Iowa Gaming Commission Rejects Cedar Rapids Casino Plan
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A state gaming commission has again rejected proposals for a casino in Cedar Rapids. The 3-2 vote Thursday reflected the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission's running concerns that a new facility would hurt profits at existing Iowa casinos — particularly those surrounding Iowa's second-largest city.
The decision came during a meeting in Dubuque, where members discussed the merits of three proposals. Two of the proposals came from Cedar Rapids Development Group.
They included a plan for a $196 million Cedar Crossing development on the west side of the Cedar River and a smaller, $106 million casino in downtown Cedar Rapids. The third proposal from Wild Rose Entertainment would have built a smaller $42 million "boutique" casino downtown. The commission also rejected a casino proposal for Cedar Rapids in 2014.
One Killed in Crash at Farley
One person was killed in a crash at Farley Wednesday evening. Authorities say a westbound work truck exited Highway 20 at the Farley ramp and the car following failed to slow in time and collided with the work truck. The driver of the car, who was not identified, was transported to Mercy in Dubuque and was pronounced dead. The names of those involved will be released later today. That crash occurred around 5:40 p.m. Wednesday.
Western Dubuque Community School District Facility Committee Meeting Notes
The Western Dubuque Community School District Facility Planning Committee met this morning. The first items discussed was WDHS Athletic Boosters proposal to construct a new free-standing building to be located on the northside of the Drexler MS property. The purpose would be to house batting cages for off-season baseball/softball workouts, as well as use by the middle school wrestling program. The committee is open to discussing the possibilities at a future date, but do not feel the timing is the best given the various possible solutions. They also discussed the enrollment analysis provided by RSP & Associates. The next step will be to engage a consultant to perform an educational capacity analysis to study current buildings, grade configurations and enrollments, primarily on the north side of the district to address issues at the Farley campus. Administration will be gathering info and proposals to begin that analysis process and will bring a recommendation back to the Facility Committee in the coming weeks.
2017 Municipal Election Results (Contested Races) * indicates winner
Dyersville Mayor –
*Jim Heavens – 817 votes
AlvinHaas – 323 votes
Cascade Mayor –
*Greg Staner – 187
Marcus Behnken – 162
Cascade Public Measure B (Should the current 3 member Municipal Utilities Board be changed to 5 member board)
*Issues with wording on the ballot – majority of council and utilities board urged a “no vote”, citing potential issues if approved.
Epworth Council – (Elect 3)
*Karen Conrad – 150
*Robbie Hosch – 147
*Daniel Wilgenbusch – 137
Alison Gibbs – 68
Marty Horsfield – 65
Delaware County Communities (Colesburg, Delaware, Delhi, Dundee, Earlville, Greeley, Hopkinton, Manchester, Masonville, Ryan and unincorporated/rural area of Delaware County) asked to re-establishthe 1% Local Option Sales and Service Tax from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2029.
*All communities and unincorporated/rural area approved that measure, with each having a unique language as to how that money will be spent.
Manchester Council At-Large (Elect 1)
*Ronald Struble – 198
DougHawker – 174
Delhi Council – (Elect 3) *Unofficial results
(I)Shawn Wilson – 110
(I)Rick Bojorquez – 111
*Susan Luensmann – 132
Sherri Noonan – 85
Rosanne Downs – 114
Craig Davis – 106
Anamosa Mayor –
*(I)Dale Barnes – 370
Mike Dearborn – 237
Bill Feldmann – 44
Anamosa Council – (Elect 3)
*(I)John Machart – 388
*(I)Rodney Smith – 334
Galen Capron –304
Jim Miner –308
*Kay Smith – 365
Monticello Council Ward 2 –
*(I)Johnny Russ – 38
William Meyer – 5
Dyersville Council Approves Fireworks Sales
TheDyersville City Council has approved an ordinance that will allow forthe sales of consumer fireworks. Those sales could take place in thecity's C-2 Commercial District, provided the fireworks companies getapproval from the Board of Adjustment.
Iowa Woman Accused of Stabbing Former Husband to Death
INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — A 32-year-old woman has been accused of stabbing to death her former husband in northeast Iowa. Hillary Hunziker is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Jason Hunziker at his home northwest of Independence. Online records say she remained in custody Tuesday. Court records don't list an attorney who could comment for Hillary Hunziker. A criminal complaint says a child called 911 early Monday morning and said, "My mom just stabbed my dad." That was followed by a call from Jason Hunziker, who said his wife had stabbed him. The complaint says the arriving deputies soon found Jason Hunziker dead in the home. The complaint says Hillary Hunziker and a child were found a short time later in Robins and says Hillary Hunziker admitted stabbing her ex-husband.
Kansas Officers Bring Special Gift to Fallen Officer's Son
BELLEVUE, Iowa (AP) — Police officers from around the country continue to reach out to support a fallen Iowa officer's son. Anamosa police Officer Mitch Kelchen died in a car crash over Labor Day weekend while off duty. After his death, Kelchen's oldest son, Shane, collected business cards from other officers. But someone at his school destroyed the cards. Since then, police departments have sent Shane more than 10,000 cards. Officers from Kansas City, Kansas, got involved and presented a special gift to the family Friday in Bellevue. They gave him two frames full of more than 150 business cards, including one of Mitch Kelchen's cards. Shane's mom, Tina Kelchen, says the support her family has received since her husband's death has been more than she expected.
Car Crashed into Building in Cascade
A man who crashed his vehicle into a parked car and then a building in Cascade has been arrested. It happened around 10 p.m. Monday. Authorities says 27-year-old Cody Finzel of Cascade was westbound on 1st Ave when he lost control of his car, which struck a parked vehicle and then the building at 105 1st Ave. That building has a floral shop on the first floor and apartments on the second floor. Five people living in the building were evacuated due to the extensive damage. Finzel is charged with operating while intoxicated, illegal possession of prescription drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Deaths of a Dyersville Couple Found Unresponsive at Their Home not Considered Suspicious
Authorities say no foul play is suspected in the deaths of a Dyersville couple. 36-year-old Robert Walker and his wife, 36-year-old Kelly Walker,were found unresponsive in their home on Second St. NE around 10:40p.m. Saturday. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Their bodies were sent to the State Medical Examiners office for autopsies.
Fatal Accident in Delaware County
One person was killed in crash in Delaware County Wednesday evening. The state patrol says a pickup was eastbound on 210th Street in Masonville when it left the roadway. The pickup struck and drove through a barn and then struck a tree where it came to rest. The name of the victim was being withheld pending notification of family. That crash occurred just before 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Farley City Council Discusses Noise Ordinance Request, No Action Taken
The Farley City Council this week considered a request to adopt a noise ordinance. The council reviewed recommendations from two cities and expressed concern regarding enforcement, noting the city would need to purchase equipment that has a history of being unreliable. The council felt the request was isolated to one individual and does not represent the needs of the community. It was a consensus of the council not to take action at this time. If additional complaints or recommendations are received, the council will reconsider.
Dyersville Council Forum (Mayor candidates)
A Dyersville Mayoral and City Council forum was held Monday night. Mayoral Candidate Jim Heavens talked about his decision to run again.
The other Mayoral Candidate, Al Haas, also participated in the forum and talked about his decision to run again.
This is the third time they will run against each other. Heavens won the 2013 election, while Haas defeated him in the 2015 election.
A Dyersville Mayoral and City Council forum was held Monday night. Ward 3 Incumbent Mike Oberbroeckling, who is running un-opposed, talked about working to continue improved the city.
Tom Westhoff, who is running un-opposed for the At-Large seat currently held by Mark Wagner, talked about his decision to run for city council.
Jim Gibbs, who is the lone candidate in Ward 1, says he is running for council to give back to the community.
Municipal elections take place November 7th.
Rain has Delayed Iowa, Nebraska Corn and Soybean Harvest
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Rain has kept Iowa and Nebraska farmers out of corn and soybean fields in the past few weeks significantly delaying the harvest.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says just 32 percent of the Iowa soybean crop has been harvested, the lowest percentage harvested by this date since 1985 and only 13 percent of the corn crop for grain is finished, the smallest percentage harvested by this date since 2009.
