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Dubuque & Tri-State News

Man Still Missing

It’s now been more than three days since anyone has seen a Dubuque man. Family and friends of Dan Gessner organized a search for him on Thursday in East Dubuque. Gessner was last seen around 3 a.m. on Monday in the East Dubuque business district. Security cameras caught Gessner on the street. But no one has heard from him since then and his phone is dead. Another concern for everyone is that Gessner has a medical device in his back that helps him walk. Friends say if he doesn’t get a charger for that soon, it will run out of battery and he won’t be able to walk. The East Dubuque and Dubuque Police Departments are investigating this together. East Dubuque officers searched the river on Wednesday and will do so again on Monday. They’d also like to use drones in their search. If anyone has information, you are asked to contact the East Dubuque Police Department at 815-747-3913 or the Dubuque Police Department at 563-589-4415.

Shullsburg Teen Charged With Hate Crime

A Lafayette County teenager is charged with a felony hate crime after he another teen allegedly spray-painted the word “deported” and scrawled a swastika on the door of an Hispanic family. The incident took place on September 29th. 17 year old Jason Leitzinger of Shullsburg is charged with one felony count of criminal damage to property. He will next appear in court on November 4th.

Domestic Assault Charges

An Arizona man is facing numerous charges after police say he assaulted the mother of his child in Dubuque. 25 year old Kawann Brown was arrested Tuesday afternoon on charges of False Imprisonment, two counts of Domestic Assault, Obstruction of Emergency Communications and Child Endangerment. Police responded to a report of a domestic assault in the 2-thousand block of Pasadena Road. A woman there told them Brown had been visiting for his son’s birthday. Brown and the woman began arguing and when she attempted to call 911, Brown grabbed the phone from her and slapped her several times. He then took her into a bedroom and punched her causing her to fall to the floor. He then put his knee on her back preventing her from getting up. He also choked her. The woman was able to flee the apartment and run to the manager’s office and call 911. When she returned with the manager, Brown was standing outside holding a knife to his neck and threatening to harm himself if she called police. Brown’s 2 year old son was present when the incident occurred.

St. Mark Youth Enrichment Sponsor Angels

Helping youth stay warm in the winter is the goal of one of St. Mark Youth Enrichment’s programs. Beth McGorry, Director of Donor Relations, says Sponsor Angels fill a big need in the community. Last year, over 200 kids were given winter clothing in Dubuque and Western Dubuque. St. Mark assists many children in and around Dubuque and gives parents a helping hand when they need it. To sign up as a sponsor, go to stmarkyouthenrichment.org and click on the community events tab. The deadline to sign up is Friday and you can return the winter clothing to St. Mark by December 6th.

 

Dance Marathon-Rake-A-Thon

As the leaves continue to fall from the trees, a lot of people are planning on how they will get rid of them. Some residents throughout Dubuque have plans to convert their leaves to mulch, while others rake them up and place them curbside to be picked up by the city. Unfortunately for some people, like the elderly and disabled, raking leaves is not an option. That’s where the Loras Dance Marathon Team comes into to play. Team member Lauren Krapfl says on November 2nd, team members will be going to homes throughout the community and raking yards in exchange for a free-will donation. The Rake-A-Thon will start at around 9 in the morning on November 2nd. Last year, the Rake-a-Thon turned into a Shovel-Thon, because of snow. All of the money raised will go to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. To sign up to have your yard raked email dance.marathonloras.edu by Friday.

Missing Man

People are looking for a man in the Dubuque area who has been reported missing since early Monday. KCRG reports Dan Gessner was last seen at around 2:45 a.m. on October 21st outside of the Other Side Bar in East Dubuque. He was believed to be wearing a black Dark Chambers hoodie, a gray shirt, and blue jeans. Gessner uses a medical device that requires urgent attention. Friends and family of Gessner’s have organized a search in the Dubuque area. A separate search will begin at the Other Side Bar at 2:00 p.m. today in East Dubuque. Anybody with information about Gessner’s whereabouts is encouraged to call the East Dubuque Police Department at (815) 747-3913.

Two People Arrested On Drug Charges

Two people were arrested on drug charges following a traffic stop in the downtown area of Dubuque this week. 36 year old Holly Campbell of Dubuque and 38 year old Alan Julson both face charges ranging from possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver to unlawful possession of prescription drugs. A little after 4 Monday afternoon an officer stopped a vehicle driven by Campbell in the 1600 block of Main Street. Julson was a passenger and the officer knew he had an arrest warrant for escape from custody and probation violation. Julson was placed under arrest. Officers found two plastic baggies in his front pants pocket that contained over 34 grams of meth. A K-9 unit was then brought to the scene and detected more illegal drugs inside the car. Executing a search warrant police found a backpack inside the car that contained 113 grams of meth and two more baggies that had 2.6 grams. A pouch belonging to Campbell was also found inside the vehicle. It contained 9 prescription tablets. Officers also found a digital scale, packaging materials, a pipe used to smoke meth and various drug paraphernalia items. Campbell was also cited for driving while barred.

City To Spend 1.4 Million On MCFC

Dubuque city leaders want to spend more than one million dollars to connect two buildings into one. The city plans to spend the money on a project for the Multicultural Family Center on Central Avenue. The former Colts building right next door sits empty, so the city plans to connect the two buildings. It would take the MFC’s footprint from 6,600 square feet to nearly 17,000 square feet. The total cost would be around 1.4 million dollars. Center Director Jacqueline Hunter says they need more space.
Hunter says they’ll expand the center’s programming by offering some leisure service activities and performing arts. The additional space will allow the MFC to set up a college access center, something Hunter says they wanted to do for a while. Right now the city has the project open to bids. It plans to award a contract on November 4th and have construction completed by the end of April 2020.

Galena School Super To Resign

The Galena school district will soon be looking for a new leader after the current superintendent announced his impending resignation this week. Greg Herbst submitted his letter of resignation to the school board Tuesday. The former superintendent for the East Dubuque school district was hired by the Galena school board in 2016. In the letter Herbst says “in my view, it is undeniably evident that the distinct roles of the board, the superintendent and the teacher’s union have become blurred.” The board has scheduled a special meeting for Thursday to acknowledge Herbst’s resignation. In the letter he says his last day will be November 11th.

Dubuque Area Landlords Association-Housing Vouchers

At the request of a member of Dubuque Area Landlords Association, the City Council this week voted to postpone voting on amendments to require rental property owners to accept housing vouchers from qualified tenants for the duration of their forgivable loan agreement with the city. Diane McClain asked the council for more time so the group could meet with staff for a better understanding of what the changes might mean. City Manager, Mike Van Milligan, noted that the city would need approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development before preceding anyway. Van Milligan said before another vote is taken by the council, city staff will meet with the Dubuque Area Landlords Association to lay out the ramifications if it were to be approved at a future meeting.

Hud Lead/Healthy Homes Grants

The East Central Intergovernmental Association based in Dubuque has been awarded a grant for nearly $3,000,000 from the federal government for its’ Lead Based Paint Hazardous Control program and $300,000 in Healthy Homes Supplemental funding. Both programs identify and clean up housing-based health hazards like lead, mold, electrical hazards, and pet issues. Mark Schneider, Community Development Director at ECIA says over the next three-and-a-half years beginning in December they’ll address lead hazards in 120 income qualifying properties with children six years of age or younger throughout Dubuque County. Properties must be built in 1977 or earlier. Qualifying units can be homeowners or rental properties, but the tenants must meet the income restrictions. The Healthy Homes funding will address water related hazards. Schneider says right now their objective is to get the word out to the public about the programs. If you live in Dubuque County with a family of two and your gross income is under $52,000 per year you would be eligible for the programs. On average a property would be awarded $15,000 for lead hazards and $2,500 for health and safety deficiencies.

