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Dubuque & Tri-State News

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.

Western Dubuque School Board Recount

A candidate for the district four Western Dubuque School Board race has asked for a recount. Jeff Wolf lost to Nancy Fett by a total of 5 votes on election day, 1, 227 to 1, 222. Dubuque County Deputy Commissioner of Elections, Jenny Hillary, says that Western Dubuque school district includes voters in 5 counties but Wolf is only requesting a recount in Dubuque County where Fett came out on top 1,174 votes to 1,141 votes. Over 3,800 absentee ballots will also be sorted thru and hand counted. Hillary says the recount will start Friday morning and should be completed by late Friday or sometime early next week.

Salvation Army of Dubuque Kick-off

The Salvation Army in Dubuque is kicking off its Red Kettle Campaign and with some new features this year. Salvation Army Captain Matthew Phelps says people will now be able to donate with their 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. Phelps is excited about these new features for Dubuque. He hopes it gets more people involved to help fund all of the Salvation Army’s programs. Phelps says people will start to see bell-ringers at Hy-Vee, Walgreens, Eagle, and at more places, starting today.

Barn Fire In New Vienna Kills 35 Calves

At least 35 calves were killed in a barn fire on a farm in New Vienna early Wednesday morning. Crews from the New Vienna and Luxemburg fire departments responded to the Mark McAllister farm in the 2700 block of North Bankston Road at around 3:40 am. The barn was fully engulfed when they arrived on scene. Crews were able to bring the blaze under controlled and remained on scene until around 10 am. The barn and all of its’ contents were destroyed. No damage estimate was available and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Search Continues For Gessner

The parents of a missing Dubuque man hope someone will step forward with information to help with the search for him. It’s been more than three weeks since Mark and Shelly Gessner saw their son Dan Gessner. He was last seen in the early morning hours of Monday October 21st in East Dubuque. That Sunday evening, Dan was seen at a couple of bars in downtown Dubuque. The Gessners know he went to East Dubuque at 2 am and private surveillance footage captured him at 3:15 am walking east on Sinsinawa Avenue. Mark tells our coverage partners at KCRG TV that a few people have come forward saying they saw a large male on the bridge around 4 am that Monday, but no one can confirm it was Dan. The East Dubuque police chief has just received a warrant to access Dan’s phone records after a delay from Verizon, and the Gessners are hoping that will help. Dan has a medical device in his back due to injuries he sustained from military training. If the device isn’t charged he can’t walk. Mark and Shelly thank the entire community as well as law enforcement as they continue the search for their son. If you have any information contact the East Dubuque or Dubuque police departments.

Road Closure Dangerous In Peosta

Some homeowners in Dubuque County subdivisions say an ongoing road closure is creating dangerous driving conditions. The road that’s closed is called “Ulyana Drive”, which connects Thunder Hill and Cox Springs Roads. It’s the only road that connects these neighborhoods, other than U.S. Highway 20. For nearly 400 homes on the east side of Peosta, they have to cross the busy highway multiple times a day. Typically motorists who live in the area would take the back road…Ulyana Drive. It can help people get into the center of Peosta without having to go onto the highway. It being closed has highlighted some concerns according to city administrator Whitney Baethke. She tells our coverage partners at KCRG TV the city doesn’t actually own the road. Now the city is hoping to gain control of the road, but it also wants to create a second access point. The city hopes to work with the Iowa DOT to make the Cox Springs and Thunder Hills intersection safer. Ulyana Drive is closed due to the construction of a new subdivision. Developers closed the road in the summer and were supposed to reopen it by the end of October. It is now expected to reopen by Thanksgiving. In the meantime developers have agreed to temporarily reopen the road by laying gravel on Ulyana Drive. But that won’t happen until the snow melts.

SW Tech Evacuated After Gas Main Break

Students, faculty and staff at Southwest Tech in Fennimore were evacuated yesterday following a gas main break near the main campus. There were some kids in the child care center, but they were relocated to the public safety building. That complex along with the Ag/Auto Center building remained open. All classes were cancelled for the day.

Sanford Health-UnityPoint Health No Merger

An expected merger between two health providers will not be happening after all. UnityPoint Health released an announcement on its potential merger with Sanford Health. After significant consideration, UnityPoint Health will not be moving forward with a formal partnership. The potential partnership with Sanford Health, a health system based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota was announced in June. UnityPoint is the parent company of UnityPoint Health-Finley Hospital in Dubuque.

