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Dubuque & Tri-State News

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.

GDDC Receives Excellence Award

Earlier this month, Greater Dubuque Development Corporation was the recipient of an excellence award. GDDC was awarded one of four “Best of Iowa Excellence Awards” by Business Expansion and Strategic Trends for its’ work in supporting existing businesses in Iowa and the greater Dubuque area through the “InfoAction” program. Each year GDDC’s existing business team meets with over 300 CEO’s, business owners and top managers through the program to identify challenges and maximize opportunities for economic growth. In addition the corporation’s workforce solution team conducts over 60 HR action calls with regional human resources professionals.

NICC Today CU Tomorrow Partnership

A new partnership was announced yesterday between Northeast Iowa Community College and Clarke University to make it easier for high school students to earn a four year degree. “NICC Today CU Tomorrow” is a collaboration between the two schools that will offer duel admission for students at NICC as well as those who do not quite meet the traditional admissions criteria of Clarke and would be better served financially by starting at NICC. Students will be able to complete their Associate of Arts of Science degree at NICC, with their junior and senior year of bachelor’s degree completed through Clarke. CU president Dr. Thom Chesney says the partnership will provide a clear pathway for students to earn degrees. NICC president Dr. Liang Chee Wee says the program ensures that students will get a degree from both Clarke and NICC. He says even after a student receives their degree from NICC and transfers to Clarke they will still have access to the resources available at NICC. Chesney says many institutions accept each other’s credits for transfer. “Transfer ease” is where the problem comes in. Wee says this program has some unique aspects about it that differ from others around the country. The program will be implemented this fall and will guarantee NICC grads junior status in seven major fields of study at Clarke.

Chamber Governor Reynolds

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds will be in Dubuque on January 30th as part of her annual State of Iowa tour. The Governor will speak to the Young Professionals of Dubuque, part of the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce, as they host their monthly Luncheon at the Grand River Center from 11:45 am to 1 pm. Governor Reynolds will highlight the need to recruit and retain young professionals in the state. All Chamber Members are welcome to attend. RSVP is required and registration closes January 28th. Cost to YP members is $12, $20 for Chamber members.

YMCA/YWCA Sweetheart Ball

Registration is now open for the Dubuque Community YMCA/YWCAs’ annual Sweetheart Ball – Daddy Daughter Dance on February 7th from 6 to 8 pm. Danielle Shea, Marketing/Communications Director, says the fun Valentine’s Day celebration is for girls ages 4 – 11 and an important man in their life  (dad, stepdad, grandpa, uncle, ect.). Besides the dance, the celebration includes dinner, dessert, a photo booth, and a special treat for the kids. Shea says the event fills up fast. For more information and to register go to dubuquey.org/sweetheartball.

DBQ Kidnapping Scam

The Dubquque Police Department Dispatch received two calls Wednesday about a disturbing scam phone call. The scammer is a male and states that he has kidnapped the potential scam victim’s daughter. The sounds of a female crying can be heard in the background and the scammer asks that money be wired for the daughter to be released. In some cases, the scammer may have the name and address of the “kidnapped” family member. This scam tactic is called Virtual Kidnapping and it is easy to become panicked and fall victim to the scam. If you receive one of these calls do not wire money and do not let the suspect scare you into making a hasty decision with money or the release of personal information. When in doubt, contact law enforcement.

Third Day Of Suppression Hearing For Burns

The third day of a suppression hearing for the Manchester man accused of killing a Cedar Rapids teenager over 40 years ago will be held this week. Jerry Burns is charged with first degree murder in the stabbing death of Michelle Martinko. Prosecutors say he stabbed Martinko to death in the family car in the parking lot of Westdale Mall in 1979. Prosecutors say a DNA match led to Burns arrest in 2018, but Burns’ lawyers want that evidence thrown out. Investigators got the evidence using a straw that he left behind at a restaurant in Manchester. The defense questions how law enforcement matched the DNA. Investigators say they obtained that information through legal means. The third day of the hearing is set for Friday morning starting at 10 at the Linn County courthouse.

Men Steal Guitars Worth Thousands

Two men who police say broke into a local music store and stole thousands of dollars worth of guitars in late December were arrested this week. 36 year old David Muntz Jr. and 35 year old Chad Julson were taken into custody yesterday morning and charged with one felony count each of first degree theft and third degree burglary. On the morning of December 31st police responded to a report of a break in at Uncle Ike’s Music and Sound on Radford Road. The front glass had been smashed by what appeared to be a cinder block. Police viewed traffic camera footage which showed two men walking through the parking lot earlier that morning. The pair was then seen a short time later running back through the lot carrying guitars. A van was then seen leaving the store area and going to a residence on West 15th Street. A search warrant was executed at that residence and the occupant told police he had just purchased the instruments from Julson and Muntz for $1,500. The stolen guitars were valued at over $14,000. Police have knowledge that the occupant who bought the guitars knew they were stolen, but so far he has not been charged.

Relay for Life Open House

The American Cancer Society- Relay for Life of Dubuque will be holding a community open house Thursday. The event runs from 4 to 6 pm at UnityPoint Health-Wendt Cancer Center. There will be informational tables where you can find out how to get involved, fundraising ideas, and information on where your fundraising dollars go. This year’s Relay for Life will be held June 5th at Washington Park. To sign up or for more information, go to relayforlife.org/dubuqueia.

Clayton County Fair Acts

The 2020 Clayton County Fair Entertainment has been announced and a pair of popular  country artists will be appearing. Mark Wills will perform August 6th and Lee Greenwood will appear on August 7th. The fair will also feature Demolition Derby, Mutton Busting, Bull Bash, Truck & Tractor Pull and much more. The 166th annual Clayton County Fair runs from August 5th through the 9th. For the complete schedule go to claytoncountyfair.com.

U of D Student Helicopter Crash

A University of Dubuque student was injured Tuesday after a helicopter crash. The Independence Fire Department was dispatched for a helicopter accident at the Independence Municipal Airport. Units arrived on scene and found a helicopter with significant damage along with some damage to a hanger. The student, whose name has not been released, was taken by ambulance to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The FAA has been contacted and will be assisting Independence Police with their investigation. U of D will release more information as it becomes available.