In Nebraska corn is 17 percent finished behind 32 percent last year and the 39 percent average.
Just a third of the Nebraska soybean crop has been harvested, well behind 59 percent last year at this time and the five-year average of 67 percent.
Jury Convicts New York Man linked to Hopkinton Bank Robbery
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A jury has convicted a New York man in connection to a 2016 bank robbery in eastern Iowa. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the northern district of Iowa says 27-year-old Daniel Louis Jackson, of Younkers, New York, was convicted on charges that included armed bank robbery. He was found guilty after a three-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids. A date for sentencing is pending, but Jackson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison.
Officials say Jackson and another man, Jason Centeno, took about $8,000 from a Citizens State Bank in Hopkinton on Oct. 21, 2016. Centeno pleaded guilty in September to several charges related to the robbery. His sentencing is pending but he also faces a mandatory minimum seven-year prison sentence.
DNR Investigating Fish Kill in Dyersville area
The DNR is investigating a fish kill in Hickory and Hewitt Creeks in Dubuque County. Starting at the Highway 136 bridge in Dyersville, DNR staff followed dead fish upstream for about 5 miles to an unnamed tributary of Hickory Creek. The likely source of the fish kill is manure washed into the stream from an animal feeding operation in the upper part of the watershed. The fish kill was reported Monday, but the caller noticed dead fish on Sunday following rainfall over the weekend. The investigation is ongoing as DNR awaits test results from water samples. DNR staff estimate thousands of fish were killed. An official count will be available later. The DNR will seek enforcement actions as appropriate.
Hopkinton Man Accused of Pointing Gun at Children
A Hopkinton man accused of pointing a gun at children has been charged. The Delaware County Sheriff's Office says it happened in Hopkinton Monday afternoon. According to a press release, four juveniles were walking home from School around 3:45 when a male in a truck pointed a gun at them. 18-year-old Coye Brown, of Hopkinton, was charged with four counts of Assault While Displaying a Dangerous Weapon. His bond was set at $5,000 during a court appearance on Tuesday.
Dubuque Homicide Trial Moving to Another County
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A judge has granted a defense request to move a man's homicide trial out of Dubuque County.
Twenty-one-year-old Helmon Betwell already has pleaded not guilty to murder, sexual assault and burglary charges. He's accused of attacking 66-year-old Nancy Krapfl on Sept. 1, 2015, as she was walking in Dubuque.
Betwell's attorneys had said in their motion for a change of venue that extensive media coverage of the case harmed his chances of having a fair trial in Dubuque County. The judge agreed in an order signed Friday.
Where the trial will be held has not yet been determined.
Paving Work to Begin on Highway 136 in Worthington
Paving work on Highway 136 in Worthington is scheduled to begin today (October 9). The DOT says local access will be maintained within Worthington during the project, but traffic from the north and south will be detoured using Highway 151, Highway 20 and Highway 38. The detour will go into place around 8 am today. DOT officials hope to have the work completed by next Monday (October 16).
Florida Man Killed in Highway 136 Crash South of Dyersville
Authorities say Florida man was killed in a crash Thursday morning on Highway 136 one mile south of Dyersville. According to the state patrol, a tractor was pulling a manure wagon southbound on 136 and attempted to turn left into a farm lane when it was struck by a southbound motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle, 60-year-old David Jones of Florida, died at the scene. That crash happened at 11:10 a.m.Thursday. The accident remains under investigation.
Pickup Crashes into Manchester Home, No One Injured
No one was injured when a pickup crashed into a house in Manchester Thursday morning. Police say 65-year-old Alan Marsh of Manchester was eastbound on West Main Street when his pickup left the roadway, traveled across a terrace and crashed into the home at 900 West Main Street. Police say Marsh was not injured, but did go to a medical center because he did not know how the crash occurred. Damage to the house was estimated at$25,000. That crash happened at 10:45 a.m. Thursday.
A shed and its contents were destroyed in a fire Friday night in Dubuque County. Crews responded to the Steve and Donna Kalb farm a t19093 Pilot Grove Road around 9:30 Friday night. Upon arrival, a large machine shed was found fully engulfed in flames. The building and its contents, including a combine, tractor and other farming equipment, were a total loss. The exact cause of the fire was unknown at the time of the press release, but did not appear to be suspicious in nature.
Grain Bin Death
LUANA, Iowa (AP) — Authorities said a northeastern Iowa man has died after being trapped in a grain bin in Clayton County. 88-year-old Duane Walter, of McGregor, died Monday after entering the bin near Luana to break up some corn. Officials say Walter was completely covered by the corn in the incident reported around 1:40 p.m. Monday. It took rescue crews about an hour to find and remove Walter from the bin. He was pronounced dead at Central Community Hospital in Elkader.
BLUE GRASS, Iowa (AP) — Scott County authorities say the officer injured when a stolen garbage truck crashed into his cruiser is the police chief in Buffalo. Sheriff Tim Lane said in a news release Tuesday that Chief T.J. Behning was standing at the rear of his cruiser and was struck by it Monday when the truck rammed it. Lane says Behning is reported in serious condition at University Hospitals in Iowa City. The man who was driving the truck has been charged with attempted murder and other crimes, including some not related to the crash. He's been identified as 20-year-old Logan Shoemaker. Authorities say he stole the truck after his pickup collided with it.
Former St. Paul's School Building Sold
Closing on the sale of the former St. Paul's school building in Worthington took place on Friday afternoon. Mike Sauerbry, who currently lives in Dubuque and grew up in Manchester, has purchased the building. He plans to live there along with his mother after some remodeling. Other space will be used for storage relating to his on-line sports memorabilia business. He has agreed to rent the office space to the parish, and plans to allow individuals to rent the Gib Gym. Proceeds from the sale of the school belong to the St. Paul's parish, and leaders will determine who to apply those funds.
Trailer Park Shooting Verdict
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A judge has sentenced a Dubuque man to life in prison for a fatal shooting in Key West. Judge Thomas Bitter issued the mandatory sentence Monday for 21-year-old Tacari T. Minifee. He was convicted in August of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the death of 21-year-old Collin Brown. Prosecutors say Minifee was one of three men who broke into Collin Brown's Key West trailer and killed him in April 2016.
Officer Injured Crash
BLUE GRASS, Iowa (AP) — An officer has been injured when his squad car collided with a stolen garbage truck he was chasing near the eastern Iowa city of Blue Grass. The officer was seriously injured Monday afternoon when a garbage truck hit his squad car during a pursuit on Highway 22. The officer was flown to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Scott County Sheriff Tim Lane says authorities won't release the officer's name or the agency he works for until later. The driver of the stolen garbage truck also was hurt. He was taken to a hospital for injuries that aren't considered serious. Lane says the garbage truck driver will face charges.
New Drexler Middle School Principal Resigns
Todd Coulter has resigned as the principal of Drexler Middle School, citing personal reasons. During this interim period of time, any DMIS specific questions should be directed to Assistant Principal Scott Firzlaff. Any other general questions can be directed to Superintendent Rick Colpitts. According to an e-mail from Colpitts,they will begin the search for a new principal soon but will not likely fill the position until July 1st. In the coming weeks, they will develop a long term plan. In the meantime, Colpitts and Kelly Simon, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, will be filling in and helping out at the school each day.
Former Mayors Haas, Heavens Run Again in Dyersville
Two former Dyersville Mayors will run against each other in this year'selection. Alvin Haas and James Heavens officially filed papers to run for mayor, with the winner replacing Dan Willenborg, who is not running for re-election. Heavens defeated Haa sin the Mayoral Election six years ago, then Haas defeated Heavens in the 2013 election, while Willenborg defeated Haas in 2015. Beside sa new mayor, Dyersville will also have two new council members. Tom Westhoff was the lone person to file for the At-Large seat currently held by Mark Wagner, who is not seeking re-election. In Ward 1, Jim Gibbs will run unopposed on the ballot to replace Teresa Bockenstedt who didn't run for re-election. In Ward 3, incumbent Mike Oberbroeckling is running unopposed. The Municipal Election will take place November 7th.