Revenue Purpose Statement Re-Act

Last week voters in the Dubuque Community School district overwhelmingly passed the “revenue purpose statement.” That will allow the district to continue spending revenue generated from the state approved one cent sales tax on projects like the renovations at Senior and Hempstead High Schools. The passage of the RPS does not raise property taxes. School board president Tami Ryan says the board can now start planning for new projects for the district. Board member Mike Donohue says the community has always been passionate about student achievement, and the number of voters who adopted the measure shows that they have confidence in the board to select the right projects for the district. 5,564 eligible voters supported the “revenue purpose statement” while 1,125 voted against it.

Farley Man Arrested For Sexual Assault

A Farley man faces charges after police say he sexually assaulted a woman he knew. Dubuque County sheriff’s deputies took 37 year old Moises Suarez into custody early Tuesday morning. He is charged with 3rd degree sexual abuse-forcible rape and interference with official acts. The assault allegedly happened at a home in Farley Monday night. Authorities say Saurez lured the woman into a room, locked the door and sexually assaulted her. Saurez has denied the allegations and says while he did have sex with the woman he did not force himself on her. While being arrested, Saurez reportedly struck his head on some objects and said police were trying to hurt him.

Two Injured In Grant County Crash

Two people were taken to area hospitals with injuries after their vehicles collided in Grant County early Sunday morning. The crash occurred at the intersection of County Highways D and H in the Township of Smelser at around 6:30 am. A vehicle driven by 42 year old Adriano Ayres of Platteville was traveling south on County D, when he failed to stop for the stop sign at the intersection with County H. His car struck the front driver’s side of a vehicle driven by 54 year old JoAnn Harris of rural Cuba City, who was traveling east on County H. Both vehicles landed in a ditch. Harris was transported to Finley Hospital in Dubuque to be treated for her injuries, while Ayres was taken to Southwest Health Center and treated. Ayres was cited for failure to stop at a stop sign.

Dubuque Man Sentenced To 25 Years

A Dubuque man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for shooting another man during a disturbance on the city’s north end in June. 37 year old Frederick Bateast pleaded guilty to willful injury and being a habitual offender in possession of a firearm. He was originally charged with attempted murder. The incident happened on the night of June 16th in the 2400 block of White Street. When police arrived, witnesses told them someone had been shot and was taken to the hospital. The victim was later identified as 35 year old Ricardo Thomas. He had been shot in the back as he ran away following an altercation with another man. Investigators used traffic camera footage to identify Bateast as the shooter. He later turned himself in at the law enforcement center. Thomas survived the shooting following surgery.

Five Flags-Theisen’s Wags at the Flags

The Five Flags Center in downtown Dubuque is bringing back Theisen’s Wags at the Flags this winter. It will be held on most Wednesdays from 4:30-8:00 pm from November to March, starting this Wednesday. Five Flags Center General Manager, H.R. Cook, says Wags at the Flags is an indoor dog park and a part of the proceeds go to the Dubuque Regional Humane Society.  Wags at the Flags is held in the Five Flags Arena and you don’t need to worry about the size of your dog and you can leave their toys at home, Theisen’s has that covered. The cost for admission will be $4.00 per dog. Humans get in free. There will be cleaning supplies available, as well as the Barka Lounge for pet owners to purchase refreshments & adult beverages. Rules for the indoor dog park closely resemble the City of Dubuque’s dog park rules.

City Council-City Manager

After a council member’s resignation, a divided Dubuque City Council halted an impending investigation into the city’s workplace culture. Last week, KCRG-TV9 detailed a letter showing four city council members advocating to fire city manager Mike Van Milligen, citing issues with secrecy, threats, and workplace culture. More documents reveal that the council was on the cusp of doing something about this behavior, only to have progress stopped when Kate Larson resigned. On August 19th, Larson announced at the end of a council meeting that she had to resign due to a move for a job change. Larson’s seat was left vacant which meant there was no longer a majority on the council willing to investigate the city manager. Mayor Roy Buol was very direct against the investigation. In the closed session he is quoted as saying, “It was a God-send that Kate left. It was. Because what this would’ve done to the city, I would hold all of you responsible for the rest of your lives because this would be disastrous.” After last week’s election, only one of the four council members who supported firing Van Milligen will still be on the council come January. Larson, Brett Shaw, Jake Rios, and Luis Del Toro wanted to fire Van Milligen, while Mayor Buol, Ric Jones, and David Resnick opposed.

