News

Fort Dodge IRS Office to Close


The Internal Revenue Service has announced it will be closing its Fort Dodge office later this year. The office, located at 1728 Central Avenue, will close on November 30, however the last day taxpayers can receive service will be November 3. According to a news release, the closure is part of a nationwide cost-cutting effort. Taxpayers needing face-to-face assistance can visit IRS offices in Des

Boone Woman Killed in Tuesday Crash


The Iowa State Patrol reports that a Boone woman was killed in a Tuesday morning crash. The crash happened on Highway 30 between Grand Junction and Beaver shortly after 11:00am Tuesday. Officials say 26 year-old Shannon Poole was headed westbound when she crossed the center line and struck the rear trail wheels of an eastbound semi. Poole was pronounced dead at the scene, while her passenger, 23

Two Des Moines Men Charged in August Death of 4 Month-old


Des Moines police have arrested two men in connection with the death of a 4 month-old child in August. Officials said Wednesday that 26 year-old Brian Lee Garrett and 33 year-old Deanthony Luther Clark are facing charges. Police said the child was fatally hit by a vehicle in a driveway on August 30. They said several adults had been loading children into a large SUV and 4-month-old Breland

Poll Shows Braley, Ernst Race too Close to Call


A new poll on Iowa's U.S. Senate race says it is too close to call as election day draws near. The independent Quinnipiac University poll shows Republican State Senator Joni Ernst at 48% among likely voters and Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley at 46%. Four percent remain undecided. The poll shows a reverse gender gap, with 53% of women supporting Braley and 55% of men backing Ernst. From

Police Allege Storm Lake Man Sexually Abused Wife; Forced Her to End Pregnancies


A Storm Lake man has been accused of sexually abusing his wife and of forcing her to take pills that resulted in the termination of two pregnancies. The man is charged with two counts of sexual abuse, five counts of termination of pregnancy-consent by force or intimidation, and one count of domestic abuse assault. Digity News is not naming the man, in order to protect the woman's privacy.The

Jefferson Casino Remains on Schedule


Officials say the construction of a casino in Jefferson remains on schedule despite some unfavorable weather. The Wild Rose Jefferson company says construction of the casino and resort is still set to be completed by Aug. 1 of next year. A wind storm on Oct. 13 knocked down five concrete panels at the construction site. Replacements were poured and delivered a few days later.

Man Sentenced for 2013 Injury Accident


A 44 year-old man was sentenced in Webster County District Court for causing a 2013 crash while intoxicated. The Webster County Attorney's Office says Chase Godwin will serve 5 years in prison after he was convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious injury. On October 27 of 2013, Godwin's blood alcohol level was 0.229 when he broadsided 17 year-old Emma Kiefer at

USDA: Iowa Corn, Soybean Harvest Remains Behind Schedule


The harvest remains behind schedule in Iowa but weather conditions are favorable for allowing farmers to try to catch up. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Iowa is about 18 days behind the normal corn harvest pace with 19 percent harvested while typically at this time more than half of the crop is in. The Iowa soybean harvest is nine days behind schedule with 61 percent harvested, less than

Aplington Man Sentenced for Child Porn Possession


A 21-year-old Iowa man has been sentenced to 16 years and four months in federal prison for possessing child pornography.  A judge handed down the punishment to Jeremiah Romo of Aplington this week. He pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child porn in a deal with prosecutors who dismissed three similar charges. Romo was also ordered to serve 20 years of supervised release after his

Iowa Jobless Rate Up Slightly


The unemployment rate in Iowa edged up slightly in September to 4.6 percent from 4.5 percent in August as the state's labor force grew but the number of workers filing for unemployment also increased. Iowa Workforce Development figures in the monthly report released Tuesday show the state's total workforce grew by 4,600 to 1.71 million in September and jobs were added in some sectors

Woodbury County Supervisor Sentenced for Gun Incident


A Woodbury County supervisor accused of shooting a gun into the air near his wife has been given 30 days in jail. 44-year-old David Tripp received the sentence Tuesday in district court for domestic abuse assault. He was ordered to report to jail by Friday. Tripp, a former jailer, was accused in December of firing a gun in the air in the driveway of his home. His wife was nearby but was not

Sullivan Sentenced after Escape Conviction


A Fort Dodge man was sentenced on Monday for escaping from the Webster County Jail in August. The Webster County Attorney’s Office says 43 year-old Jason Sullivan was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to Escape from Custody as a Habitual Offender. He was convicted of escaping from the jail through an exhaust duct of the jail before being captured two days later. A second

Man who Raced Wife to FD Hospital Cited in Calhoun County


Calhoun County officials have cited a man who did not pull over for police while driving his wife to a Fort Dodge hospital. KCCI TV reports Ben Kohnen was cited for speeding and failing to yield to an emergency vehicle after leading officers on a chase while his wife was in labor. According to the report, Kohnen is concerned with how the charges could affect his Commercial Drivers License, which

Branstad Maintains Massive Cash Advantage over Hatch


Republican Governor Terry Branstad continues to hold a massive cash advantage over Democratic challenger Jack Hatch going into the final days of the race. Finance reports show that Branstad raised $1.3 million between July 15 and Oct. 14 and had $1.3 million left in cash. Hatch raised nearly $880,000 and had about $280,000 on hand. Hatch and his wife have loaned $140,000 to

Iowa Early Voters Nears 200,000


More than 2.3 million voters have already cast ballots for the November midterm elections, and both Republicans and Democrats are claiming the early voting numbers work to their advantage. In Iowa, where a Senate race will help determine which party controls the chamber in January, Democrats hold a narrow lead out of almost 200,000 ballots cast.

Des Moines Woman Accused of Lying to get Painkillers


Authorities say a woman lied to a Des Moines pharmacy worker about a man threatening to hurt the woman's children if she didn't get him some drugs. Andrea Small now faces theft and other charges. Police say Small went into a drugstore yesterday morning and told the worker that the man had the woman's children in a car and he was demanding she bring him a painkiller. A car that picked

Iowa Health Centers Prepping for 'Unlikely' Possibility of Ebola


Hospitals and doctors' offices in Iowa are preparing for the unlikely possibility of a case of Ebola in the state. The Des Moines Register reports clinics have started asking whether patients have visited the countries where the Ebola outbreak is based West Africa. And area hospitals are practicing using protective equipment that would be needed to treat an Ebola patient. Health officials say

Waterloo Police Investigating Shooting Death of 17 Year-Old


An 18-year-old Waterloo man is facing charges after police found a 17-year-old girl dead Sunday with a gunshot wound to her head.  the shooting was reported shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday at a home in Waterloo. Officers found 17-year-old Jazzmine Rembert in the basement with a gunshot wound. Au autopsy is planned for today.  Few details were released about the circumstances of the

Woman Charged with Leaving Scene of Fatal Accident in Des Moines


Des Moines police say a woman charged in a fatal hit-and-run panicked when she left the scene of the accident. Sgt. Jason Halifax saysthat 20-year-old Ashley Brown is remorseful about the Saturday death of 55-year-old Kenneth Wallace. She has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and not having insurance. Wallace had been walking and was found dead in the road.

