NEWS

 


Drake University plans major expansion project

Drake University says it is moving forward with a $65 million project that will include construction of two new buildings, renovation of four existing halls and the addition of new degree programs.

Pending approval of final plans, construction could start on the buildings including a school of education center as early as next summer. Completion is expected in two years.

The university, in an announcement Wednesday, says its board of trustees has approved plans to offer new bachelor degree programs in data analytics, kinesiology and secondary education in health, physical education, and coaching. Programs will begin the fall of 2015.

Starting in fall of 2016, the private university will offer master of science in athletic training, bachelor of science in pre-occupational therapy and doctor of occupational therapy degrees.

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Iowa teen arrested following gun suspicion, school lockdown

Authorities in northwest Iowa say several schools are no longer on lockdown after a 16-year-old student suspected of bringing a gun to his school was taken into custody.

The Woodbury County Sheriff's Office says the student was captured Wednesday afternoon without incident. Additional information was not released.

Authorities placed Siouxland Community Christian School in Sioux City and two other schools on lockdown following a search for the student. He's suspected of bringing a handgun to Siouxland Community Christian on Tuesday and making threats.

Officials at the nearby Kingsley-Pierson Community School District also placed their facilities on precautionary lockdown.

Sheriff's Maj. Todd Wieck says the student was considered armed and dangerous because the handgun was unaccounted for at the time of the search. It has since been recovered.

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Locations : IowaSioux City
People : Todd Wieck




 

Iowa man charged in past murder of girlfriend

A southwest Iowa man has been charged with first-degree murder in the 2009 death of his girlfriend.

The state Department of Public Safety says 34-year-old Brian Davis, of Shenandoah, was arrested Wednesday. He is being held at the Fremont County Jail on $1 million cash bond. Court records do not list an attorney.

Officials say witness interviews and crime scene evidence led to Davis' arrest in connection to the July 2009 death of Holly Durben. She was found dead in a residence she shared with Davis. An autopsy determined she was shot in the head.

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Locations : Iowa
People : Brian DavisHolly DurbenShenandoah




 

High-Speed chase ends with crash into Missouri River

A high-speed chase through western Iowa has ended with a crash into the Missouri River and a manhunt for one suspect who escaped the scene.

Pottawattamie County authorities say the chase began in Missouri Valley on Wednesday and involved officers from Iowa and Nebraska. They say the truck eventually drove into the river.

A man and a woman were taken into custody about 1 mile south of the crash. The man was hospitalized after complaining of chest pains. The woman was taken in for questioning. No charges have been reported.

Authorities say they are searching for a man who escaped the truck. It's unclear who was driving the vehicle.

Tow trucks recovered the truck from the water.

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Man banned from city buildings after threat received by officials

A northern Iowa city council has banned a resident from city buildings after it said he sent a threatening letter to elected officials and employees.

The letter to the Hampton City Council requested that officials declare Aug. 18 as "Cookie Thornton Day," in memory of a man who killed six people at a 2008 city council meeting in Kirkwood, Missouri.

City officials say 54-year-old Milton Heyde sent the letter in response to a citation for failure to remove trash from his property. In a written response to Heyde, city officials say they viewed the letter as a threat.

Heyde says his letter wasn't intended as a threat.

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Locations : IowaKirkwoodMissouri
People : Milton Heyde




 

Former First Lady Clinton supporting Senate hopeful Braley

Hillary Rodham Clinton is urging Iowa Democrats to get out the vote for Senate candidate Bruce Braley, saying he has "proven he will get the job done."

The former first lady, senator and secretary of state appeared before about 400 people at a union hall in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday. She was also scheduled to appear in Davenport.

Clinton came to Iowa in September to headline retiring Sen. Tom Harkin's last annual "Steak Fry" fundraiser. She has kept up a busy schedule this fall, campaigning for Democrats in close races.

Braley, a four-term congressman from Waterloo, is locked in a tight race against Republican Joni Ernst, a state lawmaker and lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard.

Ernst was campaigning Wednesday with Arizona Sen. John McCain.

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Designers unveil new Iowa City downtown district design

Architects and engineers have unveiled proposals to improve downtown Iowa City that could cost more than $10 million.

The plans were shown Tuesday inside of a hotel ballroom. During the open house, Iowa City residents and business community members studied the designs, which include a performance stage, cabled lighting, enhanced greenery and a piece of public art.

Assistant City Manager Geoff Fruin says the project's design phase will continue through 2015. He says the project's construction could start in 2016, but the City Council needs to approve the budget first.

Business owner Catherine Champion says she is "totally in love" with the designs. Former Iowa City Mayor Regenia Bailey also was excited about the planned update of downtown streets.

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Men arrested, accused for robbing Iowa liquor store

Three men have been arrested on suspicion of robbing a liquor store in Cedar Rapids.

Police say two men entered Big Discount Liquor on Tuesday night with guns and demanded money. No injuries were reported and the men left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Authorities say they quickly located a suspect vehicle and a pursuit ensued. The car was found unoccupied a short time later, but officers found two people matching the description of the robbery suspects. They were arrested.

A third suspect was identified in the investigation and arrested.

The men have been identified at 27-year-old Robert Larry Ray Barlow, 36-year-old Joshua M. Sandlin and 19-year-old Jack Daniels Yoders. They each face a charge of first-degree robbery, among others. Court records do not list attorneys.

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People : Jack Daniels YodersJoshua M. SandlinRobert Larry Ray Barlow




 

Man fails to return to correctional facility, deemed 'escapee'

Authorities say they're looking for a man who failed to return from a work release assignment in central Iowa.

The state Department of Corrections says 24-year-old Nelson Messiah Humes was placed on escape status Saturday. He is accused of failing to return to the Curt Forbes Residential Center in Ames from a work release assignment.

Hume was on parole supervision before being transferred to work release in August. He is serving time for a conviction of willful injury causing bodily injury and first-degree theft.

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Locations : Iowa
People : Nelson Messiah Humes




 

Sheriff's deputy says agency will return man to Iowa to face charges

An Iowa sheriff's deputy says his agency has contracted to pick up a man in a Vermont jail so he can face charges in his home state.

Thirty-two-year-old Christopher M. Wood was arrested in the northeastern Vermont town of St. Johnsbury last week after a traffic stop and police discovered he's wanted on warrants stemming from an April hammer attack in Cherokee County.

A Vermont judge offered Wood the opportunity to drive himself home so he could face the charges, but he couldn't post the required bail.

Wood's attorney says his client wants to return to Iowa.

Cherokee County Chief Deputy Jeff Friedrichsen says Wood waived extradition and they've contracted with a transport company to get him. He doesn't know when Wood will be returned.

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Locations : IowaNortheastern VermontVermont
People : Christopher M. WoodJeff Friedrichsen




 

Man to be resentenced more than two decades after murder ruling

A 38-year-old man is scheduled to be resentenced Wednesday for the 1992 slaying of a woman in Dubuque when he was a teenager.

Court records say Sean Rhomberg was 16 when he was charged after the November 1992 killing of 70-year-old Marion Carpenter. Rhomberg was convicted of stabbing Carpenter in the neck with a kitchen knife during a robbery attempt. Authorities say Carpenter had hired Rhomberg the day before to shovel snow at her home.

Rhomberg has been serving a life sentence. Rhomberg's attorney filed a motion for a resentencing after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a U.S. Supreme Court decision that banned sentences of life without parole for juveniles can be applied retroactively.

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Locations : Iowa
People : Marion CarpenterSean Rhomberg




 

Iowa man charged with defrauding nearly $3 million

Federal authorities say an Iowa man has been charged with defrauding his former employer in Illinois of at least $2.7 million.

U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis said 47-year-old Dominic Scodeller of Davenport, Iowa, was arrested Tuesday on charges of fraud and money laundering. A grand jury indicted Scodeller on 15 counts last week.

Authorities say Scodeller defrauded Bituminous Insurance Companies from about 2001 to May 2013. Scodeller was a purchasing and facilities manager for the Rock Island-based company. Authorities say he approved payments to bogus entities that he created and transferred the money for personal use.

Scodeller was ordered held in U.S. Marshals Service custody pending a detention hearing.

He faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of fraud and money laundering. It wasn't immediately clear if he has an attorney.

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Locations : DavenportIllinoisIowaRock Island
People : Dominic ScodellerJim Lewis




 

Man who recorded school van fired from lawn care job

An Iowa man who says he caught a Dubuque school van speeding while transporting students has been fired by a lawn care company.

Jay Shipley says that TruGreen Lawn Care fired him for recording the incident while he was driving a company vehicle. He said he was suspended last week and was fired Tuesday.

Shipley says he became concerned because the van was traveling more than 80 mph on Interstate 280 near North Liberty. He called the Iowa State Patrol and later posted the video on Facebook.

A Dubuque Community School District spokesman says a school staff member was driving students to a conference in Des Moines. The district is investigating the speeding allegations.

TruGreen says that its policy is to follow laws that prohibit speeding and using a cellphone while driving.

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Locations : Des MoinesIowa
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Former First Lady Clinton to campaign with Braley

Hillary Rodham Clinton will campaign with Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley in Iowa as the election nears.

The former first lady, senator and secretary of state planned to appear Wednesday at events in Cedar Rapids and Davenport. She was expected to stress early voting.

Clinton came to Iowa in September to headline retiring Sen. Tom Harkin's last annual "Steak Fry" fundraiser. She has kept up a busy schedule this fall, campaigning for Democrats in close races.

On Saturday, former President Bill Clinton will appear at two events in Iowa for Braley.

Braley, a four-term congressman from Waterloo, is locked in a tight race against Republican Joni Ernst, a state lawmaker and lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard. Ernst will campaign Wednesday with Arizona Sen. John McCain.

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Train collision with grain truck sparks investigation

Authorities say they're investigating the cause of a train collision in Osage involving a grain truck.

Lt. Jeremiah Johnson of the Osage Police Department says the Canadian National Railway train hit the vehicle Tuesday afternoon. No injuries were reported.

Johnson says the truck was carrying corn to the Osage Co-Op Elevator when the collision occurred. Additional information about the circumstances is under investigation.

The driver of the truck was identified as 23-year-old Kolby Berg, of Osage. The train engineer is 60-year-old Thomas Howland, of Riceville.

The collision briefly affected traffic in the area.

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Locations : Riceville
People : Kolby BergThomas Howland




 

Semitrailer collides with overpass, man receives medical attention

The driver of a semitrailer was sent to a hospital after his vehicle struck an Interstate 29 overpass in Iowa.

The crash happened Tuesday morning at the Port Neal Interchange near Salix. A sand silo being carried by the semitrailer struck the bottom of the overpass.

The silo went into the medium and struck two parked cars. The semitrailer continued on for about 100 feet and hit a construction crane.

The driver was taken to a local hospital, but additional information was not released. The crash affected traffic for the southbound lanes for several hours.

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Trial underway for teen charged in death of young boy

A murder trial has begun for an 18-year-old charged in the death of a 5-year-old boy outside a rural home where they were foster children.

Lawyers for Cody Metzker-Madsen plan to use an insanity defense in the 2013 death of Dominic Elkins.

Authorities say Elkins was killed while the boys were playing outdoors at their home near Logan, in western Iowa. He died as a result of blunt-force head injuries and drowning.

Elkins' body was found at the bottom of a ravine.

Metzker-Madsen has pleaded not guilty and has waived his right to a jury trial. A judge will make the final ruling in the trial that began Tuesday and is expected to last two weeks.

Legal experts say that Metzker-Madsen will not be released from jail if found not guilty. He will likely face years in state care.

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Locations : Iowa
People : Cody Metzker-MadsenDominic Elkins




 

Man facing murder charge in nightclub shooting death

A Waterloo man faces a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of another man at a nightclub in August.

36-year-old Rodolfo Gonzalez Pena made an appearance in court Tuesday. Online records do not list an attorney.

Pena is accused of shooting 35-year-old Celio Antonio Posada, of Minneapolis, in the early morning hours of Aug. 23. The pair hung out prior to the shooting. Authorities say they still don't know what led to the shooting.

Gonzalez has been jailed on gun charges since the shooting.

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Iowa furniture store sees catastrophe come with fire

A fire has destroyed a longtime furniture store in northeast Iowa.

Firefighters responded early Tuesday to Dungey's Furniture and Floors in New Hampton. They remained on the scene several hours later.

No one was inside the building at the time of the fire. No injuries have been reported.

New Hampton Fire Chief Steve Geerts says the store, which has been in business for more than 50 years, was destroyed.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

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People : Steve Geerts




 

Fort Dodge airport returning commercial flights

Commercial air flights will return to Fort Dodge with Air Choice One offering trips to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

Fort Dodge has been without air service since Great Lakes Airlines stopped flights in February, because of a lack of pilots.

It's not yet known when the new flights by Air Choice One will start. The airline's chief administrative officer, Cindy Stork, says a starting date hasn't been finalized.

But Rhonda Chambers, the aviation director of Fort Dodge Regional Airport, says she expects the service will start in about 60 to 90 days. Chambers says the airport's commission is excited commercial flights will be offered again at the Fort Dodge airport.

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Ex-ethanol plant worker happy with sexual harassment ruling

A former northeastern Iowa ethanol plant worker says a jury's $1.4 million verdict in her favor sends a message that workplace sexual harassment cannot be tolerated.

A jury ruled last week that Homeland Energy Solutions in Lawler must pay Tina Haskenhoff $100,000 for lost wages and $1.3 million for past and future emotional distress.

Haskenhoff says plant manager Kevin Howes and other employees repeatedly made inappropriate comments about her and other women. Haskenhoff says she was accused of poor performance after complaining in 2011.

Haskenhoff said Tuesday she cried after the Chickasaw County jury returned the verdict. The 46-year-old Sumner resident says she hopes that she can move on from a devastating period.

But corporation attorney Kevin Visser says the verdict's tainted by improper jury instructions that will be appealed.

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Locations : Chickasaw CountyIowa
People : Kevin HowesKevin VisserTina Haskenhoff




 

Football players suspended following mascot head prank

Two students have been suspended from a Lancaster-area high school football team after a prank involving the head of the school's Baron mascot.

The Manheim Central School District removed the defensive starters, both seniors, from the team. That happened after a photograph appeared on SnapChat showing one of them wearing the Baron's head while nude in the locker room.