Sageville Man Pleads Guilty To Sexual Abuse

A Dubuque County man who was arrested earlier this year for trying to sexually assault a young girl has pleaded guilty. 19-year old Patrick Henry of Sageville pleaded guilty to a single felony count of lascivious acts with a minor. Henry was originally charged with assault with intent to commit sexual abuse and third degree sexual abuse. In the plea deal prosecutors agreed to drop the third degree sexual abuse charge. Henry will be sentenced on December 16th and faces up to five years behind bars.

Davenport Woman Arrested For Prostitution

A Davenport woman faces prostitution and other charges after police say she was naked when she broke into a residence near Leisure Lake in Jackson County earlier this month claiming a man was trying to tie her up. 50-year old Stephanie Ratzlaff is charged with prostitution, indecent exposure and fifth degree criminal mischief. On October 12th deputies responded to a report of a naked woman and man who were attempting to break into homes. Ratzlaff allegedly broke into one home where she asked for help. When questioned by deputies Ratzlaff told them a bizarre story about a man she had been with who had two tongues. Records say Ratzlaff had consensual sex with a man identified in court records as John Hartley. He says he chased Ratzlaff outside trying to ‘talk some sense into her.” So far Hartley has not been charged in the case.

Truth in Food Labeling Legislation

State Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), State Representatives Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City) and Loren Oldenburg (R-Viroqua) will be holding a press conference Thursday morning to highlight their Truth in Food Labeling Legislation for milk, meat and dairy products in advance of a hearing in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions, which is scheduled for later tomorrow morning. The goal is to let consumers to know the differences between the real products grown and made by Wisconsin farmers versus the fake, lab-grown, plant-based products that are passing for milk, meat, cheese, ice cream and other dairy products in the state.

Homeless Stand Down Event

The Dubuque, Delaware and Jackson County “Homeless Stand Down” on Thursday, October 24th is open to all Veterans and members of the community experiencing housing instability. Jessica Bleile, Director of Community Building & Impact for United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States, says there will be free transportation provided both ways. There will be quite a variety of services available, including veteran assistance and employment opportunities. Bleile says there will be many free services offered like haircuts, medical screenings, clothing, personal hygiene items and a free hot lunch. This event will be held at the Boys and Girls Club, 1299 Locust Street, and runs from 10:30 am to 1 pm.

Family STEM Festival

A family STEM festival is coming to Clayton County this week. The Northeast Iowa Family STEM Festival will be held Thursday from 4 to 7 pm at Keystone AEA in Elkader. Jason Martin-Hiner, a school facilitator for science at Keystone says the festival is designed to engage young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Feedback from previous festivals has been very positive. The festivals are held at various locations throughout northeast Iowa every year. All ages are welcome to attend the free festival, but the target group is upper elementary to middle school students. The exhibits will feature interactive STEM activities for students and their families.

Strangulation, Intimidation Charges

A Kansas man is facing multiple charges after a domestic dispute. Lafayette County Sheriff Deputies responded to CTH KK, in Gratiot Township Monday at 1:12 am for a welfare check. 30-year old Zackary Sells of Fontana, Kansas was arrested for Disorderly Conduct, Intimidating a Witness, and Strangulation. Authorities report that Sells was staying at Backyard Campgrounds just north of Warren. The victim’s name has not been released yet and the investigation is still ongoing. Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Office and Warren Police Department assisted on scene.

Growing Sustainable Communities Conference

The 12th annual Growing Sustainable Communities Conference will be held Thursday and Friday, at the Grand River Center. Mayor Roy Buol says the conference offers innovation, education, inspiration, and collaboration. Sessions presenters include representatives from federal, state, and local governments, along with business and academic leaders from across the country. The agenda includes two keynote luncheons, mobile workshops, a breakfast session, and more. The conference is hosted by the City of Dubuque and is the largest and longest-standing sustainability conference in the Midwest. People can still buy tickets for the conference, and this year, the city is  offering a “keynote only” option – so folks who can’t come the whole day can join for breakfast or lunch and listen to the keynote presenter. There is one keynote (Lilia A. Abron) on Thursday October 24th, 11: 35 am – 1:15 pm, and on October 25th a breakfast plenary (Jim Shultz) at 8 am – 9:30 am and lunch presentation from 12:20 pm – 2 pm. (Katharine Hayhoe). Tickets are $25 each. To register, or for more information, please visit www.GSCDubuque.com.

City Council-Mobile Home Park Predatory

The City Council Monday voted to add more protections for mobile home communities to the list of things it would like to see the state legislature prioritize in 2020. First Ward Councilman, Brett Shaw, says the council requested action from the state to strengthen the Iowa code to better protect mobile home park residents. Two years ago a national company known as Impact Communities bought the Table Mound Mobile Home Park. Since then residents say their rent has increased and other fees have been introduced. Shaw created a list of state code changes which include limiting rent increases. He believes landlords should be limited in the number of rent increases they can give in a year, and be capped at how much they can increase rent.

Man Arrested For August Break In/Assault

Dubuque police arrested a man over the weekend for a break in and assault that happened in August. 35-year old Bryant Terrell of Dubuque was taken into custody at his home in the 600 block of Chestnut Street early Sunday morning and charged with first degree burglary and domestic assault with injury-aggravated assault. On August 10th police say Terrell and 21-year old Larissa Greer broke into Terrell’s ex-girlfriend’s home in the 2500 block of Central Avenue. Once inside Terrell and his ex started to argue. At some point police say Terrell and Greer assaulted Terrell’s ex-girlfriend and a man who was at the residence at the time. Greer was arrested several days after the incident. She has pleaded not guilty to first degree burglary and driving while barred.

District Enrollment Numbers Up This Year

Student enrollment numbers in the Dubuque school district appear to be slightly up this year. The unofficial total is 11,064, which district Finance Director Kevin Kelleher says is an increase of 57 students compared to the 2018-19 school year. This year’s kindergarten class is one of the largest the district has had for quite some time. The enrollment numbers were certified by the district on October 15th, but Kelleher says they won’t be officially certified until November 1st by the State Department of Education. Earlier this year Iowa lawmakers approved 2.06 percent in supplemental state aid for the current fiscal year.
Kelleher says they’re encouraged by the slight increase in enrollment, when you factor in that over the past several years the district saw a decrease in enrollment numbers. Unofficial enrollment numbers at Holy Family are 1,846.

Biden Cancels Dubuque, Maquoketa Stops

Former Vice-President and now Democratic presidential candidate Senator Joe Biden has cancelled a couple of campaign appearances scheduled in eastern Iowa this week, including Dubuque, to attend a funeral. Biden was scheduled to hold events in the Key City and Maquoketa Thursday. Instead Biden cancelled the events so that he and his wife Jill can attend the funeral of a longtime Democratic activist in Delaware. It’s not known at this time if he will re-schedule the events.

DockDogs World Championships-Dubuque

A unique organization is celebrating it’s 20 year anniversary and it’s bringing the World Championships to Dubuque this week. The DockDogs® World Championships will take place at Five Flags Center Tuesday thru Sunday. There will be hundreds of teams from 3 countries as dogs and their handlers compete. The public is invited to watch the competition throughout the week and attend the Feature Finals on October 27th starting at 2:30 pm at Five Flags Center. New to the lineup for the Dubuque agenda is a ‘Pup Crawl’. Wednesday, DockDogs participants, and the public, are invited to five locals stops to bring their pups while they enjoy a drink. Participating locations will have their patios open from 6 to 9 pm and include Backpocket Brewery, 7 Hills Brewing, Dimensional Brewing, Five Flags Center, and Holiday Inn’s River Rock Kitchen.