Camp Courageous Winter Day Camps

Camp Courageous is trying something new this season with winter day camps. The camp is located in Monticello and provides respite care for people with disabilities. It lets parents have a day where they can possibly go out alone, and campers to get out of the house to have fun. Campers can also bring family members to the day camp if they choose. KCRG-TV reports the camp held its very first winter day camp during the first weekend in January. They have many activities for the campers including climbing, archery, swimming, and arts and crafts, just to name a few. Organizers say the day camps help clients who may struggle for a longer period of time at the weekly camps. Camp Courageous will pick up campers from spots in Marion and Dubuque who need rides. The next camp is the first weekend of February. It cost $5.25 an hour, or $45 for a full day.

Grant Program Applications Available

Applications are now available for the Dubuque Racing Association’s annual grant program this week. The program awards funds to non-profit organizations that demonstrate a need for money to keep them operational. Kathy Young director of grants for the DRA says it will be the same process as in previous years. The first of two informational meetings was held last night inside the Showroom at the Q Casino. Another one will be held at noon today at the same location. The regular grant program is not to be confused with the special grant program. Grant recipients will be announced in May. Last year the program awarded over 1.1 million dollars to area non-profit groups and organizations. Applications are available at dradubuque.com.

Manchester Woman Sentenced To Probation

A Manchester woman has been sentenced to probation after being accused of cutting another woman’s face with a knife last summer. 19 year old Cheyenne Clark pleaded guilty to assault by use of a dangerous weapon in Delaware County District Court. Clark was originally charged with going armed with intent and willful injury, but as part of her plea deal those charges were dismissed and she was given two years of probation. Police say Clark slashed another Manchester woman across her nose. She could have been sentenced to up to two years in prison.

Chaplain Schmitt Island Vet’s Memorial

The Dubuque City Council last night unanimously approved awarding the contract to the low bidder for the Chaplain Schmitt Island Veteran’s Memorial Project. Conlin Construction Company had the low bid of 2.56 million dollars. At-Large councilman Ric Jones said it’s great to see the Dubuque Racing Association foot the bill for the project because veterans have already paid a heavy price. Jones says the end result will include amenities to honor Chaplain Schmitt himself as well as all veterans. The improvements will include improving the edge of the pond with seating, plaza expansion space for additional memorials and veteran’s tributes, and clean-up of the pond edge to enhance view sheds. The Tri-State Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which is currently located by Miller Riverview Park, will be relocated to the new Memorial Plaza.  The total cost is 3.2 million dollars.

 

 

Beyond the Game-Field of Dreams

The excitement continues to build for this summer’s Major League Baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees to be played next to the Field of Dreams iconic field in Dyersville. The game will be played August 13th and Beyond the Game, an Iowa baseball experience presented by Travel Iowa & Midwest One Bank, has announced a partnership and series of events taking place August 12-15. Visitors and residents are invited to experience outdoor concerts, viewing parties and a major league baseball fan fest. More details will be released soon at beyondthegameiowa.com.

Donut Boy Donut Demolition

A long time Dubuque business will be giving out a big prize if that person can eat enough in an allotted time. Tessa Fahey, Director of Restaurant Operations, says Donut Boy is putting on a Donut Demolition, February 1st from 11 am to 1 pm, where contestants can see how many donut holes they can eat against the clock for a prize of $500. Time slots for the contest will be filled and people are encouraged to come and cheer the contestants. Donut Boy was recently purchased by P & K Enterprises, who Fahey says also owns the Dairy Queens and Fazoli’s in Dubuque, so if the Donut Demolition is a big hit there may be more eating contests later this year. All participants must be eighteen years or older and register online at donutdemolition.com by January 28th. An entry fee of $20 and a liability form must be completed upon registration. A Donut Demolition t-shirt will be provided the day of the event.

 

Carnegie-Stout Community Engagement

Officials at the Carnegie-Stout Public Library said that efforts in recent years to increase public engagement with the facility have been successful. Susan Henricks, director at the library, said the organization began the effort in 2015 with the goal of improving the facility and increasing outreach in the community. They created space for a 3D printer, a recording room and offered other amenities. The program also focused on involvement in the community. The library started programs at various grade schools as well as after school programs like the Boys and Girls Club. Henricks tells our coverage partners, KCRG TV, the initiatives also eliminated late fees, which increased library visitors. Other changes to help increase accessibility include checkout of nontraditional items like virtual reality goggles, baking pans, and workout kits. Officials are hoping to get started on their next round of initiatives in the next month. The plan is set to be put together by July and will account for the next three to five years at the library.

Open House For Pool Rescheduled

The grand opening of the new aquatic center at Hempstead High School that was postponed because of this past weekend’s winter storm will now be held this evening. The 9.5 million dollar facility was inspected by the Iowa  Department of Health nearly two weeks ago and passed. District Superintendent Stan Rheingans says he is excited for the community to come and see the new center. Rheingans says it took a lot of planning to make the new pool a reality. A short program will be held at 5 pm, followed by an open house. At 6:30 there will be a meet in the new facility, featuring teams from Senior and Hempstead. There were rumors circulating that Rheingans and some members of the school board were going to make a splash by jumping into the new pool. In the words of the superintendent “we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Reynolds Recommends Appointments To State Boards

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is recommending appointments to state boards and commissions and several of them involve residents in the Tri-State area. The recommendation of West Delaware school superintendent Kristen Rickey to the Iowa Board of Education Examiners needs to be approved by the Senate. So does the appointment of Melissa Henderson of Monticello to the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. The appointments of Jenna Stevens of Preston to the Southeast Regional Advisory Board and Paula Mayer of Sabula to the Mississippi Parkway Planning Commission do not need Senate approval.

Fire Displaces Mineral Point Family

The American Red Cross is assisting a family in southwest Wisconsin after fire damaged their home Sunday afternoon. Crews from the Mineral Point fire department and other surrounding emergency crews responded to the fire at around 12:30. The family was able to get out safely and no injuries were reported. Their names have not been released. Crews remained on scene for about five hours. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, although authorities believed it started in the attic area.