Reno Dart and the player who took the photo were also suspended from school for three days for what the district deemed "defacing school property."

The district did not identify the second player and declined comment.

Dart's parents told the newspaper the Oct. 17 photograph was likely in poor taste but not malicious. The mascot wasn't damaged.

They say the episode has cost both players college scholarship opportunities.

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FIFA monitoring Ebola situation as Club World Cup looms

FIFA says preparations for the Club World Cup in Morocco in December are continuing and there is currently no Ebola threat to cause it to be canceled.

The world soccer body says it is in contact with Moroccan authorities and is "constantly updating its position" with regard to Ebola on the advice of the World Health Organization.

Morocco has no reported cases of the deadly virus that has killed nearly 5,000 people in West Africa, almost all in the three worst-affected countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The Club World Cup, which will feature Champions League winner Real Madrid, is scheduled for Dec. 10-20.

FIFA also says it agrees with the Confederation of African Football's decision to move games out of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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Locations : West Africa




 

Fan disappears during NFL game, concerns arise

Relatives of a Broncos fan who went missing during last week's game are concerned for his safety.

Police are still searching for 53-year-old Paul Kitterman since Thursday night's matchup with the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field. His stepson, Jarod Tonneson, says he was last seen after he left his seat to meet friends at halftime.

Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said detectives do not suspect foul play, but he would not elaborate.

Relatives spent the weekend posting fliers and checking area hospitals and detox centers.

Tonneson says Kitterman had left his cellphone at home and did not have much cash. He says Kitterman has no known health problems and does not use drugs.

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Chemical company chooses Illinois over Iowa for new plant

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has confirmed that a chemical company has decided to build a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant in eastern Illinois.

Department spokesman David Roeder (ROH'-der) said Tuesday that Cronus Chemicals will build the plant just outside Tuscola. The plant will employ about 175 people. Another 2,000 temporary construction jobs are expected to be created while the plant is being built.

Roeder confirmed Cronus also plans to open a U.S. headquarters in Chicago with about 25 employees.

Construction is expected to start on the Cronus Fertilizers plant next spring and take about three years.

The company chose the site over another location in Mitchell County, Iowa. It considered sites in other states, too.

Details of any incentives that Illinois offered to Cronus weren't immediately available.

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Iowa elementary schools to implement security cameras

Sioux City will install security cameras in its 17 elementary schools and update cameras in middle and high schools.

Officials say the move will help ensure the security of students and staff.

Technology director Neil Schroeder of the Sioux City school district said the elementary schools currently do not have security cameras installed in their buildings.

On Monday, the school district approved an agreement with Midwest Alarm to set up eight cameras in each elementary school.

Under the agreement, the company would also update more than 200 of the devices in middle schools, high schools and other district buildings.

The project is expected to cost about $454,000.

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People : Neil Schroeder




 

Des Moines man sentenced for flipping of piano

A 22-year-old Des Moines man has been sentenced for flipping over a public piano in Mason City.

Coltin Schupbach on Monday was given a deferred judgment, two years of probation and ordered to pay more than $1,400 in restitution. Under the deferred judgment, the conviction will be removed from Schupbach's record if he successfully completes probation.

Schupbach had made a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to a felony charge of criminal mischief. Prosecutors dropped a charge of public intoxication in change for Schupbach's plea.

The piano was one of four painted by high school students and placed around Mason City as part of a project they called Tunes for the Town.

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Saudi Arabian man sentenced for attack in woman's home

A Saudi Arabian man studying at the University of Northern Iowa has been sentenced to up to 25 years in prison for breaking into a woman's home and attacking her.

25-year-old Hamad Abdul Aziz Alsalman entered an Alford plea on Monday, meaning he did not admit guilt but acknowledged prosecutors could likely prove the charges against him. He pleaded to first-degree burglary and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.

Authorities say Alsalman forced his way into the Cedar Falls home after crashing his car. They say he choked the woman and bit her on the neck before she escaped outside.

Alsalman faces deportation after he is released from prison.

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Locations : Iowa
People : Abdul Aziz AlsalmanHamad Abdul Aziz Alsalman




 

Explosion at Iowa dry fertilizer plant results in temporary closure

A northern Iowa dry fertilizer plant rocked by an explosion will be closed for a short time.

Scott Janssen manages the Northern Country Co-op's plant in Stacyville, and he says the cause of Monday's blast is being investigated.

Janssen says one employee was taken to the hospital as a precaution but was able to return to work.

The accident occurred as fertilizer was being taken up an elevator leg into a blending bin.

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Locations : IowaStacyville
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Iowa woman responsible for abandoned child sentenced

A federal judge has sentenced a Colorado woman to 25 years in prison for kidnapping her newborn nephew from a Wisconsin home and leaving him behind at an Iowa gas station.

Judge James Peterson said Monday in U.S. District Court in Madison that he didn't give Kristen Smith more time, because she's mentally ill. But he still branded her a liar who launched an elaborate scheme to take 4-day-old Kayden Powell and pass him off as her own.

Choking back tears, Smith apologized to the baby's mother and her half sister, Brianna Marshall, who was sitting in the front row of the courtroom with Kayden in her arms.

West Branch Police Chief Mike Horihan found the child in February in a closed storage crate outside a BP gas station.

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Eastern Iowa semitrailer collision results in teen death

Authorities say an 18-year-old has been killed after his vehicle collided with a semitrailer in eastern Iowa.

The Clinton County Sheriff's Office says the crash happened Monday afternoon on Highway 30 near Calamus. A car traveling east on the highway collided with the semitrailer, which was traveling west.

The driver of the semitrailer told authorities the smaller car crossed the center line before the crash. The driver of the smaller vehicle, Connor A. Robinson, of Oceanside, California, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the semitrailer, 57-year-old Anthony M. Zappa, of Forest Lake, Minnesota, was not hurt.

The crash remains under investigation.

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Untreated wastewater overflows into Dubuque sewer system

Officials in Dubuque say a plugged sanitary sewer pipe caused a sanitary sewer manhole to overflow untreated wastewater into the city's storm sewer system.

The state Department of Natural Resources says the city's public works department was notified of the sewer back up Monday afternoon. Crews removed the blockage a short time later.

The overflow was reported near the intersection of Collins Street and St. Joseph Street. Officials are cautioning people to keep their children and pets away from the affected area for 48 hours.

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Iowa teen to be tried as adult in homicide case

A judge says a 17-year-old facing vehicular homicide charges in the deaths of two teenagers will be prosecuted as an adult.

District Associate Judge Adria Kester says the 17-year-old does not have reasonable prospects of rehabilitation if he remains in juvenile court.

The 17-year-old is charged with two counts of vehicular homicide in Sac County Juvenile Court. Court records do not yet indicate any filings in district court. Sac County Attorney Ben Smith will have several weeks to file additional information.

The 17-year-old was driving a pickup that collided in August with a car driven by 16-year-old Bailey Jacobsen. She and her passenger, 16-year-old Lindsey Quirk, were killed.

Authorities say the 17-year-old's blood alcohol level was above the legal limit for minors driving.

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Locations : Iowa
People : Adria KesterBailey JacobsenBen SmithLindsey Quirk




 

Singer-songwriter great James Taylor to appear at Braley rally

James Taylor will appear at a rally for Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley in Des Moines on Saturday.

Braley spokesman Jeff Giertz says the singer-songwriter will perform at a rally headlined by former President Bill Clinton at the Brenton Skating Plaza. Taylor is famous for hits like "Fire and Rain" and "Shower the People."

Taylor is giving a concert at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Saturday night.

Braley is locked in a tight race against Republican Joni Ernst for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Tom Harkin.

Braley has already received campaign support from Taylor's longtime friend and collaborator Carole King.

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UNI receives report of on-campus sexual assault

The University of Northern Iowa says it has received a report of sexual assault on campus.

The university said the incident occurred around 1:30 a.m. Monday in a campus residence hall. Additional information was not released.

A public alert released by the university indicates a campus security authority notified the school of the third-hand report. The alert was released in accordance with federal law.

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Possible electrocution causes death of two Iowa men

Authorities are investigating what happened to two men found dead in eastern Iowa.

The Washington County Communications Center says it received a report Friday afternoon of a possible electrocution near a road in the community of Wellman.

Emergency personnel responded and found 38-year-old Chad Allen VanVoltenburg, of South English, and 47-year-old Paul Joseph Duello, of Kinross. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Additional information was not released. The case remains under investigation.

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Locations : Iowa
People : Allen VanVoltenburgChad AllenPaul Joseph Duello




 

Fire engulfs Iowa business, investigations ensues

A fire has destroyed the Osceola Farm and Home, a 42-year-old business that drew people from the surrounding area.

Officials are still investigating what caused the early morning Sunday blaze.

Store manager Dennis McMurry says he thinks the fire quickly spread, engulfing the store in thick, black clouds of smoke, because of paint, kerosene, oil and motor oil inside it.

McMurry watched the building burn down. He says it's hard to believe that all that remains of the business are metal scraps.

Police Chief Marty Duffus says firefighters opted not to battle the fire from inside of the store because of melting steel. They instead used ladder towers to fight the blaze from outside.

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Locations : Iowa
People : Dennis McMurryMarty Duffus




 

House fire victim dies two weeks after sustaining burns

A 58-year-old woman has died more than two weeks after being burned in a fire at her northeast Iowa home.

Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home in Fredericksburg says Sandra "Sandy" Hamann died Thursday at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

Authorities say the fire erupted early in the morning on Oct. 8 at her rural Fredericksburg house. Hamann suffered burns on more than 40 percent of her body.

Her three dogs and five cats died in the blaze. The fire cause is being investigated.

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Teenage hunter shot, wounded by own weapon

An 18-year-old hunter has been wounded in an accidental shooting in northwest Iowa.

Authorities say 18-year-old Ross Arens was flown to a Sioux City hospital after the accident Saturday morning in a field south of Remsen.

Authorities say Arens, of Remsen, was shot in the abdomen by his own weapon after he handed it to a fellow hunter while crossing a creek.

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Locations : Iowa
People : RemsenRoss Arens




 

Iowa postmaster accused of stealing drugs from mail

A northern Iowa postmaster has been accused of stealing prescription pain medications from the mail.

Danny Miller has been indicted and is scheduled to be in U.S. District Court in Sioux City on Wednesday. Miller's attorney didn't immediately return a call Monday from The Associated Press.

Court document say Miller is charged with theft of mail by a postal service employee. He was appointed Forest City postmaster in 2012.

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Locations : IowaSioux City
People : Danny Miller




 

Anonymous kind-hearted citizen gives theft victim new bike

Two days after an Iowa fast-food worker's bicycle was stolen from outside the Culver's restaurant where he worked someone surprised him with a new one.

Nathan King came out of the Mason City restaurant Saturday and found a new silver Schwinn hybrid bike waiting for him.

King says the gift made him feel special, and he wishes he could thank the anonymous person who gave him the new bike.

King has worked at Culver's for 10 years, and he relied on his old bike for transportation all those years. It disappeared during his shift on Thursday.

King has completed several marathons and he's a member of the North Iowa All Stars Special Olympics basketball team.

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Locations : Iowa
People : Nathan King




 

Clean water rule goes into effect across state of Iowa

A new Iowa clean water rule designed to increase inspections of livestock farms and provide stricter enforcement over manure spills is now in effect after a year of hearings and deliberations by government agencies.

The rule, which took effect Wednesday, establishes new inspection and permit procedures. It does not impose mandatory permits for farms that repeatedly spill manure, a measure some environmental groups including Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement want.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources signed a deal with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last year to develop the new rule after the EPA threatened to take over federal Clean Water Act enforcement if state officials didn't do more.

The federal agency says the rule meets its requirements, but Iowa CCCI says it's still too weak.

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Locations : Iowa




 

Iowa man heroicly rescued after being pinned under semi

The wife of a man seriously injured on the job is crediting a MidAmerican power company line crew with saving her husband's life.

60-year-old Rick Dawson, of Ankeny, suffered 22 fractured ribs, a broken collar bone and multiple facial fractures when he became pinned under the cab of a big rig on Thursday. Dawson is expected to live.

Police say a MidAmerican line crew working about 80 yards from the site of the accident used their boom truck to lift Dawson's truck off him within three minutes of the accident.

Dawson's wife, Peggy, calls the line crew heroes.

She says Dawson can move his arms and legs, but hasn't been able to talk because of tubes doctors inserted in his throat.

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Locations : Iowa
People : PeggyRick Dawson




 

Ex-U of Iowa employee slapped with three years probation

A former University of Iowa employee who bought and resold at least 567 items online using university money has been sentenced to three years of probation.

37-year-old Jennifer Robyn Whitmore-Meier was sentenced Thursday in Des Moines' federal court.

A written statement from the U.S. District Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Iowa says Whitmore-Meier, who now lives in Colorado, had pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud.

A 2012 state audit of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics discovered the fraud.

Prosecutors say Whitmore-Meier made $122,374 using the eBay scheme while she worked as an information technology consultant between 2003 and 2011. She also used the school's money to make personal purchases on the online auction website.

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Four rescued from roof of car that plunged into pond

Four people — including a toddler — have been rescued from the roof of a submerged car that rolled into a Des Moines pond.

The crash happened around 2:30 p.m. Friday while the people were out sightseeing. Police are unsure whether the driver forgot to put the vehicle in park or had taken her foot off the brake pedal.

Rescue workers found a middle-aged woman, two teenagers and a 2-year-old child standing on top of the sunken vehicle. Workers say the people were standing in water up to their chests.

Rescuers used ropes to pull the four to safety, then towed the vehicle from the pond.

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Iowa middle school teacher found carrying crack cocaine

A long-time Carlisle Middle School teacher and high school coach has been charged with crack cocaine possession after police found drugs on him during a traffic stop.

Polk County Jail records show Jim Alden Flaws of Carlisle has been charged with possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia.

The 55-year old Flaws is a social studies teacher. He's taught for more than 30 years and as varsity girls' softball coach won four state titles.

Flaws was stopped by Des Moines police on Oct. 16. He was booked into Polk County Jail on Thursday and released the same day.

A statement from the school district says he's on paid administrative leave.

A call to a number listed in his name was not immediately returned.

