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Dubuque & Tri-State News

Gas Leak On Radford Road


Dubuque fire fighters were on the scene of a gas leak that happened on Radford Road this morning. Fire Chief Rick Steines says crews responded to the two-thousand block of Radford Road a few minutes before 11 o’clock, after contractors working on a driveway hit a service line causing a natural gas leak. Steines says crews from Black Hills Energy were able to clamp off the gas leak before noon and no injuries were reported.

Boulton Responds To Reynolds’ Speech

Nate Boulton

A few hours after Governor Kim Reynolds’ inaugural speech as the state’s first female Governor, one of the Democrats running for her position gave a response to a group of supporters in Cedar Rapids. State Senator Nate Boulton of Des Moines says he heard nothing from the new Governor that would support working Iowans. Boulton says Governor Reynolds has a chance to reverse the policies that she was a party to. Boulton called on Reynolds to create a task force to evaluate and provide oversight to the tax credits and exemptions that have been given to big corporations, instead of a task force to look into IPERS. Boulton pledges to work for the betterment of all Iowans. Along with Boulton, four other Democrats will be running for the Governor’s office next year. They are State Representative Todd Prichard, former state party chair Andy McGuire, former DNR Director Richard Leopold and Des Moines attorney John Niederbach.

UPDATE: Debit Card Fraud Incident In Dubuque


Dubuque police now believe they have identified the person who fraudulently used a debit card to withdraw money from a woman’s account last week. A release from the department says the suspect broke into the victim’s car which was parked in the 17-hundred block of Bristol Drive sometime between 4 pm on March 18th and 6:45 am the next day and stole her purse, which contained credit, debit cards and cash. Shortly after the burglar the thief used a debit card to withdraw 300 dollars from an ATM machine. The total lost to the victim was 500 dollars. A surveillance image of the suspect was obtained from a nearby business.

Debit Card Fraud Incident In Dubuque

Dubuque police need your help in identifying the person who fraudulently used a debit card to withdraw money from a woman’s account last week. A release from the department says someone broke into the victim’s car which was parked in the 17-hundred block of Bristol Drive sometime between 4 pm on March 18th and 6:45 am the next day and stole her purse, which contained credit, debit cards and cash. Shortly after the burglar the thief used a debit card to withdraw 300 dollars from an ATM machine. The total lost to the victim was 500 dollars. A surveillance image of the suspect was obtained from a nearby business. The police department has posted that image on its’ ID4PD website.

Branstad Resigns, Reynolds Sworn In as Iowa’s First Female Governor


It was a day of ceremony in Iowa’s state capitol as the state’s longest-serving governor passed power to the first female to hold the office. Kim Reynolds took office as the 43rd governor in Iowa’s history this morning. Earlier in the day, Terry Branstad resigned after nearly 22 and a half total years in office, only to be immediately sworn in as the new US Ambassador to China. A few minutes later, Reynolds took her oath as Iowa’s new chief executive. Reynolds began her inaugural address by thanking Branstad for his faith in her. Reynolds outlined four areas that she will put her focus during her administration. Reynolds says she and her staff will operate with one goal in mind: making Iowa better. After growing up in a town of 600 and previously working in her county treasurer’s office, Reynolds says she’s an example of what is possible in Iowa. Reynolds will fill out the rest of Branstad’s remaining term, then would be the likely Republican front-runner for a term of her own during next fall’s election.

Former Cassville Employee Accused of Tampering Water Meters, Stealing From City

A former Cassville city employee has been accused of falsifying water meters to steal from the town. Cassville Police arrested Steven Kirschbaum earlier this month. He had worked for the town’s Water and Sewer Department for 38 years until his retirement in 2015. Authorities now say that Kirschbaum tampered with water meters and stole funds from the city. A release from the Cassville Police Department says the theft and meter tampering happened over a “long term,” but did not go into detail about how long the scheme had been going on. It’s also not known exactly how much money may have been diverted away from the city.

Darlington Police Officer Catches Thieves Trying to Steal UTV

A suspected vehicle thief was arrested after a Darlington Police officer caught him and his partners in the act. The officer had been checking the town’s downtown area for suspicious activity at around 1:30 Tuesday morning. That’s when he spotted three masked men trying to steal a Utility Terrain Vehicle from Mike’s Engine Works. When the thieves saw the officer, they aborted the attempted theft and took off on foot, leaving a truck and trailer behind. Police have since arrested 32-year-old Chad Knauer of Shullsburg. He’s expected to be charged with Felony Theft. The other two men are still being sought by police. The UTV they were trying to steal is valued at $7,000.

Dubuque Regional Humane Society Officially Adopting “No Kill” Policy

After facing mounting pressure, the Dubuque Regional Humane Society has announced that it will become a “No Kill” facility. That means that they will no longer euthanize animals because there isn’t enough space to house them. The Humane Society’s Melissa Palfrey tells us that they’ve already been meeting the requirements of a “no kill” shelter, but haven’t used that terminology until now. But Palfrey cautions that the term “no kill” can be a bit misleading. There will still be some animals that are put down, but only in cases where they are suffering from poor health or present a danger to the community. Last year, the Humane Society had a 100% adoption rate for healthy animals. Palfrey says that’s notable because they receive animals from many other areas where adoptions are not happening. Based on last year’s data, only about 8% of the animals the shelter takes in are put down due to their health or behavioral concerns.

Dubuque Man Accused of Shooting on Old Highway Road

A report of gunfire just outside the Dubuque city limits led to the arrest of a suspect last night. Officers from four area agencies were called to the area near the intersection of Old Highway Road and Julien Lane at about 9:20 PM. After talking to witnesses, deputies from the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office identified the suspect as 40-year-old Nathan Schumacher of Dubuque. Deputies later found Schumacher at his home on Vizaleea Drive near Hempstead High School. After getting a warrant, deputies searched Schumacher’s home and vehicles, where they found several guns, including one they believe was used earlier in the evening. Schumacher was then arrested on charges of Intimidation with a Dangerous Weapon and Interference with Official Acts.

East Dubuque Man Accused of Hit-and-Run, Leading Police on Chase into Wisconsin


An East Dubuque man who was involved in a hit-and-run at a Dubuque casino was arrested early Tuesday morning. But only after leading police on a 16 mile long pursuit. 24-year-old Jacob Gerlach was arrested by Grant County sheriff’s deputies at a home on Hummingbird Lane outside of Platteville. At about 1:15 that morning, Dubuque County authorities alerted Grant County to a chase that was entering Wisconsin on US Highway 151. They said Gerlach had been involved in a crash at the Q Casino, but left the scene without stopping. Grant County deputies picked up the pursuit near Kieler, where Gerlach’s car narrowly missed hitting a deputy vehicle. Gerlach continued on Highway 151 before turning onto Hummingbird Lane and into a private driveway. Deputies say he resisted arrest, and they had to break one of the windows in his car to get him out of the vehicle. Gerlach is facing five charges, including Felony Eluding, Operating While Intoxicated, and Resisting Arrest. A passenger in the car, 22-year-old Sean Stevens of Dubuque, was arrested on a charge of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Flood Warning Issued for Mississippi River

The Mississippi River at Dubuque is now under a Flood Warning from the National Weather Service. The river had previously been the subject of a Flood Watch, but the weather service upgraded that to a warning this morning. At about 2:00 AM today, the river level at Lock and Dam 11 was reading just over 13 feet. The river is expected to reach the flood stage of 16 feet on Sunday. The river level will hold steady for a couple of days, before beginning to fall on Tuesday morning. A little ways downriver at the railroad bridge, the river level is slightly above 15 feet. The flood stage there is 17 feet, and the river is expected to hit that mark Friday morning. It will continue to rise until Sunday, when the river is expected to crest at 18.1 feet. At that level, the water would be over the East Dubuque Flats levee. The river level there should begin to drop early Tuesday morning as well, though it’s not yet know when the water would fall below flood stage.

Galena Woman Indicted on Child Battery Charges

Courtesy: KCRG-TV

A grand jury has indicted a Galena woman on charges that she abused a child who lives in her home. 43-year-old Julie Klar is charged with Aggravated Battery, a class 3 felony, and Domestic Battery, a class A misdemeanor. Klar also apparently goes by the name Julie Hartlep at times. The indictment against her says the abuse happened on April 9 and 10. It accuses Klar of choking, kicking, slapping, hitting, pushing to the floor a child under the age of 13. Klar is free on bond. Her initial court appearance is set for June 1. If convicted, she could face up to six years in prison.

Student Thrown From School Bus Following Crash in Grant County

Courtesy: WISC-TV

A student was thrown from a school bus after it collided with a dump truck in Grant County yesterday afternoon. According to the local sheriff’s office, the crash happened just before 4:00 at the intersection of Borah Ridge Road and County Road P northwest of Patch Grove. The bus entered that intersection heading northbound as a dump truck was traveling westbound. Investigators say the dump truck hit the bus, before veering off to the shoulder, and stopping in a ditch. The bus spun around, flew through a ditch and barbed wire fence before coming to rest in a pasture. One student was ejected from the school bus and taken to a nearby hospital, but the extent of their injuries isn’t known. Of the eight other children on the bus, five were taken to area hospitals. Two others were picked up by their parents, and one was treated at the scene and released.

