Saturday, April 16, 2016

GRINNELL, IA (IRN) – The Grinnell Police Department is currently investigating a death that took place overnight near a railroad crossing, according to WOI-TV. Authorities say around 2:15 a.m. Saturday, first responders were called out to the railroad crossing. They found 39-year-old Forrest Michael Duncan of Grinnell, unresponsive after being struck by a train. Duncan was pronounced dead by the Poweshiek County Medical Examiner.

URBANDALE, IA (IRN) – An Urbandale mom is facing assault charges for allegedly instructing her adoptive children to physically punish each other while she watched. WHO-TV reports police arrested 38-year-old Mindy Knapp on two counts of assault causing bodily injury or mental illness. Two of Knapp’s adoptive children were the victims of punishment at the hands of other adoptive children, all under her direction. It’s on video.

IOWA CITY, IA (IRN) – University of Iowa graduate students protested the state of higher education funding on Friday, according to KCRG-TV. The Campaign to Organize Graduate Students says they’ve seen 346 graduate assistant positions cut in the past seven years. They add mandatory fees and low pay are impacting their ability to provide quality education for undergraduates.

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (IRN) – CRST International has laid off 38 administrative employees, including 25 of its roughly 550 employees in Cedar Rapids, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette. The Cedar Rapids-based trucking and logistics company employs approximately 1,250 nationwide. Officials say it’s the economy.

INDIANOLA, IA (IRN) – The nonprofit Character Counts gave out its annual Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character Award Friday night, according to KCCI-TV. The award recognizes Iowans and athletes, with past winners including Dan Gable, Hayden Fry and Norman Borlaug. This year’s winner, Casey Blake, is from Indianola. He had a 12-year-career in Major League Baseball, and then brought his family home. He’s now an Indianola philanthropist, and girls basketball and softball coach.

Friday, April 15, 2016

JOHNSON COUNTY, IA (IRN) – The team of dispatchers who received the initial 911 calls for the Coral Ridge Mall shooting back in June has been honored as this year’s Team Telecommunicator of the Year, according to KWWL-TV. The team works for the Johnson County Joint Emergency Communications Center. In the first three minutes of the shooting, the team handled 41 911 calls, along with 46 radio transmissions from responding officers. Over the next 90 minutes, the dispatchers received and processed a total of 215 phone calls.

SIOUX CITY, IA (IRN) – Paul Hill of Sioux City has pled guilty to child endangerment causing bodily injury in the death of his four-month-old daughter Friday morning. KTIV-TV reports in 2010, Hill was found guilty in the death of Tryniti Hill and was sentenced to 50 years in prison. He confessed to police that he had hit the girl in the stomach as he buckled her into a car seat. But last year, Hill was granted a new trial after the Iowa Court of Appeals found merit in his claim that officers violated his right to remain silent during questioning.

ROCK ISLAND, IL (IRN) – Ten search warrants were executed in Rock Island and one in Davenport on Thursday in connection to a dog fighting ring. WQAD-TV reports 64 pit bulls along with narcotics and a gun were seized during the effort. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been called in to help transport to the dogs to a temporary shelter until custody is determined. Two Rock Island men were arrested.

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – Members of the Republican-controlled House have advanced a budget bill that would remove state funding for Planned Parenthood, according to KCCI-TV. The proposal is not expected to survive the Democratic-majority Senate. The House Appropriations Committee voted along party lines Thursday for a bill that would remove Medicaid funding for family planning facilities that provide abortions, even though Medicaid dollars are not used for abortions in Iowa.

WATERLOO, IA (IRN) – A man was taken to the hospital in Waterloo Thursday night after he was shot in the foot, according to KCRG-TV. Police say the man suffered non-life threatening injuries. Six to 12 shots were fired, and a vehicle was hit by bullets. Waterloo police have no suspects in custody.

BLACK HAWK COUNTY, IA (IRN) – A pickup driven by 39-year-old Rickey Cook, of Waukon, failed to yield at an intersection in rural Black Hawk County and collided with a car driven by 24-year-old Lindsey Wagner, of Denver, Iowa. KWWL-TV reports Wagner was unresponsive at the scene and was flown by AirCare to the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City. Cook and his passenger were treated for minor injuries.

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – MidAmerican Energy announced a wind project Thursday on a scale Iowa has never seen before, according to WHO-TV. Gov. Terry Branstad called it the “largest economic development project in Iowa history.” If approved by the Iowa Utility Board, MidAmerican Energy would spend $3.6 billion on the project. Farmers are now calling wind a “third crop,” as a single wind turbine pays $8,000-$10,000 a year.

DUBUQUE, IA (IRN) – The message from leaders in Dubuque was loud and clear Thursday– racism in their community will not be tolerated. KCRG-TV reports community leaders were responding after police discovered two burning crosses. Police Chief Mark Dalsing said “We will not allow these cowards to destroy what we have accomplished over the last 25 years.” Chief Dalsing was referring to a dark chapter in Dubuque’s history. In 1991, cross burnings were followed by a Ku Klux Klan rally to protest the city’s effort to attract more minorities to their community.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – The Democratic-controlled Iowa Senate is attempting to revive a proposal to fund water quality initiatives through a sales and use tax increase, but the plan has little support in the Republican-majority House. KCCI-TV reports the bill requires several legislative procedures before it can head to the House, where GOP leaders say they would not support a measure that increases taxes.