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Iowa man convicted of credit card schemes

A northwest Iowa man has been convicted of making and using counterfeit credit cards.

Federal prosecutors say Yoirland Rojas, of Storm Lake, was found guilty on Thursday after a three-day trial in Sioux City. He was convicted of two counts of using a counterfeit access device; one count of possessing 15 or more counterfeit access devices; one count of money laundering; and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

Prosecutors say Rojas manufactured credit cards and used them to buy gift cards that he would later use to buy various items. At least two of the card numbers he used belonged to people who reported unauthorized use of their credit cards.

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Wildlife biologist says cougar sighting actually house cat sighting

That cougar sighted in Evansdale?

It's probably a house cat.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Jason Auel studied photos a woman took while walking near the Cedar River on Tuesday and determined the image was of a regular cat.

Auel says he made his determination by examining the height of the grass relative to the cat's stomach and the animal's tail size.

He says, "I definitely think it's a house cat."

Cougars aren't native to Iowa but Auel says they sometimes wander through the area.

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Wild coyotes assist in capture of Iowa fugitive

A pack of wild coyotes in Illinois has proved to be pivotal in the capture of an Iowa fugitive.

21-year-old Daniel Rice is back in Muscatine County custody, facing a charge of escape in addition to other allegations. He'd been taken from the Muscatine County Jail on Monday to a Muscatine hospital for treatment of a heart-related issue. Authorities say he slipped out of handcuffs there and fled.

Early Wednesday morning deputies in Rock Island County, Illinois, were dispatched after a call about a pack of coyotes chasing two men at the Loud Thunder Forest Preserve in Illinois City, Illinois. Chief Deputy Steven VenHuizen says deputies recognized Rice when they arrived at the scene, noticing a pacemaker scar on his chest.

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Iowa high school student agrees to self-isolation over Ebola scares

Responding to concerns about Ebola, a western Iowa high school student has agreed to self-isolation upon returning from a mission trip to Uganda.

Treynor Community School District officials had been hearing from people who worried about the student's potential exposure to Ebola. Superintendent Kevin Elwood said in a news release Thursday that the district contacted the student's family and says the student agreed to 21 days of self-isolation upon returning.

Uganda is in central Africa, more than halfway across the continent from the west African nations where so many people have died of the deadly disease.

Elwood says state and federal officials are not discouraging travel to central Africa, but also says the student's family "has taken into consideration concerns raised by others."

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Senate candidate Ernst cancels newspaper meeting

Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst has cancelled a meeting with The Des Moines Register's editorial board, saying her time was better spent campaigning in Iowa.

Editors at the newspaper say Ernst notified them Wednesday night that she wouldn't attend the Thursday meeting. Publisher Rick Green says he's disappointed.

Ernst spokeswoman Gretchen Hamel issued a statement saying the Register's recent editorials make the newspaper's position "perfectly clear." The paper has run several editorial pieces criticizing Ernst's policy positions.

Ernst has met with editors at Nebraska's Omaha World-Herald, whose readership extends into western Iowa, and in Sioux City. But newspapers in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque say they unsuccessfully sought meetings with her.

Ernst is running against Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley. Braley's spokesman says the congressman has accepted all editorial board invitations.

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Correctional facility escapees brought back into custody

Authorities say three men who walked away from a residential correctional facility in northeast Iowa are back in custody.

The state Department of Corrections says Shaun McBride and Taylor Oakes were arrested Wednesday night in Mitchell County. Tyler Roe was arrested Tuesday in Howard County.

Department spokesman Fred Scaletta says the men, who were all on probation for various charges, walked away from the residential correctional facility in West Union on Friday and did not return. He says Oakes and McBride also cut GPS tracking monitors.

Scaletta says information about the escapes will be sent to the county attorney's office.

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Cedar Rapids discusses proposed downtown historic district

Supporters of a proposed historic district in downtown Cedar Rapids say the designation would enable property owners to get big tax breaks when renovating their buildings.

The Cedar Rapids Community Development Department hosted two meetings to discuss the idea Wednesday.

Franklin Rainbolt, maintenance supervisor for United Fire Group's buildings, attended one of the meetings and spoke favorably about tax credits that companies could apply for if renovating in a historic district.

United Fire purchased a 100-year-old building in Cedar Rapids a year ago and is considering modernizing it. Renovations could reach $5 million in costs. Rainbolt says historic district tax credits could fund up to 25 percent of that cost.

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City Council approves Davenport citizens to kill coyotes

The city of Davenport has agreed to let certain residents kill coyotes on their properties.

The City Council voted unanimously in favor of the new ordinance Wednesday. It will allow people living on 10 acres or more inside Davenport city limits to kill coyotes on their land.

A landowner or person living on the land will not need a hunting license. Additional hunters on the property will need a license.

A special meeting with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources was held before the vote. Department officer Jeff Harrison noted state law prohibits discharging a firearm within 200 yards of an occupied structure such as a residence.

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Man accused of stealing valuable plants from state preserve

An Iowa man is charged with illegally taking 134 ginseng plants from a state preserve.

The plant has significant value and is typically sold in Asia, where it's used as a natural medicine.

Allan W. Gates of Central City is facing charges related to the plants' theft and is set to appear in Dubuque District Court next month. The district court clerk's office says their records don't show an attorney for Gates.

Conservation officers say they saw Gates last month carrying a bag and shovel while walking out from the White Pine Hollow State Preserve.

According to a criminal complaint, Gates told officers he was out for a walk. The complaint says he allegedly later admitted to digging up the ginseng. Officers found he had 134 plants in his bag.

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University of Iowa administrator announces retirement

A longtime University of Iowa administrator credited with helping rebuild the campus after a 2008 flood has announced plans to retire.

The university's vice president for finance and operations, Doug True, is planning to leave the school in early 2015. He had been in that role since 1991.

True has worked closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to push forward major building projects to replace those damaged by the Iowa River flood of 2008. He's also credited with helping manage the university's finances.

UI President Sally Mason says she's promoting two campus officials — Rod Lehnertz and Terry Johnson — to take over True's duties on an interim basis.

Mason is praising True for his "talent, dedication and deep knowledge." The Iowa Board of Regents also honored him Thursday.

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Elderly Iowa woman dies in single-vehicle crash

Authorities say a 67-year-old woman has died in a single-vehicle crash in northeast Iowa.

The Bremer County Sheriff's Office says Kathleen Kerr, of Tripoli, was driving Wednesday afternoon on a county road near Waverly when her car drifted off the road. The vehicle went through a ditch and struck a tree.

Authorities used equipment to extricate Kerr from the car. She was eventually airlifted to a hospital in Iowa City, where she was pronounced dead.

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Mason City Police: Man inflicts standoff, eventually surrenders

Authorities say a man who claimed to be suicidal has surrendered during a brief standoff in Mason City.

Mason City police say the man was taken to a local hospital Thursday for an evaluation.

Police responded to a home after a man inside claimed to be armed with a handgun. He also threatened to kill himself.

Police say he came out of the house about 20 minutes later without incident. No injuries were reported. Police later determined the man's weapon was either a pellet or paintball gun.

Additional information about the man's hospitalization has not been released.

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Elder group home owners face neglect, abandonment charges

The owners of a closed elder group home in Marion have been arrested on several charges, including neglect and abandonment of a dependent person.

Donald and Peggy Berns also face charges of dependent adult abuse-exploitation. Peggy Berns told KGAN that she and Donald intend to fight the charges.

In August the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals revoked the license of the Berns' facility, Park Setting Elder Group Home. Documents released by the agency indicate employees used a board to block a tenant's door after state officials told them not to lock the room at night. The agency says employees were not properly trained and failed to secure medication and hazardous chemicals.

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Man given massive prison sentence following standoff

A 44-year-old man involved in an Iowa City standoff has been given nearly 32 years in prison for his 10th federal drug conviction.

Prosecutors say Brandon Thompson, of Iowa City, was sentenced on Monday to 380 months in prison. He must serve 10 years of supervised release after he leaves custody. Thompson had pleaded guilty in June to possessing methamphetamine for sale. Prosecutors say Thompson's sentence was increased because of his extensive criminal history.

On March 25 officers traced Thompson to a motel on the northeast side of the Iowa City airport. He wouldn't open his door for officers or respond after they knocked. Police say members of the Iowa City department's Special Response Team finally entered the room around 2:30 a.m. March 26 and took Thompson into custody.

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Infant ran over in car seat, Des Moines men charged in death

Two men have been charged in connection with the death of a baby boy who was run over in his child seat in a Des Moines driveway.

Des Moines police say in a news release that 26-year-old Brian Garrett and 33-year-old Deanthony Clark have been arrested. Jail records say both remained in custody on Thursday. Court records don't list the men's attorneys.

Police say Garrett was the father of the 4-month-old child, Breland Garrett. Brian Garrett is charged with child endangerment. Clark's charges include operating while intoxicated and five counts of neglect of a dependent.

Police say Breland was placed on the driveway in front of a sport utility vehicle as several children were being loaded on Aug. 30. The SUV subsequently moved forward and ran over Breland.

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People : Breland GarrettBrian GarrettDeanthony Clark




 

Pharmacy owner likely to serve nearly three years in prison

The owner of a popular Des Moines pharmacy will likely serve up to 37 months in prison for illegally selling tens of thousands of addictive painkillers to drug abusers.

An attorney representing Mark Graziano said Tuesday that his client plans to plead guilty to two of the 18 federal charges filed against him as part of a deal with prosecutors. He is expected to plead guilty on Nov. 6 to one count of drug conspiracy and one count of tax evasion.

Graziano, owner of Bauder Pharmacy, is accused of selling about 700,000 hydrocodone pills from the pharmacy. He originally faced more than 15 years in prison.

The pharmacy, which is known for its soda fountain that serves homemade ice cream, could remain open if Graziano sells his share within 30 days.

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Des Moines man warned against claiming self as doctor

Health officials are telling a Des Moines man to stop telling people he's a doctor or he could face jail time.

The Iowa Board of Medicine sent a cease and desist letter to 60-year-old Jorrion Belinsky following an incident in June where he told a West Des Moines police officer that he was a psychiatrist whose public argument with a woman was a doctor and patient interaction.

Police reported the incident to the medical board. Their letter states Belinsky has not graduated from an accredited medical school and does not hold an Iowa medical license. The letter also says a civil injunction or felony charge is possible if he doesn't stop portraying himself as a doctor.

A public number was not listed for Belinsky.

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Art museum to be built around University of Iowa campus

The University of Iowa says its new art museum will be located in downtown Iowa City across from the new music school.

The university announced Wednesday that it has selected a local development group to build the museum in a public-private partnership.

A 2008 flood of the Iowa River severely damaged the old museum, which featured one of the nation's largest collections of art. The Federal Emergency Management Agency ruled that it would not be eligible to be replaced with federal money because it was less than 50 percent damaged. The university's collection has been displayed at various locations since then.

University Provost Barry Butler says the museum will be located on Clinton and Burlington Streets, near where construction of the new Voxman School of Music has started.

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Feds search for Cedar Rapids drug, gambling operators

Federal authorities are searching for a husband and wife accused of running synthetic drug and gambling operations in Cedar Rapids.

The U.S. Marshals Service said Wednesday that Melissa and Mohamad Al Sharairei didn't show up to a court hearing in Cedar Rapids on Monday.

Court records show the two planned to plead guilty to charges of running an illegal gambling business involving video slot machines and money laundering.

Investigators have said the couple owned Puff N'Stuff II, a tobacco shop in Cedar Rapids that once had a lucrative synthetic drug business. The government has already seized properties in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids that investigators say were purchased with proceeds from $1.3 million in sales.

The two were arrested in May in Pueblo, Colo., which was their last known address.

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First lady's speech gave Braley an incorrect title

The official transcript of a speech Michelle Obama made Tuesday on behalf of Senate candidate Bruce Braley mistakenly referred to him as a candidate for governor in the email subject line.

The transcript was sent by the White House Tuesday night after Obama appeared at a rally in Iowa City. The transcript accurately says Braley is running for Senate, and Obama got it right in her remarks, but the subject line of the email says Obama was at an event for "Democratic Candidate for Governor Bruce Braley." The White House later sent a corrected email.

Two weeks ago, Obama visited Des Moines for Braley and repeatedly got his name wrong, calling him "Bruce Bailey."

Braley, a four-term congressman, is in a close race against Republican Joni Ernst, a state lawmaker.

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People : Bruce BraleyJoni ErnstMichelle Obama




 

Iowa school bus with children on board collides with SUV

Officials say a Fort Madison school bus carrying dozens of schoolchildren has collided with an SUV, but there are no serious injuries.

The Fort Madison Community School District says the crash happened Wednesday morning as the bus was headed to an elementary school. Nearly 40 schoolchildren were onboard at the time.

Fort Madison police say the driver of the SUV, 30-year-old Kaylynn Kruger, failed to stop at a stop sign before the crash. She was issued several citations, including not having a valid driver's license.

District spokeswoman Nicole Baker says students were picked up in a separate bus and taken to school. One student complained of minor aches, and the school bus driver later went to the hospital to be monitored for shoulder pain.

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New emergency alert system in place across Iowa

The state has launched a new emergency alert system to warn residents of tornadoes, chemical spills or other dangers.

It's called the Alert Iowa System, a program the Legislature approved earlier this year. According to Iowa officials, the annual cost of running the program is expected to be about $300,000.

On Tuesday, the system was used for the first time at the Iowa Homeland Security Conference with Gov. Terry Branstad sending out a practice message. A chorus of cellphones chiming was soon heard in the conference room.

About one-third of Iowa's counties will initially be served by the notification system. All counties will be later able to access the program that provides local officials control of how and when to issue emergency and public safety notifications to residents.

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Storm Lake man accused of sexually abusing wife

A 54-year-old northwest Iowa man has been accused of sexually abusing his wife and of forcing her to take pills that resulted in the termination of two pregnancies.

Records say the Storm Lake man is charged with two counts of sexual abuse; five counts of termination of pregnancy — consent by force or intimidation; and one count of domestic abuse assault. The Associated Press is not naming the man, in order to protect the woman's privacy.

The woman told police that between October 2012 and April 2014, her husband forced her to take pills on five occasions, resulting in the loss of two fetuses. She also says he threatened her with a machete during sexual assaults.