SOUPer Sunday-Convivium

Convivium Urban Farmstead is hosting a special fundraising event to raise awareness about poverty and food insecurity in our community. Co-owner, Leslie Shalabi, says they are partnering with Riverbend Food Bank for SOUPer Sunday on January 26th. Participants will select and keep a handmade, ceramic bowl made by a local artist and help themselves to soups and breads donated by the different local restaurants. Salabi says there will be a short program but it’s mostly it’s a fun event. Proceeds from the event, which runs from 4 pm to 6 pm, will go to Riverbend Food Bank and Convivium Urban Farmstead to support programming for low income individuals in Dubuque. For tickets and more information go to the Convivium Urban Farmstead Facebook page

Johnson County Ambulance

The Johnson County Ambulance Service recently added a new vehicle that now has safety features unlike any other in eastern Iowa. Those safety additions range from brighter lights, low-frequency sirens people can hear in soundproof cars or while wearing headphones, and 360-degree cameras outside the vehicle to help navigate busy crowds. One of the more important safety features includes a camera view into the back of the ambulance, that leaders like Director Fiona Johnson tells our coverage partners, KCRG-TV, will help people who need the ambulance, but the medics, too. What makes the ambulance unique, outside of the price, is that staff with the ambulance service in the county designed it themselves over the span of nearly one year. Other features inside the vehicle include new harnesses for medics, built-in airbags, and a system that helps medics get a cot into the ambulance. Johnson says from now on, all new ambulances will include similar features.

 

 

Dubuque Man Sentenced On Gun Charge

A Dubuque man will be spending over five years in federal prison after he was found to be in possession of a loaded gun while selling drugs from an apartment in Dubuque last summer. 24 year old Michael Burdunice Jr. pleaded guilty in August to being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. Police executed a search warrant at the apartment, where Burdunice shared with his girlfriend and two young children. Inside investigators found a loaded 9 mm Glock handgun with an extended magazine. The serial number had been scratched off. Also recovered were narcotics, digital scales, baggies, packaging materials and large amounts of money. Burdunice was sentenced to 70 months behind bars. He must serve three years of supervised release once he gets out.

Manchester Felon Sentenced For Having Meth

A convicted felon from Manchester has been sentenced to federal prison for possessing methamphetamine near a park. In September, 59 year old Robin Kinney pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance near a protected location. She was sentenced  to 60 months in prison. Kinney was found by police near Central Park. Her purse contained over 18 grams of pure meth, a glass pipe, spoon, syringes and plastic baggies. Prosecutors say her cell phone showed incoming and outgoing text messages related to the purchase, sale and distribution of meth. Kinney was previously convicted of multiple narcotics related offenses. Once she serves her federal sentence she will be placed on eight years of probation.

Boscobel Standoff

A rural Eastman Wisconsin man is facing multiple charges after a standoff Friday morning in the City of Boscobel. Around 10:00 a.m., the Boscobel Police Department received a report of a male subject, identified as 32-year old Bryant Matti, who had barricaded himself in a residence at 1306 Elm Street and was armed with a rifle, and possibly had a female subject in the residence with him. A standoff ensued and gun shots were heard from inside the residence which prompted law enforcement to make entry. Inside law enforcement located a 20 year old female from La Crosse, Wisconsin with a gunshot wound to her lower right leg. Matti was taken into custody without further incident and both were taken to hospitals for medical treatment. Matti was then transported to the Grant County Jail where he was book on charges of 1st Reckless Injury, Injury by Negligent Handling of a Dangerous Weapon, False Imprisonment, Criminal Trespass to a Locked Dwelling, and two counts of Bail Jumping.

Snow Route Sunday and Monday

The City of Dubuque’s odd/even snow route parking policy will be in effect today and Monday. Parking will not be allowed on the odd-numbered side of the streets on Sunday and parking will not be allowed on the even-numbered side on Monday.  The only streets affected are those identified with snow route signs, which include the times that parking is restricted. The policy’s parking restriction will be enforced during the entire posted and declared period, with no allowance for parking prior to the end of the posted time period or after a perceived plow pass.  Vehicles violating the restrictions will be ticketed and violators fined $30.

Asbury Snow Emergency

The city of Asbury has declared a snow emergency. It started at noon and runs through Monday at noon. During snow emergencies, residents are allowed to park on the odd side of the street on odd numbered calendar days and on the even side on even numbered days from 7 am to 7 pm. The city is urging motorists if they can, to remove their vehicles from the street to help make it easier for snow removal. If your vehicle is found parked on the wrong side during a snow emergency, it will be towed away at your expense.

Air Supply Five Flags

A  legendary pop group will be coming back to Dubuque for the first time in nearly 38 years. Air Supply will return to the Five Flags Center in Dubuque for a concert on March 27th. Local favorite Elizabeth Mary will open the 7:30 pm show. Tickets for the concert went on sale Friday morning at the Five Flags Box Office and online at FiveFlagsCenter.com.

Loras College Dance Marathon Saturday Basketball

A local college is having a special fundraising event at Saturday’s men’s and women’s basketball games between Dubuque rivals that they will be hosting. Loras Dance Marathon Team member Lauren Krapfl, says they will be at the Loras College and University of Dubuque games.  There will be special 50/50 Raffles going on during both games with the winner announced during halftime of the men’s game. The women’s game starts at 2 pm, the men at 4 pm. The Loras College Dance Marathon creates special projects to provide emotional and financial support to families treated by the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, including 52 people from Dubuque. Their largest annual fundraiser, the 12 hour Dance Marathon will be held on April 25th.

 

 

 

Dr. King Birthday Celebration

Members of the Tri-State area community will be celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday with a breakfast and an event at the Grand River Center. Mary Ann Conzentt, chair of the Multicultural Family Center says this is the 28th year that the celebration will be held in Dubuque. Over the years since the assassination of Dr. King in 1968, Conzentt says there has been some improvement in race relations in Dubuque, but more needs to be done to make the community inclusive to all. The breakfast starts at 7 am. This year’s keynote speaker is he Reverend Dr. Soong Chan Rah. He is an author and professor of church growth and evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago. He will speak about a “Current Multicultural Reality Envisioned  by Dr. King.”

 

16th Annual Ice Fest

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium will celebrate its 16th Annual Ice Fest presented by Dupaco Community Credit Union Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Wendy Scardino, Director of Marketing & Communications, says day one will feature water rescues and other winter-themed activities as the indoor/outdoor event kicks off.  Among the activities on Sunday for kids, a special story time with Curious George. Monday features a weather academy, Alaskan Malamutes and various movie offerings. Sacrdino says the Museum hours and the Ice Fest schedule will let everyone have more than one chance to attend an event. Members get in free, Dupaco members get 35-percent discount and Ice Fest is included with General Admission to the Museum. Tickets are good for two days. For more information go to rivermuseum.com.

