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Dubuque & Tri-State News

Illinois Governor Orders Residents to Stay at Home

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has ordered the state’s residents to remain in their homes except for essential needs. Pritzker’s order announced Friday will still allow the state’s 12.6 million residents to seek essentials. All non-essential businesses must cease operations. The Governor’s order is effective until April 7th. Pritzker had previously ordered all schools statewide to shut down and limited gatherings to 50 people to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the state. He also closed dine-in service at bars and restaurants. Pritzker’s order takes effect Saturday, March 21st at 5 pm. Illinois has joined similar efforts in California and New York to limit the spread of the virus.

Jo Daviess Co Disaster Proclamation

The Jo Daviess County Board has passed a proclamation declaring the county a disaster area in an effort to contain and mitigate the local impact of the expanding global outbreak of COVID-19. This proclamation will assist the residents of Jo Daviess County by and through its Emergency Management Agency and through coordination of federal, state, county and municipal resources and response activities. The goal is to prevent and reduce further damage and hazards, protect the health and safety of persons, protect property and provide emergency response. The Jo Daviess County Courthouse and the Public Safety Building are anticipated to remain operational, however additional steps must be taken to ensure the health of the public and the health of county employees. Members of the public and county employees will be screened prior to entering the Courthouse and/or Public Safety Building.

Dubuque County Coalition COVID-19 Briefing

The first case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Dubuque County. That person is currently self-isolating at home. Members of the Dubuque County Healthcare Preparedness Coalition met yesterday to provide the latest information on what they’ve done to get ready for a potential major outbreak in the county. Dubuque County Health Department executive director Patrice Lambert encourages people to continue to make prevention a priority by washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow, staying home when ill and practicing social distancing. If you think you may need healthcare, Lambert encourages people to contact their primary care provider first. Mary Rose Corrigan, health care specialist for the city of Dubuque, says there are several criteria used by the state hygienic lab for testing COVID-19. Corrigan says primary community health providers, including the ones here in Dubuque, are waiting to get more test kits. Meantime, Blackhawk County reported its’ first confirmed case of COVID-19 Thursday. That case is travel related. So far no case have been reported in Linn County.

Clarke University COVID-19 Update

Clark University intends to continue classes through visual instruction for the remainder of the semester. Students will receive more information about their classes from their instructors on or about March 23rd. Clarke has also decided to close the residence halls and ask all students to check out by 9 pm this Sunday. Students currently living in Clarke housing will be contacted by the Residence Life Office with instructions on how to check out and move out of their residences. Students not currently on campus are asked to retrieve their belongings by 9 pm Sunday. For questions about Clarke housing contact the Residence Life Office.

NICC COVID-19 Updated Plan

Northeast Iowa Community College has released the latest changes in operations due to COVID-19. Officials say college campuses and centers will be closed to the general public starting March 23rd through April 10th. All face-to-face classes will be conducted via an online format beginning March 23rd. Previously scheduled online classes will continue. Related classroom activities such as lab and internships remain cancelled. College operations will continue with staff working remotely beginning March 23rd. All events at NICC are cancelled through April 10th, and community and business related classes, when possible, will be offered via an online format.

Dubuque Suspends Parking Meter Violations

Motorists who typically feed parking meters in Dubuque won’t have to worry about that, at least for a while. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the city has temporarily suspended enforcement of parking meter violations through April 12th. During this time people are not required to feed parking meters. The city will however continue to enforce all other street parking regulations including but not limited to street storage, which is vehicles parked on the street longer than 24 hours without moving, disabled parking spaces, fire zone compliance and blocking driveways. Monthly reserve parking in ramps and surface lots are still being enforced.

Man Charged With Sex Assault

A Scott County man has been arrested in connection with a sexual assault that took place in Delaware County nearly 9 years ago. Court records say 33 year old Zachary Broders is charged with third degree sexual abuse. Authorities were able to link Broders to the crime through DNA. In July of 2011 a woman told police she was sexually assaulted by a man named “Zac”, who gave her a ride to Ryan. Investigators received word on the DNA match in February after Broders was arrested for another crime. He will next appear in court today.

Alliant Energy Suspends Disconnections

Alliant Energy is temporarily suspending disconnections for all of Iowa and Wisconsin customers during the public health emergency related to the coronavirus outbreak. In addition, the company plans to waive late fees in Iowa to help customers who are suffering financial hardships and will collaborate with partners and organizations in Wisconsin to offer a similar solution.

Funding Allocated For COVID-19 Response

The Dubuque County Supervisors have voted to allocate $950,000 for the potential outbreak of COVID-19 in the county. Supervisor Jay Wickham says the bulk of the appropriation is for the county health department. He says the department will use the $500,000 allocation to put things in place for the safety of all county residents. The Emergency Management Department, headed by Tom Berger is getting a $200,000 increase to its’ budget. That money will be used to fully activate the emergency response team on demand if need be. The Dubuque County Emergency Response Team on COVID-19 consist of city, county and health care professionals and they meet on a daily basis. And thanks to technology they are doing it online, adhering to the Governor’s disaster emergency declaration. The board also appointed oncologist Dr. Bobby Koneru as the county’s medical liaison for COVID-19 efforts.

DMASWA Drop-off Suspended

The Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency (DMASWA) has suspended all residential drop-off services for electronics and household hazardous materials until at least April 12th. Currently, DMASWA is continuing to offer all other services. The landfill is open 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Monday – Saturday.

 

Jo Daviess Accident

Two people were injured in a single vehicle rollover crash in Jo Daviess county Tuesday afternoon. According to the sheriff’s office a vehicle driven by 22 year old Cesar Vega-Gonzalez of Burbank was traveling east on U.S. Route 20 when he lost control as he drove over the paved portion of the round while rounding a curve. The vehicle skidded and spun around causing it to roll over. It then struck a guardrail and came to rest on the shoulder of the road. Vega-Gonzalez and his passenger 43 year old Juana Vega-Gonzalez also of Burbank were transported to Mercy Hospital in Dubuque where they were treated for their injuries. The crash remains under investigation.

ED Voters Reject School Bond Issue

A bond referendum that would have added an elementary school addition to the high school in East Dubuque has been rejected again by voters. On Tuesday nearly 790 voters cast no ballots for the 10.5 million dollars bond issue. In addition to the elementary school add on, if approved the referendum would have also paid for a number of renovations and additions to the high school. Last year voters rejected a 12 million dollar bond issued for the same project. The total cost of the project is around 16 million, and if approved the district would have paid for the remaining cost by using reserve funds and grants.

Man Arrested For Firing Shots

A Dubuque County man was arrested this past weekend after police say he fired several shots during a domestic disturbance. 20 year old Cody Heim of New Vienna was taken into custody early Saturday morning and charged with domestic assault while displaying a weapon, domestic assault with strangulation and domestic assault with injury. A woman who was dating Heim called authorities and reported that he choked her and pushed her into a cabinet where she struck her head. Heim then locked the woman out of the house. She then told police she heard several gunshots coming from the back of the home. Heim then let the woman back into the house where an argument ensued in the basement. The woman says Heim had a rifle and a shotgun while they argued. Heim then locked the woman in the basement where she called 911. Heim told investigators that the two had both shoved each other during the argument and the shots he fired were at coyotes.

YMCA Closes

The Dubuque Community YMCA/YWCA is closed to the public until March 31st. Though the facility will not be operating as a wellness center over the next 15 days, they WILL be operating both childcare locations as well as school age care at their Booth Street location.