Lafayette County Drug Bust Nets Two Arrests

Courtesy: WGMD

Two southwest Wisconsin residents face drug charges after police searched one of their homes Tuesday morning. The State Line Area Narcotics Team served a warrant a home in the 100 block of 3rd Avenue in Benton at around 6:15 AM. Officers found cannabis, THC wax, scales, packaging materials, and drug paraphernalia. 18-year-old Matthew Kopetko of Benton was arrested and has been charged with a felony count of Manufacturing and Delivering THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana. He’s also charged with Maintaining a Drug Trafficking Place and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. 22-year-old Austin Simmons of Cuba City was also arrested. He’s been facing one count each of possession both THC and drug paraphernalia.

Dubuque Pools Opening This Saturday

It’s time to dust off those swim trunks and bathing suits, because barring any inclement weather problems, Sutton and Flora pools are set to open on Saturday. From this Saturday through Memorial Day adult water walking is scheduled from 11 am to 1 pm with open swimming from 1 to 5. Adult water walking will also be held from May 30th through June 3rd. Regular pool hours begin on June 3rd. Regular pool hours at Flora and Sutton are Sunday through Saturday at various times of the day and night. Swim passes are available for purchase at the Leisure Services office.

Theisen’s New Dyersville Location Opening This Fall

In celebration of its 50th year in Dyersville, Theisen’s is building a new store in that community. The new facility is expected to double the size of the current store. Theisen’s spokesperson Sharon Donovan says the new 50,000 square foot store will be built directly behind the current building on 13th Avenue Southeast. Theisen’s opened its Dyersville store in 1967 and doubled the capacity three years later. Another expansion happened in 1976, but the store has undergone few upgrades since. Donovan says there have been discussions for years about what to do with the Dyersville store. According to Donovan, the new store will be much more convenient for customers. The Dyersville location employs about 40 people, and Donovan says they hope to add additional workers once the expansion is completed. The Dyersville City Council has approved a tax-increment financing agreement with Theisen’s to help with the new store’s construction. The city will pay back half of the new taxes generated by the new store over a seven-year period. The city has capped those rebates at $400,000.



Branstad, Reynolds Reveal Details of Gubernatorial Transition

Branstad, Reynolds

Iowa’s first female governor will be officially sworn in tomorrow morning. Current governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds revealed the details of their transition plans during a news conference this morning. The US Senate voted yesterday to confirm Branstad as the new US Ambassador to China. He received affirmative votes from 82 of the 100 Senators, something Branstad says is notable given Washington’s partisan political climate. Branstad says he’s leaving the state in capable hands. Reynolds was also very complimentary of Branstad, saying that she “learned from the best.” Reynolds says the administration owes it to the people of Iowa to have a smooth transition of power. Branstad will resign at 10:00 tomorrow morning. He’ll then be sworn in as Ambassador to China, with a federal judge administering the oath. Reynolds will assume his position at that time, but she won’t be officially sworn in until a half-hour later, at 10:30. She will then deliver her inaugural address. Reynolds will announce her plans for filling her position as Lt. Governor on Thursday morning.

Four People Arrested for Fighting at Dubuque Grocery Store

Four people have been arrested for their roles in a fight at a Dubuque grocery store on Monday afternoon. Dubuque police officers were called to the Eagle Country Market on Elm Street at about 4:30 PM. According to police, the incident began when 32-year-old Joseph Evilsizer and 23-year-old Jimmy Saunders began arguing in the parking lot outside the store. That argument led to a physical fight between them, with 19-year-old Colton Puccio joining in. Saunders went to his vehicle, where he grabbed a screwdriver that he began using as a weapon. The fight then moved into the store, where the three began throwing merchandise at each other. Eventually, they moved back to the parking lot, where Evilsizer armed himself with a baseball bat. That’s when Saunders shouted at 21-year-old Angelic Dillard, who was sitting in a vehicle, and told her to run Evilsizer over. She did drive at Evilsizer, hitting him with the vehicle and knocking him to the ground. All four individuals have been arrested. Evilsizer, Saunders, and Dillard are charged with Assault while Displaying a Weapon. Puccio has been charged with Disorderly Conduct and Possession of a Controlled Substance. Evilsizer is facing a drug charge as well, as officers found prescription medication that is not his in his pocket.

IL Man, WI Woman Face Fornication, Drug Charges

An Illinois man and a Wisconsin woman are both facing multiple charges after being caught fooling around on a rural road in southwest Wisconsin. A deputy from the Lafayette County Sheriff’s department spotted what’s described as a “suspicious vehicle” parked in traffic on Ames Road west of Gratiot. 38-year-old Bradley Boelk of Apple River, Illinois and 30-year-old Melissa Rebout of Monticello, Wisconsin were found inside the vehicle. They were engaged in an activity that led the deputy to arrest both for Public Fornication. The deputy also had reason to believe the two were intoxicated. After searching the vehicle, marijuana, prescription drugs, and drug paraphernalia were found. Boelk is also facing one count each of Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was also cited for driving without a license, valid registration, or proof of insurance. Rebout is facing two counts of Possession of Illegally Obtained Prescriptions. Public Fornication is a Class A misdemeanor in Wisconsin. It’s punishable by up to nine months in jail and a $10,000 dollar fine.

Branstad to Step Down, Reynolds to Be Sworn In Wednesday

Branstad, Reynolds

Wednesday will be an historic day in the state of Iowa, as the nation’s longest-serving governor steps down and the state’s first-ever female governor is sworn in. The US Senate voted to confirm Iowa Governor Terry Branstad as the next US Ambassador to China yesterday afternoon. Branstad’s office has announced that he will resign his current post sometime tomorrow, and will then be immediately sworn in as the Ambassador to China. At that point, current Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will also be sworn in as Iowa’s governor, becoming the first woman to serve as the state’s chief executive. The exact timing of the ceremonies is expected to be announced during Branstad and Reynolds’ weekly news conference later this morning.

Manchester Man Charged in Gazebo Fire Near County Courthouse


A Manchester man has been accused of trying to start a fire at a gazebo near the local county courthouse earlier this month. Police in Manchester received a report of a gas can on fire near the gazebo outside the Delaware County Courthouse at around 7:15 on the night of May 14. Investigators believe that 37-year-old Bruce Freeman attempted to burn the gazebo by pouring gasoline around it and then threw a lit cigarette on the gas to ignite it. Police say he was arrested near the scene. Officers found a lighter, matches, and the same brand of cigarette used to light the fire on Freeman at the time of his arrest. Freeman has been charged with Second-Degree Arson and Interference with Official Acts. He could face up to a decade behind bars on the arson charge.

Iowa Supreme Court Upholds Discrimination Judgment Against Dubuque Company

The Iowa Supreme Court has supported an $85,000 discrimination judgment against the owner of a Dubuque company who repeatedly called a black worker “chocolate” and other racial epithets. Justices upheld the Dubuque Human Rights Commission’s order that Simon Seeding pay Jermaine Stapleton nearly $50,000 for lost wages and emotional distress. The company will also have to pay Stapleton’s attorneys’ fees, which total more than $35,000. Justices say company owner Leo Simon repeatedly called Stapleton names like “chocolate guy” despite Stapleton’s requests to stop. Stapleton says Simon called him an epithet during a 2012 job site dispute before terminating him. Simon testified that any such comments were in jest. Justices say the commission’s award was backed by substantial evidence.

Dubuque Police Take Two into Custody While Serving Arrest Warrants

Marshall, Cowart

Two people were arrested as Dubuque Police tried to apprehend a man with warrants out for his arrest last night and into this morning. Officers went to the 500 block of Almond Street at about 10:20 PM after learning that 28-year-old Kelshawn Marshall was inside a home in the area. Marshall had warrants out for Weapon Possession, Going Armed with Intent, and Aiding and Abetting. Those charges stem from a drive-by shooting that happened near the intersection of 18th and Jackson Streets on April 9. As officers were watching the home, Marshall stepped outside, but disobeyed officer orders and ran back inside. As officers were obtaining a warrant to enter the home, a woman identified as 48-year-old Polynesia Cowart came out of the house and began yelling at police. She was told to stop and leave the area, but did not. She was then arrested and charged with Interference with Official Acts. Police say that Cowart is Marshall’s mother. A police tactical team eventually entered the home and took Marshall into custody at about 4:45 this morning. In addition to the earlier charges against him, he’s now also been charge with Interference. A criminal complaint against Marshall indicates that he was involved in another shooting in March as well. Police say they found marijuana and crack cocaine inside the house. Additional charges are possible.

Five Flags Commissioner: All Options are On the Table

Courtesy: KCRG


The commission that oversees Dubuque’s Five Flags Center is examining ways to make the facility more attractive. A public input session was held last week to discuss how Five Flags could be improved. That session was a part of some larger conversations the city’s Civic Center Advisory Commission has been having with a consulting firm hired to take a look at what can be done with Five Flags. Tyler Daugherty of Travel Dubuque is a member of that commission and tells us they’re considering a range of options. One frequent complaint is that Five Flags doesn’t bring in the kind of “big name” acts it once did. Daugherty says many performers demand a facility with larger capacity. A venue with at least five thousand seats is probably what’s needed to bring in some of the more “A-list” performers. Arenas in nearby cities have gotten recent upgrades, and Five Flags has to try to keep up. When Five Flags was built in the late 1970s, it was the main convention and entertainment space in Dubuque, and had to serve as the home for a long list of events. But since then, other facilities have been built that have taken some of those things off of Five Flags’ plate. Daugherty believes this study gives the city a chance to give the venue a more targeted niche. The consulting firm will be conducting a survey of Dubuque citizens to draw even more input. It’s not known when any plans for Five Flags might be presented to the city.

