Saturday, February 20, 2016

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – The state of Iowa will spend nearly $250,000 on a consultant to help three Iowa cities find new tenants for empty, state-owned buildings. The Iowa Economic Development Board voted Friday to hire a national company, Matrix Design Group, to help seek new tenants for recently closed facilities in Toledo, Clarinda and Mount Pleasant. The Clarinda facility may be a particularly tough sell as the building is 128 years old with entire floors that have haven’t been used in decades.

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (IRN) – A man wanted for murder in Chicago may be in eastern Iowa, according to KCRG-TV. The U.S. Marshals Service is looking for 22-year-old Kevin Edwards, who is wanted for the execution-style murder of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee. Authorities believe Edwards fled Illinois after the murder and has connections throughout eastern Iowa.

WATERLOO, IA (IRN) – Two people were taken to a hospital following a fire in Waterloo yesterday. One resident tried to get to his neighbor out of the burning building, but failed because there was so much smoke. First responders were able to rescue the neighbor.

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – Iowa is the last of four states to make a decision on the Bakken oil pipeline and it will remain that way until March. The Iowa Utilities Board decided Friday to delay action on the controversial pipeline. Supporters say it will create jobs and and help lead to energy independence, while critics say it will create few jobs and is a potential environmental disaster. The board plans to make their final decision on March 9 or March 10.

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – Iowa lost 500 farms last year, continuing a trend seen in recent years in which there are fewer farms operating and those that remain are becoming larger. The average farm size in Iowa rose to 349 acres. Nationally, the number of farms fell by 18,000.

Friday, February 19, 2016

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – The Iowa Supreme Court says a stun gun, under Iowa law, is a dangerous weapon. The court made the conclusion as it affirmed the conviction of a woman charged with carrying a dangerous weapon after police found a stun gun in her purse during an arrest for theft at a Waterloo Walmart. 25-year-old Taquala Howse appealed saying her small hand-held stun gun isn’t dangerous. The court disagreed.

TUCSON, AZ (IRN) – An Iowa man has been sentenced to nearly 12 years in federal prison for assaulting a corrections officer in Arizona. KCCI-TV reports 41-year-old Howard James Sawyer of Iowa City was sentenced Thursday. Sawyer was incarcerated in Tucson after a conviction for failure to register as a sex offender when he punched the officer. The officer suffered permanent vision impairment.

DUBUQUE COUNTY, IA (IRN) – A cement truck failed to negotiate a curve and wound up on its side Tuesday afternoon in Dubuque County. KCRG-TV reports it took emergency crews 30 minutes to free the driver, 44-year-old Greg Torrance of Dyersville. He’s OK.

WATERLOO, IA (IRN) – A passenger plane was forced to make an emergency landing at the Waterloo airport after smoke started coming from the cockpit on Thursday. KWWL-TV reports the American Airlines plane was en route from Sioux Falls, South Dakota to Chicago. Passengers started panicking, but the plane landed safely. The upside for the crew and passengers? The Waterloo Convention and Visitors Bureau saw a marketing opportunity and dropped off cupcakes.

AMES, IA (IRN) – Iowa State University basketball player Monte Morris is from Flint, Michigan, and wants to help his hometown during a crisis. The city water supply suffers from lead contamination. WHO-TV reports after tweeting a video asking people to donate to the Red Cross and help Flint, Hy-Vee responded. The Iowa-based grocery store chain is donating 11 semi trucks full of bottled water that left for Flint Thursday. No. 11 is Monte’s team number.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

AMES, IA (IRN) – A juvenile being transported to a detention facility made a run for it Wednesday and even got some help from drivers along the road. WHO-TV reports a transport service was taking the juvenile to a correctional facility when they stopped at a rest area along Interstate 35 near Ames. The transport officer stopped to use the facilities and the juvenile fled. He was picked up by a driver who said he thought the juvenile looked cold.

HAMILTON COUNTY, IA (IRN) – A 28-year-old Anamosa man died Wednesday after falling while working on a construction site, according to KCRG-TV.The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office says Stefan Watermann fell from a cell tower in the eastern part of the county.

KEOKUK, IA (IRN) – Dozens of reports to law enforcement agencies about runaways, assaults and suicide attempts by troubled teens at Midwest Academy in Keokuk often were not made until days after they occurred, according to the Des Moines Register. Officers raided the boarding school for troubled teenagers recently to investigate allegations that a staff member sexually assaulted a student. The facilities have since been closed.