Christmas Food/Toy Sign Up

Tis the season to be jolly, and once again the Salvation Army in Dubuque along with its’ many partners will make sure that needy families in the Tri-State area have a Merry Christmas. For the rest of this week and again on November 18th, people can sign-up for food and toys. Captain Matt Phelps says you need to bring at least one of the following items when you come to sign up…school records, birth certificate or social security card. You can also bring an EBT card, a Title 19 card or a check stub that establish your income. The people that signup and qualify will be able to pick up their toys and food on December 11th at the Salvation Army on Iowa Street. Captain Matt says they could never do what they do for families at Christmas time if not for their partners. The signup times are between 9 am and 4 pm. This year the Salvation Army expects to assist more than 1,500 people through its’ Christmas assistance program.

Dubuque Couple Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud

A Dubuque man and his wife accused of stealing nearly $200,000 from his disabled mother have pleaded guilty to federal charges. 65 year old Howard Derby and his 51 year old wife Pattie recently entered guilty pleas to wire fraud. State charges were dropped after the federal charges were filed. Documents say Derby’s disabled mother moved in with the couple and that he had been given power of attorney for her finances and medical needs. The Derbys then took money from her accounts to buy cars and pay for vacations among other things. Federal records don’t list a sentencing date.

Manchester Man Going To Prison

A Manchester man is going to prison for his role in a stabbing incident that happened this summer. 38 year old William Holmes pleaded guilty in Delaware County to willful injury causing bodily injury. In two separate unrelated cases Holmes pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon, first degree harassment and possession of marijuana and methamphetamine. In exchange for his guilty plea in the stabbing case, prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of going armed with intent. A judge sentenced Holmes to 12 years behind bars. In late August police say Holmes stabbed his roommate in the arm after the two men got into a fight at the residence they shared. 20 year old Taneasha Gingerich is charged with one felony count of willful injury after police say she kicked the victim in the head while he was on top of Holmes while the two men fought. Holmes was convicted of felonies on four separate occasions from 2003 through 2009.

Mullis Seeking New Trial

A Delaware County man convicted of killing his wife on the family’s farm now wants a new trial. A Dubuque County jury found Todd Mullis guilty of first-degree murder back in September. He killed his wife, Amy Mullis, using a corn rake at their family farm in Earlville. During the trial, defense attorneys claimed someone else killed her. The state said Mullis killed his wife because she was having an affair. KCRG reports Mullis’ attorney filed a motion for a new trial. A hearing for the motion is set for December 17th, the same day as his sentencing. First-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence.

Salvation Army of Dubuque

The Salvation Army of Dubuque is inviting Dubuque area residents to a kick-off of the annual bell-ringing season on Wednesday with a special event at 6:15 pm at the Dubuque Kennedy Mall. The event will take place at Center Court and include the announcement of the 2019 goal for the Kettle Campaign, a new promotion with the Kennedy Mall and an additional way to donate at the kettle this season. As a reminder, The Salvation Army of Dubuque will have its Christmas toy and food sign-up for low-income households November 12th – 15th, and the 18th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 1099 Iowa Street for Dubuque area residents. Those signing-up will need to bring a picture ID for adults registering and ONE of the following for each child: social security card, birth certificate, or school record. The toy distribution will be December 11th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Highway 52 Fatal

A Bellevue woman is dead following a two vehicle accident Saturday night. The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office says 20-year old Hannah Ruggeberg was killed in the crash. Authorities found two vehicles when they arrived on scene at Highway 52 South, near Bradel Cove Road around 6:30 pm. 69-year old John Hoffman of Dubuque received minor injuries, and a three-year-old girl was airlifted with serious injuries. The sheriff’s office says the crash happened when Hoffman was driving north in the southbound lane, and struck Ruggeberg’s vehicle head-on. The crash remains under investigation.

Gratiot Township Accident

A Gratiot woman suffered severe injuries in an accident early Saturday morning. The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Office reports deputies responded to a one vehicle accident on Dunbarton RD, Gratiot Township around 5:41 am. 47-year old Angela Goebel was eastbound when she lost control of her vehicle causing her to cross the center line, enter the opposite ditch, and come to rest striking a fence. Goebel was transported to the hospital with severe injuries. Green County EMS, Darlington, Gratiot First Response, Gratiot Fire Department, and UW Med Flight assisted on scene. Darlington Police Department assisted with traffic control.

