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Dubuque & Tri-State News

Grant County Fatality

April 8, 2020

Grant County Fatality

A two vehicle crash involving a semi and a pickup in Grant County this morning has claimed the life of a Bloomington man. It happened a few minutes after 6:30 at the intersection of Abing Road and U.S. Highway 35/61 in Potosi Township. A pickup driven by 42 year old James Hendrickson failed to stop for the stop sign and drove through the intersection and struck the passenger’s side of a semi driven by 54 year old Brian Cathman of Lancaster. Hendrickson was not wearing his seat belt and was ejected from the pickup. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Cathman was wearing his seat belt and was not injured. Authorities say dense fog may have contributed to the accident. This is Grant County’s first fatality crash this year.

Deceased Body Found

April 8, 2020

The Dubuque Police Department is investigating a deceased body found near 8th and Main Street in downtown Dubuque this morning. The department says the body was found around 9:35 am and no other information is available at this time.

County Board of Health COVID-19

April 8, 2020

The Dubuque County Board of Supervisors met Wednesday and acting as the Board of Health, gave recommendation’s concerning efforts to battle COVID-19. Patrice Lambert, Dubuque County Public Health Executive Director, says they are asking people to stay home and to wear cloth masks when having to go out in public. Lambert stresses being safe at home is the best way to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Neither MercyOne or UnityPoint has any actual COVID-19 tests but they are being allocated collection kits instead. MercyOne sends the collection kits on to a lab and the return time is about 2 days. The Board of Health hopes to have a plan ready to acquire tests by early next week. The board also discussed possible ways to get cloth masks to people who need them, including providing them at food collection sites.

 

 

Hail Storm Damage

April 8, 2020

Strong storms produced large, damaging hail as they moved through parts of east-central Iowa and southwest Wisconsin Tuesday evening. Hail, in excess of two inches in diamater, was reported with some of the storms moving through Linn County between 6:30 and 8 p.m. Tuesday. In Grant County, Dickeyville reported a few stones that were up to quarter size last night.

Southwestern Athletic Field Referendum

April 8, 2020

Voters in the Southwestern school district went to the polls Tuesday to decide whether or not to approve a bond referendum for improvements to the athletic field at Southwestern Middle/High School and the elementary playground. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic voters have either voted absentee or voted via a drive-thru system. Superintendent John Costello says if the 2.5 million dollar referendum is approved it won’t increase property taxes for residents in the district. Two years ago voters approved a 10 million dollar referendum for an addition to the middle and high school which are housed in the same building. At that time a bond to improve the athletic field and playground renovations was on the ballot, but it failed. Costello says if it passes this time, the improvements will certainly be noticeable. Costello says the improvements also call for making the playground and equipment handicap accessible. The referendum needs a simple majority to pass. No results will be released at least until Monday in accordance with a court order.

Coronavirus Positive Cases Update

April 8, 2020

The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting 102 additional positive COVID-19 cases Tuesday. Among that total is three more Dubuque County residents. Dubuque County now has 28 positive cases and one person has died. That brings the state’s total to 1,048 people who have tested positive. State health officials say an elderly person in Benton County died Monday from COVID-19. The state’s death toll now stands at 25. One person in Delaware County has tested positive and an additional case was reported in Clayton County Monday.

Clarke University Postpones Commencement

April 8, 2020

A local university has postponed their May 2020 Commencement activities. Clarke University has announced the 2020 Commencement will occur on Saturday, October 3rd, at 10 a.m. in the Robert and Ruth Kehl (KEEL) Center. The Clarke University community will be welcoming back all Clarke alumni for the 2020 Homecoming events schedule for that weekend and this year, Commencement and Homecoming will coincide with the celebration of Clarke’s 177th Founders’ Day. Knowing that not all graduates will be able to return for the October 3rd Commencement, Clarke is also extending an additional opportunity for them to attend the May 2021 Commencement, scheduled for Saturday, May 15th. Students will still have their degrees conferred and diplomas mailed as originally planned.

Holdout governors: Some states don't need stay-at-home order

April 8, 2020

While most governors have imposed stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus, leaders of a handful of states have rejected such action. Nine governors have refused to mandate that people stay at home. Local leaders have taken action in some of those states. North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Arkansas are the only states where no one is under a stay-at-home order. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said at her daily news conference Tuesday, unlike New York, New Jersey or California, there are different areas in Iowa that are experiencing different number of outbreaks. Reynolds says it would be irresponsible on her part to issue a “statewide shelter in place” at this time. The lack of action from those governors has frustrated health experts and left some residents puzzled. An infectious disease expert at the University of California-Berkeley says the longer officials wait, the harder it is for such orders to have a substantial impact on the virus’ spread.

Loras Student Refunds

April 8, 2020

Many colleges and universities either have decided on issuing refunds to their students for room and board, or other fees, while they have been moved to online-only instruction, or are still formulating plans to do so. Loras College is hopeful the recently passed stimulus plan will help with the financial impact for colleges next year. The total number of days in the semester, as well as the number of days not on campus, are being taken into consideration to refund students. While cuts may have to be made somewhere as a result of those refunds, leaders at Loras says right now it is unclear where that may take place. Mary Ellen Carroll, senior vice president at the school, tells our coverage partners, KCRG, they are not sure, as of now, what will happen. Carroll says that, since students cannot access those services, the college knows it was the right thing to refund students.

Gas Leak

April 7, 2020

A gas leak this morning led to 8 houses being evacuated. Dubuque Fire Dept. crews responded to a reported gas leak around 9:16 am in the 2200 block of Graham Circle. A private contractor on scene performing boring operations hit a gas line. Fire crews are on scene along with Black Hills crews working on repairing the leak. Currently, flammable gas readings are in the storm sewer but no flammable readings are being detected in any homes. The area has been blocked off from Graham Circle to Paisley Court and is expected to be closed for about two more hours.

Drop-Off Services Suspension

April 7, 2020

To reduce potential spread of COVID-19 the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency (DMASWA) has extended the suspension of all residential drop-off services for electronics and household hazardous materials. Residents are encouraged to continue to store these materials until services resume at a later date. To minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 for their employees and customers the DMASWA will be suspending cash and check payments at the scale house and will only be accepting credit/debit card payments, beginning April 9 until further notice.

 

 

 

 

Finkenauer 1st District Grants

April 7, 2020

Iowa’s First Congressional District will be getting funding to help battle the Coronavirus. Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer has announced the Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide over $2.1 million dollars in grant funding to help low-income families. Dubuque will be getting just over $647,000. The grant money is part of the CARES Act legislation that was signed into law. It will be distributed through the COVID Recovery Community Development Block Grant program.

Food Giveaway To Happen But Differently

April 7, 2020

The monthly free food giveaway for low-income and elderly families in Dubuque County sponsored by Dubuque Area Labor Harvest will take place this Saturday at the  Labor Harvest Building, but because of the coronavirus pandemic it will be done a little differently. Spokesman Pat Murphy says in light of Governor Kim Reynolds’ order to have no more than 10 people at any gathering, they’ll have drive-thru and curbside service. The food giveaway will start at 7:30 Saturday and is scheduled to last until 9:30 or until food supplies run out. But in this case it might last longer since things will move a little slower than normal. Murphy says they are continuing to make home deliveries to the shut-ins and elderly. 80 deliveries were made last week, which included 72 children. The number to call to have a box of groceries delivered is 1-833-587-8322. Free breakfast is also being provided at the Labor Harvest Building every other Saturday and can be picked up at the front door.

