1055 University Ave, Dubuque, IA 52001
Facebook Twitter RSS Feed Email Delays and Cancellations Listen Live

Dubuque & Tri-State News

Scales Mound Man Killed In Accident

A hunting accident has claimed the life of a northwest Illinois man. According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources 40 year old Brian Busker of Scales Mound was with other members of a hunting party that were hunting deer when he was shot once in the head. Busker was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident happened at around 12:45 pm Saturday afternoon near Tippett Road in rural Galena. Authorities are investigating to determine who fired the fatal shot. That investigation is being conducted by Illinois Conservation Police and the Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Office.

Steeple Square-Dancing in December

The former home of St. Mary’s Parish is hosting a special event this month. The Steeple Square Community Event Center will be holding Dancing in December on December 14th from 6 to 10 pm. Melanie Bressler, Campus Manager, says the fun event will support the completion of the Steeple Square campus. The Steeple Square campus includes the Maria House and Marita Theisen Childcare Center and events like this allows them to better serve their mission in the surrounding neighborhood. The event will feature dance lessons by Adam Keiffer with Adam’s Dance Connection. Bressler says people can rent the space for a wide variety of private and corporate events. Dancing in December will feature light snacks and a cash bar. Tickets are $15 if purchased by December 10th, $20 at the door. To purchase tickets, visit the Steeple Square Facebook event or call 563-235-3584.

Buol Council Investigation

City of Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol is calling for an investigation into Councilman Jake Rios for releasing information shared in closed session meetings. In early November, Rios released several documents giving insight into why some city council members wanted to fire Dubuque City Manager Mike Van Milligen. Among those documents were audio recordings from closed sessions where Buol and council members debated whether to open an investigation into Van Milligen. Buol says Iowa Code bans releasing those recordings of closed sessions. Buol is calling for an investigation to determine if Rios should be removed from office or criminally prosecuted for “nonfelonious misconduct in office”. KCRG TV reports Rios maintains he had the right to disclose information as a whistleblower. He is specifically talking about his concerns with the way Van Milligen handled sexual harassment complaints from Dubuque Police Captain Abby Simon.

Jule Winter Items Giveaway

The Jule is offering a free Winter Items Giveaway from December 9 – 27. Winter hats, gloves, and socks will be available for anyone who needs them in the lobby of the Intermodal Transportation Center at 950 Elm St. open Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. To kick-off the giveaway, the Jule is hosting an open house at the Intermodal Transportation Center on Monday, Dec. 9, from 8 – 11 a.m. during which it will offer complimentary hot cocoa, warm apple cider, and donuts to all guests and passengers. The event is free and open to the public. Those who wish to donate new winter hats, gloves, and socks of all sizes are welcome to drop them off at the Intermodal Transportation Center during regular business hours. Donations will be accepted through December 27th.

Saints Raise Money for Vets

During Military Appreciation Month in November the Dubuque Fighting Saints, Hodge and Run 4 Troops got together and raised over $17,000 for the Veterans Freedom Center in Dubuque. The center provides a place for veterans to interact with fellow vets, network together and enjoy the camaraderie that all of them have shared while serving their country. Donations from Saints fans, through the 50/50 raffle last month and the post-game jersey auction helped to raise $17,340 for the center. The Saints have held a Military Appreciation Night every year since returning to Dubuque.

Boscobel Man Charged With Porn Possession

A Boscobel man has been charged after authorities say he was in possession of child pornography. Zachary Dresen is charged with five counts of possession of child pornography. Earlier this week, law enforcement officials executed a search warrant at Dresen’s residence and he was taken into custody. The investigation was conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

Fire Chief NICC Alumni HOF

A city employee was officially recognized at the Dubuque City Council Monday night. Fire Chief Rick Steines was inducted into the Northeast Iowa Community Alumni Hall of Fame last month. NICC President, Dr. Liang Chee Wee, told the council that Steines has a long history of being a learner and being a leader to his fellow fire fighters. Dr. Wee noted that Steines embraces changes in technology and was key in getting the emergency responder training center up and running. Steines gave credit to his family and his fellow firefighters saying it’s always a team effort and joked about because he was a part-time student it took awhile to graduate. Steines is a 33-year veteran of the Dubuque Fire Department and became the Fire Chief in 2014 following Dan Brown’s retirement.

Elizabeth Woman Charged

An Elizabeth woman has been charged after police say she kept 11 horses in inhumane conditions on property in Jo Daviess County. That led to the death of three of the animals. 51 year old Amy Dehn is charged with three felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and misdemeanor cruelty to animals. Documents say the horses were kept in an enclosure of deep mud and there was no bedding or shelter for the animals. Three horses were found dead in the enclosure. Authorities determined that malnourishment was the cause of their deaths.

Eradication Of Poverty Day

Some people live in poverty for years, and at times it appears their situations will never change. But for the past few years a local non-profit has been doing its’ part to dispel that myth. Saturday is “Eradication of Poverty Day” and the Fountain of Youth, a non-profit that’s determined to change the mindsets of young people, by eliminating generational poverty, will observe the day by holding an event at its’ headquarters on Central Avenue. Fountain of Youth founder and executive director Caprice Jones says the sole purpose of his organization is to eliminate poverty, especially among minority residents in the community. ”
State and local leaders, including Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol have been invited to participate in Saturday’s event. The Foundation of Youth has been around for about three years, and Jones says he likes the direction they are headed in. Saturday’s event will be held from 1 to 3 pm. at the Fountain of Youth office at 1497 Central Avenue. Food will be served and it’s free for the public to attend.

Community Foundation-Restorative Strategies

An alternative to the juvenile justice system is helping set Dubuque County teens on a path to becoming productive citizens and finding future success. With a focus on middle and high school-age youth, Jim Jelinske, Program Director, says the Restorative Strategies program is a collaboration among civic institutions, service providers and volunteers that addresses accountability for rule-breaking, reparation, and reconciliation. The program provides a chance for youth responsible for committing harm to meet face-to-face with those impacted, the program fosters conversations and opportunities for youth to learn from their actions. Jelinske says the program has been going well so far. The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque serves as Restorative Strategies’ support system. Paul Duster, Director of Community Initiatives, says they fully develop the program with the goal of transitioning ownership to another community organization that will sustain it. Once a case is referred, all parties meet to explain and discuss the process and invite them to a conference known as a restorative circle. Everyone then comes to an agreement for reparation, and youth receive follow-up support to help complete it.

Toys for Tots-Theisens

An annual toy collection is going on this weekend in Dubuque. The 10th Annual Theisen’s Stuff the Truck event to benefit Marine Corps Toys For Tots returns Saturday to Theisen’s Home • Farm • Auto. Radio Dubuque and Theisen’s have teamed up to help by promoting a fill the trailer campaign to help meet this year’s needs. Toys for Tots organizer for Dubuque, Bryce Parks, says people can bring in any new toy or cash to donate and the day includes treats and a special visit from Santa Clause from 11 am to 1 pm. Parks says Toys for Tots provides toys and a sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas in four counties. Theisen’s store manager, Mitch Klepper, says it not just Dubque’s store participating, it includes all 24 Theisen’s stores. The collection runs from 8 am to 4 pm in Theisen’s parking lot and all donations stay local and are tax-deductible.