Five Flags Food Donation

The Five Flags Center is donating about 12 boxes of food to Project Rooted. The brand new nonprofit is providing healthy sack lunches to food-insecure kids while schools are shut due to coronavirus concerns. The program will start serving lunches at Convivium Urban Farmstead on Monday, March 23. Families can drive up and have sack lunches for kids ages 0 to 18 brought to their car. Project Rooted plans to serve lunches the entire time school is canceled.

Library Closing

The Carnegie-Stout Public Library will close today at noon until April 13. This closure includes the cancellation or postponement of all scheduled programs and events until April 13. Outreach and homebound services are also suspended at this time. While the library is closed, the public should continue to return materials at any of the return drop boxes. For those who may be not be able to leave their homes for health-related reasons, the seven-day past due account freeze will be temporarily waived. The library will also provide curbside pickup for materials that patrons place on hold beginning Thursday. Curbside pickup times will be Monday through Friday from 12-6:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Meals Available For Dubuque Kids

The Dubuque Community School District has partnered with a number of organizations to provide meals for kids 18 and under at several locations throughout the community during school closures. The grab-and-go meals will start on March 23rd. Go to the district’s website to find locations and times. The Iowa legislature has waived a requirement to make up lost instructional time due to COVID-19. If you need to pick up medication from school, you need to contact district lead nurse Allie White by noon March 23rd to schedule an appointment.

DC Courthouse To Close To the Public

Beginning today the Dubuque County courthouse is closed to the general public. This includes the county’s west campus building on Seippel Road. According to the Dubuque County Assessor’s office property taxes are still due in two weeks and can be paid online. For additional information call the treasurer’s office.

DC Sheriff’s Office Making Changes

In an attempt to contain COVID-19, the Dubuque County Sheriff’s office has made a few changes to protocol effective immediately. Sheriff Joe Kennedy says starting now until further notice they are asking the public to limit exposure for themselves and his staff by avoiding personal business in their lobby. He says a lot of the business that people conduct in their lobby can be done online. If the sheriff’s office gets a 911 call, deputies will respond, but each situation will be handled in the manner it requires. Kennedy says to protect the inmate population, the jail has suspended all outside programming. Kennedy says since inmates are in such close proximity with each other, the risk for spreading any viral disease becomes higher.

Iowa Public Health Emergency

Governor Reynolds on Tuesday issued a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency, effective at noon today through March 31. This means events of more than 10 people are prohibited, according to the governor’s office. Planned large gatherings must be canceled. According to the proclamation, all restaurants and bars are closed to the public, though carry-out or drive-through can stay open. In addition, all fitness centers, gyms and health spas must close. Facilities that conduct adult day services or other senior citizen centers are also ordered to close. The move allows state agencies additional flexibility in responding to the unprecedented COVID-19 situation and supports the critical work of public health.

UnityPoint Visitor Restrictions

In its ongoing effort to keep patients safe during the global outbreak of COVID-19 and continued widespread seasonal influenza activity, UnityPoint Health – Dubuque is closing select entrances to better conduct screening of incoming patients and visitors. Effective immediately, non-emergent patients and visitors are asked to enter Finley Hospital through the valet entrance located on Delhi Street. The entrance between Delhi Medical Building and Finley Hospital will be closed to the public. Patient needing emergency care should enter through the emergency department entrance located on Grandview Ave. All patients and visitors will be screened at the valet and emergency entrances and have their temperature taken. Visitors will only be allowed if they do not have symptoms of respiratory. Additionally, children under the age of 18 will not be allowed except under extraordinary circumstances.

Project Rooted No Cost Meals

In partnership with Convivium Urban Farmstead, Project Rooted will be offering no-cost sack lunches to children (ages 0-18) in need during school closures. Beginning March 23rd, lunches will be available for pick up at the outdoor area in front of Convivium Urban Farmstead at 2811 Jackson Street in Dubuque. One per child please. These grab-and-go lunches will be offered Monday through Friday from 11am-2pm each day during school closures, while supplies last. For those interested in donating toward this effort, monetary donations will be accepted at gofundme.com/f/projectrooted.

City Emergency

City leaders in Dubuque are taking steps to prohibit gatherings on public grounds and recommends that private businesses do the same. Mayor Roy Buol declared a state of emergency for the city of Dubuque at the Dubuque City Council last night that prohibits groups of 50 or more people from gathering on public property. Most city buildings will be closed to the public starting today, including City Hall and its annex, Housing & Community Development, the Leisure Services Department, Bunker Hill Golf Course, and the Municipal Services Center. Programs through Leisure Services and the Multicultural Family Center have been canceled through at least April 12. Refunds for people in paid programs will be issued, and those people will be contacted by the city’s staff.

Archbishop Responds To Coronavirus

In an effort to “flatten the  curve” and lessen the burden on the local healthcare system, Dubuque Archbishop Michael Jackels says beginning Thursday, all public celebrations of Holy Mass have been cancelled until further notice. The Chrism Mass will be celebrated, but only with liturgical ministers present and the oils will be blessed, bottled and distributed in some way to the parishes. Also during this time, the Archbishop will live-stream a celebration of Holy Mass each Sunday if the situation hasn’t changed by then and will lead the Rosary each week on Thursday. In addition the existing schedule for Confirmation is cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later time. Funerals, weddings and baptisms may be held, but limited to the immediate family, or at least no more than 10 people present. And all archdiocesan sponsored events where 10 people or more are gathered have been canceled.

Dubuque Closings

In light of the reported spread of COVID-19, Q Casino will be temporarily closed. Q Casino President and CEO, Jesus Aviles, says they will be closed 30 days and will re-evaluate at that time.

Following recommendations from the CDC, the Iowa Department of Public Health and local officials, the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium will temporarily close to the general public as of today.

The Dubuque Community YMCA has a change in hours starting today until further notice-(Monday-Friday 5 am-8 pm, Saturday 6 am-4 pm, Sunday 9 am-3 pm). All programs, classes and events will be suspended until further notice (including swim lessons, youth sports and group exercise classes).  Child Watch will be closed and the YMCA will not be offering day passes at this time.

 

Dubuque Schools Closed

 All Dubuque and Tri-State area schools are closing. Iowa schools will be closed until April 13. This is due to the recommendation of Governor Reynolds that all Iowa schools close for four weeks upon discovery of the existence of substantial community spread of COVID-19 in the state. Wisconsin schools are closed through April 6th. Illinois schools, including East Dubuque, are shuttered until March 30th. East Dubuque schools will transition to online learning during this period.

NICC and Loras College Classes

Northeast Iowa Community College has cancelled all face-to-face classes and related activities from today to Friday, March 20th. Online classes will continue as scheduled. NICC campuses and centers will remain open with staff reporting to work as scheduled. Loras College has announced they will be cancelling in person classes next week. Classes will continue as currently delivered through Wednesday, March 18. All classes scheduled for March 19th, 20th, and 23rd are cancelled. Classes will resume on Tuesday, March 24 through an exclusively on-line delivery. The on-line delivery approach will remain until at least Friday, April 17.

Large Neighborhood Grant Program

The City of Dubuque and the Dubuque Community Development Advisory Commission are now accepting competitive applications for the Large Neighborhood Grant Program. The deadline for applications is April 13th.
The program intended to support neighborhood development and provide a direct benefit to low/moderate income individuals or neighborhoods. The maximum grant is $3,000. Information on applications, guidelines, and how to apply online are available at www.cityofdubuque.org/neighborhoods.  Organizations that are interested in applying for funds are encouraged to attend one of two upcoming grant workshops to receive additional information on the grant program and the application process. The grant workshops will be held on Wednesday, March 18, from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday, March 25, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the Lacey Board Room at Carnegie Stout Public Library, 360 W. 11 St.