Supervisors Looking Into Legalities Of “Shelter In Place”

April 7, 2020

A draft document was introduced Monday at the Dubuque County Supervisors’ meeting that would impose a county-wide “shelter in place” order, but the question is do counties have the authority to issue such an order. The document was introduced by supervisor Jay Wickham, which includes a list of non-essential businesses that would be ordered to close through April 30th. Supervisor chair Dave Baker says he has a problem with that list and between now and their next meeting on Wednesday he will submit his own list of essential businesses that will include the media. Right now the county attorney is looking into the legality of the draft document. Baker says some people may have been confused, and the board only discussed the document at its’ meeting Monday. He says when they meet again at 9 am Wednesday there will be more discussion and at that time they’ll find out if they have the authority to issue a “shelter in place” order.

Stockton Woman Injured In Crash

April 7, 2020

A Stockton woman was injured in a one vehicle rollover accident in Jo Daviess County over the weekend. According to the sheriff’s office a vehicle driven by 43 year old Ketina Green was westbound on South Evans Road at around 12:15 Saturday afternoon, when she lost control while rounding a sharp curve. Her vehicle then veered off the road to the west and rolled. Green was transported to Freeport Memorial where she was being treated for her injuries. The accident remains under investigation.

City Council Five Flags Vote Delayed

April 7, 2020

The Dubuque City Council voted 7-0 Monday to delay the referendum vote for the Five Flags Center expansion project. The date of September 8th had been set but in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the council agreed it was best to postpone the vote. Fourth Ward councilman Brad Cavanagh said he hopes the public understands pushing back the date is not a stalling tactic. The council has until July 23rd to set a new date for the referendum. In other business, Mayor Roy Buel extended the closings of city buildings and social distancing recommendations through at least May 4th.  All Leisure Services Department spring recreational programs and Multicultural Family Center programs are also cancelled.

Iowa COVID-19 Update

April 6, 2020

During a press conference Monday, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced 46 news positive cases of COVID-19 in Iowa, bringing the state’s total to 946. Linn County remains the county with the highest number of cases, now at 176. Seventy-one cases are in long-term care facilities. The governor also announced three additional deaths which included an older adult (age 61-80) in Linn County and two elderly people (older than 81) in Tama County. That brings the death toll in Iowa to 25. Reynolds also ordered several new closures including malls, bingo halls, bowling alleys, zoos, skating areas, playgrounds, gaming and music stores and campgrounds. Reynolds did not issue a stay-at-home order, but she did ask Iowans to stay home unless it’s essential and to avoid gathering in groups.

Head On Crash

April 6, 2020

A two vehicle head on crash Sunday sent two Illinois men to the hospital. Around 8:23 pm, the Jo Daviess County dispatch center was notified of a two vehicle traffic crash with injuries. 20-year old Avery Goswick from Stockton, was westbound on S Massbach Rd and 26-year old Brady Groezinger from Hanover, was traveling eastbound on S Massbach Rd, approximately 3⁄4 of a mile west of S Elmoville Rd. The two vehicles  collided with each other in a head on crash. Groezinger was transported to Freeport Memorial Hospital and Goswick was flown from the scene to OSF Medical Center in Rockford, IL. This accident remains under investigation.

Drop-Off Services Suspension

April 6, 2020

To reduce potential spread of COVID-19 the Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency (DMASWA) has extended the suspension of all residential drop-off services for electronics and household hazardous materials. Residents are encouraged to continue to store these materials until services resume at a later date. Currently, DMASWA is continuing to offer all other services, however, residents are encouraged to utilize their community’s curbside collection services where available to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.  To minimize coronavirus exposure for the public and our employees, landfill customers are highly encouraged to use credit card for payments at the scale house whenever possible. The landfill is open 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Monday – Saturday. For more information, visit www.dmaswa.org or contact 563.589.4354 or kmiller@cityofdubuque.org

NICC Online Classes

April 6, 2020

Northeast Iowa Community College has announced that all credit classes will continue online for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. Student support services, such as   advising, counseling, financial aid, registration, are available via e-mail, Zoom, or phone.  The college campuses and centers will remain closed to the general public through May 15th and Spring 2020 Commencement will be an online virtual ceremony to celebrate the achievements of their graduates. Please continue to monitor our website, www.nicc.edu/covid19, for up-to-date information.

Flexsteel Lays Off 40 Workers

April 6, 2020

A Dubuque-based furniture manufacturer is announcing the layoff of 40 employees in an effort to guard against the spread of COVID-19 in the community. In a letter the company says all of the laid off employees work at their headquarters at the Port of Dubuque and the layoffs became effective on March 23rd and will last for about three months. On March 24th the company announced that it would be shutting down its’ production plant of Seipple Road starting March 27th for two weeks.

Bellevue Break-Ins

April 6, 2020

Police in Bellevue are alerting the community about a rash of recent break-ins in that  city. According to the department’s Facebook page, the perpetrators are breaking into unlocked vehicles and garages at night. Police ask residents to check their security cameras  and report anything suspicious. And if you notice your security camera or lights going off in the middle of the night contact police immediately.

For Now, District Going With Volunteer ED Plan

April 6, 2020

Before Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced an extended closure of public schools through April 30th because of the coronavirus, and gave districts until April 10th to decide how they plan to continue to provide educational opportunities to students, the Dubuque school district had already tentatively decided what it planned to do. The Governor gave districts two options. The first one is a voluntary option, where schools can encourage students to participate but do not require them to do so. Superintendent Stan Rheingans says right now it looks like they’ll be choosing the voluntary option which the board began planning for last week. The district has identified “hotspots”, which are locations where students can obtain internet access and will hand out laptops on Tuesday. Rheingans says they’’ll continue with their plan for Wednesday knowing that it could change on Monday when they receive their application. The second option given by the Governor is the required option, where students are required to participate, attendance is taken, work is graded and credit is granted.

 

Dubuque Man Sentenced On Gun Charge

April 6, 2020

A Dubuque man will be spending the next five years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty last year to possession of a firearm by a drug user. 27 year old Anthony Vincenzo Smith was sentenced in federal court in Cedar Rapids this week. In May of 2019 Dubuque police were called to a residence to investigate an assault. Police spoke with a woman who told them Smith had punched her in the head several times. She said Smith had guns and drugs on him. Police later located Smith at a local hotel. His room was searched and officers found a digital scale, a loaded magazine containing seven rounds, a loaded handgun and over 800 dollars in cash. They also found over 25 grams of cocaine. The gun had been reported stolen. At the time of his arrest Smith was under the influence of cocaine and marijuana. Smith has a prior felony drug conviction from 2014.