Miller-Riverview Park Staying Closed for Foreseeable Future

Miller Riverview Park (Courtesy: City of Dubuque)

A park and campground along the Mississippi River that’s been closed most of the spring will not be opening in time for the Memorial Day weekend. The City of Dubuque closed Miller-Riverview Park in mid-April, just a week after it had opened for the season. High waters on the Mississippi at that point in time forced the closure, and campground reservation fees were refunded. The park has remained closed ever since, and will be staying closed with the river scheduled to rise above flood stage again this weekend. The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for the Mississippi River at Dubuque. The river level is currently expected to reach the flood stage of 17 feet on Friday evening. Waters are forecast to continue to rise another half-foot from there before cresting on Sunday morning. It’s not yet known when the waters would start to recede, or when they could fall back below flood stage.

Dubuque Sheriff Relieved Greene Trial Won’t Be Held


Dubuque County’s Sheriff is relieved to not have to host the trial for a Des Moines man who has now admitted to killing a pair of police officers. Scott Greene had been charged with two counts of First-Degree Murder in connection with the shooting deaths of Urbandale officer Justin Martin and Des Moines Police Sergeant Tony Beminio last November. Greene initially pled not guilty to those charges, but changed his plea to guilty on Friday. A Polk County judge then sentenced him two life sentences. Had Greene’s case gone to trial, it would have been held in Dubuque County. The judge had ruled in late March that the trial would be moved out of the Des Moines area due to extensive media coverage. But Dubuque County Sheriff Joe Kennedy says he’s very much OK with that not happening. In addition to having to provide extra security at the local courthouse, Kennedy would have had to coordinate with the dozens of media outlets that would have sought to cover the trial. Kennedy was also concerned about whether an impartial jury could be found in Dubuque County, more than two hundred miles from where the killings took place. Attorneys had struggled to field a 12-person jury for the county’s most recent murder trial, despite starting with a pool of more than one hundred candidates. Greene’s trial had been scheduled to begin in September.

“Medicare for All” Rally Held in Dubuque

Black Hawk County Supervisor Chris Schwartz speaks at a “Medicare for All” rally in Dubuque’s Town Clock Plaza Sunday (Courtesy: KCRG).

Dubuque was one of a handful of Iowa cities where people rallied in favor of extending Medicare coverage to all Americans this weekend. About forty people attend the local rally in the Town Clock Plaza yesterday. Rally organizers feel a ‘Medicare for all’ system would fix many of the problems that have come up since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as it’s commonly known. Black Hawk County Supervisor Chris Schwartz was one of the speakers at the rally. He says healthcare will be continue to be too expensive as long as it relies on private, for-profit insurance companies. Right now, only people over the age of 65 are able to enroll in Medicare.

State Agency Approves Incentives for Flexsteel

A state board has approved two million dollars in tax breaks and loans to help keep Flexsteel in Dubuque. The Iowa Economic Development Authority OKed an incentive package for the company on Friday. Included in the deal is a little more than a million dollars in tax credits and refunds, as well as a million dollar forgivable loan. Flexsteel is also receiving about $8 million in local incentives to build a new $25 million plant in Dubuque’s Industrial Center South. That will keep about 200 of the company’s employees working in Dubuque. Flexsteel had announced in November of last year that it would be closing its plant on Jackson Street. At the time, the company did not say whether it planned to continue operations in Dubuque.

New Charge for Suspect Arrested in Massage Parlor Raids


A Dubuque woman who’s accused of prostitution is facing a new charge for performing massages without a license. 27-year-old Lan Lan Zhao has been charged with Performing Unlicensed Massage Therapy in Dubuque County District Court. That count was added to her docket last week. Zhao is one of two women arrested on a prostitution charges following police raids at two Dubuque massage parlors earlier this month. She’s pled not guilty to that charge. Prosecutors say Zhao inappropriately touched an undercover police officer while working at the TuiNa Studio on Locust Street. She’s set to make her next court appearance at a bond review hearing on Wednesday.

Branstad Confirmation Expected Today


Iowa’s governor is expected to have a new job by the end of the day. A vote has been scheduled in the US Senate for late this afternoon on the nomination of Governor Terry Branstad to be US Ambassador to China. Branstad is expected to be confirmed without much trouble. Once he is, he’ll have to resign his office as Governor before leaving for China. At that point, current Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will assume his duties. Exactly when that would happen is not known, but Branstad and Reynolds are expected to release some details of their transition plans tomorrow morning during their regular weekly news conference.

Steinhauser Farewell Reception

A farewell reception will be held at the end of the month for one of Dubuque’s assistant city managers and the community is invited to attend. Cindy Steinhauser will be leaving in early June to become city manager in Frankfort, Kentucky. Steinhauser has been employed with the city since 1995 when she was named neighborhood development specialist. From 1999 to 2001, Steinhauser served as the parking division manager, before being appointed as one of the city’s assistant mangers in 2001. Steinhauser has been involved in a number of major city projects over the years, including the design and construction of the Grand River Center, the Downtown Master Plan and the Historic Millwork District Revitalization Strategy. The reception for Steinhauser will be held on May 31st at the Grand River Center from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.


Memorial Day Weekend Travel

The roads, rails, skies and water will be crowded this Memorial Day weekend, as Triple A predicts that 39.3 million Americans will travel fifty miles or more away from home for the first major holiday of the summer. Triple A Iowa spokesperson Gail Weinholzer says the number of travelers this year is about a two-point-seven percent increase from last year and the highest number of travelers since 2005. Weinholzer says gas prices play a big part in the volume of travelers nationwide. Weinhozer says about 88 percent of all travelers will be using their personal automobiles for transportation during the Memorial Day weekend, which traditionally starts on May 25th and runs through the 29th.


Grassley Talks Health Care Bill

A GOP House version of the American Health Care Act narrowly passed and now the Senate is expected to draft its’ own version of the bill in the coming weeks. Iowa Senator Charles Grassley says at this point he doesn’t known what the bill will contain, but it will have a lot of the principals that Republicans have been talking about for the past seven years. Grassley says the hope is that the Senate can come up with a bill that makes health care more affordable and more accessible for Iowans and other Americans.



Jo Daviess Rollover Crash Injures One


Authorities in Jo Daviess County are investigation a one vehicle rollover crash that sent one person to the hospital. The accident happened a few minutes before 12:15 Thursday afternoon on West Council Hill Road, west of Jewell Lane. A release issued by the sheriff’s department says 20 year old Nathan Knupp of Maywood was driving west on Council Hill when he lost control while going around a curve in the road. His car left the road and overturned coming to rest on its’ top in the middle of the road. Knupp was transported to Midwest Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries and released. Knupp was charged with failure to reduce speed resulting in an accident.

Connors Endorses James For State House


A member of Dubuque’s City Council has thrown her support behind one of the candidates seeking to represent part of the city in the Iowa Legislature. 3rd Ward City Council representative Joyce Connors has endorsed Lindsay James in her bid to represent the 99th Iowa House district, which includes the southern and western portions of Dubuque. In a statement, Connors says “James has proven herself as an activist who will stand up for what is right.” James announced her candidacy earlier this month. She’s a pastor at the Westminster Presbyterian Church and also directs the Peace and Justice Institute at Loras College. She’s one of two Democrats who have already announced they’ll seek the 99th District seat, along with fellow Loras professor Brad Cavanaugh. The 99th District is currently represented by Democrat Abby Finkenauer, who is giving up the seat to run for Congress.

Wahlert Student Receives Mediacom Scholarship

Jacob Berning

A 2017 graduate of Wahlert Catholic High School in Dubuque recently received a one thousand dollar scholarship from Mediacom. Jacob Berning is one of 55 graduating seniors from around the state to receive a scholarship for outstanding leadership and academic accomplishments. This year marks the 16th consecutive year Mediacom has funded World Class Scholarships for students who live in areas served by the cable and broadband company.

Jury Duty Court Hearing Scam Warning


Iowans, including Dubuqers are being warned about a scam involving federal jury duty or court hearings. A release issued by the U.S. Marshals Service says scammers will phone a victim and pretend to be a marshal or other law enforcement official who claims the victim missed federal jury duty. In other instances the scammer tells the victim they missed a court hearing in a criminal case or ongoing civil matter. In order to avoid arrest, the caller tells the victim they need to pay a fine immediately. In some cases the scammers have used real names of court officials and badge numbers as well as spoofing to show a government number on the caller ID to make it more believable. Federal courts do not call prospective jurors or anyone involved in court asking for money or personal identifying information. If you have received a similar call, contact the U.S. Marshal Service or the FBI with details about the scam and phone numbers. You may also file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Alliant Energy Solar Site Groundbreaking


Alliant Energy is building the state’s largest solar site in Dubuque. The site is located on former farmland in the Dubuque Industrial Center West. Terry Kouba, vice president of Alliant’s Iowa operations says the five megawatt facility will support more than 15-thousand-600 solar panels which will generate enough energy from the sun to power around 725 homes annually. This will be Alliant’s first ever utility-scale solar site in the state. Kouba says their customers won’t notice a significant decrease or an increase in their utility bill once the solar site is operational. Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol says the project is a collaborative effort between the city, Greater Dubuque Development Corporation and Alliant Energy and the site is perfect. In addition to the solar site in the Industrial Center West, Alliant also has plans to build a solar site near downtown Dubuque. That site will have a capacity of one-point-two megawatts and produce energy for about 125 homes. The Industrial Center West location will begin providing renewable energy in August. Both sites combined are about a 10 million dollar investment for Alliant.

