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Dubuque & Tri-State News

Collegiate Information Technology Fair

College students who have an interest in working in fields related to computer science and information technology will have an opportunity to learn how to launch their careers this month. Kristin Dietzel, Vice President of Workforce Solutions, says the Dubuque Collegiate Information Technology Fair will put students and employers together.  The morning kicks off with professionals from Creative Adventure Lab interacting with students on turning problems into solutions. Over lunch, students will hear from IT pros on what it’s like working in the Greater Dubuque area and there will be employer booths in the afternoon. The technology fair is February 25th at the Diamond Jo Casino Harbor Room from 10 am to 2 pm. The event is also open to high school students taking IT classes who have a teacher or staff sponsor.

Spring Flooding Forecast

The first of several flood outlooks have been issued by the National Weather Service regarding the spring flood season. Due to snow pack to the north, high soil moisture content and current stream flow conditions, the risk for minor flooding is above normal this year on all area rivers. The risk of major flooding on the Mississippi River is much above normal and long duration flooding is a potential, provided the current moisture conditions continue. These conditions have persisted since fall of 2019. Historical odds for moderate flooding in Dubuque from the Mississippi River is 35-percent, this year it’s 95-percent at this point.The risk of flooding on individual basins will depend on spring precipitation as well as the rate of snow melt. The next flood outlook will be issued on February 27th.

Escaped Sex Offender Captured

A registered sex offender from Darlington who police believe cut his GPS ankle bracelet off with a knife Thursday afternoon has been arrested. Darlington police chief Jason King says 48 year old Matthew Buman was apprehended at around 1:30 Friday morning at a local tavern, about a block away from his residence. Buman was transported to the Lafayette County jail on a Department of Corrections hold. The DOC had placed Buman in an apartment on Main Street under active community supervision after he was released from prison last July. Authorities had thought that Buman was with another man, 29 year old Timothy Fitzsimons, who is also wanted by the DOC, however Fitzsimons remains at large.

Burns Murder Trial Continues

The murder trial of a Manchester man accused of killing a Cedar Rapids teenager in December of 1979 continued Friday in Scott County. 66 year old Jerry Burns is charged with first degree murder in the stabbing death of 18 year old Michelle Martinko. Her body was found inside the family car in the parking lot of Westdale Mall. Yesterday every former police officer and the doctor who originally performed an autopsy on Martinko’s body are now retired from the jobs they had back in 1979. The defense casted doubt on whether or not the investigation was handled properly.

Belmont Woman Sentenced For Child Neglect

A Belmont woman will be spending the next couple of decades in prison after a judge sentenced her Friday for neglecting her two children. 27 year old Jamie Weigel pleaded guilty to felony charges of child abuse and chronic neglect of a child. As part of the plea deal the Lafayette County attorney’s office agreed to dismissed other child abuse and neglect related charges. In April of last year Weigel and her boyfriend 25 year old Dalton Hopper were arrested and charged after they took their four month old daughter to the hospital because of “excessive vomiting.” The baby was suffering from severe diaper rash, bed sores and other abrasions consistent with being left lying in one place without being picked up for hours on end. The child was so undernourished that authorities say she could have died in a week’s time. Prosecutors say Weigel and Hopper would leave the baby and her one year old sister in a room alone for extended periods of time. Hopper pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 years in prison earlier this month.

Alliant Energy Phone Scam

Alliant Energy is warning of a scam that threatens to cut off customers’ power if they don’t make an immediate payment. Alliant says it has received reports of the scam from customers in Iowa and Wisconsin. In some cases, the scammers make it appear they are calling from Alliant Energy, and they may give a different phone number which spoofs Alliant’s answering system and automated menu. Officials are reminding customers that Alliant does not call and demand immediate payment. Alliant said it will not ask customers to purchase prepaid credit cards, and does not ask for payment over email.

Disaster Services Team At SA

For years, the Salvation Army has provided support all over the world to emergency personnel and survivors of disasters, but that service has not been available at the Dubuque branch of the Salvation Army for years…. until now. Captain Matt Phelps says they are expanding their services by putting together an emergency disaster services team. Phelps says they will train people to become part of the emergency disaster services team, or EDS, at no cost. Once the training is complete, that person would be registered as a “Salvation Army emergency disaster services volunteer”. Ideally, Phelps would like to see between 10 and 15 people take the training course. If you are interested in becoming part of the disaster services team, call the Salvation Army or visit their website to register. The training will be held on February 22nd from 8 am to 3 pm at the Salvation Army.

Escaped Sex Offender

The Darlington Police Department is looking for the community’s help in locating a registered sex offender. 48-year old  Matthew Buman of Darlington is a white male, 6 ft tall, 272 pounds, has brown eyes, and sandy colored hair. Buman typically drives a gray colored 2005 Dodge Durango. Last July, Buman was released from prison and the Department of Corrections placed him in an apartment on Main Street in Darlington under active community supervision. Around  3:45 pm Thursday, Buman is believed to have cut his GPS ankle bracelet off with a knife. Buman may be in the company of another man who is wanted by the Department of Corrections, 29-year old Timothy Fitzsimons, a white male. He is 6 ft tall, 229 pounds, has hazel eyes, and brown hair. Please call 911 should you locate them.

Monona Train Accident

A city worker in the Clayton County town of Monona suffered serious injuries when a train crashed into a dump truck. It happened around noon Thursday on West North Street in Monona. The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office says the worker was involved in snow removal from the area when the train hit the truck. No one on the train was injured. Local authorities and the Canadian Pacific Rail are investigating.

Window Broken At Dickeyville Grotto

Authorities in Grant County are looking for the person that vandalized the Dickeyville Grotto in the 300 block of West Main Street this week. According to a social media post, someone broke a window at the main shrine and climbed in. The post goes on to say that “the incident left behind a large amount of broken glass and possible damage to the decorative stones, colored glass, gems and antique heirlooms. The suspect reportedly left behind an apple and a five dollar bill as a show of remorse. If anyone has any information they should call police at 608-568-7284.

Break In And Assault Results In Probation

A man who was involved in a break-in and assault in Dubuque last year has been sentenced to probation. 21 year old Cory Bryson pleaded guilty to one felony count of second degree burglary and was given two-to-five years of probation. As part of the deal, the county attorney’s office agreed to suspend a ten year prison sentence. In late September Bryson, 28 year old Domino Raggs and a juvenile knocked on the door of an apartment on East 14th Street. Once inside the three, who wore bandannas over their faces, assaulted a man, while his five month old was present. Bryson had a golf club, while the juvenile was armed with a BB gun. The victim was able to take the BB gun away from the juvenile during the incident which led to all three of the suspects fleeing the apartment. Raggs has since been arrested and charged with first degree burglary.

MercyOne Health Officials-Common Flu

While the death toll continues to rise from the Coronavirus, the common flu remains a higher threat to U.S. public health. The Center for Disease Control estimates this flu season has sickened at least 22 million across the U.S. and led to at least 12,000 deaths and 210,000 hospitalizations.  MercyOne Hospital’s Infection Preventionist, Gail Gates, says the very young and old are most at risk. Gates says getting a flu shot is vital and other basic precautions, like washing your hands often,  are a good way to avoid getting sick. The official flu season runs from October 1st though the end of March.

 

 

Burns Trial Underway

The trial for the man accused of killing a young Cedar Rapids woman more than 40 years ago is officially underway in Scott County. After taking two full days to pick a jury, Wednesday was the first opportunity for opening statements and testimony from witnesses. 66-year old Jerry Burns of Manchester, is accused of first-degree murder. Prosecutors say Burns stabbed 18-year-old Michelle Martinko in Cedar Rapids in December of 1979. Burns was arrested 39 years later after investigators say they matched his DNA to the crime scene. All of the witnesses that spoke Wednesday were either friends or classmates of Martinko, speaking to what they remembered about her and the night she was killed. It also marked the first time the legal teams had a chance to make their case to jurors.

 

 

Stay-At-Home Valentine Gala

Have you ever been invited to a fundraising event, but you don’t show up and the event still raises money? That’s exactly what the latest fundraiser by the Dubuque Regional Humane Society aims to do. The DRHS is hosting its’ first ever “no-show fundraiser event called a Stay-at-Home Valentine’s Gala today. Humane society executive director Tonya Millard says invitations to the non-event have been sent out to community members asking them to make a donation to the DRHS for the privilege of not attending the event. She says it’s an attempt to include those donors who may not be interested in buying an expensive ticket to attend a gala, but would still like to make a donation in a fun and unique way. Millard says people can make a donation of what they think they may have spent had this been an actual event by simply visiting their website, https://www.dbqhumane.org/. That mission is to support the nearly 3,000 lost, abandoned, surrendered or neglected animals the society cares for every year.