Probation For Dubuque County Woman

A Dubuque County woman who was accused of stealing more than $20,000 from her mother has been given a deferred judgement. 51 year old Corenna Marshall of Sherrill pleaded guilty earlier this year to dependent adult abuse-exploitation. She was also placed on two years of probation and ordered to pay restitution. In exchange for her guilty plea the county attorney’s office agreed to drop first and second degree fraudulent practice charges. When the investigation began, Marshall was her mother’s power of attorney. Bank records revealed several transfers from her mother’s account to her account totaling more than $21,000. Marshall’s daughter Crystal Hefel, also of Sherrill, pleaded guilty to third degree fraudulent practice in the case and was sentenced to two years of probation and given a deferred judgement. A deferred judgement means that if both women successfully complete their probation and make restitution their records in the case will be expunged.

Zwingle Man Accused Of Passing Bad Checks

A Zwingle man accused of passing numerous bad checks over a two year period in three different states faces charges in Johnson County for trying to buy a vehicle and some tools by using checks from a closed account. 44 year old Robert Barton is charged with one count of first degree theft, two counts of second degree theft and one count of money laundering-acquire property in Johnson County District Court. Documents allege that in May Barton attempted to buy a vehicle and some tools from a closed account at Fidelity Bank in North Liberty. All of the items were valued at over $23,000. From October of 2017 to May of 2019 authorities say Barton wrote over 50 checks from the closed account. Those checks added up to over $38,000 and were written in Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois.

Fraudulent Texts Send To Parishioners

Last year they were sent in the form of emails, but this year scammers are trying a new way to dupe parishioners out of money at Nativity Catholic Church in Dubuque. KDTH has confirmed that at least two parishioners at Nativity have received text messages, which have been part of an international scheme over the past few years. The scammers are trying to trick-parishioners into believing that their pastor is asking for money or gift cards for various parish needs. One of the parishioners says she received a text Sunday night. It read “I need something from you, could you get back in touch with me as soon as possible.” It was signed with the pastors complete name. She replied that she was busy when the first text was sent, but asked “What can I help you with.” After not getting a reply that night, she says the next day she received another text that contained a long biblical quote. It also asked her for an Itune card for a friend. At that point she blocked the number and reported the incident to Nativity staff. A spokesperson at Nativity says at no time would their pastor or staff ever ask for money or gift cards by text or email. If you receive a text or an email of this nature, ignore it.

U of D Commencement Ceremonies

A local university will hold a pair of commencements this month. University of Dubuque’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Commencement Ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. December 6th, in John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center. There are 23 graduates this year. The December Commencement Ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. December 12th, in the same location. Over 150 students are eligible to participate in the ceremony, including 117 undergraduate students and 45 graduate students.

Paramount Wants Access To System

A private ambulance service in Dubuque wants to use the city’s traffic preemption service called “Opticom”, which allows first responders to change traffic lights in emergency situations. Paramount Ambulance recently wrote a letter to the Dubuque city council requesting it to direct the fire chief to rewrite the preemption policy. Currently the policy states only the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department and other non-profit or governmental agency services are allowed to apply for use of the system. Fire chief Rick Steines says he understands why Paramount wants access to the system, but he says it’s something the city has never done with a private company. Paramount insist their request is only for public safety. Maria Ney, owner of Paramount, tells our coverage partners at KCRG TV she doesn’t understand why the city is excluding them from the system. Chief Steines says it’s a system that comes with a lot of responsibility. Steines says the city needs to figure out how to implement this before moving ahead. Ney says she would be happy to work with the city on quality assurance. She would use this as a way to attaining the city’s goal of being a safe and healthy community. The council did accept Paramount’s letter and discussions are expected to move forward.

Dubuque County Man Charged With Assault

A Sherrill man was arrested Tuesday morning after authorities say he attacked and assaulted his live-in girlfriend with a baseball bat and a wrench at the home they share in Sherrill. 57 -year old Loras Link is charged with assault with intent to inflict serious injury-violation of individual rights. According to the Dubuque County sheriff’s office, Link slapped the woman on Thanksgiving Day and swung a bat at her, but he didn’t hit her with the bat. The day before the woman told investigators that Link struck her hand with a wrench, which caused considerable pain. The woman was treated for her injuries at Mercy Hospital.

Lafayette County Assault Arrest

Two Argyle women were arrested Tuesday night on assault charges. At around 6:40 deputies from the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department responded to an altercation in the Village of Argyle. Following a brief investigation, deputies took 39-year old Jennifer Moen into custody. She is charged with battery, strangulation and disorderly conduct. 34-year old Melissa Doescher was arrested and charged with battery and disorderly conduct. A release from the sheriff’s office did not provide details on what led to the women’s arrest. They were both transported to the Lafayette County jail.

Jo Davies County Conservation Foundation Clean Energy

The Jo Davies County Conservation Foundation is convening a meeting of interested residents to learn about forming a Clean Energy District in Jo Davies County. The meeting will take place at Woodbine Bend Golf Course & Restaurant Thursday at 10:30 am. County leaders are committed to strong communities by creating equitable access to local and clean energy. Clean Energy Districts are locally led nonprofit organizations currently defined by county lines, designed to accelerate the locally owned clean energy transition. You can RSVP at info@jdcf.org.

Former Hospital Executive Gets Probation

The former CEO at Regional Medical Center in Manchester who pleaded guilty to first degree theft in Delaware County District Court has been put on probation. 61 year old Lonnie Butikofer of Manchester, along with another former employee at the hospital, 53 year old Michael Briggs also of Manchester were accused of misappropriating more than $256,000 of the hospital’s money for their own personal use. The thefts took place over an eight period beginning in 2009. Butikofer faced up to 10 years in prison. A second felony charge of second degree fraudulent practices against Butikofer was dropped. He does have to pay a $10,000 fine. The final restitution hearing is scheduled for January 21, 2020.

Wisconsin Man Meth Charges

A Dodgeville, Wisconsin man is facing numerous charges after being stopped by authorities early Tuesday morning. Around 2:55 am, a deputy from the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop for speeding on Hwy 61 near Lake Eleanor Road. The driver of the suspect vehicle was identified as 33-year old Tyson Wahlen. During the stop, a Sheriff’s Office K-9 was deployed and indicated to the presence of illicit substances within the vehicle. A subsequent search of the vehicle yielded 1.27 pounds of methamphetamine, as well as a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Wahlen was placed under arrest for Possession of Schedule II Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, Possession of Schedule I Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Interference with Official Acts.

Camp Courageous Raising Money For New Bus

Camp Courageous in Monticello provides the respite and recreational care for people with special needs. The organization also goes on trips as part of its’ travel program. Now the non-profit says it needs a new bus to make sure all of the clients can go on trips. The group has visited places like Disney Land in the past, but the bus needs an upgrade. The seats are worn down and not comfortable and it’s not handicap accessible. The goal is to raise $150,000 for a new bus. Program director Rolando Morales tells our coverage partners at KCRG TV they want to make sure everyone can take part. Morales says their Courageous Travels program has grown over the years. Morales says they do have another bus that is handicap accessible, but it doesn’t have some of the features that the other bus has like a TV or DVD player. He says those are needed for long trips.


The Price is Right Live Stage Show

The live stage show version of the longest running game show in television history is coming to Dubuque next spring. Five Flags Center will play host to The Price is Right Live™ stage show on March 10th. The Price Is Right Live is the hit interactive stage show that gives eligible individuals the chance to play classic games from the television game show. Contestants can win cash, appliances, vacations and possibly even a new car by playing favorites like Plinko, Cliffhangers, The Big Wheel, and the fabulous Showcase. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10:00 am at the Five Flags Box Office and online at FiveFlagsCenter.com.