Veterans Day-City Offices Closed

City of Dubuque offices will be closed on November 11th, in honor of Veterans Day. This includes City Hall and most other City offices and facilities. However, the City’s public works department will operate the regular Monday collection schedule for refuse, yard debris, and recycling. The Dubuque Metro Landfill will also be open on Veterans Day. The Jule’s fixed route buses, mini-buses, and downtown shuttle will operate their normal Monday schedule and routes on Veterans Day; however, the Dubuque Intermodal Transportation Center will not be open.


Just two days before Veterans Day, officials at MercyOne Dubuque have officially launched a Military and Veterans Health program, or MILVET to improve access to high-quality and culturally sensitive health care for veterans and their families throughout Dubuque and surrounding communities. Christina Schauer, director of clinical and professional development at Mercy and MILVET Champion says they look forward to working with the new V A Clinic on Dodge Street and other veterans’ service organizations. Schauer says they’ll be in frequent communication with the new clinic, as they both strive to provide the services needed by veterans and their families. Ann Fessler is the clinic manager for the new VA clinic, which officially opened its’ doors in August. When she was first approached by Schauer about the MILVET program Fessler says she was impressed with her energy and enthusiasm. MercyOne President Kay Takes says when the VA clinic was located on their campus the two entities made it a point to collaborate with each other. MILVET also provides services for females who have very unique medical needs. There are over 200,000 active and retired military service members in Iowa. There are around 6,500 in Dubuque County and when you add Jackson, Delaware and Clayton counties in Iowa and Jo Daviess in Illinois and Grant County in Wisconsin that numbers grows to more than 15,000.

U of Dubuque Best for Vets: Colleges 2020 Rankings

University of Dubuque has once again been nationally recognized for its dedication to providing quality educational opportunities to veterans and military-connected students. For the third straight year, Military Times named UD to its Best for Vets: Colleges rankings. UD was the highest-ranked Iowa institution, placing 19th on a list of 134 four-year universities. UD’s commitment to service members and veterans dates back to World War II and continues to present day with the Sergeant Jeffrey B. Dodge Veterans Center. The center was built to provide student veterans a seamless transition from military life to civilian college life. UD also provides one-on-one counseling during the admission process for veterans, offers peer-to-peer mentoring and tutoring, and provides additional grant and scholarship opportunities.

Highway 52 Fatal

One person is dead following a two vehicle crash Saturday night. The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office says is happened around 6:30 p.m. Authorities found two vehicles when they arrived on scenes at Highway 52 South, near Bradel Cove Road. One of the drivers was found dead and two others were taken to a nearby hospital with injuries. Names have not been released yet and the crash is under investigation.

Grant County Fatal

A Cassvile woman is dead following a one vehicle crash in Grant County. The accident happened on the morning of November 1st on Highway 81 and Rattlesnake Road in the Township of Beetown. The sheriff’s office says 60 year old Julie Kuenster was driving east on 81, when her vehicle left the road. Kuenster then over corrected and the vehicle slid across the highway in a counter-clockwise manor. Once on the north side of the highway, the rear passenger’s side struck a guardrail end and the vehicle spun. It then went head first into a rock wall embankment. Kuenster was entrapped and had to be extricated. She was transported to Grant Regional Health Center and then to UW Hospitals in Madison where she died Friday. Kuenster is the 10th person to die on Grant County roads this year.

March Of Dimes Prematurity Awareness Month

November is Prematurity Awareness Month and is a big March of Dimes focus for driving awareness of their mission. Prematurity Awareness Day is November 17th and Kaley Rigdon, Development Manager for the Dubuque chapter, says people don’t realize how many moms and families deal with babies born prematurely. Local partners, including the Fighting Saints, will have a special night to promote the cause this evening as they battle the Waterloo Black Hawks. You will notice something special about MercyOne in the month of November to support March of Dimes. There will be special food nights at several locations in Dubuque during November, including Pizza Ranch and Chipotle Mexican Grill, where a portion of food sales or tips will go to the local chapter.