Tama Processing Plant Could Create 600 Iowa Jobs


A long-idle beef processing plant is getting ready to reopen in Tama later this month. The Iowa Premium Beef plant has undergone a $48.6 million renovation to prepare to process about 1,100 cattle a day. The plant could eventually employ more than 600 workers. To qualify for $4 million in state tax credits, 120 of the workers will have to earn at least $15.42 an hour. CEO Jeffrey

15 Year-Old Charged in Saturday Morning Stabbing Incident


The Fort Dodge Police Department has provided an update regarding a late morning stabbing incident. Officers with the Fort Dodge Police Department and Webster County Sheriff's Office responded to the area of Snell Crawford Park shortly after 10:30am in reference to a stabbing. Assistant Police Chief Roger Porter says a 15 year-old male is in custody after allegedly stabbing a woman while

Rolfe Teen, Mother Charged in Explosives Investigation


A 13 year-old boy and his mother face felony charges after authorities say they searched a home in Rolfe and found enough explosive materials to level a two-story building. Pocahontas County Sheriff Bob Lampe said Friday that the boy, who was not identified, reportedly planned to blow up a building in November. Lampe says the boy apparently researched how to make the explosive materials and had

McElroy's Request for New Trial Denied


A judge has denied a motion to grant a new trial to a Fort Dodge man convicted of first-degree murder. Attorney Charles Kenville was seeking a new trial for his client, 28 year-old Derrick McElroy, who was convicted in the death of Brandyn Preston on August 19. McElroy shot Preston in the neck in May of 2011, and Preston died from his injuries several months later. Kenville argued that one of the

Two in Custody after Explosives Found in Rolfe


Authorities have confiscated homemade, chemical-based explosives from the home of a student in the town of Rolfe. Ron Humphrey of the State Fire Marshal Division says about a quarter pound of the explosive was found Thursday and that the material could have seriously injured someone, had it exploded. Pocahontas County Sheriff Bob Lampe says an adult and a juvenile have been detained and will be

Remains of WWII Airman to be Buried in Badger; Volunteers Needed to Plant Flags


The Iowa National Guard says the remains of an airman who died nearly 70 years ago in Europe are being returned to Iowa. Through DNA testing, a team identified remains found in Belgium as those of Staff Sgt. Maurice L. Fevold.  He was the armorer-gunner of a B-26G Marauder bomber that was shot down Dec. 23, 1944, the first day of aviation operations for the Battle of the Bulge. A memorial

Day Care Provider Reaches Plea Deal in Death of Toddler


Prosecutors have dropped murder charges against an Iowa woman who admitted to causing the head injuries that killed a three-year-girl at her in-home day care. Orange City resident Rochelle Sapp  pleaded guilty Thursday to involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment charges under a plea agreement in the death of Autumn Elgersma. Sapp admitted that she dropped the toddler to the ground and

Iowa City Student Charged After Gun Found in Locker


 A student has been charged with carrying a weapon on the grounds of a high school in Iowa City. The 16-year-old student was charged on Wednesday. Police say officers were sent last week to West High School to check a report that a student had carried a gun onto school property. An unloaded handgun and a box of ammunition were found in a backpack inside his locker.

Former Republican Caucus Staffer Alleges Sexual Harassment


A former staffer for Iowa Senate Republicans has filed a lawsuit detailing her claims of sexual harassment and boorish behavior by male aides and lawmakers. Kirsten Anderson alleges she was fired as communications director for the Iowa Senate Republican Caucus after complaining about the environment.

Fort Dodge Sears Store to Close


Officials with Sears Corporation have announced that its Fort Dodge store will close early next year. The Fort Dodge Messenger reports that a spokesman for Sears confirmed that the Sears store is scheduled to close in mid-January. Sears has been in the Crossroads Mall since opening in 1964. The spokesman said all of the eligible 41 employees will receive severance pay and have the opportunity to

Greene County Sexual Assault Suspect At-Large


A Greene County man accused of sexually assaulting a child is currently at-large. KDLS Radio reports the Jefferson Police Department is searching for 32 year-old Grand Junction resident Jonathan Bevers, who allegedly touched a five year-old girl inappropriately on September 15. The incident allegedly occurred when Bevers was visiting a friend in Jefferson and was left alone briefly with the girl.

74 Year-Old Charged in Des Moines Stabbing Death


Authorities say a 74-year-old man has been charged in the fatal stabbing of a woman in Des Moines. Officers were sent around 3:10 p.m. Wednesday to check a report of a fight at an apartment building office. They found the 54-year-old woman suffering from stab wounds. Police say she died later at a hospital. Her name has not been released at this time.  Police say 74-year-old Norman Wadsworth

Former Dept of Agriculture Employee Accused of Theft


A former employee for the Iowa Department of Agriculture has been accused of stealing more than $241,000 from her employer. The state Department of Public Safety says Jessica Strasser turned herself in Wednesday. She faces charges of first-degree theft and ongoing criminal conduct. The state auditor's office released a report in early October on the Mahaska County Soil and Water

TRMC Breaks Ground on Emergency Department Expansion


UnityPoint Health officials celebrated as they broke ground on a $5 million expansion and upgrade of Trinity Regional Medical Center's emergency department. Construction is expected to take about 18 months with completion expected in the first quarter of 2016. Upgrades to the emergency department are expected to include private exam rooms, and rooms dedicated to trauma, sexual assault,

Boone County Officials Investigating Collection of Illegal Photos, Videos


Boone County officials say they've uncovered a massive collection of photographs and videos showing nude female juveniles, and they believe they were collected over several years by high school students. The state Division of Criminal Investigation said Tuesday that a system of storage accounts was discovered after a male juvenile was accused in August of trying to extort sexual photographs

Charles City Man Convicted of Threatening Schoolchildren


A northern Iowa man accused of threatening to shoot schoolchildren has changed his plea. Charles City resident Loren Saxon originally pleaded not guilty to making threats of terrorism, but he's now pleaded guilty to intimidation with a dangerous weapon. His sentencing is set for Nov. 4. Police reports say Saxon was heavily intoxicated while at a motel in Charles City on Aug. 24.  Saxon

Doctor Killed in Plane Crash was Libertarian Candidate for Governor


Authorities say a Dubuque doctor was killed in a single-engine plane crash near the Dubuque airport. The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office says Dr. Douglas Butzier was the pilot of the plane that crashed around 11 p.m. Monday as it approached Dubuque Regional Airport. He was the sole occupant of the aircraft. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the plane took off from

Flu Bug Circulating in Iowa


Health officials have identified three cases of influenza in Iowa.The state Department of Public Health said Tuesday the cases were reported in Henry, Johnson and Polk counties. The State Hygienic Laboratory's confirmation of the cases indicates influenza activity remains at a low level in Iowa. However officials say it indicates the virus is circulating in the state.