Burns Hearing

The Manchester man accused of murdering a woman 40 years ago in Cedar Rapids is back in court. Thursday marked the second day of suppression hearings for Jerry Burns. Burns is accused of stabbing and killing high school student Michelle Martinko while she was out shopping. The defense team for Burns argued the court should throw out key DNA evidence, as well as information gathered from Burns’ cell phone and computer. They say because there was no warrant to get his DNA, investigators should not be able to use the information they acquired thereafter. This suppression hearing will now have a third day today, after questioning took nearly four hours Thursday.

Farley Man Charged With Sexual Assault

A Farley man faces a sexual assault charge after police say had sex with an intoxicated college student in a dorm room on the University of Northern Iowa campus last year. Court records from Blackhawk County say 21 year old Zachary Lindauer was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with third degree sexual abuse. The woman told investigators she met Lindauer at a bar in downtown Cedar Falls on the night of August 17th. He offered to walk her to her dorm room. This was captured on campus video surveillance. The assault allegedly took place later that night. When questioned by investigators, Lindauer admitted to having sex with the woman while she was impaired.  His next court appearance is set for February 5th.

Dickeyville Students Evacuated

A gas leak in Dickeyville forced the evacuation of students at Holy Ghost Catholic School Thursday morning. The Grant County sheriff’s office says the leak occurred near the intersection of Church and West Main Streets. The students were taken to the building that houses the Holy Ghost Immaculate Conception system in Kieler.  A utility company was called in to cap the leak.

Chamber Forecast Luncheon 2020

Business leaders, educational administrators and local elected officials packed the Grand River Center today (yesterday) for the 2020 Forecast Luncheon. Guest speakers touched on several topics, including entrepreneurship and innovation, workforce, healthcare, finance and retail. Ben Graham, owner of Graham Style Store in Dubuque says while some retail chains, such as Shopko closed their doors last year, a number of mom and pop start-up businesses took off. He says he expects that trend to continue this year. Healthcare is a hot button topic both locally and nationally. In some parts of the country, keeping people healthy and out of the hospital is a big challenge, but Chad Wolbers, CEO at UnityPoint Health says Dubuque doesn’t have that problem. The mission for Dubuque Area Labor Management has always been to retain a strong workforce by providing good job opportunities for young people in the community and executive director Kelly Cooper says that mission will not change in 2020. Tyson Leyendecker, Market President at Dubuque Bank and Trust says 2019 was the inversion of the “yield curve”, which was a series of rate hikes by the Federal Reserve dropping long-term rates below short term rates. Bob Woodward, vice-president of Woodward Communications says there are a lot of resources in the community for aspiring entrepreneurs to take advantage of. Keith Rahe, president and CEO at Travel Dubuque spoke about tourism. The luncheon is hosted every year by the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce.

2020 Iowa Pork Congress

The 2020 Iowa Pork Congress will be held in Des Moines at the Iowa Events Center on January 22nd and 23rd. The event, organized by the Iowa Pork Producers Association, is North America’s largest winter swine trade show and conference. Director of Communications, Dal Groom, says the annual event will feature seminars, a variety of speakers and the huge trade show. Seminars will include topics with practical information including several about buildings and maintenance. Grooms says this year the environment and manure issues will be addressed by a special speaker. The business seminars will include talks about Iowa nuisance cases and economics for prices and supplies. For more information about events and registration, visit iowaporkcongress.org.

Dolan To Call It A Career

The longest serving woman to be elected in Dubuque County says she will be retiring after her eighth-four-year term expires at the end of the year. County auditor Denise Dolan made the announcement Tuesday night at the Dubuque County Democratic Central Committee meeting. Dolan was appointed to the position in October of 1987 and since has been elected by the voters eight times. She says it was a tough decision, but the time was right. Over the past 32 years a lot has been accomplished under Dolan’s leadership. The most noteworthy being over 130 successful and fair county-wide elections at the federal, state and local levels. But Dolan knows she couldn’t have done it alone. Dolan has no immediate plans after she retires, but one thing is for sure…she won’t miss getting out of bed to brave inclement weather conditions. The filing deadline for anyone wanting to run for county auditor is March 25th. At the beginning of the year Dolan became the longest serving elected woman official in the county surpassing former supervisor Donna Smith. Dolan was an intern in the news department at KDTH in the mid- 1970’s.

Battery Charges Cuba City man

A Cuba City man is facing multiple charges after a welfare check was made early Tuesday morning. At 12:44 am, a Lafayette County Sheriff’s deputy responded to CTH H, Benton Township and 27-year old Kelton Prine was arrested for Disorderly Conduct, Battery, Intimidating a Victim, and False Imprisonment. Prine was transported to the Lafayette County Jail. Cuba City Police, Darlington Police, and Grant County Deputies assisted on scene.

Iowa Special Olympics Wrap

Athletes celebrated at the Grand River Center in Dubuque after wrapping up two days of competition in the Winter Games of the Iowa Special Olympics. About 280 athletes competed in Dubuque during the two-day event. They came from all across the state to do their best in events that included Alpine and cross country skiing, figure and speed skating, and even snowshoeing. Karen Whitman, Iowa Special Olympics marketing and communications coordinator, tells KCRG-TV, the competition is great, but the personal connections that develop are even better. The Winter Special Olympics have been held in Dubuque for the past 34 years.

University of Dubuque Honor Band Concert

University of Dubuque’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts will welcome 100 high school musicians from nearly 30 area schools to campus Thursday, for the University of Dubuque Honor Band Concert. Students will begin the day with rehearsals at 8:30 a.m. and conclude with a concert at 7 pm in John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center. The University of Dubuque High School Honor Band Concert is an opportunity for talented band students in grades 9-12 to join together and spend a day making music. Tomorrows performance is free and open to the public.

