Thursday, November 19, 2015

WATERLOO, IA (IRN) – A robbery at a Waterloo grocery store broke into a brief gunfight Wednesday night. The Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier reports no injuries were reported in the exchange of gunfire at Save More Foods. Police said the suspect walked into the business and displayed a handgun. The robber and clerk both fired guns. The suspect then fled on foot.

DES MOINES (IRN) – Three teens held a knife at a boy’s throat after following him home in Des Moines Wednesday. WHO-TV reports the 13-year-old boy was approached by the three teens at McDonald’s after he left school. They asked him if they could come over to his house, but he told them no. They followed him home, kicked the door down, and two teens held him on the floor while the other held a kitchen knife to his throat. They took prescription drugs and food before leaving.

FARRAGUT, IA (IRN) – A southwest Iowa school district has been dissolved after officials say it has run with a negative balance and sub-minimal educational standards. The Des Moines Register reports that the Iowa Board of Education voted to close the Farragut School District Wednesday. State officials say the district had a five-year period of deficit spending that was approaching $1 million. School board members say the legislature provides insufficient funding for rural schools.

CHARLES CITY, IA – An apartment fire forced residents to evacuate their apartment complex in Charles City early Thursday morning. KIMT-TV reports the fire caused significant damage. When crews arrived around 1:00 am, they found hallways filled with smoke and flames. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire in a matter of minutes, and no one was injured.

POMEROY, IA (IRN) – Authorities have arrested a man in connection with a death in northern Iowa. The Calhoun County Attorney’s Office reports that 48-year-old Freddy Crisp has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Dale Currie Potter, of Devil’s Lake, North Dakota. Potter was found dead in Pomeroy on November 10 with a gunshot wound.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (IRN) – Three Iowa state senators met with federal officials Wednesday morning at the White House to challenge Governor Branstad’s plan to privatize Medicaid. WOI-TV reports Iowa Senate president Pam Jochum and state senators Amanda Ragan and Liz Mathis said they made it clear to White House staff and leadership from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services they have no confidence in Governor Branstad’s proposal.

WATERLOO, IA (IRN) – The Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a Waterloo Police Officer hit a woman riding a bicycle. KWWL-TV reports the officer was on patrol and not responding to a call. The woman went to the hospital with minor injuries. She received citations for riding a bicycle without a light and violating 1-way traffic. The officer is not currently facing any charges.

SWISHER, IA (IRN) – The mayor of Swisher in Johnson County has directed city staff to continue welcoming all refugees, regardless of their national origin or refugee status. KCRG-TV reports Mayor Christopher Taylor issued a proclamation Tuesday in response to Governor Terry Branstad’s order that all state agencies halt efforts to resettle Syrian refugees. Taylor says Swisher continues to welcome all visitors and prospective residents, regardless of national origin or refugee status.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

WEST UNION, IA (IRN) – A West Union man who was convicted in Fayette County for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl, and didn’t show up to start his prison time in June, now faces 10 years in federal prison. 31-year-old Thomas Cannon also pled guilty to felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition Monday in U.S. District Court. On the day he was to turn himself into Fayette County authorities, he instead assaulted his girlfriend and cut off his ankle monitor.

DES MOINES (IRN) – Smoke in the cockpit of a plane bound for New York City caused an evacuation and rescheduling of flights from Des Moines on Wednesday. The Des Moines Register reports the plane was still at the gate and passengers were able to return to the terminal without any injury. It’s unclear what caused the smoke.

IOWA CITY, IA (IRN) – A Coralville man accused of abducting his 10-year-old stepdaughter has taken a plea deal and returned to prison. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that 49-year-old Kenneth Johns has been convicted on two counts of child endangerment and sentenced to time served while awaiting prosecution. Prosecutors dropped kidnapping and other charges. Johns violated parole when he took the girl from a Solon home. He did so because the girl was being abused by her mother, Shelly Johns. Shelly Johns pled guilty to child endangerment in April.

