Saturday, January 23, 2016

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – Two Des Moines Public School employees were fired last month after a school bus aide allegedly physically abused a special-needs student. KCCI-TV reports the district alleges Ruby Taylor, a 20-year-veteran with the district, “made abusive physical contact with a student” and “used excessive force in dealing with the student.” The bus driver was fired for not stepping in and stopping Taylor.

CRESTON (IA) (IRN) – A man accused of killing two people in Union County pled guilty to both first-degree murder charges and was sentenced Friday morning. WOI-TV reports 37-year-old Jerry Ray Dillinger was arrested in December and charged with two counts of murder. The body of his former sister-in-law and girlfriend, Loretta Dillinger, was found in a farm pond. Unidentified skeletal remains buried behind a home nearby were also found. He’ll serve two consecutive life sentences.

IOWA CITY, IA (IRN) – Police have made an arrest in connection with a bomb threat at West High School in Iowa City earlier this week. KCRG-TV reports the threat led to the busing of more than 2,000 students from the high school. Around the same time, police were called to investigate an armed bank robbery across town. Officers arrested 30-year-old Clifton Brinkmeyer in connection to the robbery. After police looked at his phone records, he’s now also charged with calling in the bomb threat.

MASON CITY, IA (IRN) – Authorities say about 50 to 100 people in the Mason City area have had their mail stolen over the past couple of months. KIMT-TV reports the thefts started around Christmas, including incoming and outgoing mail. Residents in Mason City, Clear Lake, Manly, Lake Mills and Northwood have all been victimized.

AMES, IA (IRN) A tent caught fire early Friday morning as die-hard Cyclone fans are spending their weekend camping outside at Hilton Coliseum. KCCI-TV reports they’re already in line for Monday night’s big game against Kansas. A propane heater caused the fire. Everyone is OK, at least physically.

Friday, January 22, 2016

CASSODAY, KS (IRN) – An Ankeny woman died Tuesday after a crash on the Kansas Turnpike. KWCH-TV reports that 36-year-old Kristina Marie Masters was traveling south on the interstate when she lost control of her vehicle. Officials with the Kansas Turnpike Authority say Masters struck a work vehicle parked on the side of the road that was helping another vehicle that had slid into a ditch. Masters was taken to an area hospital, where she died. Authorities say weather was a factor in the crash.

DAVENPORT, IA (IRN) – Jury deliberations have resumed in the case of an 18-year-old accused of stabbing a fellow student in Davenport. KCCI-TV reports testimony began Jan. 12 in the trial of Drew Romkey, who’s charged with felony willful injury. Romkey stabbed another student four times in the stomach. The student survived, but required extended hospitalization. Romkey says he was defending himself.

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – Iowa has received a nearly $97 million federal grant to tackle the state’s water quality and flood challenges. The Des Moines Register reports that Gov. Terry Branstad and state and local leaders are expected to meet Friday afternoon to discuss the grant. The money will help accelerate water quality efforts and flood reduction in key watersheds in Iowa.

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina is accused of using a group of preschool day care kids as props during an anti-abortion speech. KCCI-TV reports during a 40-minute appearance, Fiorina discussed a wide range of topics, but parents are upset the children had a front row seat while Fiorina discussed abortion in front of a large picture of an unborn fetus.

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – Dozens of people are urging the Iowa Utilities Board to reject the construction of the Bakken oil pipeline, according to KCRG-TV. Dakota Access wants to build the pipeline that would carry thousands of barrels of crude oil across the state. In Des Moines on Tuesday, about 40 people, including farmers and environmentalists, protested the proposed project. Next month, the Iowa Utilities Board will hold four meetings to discuss it and possibly make a decision.

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – While Iowa children are showing improvement in health and education, there is room for improvement. WHO-TV reports data released by the Child and Family Policy Center shows that 110,000 children across the state live in poverty. That’s roughly two times the population of West Des Moines. But there is some good news. Teen birth rates have decreased more than 42% and the mortality indicators for infants, children and teens have decreased between nearly 25% percent since 2000.

SIOUX CITY, IA – Morningside College is helping some talented students from Sioux City’s three middle schools be better speakers and leaders. 8th graders from the Talented and Gifted programs took part in the annual Toastmasters speaking competition at Morningside College. Students gave their speeches in one of two categories: persuasive or extemporaneous speaking. Members of the community helped the kids prepare, and 75 students took part in the contest.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

OTTUMWA, IA (IRN) – An Ottumwa woman has been charged with murder and child endangerment in the death of a 3-year-old, according to the Ottumwa Courier. Prosecutors said Kashenna Tucker killed the child “while committing child endangerment or assault.” An autopsy found the child died of blunt force injuries.