Small Business Help Line

April 3, 2020

A COVID-19 Small Business Helpline is now available for Dubuque area businesses. Kristin Dietzel, Vice President of Workforce Solutions, says it’s a joint partnership between Greater Dubuque Development Corporation and partners that will help all business owners navigate the application process for local, state and federal funding. Trained experts from GRDC, the Small Business Development Center – Northeast Iowa Region, and Northeast Iowa Community College will guide people through the programs.  Business owners may call 563-588-3350 between 8:30am and 4:00 pm Monday through Friday or email sbhelpline@nicc.edu.

Paycheck Protection Program Small Business

April 3, 2020

As of April 3rd, the 349 billion dollar “Paycheck Protection Program” will begin to offer loans to small businesses around the country currently facing bankruptcy. Kristin Dietzel, Vice President of Workforce Solutions, says it is for businesses with 500 employees or less. The loans are designed to provide eight weeks of payroll and certain overhead to keep workers employed. The loans also include unemployment benefits for small businesses, nonprofits, veterans organizations, and sole proprietorships. Greater Dubuque Development Corp. has set up a page focused on employer resources at greaterdubuque.org/covid19.

 

 

 

 

 

Finkenauer 1st District Grants

April 3, 2020

Iowa’s First Congressional District will be getting funding to help battle the Coronavirus. Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer has announced the Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide over $2.1 million dollars in grant funding to help low-income families. Dubuque will be getting $647,301. The grant money is part of the CARES Act legislation that passed the House last week and was signed into law. It will be distributed through the COVID Recovery Community Development Block Grant program.

Iowa Dentist Donate PPE To Health Care

April 3, 2020

On March 26th, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds ordered that all non-essential and elective dental procedures be suspended to preserve personal protective equipment in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. Since then the Governor says dentists all over Iowa have donated their PPE to heath care facilities in their communities to help during the coronavirus crisis. Dentists around the state are asking that anyone, whether in the medical field or not, who have personal protective equipment to give what they can.

Iowa Lottery-COVID 19

April 3, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is of course affecting all areas of life these days, including the sale of lottery tickets. This is Mary Neubauer of the Iowa Lottery. Neubauer says a slowdown in ticket sales and declining interest rates are also affecting jackpot sizes in the Powerball game. Neubauer says if you happen to be the winner of a larger Iowa Lottery prize, you still have a way to collect your winnings. Neubauer says some state are offering internet based lottery sales, but currently Iowa is not one of them, she says that would take a change in Iowa state law for that to happen.

 

Winter Farmer’s Market Shuts Down

April 3, 2020

The Dubuque Farmer’s Market is doing its’ part to stem the spread of COVID-19 by shutting down its’ small indoor market at Kennedy Mall. The 2020 season started on November 1st and was scheduled to run through April 30. Although the market has closed for the season, some farmers and vendors are offering delivery or pick-up during this time. A list of those farmers and vendors can be found at wintermarketdbq.com or on social media.

Opening Doors Delta Dental Grant

April 2, 2020

A local non-profit has received a grant to help their mission. Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation awarded Opening Doors with a $3,000 grant in response to COVID-19. Carol Gebhart, Executive Director for Opening Doors, says the grant funding will help to ease the impact that this crisis will have on their operating budget. Opening Doors three facilities, Teresa Shelter, Maria House and the Francis Apartments, all have their unique challenges. In accordance with guidance from the state and CDC, residents of Teresa Shelter and Maria House are currently sheltering in place and other measures are being taken until further notice. Opening Doors has experienced an increase in medical and cleaning supply costs with higher utility bills expected to follow. Gebhart says they are only accepting in-person donations of monetary/gift cards, disinfecting supplies and food until further notice.

 

 

 

 

Community Foundation Disaster Fund

April 2, 2020

The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque,in partnership with the United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States, has activated the Greater Dubuque Disaster Recovery Fund in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Peter Supple, Economic Opportunity Coordinator, says grants are available for non-profits. Grant applications are available now. Sixteen Dubuque-area nonprofits recently received initial grants the fund totaling 165-thousand dollars to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the most vulnerable populations, including seniors and low-income residents. To apply for a grant go to dbqfoundation.org/recoverygrants. The Community Foundation has received gifts totaling more than $550,000, allowing the Foundation to make these grants. To make a gift to the Greater Dubuque Disaster Recovery Fund go to dbqfoundation/DRF.

 

ATM Skimming

April 2, 2020

The Dubuque Police Department has begun investigating numerous unauthorized Automated Teller Machine (ATM) withdrawals. The investigation that started Sunday revealed card skimmers were placed on two Dubuque Bank & Trust (DB&T) ATMs between March 10th and March 13th.  The affected machines were equipped with anti-skimming technology and were located at 2690 Rockdale Rd. and 2196 Holliday Dr. The skimming affected a small number of DB&T customers. All DB&T customers that used these machines have been identified and increased fraud protections have been automatically placed on their cards.  There is no need for customers to destroy or cancel cards until they receive their automatically ordered replacement cards.  Only customers that have identified fraud and have NOT called the bank need to do so.

Tools Stolen In DC

April 2, 2020

The Dubuque County sheriff’s office is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying and capturing at least two people who stole tools valued at $14,000 from a business in Dubuque County last month. The theft happened on March 19th at HMC Kenworth. A company truck was also stolen. The sheriff’s office believes the tools are being sold or traded in the area. The truck has since been recovered but authorities were able to capture images of two people from the truck’s cab camera. They were both wearing masks. There may be a third person involved. Authorities ask that anyone who has recently purchased or been offer to buy tools to contact the Dubuque-Jo Daviess Crimestoppers or the sheriff’s office. Most of the stolen tools are usually available only from licensed dealers.

Latest Update On COVID-19 Iowa Cases

April 2, 2020

An additional 52 positive COVID-19 cases are being reported by the Iowa Department of Public Health. One of those positive cases is in Dubuque County while another one is in Clayton County. That brings the total statewide number to 549. Two more deaths are also being reported. One was an elderly adult over 81 in Polk County while the other was an adult over 81 in Washington County. There have been a total of 7,304 negative tests to date, which includes testing reported by the State Hygienic Lab and other labs.

DALH Delivering Groceries

April 2, 2020

If you find yourself strapped for food during this coronavirus pandemic, Dubuque Area Labor Harvest and East Central Intergovernmental Association’s Community Solutions of Eastern Iowa have teamed up to offer a box of groceries to people and families in need in Dubuque. This is being done to limit the spread of COVID-19. To place an order call 1-833-587-8322.

Clarke Receptionist Checking On Students

April 2, 2020

A familiar face at Clarke University in Dubuque is taking the time to check in with students now that they won’t be coming back to campus this spring. For the past week or so, welcome desk receptionist Mary Ellen Herbst has been working her way through a list of about 850 students. She is personally calling each one to make sure they are doing OK during their time away from campus due to COVID0-19. Herbst says Clarke is a tight-knit community and the time away from campus is hard on everyone. In this time of uncertainty Herbst tells our coverage partners at KCRG that she is hoping to brighten students’ days even a little bit. She’s even using the extra minutes on her flip-phone to make some of those calls. Herbst is described as the glue that holds the Clarke community together.

