Fettkether, of Bend, Oregon, said she will accept the county's offer of just more than $39,000 for 7.5 acres. That purchase will allow the county to begin work on a widening project on 3.33 miles of Asbury Road.  Officials are hopeful the $3 million project can be completed by the end of the year.

RMC Announces Land Purchase

Regional Medical Center in Manchester has purchased land to allow for expansion.  Officials say they recently closed on the purchase of 24 acres north of the hospital. Plans are in place to add parking for employees within the next year.  Future usage of the additional land is yet to be finalized, but officials say new construction is a possibility in the next 2-3 years.

Iowa Governor Endorses Funding for Tuition Freeze

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A leader of Iowa's public universities is praising Gov. Terry Branstad for supporting funding to pay for their plans to freeze tuition rates for in-state undergraduate students.

Board of Regents President Craig Lang said Tuesday that Branstad's budget proposal is "a tremendous win for Iowa's students and families" and vowed to lobby lawmakers to ensure the funds are approved.

The regents voted last month to keep tuition the same next school year for Iowa undergrads at Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa. But the freeze is contingent on a 2.5 percent funding increase for the universities and a special $4 million UNI appropriation.

Branstad included both elements in his budget Tuesday to enable the freeze, which would be the first in 30 years.

New Vienna Man Arrested Following High Speed Chase

A New Vienna man was arrested following a high speed chase with Dyersville police on Saturday.  According to a press release, an officer was following a pickup driven by 24-year-old Matthew Maiers, who was speeding on Dyersville East Road.  The officer attempted a traffic stop, but Maiers kept driving.  The chase ended when Maiers went off the road and into a snow bank as he turned onto Pape Road.  According to the officer, he ordered Maiers out of the vehicle at gun point and took him into custody.  Maiers is charged with Operating While Intoxicated, felony eluding, failure to maintain control and failure to stop for a posted stop sign.

Illinois Man Dies After Falling Through Ice

SABULA, Iowa (AP) — An Illinois man is dead and his teenage son injured after falling through the ice of an eastern Iowa lake.

The accident happened just before 5 p.m. Friday. Jackson County Sheriff's officials say 65-year-old Ronald Kerkhoff, of German Valley, Illinois and his son, 18-year-old Jacob Kerkhoff, had been ice fishing on South Sabula Lake when they fell through.

Rescue crews pulled the men from the lake and took them to a hospital in Clinton, where the father died. Jacob Kerkhoff was treated for his injuries and released.

Students, Driver Injured in Iowa School Bus Crash

POSTVILLE, Iowa (AP) — A bus driver and six students were treated for minor injuries following a crash Friday morning in northeast Iowa.

The Allamakee County Sheriff's Office says the school bus slid through an intersection, into a ditch and down an embankment.

The driver told authorities that ice on the road caused the crash.

The sheriff's office says the six students and driver were taken to Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon, where they were treated for minor injuries and released.

The accident remains under investigation.

Judge Hears Arguments in Lawsuit involving Go the Distance, RAAC

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — A judge is considering whether to dismiss a lawsuit involving the new owners of the "Field of Dreams". Dubuque District Court Judge Monica Ackley heard arguments Wednesday from attorneys for Go the Distance Baseball LLC and the Residential and Agricultural Advisory Committee.

Go the Distance is suing the committee, which is a group of area residents opposing a sports complex planned for the site. Go the Distance filed a petition in October saying the committee interfered with contracts related to the site's sale.

A committee attorney says the petition lacks specific instances of misconduct. A Go the Distance attorney says there is more than enough information.

Ackley has not yet issued a ruling.

Sentencing for Epworth Man Delayed

The sentencing for an Epworth man charged in a sex abuse case has been delayed. 53-year old Joseph Simon Jr. is accused of having sexual contact with two boys. Investigators say Simon admitted to paying the boys to let him perform sex acts on them. He was charged with two counts of third-degree sexual abuse. He pleaded guilty last fall to lesser charges of two counts of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. He could face up to four years in prison and fines. His sentencing is now scheduled for February 15th.

