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Jackson County Crash Injures Two, One Seriously 

A two vehicle crash near Maquoketa Wednesday night injures two people. According to an accident report from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, a car driven by 17 year old Summer Arnold of Grand Mound was attempting to merge onto U.S. Highway 61 when she crash into a vehicle driven by 33 year old Cindy Brink of Eldridge. The impact caused Brink’s vehicle to spin and hit a guard rail. Arnold’s car went into a ditch. Arnold and her 19 year old male passenger were airlifted to University of Iowa Hospital. The passenger, identified as Richard Beltz of Maquoketa was treated and released. Arnold is listed in serious condition, suffering from several broken bones. Brink and her 7 year old passenger were treated at the scene. Authorities say charges are pending.

25th Straight Thanksgiving Without Snow Expected

We’re not expecting any snowfall on this Thanksgiving Day here in Dubuque, something that’s become the norm over the past quarter-century. If today’s forecast holds, this will be the 25th consecutive Thanksgiving where Dubuque did not receive any measurable snowfall. In fact, the last time Thanksgiving snowflakes fell in Dubuque was back in 1992, when only a tenth of an inch was recorded at the Dubuque Regional Airport. Over the last fifty years, Dubuque has only received Thanksgiving snow six times. The heaviest of that snowfall was forty years ago, in 1977, when the airport reported 2.4 inches of accumulation. Temperatures today will be slightly above the average for the past half-century. Since 1967, Dubuque has averaged a Thanksgiving high of 40 degrees, with a low of 23.

Dubuque City Offices, Library to Close for Thanksgiving Holiday

City offices here in Dubuque are among the places that are closed today for Thanksgiving. Those closures extend through the day tomorrow, as well. The city says that City Hall and other city-owned offices and buildings will be closed both today and Friday in observance of Thanksgiving. Also closing for the holiday is the Carnegie-Stout Public Library, which closed up at 5:00 Wednesday evening and won’t re-open until 9:00 Saturday morning. There will be no Jule bus service on Thanksgiving Day, but the Jule will run on its regular schedule – including the Nightrider bus – on Friday. City residents who usually have their garbage and recycling picked up on Thursday can instead set those items out on Saturday morning. There’s no change to the Friday morning garbage and recycling pickup because of the holiday.

AAA: Wednesday and Sunday Busiest Thanksgiving Travel Days

Weinholzer

Travelers can expect plenty of company on America’s roads this Thanksgiving. National auto club AAA expects nearly 51 million Americans to travel at least 50 miles for the holiday, which marks a twelve-year high for Thanksgiving travel. AAA spokesperson Gail Weinholzer tells us a variety of factors are contributing to the increase in travelers, including an uptick in consumer confidence. In terms of travel, Weinholzer says few other holidays compare with Thanksgiving. While AAA considers Wednesday through Sunday part the Thanksgiving holiday, those two bookend days will see the heaviest travel. With so many people taking to the nation’s roads and airports, Weinholzer says it’ll be hard to avoid the congestion. She instead advises travelers to allow themselves some extra time to get where they’re going. About 90% of the people travelling for Thanksgiving will be driving, which equals about 45 million people on the nation’s roadways.

Dubuque Bars Expecting Big Crowds on “Thanksgiving Eve”

Walsh, Boffeli

With an influx of holiday travelers hitting Dubuque today, tonight is expected to be a busy night for many of the city’s watering holes. “Thanksgiving Eve,” as it’s sometimes called, is often considered the busiest bar night of the year. Teresa Walsh, who bartends at The Lift in Lower Main, says the evening often starts out calmly, but ratchets up as the night goes along. Jeremy Boffeli is a part-time bartender at Lot One, which often attracts a younger crowd. He often sees college students or recent graduates who are home for the first time in a while taking advantage of what might be their only chance to socialize over the holiday. Boffeli manned Lot One’s upstairs bar by himself on the night before Thanksgiving last year. He says it was the most hectic night he’s ever had behind the bar. Walsh has bartended about ten Thanksgiving Eves. She agrees that the crowds can get overwhelming at times, but also says it’s one of her favorite nights to work. Dubuque Police made nine alcohol-related arrests on the night before Thanksgiving last year. Charges included Operating While Intoxicated, Public Intoxication, and having an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.

Toys for Tots Deliveries Begin

A charity toy drive in Dubuque has started making deliveries, but there’s still time to donate additional gifts. Toys for Tots organizers started dropping toys off at places like the Salvation Army this week. Locally, Toys for Tots provides presents for between 5,000 and 6,000 kids each year. Bryce Parks helps lead the effort, and says more inexpensive toys actually work better than ones with higher price tags. Parks adds that they always need more toys for older kids between ages 10-15. They typically want things like electronics, sports equipment, or art supplies.

Five Dubuquers Plead to Federal Charges in Elderly Scam

Five Dubuque residents have admitted their roles in a scam that targeted the elderly. 34-year-old Paul Chase, 20-year-old Morgan Cornell, 23-year-old Payton McCarville, 32-year-old Tiffany Reynolds, and 21-year-old Joshua Willis each pled guilty to federal counts of Wire Fraud in the past week. All five acknowledged that they served as “runners” in the scheme. Other individuals would call elderly people across the country and tell them that a relative was in jail and needed bail money. The victim was then instructed to wire the money via Western Union or MoneyGram. These five defendants were among those who would receive those transfers, then forward them on to the scam’s ringleaders. Wire Fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. A total of eleven people faced federal charges for their roles in the scam. Nineteen others were charged locally.

Brown Retiring from Opening Doors, Gebhart to Take Over

Brown

A Dubuque non-profit focused on assisting homeless women and children is getting a new leader. Michelle Brown, the Executive Director of Opening Doors, announced her upcoming retirement during the organization’s annual gala on Sunday. Brown has led Opening Doors since its inception back in 2000. That’s when Opening Doors created the Maria House, a homeless shelter specifically for women and their children. In the years since, the group has opened a second location – the Theresa Shelter – and now also offers transitional living in the Francis Apartments. Brown’s successor was also introduced during Sunday night’s event. Carol Gebhart will start her new position next week. She comes to Opening Doors from the Archdiocese of Dubuque, where she leads the Office of the Protection of Children.

Lukan to Head Iowa Veterans Affairs Department

Lukan

A former Dubuque County state legislator will head up Iowa’s Department of Veterans Affairs. New Vienna native Steve Lukan was appointed to take over as the department’s Executive Director by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on Monday. Lukan had been leading the state’s Office of Drug Control Policy. He’d been in that job for a little more than five years. Lukan will replace Jodi Tymeson at the VA. She announced her retirement last month. Prior to leading the Office of Drug Control Policy, Lukan had been a State Representative for nearly a decade. He represented much of Dubuque County outside the city of Dubuque. Lukan is a veteran himself, having served four years in the US Navy and achieving a rank of Petty Officer 2nd Class.

Dubuque Woman Drives Into Building for Second Time in a Week

A Dubuque grocery store was damaged yesterday after a woman backed her car into its entrance…the second time she’s driven into a building in less than a week. According to Dubuque Police, 65-year-old Margie Williams was in the parking lot of the Eagle Country Market on Elm Street yesterday morning. Williams went to pull out of her parking spot, believing that her car was in drive. In reality, the vehicle was in reverse, and she backed into the store’s main entrance. The crash caused about $10,000 in damage. One pedestrian who was leaving the store had to move quickly to get out of the car’s path. That person complained of hip pain, but was not taken to the hospital. Last week, Williams was cited after backing over a parking meter and into a building on Main Street in Dubuque. In that incident, she told police she was trying to move her car while sitting in the passenger seat. Her foot got stuck between the gas pedal and the brake. Williams is not expected to be cited for backing into the Eagle Country Market, since the crash happened on private property.

Council Considers Exempting Stadiums from Noise Ordinance

The Dubuque City Council last night discussed, but eventually took no action, on exempting high school and college stadiums from the city’s noise ordinance. The current ordinance does not give any allowance for noise that comes from venues like Dalzell Field or the Rock Bowl during sporting events or music performances. City Manager Mike Van Milligan says that means police can be called if a complaint is filed, putting officers in a tough spot. Police Chief Mark Dalsing says most people are compliant when contacted by police, though there’s sometimes little they can really do. But some council members pushed back against the proposed change. Councilman Luis Del Toro, who lives near the University of Dubuque, says some noise is to be expected, though it gets excessive at times. Council member David Resnick raised some of the complaints he’s heard from people who live near the stadiums. He says passing the exemption would eliminate any possible recourse for those residents. The council had enough votes to pass the first reading of the new ordinance, but instead voted to refer the matter to city staff with the intent being to draw up a more clearly defined exemption.

Police: Burglary Suspect Leaves Cell Phone at Crime Scene

A burglary suspect made it easy for investigators to identify him: He left his cell phone at the scene of the crime. Shortly before 5:00 Saturday morning, a woman babysitting at an apartment in the 13-hundred block of White Street reported a break-in. She told police she’d heard glass break in the kitchen. When she went to check on the noise, the woman found a broken window and the back door open. A big screen TV and video game system had been taken, but a cell phone that didn’t belong to the babysitter or the apartment’s resident was found. The owner of the phone, 36-year-old Robert Cole of Dubuque, was found sleeping in a minivan about five blocks away. The same vehicle had been seen on traffic camera footage near the site of the break-in earlier that morning. When an officer tried to wake Cole, they saw the TV and video game system in the van’s back seat. Cole’s facing charges of 2nd Degree Burglary, Interference, and Driving While Barred. He’d also been wanted on previous warrants for 3rd Degree Burglary and 3rd Degree Theft.