Hillcrest Family Services Italian Dinner

A local non-profit is holding a mouthwatering fundraiser this week. Hillcrest Family Services’ 35th Annual Hillcrest Italian Dinner, hosted by Mario’s Italian Restaurant, will be held Wednesday from 4:30 pm to 8 pm at West Minister Presbyterian Church. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and under. For $60 you can sponsor a table for eight Hillcrest residents to eat at the dinner and enjoy others company. Tickets or sponsorship can be purchased at Hillcrest’s main campus at 2005 Asbury Road or any Hillcrest location. Come enjoy a wonderful meal of pasta, garlic bread, salad, a cookie and drinks and carry outs are available. All proceeds go to purchase Christmas gifts for Hillcrest’s adolescent residents.

Shullsburg Men Drug Charges

Three Shullsburg men are facing drug charges after Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded Saturday at 6:52 pm to S. Sidney St, City of Shullsburg to a suspicious activity complaint. 30-year old Kristopher Leifker, 26-year old Douglas W. M. Champion, and 20-year old Jarad Heim were arrested for Possession of Methamphetamine. All three men were transported to the Lafayette County Jail where they remain in custody. The Shullsburg Police Department assisted.

Suspended Sentence False Imprisonment

A rural Dubuque county man accused of attempted sexual assault last summer has pleaded guilty to lesser charges and received a suspended sentence of one year in jail. 19-year old Mitchell McArthur pleaded quilty last week to false imprisonment and possession of a controlled substance and the charges of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse and unlawful possession of a prescription drug were dropped. Last July, a woman told the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department McArthur attempted to sexually assault her after she gave him a ride home. The woman said she knew McArthur and he invited her inside his home and began saying “weird” things. He then tried to force himself on her. The woman fled the residence, leaving her shoes behind. Authorities executed a search warrant and found marijuana, prescription drugs and the burned remnants of the woman’s shoes in McArthur’s home.

Poopsie’s Coat Drive

A downtown gift shop in Galena is helping people who may not be able to afford warm coats with winter coming on. Owner, Alana Turner, says Poopsie’s coat drive has shown that there is a true need in the community. They have made it very easy to donate and pick up the free coats all day and night for people who need them. The coat rack will stay outside until the weather dictates they take it down. Turner encourages other businesses to do similar things and a couple of other downtown businesses in Galena have followed their lead and are offering free warm clothes as well.

Quilts of Valor Ceremony

The Carnegie-Stout Public Library and the Northeastern Iowa chapter of the Quilts of Valor® Foundation invite the public to a ceremony honoring local veterans on November 3rd, at 2 p.m. in the third floor Aigler Auditorium of the library. Light refreshments will be served following the ceremony. The library will also display the Quilts of Valor® in the third floor rotunda from October 21st until October 31st. The public may view the quilts during regular library hours. The Quilts of Valor® Foundation mission is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing quilts. Since its inception in 2003, the foundation has awarded more than 230,000 quilts to service members and veterans across the country.

‘City Life’ Citizen Academy

The City of Dubuque is welcoming applications from residents for the November session of City Life, Dubuque’s free “citizen academy” program designed to provide residents a hands-on connection with their local government. City Life offers residents the opportunity to interact with City staff, learn more about city services and programs, participate in tours of City facilities, and learn about different opportunities to be involved in city government. There is no cost to participate. Space is limited to 25 participants. Applications are due by October 28th. For more information and to apply for City Life, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/citylife.

Ernst Calls For Strategy To Defeat ISIS

Iowa U.S. Republican Senator Joni Ernst is calling on the Department of Defense and the Department of State to provide a plan for Congress within the next 30 days outlining strategy to ensure ISIS will never again threaten the United States or the country’s allies. Ernst’s comments are in response to Turkey’s intervention in Northern Syria. Ernst says we cannot allow ourselves to take our foot off our enemy’s throat. Ernst is a combat veteran and chair of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities.

Community Foundation Brain Health Session

The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque is working to help identify issues of youth related to brain health. Peter Supple, Economic Opportunity Coordinator, says it’s an issue that needs to be addressed in Dubuque County. The Community Foundation will host a “listening session” from 6:30 to 7:30 pm Tuesday at Farley Memorial Hall. Jeff Danna, Communications Manager, says the goal is to create a safe space for conversation, where parents, educators, advocates and other community members can share information about this important issue free of judgment. Supple notes that the brain isn’t really any different than any other body part that sometimes get sick. Registration to attend is free and not required. If you would like to express interest in attending, visit the Community Foundations’ Facebook event page at bit.ly/kidsbrainhealth.

Police Training Drill At Kennedy Mall Tonight

Kennedy Mall in Dubuque will serve as a training ground for Dubuque police tonight. The mall will close at 9 pm and an active shooter drill will take place inside the mall. The training will last for several hours. The exercise is designed to help officers and other first responders sharpen their skills when dealing with a situation involving an armed intruder in a venue opened to the public. People living near the mall should not be alarmed by the sight of police vehicles or by unusual sounds coming from the mall. Mall officials ask that members of the general public not enter mall property during tonight’s exercise. Again this is only a drill for police.

Chicago Man Sentenced for Assault

A Chicago man has been sentenced to 10-years in prison after being convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend and her mother. 30-year old Richard Walton was arrested April 30th and he pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree burglary, domestic assault with injury, willful injury causing bodily injury and two counts of child endangerment. Walton went to the home of his ex-girlfriend in the 1000 block of Bluff Street on April 28th and broke in. Once inside, Walton began choking his ex-girlfriend and threatening to kill her. He then grabbed the woman by her hair and dragged her upstairs. Walton then assaulted the woman’s mother, breaking her nose and ankle. The ex-girlfriend’s 1-year old and 2-year old children were inside the apartment when the assaults took place.

Dubuque Arboretum Fall Clean Ups

Volunteers who would like to help the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens get ready for next spring have two Saturday’s to choose from to do so. Barb Block, Volunteer Coordinator, says the 2019 Fall Clean Ups will take place October 19th and 26th from 9 am to noon and volunteers will be provided the equipment and a free lunch. Block says volunteers feature a wide variety ages and many different groups come out annually to help. For more information about the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens go online to dubuquearboretum.net.

Dubuque Man Charged With Felony Arson

The next time you step outside your home for a smoke, make sure you leave the door unlocked so you can get back in. A Dubuque man learned that lesson the hard way after he stepped out of his residence this week to smoke a cigarette and locked himself out. 32 year old Raymond Callis Jr. is charged with one felony count of first degree arson after police say he set his front door on fire in an attempt to regain entry to his home on West Locust Street. Callis told investigators after he inadvertently locked himself out he doused his front door with lighter fluid and set it on fire hoping to melt the weather stripping so he could pry the door open. His one year old daughter was asleep at the time in the duplex. Callis was standing by with a bucket of water to put out fire. The incident was reported by his aunt who owns the property. In addition to the arson charge, Callis is charged with child endangerment-bodily injury. He will next appear in court on October 30th.

Check Cashing Scheme Arrests

Four people were arrested near Cascade this week, after police say they were involved in a forged check cashing scheme in Dubuque. 19 year old Emma Anderson of Marion, 19 year old Cieria Chance of Coralville , 18 year old Kawsi Core of Cedar Rapids and 27 year old Darnell Young of North Liberty are all charged with six counts of forgery. Young is also charged with interference with official acts and two warrants from Johnson County. Authorities say Chance posted on Facebook that her car was impounded in Cedar Rapids and if someone could help her get it out. Core responded and said he would help her if she would help him. Chance and Anderson came to Dubuque and proceeded to cash six forged checks worth more than 56-hundred dollars at three different Midwest One Bank locations. When the pair attempted to cash more forged checks at another Midwest One location, they were unsuccessful as bank employees were aware of the scheme by then. Cascade police stopped a car a short time later on U.S. Highway 151 that contained all four suspects.