Nomination Papers Due for Mayoral and City Council Elections, Dyersville Mayor Not Running for Re-election
Nomination papers are available at local city hall's or the Secretary of State website for the upcoming city elections. Candidate filing ends with papers due by 5 pm this Thursday. In Dyersville, Mayor Dan Willenborg made it official this week that he will not be seeking re-election, citing health concerns. He made an official announcement at the end of Monday's council meeting.
INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — Defense attorneys are asking a judge to dismiss a charge against reality TV star Chris Soules for leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Soules is accused of driving a truck that hit a tractor near his hometown of Aurora in April. The accident killed the tractor's driver, 66-year-old Kenneth Moser. Investigators say Soules left the scene and was arrested later at his home. Soules was in an Iowa courtroom on Thursday as his attorneys said they want the case charges dismissed. The attorneys said they would argue for the dismissal during a hearing on Oct. 10.
Dubuque firefighters responded to a fire alarm at Unity Point Finley Hospital in Dubuque early Wednesday morning. Hospital personnel directed firefighters to the fourth floor where they found a small fire in an electrical room. The fire was not large enough to activate the sprinkler system and was extinguished immediately, however smoke was present in the immediate area. The fire occurred in the Delhi Medical portion of the complex just after 2:32 AM and did not affect patient areas. Fire crews are still on scene Thursday clearing smoke and assisting maintenance personnel. The fire cause is still under investigation at this time.
School Board Elections
School Board elections were held Tuesday in Iowa. In the Western Dubuque School District there was a contested race for Director District 3, with Mike Rea winning that spot on the board. Rea received 496 votes as he defeated Coleen Horsfield and Patrick Diller. In the West Delaware School District, Edward Poynor was elected to a 4-year term, and Carl Johnson was elected to fill a 2-year vacancy. Voters also approved a measure to extend the Revenue Purpose Statement. Ed-Co voters were called upon to elect three board members out of six candidates. The winners were Dan Venteicher, Matt Elliot and Rober tSchilling. Also on the Ed-Co ballot was a $7 million dollar bond issue, which was defeated. It needed a 60% majority, but only received 41% percent yes votes. Anamosa voters elected four school board members. Carl Chalstrom, Brian Hurt and Matt McQuillen were elected to regular terms, and Nicole Claussen won the vote to fill a vacancy on the Anamosa board. In the Monticello School District, voters approved a measure to extend the Tax Revenue Purpose Statement.
Hazelton Woman Killed in Buchanan County Crash
A Hazelton woman was killed when her SUV collided with a semi Monday evening in Buchanan County. The Iowa State Patrol says 47-year-old Tamara Miller-Fuller was eastbound on 140th Street while 52-year-old Perry Klosterman of Strawberry Point was northbound on Mason Avenue when their vehicles collided in the intersection. Miller-Fuller died in the crash, which happened at 6:22 p.m. Monday. Klosterman was not injured.
Alliant Energy Employees Heading to Florida
Alliant Energy employees left early this morning to assist in the effort to restore power across Florida following Hurricane Irma. In total, roughly 200 personnel from Iowa and Wisconsin have volunteered to spend the next two weeks to help the restoration efforts. This group includes line workers, safety staff, vehicle mechanics, support staff and managers. The Alliant personnel and contractors are joining more than 18,000 utility crews from across 30 states and Canada working to restore power to more than 6 million people. Florida utilities requested help through a national mutual assistance program among utilities.
Northeast Iowa Farm Accident Kills 1 Man, Injures Another
LANSING, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say one man was killed and another injured in northeast Iowa when they were caught in a piece of farm equipment.
The accident occurred around 2 p.m. Thursday in Allamakee County, about 5 miles west-northwest of Lansing. The Allamakee County Sheriff's Office says the two were working on a forage wagon. One of them was pronounced dead at the scene. The other man was flown to a La Crosse, Wisconsin, hospital for treatment. Their names and other information about the accident haven't been released.
Two Injured in Crash Near Luxemburg
Authorities have released info about a crash near Luxemburg earlier this week. It happened at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday. According to the Dubuque County Sheriff's Office, 47-year-old Dennis Chittick, of Kalona, was southbound on Clear Creek Road when he ran the stop sign. 54-year-old Rick Barton of Dubuque, who was eastbound on Highway 3, collided with Chitticks' vehicle. Both were taken to Mercy in Dubuque with non-life-threatening injuries. Chittick was cited with running a stopsign.
Authorities Release Name of Man Whose Body was Found in Marsh
SHERRILL, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a man whose body was recovered from a marsh along the Mississippi River in eastern Iowa.
The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office identified the man Wednesday as 63-year-old Gary Koch, who lived in Dubuque. The Sheriff's Office says his death appears to be related to a medical condition.
His body was recovered from the marsh north of Dubuque around 1 a.m. Tuesday. Authorities had been searching for Koch since his family members sought help late Monday night.
Semi Strikes Power Pole, Leading to Power Outage in Key West
Authorities say a semi struck a power pole Tuesday night, resulting a power outage in the Key West area. The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office says 45-year-old Moussa Kone of Perry, Georgia had stopped his tractor-trailer along Highways 151/61 east of the intersection with Highway 52 South. Kone left the vehicle and walked across the highway. While he was gone, the truck began rolling away. It proceeded east bound along the shoulder before entering the ditch and striking the pole. The power outage lasted approximately two hours. Kone was cited for defective braking equipment. That incident happened around 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Dyersville to Work on Ordinance for Fireworks Sales
The Dyersville City Council met Monday night. The council voted 3-1 to have an ordinance prepared regarding the sale of fireworks. It would allow for the sale of consumer fireworks in a C-2 Commercial District with a special use permit. In other business, the council approved the initial plans for path along the North Fork of the Maquoketa. They increased the time-frame to 60 days to receive bids and completion date to April 2018. The council also set Trick or Treat from 5:30 to 7:30 on Halloween.
Body Recovered from Marsh Along Mississippi River in Iowa
SHERRILL, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a body has been recovered from a marsh along the Mississippi River in eastern Iowa.
Sherrill Fire Chief Nick Jaeger said his department recovered the body around 1 a.m. Tuesday. The marsh sits on the north side of Dubuque.
Authorities had been searching for the man since his family members sought help late Monday night. His name hasn't been released.
Authorities don't suspect any crime was involved in the man's death.
Man Who Fired at Deputies During Standoff Gets 25 Years
INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — An Aurora man who shot at officers after a domestic disturbance turned into a standoff has been sent to prison.
Court records show 55-year-old Dennis Chamberlain was sentenced to 25 years Tuesday in Buchanan County District Court in Independence. He'd been found guilty of attempted murder, kidnapping and two counts of intimidation with a weapon.
Buchanan County sheriff's deputies were sent the night of Oct. 8 to check a report that a man with a gun was threatening a woman at a home in Aurora. Deputies say Chamberlain fired a shot near his wife and then into a door when officers tried to contact him.
The Sheriff's Office says a negotiator took about two hours to talk Chamberlain into surrendering.
Authorities Investigating Home Invasion in Praireburg
The Linn County Sheriff's Office is investigating a home invasion in Prairieburg. It happened Saturday at 200 W. Main Street. A female victim reported that an unknown male forced his way into her home and gunpoint and demanded money. The suspect fled the area with an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 5'6” tall who was wearing a light neon green colored t-shirt, hat and sunglasses. Anyone with info about this case should contact Linn County Crime Stoppers.
Police: Woman Pinned Between Mower and Air Conditioner Died
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a woman has died after becoming pinned between a lawn mower and an air conditioner in Dubuque.
The incident was reported around 1:40 p.m. Tuesday at a residence near Kennedy Mall on the west side of town. Police say the woman was operating the mower when the accident occurred. It's unclear what type of mower she was using and how she became pinned. The woman was declared dead at the scene. Her name hasn't been released.
Fire Damages Duplex, Garage in Graf
A duplex and garage in Graf were damaged by fire early this morning. The Epworth Fire Department responded to 571 Graf Road at 1:20 a.m. Firefighters found the attached garage fully engulfed, with fire extending into the residence. Two vehicles in the driveway were also involved in the fire. The duplex is occupied by Bryan Moreland and owned by Mark and Theresa Merkes. All occupants were able to escape without injury. The garage is considered a total loss, with extensive damage to the living area. The other side of the duplex has light smoke damage. Total damage is estimated at $100,000. Officials say the fire originated in the garage area and has been ruled accidental. Mutual aid was provided by the Centralia/Peosta Fire Department and the Asbury Fire Department tankers.