Dubuque County Declares Emergency Declaration

Dubuque County is preparing for the chance that the coronavirus reaches this area. Friday, the board of supervisors approved an emergency declaration. County Emergency Management Agency Director Tom Burger says the declaration means that they’ll utilize all available resources, including state funding to combat COVID-19 if there’s an outbreak. Despite the emergency declaration, Burger says there’s no need for the public to push the panic button. The declaration was approved on a 2-to-1 vote, with Supervisor Ann McDonough voted against it. She told fellow Supervisor Jay Wickham that there should have been more discussion before the declaration was voted on. The supervisors will start to meet twice a week with emergency, law enforcement and health professionals to share the latest information on COVID-19 beginning Tuesday.

Dubuque Man Facing Prison Time For Neglect

A Dubuque man who recently pleaded guilty to a neglect charge could face up to ten years in prison when he is sentenced in May. Documents out of Dubuque County say 28 year old Mark Ward and his girlfriend 29 year old Iesha Searcy also of Dubuque were charged with neglect or abandonment of a dependent person. Both Ward and Searcy were the primary caregivers of Searcy’s daughter who was nine months old when the two were arrested in February of 2018. They had taken the girl to a dietician and at the time she weighed only ten pounds eight ounces. The girl was eventually hospitalized and doctors said she was severely malnourished and could have developed serious physical problems and even death. Ward will be sentenced on May 4th. Searcy has pleaded not guilty and will next appear in court on March 23rd.

Globetrotters Postponed

Due to health concerns surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Harlem Globetrotters event at Five Flags Center on Friday, March 20 is postponed. A rescheduled date will be announced soon. Five Flags ask that fans retain their tickets, as they will be honored on the new date.

Dickeyville Community Event Postponed

The Dickeyville Community Bingo event for Sunday March 15 is postponed until April 19th.

BestFest Cancelled

Due to concerns with Coronavirus, BestFest 2020 scheduled for March 26th is cancelled. Ticket holders can either consider the ticket price a tax-deductable donation to Hospice of Dubuque or request a ticket refund. No ticket refunds will be issued at Dupaco Community Credit Union. For information, please visit hospiceofdubuque.org or the Hospice of Dubuque office at 1670 JFK Road.

MercyOne Visit Restrictions

As a result of cases of COVID-19 in the state and surrounding states, MercyOne Dubuque and MercyOne Dyersville have implemented new restrictions on visitation, effective immediately. These restrictions are in place for the protection of their patients and colleagues.

These visitor restrictions will remain in effect until further notice:
• Visitors shall be limited to 2 at a time per patient
• No visitors under 14 years old will be permitted
• Do not visit if you have any symptoms of a cold, influenza or COVID-19

All classes, meetings, and support groups held on MercyOne’s campus have been canceled, effective until at least April 15.

Dubuque Co. officials: “Please practice social distancing”

Dubuque County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dave Baker and Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol are encouraging residents to closely monitor current reports related to the COVID-19 outbreak and to make responsible, personal decisions on how they can practice personal “social distancing” to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and minimize illness and death. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recently signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, activating the disaster response and recovery aspects of the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s Iowa Emergency Response Plan. The proclamation authorizes state agencies to utilize resources including personnel, equipment and facilities to perform activities necessary to prevent, contain and mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 virus. Based on current information, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Dubuque County.  Local public health officials continue to work with local healthcare providers and are in frequent communication with Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) officials as statewide, national, and international conditions evolve. Social distancing measures are taken to restrict when and where people can gather to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases. Social distancing measures can include limiting large groups of people coming together, including canceling events.  Many local and regional educational institutions, special events, and businesses are announcing efforts to encourage social distancing and advise patrons on staying home when they are ill. “We’re encouraging all Dubuque County residents, especially our senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions, to think carefully about attending events and large gatherings,” said Dubuque County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dave Baker.  “This is a very serious situation and we all need to follow the advice of our public health officials and healthcare providers and practice common sense.” “The number one priority of local government is public safety and public health is public safety,” said Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol.  “While government and healthcare have obvious roles in preparing for and responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, so does the public. I encourage residents to think carefully about how they can make good decisions to help prevent the spread of the virus.” The Dubuque County Health Department and City of Dubuque Health Services Department encourage residents to rely on information regarding COVID-19 from the IDPH and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention.  They also recommend individual residents take these action steps:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact (at least 6 feet distance) with people who are sick or experiencing respiratory symptoms such as cough
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth with your upper arm or tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Take social distancing measures. Restrict where and when you gather with others.
For Dubuque County specific information, call the Dubuque Visiting Nurses Association at 563.556.6200 (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday), the Dubuque County Health Department at 563.557.7396 (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday), or the City of Dubuque Health Services Department at 563.589.4181(8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday).

Clarke To Suspend Face-To-Face Instruction

Clarke University in Dubuque is joining other colleges and universities across the state in their response to the coronavirus. In a message sent to students and employees yesterday. President Thom Chesney said for the safety of everyone on campus, they’ll be suspending on-campus-face-to-face instruction for two weeks following spring break. For that two-week period Clarke will move to virtual forms of instruction between March 23rd and April 5th. On-campus face-to-face instruction is scheduled to resume on April 6th. Students may remain on campus throughout the two week time period or return after spring break to resume class virtually. School officials say the decision to suspend face-to-face classes was made to prioritize health and safety and to lessen the spread of the virus. Students at the University of Dubuque are on spring break this week and school officials say classes will now resume on March 23rd. UD President Dr. Jeffery Bullock says the campus will remain open, even as classes are delayed and students who cannot stay at their homes next week will be allowed to come back to campus. Student meetings will be rescheduled. In-season student athletes are encouraged to come back to campus for practices and competitions. University international travel has also been suspended. Meantime,  officials at Northeast Iowa Community College are monitoring the Coronavirus situation and at this time have no plans to cease operations or make any changes. The academic affairs division at Loras College is developing plans to allow options for students to complete courses in the event that the spread of COVID-19 necessitates limiting in-person classroom contact.

Five Flags Postponements

Due to health concerns surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Five Flags Center has announced the performance of Baby Shark Live at Five Flags Center, scheduled for today (March 13) has been postponed.  Five Flags staff will work with the show’s management and promoters to find a new date. Customers who had purchased tickets to Baby Shark Live will have the option to either transfer their tickets to the future performance date or request a full refund at their original point of purchase. Saturday’s performance of In My Life: A Musical Theater Tribute to The Beatles has been postponed to May 21 and will now be Beatles vs. Stones. Saturday’s Midwest Spring Jam featuring Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Twista, and Do or Die: has been postponed to October 10.

Dubuque Museum Of Art Is Open

The Dubuque Museum of Art is open for business amid coronavirus fears. Officials there say they are closely following government recommendations and advice from the Center for Disease Control, the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Dubuque County and city health departments. The museum is staying open with regular business hours. While the DMA is operating as usual they are also working on a contingency plan and preparing for changing circumstances. If the museum decides to postpone or cancel any scheduled events it will notify the public through the media and other social outlets.

