News

Two Dead in Tragic ATV Accident


The Iowa State Patrol says two Fort Dodge residents were killed Sunday evening after a tree collapsed onto their four-wheeler just south of Fort Dodge. Iowa State Patrol Lt Kelly Hindman says shortly after 5:00pm, a Honda ATV was being operated northbound on South River Road when a tree on the east side of the road fell across the roadway and struck the ATV and both occupants. Neither occupants,

Street, Development Agreements on Fort Dodge Council Agenda


It figures to be a busy night when the Fort Dodge City Council meet in session. Prior to its 6:00pm business session, the council has a workshop scheduled to discuss containers being used in the city's new trash collecting system. During its regular meeting, the council will consider several proposals tied to new business developments. The council will consider a transfer road jurisdiction

Gaels Gunning for Back to Back State Tournament Berths


The St Edmond softball team will look to make it back-to-back state tournament appearances when it takes on the 2nd-ranked team in Class 2A. The 4th-ranked Gaels will travel to Ogden to face the Earlham Cardinals, with the winner claiming one of eight spots in next week's state softball tournament. The Gaels check in at 30-5 overall while the Cardinals are 27-4 on the year. First pitch from

Akron Authorities Continue Investigation into Suspicious Deaths


Autopsies have been completed on the elderly northwest Iowa couple found dead in their home last week, but officials aren't releasing many details about the case.83 year-old Don Neunaber and 80-year-old Esther Neunaber were both found dead in their Akron home Wednesday. Authorities say the circumstances were suspicious and the couple may have died up to two weeks earlier. The couple's

Lance Armstrong to Join Iowa RAGBRAI Bike Tour


Lance Armstrong is again planning to join in on the 418-mile, 15-county bike ride across Iowa later this month. The Des Moines Register reports Armstrong plans to participate in his sixth RAGBRAI and even work as a guest bartender this Saturday in Rock Valley to help raise money for the northwest Iowa town of 3,400 hit by flooding. Armstrong has said the organizers of the Iowa event were the

ISP: Two FD Residents Killed in "Terrible Unfortunate and Unavoidable Accident"


The Iowa State Patrol says two Fort Dodge residents were killed Sunday evening after a tree collapsed onto their four-wheeler just south of Fort Dodge. Investigators have not released the names of the deceased, pending family notification. Iowa State Patrol Lt Kelly Hindman says shortly after 5:00pm, a Honda ATV was being operated northbound on South River Road when a tree on the east side of the

FDPD Investigating Saturday AM Domestic Disturbance


Fort Dodge police say no charges have been filed at this time following a Saturday morning domestic disturbance. At 6:17am, officers were sent to 720 North 15th Street to investigate a disturbance between two people. Officers found the female resident, 55 year-old Mona Dillard, in the front yard. While speaking with Dillard, a male resident, 60 year-old Jimmy Dillard Sr, began yelling at officers

FD Police Seek Info in Armed Robbery


The Fort Dodge Police Department is seeking information in an early Friday morning armed robbery. Police Chief Tim Carmody reports that officers were dispatched to the Liquor & Tobacco outlet at 902 1st Avenue N at about 2:45am Friday in reference to a robbery. The victim, 32 year-old Zahid Ali, reported that he had just closed the business and was approached by a male suspect. The suspect was

Amber Alert Suspect Captured; Charged in Death of Children's Mother


A Waterloo man has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder in the death of a woman found in the middle of a rural road. The Linn County Sheriff's Office says 36-year-old Shaun Michael Hogan was taken into custody Thursday in connection with the death of 29-year-old Crystal Marie Gaffney. He is being held without bond at the county jail. The state medical examiner's office says

Assisted Living Employee Given Probation for Neglect of Residents


A northern Iowa woman has been given probation for leaving more than a dozen residents alone at an assisted living center. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports 54-year-old Rudd resident Debra Jean Ihrig was recently given deferred judgment and probation on charges of neglect or abandonment of a dependent person, among others. She pleaded guilty to some charges in May as part of a plea deal. She

DSM Police Investigating Alleged Sexual Abuse of 4 Year-Old


Authorities say a 4-year-old girl has been sexually assaulted outside her northwest Des Moines apartment building. Police say the girl was playing outside with her 6-year-old brother on Wednesday when a man she didn't know led her away to a tree line behind some garages and assaulted her. She then ran back to her apartment and told her mother what happened. No arrest has been reported.