Heartland Subsidiary Buys Rockford Banks

A subsidiary of Heartland Financial U.S.A. based in Dubuque has purchased a chain of banks in Illinois. A news release from Heartland says the subsidiary Illinois Bank & Trust recently purchased Rockford Bank & Trust for a little over 59 million dollars. Illinois Bank & Trust now has assets of around 1.3 billion dollars and 10 bank locations, which include the two it just bought. That means that Heartland now has 118 full-service banking locations in 12 states and around 13 billion dollars in assets.

Bellevue Students Return To Class

Students at Bellevue middle/high school returned to class Tuesday afternoon after a written threat was deemed not credible. The threat was found by a student in one of the bathrooms a few minutes before 11 am. Superintendent Tom Meyer posted on the school’s Facebook page that law enforcement had deemed the building and surrounding area safe and students went back to class. They were temporarily evacuated to two different facilities while a search of the building was conducted. The incident remains under investigation. This is the third such threat that has been investigated at the school since May. Last month a threat to the school was made on social media by a student who attends the school. That student was later identified and charged.

Celebrate Shelter Pet Day

As we get closer to a brand new year, the Dubuque Regional Humane Society, along with the Ad Council and others are encouraging people that have adopted a dog or a cat to celebrate their pets on social media. It’s all part of the annual “Celebrate Shelter Pet Days” on Thursday. Humane Society executive director Tonya Millard says the goal is to get more people to adopt a pet. One way to tell your story about your pet adoption experience is through social media. Millard says they constantly hear from people who support the humane society and its’ mission. Celebrate Shelter Pet Day” was launched 10 years ago and has grown to include all social platforms and involve hundreds of thousands of pets and their adopters.


Dubuque Man Sex Charges

A Dubuque man is facing felony charges after being arrested Tuesday morning. The Dubuque Police Department reports 34-year old Scott Jameson is charged with Sexual Abuse 2nd Degree – Forcible Sodomy and Lascivious Acts With A Child under the age of 10. Jameson turned himself in to law enforcement Tuesday.

Bellevue Middle School/High School Evacuation

A Bellevue school is being evacuated after a threat today. According to the Bellevue Middle School/High School Facebook page, there was a threat written in one of the bathrooms at the middle/high school. The school is evacuating the students and staff to make sure that everything is safe. Middle School students are being evacuated to the Community Center (across the street from the MS/HS building). High School students are being transported by school buses to Horizon Hall.

Dubuque Man Vehicle Pursuit

A Dubuque man is facing charges after he led law enforcement on a pursuit that covered three states. Around 9:30 pm Monday, a Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office deputy attempted to stop a vehicle for speed on Dodge Street near Devon Drive. The driver of the vehicle refused to stop, and the suspect proceeded across the Julien Dubuque Bridge and into Illinois before continuing to Badger Road and onto Highway 35 in Wisconsin. The pursuit continued along the Hazel Green area and onto Illinois Rt 84 with assistance from the Jo Daviess County Sheriff Office. Following stop stick deployment, the suspect’s vehicle was struck by a Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle, causing damage to both vehicles. The suspect vehicle was finally stopped on 84 near Hwy 20. The driver was identified as 22-year old Adam Reinert. He was placed under arrest by Jo Daviess County and transported to their jail. Dubuque County charges are pending. Minor injuries were reported to his passengers, 18-year old Cheyenne Oyler and 18-year old Dakota Hoftender.

Education Licensing Reform Bills

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has signed two bipartisan education bills into law. Both bills were developed after local educators and school administrators in southwest Wisconsin identified problems that existed in the current licensing system and brought them to the attention of state representatives Howard Marklein and Travis Tranel. The bills were authored by the two Republicans and Tranel says they are common-sense legislation. Both Tranel and Marklein says the bills will give Wisconsin school districts improved tools to meet the needs of students.

U of D Advent Worship Service/Tree Lighting

University of Dubuque will hold an Advent Worship Service and Tree Lighting at 4 pm on Wednesday, December 4th, in Blades Chapel and on the Quad. Open to the public, the event will begin with an Advent Worship Service in Blades Chapel. The service will feature the preaching of Mark Ward, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty, as well as the musical talent of several students including the UD Chamber Singers. A tree lighting and caroling will take place at 4:30 pm on the Quad. Refreshments will be served in the lobby of Blades Chapel. A tradition since 1997, the ceremony is a celebration where students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the community gather to welcome the season of Advent and prepare for Christmas.

Roshek Building-City Council

The Dubuque City Council Monday night voted to schedule a public hearing on December 16th on a proposed Development Agreement between two major companies in Dubuque who are prepared to buy the Roshek Building. Heartland Financial USA and Cottingham & Butler want to buy the building from the non-profit Dubuque Initiatives. Greater Dubuque Development Corp. President and CEO, Rick Dickinson, told the council it’s a great deal for all parties. The two companies want to buy the building due to growth and are committed to investing $2.8 million dollars into the building. Dickinson says it’s been a long process to get to this point. City Manager Mike Van Milligan says the city will identify a location for a 500-space parking structure to accommodate both the influx of employees in the downtown area and Millwork District workers. The money has already been set aside by the council for a large parking project. Heartland Financial USA and Cottingham & Butler would create 32 full-time positions and maintain those through June 2030. The two companies have formed a partnership entity, Roshek Property LLC, for the purchase.

Grant County Crash Injures Teen

A one vehicle crash in Grant County Saturday left one person injured. A few minutes after 7 pm Saturday, a car driven by 16 year old Jenna Cooper of Hazel Green was traveling south on Model Road in Smelser Township, when she lost control. The car then went into the ditch. Cooper over corrected, crossed over the center line and crashed into another ditch. She was transported to Midwest Medical Center and treated for her injuries. The release doesn’t say what cased Cooper to lose control of her vehicle.

RAGBRAI New Ride Director

RAGBRAI has a new ride director after the resignation of its previous director.Dieter Drake has 16 years of experience in competitive and non-competitive cycling events. He will move to Iowa from Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his family. He will replace TJ Juskiewicz who was with RAGBRAI for 16 years. He left RAGBRAI to start Iowa’s Ride, another bike ride across Iowa. Juskiewicz and the entire former staff of RAGBRAI resigned in October because of how its parent company, the Des Moines Register, handled a story about Carson King. Iowa’s Ride is scheduled to start July 12th, going east to west. It will start in Dubuque. RAGBRAI is set for July 19th.

Stray Bullet Through House

A Fennimore man is facing charges for firing a bullet through a home on Thanksgiving. Grant County Sheriff’s Office reports that around 11:30 am, a bullet went through a residence, owned by Joel Belstra of Fennimore, in Mount Ida Township during a family get together. The Grant County Sheriff Office and the Wisconsin DNR investigated the incident and found that a neighbor, 30-year old Kevin Zart, was out hunting with his young son and Kevin fired 3 rounds at deer, 2 rounds were in the direction of the Belstra residence. The direction Zart fired was consistent with the path of the bullet into and through the residence. No one was injured in the incident. Charges will be filed against Zart for endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon.

East Dubuque Water Main Break

The City of East Dubuque will be repairing a water main break in the Indian Hills Subdivision today. People in this area will experience water interruptions until 3:00 pm.

JFK Lane Closed

The southbound lane of JFK will be closed just north of Pennsylvania Avenue for emergency storm sewer repair from 10 am today, to noon Tuesday. Traffic will be merged into the inside lane during this time.