Iowa COVID-19 Update

April 1, 2020

The Iowa Department of Public Health said Wednesday there are an additional 52 positive cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the state. Included in that count was a Dubuque County person, a middle-age adult (41-60 years old). That brings the total to 549 cases. The total negative number of tests now stands at 7,304. There are also two new coronavirus-related deaths in Iowa, both of which involved an elderly person who was 81 years old or older. They lived in Polk and Washington Counties.

Clarke COVID-19 Update

April 1, 2020

Like thousands of colleges and universities across the country, officials at Clarke University in Dubuque were hoping to resume in-person instruction later this spring, but because of how fast the COVID-19 virus is spreading they won’t be able to do that. In a letter sent to students and employees this week Clarke says it is moving to provide only essential services on campus, while the remainder of faculty, staff and student employees will work virtually from home by the close of business today. They are expected to continue to do so through the rest of the spring semester. Exceptions for instructional continuity will be coordinated and handled by Susan Burns, vice-president for academic affairs.

Archbishop Cancels Holy Week/Easter Services

April 1, 2020

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Archbishop Michael Jackels has cancelled Holy Week and Easter services throughout the archdiocese in Dubuque. The cancellation will last until the end of April. President Trump extended restrictions related to COVID-19 at least until the end of April, and as a consequence Jackels says they will not be able to gather as a community to celebrate Holy Week. Also the provisions that were issued a few weeks ago, such as the cancellation of Holy Mass will remain in force until further notice.

2020 Census DBQ

April 1, 2020

By April 1st, every household in Dubuque will have received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Guy Hemenway, City of Dubuque’s Planning Services Department Assistant Planner, says residents will receive at least one mailing and more if you don’t respond.  Census takers would go door-to-door this summer to addresses that have not filled out a form online or by mail or phone. Planning Services Manager Laura Carstens says the Census comes in multiple languages and were sent out in city utility bills in March. The Census is completely safe, secure, and confidential. Your response helps to direct billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities, including Dubuque, for schools, roads, and other public services. Results will also be used to determine the number of seats each state has in Congress and political representation at all levels of government. The 2020 Census questionnaire takes about 10 minutes to complete.

 

Sheriffs Lobby Closing

March 31, 2020

In an effort to further reduce traffic within their building, the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office is closing their visitation lobby. This closure will go into effect on Monday, April 6th, and will be in place until further notice. Visits can still be conducted via Skype and letters via U.S. Mail will still be accepted.

Area Hospitals Prepare For COVID-19 Surge

March 31, 2020

Area hospitals and clinics are preparing for a surge in positive COVID-19 cases in Dubuque County. During a press briefing Monday afternoon, Kay Takes, President and CEO at Mercy says although their plans are modified from day-to-day their number one priority is “containment.”. The “surge plan” at Mercy involves the postponement of elective procedures. Chad Wolbers, President and CEO at Finley says their plans mirror those at Mercy. John Talent, Chief Executive Officer for Medical Association says their number one goal is to protect patients and the healthcare system so that sufficient providers will be available to take care of people who need care. Also at the press briefing were Mayor Roy Buol, Supervisor Dave Baker and health care specialist for Dubuque, Mary Rose Corrigan.

COVID-19 Iowa Update

March 31, 2020

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has been notified of 88 additional positive cases of Iowans with COVID-19, for a total of 424 positive cases. Five additional positive cases were reported for Dubuque County which now has a total of 21 positive cases. There has been a total of 6,162 negative tests to date, which includes testing reported by the State Hygienic Lab and other labs.

Hog Building Fire In Dubuque County

March 31, 2020

Authorities are investigating a fire that destroyed a hog building in Dubuque County early Saturday morning. Sheriff’s deputies along with New Vienna police officers and fire crews from Dyersville and New Vienna responded to the Neil and Helen Kramer farm in the 15,000 block of Pape Road at around 1:15. When they arrived a hog building was fully engulfed in flames. The building and its’ contents were a total loss. Damage estimate is around $75,000. There were no animals in the building at the time and no one was injured.

Winnebago County Fatality

March 31, 2020

The driver of a semi was killed after his rig crashed in Winnebago County in northwest Illinois Monday morning. Illinois State Police say the semi was traveling on the ramp from U.S. Highway 20 at around 8:40, when the semi left the road and rolled over. The 72 year old man was pronounced dead at the scene. His name has not been released.

Deere Suspends Production

March 30, 2020

John Deere has announced it is temporarily suspending production at its Dubuque Works facility starting March 30. Officials said this comes after an employee at the facility tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. In a statement to KCRG TV, the company says “During the temporary closure the facility will undergo a thorough disinfection that meets or exceeds local and state health-department guidance, including 3rd party industrial hygiene assessments. The facility will also continue to strengthen and enhance processes in place to protect employees.” The company said employees will return to work using a staggered schedule. Some employees will be able to work remotely during this time.

 

Storm Damage

March 30, 2020

Severe storms caused damage in eastern Iowa and southwest Wisconsin  Saturday night. Dubuque County Emergency Management Director Tom Berger said at least six farms were damaged by a tornado near Sherrill. The National Weather Service in La Crosse confirms that an EF-1 tornado struck around 8:30 p.m. Saturday near Potosi, in Grant County. The tornado was on the ground for about five minutes, traveling about 7 miles. The weather service says barns, farm buildings and trees were damaged and at least two houses sustained minor damage, but no injuries were reported.

Dubuque County COVID-19

March 30, 2020

Iowa health officials have confirmed 38 more cases of the coronavirus, including 4 in Dubuque County, and a fourth death. The Iowa Department of Public Health said Sunday that the state now has 336 positive cases, up from 299 on Saturday. The latest death was a Linn County resident between the ages of 61 and 80. The new cases include 10 in Polk County, six in Linn County and four each in Johnson and Dubuque counties. Dubuque County now has 16 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1 death.

DBQ Playgrounds Closing

March 29, 2020

The City of Dubuque is closing its playground areas and play structures as well as the Flora Skate Park to the public as a precaution during the COVID-19 pandemic. City parks will remain open but the more than 50 playground areas containing over 250 play units within those parks as well as the Flora Skate Park will be closed.   Dubuque parks are not yet officially open for the 2020 season so restrooms, water fountains, and other amenities are not yet accessible to the public. Residents are welcome to visit parks but should practice physical/social distancing of at least six feet, as instructed by the Centers for Disease Control and wash their hands as soon as possible after use.

City Utility Billing

March 29, 2020

Due to a temporary work from home policy implemented for City of Dubuque employees, the Utility Billing Department has been unable to process utility bill payments since Tuesday, March 24. The City estimates an approximate two-week delay in posting payments to accounts. During this time, utility bills will continue to be issued. As a result, any accounts that submitted payment online through WaterSmart, by mail, by phone, via the City Hall drop box, or through a bank or other third party vendor on or after, March 24, will receive next month’s bill without the previous month’s payment deducted from the total amount due. The City estimates approximately 10,000 accounts will be impacted.