Business As Usual At NMMA

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque has no plans to shut down operations in the wake of the coronavirus. Wendy Scardino, director of marketing and communications says they have taken precautionary measures, are being diligent and following the recommendations of national, state and local health officials, but it is business as usual. Scardino says they’ll continue to update their practices and monitor the situation as it unfolds.

2020 Everyday Heroes

Five northeast Iowa residents were honored yesterday as the 2020 “Everyday Heroes.” by the American Red Cross of Northeast Iowa during a breakfast at the  Holiday Inn in downtown Dubuque. They are Katie Gudenkauf and Erin Ludescher both of Dubuque, Al and JoAnn Roberts and Larry Hoefer, all of Peosta, and Michael Lockard of Cedar Falls. Katie was able to revive a man who had suddenly collapsed during a soccer tournament. Erin assisted a motorcyclist who had crashed and kept him alive by applying pressure to his laceration until emergency crews arrived. Al and JoAnn were honored for their many years of service to foster care. Larry administered life-saving CPR to a man who was in distress at a Knights of Columbus dinner and Michael who made two attempts to rescue his disabled brother from their burning home was able to direct fire crews to his brother’s location when they arrived.

Salvation Army Vacation Bible School Cancelled

The Dubuque Salvation Army has canceled its Vacation Bible School, scheduled for March 17th through March 21st. Captains Matthew and Emily Phelps had been out of the country for a Salvation Army trip, not in a Coronavirus hot spot. As a precautionary measure, since they have traveled internationally, they will self-quarantine away from the Salvation Army which will force the cancellation of the Vacation Bible School. The Vacation Bible School will be rescheduled at a date to be determined in the future. Both Captains are not sick and show no symptoms and neither has been to the Dubuque Salvation Army facility since they left the country. All other activities at the Dubuque Salvation Army will continue as scheduled.

DRHS Recommends Plan For Pets/COVID-19

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19   continues to spread across the country and national, state and local health experts have plenty of advice for people on how to avoid contracting the disease. But what about pets? The Dubuque Regional Humane Society suggests that pet owners include their furry companions in their preparedness plans for COVID-19. Humane Society Director Tonya Millard says they’ve joined the  Humane Society of the United States and the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement who suggest that you put together a plan that includes pets in the event Dubuque and surrounding counties are impacted by the virus. She says they have foster families that can take in and care for your pet if you are stricken with the virus. Millard says information has been provided to her staff to tell people what to do with their pets if COVID-19 reaches this area. Millard says people should stay diligent, but not overreact to COVID-19 concerns. The World Small Animal Veterinary Association says that there is no evidence that companion animals can be infected or spread the virus.

Weather Spotter Training Class Cancelled

The spotter training class put on by the National Weather Service has been cancelled amid concerns over the coronavirus. The NWS office in the Quad Cities has cancelled all spotter training classes in its’ coverage area which includes Dubuque County. Dubuque’s class was scheduled for March 24th at the Emergency Responder Training Center. Instead the weather service will conduct virtual spotter training sessions next week. Those dates will be announced soon.

Teen Arrested For Robbing Drug Dealer

A Dubuque teenager faces robbery and other charges after police say he robbed another teen and his sister of drugs and other items. According to a police report the incident happened a few minutes before 11:30 Tuesday night in the 1800 block of Central Avenue. A 20 year old woman told investigators that she drove her 13 year old brother to the area so that he could sell 17 year old Blake Ott a bag of marijuana. When they arrived, Ott approached the woman’s car and asked to smell the pot. He then tried to snatch the bag from the 13 year old, who resisted. Ott then pulled a hand gun and took the marijuana along with two i-phones and the woman’s purse, which she says contained prescription drugs. Ott was arrested about an hour-and-a-half later following a foot pursuit along Jackson Street. He faces charges ranging from first degree robbery to possession of marijuana to interference with official acts with a firearm.

Dubuque Man Gets Time In Federal Prison

A  Dubuque man who pointed a gun at someone and threatened to kill them has been sentenced to nearly a decade in federal prison. Documents from federal court in Cedar Rapids say 33 year old Devon Norman pleaded guilty to illegally possessing a fire arm as a felon and was sentenced to more than eight years in prison this week. Prosecutors say Norman pointed a gun at a person in a car and threatened to blow the person’s head off. He then physically forced his girlfriend back into a Dubuque residence while still holding the gun. In addition to his prison term, Norman will be placed on three years of probation when he is released.

DBQ County Health Spring Break Advice

As Spring Break nears, many Iowans are making travel preparations, the Iowa Department of Public Health and Dubuque County Public Health are reminding vacationers to learn and prepare for health concerns. Across the country, the greatest health risk to Dubuque County residents is from influenza, however, it’s appropriate to take precautions against the COVID-19 virus. Dubuque County Health Department Executive Director Patrice Lambert says the prevention for COVID-19 is similar to how you protect yourself from a variety of viruses, like influenza. Cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands frequently, and stay home from work or vacation when ill.  When home or travelling, it’s important to avoid being near people who are visibly ill.

 

https://idph.iowa.gov/

Burns Sentencing Date

The sentencing date is set for the man convicted of killing a Cedar Rapids teen more than 40 years ago. A judge will sentence 66-year old Jerry Burns of Manchester on April 17th at the Linn County Courthouse. Last month, a jury convicted Burns of stabbing and killing 18-year-old Michelle Martinko in the Westdale Mall parking lot in December 1979. The defense argued investigators mishandled the evidence used to convict Burns. A DNA match from a straw Burns used at a restaurant led to his arrest in 2018.

Dubuque Man Sentenced For Pimping

A Dubuque man will be spending the next five years in prison, after entering an Alford plea to a charge of pimping. 68 year old John Hart and his 56 year old wife Meirong Li were both arrested in May of 2017 and charged with one felony count each of human trafficking and pimping. With the plea agreement the county attorney’s office agreed to dismiss the human trafficking charge. Prosecutors alleged that from January of 2016 to May of 2017 Hart and his wife solicited women from China to have sex for money at two massage parlors they own. A police investigation revealed that two undercover Dubuque police officers were offered sexual favors in exchange for payment towards the end of their massages. Hart’s wife has pleaded not guilty and will next appear in court on June 8th.

Teen To Be Tried As Adult In Sex Abuse Case

A Dubuque teenager, who faces sexual abuse charges, will have his case moved to adult court. That’s the ruling made by a judge recently in the case of 19 year old Joshua Blackburn. He is charged with second degree sexual abuse of a girl who prosecutors say he knew. The abuse allegedly took place in May of 2015 and the victim was younger than 10 years old at the time. The abuse wasn’t reported to police until January of 2018.

Finley Pediatric Expansion

UnityPoint Finely hospital in Dubuque is expanding its’ pediatric therapy unit. This week kids and staff had a chance to swing a celebratory hammer to mark the start of construction. Amy Brooner manager of therapy services at  Finley says the unit will be expanded by 4,300 feet, making it 7,000 square feet when the project is done. She calls it a “large indoor playground area”. There will be a treatment room dedicated to the pediatric feeding program. Brooner says the expanded facility will have more room for services they provide to the kids. Over 18 years ago the pediatric therapy unit at Finley had only one therapist working out of one small room. Construction on the expansion starts on Monday. The 1.4 million dollar project is fully funded through the Finley Health Foundation.

SW Wisconsin Drug Arrests

Two residents of southwest Wisconsin were arrested on drug charges this week after a months- long investigation into the distribution of narcotics in the area. On Monday officers with the Richland Iowa Grant drug task force and Platteville police searched a car and a home in Platteville. Officers found a substantial amount of methamphetamine, heroin and drug paraphernalia. Taken into custody were 30 year old Brandon Loken and 35 year old Melissa Carroll both of Platteville. They face charges ranging from delivery of meth to possession with intent to deliver heroin.