Pet in Parks Meeting Comments

The Parks and Recreations Commission heard from a packed chamber in Dubuque Tuesday evening about views on allowing pets in parks. The department hosted the town hall as the last step in deciding whether to draft an ordinance for the Dubuque City Council to vote on. It would allow pets in the majority of city parks. This comes after residents took a survey on the issue. Rebecca Kuhle, Parks and Recreation Commission chairperson, said the process is to stop the potential of citizens having issues with the ordinance in the future. Those against the idea argued pets can be uncontrollable and that the parks would be dirtier. Some citizens voiced their concerns with the change, saying there need to be more amenities like water fountains and garbage cans in the parks to accommodate the pets. Some also proposed the idea of opening more dog parks and leaving regular parks as is.

Dubuque Man Sentenced In Shooting

A Dubuque man has been sentenced to federal prison for shooting at a graduation house party in Dubuque last summer. Court records from Cedar Rapids say 34 year old Norris Culver pleaded guilty in August to one count of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced to 110 months in prison. Prosecutors say Culver left his house on the night of May 17th and fired multiple rounds from a .45 caliber handgun towards a duplex across the street where a graduation party was taking place. Some people were outside while others, including three minor children were inside.  Culver did not hit anyone with the shots, but did hit the siding of the duplex with three rounds. Police responded and took Culver into custody. Culver has a long criminal record dating back to 2004 when he was convicted of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He has other multiple convictions as well. In addition to his prison term for this latest conviction, Culver will serve three years of probation.

District To Add More Parking At Hempstead

For the past few years residents living close to Hempstead High School have complained about students parking in front of their homes. Monday night the school board made a move to help ease the concerns of those residents. The board voted to approve a plan that would add an additional 41 parking spaces at the school. District Manager of Buildings and Grounds Bill Burkhart says bids on the project are due by February 6th. He says if they come in at or below the estimated $170,000 cost, work will begin this summer. The new parking spaces will be located near the old flag pole entry where the school’s main entrance is located. Over 170 parking spaces were taken up by the construction of the new pool at Hempstead and now that the pool is completed the school will regain 92 of those parking spaces. The district will also lease additional parking spaces for students at Dubuque Bible Church and Usha Park, which are located near the school.

Peosta and Farley Elections

Residents of Peosta have chosen a new mayor in a special election held on Tuesday. James Merten will be the next mayor of Peosta after receiving 225 votes, or 60.5 percent of the vote. Jack Kalb received 126 votes, or 33.9 percent. Former mayor Larry Mescher, who quit his post in October and then tried to it back, received 20 votes, or 5.4 percent. The special election for a position on the Farley City Council went to Corey John Birkel, who garnered 102 votes, compared to 37 votes for Nick Mescher.

Second Arrest in New Year’s Shooting

A second suspect has been charged in a Walnut Street shooting on January 1st.  28-year old Derrick Timmons was arrested and charged with attempted murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, going armed with intent and possession of a firearm by a felon in that case. Through further investigation, it was determined 26-year old Katwan Brown, handed Timmons a handgun just prior to the shooting of 25-year old  Darrin Heard in the abdomen. Brown is a convicted felon and is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition. Brown was arrested on warrants on Monday afternoon and is being charged with Aiding and Abetting Attempted Murder, a Class B Felony.

Dubuque County Structure Fire

Authorities say a skid loader parked inside a garage is the probable cause of a fire that destroyed the building on a farm in Dubuque County Friday night. Sheriff’s deputies along with fire crews from Sherrill and Holy Cross responded to a farm in the 18,000 block of South Mound Road. The 24-by-36 structure was totally engulfed when crews arrived. The building contained tools and farm equipment valued at around $100,000. The building and its’ contents were a total loss. A grain bin next to the building was also damaged. The property is owned by Thomas and Nancy Fischer. No injuries were reported.

Pick-Up Strikes Home In Dubuque County

A medical condition is being blamed for an accident that left a home severely damaged in Dubuque County over the weekend. The incident happened a few minutes after 5 pm Friday. Emergency crews received a call of a pick-up that had struck a residence in the 10,000 block of Cascade Road. Authorities say the truck was imbedded inside the home when they arrived. Witnesses told investigators that the driver had gotten out of the truck and left the scene. The driver, later identified as 42 year old Andy Conlan, was located at his home in the 10,000 block of Kemp Road. Conlan was found to be suffering from a diabetic condition. He was treated by Key West fire, but refused further medical attention. Conlan was cited for leaving the scene of an accident and having an open container of alcohol. Damage to the pick-up is estimated at $35,000 while the residence sustained around $75,000 in damages.

Teen Pleas Not Guilty To Attempted Murder

A Dubuque teenager accused of attempted murder has pleaded not guilty. 18 year old Earnest Hunt Jr. was arrested on drug charges on Christmas day. On Christmas eve police responded to a report of gunfire in the 500 block of Almond Street. Authorities allege that Hunt shot at the residence. There were people inside, but no one was injured. While investigating the shooting several days later, police arrested Hunt and charged him with attempted murder, intimidation with a dangerous weapon, two counts of going armed with intent and two counts of carrying weapons.  If convicted on all charges Hunt could be sentenced to nearly 50 years behind bars. In a separate incident a few days before Christmas, Hunt was arrested after he almost struck an officer with his vehicle while trying to flee following an attempted traffic stop by police. He was also in possession of cocaine at the time. Hunt has pleaded not guilty to those charges as well.

Impaired Man Strikes Deputy’s Vehicle

A Farley man was arrested Sunday night after he smashed into the back of a Dubuque County sheriff deputy’s squad car and then fled. The sheriff’s office says 29 year old Ryan Behnke is charged with eluding, and operating while under the influence. The incident happened at around 9 pm when a deputy was assisting another driver on the exit ramp of U.S. Highway 20 at Farley. That’s when Behnke struck the squad car. The deputy got into her vehicle, turned on her emergency lights and attempted to stop Behnke, who continue to drive on until he reached his driveway where he was arrested. A field sobriety test revealed that Behnke’s blood alcohol level was over twice the legal limit for driving.