Fort Dodge Teen Pleads Guilty to Drive-By Shooting


A Fort Dodge teenager has taken a plea deal after a drive-by shooting.  18-year-old Xavier Rhone pleaded guilty Monday to going armed with intent. Charges of carrying weapons, fourth-degree criminal mischief and assault were dropped.  Rhone admitted to firing two shots from a .22-caliber revolver at a home in the 1600 block of Third Avenue North on August 18. He said he did it to

Webster County Recorder Candidates to Speak Tonight


The Well-Informed Webster People will host another in a series of candidate forums this evening. Candidates for the Webster County Recorder position will speak at the Light of the City Conference Center this evening at 6:30pm. Republican Shari Burke and Democrat Lindsey Boeckman will field questions from audience members. The candidates are seeking to replace Judy Cosgrove, who is retiring

Pilot Killed in Small Plane Crash Near Dubuque


A federal official says the pilot of a single-engine plane has died in a crash near Dubuque Regional Airport. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says a Piper PA-46 crashed around 11 p.m. Monday on approach to the airport, about a mile north of the runway. Lunsford says law enforcement told him the sole occupant of the aircraft was killed in the crash but he has no other

Officer, Suspect Exchange Gunfire Near Solon


The Johnson County Sheriff's Office says an officer and a driver exchanged gunfire after a police car chase. Capt. Gary Kramer says the chase ended Monday night when the suspect's vehicle crashed into a ditch near Solon. He says the suspect and the officer shot at each other. The suspect was taken to a hospital with unspecified injuries.   No other injuries were reported.

Charges Pending after Gun Found in Iowa City High School


Authorities are investigating the discovery of an unloaded handgun and a box of ammunition inside the backpack of a high school student in Iowa City. Iowa City police say officers arrived Friday at West High School following a report that a student had carried a gun on school property. A teacher reported to school officials that a student was showing signs of emotional distress. The gun was found

FD Man Convicted of Murder Seeking New Trial


The lawyer for a Fort Dodge man convicted of first-degree murder is seeking a new trial for his client. The Fort Dodge Messenger reported that attorney Charles Kenville is seeking a new trial for 28 year-old Derrick McElroy. McElroy was found guilty of first-degree murder on August 19 in the death of 19 year-old Brandyn Preston. Preston was shot at a bonfire party in May of 2011 and died from his

FD Council to Discuss Emerald Ash Borer Planning


The Fort Dodge City Council's agenda includes a discussion on the emerald ash borer and the sale of a portion of roadway tonight. The council will meet at 5:30pm for a workshop to discuss planning to combat the emerald ash borer. The beetle, which has been found in several Iowa counties, kills ash trees. While it has not been found in Fort Dodge, the city has cut down over 150 ash trees to

Woman Injured in Dallas County Tractor Accident


Dallas County authorities say a 31-year-old woman suffered severe internal injuries when she was run over by a tractor. Officials say that the accident occurred around 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Woodward. The Dallas County Sheriff's Office says the woman was helping other people move two tractors when she fell down between the machines and was run over by a rear tire of one.  She was taken to a

Sioux City Inmate Returns After Reported Missing


Iowa officials say an inmate on work release returned less than 24 hours after he was reported missing. An Iowa Department of Corrections spokesman said 41-year-old Bryan McDaniel failed to report to work in Sioux City on Saturday. The spokesman says McDaniel went to the facility on Sunday morning after authorities initiated a search for him. Authorities didn't account for McDaniel's

Two Arrested in Connection to Wednesday Fire


Fort Dodge police say two arrests have been made in connection to a vacant house fire Wednesday afternoon. Shortly after 3:00pm Wednesday, crews from the Fort Dodge fire and police departments were sent to a house fire at 357 5th Street NW. Investigators were able to identify two suspects. Assistant Chief Roger Porter says two teenage boys, ages 15 and 16, were arrested and are facing charges of

Lundgren Turbines Almost Fully Operational


MidAmerican Energy officials say the Lundgren Wind Project is on target to be fully operational later this year. Adam Jablonski, wind generation supervisor for the company, says more than half of the wind turbines that are a part of the project in Webster County are operational. By mid-November, all 107 should be running. The Lundgren Project is a part of the Wind VIII Project, a $1.9 billion

Leffler, Halvorson Hold Supervisor Candidate Forum


The Well-Informed Webster People hosted candidates for two seats on the Webster County Board of Supervisors. Keith Dencklau, running unopposed for his District 1 seat, spoke for about five minutes before giving way to District 4 candidates Merrill Leffler (R) and Rod Halvorson (D). Among the topics discussed included the positive momentum the county has seen, specifically in economic

Coralville Woman Dies in Early Morning Blaze


The body of a 60-year-old woman has been found by firefighters sent to battle a house blaze in Coralville. Officials say a neighbor called 911 to report the fire a little before 1 a.m. Friday. Firefighters found a blaze raging in a bedroom of the home but were able to control it within 30 minutes. The woman was identified as Mary Clanton. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The fire cause is

Michelle Obama Campaigning for Braley Today


 Michelle Obama is headed to Des Moines to campaign for Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley. Obama will attend a rally this afternoon at Drake University. The event will stress the importance of early voting in the race. Braley is locked in a tight race against Republican Joni Ernst.