Efforts to reach his attorney were unsuccessful on Wednesday.

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Iowa man pleads guilty to out-of-state bank robbery

An Iowa man has pleaded guilty to his part in a Missouri bank robbery after which the suspects left their loot in a tree.

Twenty-seven-year-old Torrence Joseph O'Neill, of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Kansas City to one count of bank robbery.

O'Neill and two other Iowa men were accused of robbing the Citizens Bank and Trust in Burlington Junction in March.

A witness who followed the three men helped Nodaway County authorities capture them. A few days later, authorities found the more than $12,000 taken from the bank hidden in a tree in southern Iowa.

The other suspects, Donald Kester Jr, of Mount Pleasant, and Travis Davis, of Fort Dodge, have change of plea hearings scheduled for next week.

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Iowa man receives sentence in child porn case

A 21-year-old Iowa man has been sentenced to 16 years and four months in federal prison for possessing child pornography.

A judge handed down the punishment to Jeremiah Romo of Aplington this week. He pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child porn in a deal with prosecutors who dismissed three similar charges.

Romo was also ordered to serve 20 years of supervised release after his prison sentence.

Authorities say Romo in 2013 had the pornographic images on his laptop and a flash drive.

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Woodbury County Supervisor sentenced thirty days in jail

A Woodbury County supervisor accused of shooting a gun into the air near his wife has been given 30 days in jail.

44-year-old David Tripp received the sentence Tuesday in district court for domestic abuse assault. He was ordered to report to jail by Friday.

Tripp, a former jailer, was accused in December of firing a gun in the air in the driveway of his home. His wife was nearby but was not hurt.

Tripp said Tuesday he had thought about aiming the gun at himself. His attorney says his client is seeing a psychiatrist after being diagnosed with depression. He is also seeing a counselor for alcohol abuse.

Tripp was elected as a county supervisor in 2010. His term will end in January.

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Sexual relationship between teacher, student leads to arrest

A Des Moines Public Schools employee has been arrested following an allegation that she had an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old student.

Des Moines police say 33-year-old Dena Marie Konrad was taken into custody Tuesday morning. She faces two felony counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee. Court records do not list an attorney.

Konrad is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a male student over the summer that included sexual conduct. Police say family members of the student contacted school officials with the allegation. District officials alerted police and an investigation was launched Friday.

Konrad is a case manager for Des Moines Public Schools who builds relationships with students and families in order to provide various services.

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Pharmacy owner to plead guilty to selling thousands of painkiller

A Des Moines pharmacy owner accused of selling nearly 700,000 pills of addictive painkillers will plead guilty to some charges as part of a deal with prosecutors.

Mark Graziano's lawyer Guy Cook says his client has agreed to plead guilty on Nov. 6 to a drug-conspiracy charge and a tax-evasion charge.

Graziano is facing 18 federal charges. The deal would mean prosecutors will recommend a sentence of 24 to 37 months in a federal "prison camp."

Authorities raided Graziano's pharmacy in 2012 after an informant said Graziano illegally sold hydrocodone pills. He denied any wrongdoing, but Cook now says his client "has chosen to accept responsibility."

The plea deal would include Graziano selling his majority stake in the pharmacy within 30 days.

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Vehicular homicide facing Winterset woman after crash

A Winterset woman has been charged with vehicular homicide following a car crash in May that killed two people.

Court records show 21-year-old Mari Silliman faces two counts of vehicular homicide. She turned herself in earlier this month and is out after posting bond.

The single-vehicle crash in May killed 20-year-old Logan Waltz, of Winterset, and 21-year-old Taylor Aleman, of West Des Moines.

Matthew Thomas Lindholm, an attorney for Silliman, says his client plans to plead not guilty to the charges. He says alcohol and drugs were not a factor in the crash, and there will be an investigation into road conditions prior to the crash.

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Pistorius given five years in prison for killing girlfriend

Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to five years in prison for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Thokozile Masipa delivered the ruling on Tuesday after reviewing prosecution arguments for a tough sentence as well as the defense case for a more lenient punishment for the double-amputee Olympic runner.

Pistorius killed Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year, shooting her through a closed toilet door in his home. Pistorius testified that the shooting was an accident after mistaking his girlfriend for a nighttime intruder.

Masipa convicted him of culpable homicide, or negligent killing, but acquitted him of murder.

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Stiviano, Sterling defamation lawsuit dismissed by judge

A judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit by Donald Sterling's mistress against the estranged wife of the former Los Angeles Clippers owner.

Judge Richard Fruin said last week he planned to allow the suit, but he reconsidered after arguments from Shelley Sterling's lawyer.

The judge found that V. Stiviano presented no evidence to support her claim that Shelley Sterling called her a thief and an embezzler in public forums. He said that while Stiviano claimed she was defamed in hundreds if not thousands of publications, she did not present a single quotation to support her claim.

Attorney Pierce O'Donnell, who convinced the judge to dismiss, says Stiviano's suit was an act of desperation. Shelley Sterling is suing her for return of $2.5 million in gifts from her husband.

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Man charged for speeding pregnant wife to hospital

An Iowa man who wouldn't pull over for police while racing to get his pregnant wife to a hospital has been charged with speeding.

41-year-old Ben Kohnen also is charged with failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.

Last Tuesday Kohnen refused to halt for pursuing officers as he sped from his home in Pomeroy toward a hospital in Fort Dodge so his wife, Rachel, could safely deliver their fourth child. Officers eventually deployed stop sticks that punctured one of his vehicle's tires, so Kohnen stopped.

When officers realized Rachel Kohnen was in labor, they took her to the hospital while her husband stayed to talk to other officers. Tiny Hazel Kohnen was born about an hour later, after her dad arrived.

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Jail escapee sentenced to fifteen years prison time

An Iowa jail inmate who escaped from the facility in August has been sentenced to 15 more years behind bars.

A Webster County judge rejected 43-year-old Jason Sullivan's request for a suspended sentence on Monday. He pleaded guilty last month to a charge of escaping from custody.

Authorities say Sullivan and another man escaped the Fort Dodge jail in August while doing laundry. They used sheets they tied together as a makeshift rope to escape through a vent. Sullivan was recaptured a few days later in Fort Dodge.

Sullivan told the judge that people with similar charges have been granted probation. The judge says Sullivan's criminal record is too long to warrant a more lenient sentence.

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Woman facing charges after lies to pharmacist

Authorities say a woman lied to a Des Moines pharmacy worker about a man threatening to hurt the woman's children if she didn't get him some drugs.

Andrea Small now faces theft and other charges. Jail records say Small remained in custody on Tuesday. Her attorney didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press.

Police say Small went into a drugstore around 4 a.m. Monday and told the pharmacy worker that the man had the woman's children in a car outside. Small told the worker the man was demanding she bring him a painkiller.

Police say the worker gave Small bottles containing several hundred pills.

A car that picked up Small outside the drugstore was tracked to a Des Moines residence, where Small and three other people were arrested.

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Firefighters use oxygen masks to revive kittens

West Des Moines firefighters and medics say they have revived three kittens and one cat after a house fire.

The West Des Moines Fire Department says the felines were pulled from the burning home on Monday. Firefighters say they were suffering from smoke inhalation.

First responders used oxygen masks to resuscitate the animals. One kitten was taken to an area veterinarian for further treatment.

They say a second adult cat was found dead inside the home.

It's unclear what caused the fire. Firefighters say the blaze caused about $50,000 in damage.

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Cedar Rapids woman says she defrauded clients

A Cedar Rapids woman has admitted defrauding clients of her law firm.

Prosecutors say 54-year-old Susan Hense pleaded guilty on Monday in federal court to one count of wire fraud. She faces up to 20 years in prison.

In a plea agreement, Hense admitted that she falsely represented to her firm's clients that money belonging to them would be held in trust on their behalf in a bank account. Hense admitted that over three years she stole more than $837,000 from her clients. Hense has since been disbarred.

Prosecutors say she has agreed to pay restitution.

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Marshall County Board of Supervisors meet.

The Marshall County Board of Supervisors voted to amend the

speed limit on a stretch of gravel road in Marshall County at Yates

Avenue and 220th Street where a producer is creating a new

farm lane. The speed limit there drops to 35 miles per hour.

In other action the Board voted to allow the Noon Optimists

to use the courthouse grounds for holiday lighting starting on

November 22nd the date of the annual Holiday Stroll in downtown

Marshalltown.

Two County employees were honored for years of service including

Dave Eubanks for 20 years of service to the Secondary Roads Department

and Wendell Millizer for 10 years of service to the Sheriffs office.

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Killing of young Iowa teen two years ago still far from solved

Dubuque police say they have few leads in the shooting death of a teen two years ago, citing a lack of cooperation from witnesses.

15-year-old Marlon T. Barber Jr. was fatally shot in downtown Dubuque while he and his friends walked away from a party before midnight.

He was taken to a hospital where he was able to provide police some clues about the alleged shooter before dying from his injuries.

Dubuque Police Department Lt. Scott Baxter says the investigation into Barber's shooting has come to a standstill. He says police believe they have identified all of the people involved in the shooting. But he says that they and others who have some knowledge about the crime have been "relatively uncooperative."

Baxter says the department is still treating the investigation as active and ongoing.

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Iowa man dies following injuries from combine accident

Authorities say a 55-year-old Le Mars man has been fatally injured while operating a combine near Merrill in northwest Iowa.

The Plymouth County Sheriff's Office says a trailer being pulled by the combine broke loose and struck the combine on Friday evening. The combine went into a ditch, and officials think the operator was thrown from its cab. The Sheriff's Office says the operator died later at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.

He was identified as Eugene Sitzmann.

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Teen arrested for attempted murder after two park trail attacks

A teenager has been accused of separate attacks on two women along a park trail in Fort Dodge.

The boy was arrested Saturday shortly after officers talked to a woman who'd been stabbed on the Snell-Crawford Park Trail. She suffered neck and arm injuries and was taken to a hospital.

Assistant Fort Dodge Police Chief Roger Porter told the newspaper that information gained during Saturday's investigation led officers to believe the boy also was involved in an August attack in the same area.

The boy is charged with attempted murder and going armed with intent in Saturday's attack. He is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with the attempted abduction of a woman on the trail on Aug. 5.

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Parents of 7-year old ran meth house, given five years in prison

A Wisconsin couple has been sentenced to five years in prison after Clayton County authorities discovered a methamphetamine manufacturing operation at their Iowa home.

34-year-old Jesse Lutz and 32-year-old Shara Lutz previously faced harsher sentences because their 7-year-old son lived in the home. The couple from Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, took a deal with prosecutors last week.

Prosecutors say a state Department of Human Services worker visited the home in September 2013 and smelled meth. They were each charged and convicted with possessing drugs with intent to distribute and child endangerment.

The couple assisted prosecutors in securing convictions against another man and woman connected to the same operation.

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Police say woman charged in hit-and-run death remorseful

A Des Moines police sergeant says a woman charged in a fatal hit-and-run panicked when she left the scene of the accident.

20-year-old Ashley Brown is remorseful about the Saturday death of 55-year-old Kenneth Wallace. She has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and not having insurance.

Wallace had been walking and was found dead in the road.

Halifax says Brown turned herself in after a witness identified her to police. Authorities are examining surveillance videos from businesses near the scene of the crash.

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Man arrested after girl found dead with shot to head

An 18-year-old Waterloo man is facing charges after police found a 17-year-old girl dead Sunday with a gunshot wound to her head.

The shooting was reported shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday at a home in Waterloo.

Officers found 17-year-old Jazzmine Rembert in the basement with a gunshot wound.

Few details were released about the circumstances of the shooting. An autopsy is planned Monday.

Police arrested an 18-year-old on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a weapon and selling weapons.

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Iowa stun gun policies manifest deficiencies, according to report

Law enforcement policies on the use of stun guns vary greatly across Iowa's 99 counties, and civil rights experts who recently reviewed the policies say many of them are inadequate.

That identifies several deficiencies in the stun gun policies.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa and the University of Iowa College of Law Clinic conducted the study after questions were raised about stun gun use in lawsuits and previous stories.

Last year, two people died after being stunned by officers during confrontations.

State lawmakers considered requiring stun gun training and policies on their use but failed to pass a law.

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Hospitals, clinics across state ready for possible Ebola cases

Hospitals and doctors' offices in Iowa are preparing for the unlikely possibility of a case of Ebola in the state.

Clinics have started asking whether patients have visited the countries where the Ebola outbreak is based West Africa.

And area hospitals are practicing using protective equipment that would be needed to treat an Ebola patient.

Dr. Daniel Gervich with Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines says the risk of an Ebola patient here is extremely low, but it's important to have a plan in place.

Hospitals will have to be ready to isolate patients with symptoms consistent with Ebola — such as vomiting, fever and diarrhea — while testing is done.

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Iowa Premium Beef processing plant set to reopen soon

A long-idle beef processing plant is getting ready to reopen in Tama later this month.

Iowa Premium Beef officials recently took reporters on a tour of the plant that had been closed since 2004.

The plant has undergone a $48.6 million renovation to prepare to process about 1,100 cattle a day. If the business is successful serving food service, retail and international customers, production could double eventually.

The plant could eventually employ more than 600 workers. To qualify for $4 million in state tax credits, 120 of the workers will have to earn at least $15.42 an hour.

CEO Jeffrey Johnson says the company has already received more than 1,000 applications to work at the plant.

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Arrest made in Des Moines hit-and-run death

Des Moines police say an arrest has been made in the hit-and-run death of a 55-year-old man.

Reports of a person in the road in eastern Des Moines led officers early Saturday to the discovery of the body of Kenneth Leroy Wallace, of Des Moines.

Police say it was clear Wallace had been hit by a vehicle, and officers found a license plate believed to be from a truck that hit him.

Police used tips to track down the truck, but didn't initially find its driver.

But by late Saturday afternoon, police announced the arrest of 20-year-old Ashley Kay Brown, of Des Moines. She has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and not having insurance.

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Fort Dodge man convicted of murder denied new trial

A Fort Dodge man convicted in August of first-degree murder will not be getting a new trial.

A judge on Friday denied 28-year-old Derrick McElroy's motion for a new trial.

A jury found McElroy guilty in the May 2011 shooting death of 19-year-old Brandyn Preston at a party. Preston, who was left paralyzed from the neck down, later died from his injuries.