Morrison Brother Temporary Shut Down

March 29, 2020

Morrison Bros Co of Dubuque confirmed Friday in a press release that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19.  All facilities have been shut down for a minimum of 72 hours. The company continues to follow all directives and guidelines set out by state and county health departments for COVID-19 outbreak.

Jo Daviess Thefts

March 29, 2020

Authorities in Jo Daviess County are investigating a burglary that happened recently in rural Elizabeth. The sheriff’s office says that someone forced their way into a garage on West Hanover Road and stole two ATV’s. They believed the burglary occurred during the early morning hours of March 24th. If you have any information contact the sheriff’s office or Crimestoppers.

WD School Board Passes COVID-19 Related Resolutions

March 29, 2020

In response to what affects the coronavirus could have on the economy, the Western Dubuque school board has passed two resolutions. The first one is a “budget guarantee” for next year. Superintendent Rick Colpitts says if Governor Reynolds deems the 2.3 percent allowable growth passed by lawmakers this year is not reasonable because of the affects that COVID-19 had on the economy, the district would have the ability to go on “budget guarantee”. The board also approved a resolution that gives the superintendent the authority to closed schools without having to get board approval. Colpitts says they’re still paying their hourly employees and certified teachers and administrators their regular wages, even if they can’t or aren’t needed while school is closed. The money to pay those employees has already been budgeted. Both Western Dubuque and Dubuque classes are scheduled to resume on April 13th.

DC Property Taxes Due

March 29, 2020

The second installment of property taxes for Dubuque County residents would normally be due on March 31st before any penalties are assessed on April 1st. But because of the  state of emergency were in because of COVID-19, County Treasurer Eric Stierman says you now have until April 16th to pay your taxes. Paying your taxes online is probably the cheapest way to go. After April 16th, an interest penalty of 1.5 percent per month will be added to your taxes due.

Grant Co Officer Impersonator

March 29, 2020

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help from the public after they took a report Thursday of a person impersonating an officer. The incident occurred sometime between 7-7:30 am when a Grant County citizen was pulled over by what appeared to be an unmarked squad car on Hwy 80 near Sinsinawa Rd, located in the Township of Hazel Green. The vehicle was an older style black Chevrolet Impala with red and blue lights mounted in the upper windshield and a spot light on the driver door. The reporting party was approached by a male wearing a light brown uniform top and black pants. The suspect was not wearing a badge or name tag but there were patches on both shoulders of the uniform top that said “Sheriff Department”. The suspect came up to the reporting party’s door and asked where he was going.  When the reporting party stated he was on his way to work the suspect informed the driver the State of Wisconsin was shut down and that he needed a permit from his employer to drive, but said he would let it slide this time.  The suspect was describe to be a white male in his mid 30’s or early 40’s with short brown hair and some stubble for facial hair. It appeared he was not armed.

Ernst-1 Trillion Dollar Package

March 27, 2020

Late Wednesday night the U.S. Senate passed a $2.2 trillion package to ease the coronavirus pandemic’s devastating toll on the U.S. economy and health care system. Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says the package will provide relief in the form of direct payments to Iowa individuals and families who qualify. Ernst says it will support many sectors like health care, small businesses and farmers. Ernst says much needed funding for health care providers to battle COVID-19 is included. The relief package still needs to be passed by the U.S. House before President Trump can sign it.

Iowa COVID-19 Update

March 27, 2020

The Iowa Department of Public Health has been notified of 34 additional positive cases of Iowans with COVID-19, for a total of 179 positive cases. No new cases were reported today for Dubuque County. There have been a total of 2,975 negative tests to date, which includes testing reported by the State Hygienic Lab and other labs.

Wisconsin Absentee Ballots

March 27, 2020

Wisconsin residents who still need to register to vote for the April 7 election can now do so online until March 30. Voters must be registered before they can request an absentee ballot. The absolute deadline for most voters to request an absentee ballot is April 2nd at 5:00 pm, and the Postal Service recommends giving yourself at least a week to return your ballot by mail. Register online, and request an absentee ballot, at “MyVote.WI.gov.”

Grant Co Officer Impersonator

March 27, 2020

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help from the public after they took a report Thursday of a person impersonating an officer. The incident occurred sometime between 7-7:30 am when a Grant County citizen was pulled over by what appeared to be an unmarked squad car on Hwy 80 near Sinsinawa Rd, located in the Township of Hazel Green. The vehicle was an older style black Chevrolet Impala with red and blue lights mounted in the upper windshield and a spot light on the driver door. The reporting party was approached by a male wearing a light brown uniform top and black pants. The suspect was not wearing a badge or name tag but there were patches on both shoulders of the uniform top that said “Sheriff Department”. The suspect came up to the reporting party’s door and asked where he was going.  When the reporting party stated he was on his way to work the suspect informed the driver the State of Wisconsin was shut down and that he needed a permit from his employer to drive, but said he would let it slide this time.  The suspect was describe to be a white male in his mid 30’s or early 40’s with short brown hair and some stubble for facial hair. It appeared he was not armed. Richland County had a similar incident reported two days prior with the same physical description of the offender.

Does Mayor Have Authority To Issue Order?

March 27, 2020

Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol continues to urge residents to stay at home as the number of COVID-19 positive cases escalates. During a special work session Wednesday night with council members, local health officials, department heads and other community leaders the question of whether or not the Mayor has the authority to issue a “shelter in place” order was brought up. City attorney Crenna Brumwell says she has been discussing that question with other attorneys in larger cities in the state and a specific state code gives Mayors the authority to issue such an order. The authority that the Mayor has would only cover the boundaries within the city of Dubuque. Brumwell says one of the worst things that could happen would be if there were multiple orders coming from multiple jurisdictions and they are not the same. She says that would only create confusion for citizens.

ED Residents, Businesses Coping With Order

March 27, 2020

On a normal workday in East Dubuque, it would be very hard to find a parking space around city hall, but now you can take your pick because they are everywhere. The trend started last Saturday when Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzer issued a “shelter in place order”, which means that people are required to stay inside except for when they need to get essentials such as food and medicine. City manager Loras Herrig tells our coverage partners at KCRG TV the change has been noticeable. Michael Meyer, owner of the Other Side restaurant, says the order has really affected his business. Because of the order, Meyer says they can only serve carry-out or delivery. Herrig says since Dubuque tends to be affected by what happens in Illinois and Wisconsin a similar “shelter in place” order might be next. He says however that people shouldn’t see it as oppressive, but rather a way to encourage people to stay inside.

Dubuque Chamber Requests Delay for Five Flags Expansion Vote

March 27, 2020

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a request to delay the referendum vote for the Five Flags Center expansion project has been made by the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce. The vote is set for September, but chamber officials are asking the city council to delay it indefinitely until the virus is under control. Chamber board chair Brian Schatz says they are requesting the delay in the best interest of all concerned and in no way is it meant to show support or opposition to the referendum.

DBQ County Long-Term Care COVID-19

March 26, 2020

At least one person at a Dubuque County long-term care facility has tested positive for COVID-19. The Iowa Health Care Association says four long-term care providers have reported a combined total of five positive cases of COVID-19. These providers are in are in Dubuque, Linn, Poweshiek and Washington counties, and all but one of the positive cases involved employees. Those impacted are receiving medical care and will remain in isolation for at least 14 days. Staff members at these facilities have been following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for screening symptoms of COVID-19 and took immediate action. They have implemented protective protocols, notified residents, families and staff members and contacted public health officials.