Campus Coronavirus Plans

The University of Dubuque, Clarke University, and Loras College have all put plans in place should the novel coronavirus arrive on campuses. Loras is offering informational sessions on campus as well as prepping professors for the chance of all online classes. Dr. Art Sunleaf, vice president of student development at Loras, tells KCRG TV it’s important to be ready for the next step. Both Loras and Clarke have asked students, faculty, and staff to self-quarantine for 14 days should they travel out of the country.

Illinois 17th Congressional Art Competition

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos is inviting high school students from across Illinois’ 17th Congressional District to submit their original artwork for the annual Congressional Art Competition. Submissions will be accepted through April 9th. To enter, students must submit a digital form through Congresswoman Bustos’ website, bustos.house.gov, and also send a digital version of their art to Artwork.Bustos@mail.house.gov. All entries will be posted online for the public to vote for the eventual winner. The 17th Congressional District covers much of western Illinois and includes Carroll and Jo Daviess counties. The Congressional Art Competition is a nationwide high school arts competition sponsored by the U.S. House of Representatives. One winning piece of artwork from each House district will be selected to be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington for the next year. The winner of the competition will also win two airline tickets to Washington, D.C.

 

 

 

District Addresses Coronavirus

As the deadly coronavirus continues to spread throughout the country, the Dubuque Community School District is doing its’ part in keeping parents and staff updated on what it’s doing to combat the virus as well as other respiratory illnesses. Superintendent Stan Rheingans says he is meeting with staff daily to keep them informed about how the district will handle any potential outbreak of COVID-19 in the community. Rheingans say they are also monitoring schools in other states where the virus has spread. The district has plans to address COVID-19 and Rheingans says those plans change everyday. Current state law does not allow for school districts to hold classes remotely, but that could change. The district is using a hospital grade disinfectant to clean their buildings and surfaces. Rheingans says they have added more hand sanitizers at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

City Council Coronavirus Update

The Health Services Department delivered an update to the Dubuque City Council Monday on what they’re doing to be ready for potential coronavirus cases. Officials were there to inform the council, as well as the public at large to give reassurance that the city will be ready if cases arrive. Public health specialist, Mary Rose Corrigan, says it’s safe to hold local events as planned. Dubuque County has a plan in place to screen people who are coming from countries or states that have had many cases diagnosed. Fire Chief Rick Steines says people now have to answer additional screening questions to track the virus should it show up. Emergency services are also ready to limit the amount of first responders to patients with potential symptoms to control exposure. Health officials are encouraging people to stay home if you have flu-like symptoms, wash your hands, keep clean spaces, and cover your cough.

Seven People Face Meth Related Charges

At least seven people from Jo Daviess County have been charged with the distribution of methamphetamine. The charges range from unlawful delivery of meth to unlawful methamphetamine conspiracy. Records from Jo Daviess County Circuit say all of the suspects conspired to deliver between 100 and 400 pounds of meth over a period of time. Facing charges are 33 year old Devon Bradshaw, 28 year old Shawn Mernack, 46 year old Kevin Mezera, 26 year old Morgan Stevenson-Dunham, 35 year old Adrianne Zito and 33 year old Anthony Zito all of Hanover. 35 year old Gabrielle Seymour of Savanna is also charged in the case.

Darlington Sex Offender

The Darlington Police Department is notifying the community of a convicted sex offender who is moving to town. Police Chief Jason King says 36 year old Alan Liphart will be residing in an upstairs apartment at 209 Main Street beginning today. Liphart is a white male, who stands 5 foot nine inches tall and weighs 175 pounds. He will be on GPS monitoring. Liphart is to have no unsupervised contact with minors or his victim and he is not allowed to consume drugs. He must comply with standard sex offender rules and have face-to-face contact with law enforcement at their request. Liphart is registered with the lifetime sex offender registry.

Driver charged after hitting 13-year-old

The Dubuque Police Department reports a 13-year-old boy went to the hospital Monday morning after being hit by a car near George Washington Middle School. It happened around 7:10 a.m. on Grandview Avenue. A 13-year-old was entering the crosswalk when 69-year old Charles Jacobs of Dubuque, failed to stop. The boy went to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Jacobs also went to the hospital. He was charged with failing to yield to a pedestrian. School officials confirmed the 13-year-old is a student at the school.

Loras Student Named Newman Civic Fellow

A student at Loras College has been selected as a Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact, a Boston non-profit working to advance the public purposes of higher education. Halley Schultz, a native of Dubuque is one of 290 students nationwide who will make up the organization’s 2020-2021 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. The students selected are leaders on their campuses, who demonstrate a commitment to finding solutions for challenges facing their communities. As a Newman Fellow, Schultz will lead a project to build on existing data about housing needs in Dubuque by researching how other communities are addressing these needs through housing co-operatives and land trusts. Schultz was nominated for a Newman Fellow by Naomi Clark, associate professor of English at Loras.

Local Labor Leaders Inducted

For their work as union leaders, activists and contributors to the collective bargaining process, the United Labor Participation Committee inducted three new members into the Dubuque Area Labor Hall of Fame this weekend. They are Ed Crawford, with Operating Engineers Local 234, Dave George with IBEW Local 204 and Terry Stewart with International Association of Firefighters Local 25. In addition, State Senator Pam Jochum of Dubuque was inducted into the Friends of the Labor Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held Saturday at the Diamond Jo Casino

City Council COVID-19 Update

The Dubuque City Council will host Public Health Specialist Mary Rose Corrigan and Emergency Management Director Tom Berger Monday as the Council conducts a work session on COVID-19 preparation and response activities along with a current situation report. The session starts at 6 pm and is open to the public.

DBQ-Jimmy Johns lawsuit

A Dubuque woman is suing Jimmy John’s over an E. coli outbreak that she says made her sick. Kahler Folkedahl says she bought and ate a sandwich from a Jimmy John’s on JFK Road in Dubuque last November. She went to the hospital about a week later after experiencing symptoms of E. coli. The CDC says Iowa is one of five states involved in the E. coli outbreak last year. Fourteen people in those states got sick after eating clover sprouts. Jimmy John’s says it no longer serves them. Last week, the FDA sent a warning letter to the company, blaming it for several outbreaks in recent years.

City Council Dream Center and Fountain of Youth Funding

The Dubuque City Council this week voted to designate more than 270-thousand dollars to the Dream Center. A total of $176,000 was approved for fiscal year 2020 and an additional $100,000 was already budgeted to the Dream Center for 2021. The center provides child care for nearly 200 families in the city. As of now, the center is not eligible for child care state funds because the facility needs updates. The Dream Center said the city funds should be enough to meet state standards. It estimates it will get up to $800,000 a year in state funding with the improvements made to their space. The City Council also approved just over $13,000 in fiscal year 2020 to Fountain of Youth that was already budgeted to the United Way for grant matching purposes to benefit the nonprofit.

Research Awareness Event

In an effort to bring families of children with autism up to speed on the latest research, Hills and Dales in Dubuque along with Simons Powering Autism Research for Knowledge, or SPARK is hosting an event on Saturday at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. Hills and Dales CEO Marilyn Althoff says it’s an awareness event and will offer families an opportunity to participate in the research. Families will have a chance to speak with members from the SPARK team and find out more about how to participate in the autism research study. SPARK is the nation’s largest autism research study and the University of Iowa is one of more than 30 participating hospitals and clinics across the country. Saturday’s event is free, but only open to families and people with autism. If you plan to attend Althoff ask that you call 319-335-8882 or Hills and Dales at 563-556-7878. The event will run from 5 to 8 pm.