McElroy's attorney asked for a new trial, saying there was not enough direct evidence to prove McElroy shot Preston.

McElroy's sentencing will continue as scheduled on Oct. 31.

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Lawsuit filed by family of deputy-killed man moved to federal court

A lawsuit filed by the family of a man fatally shot by a Van Buren County sheriff's deputy two years ago has been transferred to federal court in Davenport.

An attorney representing Van Buren County Deputy Sheriff Jon Tharp sought the transfer.

Tharp responded to reports about an armed man walking on a highway's shoulder in 2012.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says Tharp acted in self-defense when he opened fire at R. Michael Dooley.

But the lawsuit against him says Tharp shot Dooley before Dooley could obey orders to put down his weapon.

Tharp still works as a deputy in Van Buren County.

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Man sentenced in child sex abuse case

A 64-year-old northeastern Iowa man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison sexually abusing a child.

Donald Spragg, of Farmersburg, had been convicted of two counts of third-degree sexual abuse and two counts of lascivious acts with a child.

According to the Clayton County Attorney's Office, the incidents that prompted the charges occurred from September 2013 to May 2013. Spragg had spent nearly a year in jail on the charges at the time of his recent sentencing.

Spragg will be under the Department of Corrections' supervision for the rest of his life after completing his prison sentence, must register as a sex offender and pay the victim restitution.

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Drugs, alcohol lead to Iowa campground death

The death of a woman at Maquoketa Caves State Park in September has been ruled an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription drugs.

Jackson County Sheriff's Deputy Russ Long says that there were no indications of foul play in the death of 40-year-old Stacy Sterrett, of Harper, Iowa.

Authorities were called to the caves campground the morning of Sept. 9 and found Sterrett dead. A male companion told investigators that he found her unresponsive when he woke up.

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Man accused of stabbing woman to death has trial delayed

The trial of a man accused of stabbing his ex-girlfriend to death in a Northwood park has been postponed.

The trial of 40-year-old Tyrone Washington Jr. has been scheduled to start Oct. 20 in Webster County. On Friday, Judge Colleen Weiland granted a request to continue the trial by Washington's attorney, who has raised concerns about the lack of racial diversity among the trial's jury pool.

A telephone conference will be conducted on Oct. 31 to determine a new trial date.

Washington is accused of fatally stabbing 30-year-old Justina Smith, also of Northwood, last year. He has pleaded not guilty.

His trial was moved from Worth County to Webster County.

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Des Moines high school forfeits football because of gun fears

Des Moines school officials say East High School was been forced to forfeit its football game against Ames because of internet rumors about possible gun violence.

The Iowa High School Athletic Association gave East the option to forfeit the Friday night game, travel to Ames to play or postpone it until daylight Saturday and play at the East stadium.

School Superintendent Tom Ahart says the reasons cited by the association and Ames school officials are baseless and the decision is an insult to students and the Des Moines Community.

East school officials arranged for more police officers at school Friday in response to rumors of a gunfight but nothing unusual happened during school.

An athletic association spokesman didn't immediately respond to a message.

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Details emerging with regards to child's possession of explosives

An Iowa student and his mother face felony charges after authorities say they searched the boy's home in Rolfe and found enough explosive materials to level a two-story building.

Pocahontas County Sheriff Bob Lampe said Friday that the 14-year-old boy, who was not identified, reportedly planned to blow up a building in November.

Lampe says the boy apparently researched how to make the explosive materials and had perfected the formula. The boy was charged with possessing explosive materials with intent to use the material to commit a public offense.

The teen's mother was charged with possession of explosive materials, child endangerment and aiding and abetting reckless use of explosives. She was not named.

Authorities say a teacher saw the boy researching explosives on a school computer.

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Iowa sheriff's deputy facing numerous assault charges

An off-duty Iowa sheriff's deputy has been charged with assault and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety said Friday that 35-year-old Jeffrey Allen Athey, a Chickasaw County sheriff's deputy, was arrested on Oct. 4 in New Hampton.

Athey was initially charged with assault causing injury, a serious misdemeanor, and taken to the Bremer County Jail. He was released the following day, and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation was contacted to help with the investigation.

Authorities say a subsequent investigation led to the additional charge filed Monday of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor.

Athey has been on paid suspension since Oct. 5. He has worked at the sheriff's office for six years.

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Low-income Iowa residents' health insurance to undergo changes

One of two health insurers providing coverage to low-income Iowa residents through a state program is withdrawing its services.

The Iowa Department of Human Services announced Friday that CoOportunity Health will soon no longer be an insurance option for those enrolled the Iowa Health and Wellness Program, the modified Medicaid expansion offered as part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Under the federally funded program, some people are enrolled in a state-run health plan and others get premiums covered for private insurance. About 112,000 people are in the program, with roughly 26,000 on private insurance.

CoOportunity covered 9,700 people. State officials say they will now be covered by the state-run health plan. CoOportunity spokeswoman Leigh McGivern says it was too costly for the insurer to continue coverage.

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Attorney says Scott County officers justly shot man

The Scott County attorney says five Davenport officers acted correctly in a shooting last month that left a man dead.

Scott County Attorney Mike Walton on Thursday cleared the officer in the death of 54-year-old James A. Cave.

Cave died Sept. 22 when he was hit numerous times by police after pointing a loaded gun at officers.

Walton says detective Erin Pape, Cpl. Seth Farley and officers Nathan Kelling, Bryan Grothus and Matthew Lovelady acted properly. Since the shooting, they have been on administrative leave.

The shooting followed a three-hour standoff with officers, who repeatedly called on Cave to put his gun down.

Walton says that because Cave was holding a gun, officers had few options.

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Drake University student arrested for making gun threats

An 18-year-old Drake University student has been arrested for posting threats of gun violence on a social media website.

Michael Zachary Crisp has been charged with first-degree harassment. He has posted bond and has been released from the Polk County Jail after his arrest at 3 a.m. Friday.

Des Moines Police spokesman Jason Halifax says a message posted on the social media site Yik Yak threatened that "Columbine will look like childs play." a reference to the April 1999 shooting at a Colorado high school in which 13 people died.

Halifax says detectives worked with Yik Yak administrators and Drake officials to trace the messages to Crisp, who admitted sending the threats when police confronted him.

Court case information wasn't immediately available to determine if he has an attorney.

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Charles City student found with gun near high school

A student with a firearm has been taken into custody on a recreational trail near a high school in northern Iowa.

Charles City police say the boy displayed the firearm to officers who found him Thursday on the Charlie Western Recreational Trail. The trail is near the Charles City High School football field bleachers. He was detained without incident and taken to a hospital for evaluation. His name hasn't been released.

Police say the boy's parents had asked for help in finding the boy, who was upset. The boy showed up around noon at the school but didn't go in. He then went to the trail, where officers found him.

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Homemade explosives found in Iowa student's home

Authorities have confiscated homemade, chemical-based explosives from the home of a student in the northern Iowa town of Rolfe.

Ron Humphrey of the State Fire Marshal Division says about a quarter pound of the explosive was found Thursday and that the material could have seriously injured someone, had it exploded.

Pocahontas County Sheriff Bob Lampe says an adult and a juvenile have been detained and will be charged.

Classes in the Pocahontas Area Community School District were dismissed early Thursday afternoon as a precaution. Superintendent Joseph Kramer says there were no direct threats against the school, its students or staff members.

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People : Bob LampeJoseph KramerRon Humphrey




 

Police standoff results in peaceful finish

Police have reported a peaceful ending to a 3½-hour standoff with a man who said he had a gun in his Iowa City mobile home.

A city news release says officers were sent to the home a little after 8 p.m. Thursday to check a report about a man who had threatened to burn down his neighbor's home and had gone inside his own home to get a gun.

Officers initially weren't able to talk to the man, who wouldn't leave his home. He later called 911 and then made contact with a police negotiating team.

Police say the man left his home around 11:30 p.m. and was taken into custody. He was taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation. His name hasn't been released.

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Iowa City student charged after bring gun to school

A student has been charged with carrying a weapon the grounds of a high school in Iowa City.

A city news release says the 16-year-old student was charged on Wednesday. The Associated Press generally doesn't name juveniles accused of crimes.

Iowa City police say officers were sent Oct. 10 to West High School to check a report that a student had carried a gun onto school property. A teacher reported that the student was showing signs of emotional distress.

An unloaded .357-caliber handgun and a box of ammunition were found in a backpack inside his locker.

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Supplier of heroin for dead overdoser given prison time

A Cedar Rapids man who supplied heroin to someone who was found dead the next day has been sent to prison.

Prosecutors said Thursday that 24-year-old Austin Martens was given 11 years and three months behind bars. Martens also must serve five years of supervised release after he leaves custody.

Martens had pleaded guilty to distribution of heroin and admitted to supplying $80 worth of heroin to another person in March 2013. That person was found dead the next day after overdosing.

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Man flees from authorities, crashes motorcycle into house

Cedar Rapids police say a motorcyclist has been seriously injured after fleeing from an officer and crashing into a house.

The crash happened Thursday evening. Police say the motorcyclist was driving recklessly and sped off when an officer tried to initiate a traffic stop.

The officer stopped following the motorcycle after the pursuit became dangerous. A jogger later flagged down the officer and said the motorcycle had crashed into a house.

Police haven't released the identity of the driver or announced any charges. No other injuries were reported.

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Iowa tanker truck rolls into ditch, driver killed

Authorities in Bremer County in northeast Iowa say the driver of a tanker truck has died after the truck collided with a car and rolled onto its top in a ditch.

A sheriff's office statement says 37-year-old James Ruehlow, of Mason City, died Thursday in the accident 2 ½ miles east of Plainfield at an intersection of a state highway and a county road.

Ruehlow's cause of death isn't immediately clear. An autopsy has been ordered.

The truck collided with a car driven by 16-year-old Nicole Manross, of Waverly. She is not injured.

The accident closed Highway 188 for four hours and resulted in a diesel fuel spill from the truck into the ditch requiring cleanup.

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Iowa woman in toddler death trial avoids life in prison

Prosecutors have dropped murder charges against an Iowa woman who admitted to causing the head injuries that killed a three-year-girl at her in-home day care.

Rochelle Sapp of Orange City pleaded guilty Thursday to involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment charges under a plea agreement in the death of Autumn Elgersma. Sapp admitted that she dropped the toddler to the ground and also admitted to multiple acts of child endangerment in prior months.

Prosecutors dropped a first-degree murder charge, which would've been a life sentence for Sapp. Second-degree murder would've required 35 years.

Judge Edward Jacobson sentenced Sapp to an indeterminate sentence of up to 100 years.

Drake University law professor Bob Rigg says the 34-year-old Sapp will serve "significant time" — likely around 15 to 20 years.

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People : Autumn ElgersmaBob RiggEdward JacobsonRochelle Sapp




 

Former Iowa Senate Republicans' staffer files sexual harassment suit

A former staffer for Iowa Senate Republicans has filed a lawsuit detailing her claims of sexual harassment and boorish behavior by male aides and lawmakers.

Kirsten Anderson, ex-communications director for the Iowa Senate Republican Caucus, alleges she was fired after complaining about an environment "that allowed ordinary sexism and fraternity behavior to flourish."

The lawsuit alleges one male senator repeatedly talked about women's breasts and which lobbyists were the biggest flirts. Another, it claims, repeatedly commented on which of Anderson's shoes and hairstyles he preferred.

The lawsuit focuses largely on a policy analyst, who's accused of gossiping about the sexual history of a female senator and other inappropriate behavior.

Anderson says her supervisors started nitpicking her work after her complaints, then fired her. Republicans say she was fired for performance.

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Iowa man falls on own stairs, found dead

Authorities say a 57-year-old man whose body was found in his Jesup home had suffered a fatal fall.

The body of Daniel Kimball was found in his home on Tuesday morning. The Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office says Kimball had fallen on some stairs and struck his head.

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Iowa City man tortures kitten for three straight hours

Iowa City police have charged a man with aggravated animal torture who they say abused his roommate's kitten for hours.

21-year-old Leo Nopoulos of West Liberty was released from the Johnson County Jail Wednesday after posting $5,000 bond.

A University of Iowa student says his 8-week-old cat named Fritz is alive, but lost one eye and doesn't have vision in the other. He set up his laptop earlier this month to monitor Fritz while he was away.

Police say the video shows Nopoulos punching, kicking and throwing objects at the kitten. They say the attack lasted "nonstop" for longer than three hours last week.

It wasn't immediately clear if Nopoulos has an attorney.

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Librarian keeps fees for herself, faces felony charge

A 62-year-old Dubuque woman has been accused of stealing fines and fee payments when she worked at the public library in Dubuque.

Barbara Nyheim turned herself in on Tuesday to face a felony theft charge. Online court records don't list the name of her attorney.

Library director Susan Hendricks initially reported a theft of about $17,200 but now says the total may be more than $50,000. An audit of the library's fine system discovered the money was missing.

Court records say Nyheim told investigators she'd been taking money from the library since 2009.

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Woman stabbed, killed at Des Moines apartment

Police say a woman has been fatally stabbed at a Des Moines apartment building.

Sgt. Jason Halifax with the Des Moines Police Department says the woman was found wounded in the torso Wednesday afternoon in the office of an apartment building on the city's east side. She was taken to a local hospital, where she died.

A man has been detained for questioning. Police are also interviewing several witnesses.

Additional information about the circumstances of the stabbing has not been released.

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UPS fines upheld following employee death at airport

An appeals court is upholding $10,000 in fines for safety violations by UPS that were linked to an employee's death at the Des Moines airport.

The Iowa Court of Appeals on Wednesday sided with a state board that found Atlanta-based United Parcel Service Inc. committed two violations of Iowa workplace safety law.

The case stems from the September 2010 death of employee Daniel Raber, who was run over by a truck while holding open the gate at a UPS airport facility. The driver was in training and worked for a company that contracted for UPS.

Iowa regulators investigated UPS after Raber's death, concluding that poor lighting and a lack of training put employees at risk. They gave UPS two $5,000 citations for violating its duty to provide safe conditions.

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Ex-Department of Ag employee steals nearly a $250k

A former employee for the Iowa Department of Agriculture has been accused of stealing more than $241,000 from her employer.