Demolition Begins on Newer Portion of Former Nativity School

The whole of the former Nativity catholic school could be nothing but a pile of rubble by the end of the day. Demolition crews from Portzen Construction today shifted their efforts to the newer portion of the unused school. Workers have been at the former school since late last month, when they began tearing down what was known as the “old building.” As with that structure, recyclable materials from inside the building will be salvaged. It’s not known how long the demolition is expected to take, but it seems altogether possible that it could be complete by the end of the day today or possibly tomorrow.

High Winds Down Trees, Blow Semi Off US Highway 20

Despite the potential for tornadoes, the severe thunderstorms that rolled through the Tri-States last night appear to have done minimal damage. Strong, straight-line winds ended up being the most significant threat from the storms, and gusts near 80 miles per hour were reported in several spots around the area. A weather spotter in Patch Grove, Wisconsin, reported a gust that touched 80 miles per hour at around 7:20 PM. On the Iowa side of the river, a 78 mile per hour gust was reported near Holy Cross in northern Dubuque County. Those winds downed tree limbs and damaged farm buildings in several areas of Dubuque and Grant counties. A wind gust also blew a semi off of US Highway 20 near Farley. According to the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department, a truck driver from Georgia was headed west when the big rig was blown off of the road and into the ditch. The driver was not injured, but damage to the semi was estimated at $30,000.

Strut Your Mutt This Weekend


For the 24th consecutive year, the Dubuque Regional Humane Society invites the community to their “Strut Your Mutt” event this weekend. Melissa Palfrey, Director of Marketing says “Strut Your Mutt” is one of the area’s only dog friendly walks along scenic Grandview Avenue. A wide variety of breeds will participate in this year’s strut. “Strut Your Mutt” is one of the biggest fundraising events of the year for the humane society. Palfrey suggests pre-registering for the event by visiting their website, but they’ll accept registrations the day of the event. Check-in is at 9 am. Saturday at Murphy Park with the walk beginning at 10 am. Last year over 122 dogs participated in “Strut Your Mutt.”

Intoxicated Peosta Man Injured After Being Struck By Car

A Peosta man was seriously injured after he was struck by a car in Dubuque County early Sunday morning. The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office says 49-year-old Dale Feldmann walked into the path of a vehicle at the intersection of 3rd Street and Old Highway Road in Centralia just before 6:00 AM. Feldmann was taken to Finley Hospital with what authorities say are “serious” injuries. Deputies say Feldmann told them that he’d been drinking before he was hit by the car, though he wasn’t sure how much alcohol he’d had. His blood alcohol content measured .34, which is more than four times the legal limit to drive. The driver of the car was not injured or cited.

Elizabeth Infant Dies


The Elizabeth, Illinois police department is investigating the death of an infant who passed away on Monday. At around 11:15 last Thursday morning, officers responded to a residence in the 500 block of South Madison Street in Elizabeth regarding a 911 call for an infant not breathing. The baby was transported by ambulance to Midwest Medical Center in Galena and later airlifted by AirCare Dubuque to Mercy Rockford Hospital. The baby was pronounced dead a few minutes before 5:45 pm on Monday at the hospital. The baby’s name has not been release, nor have any other details surrounding the infant’s death.

Reynolds: Despite Miller’s Opinion, Plans in Place for Transition


Iowa’s governor-in-waiting has decided how she’ll proceed with transition plans once current Governor Terry Branstad is confirmed as the US Ambassador to China. Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds was in Dubuque speaking to a meeting of the Iowa State County Treasurers Association this morning. While she wouldn’t give details, she said she has a plan in place for what will happen after she takes over for Branstad. Reynolds has a lot to consider. She had been planning to appoint someone to replace herself as Lieutenant Governor. But state Attorney General Tom Miller threw a wrench into those plans earlier this month when he issued an opinion saying that she doesn’t have the legal authority to do so. Reynolds says she’s been considering candidates for the Lieutenant Governor job since Branstad was first nominated late last year. Reynolds expects Branstad to be confirmed either this week or on early next week. She says the administration will release some of their transition plans at their regular weekly news conference on Monday.

Miller-Riverview Still Closed, Could Open for Memorial Day Weekend

Miller Riverview Park (Courtesy: City of Dubuque)

A popular Dubuque campground that’s been closed for nearly a month won’t be opening this weekend either. Miller-Riverview Park closed on April 20 due to high waters on the Mississippi River. The park has been closed ever since, and any campground reservations have been cancelled and refunded. A release from the city of Dubuque says the park will not be opening this weekend, despite the river now sitting nearly four feet below flood stage. The city does plan to have the park and campground back open in time for the Memorial Day weekend, but says that weather will play a role in whether that can happen.

DubuqueFest Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Dubuque’s oldest arts and music festival enters its fourth decade this weekend. The 40th DubuqueFest will run Friday evening through Sunday afternoon at the Town Clock Plaza and Washington Park in downtown Dubuque. Festival Director Danielle Stowell says they’ll highlight the festival’s history with some of the memorabilia that will be for sale. One of DubuqueFest’s main attractions is the art fair, which happens Saturday and Sunday in Washington Park. Many of the artists on hand will have pieces that are available for purchase. Washington Park will also serve as the location for two yoga sessions and a Tai Chi demonstration.Live music is another big part of DubuqueFest. The first night of entertainment will incorporate many international styles of music, followed by local favorites on Saturday. DubuqueFest officially opens at 5:00 Friday night. Music under the Town Clock begins at 5:30.

Public Input Session on Five Flags Set for Thursday

Courtesy: KCRG

The city of Dubuque is asking residents for their thoughts on the future of the Five Flags facility. A public input session is scheduled for Thursday evening. Identifying a plan for Five Flags’ future is one of the Dubuque City Council’s priorities for this year. A consulting firm is currently conducting a study of the venue’s current usage, and possibilities for how it could be used down the road. As part of that study, the consultants are hoping to hear from Dubuque citizens about what they’d like the facility to look like in the future. The input session will be held inside the Orpheum Room at Five Flags beginning at 6:30 Thursday evening. It’s scheduled to run until 7:30.

UD Graduate, Girlfriend Arrested After Police Catch Them in Campus Tunnels

Karrick, Throne

A recently graduated University of Dubuque student and his girlfriend are facing charges after police say the two of them were caught in the tunnel system that runs below the campus. 22-year-old Ryan Karrick and 20-year-old Cassandra Throne were arrested a few minutes after 2:00 Tuesday morning and have both been charged with Trespassing. Police were called to the school after campus security personnel had found a man hole cover removed. The security officers then saw multiple people come out of the opening. Police officers then asked those remaining in the tunnel to come out. According to an arrest report, Karrick and Throne were the only two left inside. Dubuque firefighters cleared the tunnels and replaced the man hole. Karrick was a member of the UD baseball team who graduated from the school on Saturday. According to her Facebook profile, Throne attends Aurora University in the Chicago suburbs. Trespassing is a simple misdemeanor charge, and is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine.

Social Work Prof Cavanaugh Jumps into District 99 Race


A Loras College professor will be seeking to represent part of the city of Dubuque in the Iowa Legislature next year. Democrat Brad Cavanaugh launched his campaign for the House District 99 seat during an event last night. Cavanaugh, who works in Loras’ social work department, says he decided he wants to help fix what’s broken in state government. Cavanaugh has been thinking running for office since last year. While he gave some though to running for Dubuque’s City Council, he says he wants to take a “big picture” outlook to Des Moines. Cavanaugh is critical of the steps that have been taken since the Iowa Legislature came under full Republican control. He doubts that some of the laws that have been passed will be a benefit to most Iowans. Cavanaugh is a Dubuque native who had a social work practice for a decade before he began his teaching career. He says his line of work forces him to stay on top of the issues of the day. Cavanaugh is the second Democrat to announce they’re running for the District 99 seat. Pastor and fellow Loras instructor Lindsay James launched her campaign last week. The seat is currently held by Democrat Abby Finkenauer, who will be running for Congress.

Severe Storms, Including “Strong Tornadoes,” Possible Today

Conditions could be favorable for some severe weather, including what are being called “strong tornadoes” later today. That’s according to our coverage partners at KCRG-TV. Meteorologist Kaj O’Mara says today is the mid-point in a big shift in temperatures, which will bring some instability to the weather pattern. We’ll see a first round of showers and thunderstorms move through the area this morning. Those storms won’t be severe, but as things dry out and warm up around noon, that’s where the trouble could start. Not only are tornadoes a possibility, but O’Mara says the storm could produce what he’s calling “strong tornadoes,” that could go beyond the EF-1 or EF-0 categories. The summer-like temperatures and humidity we’ve had over the past couple days will be a thing of the past by tomorrow. High temperatures will slip back to the 60s through the weekend.