McGregor Woman Killed in Crash that Closed Iowa-Wisconsin Bridge

A McGregor woman was killed in Sunday's crash that closed a bridge between Iowa and Wisconsin.  Authorities say Lorraine Siegenthaler was westbound on the Highway 18 bridge between Marquette and Prairie du Chien when she crossed the center line.  Her car collided head-on with an eastbound van driven by Roberta Lear of Praire du Chien.  Siegenthaler was pronounced dead at the scene.  Lear was airlifted to Gunderson-Lutheran in La Crosse and was listed in fair condition. Three of Lear's passengers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.  That crash happened around 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Snowmobiler Killed in Jones County Crash

Authorities are investigating a fatal snowmobile crash in Jones County.  Officials say the rider collided with a pickup on Highway 151 Sunday evening. The victims name has not been released.

Iowans Fight Health Insurer's Premium Increase

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Dozens of Iowans have asked the state health insurance commissioner to deny another premium increase sought by the state's dominant health insurer, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The company wants to raise premiums on 150,000 individual policyholders by 12 percent to 13 percent starting in April. Wellmark has been raising premiums for the past several years, including 9.4 percent last year and 8.5 percent in 2011. Wellmark says it needs more money to pay for the higher costs of medical services. The company sells about 86 percent of the nonemployer health insurance policies in Iowa. On Saturday state Insurance Commissioner Susan Voss will hold a public hearing on the company's request.

1 Worker Dies, 1 Injured in Cedar Rapids Accident

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say two employees at a corn mill in Cedar Rapids were preparing a fermentation tank for maintenance before an accident left one dead and the other injured. Cedar Rapids firefighters say the men were found unconscious Wednesday morning at a facility for Archer Daniels Midland. Officials believe the men encountered an oxygen-deficient environment that caused them to become unconscious. One of the workers died at Mercy Medical Center, and the other worker was being treated at another hospital. The men's names and other details about the accident have not been released. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the accident.

Upper Iowa University President Resigns

FAYETTE, Iowa (AP) — The president of Upper Iowa University in Fayette is stepping down after going on sabbatical in the fall. Officials announced Wednesday that Alan Walker, who has led the school since 2004,  has resigned.
Reasons for the sabbatical and the resignation have not been released. The university will embark on a national search to find a new president.

Iowa Bartender Charged with Threatening Youth

ELKADER, Iowa (AP) — A Clayton County bartender is charged with threatening and trying to hold captive a teenager who was helping sheriff's deputies conduct an alcohol compliance check.

33-year-old Timothy Finley allegedly threatened the volunteer with a pipe and ordered her to go the basement of Fennelly's Irish Pub on Friday, after she tried to buy a six-pack of beer.

Clayton County Chief Deputy Ryan Johnson says Finley checked the youth's identification and told her he suspected she was part of a "sting." He then allegedly told the volunteer to go into the bar's basement and threatened to hurt her.

Finley was arrested on suspicion of second-degree harassment, false imprisonment, and kidnapping. He has since been released from jail.

Iowa's 'Field of Dreams' Movie Site Sale Completed

The investors group Go the Distance Baseball LLC says it closed last week on the deal reached with owners Don and Becky Lansing. The final price was $3.4 million plus interest. It was listed for $5.4 million more than two years ago when it went on the market. Go the Distance plans to transform the Dyersville landmark into All-Star Ballpark Heaven, a 24-field youth baseball and softball tournament complex.
Construction is expected to begin this spring, with the first tournament games scheduled for 2014

Western Dubuque Superintendent Charged with OWI
Western Dubuque Superintendent Jeff Corkery has pleaded not guilty to an OWI charge.  According to Independence police, a witness notified them about pickup that was driving all over the road on November 30th. An office located the pickup with Corkery at the wheel in a parking lot.  Corkery, who pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, says he disputes the contents of the police report.  School Board President Bob McCabe said Corkery will continue to lead the district as the case proceeds.

Dubuque Man Pleads Not Guilty in Death of Girlfriend's Son
A 34-year-old Dubuque man has pleaded not guilty to allegations that he killed his girlfriend's 2-year-old son. Nicholas Reed faces first-degree murder and other charges in the death of Bentley Randall. Reed entered the pleas on Wednesday.

Snowmobile Accident Injures Coggon Man

Authorities say a 42-year-old man has been injured while driving a snowmobile through a farm field in Linn County.

The Linn County Sheriff's Office says Shawn Vandivier, of Coggon, lost control of the snowmobile around 5 p.m. Monday on the south side of Central City.