Peosta Mayor Election

Today is the special election to decide the next mayor of Peosta. Former mayor Larry Mescher quit through email back in October. Two days later he asked the council to rescind his resignation, but the councilmembers declined his request. The council initially wanted to appoint a new mayor itself. However, more than 130 people living in the city signed a petition demanding an election. Mescher is one of 3 candidates running. The others are James Merten and Jack Kalb. Polls open at 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

United Way Over the Edge Launch

A local nonprofit is having a special event Wednesday in the Riverboat Lounge at the Hotel Julien Dubuque. The United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States is holding their Over The Edge 2020 Launch Party at 5 pm. President/CEO, Danielle Peterson, says this is the 2nd year for the fundraiser that challenges participants to rappel down the side of the Hotel Julien. People who are interested in edging off the roof and raising money to help nearly 40,000 people in the community should attend. Participants are asked to raise $1,000 in pledges to help fund several dozens of local programs through the organizations Community Impact fund. For more information, go to dbqunitedway.org or visit their Facebook page. Over the Edge 2020 date is Friday, June 26th.

Special Olympics Winter Games

For the 34th consecutive year, the Special Olympics Iowa Winter Games will be held in Dubuque today and tomorrow. Around 270 athletes will compete in alpine and cross country skiing, snowshoeing, speed skating and figure skating. Snowshoeing will also have a unified sports competition, which is when athletes with and without disabilities compete on the same team. Dubuque at-large city council member Ric Jones is a longtime supporter of the winter games and he says the games are one of the first major events of the year for the Key City. The summer games are held in Ames and Jones says the athletes look forward to both events. The opening ceremonies begin at 6 pm today at the Grand River Center and Jones’ band, the Upper Main Street Jazz Swing Band has played for every one of them. The Grand Harbor Resort, Mystique Community Ice Center, Sundown Mountain and Camp Albrecht Acres will play host to the various competitions and activities.

Pets in Parks Ordinance Proposal

The City of Dubuque Park and Recreation Commission will host a public input meeting regarding an ordinance proposal to allow pets in the majority of city parks. The meeting will be held on January 14th, from 6 – 8 pm in the City Council Chambers on the second floor of the Historic Federal Building. The meeting allows residents to share feedback, comments or concerns relating to the proposal with Park and Recreation Commissioners. The City of Dubuque Park and Recreation Commission is considering the ordinance proposal for recommendation to the City Council.  The City Council would have to approve any changes to the current ordinance. For more information, go to cityofdubuque.org/2740/Pet-Friendly-Community.

Legislative Session Starts Monday

The recess for Iowa lawmakers is over, as the 2020 legislative session gets started on today. There will be a number of issues that will be discussed and debated during the scheduled 100 day session. For Democrats they include education, affordable accessible health care and workforce. State Representative Lindsey James of Dubuque says another big issue is the protection of mobile home owners, who she says are being taken advantage of by companies outside of the state who are engaging in predatory business practices. James says she is working on a bill that would better protect mobile home owners. Last year a Republican lawmaker proposed a bill that would require Medicaid recipients to do at least 20 hours of volunteer work to remain eligible for the program. James says if the Medicaid Work Rules bill comes up again this session she’ll oppose it. Other issues sure to come up for debate are tax relief, mental health funding, voting rights for Iowans with felony convictions, medical cannabis, child care, gun rights, abortion and a ban on hand held mobile phones while driving.

Hempstead Aquatic Center To Open

All hands will be on deck, as the Dubuque Community School District unveils its’ new aquatic center at Hempstead High School with a grand opening and open house of the new facility on January 18th. The new 9.57 million dollar facility was inspected by the Iowa Department of Health on Wednesday, and it passed. The new pool will cut down on the number of team practices and allow for more than one meet to take place at a time. In early 2019 the school board voted to decommission the old pool because of safety concerns, which saved the districts thousands of dollars. The Dubuque Swimmin Hurricanes, or DASH contributed 1 million dollars to the project, which expanded the number of lanes available in the facility. The center will serve as the main practice facility and home competition venue for DASH.

Meth Charges Jo Daviess Co

Two people from Hanover, Illinois are facing drug charges after the Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Office arrested them early Friday morning. At 2:53 am, authorities executed a search warrant at 204 Fillmore in Hanover and as result 35-year old Anthony Zito and 33-year old Adrianne Zito were taken into custody on charges of Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine and Drug Paraphernalia and transported to the Jo Daviess County Jail. The incident remains under investigation and further charges may be forthcoming.

Murder Suppression Hearing

A suppression hearing is set for today for the man accused of killing a Cedar Rapids teen 40 years ago. He wants the DNA evidence, which led to his arrest, thrown out. 65-year old Jerry Burns, of Manchester, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges. His trial is set to start next month in Scott County. Burns is accused of killing 18-year-old Michelle Martinko in 1979. Investigators say he stabbed her in her parents’ car in the Westdale Mall parking lot. Prosecutors say Burns’ blood was in the car, but last month, Burns’ attorney filed a motion to exclude that DNA evidence. The motion says police didn’t have a warrant to seize it.

Dubuque Phone Scam

Local law enforcement is warning Dubuque area residents there is a new phone scam. The caller claims to be a law enforcement officer advising the victim missed jury duty and will need to post bond. The spoofed number is the main admin line number to the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office. Just a reminder, unless the Sheriff’s office has prearranged something with your attorney, they do not call people to advise them they have a warrant. They also do not accept gift cards to pay for bond. Cash or surety bonds are the only acceptable methods of payment. If you are a Dubuque County resident and have fallen victim to this scheme, please call their non-emergency line at 563-589-4414. If you live in a neighboring area, please call your respective law enforcement agency.

McGraw-Hill To Cut Jobs

McGraw-Hill, a major publishing company in Dubuque has announced a reduction in employees. McGraw-Hill will be cutting 28 jobs at its’ Dubuque location, but it’s not known when the cuts will take effect. The employees who will lose their jobs work in various capacities within the company. A company spokesman says they’ll be helping the workers with the transition process. Iowa Workforce Development notified officials at Greater Dubuque Development Corporation of the impending cuts. GDDC President and CEO Rick Dickinson who says once they receive written verification from McGraw-Hill of the details of the employees impacted by the cuts they’ll be reaching out to help them find other work within the community. McGraw–Hill is cutting jobs at its’ other facilities across the country and Dickinson says publishing is a very volatile industry right now. At one point McGraw-Hill’s workforce in Dubuque consisted of around 400 people. Before the latest announced cuts that number stood at around 260.