Bennet Coming To Maquoketa

Presidential hopeful and Colorado Senator Michael Bennet will hold an event in Maquoketa this weekend. The Democrat and former businessman and school superintendent will be in Maquoketa Sunday for a 3 pm event at Decker Hotel on Main Street. For accessibility concerns contact Evan Miller at 310-944-1922 or email emillermichaelbennet.com.

Klobuchar Bus Tour Through Dubuque

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota will bring her bus tour to Dubuque this weekend. Klobuchar will host a roundtable with veterans at Carnegie-Stout Public Library on Saturday at 9 am. Klobuchar will highlight her “One For All of America Agenda’ with veterans. This will be her 21st trip to the Hawkeye State since announcing her candidacy.

Benton State Bank 125th

The Benton State Bank is celebrating their 125th year in business this weekend. Saturday’s event runs from noon to 3 pm and will feature food, prizes and games. Kay Brink, Senior Vice President, says you can also learn about local history, how they keep accounts safe, and a look towards next year. The Benton State Bank is located at 42 West Main Street in Benton, Wisconsin.

The Other Side of the Anvil

Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society’s Old Blacksmith Shop will present a special hands-on event and two-day music fest called “The Other Side of the Anvil.” Rich the Blacksmith, who runs the Shop, says on October 19th and 20th, on the lawn adjacent to the Stillman Mansion, six forging stations-complete with forge, anvil, vise and tools-will be fired up and skilled regional blacksmiths will provide hands-on instruction for visitors. Rich says it’s a unique chance to work hands-on with a coal forge and gain insight into what it is like to work at a 3,000 year old craft. The two day event has grown this year and the Historical Society will have a beer and wine tent, food, live music, and a bake sale on Saturday and Sunday. There is no charge for participating, though donations to support the Old Blacksmith Shop operations are gladly accepted. For more information about the event, go to galenahistory.org.

Former Hospital Executive Pleads Guilty

The former CEO at Regional Medical Center in Manchester has pleaded guilty to a felony theft charge. 61 year old Lonnie Butikofer pled guilty to first degree theft in Delaware County District Court. Butikofer along with another former employee at the hospital, 53 year old Michael Briggs, also of Manchester, are 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 will be sentenced on December 3rd. He faces up to 10 years in prison. A second felony charge of second degree fraudulent practices against Butikofer is expected to be dropped. Briggs meantime will next appear in court on November 19th. He has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of first degree theft.

Dubuque Conference To Tackle Race/Equity

A group of people in Dubuque will host a conference this week that will tackle race and equity issues, and it’s in response to racist incidents in the community. In May of last year someone found a letter in an Executive Management apartment building that was racist in nature. It said in part that “minorities would no longer be tolerated there.” Police investigated the incident and found that building management did not post the letter and no charges were ever filed. In August of this year racist graffiti was found at the Mines of Spain. In September a racial slur was found spray-painted on a pavilion at Eagle Point Park. In response the Dubuque Human Rights Commission organized a conference to address race and other equity issues. Commission member Miquel Jackson says it will be a two-day event that covers a wide range of topics. The conference will be held Friday and Saturday at Loras College. There is a cost to attend.

HyVee Hacking Lawsuit

A class action lawsuit has been filed in Illinois against Hy-Vee, Inc., following a massive data breach that impacted its gas stations, coffee shops and restaurants, including Dubuque at all three locations. Between December 14th, 2018, and July 29th, 2019, the company said malware accessed cards at fuel pumps for Hy-Vee gas stations and card payments at restaurants and drive-thru coffee shops. Hy-Vee announced the breach this August after it noticed unauthorized activity on some of it’s payment processing systems. On October 3rd, Hy-vee shared additional details with customers about which locations and services were impacted.

Burns Trial Delayed

A Manchester man accused of killing a high school student almost 40 years ago has had his trial delayed. The trial for 65 year old Jerry Burns was scheduled to begin Monday, but a new tentative date has been set for February 10th in Linn County. Burns is accused of killing 18 year old Michelle Martinko. Her body was found inside the family’s car in a Cedar Rapids Mall parking lot on December 19th, 1979. She had been stabbed in the face and chest. Burns was arrested last December and charged with first degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty. Blood samples from the victim matched samples taken from Burns.

Mobile Home Park Residents Fight Back

Residents of a mobile home park in Dubuque are standing up for what they call predatory practices. Two years ago a national company known as Impact Communities bought the Table Mound Mobile Home Park. Since then residents say their rent has increased and other fee have been introduced. Karla Shepard and her husband Frank have lived in Table Mounds for the past 10 years. The trailer was appealing because Frank is disabled. Before Impact bought Table Mound, the Shepard’s rent was $270 a month. Now it is $420 a month. Residents are forming a tenants association with the help of elected officials, like State Representative Lindsey James of Dubuque. James plans to advocate for state laws that would better protect mobile home renters’ rights. That includes the right to buy their lot, establishing advance notices for rent hikes and more. The Board of Supervisors hosted a work session this week to discuss the issue and get an update from James and other county officials.

Holy Family Schools Closing Two Schools

Holy Family Schools will close two elementary schools, according to a plan approved by school board members on Tuesday. Our coverage partner, KCRG, reports Holy Ghost and St. Anthony elementary schools will no longer be open beginning with the 2020-2021 school year. Board members cited declining enrollment figures at the schools as a primary reason for the decision. Six board members voted in favor of the change. The board was considering three potential plans, two of which would have kept at least one of the two schools open. They opted for the third plan, which closed both. The district could save $400,000 annually per school closed, according to Chief Administrator Phil Bormann.

Mobile Sports Betting Coming Soon To Q

Q Casino in Dubuque began accepting sports wagers in late August and the next step, according to President and CEO Jesus Aviles is the implementation of mobile sports wagering apps. He says the mobile apps, which will allow bettors to wager on sporting events from their phones or computers from anywhere in the state. Aviles says studies show that sports betting with mobile apps significantly increase revenues at sports betting venues. Since the opening of Q Sportsbook on August 27th, business has been good. The Diamond Jo opened Fanduel Sports Book in early September and hopes to have their apps operational before the end of the year.

Attempted Murder Arrest

A woman wanted on attempted murder charges after attacking her ex-boyfriend in Dubuque three times in one day has been arrested in Illinois. KCRG reports 28-year old Tanetra Giles, was arrested early in the morning on October 3rd in DuPage County. She signed a form acknowledging she is the person authorities were looking for and waived extradition. On September 15th, Dubuque police said Giles allegedly assaulted her boyfriend with a knife and glass bottle in two different incidents. Later on the same day, police said Giles broke down her ex-boyfriend’s door and began attacking his current girlfriend. Giles’ bond was revoked. She’s set to appear in court on October 17th.

Photo Submission- Holiday Traditions Exhibit

If you have a special family holiday occasion you celebrate, your pictures are in demand. The Dubuque County Historical Society is seeking photography submissions for their upcoming exhibit Dubuque Traditions: A Photographic Experience as part of Home for the Holidays. Victoria Cote says the exhibit will provide a chance to experience the holiday traditions of our neighbors and friends. Traditions include the stories, beliefs, customs, and routines that provide a sense of belonging, whether they are with family, friends or even strangers that you reach out to during the holidays. Dubuque Traditions is a chance to explore the moments in life, caught on camera, that represent those special things that build a connection between the people in our community. The exhibit will open November 30th – Dec 22nd at the Mathias Ham Historic Site. Deadline for submissions is October 15th and photos must display holiday traditions during the months of October to January. For more information and guidlines go to page 2 of the events section of rivermuseum.com.

 

Photo courtesy of National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

https://www.rivermuseum.com/events/event/1402186/date/2019-11-30

Temporary TSA Enrollment Center

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will open a temporary enrollment center at the Dubuque Regional Airport from October 21st – October 25th. The temporary enrollment center will be located at Airline Ticket Office #2, next to the American Airlines ticket counter in the Dubuque Regional Airport Terminal Building. Appointment hours will be Monday – Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Friday from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. and from 12:00 p.m. to 4 p.m. Applicants don’t need an airline ticket to access the enrollment center. Although walk-ins will be accepted on a space-available basis, TSA and the airport recommend that individuals pre-enroll on-line and make an appointment at www.Identogo.com/precheck.