Vandivier was taken to St. Luke's Hospital in Cedar Rapids and then transferred to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

The accident is being investigated.

Authorities Respond to Crash on Kramer Road in Dubuque County

Authorities responded to a crash on Kramer Road north of Farley Monday afternoon.  Officials say the jaws of life were used to free one of the people involved in the two vehicle crash.  That person was taken to Mercy in Dubuque.  The crash happened around 3:45 p.m. about a half mile north of the intersection of Kramer and Prier Roads.

Fire Destroys Hopkinton Building

Firefighters say fire has destroyed a building at Bacon Recycling in Hopkinton. Fire Chief Craig Wilson said the blaze began around 5 a.m. Saturday and had consumed the building by the time his crew arrived on scene. Wilson says the building was made of aluminum and was storing cardboard and plastic for recycling. Wilson says the heat of the fire caused the walls to collapse. Fire crews from Delhi and Monticello also responded. Wilson says about 60 firefighters battled the blaze.

Monticello Man Dies in Highway 151 Crash
One person was killed and another injured in a crash Friday evening on Highway 151 in Jones County.  Authorities say 50-year-old Randy Hartwig of Monticello was southbound when his tow tow truck crossed the median and hit a semi driven by 32-year-old Jason Fagan of Onslow.  Both were taken to Jones Regional Medical Center where Hatwig died.  That crash happened just north of the Highway 64 interchange.

Man Who Escaped From Delaware County Captured in Indiana
The man who escaped from the Delaware County Jail on November 18 has been captured in Lafeytte, Indiana.  Deputies with the U.S. Marshal's Service and Indiana authorities found Timothy Reynolds hiding in a basement crawl space on Wednesday.  He was arrested without incident.  Delaware County authorities say Reynolds assaulted a jailer and stole his SUV during his escape.  He was being held in Indiana pending extradition back to Iowa.

Iowa Officials Identify Body Found in Trailer Fire near Centralia
Authorities have identified the man found inside burned out trailer near Centralia.
The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office says 84-year-old Leonard Behnke was found inside his home after the fire was reported early Thursday morning. Firefighters from the Centralia-Peosta Fire Department say the trailer was engulfed in flames when they arrived around 5 a.m. Authorities say they're investigating the cause of the fire.

DNR Approves Lake Delhi Wastewater Plan, Work Continues on Access Plan
Lake Delhi officials are continuing to work on requirements to secure state funding for the rebuilding of the lake. The Board of Trustees said the DNR has accepted their wastewater plan, and they are working on changes to the public access plan. Lawmakers approved a total of five million dollars in state funding to help rebuild Lake Delhi as long as they met the requirements of that agreement.

Attorney Wants Interview Out of Manchester Homicide Case

An attorney for a man facing charges in a double homicide in Manchester wants part of a police interview kept out of his client's upcoming trial.

The attorney for Brandon Ahlers argued at a hearing Tuesday that police expressed or implied leniency during an interview in return for Ahlers' statements. A judge will make a ruling on the request at a later date.

Ahlers is charged with aiding and abetting in the killings of Richard and Janet Sweet. Prosecutors say he suggested to his friend, Isaiah Sweet, different ways to kill the couple.

Sweet is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of his grandparents.

Both have pleaded not guilty. Their trials are scheduled to begin in March.

Sheriff: 2 Bodies were Found in Iowa Wildlife Area

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A sheriff says hunters found the bodies believed to be two missing cousins in a secluded wildlife area about 25 miles from where they vanished in July.

Bremer County Sheriff Dewey Hildebrandt said the bodies were found in the park along the Wapsipinicon that is a popular area for hunting and fishing. Hildebrandt says investigators from his office, the FBI and other agencies are processing the crime scene.

Authorities said hunters on Wednesday found the bodies believed to be Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook. The bodies have been sent to the state medical examiner's office in Ankeny for identification. Authorities will release more information later today.

Hunters Find Bodies Believed to be 2 Iowa Cousins
EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say hunters have found bodies believed to be two young Iowa cousins who disappeared while riding their bikes in July.
Black Hawk County sheriff's Captain Rick Abben says two bodies were found Wednesday in a wooded area, though he wouldn't say where.

He says the families of the cousins, 9-year-old Elizabeth Collins and 11-year-old Lyric Cook, were told of the discovery and are asking for privacy.