Manchester Man Pleads Not Guilty

A Manchester man will appear in court for a hearing next month after pleading not guilty to two charges of attempted murder. Last month police say 33 year old Kenneth Noble shot at his landlord, nearly striking him in the head and then took a shot at the police captain who had accompanied the landlord to Noble’s residence. The officer returned fire but no one was injured. The landlord had called police to assist him in gaining access to Noble’s apartment after Noble wouldn’t answer the door. The landlord wanted to make some repairs inside the apartment.  Noble’s hearing is scheduled for April 21st in Delaware County court.

Mullis Files Second Motion For New Trial

An Earlville man convicted of killing his wife with a corn rake has filed a second motion for a new trial. In September a jury found 43 year old Todd Mullis guilty of first degree murder in the death of his wife Amy in November of 2018. Todd Mullis claimed his wife died as the result of a farm accident.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 17th in Delaware County. A first degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. In his latest filing, Mullis’ attorneys say he deserves a new trial because his attorney at the time “blatantly disregarded his specific guidance” to not acknowledge that Amy Mullis’ death was due to homicide. His attorneys further state that Mullis’ previous attorney failed to inform him that he could refuse to testify during his trial.

SW Wisconsin Towns Receive Transportation Grants

A half dozen villages and towns in southwest Wisconsin have been awarded grants to be used for transportation projects. The grants come from the Wisconsin Multimodal Local Supplement program. The Town of Beetown in Grant County will use nearly $459,000 for a road project, the Village of Cassville is receiving over $635,000 for  bike/pedestrian improvements while Hazel Green gets more than $230,000 for road and bridge projects. Platteville will use more than $665,000 for bike/pedestrian and road improvements, White Oaks Spring in Lafayette County gets almost $52,000 and for a bridge project and Wyoming in Iowa County will use nearly $66,000 for a road project.

District Taking Preventative Measures Against COVID-19

The lead nurse for the Dubuque Community school district says they are taking preventative measures against COVID-19. In an email sent out to parents yesterday. Nurse Allie White says they are operating in a state of preparedness and are in regular contact with the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Dubuque County and city of Dubuque health departments to be sure they are informed on the latest developments on the coronavirus. White says the district will continue to partner and work with the agencies. Right now the district uses hospital-grade disinfectants for commonly touched surfaces in all district buildings. She says it is important that students and staff stay home if they are sick, or have a fever above 100.4, vomiting or diarrhea, and not return until receiving the OK from their physician. You can find the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 on the Iowa Department of Health Coronavirus Webpage and the Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus Webpage.

Plane Crash In Grant County

A  Wisconsin man escaped injury after his plane made a crash landing in Grant County Saturday afternoon. Just before 1:30, the sheriff’s office was notified by officials at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport about an aircraft that went down in a corn field between Boscobel and Woodman. Authorities and rescue crews then responded to the area and began a search. During their search they were notified that the pilot, 22 year old Colten Jaekel of Coon Valley was not injured. Jaekel had called 911 to report his locations to the search party. They found him and the plane in a cornfield in Marion Township. Jaekel says he began losing RPM’s over Fennimore, and attempted to make it to the Boscobel Airport, but when he realized he couldn’t he began to look for somewhere to land and eventually landed in the picked corn field. At one point Jaekel broadcast a “MAYDAY” on an emergency channel. The incident is being investigated by the FAA.

Bellevue Man Charged In Road Rage Incident

A  Bellevue man has been charged after police say he displayed a hand gun during a road rage incident in Dubuque over the weekend. 22 year old Austin Litka was arrested at around midnight Sunday in an area near West Locust and Ellis Streets. He is charged with assault while displaying a weapon. The incident happened at around 11:15, when a car driven by 26 year old Nnekha Hood pulled from the intersection of Locust and West 15th Streets almost hitting a vehicle in which Litka was a passenger. Hood then caught up to the other vehicle and stopped in front of it. All of the occupants got out of their vehicles. That’s when police say Litka approached Hood and her two passengers exposing a 45 caliber semiautomatic handgun that was on his right hip, while pointing with his left hand and yelling for the women to get back into their car. Litka denied threatening the women and told police the only reason the gun was exposed is because his sweatshirt inadvertently came up over the gun as he approached the women, but traffic camera footage confirmed what the women told police.

Inmate Throws Urine At Deputy

An inmate at the Dubuque County jail faces a felony charge after authorities say he threw a cup of urine at a deputy over the weekend hitting the deputy in the face. 24 year old Dorien Lemon is charged with one felony count of assault by an inmate with bodily fluids or secretions. The incident happened at around 8:30 Saturday night when Lemon threatened to throw urine at the next staff member who came into his cell block. When a deputy came into his cell to talk with Lemon, documents say he threw a cup of fluid at the deputy which he claimed was urine, striking the deputy in the face. Lemon was already being held on several domestic violence charges when the incident occurred.

Chamber COVID-19 Luncheon

The Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce will host a special luncheon on Monday, March 9th at the Hotel Julien Dubuque as part of their regular series. The Chamber will host a special panel who will provide provide Chamber members the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak. Panelists will include Mary Rose Corrigan, RN/Public Health Specialist for the City of Dubuque, Patrice Lambert, Executive Director Dubuque County Health, MercyOne Infection Preventionist, Gail Gates, and others. This event runs from 11:45 am to 1 pm and is complimentary for Chamber members only. You must  RSVP to attend.

Phoenix Theaters To Open

A popular movie theater in Dubuque will reopen this week. According to a social media post, Phoenix Theaters on JFK closed its’ doors last week so that sewer repairs could be made. The work has been completed and the theater will be back open for business Thursday.

 

City Council Pets in Parks

The Dubuque City Council Monday unanimously approved allowing cats and dogs in most parks in the city after years of debate and public surveys. Second Ward councilwoman Laura Roussell said she agrees that making exceptions for Murphy Park and Eagle Point Park strikes a good balance. At-Large councilman David Resnick says it’s a great step forward to making the city more pet friendly and still respect people who are against pets in parks. Brett Shaw, councilman for the First Ward, says it’s past time for action. Mayor Roy Buol, despite voting in favor of the ordinance amendment, says he is opposed to the idea due to so many people being against it for various reasons. The exceptions to pets in the parks also includes Bunker Hill Golf Course, Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, the Sutton and Flora swimming pools, and Veterans Memorial Plaza. With the exception of the dog park, all cats and dogs must be leashed. The ordinance takes effect July 1st.

 

YAPPERS Grant Cycle

Area nonprofits still have a couple of weeks to apply for funding through the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque’s 16th annual YAPPERS grant cycle. The deadline to apply is March 17th.  The YAPPERS are local high school students who serve as the Community Foundation’s youth grant making board. Preference is given to proposals that focus on meeting basic human needs, combating violence, providing opportunities for youth, and/or raising awareness of issues local youth face. Applications are available now at dbqfoundation.org/yappers. In 2019, the students granted more than $10,000 to local nonprofits.