DCHS To Create Mini-Baseball Exhibit

Major League Baseball is coming to Dyersville next summer and as a way to highlight Dubuque’s rich history of minor league baseball, the Dubuque County Historical Society will be creating a mini-exhibit that will be on display at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. Museum Curator Christin Waterbury says the exhibit will feature the early years of minor league baseball in Dubuque beginning in 1879 when the Dubuque Red Stockings beat the world champion Chicago White Stockings. Waterbury says they want the community to be part of the exhibit by donating or loaning the society items related to Dubuque’s baseball history. The New York Yankees will be playing the Chicago White Sox next summer near the Field of Dreams move site, and Waterbury says their goal is to have the exhibit on display ahead of the big game. If you’d like to make a donation for the Mini exhibit, call the historical society or email Kristin Glomstad at kglomstadrivermuseum.com. The exhibit will be on display inside the River Center.

College Career & Professional Development Fair

AccessDubuqueJobs.com is partnering with Greater Dubuque-area colleges and universities for the first College Career and Professional Development Fair. Kristin Dietzel, Vice President of Workforce Solutions, says there will be many opportunities for students on October 15th. Dietzel says students will be able to meet with area employers about careers and internships and attend professional development breakout sessions. The day wraps up with an hour long Diversity Networking Event. Students can sign up prior to the event on campus or at the Career Fair itself. Tuesday’s event will be held at the Hotel Julien Dubuque and runs from 10 am to 3 pm.

Carson King-Bobblehead Hall of Fame

The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled a bobblehead honoring Carson King this morning. They are donating $5 from every bobblehead sold to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital King Family Fund. The release comes exactly one month after King’s sign appeared in the background of ESPN’s College GameDay. The hand-drawn sign, which requested beer money, went viral, and as the funds poured in, King quickly decided to give all proceeds to the Children’s Hospital. On Friday, King presented a check for over 3-million dollars to the Children’s Hospital. The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Milwaukee.

Picture courtesy of The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum

Meth Sale Dubuque Woman

A Dubuque woman accused of selling methamphetamine made her first appearance Friday in District Court in Dubuque. 40-year old Cari Bedtka has been charged with two felony counts of selling drugs to a Dubuque Drug Task Force informant. Bedtka is accused of selling methamphetamine to the informant in January and February.

Darlington Woman Cited After Crash

A Darlington woman was cited after she crashed her car head-on into a parked vehicle in Darlington Wednesday afternoon. A police report says 67 year old Jayne Russell was driving east on Raven Street when she crossed over the center line and collided head-on with a parked SUV on the other side of the street. Russell was taken to Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County and treated. Police say Russell was driving while under the influence of prescription controlled substances. She was cited for driving under the influence.

Columbus Day Renamed For Native Americans

Monday is Columbus Day, but it won’t be called that anymore…..at least in the city of Dubuque. At its’ most recent meeting the city council voted to proclaim October 14th Indigenous People’s Day to honor native Americans. According to a city proclamation, “Dubuque recognizes that the Indigenous People of this hemisphere have lived on these lands since time immemorial, and that Dubuque itself was built upon the homelands of the Meskwaki, Ho Chunk, Potawatami and other indigenous people of this region, and whereas the city of Dubuque seeks to bring better understanding to the people of Dubuque regarding indigenous cultures and the enormous contributions they have made and continue to make to our nation.” A number of cities and towns across the country have renamed Columbus Day Indigenous People’s Day in honor of Native Americans.

More Parking Spaces For Hempstead

Officials in the Dubuque Community School District are looking to add more parking spaces at and near the Hempstead High School campus this year. When construction on the new pool began, the school lost numerous parking spots occupied by students and staff. Building and Grounds Supervisor Bill Burkhart says they are planning to add at least 70 new parking spaces if the weather cooperates. 172 parking spots were taken away to make room for the new pool addition at Hempstead. The estimated cost of the additional parking spaces is around $80,000. Earlier this year the City of Dubuque provided 25 parking spaces for students at Usha Park, just west of Hempstead following complaints from residents in the area about students parking in front or near their homes. The new parking spaces will be paid for with funds from the district’s Physical Plant and Equipment Levy, or PPEL. Burkhart says if the bids come in at or below their estimate, construction would begin soon after.

Cold, Rain And Wind Not Good For Harvesting

Farmers are having a hard time harvesting wet fields, and they say it’s not going to get any easier with the cold and windy conditions. Dubuque County farmer Craig Recker says the colder temperatures will not help dry out the really wet corn farmers have right now and he says high winds could damage corn stalks. Recker says warmer weather would help dry out the corn and people who sell their crop would have to spend more money to dry it out manually. Recker says when farmers get behind on harvesting, fertilizing businesses get behind as well. The crop has to be out of the ground before the fertilizer can go down. Recker hopes conditions will improve, but says he will roll with whatever Mother Nature does.

Inspiration Stables Grant

Inspiration Stables has received a $2,500 grant from Variety-the Children’s Charity to fund their saddle and tack project to properly outfit their horses with equipment. The equipment needed allows the horses to work comfortably and safely while receiving direction and communication from children who struggle to do so effectively and clearly. Inspiration Stables is a nonprofit therapeutic horseback riding program serving children with special needs in and surrounding the Dubuque area. For more information about the group go to inspirationstables.org.

Household Hazardous Materials Collections

The Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency recently conducted two special mobile collection events. Events were held at the Delaware County Fairgrounds and at Murphy Park in Dubuque. A special collection event for household hazardous materials, tires and electronics waste was held in partnership with the Delaware County Solid Waste Disposal Commission. Over three hundred participants brought in 7,290 pounds of hazardous waste. In addition, nearly 15,000 pounds of tires and almost 30,000 pounds of electronics were brought in for recycling. Over two hundred participants brought in 8,925 pounds of hazardous waste and just over 12,000 pounds of latex paint.

Carl Sandburg Songbag Concert Series

Make plans to attend today’s Carl Sandburg Songbag Concert Series performance by blues/jazz musicians Sally Weisenburg and Don Berbaum at the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site in Galesburg. The performance by Weisenburg and Berbaum will be in the Sandburg site’s barn at 313 E. Third Street in Galesburg. The show starts at 4:00 pm and ends at 6:00 pm with a break for refreshments around 5:00 pm A donation of $5 per person is suggested. Carl Sandburg was a collector and performer of America’s folk songs. The concert series is named in honor of Sandburg’s book “The American Songbag” published in 1927.

City of Dubuque’s City Expo 2019

The City of Dubuque’s City Expo 2019 event will be held on October 17th, from 4-7 p.m. at the Five Flags Center. Randy Gehl, Public Information Officer, says attendees can learn about programs and services and because Dubuque was named an All-America City this year, that will be a theme as well. This year’s Expo will highlight the City Council’s eight stated goals. Various door prizes will be available with “Expo Passport” activity. Gehl says passport forms will be provided at the event but they don’t need be there for the drawing to win. The following door prizes will be available to win at City Expo this year:

Family summer swimming pool pass

  • $50 credit for leisure services programs
  • Foursome of golf, plus two carts, at Bunker Hill Golf Course
  • Annual yard waste decals
  • Yard waste stickers
  • $50 gift cards to local grocery stores
  • Youth and adult Jule bus passes

This event is free and open to the public and informational materials and complimentary food will be available. For more information, visit www.cityofdubuque.org/expo.

