StormTrac 7 Forecast:
Today: Partly sunny, breezy and cooler. High: 30. Winds: N 10-20 mph gusting higher.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy and cold. Low: 16. Winds: SW 5-15 mph gusting higher.
Tomorrow: Partly sunny and warmer. High: 40. Winds: SW 5-15 mph.
Friday: Partly cloudy with highs in the mid 40s and lows in the low 30s.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy with highs around 40 and lows in the mid 20s.
Dubuque and TriState
Sweet Gets Life
The Manchester teenager who pled guilty in the double homicide of his grandparents in May of 2012 has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. District Court Judge Micheal Shubatt sentenced now 19 year old Isaiah Sweet Tuesday afternoon in Delaware County District Court. In October of 2013, Sweet, who was 17 at the time of the killings pled guilty to two counts of first degree murder in the shooting deaths of his grandparents, Richard and Janet Sweet. In exchange for the guilty plea, all other charges were dropped. Last month, Judge Shubatt recessed a sentencing hearing, after defense attorneys sought a 25 year prison term, with a chance for parole, but prosecutors urged the Judge to give Sweet life, without parole. Sweet had asked the Judge to consider his age when making his decision.
Firearms Guilty Plea
A Dubuque man entered a plea of guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon yesterday. Following his guilty plea in Federal Court in Cedar Rapids, 27 year old Tyrone Clifton was convicted of one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. In the plea agreement, Clifton admitted that on the morning of Novemver 22nd, 2013, he was involved in an altercation in a Dubuque bar, and shot himself. He fled the bar before police arrived, but was arrested later that day in a car with a loaded 9mm pistol. Clifton had previously been convicted in Cook County, Illinois of possession of a controlled substance, with intent to deliver in 2005, possessioon of a controlled substance in 2006, delivery of a controlled subtance in 2008, and escape, and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon by a felon in 2011. Clifton will be sentenced after a presentence investigation report is prepared. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of 250-thousand dollars, and 3 years of supervised released once he is out of prison. Clifton is in the custody of the U.S. Marshal pending sentencing.
County Watching for Flooding
The recent warm weather has caused a substantial amount of snow throughout the Tri-State to melt, which is good news to many people… but not everybody. Dubuque County Engineer, Brett Wilkinson, says the melting causes increased runoff into stream in the rural areas and his crews are keeping an eye on several areas of Dubuque County.
Wilkinson says if culverts do get clogged with snow and ice and water starts to flow over the roadways, workers have some options available to them.
Wilkinson says he is hoping they can avoid trouble… for one last time… at the Herber Road Bridge near the John Deere plant. That bridge, which is over 40 years old, is scheduled to be replaced and improved this summer.
Holy Family Approves Calendar
The Holy Family School Board has approved it's calendar for the 2014-2015 school year. Normally the board would have approved the calendar earlier in the school year, but because the Dubuque Community School Board approved a calendar that would eliminate early dismissals at it's elementary schools on Wednesdays and add a late start on Fridays, the Holy Family School Board decided to delay approval of it's calendar, until it received the results of a survey of teachers and parents. Holy Family and Dubuque Schools had been under the same school calendar and will continue to share buses. After evaluating the feedback from 550 responses, Holy Family Chief Administrator Carol Trueg says they decided to keep their normal start time for Fridays.
Trueg says the biggest issue was how to get kids to school on Friday mornings. She says between parents, students and administrators, they don't anticipate a problem with that.
The Holy Family calendar has December 22nd as a snow makeup date, the same as Dubuque Schools, and spring break is also at the same time as Dubuque Schools in the new Holy Family calendar.
Trueg says it will be a struggle for some families, but faculty, staff and administrators will be there to help them through the transition. She says gaining 3 extra days of professional development with their teachers is a big plus.
Flexsteel Paying Dividends
A Dubuque-based furniture company is keeping its record intact, and is announcing that once again it will be paying a dividend to shareholders. Flexsteel Industries is saying that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend and approved paying 15-cents per share. The dividends will be paid on April 4th to all shareholder of record effective March 21st. In a release, the company says it believes cash flow and operating income are adequate to support the dividend payments. This is the 289th consecutive quarterly cash dividend that Flexsteel is paying. The company was incorporated in 1929 and has paid cash dividends on its common stock every year since 1938.
Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press
FAIRFIELD, Iowa (AP) - Authorities in southeast Iowa say they're investigating why dozens of people at a campus that practices meditation allegedly attacked a county sheriff inside a car. The Jefferson County Attorney's Office says a group of at least 70 people surrounded Sheriff Gregg Morton while he was in his marked patrol vehicle Tuesday morning at a pandit campus near Fairfield. Morton says the group pushed the car back and forth and threw rocks at it. Morton and responding officers were not injured in the incident.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A bill to place restrictions on the use of unmanned aerial drones in Iowa continues to move through the Legislature after approval of an amendment by a Senate subcommittee. The bill considers use of a drone trespassing if it "intrudes upon the legitimate privacy interests in, on, or around private property that is not normally open to the public" or places where the public is not typically invited.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lawmakers in the Iowa Senate want to crack down on texting while driving, but some legislators worry the bill doesn't do enough to address the larger issue of distracted driving. Texting while driving is now prohibited, but it is only enforced if a driver is pulled over for a different violation. Under the bill, officers could pull drivers over specifically for this offense. The measure now goes to the House.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers are attempting to change the state's law dealing with drunken drivers. The Senate approved a measure that would change current law, particularly dealing with devices that require drivers to show they haven't had alcohol before their vehicle ignition will unlock. Under the bill, offenders could begin driving more quickly than under current law if they install an ignition lock device.