Webster County Supervisor Candidates to Speak Tonight


Webster County residents will have the opportunity to hear from candidates for seats on the Webster County Board of Supervisors this evening. The Well-Informed Webster People are hosting a public forum beginning at 6:30pm at the Light of the City Conference Center. District 4 seat candidates Merrill Leffler and Rod Halvorson will entertain questions from the audience. In addition, District 1

Fort Dodge Firefighters Battle Two House Fires


Wednesday was a busy day for the Fort Dodge Fire Department as crews battled two separate house fires. The first one was reported in the 1000 block of South 25th Street shortly before 9:00am. The fire was contained to a bedroom and the home suffered smoke damage throughout. A woman and four children escaped without injury. The fire is believed to be accidental, but an exact cause has not been

Bond Doubled for Maynard Man Charged with Attempted Murder


Bond has been doubled for a Maynard man accused of trying to hit police officers with a vehicle in northern Iowa. The Fayette County Attorney's Office made the request in court Wednesday to raise Abel Quijas Junior's bond to $500,000 cash only. Prosecutors argue that Quijas was a major flight risk. Quijas is charged with one count of attempted murder following an incident on September

Child Porn Evidence Can be Used in Frederiksen Murder Trial


A judge says prosecutors may use evidence of child pornography possession against a man accused of killing a 5-year-old girl in 2005. Judge Gregg Rosenbladt filed his ruling Wednesday in the murder case of 35-year-old Casey Frederiksen. His trial is scheduled to begin March 2 in Webster City on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse. Prosecutors say Frederiksen was watching

West Des Moines Police Chief Under Investigation for Sexual Discrimination


West Des Moines officials say that two people have made sexual discrimination complaints against West Des Moines Police Chief Shaun LaDue. Des Moines KCCI reports one current and one former member of the West Des Moines Police Department have filed sexual discrimination complaints against LaDue.One claim is currently under investigation while the other will soon be heard by the Iowa Civil Rights

Madrid Nursing Home Facing Federal Fines


A central Iowa nursing home faces federal fines of at least $64,000 for care problems found during inspections. state inspection reports that led to the fines suggest many of the issues cited stem from staffing shortages at the Madrid Home for the Aging. A lawyer for the nursing home denied the allegations and says the owners are appealing the fines. An Iowa Department of Inspections and

Trial Date Set for State Rep. Charged with Sexual Abuse


A trial date has been set for an Iowa lawmaker accused of sexually abusing his wife at a care center. the trial against Republican State Rep. Henry Rayhons is scheduled to start Jan. 28 at the Hancock County District Court in Garner. Rayhons has pleaded not guilty to a charge of third-degree sexual abuse.  He is accused of having sexual contact in May with his wife, Donna Rayhons, while she

Construction Worker Killed at Woodbury County Site


Authorities say a construction worker has died after he was pinned under a piece of equipment in northwest Iowa. Woodbury County Sheriff's Office says authorities responded Tuesday to a construction site near Correctionville where a new bridge is being built. The Sioux City Journal says authorities found the unidentified man pinned under a piece of construction equipment. He was airlifted to

Greene County Mom Charged After Reporting Abduction Attempt of her Daughter


A Greene County mother has been charged in connection to a report she filed regarding an attempted abduction. The Greene County Sheriff's Office says 36 year-old Tauwana Laue turned herself in to authorities on Monday. After initially reporting the attempted abduction of her daughter in Grand Junction, Laue agreed to take a polygraph test after suspicions surfaced during the investigation.

Corwith Police say Girls Made up Attempted Abduction Story


Corwith police say three girls admitted that they made up a story about a man who was following them around a park. The Hancock County Sheriff's Office says the initial report sparked a statewide alert about another attempted abduction, but in follow-up interviews the girls admitted it didn't really happen. Authorities said filing a false report can result in criminal charges, but no

Fake 'Twilight' Actor Facing Federal Child Porn Charges


A Californian man accused of posing as an actor from the ``Twilight'' movie series now faces federal child pornography charges.  Thirty-three-year-old David LaVera is expected in federal court in Des Moines today to face charges of sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography. LaVera already has pleaded not guilty to Iowa charges of sexual abuse, sexual

Cedar Rapids Man Pleads Guilty to Four Bank Robberies


An eastern Iowa man has pleaded guilty to robbing four banks in Cedar Rapids. The U.S. Attorney's Office  says 29-year-old Cedar Rapids resident Javon Dockery entered the plea Thursday to four counts of bank robbery and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. As part of a deal, Dockery admitted to robbing a Cedar Rapids branch of U.S. Bank on April 30

Big 12 Fines ISU's Pollard


Big 12 officials have fined Iowa State University's athletic director Monday. Jamie Pollard was fined $25,000 after his comments following Saturday's game against Oklahoma State. The conference said it put him on notice that any similar behavior will result in a more serious penalty.

 

One Taken Into Custody Following Standoff in Carroll


One person was taken into custody following a Sunday night standoff in Carroll. Carroll KCIM Radio reports the standoff on South Maple Street in Carroll began in the early evening hours and ended at around 11:00pm. Officers with multiple departments entered the home at about 10:30pm and an unidentified man was escorted from the home in handcuffs at around 11:00pm. He was taken to the Carroll

Freeze Could Have Negative Impacts on Area Crops


A freeze could stop the growing season in the upper Midwest as far south as Nebraska and Iowa, leaving farmers in a difficult situation because much of the region's corn and soybean fields are not quite ready for harvest. The area of most concern includes the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, where just 40 percent to 50 percent of the corn crop is mature, but a U.S. Department of Agriculture

Sexual Assault Report Marks Sixth of UI Academic Year


A sexual assault was reported to University of Iowa officials last week, making it the sixth sexual assault report since the start of the academic year. The university sent an email Friday warning students about the incident. The student reported the incident Friday and said she was assaulted by an acquaintance in a residence hall on Sept. 26. At least five of the reported assaults have happened

Black Hawk County Suing Business for Unpaid Taxes


An Iowa county is suing a landowner to collect more than $1 million in unpaid taxes. Black Hawk County filed the lawsuit against J.L. Watts Co. in August over $1.04 million in unpaid property taxes. The land involved in the dispute is a 5-acre parcel that is Black Hawk Waste Disposal Inc. J.L. Watts' attorney, Larry Anfinson, disagrees with the county's view. Anfinson said in

Des Moines Schools Won't Enroll Rwandan Immigrant


An Iowa family is fighting the Des Moines school district's refusal to enroll the Rwandan immigrant they are caring for because of questions about his immigration status. The district's lawyer says  it appears that Habibu Habienza's legal residence remains with his family in Rwanda, so Des Moines won't enroll him. The 16-year-old's guardians, Ray and Carrie Bening, are

Grell Theft Trial Set for December 2


A Fort Dodge man accused of theft while serving as the director of a local landfill will stand trial in December. A date of December 2nd has been set for the trial of Mike Grell, who is charged with theft by misappropriation while he was director of the North Central Iowa Regional Solid Waste Agency. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge. According to criminal complaints, Grell misused