Jo Daviess Injury Accident

A Elizabeth, Illinois man suffered injuries after he hit a semi-tractor trailer Wednesday. Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to US Highway 20 and West Long Hollow Road around 4:39 pm and discovered that 49-year old Roger Wills was stopped in the roadway preparing to make a left turn. Wills failed to yield to oncoming traffic and made his left turn into oncoming traffic and crashed into the driver’s side of a semi-tractor trailer, driven by 57-year old Ronald Steger, who was not injured. Wills was first transported to Midwest Medical and treated for injuries and then transported to Finley Hospital in Dubuque for further treatment. Wills was charged with Failure to yield turning left.

Presidential Trivia Night

The 2nd Annual Cuba City Presidential Trivia Night will give people a chance to show their presidential knowledge. The event is hosted by the Presidential Museum Committee on February 20th at the Dead End Bar & Grill in Cuba City at 7 pm. Teams of up to 5 people will compete in a friendly trivia game competition for $50 cash prize. Admission for the night is $5 per person. Sign up ahead of time to receive a free drink ticket the night of the event. All proceeds for the night will go toward the Presidential Museum effort.

Youth Action Climate Workshop

The city of Dubuque is turning its eyes to the youth of the town for input on the city’s Climate Action Plan. Gina Bell, the city’s Sustainability Coordinator, says they are hosting a Youth Climate Action Workshop on Sunday from 1 – 5 pm at Westminster Presbyterian Church. This workshop is designed for ages 10-17 and encourages students to take action in the fight against global climate change and ensure that the voice of Dubuque’s youth is heard and reflected in the updated plan. Students will participate in group discussions to define the challenge, envision possibilities, prototype their designs and test them. Bell says parents or those who work with youth are welcome to attend. The workshop is free to attend and does not require prior design skills or knowledge. Registration is encouraged, but not required. To register or for more information visit sustainabledubuque.org.

Grassley Begins 99 County Tour

Iowa’s senior Senator Charles Grassley is set to kick off his annual 99 county tour of the state. The Republican from New Hartford will start with a stop in Johnson County Friday. From there he will make a stop in Cedar County and conclude the day with a question and answer session in Jones County. This year Grassley will complete his fourth decade of holding meetings in all 99 counties. He has held at least one meeting with Iowans in every county, every year since he was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1980.

Maquoketa Residents Monitor Contamination

City officials plan to ask residents to enroll in a program to monitor vapor contamination from a carcinogenic chemical that’s spread from a factory site in the eastern Iowa city of Maquoketa. The contamination stems from the operations of Clinton Machine Co., which built small engines in Maquoketa from 1950 into the 1990s. The factory used trichloroethene, commonly known as TCE, as a degreasing agent. Federal authorities have since determined that TCE is carcinogenic. Shelly Nellesen with the Iowa Natural Resources Department says the TCE in groundwater also creates the potential for indoor contamination.

Snow Days Not Interfering With School Days

Last year at this time, students in the Dubuque Community School District had missed a total of eight days of classes because of snow and ice that made travel difficult. This school year students have been out only one day due to inclement weather conditions.  Superintendent Stan Rheingans says they have been very fortunate so far. The Iowa State Department of Education requires students to get 1,080 hours of classroom study in any given school year. Rheingans says not having to cancel school for a snow day makes it a lot easier on teachers and students. The last day of school was scheduled for Tuesday June 2nd, but because of a missed day due to snow, an extra day, June 3rd, has been added.

Darlington Man Pleads Guilty To Sex Crimes

After pleading guilty to a half-dozen sex related crimes, a Darlington man is waiting for his sentencing date to be set. 36 year old Elam Allgyer is charged with crimes ranging from first degree sexual assault of a child to attempted first degree sexual abuse of a child. Four other counts of first degree sexual abuse of a child have been dropped by the Lafayette County attorney. Records say that Allgyer and two other men committed numerous sex related crimes when they were in their teens. The crimes were discovered by the elders at the church where the three men attended. The other two are 25 year old Elmer Stoltzfus of Cuba City and 31 year old Benjamin Allgyer of Mineral Point. Benjamin Allgyer is charged with seven sex related crimes. He has pleaded not guilty and will next appear in court on February 26th. Stoltzfus has pleaded guilty to four sex crimes and has a sentencing hearing scheduled for May 5th.

KCRG New Anchor

Eastern Iowa television viewers will see a familiar face in the evening co-anchor chair starting next month. Veteran KCRG-TV9 news anchor and reporter Chris Earl joins Beth Malicki on our coverage partner’s evening newscasts starting March 9th. After 34 years at the anchor desk, long-time KCRG-TV9 News anchor Bruce Aune will anchor his final newscast on March 6th. Aune announced his retirement in July 2019. Earl has been at KCRG since April 2008 and currently co-anchors their weekday morning newscasts. Aune joined KCRG as a news anchor in March of 1986. His work has garnered him the prestigious Jack Shelley Award, the highest individual honor bestowed by the Iowa Broadcast News Association.

Social Media Threat Leads To Probation

A Dubuque man who faced up to two years in prison has been placed on probation for making fake threats of school violence on social media last month. 20 year old Curtavion Saunders recently pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree harassment and was given two years of probation. The incident, which Saunders initially denied, happened on January 13th. The threat was directed at Jefferson Middle School on a local Facebook page. It was a warning from one person to another not to go to the school that day or “they would be in ashes, pure death.” All schools were delayed two hours while the threat was investigated, but it later proved to be not credible. Investigators linked Saunders to the threat through his cell phone.

Man Sentenced On Burglary Charge

A  St. Paul, Minnesota man who was wanted for questioning in 13 burglaries and thefts in several Midwestern states including Iowa, has been sentenced to prison for stealing money from a Dubuque County business over a year and a half ago. 48 year old Jeffery Krieger recently pleaded guilty to third degree burglary and was given a 5 year prison sentence. Prosecutors say in July of 2018 Krieger broke into an office inside Eichman’s Bar and Restaurant in Sageville and made off with three bags containing more than $14,500. Krieger was also sentenced to prison for burglaries and thefts that occurred in Minnesota and Wisconsin in those respective states.

Cannabis Ordinance In East Dubuque

It’s been over two months since the East Dubuque city council passed an ordinance establishing guidelines for recreational cannabis businesses. One part of the ordinance requires those businesses to be located at least one thousand feet from schools, day cares, nurseries, residential day cares and pre-schools. The other part is an initial $1,500 payment for a permit and $1,500 every year after that to renew the permit. City manager Loras Herrig says their ordinance follows guidelines established by the Illinois Municipal League, and if need be the ordinance could be tweaked a bit down the road. He says the first step for potential dispensary owners to take is to apply for a license with the state. The deadline to apply was December 31st. The state is now reviewing those applications and plan to issue conditional licenses sometime before May 1st. There will only be three licenses granted for northwest Illinois, which covers nine counties. The fee is $5,000 per license. Herrig says there will be a sales tax attached to the purchase of recreational marijuana in East Dubuque. Herrig says the city is currently operating with a deficit and the additional revenue will help manage that deficit in some areas.

DBQ Democratic Chair Caucus

On Monday, the Iowa Democratic Party announced two presidential candidates, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders, requested a partial recanvass of the results that came out of 143 precincts. Five of those precincts and two satellite locations are in Dubuque County. Steve Drahozal, the county’s Democratic Party chairperson, said that as far as he knows, he and his party don’t need to do anything to assist with recanvassing. But, he’s not certain, because Drahozal tells KCRG TV, he hasn’t received communication on this matter or on much else from the Iowa Democratic Party over the last week. Drahozal says that includes the news that multiple Dubuque County precincts were part of those recanvass requests. One of those, requested by Bernie Sanders’ campaign, is at a precinct where someone had already alerted Drahozal to a math error in the allocation of county delegates. No one from the IDP has told him what he’s supposed to do about this known error, if anything. At a press conference Monday in Des Moines, IDP chairperson Troy Price told reporters that no one should correct the math on those caucus worksheets.