Dubuque Man Pleads Guilty to Robbing Maquoketa Bank
A man who robbed a bank and led police on a high speed chase pled guilty last week in federal court in Cedar Rapids. 41-year-old Dante Rhodes of Dubuque was convicted of one count of bank robbery. At the plea hearing, Rhodes admitted that he robbed the Fidelity Bank and Trust branch in Maquoketa on March 8. Court records show that Rhodes entered the bank and handed a note to the teller demanding money. After the robbery, Rhodes led police on a high speed chase through Dubuque, colliding with multiple vehicles. Rhodes remains in custody pending sentencing. He faces a possible maximum sentence of 20 years’imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. 31-year-old Gregory Stapleton, of Dubuque told the court that he intends to plead guilty to the bank robbery charge, although a plea hearing has not yet been scheduled.
Department of Homeland Security Agents Execute Search Warrant in Dyersville
Agents with the Department of Homeland Security were in downtown Dyersville this morning to execute a search warrant. Tony Morfitt with the U.S. Attorneys Office in Cedar Rapids confirmed that one search warrant was involved, but couldn't release any additional details, including a specific address.
Second Defendant Convicted in Key West Robbery/Slaying
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A second defendant has been convicted with a robbery shooting at a Key West trailer park. A Scott County jury found 21-year-old Tacari Minifee guilty Monday of first-degree murder and robbery. Prosecutors say he was one of three men who broke into the Key West trailer of 21-year-old Collin Brown and killed him in April last year. Minifee's trial was moved because of pretrial publicity. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 25. The murder count carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without parole.
Two other men were charged with murder and robbery as well: 31-year-old Eric Campbell Jr. and 19-year-old Imere Hall. Hall was convicted in March. Campbell's trial has been moved to Black Hawk County and is scheduled to begin Dec. 4 in Waterloo.
Vehicle Fire in Dubuque County
Authorities responded to a vehicle fire in Dubuque County Monday afternoon. It happened around 4:10 p.m. at 15813 Red Maple Drive. 34-year-old Brian Hauber reported he had parked a Great Sounds Audio vehicle in front of his home and went inside. A short time later, a neighbor advised him that the vehicle was on fire. Firefighters with the Epworth and Centralia Fire Departments were called to battle the blaze. The vehicle and its contents sustained approximately $50,000 in damage, and the residence sustained approximately $50,000 in fire, smoke and water damage. The cause of the fire was unknown as of last night.
Dubuque County's Jacqueline Ehrlich Crowned 2017 Iowa State Fair Queen
Jacqueline Ehrlich of Dubuque County was crowned the 2017 Iowa State Fair Queen by John Harms, president of the Fair Board. This year's ceremony, which marked the 53nd anniversary of the contest, took place on Saturday evening.
The daughter of Cindy and Mike Ehrlich of Dubuque, Jacqueline was chosen out of the 103 contestants who participated in this year's competition. All had been crowned queen of their respective county fairs prior to the State Fair.
Queen Jacqueline, who will reign for the next year, receives a $5,000 scholarship from the State of Iowa Governor's Office along with a $3,000 scholarship from the Iowa State Fair in addition to her crown, sash and trophy. She also receives a floral bouquet from Boesen the Florist, a $600 gift card to Jordan Creek Mall, a pair of diamond earrings from B. Shannon Designs and an Iowa State Fair Brick from the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation.
Iowa License Plate
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — After nearly 20 years, Iowa's standard license plate will get a new design, and residents can vote on which of three options they like best. Gov. Kim Reynolds unveiled three potential designs Thursday at the state fair. Department of Transportation graphic artists created the new designs, which are now up for a vote by fairgoers and others online. All three options feature a bold color strip across the top, with "Iowa" written in capital letters. Two designs show rural scenes and one features a version of the eagle from the state flag. When a new design is selected, it will be available sometime in 2018, replacing the blue and white design that has been in use since 1998.
Texting Ban Enforcement
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) —
An eastern Iowa police department plans to use plainclothes officers in unmarked cars to spot drivers violating the state's new texting-while-driving ban. Dubuque Police Lt. John Digman tells The Telegraph Herald that the policy will start this fall. The new law, which took effect July 1, allows police to pull over drivers because they're suspected of texting. Previously, texting citations could only be made in addition to a different reason for making a traffic stop. The law prohibits drivers from using cellphones or handheld devices to write, view or send messages, play games or browse social media or the internet while driving. However, drivers can use devices for GPS purposes, to make phone calls and to receive emergency traffic or weather alerts.
Iowa Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Identity Theft
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Prosecutors say a northeast Iowa businessman already convicted of failing to pay employment taxes has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an ethanol plant scam.
Darrell Smith, of Forest City, entered the pleas Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids to charges of wire fraud and identity theft. Smith was sentenced in December to 13 months for payroll tax fraud.
Federal officials say the fraud and ID theft charges are related to Smith's investment of clients' money into a now-defunct ethanol plant in Hopkinton. Officials say that on several occasions, Smith transferred money from clients' accounts — against their will and without their knowledge — into his bioenergy fund. Investigators say he used either pre-signed, blank authorization forms or forged his clients' signatures.
His sentencing hasn't been scheduled.
Body of Missing Truck Driver Found in Wapsipincon
INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — The body of a truck driver who crashed into the Wapsipinicon River near Independence in eastern Iowa has been found. The body of Michael Wallace was found in the river over the weekend. The 58-year-old was a resident of Hazelcrest, Illinois. Wallace's delivery truck was found by kayakers Friday morning. It was mostly submerged with no sign of the driver.
The Iowa State Patrol is still investigating the circumstances of the crash.
Authorities ID Man Injured in Zwingle House Fire
ZWINGLE, Iowa (AP) — Officials have identified the person who was injured in a house fire in Zwingle this week. 30-year-old Timothy R. Ryan was “badly hurt” in the blaze, which occurred at his house Wednesday morning. A press release said Ryan was still at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City on Thursday, but authorities did not know his condition. Firefighters were called to the home about 5:50 a.m. and say the house was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived. Ryan had managed to get out of the house by the time authorities arrived, but he had been badly burned.
Storms Slam into Northeast Iowa, Damaging Homes, Buildings
MCGREGOR, Iowa (AP) — Thunderstorms have powered through northern and northeast Iowa, damaging homes, buildings and crop fields.
The National Weather Service says wind gusts to 75 mph and heavy rain were reported Wednesday evening in several locations, and a tornado was reported 2 miles (3 kilometers) west-southwest of Fort Atkinson. No injuries have been reported.
Residents and officials report trees and power lines have been knocked down, leaving hundreds of people without electricity. Officials say the city of McGregor has been hit hard, sustaining damage to City Hall and several other structures downtown. St. Mary's Catholic Church has been pressed into duty as a shelter.
House Fire Injury
ZWINGLE, Iowa (AP) — Officials say one person was badly injured in a house fire in Zwingle early Wednesday morning. La Motte Fire Chief Joe Kilburg says a man, who was the only person in the home at the time, was flown to an Iowa City hospital. He remained in the hospital's burn unit Wednesday afternoon. Officials declined to release the man's name. Firefighters were called to the home about 5:50 a.m. and say the house was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived. Kilburg says the injured man had managed to get out of the house by the time authorities arrived, but that he had received several burns.
Murder Trial Set after Woman Found Competent
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A Dubuque woman accused of killing her former husband has again been found competent to stand trial.
On Monday a judge set a trial starting date of Nov. 28 for Dolores Flynn, who prosecutors say used a baseball bat to fatally beat 72-year-old Gary Breckenridge in January 2016. She's pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder.
Flynn was declared incompetent in April 2016 and ordered into treatment. In December she was deemed fit for trial.
This past April her attorneys again argued that she wasn't competent, and a judge agreed. She was sent back to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville for psychiatric treatment.
On Monday the judge found her competent, given that her attorneys filed nothing in contradiction.