Dubuque County Considers Replacing Office Building, Road Shop

Klein

Dubuque County leaders say they’re considering replacing the buildings the currently house county offices and maintenance vehicles, though they’re hoping to reduce the expected cost. Both the office building and road shop are more than 30 years old, and have already started to show their age, according to County Supervisor Daryl Klein. Initial estimates for replacing the two buildings have come in at about $17 million. Klein says it’s unlikely that the county would qualify for grants to bring that cost down. But he says the plans are still in the early stages and things could change. County employees say many of the vehicles that the road shop is supposed to house are instead being parked outside, putting them at an increased risk of damage.

“Reflections in the Park” Opens Thanksgiving Night

The Dubuque area’s largest holiday light show kicks off this week, and organizers are hosting a special preview again. “Reflections in the Park,” Hillcrest Family Services’ annual light display, opens on Thanksgiving night. But people wanting a sneak peek at the lights can once again walk through the park the night before it launches. This is the 3rd year that walkers have been allowed through the park on Thanksgiving Eve, and Hillcrest’s Darlene Bolsinger says the idea has really taken off. This is the 23rd year for Reflections in the Park. One new feature is an upgraded “Tunnel of Light.” Murphy Park will be open for the walk-through from 6:00 to 8:00 Wednesday night. The cost is 10 dollars per person, though kids ages three and under get in for free.

Eluding, Drunk Driving Charges Against Dyersville Man After Chase

A Dyersville man is looking at a felony charge after a high-speed chase in Clayton County late last week. 22-year-old Nicholas Houselog was arrested about a mile outside of Luxemburg early Friday morning. According to the Clayton County Sheriff’s Department, a deputy tried to stop Houselog’s vehicle after it was seen going the wrong way on a one-way street in North Buena Vista at about 1:30 AM. Instead of pulling over, Houselog took off on US Highway 52, eventually reaching a speed of 109 miles per hour. Houselog turned off of the highway just east of Luxemburg, and lost control of the car trying to make another turn. Deputies say Houselog failed field sobriety tests and registered a blood alcohol content of nearly twice the legal limit. He’s been charged with Eluding and Operating While Intoxicated. There were four passengers in Houselog’s vehicle at the time of the chase. Only one was injured, suffering a cut to the head.

Construction Complete on $167 Million Lafayette County Wind Farm

A new wind farm in southwest Wisconsin is expected to bring power to about 25,000 homes. EDP Renewables has finished construction on the $167 million Quilt Block Wind Farm in Lafayette County. Dairyland Power Cooperative has an agreement to purchase power from the wind farm for the next 20 years. That’s a move the cooperative says will diversify its energy resources and as it works to become less carbon intensive. EDP Renewables is paying pay landowners about $23 million to host the towers. The company will also make annual payments to the county as part of a revenue sharing agreement with the state.

New Sabula-Savanna Bridge Opens

Transportation officials from both Iowa and Illinois are celebrating the opening of a new bridge over the Mississippi river. The bridge connecting Sabula, in Iowa’s Jackson County, with Savanna, Illinois opened on Friday. The 2,400 foot span cost $80 million to build. It carries traffic on US Highway 52 as well as both states’ Highway 64. The previous bridge had opened back in 1932 as a private toll bridge. It was just 20 feet wide and had no shoulders, which meant that large vehicles often hung over the center line. The old bridge also had no room for bicycles or disabled vehicles. That bridge will be dismantled and removed next spring.

O’Mara: Weather Won’t Cause Any Thanksgiving Travel Problems

O’Mara

Those hitting the road or taking to the skies for Thanksgiving shouldn’t have any weather-related delays. That’s according to meteorologist Kaj O’Mara from our weather coverage partner, KCRG-TV. He says it’s shaping up to be a fairly calm weather week, with only a couple of stray systems that could impact holiday travel. Temperatures here in the Tri-States will dip back to the mid-30s tomorrow and Wednesday, but O’Mara says that cold snap doesn’t come with any chance for precipitation. In fact, there’s no precipitation chance anywhere in our forecast through next Sunday.

Tranel Supports Standing For Anthem

A Southwest Wisconsin State lawmaker is behind a campaign launched by Governor Scott Walker to press NFL players to stand for the national anthem. The Governor has launched an online petition and digital ad campaign to build pressure on the NFL and its’ players to stop protesting the national anthem and flag. The players have long made it clear that they are not protesting the flag, but rather police brutality committed against people of color and racial and social injustice. State Assemblyman Travis Tranel of Cuba City says while he respects the players’ rights to protest In a peaceful manner, he would much rather have them stand during the national anthem.

Dubuque Police Investigate Attempted Burglary at Laundromat

Courtesy: Dubuque Police

Dubuque Police are investigating an attempted burglary at a local laundromat. According to a posting on the department’s ID4PD website, authorities are looking for a white male who was seen on surveillance cameras trying to get into a secured part of the Last Load laundromat in the 500 block of Hill Street. Police say the man was also seen trying to break into the business’ ATM. Several thousand dollars in damage was done, but no money or property was taken from the business. Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact the Dubuque Police Department.

Car in River Causes Confusion in Clayton County

Courtesy: Clayton County Sheriff’s Dept.

Authorities in northeast Iowa are hoping the public can help solve the mystery of a car sunken in the Mississippi River. The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information on how the car got into the river to come forward. The vehicle was first spotted in the river near Marquette by a fisherman in mid-August. Earlier this month, the sheriff’s department partnered with a dive team from LaCrosse to try to get a closer look. But they say that conditions prevented them from learning much about the vehicle or pulling it out of the river. It’s still not known when, how, or why the vehicle ended up in the river. Another dive is planned for early next year, though authorities are asking anyone with information about the vehicle to pass it along.

Reward for Information About Bellevue Homicide Doubles

The potential reward for information about a Bellevue man’s murder has doubled. The family of James Remakel has provided an additional $2,000 that would go to anyone who provides information which leads to an arrest and conviction in the case. That’s on top of another $2,000 already being offered by Jackson County Crimestoppers. Remakel was killed inside his home on South Riverview Street in Bellevue on Christmas Day last year. Authorities say he died from multiple stab wounds and the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled the death a homicide. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Jackson County Crimestoppers tipline or the Bellevue Police Department.

Police Release Photos of Vending Machine Break-In Suspects

Dubuque Police have released pictures of two people suspected of breaking into a hotel’s vending machines, and are hoping the public can help identify the suspects. Security camera images of a man and a woman have been posted to the department’s ID4PD website. The pair are believed to have broken into several vending machines at the Holiday Inn Express near the Northwest Arterial earlier this month. If caught, police say the suspects would likely face 4th Degree Theft and Criminal Mischief charges. The thefts from those vending machines were part of a string of similar incidents reported this month. Police have not yet said definitively that the case are related.

Loras College to Launch Business School

Students at Loras College will soon have additional opportunities to develop their business skills. The school announced today that it is launching a specialized business school next fall. According to college president Jim Collins, the business school will incorporate undergraduate and graduate-level programs already in place, as well as developing new initiatives. Business is already Loras’ most popular field of study. At the request of alumni and donors, the school will be named for longtime faculty member Francis Noonan, retired from the school in 1991 after 43 years at Loras. Collins expects that having a business school will help set Loras apart from other, similar institutions. The funding needed to launch the business school was raised during Loras’ recent “Inspiring Lives and Leadership” campaign, which garnered a total of $106 million in contributions.

Drug, Weapon Suspect Accused of Punching Jail Staffers

A Dubuque teenager already being held on drug and weapons charges is now facing two counts of assault after reportedly punching to jail officers. 18-year-old Kayne Donath was arrested by Dubuque Police back on November 5 after trying to run from an officer. The officer reported finding both methamphetamine and a knife on Donath as he was being taken into custody. Donath has been held in the Dubuque County Jail since that arrest. On Thursday afternoon, he was ordered to lock down in his jail cell, but refused. Jail staff responded to the cell, where Donath punched two of them in the face, according to an arrest report. Donath has had two counts of Assault on a Peace Officer added to his rap sheet. This is the fourth time Donath has been arrested since turning 18 in September.

Wisconsin Gun Deer Season Opens Saturday

Wisconsin hunters will be out looking for deer starting tomorrow morning. The state’s nine-day gun deer season opens Saturday, but with a few changes to the laws. One of the most notable differences this year is that there is no longer a minimum age for hunters. Another change to the law removes the provision that limited a hunting mentor and mentee to just one gun between them. Martin Stone, a game warden with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says there have been some changes to tagging and validation laws as well. Overall, Stone expects hunters in the southwestern part of the state to fare well this season. The gun deer season closes a week from Sunday.

UPDATE: Man Killed in Farley Crash Identified

We’ve learned the identity of the person who was killed when they rear-ended a semi near Farley on Wednesday evening. The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office reports that 75-year-old Kenneth Ehlinger died as a result of the crash. Ehlinger was westbound on US Highway 20, following a semi, at about 5:45 PM Wednesday. The semi took the exit toward Farley and began to slow down as it approached the end of the exit ramp. Ehlinger also took the exit, but did not slow down, and collided with the semi’s back end. He was unresponsive when paramedics arrived at the scene. They took Ehlinger to Mercy Hospital in Dubuque, where he was pronounced dead.