United Way of Dubuque-Grants

A local non-profit will be looking for grant requests soon. Jessica Bleile, Director of Community Building & Impact for United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States, says they have completed the design work and systems necessary for a competitive grant process for non-profits which opens in January of 2020. Bleile says there will be a pair of Community Training/Discussion meetings this week, one on Tuesday,  10 am-12 pm Keystone AEA (2310 Chaney Road) and one on Friday. Attendance one day is highly encouraged, Please RSVP jessica.bleile@dbqunitedway.org.  President/CEO, Danielle Peterson says they are assisting nearly three dozen organizations and any non-profit that aligns with their pillars are welcome to apply for funding. The United Way now focuses on needs around health, education and income/financial stability. For more information go online to dbqunitedway.org/community-impact-grant-application.

Hit and Run Amish Buggy

A Darlington woman is facing multiple charges after the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office say she ran in to an Amish buggy Sunday evening and left the scene. A deputy responded to STH 126, Belmont Township for a hit and run report at 6:16 pm. 56-year old Jeanne Halvorson was traveling southbound on STH 126 when she struck the Amish buggy and failed to stop. Halvorson was cited for Operating a Motor Vehicle while Intoxicated, Hit and Run, Failure to Notify Police of Accident, Vehicle Owner’s Liability for Striking an Attended Vehicle and Resist or Obstruct an Officer. Halvorson was arrested for Criminal Damage to Property and was transported to the Lafayette County Jail where she remains in custody. The occupants of the buggy refused medical treatment, however, the horse had to be put down due to its injuries. The buggy was destroyed.

Klobuchar Dubuque Visit

A Democratic candidate for President will return to Iowa for events December 5th through the 7th, including a stop in Dubuque. Minnesota U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar will be in Dubuque at noon on December 7th at a location to be announced. Klobuchar will also be holding an event in Allamakee County Saturday before joining union workers for the Teamsters Presidential Forum in Cedar Rapids.

Fatal Buchanan County

One person was killed in an accident in 2300 block of Buffalo Creek Blvd, southeast of Winthrop. The Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office says it happened around 11:50 p.m. on November 27th. A vehicle operated by 31-year old Joshua Schmitt of Winthrop, was traveling southbound on Buffalo Creek Blvd., when his vehicle left the roadway. The vehicle entered the ditch, rolling over and striking a utility pole, shearing the pole in half. Schmitt was ejected from the vehicle during the crash and was transported to Buchanan County Health Center in Independence by ambulance where he was pronounced deceased. The accident remains under investigation.

Security for Lower Bee Branch

The Dubuque City Council will hold a public hearing at Monday’s meeting on a security project for the Lower Bee Branch area. According to a staff memo, in June of 2010 the council awarded the contract for the Lower Bee Branch Restoration Project, but since the bid was 25-percent higher than the engineers estimate, construction of other improvements such as the security camera network for the trail system were put on hold. The proposal is for 21 cameras to be added. The project also includes the installation of a new irrigation controller. The estimated cost of the project is $350,000, and if all goes as planned should be completed in June of next year.

West Union Festival of Lights

An annual Christmas tradition opened in northeast Iowa Friday night, but this year required some last-minute fundraising, and some surprise help to help make it happen. KCRG reports in late September, three juveniles admitted to vandalizing light fixtures that went around a pond at a park near the West Union Rec Center. The park is operated by the West Union Rec Foundation, and it’s entirely run through volunteers and donations. The three juveniles, along with their parents, met with Norm Einck, President of the West Union Rec Foundation, and rather than face criminal charges, the juveniles agreed to help put together the display. Einck said between online and in-person donations, the foundation received more than $8,000 in donations in just the last two months after the vandalism. He said they will use the money for new LED street lamps, and potentially add wi-fi and security cameras. The Festival of Lights in West Union is open every night through New Year’s from 5-10 p.m.

Roshek Property to be Sold

Two major companies in Dubuque are prepared to buy the Roshek Building from a non-profit called Dubuque Initiatives. Heartland Financial USA and Cottingham & Butler want to buy the building from DI. These two companies, already have office space inside the Roshek Building. The two companies want to buy the building due to growth. Both companies would move employees to the building and take up more space. According to the city council agenda, the companies are committed to investing $2.8 million dollars into the building through 2021. They will also create 32 full-time positions and maintain those through June 2030. The City will identify a location for a 500-space parking structure to accommodate the influx of employees in the downtown area. The City Council Monday will vote to set a public hearing for December 16th on a proposed Development Agreement and providing for the issuance of Urban Renewal Tax Increment Revenue Grant Obligations.

Dubuque PD Thanksgiving Meal Kits

The Dubuque Police Department handed out Thanksgiving meal kits on Tuesday as part of a state-wide campaign called Arresting Hunger. KCRG reports officers handed out 100 meals at the Law Enforcement Center and made deliveries around town. The kits included pork roasts, canned vegetables, and stuffing. The program originated with a partnership between Iowa State Patrol and Food Bank Iowa. A few years ago, the Dubuque police officers got involved. Officer Kurt Rosenthal said he’s happy to help deliver a record number of meals this year across Iowa. The Iowa Pork Producers Association donated a pile of pork roasts for the program, and instead of 150 families receiving meals in Iowa, that jumped up to 800. In past years, Rosenthal says the officers were only able to hand out a dozen meals in Dubuque. Law enforcement agencies across the state raise money for this campaign.

Jones County Building Crashed Into

Homeowners in Jones County woke up to a car that drove through a building on their property Monday morning, but this isn’t the first time something like this has happened just outside their door. KCRG reports it happened around 6:30 a.m. Monday at the T-intersection of Iowa Highways 64 and 136. The Jones County Sheriff said a woman driving a car experienced what authorities believe may have been a medical condition while heading south on Highway 136. The driver then plowed through the intersection, crashing through a converted garage. Property owner Deb Brinkman said this is the fifth time a car has crashed into the structure. The Brinkmans bought the building that sits just next door to their house 46 years ago, right after someone else had crashed into it. It was once a drive-in restaurant that they converted and have since used as a man cave. The driver of the car was treated for a seizure and other injuries related to the incident but is expected to be okay. The Iowa Department of Transportation is reviewing Monday’s crash and previous incidents to determine what changes can be made.

Alliant Energy Foundation Community Grants

Seven area nonprofit organizations have been awarded community grants totaling $16,000 from the Alliant Energy Foundation. Cedar Valley Friends of the Family received $2,500 for safe shelter and housing stability, $1,000 is going to the Dubuque Audubon Society for a bald eagle watch, Dubuque County Historical Society gets $5,000 for their North American River Otter Pups exhibit, and Northeast Iowa Council Boy Scouts of America receives $2,500 for education in scouting. The River Bend Food Reservoir’s Mobile food pantry program gets a $2,500 grant, Beckman Catholic High School in Dyersville receives $1,500 for their green house, and Postville Elementary Parent Teacher Organization, $1,000 for a Pirate playground. These grants are among 144 the Alliant Energy Foundation awarded this grant cycle, totaling over $343,000.

Affordable Care Act-Crescent

Crescent Community Health Center is busy helping people sign up for health insurance with the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment began on November 1st and goes through December 15th. Interested persons can sign up using the HealthCare.gov website. Crescent’s Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator helps people look at their options and figure out which plan they’re eligible for. Crescent still has some appointments available in December and people are encouraged to call and set up a time to meet.