Dubuque Schools Finalize Several Contracts for 2017-2018

The Dubuque School District has finalized contracts with a majority of the unions that represent district employees for the school year that begins this fall. During its most recent meeting, the school board approved agreements with the Dubuque Education Association, as well as unions representing various other district employees including food service workers, secretaries, and bus drivers. Human Resources Director Phil Kramer says the contracts include a salary and benefit increase of about 2%. Kramer says a 2% increase in salaries and benefits is not much, but it was the best the district could with the money it had to work with. Just two contracts remain unsettled for the 2017-2018 school year. One is with the union representing custodians and the other is with non-union employees.

DRA Grants Total More Than 1.3 Million Dollars

The Dubuque Racing Association contributed a little more than $4 million to local governments and non-profit agencies across the Tri-State area yesterday. That includes $2 million paid to the city of Dubuque. Another three-quarters of a million or so were added to two funds managed by the DRA. That’s Brian Southwood, Vice-President of Grants and Special Projects for the DRA. About 150 non-profits in the Tri-States received a little more than $1.3 million in grants this year. Several area school districts are included among the recipients. The number of grant requests was about the same as what the DRA received last year. Southwood says the future of the grant program is on solid ground. This year’s grant awards ranged from $1,100 to $25,000. Since 1985, the DRA has distributed nearly a half billion dollars to the city, county, schools, and non-profits.

Two Vehicle Crash In Lafayette County


A two vehicle crash in Lafayette County Monday afternoon sent one person to the hospital. A release from the Sheriff’s Office says the accident happened at around 4:40 in Monticello Township. A car driven by 39 year old Travis Smith of Warren, Illinois was traveling east on Highway W. A vehicle driven by 23 year old Stephen Michel of Apple River was traveling south on Cub Hollow Road and failed to stop for the stop sign at the intersection of Highway W and Cub Hollow. Michel’ s vehicle broadsided Smith’s car. Smith was transported to Monroe Hospital and treated for his injuries. Michel was cited for failure to stop at a stop sign and defective brakes. Both cars were towed from the scene.

Grant County Rollover Crash


A rural Platteville woman was injured after she rolled her car in Grant County last week. According to a release, 45 year old Jayne Sherer was driving north on City D. at around 9:45 last Friday morning, when she lost control while rounding a curve. The car left the road, crossed the gravel shoulder, went into a ditch and began to slide sideways. Once the vehicle reached a field driveway, the wheels got caught, causing the car to flip in the air, eventually landing on the other side of the road on the driver’s side before rolling onto its’ roof and coming to rest. Sherer was able to free herself from the wreckage and was taken to an area hospital for treatment. Police believe that distracted driving caused the crash, which remains under investigation.

Man Charged After Beating Another Man With Chair Leg


A Dubuque man faces charges after police say he beat another man with a wooden chair leg at a convenience store this past weekend. The incident happened at the Fas Mart on Central Avenue early Sunday morning. A police report says officers were called to the store a few minutes after 4 am to investigate a disturbance. Upon arrival, officers spoke with 22 year old Timothy Walsh of Dubuque who told them he went to the store to purchase an item, when he spotted 26 year old Henry Tyler. Walsh claimed that Tyler had some of his belongings and he asked for them. Tyler handed Walsh a scarf that belonged to Walsh and told him if he wanted the rest of his stuff to meet him at his residence in about an hour. Walsh agreed and as he turned to walk away, Tyler picked up a wooden chair leg and struck Walsh numerous times. Walsh fell to the ground and Tyler continued to strike him at least 20 times. Just as police arrived, Tyler fled the store but was apprehended following a short foot chase. Police recovered the chair leg as well as Tyler’s jacket behind the store’s car wash. Tyler is charged with felony willful injury causing bodily injury. His bond was set at 75-hundred dollars cash or approved surety bond.

Molotov Cocktails Found Outside Tennyson Village Hall

Tennyson Village Hall (Courtesy: Google)

Southwest Wisconsin authorities are investigating after a pair of improvised explosives were found outside a local city hall. According to the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, deputies were called to the Tennyson Village Hall on Saturday morning. That’s where they found remnants of two Molotov cocktails, which appeared to have been thrown against a brick retaining wall outside the building. The building itself was not damaged, but a 55-gallon drum was destroyed. Investigators have not identified any suspects, but are hoping residents can help provide information about who was responsible. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Grant County Sheriff’s Office or the local Crime Stoppers tip line.

State Rep. Todd Prichard Running for Governor, Will Visit Dubuque Friday


For the second time in two weeks, a newly-announced candidate for Iowa governor will be visiting Dubuque. State Representative Todd Prichard of Charles City announced his candidacy this morning. In a video posted to his campaign website, Prichard says he wants to be a governor that would represent the entire state, not just parts of it. Prichard made his announcement in Charles City this morning. From there, he will head out on a tour of the state that will take him to ten cities in the coming week. He’ll be in Dubuque over the noon hour on Friday, when he visits the home of local Democratic activist Carrie Tedore. Prichard is the fifth Democrat that will seek their party’s nomination for governor. Others include State Senator Nate Boulton, former state party chair Andy McGuire, former Department of Natural Resources Director Rich Leopold, and Des Moines attorney Jon Neiderbach.

Are Race Relations Improving in Dubuque?

There’s no question that the city of Dubuque has a checkered past when it comes to race relations. While many city leaders say progress has been made over the past quarter century, some in the minority community aren’t so sure. Our coverage partner, KCRG-TV, took a deep look at what it’s like to be black in Dubuque this week. One of the people they spoke to is former City Councilwoman Lynn Sutton, the first African-American to hold that office. She says people are constantly making assumptions about her, based solely on the color of her skin. Anthony Allen is the President of the Dubuque chapter of the NAACP. He says despite the increase in Dubuque’s minority population, people still often feel unwelcome. Census figures show that Dubuque’s black population nearly tripled from 2000 to 2010. But while African-Americans make up about four percent of the city’s people, they account for nearly thirty percent of the arrests made by Dubuque Police. Chief Mark Dalsing says the department is trying to combat feelings of injustice by studying its policies and hiring more black officers. But Dubuque resident Ray Owensby doesn’t believe police are doing anything wrong. He says officers will treat citizens how they treat the officers. Allen says another big change in Dubuque will come a generation from now, when many of Dubuque’s black residents will have lived in the city their entire lives. Several recent incidents have brought Dubuque’s race relations back to the forefront. They include the discovery of two burnt crosses in a downtown neighborhood last April and a racially insensitive social media post made by two white University of Dubuque students earlier this year.

2017 Grads Told to Look Outside Intended Field for First Jobs

Courtesy: WHOU

A fresh crop of college graduates are hitting the job market this month, but experts say they should be keeping their options open. At Loras College, graduating seniors have just a few days left on campus. Many of them, including Rachel Moser, are spending those days scouring job websites and contacting potential employers. Moser has double-majored in Public Relations and Marketing in her time at Loras. But those fields may not be where she finds her first job. Loras Career Services Coordinator Jeff Roberts says many graduates are forced to look outside their intended career field. Those college graduates that do land jobs right away will be seeing larger paychecks than at any other time. It’s estimated that the average starting salary for the Class of 2017 will be $50,000.

Extra Patrols Planned in Jo Daviess County Through Memorial Day

Authorities in northwestern Illinois will be increasing enforcement starting this weekend and running through the Memorial Day holiday. The Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Department is partnering with the Illinois State Police on a “Click It or Ticket” campaign. Officers will be doing additional night-time patrols to make sure drivers are using their seat belts. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finds that more than half of traffic fatalities happen after sundown. Other focuses of the effort will be reducing impaired driving and enforcing speed limits. The campaign begins on Friday.

City, County Approve Flexsteel Deals

Dubuque’s city council and the Dubuque County Board of Supervisors approved their ends of a deal that will allow Flexsteel to remain in Dubuque. The Supervisors voted 2-1 to approve a purchase agreement with the city to buy 25 acres of land for $3.32 million. 22 acres of that land is located in Industrial Center South and will be the site of Flexsteel’s proposed new facility. The remainder is in Industrial Center West, and could be used by the county for future development. Supervisor Daryl Klein cast the vote against the agreement. Meanwhile, the Dubuque City Council approved two prongs of the deal at their meeting last night. The city will apply for financial assistance from the Iowa Economic Development Authority on Flexsteel’s behalf. The IEDA will be asked to provide $2 million in tax credits and forgivable loans. In addition, the city gave its initial approval to a $4.1 million incentives package for Flexsteel. That deal is contingent on the company maintaining 200 full-time jobs. A public hearing on that agreement will be held at the next council meeting on June 5.

Dubuque Woman Injured In Weekend Crash

An elderly Dubuque woman was injured in a three vehicle crash in Dubuque Saturday morning. According to a police report, 93 year old Mildred Finzel was leaving a private driveway along Kennedy Road, near the intersection with Carter Road, when her car collided with another vehicle driven by 85 year old Theresa Hanson of Dubuque, who was traveling north on Kennedy Road. The impact sent both vehicles into a vehicle driven by 47 year old Ann Wachter of Asbury, who was stopped at a stop sign on Carter Road. Finzel complained of injuries and was transported to Finley Hospital for treatment. Finzel was cited with unsafe entry onto a roadway. The accident happened at around 11:20.