ED Woman Accused of Driving Drunk in Crash at River Museum

An East Dubuque woman has been accused of causing thousands of dollars in damage to a Dubuque museum after crashing into it while driving drunk. The crash happened at about 10:00 last Friday night at one of the entrances to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. According to police, 23-year-old Krista Walsh was driving south on Bell Street after leaving a wedding reception. She drove over a curb and crashed into the museum’s doors. Walsh failed field sobriety tests and registered a blood alcohol content of .25, which is three times the legal limit. She’s been charged with Operating While Intoxicated and Reckless Driving. It’s estimated that the crash caused $20,000 in damage to the museum.

Finkenauer Giving Franken Contribution to Riverview Center

Finkenauer

A Dubuque lawmaker says she’ll give away the campaign donation she received from a US Senator who’s been accused of sexual misconduct. State Representative Abby Finkenauer is running for Congress in Iowa’s 1st District. Earlier this year, she received a $1,500 donation from Minnesota Senator Al Franken, a fellow Democrat. This week, a Los Angeles TV anchor accused Franken of groping her and kissing her without her consent when they appeared together on a USO tour in 2006. In a statement, Finkenauer says she’ll be donating Franken’s contribution to the Riverview Center. That’s a Dubuque non-profit organization that provides services for victims of sexual assault. Franken has since apologized and is calling for a Senate ethics investigation into his behavior. Finkenauer’s full statement is posted below.

The Riverview Center has also issued a statement regarding Finkenauer’s donation:

Never before has sexual violence been discussed so freely in the public sphere.  With the #MeToo movement and high profile cases of sexual assault and harassment in politics and entertainment, more and more survivors are finding their voice, disclosing the trauma they’ve experienced, and detailing the impact it has had in their lives.

We must never lose sight, however, of the courage it takes to come forward. In telling their stories, survivors too often experience judgment, shame, blame, and disbelief.  They feel re-victimized by the social and legal response to their disclosure, and face a backlash from those for whom their disclosure creates unwelcome discomfort. Knowing this, far too many survivors remain too afraid to seek help.

At Riverview Center, we believe survivors. We stand ready to support them in overcoming the trauma-related challenges they face throughout the healing process.  All our services, including crisis response, advocacy, therapy, and violence prevention programming, are free of charge without regard to gender, race/ethnicity, English proficiency, immigration status, LGBTQIA identity, religion, veteran status, physical, mental, or developmental ability/disability, or incarceration status. 

We want to thank Iowa State Representative and Congressional candidate Abby Finkenauer for her generous gift and ongoing support of Riverview Center.  Like Rep. Finkenauer, we remain committed to hearing survivors, believing them, and taking action to eradicate sexual violence from our communities. 

Joey Taylor, Riverview Center Executive Director

 

IRGC Rejects Cedar Rapids Casino Proposals

Members of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission discuss proposed Cedar Rapids casinos (Courtesy: KCRG).

Dubuque’s casinos appear to be safe from increased competition from within the state of Iowa. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission this morning voted against approving licenses for three Cedar Rapids casino proposals. Three commissioners voted against the proposals, with two wanting to approve a license for one of the developers. The last time a proposed Cedar Rapids casino came before the commission in 2014, it was voted down 4-1. Commissioner Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny voted against the applications, citing concerns about the gaming industry. Commissioner Richard Arnold was one of the ‘yes’ votes, specifically supporting the Cedar Crossing 2.0 proposal. Arnold cited the money the project would bring to Cedar Rapids, while not taking too much from other facilities. Kristine Kramer of New Hampton cast the final, and deciding, vote. She believes a Cedar Rapids casino would have a significant impact on neighboring facilities. Carl Heinrich of Council Bluffs was the third vote against the Cedar Rapids proposals. Dolores Mertz of Algona voted in favor. The vote was held during the IRGC’s meeting at the Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque.

Accused Hotel Robber Linked to Platteville Bank Heist

A Dubuque man accused of robbing a local hotel has been accused of holding up a Platteville bank as well. 53-year-old David Canfield was arrested by Dubuque Police after a robbery was reported at the Super 8 on Dodge Street on October 21. Officers used traffic camera footage to track Canfield’s vehicle from the hotel to the Glenview Motel, where he was living. He was taken into custody that night. The following day, a detective from the Dubuque Police Department reached out to police in Platteville to let them know that Canfield matched the description of a man who had held up the American Bank and Trust the day before the Super 8 robbery. Platteville Police say clothing and other evidence collected by their colleagues in Dubuque connected Canfield to the bank job. They’ve forwarded charges of Robbery of a Financial Institution to the Grant County District Attorney.

Police: St. Donatus Man Tried to Ram Squad Car

A Jackson County man is facing charges that he tried to ram a police officer and left the scene at more than 100 miles per hour. 21-year-old Jason Boettcher of Saint Donatus was arraigned in Jackson County District Court on charges of Assaulting a Police Officer with a Deadly Weapon and Eluding yesterday. According to court documents, a Bellevue police officer was called to the municipal boat ramp at about 3:00 AM on October 29. The officer reports that a vehicle driven by Boettcher drove at her squad car, which she threw into reverse in order to avoid being rammed. The officer says Boettcher then left the area going at least 100 miles per hour through areas where the speed limit was as low as 35 miles per hour. He was taken into custody after crashing his vehicle a few minutes later.

YMCA Victim Services Shelter Receives $20,000 Grant

A domestic violence shelter in Dubuque has been given $20,000 to assist with its services. The Dubuque YMCA’s Victim Services Shelter is one of about 150 recipients of grants from the Mary Kay Foundation. Locally, the money will be used to cover operating expenses, personnel, and building repairs. Tonya Millard, Executive Director of Social Services at the Y, says the money will also be used to support the victims of domestic violence who come to the shelter…sometimes with just the clothes on their backs. About five years ago, the state cut funding for domestic violence shelters. That meant a loss of about $190,000 each year for the Dubuque shelter. Since then the shelter has relied on donations from the community, grants, and fundraisers. This year, the shelter has provided more four thousand total nights of safety to local men, women, and children. This year’s Mary Kay Foundation grants totaled more than $3 million.

Negotiations Between Finley Parent Company, Amerigroup Break Down

The parent company of one of Dubuque’s hospitals is letting patients know it could be ending its agreement with one of the companies managing Iowa’s Medicaid system. UnityPoint, which operates Finley Hospital, says negotiations on a new contract with Amerigroup have stalled. If a new deal can’t be worked out, they will end their association with the insurance provider at the end of year. If UnityPoint can’t come to an agreement with Amerigroup, it will leave patients in their network with just a single Medicaid provider. When Iowa decided to privatize the system, three insurance companies signed on as providers. One, AmeriHealth Caritas, announced earlier this fall that it will no longer participate in Iowa’s Medicaid program. UnityPoint manages thirty hospitals around Iowa.

One Killed in Rear End Crash Near Farley

One person was killed when they rear-ended a semi near Farley last night. According to the Dubuqe County sheriff’s office, the crash happened on the westbound exit ramp off of US Highway 20 at about 5:45 PM. A semi had taken the ramp and was slowing down as it approached the intersection with 1st Street Southwest. A car behind the semi also took the exit, but did not slow down and collided with the semi’s back end. The driver of the car was unresponsive when first responders arrived at the scene of the crash. The driver was then taken to Mercy Hospital in Dubuque, where they were pronounced dead. The name of the driver has not been released.

Salvation Army Kettle Campaign Begins

Bells will be ringing outside a handful of Dubuque businesses starting today. The Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle campaign begins this week. Bell ringers will be seen at several local grocery stores starting today, with the official start to the campaign coming on Friday. Because of the way the calendar falls this year, the date of the campaign’s beginning may be ahead of schedule. But Major Kay Mason of the Salvation Army says they’ve always gotten started the Friday prior to Thanksgiving. The local Salvation Army chapter has set a goal of raising $152,000 in the kettles this year. Mason is hopeful that they’ll reach that mark and break a two-year streak of falling short of their goal. Mason isn’t sure what else the Army can do to ensure that they hit their mark. The annual Christmas mail appeal has fared better in recent years, and its goal is actually up this year, to $86,000. Mason says the kettle campaign is weather-dependent in two ways. Not only do they want a bit of snow on the ground, but they also hope against weekend storms. The Christmas campaigns typically account for about half of the Salvation Army’s annual local budget.

Police Investigating Hotel Vending Machine Thefts

Dubuque Police are looking into the theft of more than a thousand dollars from vending machines at three local hotels. Last Friday afternoon, officers were called to the Holiday Inn Express near the Northwest Arterial. Several of the hotel’s vending machines had been broken into. The thefts are estimated to have happened earlier that week. Investigators believe that the robbers then went to the Country Inn and Suites across the Arterial and broke into several machines there as well. A total of $400 was taken. Another set of machines were also broken into at the Holiday Inn in downtown Dubuque. Those break-ins were reported Tuesday morning, though it’s unknown exactly when the machines were breached. More than $700 was taken from the downtown machines. Police have not yet determined if the thefts are related, but say that having such similar incidents happen so close together is likely not a coincidence.

Suspected Heroin, Marijuana Dealer Arrested

Authorities conducting surveillance on a house in Dubuque’s North End arrested what they call “a known drug dealer” this week. At around 11:00 Tuesday morning, officers were keeping an eye on a home near the intersection of 20th and Jackson Streets. 31-year-old Gregory Anderson walked into the house and left just a few minutes later. Anderson had warrants out for his arrest, so officers detained and searched him. Tucked inside his pants legs, officers reportedly found seven small baggies of marijuana and twenty “bindles” of heroin with a total weight of nearly four grams. During questioning, officers say Anderson admitted he sells both drugs and supplies other drug dealers. Anderson has been charged with one count each of Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver and Possession of Heroin with Intent to Deliver.