 

High Speed Chase Arrests

Two Platteville men face multiple charges after a high speed chase Saturday night. Around 8 pm, Grant County Sheriff’s deputies were attempting to apprehend 23-year old Travis Aide on multiple felony warrants at a residence in Arthur, when Aide took off at a high rate of speed eastbound on Cushman Road, nearly striking one of the deputies. Shortly after the pursuit began, one of the deputies slid off the road, and the pursuit continued on rural roads for about 10 miles at speeds up to 100 mph. After a few loops through a corn field Aide’s truck became disabled and he surrendered and was placed under arrest. A passenger, 20-year old Taylor Rode, was also arrested for multiple felony warrants. Combined warrants included felony and misdemeanor cases out of Grant, Iowa and Lafayette counties for: Felony Bail Jumping and Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine, among others. New charges due to the pursuit will be forwarded to the State District Attorney’s Office. Nobody was injured as a result of the pursuit and the Grant County squad car sustained heavy damage.

Iowa Caucus Results

The Iowa Democratic Party is allocating projected national delegates from total results from all 1,765 precincts. The results also include 55 updated precincts. KCRG TV reports the party is awarding 14 national delegates to former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 12 to Senator Bernie Sanders, 8 to Senator Elizabeth Warren, 6 to former Vice President Joe Biden and 1 to Senator Amy Klobuchar. None of the other candidates are projected to receive national delegates. 1,990 delegates are needed for a candidate to win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. The Associated Press has reviewed updated results of the Iowa caucuses provided Sunday evening by the Iowa Democratic Party and has decided that it remains unable to declare a winner based on the available information. The results, AP continues to believe, may not be fully accurate and are still subject to potential revision.

Meth Arrest

A Dubuque man was arrested Saturday after Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Deputies received information he was in East Dubuque and had an active warrant. Around 3:45 am, 25-year old Timothy Russett was located at a residence and after being arrested for the warrant he was found to be in possession of a hypodermic syringe loaded with methamphetamine and a plastic bag containing methamphetamine. Russett was transported to the Jo Daviess County Jail and charged for the narcotics. This incident remains under investigation.

Burns Trial Starts

The trial for the man accused of killing a Cedar Rapids woman more than 40 years ago will begin Monday in Scott County. Jerry Burns, a 66-year-old man from Manchester, is accused of stabbing and killing 18-year-old Michelle Martinko outside Westdale Mall in Cedar Rapids. Burns has pleaded not guilty. Burns now faces first-degree murder charges after investigators connected him to Martinko’s death based on blood they found in the Martinko family car. Police covertly matched Jerry Burns’ DNA from a drinking straw that Burns used and left behind at a Manchester restaurant, which officers collected from the restaurant without a warrant.

Dubuque Deere Layoffs

More than 100 employees at John Deere Dubuque Works will be placed on indefinite layoff starting in early April. In an email to KDTH, Dan Bernick, Manager of Public Relations says the layoffs will become effective April 6th. He says each Deere factory balances the size of its’ production workforce with customer demand for products from their individual factory. A total of 105 workers will be affected.

Iowa Caucus Results

The margin between Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders in the Iowa Democratic caucuses was small, but with 100% of precincts reporting, as of Thursday night, it shows a narrow victory by just two-state delegate equivalents for Buttigieg over Sanders. According to The Associated Press delegate count, Buttigieg and Sanders have each won at least 11 national delegates, with a handful of delegates still to be awarded. Elizabeth Warren has won at least five delegates, while Joe Biden has won at least two and Amy Klobuchar has at least one. Iowa will award 41 pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention this summer. The Associated Press reported Thursday that they could not declare a winner of the 2020 Iowa Caucuses.

Iowa National Guard Deployment

The United States Army announced Thursday that Iowa Army National Guard ‘Ironman Battalion’ received orders for a deployment to the Mideast.The Iron Battalion will deploy 550 soldiers from Dubuque, Charles City, Davenport, Iowa City, Iowa Falls, Oelwein, and Waterloo. The mission involves security and force protection in 27 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Captain Tindall of the 133rd Infantry Regiment, says about 100 soldiers from Dubuque will be going. Before heading overseas the Guard will first get training in Texas at Fort Bliss. Sgt. Cain from the 133rd based in Dubuque, says they are working on send-off ceremonies, which will happen sometime towards the end of May. Once the mission is defined the deployment, which is expected to last around a year,  will be in 1 or 2 countries. This is the fifth mobilization order for the Iron Battalion since 2000.

 

Sexual Assault Charges

A Dubuque man has been arrested, accused of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl from Fayette County. 25-year old Scott Allan Marcov was arrested by Dubuque police on Tuesday and charged with sexual abuse by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. In July of 2019, deputies investigated a sexual assault involving a 6-year-old from Clermont that happened a few years prior to it being reported. Marcov is being held on a $15,000 bond in Fayette County.

Jo Daviess Phone Scam

Jo Daviess County Sheriff Kevin Turner is warning the public about a new telephone scam occurring in Jo Daviess County. The caller telephones a resident and spoofs the phone number 777-2141 which belongs to Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Office. The caller then says they are calling from the Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Office and tells the resident they need to obtain a gift card and forward the card number to the caller. The calls are NOT originating from anyone at Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Office. If anyone has experienced this, or a similar scam, please contact the Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Office, or your local police department.

Schmitz To Leave DMA

The executive director of the Dubuque Museum of Art is leaving his position at the end of next month. David Schmitz informed the board of directors of his decision this week. Schmitz, who has been in charge of the museum since 2015, is leaving to become administrator of the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. Board president Julie Steffen will act as interim director when Schmitz takes on his new duties on March 30th. A search to identify a permanent replacement will begin soon.

Council Passes Budget and Fiscal Policy Guidelines

The Dubuque City Council has voted to adopt the budget and fiscal policy guidelines for fiscal year 2021, which calls for a slight increase in property taxes for homeowners. According to city manager Mike Van Milligan, the budget and guidelines provide targets and parameters within which the budget recommendation is formulated. The guidelines include a one percent increase in the city’s portion of the property tax rate. In addition, the budget calls for an increase of 12.26 percent, or $213.06 for multi-residential properties. Van Milligan says since 1989, the average property owner in Dubuque has seen an annual increase in their property taxes of about $8.06. He says in this current fiscal year, Dubuque comes in with the second lowest property tax rate compared to the 11 largest cities in the state.  The council will hold a public hearing on the budget February 17th. At that time Van Milligan will present the recommended budget document to the council. There will then be six public meetings to go over city departments and divisions budget details. A final public hearing will be held on March 26th to adopt the budget. The state deadline for adoption of city budgets is March 31st.

DNA Evidence Allowed Burns Trial

DNA evidence will be allowed in the trial of the man accused of killing a Cedar Rapids teenager, Michelle Martinko, more than 40 years ago. On Thursday, a judge ruled prosecutors can use a straw police obtained in Jerry Burns’s trial. Police say they obtained the DNA from a drinking straw that Burns left behind at a Manchester restaurant. Investigators say the DNA links Burns to the crime scene. While the straw is allowed, a judge earlier this week ruled that Burns’s internet search history for pornography should not be allowed in the trial. Prosecutors believe Burns stabbed Martinko to death in December of 1979. Burns’s trial is scheduled to begin on Monday morning in Scott County.

Nurse Pleads Guilty For Taking Painkillers

A Cedar Rapids nurse accused of taking painkillers from hospital patients’ intravenous lines and injecting herself has pleaded guilty to federal charges. 33 year old Kelly Postel of Monticello entered her pleas Tuesday in Cedar Rapids District Court. Prosecutors say Postel obtained an excessive amount of fentanyl and morphine from the hospital pharmacy and administered patients’ prescribed amount and then injected herself while at work with the leftover drugs. Authorities also say Postel took fentanyl from a patient by using a syringe to withdraw it from an intravenous line and injected herself while still at work. Her sentencing hearing has not been scheduled yet.

Field Of Dreams Tourist Boom

The city of Dubuque signed an agreement with Major League Baseball this week. They’re promising to work together for the Field of Dreams baseball game this summer. The Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees are facing each other at a new stadium by the famous Dyersville field on August 13th. It’s not everyday Major League baseball plays a game in Dubuque’s backyard, and the city is preparing for the tourism and buzz that is sure to come with the game. Keith Rahe president and CEO of Travel Dubuque tells our coverage partners at KCRG TV the tourism boost that Dubuque will get from the game is incomparable to anything else. With construction ahead of schedule on the playing field, Roman Weinburg, director of baseball operations for Go the Distance says surrounding cities like Dyersville and Dubuque have made the process that much easier. The agreement signed by Dubuque and MLB outlines things like transportation, security, MLB approval for city sponsored watch parties and how cities can advertise the game.