Four Mounds Christmas Tea

Four Mounds is hosting a special fundraiser in December. Executive Director, Jill Courtney, says the Christmas Tea event gives people a chance to celebrate the holidays at the beautifully decorated Grey House. Courtney says proceeds from the event on December 6th go to Four Mounds Fellowship. Doors open at 11:30 am and the event begins at noon. Tickets are $35 per person and there are a few tickets still available. To get yours call Four Mounds at 563-557-7292.

Iowa’s Ride in Dubuque

Dubuque will be a part of the first ‘Iowa’s Ride’ bicycle event in July of 2020. The group organizing the event made the announcement Wednesday. The inaugural bike ride will go from Dubuque to Rock Rapids in a 416 mile route across the state, starting Sunday July 12 and continuing through Saturday July 18. The ride will finish in Rock Rapids. This is an east to west route, and will be held the week before the RAGBRAI ride. The first overnight stay will be in Monticello in Jones County. The former RAGBRAI director and staff members resigned from that organization and started ‘Iowa’s Ride’.
Also – ‘Iowa’s Ride’ officials have announced that after all expenses are paid, the remaining proceeds from the ride will be given to charities in the state of Iowa. They say a foundation is being formed that will have an appointed, independent board of Iowans that will review the finances and make sure funds are being distributed properly. In 2020, half of the proceeds will go to support the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. The remaining proceeds will be given to charities in each of our host communities.

Black Friday-Kennedy Mall

The Kennedy Mall will have special hours on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Marketing Director, Liz Rogers, says Thanksgiving, doors open at 6 pm and they will be giving out something special to the first 250 guests that come in through the main mall entrance. Inside the swag bags are special discounts around the mall and there are a few big mall gift cards randomly dispersed in a few of the bags. On Black Friday, doors open at 6 am and the first 200 shoppers at the main mall entrance get a special treat and a chance to win a $500 gift card. The Kennedy Mall’s holiday hours will mean they are open an hour later each night. JCPenney is actually opening earlier than the rest of the mall on Thanksgiving, at 2 pm.

Citizen Hero Hawks Game

A Dubuque nurse will be honored in front of thousands of football fans Friday for her quick response in saving a man’s life earlier this year on Clarke University’s campus. In March, Katie Gudenkauf was attending an indoor soccer tournament at Clarke’s Kehl Center when one of the players blacked out after his heart stopped beating. Gudenkauf and several of her friends and fellow nurses were nearby and within minutes, she began first aid, eventually saving his life. Gudenkauf will be recognized as Iowa’s 2019 “citizen hero” during halftime of the Hy-Vee Heroes Game this Friday, Nov. 29, when the Iowa Hawkeyes take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. Gudenkauf graduated from Clarke University in 2018. She is currently a family practice nurse practitioner at Grant Regional Health Center in Lancaster, Wisconsin.

Fayette County Pursuit

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office said deputies arrested a man on multiple charges after he reportedly led authorities on a pursuit. Just before 11:20 p.m. Monday, deputies said they tried to stop 26-year Blayze Harding, of Oelwein. He took off and led deputies and Oelwein police on a pursuit. At one point, authorities said Harding hit an Oelwein police vehicle. The officer went to the hospital for unknown injuries. Deputies arrested Harding and took him to the Fayette County Jail. He was charged with driving while barred, possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana. The sheriff’s office said Harding was not hurt in the crash and did not say what caused them to try and stop Harding initially. The case is still under investigation.

Salvation Army’s Christmas Campaign Update

The annual bell-ringing season is in full swing in Dubuque. This year’s fundraising goal is $225,000. Captain Matt Phelps says they are behind last year’s pace having raised $38,000 so far, about $8,000 behind last year at this time. Besides physically dropping money in kettles, this year there’s a new way to donate with your phones. All you have to do is scan a code on the kettle with your Apple or Android phone. Also new this year, people can sign up for volunteering online. Go to registertoring.com. Bell ringers are positioned at outlets throughout the community, including Walgreens, Hartig Drug Stores, Hy-Vee, Walmart, Theisen’s, and the Kennedy Mall. The Red Kettle Campaign runs through December 24th.

The Maquoketa Company Expansion

The Maquoketa Company, a local manufacturer in Maquoketa, has broken ground on a new 14,000 square foot addition which is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. This latest expansion includes new shipping and receiving docks and warehouse to accommodate continuous product line growth. New jobs are currently posted for various production positions on the company website www.morbros.com. The parent company, Morrison Bros. Co., was started in 1855 in Dubuque, and is one of the oldest privately held manufacturing companies in Iowa. The Morrison product line of petroleum equipment products includes over 1,200 items, which are sold worldwide, of which, 95% are produced in Dubuque and Maquoketa.

East Dubuque Water Interruptions

The City of East Dubuque will be repairing a water main break today, the 600 & 700 block of Clinton and Elm Street will be experiencing water interruptions from 8:30 until 3:00 p.m.

2019 Reflections in the Park

The 2019 Reflections in the Park is almost here. Event Coordinator, Darlene Bolsinger, says the Hillcrest Family Services fundraiser kicks off with the annual Walk-Thru event Wednesday, November 27th and the festival begins the following night. Bolsinger says the annual Louis Murphy Park lights display, presented by Dubuque Bank and Trust, is a significant form of funding for the 30 plus programs served by Hillcrest Family Services. Volunteer Greg Birkett says there will be past favorites and something brand new. In celebration of their silver anniversary, each night the 25th vehicle will receive a special gift courtesy of Hy-Vee. The cost is $10 for each car at the gate, $8 pre-purchased and they can be bought at any Hillcrest location or all DB&T bank locations in Dubuque and East Dubuque. For more information go to reflectionsinthepark.com.

J F Kennedy Road Closure

South bound lanes, of John F Kennedy Rd between Asbury Rd and Key Way Dr will be closed from today at 5:00 AM to Wednesday Nov. 27 at 5:00 PM. Two way traffic will be maintained on the northbound side of the street.

Tree Lighting-Asbury Park

Many 3rd grade kids may be getting wish lists ready for Santa Clause but Eleanor Johnson, who attends Carver Elementary School, had a unique wish. Eleanor wrote the city of Asbury with her idea that they might host a tree lighting ceremony to, in her words, so that everyone could be a little bit more merry. Kayla Morrison, Parks and Recreation Department Director, says the city followed up and now they will host an event at Asbury Park on Friday, December 6th from 7 to 7:45 pm. The evening will feature Santa and songs by Eleanor’s classmates. Morrison says the night will end with Eleanor helping light the new Christmas tree that has been planted. She encourages people to bring toys for donation and ornaments to decorate. For more information about the event and to see Eleanor’s letter go to cityofasbury.com.

Jones County Body Found

The body of a Jones County man who was reported missing Saturday has been found. The Monticello Police Department reports the body of Jay Hanken was discovered in a stretch of Kitty Creek in a remote section of Monticello on Sunday at 10:47 am, not far from his residence. Family and friends reported having last seen Hanken on the evening of Tuesday November 19th. A cause of death has not been determined at this time; however, no foul play is suspected. At the direction of the medical examiner, an autopsy will be performed.

WaterSmart City of Dubuque

WaterSmart, the City of Dubuque’s free, water management tool and online payment portal, is now available to all Dubuque water customers: single-family homes, businesses, commercial/industrial, multi-family residential properties, and other types of properties. Beginning today, when potential leaks are detected by water meters, automatic email notifications will be generated and sent to customers who have provided an email address to the City. Those emails will include a link to access WaterSmart at www.cityofdubuque.org/watersmart.