Man Seeks New Trial Location for Dubuque Slaying Case
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Attorneys are seeking a new trial location for a man accused of killing a woman in Dubuque. Court records say 21-year-old Helmon Betwell has pleaded not guilty to murder, sexual assault and burglary charges. Prosecutors say he attacked 66-year-old Nancy Krapfl on Sept. 1, 2015, as she was walking in Dubuque. His trial is set to begin Sept. 12. Betwell's attorneys filed a motion Wednesday in Dubuque County District Court, saying the extensive media coverage of the case harms his chances of having a fair trial. The court records don't show that a hearing on the motion has been scheduled.
Tornado, Strong Winds and Heavy Rain Cause Damage in Iowa
CONROY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a tornado damaged farmsteads and crops in the Conroy area, while wind and rain hit northeast Iowa Tuesday night. Iowa County authorities say the tornado touched down about a mile north of Williamsburg a little before 6 p.m. Tuesday and churned northeast, skirting Conroy before lifting. No injuries have been reported at the three damaged farmsteads. Thunderstorms packing winds up to 75 mph downed trees and power lines in Dubuque County overnight, initially leaving thousands of people without electricity. More than 9 inches of rain has been reported in southern Clayton County, where authorities say they evacuated between 15 and 20 homes due to flash flooding and mudslides.
Fundraising Efforts Underway to Rebuild Baker Park in Prairieburg
PRAIRIEBURG, Iowa (AP) — Residents in Prairieburg are raising money to repair a city park destroyed by a tornado last month. Mayor Arlene Holub says that the Baker Community Park is used for many events, including graduation parties and outdoor weddings. Nonprofit Good Ole' Boys maintains and runs the park. They've started a GoFundMe campaign to help the rebuilding process. The group has raised about $1,200 of its $20,000 goal. Residents want the park rebuilt by Labor Day for the city's annual tractor pull event. The EF-2 tornado that destroyed the park also damaged nearby homes and businesses.
Fish Kill Investigated in Dubuque County Stream
DUBUQUE COUNTY, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources investigated a fish kill July 5 through 7 in and near the east side of White Pine Hollow State Preserve in the northwest corner of Dubuque County. DNR found a cattle feed lot located near Luxemburg was the source of manure runoff into an unnamed tributary of White Pine Hollow creek. The owners of the cattle feedlot, James Schieltz and Joseph Schieltz, cooperated with the DNR investigation. They cleaned up the manure spill and stopped any further manure flow into the creek. DNR fisheries staff counted about 1,300 dead fish along two miles of stream, including darters, suckers, creek chubs and trout. Many fish could not be identified due to decay. DNR staff will monitor cleanup activities and will consider appropriate enforcement action including fish restitution.
Body Found in Mississippi
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Iowa authorities are working to identify a body that was pulled from the Mississippi on Sunday. Dubuque County Sheriff Joe Kennedy said the body could not be immediately identified because of the extent of decomposition. Kennedy said it was too early to say if the body could be 19-year-old Allison Morgan who disappeared January 2. Morgan's car was found abandoned on a bridge, and witnesses said she climbed the rail and disappeared. Kennedy said the body found Sunday was spotted by a fisherman.
Body Removed from Mississippi River Around Dubuque
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have removed a body from the Mississippi River around Dubuque. The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office says barge workers observed the body in the water early Friday near the Mines of Spain recreation area. Several emergency responders assisted in retrieving the body. The body will be transported to the state medical examiner's office in Ankeny for an autopsy. Authorities say they have identified the body, but additional information will not be released until family is notified. A private railroad police force has taken over the investigation.
Wednesday Storm Brings Heavy Rain, Strong Wind and Funnel Clouds to Area
A storm system produced rain, strong winds and a few funnel clouds Wednesday night. In Farley, winds gusts estimated between 50 and 60 miles per hour knocked down multiple trees. Meanwhile funnel clouds were spotted near Strawberry Point, Dundee and in Benton and Linn counties. There were no reports of those funnel clouds reaching the ground to form a tornado.
Pilot Killed in Small Aircraft Crash near Monticello Airport
MONTICELLO, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say the pilot of a small aircraft was killed when it crashed about 50 yards from a runway at Monticello Regional Airport Saturday afternoon. The Jones County Sheriff's Dispatch Center was notified about the crash by a resident at 4:04 p.m. Saturday. First responders located the single-engine aircraft in a cornfield adjacent to the runway. Police say the pilot was the only occupant. Family members have identified the pilot as 90-year-old Jerry Naylor of Scotch Grove. The FAA and NTSB are investigating.
Severe Weather 6/28
Officials say at least one person was injured when a tornado struck the Prairieburg area Wednesday night. A woman was trapped when her house at 5073 Wagner Road collapsed. She was taken to a hospital with what were believed to be non-life threatening injuries. Another tornado touched down near Central City, impacting the opening ceremonies for the Linn County Fair. Fair goers took shelter in designated areas after the Tornado Warning was issued. An emergency management official reported a tornado two miles north of Worthington at about 7:20 p.m., while another official reported a tornado at about the same time between Cascade and Hopkinton. There was also a confirmed report of a tornado touching down near Oxford Junction.
State Auditor Releases Report on Earlville Athletic Association
The state auditor has released a report on a special investigation into the Earlville Athletic Association. It was requested by the Delaware County Sheriff's Office and the Earlville City Clerk because the association's bank account balance was lower than expected. Further review identified unauthorized payments issued from the association's bank account by the former Secretary/Treasurer, Kimberly Snyder. The state's investigation identified more than $8,500 in improper disbursements, including more than $2,600 for utility payments and nearly $1,600 in loan payments for Snyder's personal residence or personal vehicle. Other disbursements included $2,900 in purchases made from vendors not related to the Earlville Athletic Association operations, a $500 payment to Snyder's husband, and $825 in cash withdrawals from the associations bank account. The state auditor said it was not possible to determine if additional amounts were improperly disbursed or if any collections were not properly deposited because adequate records were not available. The state reviewed the association's account for the period between December 12, 2011 and July 10, 2016.
Dyersville Council Endorses Pedestrian Bridge Connecting Westside and Candy Cane Parks
The Dyersville City Council met Monday night. The council approved a resolution endorsing the Westside Park to Candy Cane Park connection project and agreeing to maintenance and operation of the project. The next step is obtaining the necessary state permits for the pedestrian bridge between the parks while seeking additional grant funds.
Delhi City Council Special Election
A special election to fill a vacant seat on the Delhi City Council is set for next week. Rosanne Downs and Shawn Lee Wilson are vying for the seat previously held by Paul Lechtenberg, who resigned due to a change in his work schedule. The special election will take place next Tuesday, with in-person voting from noon until 8 p.m. at St. John Parish Hall. Absentee ballots are available at the Delaware County Auditor’s Office.
Body Found in Wapsipinicon
LITTLETON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a woman's body has been recovered from the Wapsipinicon River in Buchanan County. The body was spotted around 7:40 p.m. Thursday and recovered later about 2 miles (3 kilometers) northwest of Littleton. An autopsy has been ordered to help confirm the woman's identity. Authorities have been looking for a woman missing since May 28 near the Wapsipinicon near Dunkerton
Train Derailment in Dubuque County
Multiple departments responded to a train derailment in Dubuque County late Thursday night. It happened around 10:15 p.m. in the Finley's Landing area. Officials say a Canadian Pacific Train was southbound when the last seven cars derailed into the west ditch. Those cars were carrying distiller grain and plastic. Canadian Pacific officials are investigating the derailment. No one was injured.
Deputies Find 2 Dead Tuesday Inside Eastern Iowa Home
DEWITT, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in eastern Iowa are investigating after two bodies were found inside a home in DeWitt.
The Clinton County Sheriff's Office says in a news release that deputies were sent to the home along Highway 30 for a welfare check after family members could not reach the two adults who lived there by phone.
The sheriff's office said deputies entered the home around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday and found the bodies of two adults inside.
Their names and details about when and how they died were not released. Officials said more information would be given following autopsies and notification of family members of the deceased.
The sheriff's office says the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has been contacted to help with the investigation.