The state Department of Public Safety says Jessica Strasser turned herself in Wednesday. She faces charges of first-degree theft and ongoing criminal conduct. Court records do not list an attorney.

The state auditor's office released a report in early October on the Mahaska County Soil and Water Conservation District for a time period between March 2006 and August 2013. It identified nearly $280,000 in improper disbursements and undeposited collections. Records indicate Strasser, who was secretary for the district, withdrew more than $241,000 in cash.

Strasser resigned from the agriculture department in August 2013.

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Anti-immigration ads coming to Iowa, nine other states

An anti-immigration group is running more than $1 million in ads criticizing lawmakers for not stopping the flow of new workers into the United States.

NumbersUSA on Wednesday began a 10-state ad buy that pointedly asks viewers whether Americans or immigrants should get new jobs. The 30-second ad says immigrants are the ones finding work, while longtime residents are struggling to win jobs.

The ads will air in states with competitive Senate races: Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire and North Carolina.

NumbersUSA bills itself as a non-partisan grassroots group that wants to reduce the number of immigrants in order to help American workers. The group operates under part of the tax code that allows it to keep secret its donors.

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Woman intentionally rips out IV, splatters blood at nurse's face

Iowa City police have arrested a woman who they say intentionally ripped out her IV and splattered blood on her nurse's face after being denied more medication.

57-year-old Rose Sutton is charged with a serious misdemeanor count of assault on persons engaged in certain occupations.

Police say she was being treated on Monday at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. They say Sutton became angry at the nurse and wanted to leave.

The nurse says she told Sutton not to remove the IV. Police say Sutton intentionally ripped out the IV and got blood on the nurse's face and clothing.

Sutton was released Tuesday from the Johnson County Jail. It wasn't immediately clear if she has an attorney.

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Missing elderly woman's body found in creek

The Benton County Sheriff's Office says it has found the body of an 81-year-old woman who went missing over the weekend.

Authorities say Constance Runde's body was found in a creek about 100 feet from her vehicle. A pedestrian discovered it abandoned near Shellsburg on Tuesday. Runde had been missing since Sunday.

Cedar Rapids police say her death didn't appear suspicious.

Sheriff Randy Forsyth says an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.

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Man accused of threatening children switches plea

A northern Iowa man accused of threatening to shoot schoolchildren has changed his plea.

Loren Saxon, of Charles City, originally pleaded not guilty to making threats of terrorism, but he's now pleaded guilty to intimidation with a dangerous weapon. His sentencing is set for Nov. 4.

Police reports say the 48-year-old Saxon was heavily intoxicated while at a motel in Charles City on Aug. 24. Officers report that Saxon said he was a member of the al-Qaida terrorist organization and that he would shoot as many children as he could. He was not armed at the time.

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Cedar Rapids homeless shelter shuts down

The closing of Cedar House Shelter means fewer beds are available for homeless men in Cedar Rapids.

The 16-bed shelter opened in 2001. It closed late last month after a merger with another group fell through because of problems with the Cedar House building. Judy Wolfe, who leads the Cedar House board, says the board wasn't comfortable with continuing operations in the building, and there wasn't enough money to move to a new spot.

Tim Wilson is director of the Willis Dady Shelter and he says the loss of Cedar House removes about a third of the beds available for single homeless men in Cedar Rapids.

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Discovery of pictures with nude juveniles prompts investigation

Authorities in central Iowa say they've uncovered a massive collection of photographs and videos showing nude female juveniles, and they believe they were amassed over several years by high school students.

The state Division of Criminal Investigation said Tuesday that a system of storage accounts was discovered after a male juvenile was accused in August of trying to extort sexual photographs and sexual acts from a female juvenile. The male faces an extortion charge.

Authorities said online-based storage accounts with nude photographs and videos had been under the control of numerous current and former high school students in the Boone area. The accounts have been secured.

Authorities are working to identify the individuals in the photographs and videos. They called it an active investigation, and additional charges are possible.

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Pilot who died in Dubuque plane crash was U.S. Senate candidate

A Dubuque doctor who was running as a Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate has died in a plane crash.

The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office says Dr. Douglas Butzier (boot-ZEE'-ay) was the pilot of the plane that crashed around 11 p.m. Monday near Dubuque Regional Airport. He was the sole occupant of the aircraft.

Butzier worked at Mercy Medical Center-Dubuque. Jennifer Faley, a hospital spokeswoman, confirms Butzier was running for U.S. Senate against Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley and Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the plane took off from Ankeny Regional Airport about an hour before the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

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Investigation underway for officer-involved shooting

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says it will investigate an officer-involved shooting in Johnson County.

The division said in a news release Tuesday that Johnson County deputies and Iowa State Patrol troopers on Monday night found a man near Swisher who'd been reported as suicidal. The man was identified as 32-year-old Bradley McNeese.

The division says McNeese drove away from the area, with officers in pursuit. The chase ended near Solon, where a deputy and McNeese exchanged gunshots. McNeese was taken to a hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound. The deputy wasn't injured.

The division says the deputy has been placed on paid administrative leave. The deputy's name hasn't been released.

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Woman dismisses Supreme Court appeal of school bullying case

A woman has dismissed her Iowa Supreme Court appeal of her bullying lawsuit against the Mason City school district.

Heather Conti had filed the lawsuit in June 2012 on behalf of her teenage daughter. The lawsuit says that during the previous school year, Angelina Conti suffered harassment that was "detrimental to her physical and mental health and substantially interfered with her academic performance." The lawsuit says that when Heather Conti complained to school officials, they took no action to protect the teenager.

A district court judge dismissed the lawsuit in September 2013, and Conti appealed to the high court a month later.

Court documents don't say why Conti has ended the appeal.

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Iowa teenager takes plea deal for drive-by shooting

A Fort Dodge teenager has taken a plea deal after a drive-by shooting.

18-year-old Xavier Rhone pleaded guilty Monday to going armed with intent. Charges of carrying weapons, fourth-degree criminal mischief and assault were dropped.

Rhone says in August he fired two shots from a .22-caliber revolver at the home of a person who had threatened him.

No one was injured in the shooting.

His sentencing is scheduled for next month.

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Pilot dies after plane crash around Dubuque

A federal official says the pilot of a single-engine plane has died in a crash near Dubuque Regional Airport.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the Piper PA-46 crashed around 11 p.m. Monday on approach to the airport, about a mile north of the runway.

Lunsford says law enforcement told him the sole occupant of the aircraft was killed in the crash but he has no other information. The Dubuque Police Department declined to comment to The Associated Press early Tuesday.

Lunsford says the plane took off from Ankeny Regional Airport about an hour before the crash.

He says the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

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Gun found in Iowa high school student's backpack

Authorities are investigating the discovery of an unloaded handgun and a box of ammunition inside the backpack of a high school student in Iowa City.

Iowa City police say officers arrived Friday at West High School following a report that a student had carried a gun on school property. A teacher reported to school officials that a student was showing signs of emotional distress. The gun was found in a backpack inside his locker.

The student left school property by the time authorities arrived. He later turned himself in to police.

Iowa City Police Sgt. Scott Gaarde says charges are pending against the male student. An investigator assigned to the case will determine those charges.

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Clear Lake woman accused of stealing $30K from pharmacy

An Iowa woman has been accused of stealing about $30,000 from a pharmacy company where she worked.

Clear Lake police say 29-year-old Abigail Roberts was arrested Sunday. She is charged with ongoing criminal conduct and first-degree theft. Court records do not list an attorney.

Authorities say a lengthy investigation revealed Roberts stole about $30,000 from Clear Lake Pharmacy while she worked as a pharmacy technician between 2012 and July. She is accused of using different methods to steal on numerous occasions, but officials did not elaborate.

Roberts is being held at the Cerro Gordo County Jail on $10,000 bond.

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No details of plea deal for babysitter accused of killing infant

Prosecutors are keeping secret, for now, the details of a plea agreement with an Iowa daycare provider charged with fatally injuring a three-year-old girl in her care.

The Iowa Attorney General's Office and the Sioux County attorney refused Monday to release the agreement reached with 34-year-old Rochelle Sapp of Orange City.

Judge Edward Jacobson had signed an order requiring the agreement to be released Monday. The attorney general objected, saying both sides agreed the deal would be publicly filed "at or before" Thursday's plea and sentencing.

Jacobson issued an amended order Monday, agreeing the deal could be filed then.

Sapp's charged with first-degree murder in the October 2013 death of three-year-old Autumn Elgersma. Investigators say she slammed the toddler to the floor, causing head injuries that killed her days later.

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People : Autumn ElgersmaEdward JacobsonRochelle Sapp




 

No charges filed against woman who killed husband

The Wapello County attorney says no charges will be filed in the shooting death of a 49-year-old man last summer.

County Attorney Gary Oldenburger released a statement saying Bobbi Leedom shot and killed her husband, Clinton Gus Leedom, early on the morning of July 21 at a home just south of Ottumwa.

However, Oldenburger says Leedom had been threatening his wife and because the shooting was "a legally justified act of self-defense," no charges will be filed.

The decision not to file charges after an investigation that stretched to more than two months.

After the shooting, Bobbi Leedom tried to resuscitate her husband, but he was dead when medics arrived at the home.

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People : Bobbi LeedomClinton Gus LeedomGary Oldenburger




 

Agents examining information in search for mystery millonaire

Iowa agents have received hundreds of tips since releasing video of a man buying a winning lottery ticket at the center of a fraud investigation.

Iowa Department of Public Safety spokesman Alex Murphy said Monday that investigators are focusing on a dozen tips seen as credible.

Investigators released surveillance footage Thursday as they sought the public's help identifying the man seen buying two Hot Lotto tickets at a Des Moines gas station in December 2010. One of them had the winning numbers for a $14.3 million jackpot.

A New York lawyer attempted to claim the prize a year later, saying he was representing a winner who wanted to remain anonymous. The Iowa Lottery refused to pay after he wouldn't identify the winner or explain the ticket's chain of custody.

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Homeless shelter director takes Alford plea in theft case

The director of a Waterloo homeless shelter has entered a plea to charges she stole money from the nonprofit organization.

60-year-old Joni Kay Hansen entered Alford pleas Monday to first- and second-degree theft charges.

In an Alford plea, a person doesn't admit guilt but acknowledge there is enough evidence for a likely conviction.

Defense attorney Kevin Engels says the Alford plea came in part because of a dispute about the amount of money misused.

Authorities had claimed Hansen used the organization's ATM card to withdraw $42,931 at the Isle Casino Hotel between 2010 and 2012 and used the money in a way that violated the wishes of people who made donations.

Police arrested Hansen in July 2013.

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Grundy County man gets pinned, dies after tractor flip

Grundy County authorities say an 84-year-old man has died after being pinned underneath his tractor.

The Grundy County Sheriff's Office says Russell Katzer of Conrad was killed on Sunday. Authorities say he was driving on a gravel street when he veered off the road and the tractor flipped.

Katzer was taken to the Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center where he later died.

It's unclear what caused the crash. The sheriff's office is investigating.

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St. Louis rallies following Michael Brown death

Thousands gathered in St. Louis for a second day of rallies and marches protesting Michael Brown's death and other fatal police shootings.

Vietnam-era peace activists, New York City seminarians and hundreds of fast-food workers bused in from Chicago, Nashville and other cities joined local residents and activists Saturday.

Michael Brown, a black, unarmed 18-year-old, was shot and killed Aug. 9 by Darren Wilson, a white officer in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.

Four days of events are planned in the St. Louis area. They started Friday afternoon with a march outside the St. Louis county prosecutor's office in Clayton.

Saturday's march in downtown St. Louis came hours before the Cardinals were set to host the San Francisco Giants in the first game of the National League Championship Series.

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Men in Chicago Marathon forced to receive CPR

Two men running in the Chicago Marathon required CPR and one was in critical condition, according to the race's medical director.

Dr. George Chiampas says both runners were still alive as of late Sunday afternoon.

He says a 59-year-old man was in critical condition at Mercy Hospital on Chicago's near South Side after requiring CPR late in the race.

A 29-year-old man who had to be shocked after being stricken around the seventh mile was stable and talking to staff at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center on Chicago's North Side. Chiampas says another runner — possibly a doctor — had already started CPR by the time medical personnel arrived.

Chiampas says over 800 runners needed medical care and 24 were taken to hospitals.

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East coast students charged in football hazing case

Prosecutors say seven students have been charged as part of an investigation into hazing on a New Jersey high school football team.

Middlesex County prosecutor Andrew C. Carey said Friday night three of the students are charged with aggravated sexual assault, criminal restraint and other crimes. He says the four others are charged with aggravated criminal sexual contact and other crimes for what happened at Sayreville War Memorial High School.

The students range in age from 15 to 17.

Prosecutors say six of the seven were arrested Friday night. The seventh is being sought.

Football games have been canceled.

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Iowa man to be cereal box star

A northern Iowa man will be featured on the back of cereal boxes as part of a promotion for farmers.

The Hy-Vee cornflakes box with the picture of Rudd farmer Larry Bortz will be released next month or in December. Four other farmers will appear on other boxes.

Under the headline "Agriculture Works Here," the promotional ads include a photo of Bortz or the others and point out that "nobody beats the American farmer when it comes to producing food." The ads direct people to a website, agricultureworkshere.com, where they can learn various farm facts.

The joint promotion involves Farm Credit Services of America, an Omaha, Nebraska-based, financial services organization, and West Des Moines-based Hy-Vee grocery stores.

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People : Larry Bortz




 

Iowa State Fair stands firm regarding event dates

Iowa State Fair officials are defending the timing of the annual event against critics who say it may be time to set an earlier fair schedule to avoid conflicting with increasing numbers of school districts moving up the start of their academic year.

School districts will begin making decisions this month about their 2015 calendars. Some educators say starting school earlier improves student performance. Several districts already start school during the fair.

The 2015 fair is set for Aug. 13-23.

Fair CEO Gary Slater says an early August or July fair could conflict with county fairs. State fair officials say many exhibits like agricultural and horticultural crops, livestock, 4-H and FFA projects are simply not ready to be exhibited.

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Iowa woman run over by tractor, suffers severe injuries

Dallas County authorities say a 31-year-old woman suffered severe internal injuries when she was run over by a tractor.