Dubuque Man Cited After Crash


A Dubuque man was cited following a two vehicle crash on Dubuque’s north end early Saturday morning. The crash happened a few minutes after 1 am. at the intersection of Fengler Street and Rhomberg Avenue. A police report says 41 year old Sara Litch of Dubuque was attempting to turn left onto Fengler from Rhomberg, when her car was struck by a vehicle driven by 41 year old Bradley Smith, who had ran the stop sign. Smith fled in his vehicle after the crash, but it was later located by police in the 16-hundred block of Rhomberg. Smith was cited with failure to obey a stop sign and fleeing the scene of an accident. Litch complained of injuries, but the report doesn’t say if she sought treatment.

Blum: Town Hall Crowds Were Disrespectful

Congressman Rod Blum (left) speaks to town hall meeting attendees at Senior High School.

The Congressman who represents Dubuque is decrying what he calls a “lack of respect” from people who attended his first public events of the year last week. Republican Rod Blum hosted a series of town hall meetings across the district, beginning in Dubuque last Monday and wrapping up in Marshalltown on Thursday. At each event, Blum was met with rowdy, and at times disruptive, crowds. He now says that he was “disappointed” in how attendees acted. Blum claims that he received several death threats in the days leading up to the meetings. Blum blames a group calling itself “Indivisible Iowa” for causing many of the problems at the town halls. Dubuque Police tell us that they were not made aware of any threats made against Blum or his office. We also reached out to the US Capitol Police, which oversees the protection of members of Congress. A spokesperson told us that they don’t comment on ongoing investigations.

Police: Parents Can Be Punished for Allowing Underage Drinking Parties


The arrest over the weekend of a parent accused of allowing his underage daughter to have a party at his home has Dubuque Police reminding parents of the penalties for violating the city’s Social Host Ordinance. 49-year-old James Graves was arrested at his home on Duggan Drive late Saturday night after police were called about a party on the property. Officers detained nearly a dozen juveniles who all admitted to drinking at the party. According to police Lt. Scott Baxter, the Social Host Ordinance makes it illegal for adults to knowingly allow underage people to drink in their homes. Anyone found in violation of the ordinance faces a fine of $800 for a first offense, with penalties increasing for additional infractions. The fine is meant as a deterrent, but Baxter says parents can also be found financially responsible if anything bad happens during a party on their property. Baxter says parents who allow their teenage children to drink could be unwittingly sending them down a destructive path. Police respond to reports of underage drinking parties several times each week, but the frequency increases this time of year, when graduation parties become common. Baxter says allowing recent graduates to drink can easily turn an accomplishment worth celebrating into a tragedy. Dubuque’s Social Host Ordinance went into effect five years ago this summer. A similar law as passed by the Iowa Legislature in 2014.

Greater Dubuque, Iowa Workforce Team Up to Study Dubuque’s “Labor Shed”

Some new research is showing just who makes up Dubuque’s current workforce. Greater Dubuque Development Corporation and Iowa Workforce Development recently released what they’re calling a “Labor Shed Study.” Among the things they researched were how many Dubuque workers commute into the city, where those commuters are coming from, and what might entice workers to change jobs. Kristin Dietzel, Greater Dubuque’s Vice President of Workforce Solutions, says that what’s different about this data is it comes from the employees, rather than employers. According to the study, about 90% of the employees in the Dubuque area travel less than 25 miles to work each day. But there are people coming to jobs in Dubuque from as far away as Waterloo and the Quad Cities. Dietzel says the size of that geographic spread raised some eyebrows. The data also shows Dubuque brings in more employees than it loses to other areas. The study found that only a quarter of the Dubuque area’s working population is either unemployed or considering a job change. So when there’s an opening, employers will typically have to convince someone to leave their current job. Dietzel says the numbers also put a higher importance on retaining the college students who study in Dubuque. The top reason that people stay in their current job is “satisfaction.” Among the things that would entice someone to leave their job are better pay, improved hours, or working conditions, and increased stability.

State Rep. Pritchard to “Make Announcement” About Possible Governor Run


A fifth Democrat could enter the race to be Iowa’s governor this week. State Representative Todd Prichard of Charles City has scheduled a series of events for Tuesday where he’ll “make an announcement” about a possible gubernatorial run. That’s according to an email sent on Prichard’s behalf by Norm Sterzenbach, a former Executive Director of the Iowa Democratic Party. Prichard is in his third term in the Iowa House, representing a district that includes all or parts of three counties in north-central Iowa. He’s a former member of the Iowa National Guard who served in Iraq, then went on to become a prosecutor after his deployment. Prichard’s events are scheduled in Charles City, Des Moines, and Cedar Rapids.

Sioux City Residents Face Charges after Saturday AM Gunfire

Three western Iowa residents were arrested in downtown Dubuque early Saturday after a report of gunfire in the lower Main area. Police responded to the intersection of 1st and Main Streets at about 3:00 AM after witnesses reported hearing shots in the area. Officers spotted a man running along some nearby train tracks. Police eventually caught up with the man near where the tracks cross 5th Street. He’s identified as 28-year-old Scott Peterson of Sioux City. According to police, Peterson admitted to shooting the gun during questioning. He also told them that he and two other people had been firing the gun near the Mississippi River earlier that morning as well. Police also arrested 32-year-old Katherine Jennings and 27-year-old Marco Linares, both of Sioux City. All three are facing a Public Intoxication charge, while Peterson and Jennings have also been charged with Carrying a Concealed Weapon and Reckless Use of a Firearm.

Firefighters Battle Sunday Morning House Fire

Dubuque firefighters spent their Sunday morning battling a house fire in the downtown area. Shortly after 8:20 yesterday morning, crews were called to a home in the 300 block of East 16th Street. As they arrived at the house, crews could see heavy smoke coming from the attic of the two-story home. The fire was contained to the attic and the east side of the second floor. No injuries were reported, as the residents of the home were not there at the time of the fire. Crews stayed on scene for more than an hour trying to completely extinguish the blaze. That required some extra companies to be called in to assist. The Farley Fire Department was also asked to bring in its breathing air trailer. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Police Seeking BB Gun Thief

Dubuque Police are hoping the public can help them identify the person who stole a BB gun from a local store last week. According to a posting on the department’s ID4PD website, an unidentified man shoplifted a BB gun from Dubuque’s Wal-Mart last Thursday. The gun is valued at eighty dollars. The suspect is described as a tall white male in his late teens or early 20s. He has black hair and was wearing a light blue t-shirt and blue jeans at the time of the theft. Police say they’re less concerned about the theft than they are about what the suspect might do with the stolen gun. You can see a picture of the suspect on the ID4PD website.

Delaware County Motorcycle Fatality ID

Authorities in Delaware County have released the name of a motorcyclist who was killed in a crash on Tuesday evening. Kenneth Newman of Lamont was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which happened on County Road C-64 near Dundee. According to the Iowa State Patrol, Newman was eastbound when he veered across the center line and collided with a van being driven by 27-year-old Katie Brown of Arlington. Brown was taken to the hospital in Manchester to be treated for injuries suffered in the wreck.

Suspect Runs Thru House

Dubuque Police say a man ran through a house while trying to get away from officers Thursday night. According to police, an officer spotted 31-year-old Thomas Eppler driving near the intersection of Asbury and Bunker Hill Roads a few minutes after 8:00. The officer knew Eppler had a suspended license and tried to pull Eppler’s car over. Eppler drove off and eventually parked the car in the 1800 block of Finley Street and hid in a nearby garage. When officers found him, he ran through the adjoining house and out a side door. Police caught up with Eppler about three blocks away on Rosedale Avenue and took him into custody. He’s facing a total of ten charges, including Trespassing, Interference with Official Acts, Failure to Appear, and failing to register as a sex offender.

Flexsteel Staying in Dubuque

Flexsteel Industries will be staying in Dubuque after all. Last September the furniture manufacturing company announced that it would close its’ plant on Jackson Street in late 2017 and relocate. At the time the company said the facility had become “inefficient for manufacturing and costly to maintain.” But a press release from Greater Dubuque Development Corporation says the company will relocate its’ manufacturing operations to a new site in the Dubuque Industrial Center South next year. Rick Dickinson, President and CEO at Greater Dubuque Development Corporation says the $2.6 million provided by Flexsteel for the rehabilitation of the old site will be matched by county and city funds to clean up the site for future development. The incentives provided to Flexsteel include a 50% land grant on the 22-acre site at Industrial Center South. Once the old facility is demolished and the property is cleaned up and sold, 50 cents on the dollar of the sale will go back to the county to repay taxpayers for the money that was used to clean up the site. Flexsteel currently employs around 218 people. The new facility is expected to be operational in the fall of 2018.

Food Giveaway Saturday In Dubuque


Dubuque Area Labor Harvest will hold another free food giveaway on Saturday for low-income residents of Dubuque County. The giveaway will be held at the Labor Harvest Building on West Locust Street beginning at 7:30 am. Recipients should bring a box for the food and their identification card. The food giveaways are made possible through a grant from FEMA and donations from the Dubuque Racing Association.

Roosevelt Math Instructor Named ‘Teacher of the Year’


A middle school math instructor has been named the Teacher of the Year in the Dubuque Community School District. Roosevelt Middle School’s Chris Burke received that honor at the annual Educators Recognition Dinner last night. The event, and the award, are sponsored by the Dubuque Education Association. Burke is wrapping up his 10th year at Roosevelt. Those who nominated him for the award cite his ability to connect with students and build relationships with them. In addition, Audubon Elementary principal Ed Glaser received the TEAM Award and Mike Larkin was chosen as the Friend of Education. Larkin was a social studies teacher at Senior for more than forty years who continues to substitute teach during his retirement.