Dubuque Man Arrested For Assault

A Dubuque man was arrested Thursday after police say he assaulted his girlfriend at a residence they share on Clarke Drive. 42 year old Johnny Webb was taken into custody at around 1 pm and charged with domestic assault with a weapon and domestic assault with injury. A police report says that after Webb got off the phone with someone about money, he started smashing glass jars in the kitchen. He left, but came back a short time later and started hitting his girlfriend in the head. He then ordered her to go downstairs. Once the two were there, Webb pulled out a knife and held it so hard against her face that it caused a cut. The woman pleaded with Webb and said she would get him some help, before he walked away from her. Webb will next appear in court on December 2nd.

Illegal Drugs Lead To Dubuque Man’s Arrest

A Dubuque man was arrested after police say they found nearly 3 pounds of marijuana, cocaine and drug edibles inside his home this week. Members of the Dubuque Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at the home of 26 year old Jordan Hefel in the 2700 block of University Avenue. Police also found more than $5,000 in cash. Just before the bust police stopped a car that was seen leaving Hefel’s residence. The driver 31 year old Tau Campbell of Galena was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Campbell told police he had just used drugs with Hefel in the presence of Hefel’s 5 month old daughter. Hefel faces an additional charge of child endangerment. He has since been released on bond.

Dubuque Man Sentenced On Drug Charges

A Dubuque man will be spending nearly a decade in federal prison after being sentenced recently. 42 year old Juvan Brown had pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids to possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to distribute. As part of the plea agreement a second charged of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute was dismissed. Brown has a prior felony conviction in Indiana of dealing heroin. In March of 2018 Brown, a confidential informant and a juvenile female went to Chicago so Brown could get drugs. The vehicle was stopped by Dubuque police, and they found over 7 grams of heroin and over 20 grams of cocaine. After he serves his prison sentence Brown will be placed on 6 years of probation.

Iowa DOT Grant for Buses

The Iowa Department of Transportation will be receiving a more than $9 million grant to improve buses. The grant comes from the US Department of Transportation’s Buses and Bus Facilities Program. According to KCRG, the grant will be used to replace 107 of the oldest public transportation buses in the state. 21 public transportation systems will receive funding. Iowa’s First District Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer of Dubuque serves as the Vice-Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s subcommittee on highways and transit. She helped get the funding for Iowa. Finkenauer says Iowa has one of the oldest bus systems in the country, and ensuring it stays up and running is critical to ensuring Iowans can get to work.

City of Dubuque Offices Holiday Hours

City of Dubuque offices will be closed on November 28th, and November 29th, for the Thanksgiving holiday. This includes City Hall and other City offices and facilities throughout the city of Dubuque. There will be no trash, yard debris, or curbside recycling collections on Thanksgiving Day. Those Thursday collections will instead be made on the following Saturday. There is no change in schedule for curbside collections on Friday, November 29th. The Dubuque Metro Landfill will also be closed on Thanksgiving Day but will operate normal hours on Friday and Saturday. The Jule Transit will not operate on Thanksgiving Day. The Intermodal Terminal ticket offices will be closed both Thursday and Friday.

Hay To Run Again

The state’s attorney in Jo Daviess County says he is running for re-election. In a press release John Hay says he wishes to continue to serve the county government and work to prosecute dangerous and repeat offenders. Hay, a Republican was first elected in 2012. His name will appear on the ballot next November. The state’s attorney’s job in Jo Daviess County is an elected position.

Ginter Thanksgiving Dinner

It’s been a long standing tradition in Dubuque, and for the 58th consecutive year, the Ginter family will provide free Thanksgiving meals for people throughout the Tri-States. The tradition was started by Donna Ginter. When she passed away in 2013, her daughter Genny and her family took over. Genny says they’ll also be delivering meals to the shut-ins and elderly, but they do need more drivers to make deliveries more efficient. If you would like to volunteer as a delivery driver, you need to be at the Joliet Event Center, formerly the old K.C. Hall on Locust Street at 8 o’clock Thanksgiving morning. Deliveries should be done by 1 pm. The sit-down dinner starts at noon at the center. Genny says with the sit-down dinner and deliveries they expect to serve between 2,300 and 2,400 people on Thanksgiving Day.

Peosta Back-road Opens

People living in Peosta are happy that a well-traveled road is back open. Developers had to close Ulyana Drive while constructing a new subdivision. The closure began in the summer and was supposed to wrap up in October. But the weather pushed that date back. Now people can travel safely between neighborhoods without having to go out onto Highway 20. Ulyana Drive connects Thunder Hill and Cox Springs Roads.

Bee Branch Flood Mitigation Project

Another phase of the Bee Branch Flood Mitigation project in Dubuque is complete. Crews are paving Kaufmann Avenue and will open it to traffic next week. The city has installed new and larger culverts under the street to carry stormwater. This is a small part of the city’s efforts to reduce flooding for downtown Dubuque homes. Crews are finishing up a couple of projects this week and then the road will open. Next year the city wants to complete another phase of work on Kaufmann near Main Street.

Crescent To Open At New Location Monday

Crescent Community Health Center in Dubuque is currently closed as staff and administrators move to their new location. The center has been located at 1789 Elm Street since it opened over a decade ago, will reopen at its’ new location across the street in the former Lamar Advertising Building at 1690 Elm Monday morning. Executive director Gary Collins says they’ll be occupying floors 3 and 4. Patients and visitors will have better access to parking at the new location. A number of volunteers who are members of Crescent’s advisory board will assist patients as they navigate their way through the new facility during the first few days. Collins says they’ll totally vacate the building by the first of the year. Crescent will start seeing patients at the new location beginning at 10 o’clock Monday morning.

Free Turkey Giveaway At MCFC

The Multicultural Family Center, in conjunction with the Dubuque NAACP and Key City Pride will be giving away free turkeys this weekend. The giveaway will take place Saturday from 11 am to noon at the center on Central Avenue. A free meal will also be offered from 1 to 3 pm at the same location. Last year numerous turkeys were given to low and moderate income families in Dubuque.

Dubuque Scores High On LGBTQ Equality Index

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation evaluated cities across the country on their laws and policies protecting people in the LGBTQ community and recently released its’ findings as a score out of 100 possible points. The average score for Iowa was 86 out of 100 and Dubuque scored 100 points. Indigo Channing, a volunteer with many LGBTQ groups in Dubuque agreed that Dubuque’s policies are inclusive, however she says the policies don’t help people who aren’t city employees. For example Channing says the homeless shelters aren’t always accommodating to trans people. The study gave Dubuque extra points for having an LGBTQ liaison. The role is filled by Human Rights Director Kelly Larson and police chief Mark Dalsing. Channing tells our coverage partners at KCRG TV filling that role could make some people uncomfortable. Channing says there could also be more services in Dubuque to educate people about LGBTQ issues. The study also gave Dubuque extra points for reporting hate crimes to the FBI and for the city having employee domestic policy benefits.

Galena Man-Sexual Assault Warrant

Jo Davies County authorities have issued a warrant for a Galena man who did not appear in court on Tuesday for charges of Criminal Sexual Assault, a Class 1 felony. 20-year old Seyfullah Dinc is accused of the assault on a woman that occurred September 26th. Authorities do not know Dinc’s whereabouts.