MARENGO, IA (IRN) – Straight-line winds damaged several buildings in Iowa County during the overnight hours, according to KCRG-TV. People woke up Wednesday to find damage at the Brooklyn Elevator, Marengo Outdoor Power Company, and in a city park. Marengo police said the damage came from a strong gust of wind around 2 a.m. which lasted for about 20 seconds. The gust caused power to blink, and ripped the roof off the Marengo Outdoor Power Company.

NEWTON, IA (IRN) – A 30-year-old woman and her 13-year-old daughter were killed in a crash on Interstate 80 near Newton Tuesday afternoon. The Iowa State Patrol reports the woman’s two other children were injured. Killed was Sabrina Watkins and daughter Natasha Watkins. The woman’s 14-year-old daughter who was driving the vehicle was injured, as was her 11-year-old sister. The crash marks the fifth fatality in 14 hours in central Iowa.

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – A felon with ties to a white supremacist group has been charged with a hate crime in the brutal beating of a black man at an Iowa bar. KWWL-TV reports 40-year-old Randy Joe Metcalf was arrested Tuesday. Metcalf repeatedly kicked and stomped on the face and head of a now 31-year-old black man during a fight in January at a Dubuque bar.  Metcalf used racial slurs repeatedly toward the victim before and after the beating. Metcalf has has one tattoo of a swastika and another featuring the name of a prison gang known for white supremacist ties.

DAYTON, IA (IRN) – Vandals damaged dozens of Christmas decorations in the Dayton City Park Sunday, according to WHO-TV.  Plastic candy canes, wooden Christmas figures, and many lights were smashed or knocked over by vandals. The town is planning a meeting Monday to come up with a plan for the holidays. The Dayton Christmas lights were not displayed last year, as no volunteer could find the time to coordinate the work.

DES MOINES (IRN) – A crew worked Monday afternoon to pull a vehicle out of Easter Lake in Des Moines, according to KCCI-TV. The car was discovered as the lake is being partially drained. The vehicle was stolen over 20 years ago. This isn’t the first vehicle discovered in the lake. In 2014 divers found a 1993 Jeep Cherokee that was reported stolen in 1998.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

PELLA, IA (IRN) – A Pella man was arrested on a Clayton County warrant in connection to an attempted murder. The Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation reports 24-year-old Brandon Thoma is charged with attempt to commit murder in relation to an incident at an Elkader home. Thoma broke into the house after the victim’s husband left for work, and assaulted a woman by striking and kicking her repeatedly. The victim was later found by her husband when he returned from work.

OELWEIN, IA (IRN) – Leaders in Oelwein will announce Tuesday night an expansion at East Penn Manufacturing. KGAN-TV reports the Oelwein Chamber and Area Development says the project will cost $70-million dollars and will bring 315 new jobs to eastern Iowa.

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (IRN) – A man is in custody on a first-degree murder charge for fatally stabbing a resident at a motel near Cedar Rapids. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports 47-year-old Michael Lehman was arrested Monday morning at the Ced-Rel Motel where the fatal stabbing occurred. He is accused of stabbing 23-year-old Jimmi-Jon Lee Lint, of Mount Auburn. Both men were staying at the motel. Lehman is one of 20 registered sex offenders who live at the motel.

SAC CITY, IA (IRN) – An 18-year-old is scheduled to be sentenced next month for the crash deaths of two teenage girls in northwest Iowa. The Sioux City Journal reports that Trevor Feauto, of Clarksville, pled guilty on Monday to two counts of felony vehicular homicide. Feauto was driving drunk when his pickup crashed into a car near the town of Breda. Sixteen-year-olds Bailey Jacobsen and Lindsey Quirk were killed. Both were Wall Lake residents.

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – There have been two influenza-related deaths in Iowa so far this flu season. The Iowa Department of Public Health announced Monday that two middle-aged men from central Iowa have died. Iowa is among the top three states with the highest influenza activity. The other two states are Oregon and Rhode Island.