The accident occurred around 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Woodward. The Dallas County Sheriff's Office says the woman was helping other people move two tractors when she fell down between the machines and was run over by a rear tire of one.

She was taken to a Des Moines hospital. Her name hasn't been released.

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Iowa pigs surviving costly virus...for now

Pork prices hit record highs this summer as farmers weren't able to feed the demand — mostly because a virus had killed millions of their baby pigs.

There is good news for pork lovers in the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture production update, as it shows more piglets are surviving and producers are building up pork herds.

Iowa, the nation's leading pork producer, reported nearly 5.5 million baby pigs were born between June and August — the largest number in 20 years.

New farm procedures helped reduced the spread of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, such as disinfecting trucks and equipment.

Many producers are optimistic the virus is under control but some fear winter's return because the virus thrives in cold, damp conditions.

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Prison guard's sexual harassment lawsuit turned down by jury

A jury has rejected an Iowa prison guard's lawsuit that said she was sexually harassed after inmates were repeatedly allowed to watch sexually graphic and violent moves.

The Polk County jury reached its decision Friday afternoon, a day after hearing closing arguments in the case of Kristine Sink, who filed the sexual harassment lawsuit in 2012.

Jurors favored the Iowa Department of Corrections, which acknowledged it was wrong to let inmates watch sexually explicit movies, including some that depicted women being tortured and raped. Despite that, Assistant Iowa Attorney General Tyler Smith told jurors that officials appropriately dealt with Sink's complaints and that the difficulties she faced were part of working in a prison.

A call to the state attorney general's office and to Sink's attorney weren't immediately returned.

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People : Kristine SinkTyler Smith




 

Day care provider accused in death of toddler gets hearing

A plea hearing is planned next week for an Orange City day care provider who is charged with killing a 3-year-old girl.

Details on Rochelle Sapp's plea agreement won't be made public until her hearing Thursday.

District Judge Edward Jacobson set the hearing after a Friday meeting with attorneys.

The 34-year-old Sapp previously pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and child endangerment in the death of Autumn Elgersma last year. An autopsy report says the girl died of blunt force head injuries.

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Aluminum sign erected for forgotten Marshall County graveyard

A group has erected a sign at a long-forgotten cemetery near the county jail in Marshalltown so more people are aware of the gravesites.

More than 160 people are buried at the site along Highway 30. Many of them lived during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The Marietta Club raised money to buy the new aluminum sign that was hung on Thursday. Member Mary Lou Tappe says the group hopes to put a sign with all of the known names of people buried there.

Tappe says portions of the cemetery were overlooked for decades until crews looked into widening the highway in October 2000.

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Coralville firefighters find body unconscious in blaze

The body of a 60-year-old woman has been found by firefighters sent to battle a house blaze in Coralville.

A neighbor called 911 to report the fire a little before 1 a.m. Friday. Firefighters found a blaze raging in a bedroom of the home but were able to control it within 30 minutes.

The woman was identified as Mary Clanton. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The fire cause is being investigated.

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Man given probation for multiple charges including animal neglect

A 27-year-old Mason City man has been given probation and suspended sentences on charges of child endangerment, domestic abuse assault and animal neglect.

Dacota Witham was sentenced on Wednesday. He'd pleaded guilty to the charges. He was given suspended sentences of two years in prison and one in jail, two years of probation and was ordered to spend six months at Beje Clark Residential Treatment Facility.

Officers who were sent Aug. 9 to investigate a report of an assault say they found a dog in Witham's garage that had been killed in an inhumane manner. Officers also say Witham left his 7-month-old daughter unattended.

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Dubuque police lead on another high-speed chase

Dubuque police have arrested a man who they say led officers on a high-speed chase before crashing into a building.

38-year-old Robert Schmitt of Dubuque was charged Thursday with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and felony eluding. Schmitt was also cited on other charges including having an illegal muffler and driving on the wrong side of a road.

Police say an officer tried to pull Schmitt over because of the muffler but he drove off. They say he drove 90 mph down a 25 mph street before striking a building.

No injuries were reported.

Police say the man had a blood alcohol content of 0.168 percent.

It wasn't immediately clear if Schmitt has an attorney.

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Police shooting suspect in critical condition

Officials say a man suspected of shooting a Sioux City police officer remains in critical condition at an Omaha hospital.

Jenny Nowatzke, a spokeswoman at the Nebraska Medical Center, says Noah Ironshell was listed in critical condition as of 5:50 p.m. Thursday.

Her nephew is clinically unresponsive. She did not elaborate.

Authorities say Noah Ironshell shot Officer Jill Ohm on Friday as she responded to a Sioux City house about a disturbance and a person who might be suicidal. He is accused of shooting her in the chin.

Ohm was taken to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening. Ironshell was later found in the basement of an abandoned home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

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People : Jenny NowatzkeJill OhmNoah Ironshell




 

Films incited inmates to harass woman, according to lawyer

A lawyer for a female prison guard suing Iowa for sexual harassment says the Department of Corrections practice of allowing violent inmates to watch sexually graphic movies encouraged prisoners to harass and threaten her.

Kristine Sink's attorney, Paige Fiedler, told jurors in closing arguments Thursday that Sink tolerated threats of rape and murder. She is seeking up to $4.5 million for emotional distress.

Sink says supervisors at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison allowed harassment by inmates and co-workers.

Assistant Iowa Attorney General Tyler Smith, representing the state, says showing the movies was wrong but officials dealt appropriately with Sink's issues, which he called no worse than those other guards faced.

A jury of four men and four women heard testimony over nearly three weeks and has begun deliberating.

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People : Kristine SinkPaige FiedlerTyler Smith




 

Pooches seek home following colossal dog-fight bust

Two dogs rescued as part of a huge dog-fighting bust in Alabama are up for adoption in Waterloo.

The American Staffordshire terriers, named Jax and Luigi, are available for adoption at the Cedar Bend Humane Society. The organization also identifies the dogs as pit bulls.

Jax is 2 years old and Luigi is 1. Luigi was born after the 2012 raid in Alabama, in which hundreds of dogs were rescued.

Many of the dogs were found tethered with no access to food or water amid 90-degree heat.

Many of the dogs were made available for adoption through animal rescue groups around the country.

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Video released in attempt to find mystery Iowa Hot Lotto man

Authorities trying to answer the longtime question of who bought an unclaimed multimillion-dollar lottery ticket in Iowa in 2010 have released video of the mystery person in the hopes of finally identifying him.

The video released Thursday by the state Division of Criminal Investigation shows a hooded man at a Des Moines gas station buying a Hot Lotto ticket that later won a $14.3 million prize.

A New York lawyer in 2011 waited minutes before the one-year deadline to try to claim the ticket. He signed it on behalf of a newly created trust and said he didn't know the winner's name.

Lottery officials refused to pay the jackpot and the lawyer withdrew the claim. Since then, officials have been trying to find the mystery man.

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Homecoming game tonight for Marshalltown High School

Tonight will be the Homecoming game for Marshalltown
against Fort Dodge.

Last night Bryce King was named the Homecoming King
and Maria Yepez was named Homecoming Queen.
Students held their Homecoming Parade on the streets
of Marshalltown then held a Pep Rally and named the
King and Queen.

This week has had a roaring twenties theme to it, todays
dress theme is spirit day with the colors of red white
and blue. The Homecoming game will be aired on KFJB
with an airtime of 6:55 p-m and a kick off of 7:30 from
Leonard Cole Field on the campus of Marshalltown
High School.

The Homecoming Dance is tomorrow night at eight
p-m.


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Unemployment filings uncover sexual harassment at IVH

Five employees at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown were fired earlier this year after a sexual harassment investigation.

A spokesman for Gov. Terry Branstad confirmed the terminations Thursday but declined to offer details, calling it a personnel matter. The firings were first reported by the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

The investigation became public because several fired workers had hearings related to their eligibility for unemployment benefits. Decisions in those cases were made public.

Documents say the investigation was into a complaint of sexual harassment made against a food service worker.

A call to the home's Commandant Jodi Tymeson was not immediately returned. Branstad expressed support for Tymeson's leadership on Thursday.

More than 600 veterans and their spouses live in nursing home and assisted living facilities at the Iowa Veterans Home.

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People : Jodi TymesonTerry Branstad




 

Davenport votes to legalize coyote shootings within city limits

Aldermen have taken a step toward allowing people living on 10 acres or more inside Davenport city limits to kill coyotes on their land.

They voted unanimously in favor of a resolution Wednesday that would allow such action. Two more readings and board votes are required before the killings would be allowed.

Some residents have said coyotes have become a serious problem on their land. Sharon Hobart told the aldermen Wednesday that she worried about the safety of her dog and horses.

But Jason Harkness, of River Valley Wildlife Specialists, said there is no way to eradicate the coyotes. He urged the aldermen to get professional advice on developing a long-term coyote plan.

Before voting, aldermen agreed they should seek advice from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

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People : Jason HarknessSharon Hobart




 

Students say substitute teacher yanked their hair

A Cedar Rapids school district says two students reported that a substitute teacher pulled their hair.

The College Community School District school sent a letter home with third-grade students on Friday, saying that the two students said "the guest teacher pulled their hair in order to get their attention and/or redirect them."

District administrators declined to provide any specifics and would say only that the incident had been investigated and that appropriate action had been taken.

Elizabeth Muntz told the station that her daughter was one of the two students. She says the district told her the substitute teacher would no longer be working for the district

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Eastern Iowa man sentenced 7 years in prison for bank robbery

A man has been given nearly seven years in federal prison for robbing a bank in downtown Cedar Rapids.

On Wednesday Jacob Mack was given 57 months for robbing the Cedar Rapids Hills Bank and Trust on May 2 and 24 more months for violating the terms of his federal supervised release. On the day of the robbery, Mack was on supervised release after a 2011 conviction for unlawful possession of a firearm.

Mack also was ordered to make restitution to the bank and to serve three years of supervised release after he leaves custody. He'd pleaded guilty to the robbery charge and admitted taking more than $6,000 from the bank.

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Iowa nursing home faces federal fines following inspections

A central Iowa nursing home faces federal fines of at least $64,000 for care problems found during inspections.

State inspection reports that led to the fines suggest many of the issues cited stem from staffing shortages at the Madrid Home for the Aging.

A lawyer for the nursing home denied the allegations and says the owners are appealing the fines.

Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals spokesman David Werning says the nursing home was hit with unusually strong punishment because inspectors had found similar problems there within the past year.

In August the home was sued by a woman who says she found her 74-year-old mother naked and soiled on the floor of an unfinished room at the facility. Her mother has since died.

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Cedar Rapids marijuana advertisements reportedly a hoax

The owner of a building in Cedar Rapids where posters appeared promoting the opening of a marijuana dispensary says the advertisement is a hoax.

John Wasta says two posters appeared Tuesday on the outside of his empty storefront that implied a business known as the Iowa Marijuana Company would open in October 2015. They included an image of ears of corn in the shape of a marijuana leaf.

Wasta said he took down the posters and is not taking the apparent prank too seriously.

A website promoting the company says stores will also open in Iowa City and Clinton. The website appears to sell merchandise and list pricing.

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People : ClintonJohn Wasta




 

Bond for man accused of attempting to run into officers doubled

Bond has been doubled for a man accused of trying to hit police officers with a vehicle in northern Iowa.

Fayette County Attorney Wayne Saur made the request in court Wednesday to raise Abel Quijas Jr.'s bond to $500,000 cash only. Quijas' defense attorney, Melissa Anderson-Seeber, did not challenge it.

Saur argued Quijas, of Maynard, was a major flight risk.

Quijas is charged with one count of attempted murder following an incident on Sept. 11 in Oelwein (OHL'-wyn). Quijas is accused of trying to hit police officers with a vehicle. He was later arrested and treated for a gunshot wound.

A message left for Quijas' attorney was not immediately returned Wednesday.

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People : Abel Quijas Jr.Melissa Anderson-SeeberWayne Saur




 

Name released of construction worker who died on site

Authorities have released the name of a construction worker killed after he was pinned under a piece of equipment in northwest Iowa.

Maj. Todd Wieck with the Woodbury County Sheriff's Office says 49-year-old Daniel Lewis Uhl, of Anthon, was killed Tuesday at a construction site near Correctionville.

Uhl was at the site when a large piece of "earth-moving equipment" pinned him. He was airlifted to a Sioux City hospital but was pronounced dead before the helicopter landed.

The circumstances of the death are under investigation.

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Iowa man leads Dubuque police on chase

A northeast Iowa man faces several charges following a police chase in Dubuque.

Dubuque police say 30-year-old Aaron T. Weipert, of Colesburg, was arrested early Tuesday following a chase on the city's west side.

A criminal complaint says officials had attempted to stop a white van linked to an earlier crime when the van sped away. The vehicle exceeded the speed limit on multiple streets, including driving 60 mph in a 30 mph zone.

Police used stop sticks to stop the van and arrest the driver, later identified as Weipert. He faces charges of eluding and operating while under the influence, and several traffic citations. Court records do not list an attorney.

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People : Aaron T. WeipertColesburg




 

Baby born at bus stop, dropped off at clinic

Authorities say a man has dropped off a newborn baby at a family medicine clinic in Des Moines.

Des Moines police say they received a report Wednesday morning about a man who entered the clinic and told staff the baby was just born at a bus stop. The man then left the clinic.

The baby was later taken to Blank Children's Hospital.

Police spokesman Sgt. Jason Halifax says there is no indication of criminal activity at this point. The case is being turned over to the state Department of Human Services.

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People : Jason Halifax




 

Fire renders rural Union family without a home

A family of six in the rural Union area is homeless

after a fire.

Union Volunteer Fire Chief Andrew Clemens says it

happened in southern Hardin County along

county road D-65.

He says the fire at a single story wooden structure

at a farmstead is likely electrical in nature

as an investigation continues.

Everyone did get out okay however one adult suffered

burns and was taken to Marshalltown Medical

and Surgical center and was treated and released.

Chief Clemens says it happened Tuesday

morning.

Seven area agencies provided mutual aid

including the American Red Cross.

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Locations : Hardin County
People : Andrew Clemens




 

Man arrested for breaking into house of wife's supposed lover

Waterloo police have arrested a man who they say broke into an apartment while searching for his wife.