Steger Rd Bridge Closure

The Dubuque County Road Department will be closing the Steger Rd Bridge for most of the day Friday. There will be a contractor drilling at the bridge on Steger Road west approx. 100 feet from Hwy 136. The road from Hwy 136 to Roling Road will be completely closed at the location of the bridge while this work is completed during daytime hours – approx. 9 am to 4 pm. The estimated duration of the project is 1 day depending on weather.

2020 Winter Arts Snow Sculpting Festival

The 2020 Winter Arts Snow Sculpting Festival will be held on Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m. at Washington Park. The free snow sculpting festival/competition will feature three professional teams and three student teams representing two local colleges – Clarke University and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville – will also participate. The community snow sculpting portion of the event offers community teams or individuals access to a number of designated blocks. Tools will be provided. The Dubuque Museum of Art will offer free admission and tours of the current exhibits during the event. The 6 teams of competitive snow sculptors have arrived and sculpting has begun in Washington Park.  Observers are welcome to stop by throughout the week to view the progress and learn from the artists as they work.

Ernst/Grassley Reacts To President’s Address

While the majority of Democrats on Capitol Hill think President Trump’s State of the Union Address missed the mark, Republicans, like Iowa Senator Joni Ernst are praising the President for the job he is doing. Ernst says the President has created a “blue collar boom” all across the country with the creation of tens of thousands of jobs. Democrats say for the past three years the Trump administration has failed to fulfill promises to lower prescription drug prices. But Ernst says he wants to address the issue in a bipartisan fashion. Iowa’s other Republican Senator Charles Grassley says the President is serious about lowering the price of prescription drugs, but first there has to be a bipartisan bill in order to do that. The House is controlled by Democrats, while Republicans control the Senate.

McKean Announces Re-Election Bid

The man who represents Iowa House District 58 says he will seek another term in the fall. Democrat Andy McKean of Anamosa, who switched from being a Republican to a Democrat last year says he decided to run again some time ago, but since campaigns can be long and drawn out, he decided to wait until now to make the announcement. McKean says his priorities have not changed. Another priority for McKean is campaign reform. He believes campaigns are much too long, too expensive and too unpleasant. He has introduced a bill that would take the “dark money” out of politics. The bill, which was passed by state lawmakers in Montana last year, currently has 30 co-sponsors, and McKean is hopeful it will make some progress this session. The 70 year old McKean is seeking his third two-year term, after coming out of retirement in 2002. House District 58 covers all of Jackson County, and most of Jones County as well as the city of Cascade and Whitewater Township in southern Dubuque County.

Grant County Crash

A medical condition is being blamed for a single vehicle crash in Grant County Monday morning that sent one person to the hospital. The sheriff’s office says at around 9:35 a pickup driven by 37 year old Joshua Schomacker of Cassville was traveling along Highway 35, just west of Porters Bridge Road in the town of Beetown, when he suffered a medical issue. The truck crossed over the center line into oncoming traffic. It then left the road, struck an embankment and went airborne before landing on the driver’s side. Schomacker was transported to Grant Regional for a medical evaluation. He was cited for operating after his license had been cancelled and driving without insurance.

Reflections in the Park Record Year

Hillcrest Family Services “25th Annual Reflections in the Park,” annual holiday festival of lights in Dubuque’s Louis Murphy Park, had yet another phenomenal year. The number of vehicles and people going through were record breaking with 13,225 vehicles and an estimate of 54,095 people going through its gates. The annual tradition helped to raise over $160,000 for Hillcrest’s many programs.  All proceeds raised from sponsorships and tickets help provide health and education services throughout Iowa.

DBQ Water Flouride Levels

Water department officials say that their latest testing of Dubuque’s water supply shows normal fluoride levels, meaning that it is once again safe for all ages to drink. The Dubuque Water Department announced late Wednesday afternoon that it had detected higher levels of fluoride than expected. However, as of 9:30 p.m., those concentrations were once again below 2.0 milligrams per liter, back into the safe category for all ages. The city’s testing Wednesday afternoon showed concentrations at 3.07 milligrams per liter. Concentrations of fluoride were well below the Environmental Protection Agency’s alert level of 4.0 milligrams per liter, which could cause an increased risk of bone disease.

3rd Person Arrested For Music Store Burglary

A third suspect has been arrested for his role in a burglary at a music store in Dubuque last year. Police arrested 45 year old Timothy Schlarman of Dubuque over the weekend. He faces charges ranging from first degree theft to possession of marijuana and ecstasy with intent to deliver. Two other Dubuque men, 36 year old David Muntz Jr. and 35 year old Chad Julson were arrested last month for their part in the burglary. Police records say on December 31st Julson and Muntz smashed a window at Uncle Ike’s Music and Sound on Radford Road with a cinder block and stole guitars valued at over $14,000. Traffic camera footage tracked the men who drove to Schlarman’s residence. Police obtained a search warrant and found the stolen guitars. Schlarman told investigators that he bought the instruments from the men for $1,500, but police examined Julson’s cellphone which revealed an earlier conversation he had with Schlarman where the two discussed the burglary and how to get rid of the evidence.

Senior High Fire

A fire on a cook top in the foods room at Senior High School Tuesday afternoon just after 4 pm was contained by the sprinkler system and confirmed out by the first Dubuque Fire Department crews to reach the area. All students were evacuated and no injuries were sustained. Students were allowed back into the school a short time later. The fire is under investigation at this time with the likely cause accidental. There is no damage estimate yet.

Main Street- Open 4 Business

For the fifth consecutive year, Dubuque Main Street in partnership with Main Street Iowa and the Iowa Economic Development Authority, will sponsor a competition for up to $28,500 to help fund business/entrepreneurial initiatives . DMS Executive Director, Dan LoBianco, says the OPEN 4 BUSINESS  competition is a chance to assist business innovation. Each applicant is required to complete a one-page summary/entry proposal, of their new venture. One business will be chosen and advance to the state competition and last year a local business advanced. Applicants must be an existing, for-profit business, and must be located within or planning to relocate within the Dubuque Main Street service area. Entries are due in the DMS office, 1069 Main Street, by March 23rd. One statewide winner will receive an additional $20,000.

 

 

“Re-imagine Comiskey”

The city of Dubuque is seeking public input to improve a large north end park that’s expanding. The City of Dubuque Leisure Services Department has launched a campaign called “Re-imagine Comiskey” to get input on how to improve Comiskey Park. The city has $1.2 million budgeted to improve the park and its amenities, which could include things like adding more basketball courts or grills. This Saturday’s free event, Hip Hop PARKitecture, is a music-infused event designed for youth ages 10-17. The kids will participate in hands-on activities and group discussions, create vision boards, and work in small groups to create a design concept for Comiskey Park. That event will be at Fulton Elementary School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. lunch will be served and registration is required. Visit cityofdubuque.org/comiskey to learn more about the events and take the online survey.

Iowa Caucus Results

 The Iowa Democratic Party has released additional results from Monday night’s presidential caucuses. After a daylong delay, the party has now made public 71% of results from all 99 Iowa counties. The new numbers released late Tuesday do not change the state of play for the candidates. Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, holds a slight lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar trail behind. When the party earlier released results from 62% of precincts, Pete Buttigieg led with 26.9%, Bernie Sanders followed with 25.1% and Elizabeth Warren trailed with 18.3%. Earlier Tuesday, Buttigieg claimed on “CBS This Morning” that his performance in Iowa was “phenomenal,” especially given the fact that he had started his presidential campaign with little name recognition.

Party Chairs Caucus React

The chairs of the Democrat and Republican parties in Dubuque County are happy with the turnout in last night’s caucuses. Alexis Lundgren, chair of the Republican Party attended caucus night in Peosta, where there were five precincts, and while she was hoping for a larger turnout, things went really well. Lundgren says they added a couple more caucus locations, in anticipation of a larger turnout. Steve Drahozal, chair of the county Democratic Party was stationed at precinct 18 and he says for the most part he was not surprised by the top candidates who were viable at their precinct locations.  Candidates like Michael Bloomberg, Michael Bennett and Andrew Yang were not viable at a majority of the precincts in Dubuque County.