SCOTT COUNTY, IA – A 19-year-old has been arrested and charged with homicide by vehicle following the death of a back seat passenger in a 2016 crash in Davenport. WQAD-TV reports Bret Schaefbauer was driving a 2014 Chevrolet Cruze when he drove it into a ditch, striking a culvert. 18-year-old Mitchell Hayes of Davenport died as a result of his injuries from the crash. The report said Hayes was not wearing a seatbelt. Schaefbauer was intoxicated.

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – MidAmerican Energy announced today it is planning a new renewable energy project to move the company toward a 100% renewable energy goal for customers in the state. MidAmerican is requesting approval from the Iowa Utilities Board to build the project, called Wind XI. The project is expected to add up to 2,000 megawatts of wind power generation in Iowa by adding about 1,000 new wind turbines.

DUBUQUE, IA (IRN) – Dubuque police are investigating an incident they believe is a hate crime. KCRG-TV reports shortly before dawn Wednesday the Dubuque 911 center received a call of something burning at a residence. When police arrived, they found two crosses had been burned. The US attorney’s office and the FBI have been notified.

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – A man in southwest Des Moines woke up in the middle of the night to find a 35-foot tree in his yard had been swallowed up. WHO-TV reports the homeowner was awakened by neighbors who noticed the sinkhole around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. Officials believe the sinkhole was caused by an old coal mine shaft more than 100 years old.

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (IRN) – A traffic stop in Cedar Rapids turned into a high speed pursuit of a motorcycle Wednesday evening. The motorcycle was seen speeding through a neighborhood, and a Linn County deputy tried to stop it. The driver refused to stop, speeding away from the deputy with a passenger on the back of the bike. During the chase the motorcyclist nearly collided with a squad car, and the woman passenger was thrown off. The man on the bike escaped, and the woman suffered minor injuries. She says she doesn’t know the name of the driver.

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – The longest-standing synchronized swim team in the country is in some hot water. KCCI-TV reports freshman girls at Roosevelt High School hired a male stripper to perform at their synchronized swim club’s annual banquet at the Des Moines Social Club on Friday. The stripper performed for a few minutes but was kicked out after a Social Club employee stopped the show. One parent said the girls aren’t bad girls–they were just foolish.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

IOWA CITY, IA (IRN) – A prostitution and human trafficking sting ended with a dozen arrests in eastern Iowa, according to KCRG-TV. Iowa City Police say the sting was part of an ongoing investigation with multiple law enforcement agencies and also included the use of surveillance and undercover officers.

CLEAR LAKE, IA (IRN) – Interstate 35 was shut down for about 15 minutes on Wednesday morning as authorities responded to a single-vehicle rollover crash near Clear Lake, according to KIMT-TV. Upon arrival, authorities found a white Chevy cargo van with a flatbed trailer had rolled several times off the road and landed on its wheels. One occupant was lying on the side of the road, and first responders were unable to verify if he was ejected or had crawled there. The road was shut down while Mercy Air Med transported the patient.

MITCHELL, IA (IRN) – A 22-year-old man has been accused of holding a woman against her will in Mason City, according to the Mason City Globe Gazette. Nicholas Lenz is charged with kidnapping, willful injury, theft and other crimes. Lenz escaped from a state-run community correction facility, and was captured running from a residence. A woman found at the residence was hospitalized.

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – A sinkhole is eating away at the front yard of a Des Moines home and has already consumed a tree. KCCI-TV reports the hole opened up early Wednesday morning at a home on the southwest side. The homeowner said he heard a sound “like thunder” around midnight and went outside to investigate. He called city officials after noticing the widening hole in his yard. The street will remain open unless the hole gets larger.

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (IRN) – A second person has been charged in the unintentional shooting death of a 15-year-old Cedar Rapids boy. KCRG-TV reports 20-year-old Queshandis Seals has been charged with control of a firearm by a felon and obstructing prosecution. He was arrested Monday in connection to the shooting death of 15-year-old Senquez Jackson at a home in Cedar Rapids. A 13-year-old male has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

DECORAH, IA (IRN) – Decorah police have arrested a man whose threats prompted a district-wide lockdown Monday. The department began investigating the harassment of three teachers after Bruce Divers Jr. sent an email to the school expressing his displeasure with some of the curriculum. On Monday, Divers allegedly posted information on Facebook that threatened the welfare of two teachers.

WEBSTER COUNTY, IA (IRN) – Nine landowners are trying to prevent the construction of the Bakken Oil Pipeline by filing a lawsuit against the Iowa Utilities Board, according to WHO-TV. Last month, the board approved a construction permit for the pipeline and granted the developer the right to use eminent domain. The lawsuit claims the ruling violates both the U.S. and Iowa constitutions, saying the proposed hazardous liquid pipeline is not a public use, public purpose, or public improvement.

CEDAR FALLS, IA (IRN) – Former UNI quarterback Kurt Warner returned to the UNI campus on Tuesday, according to KWWL-TV. Warner, along with current Panther Deiondre’ Hall, connected to shoot a “Back 2 Campus” special for the NFL Network. The series connects a former NFL player with a draft prospect. Warner led Saint Louis to the 2000 Super Bowl title in his first season as an NFL starting quarterback. He was the NFL and Super Bowl MVP that season.