Grant County Fatality

A Grant County man was killed in a one vehicle crash Friday morning. The sheriff’s office identifies the victim as 24 year old Levi Linscheid of Highland. At around 7:05 Linscheid was driving his Jeep Wrangler on Highway 151 in Jamestown Township, where Sandy Hook Road goes underneath the highway, when he lost control. The vehicle traveled off the road, struck a guardrail, slid along a cement barrier on an overpass before traveling over the cement barrier onto an embankment. When emergency crews arrived they found the jeep on its’ roof just over the embankment. Linscheid was trapped inside and unresponsive. The Jaws of Life was used to free him and he was pronounced dead at the scene. This is the 9th fatality on Grant County roads this year.

Dubuque Authorities Continue To Investigate Fire

The Dubuque fire marshal says eight people were living in a home where a fire broke out late Tuesday night. The home was actually being used as sort of a homeless shelter. Fire Marshal Mark Burkle says the fire started at around 9 o’clock at 586 Loras Blvd. 21 year old Meagan Arthofer and 32 year old Randy Grutz were taken to local hospitals with serious injuries. The cause of the fire is still being investigated, but it originated in the basement. Tom Johnson and his son Ben are renting the three-bedroom home. Johnson confirmed to our coverage partners at KCRG TV that he and his son opened the home to people in need. Their work is done under the non-profit Anawim Catholic Worker. They call it a “house of hospitality.” There were six guests in addition to Tom and his son living in the home. But only Arthofer and Grutz were in the house when the fire started. Burkle says it can be dangerous to have that many people living in a small house. The Dubuque police department is also investigating the fire. Burkle says right now he doesn’t have any reason to believe there was illegal activity, such as a drug lab involved in causing the fire.

Farm Fatal Victim ID

The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of a man who died in a farm accident Wednesday night. The victim has been identified as 61 year old Phillip Sullivan. At around 7 o’clock sheriff’s deputies along with emergency responders were notified of an accident in the 2700 block of Fagan Road. When they arrived they found Sullivan dead. Authorities say Sullivan was cutting metal with a torch on the frame of a dump truck when the box released and fell, pinning him between the dump box and the frame of the truck.

Washington Locks Down After Administrator Is Threatened

Washington Middle School in Dubuque was on lockdown for a short time Thursday morning after a parent threatened an administrator at the school. That parent, 37 year old Candace Boots has since been arrested and charged with second degree harassment and possession of drug paraphernalia. In an email to parents, Principal Brian Howes says at some point after school started they moved into an “exterior lockdown”, which restricted visitors from entering or exiting the building. He says during this time classes and activities continued normally and there was never a threat to students in the building. The email goes on to say with the assistance of our resource officer who was present the entire time, the situation was addressed immediately and the lockdown was ended in about 20 minutes. Operations at Washington then returned to normal. Boots allegedly threatened the administrator over-the-phone and again at the school over an incident involving her daughter who attends Washington.

Man Charged With Sexually Abusing Child

A Dubuque man was arrested this week for sexually abusing a young girl more than three years ago. Online court records say 36 year old James Perry was taken into custody Wednesday morning in the 300 block of Main Street and charged with second degree sexual abuse and two counts of lascivious acts with a child. Documents say the abuse happened between June and November of 2016. The girl, who was younger than 12 at the time, told investigators that Perry abused her multiple times during that period.

Farm Fatality

A man was killed in what authorities are describing as a farming accident on Wednesday evening. KCRG reports that at around 7:00 p.m., the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office received a call about an accident in a rural area south of Dubuque. Emergency responders found a 61-year-old man pinned between the dump box, which is the part that lifts upward on a dump truck, and the truck’s body. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Authorities believe that the man, whose name has not been released yet, was working on the frame of the truck when the dump box came down upon him.

Dubuque Man Convicted Of Child Sex Crimes

A Dubuque man is facing prison time after a jury convicted him of sex crimes involving children this week. According to documents from Dubuque County a jury found 36 year old Bryan Halfhill guilty of second degree sexual abuse, lascivious acts with a child and lascivious acts with a child soliciting a person to arrange a sex act with a child. 35 year old Gina Urbain of Epworth is also charged in the case with second degree sexual abuse. The abuse took place between June of 2016 and December of last year. Images of child pornography were also found by investigators on Urbain’s cellphone. In a separate case Urbain is charged with sexually abusing a young girl last November. A sentencing hearing for Halfhill is set for December 16th.

ED Mayor To Pursue Early Closing Bar Hours Again

The mayor of East Dubuque says he is not giving up on efforts to have bars in the city close earlier than they currently do. City Manager Loras Herrig brought a proposal to the city council at its’ meeting this week that would eliminate the city’s Class B liquor license and force those establishments to close at 2 am instead of the current time of 3:30 am. The council voted 5-to-1 to reject the proposal, thus allowing the bars to continue to stay open until 3:30. Mayor Kirk Van Ostrand vows to bring the measure back to the council table for a vote in the very near future. Van Ostrand says he was stunned by the vote’s outcome. City Manager Herrig proposed the earlier closing hour. He says there has been an uptick in crime in the downtown area after 2 am and closing the bars an hour-and-a-half early would cut down on some of the criminal activity. Van Ostrand agrees. Van Ostrand says after reviewing the city’s liquor ordinances, he hopes to bring the issue back up again sometime next year.

Dubuque Company To Add Jobs

As part of a planned expansion project, Unison Solution on Chevenelle Road in Dubuque will be adding 10 more fulltime jobs. The biogas company along with a local developer will invest around 1.8 million dollars in a 20,000 square foot building near the Hodge Companies building in the Industrial Center West. During its’ meeting on November 4th, the city council will hold a public hearing to consider the sale of the property, which Unison currently leases. The council will also vote on the issuance of economic development grants for the company. The city will provide around $275,000 in incentives in exchange for the creation of the equivalent of 10 full-time jobs and added tax revenue. Unison currently employs over 50 people. Unison produces biogas and compressed natural gas vehicle fuel systems.

Primary Day Results Update

Voters in Dubuque’s 3rd and 4th wards chose candidates for a vacant city council seat in a primary election on Tuesday. Danny Sprank easily advanced with 325 votes. Phil Atkinson also qualified with 98 votes. Angie Ma finished third, with 93 votes. Ma said after the votes were counted that she would ask for a recount since the margin was so close, but today Ma says she will not be asking for a recount. That means that Sprank and Atkinson will face each other in the November 5th election. Dubuque County election officials will canvass the results on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. In Ward 4, Brad Cavanaugh received 495 votes, Jay Schiesl tallied 114 votes, and Nino Erba got 18 votes. Cavanaugh and Schiesl will face each other in the election. Turnout across the two wards on Tuesday was 7.1 percent.

Glimmer of Hope Fashion Show

The Dubuque Community YMCA/YWCA’s 14th annual Glimmer of Hope Fashion Show takes place Thursday from 5:30pm to 8:30pm at Hotel Julien. The event gets underway with a cocktail hour from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm with an opportunity to view live auction items and shop area stores participating in the fashion show. A plated dinner and main program will begin at 6:45 pm. The program will feature a segment for a short film project and then Dubuque’s finest First Responders, Dispatchers, Advocates, and Survivors will take the stage and model fashions from local stores. There will many opportunities to support the Victim Services Shelter, from a 50/50 raffle, Fund A Mission, several amazing Live Auction items. All funds raised go directly to supporting the Dubuque Y’s – Victim Services Shelter. Tickets are $60 prior to the event, $70 at the door. You can purchase advance tickets online at dubuquey.org or their Facebook page.