Old Chicago Announces Plans for Dubuque Location

Dubuquers are expected to have another option to fill their pizza cravings in the near future. A Dubuque-based company has announced that it will be opening an Old Chicago Pizza location in the Key City. ROC Taproom, Incorporated made that announcement in a joint press release with Old Chicago this week. ROC will take over the management of four existing Old Chicago locations in Iowa, and will open three additional restaurants, including the one in Dubuque. The release did not say when the Dubuque location could open or where it will be located. Old Chicago currently has restaurants in 22 states. A Dubuque site would be the chain’s seventh Iowa location.

Epworth Woman Fills Boxes for Operation Christmas Child

A Dubuque County woman is striving to make sure every child has a present to open on Christmas morning. Karen Kramer of Epworth works with an organization called Operation Christmas Child. She fills shoeboxes with things like toiletries, school supplies, and of course…toys. Those boxes are then shipped to needy kids throughout the United States and overseas. Boxes are due by Monday, but Kramer says there is still time to get involved. Boxes can be purchased at the Hobby Lobby in Dubuque. Kramer has been working with Operation Christmas Child for the past six years. She estimates that she fills about a hundred boxes each year.

Loras Students Raising Money for Planetarium Upgrade

Courtesy: KCRG

Students at Loras College have launched an effort to raise the money needed to replace an aging piece of campus equipment. The projector at the school’s planetarium has been in place since the mid-1960s. But because of its age, it does not display full images of the night’s sky anymore. At this point, it can’t show the sun, moon, or planets…just stars. So students have started an online fundraising effort to bring in the $30,000 needed to replace the projector. Loras junior Natalie Droeske tells our coverage partner, KCRG, that they chose a website geared specifically toward campus fundraising efforts. Assistant professor of engineering Kristen Thompson says that with new equipment, the planetarium could be open to more campus and community events. Loras’ planetarium is the only one within a 100-mile drive of Dubuque. You can find the fundraising page by clicking here.

Dubuque Boy Injured In Hunting Accident 

 

A Dubuque boy was injured while hunting in Jackson County Sunday morning. According to a release from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the 11 year old, whose name is not listed in the release, was pheasant hunting with his father at around 11 o’clock at Three Hills Hunting Preserve. The boy was shooting at a pheasant when his shotgun exploded. Following an investigation, DNR officials said the shotgun’s action was not locking in place, causing it to open. When the gun exploded, fragments of the shell struck the boy in his thumb, breaking the tip. He was transported to Mercy Hospital, where he was treated for his injury.

Financial Literacy Course Required For Incoming Freshmen

 

Beginning next year, incoming freshmen in the Dubuque Community School District will have to take a financial literacy course as a requirement for graduation. This week the school board approved a policy making it mandatory that students take the course in order to graduate. Superintendent Stan Rheingans says the course is designed to give kids the tools they need to make wise and smart financial decisions once they are in the real world. Sam Wooden, an attorney in Dubuque told the board it’s been seven years since he finished his formal education and he still has over 165-thousand dollars in student loan debt. He says the course would have been very beneficial to him. Students are required to have 46 credits in order to graduate. Rheingans says the addition of the financial literacy course will not add to that. The district has a financial literacy class that it offers now, but it’s currently not a requirement for graduation. Rheingans says the Educational programs/ Policy Strategy Committee will take a look at all of the district’s graduation requirements next year.

Reynolds: Lawmakers Need to Be Transparent with Harassment Investigation

Reynolds

Iowa’s Governor says lawmakers need to be open about their investigation into sexual harassment at the State Capitol. Earlier this year, the state agreed to pay $1.75 million to settle a harassment lawsuit brought by a former Iowa Senate staffer. That triggered an investigation by Senate Republicans, which is now reportedly complete. But a spokesman for the Senate Majority Leader says no new information will be released, citing personnel concerns. Governor Kim Reynolds believes there’s a way to make the findings of the investigation public without endangering confidentiality. Reynolds served in the Iowa Senate in 2009 and 2010, while some of the harassment happened. But she says she wasn’t aware of the problem. With sexual harassment scandals impacting politics, business, and entertainment, Reynolds urges all Iowans to consider their role in stopping and preventing such behavior. A human resources position is being created by the Legislature to handle any future harassment complaints.

Dubuque Woman Arrested on Outstanding Warrant After Crashing Van into Porch

Courtesy: Dubuque Fire Dept.

A Dubuque woman was arrested on an outstanding warrant and cited for multiple traffic violations after she crashed into the porch of an apartment building near downtown Dubuque this morning. Shortly before 8:00 AM, 52-year-old Natalya Jones was driving a minivan eastbound on West 5th Street, downhill toward Bluff Street. That’s where the van veered off of the road, and collided with the front porch of a nearby duplex. Residents of the building were home at the time, but no one was injured. Jones was arrested on an outstanding warrant for 3rd Degree Theft. She was also cited for failing to maintain control, not having insurance, and driving without a license. There’s no damage estimate just yet, though an assistant fire chief who was at the scene believes the entire porch and both of the building’s front doors will have to be replaced.

Riverview Center Hires Non-Profit Veteran Taylor as Executive Director

Taylor

A Dubuque agency that assists victims of sexual and domestic violence has a new leader. The Riverview Center has announced that Joey Taylor has been hired as its new Executive Director. Taylor comes to the Riverview Center from Hospice of Dubuque, where she had managed development and public relations for the organization. In all, Taylor has more than 15 years of experience with various non-profit organizations in the Dubuque area. She’s also worked as the local United Way chapter’s president and CEO, and spent time managing community relations for the Dubuque Racing Association. Taylor takes over the Riverview Center’s Executive Director role from Carrie Melton. She recently became the Executive Director of the April House children’s advocacy center, based in Morrison, Illinois.

Two Dubuquers Charged with Dealing Meth

A pair of Dubuque residents have been accused of dealing methamphetamine. 40-year-old Samuel Taylor and 29-year-old Melissa Petesch were arrested Friday afternoon at the home they share in the 21-hundred block of North Main Street, near the intersection with Kaufmann Avenue. According to court documents, officers from the Dubuque County Drug Task Force executed a warrant at the home. They found more than fifty grams of meth in two separate containers. Law enforcement considers that to be more than a “personal amount” of the drug. Taylor and Petesch have both been charged with Possession of Meth with Intent to Deliver.

“Beauty Gives Back” Serves 100+ People in Need

Patrons and students pack Dubuque’s Capri College during the “Beauty Gives Back” event (Courtesy: KCRG).

An event designed to provide beauty services for those in need ended up helping more than one hundred people in Dubuque on Monday. Capri College and the Dubuque Rescue Mission were among the organizers of the so-called “Beauty Gives Back” event. People in need could stop by the Mission, where they’d received vouchers for Capri services like a haircut, massage, and manicure. They were also given personal hygiene products and cold-weather items. “Beauty Gives Back” was organized in conjunction with World Kindness Day, which was Monday.

Hempstead Parent Questions School Response to Slur Directed at Her Daughter

The parent of a Hempstead High School student asked the local school board to look into the school’s response to a racial slur being used against her daughter. Tiffani Anderson, who is black, addressed the school board last night about an incident involving her daughter and a white classmate. During a discussion in history class, Anderson’s daughter says the other student used a racial slur to describe African-Americans. Anderson says the comment was not addressed by the teacher or the principal, and the situation escalated from there. As students were talking about people who have been executed for their beliefs, the other student asked “Why don’t we start” with Anderson’s daughter, who responded “Why don’t I pound your head?” According to Anderson, her daughter was taken to the principal’s office and told that the district presses charges against students who are violent toward other students. After contacting school officials, Anderson felt the issue was being swept under the rug, until she notified them of her intent to address the board. Anderson Sainci, the only African-American member of the school board, says he is interested to seeing how the issue is handled by the district. Superintendent Stan Rheingans says this was the first he has heard about the situation. He says it will be handled through a process and addressed appropriately.

East Dubuque Bar Burglarized 

Police in East Dubuque are investigating a burglary that happened at a local bar last month. On the night of October 15th someone broke into Jo Mama Bar. The release does not say how the burglar gained entry or what was stolen. The break-in happened at around 9:40 p.m. Surveillance cameras captured images of the suspect and the Dubuque Police Department has posted those images on their ID4PD website. We have also posted the same images as well as this story on our website KDTH.com.

River Museum to Open Conservation Lab

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium will be expanding once again as they show off some of their own conservation efforts. The museum will open a new “Conservation Lab” tomorrow morning. As Wendy Scardino of the museum explains, the lab will showcase some of the things museum personnel do to help protect endangered fish species. One of the main features of the lab will be an aquarium that contains the fish brought to the museum through its Project Piaba. Another part of the lab will showcase the museum’s efforts to increase the population of the Logperch. Some jellyfish and sting rays that were recently born at the museum will also be a part of the display. A visit to the Conservation Lab will be included in a regular admission to the museum.

After Four Deportations, New Vienna Illegal Headed to Prison

A Mexican immigrant who illegally entered the US five times and was living in Dubuque County will be sent to federal prison. 35-year-old Eliceo Tecpile-Tzompaxtle pled guilty to Illegal Re-entry and Misuse of a Social Security Number in September. He had been living in New Vienna since 2014, when prosecutors say he used a fraudulent Social Security number when filling out tax forms at the company where he’d gotten a job. A district court judge handed down a five month jail term for Tecpile-Tzompaxtle last week. He had previously been deported from the US four times: once in 2002 and 2007, and twice in 2008.