University of Dubuque-EICC Partnership

University of Dubuque has partnered with Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) to help create a seamless transition for students seeking a four-year degree. The Transfer Majors program, set to begin fall 2020, is designed for students wishing to pursue specific majors. Transfer students who obtain a transfer major associate’s degree through EICC will then transfer to UD to complete a bachelor’s degree. UD majors that will be offered in the Transfer Majors program are biology, business, chemistry, criminal justice, mathematics, and psychology.

Mobile Home Rent Gouging -James

Residents of a mobile home park in Dubuque and members and supporters of the Table Mound Neighborhood Association showed up at the the Grand River Center Friday for Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds town hall to protest what they call predatory practices. State Representative Lindsey James of Dubuque was there and says people living paycheck to paycheck are being taken advantage of by huge rent increases. James says bi-partisan legislation was recently shot down by Republican leadership that would have better protected mobile home renters’ rights. The legislation included the right to buy their lot, establishing advance notices for rent hikes and more.

 

Dem Party Ok’s Results

Almost four weeks after they took place, the results of the first-in-the-nation Democratic caucuses are now official. The Iowa Democratic Party’s State Central Committee voted to certify the results of the Monday, February 3rd, caucuses on Saturday. The results now go on to the Democratic National Committee. While national delegates are now bound to the results on caucus night, rather than at the end of the local convention process, the party will still hold conventions at various levels. County conventions are on March 21, district conventions on April 25, and the state convention is on June 13. The DNC’s national convention begins on Monday, July 13th. Pete Buttigieg got 14 national delegates from Iowa, Bernie Sanders 12, Elizabeth Warren 8, Joe Biden 6 and Amy Klobuchar 1.

Greater DBQ Dev. Award

In January, Economic Development award winners were announced by Business Expansion and Strategic Trends (BEST of Iowa). Greater Dubuque Development Corporation was awarded one of four BEST of Iowa Excellence Awards for their work in supporting existing businesses in Iowa and the Greater Dubuque area through the InfoAction program. Representatives from Black Hills Energy and Alliant Energy presented Dan McDonald, Vice President of Existing Business, with the award on Tuesday. Each year, Greater Dubuque Development’s Existing Business team meets with over 300 CEOs, business owners, and top managers through the InfoAction  program in order to identify challenges and maximize opportunities for economic growth.

U of D Top Nursing Program

For the third consecutive year, University of Dubuque’s nursing program has been recognized as one of the best registered nursing programs in Iowa by the nursing advocacy organization RegisteredNursing.org. UD was ranked second on the 2020 Best RN Programs in Iowa. Thirty-three nursing programs in Iowa were included in the rankings. RegisteredNursing.org assessed programs on several factors including past and present first time pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. The exam is used by all state boards of nursing across the United States to help measure a student’s competency and is required for licensure. At UD, there are 75 pre-nursing students and an additional 44 students enrolled in the bachelor of science in nursing program.

Hospitals Issue Visitation Restrictions

A visitation restriction for all hospitals in Dubuque goes into effect today, as health officials try to prevent the spread of the number of influenza and other respiratory viruses in the community. The bi-hospital infection control committee says all children under the age of 14, including siblings of babies in the birth center and people with respiratory or other influenza symptoms, such as coughing, fever, aches and nausea are prohibited from visiting Mercy in Dubuque and Dyersville and Finley hospital  until further notice. Officials say the restriction is a safety precaution to maintain a healthy hospital environment for patients, visitors and hospital staffs.

Man Charged With Possession Of Firearms

A Dubuque man has been charged with being a drug user in possession of firearms and ammunition. An indictment alleges that 32 year old Daniel Heim was in possession of 14 firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition in December of last year. Heim appeared in federal court in Cedar Rapids yesterday and was released on bond. If convicted he faces a possible maximum sentence of 10 years behind bars, a 250-thousand fine and three years of supervised release. His trial will take place on April 27th.

Iowa Caucus Recount

More than three weeks after the Iowa caucuses, the Iowa Democratic Party has released the results from the recounted precincts. Over a two day period, starting on Tuesday, the process of recounting 23 unique precincts resulted in no change to the number of National Delegates allocated to each candidate. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg finished within a fraction of one percent of each other in the February 3rd caucuses. Both candidates asked for partial recounts. The Buttigieg campaign had 14 submissions for a recount, while the Sanders campaign submitted, 10, with one precinct overlapping. Because of the recount, county-level delegates changed in 19 precincts.

Maquoketa Man Arrested For Burglary

A Maquoketa man has been arrested for breaking into a home, threatening the occupant and then stealing his dog. Court records from Jackson County say 23 year old Tyler Curley faces charges of first degree burglary and assault while displaying a dangerous weapon. The incident happened back on February 13th, when police say Curley entered the home of a man in Maquoketa. He had several knives and threatened to stab the occupant, who fled his home leaving Curley inside. Curley then stole the man’s dog and left in a vehicle. Police were able to apprehend Curley a few minutes later. Police recovered the knives and the dog, which was unharmed. Curley will next appear in court on March 6th.

Phoenix Theaters Temporarily Closed

A popular movie theater in Dubuque has been forced to temporarily close. According to a social media post, Phoenix Theaters on JFK closed its’ doors Monday so that sewer repairs can be made. The post says “We discovered that our sewer lines have seriously deteriorated and required replacement.” The post goes on to say “Our contractors are working diligently to make repairs as quickly as possible.” The repairs are expected to be completed by the middle of next week, but the theater will update everyone as soon as a firm date for reopening has been confirmed.

DBQ County Health Deptartment-COVID-19

Dubuque County is advising residents about what they can do now to prepare for the potential spread of the coronavirus known as COVID-19. To date, no one in Iowa has tested positive. Patrice Lambert, Dubuque County Health Department Executive Director, says they have worked closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health to monitor potential cases. Some things everyone can do to help prevent the spread of all viruses, including influenza and COVID-19, include covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper arm/elbow, clean your hands frequently with soap and water, and contain germs by staying home when ill. Residents should prepare for the potential of COVID-19 in the same way they prepare for severe weather or other events that could disrupt their normal routine. Symptoms of the COVID-19 in people who have been exposed have included mild to severe ranging from fever, cough and shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

 

https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus

DRA Grant Application Deadline

The deadline for area non-profits to apply for funds through the Dubuque Racing Association “regular grant program” is fast approaching. DRA Grant Director Kathy Young says they’ve been receiving applications since the process was open earlier this year and she expects to get more before the deadline. She says the money they’ll be awarding this year is about the same as last year. The grants will be awarded in May. Young says she typically receives between 150 and 200 applications for the regular grant program. The deadline to apply is 5 pm Friday.

Dubuque Man Faces Gun Charge

A Dubuque man is facing a federal gun charge. 34 year old Tobias Sarazin is charged with being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. An unsealed indictment out of U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids alleges that Sarazin possessed a pistol while being a prohibited person in December of last year. Sarazin had previously been convicted of three crimes of domestic violence and was subject to a no contact order, and he was an unlawful user of marijuana and methamphetamine. If convicted Sarazin could be sentenced to up to ten years in federal prison and fined $250,000. Sarazin appeared in court Tuesday and is being held without bond. His trial is scheduled for April 27th.

Dubuque Cocaine dealer Sentenced

A Dubuque man who admitted to selling crack cocaine near a school has been sentenced to federal prison. In September, 44 year old John Saunders pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance near a protected location. Prosecutors say Saunders was selling cocaine out of his residence which is located near Loras College. Authorities executed a search warrant and recovered over 24 grams of crack cocaine, weighing and packaging materials and a loaded hand gun. Saunders was sentenced to five years in prison this week in Cedar Rapids District Court. He will also be placed on six years of probation once he is released.