Camp Courageous, Holy Family Schools Top “Great Give Day” Leaderboards

Dubuque area non-profit organizations collected more than 370-thousand dollars in donations during the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque’s 4th annual “Great Give Day” yesterday. The online-only fundraising event set a new donation record for the event’s history, topping last year by about $2,600. The organization that had the most donors was Camp Courageous. 304 people donated to the camp for special needs children, raising a total of just over $6,400. The Sisters of Charity BVMs was the only other group with more than one hundred donors, as 220 people gave them a total of about $33,000. That was the second-highest dollar amount raised by any of the non-profits. Top honors there went to Holy Family Catholic Schools for the second year in a row. The school system collected just more than $50,000. Other top fundraisers included St. Stephen’s Food Bank, Cascade High School’s Future Farmers of America Alumni, and Opening Doors.

District Looking For Input On New Pool

Craig Beytien

For the past six years, members of the Dubuque School Board have been trying to come up with a concept for a new swimming pool to replace the leaky and outdated pool at Hempstead High School. A pool committee is currently meeting to come up with a plan for a pool that would not only be used by the district but shared by the community. School Board member Craig Beytien says they are currently looking at two possible sites for the pool that are located within the district. Beytien says several entities have already expressed a desire to partner with the district on the pool project. The idea is for the pool to be used primarily by students as well as individuals and organizations associated with the district. But when the pool is not being used for physical education or swim meet competitions it can be used by the community. There would be a rental fee charged for the use of the pool as well as open swimming to the general public. Beytien says the pool at Hempstead has outlived its’ use and has to be replaced. Beytien adds that they would like to see a new pool in place within the next two years. It would be paid for with revenue from the one cent sales tax.

Dubuque County Man Sentenced To Probation


A rural Dubuque county man has been sentenced to two years of probation after police say he shot at his wife and son during an argument a little over a year ago. 68 year old Thomas Steines was sentenced on two counts of assault with use or display of a dangerous weapon. Steines also received a deferred judgement on two counts of intimidation with a dangerous weapon. According to court documents, Steines and his wife were arguing at their home in April 2016, when Steines grabbed a handgun and shot at his wife three times. He then got a second handgun and shot at his son, but misfired. After a brief standoff with deputies, Steines surrendered without incident. A third charge of assault while displaying a dangerous weapon and two counts of domestic assault while displaying a weapon was dropped after Steines took a plea deal. He could have been sentenced to up to two years in prison.

HyVee Wallet Theft

Dubuque police need your help in identifying two females who were involved in the theft of a wallet from the HyVee convenience store on Dodge Street earlier this month. Credit cards from the wallet were later used to make purchases totaling around two-thousand dollars at a number of businesses in several Iowa cities and towns. The police department has posted an image of the females on its’ ID4PD website.

Holy Family, Sisters of Charity Early “Great Give Day” Leaders

A couple of Catholic organizations have jumped out to early leads on the 4th Annual Great Give Day. The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque is sponsoring the online-only fundraising drive that will benefit 150 non-profit organizations across the Tri-State area. To this point, Holy Family Catholic Schools have raised the most money at 50,432.55, while the Sisters of Charity BVMs have the most unique donors at 135. Wendy Sweeney from the Community Foundation says that second number is the one that they’re keeping an eye on. The 50,432.55 that Holy Family has raised has come from just 7 donors, meaning that at least one of them made a significant contribution. Sweeney says gifts can range from ten dollars to as much as the donor wants to provide. Non-profits are also eligible to win special prizes during each hour of the event through “power hours” and “golden ticket” promotions. Sweeney says one of the largest of those is happening now. Last year’s Great Give Day was hampered by website issues. But Sweeney says the Community Foundation is partnering with a different provider this year and things are running smoothly. The total amount of money raised by the non-profits so far today is now at $221,749.

Note: Totals are as of noon.

State Patrol Urges Caution as Motorcycles Get Out on Iowa Roads

Courtesy: WTIC

With some more summer-like weather set to arrive in the Tri-States this weekend, it’s a good bet that area motorcycle riders will be out in full force. That means that both car drivers and motorcycle riders need to be aware of each other to maintain the safety of the roads. According to the Iowa State Patrol, motorcycle fatalities increased by 50 percent last year. Patrol Trooper John Stickney says vigilance can help prevent that number from increasing further. Even experienced motorcycle users could need a trip or two to get back in the hang of riding. For those first couple rides, Stickney recommends taking things slow. Stickney also advises motorcyclists to make sure they’re taking a defensive approach on the roads. As with any other time of the year, Stickney hopes drivers do what they can to eliminate distractions in their vehicles. That includes what he calls “legal distractions” like eating, talking, and listening to music. There were 19 fatalities involving motorcycles on Iowa’s roads in 2016, up from 12 the previous year. Motorcyclists in our area have been killed and seriously injured in crashes already this week.

Branstad Calls for New Attorney General


Iowa’s Governor hopes that voters will choose a new Attorney General for the state next year. This comes about a week after the current Attorney General ruled that the transition from current Governor Terry Branstad to Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will hit a bump in the road. Tom Miller issued an opinion last week saying that Reynolds will not be able to appoint her replacement once she assumes Branstad’s duties. That was counter to Miller’s earlier statements, which he says he made before he had a chance to fully research the issue. But Branstad, speaking to a conservative group in Urbandale this week, says Miller was “playing politics” and voters shouldn’t stand for it. Miller, who is a Dubuque native, will be up for re-election next year. He has not said whether he’ll seek another term, which would be his tenth.

Four Tri-State Seniors Named National Merit Scholars

Four Tri-State area high school seniors have earned National Merit Scholar honors. Elizabeth Kelsey and Collin Sindt of Senior, Michael Banwarth of Wahlert, and Eric Wells from Platteville will each receive a 25-hundred dollar college scholarship as part of their designation. The four qualified for scholar status based on their performance on the Preliminary SAT exam. They were then chosen from a pool of 15-thousand students. According to the National Merit Scholarship Program, those students have “the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies.” Scholarships are awarded to only one-sixth of the students that initial pool of 15-thousand qualifiers. Banwarth plans to attend Iowa State to double major in Piano Performance and Philosophy. Kelsey is headed to the University of Northern Iowa, but is undecided on a major. Sindt will attend the University of Iowa to study chemical engineering. Wells will attend the University of Oklahoma to study math.

Cascade Developer Gets OK to Work on Bank Building

Jesse Loewen addresses the Cascade City Council on Monday (Courtesy: Cascade Pioneer).

After nearly six months of delays and indecision, the city council in Cascade is poised to turn over control of an historic downtown building to a local developer. Back in December, we told you that Jesse Loewen had approached the council about handling renovations for a property at the corner of 1st Avenue West and Buchanan Street, commonly known as the Old Bank Building. After months of considering other options, including whether to demolish it, the council has given preliminary approval for a forgivable loan to help Loewen pay for repairs. Despite further deterioration of the building, Loewen is confident that the $157,000 will be enough to stabilize the structure. Loewen is hoping to begin work on the building within the next month. His current plan is that work would take between ten and twelve months. The building has sat empty for several years, but Loewen believes it could once again be an asset to Cascade’s downtown area. Loewen says he’s relieved the project finally has a definite path forward. The council is scheduled to give final approval on the loan at their meeting on May 22.

East Dubuque City Council Mulls Options For New City Hall

The East Dubuque City Council narrowed its options for a new city hall location this week. City offices are currently located at 185 Wisconsin Avenue, in a building that the city has leased since 2010. But those offices are close to outgrowing their current space. City Manager Geoff Barklow says the council has identified three options: lease a new property with the option to buy, purchase property in the downtown area, or ask voters to approve construction of a new facility. Barklow says the council wants a building that would house multiple city departments. It’s still too early in the process to say how much any of the options would cost, but Barklow expects significant progress towards a final decision in the coming months. Last November, voters in East Dubuque narrowly turned down a proposal that would have made up to one million dollars available for construction of a new city hall and police department.

HyVee Pharmacies Now Offer Naloxone

Naloxone, a medication the can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, is now available without a prescription at Hy-Vee pharmacies in Iowa and Wisconsin. That’s according to a release posted to Hy-Vee’s corporate website. The medication is available as either a nasal spray or injection. Hy-Vee says it’s making the move due to the “national crisis” of opioid abuse and overdose deaths. The retailer says its pharmacists will also be available to show patients and their families on how to properly administer the drug. Hy-Vee pharmacies in Missouri and South Dakota are also selling naloxone without a prescription.

Motorcyclist Killed in Delaware County Crash


One person was killed and another injured after a collision between a van and a motorcycle in Delaware County Tuesday night. According to the Iowa State Patrol, a van driven by 27-year-old Katie Brown of Arlington was traveling west on County Road C-64 west of Dundee when an eastbound motorcycle crossed the centerline and struck Brown’s van. The driver of the motorcycle was pronounced dead at the scene. Brown was injured and taken to a hospital in Manchester. Her condition is not known. The name of the motorcycle rider is being withheld until authorities have a chance to notify family members.