Library Ends Curbside Service

March 26, 2020

The Carnegie-Stout Public Library has ended its temporary curbside service. Despite solid safety practices, the health of the public and staff is of utmost importance. The library wants to do all it can to prevent the further potential spread of COVID-19 and “flatten the curve” by encouraging people to stay home. Additionally, checked-out materials do not need returned at this time. Patrons may keep items until the library reopens on April 13. As a reminder, the library does not charge late fees and the seven-day past due account freeze will be temporarily waived. Even though the library is closed, library cardholders who reside in the City of Dubuque can access the digital collection 24/7 via the library website (www.dubuque.lib.ia.us). Those without a library card can also access free ebooks for children and teens from TumbleBooks through the library website.

 

 

Wisconsin Schools “On Line” Classes

March 26, 2020

Wisconsin schools will remain closed for in-person instruction and extracurricular activities until at least April 24th under the “Safer At Home” order issued Tuesday by Gov. Tony Evers and the state Department of Health Services. This week, The Southwestern School District began on-line classes or “virtual learning”. Superintendent John Costello says students have access to their lessons and assignments via Google Classroom. Costello says the teachers are conducting class from home. Some parents have expressed concern about the level of work and what their responsibilities are but, the majority of feedback to the online class has been positive.

 

 

NICC GDDC Partnership

March 26, 2020

Area small business owners affected by COVID-19 who would like help in navigating the application process for local, state and federal funding have a new resource. A joint partnership has been established between Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, the Small Business Development Center – Northeast Iowa Region, Winneshiek County Development and Tourism, and Northeast Iowa Community College. Trained experts from the organizations will help guide businesses seeking assistance through Governor Kim Reynolds’ and State of Iowa’s COVID-19 Iowa Small Business Relief Program. The program provides financial assistance and tax deferral to eligible small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Business owners may call (563) 588-3350 between 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, or email at sbhelpline@nicc.edu.

COVID-19 Effects On Gas Prices

March 26, 2020

Normally, a crisis, like the coronavirus, would drive-up gas prices, but that is not the case. In fact it’s just the opposite. Over the past week, gasoline prices have dropped throughout the country, including here in Iowa. Mark Peterson with Triple A Iowa says the average price for a gallon of self-serve unleaded is $1.91 in Iowa. With the uncertainty of how long will it take to “flatten the COVID-19 curve” Peterson says people are simply driving less. At about this time every year refineries are switching from a winter grade to a summer grade of gasoline, which means that prices start to increase in the Spring, but that won’t be happening….at least for now. Peterson says it’s really difficult to say how long we’ll see these low gas prices. The average national price for a gallon of unleaded is $2.12.

COVID-19-Trucking Industry

March 26, 2020

The nations trucking industry has been greatly impacted by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. One of the trucking companies dealing with the battle of supply and demand is Hirschbach, headquartered in Dubuque with other offices around the country. Brad Pinchuk, President and CEO at Hirschbach says the trucking industry is on the front lines of the fight against the virus. Pinchuk says the truck drivers are facing many new challenges in doing their jobs including trying to stay healthy. Pinchuk says often times consumers don’t always give a lot of thought to how the item they are purchasing get on the store shelves. Pinchuk says Hirschbach employs around 2,500 workers around the country as drivers, mechanics and office personnel.

Parking Fees Suspended

March 26, 2020

The City of Dubuque is temporarily suspending all parking fees associated with City-owned parking lots and ramps through the month of April. Monthly parking fees for City lots and ramps, as well as hourly and daily parking ramp and lot fees, are covered by this suspension. All monthly permit holders will retain their current parking spaces during the suspension but will not be billed. The City plans to reinstate monthly billing associated with permits on May 1st. This temporary change follow’s last week’s announcement of the City’s suspension of on-street metered parking enforcement through April 12th.

Evening of Light Celebration Postponed

March 25, 2020

An area nonprofit that provides free, client-centered confidential care for people affected by sexual violence has postponed their 2020 Evening of Light Celebration. Due to CDC recommendations, the Riverview Center has rescheduled their biggest fundraiser of the year to June 25th at the Grand River Center in Dubuque. Michelle Knight will be the keynote speaker. Knight is one of the women who escaped from the home of Ariel Castro in Cleveland after 11 years of captivity, torture and abuse. The Riverview Center provides services to victims of sexual violence in 14 Iowa counties and for people in Carroll and Jo Daviess counties in Illinois.  For tickets and more information go to riverviewcenter.org.

DBQ County COVID-19 Death

March 25, 2020

The Dubuque County Public Health Incident Management Team was notified Tuesday afternoon by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) that a Dubuque County resident with COVID-19 has passed away.  The individual was an older adult (61-80 years).  No additional information about the individual will be provided. Patrice Lambert, executive director of the Dubuque County Public Health Department, says “This death is a tragedy and a reminder for all of the seriousness of this virus. However, it is also important that everyone understands that this does not mean Dubuque County is more at risk for COVID-19 spread or deaths than other areas.” Lambert said Dubuque County public health officials continue to work with the IDPH and local healthcare providers and other key partners to limit the spread and impact of the virus locally and across the state.

First Responders Appreciation Day

March 25, 2020

A local organization and the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation are teaming up for First Responders Appreciation Day to be held at the Field of Dreams Movie Site Saturday, July 25th. Roman Weinberg, Director of Operations, with Go The Distance Baseball, LLC, says gates will open at noon with festivities planned throughout the day. As a precursor to the highly anticipated game at the Movie Site in August, the police departments representing the cities of New York and Chicago will take the Field under the lights for a 9-inning baseball game at 5:30 pm. Proceeds from this fundraiser event will go toward the Dubuque County Emergency Responder Training Facility, Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, and New York Police Department Widows and Children’s Fund. Other festivities include tours provided every half hour, a silent auction, a three-part skills competition with a chance to win two White Sox regular season game tickets, inflatables, face-painting, time for catch on the Field, and more. To learn more about the event and purchase tickets, fans can visit fieldofdreamsmoviesite.com and click on media and events.

Dubuque County Crash

March 25, 2020

A head-on collision in Dubuque County Monday afternoon sent three people to the hospital. The sheriff’s office says the crash happened a few minutes after 1:30 on Highway 20 near Castle Road. A vehicle driven by 88 year old Wilma Hogan was traveling west in the east bound lane of 20, when she struck a vehicle driven by 33 year old Candice Haberichter. Hogan, Haberichter and a juvenile passenger in Haberichter’s vehicle were transported to Mercy Hospital where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries. Hogan was cited for driving in the wrong direction on a one-way road.

Clogged Sanitary Sewer

March 25, 2020

A clogged sanitary sewer manhole in an off-road area between Patricia Anne Drive and Miller Road in Dubuque caused untreated wastewater to flow into Catfish Creek Monday. The public works department was notified about the clog at around 4:30 and crews worked to remove the blockage for about three-and-a-half hours before the flow was redirected back into the pipe. The DNR cautions people to keep their children and pets away from the area, which is posted for at least 48 hours.