Loras Blvd. House Fire

A fire at a home near Loras College Tuesday caused serious injuries to two people inside, according to KCRG. At around 9:01 p.m., the Dubuque Fire Department and other emergency responders received a call about a basement fire at 586 Loras Boulevard. Two people were inside the home, who both sustained burns that were potentially life-threatening. They were taken to local hospitals via ambulance. Firefighters were able to get the fire under control within 15 minutes, but the structure still sustained substantial damage. Several units from the Dubuque Fire Department were at the scene and the Farley Fire Department responded with Dubuque County air supply trailer to assist at the scene. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Primary Day Results

Voters in Dubuque’s Ward 3 chose candidates for a vacant city council seat in a primary election on Tuesday, though one result is close enough that it could head to a recount. Danny Sprank will easily advance with 325 votes. Phil Atkinson also qualified with 98 votes. Angie Ma finished third, with 93 votes. Due to the small gap between the second- and third-place finishers, definitive results could be reached after Dubuque County election officials canvass the results on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. If the results stand, and Ma would like to ask for a recount, she would need to do so by 5:00 p.m. on Friday. In Ward 4, Brad Cavanaugh received 495 votes, Jay Schiesl tallied 114 votes, and Nino Erba got 18 votes. The top two vote getters in each Ward will face each other in the November 5th election. Turnout across the two wards on Tuesday was 7.1 percent.

Dubuque Man Headed To Prison

A Dubuque man is going to federal prison for providing drugs to a man that overdosed. Documents from federal court in Cedar Rapids say 29 year old Michael Stevenson was sentenced to 16 years in prison Monday after a jury found him guilty in April of conspiracy and distribution of heroin and crack cocaine. Evidence showed that Stevenson conspired to distribute crack cocaine from January 2017 to September of that year. Adam Birch died from a drug overdose with drugs he bought from Stevenson in February 2017. Following Birch’s death Dubuque police located more than 300 text messages to Stevenson, the majority of them being drug-related. The judge in Stevenson’s trial found that he obstructed justice by threatening a witness as well as lying during his testimony. Stevenson admitted to selling drugs for 2-to-3 years and kept selling them even after Birch’s death. In addition to the prison sentence, Stevenson was fined $500 and order to make restitution of more than $13,000. He will also be placed on 3 years of probation once he is out.

Dubuque Drops Agreement With Flexsteel

A redevelopment agreement with the city of Dubuque and Flexsteel Industries is no more. During its’ meeting Monday night the city council voted 6-to-0 to terminate the agreement, which called for the redevelopment of Flexsteel’s property at its’ former location on Jackson Street. The agreement also involved Dubuque County and Dubuque Initiatives. Company officials say the environmental remediation costs and the loss of a tax benefit are the reasons they requested the agreement be terminated. Instead, at-large councilman Ric Jones says the company has decided to redevelop the property on its’ own. Jones says in the end, termination of the agreement was in the best interest of the city and the other parties involved. Jones says the property will be redeveloped, but there is no time-table at this time. Flexsteel is now located in a new 28 million dollar facility off Seipple Road.

Dubuque Window Smasher Turns Himself In

A man who went on a window smashing spree in Dubuque before turning himself in early Tuesday morning has been charged with a felony. Court documents say 56 year old Raymond Vaske was arrested at the law enforcement center and charged with one felony count of second degree criminal mischief. Following the window breaking spree Vaske went to the law enforcement center and told police he was turning himself in for breaking windows around town. He then pulled a claw hammer out of his coverall jacket and handed it to an officer. Vaske admitted to breaking out the windows of six vehicles, two businesses and an investigative firm in the downtown area. The total damage is estimated at more than $8,000. He did not give a reason for committing the crimes.

Women Lead Change Dubuque-Scholarships

Women Lead Change, a group that develops, advances and promotes women and their organizations to impact the regional economy, will bring some well known speakers to Dubuque in November. Amy Eaton, Director of Marketing & Strategic Development, says scholarship applications for both professionals and students are now open for the 2019 Women Lead Change Dubuque Conference. Eaton says the conference is a great way for students looking for an internship or a job and to hear some fantastic female speakers. Eaton says the conference will include keynote addresses from former Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina and Joy Bauer, nutrition and health expert for the “Today” show. The 2019 Dubuque Conference will take place on November 21st at the Grand River Center. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is Thursday. For more information about the event and scholarships go to www.wlcglobal.org and click on the Dubuque event. The Dubuque Conference presenting sponsor is MidWestOne Bank.

Retail/Apartment Complex Public Hearing

The City Council Monday set a public hearing date of November 18th for a development company that wants to build on land in the Port of Dubuque that would house 187 apartment units and provide space for businesses to locate. Merge Urban Development Group has proposed a mixed-use building, on the corner of Ice Harbor Drive and East 5th Street. It would be an 18-million dollar investment and feature 23,000 square feet of retail space. The development agreement includes the city giving Merge 10 years of tax increment financing, commonly referred to as TIF, and a land acquisition grant. These incentives would bring down the total cost of purchasing the city property from $880,000 to around $400,000. If the project receives city approval construction could start as early as next summer.

Dubuque Teen Charged With Sexual Abuse

A Dubuque teenager who committed a sex crime over four years ago was arrested over the weekend. Online court records say 18 year old Joshua Blackburn was taken into custody Sunday night at his residence and charged with second degree sexual abuse. The victim, who was younger than 10 at the time of the incident, didn’t report it to police until last January. The crime allegedly took place in May of 2015 and the victim apparently knew Blackburn.

Grassley On Impeachment Inquiry

The majority of Republicans on Capitol Hill agree that the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump is nothing more than a “witch-hunt.” One of them is Iowa’s senior Senator Chuck Grassley. During a conference call with reporters Grassley said it’s no secret that Democrats have wanted to impeach the President since he was elected. A second whistleblower has come forward claiming to have first-hand knowledge supporting the first whistleblower complaint that set off the impeachment inquiry over Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Grassley, who has been a staunch supporter of whistleblower protection laws says he listens to every whistleblower, and if they’ve got a legitimate case he’s all for it. The House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees are investigating Trump’s actions pressing Ukraine to investigate his Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son.

Primary Day In Dubuque

Voters in the City of Dubuque are heading to the polls today to cast their ballots in the city council primary. In Ward 3 voters will choose from three candidates. They are Angie Ma, Phil Atkinson and Danny Sprank. 4th Ward candidates include former school board member Jay Schiesl, Nino Erba and Brad Cavanaugh. The top two vote getters in each Ward will face each other in the November 5th election. The polls opened at 7 am and close at 8 tonight.

Yoga Classes At Dubuque Elementary Schools

Officials in the Dubuque school district are hoping to improve a kid’s performance through yoga and mindfulness. The district is on its’ third year of implementing the curriculum in its’ elementary schools. The district gives each elementary student a yoga lesson once a month. They practice yoga poses and breathing and mindfulness activities. District Behavior and Learning Support Director Mae Hingetgen says the goal is to help students connect with their emotions. Jaden McClinton is a 4th grader at Audubon. He says he’s learned to take deep breathes when he’s upset. Although the lessons are only offered in the elementary schools now, the district hopes to expand to the middle schools and maybe even eventually to the high schools.

Waterloo Teacher Threat

A Waterloo teacher who made a social media comment about a sniper rifle on a post about climate activist Greta Thunberg visiting Iowa City has been placed on leave. KCRG reports Matt Baish has been placed on administrative leave as it investigates the comment. Baish is listed as a science teacher at Waterloo West High School. In a post on Facebook regarding Thunberg’s visit, Baish had commented: “Don’t have my sniper rifle”. Iowa City police say they had heightened security at Friday’s event where Thunberg spoke at a climate march in downtown Iowa City. 16-year old Thunberg of Sweden, has stirred controversy in her direct and blunt approach to calling for reforms around climate change and protecting the environment.