Theisen’s More for Your Community Grants

Theisen’s Home • Farm • Auto has announced that 242 nonprofits in 24 Theisen’s store communities will receive a total of $350,000 in awards through the company’s 2019 More for Your Community grant program. Theisen’s corporate giving program is a partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, who administers the grant program. The Community Foundations Director of Donor Relations, Faye Finnegan, says locally the grants will help over two dozen organizations who will get close to $45,000. Successful grant applicants demonstrated that their projects would serve needs for children and families. Katie Decker, Community Foundations Grants Management Coordinator, notes it’s not just Iowa that Theisen helps with it’s giving but Illinois and Wisconsin too. The applications received this year numbered over 400 but got narrowed down to 25 nonprofits in the Dubuque area. Nonprofits will receive  grant checks at More for Your Community grants celebrations hosted by local stores throughout Iowa and Wisconsin on Monday, November 11th at 11:30 am.


Jones County Fatal Crash-Update

The Iowa State Patrol says a Hopkinton woman is dead following a crash between a semi and an SUV in Jones County. According to troopers, 39-year old Michelle Gray was driving a Dodge Durango eastbound on Old Dubuque Road at around 6:50 p.m. Wednesday. They say Gray stopped at the intersection with Highway 151, but pulled out into the path of a southbound semi driven by 50-year old Keith Ahles, of Medford, Wisconsin who was not injured.

Kwik Stop-Charitable Partnerships 2020

The largest, locally owned chain of convenience stores, Kwik Stop has announced a new philanthropic partnership. Tessa Fahey, Director of Retail Operations, says over the past decade Kwik Stop, Dairy Queen and Fazoli’s customers spare change has added up to well over 1-miilion dollars for local nonprofits. Fahey says it would not be possible without the community’s generosity. Heather Hamm, Kwik Care liaison, says during each partner’s designated month, all money collected from Kwik Care canisters is donated to the organization. Local nonprofits can now submit applications for the program in 2020. It’s an easy process to complete a Kwik Care partnership application form at gokwikstop.com. Non-profits need to submit an application on or before Tuesday, November 12th. Selected partners will be featured in Kwik Stop, Dairy Queen and Fazoli’s stores. The non-profits selected will be announced in early December.

Veterans Day Ceremony

Hundreds of area veterans and their families and friends will gather inside Mystique Ice Arena in Dubuque next week for the annual Veterans Day ceremony. The event starts at 10:30 Monday morning. All Tri-State veterans’ organizations and military units are encouraged to participate. This year’s guest speaker is retired Army staff sergeant Joey Crowley. Crowley, who is now the senior vice-president of operations at Hillcrest Family Services, was deployed to Iraq in 2004 during “Operation Iraqi Freedom.” For him it was both scary and exciting. Crowley says he hasn’t prepared a speech for the ceremony he’ll just be speaking from the heart. Crowley has some advice for people, especially young people that may be thinking about enlisting in the military. All veterans are encouraged to wear the uniform of their organization or a military uniform at the ceremony. Following the event you’re invited to the Chili Feed which will be held inside the American Legion club rooms on Delhi Street. That starts at 11:30 and a bowl of chili will only cost you $1.

Maquoketa Native At UIU On Vet Day

A Maquoketa native will be the guest speaker at Upper Iowa University’s Veterans Day program. Senior Chief Petty Officer Jason Berggren will address the public in the Student Center Ballroom at 12:15 Monday. Berggren enlisted in the Navy in 1990. After graduating from boot camp in San Diego, he reported to the Naval Technical Center in Meridian, Mississippi for “Storekeeper A” School training. He served on the USS Saginaw, where he was promoted to petty officer third class. He was honorably discharged from active duty in 1994. He then enlisted in the Naval Reserves at Rock Island, Illinois. Berggren was deployed in 2010 with the Defense Logistics Agency as a command senior enlisted leader in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He retired in 2016.

Dubuque Man Faces Federal Charge In OD Death

A Dubuque man who was facing state charges in connection with a woman’s drug overdose death is now looking at a federal charge in connection with the same case. 29 year old Carl Watkins is charged with one felony count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids. Two state charges have been dismissed. On the night of August 5th, police responded to an apartment in the 3700 block of Pennsylvania Avenue. Once inside they found 26 year old Cayla Mutert dead from an apparent drug overdose. Investigators then spoke with Mutert’s boyfriend who told them he had driven her to an area where they picked up Watkins, who goes by the nickname “Country.” Police used Mutert’s cell phone to connect her with Watkins. The two seemed to be talking about heroin in coded text messages. Investigators then set up a sting and arrested Watkins the following day. He admitted to selling other illegal drugs but not heroin.