Defense Production Act of 1950

March 25, 2020

Iowa Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer of Dubuque is applauding President Trump for bringing back the “Defense Production Act of 1950. The “wartime” resolution allows for the mass production of medical supplies and emergency equipment needed to combat COVID-19. Finkenauer says both Democrats and Republicans understand the urgency of the situation and have set politics aside. Dubuque assistant city manager Teri Goodman says healthcare providers in the county are also experiencing a shortage in medical supplies, but hopefully that will change with the return of the “Defense Production Act”. The President’s executive order allows for more health and medical resources to fight COVID-19 including personal protective equipment and ventilators.

No “Stay At Home Order” For Iowa Yet

March 25, 2020

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says the data and information she is receiving from state public health officials does not warrant her to issue a “stay at home or shelter in place order” at this time. Because of an influx in patients at Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids, that city’s mayor has asked the Governor to issue a “shelter in place” order. During her latest press conference yesterday on the COVID-19 outbreak in the state Reynolds says she will continue to use the metrics that have been laid out by her team, but those metrics change on a day-to-day basis. The Governors of Illinois and Wisconsin have issued “stay at home” orders.

Flexsteel Shutting Down for 2 Weeks

March 24, 2020

A major employer in Dubuque will be closing its plant temporarily starting this Friday and have a temporary layoff at its headquarters. Flexsteel Industries has announced due to the COVID-19 outbreak they are closing their facility on Seippel Road for 2 weeks to protect the health and safety of its employees, as well as the long-term viability of the company. The announcement does not specify when or how many employees at its office will be laid off temporarily.

Mask Production at Dubuque Mattress Factory

March 24, 2020

A local business is stepping up the plate to respond to the urgent need for medical face masks for the hospitals, area clinics, fire department and anyone in need during the COVID-19 crisis.  Over the weekend, Dubuque Mattress Factory shifted some of their production work toward making face masks with reusable filters, Dubuque Mattress Factory Owner Doug Dolter.  Dolter says since they’ve began producing the masks, they’ve been overwhelmed by the significant need. Dolter says he challenges anyone with a sewing machine to consider producing the masks to help make a dent in the need. Dolter says his employees have been very excited about helping out, even coming in on their days off to help with the production.

 

Mayor Buol-Stay Home

March 24, 2020

Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol is strongly recommending all residents to voluntarily stay home for at least 14 days in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Buol says “It is critical that we all heed the direction from the Governor and our public health officials and avoid all unnecessary contact with others. The best way to do that is to stay home.” He noted that unless you have to go out for essentials, like food, medicine, and health care, or if you must work in an essential service, he urges you to do your part – stay home, stay safe. He says people are still encouraged to frequent local restaurants that offer pick-up, drive thru or delivery. Buol said his request of residents is consistent with similar “Stay Home, Stay Safe” recommendations being issued by his colleague mayors around the country in the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Virtual City Council Mtg

March 24, 2020

The City Council chambers in Dubuque were empty on Monday, despite the Council being in session. The meeting was held remotely due to COVID-19. Community members were still able to submit questions beforehand via email or through comments on the Facebook Live stream. This was the first city meeting to use this format, but City Clerk Kevin Firnstahl says it won’t be the last. Due to Iowa’s open meetings laws, there must remain a central location for the public to come and listen to the discussion. So, the council meeting was streamed in the chambers for any people who had no other way of watching online. However, only the first ten people were allowed to stay due to social distancing rules. Going forward for now, residents can watch future webinar council meetings live on CityChannel Dubuque (Mediacom cable channels 8 and 117.2), streamed live and archived on the City’s website at www.cityofdubuque.org/media, and streamed live on the City’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cityofdubuque.

 

State Assistance For Small Businesses

March 24, 2020

Over the weekend the U.S. Small Business Administration issued a disaster declaration for small businesses in Iowa. The declaration allows those businesses impacted by COVID-19 to apply for low-interest support loans. Yesterday Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced new state based disaster assistance for small businesses. The Governor says funding is available for small grants for employers with two-to-25 employees. The grants range from $5,000 to $25,000. Reynolds says the grants will provide some much needed relief for struggling small businesses as well as some help with cash flow. The three pronged plan was developed by the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Iowa Department of Revenue and Iowa Workforce Development.

Former Dubuque Teen Gets Probation

March 24, 2020

A former Dubuque teenager avoided prison time after he pleaded guilty to several assault related charges, which included a felony. 18 year old Rickey Carter, who now resides in Waterloo recently pleaded guilty to two counts of participating in a riot, one felony count of assault, fifth degree theft, fifth degree criminal mischief and interference with official acts. Carter was given three two-year suspended jail sentences, and two years of probation. Police records say Carter was part of a group of people who pulled another teen out of a house last May and assaulted him. About a week-and-half later police say Carter assaulted a girl inside a car in Flora Park fracturing the girl’s skull. In June he was involved in a street brawl in the 500 block of East 22nd. On the theft charges Carter received a deferred judgment, but was sentenced to 30 days in jail on the criminal mischief charge.

Archbishop Gives Dispensation For Fridays In Lent

March 24, 2020

The Archbishop of Dubuque has dispensed Catholics in the archdiocese from the obligation to abstain from meat this Friday and again on Friday April 3rd due to coronavirus concerns. Archbishop Michael Jackels says the dispensation does not apply to Good Friday April 10th. He says the dispensation is being granted in view of the difficulty people might have in finding meal alternatives to meat, or to go out grocery shopping. Jackels says those who are able to abstain from meat should do so. But people who are not able to abstain should perform some other act of penance.

DLC Inner Lobby Closed

March 24, 2020

Because of COVID-19 concerns, the inner lobby of the Dubuque Law Enforcement Center on Iowa Street is now closed to the public. Sheriff Joe Kennedy says the closure will be in place until further notice. Sex offender check-ins will be done by telephone. All other business should be directed to the administration’s website at dbqcosheriff.com. You can still contact dispatch for non-emergency calls and 911 for emergencies.

DBQ County 4 Confirmed

March 23, 2020

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has been notified of 22 additional positive cases of Iowans with COVID-19, including two middle-aged adults (41-60 years) in Dubuque County.  This brings the Dubuque County total to four positive cases and the Iowa total to 90. There have been 1,215 negative tests conducted at the State Hygienic Lab to date.

River Drowning

March 23, 2020

One man drowned after the fishing boat he was in started taking on water near Lock and Dam 10 on the Mississippi River in Guttenberg. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources say the 14-foot fishing boat went into a restricted area near the low head dam around 1:30 pm on Saturday. The boat began taking on water in the turbulent area. The passenger, 54-year old Shawn Oppenheimer, of Quasqueton, went overboard. He did not have a life jacket on and drowned. The driver of the boat was able to get safely back to shore. The Iowa DNR continues to investigate this drowning.