Caucus Night Wrap

Democrats in Dubuque County were out caucusing hard and heavy for their candidates last night. With the withdrawal of former U.S. Congressman John Delaney from the race last week, there were a total of 11 candidates on the precinct ballot, but only three were viable. At least that was the case at precinct 14 at Audobon Elementary School. Senator Bernie Sanders was the top vote getter, while Pete Buttigieg came in second and Senator Elizabeth Warren captured third place. Jill Pollock of Dubuque initially caucused on behalf of Minnesota Governor Amy Klobuchar. But when she was deemed not viable because of a lack of supporters, Pollock switched over to Warren. But she still had praise for Klobuchar. Emily Blue of Dubuque is a Buttigieg supporter, and she likes the message he’s been delivering to Iowans. Addison Aronson of Dubuque has supported the Bernie Sanders campaign from the get-go. He says Sanders is the only candidate that can beat President Trump in a head-to-head race. There are ads out now saying that Iowans won’t support a socialist for the White House, but Aronson disagrees. Precinct 14 selected three delegates who will represent Sanders at the county convention, while Buttigieg will have two and Warren one. That convention will be held on March 21st.

 

 

Caucus Glitch

It’s the crucial leadoff election with no results. The Iowa Democratic Party says results from the state’s first-in-the-nation caucus have been delayed indefinitely due to “quality checks” and “inconsistencies” in some reporting. Officials with the Iowa Democratic Party said in a phone call during the early morning hours Tuesday that they were manually verifying the results from all of Iowa’s precincts. It’s an embarrassing complication that adds a new layer of doubt to an already uncertain presidential primary season. The party says the problem was not a result of a “hack or an intrusion” and promises that final results will be released Tuesday. Across the state, Democrats balancing a strong preference for fundamental change with an overwhelming desire to defeat President Donald Trump had tried to be recorded.

Hy-Vee Hours Cut

A major grocery retailer is trimming back its hours starting toward mid-February, the company announced on Monday. Hy-Vee locations in Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Marion, Iowa City, and Waterloo will be closed overnight starting on February 10th. Hours will vary somewhat by store and city, Dubuque hours will be 5 a.m.- Midnight. According to Christina Gayman, director of public relations for Hy-Vee, the stores are changing hours to reallocate several team members to be available to assist customers during busier shopping times each day.

Attempted Murder Charge

 Dubuque Police have arrested a 17-year-old for attempted murder after a shots fired incident from last spring. Emmanuel Fountain Jr. is charged as an adult with attempted murder. Police say the shots fired incident happened on May 13, 2019, in the alley between 18th and 19th streets. According to criminal complaints, Fountain along with his brother, Jamar Little, were in a car that drove through the alley past the victim. The car then parked and both Fountain and Little ran at the victim and fired three shots at the victim. The victim ran away and was not hurt.

Grant County Injury Accident

A rural Fennimore woman and Rural Cassville man suffered injuries Saturday in a two vehicle crash. Around 11:39 am the Grant County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of an accident on Hwy 81 near Laufenberg Lane located in the Township of Beetown. 41-year old Christopher Cooley was traveling westbound on Hwy 81 and at the same time 26-year old Kelsey Borcherding was traveling eastbound on Hwy 81. Both vehicles were negotiating a sharp curve on a hill and Borcherding crossed the center line and struck Cooley’s vehicle. Cooley’s vehicle left the roadway, overturned, and came to rest on its driver’s side, hanging off of a 100 foot embankment by a few small trees. The Borcherding vehicle continued eastbound after the crash and came to rest in the south ditch. Borcherding and the three children in the vehicle and Cooley were transported to Grant Regional Health Center for non-life threatening injuries. Borcherding was cited for Operating Left of Center, Operating a Motor Vehicle without Insurance, and Non Registration of a Motor Vehicle.

Illinois Special Olympics

Last month hundreds of athletes competed in the Iowa Special Olympics Winter Games in Dubuque. This week it’s time for the athletes in Illinois to carrying the torch. More than 450 athletes from across the state will gather in Galena at Chestnut Mountain Resorts to compete in the games which start tomorrow  and run through Thursday. They’ll be competing in alpine skiing and snowshoeing. Mike Murphy is co-owner of Chestnut Mountain. Murphy says the slopes at Chestnut are holding up very well this season. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the winter games, and they could always use more volunteers. Opening ceremonies and a parade of athletes will be in downtown Galena beginning at 5:30 tomorrow evening.  A fireworks display will take place at the end of the ceremony. Chestnut  Mountain has been home to the winter games for more than 35 years.

2020 Winter Arts Snow Sculpting Festival

The 2020 Winter Arts Snow Sculpting Festival will be held on Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m. at Washington Park. The City of Dubuque’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and the Dubuque Museum of Art are partnering to present the free snow sculpting festival/competition. It will feature three professional teams and three student teams representing two local colleges – Clarke University and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville – will also participate. The community snow sculpting portion of the event offers community teams or individuals access to a number of designated blocks. Tools will be provided. The Dubuque Museum of Art will offer free admission and tours of the current exhibits during the event. The Glab Family Art Studio will be open with lots of hands-on activities for all ages. Hot beverages and food will be available for purchase on site. Sculpting will take place Wednesday through noon on Saturday, with 5 teams working day and night to turn blocks of 288 cubic feet of snow into masterful works of art. The winning team will have the opportunity to represent the state at the 2021 U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition in Lake Geneva, WI. The public is invited to observe the sculptors as they work throughout the week and to celebrate the completed sculptures on Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 12-4 pm in the park.

Caucus Day Locations

Today, all eyes in the nation will turn to Iowa for the first-in-the-nation caucuses. Instead of heading to the polls to cast a ballot, people will gather to set their party platforms as well as set delegates for presidential candidates. But those locations will likely be different than your typical polling location. For Democrats, you can go to their party website, iowademocrats.org, to learn where to caucus locally. For Republicans, they have a list for people also on their website, iowagop.org. Independents who want to caucus can go to any caucus location and declare for a party.

Human Trafficking Presentations NICC

Northeast Iowa Community College is hosting a human rights advocate and musician on a pair of their campuses, including Peosta. When he’s not touring or recording music with his band Remedy Drive, David Zach makes international deployments to Southeast Asia and Latin America as an undercover operative with the abolitionist group, The Exodus Road. Zach tours college campuses and visits communities in the US to share his experiences. He believes that ordinary human beings can make a tremendous impact on freedom and justice in the world. The Exodus Road has rescued approximately 900 individuals from the sex trade and helped arrest nearly 400 traffickers. He says everyone can help in their own way. NICC  is hosting Zach at the Calmar campus Monday and at the Peosta campus on Tuesday in Conference Centers 1 & 4. He will present three times each day – 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Each presentation is 60 minutes, with time for Q-n-A for community members. The presentations are free and open to the public.

 

Colt Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps

The Colt Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps will begin their 2020 season on Sunday, February 9th, from 1–5 p.m. at Table Mound Elementary School. The free open rehearsal will include an informational meeting for students and parents, followed by clinics in brass, percussion, and color guard. There is no obligation to join Colt Cadets by attending. The rehearsal clinics are set up as a way for students to check out the group in a casual environment and see if they enjoy the drum corps activity. No advance registration is required. The Colt Cadets are available to any young person in middle school or high school with or without prior experience on a musical instrument or experience with dance or color guard. The organization provides all equipment for students of any experience level.

Riverview Center’s Dubuque Location

The Riverview Center’s Dubuque office will be moving to their new location at 1789 Elm Street this spring, nearly doubling their square footage to enable them to better provide confidentiality and enhanced services for survivors of sexual assault and abuse. The new location will enhance privacy while alleviating space constraints and transportation barriers. The Riverview Center provides free services for individuals affected by sexual violence in 14 counties in Iowa, including Dubuque, Delaware and Jones Counties; and 2 counties in Illinois, including Jo Daviess County. Services, include 24-hour crisis hotlines; legal, medical, and general advocacy; one-on-one counseling and support groups; professional training; and violence prevention initiatives.

