IOWA CITY, IA (IRN) – Gene Wilder, star of ‘Willy Wonka’ and Mel Brooks comedies, is dead at age 83. Wilder attended the University of Iowa from 1951-55, graduating with a degree in communication and theater arts. In 2001, Wilder donated a collection of scripts, photos and more to the University of Iowa Libraries. Wilder scored his first leading role in the Mel Brooks production of “The Producers” but is best known for his portrayal of Willy Wonka in the 1971 movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”
MARSHALLTOWN, IA – A Marshalltown school board member who has resigned his post as a prosecutor has been charged with trespassing and theft. KCCI-TV reports Ben Stansberry was arrested Monday and has been released. Police say the incident occurred at a private Marshalltown residence and involves someone who knows Stansberry.
OTTUMWA, IA (IRN) – Monday night’s storms may have been a contributing factor in a building collapse in Ottumwa. KBIZ-radio reports washers and dryers were still running inside the Ottumwa Launderette when firefighters arrived to find the roof caved in. Two people were inside the laundromat when the roof gave way and other bystanders on were on the sidewalk. There were no injuries reported.
DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – A Des Moines firefighter is accused of vandalizing a downtown Des Moines building. WHO-TV reports Lucas Lossen was arrested early Sunday morning. He’s charged with 4th degree criminal mischief. Witnesses say he was drunk.
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (IRN) – A Cedar Rapids woman says she will never use an HTC phone again. KCRG-TV reports Patricia Dampier, who is seven months pregnant, spent Friday afternoon in the hospital with breathing difficulties after her cell phone ruptured, sending off sparks and smoke. Police say it appears the battery exploded. She’s now using a flip phone.
WEST DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – For more than 50 years, swans have added to the beauty at Resthaven Cemetery in West Des Moines. Now the birds are dying and a group has been formed to save the swans. KCCI-TV reports the birds are known as Jack and Jill. The group, “Friends of Jack and Jill,” says new out-of-state owners have been neglecting the birds. They say nine cygnets died this year from malnutrition and parasites, and claim the water is dirty and the birds haven’t been given proper food.
DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – A Fort Dodge woman was surprised to learn she was pregnant three hours before she gave birth to her fourth child on Friday. The Des Moines Register reports Stephanie Hughes went to her doctor because she was having cramps. Then she learned she was pregnant, and soon gave birth to a 5 pound, 13 ounce baby girl named Ames. Mother and daughter are fine. Dad’s condition is unknown.