Oktoberfest Moves To New Location

For the past 12 years Dubuque Oktoberfest has been held at A.Y. McDonald Park, but this year that will change. According to a press release this year’s festival will be held on the grounds of the Q Casino Back Waters Stage. Oktoberfest raises money for Camp Albrecht Acres. The non-profit organization, which is located in Sherrill, is a residential camp that serves people with disabilities. Unlike past years event organizers say they’ll waive the five dollar entrance fee, and instead have attendees make a suggested donation. Oktoberfest features music, dancing, entertainment and games and is a family friendly event. For more information visit dbqoktoberfest.org.

Almost Home Shelter Volunteers

A shelter in Dubuque is still seeking more volunteers as the winter rolls on. Almost Home is an overflow shelter inside St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on White Street. Shelter Coordinator Chris Berlin says they get referrals from several places in Dubuque for people that need shelter. Volunteer Ruth Pugh is the organizer of the church’s free clothing center, Open Closet, which is open to men, women and children of all ages.  Although Almost Home is a men’s only shelter they welcome female volunteers over the age of 18 as well as part of a team. Berlin says there are two volunteer shifts, evenings and overnights. To volunteer call 563-495-1353 or email guesthouse@almosthomedbq.org.

 

15th Street Housing Veterans and Disabled

A non-profit based in Chicago has opened a housing opportunity for veterans and persons with disabilities at a former school in downtown Dubuque. Fifteenth Street Apartments features 36 one- and two-bedroom units at 180 West 15th Street. Jordan Bartle, project manager for Full Circle Communities, says they saw a need for affordable housing in Dubuque. Bartle says many older buildings and houses are not equipped for the disabled and the new apartments are all accessible or adaptable units. There is an open house each Saturday from 9 am to noon. Among the amenities the apartments offer, community room, computer lab, building security and a library. Services include healthcare referrals, job training, and financial education. For more information go to fccommunities.org/fifteenth-street-apartments.

 

 

 

Man Pleads Guilty To Sexual Assaults

A man who was arrested on a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in the Dubuque area in 2019 has pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges after investigators connected him to those crimes from a DNA sample. 30 year old Martel Fountain Sr. pleaded guilty to four counts of third degree sexual assault this week. In exchange for his guilty pleas, the county attorney’s office agreed to drop four counts of first degree sexual assault. The assaults took place between 2011 and 2014. Prosecutors say Fountain forced his way into the homes of four different women and sexually assaulted them. He faces up to 40 years in prison, 10 for each guilty plea when he is sentenced in late March. In addition he must register as a sex offender for life and pay fines.

Man Leads Police On High Speed Chase

A man who led deputies on a high speed chase through parts of Grant County in a stolen vehicle is now in custody. The sheriff’s office says at around 7 this Tuesday morning they were attempting to locate a stolen vehicle which was last seen in the area of Pike Peaks Road. The vehicle was being operated by 35 year old Mitchell McAuliffe. A short time later a deputy driving north on West Banfield Road spotted the vehicle heading in the opposite direction. The deputy turned around and gave pursuit, while McAuliffe sped away. At one point the deputy lost sight of the suspect vehicle while rounding a curve near Dark Lane. After getting around the curve the deputy saw the vehicle stopped with no one inside. While conducting a search for McAuliffe with a K-9 unit, authorities received a report of a man matching McAuliffe’s description was on Kress Lane. He was finally apprehended in a nearby wooded area and taken to the county jail. McAuliffe is charged with fleeing an officer, operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent and criminal damage to property. McAuliffe is also on probation.

Dubuque Man Going To Prison

A Dubuque man will be spending the next decade-and-a-half behind bars after he was sentenced for his involvement in a shooting incident in Dubuque two-and-a-half years ago. As we told you last week, 34 year old Jevonne Coleman entered an Alford plea to a change of willful injury causing serious injury as a habitual offender. Coleman had originally been charged with attempted murder, going armed with intent and being a felon in possession of a firearm Coleman had already been sentenced to nine years in federal prison last May for being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with the same shooting incident. Prosecutors say Coleman shot a man in August of 2017 near the area of West 16th and West Locusts Streets after the two had an argument earlier. Traffic camera video captured the entire incident.

Iowa Coronavirus Monitoring

The Iowa Department of Public Health confirms seven people are being monitored for coronavirus. According to the IDPH website, the patients are asymptomatic meaning they are not showing any symptoms. To date, 30 people in Iowa have completed a quarantine, according to the health department. Officials report two people tested negative for the coronavirus. So far, there have been no positive cases identified in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Health says the overall risk to Iowans is low.

YP Town Hall Governor Reynolds

Young Professionals Dubuque, a part of the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce, is hosting Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds this Friday. The town hall event is from 10:30 to 11:30 am and will be held at the Grand River Center. The Governor will be speaking about her Invest in Iowa program and her ideas about lowering the overall tax burden on Iowans, and investing significantly in mental health and water quality. The town hall is open to the public and all YP and Chamber members are welcome to attend the complimentary event. Please RSVP at business.dubuquechamber.com/events and scroll down to Friday’s event.

 

https://business.dubuquechamber.com/events/details/governor-kim-reynolds-invest-in-iowa-act-337190

New Honor Flight Hub

It’s been five years since honor Flight of Greater Dubuque was able to take veterans of World War II and the Korean War to Washington DC to see memorials built in their honor. Now Honor Flight of Dubuque and the Tri-States are announcing the creation of a new Honor Flight Hub. Hub director Perry Mason says as they have done in the past, veterans of World War II and the Korean War will have the opportunity to go to Washington in September. He says Honor Flight National has changed their mission statement to include all veterans, including Vietnam vets. The cost to send a veteran to DC is approximately $600, but money to provide the trip, which will be free to veterans that qualify, will come from the public via fundraisers and individual donations. No funds for the trip come from the federal, state or local governments. Mason credits the generosity of the community for making honor flights possible in the past, and he expects that they will come through for veterans again this time. Mason says to see the looks on the faces of veterans who have a chance to see their memorials and other war memorials is “priceless”. The tentative dates for the trips are September 21st and the 22nd, but that may change. To follow Honor Flight of Dubuque and the Tri-States visit honorflightdbq.org.

 

Burns Convicted

After just over 40 years of waiting and a guilty verdict, a cold case murder in Cedar Rapids has finally come to a close. 66-year-old Jerry Burns of Manchester was found guilty just after 4:00 pm on Monday. This came after the jury finished deliberations and came to a unanimous decision in less than three hours. Prosecutors proved to a jury that Burns stabbed teenager Michelle Martinko several times in her family’s car on December 19, 1979, outside Westdale Mall. Burns faces a mandatory life sentence. He has 45 days to appeal the verdict.

Sideswipe Incident In Grant County

Authorities in Grant County are asking for the public’s help in identifying the driver of a vehicle that ran another vehicle off the road Sunday night. The incident took place a few minutes after 10:30 just north of Arthur on State Highway 80 in Lima Township.  A 17 year old male from Monfort told investigators he was driving south of 80, when a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction appeared in his lane. The teenager swerved to the right to avoid a collision, but was swiped by the other vehicle. The teenager’s vehicle went off the road, traveled over an embankment and came to rest in front of a fence. The offending vehicle, described as a white SUV continued on without stopping. The teenager and his passengers were not injured. If you have any information about this hit-and-run contact the Grant county sheriff’s office or Crimestoppers.