Three Teens Injured in Clayton County Crash
Three teens were injured in a crash Monday afternoon in Clayton County. According to the state patrol, 16-year-old Amber Garlow of Holy Cross was westbound on Garber Road near 310th Street when she lost control. Her vehicle entered the south ditch, rolled, and came to rest on its top in a field before it became engulfed in flames. Garlow and her passengers, 15-year-old Lillian Horstman and 16-year-old Emma Hefel, both of Guttenberg, were taken to the Guttenberg Hospital for treatment. Their conditions were not released. That crash happened at 4 p.m. Monday.
Former City Clerk in Iowa Pleads Guilty to Federal Charge
DELHI, Iowa (AP) — A former city clerk in eastern Iowa has pleaded guilty to a charge of stealing from a federal program receiving public funds.
Federal prosecutors say 42-year-old Angela Billings entered the plea Friday after making a plea deal. She admitted the theft of at least $93,000 from the city of Delhi between March 2007 and January 2015. Federal prosecutors say Billings stole from Delhi in 2011, when the city received more than $10,000 from a federal program. She's facing up to 10 years in a U.S. prison.
Billings has pleaded not guilty to three state counts of theft. Delaware County court records say Billings was scheduled for trial in July, but that's been delayed. Her next state court hearing is set for Sept. 19.
Trials Scheduled for Mom, Uncle of Chained Iowa Teenager
PEOSTA, Iowa (AP) — An eastern Iowa woman and her brother, who are accused of padlocking a weighted chain around her 14-year-old son's waist, are facing trials next month.
Court records say Jeffrey Merfeld is set for trial beginning July 18 and that a July 25 trial start is set for his sister, Cynthia Kobusch. The records don't list a trial date for her husband, Michael Kobusch, who's also pleaded not guilty.
All three live in Peosta, 180 miles (290 kilometers) northeast of Des Moines and are charged with child endangerment.
Court documents say Cynthia Kobusch told an investigator that she wanted to attach a GPS tracker to her son — a frequent runaway — and had asked her brother to "make a chain" and fashion it so the boy couldn't cut it off.
Farley Has New Police Chief
The City of Farley has a new Police Chief. Molly Dupont has accepted the role of Interim Police Chief at a pay rate of $20.89 per hour. According to the contract, there will be a one year probationary period, along with performance and salary reviews at six months and one year after the date of hire. Dupont will hold the interim title until she has a total of five years work experience, which will occur in October 2018.
Ex-City Clerk Set for State Trial also Faces Federal Charge
DELHI, Iowa (AP) — Federal authorities also have filed a theft charge against a former Delhi city clerk. Angie Billings already is scheduled to begin trial July 12 in Delaware County District Court, having pleaded not guilty to three state counts of theft. She's now been charged in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids with theft from a program receiving federal funds. She's due in court there Friday.
Federal prosecutors say Billings stole from Delhi in 2011, when the city received more than $10,000 from a federal program. Federal court records say Billings embezzled money from the city beginning in March 2007 until January 2015.
A report released by the state auditor's office in December said auditors had uncovered nearly $247,000 in improper and unsupported municipal spending.
Farley, Dyersville City Council Meetings June 5th
The Farley City Council meets tonight. During a special meeting at 5:30,the council will discuss the candidates that were interviewed for the Police Chief position, and consider a motion to offer the job to the recommended candidate. The regular meeting will begin at 6. The Dyersville City Council meets at 7 tonight. That agenda includes a resolution establishing a temporary 120 moratorium on retails sales of consumer fireworks. They will also consider a resolution adopting a policy regulating trees and landscaping on public right-of-way.
The Beckman Boys Soccer team continued its winning ways at the state tournament. The Blazers defeated Sioux Center 5-1 in Thursday's quarterfinal, improving their record to 18-1. Beckman will face Regina in today's semi-final. The Regals beat Solon 3-0 on Thursday. You can hear the Beckman vs. Regina game at noon on 99-3 and online.In the other 2-A semi-finals Assumption plays Gilbert. The consolation and championship games are tomorrow.
Farley City Council to Interview Police Chief Candidates
The Farley City Council will hold a special meeting Thursday night to interview police chief candidates. According to the agenda, the council will interview four candidates for the position. The meeting begins at 5:30 Thursday.
Crews Begin Work on Sidewalk along Highway 136 in Dyersville
Crews have begun work on the sidewalk along Highway 136 in Dyersville. DOT officials say the contractor's plan is to complete the sidewalk around July 4th, then begin the overlay on Highway 136. They hope to have the road project substantially completed by mid to late July, weather permitting.
Bridge Traffic Barred after Washout, Fatal Crash
LANSING, Iowa (AP) — Iowa and Wisconsin authorities have closed access to a Mississippi bridge because of a roadway washout on the Wisconsin side that led to a fatal crash. Crawford County (Wisconsin) Sheriff Dale McCullick says another driver witnessed the washout and the accident around 4:20 a.m. Tuesday on Highway 82, which runs to the Black Hawk Bridge. The victim's body was recovered in his vehicle around 8:30 a.m. He was identified as 59-year-old James Walleser, who lived in Lansing. McCullick says the vehicle plunged into the washout chasm and then into river channel water east of the bridge.
Motorists who want to cross the Mississippi can go north to La Crescent or south to Marquette.
Authorities: Girl Hurt in 60-Foot Fall at Iowa State Park
DUNDEE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say an 8-year-old girl has been injured after falling 60 feet at a state park in eastern Iowa. The DNR said in a news release that the girl was hiking with friends and family Sunday afternoon at Backbone State Park. Department spokesman Alex Murphy said Monday that the girl may have been jumping from rock to rock and then slipped, plunging down a steep embankment. He could not confirm the girl's name. The girl's companions called 911 for help, and she was flown to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Her condition has not been released.
Iowa Businessman Intends to Plead Guilty to New Charges
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Court records say a northeast Iowa businessman already convicted of failing to pay employment taxes intends to plead guilty to new federal charges. A plea hearing in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids is scheduled June 5 for Darrell Smith. The charges: mail and wire fraud, money laundering and theft. Smith was sentenced in December to 13 months in prison for payroll tax fraud. Federal officials say the new charges are related to Smith's investment of clients' money into a now-defunct ethanol plant in Hopkinton. Officials say that Smith transferred money from clients' accounts — against their will and without their knowledge — into his bioenergy fund. Investigators say he used either pre-signed, blank authorization forms or forged his clients' signatures.
2017 Midwest Pride in Your Ride Truck and Tractor Show Raises $73,000
Midwest Pride In Your Ride has surpassed a milestone in donations to the American Cancer Society. This years event raised $73,828 that goes to the Dyersville Area Relay for Life. That amount pushes the groups donation total to more than a half-a-million dollars.
Senate Confirms Branstad as Ambassador to China
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has voted to confirm Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to serve as U.S. ambassador to China. The vote Monday night was 82-13.
Branstad says he intends to use his decades-long relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) to advance U.S. and international interests. The two met in 1985 when Xi, then a provincial official, led an agricultural trade delegation to Iowa. The 70-year-old Branstad is in his sixth nonconsecutive term as Iowa's governor. With more than 22 years at the helm of state government, he is the country's longest-serving governor.
Judge Sets Media Rules for Trial of Former 'Bachelor' Star
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge who's already authorized a contempt of court action against one reporter is setting strict rules for journalists covering the trial of "The Bachelor" star Chris Soules. Judge Kellyann Lekar warned Monday that violations may result in contempt proceedings or a ban from the courtroom. She says reporters must give 24 hours' notice to attend proceedings and cannot enter or leave court except during breaks, among many rules aimed at protecting Soules' right to a fair trial. Soules is charged with leaving the scene of an April 24 crash in which he rear-ended a tractor, killing 66-year-old Kenneth Mosher. Lekar has approved prosecutors' request to begin contempt proceedings against KWWL reporter Elizabeth Amanieh, who allegedly violated an order not to take video at Soules' initial appearance. Amanieh, who faces a fine or jail, has pleaded not guilty.