Dubuque Man Hit While Crossing Street

A Dubuque man was injured after was struck by a vehicle Wednesday night. The accident happened at around 8:30 in the 1200 block of East 16th Street. Police say 60 year old Kenneth Fortunak was crossing the street outside the crosswalk, when he was struck by a car driven by 73 year old Maureen McPartland of Dubuque. Fortunak was transported to Mercy Hospital where he was treated for his injuries. He was later cited for crossing the street outside the crosswalk.

More Food To Giveaway

On Saturday the Dubuque Area Labor Harvest will conduct another food giveaway for low-income residents in Dubuque County. The food giveaway will be held at the Labor Harvest Building on Locust Street beginning at 7:30 am until 9:30, or while food supplies last. Recipients are asked to bring their identification card and a box for the food. The food giveaways are funded by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Jones County Fatal Crash

The Iowa State Patrol says one person is dead following a crash between a semi and an SUV in Jones County. According to troopers, a person driving a Dodge Durango was eastbound on Old Dubuque Road at around 6:50 p.m. Wednesday. They say the driver of the SUV stopped at the intersection with Highway 151, but pulled out into the path of a southbound semi. The driver of the semi was not injured and authorities have not released the name of the SUV driver.

Council Letter-City Manager

In August, four Dubuque city council members wanted to fire the city manager for his handling of sexual harassment complaints, among other reasons. The information is in documents council member Jake Rios shared with our coverage partner KCRG-TV9 this week. The letter is signed by Rios, Brett Shaw, Luis Del Toro, and Kate Larson. Larson has since resigned, Rios did not seek re-election, and Del Toro lost his council seat, leaving only Shaw on the council in January 2020 when new members take their seats. In the seven-page letter, the four council members list more than a dozen concerns with Mike Van Milligen’s leadership. Rios said the most troubling is how the city manager handled a Dubuque police Captain’s complaints of sexual harassment. The council members’ letter claims Van Milligen asked the council to approve a new police captain’s position in February 2018, specifically to appease Abigail Simon. According to the letter, Van Milligen handed out a paper memo to the council explaining why he wanted to create this new position. However, it was seven months after the council approved the new captain’s position, that Van Milligen informed the staff about Simon’s pending lawsuit. The council members also included quotes from city employee evaluations of the city manager. Those quotes highlight concerns about how Van Milligen treats female employees.

City Council Lead Healthy Homes

The City Council Monday voted 6-0 in favor of a pair of amendments designed to help people who rent in Dubuque. The Bee Branch Healthy Homes Administrative plan and Lead and Healthy Homes Work plan both require participating landlords to accept housing vouchers from qualified tenants for the duration of their forgivable loan agreement with the city. The council had postponed the two votes until staff had a meeting with the Dubuque Area Landlord Association Executive Board. Councilman Ric Jones says the association does a good job helping renters. Alexis Steger, Housing and Community Development Director, says the changes should help low and middle income renters stay in their home. Steger says only 17 of 57 landlords in the city do not accept housing vouchers so renters should have more choices on where to live. The amendments still need the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to adopt and approve the changes.


Potosi Man Ordered To Stop Insurance Business

A southwest Wisconsin man has been ordered to stop doing insurance business in Iowa. The Iowa Insurance Division this week ordered Darron Dean of Potosi to cease and desist doing insurance business in the state after it was discovered that he doesn’t have an insurance license and had failed to disclose past criminal convictions on his license application. He was doing insurance business in Iowa without appropriate licensing and authorization. He also improperly withheld a premium from an Iowa customer. Dean must also pay $2,000 in civil penalties and more than $900 in costs of the investigation and prosecution. In August Dean pled guilty to third degree theft and as a result was ordered to pay restitution and a fine.

Holy Family Community Showcase

Holy Family Schools in Dubuque will be opening their doors to members of the community today during the first annual “Community Showcase.” The event will be held on the Mazzuchelli and Wahlert Catholic campuses. Holy Family director of enrollment Rebecca Mueller says students and faculty will showcase the campuses, while offering hands-on demonstrations of the innovative educational opportunities available to students at Holy Family. Last month the school board voted to close Holy Ghost and St. Anthony elementary schools mainly due to declining enrollment numbers. But Mueller says enrollment numbers at Mazzuchelli are solid while numbers are down slightly at Wahlert. The Community Showcase takes place from 5:30 until 7 pm tonight. Registration is not required.