Date Set for Frederiksen Murder, Sex Abuse Trial


A trial date has been set for the man charged with killing a 5-year-old northern Iowa girl in 2005. 35-year-old Casey Frederiksen will stand trial on March 2 for first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse. Frederiksen is charged in the death of Evelyn Miller. Prosecutors say he was watching Evelyn at the time of her disappearance and her body was found in the Cedar River days later. The

Logan Teen to Plead Insanity in Murder Trial


An Iowa teen charged with murdering his 5-year-old foster brother plans to use an insanity defense when his case goes to trial this month. Court documents indicate the defense plans for 18-year-old Cody Metzker-Madsen, who was declared competent to stand trial in April. He is charged with first-degree murder in the August 2013 death of Dominic Elkins. Metzker-Madsen pleaded not guilty to the

Ankeny Teens Charged in Arson Cases


Ankeny police have charged two teenagers with felony arson counts who they say set cars on fire and recorded the crimes on a cellphone. Police said Thursday that the 15- and 16-year-old boys were each charged with two counts of second-degree arson. They are being held in a juvenile detention facility. A Dodge Stratus parked in front of a home was fully engulfed on Sept. 23. A fire in a Crown

Consultant Offers Cost-Saving Measures to Iowa Public Universities


A consultant estimates that Iowa's three public universities could save tens of millions of dollars and eliminate up to 250 jobs by restructuring their administration. The Board of Regents will get feedback next week at town hall meetings on the university campuses. It could vote on the recommendations next month.

Sullivan Pleads Guilty to Escape Charge


A man accused of escaping from the Webster County Jail in August has pleaded guilty to a charge. 43 year-old Jason Sullivan reached a deal with prosecutors and entered a guilty plea to a charge of escape from custody on Monday. As part of the deal, an additional charge of criminal mischief was dismissed. When he is sentenced on October 13, Sullivan faces up to 15 years in prison, including a

Two Sioux Center Students Killed in Monday Crash


High school officials in northwestern Iowa have postponed homecoming as the community mourns the death of two students in a crash this week.  The Buena Vista County Sheriff's Department says 16 year-old Marathon resident Lexi Rydstrom and 16-year-old Sioux Rapids resident Caleb Smith were killed in the crash. Investigators say the crash occurred on a gravel road when the teens' car

Man Accused of Breaking in to Cedar Falls Fire Department


A Cedar Falls man was arrested after authorities say he broke in to the Cedar Falls Fire Department headquarters over the weekend. 24-year-old Zachary Brian Carstensen was found asleep on an office floor of the department just before 2 a.m. Sunday. Officials suspect he threw two rocks through the fire station's glass front door and side window to gain entry. Carstensen was arrested on

ISU Student Found Dead in Apartment; No Foul Play Suspected


Ames police are investigating after an Iowa State University student was found dead in a university apartment. Police say they responded to an apartment at University Village shortly after 6:00pm Tuesday. A roommate called police when she came home and found the unidentified woman unresponsive. Police do not suspect foul play, and the apartment was locked when the roommate came hope. No other

Holy Cross Man Pleads Not Guilty in Crash that Killed Four


An eastern Iowa man has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges including vehicular homicide in connection to a crash that killed four teenagers in August. Twenty-four-year-old Joseph Connolly, of Holy Cross, also asked for a speedy trial. Connolly faces multiple charges in connection to the crash near Epworth. Connolly's pickup hit a four-wheeled utility vehicle carrying Sean Kenneally,

Greene County Mom Reports Attempted Abduction


A day after two reported abduction attempts in Webster County, a similar incident was reported in Greene County. The Greene County Sheriff's Office says a mother reported the attempted abduction of her three year-old daughter at about 11:40am Monday at the corner of Hager Street and 13th Street in Grand Junction. In both Webster County cases and in Greene County, a white man wearing a ski

Capsules Found in Prison Test Negative for Controlled Substances


Lab results show hundreds of capsules found at a Rockwell City prison tested negative for any controlled substances. The state Department of Public Safety made the announcement Monday about the 300-plus capsules found earlier this month at the North Central Correctional Facility. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation completed an analysis of the capsules. The pills contained an unknown

Body ID'd as Missing ISU Student


 A body found in a car trunk has been identified as an Iowa State University student from China who has been missing for more than three weeks.  The Iowa City Police Department says the death of 20-year-old Ton Shao is suspicious. The cause of death is being withheld pending results of an autopsy. Investigators want to talk with 23-year-old Xiangnan Li  of Iowa City, as he may have

Poll Shows Branstad with Big Lead in Governor's Race


A new poll shows Governor Terry Branstad with a sizeable lead in his bid for reelection. The Des Moines Register poll shows governor candidate Jack Hatch trailing Gov. Terry Branstad by 14 points. Branstad leads Hatch 48 percent to 34 percent. The poll said 10 percent of Iowans are still undecided, and 6 percent favor other candidates. The percentage point margin between the two is about the same

Airline Service Returning to Fort Dodge


The Fort Dodge Regional Airport received positive news late last week. On Friday, airport officials announced that commercial air service will resume in Fort Dodge, thanks to the approval of a waiver allowing the airport to remain in the Essential Air Service program. Fort Dodge has not had commercial airline service since February 1, when Air Choice One suspended flights. In June, the regional

Braley, Ernst Hold First Debate


Democrat Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst clashed over health care, Social Security and foreign policy during the first debate of the Iowa Senate race. The candidates  have largely campaigned using scripted television ads and controlled public events, however the debate at Simpson College  put them in a new setting.
 
Braley accused Ernst of being too conservative for the

Investigation Continues into Missing Iowa State Student


Police continue to investigate the case of a missing Iowa State student and a body found in the trunk of a car early Saturday. Police said it is the car that is connected to the missing student. Iowa City police located the 1997 Toyota Camry belonging to 20-year-old Tong Shao late Friday night at an apartment complex along U.S. Highway 6 in Iowa City. Police said they noticed an odor coming from

Webster County Authorities Investigating Attempted Abduction Reports


The Webster County Sheriff’s Office is looking into reports of two abduction attempts on Sunday. Sheriff Jim Stubbs says the Gowrie Police Department took a report of an abduction attempt on Main Street involving a 13 year-old girl. Later in the afternoon, the Dayton Police Department investigated similar claims involving a 5 year-old girl. In both cases, the suspect was described as a

Trott Sentenced for Buenting's Death


A man convicted of murdering a Rockwell City police officer received his sentenced Friday morning. Second District Judge Tom Bice sentenced 33 year-old Corey Trott to life in prison without parole for the death of officer Jamie Buenting. In addition, Trott must also pay $150,000 in restitution to the Buenting family. On September 5, a jury found Trott guilty of first-degree murder. Trott shot

Fort Dodge Man Accused of Running Illegal Tattoo Business


A Fort Dodge man is accused of running an illegal tattoo business out of his home. In a press release, Fort Dodge Assistant Police Chief Roger Porter says 31 year-old Jesse Blair is charged with tattooing from an unlicensed establishment, which is a serious misdemeanor. Porter says the department received several tips of an illegal tattoo operation as well as minors receiving tattoos.