Hospice of Dubuque Adjusting to Medicare Cut

Leaders at a Dubuque facility that specializes in “end of life care” say they need additional help from the community. Recent cuts have dropped the amount of money Hospice of Dubuque is paid back by Medicare. That means the facility is coming up short by thousands of dollars each month. The rate has been cut by 1%, which may not sound like a lot. But Hospice Executive Director Lavonne Noel explains that it means quite a bit to their organization. In fact, that one percent can mean as much as $6,000 each month, which extends out to $70,000 per year. Noel says that kind of reduction significantly impacts the care Hospice can provide. With their Medicare funds being cut, Noel says Hospice is hoping to see a boost in the amount of support it receives from the community.

Deer from SW Wisconsin Farm Test for Chronic Wasting Disease

A deer farm in southwest Wisconsin has been put under quarantine after animals there tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says in a news release that the farm is located near Mineral Point, though the release does not give the farm’s name. Two deer from the farm tested for Chronic Wasting Disease after they were killed on a hunting ranch in central Wisconsin. State rules require the testing of any deer killed on a hunting ranch, even if they don’t show any signs of Chronic Wasting Disease, as these deer did not. The ranch has been quarantined as well. Chronic Wasting Disease has now been confirmed in more than forty Wisconsin counties, including all four in the southwestern corner of the state.

Stern Murder Conviction Upheld

Judges have upheld a Dubuque man’s conviction on charges he murdered his own daughter. 64-year-old Robert Stern was found guilty of First-Degree Murder in the shooting death of his daughter Kimberly in September of last year. He’s currently serving a life sentence at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison. Stern had appealed his conviction, saying statements he made to investigators should not have been included in the evidence against him. Stern claimed that he had not knowingly waived his Miranda rights when he admitted to shooting his daughter during an interview at a Dubuque hospital. The judges on the Iowa Court of Appeals disagreed, and confirmed Stern’s conviction.

Combating Illegal Dumping In Dubuque County

 

Dubuque County spends over 100-thousand dollars a year to clean up illegal dump sites and litter. Illegal dumping doesn’t just happen at remote locations. Publicly and privately owned properties are often burdened with the responsibility of cleaning up illegally discarded items. In 2011, a county-wide task force was established to combat illegal dumping and littering. John Foster, Agency Administrator with the Dubuque Metro Solid Waste Agency says illegal dumping is not only a problem within the county, but the city as well. Foster says enforcement officer Kurt Kramer has set up cameras is select areas throughout the county to help catch people who are illegally dumping. To report illegal dumping or an illegal dumping site, visit the solid waste agency’s website and click on the link provided, or call the agency or the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department.

Low Speed Chase Leads To Drug Arrest In Dubuque

 

A Dubuque man faces charges after leading police on a low-speed chase this morning. A police report says shortly before 11 a.m., an office attempted to stop a vehicle driven by 32 year old Justin Julson of Dubuque who was driving with a suspended license. Julson refuse to stop and led officers on a low-speed chase until he reached the Fas Mart on Central Avenue. Julson was removed from his vehicle and placed under arrest. Officers search his vehicle and found methamphetamine. Julson was charged with eluding and possession of meth. He told police that when saw their patrol cars in pursuit of him he knew that he would be arrested. He says the reason he didn’t initially pull over is because he wanted to see his girlfriend, who works at Fas Mart before he went to jail.

Dubuque American Legion Post Hosts Veterans Day Ceremony

Dubuque’s American Legion Post 6 will host its annual Veterans Day ceremony Saturday morning. The ceremony will begin at 10:30 and is expected to last about 45 minutes. Former Post Commander Dick Bridges tells us that the featured speaker at this year’s even will be retired Army Major Ron Brosius, who served tours in Iraq and Kuwait. This year’s ceremony will be inside the Mystique Community Ice Center. In the past, it was held at the nearby Veterans Memorial Plaza, but Bridges says the weather didn’t always cooperate. Bridges describes the Veterans Day ceremony as a very emotional event for all involved. The ceremony will also include renditions of the Star-Spangled Banner, God Bless America, and Taps. A chili feed will be served at the Legion Post on Delhi Street following the ceremony. If you can’t make it to the ceremony, you can listen to a live broadcast of it on KDTH beginning at 10:30.

Record Low Temperature This Morning

It was an historically cold morning here in Dubuque today. The overnight low dropped all the way down to 12 degrees at the Dubuque Regional Airport. That’s the lowest the low temperature has ever been on this date in Dubuque. The previous record of 14 was set back in 1973. Temperatures are expected to rebound back toward normal levels through the weekend. Our high temperature won’t break the freezing point today, but we are expecting highs into the upper 30s both Saturday and Sunday. The high gets all the way up to 45 on Monday, with readings close to 50 in the forecast for next week. Overnight lows through that stretch would all be above freezing.

Taxes, Education, Workforce Among Walker’s Re-Election Priorities

Walker

Wisconsin’s governor has officially launched his bid for a third term in office. Republican Scott Walker says that if he’s re-elected tax relief for everyone in the state will continue to be one of his top priorities. Improving education and higher educational opportunities is also on Walker’s radar. Earlier this year, electronics manufacturer Foxconn announced it would be building a multi-billion dollar facility in the southeastern part of the state. Walker says the ripple effect of the Taiwan-based company’s move to Wisconsin will be felt by thousands of the state’s residents and businesses. Walker says Wisconsin’s biggest challenge lies in workforce.

Holiday Tags Available For Dubuque Refuse Customers

 

Solid waste collection customers in Dubuque can again get a complimentary “holiday tag” for extra garbage this holiday season. If you you’d like to receive one, you’ll need to present the original top portion of your November utility bill, which has the holiday tag information printed on it. Renters in housing units where the owner pays the utility bill need to ask the owner or property manager to get a tag for them. Paperless billing customers that want a holiday tag do not need to print their bill. Verification of paperless billing status will be confirmed by city staff at the time of request. Holiday tags can be picked up at five different locations, including the utility billing office on the first floor of City Hall. Tags will be available through January 3rd.

Gas Theft Leads to Drug Arrests

Not paying for $10 in gas led to two women being arrested on various charges. At around 9:00 Tuesday morning, Dubuque Police were called to the Kwik Stop on Central Avenue after a gas drive-off. The suspect vehicle was pulled over later that morning near the intersection of South Grandview Avenue and Rockdale Road. According to police, 33-year-old Jessica Schmidt of Dubuque was driving, and had been driving the car during the drive-off. She was put under arrest and drug paraphernalia was found was she was searched. A passenger in the vehicle, 27-year-old Elizabeth Davey, reportedly gave police two fake names before being identified. She was searched at the Dubuque County Jail, where officers found meth on her. Schmidt is facing one count each of 5th Degree Theft and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Davey’s been charged with Providing False Identification, Possession of Meth, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Man Involved in October Prostitution Case Arrested

A Dubuque man who admitted to paying a friend for sex last month has now been arrested for prostitution. Back in mid-October, we told you about the arrest of 42-year-old Yolanda McDougal. At the time, she was suspected of forging several checks that had been given to her. McDougal reportedly admitted to police that the checks were payment for sex acts she and a friend performed for the man. The investigation had started when he called police to report suspicious activity on his account. Police now say the man, 49-year-old Dewayne Johnson, has also admitted that the checks were payment for sex. Johnson was arrested on one count of Prostitution this morning. If found guilty, he could face up to two years in prison and a $6,000 fine.

Just Months into Existence, Avery Foundation Able to Give Cancer Expense Grants

Just a few months after being established, a Dubuque foundation is already able to begin awarding grants to local cancer patients and their families. The Avery Foundation was formed last spring, and following some successful fundraisers, is now accepting grant applications. Ron Avery, the foundation’s President and CEO, says the money they’ve raised will help cover travel, meals, and lodging for cancer patients in the Dubuque area. According to Avery, those are the kinds of expenses that cancer patients and their families often don’t take into consideration, but can really add up. Avery has first-hand knowledge of how those expenses can wear on a family. He started the foundation in honor of his brother Jim and sister Julie, who have both died as a result of cancer. Avery hopes the foundation will award its first grant sometime yet this year. Information about how to apply for the foundation’s grants is available at many Dubuque area doctors’ offices and clinics. Applications can be found on the foundation’s website.

Construction to Slow Down, but Southwest Arterial Work Continues

The approaching winter will slow down the work being done on the Southwest Arterial, but project managers say other phases of the project will stay active over the coming months. Assistant City Engineer Bob Schiesl delivered an update on the project to the Dubuque City Council this week. Forecasts have called for a colder-than-usual winter, which he says will limit how much work can be done until next spring. Schiesl says crews were able to make a lot of progress on grading work this summer and fall. Many of the big projects scheduled for next summer will be awarded in the next month or two. The Southwest Arterial is currently scheduled to open to traffic by the end of 2019.

Beckman Student Wins National FFA Competition

From left: Tauke, Burlage, Westhoff, Wessel (Courtesy: KCRG).