2019 Reflections in the Park

Work on the 2019 Reflections in the Park is well underway with volunteers making adjustments to the lights and selling displays. Event Coordinator, Darlene 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 and over 45,000 people served by Hillcrest Family Services. This year visitors will see many new displays and holiday favorites including the one of a kind “Memory Lane” which is an opportunity for you to remember your loved one(s) in a special way during the Christmas Holidays. Those being remembered in “Memory Lane” will have their name printed in the 20189 Reflections in the Park booklet and on a banner next to the display. Bolsinger says there are different levels of sponserships available for Reflections in the Park. For more information about “Memory Lane”, please contact Bolsinger at darlene.bolsingerhillcrest-fs.org. Submissions due by Friday, October 11th.

Tranel Blasts Secretary Perdue

Wisconsin Assemblyman Travis Tranel of Cuba City is not happy about comments made by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue regarding small farm operations. During a visit to Wisconsin last week, Perdue condemned the future of small family farms by saying they cannot survive as big farms take over. Tranel has a dairy farm in rural Cuba City. While he says he appreciates Perdue coming to Wisconsin, he has to be reminded of the importance of all types of Ag, whether that’s big, small, conventional or organic. Tranel has sent a letter to Perdue expressing his outrage over the comments.

Southbound Lane-JFK

The outside southbound lane of JFK will be closed between Crestwood and Kennedy Circle for private utility work starting today until Friday. Southbound traffic will be merged into the inside lane and maintained during this time. Access to driveways and intersections will be maintained. Also, the traffic signals at the JFK Rd. and Hillcrest Rd. intersection will remain in flashing red mode (4-way stop) for an additional 3-4 weeks. To complete this emergency repair the City had to order new equipment/parts and acquire an additional property easement before the repair can be made.

Pocan To Hold Town Hall In Lafayette Co.

Wisconsin Democratic 2nd district Congressman Mark Pocan will be holding a town hall in Lafayette County today. The meeting will take place at 3:30 pm in the Townsend Center Community Room in Shullsburg. A press release says the event is an opportunity for people to to ask Pocan questions regarding legislation facing U.S. lawmakers, discuss President Donald Trump’s administration’s actions on several issues and address current events. Wisconsin’s 2nd district covers Lafayette, Dane, Sauk and Green counties and portions of Richland and Rock counties.

MercyOne Cancer Center

Construction of the MercyOne Cancer Center is coming along nicely. The new cancer center will be next to the existing MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center. Dr. Eric Engelman, medical oncologist, medical director of MercyOne Dubuque Cancer Center says the purpose is to have a complete integrated care model. A team of physicians and a nurse navigator will have a much better way of caring for patients once the center is open. After the treatment plan has been established, patients will no longer be forced to move to different locations for their treatment. Medical Associates will have a new home on the second floor of the center. The goal is to open the MercyOne Cancer Center on May 1st, 2020.

Traffic Being Allowed To Cross Bridge

The Pecatonica River in Darlington is receding and authorities are now allowing motorists to cross the Main Street Bridge. Police Chief Jason King says while they are allowing traffic to cross the bridge, motorists should do so slowly because there is still a little water. King earlier put out a statement saying the bridge would remain closed until 12 am Saturday unless there was a major change in the forecast.

Dubuque County Right to Life Sunday Event

A local organization that educates the public on efforts that recognize the personhood of all children, born and preborn, the aged, and the handicapped will hold a special event this weekend. Dubuque County Right to Life will hold its annual National Life Chain event Sunday. Executive Director, Ashley Stackis, says people will line the sidewalk by Dodge and Bluff Street with positive signs between 2 and 3 pm. Stackis says there are expected to be quite a number of people attending the event and it also is taking place in a pair of nearby communities, Dyersville and Galena. For more information about Dubuque County Right to Life visit their website at dcrtl.org.

National Fire Prevention Week

During National Fire Prevention Week, October 6th-12th, the Dubuque Fire Department has partnered with American Red Cross of the Tri-States to give Dubuque residents the opportunity to sign up to receive free smoke alarms and installation by Dubuque firefighters. Red Cross volunteers will install alarms for non-residents. In observance of National Fire Prevention Week, the Dubuque Fire Department will hold open houses this Sunday from 1-3 pm at each of the six Dubuque fire stations. During the open houses, Sparky the Fire Dog will be at Fire Headquarters. Children will have the chance to put out a simulated house fire using a fire hose at Station #4 and Station #5.

JFK Closure

The outside northbound lane of John F. Kennedy Lane will be closed between Crestwood and Kennedy Circle for private utility work starting today until October 11th. Northbound traffic will be merged into the inside lane and maintained during this time. Access to driveways and intersections will be maintained.

U of Dubuque Dedication Ceremony

University of Dubuque will hold a dedication ceremony for Wallace Common at noon today on Grace Street between Charles and Romona Myers Center and Heritage Center. The dedication ceremony is free and open to the public. Wallace Common is named to honor Rev. Dr. C. Howard Wallace, professor emeritus of biblical theology, who has been with University of Dubuque Theological Seminary for nearly 60 years.

HyVee Hacking

HyVee has released details of the specific times and locations, including Dubuque, that it says malware accessed credit card information of shoppers. The company says malware was able to gain access to its payment systems. Between December 14, 2018, and July 29, 2019, it accessed cards at fuel pumps for HyVee gas stations. It accessed card payments at restaurants and drive-thru coffee shops between January 15, 2019, and July 29, 2019. HyVee announced the breach this past August after it noticed unauthorized activity on some of their payment processing systems. It says federal authorities are investigating. Hy-Vee encouraged shoppers to closely monitor payment card statements and to notify financial institutions of any unauthorized charges.

Man Arrested After Threatening People With Knife

A Dubuque man was arrested yesterday afternoon, after police say he threatened several people outside a restaurant. Online court records say 36 year old Julius Jamieson was arrested at Popeye’s on Asbury Road and charged with three counts of assault while displaying a dangerous weapon and going armed with intent. Documents say three people, who had purchased food at the restaurant earlier got into an argument with some of the employees, one of whom was Jamieson’s daughter who works at the restaurant. One of them claimed that they found bugs in their drink. When the three left, Jamieson allegedly followed them to their car, where he pulled out a knife and pressed it against two of the people and threatened to kill all of them. No one was injured during the incident.

National 4-H Week

Dubuque County 4-H will observe National 4-H Week this year by showcasing the experiences that 4-H offers young people and will highlight the youth in our community who work each day to make a positive impact on those around them. During National 4-H Week, October 6th – 12th, staff and volunteers will visit Dubuque County 4-H classrooms to promote 4-H. 4-H members and volunteers are encouraged to promote 4-H during the week by creating and hanging up signs, sharing on social media, wearing their favorite 4-H shirts, participating in a 4-H pumpkin scavenger hunt, and more. Sarah Ludwig, Dubuque County Youth Coordinator, says things kick off with a free Fall Fun Fest Saturday from noon to 3 pm. In Dubuque County, there are more than 350 youth and 80 volunteers from the community who are involved in 4-H. Financial support may be given to The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque in support of the Dubuque County Extension/4H Endowment Fund.

Upgrades To Park Help Minimize Flood Damage

Some business owners in Manchester hope recent upgrades to a downtown city park will help minimize flood damage. This year the city finished revitalizing the park along the Maquoketa River. The project involved lowering sidewalks so flood waters would be able to recede faster. One business owner says he’s already noticed a difference with this most recent flooding. The water was still pooling behind the Professional Park Building, which is owned by Greg Tiemens. He says the water is not as high as in previous years. Tiemens says this year he has only had to sandbag his back door. The city also bought and tore down old buildings in the flood plain. City staff says that also helps minimize damage.

Darlington Main Street Bridge Closed

Authorities in Darlington are alerting residents of the closure of the Main Street Bridge. The bridge was closed at midnight Wednesday due to flooding. Main Street is actually State Highway 23 and 81 and police chief Jason King says it is the sole crossing point on the Pecatonica River in Darlington. Motorists wanting to cross from the north side of town must find an alternate route until the Pecatonica recedes.