Teen Charged in Crash that Killed East Sac County Students


A Clarksville teen has been charged in connection to a crash that killed two East Sac County students. 17 year-old Trevor Feauto was taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with two Class B Felony counts of homicide by vehicle. On August 23, Feauto's pickup collided with a vehicle driven by 16 year old Bailey Jacobsen at the intersection of 400th Street and Otter Avenue along the Carroll

Walk to End Alzheimer's is Saturday


Local residents are invited to come together to walk to end Alzheimer's this Saturday. The annual walk will be held at the Fort Dodge Middle School with registration beginning at 8:30am and the walk starting at 10:00am. Shawna Schuler with the Alzheimer's Association says all are welcome to help end this devastating disease 

For more information or to preregister, visit ALZ.ORG

Police: Man who Locked Children in Bedroom Violated No-Contact Order


An Iowa mother was arrested after allowing her boyfriend back in the home where investigators say he locked her five children in a bedroom for 24 hours at a time. Fayette County Sheriff Marty Fisher said Joshua Steinbronn returned to the Westgate home he shares with Jonya Smith and her five children this week in violation of a no-contact order. Steinbronn reportedly hid in a crawl space when

Iowa Cooperatives Asked to Participate in 'Gifts of Grain' Program


The American Red Cross is encouraging farmers to donate part of their crop to the charity to fund programs of special importance to rural Iowa. Program coordinator Bryce Sitter says the Gifts of Grain program has been successfully tried in Nebraska with 19 cooperatives and the American Red Cross is looking to expand it in Iowa. Sitter says a volunteer had contacted more than 600 Iowa cooperatives

Rep. Latham to be Honored in Fort Dodge


A United States Congressman will be honored today for his longtime support of Fort Dodge's trail system and Iowa Central Community College. A ceremony is planned for 1:00pm today in the 600 block of Meriwether Drive for Representative Tom Latham, who served the Fort Dodge area for 17 years. Trail markers with Latham's picture will be unveiled during the ceremony. He will also be given a

Dayton Receives Grant Funds for Park Additions


The city of Dayton will receive grant funding towards construction projects at the School Park. The Fort Dodge Messenger reports the Dayton City Council approved to accept a Resource Enhancement and Protection grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The funds will allow for the construction of several items at the park, including a gazebo, restroom, benches, and tables. The project,

Iowa Encouraging Women to Join STEM Fields


Iowa is launching a statewide effort to recruit mentors to encourage young women to consider careers in science and technology, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday.  The effort is part of a national campaign called Million Women Mentors. The Iowa program seeks to enlist 5,000 mentors for young women in the state over the next four years to encourage women to pursue science, technology,

Marshall County Authorities Seek Escaped Sex Offender


Authorities in Marshall County say that a registered sex offender is on the run. 21 year-old Mitchell Bendixen escaped from the Marshalltown Residential Facility on Sept. 16. Bendixen was convicted of assault in Jones County in 2012. One year later he was arrested for assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. Police describe him as 6 feet tall, 225 pounds with brown hair. He's wanted on

83 Year-old Des Moines Woman Reportedly Attacked by Home Invader


Des Moines police say an 83-year-old woman was hospitalized after a home invader attacked her. Police said Phyllis Tawney was headed to bed Tuesday night when she saw a man in her bathroom. The intruder grabbed her cane and ripped off her life alert bracelet, breaking her arm, police said. He then tied her up with shoelaces and left her on the floor while he searched her house. Tawney said the

Reward Offered in FD Tagging incidents


A reward is now being offered for information regarding several tagging incidents in downtown Fort Dodge. The Fort Dodge Police Department says the investigation is ongoing into damage done to several downtown buildings in an area from the 700 block of 1st Avenue North and Central Avenue to the 2000 blocks of 1st Avenue North and 1st Avenue South. Webster County Crime Stoppers is offering a

Two FD Residents Charged with Burglary


Two people are in custody after a Fort Dodge resident reported coming home to find them sleeping inside. Fort Dodge Acting Police Chief Kevin Doty says the resident called police shortly before  8:00am Tuesday after finding two people in her home in the 500 block of South 22nd Street. When she called police, the two suspects fled on foot. The resident was able to provide police their

Shooting Suspect Mistakenly Released, Back in Custody


 A suspect in a Cedar Rapids shooting who'd been released in error soon afterward is back in custody. The Linn County Sheriff's Office says 18 year-old Brandon Gordon surrendered at the county jail around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday. Gordon is being held on $500,000 bail and is expected to be in court today. Gordon is accused of firing several shots into a sport utility vehicle at a Cedar

Democrats Confident They Can Win House Majority in November


Republicans hold a narrow majority in the Iowa House, but Democrats said Tuesday they are hoping they can flip some seats in November and take control. Iowa House Democratic Leader Mark Smith, of Marshalltown, said he is optimistic about the party's chances for regaining a majority in the chamber, which has been Republican-controlled for about four years. The state House currently has 53

Branstad Outspending Hatch in TV Ads


A new study says Governor Terry Branstad is massively outspending his Democratic opponent Jack Hatch in his bid for re-election. The non-partisan Center for Public Integrity says $2.9 million has been spent on television advertising in Iowa state level races through Sept. 8. More than $2 million has come from Branstad's campaign. Just more than $129,000 has come from the Hatch

Suspicious Vehicle Spotted


According to a press release, Fort Dodge Police received a report of a suspicious vehicle in the area of 4th street NW on Thursday.  At approximately 630PM, an unknown male made contact with two young children.  According to the report, he offered the children candy.  When approached by the parent, the vehicle drove away.  The man is described as an older white male with white

Investigation into Fatal Crash Underway


A two vehicle collision occurred Thursday evening just outside of Randal on the curves of highway 69 in southern Hamilton County.  According to a press release,  a Ford Fusion driven by 32 year old Joy Niklasen of Alleman, Iowa was eastbound in the southbound lanes of highway 69.  A Ford F150 pickup driven by 32 year old Natasha Johnson of Ellsworth was westbound in the northbound