URBANDALE, IA (IRN) – A Wisconsin man is behind bars in Polk County after leading Urbandale police on a high-speed chase that ended in someone’s front yard Wednesday night.
WHO-TV reports twenty-three-year-old Zachary Senger faces charges of eluding, OWI, open container and several traffic violations. Police say he was also wanted on a probation violation out of Wisconsin, related to a sex abuse conviction.

IOWA (IRN) – Three crashes around the state led to six deaths on Iowa highways Tuesday according to the Iowa State Patrol. The first fatal accident happened in Cass County where a volunteer for the Ben Carson presidential campaign was killed, followed by another crash in Cass County where two were killed in a head-on collision. In the final accident, three were killed in Chickasaw County when a sedan pulled in front of an oncoming semi.

IOWA CITY, IA (IRN) – An Iowa City man faces felony charges after police say he used a juvenile to help him sell marijuana to high school students. KCRG-TV reports 22-year-old Christopher Wells was selling edible marijuana for $15 a piece. Police searched his home and found almost 2 pounds of the drug.

DAVENPORT, IA (IRN) – Police say a 12-year-old was driving a stolen vehicle that struck a mailbox and was involved in a hit-and-run crash in Davenport Wednesday. WQAD-TV reports an officer in an unmarked police car spotted the vehicle and followed it to a gas station parking lot. Squad cars blocked the vehicle in, but the driver accelerated and drove into a police car. Nobody was hurt. The child faces multiple charges.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (IRN) – Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley returned to Washington in January with an all-time record. Grassley has gone longer than any other serving lawmaker without missing a vote. As of Tuesday evening, Grassley’s unbroken streak stood at 22 years, six months and six days. His last missed vote came on July 14, 1993, when he was in the Midwest touring flooding damage with President Bill Clinton.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

IOWA CITY, IA (IRN) – Police have arrested an Iowa City man after he allegedly used a plastic gun to rob a bank. KCCI-TV reports the Tuesday morning robbery occurred at a U.S. Bank. A University of Iowa police officer later stopped 30-year-old Clifton Rayner Brinkmeyer and in a search found a fake, plastic gun. He was charged with second-degree robbery.

BLOOMFIELD, IA (IRN) – Authorities say a southeastern Iowa man who was killed in December died of gunshot wounds. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and State Medical Examiners on Tuesday released how 39-year-old Michael Thomas Goodwin Sr. died. A 16-year-old boy has been charged with first-degree murder.

AMES, IA (IRN) – Ames police reported an arrest and charges Wednesday in the fatal hit-and-run crash that killed 18-year-old ISU student Emmalee Jacobs, of Urbana. KCCI-TV reports that Emmalee was struck by a CyRide bus within the crosswalk near ISU. The driver of the bus was identified as 23-year-old Benjamin Clague of Gilbert. Clague has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in a death, a class D felony.

ALTOONA, IA (IRN) – Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says he won’t endorse a Republican presidential candidate before the Feb. 1 caucuses, according to WHO-TV. But Tuesday, for the first time, Branstad said he wants Texas Senator Ted Cruz defeated. Cruz is opposed to the renewable fuel standard important to Iowa’s economy, and is aligned with Texas oil interests. Branstad says the election of Cruz would be very damaging to the state.

NEW HAMPTON, IA (IRN) – Three people have died and two others were injured in a two-vehicle crash on Highway 63 south of New Hampton Tuesday evening. The Iowa State Patrol reports a 2002 Malibu failed to yield and pulled in front of an oncoming semi.

ATLANTIC, IA (IRN) – Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson suspended campaigning Tuesday and Wednesday following a fatal crash involving some of his campaign workers. KETV reports the crash happened on Interstate 80 near Atlantic. The volunteers were traveling in a van and encountered a patch of ice and the vehicle flipped. Three people were treated for injuries and are expected to be OK. 25-year-old Braden Joplin, a student at Texas Tech University, was killed.

CEDAR FALLS, IA (IRN) – The Cedar Falls City Council has rejected a rezoning request for a disabled Afghanistan war veteran who wants to build a “smart home” in a remote area to accommodate his disabilities. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that Taylor Morris asked the city to rezone land from agricultural to residential so he could construct the home, which would be controlled by an iPad. Morris lost portions of all four of his limbs in bomb blast in Afghanistan. The council says it doesn’t want to set a precedent by rezoning.

NASHUA, IA (IRN) – One north Iowa student-teacher team is taking the trip of a lifetime to the beaches of Normandy. KIMT-TV reports 14 student-teacher teams from around the country are preparing to make the journey. Caleb Lines, a sophomore at Nashua-Plainfield High School and his history teacher Suzan Turner have been selected to give a eulogy to a fallen World War II veteran from the area. Lines’ grandfather was a paratrooper who fought at Normandy in World War II.