City Council Smart Parking Meters

The city of Dubuque is going to test out smart parking meters. The Dubuque City Council approved a pilot program on Monday night, with opposition from council member Brett Shaw. Shaw believes this could affect low-income people in Dubuque because tickets will be given out more efficiently and not everyone is good at newer technology. Transportation Services Director, Renee Tyler, says the city plans to install 30 to 40 meters, which will allow users to pay for parking with coins, credit cards, or by phone, on two busy blocks on Main Street. The city will also set utilize kiosks for street parking and in parking lots. Tyler says she would support two hour parking meters in the 700 and 800 blocks of Main Street. Tyler said this pilot will go for at least 90 days, with no cost to the city for the first 60 days. Tyler hopes to start the pilot program in January 2020.

Dubuque County Fire Destroys Barn

A fire destroyed a large barn in Dubuque County Wednesday morning. A few minutes before 11:30, deputies from the Dubuque County sheriff’s department, along with crews from the Epworth, Centralia and Dyersville fire departments responded to a barn fire in the 2300 block of Kidder Road. When they arrived the barn was fully engulfed in flames. Crews were able to get the fire under control, but the machinery and tools inside are considered a total loss. The estimated loss is an excess of $100,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but not considered suspicious in nature. No injuries were reported and the road was closed for a while as crews remained on scene to put out any hot spots. The barn is owned by Brian Kennedy.

Library Free Food Pantry

The Carnegie-Stout Public Library has set up a free food pantry for the holiday season. The pantry is open now through January 2nd, 2020, during regular library hours. To help sustain the pantry throughout the holiday season, the library is asking for donations of canned goods and dry packaged foods. No glass, expired items, or perishable foods. Donations can be dropped off to a staff member at any library service desk.

Mullis Sentencing Pushed Back

The sentencing date for a Delaware County man accused of killing his wife with a corn rake last year on the family farm in Earlville has been moved to early next year. The sentencing hearing for 43 year old Todd Mullis will be held on March 17th. Mullis was convicted by a jury in Dubuque County in September of first degree murder. He was accused of stabbing his wife Amy Mullis to death last November. Prosecutors said he was angry that she was having an affair. Mullis has hired a new attorney who requested the delay in sentencing so he could become familiar with the case. The deadline for post-trial motions for attorneys was also extended to February 28th. A first degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life in prison sentence in Iowa.

Two Special Projects Grants Awarded By DRA

In its’ first year of existence the Dubuque Racing Association Special Projects Grant Committee has selected two local organizations for funding. During its’ monthly meeting yesterday the DRA board of directors voted to accept a recommendation from the executive committee to fund the Dream Center and the Dubuque Museum of Art to the tune of $150,000 each for their projects. Executive Committee chair Rick Dickinson says the money funded to the Dream Center will be used to make the building ADA compliant. The Museum of Art funding will be used for a major expansion in the downtown area. The process for selecting the special grant recipients started back in August. In all the committee sifted through 36 applications and narrowed it down to four. The 36 applications amounted to more than 7 million dollars in funding request. The special projects grant program is seperate from the regular grant program.

Pennsylvania Closure

A portion of a well-traveled road in Dubuque will be closed for some emergency work this week. Pennsylvania Avenue, between Seippel and Heacock Roads will be closed to through traffic for shoulder repairs. The work will begin at around 7 o’clock this morning and should be done by the end of the day on Friday. Motorists should follow the posted detour.

Peosta Mayor Special Election

An open mayor seat in Peosta will be filled with a special election. Former Peosta Mayor Larry Meschers’ resignation was officially accepted by the city council on October 21. The resignation happened too close to the local election held on November 5th, so the city was not able to put the seat on the ballot according to Peosta City Administrator Whitney Baethke. Baethke says her office received a petition with more than 130 signatures on Monday morning in favor of a special election. Only 45 were needed to trigger a special election. Baethke said her office sent the petition to the Dubuque County Auditor’s office which is in charge of organizing the election. It will likely be held on January 14th. If the council or county approves that date, the deadline to file for candidacy will be December 20th.

Attitude of Gratitude-Opening Doors

A local non-profit will be holding their long running fundraiser at the Grand River Center this weekend. Co-host Bobbi Earles, says Opening Door’s 18th annual Attitude of Gratitude will take place Saturday, from 4:30 pm to 9 pm and is a huge deal for the organization. There are a wide variety of prizes to bid on during the silent and live auctions. You don’t even have to attend the event to bid on items. Opening Doors Development and Marketing Director, Ann Lorenz, who says that the new Shining Star category features items valued at over $500. The gala also includes dinner, music by Tapestry, three raffles, and an inspiring story from one of their residents. For tickets and information, go to openingdoorsdbq.org.

E.D. Woman Human Trafficking Plea

An East Dubuque woman has accepted a plea deal after she was charged with human trafficking and other charges when she was arrested in Des Moines in July. A Polk County District Court official says 25-year old Brittany Walters was sentenced to two years of probation for the felony D charge of pimping and ordered to have no contact with the victims. Two counts of human trafficking and one count of pandering for prostitution were dropped and the five year sentence suspended. The crimes were committed at a hotel in Ankeny. According to court documents, Walters “knowingly and unlawfully engaged in human trafficking by setting up and driving four females to Des Moines for the purpose of prostitution.”

Baby Shark Live! Five Flags

A popular global hit song about a family of sharks that has spawned a live concert experience is coming to Dubuque next spring. The live tour of the viral sensation of Baby Shark Live! will come to Dubuque’s Five Flags Center on March 13th at 6:00 pm. Tickets for the show will go on-sale this Friday beginning at 10:00 am. Ticket prices begin at $29.50, plus applicable taxes and fees. For tickets and additional information, visit babysharklive.com. The Baby Shark Dance video has over 3.8 billion views, making it the 5th most viewed video in the history of YouTube.

Merge LLC Project-City Council

The Dubuque City Council gave the go ahead last night for a developer to move forward with a proposed 20-million dollar, mixed-use building at the Port of Dubuque. Brent Dahlstrom, Merge Urban Development CEO, says the project will include 187 apartment units and retail space. Kristin Dietzel, Vice President of Workforce Solutions for Greater Dubuque Development, notes that Dubuque is attracting young professionals that need good rental choices. Dietzel says the Merge project creates the type of housing units that have been indentified as a need in Dubuque. Mayor Roy Buel says it’s a great project for the entire city. The city is also giving Merge a land acquisition grant of just over $485,000 as well as 10 years of Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, rebates. The project will be located along the corner of Fifth and Bell Streets, west of the Flexsteel corporate office building.

UD University Health Center Update

In May the University of Dubuque began construction on a health center that will be located near the intersection of Grace and Algona Streets. The center will provide students with a first point of access for outpatient and preventative medical care services. UD President Dr. Jeffery Bullock says the “Smeltzer-Kelly Health Center is the brainchild of UD grad “Campus Mom” Barbara Smeltzer, who is the school’s student resources advisor and her husband Jack. Bullock says they’re working on staffing for the health center right now. The center will also provide brain health care. UD’s partnership with Finley Hospital will continue even when the new center is completed. The 1.1 million dollar health center is scheduled for completion next fall. The Smeltzers contributed a half million towards the project.