Two Vehicle Crash in Hamilton County Under Investigation


The Iowa State Patrol State Patrol is investigating a two vehicle crash that occurred Thursday evening.  According to a press release, a vehicle driven by 18 year old Michael Ashman of Stratford was westbound on county road D-20.  Ashman slowed down and attempted make a left turn or u-turn in the driveway of Van Diest Supply.  A second vehicle, driven by 18 year old Evan Wolfgram

Police Seek Missing Fort Dodge Woman


Fort Dodge Police are seeking the public's help with a missing person's case.  35 year old Tina Cooper has not been seen or heard from since August 25th, 2014.  She is described as a white female, approximately 5'7" and 100 pounds.  She has short brown hair and hazel eyes.  No foul play is suspected but the family is concerned for her welfare.  Anyone

Missing Teenager Found


A Rockwell City teenager has been found. Rockwell City police report that, at t approximately 930pm Thursday night, police received a tip as to the whereabouts of Simkins and 20 year old Chance Kinney.  A short time later, law enforcement surrounded the location and made contact with Simkins and Kinney.  Kinney was arrested on an unrelated warrant and Simkins was taken into protective

Fort Dodge Fire Department Open House is Saturday


In connection with Fire Prevention Week, the community is invited to the Fort Dodge Fire Department's annual open house on Saturday. The open house will be held at the fire station from 11:00am-2:00pm Saturday, and will include tours, displays, and family activities. City Fire Marshal Doug Ostbloom says this year's theme is "Working Smoke Detectors Save Lives"

AFES Reaches Fundraising Goal


A local non-profit group has succeeded in raising the funds necessary to build a new gymnasium.  The Fort Dodge Athletics for Education and Success program raised $370,000 for the new gym and held their ground breaking Thursday evening.  Director Charles Clayton explains that, while the goal has been met, funds are still needed.  The program serves area youth of all ages. 

Prosecution and Defense Rest in Trott Case


Prosecutors and defense attorneys have rested their cases in the trial of a man charged with killing a Rockwell City police officer last year. Both sides rested their cases Thursday in the trial of 33-year-old Corey Trott. Closing arguments will be delivered today. Trott is charged with first-degree murder in the September 2013 death of 37-year-old officer Jamie Buenting. Authorities say Trott

Honor Flight to Depart Saturday


Over 100 local veterans will fly to Washington, D.C. on Saturday as part of the Honor Flight Tour. Saturday's trip will be the ninth tour of the Brushy Creek Area Honor Flight since 2010. The flight allows veterans to tour several sights in Washington, including the World War II, Korean, and Vietnam memorials and Arlington National Cemetery. 102 veterans, including nine World War II and 93

Mowrer Goes on the Offensive Against Rep. King


U.S. Congressional candidate Jim Mowrer went on the offensive yesterday with a series of appearances throughout Iowa's 4th district. Speaking outside of Congressman Steve King's Fort Dodge office, Mowrer attacked King for his role in last year's government shut down, which Mowrer says cost the U.S. economy $24 billion:

Fort Dodge Police Investigate Home Invasion


According to a press release, Fort Dodge Police are investigating a reported home invasion.  Officers responded to a home on 5th avenue north, where residents reported that between 330 and 4 in the morning on Friday, three black males forced entry into the home and demanded money.  Nothing was taken during the incident.  Four residents of the home sustained injuries and were

Storm Lake Police Investigate Assault


Storm Lake Police are investigating an alleged assault at the Hillshire Brands Plant.  According to a press release, 22 year old Victor Vela allegedly attempted to assault another worker at the plant with a shovel at 1130 Wednesday evening.  The victim sustained an injury to his arm.  Vela was terminated and asked to leave the plant.  Police were called the plant on Thursday

Suspect Identified in Drive-by Shooting Investigation


The Fort Dodge Police Department has released the name of a Fort Dodge man believed to be responsible for gunshots that were reported fired on Monday. Police Chief Tim Carmody says 18 year-old Xavier Rhone is the person believed to be responsible and is currently at large. He is wanted on several warrants for charges including going armed with intent and intimidation with a dangerous weapon. On

Suspect Sought in Home Invasion


According to a press release, Webster County Sheriff's deputies responded to a reported home invasion in Coalville at approximately 12:05pm today.  According to the release, a female resident was home when the suspect entered the residence.  She struggled with and then discharged a firearm at the suspect.  The suspect is described as a bald white male with a stocky build

Ekstrom Pleads Guilty


A Fort Dodge woman has pleaded guilty in connection to the murder of a Fort Dodge man last year. 22 year-old Holly Ekstrom entered guilty pleas on Wednesday to aggravated misdemeanors of accessory after the fact and operating a motor vehicle without owner's consent. Ekstrom said she saw Ronald Dilley kill 22-year-old Steven Fisher with a hatchet in July of 2013. She admitted to driving Dilley

STEP Program in Place for Holiday Weekend


Iowa law enforcement agencies are stepping up their efforts on roadways this Independence Day weekend. The Iowa Department of Transportation says over 250 city, county, and state agencies are participating in a special traffic enforcement program to help keep holiday travelers safe. The STEP projects are funded by the governor's traffic safety bureau, which enables officers to work overtime

Investigation into Mitchellville Mayor Complete


The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has wrapped up their investigation into a complaint against the mayor of Mitchellville. On June 2, the Mitchellville Police Department received a complaint alleging inappropriate conduct with children. The DCI conducted and completed the investigation. Through multiple thorough interviews it was determined that no criminal activity took place. After

Caution Urged with Contractors


In the wake of recent severe weather, local officials are urging citizens to use caution if approached by a door-to-door contractor.  In order to work in Fort Dodge, such contractors must be licensed and registered with the city, which also insures that they are bonded.  Officials urge citizens to use local contractors to repair storm damage and to ask their insurance adjustor to

Fort Dodge Man Charged with Firearm Posession


Fort Dodge Police say a man was arrested and charged with being a felon in possession of at least one firearm. On Friday, officers with the Fort Dodge Police Department and Webster County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant in the 1700 block of 13th Avenue SW and arrested 34 year-old James Michael McCane. Through an ongoing investigation, it was alleged that McCane was in possession of

VEISHA Task Force Votes to Change VEISHA


The future of VEISHA is closer to being decided at Iowa State University.  The task force convened in the wake of riots that brought 2014 VEISHA to an early end recommended Thursday that VEISHA change how it operates.  According to KCCI, task force chairman Thomas Hill acknowledged that heavy work is still ahead for the task force.  The task force will now narrow down their options