BLACK HAWK COUNTY, IA (IRN) – A Raymond man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after his involvement in a fatal crash killing a 20-year-old, according to KWWL-TV. Joshua Dunt pled guilty to vehicular homicide and driving under the influence of drugs. Dunt collided head on with Warren VanWie’s car. VanWie left behind a large family, a fiance, and a seven-month-old daughter.

DES MOINES (IRN) – A growing number of purchases in China are now coming from Iowa. The Iowa Department of Economic Development reports this past September, representatives from China and Iowa signed an agreement for the state to supply China with millions of dollars worth of soybeans and other products. China is Iowa’s fourth largest export market, purchasing more than $946 million worth of goods. So far this year, Iowa exports to China have risen by 63%.

ALTOONA, IA (IRN) – An Altoona woman who has been legally blind since birth can now see for the first time, thanks to a new high-tech tool. KCCI-TV reports 45-year-old Mindi McDonald can now see thanks to a technology called Esight. The $15,000 technology uses a high-definition camera to capture and display real time video. Thanks to Esight, McDonald was able to see her husband and children clearly for the first time.

Monday, November 16, 2015

DES MOINES (IRN) – Iowa Governor Terry Branstad on Monday called for caution in admitting Syrian war refugees into the state following a series of deadly terrorist attacks in Paris. The Des Moines Register reports Branstad said he does not know whether the state has the power to block the resettlement of refugees, but he urged greater cooperation between state and federal authorities to ensure terrorists are not admitted into the country.

DUBUQUE, IA (IRN) – Four people have been displaced by a house fire Monday morning in Dubuque, and a dog is unaccounted for, according to the Dubuque Herald Tribune. One resident escaped the fire by climbing out a second-story window. Most of the fire was concentrated in the home’s attic. The cause is under investigation.

MUSCATINE, IA (IRN) – Two men were injured when a motorcycle and a car collided in a Muscatine intersection Sunday. WQAD-TV reports a 39-year-old man on his Yamaha motorcycle was headed east when he collided with a 62-year-old man driving a Hyundai. Both men were hospitalized.

OTTUMWA, IA (IRN) – An elderly couple had to seek shelter somewhere other than their home after a fire in Ottumwa on Sunday. KTVO-TV reports when crews arrived on scene they found smoke coming from the windows and door of the front of the house. Crews were able to extinguish the fire quickly, and there’s heavy smoke damage throughout the home. No cause of the fire has been identified.

DES MOINES, IA (IRN) – Two people have died and one person was seriously injured following a two-car crash in Des Moines Sunday. KCCI-TV reports a driver and passenger were heading northbound and turning into a QuikTrip when the car collided with another heading southbound. The driver and passenger were killed. The driver of the other car was seriously injured.

MASON CITY, IA (IRN) – A car hit a house and rolled onto its side Sunday afternoon in Mason City, and police are looking for the driver. KIMT-TV reports the incident began when a car was speeding on a residential street and the driver lost control and hit a home.  Two people, a male and female, were in the car. The male fled on foot, while the female, Brittnie Roggeman, was cited with public intoxication. The male is still being sought.

AMES, IA (IRN) – Iowa State University is trying to find whoever is responsible for vandalizing the statue of the school’s first African American student on campus, according to WHO-TV. The statue is a tribute to George Washington Carver who attended Iowa State in 1891. The statue was vandalized with shaving cream. Carver became a world-renowned scientist.

DUBUQUE, IA (IRN) – Dogs from across the country competed at the DockDogs World Championship in Dubuque over the weekend. KWWL-TV reports it’s where canines jump from a dock into a pool to get a toy target. More than 500 athletic dogs competed for the top spot in the long jump, high jump and speed retrieve divisions. Nearly 3,000 people attended. It’s the 5th year the competition has been held in Dubuque.