A Dubuque County student was named a National Champion at the annual National FFA Convention. Beckman junior Avery Tauke won the Power Structural and Technical Systems competition this week. His project examined how rust develops when metals are exposed to different kinds of salts. Tauke was one of four Beckman students to reach the Top Ten in competitions at this year’s convention. Senior Mason Burlage earned 3rd place in the Plant Sciences category. Junior Shelby Westhoff took 4th in Food Processing. And Senior Justin Wessel ranked 9th in Animal Research. Each student had already been named a State Champion, which earned them the trip to the national convention in Indianapolis.

“Establishment” Candidates Sweep Dubuque City Elections

Buol, Jones, Shaw, Larson

As the dust settles from Tuesday’s city election in Dubuque, it appears that voters have chosen to stick with the status quo. As the campaigns for Mayor and the City Council shaped up this fall, two “factions” of candidates seemed to develop: One aligned with incumbent Mayor Roy Buol, and the other backed very vocally by City Councilman Luis Del Toro. After the ballots were tallied on Tuesday night, the so-called “establishment” candidates swept the four races on the ballot. Buol, who won a fourth term in office, believes citizens have chosen a council that will work well together. New 3rd Ward representative Kate Larson says the current council has largely been on the right track, which she expects to continue. Brett Shaw won the closest race on the ballot, claiming the Ward 1 seat. He says there was no conscious effort by the candidates to align with one side or the other. But Shaw emphasizes that it’ll be up to each council member to work towards making the panel as effective as it can be. Incumbent At-Large council representative Ric Jones also won re-election. While referring to Del Toro, he mentioned that just because you disagree with a fellow member of the council, doesn’t mean you should dislike them. The new council members will take their oaths of office at the first meeting of the new year, on January 2.

Fennimore Receives State Loan for Expanded Grocery Store

A southwest Wisconsin community will use more than $400,000 in state money to help a local grocery store move and expand. Fennimore has been approved for a $407,000 state loan. The money will go toward buying property to make room for an expanded Bender’s Food store. City Clerk Margaret Sprague says the city applied for the loan on behalf of the store, which has been serving the Fennimore community for years. The current store sits near the intersection of US Highways 18 and 61 on the far north side of Fennimore. The new store will be on opposite side of the same intersection, but in a larger facility. Construction on the new store will begin once utilities are extended to the site and several structures are bought. The store is expected to be open for business sometime next summer. The city had already secured a $360,000 Community Development Block Grant that will also be used for the project. The state loan was approved by the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands.

Impromptu Candlelit Service In Darlington Tonight

 

In the wake of the recent violent acts across the country, the community of Darlington, Wisconsin will host an impromptu candlelit vigil tonight to pray for peace. The service will be held inside the Municipal Building gym and will include a candle lighting to remember those lost in recent acts of violence, including the church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the terrorist attack in New York and the concert shooting in Las Vegas. The event, which starts at 7:30 tonight, will be led by clergy members from churches in the Darlington area.

Police ID Dubuque Shooting Victim 

Dubuque Police have released the name of a man who was shot during an attempted robbery Tuesday afternoon. The victim is identified as 24-year-old Central Hightower of Dubuque. He was shot three times after a trio of masked men tried to rob him while he was walking in an alley between Jefferson and West 11th Streets, near the alley’s intersection with Walnut Street. That’s where police found Hightower while responding to a report of shots fired shortly after 2:00 PM. Hightower had surgery at Finley Hospital following the shooting and is currently in stable condition. Police have not made any arrests.

Accused Shooter Found Guilty of Lesser Charge

A Dubuque man accused in a shooting from this past summer has been convicted, but not of the original charge he was facing. A Dubuque County jury this week found 22-year-old Deonte Massey-Beavers guilty of Assault with Intent to Commit Serious Injury. That’s despite Massey-Beavers originally facing a charge of Attempted Murder. According to police, Massey-Beavers was involved in an altercation with another man on the night of June 11. Officers were called to an alley behind the 17-hundred block of Central Avenue, where they found the other man suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim claimed that Massey-Beavers had pulled out a gun a shot him as the two were talking in the alley. Traffic camera footage showed Massey-Beavers walking into the alley with the victim. Massey-Beavers faces up to two years in prison. He’ll be sentenced in January.

Dubuque County Election Recap: Former Mayors Return to Office in Cascade, Dyersville, Farley

A trio of former Dubuque County mayors will be taking back their old offices after last night’s election. Jim Heavens of Dyersville, Jeff Simon of Farley, and Greg Staner of Cascade appear to be the winners of mayoral races in those communities. Heavens won a rubber matchup against fellow former mayor Alvin Haas. Heavens had defeated Haas in 2011, but lost to him in 2013. Heavens’ victory this year is a resounding one, as he earned almost 72 percent of the vote.

Meanwhile in Cascade, Staner will return to the office he last held in 2011, when he stepped down after a pair of terms. Staner received 187 votes, edging out a write-in campaign from incumbent Mayor Marcus Behnken, who won 162 tallies. Cascade voters also rejected a measure that would have expanded the town’s utility board.

Simon’s victory may have been the upset of the night in the county. He earned 98 votes as a write-in candidate to unseat incumbent Mayor Jay Hefel, who received 82 votes. Simon had been Farley’s mayor from 2008 through 2013, which is when Hefel was elected.

Peosta’s mayor appears to have won re-election. Larry Mescher got 153 of the votes cast last night, holding off a challenge from Doug Hughes, who received 142 votes. That’s a margin of just eleven votes, or three percent of those cast. But that’s not a small enough margin to trigger an automatic recount by the county.

Russell Ryan will maintain his position as Zwingle’s mayor. Ryan did not file candidacy papers, but received nine write-in votes to be retained.

And it was a tough night for the Kennicker family in Sageville. Three people with that last name were running for city office, and all three lost in their bids. Wayne lost the mayor’s race to incumbent Donald Recker, while Jacob and Samuel fell short in their efforts to win seats on the City Council. Cheryl Hird and Milt Eichman won those positions.

Buol Earns Historic Win…Jones, Shaw, Larson Pick Up Council Seats

Buol

Dubuque’s mayor achieved an historic milestone with his victory in last night’s election. With his win, incumbent Mayor Roy Buol earns a fourth term in office, which will make him the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history. Buol, who’s been a member of either the City Council or the Mayor since 1996, says earning the people’s vote is an honor. Buol won with just more than 60% of the vote. He did not have an official opponent, though there were a pair of write-in campaigns. Current City Council member Jake Rios staged the more successful of the two, earning nearly 40% of the vote. Rios told our coverage partner KCRG that he was disappointed, but not disheartened, by the result. Buol will be joined at the council table by another familiar face. At-Large Councilman Ric Jones won re-election, holding off a challenge from downtown business owner Jonathan McCoy 54 to 46%. The other two races on the ballot were for open seats on the council. In Ward One, Brett Shaw claimed the closest race of the night, picking up 52% of the vote to hold off John Pregler. Shaw says the win is validation of months of work. The 3rd Ward will now be represented by Kate Larson, who won 58% of the votes cast to defeat Damien Waid. Larson says she envisioned a close race between the youngest of the candidates. Just shy of 6,800 voters cast ballots in Dubuque, which put voter turnout at slightly more than 18%.

Police: Attempted Robbery Leads to Shooting

Dubuque Police are still looking for the suspects who robbed and shot a man this afternoon. A few minutes after 2:00 PM, officers were called to an alley between West 11th and Jefferson Streets, near their intersections with Walnut Street. Witnesses in the area had reported hearing gunshots. When officers arrived on scene, they found a man lying in the alley. He’d been shot three times. The 24-year-old was rushed to Finley Hospital and taken into surgery. Before going in, he was able to tell officers that three masked men shot him after tried to rob him. That victim’s name has not been released, and there’s no update on his condition. Police have not made any arrests in the case, and do not have any further description of the suspects.

Bellevue To Remove Radium From Water Supply

 

The City of Bellevue plans to build a 1.7 million dollar treatment plant to remove the unsafe levels of radium from the city’s water supply. Our coverage partners at KCRG TV tell us that officials hope to complete the project by late next year. The Bellevue Municipal Utilities Board approved building the facility in August of 2016 after unsafe levels of radium were detected in the water for four consecutive quarters. The approval to build was contingent on a state loan that’s since been awarded. It’s 75 percent forgivable. Officials say Bellevue’s water tests consistently show radium levels above or near the state’s maximum. Health experts say prolonged exposure to high levels of radium can cause anemia, cataracts, fractured teeth, cancer and death.

Dubuque Man Injured After Fall From Tree Stand

 

A Dubuque man was injured after he fell from a tree stand while bow hunting in Clayton County this past weekend. A release provided by the Iowa Department of National Resources says the incident happened a few minutes after 7 a.m. Saturday morning in rural Clayton County near Garber. 45 year old Philip Rolfe of Dubuque had climbed to the top of his hang on platform stand, when the anchor strap failed, causing him to fall about 20 feet to the ground. Rolfe suffered injuries to his jaw and the lower part of his body. He was taken to a local hospital before being transported to U of I Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. His condition has not been released. Rolfe was not wearing a safety strap.

East Dubuque Council Makes Slight Adjustment to 3:30 Licenses, Allows Transfers

East Dubuque won’t be allowing any additional bars to stay open until 3:30 AM, but the city has made it easy for business owners to transfer their late-night licenses. The City Council on Monday night voted to adjust the language in East Dubuque’s alcoholic beverages ordinance. According to City Manager Geoff Barklow, the law also makes a slight adjustment to the number of 3:30 licenses allowed by the city. The number of Class B licenses that allow bars to stay open until 3:30 is reduced from five to four in the amended ordinance. But at this point, there are only four businesses operating with that type of license, making that a minor change. The council had been evenly split on the issue of allowing additional 3:30 licenses, but Barklow says the new language struck a balance. In addition to the four 3:30 licenses, East Dubuque’s alcohol ordinance also allows for twenty-one other licenses, sixteen of which are already in use.