Disaster Declaration in Several Counties


Governor Terry Branstad has issued a proclamation of disaster emergency and activated an assistance program for four Iowa counties affected by recent severe weather. Branstad said in a news release Friday that the Iowa Individual Assistance Program has been activated for Cass, Harrison, Montgomery, and Ringgold counties. Pottawattamie County was declared under a disaster emergency on Tuesday and

Household Waste Accepted This Weekend


Residents in eastern Iowa can safely dispose of hazardous household waste this weekend. A mobile household hazardous waste collection event has been set for Saturday at the East Side Recycling Center in Iowa City. The collection, sponsored by the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center, will be held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and there is no cost to participate. Residents of Iowa City, Johnson

Webster County Supervisors Approve Construction Contracts


The Webster County Board of Supervisors approved two construction contracts during its business meeting yesterday. The supervisors agreed to a $1.39 million contract with Fort Dodge Asphalt to resurface a portion of Webster County Road D43. The work, to be completed this summer, will be done from the railroad crossing in Callender east to U.S. Highway 169. In addition, the supervisors also

Webster County Health Ready to Help Families


The Webster County Health Department is stepping in to help residents after Planned Parenthood of the Heartland closed in December.  After receiving a $300,000 grant in March, The Webster County Health Department will provide family planning services for area families.  Planned Parenthood closed in December after seeing a decline in the number of people using their facility. 

Des Moines Inmate Captured


Des Moines officers say an escaped inmate has been captured in Warren county. Polk County Sheriff's Lt. Brent Long says that 37-year-old Kenny Bevard escaped around 4:50 p.m. Thursday in Clive while being driven to Adel in Dallas County.  He was last seen at a Guthrie Ave Kum & Go shortly after 11:00pm that night. Just after 3:20pm Friday, official apprehended Bevard, following a tip as

Annual Easter Hunt A Success


In just over 150 seconds, over 500 kids cleared Dodger Stadium of candy.  The Fort Dodge Moose Lodge’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt was a big success this year with more money, prizes and candy.  Kids could pay just 50 cents to participate in the hunt and no one was turned away if they couldn't pay.  Kids lined the football field’s sidelines, waiting for the signal to

Inmate Esacpes Work Release


The Des Moines Register reports that a 24 year old man has been placed on escape status after failing to report back from work release.  Tyler Lampe of Davenport is currently serving a 15 year sentence for intimidation with a dangerous weapon and escape of a felon.  Lampe was transferred to work release earlier this year, after starting his sentence in 2010.  Lampe is white,

Teen Dies Trying to Climb on Train


A Des Moines teen has died after falling from a train.  KCCI TV reports that the teen was allegedly attempting to board a slow-moving freight train early Sunday morning when he fell and was run over.  Witnesses at the scene were taken to the police station for interviews.  Several streets were closed following the accident but those have since reopened.  Authorities are

Microsoft to Build Data Center


State and local officials announced that Microsoft will begin construction on a new data center in West Des Moines. Gov. Terry Branstad announced the project Friday. ``Project Alluvion,'' is expected to total more than $1.1 billion. Branstad said Iowa's central location makes it an attractive location for Microsoft and other companies that have recently opened data centers. Google

Waterloo Woman Pleads Guilty to Killing Former Boyfriend


A Waterloo woman has pleaded guilty in the 2013 stabbing death of her former boyfriend. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports 40-year-old Keisha Magee pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder for the death of 28-year-old John Bass on September 29th.

Inmate Charged with Escape from FD Residential Facility


A former Jefferson man was ordered held on $5,000 bond after allegedly escaping from the Fort Dodge Residential Correctional Facility. 22 year-old Matthew Spaulding made his initial appearance in Webster County Magistrate Court on Tuesday on a Class D felony escape from custody as a convicted felon charge. According to criminal complaints, Spaulding left the residential facility on January 10

FD Council Approves 2014-15 Budget


Fort Dodge residents will see a slight decrease in property tax rates in the coming fiscal year. With little discussion, the Fort Dodge City Council approved the budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year, which starts on July 1. The budget calls for spending in the amount of $72.72 million, down from the current year's budget of $75.75 million. City Manager David Fierke said the budget

Mid American Proposes Rate Increase


MidAmerican Energy is proposing its first rate increase since 1995 that would reportedly generate $135 million over three years. The Iowa Utilities Board discussed the electric rate increase at its meeting Friday morning. The Board is asking that the rate increase be phased in over 3 years. The first phase already went into effect last year with the average household paying about $2.73

Brandstad Opposes Cuts to National Guard


Governor Terry Branstad is joining with the rest of the nation's governors to oppose any cuts to the National Guard. Branstad said Friday that all 50 governors had signed a letter to President Barack Obama expressing concerns about proposed cuts to the Guard in the federal budget. Branstad raised these issues with Obama this week during a meeting of the National Governors Association in

Southeast Iowa Man Charged with Animal Neglect


A southeast Iowa man has been arrested on more than three dozen charges related to more than 300 animals found at his home. The Davis County Sheriff's Office arrested 45-year-old Drakesville resident Roger Blew on Thursday, a week after officers searched his home and found 339 animals, including many dead animals. Blew is charged with 28 counts of animal neglect. The Department of Natural

Baseball Clinic Next Saturday


The North Central Iowa Baseball Clinic will be held at the Phillips middle school gym on Saturday, March 8th.  Grades 1-4 will meet from 9-noon and grades 5-8 will meet from 1-4.  During the clinic, students will learn throwing, hitting, pitching, catching and other fundamentals of the game from coaches throughout North Central Iowa.  The clinic will also focus on the basic

Newell Man Accused of Inappropriate Contact with 9 Year-Old


A Buena Vista County man has been arrested on suspicion of inappropriate contact with a 9-year old girl. 23-year old Newell resident Aaron Hazen was arrested Thursday after a month-long investigation. Police say Hazen had inappropriate contact with the child several times over the last year. He is charged with two felony counts of lascivious acts with a child and two counts of indecent contact

Cedar Rapids Police Investigating Third Homicide This Year


Authorities are investigating the death of a Cedar Rapids man as a homicide. The Cedar Rapids Police Department says 31-year-old Clifton Sparks was found lying on a street shortly after midnight Tuesday. He was pronounced dead on the scene. Police say Sparks sustained a traumatic injury, but additional information was not released. An autopsy is pending. The death marks the third homicide in