Here is the latest Wisconsin news from The Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The plaintiffs in a lawsuit have agreed not to ask for a temporary halt to enforcement of Wisconsin's ban on gay marriage. Instead, they're asking a federal judge to issue a quick decision on the overall case. The American Civil Liberties Union, which is suing on behalf of eight gay couples, decided Tuesday to withdraw its request for a temporary injunction after district attorneys in Milwaukee and Eau Claire counties agreed not to prosecute two couples who recently got married in Minnesota.
BARRON, Wis. (AP) - Authorities say the death of a 33-year-old man in Barron County of northwestern Wisconsin has been ruled a homicide. The sheriff's department identifies him as 33-year-old Daniel Raven, of Barron. He was found dead early Monday at a residence in the Town of Clinton.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The regulatory path for a company looking to open a giant iron mine near Mellen is firming up. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials released a letter Tuesday they sent to Gogebic Taconite outlining the permits and approvals the project may require and what information the company will have to submit to obtain them. The letter notes approvals and permits hinge on the mine's final design.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Scientists have found evidence that invasive Asian carp have spawned much farther north in the upper Mississippi River than previously recorded. The U.S. Geological Survey says Asian carp eggs, including late-stage embryos nearly ready to hatch, were recently identified in samples collected as far north as Lynxville in southwestern Wisconsin. Scientists are still trying to confirm whether the eggs are from bighead or silver carp, though it's possible some of the eggs are from grass carp.
Here is the latest Illinois news from The Associated Press
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Workshops in two Illinois communities hit by tornados last fall will help community leaders learn how to lead recovery efforts. The Disaster Recovery Tools Workshop is for community leaders who want to help survivors rebuild their homes and lives. They will give an overview of how to form a long-term recovery group, disaster management and other topics.
AURORA, Ill. (AP) - A former Aurora police officer will perform 200 hours of community service after pleading guilty to stealing thousands of dollars from a police union. Joseph D. Accardi will be placed under a form of probation called conditional discharge for 12 months and pay a $500 fine. Accardi has already repaid the $9,019 he stole from the police union fund.
VANDALIA, Ill. (AP) - Illinois Conservation Police is investigating last week's illegal killing of more than 30 ducks at the Carlyle Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area near Vandalia. The ducks killed includes several northern pintails and mallards. Duck hunting season in the South Central Zone closed in January.
CHICAGO (AP) - The annual Polar Plunge into Lake Michigan has broken its fundraising goals by raising more than $1 million for Special Olympics Chicago. The event attracted a record number of participants who plunged into the icy lake. More than 3,200 people braved the water March 2nd. That's an increase of more than 30 percent over last year.
Malaysia asks India for plane search help...More winter weather
NEW DELHI (AP) - Now that the search has been expanded, Malaysia is asking India for help in searching for a missing Boeing 777 jetliner. An Indian official says that would widen the search to an area near the Andaman Sea. Indian navy ships frequently patrol the seas in the area and regularly conduct exercises there. The jet was heading from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing with 239 people aboard when it disappeared early Saturday.
CHICAGO (AP) - Deja vu for the Midwest and parts of the East today. Those regions are bracing for another blast of below-normal temperatures and heavy snowfall just when they were enjoying some spring-like conditions. The accumulation could push some season totals to records, before the storm moves out and it starts to warm up again after tomorrow.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) - Afghan police officials say three insurgents are dead after trying to storm the former intelligence service headquarters in the southern city of Kandahar, prompting a fierce gunbattle. Kandahar is the birthplace of the hard-line Taliban movement. The city is heavily guarded by Afghan National Security Forces.
PARIS (AP) - Michael Schumacher's agent is tempering optimism with caution in the latest update on the injured former Formula One champion. Sabine Kehm says the family believes Schumacher will wake from the coma he has been in for more than two months following a skiing accident. Neurologists not involved in his treatment say full recovery appears increasingly unlikely.
ROME (AP) - Pope Francis' namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, founded his order in the 13th century, but the friars aren't stuck in it. Some 800 years later, St. Francis' followers are using a modern twist on the ancient tradition of door-to-door begging. The friars who run the San Francesco a Ripa church in a Rome neighborhood are launching a Kickstarter online fundraising campaign for the restoration of the tiny cell where St. Francis stayed when he came to Rome. They need $125,000.