Dubuque Man Found Passed Out Behind the Wheel with 5-Year-Old in Back Seat

A Dubuque man is facing multiple charges – including Child Endangerment – after police say he passed out behind the wheel with a 5-year-old in the vehicle. Police officers were called to the Kennedy Mall parking lot shortly after 10:00 last Saturday night. That’s where they found 27-year-old Cory Flanagan passed out behind the wheel with the engine running. Flanagan’s 5-year-old child was sitting in the back seat at the time. Flanagan was taken into custody, and the child was released to his mother. He’s been charged with Child Endangerment, Operating While Intoxicated, and Driving with a Revoked License. This is the second time Flanagan has been charged with OWI, and the sixth time he’s faced a charge of driving with either a suspended or revoked license.

Dubuquers Encouraged to “Dine Out for Public Schools” Thursday

A handful of Dubuque restaurants will help bring in money for Dubuque’s schools this week. On Thursday, the Foundation for Dubuque Public Schools will host another of its “Dine Out for Public Schools” events. Jennifer Klinkhammer, the Executive Director of the foundation, tells us that they coordinate with area restaurants to raise funds for school programs. The first “Dine Out” was held last April, and it went so well that the foundation decided to make it a twice-yearly event. A total of seventeen restaurants, ranging from sandwich shops to steakhouses, will contribute 10% of their sales on Thursday to the foundation. Diners are asked to tell their servers or cashiers that they are “dining out for public schools.” April’s “Dine Out” brought in a little more than $4,500. Participating restaurants include:

– Adobo’s Mexican Grill

– Big Apple Bagels

– Caroline’s

– Dairy Queen (16th Street, Gateway Drive, and Pennsylvania Avenue locations)

– East Mill Bakeshop

– Falbo Bros Pizzeria

– Fat Tuesday’s

– Fazoli’s (16th Street and Kennedy Road locations)

– Kentucky Fried Chicken (Kennedy Road and Central Avenue locations)

– Subway (Kennedy Road and Dodge Street locations)

– Texas Roadhouse

– Town Clock Inn

Council Approves Roundabout Funding Application

Dubuque City Council

The current members of the Dubuque City Council last night agreed to submit an application for a federal grant which would cover most of the cost of installing several roundabouts along 16th Street. The money would come from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, program. But the application received resistance from a couple of council members, including Luis Del Toro, who questioned whether 16th Street should be a priority.  Del Toro wondered if the 16th Street projects shouldn’t be looked as more long-term issues. But City Manager Mike Van Milligan explained that the federal grant can’t be applied to roundabouts that have been proposed for Dubuque’s East-West corridor. Van Milligan says the city is putting forward the project that is most likely to receive funding. Van Milligan also noted that it was TIGER grant funds that helped update the streets and utility lines in what has become the Historic Millwork District. The city is seeking $8.2 million for the 16th Street project, out of a total project cost of $12.8 million.

Municipal Election Day in Iowa

The make-up of several area city councils is on the line as voters across the Dubuque area cast their votes in municipal elections today. Here in Dubuque, three seats on the City Council are on the ballot, and incumbent Mayor Roy Buol is seeking re-election. Buol has been in office since 2006 and is officially unopposed, though there are multiple candidates staging write-in campaigns, including Councilman Jake Rios.
Another incumbent up for re-election is At-Large Councilman Ric Jones, who is opposed by downtown business owner Jonathan McCoy. Both the city’s 1st and 3rd wards will have new representatives on the council, as both the current council members are stepping down. In Ward 1, John Pregler faces Brett Shaw, while Kate Larson and Damien Waid face off in the 3rd Ward.
The Dubuque mayor’s race is not the only place where there’s a notable write-in campaign being staged. In Cascade, current Mayor Marcus Behnken did not file to be a candidate, but is asking voters to write him into office, as they did two years ago. Current Councilman and former mayor Greg Staner’s name will be on the ballot. Cascade also has four seats on its council up for vote today, though there are only three official candidates.
In Dyersville, two former mayors are facing off to again be that community’s leader. Jim Heavens spent a decade as the town’s mayor, from 2003 to 2013, before he was ousted in favor of Alvin Haas. Haas spent a single term in office before losing two years ago to current Mayor Dan Willenborg, who is not seeking another term. The race between Heavens and Haas is the only contested one on the ballot in Dyersville.
There’s also a contested mayoral race in Peosta, where incumbent Larry Mescher is facing a challenge from Doug Hughes.
There are also contested council races in Centralia, Epworth, Peosta, and Sageville.
One other notable election is in Zwingle, where none of the town’s 90 residents filed to be the mayor.

Charges Filed After Fight Between Dubuque Man, Girlfriend’s Stepfather

A weekend fight between a Dubuque man and his girlfriend’s stepfather led to charges against both men. Officers from the Dubuque Police Department were called to the 17-hundred block of Alta Place a few minutes after 8:30 Saturday night. That’s where 22-year-old Christopher Sullivan had been arguing with his girlfriend. Her stepfather, 41-year-old Joel Peterson, then told Sullivan to leave. But Sullivan and Peterson instead began to fight. Sullivan did eventually leave the house, breaking part of the screen door on his way out. Police say he then went to his vehicle and got a pocket knife. He took the knife back into the house and threatened to stab Peterson with it. Sullivan’s been charged with Assault while Displaying a Weapon, Disorderly Conduct, and Criminal Mischief. As for Peterson, he’s also facing a Disorderly Conduct charge.

Dubuque Man Charged After Assaulting Girlfriend 

 

A Dubuque man was arrested after he assaulted his girlfriend in the apartment they share over the weekend. According to a police report, officers responded to the 28-hundred block of Central Avenue at around 9:25 Sunday night. When they arrived they were told by a woman who lives at the apartment that she had been assaulted by her live-in boyfriend, later identified as 22 year old Gabriel Cabrera. The 20 year old woman says the two had gotten into an argument and Cabrera assaulted her and threw some of her belongings into the backyard. She says as she was trying to call police, Cabrera took the phone from her and threw it to the ground. Part of the assault took place while the couple’s daughter was present. The woman suffered cuts and scratches from the assault. Cabrera was arrested and charged with domestic assault with injury, simple assault, child endangerment and obstruction of emergency communication. Following an initial court appearance Cabrera was released on a 2-thousand dollar bond.

Stockton Man Sentenced on Sexual Assault Charges

A northwestern Illinois man will be spending three dozen years in prison after admitting to sexually assaulting a woman. 34-year-old William Hart of Stockton received a 36-year prison sentence in Jo Daviess County Court on Monday. That follows his guilty pleas to two Aggravated Sexual Assault charges. According to prosecutors, Hart kidnapped a woman at gunpoint from the Stockton gas station where she worked this past May. He took her to his home, where he sexually assaulted her multiple times. In exchange for his guilty pleas, prosecutors agreed to drop two other charges against Hart.

Holy Cross Native Appointed to Lead USDA Agency in Iowa

De Jong

A Dubuque County native will take over one of the federal agriculture department’s top jobs in Iowa. Amanda De Jong has been appointed by President Trump to become the next Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency. De Jong grew up on a farm near Holy Cross. She previously worked for the USDA after her graduation from the University of Iowa’s law school. From there, she moved on to Senator Charles Grassley’s Washington, DC, staff. For the past six years, De Jong has worked for the Iowa Corn Growers Association. As head of the Iowa Farm Service Agency, she will lead the state office in Des Moines and also manage local implementation of federal farm programs across Iowa.

Hanover Man Dies of Injuries Suffered in Crash Last Week

A Jo Daviess County man who was seriously injured in a car crash last week has died. 53-year-old Floyd Bartow of Hanover was pronounced dead on Friday morning at a hospital in Rockford, where he’d been since the crash last Tuesday. According to the Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, Bartow had been headed south on Illinois Highway 84 about three miles outside Hanover. As he approached the intersection with Whitton Road, he crossed the center line and collided with an oncoming semi. Paramedics had to pull Bartow from his vehicle. He was then taken by helicopter to a hospital in Rockford, which is where he died on Friday.

Dubuque Student Wins Art Competition for the Blind

Table Mound art teacher Barbara Osterholz assists 3rd Grader Ryder Drapeau (Courtesy: KCRG).

A Dubuque elementary school student recently won a nationwide art competition, despite being blind. Ryder Drapeau is a 3rd grader at Table Mound Elementary. An art project that he made at school won first prize in the National American Printing House for the Blind art exhibition. Ryder tells our coverage partner, KCRG-TV, art is his favorite class in school. Barbara Osterholz has been Ryder’s art teacher since he was in kindergarten.  Ryder and his family traveled to Louisville last month to accept his award. His brother Reece actually won the same competition last year.

Buol Officially Unopposed for 4th Term, But Write-In Candidates Pose Challenges

Buol

Dubuque’s mayor could make history tomorrow night. Voters will decide tomorrow if Roy Buol will receive a fourth term in office. If so, he’ll become the longest-serving mayor in Dubuque’s history. Buol has been mayor since 2006, and says that now is a critical time for the city. In making his case for re-election, Buol touts the accomplishments the city has made in his time as mayor, and notes that everything has happened without a boost to the tax burden placed on citizens. Buol says public safety will continue to be a top priority if he wins another term. Buol will not have an opponent on tomorrow’s ballot, but there are a handful of candidates staging write-in campaigns against him. Most notable is current City Councilman Jake Rios. He says the current administration doesn’t do enough to address the criticisms directed at the city. Rios also believes the council is not paying enough attention to issues that are not brought up by Buol or City Manager Mike Van Milligen. An area where Rios wants to see a larger city response is toward crime, which he says has been downplayed.