Rear-End Crash Injures One

A Dubuque woman was taken to the hospital after she was rear-ended by another vehicle Friday evening in Dubuque. According to a police report the accident happened at around 5:10 in the 900 block of Central Avenue. 63 year old Lynne Feldermann of Galena was traveling south when she crashed into the back of a vehicle driven by 64 year old Patricia Gallogly of Dubuque. Gallogly was transported to Mercy Hospital where she received treatment for her injuries. Feldermann was issued a citation for failure to maintain control.

Bellevue Classes Held Amid Social Media Threat

Despite a social media threat which was later determined not a danger to students, classes in Bellevue were held yesterday. The threat by a student at the high school was discovered late Sunday night and immediately investigated by school officials, Bellevue police and the Jackson County sheriff’s office. The student has been temporarily suspended and charges are pending. A statement posted by school administrators says ” the safety of all students and staff is the priority for the Bellevue Community School District at all times, and we also want to keep parents and others aware of situations as warranted.”

Grant County Accident

A Platteville man faces charges after an accident in Grant County Friday night. The Grant County Sheriff’s office responded around 7:10 to a two vehicle accident. 20 year old Alec Kessel was driving northbound on Hwy 151 when he turned left onto Southwest Road from the far right lane. 32-year old Jennifer McDonough, of Davenport, was traveling northbound and Kessel turned in front of McDonough causing both vehicles to collide. McDonough was transported by Platteville EMS to Southwest Health Center due to minor injuries. Kessel was cited for Improper Left Turn and Operating While Suspended.

“Holiday Tag”-City Solid Waste Collection

The City of Dubuque is continuing its annual distribution of a complimentary “holiday tag” for extra garbage to its solid waste collection customers. The tags will be available until Jan. 3, 2020. The City of Dubuque is continuing its annual distribution of a complimentary “holiday tag” for extra garbage to its solid waste collection customers. The tags will be available until Jan. 3, 2020. Customers may pick up their holiday tag during normal business hours at the following locations: Municipal Services Center, Utility Billing Office, Multicultural Family Center, Housing and Community Development Dept., and Leisure Services Department office. The holiday tags may be used for refuse on any collection day in the future

Field of Dreams MLB Game

The excitement continues to build for next summers Major League Baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees to be played next to the Field of Dreams iconic field in Dyersville. Keith Rahe, President and CEO of Travel Dubuque, says he is expecting far more people in the area for the game than just the 8,000 people who are lucky enough to get tickets. There may be future games scheduled at the site if everything goes as hoped. Playing on the newly constructed ballpark in a small Iowa town will be something the White Sox and Yankees will not be used to and Rahe thinks they will really enjoy it. The new field was built using the original Comiskey Park dimensions. The August 13th game will be broadcast nationally on Fox Sports, who ran a commercial promoting the game during this years World Series.

Ernst On USMCA

A U.S. Senator would like to see movement in Congress concerning a trade agreement President Trump announced nearly a year ago. Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement has widespread support in Iowa. Ernst says the House of Representatives is holding things up and she thinks it’s to avoid giving the President a legislative “win”. According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative website, the goal of the USMCA is to support mutually beneficial trade leading to freer markets, fairer trade, and robust economic growth in North America.

Pothoff Running For Supervisor

A longtime veteran of the Dubuque County sheriff’s department has announced that he’s running for a seat on the county board of supervisors next year. Captain Harley Pothoff hosted a campaign kick-off event on Sunday at Breitbach’s Country Diner in Balltown. In a press release Pothoff says “he thinks the current board is wasting taxpayer dollars on “non-priorities” and things that are not the county’s responsibility. He goes on to say that the citizens of Dubuque and Dubuque county need to know where their tax money is being spent, why is it being spent, when can citizens expect to see a return on their investment, does spending fall within the guidelines of state code for tax money and does it meet the guidelines of the strategic spending plan.

Sundown Opened This Weekend

An early snowfall may not be good news for some in the Tri-States, but it’s sweet music to the ears of administrators at Sundown Mountain Resort in rural Dubuque and Chestnut Mountain Resort in Galena. Sundown opened its’ 46 season Saturday, while Chestnut plans to kick off its’ season on November 23rd. Sundown general manager Mark Gordon says this year is one of the earliest they have ever opened. Gordon says they start fielding calls from skiers and snowboarders in late October. The weather has been ideal for making snow at Sundown. Chestnut will open from 9 am to 4 pm on November 23rd and the 24th.

Lafayette County Crash With Injuries

A two vehicle crash in Lafayette County Thursday morning sends two people to the hospital. The accident happened on State Highway 11 in New Diggins Township at around 6:45. The sheriff’s office says a a car driven by 23 year old Autumn Unbehaun of Benton was traveling west on 11, when she lost control and crossed the centerline. Her vehicle struck an eastbound car driven by 37 year old Catherine Klang also of Benton. Unbehaun and a minor passenger were taken to an area hospital to be treated for their injuries. Klang refused medical attention at the scene. Unbehaun was cited for failure to maintain control.

Sexual Abuse Charges

A Hanover, Illinois man is facing charges for sexually abusing a teen under the age of 17. 45-year old Chuck Burcham has been charged with 4 counts of Criminal Sexual Abuse that Jo Daviees County authorities say happened between June 1st and September of this year. Each count carries a sentence of between 3 and 7 years and a maximum fine $25,000s each. Burchams next appearance in Jo Daviess County District Court is November 26th.

Polar Plunge Takes Place This Weekend

City, county and local law enforcement officials are prepared to brave the cold temperatures Saturday as part of a fundraiser for Special Olympics Iowa. They’ll be jumping into the frigid Mississippi River during the annual “Dubuque Polar Plunge.” The event will take place at the Schmitt Harbor Boat Ramp. Dubuque police Chief Mark Dalsing says his team has been preparing for the plunge for a long time. Dalsing says his department helps raise money for Special Olympics year-round, but the plunge is something they look forward to. The individuals who participate in Special Olympics Winter Games are very appreciative of all the support they receive. The winter games will be held in Dubuque in mid-January. The plunge starts at 11.

Dubuque Man Faces Felony Charge

A Dubuque man faces felony charges after authorities in Jo Daviess County accused him of asking for a woman’s permission to sexually abuse a pre-teen girl who was in the woman’s care. 39 year old Douglas Buttikofer is charged with three felony counts of unlawful grooming. The incident occurred in Jo Daviess County between September 20th and the 25th. If convicted on all three charges, Buttikofer could be sentenced to up to nine years in prison. He will next appear in circuit court on January 9th.

Hanover Man Seriously Injured In Crash

A Hanover man suffered serious injuries following a head-on crash in Jo Daviess County Tuesday afternoon. A crash report from Illinois State Police says a vehicle driven by 31 year old Thomas Trevarthen was traveling south on Illinois 84, when he crossed the center line and crashed head-on into another vehicle driven by 50 year old Maria Dreyer of Hanover. Trevarthen was transported to Finley Hospital with serious injuries. His condition has not been released. Dreyer was taken to Mercy with non-life threatening injuries. Two children in Trevarthen’s vehicle were also taken to Finley with non-life threatening injuries. The accident remains under investigation.

Fire Destroys Dubuque Garage

Fire destroyed a garage on Dubuque’s north end Thursday afternoon. Fire crews responded to a report of a fire inside a detached garage in the 2000 block of Garfield Avenue at around 12:45. The garage was fully engulfed when crews arrived. A live power line was on the roof of the structure, so fire crews had to extinguish the blaze from a distance until Alliant Energy arrived to disconnect power to the down power line. They were then able to enter the garage. No damage estimate is available at this time and the cause of the fire is being investigated. No injuries were reported.