Dubuque Man sentenced For Beating Woman

A Dubuque man who was accused of beating and choking a woman in 2018 is going to prison. Court documents from Cedar Rapids say 28 year old Charles Carter was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after pleading guilty last August to possessing a firearm as a convicted domestic abuser. In August of 2018 police discovered a gun while investigating a domestic incident involving Carter. Carter had struck a woman in the face and arms causing red marks, swelling, bruising and pain. He then grabbed a towel rack and struck the woman in the face, which caused a red bump on her eyebrow. Carter then choked the woman causing her to blackout and then hit her with a belt. When police arrived they found Carter hiding in the trunk of the victim’s car. Police also found a gun in Carter’s dresser draw in the residence where the assault took place. He admitted the gun was his. Carter was prohibited from having firearms because of two prior convictions for domestic abuse. When he is released, Carter will be placed on three years of probation.

Kerry To Campaign For Biden

Democratic presidential hopeful and former vice-president Joe Biden is bring out one of the big guns to campaign on his behalf in the Key City this weekend. Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to attend the “We Know Joe” event at Biden’s Dubuque’s campaign office on Main Street at 12:30 Sunday. Also scheduled to speak are California U.S. Congressmen Ami Bera and Lou Correa. If you would like to attend you need to RSVP.

Inmate Stabs Correctional Officer

An inmate at the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility is facing charges after the Grant County Sheriff’s Office was notified that a correctional officer had been stabbed Monday morning. As a result of the investigation it was determined that 47-year old Dexter Ewing, currently housed at WSPF, attacked a 42 year old male Correctional Officer with a “shank” (homemade edge weapon). Ewing attempted to stab the Correctional Officer in the neck, in an attempt to kill him. The victim and another correctional officer were able to disarm Ewing prior to him causing serious injury to the victim. The victim was taken to Gunderson Hospital in Boscobel for treatment of his injuries, which included a wound on his neck and face. He was treated and released. This matter will be referred to the Grant County District Attorney’s Office for a charge of attempted Homicide against Ewing.

Two by Two’s Hockey Night Fundraiser

A Dubuque nonprofit is once again teaming up with the city’s hockey team for a special fundraiser. Founder and CEO,  Kristin Woodward-Vaassen, says Two by Two’s annual Hockey Night Fundraiser with the Dubuque Fighting Saints is Saturday at the Mystique Community Ice Center. Kids can bring their stuffed animals to the game and get a Kindhearted Kids photo with the team mascot. Development Director, Cassie Bird, says the 50/50 raffle will be a big one. Online bidding for the silent auction for great prizes will take place until Saturday afternoon and resumes that evening, in-person only, behind Section 110. The link for tickets is on the Two by Two Education Facebook page. The Fighting Saints take on the Chicago Steel and the puck drops at 7:05 pm.

 

 

Dubuque Man Sentenced On Drug Charges

A convicted felon from Dubuque will be spending two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a gun charge. In July, 22- year old Johnnie Raymond pled guilty to being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm in federal court in Cedar Rapids. Raymond was among 30 people indicted last summer on federal gun violations. Documents say he was unlawfully in possession of a gun while riding as a passenger in a car that was stopped by police. He was also prohibited from possessing firearms because of a previous conviction of felony crimes involving gang participation and forgery in Dubuque County. He was also a drug user which prohibited him from having firearms. Raymond will be placed on three years of probation once he is released from prison.

Jones County Dangerous Intersection

The intersection of Old Dubuque Road and Highway 151 in Jones County has been too dangerous for too long. That’s, at least, what Jones County Sheriff Greg Graver believes. Graver tells our coverage partners, KCRG-TV, it’s not just local talk fueling that idea: So do the statistics. According to crash reports from the Iowa Department of Transportation, there were 39 crashes at the intersection from 2007 to 2017, two of which were fatal. Added to that number more recently was a third fatal crash on Nov. 6, 2019, in which a woman died after being hit by a semi-truck at the intersection. While Graver said driver error may contribute to some of the crashes, he points to the curved design of the road as another problematic factor. The sheriff argues that it’s time the intersection is shut down for good. Jones County Engineer Derek Snead agrees and said rerouting traffic in and out of Anamosa through a frontage road that runs alongside Highway 151 is the best option. The intersection is jointly owned by Jones County and the City of Anamosa, so the decision on whether or not to close or alter it is in the hands of the Jones County Board of Supervisors and the Anamosa City Council. There will be a public hearing tonight to discuss the intersection and its future. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. at the Anamosa Public Library.

Iowa Medical Pot Program

Some lawmakers say they would like to see Iowa’s medical marijuana program expanded during the next legislative session which starts Monday. Governor and state lawmakers met Tuesday to talk about this topic. Some Democrats say the program should add more chronic conditions, eliminate the 3 percent THC cap and allow more dispensaries in the state. The governor vetoed a bill to expand the medical marijuana program last year, but says she is willing to find common ground. MedPharm is urging lawmakers to expand qualifying medical conditions to include PTSD and Alzheimer’s.

 

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

In recognition of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, a free screening of a feature-length film about child sex trafficking will be Saturday at the Grand Opera House in Dubuque. “I Am Still Here” tells a fictional story based on true stories of child sex trafficking. The film is presented by the Tri-State Coalition Against Human Trafficking & Slavery. Coalition member Sister Pat Conlan says it’s a great opportunity for the community to be educated about the problem. Adult supervision is advised. Concessions will be available for purchase and free parking will be available in the Iowa Street ramp. Doors open at 9:30 am and the film starts at 10 am. A question-and-answer session will follow. Coalition member Sister Mira Mosel says they are working with hotels and motels to recognize and respond to signs of human trafficking at their facility. A pair of Dubuque  Representatives are co-sponsoring legislation that would mandate human trafficking training for hotels if they want to do business with government officials. For more information on Saturdays film go to www.thegrandoperahouse.com.

“Veterans’ Moment of Truth,” Five Flags

The Veterans National Recovery Center is sponsoring “Veterans’ Moment of Truth,” which will be held at Five Flags Theater this Saturday. The event will feature two civic events: an open forum with candidates for President of the United States, and a debate among candidates to represent Iowa in the US Senate. Topics will be general veterans’ issues, national defense, and foreign policy. All active presidential and senatorial candidates have been invited. Doors open at 8:30 am. A presidential candidate will appear at 9 am. The US Senate debate will run from 10 am to noon. Surrogates and proxies for additional presidential candidates will then have the opportunity to address the audience. Attendance is free and priority be given to veterans and their families. This will be the only veterans-exclusive event prior to the February 3rd Iowa Precinct Caucuses.