Dog Gets Caught In Trap, Bites Owner

Possible trapping violations are under investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources after a man’s dog got its’ foot caught in a trap Thursday afternoon. According to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Lee Perko of Muscoda was out walking his two dogs on Wisconsin wildlife property along the Wisconsin River in Muscoda Township, when one of the animals stepped in a foot trap. As Perko was attempting to free the dog, he was bitten in both hands. Blue River Fire and EMS along with the DNR and a sheriff’s deputy were summoned to the scene. Some members of the rescue crew were able to free the dog, while the others assisted Perko, who was taken to a local hospital to be treated. Both dogs were transported to the Riverdale Vet Clinic, where the injured dog received treatment.

Teen Charged With Attempted Murder

A Dubuque teenager who was involved in a shooting incident with his brother last summer has been charged with attempted murder. 17 year old Emmanuel Fountain Jr. was arrested Friday. His brother Jamar Little, who was also charged with attempted murder, pled guilty last year to going armed with intent and intimidation with a dangerous weapon. In exchange the attempted murder charge was dropped. Little was sentenced to probation and given a deferred judgement. He is currently residing at a residential correctional facility in Dubuque. The incident happened on May 13th in the alley between the 18-hundred blocks of White and Jackson Streets. Just prior to the incident a car driven by 33 year old Sheonta Fountain of Dubuque drove through the area and parked. Little and Fountain Jr. got out of the car and began walking through the alley. The pair approached another juvenile and charged the 15 year old. Several shots were fired, but the juvenile was able to flee inside the home at 1815 Jackson. Police were able to locate the suspect vehicle in the 2-thousand block of University Avenue. Little and Fountain Jr. eventually came out and were detained. A search was conducted and police found a .22 LR pistol. Shell casings found at the scene were also .22 caliber. Sheonta Fountain is charged with being an accessory after the fact. She has a court hearing on February 13th.

DBQ Airport Coronavirus

The Dubuque Regional Airport continues to monitor the Coronavirus after a sixth U.S. citizen has been confirmed to have the virus, including two in Chicago. Director, Todd Dalsing, says their carrier, American Airlines, has declared a travel alert. He says they continue to be vigilant looking to area health officials as well as the FAA for any additional data. Dalsing says simple things like keeping your hands clean is very important when using public transportation. The World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus an international public health emergency Thursday.

Lt. Governor Gregg Addresses Chamber’s YP

Iowa Lt. Governor Adam Gregg paid a visit to Dubuque Thursday afternoon as part of Governor Kim Reynolds’ annual state of Iowa tour. The Lt. Governor addressed the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce “young professionals.” His speech revolved mostly around the Governor’s recent Condition of the State address. In it the Governor introduced the “invest in Iowa act as part of her proposed budget. Gregg says it’s an important tax reform bill that would result in a net tax decrease. A key element of the Governor’s proposal would be an increase in the state’s sales tax. Gregg says broadband connectivity is also high on his priority list as well as the Governor’s agenda. Gregg says on top of the 5 million that the legislature appropriated for broadband expansion last year, the Governor’s budget calls for an additional 15 million this year.

Finkenauer Invites Student To State Of Union Address

When President Trump delivers his 4th State of the Union Address next week, a local high student will be in attendance. Iowa Congresswoman, Democrat Abby  Finkenauer of Dubuque has invited 16 year old Abby King to be her guest at the event. King attends Senior high school and she met Finkenauer at a roundtable discussion on the rising costs of prescription drugs in October. King takes insulin for her diabetic condition. Since she has been in office, Finkenauer says she has sponsored or co-sponsored 11 bills designed to lower the costs of prescription drugs. The State of the Union address is scheduled for Tuesday night in Washington, D.C.

Six Month Sentence For Dubuque Man

A Dubuque man, who led authorities on a three state high speed chase last month and then collided with a Dubuque County sheriff deputy’s squad car, has been sentenced to jail. A Jo Daviess County Circuit Court judge sentenced 22 year old Adam Reinert to six months in jail after he pled guilty to one felony count of aggravated fleeing. In exchange for his guilty plea, a second count of aggravated fleeing and numerous traffic citations were dismissed. The incident happened on December 2nd, when a Dubuque County deputy attempted to stop Reinert on Dodge Street for going 25 miles over the posted speed limit. Reinert refused to stop as he led authorities down Dodge Street/Highway 20 and into Illinois reaching speeds of 90 mph. He then entered Grant County, Wisconsin, where he drove into the Hazel Green area. The chase ended along Illinois 84 when Reinert’s vehicle was struck by a Dubuque County squad car. Two passengers in Reinert’s car received minor injuries.

Super Bowl Betting

While Sunday’s Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event of the year, it’s also one that people bet millions of dollars on. This is the first Super Bowl game where Iowans can legally bet on the game. Workers at the Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque are seeing more people come into their Fanduel Sportsbook this week to place bets on the big game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. Most people are betting on who will win the game or the spread but there are also hundreds of prop bets. Those range from who wins the opening coin toss to who scores the first touchdown. Marty Maiers with Diamond Jo Casino says it’s also helping other areas, including restaurants, because people are coming in to get a bite to eat, as well as placing bets on sports games. It’s been a good tax revenue source. The casino says people are placing minor bets ranging from a couple of bucks to thousands of dollars. They expect people to keep coming including on Super Bowl Sunday when they will be holding a Super Bowl watch party.

 

St. Marks Ice Golf Classic

St. Mark Youth Enrichment will again be hosting the Annual Ice Golf Classic. Registration is now open for the event, scheduled for February 8th at Mid-Town Marina in East Dubuque. Beth McGorry, Director of Donor Relations, says it’s a regular golf tournament only with a twist. You can sign up as a single, twosome or foursome and because you are playing on snow and ice you can use a variety of things to hit the ball. They will be holding a 50/50 and raffle drawing during the event and there will be awards for best sled and best dressed team and an overall themed costume and sled combo. McGorry says people really get creative with costumes, but dressing up is not required to enter. There will be a shotgun start at 10 am with team check in beginning at 8 am. The teams will golf an 18 hole course constructed from snow, ice and old Christmas trees. For tickets and more information go to stmarkyouthenrichment.org.

 

Town Clock Center Renovations

Some much needed renovations are underway at the Northeast Iowa Community College Town Clock Business Center in downtown Dubuque. The project was approved by the NICC board of Directors after it awarded the bid to Sheets Design Build in Maquoketa. Rhonda Siebert, vice-president of operations at NICC, says the project is part of their master facility plan. She says the goal is to make the restrooms ADA compliant and update the building in general. The project will be done in three phases, beginning with the restrooms. The final phase includes improvements to the front entrance of the building. Siebert says the renovations should have very little impact on the day-to-day activities of students, faculty and staff. The 1.3 million dollar project is expected to be completed by mid-August.

UW-Platteville Renovations To Start Soon

Renovations inside Boscobel Hall on the University of Wisconsin Platteville campus are scheduled to start soon. The college says it will use state funding for a 23.7 million dollar renovation to the laboratory and classroom space at the hall. The project calls for expanding space for laboratories, research and a classroom. It will serve students in biology, chemistry and a new environmental science and conservation Bachelor of Science degree program. A ground breaking ceremony will be held in late February or early March. The project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2021 and is being funded by state capital building project funds.

Dubuque Man Charged With Robbery

After nearly five months Dubuque police have arrested a man for attempting to rob a Dubuque woman and her son at gunpoint. Police arrested 29 year old Brandon Thomas this week and charged him first degree robbery. On the night of September 12th police say a woman and her son were just about to enter their home in the 500 block of Almond Street, when a masked man, later identified as Thomas, appeared carrying a semi-automatic weapon. He allegedly told the pair to “give me what you got”, as he tried to force his way inside the residence. After a brief struggle, Thomas fled the area in a car. Investigators used traffic camera and private surveillance video to identify the vehicle that left the crime scene. It was identified as a car belonging to Thomas’ girlfriend. Cell phone records were also used to tie Thomas to the crime. He will be back in court on February 8th.

Dubuque Teacher Receives STEM Award

A Dubuque school teacher is one of several recipients of the 2020 I.O.W.A. STEM Teacher award. Ann Arnold, who teaches math at the Alternative Learning Center, was one of six teachers statewide to be honored. The award is given to teachers who help inspire students to get involved in science, technology engineering and math. The award was presented to Arnold this week by the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.