Defense Production Act Of 1950

March 23, 2020

Iowa Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer of Dubuque is applauding President Trump for bringing back the “Defense Production Act of 1950. The “wartime” resolution allows for the mass production of medical supplies and emergency equipment needed to combat COVID-19. Finkenauer says both Democrats and Republicans understand the urgency of situation and have set politics aside. Dubuque assistant city manager Teri Goodman says healthcare providers in the county are also experiencing a shortage in medical supplies, but hopefully that will change with the return of the “Defense Production Act”. The President’s executive order allows for more health and medical resources to fight COVID-19 including personal protective equipment and ventilators.

Iowa Reynolds Disaster Proclamation

March 23, 2020

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued an order closing all hair and nail salons, pools, tanning facilities and tattoo parlors through March in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. But she is vowing to keep childcare open by looking to expand options statewide. The Governor’s expansion of her disaster proclamation comes after cases of COVID-19 in Iowa doubled over the weekend to 90 cases in 24 counties. Included in that 90 are 6 people who have recovered from the virus. Iowa’s Governor is calling on schools, churches and others with space to open up childcare options, particularly for essential staff.

Illinois Governor Orders Residents To Stay Home

March 23, 2020

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has ordered the state’s residents to remain in their homes except for essential needs. Pritzker’s order announced Friday will still allow the state’s 12.6 million residents to seek essentials. All non-essential businesses must cease operations. The Governor’s order is effective until April 7th.  Pritzker had previously ordered all schools statewide to shut down and limited gatherings to 50 people to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the state. He also closed dine-in service at bars and restaurants. Illinois has joined similar efforts in California and New York to limit the spread of the virus.

 

Mayor Says Dubuque Prepared For COVID-19

March 23, 2020

Dubuque County health officials confirmed the first case of COVID-19 on Thursday and Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol says both city and county officials have been preparing for the confirmation of COVID-19 for some time. The Mayor says he has the upmost confidence in the county-wide response from the Dubuque County Public Health  Incident Management Team. Buol says government and health care officials have obvious roles in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, and so does the general public.

Update on Coronavirus in Dubuque County and Iowa

March 22, 2020

A second case of Novel Coronavirus has been confirmed in Dubuque County according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.  Dubuque County Public Health Department Executive Director Patrice Lambert said that like the rest of the state, ‘we expect to have more cases confirmed in the coming days and weeks’. Lambert says they continue to urge everyone to practice social distancing and to limit any outings or interactions to essential needs. Other additional cases were also reported Saturday in Iowa . The Iowa Department of Public Health said in a news release Saturday that Johnson County reported five new cases, Polk County had four, Linn County had three and Allamakee and Black Hawk counties each reported two new cases. The counties of Dubuque, Fayette, Henry, Muscatine, Pottawattamie, Story and Washington each had one new case

Illinois Governor Orders Residents to Stay at Home

March 20, 2020

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has ordered the state’s residents to remain in their homes except for essential needs. Pritzker’s order announced Friday will still allow the state’s 12.6 million residents to seek essentials. All non-essential businesses must cease operations. The Governor’s order is effective until April 7th. Pritzker had previously ordered all schools statewide to shut down and limited gatherings to 50 people to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the state. He also closed dine-in service at bars and restaurants. Pritzker’s order takes effect Saturday, March 21st at 5 pm. Illinois has joined similar efforts in California and New York to limit the spread of the virus.

Jo Daviess Co Disaster Proclamation

March 20, 2020

The Jo Daviess County Board has passed a proclamation declaring the county a disaster area in an effort to contain and mitigate the local impact of the expanding global outbreak of COVID-19. This proclamation will assist the residents of Jo Daviess County by and through its Emergency Management Agency and through coordination of federal, state, county and municipal resources and response activities. The goal is to prevent and reduce further damage and hazards, protect the health and safety of persons, protect property and provide emergency response. The Jo Daviess County Courthouse and the Public Safety Building are anticipated to remain operational, however additional steps must be taken to ensure the health of the public and the health of county employees. Members of the public and county employees will be screened prior to entering the Courthouse and/or Public Safety Building.

Dubuque County Coalition COVID-19 Briefing

March 20, 2020

The first case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Dubuque County. That person is currently self-isolating at home. Members of the Dubuque County Healthcare Preparedness Coalition met yesterday to provide the latest information on what they’ve done to get ready for a potential major outbreak in the county. Dubuque County Health Department executive director Patrice Lambert encourages people to continue to make prevention a priority by washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow, staying home when ill and practicing social distancing. If you think you may need healthcare, Lambert encourages people to contact their primary care provider first. Mary Rose Corrigan, health care specialist for the city of Dubuque, says there are several criteria used by the state hygienic lab for testing COVID-19. Corrigan says primary community health providers, including the ones here in Dubuque, are waiting to get more test kits. Meantime, Blackhawk County reported its’ first confirmed case of COVID-19 Thursday. That case is travel related. So far no case have been reported in Linn County.

Clarke University COVID-19 Update

March 20, 2020

Clark University intends to continue classes through visual instruction for the remainder of the semester. Students will receive more information about their classes from their instructors on or about March 23rd. Clarke has also decided to close the residence halls and ask all students to check out by 9 pm this Sunday. Students currently living in Clarke housing will be contacted by the Residence Life Office with instructions on how to check out and move out of their residences. Students not currently on campus are asked to retrieve their belongings by 9 pm Sunday. For questions about Clarke housing contact the Residence Life Office.

NICC COVID-19 Updated Plan

March 20, 2020

Northeast Iowa Community College has released the latest changes in operations due to COVID-19. Officials say college campuses and centers will be closed to the general public starting March 23rd through April 10th. All face-to-face classes will be conducted via an online format beginning March 23rd. Previously scheduled online classes will continue. Related classroom activities such as lab and internships remain cancelled. College operations will continue with staff working remotely beginning March 23rd. All events at NICC are cancelled through April 10th, and community and business related classes, when possible, will be offered via an online format.

Dubuque Suspends Parking Meter Violations

March 20, 2020

Motorists who typically feed parking meters in Dubuque won’t have to worry about that, at least for a while. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the city has temporarily suspended enforcement of parking meter violations through April 12th. During this time people are not required to feed parking meters. The city will however continue to enforce all other street parking regulations including but not limited to street storage, which is vehicles parked on the street longer than 24 hours without moving, disabled parking spaces, fire zone compliance and blocking driveways. Monthly reserve parking in ramps and surface lots are still being enforced.

Man Charged With Sex Assault

March 20, 2020

A Scott County man has been arrested in connection with a sexual assault that took place in Delaware County nearly 9 years ago. Court records say 33 year old Zachary Broders is charged with third degree sexual abuse. Authorities were able to link Broders to the crime through DNA. In July of 2011 a woman told police she was sexually assaulted by a man named “Zac”, who gave her a ride to Ryan. Investigators received word on the DNA match in February after Broders was arrested for another crime. He will next appear in court today.

Alliant Energy Suspends Disconnections

March 19, 2020

Alliant Energy is temporarily suspending disconnections for all of Iowa and Wisconsin customers during the public health emergency related to the coronavirus outbreak. In addition, the company plans to waive late fees in Iowa to help customers who are suffering financial hardships and will collaborate with partners and organizations in Wisconsin to offer a similar solution.