At Large Council Opponents Jones, McCoy At Odds over City Debt

Jones, McCoy

One of the citywide races for the Dubuque City Council has likely been the most contentious of this election campaign. At-Large councilman Ric Jones is seeking a 4th term, but has been challenged by downtown business owner Jonathan McCoy. McCoy has been very vocal in his criticism of the current council, especially its fiscal policies. McCoy makes the case that the city’s debt load is preventing the council from making sound financial decisions. McCoy also disputes claims that the city is retiring more debt than it takes on each year. With regard to the city’s debt, Jones says that’s a product of Dubuque choosing to be proactive. One area where Jones says Dubuque continues to be a leader is sustainability, which has been a council priority the past several years. Jones says cities across Iowa, the Midwest, and the rest of the country look to Dubuque as a model.

27 Years in Prison for Dubuque Meth Dealer

A Dubuque meth dealer will be spending the next quarter-century in a federal prison. 51-year-old Dale McCoy was sentenced last week in US District Court in Cedar Rapids. He had pled guilty in May to one count of Conspiracy to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine. Prosecutors had said that McCoy was one of several people who helped move so-called “ice” methamphetamine last year. In addition to selling the drug, McCoy also traded it for firearms, which he would then trade to his source for more meth. McCoy was sentenced to a little more than 27 years in prison. If he’s ever released, he’ll have to be on probation for another ten years after that.

Authorities Seeking Dyersville Woman Who Did Not Return to Jail

Pline

Dubuque County authorities are asking the public to help them locate a Dyersville woman who has not returned to jail following a furlough. According to online court records, 32-year-old Rebecca Pline was ordered to spend 90 days in the Dubuque County Jail after being convicted on a theft charge in August. Last week, a judge approved a furlough for Pline to attend her father’s funeral, which was held on Saturday afternoon. Pline was supposed to return to jail by 7:00 Saturday evening, but has not reported back. This is the second time that she has been listed as an “escapee.” The county sheriff’s office does not believe she is a threat to the public. Pline is described as a white woman with short red hair and brown eyes. She stands about 5-foot, 7-inches tall and weighs around 140 pounds. If you have any information about her whereabouts, contact the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department.

Dubuque Salvation Army Kettle Appeal

The Dubuque Salvation Army will launch its’ 2017 “Kettle Appeal Campaign” later this month. Major Kay Mason says the first bells will ring on November 14th at a few select locations throughout Dubuque. The official kickoff will take place on the 17th of this month. This year’s campaign goal is a little over 152-thousand dollars. If you’d like to be a volunteer bell ringer contact the Salvation Army on Iowa Street. Mason says the Kettle Appeal Campaign makes up half of their annual budget.

Jo Daviess County Semi Accident

The Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Department is reporting a Lena man was injured as the result of a semi roll-over Saturday afternoon on a rural road. Authorities say the driver of the vehicle,  47-year old Richard A Dikkers was injured. The accident happened on South Massbach Road, near Stockton shortly before 1 pm. Dikkers was transporting corn and failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway. The truck veered off the roadway, struck a tree and rolled on its side. Dikkers was taken to Freeport Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries. The accident remains under investigation.

Kind: “Take  Advantage Of Open Enrollment Now”

 

U.S. Representative Ron Kind is urging Wisconsinites to take advantage of the open enrollment period for health care. He open enrollment period will last to December 15th. During this time people can apply for health care coverage or make changes to their health care plan. Kind says the Trump Administration cut the period for people to sign up in half and took away many resources to inform people that open enrollment is going on. Kind says people must take action to re-enroll, or get coverage by the December 15th deadline, or risk not having coverage in 2018. Premium tax credits are still available to help people afford plans and some may see their tax credit increase. Seniors in Wisconsin can make changes to their Medicaid health and drug plans through December 7th.

Hanover Man Airlifted After Head-On Crash With Semi

 

A Hanover man was seriously injured after his car crashed head-on into a semi in Jo Daviess County Tuesday afternoon. The accident happened a couple minutes after 2:15 p.m. on Illinois Route 84 in rural Hanover. According to the Sheriff’s Office, a car driven by 53 year old  Floyd Bartow of Hanover was traveling south on 84, when his car crossed the centerline and struck a semi head-on. The rig was driven by 63 year old Larry Stoewer of Elizabeth. Bartow was airlifted to St. Anthony Hospital in Rockford where he is being treated for unknown injuries. The press release did not say if Stoewer was hurt in the crash, or if any charges would be filed.

Council Preview: Ward 3 Candidates Larson, Waid Bring Similar Backgrounds, Different Approaches

Larson, Waid

The similarities between the two candidates for the Ward 3 seat on the Dubuque City Council seem more stark than their differences. Kate Larson and Damien Waid have much in common: both are 32 years old, both graduated from Iowa State University with journalism degrees, and both grew up somewhere other than Dubuque. But the two say they would bring different approaches to the council if elected. Larson grew up in central Iowa and now works in advertising for Boyd Gaming. She’s also served on the city’s Parks Commission, but says she has loftier aspirations. Larson’s time on the Parks Commission has led her to question the city’s current hiring freeze, which she says has taken parks staffing to historically low levels. The 3rd Ward is largely comprised by Dubuque’s North End and Point areas. Some sections of those parts of the city have a reputation for being the “bad part” of Dubuque. But Larson says there are things the city can do to combat that perception. On the subject of crime, Larson’s opponent, Damien Waid, says an increased emphasis on after-school programs can keep kids from ever getting into trouble. Waid also believes that neighborhood associations can play a large role in cleaning up the ward’s streets. Waid spent part of his childhood in New York City before moving to Dyersville as a teenager. After college, he worked at the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce before moving on to Cartegraph. He believes improving the economy of the North End will go hand-in-hand with improving the safety of the area.

Dyersville Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Woman in Cemetery

Martin

A Dyersville man is accused of plying a woman with alcohol and forcing her to have sex in a cemetery. 22-year-old Robert Martin has been charged with 3rd Degree Sexual Abuse and Providing Alcohol to a Person Under the Legal Age. On September 25, a woman told Dyersville Police and the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office that she had been sexually assaulted two nights earlier. She says Martin picked her up at her home, gave her a malt beverage, and drove her to the Highview Cemetery in Epworth. That’s where she says Martin forced her to have sex with him. Martin was interviewed by investigators and reportedly admitted having sex with the woman, even though he acknowledged she was already intoxicated when he picked her up. Martin denied giving the woman any alcohol, but security camera footage from a local convenience store shows him buying the type of beverage the woman said she was given. If convicted on both charges against him, Martin could face up to a dozen years in prison.

Another Fatal Lafayette County Crash

For the second time in as many days, a person has died on the roads of Lafayette County. According to the local sheriff’s office, 69-year-old Howard Detra of South Wayne died as a result of injuries suffered in a two-vehicle crash yesterday afternoon. A few minutes after 3:30, Detra was headed north on State Highway 23, about four miles north of Darlington. As he came to the intersection with Short Cut Road, Detra’s SUV collided with an eastbound car being driven by 83-year-old Jean Cleary of Darlington. The crash sent both vehicles into the ditch, where Detra’s SUV rolled over onto its top. Detra had to be freed from the vehicle by the Jaws of Life. He was then taken to a hospital in Darlington, where he later died. Cleary was also taken to the hospital, but was treated and released.

Authorities Detail Threat that Closed SW Tech

Howell

We now know more about the threat that closed a Grant County college yesterday. Southwestern Wisconsin Technical College in Fennimore was closed after local law enforcement received what was called a “direct threat against campus safety.” Authorities now say the threats stemmed from a domestic issue between an estranged couple. According to a release from the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, 42-year-old William Howell of Livingston began sending threatening Facebook and text messages to his estranged wife Tuesday night and into early Wednesday morning. The threats began very vague, before eventually targeting a specific Southwest Tech student. Howell’s wife showed the messages to a professor, who then contacted police. At about 8:00 AM, school administrators chose to close the campus. Grant County Sheriff Nate Dreckman says that was the right decision. School officials, including Facilities Director Danim Hoff, said they chose to be proactive. Howell was taken into custody at his home a few minutes after the closure. He’s been charged with Disorderly Conduct and is free on bond. Sheriff Dreckman says there’s no threat to the general public. The school is scheduled to reopen today as usual.

Jochum Hogg Tour NICC In Peosta

Two members of the Iowa Senate toured Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta today to get a first-hand look at the job training programs the school has to offer and to talk to students about what impact state budget cuts are having on them. Democrat Senator Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids arranged the tour. He says earlier this year, the Republican controlled Legislature cut the budgets of community colleges to the tune of 4.75 million dollars..Hogg says when Republicans cut the budgets of community colleges they actually under minded their promise to raise family incomes. Senator Pam Jochum of Dubuque, also a Democrat says community colleges are the key to sustaining a strong local economy. Jochum says getting the funding restored to community colleges will be a challenge. Both Jochum and Hogg agree that restoring even a portion of the cuts to community colleges would go a long way in helping students meet their goals.