SIOUX CITY, IA (IRN) – A man accused of homicide in Sioux City is being held on bond of $750,000 and faces a 50-year prison sentence if convicted on the second-degree murder charge. 47-year-old Elias Wanatee was arrested Wednesday for the stabbing death of 50-year-old Vernon Mace of Sioux City. Wanatee was released from prison in January 2015 for the 1991 beating death of a man outside a Sioux City bar.

FORT DODGE, IA (IRN) – A man wanted for attempted murder was captured at a Fort Dodge Wal-Mart Wednesday. KCCI-TV reports Fort Dodge police received a tip that 36-year-old Jeremy Werneburg was at the store. Werneburg was wanted for attempted murder in Sac County. He resisted arrest, injured an officer, but that officer subdued Werneburg with a taser. He’s in jail.

WATERLOO, IA (IRN) – An Eastern Iowa Elementary school Principal is facing OWI Charges.
KWWL-TV reports 40-year-old Amber Dietz, the principal at Kingsley Elementary School in Waterloo was arrested for driving with a blood alcohol level of .159, nearly twice the legal limit.

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – Late Wednesday afternoon an expanded medical marijuana bill passed the Iowa House Commerce Committee, meaning cannabis treatment could soon be more easily available to patients. The bill would cover treatment for epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and terminal cancer.

BETTENDORF, IA (IRN) – Google chose an elementary student from Bettendorf as the Iowa finalist in their annual Google Doodle contest. WQAD-TV reports second-grader Shalini (SHAH-luh-nee) Chandupatla (CHAHN-doo-paht-luh) from Hopewell Elementary School submitted a doodle for the 2016 theme “What makes me… me.” Her design reads “I feel so good being ME!” and includes illustrations of reading, music, art, and outdoor activities.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

MAXWELL, IA (IRN) – All schools in the Collins-Maxwell School district were on lockdown this morning. KCCI-TV reports Principal Jordan Nelson said schools were on lockdown because of a threat made to staff members by a parent. A message sent to parents said the lockdown was underway until “the parent is located and arrested.” That person was located and arrested about noon.

BURLINGTON, IA (IRN) – Burlington first responders were dispatched Tuesday to the Howard Johnson’s Hotel in regards to an unresponsive three-month-old boy. KHQA-TV reports the infant was identified as Carson Ryan Simmons. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital. An investigation into his death continues.

SWISHER, IA (IRN) – Liquid runway deicer and diesel fuel spilled after a semi-truck owned by Cryotech Deicing Technology rolled over Monday afternoon along Interstate 380 south of Cedar Rapids. About 3,600 gallons of liquid runway deicer and an estimated 50 gallons of diesel fuel flowed into McAllister Creek and downstream to the Coralville Reservoir. The DNR is helping with cleanup. The driver was hospitalized.

IOWA CITY, IA (IRN) – University of Iowa police have identified a man caught recording video of a woman showering in a dorm bathroom. The Iowa City Press Citizen reports an officer responded to the scene and found Robert Hightower hiding in a stall. Police say when confronted by the officer, Hightower resisted arrest and fled. He faces over seven years in jail if convicted.

CEDAR FALLS, IA (IRN) – A Cedar Falls teacher is facing charges of prescription drug theft–from students. KWWL-TV reports Doug Wilkinson was arrested in connection to missing prescription drugs at Holmes Junior High. Security videos show Wilkinson taking pills from the nurse’s cabinet. District policy requires students to store their medications in the nurse’s office, and that’s how Wilkinson was able to allegedly steal 5 different students’ prescriptions.

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – A new bill passed in an Iowa legislative transportation subcommittee could raise the speed limit on Iowa’s interstates. KCCI-TV reports Iowa raised the interstate speed limit from 65 to 70 miles an hour 10 years ago. The new bill would increase the speed limit to 75 miles an hour. The DOT doesn’t like the bill, saying the change would result in more highway deaths.

INDIANOLA, IA (IRN) – Every wrestler at the state wrestling tournament in Des Moines this week wants one thing–a state championship. A district champion from Indianola is facing the challenge differently than others–on one leg. Kobey Pritchard lost a leg to cancer when he was five. His mom says “In our house, we don’t talk disability. We don’t talk disadvantage.” Kobey’s dreams extend beyond the state championship. He hopes to one day be on the Division I Iowa Hawkeyes wrestling team.