Council Code of Conduct

The Dubuque City Council conducted a Governance Session on Sunday to review team building; strategic planning; roles and responsibilities and expectations for elected officials. At-large Councilman, Ric Jones, says the session was facilitated by Sumek Associates. The Code of Conduct agreed to Sunday has 12 operating guidelines. Examples include respecting others ideas and comments, criticizing an idea not a fellow council member, and obeying the rules and laws of the city. It will still have to be voted on as an ordinance at a regular City Council meeting. Once the City Council votes on their regular meeting time change, they will meet at 6:30 pm rather than the current 6 pm start. Jones says the main reason is to allow more time for pre-meeting work sessions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former Nurse Sentenced To Prison

A former nurse who was accused of tampering with drugs given to patients at an assistant living facility in Manchester has been sentenced to prison. 31 year old Katie Boll of Manchester was sentenced to 4 years in federal prison after pleading guilty last year to several charges that included tampering with a consumer product and acquiring a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, deception and subterfuge. Over a dozen charges were filed against Boll. She was accused of stealing patients’ opioids as well as morphine. The thefts took place between September of 2018 and January of last year at Good Neighbor Home in Manchester. Boll was also accused of taking prescription pain killers and oxycodone and Tylenol with codeine from patients and replacing the drugs with over the counter painkillers. After serving her prison sentence, Boll will be placed on three years of probation. She was also ordered to surrender her nursing license and pay over $500 in restitution.

House Fire In Dubuque

Dubuque fire fighters battled a house fire Tuesday afternoon. Crews were dispatched to the home located in the 500 block of Napier Street near Hempstead Street at around 1:30. When they arrived, the house and several vehicles were on fire. The occupants of the home came out safely as crews arrived. Fire was found in the attic area and there was smoke throughout the house. The fire was contained to the attic, but crews remained on scene to watch for any hot spots. There were no injuries reported, but the home sustained heavy fire damage in the attic. The cause is under investigation.

Dragotto Announces Run For Auditor

The first candidate who hopes to succeed Denise Dolan as Dubuque County Auditor has announced their candidacy. Democrat Kevin Dragotto is currently controller for TFM Company in Dubuque. The California native moved to Dubuque from Chicago with his wife and two daughters in 2014. The 44 year old Dragotto says he believes his extensive background and the skills he has acquired over the years will enable him to fulfill the duties of auditor. Dragotto says Dolan has done a fantastic job for more than 30 years, and if he is elected he intends to continue to maintain the public’s confidence in county government. Dragotto says he decided to make a run for the auditor’s office even before Dolan announced that she would be retiring at the end of this year. Dragotto, who served in the U.S. Army as a communications specialist in the mid-1990s, says he’s looking forward to getting out and earning the support of voters throughout the county. The filing deadline is March 25th. The primary election will be held on June 2nd.

Bullet At Audubon Elementary

A bullet was found on the campus of Audubon Elementary School in Dubuque early Tuesday afternoon. In an email sent to parents and families, Principal Ed Glaser says that the bullet was found by a teacher shortly after noon. The email doesn’t say where the teacher found the bullet. Following protocol, police were contacted immediately and the school-moved into a clear-the-halls situation. During that time, all students remained in their classrooms for instruction, while a K-9 unit trained to detect firearms conducted a sweep of the building. There was no weapon found and there was never any threat to students or staff.

Opening Doors Trivia Bowl

A local non-profit is planning a festive night of trivia fundraising January 31st at the Grand River Center. Opening Doors is holding Trivia Bowl and Ann Lorenz, Development & Marketing Director, says a full bar and food will be available for purchase. Friday’s event takes on a Super Bowl theme and you can dress in your favorite team gear, but non-football fans will have plenty of other trivia topics. Cost is $12 per player and advance registration is preferred but not required. Lorenz says individuals are welcome and will be placed on teams. Doors open at 5 pm and 10 rounds of trivia starts at 7 pm. There will be 50/50 cash raffle, mulligans, and cash prizes for the top three teams. Register online at openingdoorsdbq.org. All proceeds goes to Opening Doors, who help women and children who are experiencing homelessness through their services at Teresa Shelter, Maria House and Francis Apartments.

 

 

 

Habitat for Humanity Info Meetings

Dubuque and Jackson Counties Habitat for Humanity are hosting a pair of Home Ownership Information meetings in Dubuque that will give community members interested in applying for a Habitat home the chance to learn about the process. Wednesday’s meeting will be held at the  Carnegie-Stout Public Library in the American Trust Children’s Room at 6 pm. On February 4th, the meeting will be at 6 pm at the Multicultural Family Center. Habitat will share information on the homeowner application process, the qualifications necessary to be considered, and the requirements of partner families once selected and answer any questions. Applications for Habitat’s next Dubuque home will be available at the meetings.

Hy-Vee Dyersville Shopko

Hy-Vee, Inc. has announced it has agreed to acquire six former Shopko locations in Iowa, including Dyersville, that will re-open under the Dollar Fresh brand by late summer. The former Shopko buildings in Dyersville, Hampton, Cresco, Oelwein, Waukon and Vinton are all part of the purchase agreements. Dollar Fresh locations are designed to offer customers in smaller communities a full selection of grocery items, a bakery section with a full range of fresh-baked items, a dollar section, a Wall of Value, ready-to-eat meal offerings and other services. Hy-Vee has not said how many employees each store will have but their Dollar Fresh store in Toledo, Iowa has 70 employees.

Coronavirus Continues To Take Its’ Toll

U.S. health officials are currently monitoring 110 people across 26 states for the coronavirus, including the five patients who contracted the deadly infection in China and brought it back to this country. The disease, which has killed at least 106 people in China and sickened more than 2,800 worldwide, isn’t spreading within communities in the U.S. and the Centers for Disease Control says the risk to the public right now is still low. Dubuque Public Health Specialist Mary Rose Corrigan says this is the first time they have seen this particular virus and it makes it challenging. Last week, health officials in Dubuque met at the Bi-Hospital Infection Control meeting to discuss the latest on the deadly virus. The bi-hospitals include staff from both Finley and Mercy. The symptoms include difficulty breathing, coughing and fever. Corrigan says people should take the same preventative measures to protect themselves just as they would for any respiratory disease. Corrigan says these viruses look like a lot of things, and she doesn’t want people to get them confused. There have been no confirmed cases of the deadly virus in Dubuque and the Tri-State area, however six UW-Platteville students, who just returned from a trip to China, are being monitored.

Truck Catches Fire In Grant County

A Platteville man escaped injury after his truck caught fire after hitting a power pole in Grant County last week. The incident happened on County Road U on Thursday evening near the intersection of Rattlesnake Road in Beetown Township.  According to the sheriff’s office a truck driven by 25 year old Brad Kruppe was traveling south on County U, when he lost control on the snow-covered road. The truck crashed into a power pole coming to rest near the pole. Kruppe left the scene to contact police. Sometime after Kruppe left, his truck caught fire and was fully engulfed when fire crews arrived. They were able to put the fire out, but the truck was a total loss.

Man Gets Probation For Slamming Woman

A Georgia man charged with assaulting a woman inside a Dubuque hotel room last summer has been sentenced to probation. 46 year old James Donehoo pleaded guilty to domestic abuse assault causing injury. As part of the plea deal, the county attorney agreed to drop a charge of assault causing serious injury. In July Dubuque police responded to an assault at the Best Western Plus Dubuque Hotel and Conference Center on Dodge Street. When officers arrived a woman was being placed in an ambulance and taken to Mercy to be treated for broken bones in her foot. The woman told investigators that Donehoo slammed her head into the bathroom wall in their hotel room and as she fell her foot struck a granite corner breaking three bones in her foot. Donehoo was sentenced to two days in jail and two years of probation.

Apartment Fire Displaces Residents

Some people who resided at an apartment building in Dubuque are now being assisted by the Red Cross after fire damaged the structure early Monday afternoon. Fire crews were called to an apartment in the 200 block of West 11th Street a few minutes after 12:30.  When they arrived there was a fire in the kitchen on the first floor. There were several occupants trapped on upper floors by smoke. While crews fought the blaze those people were rescued by fire fighters using ground ladders. Three of them were transported to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Gregg To Speak Instead Of Reynolds

Last week the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce announced that Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds would speak this week to the Young Professionals of Dubuque at the Grand River Center as part of her annual tour of the state. The chamber says it just learned Monday morning that Lt. Governor Adam Gregg will speak in her place. They didn’t say why the Governor would not be attending, however she will be making stops in Muscatine on Wednesday and she’ll be in Des Moines Friday. Gregg will speak at the chamber’s monthly luncheon at the Grand River at around noon Thursday. RSVP is required and registration closes today.