46-year-old Allen McReynolds was arrested Tuesday on charges of first-degree burglary and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Police say McReynolds knocked on another man's door on Sept. 27 and later returned and entered through a bedroom window. They say McReynolds grabbed a .22-caliber rifle, pointed it at the apartment owner and said his wife had been cheating.

Police say McReynolds gave the rifle to the other man and left after searching the house. They say he is prohibited from handling firearms because of a 1994 felony conviction.

McReynolds is being held in the Black Hawk County jail on $105,000 bond.

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Locations : Black Hawk County
People : Allen McReynolds




 

Buck saved from sinkhole by college students

Iowa authorities say three college students have rescued a 10-point buck from a 10-foot sinkhole.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the animal was rescued last week from a Winneshiek County farm near Decorah.

The three high school friends were home from college when a tractor ran into the sinkhole and discovered the deer. They estimate the hole is about 4 feet wide and 10 feet deep.

They fastened a rope to the buck's antlers and pulled it out of the hole. The men say the animal appeared to be uninjured and ran off after it was rescued.

The farm owner tells KWWL-TV he hopes the deer will return the kindness by leaving his corn and beans alone.

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'Twilight' scammer pleads to guilty to child pornography

A California man accused of posing as an actor from the "Twilight" movie series has pleaded not guilty to federal child pornography charges.

33-year-old David LaVera made the pleas Tuesday during his arraignment in federal court in Des Moines. A magistrate says LaVera's trial will be held in the two-week period beginning Dec. 1.

LaVera, of San Diego, already has pleaded not guilty to Iowa charges of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of a minor, enticing a minor, carrying weapons and failure to have a valid driver's license.

Authorities say that while LaVera was in Jasper County this spring, he posed as "Kiowa Gordon," an actor in the "Twilight" series, and visited two schools in Newton.

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Construction worker gets trapped under equipment, dies

Authorities say a construction worker has died after he was pinned under a piece of equipment in northwest Iowa.

Woodbury County Sgt. Don Armstrong says authorities responded Tuesday to a construction site near Correctionville where a new bridge is being built.

Authorities found the man pinned under a piece of construction equipment. He was airlifted to a Sioux City hospital but was pronounced dead before the helicopter landed.

The worker's name has not been released. Additional information is not available.

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Trial date set for lawmaker accused of sexual abuse

A trial date has been set for an Iowa lawmaker accused of sexually abusing his wife at a care center.

The trial against Republican State Rep. Henry Rayhons is scheduled to start Jan. 28 at the Hancock County District Court in Garner.

Officials have accused the 78-year-old Rayhons, of Garner, of having sexual contact in May with his wife, Donna Rayhons, while she was a resident of a care center and not able to give consent. Donna Rayhons died in early August.

Rayhons is charged with third-degree sexual abuse. He has pleaded not guilty.

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Man brings weapons to West Marshall School, faces felony charges

A central Iowa man faces a felony charge after authorities say several weapons were found on the hood of his vehicle near a school.

State Center police say 19-year-old Lane Kline was arrested early Saturday at West Marshall High School after a report came in about a vehicle doing circles on the grass of the school.

Police say they found Kline and others standing outside the vehicle next to two assault rifles, a shotgun and a bow and arrow. All the weapons were on the car's hood.

Kline faces a felony charge of carrying weapons on school grounds and possession of alcohol under 21. His attorney says it's too early in the court proceedings to comment on the case.

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High school ends football season following bullying allegations

A central New Jersey town is reeling after its high school football season was cut short by allegations of bullying and harassment among players.

Sayreville War Memorial High has been a powerhouse, winning three sectional titles in the last four years.

On Monday night, school district officials canceled the rest of the season after speaking with the county prosecutor's office, which is conducting an investigation into the bullying allegations.

The prosecutor's office hasn't released any details and didn't respond to a message seeking comment Tuesday.

The school superintendent says there was evidence of pervasive harassment, intimidation and bullying.

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Iowa State Representative diagnosed with renal cancer

State Rep. Dwayne Alons says he has been diagnosed with renal cancer but plans to continue to serve in the Legislature.

Alons, a Republican from Hull, announced his diagnosis in a news release Tuesday. He says he had cancer in his left kidney and will undergo treatment in the fall. He thanked his family for their support and expressed a desire to continue working on behalf of Sioux County.

Alons is running unopposed for a ninth term. He is a retired farmer and former Iowa Air National Guard brigadier general.

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Crowd gathers for funeral services of high school football player

An overflow crowd spilled into the parking lot of a New York church at the funeral Mass for a Long Island high school football player who died during a game last week.

A funeral procession, led by police on motorcycles, brought the casket of 16-year-old Tom Cutinella to the St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Wading River on Tuesday.

Cutinella, a junior on the Shoreham-Wading River varsity football team, died after collapsing during a game last Wednesday. Authorities have not revealed a cause of death.

He was the third high school football player in the country to die in the same week.

Friends and teachers have called Cutinella an inspiration to his fellow classmates.

Many members of opposing teams attended a wake for Cutinella on Sunday and Monday.

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Youth football coach attacked by enraged father

Authorities say a youth football coach has been attacked by the father of one of his players after a game in southern New Jersey.

Toms River police say the 46-year-old parent was charged with simple assault following the altercation, which was reported around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

The 45-year-old male coach says the parent ran across the field toward him and tackled him. The two men then fought on the ground until bystanders separated them.

The coach says the attack was unprovoked. The parent says he acted in self-defense when the coach "took an aggressive stance," but authorities say witnesses told them the parent was the sole aggressor.

The altercation came after the coach told his players that their season was over because of their ongoing poor sportsmanship and bad attitudes.

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Iowa man accused of credit card scheme

A 32-year-old Charles City man is accused of a scheme that involved false reports of stolen or lost credit cards.

Online court records say Matthew Kirsch is charged with felony ongoing criminal conduct, eight felony counts of unauthorized use of a credit card and three misdemeanor counts of unauthorized use of a credit card. Online jail records said Kirsch remained in Floyd County custody on Tuesday. His attorney didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press.

Authorities say that between March 7 and May 1, Kirsch and an accomplice would report a credit card as stolen or lost. Authorities say Kirsch would have his accomplice activate the replacement card, and Kirsch then would use it to withdraw money from cash machines and share the money with his accomplice.

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'Twilight' movie scammer now facing child pornography charges

A California man accused of posing as an actor from the "Twilight" movie series now faces federal child pornography charges.

Thirty-three-year-old David LaVera is expected in federal court in Des Moines on Tuesday on charges of sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography. Jasper County Sheriff John Halferty says LaVera has been turned over to U.S. marshals.

LaVera, of San Diego, already has pleaded not guilty to Iowa charges of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of a minor, enticing a minor, carrying weapons and failure to have a valid driver's license.

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Trial date set for Iowa woman accused of injuring infant son

A December trial has been scheduled for a Rockford woman accused of injuring her 5-month-old son.

23-year-old Stephanie Fatland will face three counts of felony child endangerment resulting in serious injury. She's pleaded not guilty. Her trial is set to begin on Dec. 2.

Authorities say Fatland took her son to a hospital on July 20. Doctors found several retinal hemorrhages and a bulging soft spot on his skull. Court records say Fatland acknowledged shaking the baby on three occasions.

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Northern Iowa man charged after gun threat

A Waverly man faces an assault charge after authorities say he threatened a civil process server with a gun.

The Bremer County Sheriff's Office says it received a report Friday about an assault in rural Waverly. An investigation determined a civil process server attempting to serve civil papers was confronted by a man with a gun.

Authorities later arrested the man, identified as 57-year-old Bruce Alan Johnston. He faces a felony charge of assault. Court records do not list an attorney.

Records show Johnston was taken to the Bremer County Jail and later released after posting bond. A public number for him was not listed.

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Man pleads guilty to robbing four Cedar Rapids banks

An eastern Iowa man has pleaded guilty to robbing four banks in Cedar Rapids.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Iowa says 29-year-old Javon Dockery, of Cedar Rapids, entered the plea Thursday to four counts of bank robbery and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

As part of a deal, Dockery admitted to robbing a Cedar Rapids branch of U.S. Bank on April 30 and June 26. He also admitted to robbing a Cedar Rapids branch of Guaranty Bank on May 16 and May 29.

Twenty-one-year-old Bria Daudinot, also of Cedar Rapids, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of bank robbery as part of a plea deal. She admitted to driving a getaway car during one of the robberies.

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Meteorologist poser gets fine, probation

A Davenport man who posed as a local television meteorologist has been fined and given probation.

Online court records say 24-year-old Matt Wendt pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of identity theft. He was given a year of probation. He also was fined $625 on each count.

Wendt was accused of impersonating Greg Dutra, a meteorologist for KWQC-TV in Davenport, on social media accounts. Dutra has said he was contacted by a woman who said she and Dutra had communicated through several messages online.

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Parents suing school district for strapping son to chair

The parents of a boy they say was strapped to a classroom chair with a belt are suing the school district.

The parents filed the lawsuit against the Waterloo Community School District on Sept. 24 in Black Hawk County.

The school district hasn't filed a formal response. School officials declined to comment to the newspaper.

The lawsuit says boy was 5 when a teacher periodically strapped him to his chair with a belt at Lou Henry Elementary in 2012. The lawsuit also says the teacher put hot cinnamon strips in the boy's mouth as punishment.

The parents say their son, diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, suffered physical and mental abuse.

They are seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

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Suspended student involved in deadly fight won't return

District administrators say a student suspended after he was involved in a fight that left another student dead won't return to the high school but will be assigned to an alternative school.

The 16-year-old student was suspended last month from Abraham Lincoln High School after punching a 17-year-old student, who hit his head on the floor and died days later.

Authorities said the student wouldn't be charged because he was justified in his use of force to defend himself.

A Pottawattamie County attorney said an initial assault charge against him would be dropped in juvenile court.

The student's attorney says his client is disappointed by the district's decision to reassign him.

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Grand marshal suing rodeo organization he help found

An elderly grand marshal injured in a fall from a buggy in 2012's Dayton Rodeo parade is suing the rodeo organization — a group he help found.

Allen Porter, now 96, was the grand marshal of the parade when he fell from a horse-drawn buggy in which he was riding. The fall left Porter with a broken collar bone and a cracked bone in his neck.

Porter is now suing, among others, the Dayton Rodeo and Celebration, the city of Dayton and two local school districts. His lawsuit, filed in Webster County, says a school marching band startled the horses pulling his buggy. He's seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.

The newspaper says Porter founded the Dayton Rodeo.

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Marshall County Supervisors to meet

The Marshall County Board of Supervisors meet

Tuesday morning at the Courthouse at nine a-m.

They meet up on the third floor of the Courthouse.

According to the published agenda the Supervisors

will talk about winter preparation and the purchase

of salt to treat the roads.

The Supervisors are also expected to talk about

the hiring of three people who will start on

the job later this month.

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Marshalltown School Board to meet

The Marshalltown School Board meets today at

five p-m at School District Administrative

Headquarters.

According to the published agenda, Administrators

from Marshalltown High School will speak to the

board about a progress report, and improvement

efforts that have been made.

Property acquisition is also on the agenda as

school board will be asked to approve the idea

of buying property near Rogers Elementary

School.

The meeting is at five p-m at 1002 South Third Avenue.

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Homecoming week underway at MHS

Homecoming week is underway at Marshalltown High School.

The theme of the day today is "Movie Star Monday,

students can dress up like their favorite movie

star.

Last night the Powder Puff football game was held.

The Homecoming Parade will be Thursday at six

p-m with the Coronation of the King and Queen

to follow at school.

The Homecoming opponent Friday night is

Fort Dodge

The Homecoming Dance will be Saturday night.

 

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Governor Branstad visits Fisher Manufacturing plant

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Lieutenant Governor

Kim Reynolds visted the Marshalltown area on Friday and

went through the Fisher Manufacturing Plant on South 12th

Avenue here in the city.

The Governors Press Secretary says the occasion was Manufacturing

Day in Iowa and Iowa`s Governor and Lieutenant Governor stopped off

at one of the largest employers in town and the largest valve

manufacturer in the world according to company officials.

Governor Branstad has been using these opportunities to tout his

STEM initiative which is an acronym for Science, Technology, Education

and Math which he believes is important to step up and keep stepped up

in Iowa`s education scenario.

Terry Buzbee is Group Vice President of Emerson who was on hand

for the visit and says the Governor was impressed with Fisher especially

its extensive training program for employees.



Meanwhile the Lieutenant Governor heads the STEM effort for the

Governor and she has a history of telling young folks you cant dodge

math as a course anymore for it's essential to life success.

The pair paid about a 90 minute visit to the Fisher Manufacturing Plant in

southern Marshalltown.

The Governor, Mrs Chris Branstad Iowa`s First Lady and Lieutenant Governor

Reynolds will pay another visit to Marshalltown on Tuesday, the appearance will

be at the Orpheum Theatre according to the Governors Press office for an event

called the Marshall County Bullying Prevention Listening Tour Event. That will be

Tuesday at 10:30 a-m.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Former Des Moines mayor drunk and speeding, kills three

Police say the former mayor of Des Moines, Iowa, was drunk and speeding when he caused a Dedham, Maine, car crash that killed himself and two others in August.

Maine state troopers report that Richard Olson's blood-alcohol concentration was 0.14 and he was driving his SUV 76 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour zone when the crash occurred. The legal blood-alcohol limit in Maine is 0.08. Olson crossed a center line and crashed into a pickup truck driven by Phillip Carter.

Police say Olson, Carter, and Carter's passenger, Roxanne Papken, were killed instantly. A police investigation revealed that Olson spent much of the day at a Bangor casino and was seen drinking a martini at an inn near the crash site just before the accident.

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Iowa deputy up against lawsuit for shooting man

The family of a man fatally shot by a Van Buren County sheriff's deputy two years ago has filed a lawsuit that claims the deputy used excessive force.

Deputy Jon Tharp responded to reports about an armed man walking on a highway's shoulder in 2012.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says Tharp acted in self-defense when he opened fire at R. Michael Dooley.

According to the lawsuit against him, Tharp ordered Dooley to drop his gun. The suit says Tharp shot Dooley before he could put down his weapon.

Van Buren County Attorney Craig Miller said no criminal charges were filed against Tharp.

Tharp still works as a deputy in Van Buren County. A message seeking comment from him was left at the sheriff's office.

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