Iowa Smartphone Driver's Licenses Planned to Launch in 2018
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa transportation officials say residents should be able to start downloading their driver's licenses onto their smartphones by late next year. The Des Moines Register reports the Iowa Department of Transportation has conducted a pilot program with about 100 state employees who used state-issued iPhones last year. The state conducted the test with help from MorphoTrust USA, a contractor that provides identity-related products and services. Department director Mark Lowe says the agency worked with a technology consultant on plans to award a contract to develop a fully functional mobile driver's license for the public. Iowa is among the first states in the country to explore digital driver's licenses as an alternative to traditional plastic licenses. At least nine other states are considering the concept.
Iowa, Nebraska Crop Planting Progressing Amid Spring Storms
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa farmers have planted 92 percent of the state's corn crop, which is three days behind last year's rate mostly due to wet fields from recent storms but their progress is two days ahead of the five-year average.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its weekly crop update released Monday says 59 percent of the Iowa crop has emerged. The quality of the crop is high with 75 percent rated good or excellent.
Soybean planting in Iowa is 62 percent completed.
In Nebraska, 87 percent of the corn crop is planted, behind the five-year average of 91 percent and 52 percent of the soybean crop is planted, behind the 61 percent average.
Trial Delayed for Greeley Man Charged in Woman's Cannon Death
MANCHESTER, Iowa (AP) — A trial has been delayed for an eastern Iowa man charged in the death of a woman hit by fragments from a homemade cannon.
The trial of Max Fenton, of Greeley, now's scheduled to begin Aug. 16. He's pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of involuntary manslaughter.
The improvised cannon was made from the sawed-off barrel of a .50-caliber, black powder rifle and was supposed to serve as a noisemaker. A Delaware County news release said the rear of the barrel "blew out" the night of July 2, 2016, sending fragments toward where 55-year-old Lori Heims was sitting, hitting her in the head. She died later at a hospital.
SEVERE WEATHER 5/17
Storms brought rain, strong winds and hail to Iowa Wednesday afternoon and evening. Local Emergency Management officials along with the National Weather Service received multiple reports of downed trees and damaged buildings caused by wind gusts ranging from 60 to near 90 miles per hour. Officials report that multiple farm buildings were damaged in an area two miles south/southwest of New Vienna. The strong wind also blew a semi-trailer off Highway 20. John Cooper, of Georgia, was westbound at Farley at approximately 7 p.m. when a gust of wind blew his truck off the roadway. The truck rolled onto its side and came to rest in the ditch. Cooper was not injured. Some areas also received hail in Wednesday's storms, including approximately one-inch diameter hail in Dyersville.
Man Dies after Accident at Eastern Iowa Grain Facility
WINTHROP, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a worker has been killed in an accident at a grain facility in eastern Iowa. Winthrop Fire Chief Chris Hare says medics were sent to the Viafield co-op facility around 1:50 p.m. Tuesday. The man already had been pulled from a grain cart, and efforts were made to revive him. He was pronounced dead at a hospital. His name and other information about the accident haven't been released. A Viafield spokesman says an investigation is underway.
Authorities ID Motorcyclist Killed in Delaware County Crash
Authorities have identified the motorcyclist who died in a crash in Delaware County Tuesday evening. According to the state patrol, it happened just after 6 p.m. Tuesday on County Road C64 west of 120th Avenue near Dundee. 67-year old Kenneth Newman of Lamont was eastbound on C64 when his motorcycle crossed the center line and struck a westbound van. The driver of the van, Katie Brown of Arlington, was taken to Regional Medical Center for treatment.
Man Pleads Guilty to Jail Fraud Scheme Targeting the Elderly
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say an Iowa man has pleaded guilty to a scheme that targeted elderly people across the country.
A news release from the U.S. attorney's office in Cedar Rapids says 37-year-old Carlos Rodriguez, who lives in the Dubuque area, pleaded guilty to wire fraud. His sentencing date hasn't been set.
During a Tuesday plea hearing, Rodriguez said a fellow schemer would call an elderly person and tell him or her that a relative was in jail. The caller would then ask for money to be wired so the relative could be released. Rodriguez was among those who picked up the wired money.
Court documents say the schemers defrauded people in at least 30 states.
Motorcyclist Killed in Delaware County Crash
Authorities say a motorcyclist has died in a crash in Delaware County. According to the state patrol, it happened just after 6 p.m. Tuesday on County Road C64 west of 120th Avenue near Dundee. The reports states that the motorcycle was eastbound on C64 when it crossed the center line and struck and westbound van. The driver of the van, Katie Brown of Arlington, was taken to Regional Medical Center for treatment. The name of the motorcyclist was not released.
Manchester Man Dies After Being Taken into Custody at Dubuque Bar
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a Manchester man who was taken into custody after a fracas at a Dubuque bar. Police say officers were sent to Shannon's Sports Bar around 1:45 a.m. Sunday to check a report of a man assaulting customers there. The arriving officers found the man being restrained by customers. Police Chief Mark Dalsing says 43-year-old Chad Cupps, of Manchester, resisted as officers tried to take him into custody, so they used pepper spray on him. He became compliant, and they handcuffed him. Dalsing says that after the Cupps was handcuffed, he became unresponsive. Officers began CPR and called for medics. He was pronounced dead later at a hospital. An autopsy has been ordered.
Judge: Hit-and-Run Case Against 'Bachelor' Star can Proceed
(AP) — A judge says the felony prosecution of former "The Bachelor" star Chris Soules for allegedly leaving the scene of a fatal accident can proceed.
Judge Kellyann Lekar approved a charging document known as a "trial information" Sunday and scheduled Soules' arraignment for May 23. The move is expected to cancel a preliminary hearing set for Wednesday.
Prosecutors didn't add new charges against Soules in the April 24 accident that killed 66-year-old farmer Kenneth Mosher. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.
Police say Soules rear-ended Mosher's tractor and left the scene after calling 911 and seeking help for Mosher. He was arrested later at his home.
A prosecutor says Soules was seen purchasing alcohol shortly before the accident, and that open beverages were found around his vehicle.
Western Dubuque School Board News
The Western Dubuque School Board meets Monday night. The board is set to consider hiring a new principal and athletic director at Western Dubuque High School. They are expected to hire Jacob Feldman as then ew principal. He would replace Dave Hoeger, who is leaving to become superintendent at Montezuma Schools. The board will also consider the hiring of Tyler Lown as athletic director at Western Dubuque High School. He would replace John Hlubek, who is retiring. The Western Dubuque School Board meets at 6 p.m. Monday at the Administrative Office in Farley.
Lake Delhi Dam Wins National Engineering Award
WASHINGTON,D.C.- The Lake Delhi Dam reconstruction project has received a National Honor Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies. It was presented during a ceremony Wednesday in Washington DC. This award joins others the dam has received, including the 2017 Iowa Grand Conceptor Award, which is the highest honor in the state ACEC competition, as well as the Minnesota Society of Professional Engineer's Exceptional Engineering Award, the top award in its annual competition. The reconstructed Lake Delhi Dam, which was designed by Stanley Consultants, features a labyrinth spillway, the first of its kind in Iowa and one of the largest in the Midwest. The new dam and spillway was put into operation last fall.
Aurora Man Killed in Buchanan County Crash
The state patrol has released more details about a fatal crash in Buchanan County. It happened at 8:20 p.m. Monday. According to the accident reports, 35-year-old Chris Soules, of Arlington, was southbound on County Road W45 north of Aurora when he rear-ended a tractor. The driver of the tractor, 66-year-old Kenneth Mosher, of Aurora, died in the crash. Soules, who starred on the "The Bachelor", was booked early Tuesday on a charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Former “Bachelor” Star Arrested Following Crash in Buchanan County
An Arlington man who was a contestant on "The Bachelor" has been arrested following a deadly crash in Buchanan County. 35-year-old Christopher Soules was arrested early this morning on a charge of leaving the scene of fatal crash. That crash occurred at 8:20 p.m. Monday on Slater Avenue in Aurora. Authorities say Soules was driving a pickup that rear-ended a tractor. The tractor rolled in the east ditch, and the pickup went into the west ditch. The person who died in the crash is from Aurora. Their name was not released. The investigation continues.