Abben appeared to fight back tears, saying "it's definitely not the outcome that we wanted."

Abben says the bodies are being sent to the state medical examiner's office for identification.

The girls vanished July 13th near Meyers Lake in Evansdale in northeast Iowa.

Their bikes were found near the lake.

Iowa Regents Vote to Freeze Tuition _ For Now

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Board of Regents has voted not to raise tuition charges for in-state undergraduate students for next school year — at least for now.
The board gave final approval to its tuition freeze plan during a telephone meeting Wednesday, with no discussion. The freeze is the first of its kind in Iowa in memory and is sure to be popular with students and parents.

But the plan is contingent on lawmakers approving a funding increase to operate the state's three public universities, which is by no means a sure thing. Leaders say it's too soon to know how the proposal will fare.

Board members have warned they may raise tuition in the spring if the Legislature does not come through.

Bill Hits $1.1M for Iowan Accused of Killing Boy

Bond has been set at $1.1 million for a Dubuque man who's accused of killing a 2-year-old who'd been left in his care.

A $750,000 bail was set during a video court appearance Tuesday for 34-year-old Nicholas Reed. The bail is in addition to $350,000 bail set after Reed was arrested on neglect and drug charges. Bentley Randall's mother had taken him to a Dubuque hospital on Nov. 23 for treatment of burns and head trauma. The boy died at University Hospitals in Iowa City.

Police say Bentley's mother had left him with Reed, her boyfriend, when she went to work. She took the boy to the hospital when she returned.

Ex-Iowa School Official to Avoid Prison for Theft

A judge has declined to give prison time to a former school district administrator caught stealing tens of thousands of dollars.

Prosecutor Rob Sand asked for prison time Monday for former Starmont School District business manager Vicki Vanter. Sand said prison was appropriate because her long-running theft amounted to "a number of crimes over a number of years."

Judge Richard Stochl instead ordered Vanter on probation for up to five years, citing the 61-year-old's age and remorse. He says he's mindful that she'll be more likely to pay restitution of $150,000 if she isn't jailed.

Vanter was arrested after a June audit alleged she wasted $229,000 paying off personal expenses such as credit card debt and improperly inflating her salary and benefits.

Judge Delays Ruling in Field of Dreams Zoning Dispute
The judge handling a dispute about the zoning change for the Field of Dreams property has delayed a ruling on the issue. Judge Thomas Bitter announced he needs more time to consider a motion by the Residential and Agricultural Advisory Committee to amend its petition contesting the re-zoning. The RAAC is seeking a writ which would allow the court to eventually determine the legality of the city council’s decision to rezone the property for the All Star Ballpark project. The judge last month decided not to issue a writ, but the committee filed a motion asking him to reconsider.

Fire Damages Monticello Businesses
An early morning fire damaged businesses in downtown Monticello. Fire crews were called out around 3:40 this morning. Officials say the hardest hit building is the one occupied by Monticello Carpet and Interiors. Flames also spread to a neighboring building, and others had some smoke and water damage. The cause of that fire is under investigation. A damage estimate was not available. Crews from the Manchester, Cascade, Hopkinton and Anamosa Fire Departments assisted.

Dyersville Man Faces Drug Charges
A Dyersville man faces drug charges after authorities searched his residence Monday. Robert Mueller the Second was arrested at his home on Fourth Street Southeast after the Dubuque Drug Task Force found precursors and other items to produce meth. Mueller was charged with manufacturing meth within 1,000 feet of a protected area. Additional charges are pending.

Trial Date Change in Manchester Murder Case
The trial date for a man accused of helping a teen charged with killing his grandparents has been changed. 20-year-old Brandon Ahlers is charged with aiding and abetting Isaiah Sweet in the death of Richard and Janet Sweet of Manchester. Ahlers is now scheduled to go on trial March 6, the same day as Sweet.

Sports Headlines:

High School Football Broadcast Schedule

Sept. 19 -- Waukon @ Beckman

Sept. 26 -- Wahlert @ Western Dubuque

Oct. 3 -- Camanche @ Cascade

Oct. 10 -- Cascade @ Monticello

Oct. 17 -- Solon @ Western Dubuque

Oct. 24 - Center Point Urbana @ Beckman

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Real Country 99.3
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