911 Service Outage in Dubuque County

Dubuque County is currently experiencing a 911 service outage. Calls placed to the emergency line from within the county are being rerouted to back-up call centers. Those who call from a wireless or cellular phone will have their calls redirected to Cedar Falls. Landline calls will not go through. Those on landline phones who need to call for emergency services can instead use the number (563) 589-7856. It’s not known how long the outage will last.

Flower Shop Owner: Confusion Over Prostitution Arrests Hurting Business

Neighborhood Floral owner Gale Kelley (right) works at the Plaza 20 business on Tuesday (Courtesy: KCRG).

The owner of a Dubuque flower shop says her business is hurting because of its proximity to a massage parlor under investigation for prostitution. Neighborhood Floral is one of the businesses located in the Plaza 20 shopping center. They sell flowers, greeting cards, and other gifts. But another business in that complex is The Flower Garden. That’s one of two Dubuque massage parlors that authorities raided last week. Neighborhood Floral owner Gale Kelley says the confusion is costing her business during what should be one of their busier times of year. Flower Garden owner John Hart is one of four people arrested following last week’s raids. He and his girlfriend, Meirong Li, are both charged with Pimping and Human Trafficking. Hart also owns the TuiNa Studio on Locust Street, the site of the other raid.

Second Man Admits Role in Elderly Fraud Scam

A second man from the Dubuque area has admitted to participating in a scheme to defraud the elderly. 37-year-old Carlos Rodriguez has pled guilty to one count of wire fraud. Rodriguez and others involved in the scam would call elderly people and tell them a relative was in jail. The victims would then be asked to send money via Western Union or Money Gram to bail the relative out. But instead of going to any law enforcement entity, the transfers would be picked up by other people involved in the scam. Rodriguez admitted that he was one of the people who would receive the transfers. Rodriguez’s sentencing date has not been set. He’s facing up to twenty years in prison. Back in March, Shawn Vaassen of Dubuque admitted to participating in the same scheme. Three other people have been indicted as well.

Judi Chandlee Classroom Grants Awarded to Eight Dubuque Teachers

Eight teachers in the Dubuque Community School District were surprised when they received grants from the Foundation for Dubuque Public Schools yesterday afternoon. The money comes from the “Tribute to Teachers” program funded by relatives of the late Judi Chandlee, a longtime Dubuque teacher. Foundation executive director Jennifer Klinkhammer says the grants total about three thousand dollars. Teachers applied for the grants earlier this year. Applications were reviewed by a panel of board members, current and former educators, and community volunteers. Klinkhammer praised Chandlee’s family for setting up the endowment that supports the grants. The grants were awarded on Tuesday for a reason. It was National Teacher Appreciation Day.

Unpaid Citation Scam In Dubuque County

The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department is asking the public to be aware of a scam targeting the area. On Tuesday afternoon, the sheriff’s office received a call from someone who told them they got a call from a person who claimed to be from the “county courthouse” and was calling about an unpaid citation for a traffic violation. The scammer became agitated after they couldn’t get any financial information. The call came from a phone number within the 563 area code, but did not have a Dubuque-area prefix. The sheriff’s department says it does not seek payments for fines over the phone. The department is also advising people to use caution when dealing with phone solicitors. As in many other cases, you should never provide personal or account information over the phone unless it is a trusted source.

Police Investigating Sunday AM Shooting that Damaged Van

Dubuque Police are investigating a report of gunfire damaging a parked minivan. Police were called a few minutes before 5:00 Sunday morning by witnesses in the 600 block of West 11th Street. Several gunshots struck a the rear of a minivan that was parked on that block. The back window had been completely shot out. It’s estimated that the total damage to the vehicle was about $2,000. Investigators found several shell casings in the area, but no injuries were reported. No arrests have been made, though police did question several people who were seen running into a nearby duplex. Officers also executed search warrants at the building, but did not find the gun used in the shooting. This is the 7th report of gunfire in the city that police have been able to confirm so far this year.

Jackson Co. Sheriff: Facebook Post Assists Burglary Arrest


Authorities in Jackson County are crediting online tipsters for helping them capture a burglary suspect. Shortly before 10:40 Sunday night, a man forced his way into the Bender’s Foods grocery store in Bellevue. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department shared security camera images of the suspect on Facebook Monday evening, and had the suspect in custody within five hours of the posting. 31-year-old Gerald Schabacker of Spragueville has now been arrested on one count of Third-Degree Burglary. A follow-up posting on the Jackson’ County Sheriff’s Facebook page says the department received numerous tips via calls to their office, Facebook messages, and Crime Stoppers reports. Their initial posting was shared so much that it reached 35-thousand people, nearly double the county’s population.

“Operation Mother’s Day” Provides Gift Bags for Shelter-Bound Moms

Courtesy: KCRG

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and moms who don’t have permanent housing will be getting gifts courtesy of a Dubuque group. Operation Mother’s Day was started by Elizabeth Fleming. The project collects items such as gift cards, candy, and beauty products. Volunteers then put the items into gift bags that are given to mothers living at Maria House and Theresa Shelter. Fleming reached out to friends on Facebook for help with the project, and tells our coverage partner KCRG-TV that she was blown away by the response. Operation Mother’s Day collected enough items for 35 gift bags. Among the other items included are certificates for free manicures, a discount on a mother-child photo session, and a rose from Butt’s Florist.

Billy Sims BBQ Coming to Dubuque

A former college football star has announced plans to bring a barbeque restaurant to Dubuque. Billy Sims BBQ, co-owned by 1978 Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims, is including Dubuque as one of its first four locations in the state of Iowa. The chain already has a restaurant in Burlington and will be opening a second in Cedar Rapids later this month. Locations in Dubuque and Muscatine are also in the works. Sims starred for Oklahoma in the late 70s before a short professional career with the Detroit Lions. He opened his first barbeque restaurant in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2004. The chain now has more than fifty locations across six states.

Dubuque School Board Members Siegert, Prochaska to Seek Re-Election

Prochaska, Siegert

Two incumbents on the Dubuque Community School Board will seek re-election later this year. Both Jim Prochaska and Terra Siegert have told KDTH that they intend to seek another term on the board. Siegert is in her first term and says it’s very important that there’s someone on the board with her perspective as a middle-class mom. Siegert says although a lot has been accomplished since she was first elected in 2013, she feels her job is not done. Prochaska is also nearing completion of his first term. The retired teacher says he’s been asked by several members of the community to seek another term on the board. Prochaska wants to see the district continue the progress it’s made toward improving student achievement. The filing period for this year’s school board election is still two months off, and doesn’t begin until July 10. The election will be held about two months later, on September 12th.

Blum Faces Pointed Questions During 1st Town Hall

Congressman Rod Blum (left) speaks to town hall meeting attendees at Senior High School Monday night.

Iowa Congressman Rod Blum faced an at times hostile crowd as he hosted his first public event of the year last night. Blum held the first of what will be four town halls across the First District at Senior High School’s Nora Gymnasium. Most of the questions posed to Blum dealt with his vote last week in favor of the American Health Care Act, Republicans’ alternative to Obamacare. Teacher Ann McDonough questioned Blum on why he supported a revised version of the bill after earlier voting against it. The Senate is expected to pass their own version of the health care overhaul, and the two chambers would have to compromise on a final version. Blum says he’ll only vote for a bill that lowers costs and maintains coverage for those depending on the Affordable Care Act. One moment when Blum drew near-unanimous support from the crowd was when he called for an audit of the Department of Defense. Many of his constituents have been critical of Blum for not holding a town hall until now. But when asked about his lack of public events by Loras College student Dallas Knapp, Blum said he wanted to host the most accessible event he could. Blum fielded questions for about 75 minutes. Among the other topics he was asked about were school vouchers, funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, and climate change.

Man Pleads Not Guilty To Eluding Charge


A Chicago man who led police on a high speed chase through Jackson and Clinton counties earlier this month has pleaded not guilty to a charge of eluding. Court documents say 24 year old Jason Twiley pled not guilty to the charge n Clinton County District Court. Twiley was also given two citations for failing to obey stop signs. On May 1st Twiley was traveling on Highway 61 when he fled from Jackson County sheriff’ deputies when they tried to pull him over. The deputies eventually lost sight of the vehicle, which was later spotted in Clinton County. Twiley ran several stop signs in Wilton at speeds in excess of 100 mph. Deputies in Clinton county tried to pull Twiley over, but again he fled from officers. In DeWitt, a police officer deployed stop sticks, which deflated the tires on Twiley’s car. When the vehicle came to a stop, Twiley fled on foot, but was later captured and taken into custody. His next court appearance is set for this Friday.

Man Faces Charges Following House Fire In Darlington


A man faces drug and other charges following a house fire in Darlington Friday evening. A press release says police, fire and EMS responded to a house fire on Minerva Street at around 6:22. No one was home at the time but a passerby called police when they noticed smoke coming from the house. Someone left the oven on which ignited a fire that was contained mostly to the kitchen area. The entire structure sustained smoke damage. During the investigation police found drugs, drug paraphernalia and a loaded hand gun in the home. Police questioned a man who lives in the home, 28 year old Steven Buckley. The drugs and gun were seized, but police released Buckley after questioning. The matter has been turned over to the Lafayette County District Attorney’s office. Buckley faces charges of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, felon in possession of a firearm and storing a loaded firearm within reach of children.