Durango Woman Found Guilty of Stealing from Elderly Aunt
DURANGO, Iowa (AP) — A jury has found a Durango woman guilty of stealing more than $400,000 from an aunt who had dementia. The Dubuque County jury returned a guilty verdict against 45-year-old Molly Bodish for ongoing criminal conduct. Dubuque police say they began investigating possible abuse after 80-year-old Barbara Miller died in May 2015. Police say a search of the woman's bank records show Bodish wrote checks to herself and for vehicle purchases and loan repayments. Sentencing is scheduled for July 31st.
Boy Chained in Peosta
PEOSTA, Iowa (AP) — The parents and uncle of a 13-year-old Peosta boy are accused of chaining a weight to him to keep him from running away from home. Court records say Michael and Cynthia Kobusch, and her brother, Jeffrey Merfeld, are charged with child endangerment. The boy told investigators that once when his parents were away, Merfeld padlocked a chain around the boy's waist and attached a weight. The documents provide various assessments of the heft of the chain and weight, but don't describe how much it restricted his mobility. His parents were away for at least four days and he says they left the chain on for two days after they returned to Peosta.
NWS Confirms Tornado in Jones County
The National Weather Service says a tornado hit in Jones County Saturday night. The tornado was rated an EF-1, with wind speeds estimated at 100 miles per hour and a max width of 25 yards. It touched down shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday about four miles northeast of Anamosa and just east of Highway 151. Officials say the tornado was on the ground for about five minutes. It caused damage to trees and outbuildings. No one was injured.
Authorities ID Bicyclist who Died of Natural Causes in Dubuque
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a Dubuque man whose body was found near his bicycle in a ditch died of natural causes.
64-year-old Paul Gorrell's body was found about 9 a.m. Sunday near Stonybrook Hill Children's Zoo on North Cascade Road.
The Dubuque County Sheriff's Department said in a statement that "there is nothing suspicious in nature about the death."
Iowa Governor Signs Wide-Ranging Gun Bill into Law
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has signed a wide-ranging gun bill into law that includes a stand-your-ground provision.
Branstad signed the legislation Thursday. Portions of the bill go into effect immediately though most will be enforced starting July 1.
Democrats and gun safety advocates expressed concern over the stand-your-ground provision, which will allow people to use deadly force anywhere if they felt a risk to their life or safety. They say it will lead to racial tensions and increase gun violence.
Republicans say the bill will expand Second Amendment rights in the state.
The bill will also allow a person with a weapons permit to bring a concealed handgun into the state Capitol. Minors under 14 will be able to use handguns with parental or guardian supervision.
Child Shot - Iowa
ELGIN, Iowa (AP) — The owner of a gun that a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot himself with last year has been charged with illegally owning the firearm after telling police he uses marijuana. 29-year-old Daniel Henriksen pleaded not guilty Wednesday to being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm. He wasn't there when 4-year-old Jayden Choate shot himself in Henriksen's trailer in Elgin on June 17. An affidavit signed by an Iowa agent says the boy and his younger brother and sister were trying to nap while their mother and another individual were sitting on the deck. The agent says Jayden found Henriksen's handgun and unintentionally shot himself.
INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — A married couple have been sentenced for setting fire to their home in Independence in 2014. 32-year-old Brandon Dorsey and 28-year-old Jessi Dorsey were sentenced Tuesday in Buchanan County District Court. Both had pleaded guilty to second-degree arson. Their 10-year prison sentences were suspended and both were given probation. They also were ordered to repay more than $42,000 to victims —including local churches, individuals and a bank — that gave them monetary donations following the fire. Prosecutors say the Dorseys also received many donations of items, gift cards and assistance from the American Red Cross for which restitution could not be ascertained.
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A Dubuque woman accused of beating to death her ex-husband with a baseball bat has again been found not mentally competent to stand trial. The finding for 53-year-old Dolores Flynn was released Tuesday.
Attorneys for Flynn had sought a second psychiatric evaluation for her after a judge ruled in December that she was sufficiently mentally fit to stand trial. The results of that evaluation prompted her attorney to recently file a motion requesting another hearing. Flynn has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder in the baseball-bat slaying of 72-year-old Gary Breckenridge. Police found his body Jan. 4, 2016, in the home he shared with Flynn. Flynn has been committed to a Coralville psychiatric center to receive treatment.
Iowa Budget-University Centers
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A longtime Iowa research center for sustainable agriculture is on the chopping block in the Republican-controlled Legislature.
A GOP-led budget committee voted Tuesday for an education bill that includes cutting nearly $400,000 from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. The legislation will require more votes before it's finalized. The bill also includes cutting $1.5 million from the Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa. The center studies flood prevention.
Officials for both centers say the cuts would effectively end their work.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's Education Department says the state's high school graduation rate has increased for the fifth straight year, even as dropout rates increased slightly for the first time since the 2009-10 school year. In a news release Tuesday, the department said 91.3 percent of students in the 2016 graduating class graduated within four years, up from 90.8 percent from the previous year. Iowa's annual dropout rate was 2.8 percent last year, up from 2.5 percent the previous year. The latest dropout rate represents 4,154 students in grades 9-12.
Hoeger Leaving Western Dubuque to Become Superintendent at Montezuma
Western Dubuque High School will have a new principal later this year. Current principal Dave Hoeger has accepted the superintendent job with the Montezuma Community School District. He will start his new job July first. Hoeger became principal at Western Dubuque in 2010 after six years as assistant principal. Prior to that he was a teacher at the school. District officials hope to hire a new principal at the May 8th school board meeting.
Farley Police Chief Resignation
The Farley City Council will meet in special session tonight (April 5) to consider the resignation of Police Chief Rick Wagner. During Monday's regular meeting, the council and city officials raised concerns and issues with Wagner’s job performance. Later in the meeting, Wagner offered a verbal resignation. Tonight's meeting will start at 6:30.
Trailer Park Shooting Sentence
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A judge has sentenced a 19-year-old Dubuque man to life in prison without parole after his conviction of first-degree murder in the killing of a man at a Dubuque trailer park. Judge Thomas Bitter sentenced Imere D. Hall to the life term despite defense lawyers' argument that the sentence was unconstitutional for someone Hall's age. Hall also was sentenced to 25 years for first-degree robbery and ordered to pay $150,000 restitution to the heirs of Collin A. Brown. Prosecutors say Hall and two other men broke into Brown's trailer last April, intending to rob him. Brown was shot while trying to escape. Halls' attorneys say they will appeal the sentence
Authorities Investigating Robbery at Delaware County Historical Society in Hopkinton
The Delaware County Sheriff's Office is investigating a robbery at the Delaware County Historical Society Doolittle Hall in Hopkinton. It happened sometime between Wednesday evening and this morning. Many Indian artifacts were taken, including arrow heads, moccasins and a vest. Anyone with info about this crime should contact the Delaware County Sheriff's Office.
US Marshals Arrest Fugitive on Army's 'Most Wanted' List
DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — A fugitive who's on a list of the "most wanted" by the U.S. Army has been captured in Iowa. The U.S. Marshals Service says Daryl Grigsby was arrested Tuesday in Dyersville. The Army says the 57-year-old former infantryman is wanted on charges that include assault, attempted rape and attempted armed robbery. He left the Army in 1980. Investigators say Grigsby had evaded capture since 2000, when he violated his supervised release in Rhode Island stemming from a 1993 bank robbery. He allegedly used multiple aliases but was ultimately found hiding in plain sight. Investigators spotted him Tuesday at a Dyersville residence and arrested him without incident. He's being held at the county jail in Cedar Rapids.
Iowa State Wide Tornado Drill
The State Wide Tornado Drill will be conducted tomorrow (March 29th) in Iowa. It will begin with a test Tornado Watch at 10 a.m., followed by a test Tornado Warning with activation around 10:30. Schools, businesses and citizens are encouraged to participate. As part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, Dubuque County Emergency Management will host a weather spotter training session tonight. That free event will be held at the training center near the fairgrounds starting at 6:30.
Iowa Farmland Value up slightly
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new survey suggests that farmland values in Iowa have inched upward in the past six months. A report from the Iowa Realtors Land Institute Chapter No. 2 says the farmland values climbed nearly 1 percent from September to March, hitting $6,545 an acre. The Des Moines Register reports that the increase was the first since September 2013. Despite that recent increase, farmland values are still 2.8 percent lower for the past 12 months.