Council Code of Conduct

The Dubuque City Council conducted a Governance Session on Sunday to review team building; strategic planning; roles and responsibilities and expectations for elected officials. At-large Councilman, Ric Jones, says the session was facilitated by Sumek Associates. The Code of Conduct agreed to Sunday has 12 operating guidelines. Examples include respecting others ideas and comments, criticizing an idea not a fellow council member, and obeying the rules and laws of the city. It will still have to be voted on as an ordinance at a regular City Council meeting. Once the City Council votes on their regular meeting time change, they will meet at 6:30 pm rather than the current 6 pm start. Jones says the main reason is to allow more time for pre-meeting work sessions.

 

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

As part of a wrongful death lawsuit, the family of a man who died while in police custody in Maquoketa obtained a body camera video of the incident. This body camera video shows the interaction between Drew Edwards and law enforcement on June 15th, 2019. The 22-year-old died at a local hospital, shortly after this incident. The officers seen in the video, including officials from both the Maquoketa Police Department and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, were trying to apprehend Edwards for an alleged assault that happened earlier that morning. Body camera video shows Edwards refusing to obey commands from police for roughly 20 minutes and then shows Edwards struggling with officers on the ground after he was tased. Edwards began showing signs of a medical episode, and officers called for emergency medical help. An autopsy determined Edwards died from cardiac arrest. He also had meth, ecstasy, and marijuana in his system. According to the amended lawsuit, Edwards had a heart condition. The lawsuit says Edwards had encounters with law enforcement before and was hospitalized twice when a taser was used on him in 2016 and 2018. The lawsuit also says officers knew of those prior incidents.

Tax Season Is Here

Today is the day that the Internal Revenue Service will begin accepting and processing tax returns for 2019. Last year there were several changes in the federal tax code, but those changes mostly affected businesses and not individuals. Sarah Fincel is a tax professional at H & R Block in Dubuque. What’s new this year is the W-4 form. Fincel says there are not many changes in the state tax code this year, although you may have to wait a little longer to receive your state and federal taxes depending on the type of refund you file. A lot of taxpayers like to file right away, while others tend to procrastinate. Most of the more than 150 million returns projected to be filed this year are likely to be submitted before the April 15th deadline. The IRS encourages everyone to consider filing electronically and choosing direct deposit. Taxpayers can find answers to their questions by visiting IRS.gov. Filers can also get assistance through IRS FREE FILE or by trained volunteers in Dubuque and surrounding communities.

DBQ Health Officials-Coronavirus

A Chicago woman become the second U.S. patient diagnosed with the new Coronavirus from China Friday. Health officials say the woman returned from a trip to China on January 13th. Despite social media rumors, there are no confirmed cases in Dubuque. MercyOne Hospital’s Infection Preventionist, Gail Gates, says there are many types of strains of Coronavirus and the China version is brand new. Gates says unless you have been in direct contact with the people infected in the United States or have been in China recently you can’t get this new strain. If area residents have recently returned from China, be aware of the symptoms and take precautions. At least six UW-Platteville students who just returned from a trip to China are being monitored for the virus. The college reports the students showed no symptoms after they were screened at Chicago O’Hare International Airport as they were returning on Tuesday. The CDC says symptoms of the disease include trouble breathing, coughing and fever.

 

RAGBRAI Route

Cities across Iowa now know if they’re hosting a RAGBRAI stop for this year’s ride. Overnight stops include: Le Mars, Storm Lake, Fort Dodge, Iowa Falls, Waterloo, Anamosa, Maquoketa, and Clinton. For Maquoketa, it’s the fourth overnight visit in the history of the race; returning after 16 years. The ride is planned for July 19th to July 25th. Dubuque will be a part of the first ‘Iowa’s Ride’ bicycle event next July, the week before RAGBRAI. The inaugural bike ride will go across the state from Dubuque to Rock Rapids, starting July 12th and continuing through July 18th.

Man Arrested For Swinging Knife At Vehicle

A Dubuque man will be back in court next week after he was arrested following an incident in the parking lot of a laundromat Wednesday night. Officers arrested 41 year old Paul Brandenburg and charged him with disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police say a teenager told them he pulled into a laundromat on Elm Street at around 10 pm. The teen says a woman there raised her middle finger at him and he did the same. The woman was with Brandenburg, who apparently became upset and walked towards the teen’s car. He then tried to get into the car, but could not. As the 18 year old drove off Brandenburg chase his vehicle swinging at it with a knife. He will next appear in court on the 28th.

Dubuque Man Charged In Fatal Crash

A Dubuque man is awaiting extradition back to the state after police arrested him this week in Minnesota in connection with a fatal motorcycle crash that killed his wife last year. 40 year old Shannon Katka was taken into custody Wednesday by Albert Lea police on a warrant from Dubuque charging him with homicide by vehicular operation under the influence. Katka is also expected to face more charges when he gets back to Dubuque. Court records say on August 29th, Katka was driving his motorcycle north on East 16th Street. As he was approaching the entrance ramp to US Highway 61/151, he lost control of the cycle and crashed. His passenger, 43 year old Shelly Brenke was ejected. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Katka was treated at Finley Hospital. Traffic camera footage showed Katka cutting off another vehicle as he approached the ramp just prior to the crash. He admitted to consuming alcohol over a five hour period leading up to the fatal accident. His bond was set at $250,000 cash only.

Dubuque Military Chaplains Day

Dubuque American Legion Post #6 will hold its annual Dubuque Military Chaplains Day next month. The ceremony will be held at Dubuque Community Church, 3490 Keystone Drive, Sunday, February 16th at 1:30 p.m. and is open to all military organizations and the public. Legion Post #6 proudly honors all chaplains that made the supreme sacrifice of their lives to the common cause of human freedom and justice for all. Chaplains Day and Month are a time to reflect on the service of those chaplains who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their God and our nation.

Chamber Getting into the Weeds

Dubuque business leaders met on Thursday for a Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce panel to clear up confusion about marijuana in the workplace. Recreational marijuana is now legal in Illinois. Just across the Mississippi River in Dubuque, it’s not. Molly Grover, President & CEO, says the event was designed to give information about how that’s putting employers in a difficult position on what’s allowed in their workplaces. One of the main points from Thursday’s panel is that employers need to figure out what their policies are. Darin Harmon, an attorney with Kintzinger, Harmon, Konrady, PLC, says it will be up to each business how they decide to handle each case.  Harmon says for Iowa employers there really is no gray area in the law.  The other panelists included Dubuque County Attorney C.J. May and Dubuque Police Chief Mark Dalsing.

New Scout Executive of Northeast Iowa Council

The Northeast Iowa Council is proud to announce the selection of Anna B. Hudak as Scout Executive/CEO of the Northeast Iowa Council in Dubuque, Iowa effective March 1. Anna will joins the volunteers and staff of the Northeast Iowa Council to deliver quality Scouting experiences to the young people of the communities they serve. Anna began her Scouting career in 2006 as a District Executive at the Northern Star Council in St. Paul, MN.  She moved on to become the Program Director at the Illowa Council in Davenport, Iowa, and Director of Development at the Crossroads of America Council in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her most recent role was serving on the National Council Membership Growth Team as the Team Leader for the Central Region and as the National Director of STEM Scouts. Anna started her Scouting career as a camp counselor at Tomahawk Scout Reservation in Birchwood, Wisconsin.  Growing up, Scouting was a family affair.  Hudak’s mother was a den leader and her father was an Assistant Scoutmaster, and one of her brother’s is an Eagle Scout. The Boy Scouts, Northeast Iowa Council serves 2,083 youth in Allamakee, Clayton, Delaware and Dubuque counties in Iowa and parts of Jackson and Jo Daviess County in Illinois. The Council, supported by 1,048 volunteers, is headquartered in Dubuque, IA.

UW-P Students being Monitored For China Virus

At least six UW-Platteville students who just returned from a trip to China are being monitored for the deadly coronavirus. According to a release from the college the students showed no symptoms of the Wuhan coronavirus after they were screened at  Chicago O’Hare International Airport as they were returning on Tuesday. The virus has spread throughout China and has so far infected over 600 people. 17 have died. Two of the UW-P students who made the trip are from Wuhan, China. The school says the students live together on campus but are not under any form of quarantine, but they will be monitored on a regular basis as a precautionary measure. The Centers for Disease Control says symptoms of the disease include trouble breathing, coughing and fever.