Fountain of Youth Grand Opening

The Fountain of Youth Program will be having a Grand Opening on Thursday, January 9th at 11:30 am at their new location of 220 W. 7th Street (rear of the United Way building). Fountain of Youth Executive Director, Caprice Jones, says it’s a great chance to network. City Manager Mike Van Milligen, Dubuque City Councilman, Ric Jones, Dubuque County Supervisor, Dave Baker, United Way Executive Director, Danielle Peterson and others will be there to discuss this years goals. Jones says their Partners in Change program helps youth overcome the stigma of poverty. The Fountain of Youth is a non-profit assisting those 16 year of age and older living in the greater Dubuque area and was established in 2016.

Dubuque Drug Arrests

A short vehicle chase through a mobile home park in Dubuque County Monday led to the arrest of two men on drug charges. The incident began late Monday afternoon after police were tipped off about a man who was “heavily involved in the distribution of methamphetamine.” Police followed a car driven by 34 year old Evan Moran of Dubuque who led them down some back roads and onto U.S. Highway 20 near Epworth, before turning onto North Cascade Road and into the Super 20 mobile home park. As officers attempted to stop Moran he sped away at a high rate of speed through the park. When police finally stopped the car, they located a bag that contained over 104 grams of meth that had been thrown from the vehicle during the chase. Moran is charged with possession of meth with intent to deliver and driving with a suspended license. His passenger, 43 year old Kendall Sheth also of Dubuque is charged with possession of meth and drug paraphernalia.

Two Injured In Dubuque Crash

Two people were taken to the hospital following a two vehicle crash in Dubuque Monday morning. A crash report from the police department says a vehicle driven by 67 year old Beverly Kueter of Dubuque was traveling north on Alpine Street at around 9:15, when she ran the stop sign at the intersection of Alpine and West 5th Street. Kueter’s vehicle then rear-ended a vehicle driven by 27 year old Juanisha Reynolds of Dubuque. Reynolds and her passenger, 35 year old Shawn Willis also of Dubuque were transported to Mercy Hospital where they were treated for their injuries. Kueter was issued a citation for failure to obey a stop sign.

Carnegie-Stout Community Engagement

Officials at the Carnegie-Stout Public Library said that efforts in recent years to increase public engagement with the facility have been successful. Susan Henricks, director at the library, said the organization began the effort in 2015 with the goal of improving the facility and increasing outreach in the community. They created space for a 3D printer, a recording room and offered other amenities. The program also focused on involvement in the community. The library started programs at various grade schools as well as after school programs like the Boys and Girls Club. Henricks tells our coverage partners, KCRG TV, the initiatives also eliminated late fees, which increased library visitors. Other changes to help increase accessibility include checkout of nontraditional items like virtual reality goggles, baking pans, and workout kits. Officials are hoping to get started on their next round of initiatives in the next month. The plan is set to be put together by July and will account for the next three to five years at the library.

High Speed Weekend Chase

A Dubuque man faces a laundry list of charges after leading police on a high speed chase over the weekend, reaching speeds over 80 mph in the downtown area. At around 5:20 Saturday morning an officer attempted to stop a vehicle that had no taillights near the area of East 16th and Jackson Streets. The vehicle was driven by 22 year old Kyle Wood. When the officer turned on his emergency lights, Wood sped away reaching speeds in excess of 80 mph down Bluff Street. Seconds later Wood smashed into a parked vehicle in the 300 block of West 1st. He then jump out of the wrecked vehicle and ran through several yards. Officers finally caught up with Wood in the 50 block of Locust Street. Police found nearly 30 used needles on Wood as well as numerous plastic baggies that contained methamphetamine residue. Wood is charged with eluding, possession of drug paraphernalia, interference with officials acts, operating while intoxicated, driving while barred and numerous traffic violations. He was also served a warrant charging him with 5th degree theft.

Platteville Man Killed In Madison Crash

A Platteville man was killed in a two vehicle accident on Madison’s Beltline early Saturday morning. According to the Dane County sheriff’s office Alex Abing was involved in a crash at around 6:50 on U.S. Highway 12 between Mineral Point and Old Sauk Roads. Abing had to be extricated from his vehicle and died at a nearby hospital. The driver of the other vehicle was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Westbound lanes on the Beltline were closed for about three hours following the crash.

Manchester Mobile Home Fire

An electrical space heater is being blamed for a fire that damaged a mobile home in Manchester Friday night. Fire fighters responded to the blaze at the Eugene Wulfekuhle residence in the 16 hundred block of 195th Street. Wulfekuhle was not at home at the time and no injuries were reported. It took fire fighters from Manchester and nearby Dundee about two hours to get the fire under control.

Dubuque Man Injured In Crash

A Fennimore man was cited following a two vehicle crash in the downtown area of Dubuque Friday evening. A crash report from the police department says a car driven by 26 year old Matthew Anderson of Dubuque was traveling  north on White Street a few minutes before 5:30, when a vehicle driven by 19 year old Bradley McCartney ran the stop sign at the intersection of White and 16th Street and struck Anderson’s car. Anderson was taken to Finley Hospital where he was treated for his injuries. McCartney was issued a citation for failure to obey a stop or yield sign.

Five Flags Center Referendum

Renovations to the Five Flags Center will be up to a public vote this fall. The Dubuque City Council Monday voted in favor of a September special ballot to be brought before the public. The original goal was to bring the issue before the voters in March but there was a consensus that would be too soon. Councilman Ric Jones said voters need more time. Ward 2 council member, Laura Roussell agreed, noting she liked the option 4/hybrid that the citizen’s commission came up with. Five Flags General Manager HR Cook said he agreed with the council’s decision because the public needs to be informed about the renovation plan proposed which includes an estimated 74-million dollar cost. Councilman Brett Shaw was the lone no vote, voicing his concerns about the overall cost to taxpayers among other questions. The referendum vote will take place September 8th. In other business, the Council unanimously approved the plans, specifications and estimated cost for the Chaplain Schmitt Island Veterans Memorial Project.