Iowa Supreme Court Expected to Resove Solar Energy Dispute


The Iowa Supreme Court is expected to rule in a dispute over the future of solar energy in Iowa. The court expects to decide Friday whether solar energy companies can sell electricity directly to businesses and governments. Regulated utility companies argue that such third-party purchase agreements are not legal under Iowa law, which gives them the exclusive right to sell to those customers. A

Suspect Remains At Large Following Amber Alert


The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says a woman found dead in Walker, Iowa on Wednesday morning is the mother of the three children involved in an Amber Alert. Iowa authorities canceled an Amber Alert for 8-year-old Brooklyn Gaffney, 6-year-old Mia Gaffney and 8-month-old Nevaeh Hogan around 11:20 p.m. Wednesday. Waterloo police have confirmed the three children had been found and are

Groundbreaking Ceremony Being Held for Jefferson Casino


Construction equipment has begun dirt work on the recently approved casino in Jefferson but local and state officials will be gathering today for a ceremonial groundbreaking celebration to officially kick off the project.The Wild Rose Jefferson casino project was awarded a gambling license on June 12 by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.  The $40 million project including an events

Oil Pipeline Proposed to Run Through Iowa


A Texas company wants to run through Iowa a pipeline that would carry crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken oil fields to Illinois. The Des Moines Register says the underground route through Iowa would begin in Lyon County and slice southeast through 15 other counties and exit at Lee County. Energy Transfer Partners LP, of Dallas, is proposing the pipeline, which would carry at least 320,000

Cancer Patient Convicted of Drug Charges


In eastern Iowa, a man who says he grew marijuana to treat his cancer has been found guilty of drug charges. The Quad-City Times reports a jury returned the verdict Wednesday for 48 year-old Benton Mackenzie in Scott County District Court. His wife and adult son were also found guilty of drug charges. The charges were in connection to dozens of marijuana plants found at Mackenzie's

Otho Fills City Council Vacancy; Will Look to Fill Mayor Seat


The Webster County city of Otho has filled a vacancy on its city council and will look to do the same for Mayor later this month. The Fort Dodge Messenger reports that former Mayor Joe Hays resigned his position as of July 1, and council member Gary Fox suddenly resigned on June 13. No explanations were given for either resignation. Last night, the council voted 3-1 to appoint Rob Ewing to fill

Disaster Proclamations Continue Following Severe Weather


A disaster proclamation has been issued for three Iowa counties affected by recent severe weather. Governor Terry Branstad says a proclamation was issued Tuesday for Polk County, following a proclamation Monday for Scott and Shelby counties. The governor's office says the proclamations are in response to ongoing flooding and severe weather that began June 26. They are aimed at helping the

ISU AIDS Research Team Denied Final Payment After Fake Results


An AIDS research team at Iowa State University will not get a final payment of $1.38 million it had been awarded from the National Institutes of Health after a team member admitted last year to faking research results. The institute says the final payment of a five-year grant will not be made. Dong-Pyou Han has pleaded not guilty in federal court to four counts of making false statements in

Remains Found in Germany Confirmed as Iowa WWII Airman


Officials say remains found in Germany in 2012 have been positively identified as belonging to a WWII airman from Iowa who went missing more than 69 years ago. The Iowa National Guard says Staff Sgt. Robert ``Bobby'' E. Howard, of Moulton, Iowa, was 21 years old in April 1945 when his aircraft was shot down over Germany. He and four other crew members were officially declared dead, though

Attitude Problems Cited for Nashua Police Chief's Demotion


the police chief of a northern Iowa city has been demoted back to officer. The Nashua city council made that decision on Monday regarding the city's chief, Ernie Willsher. Mayor Deanne Lantow said in the demotion notice to Willsher on June 20 that his attitude is to blame, but she did not go into specifics. Willsher has 30 days to appeal the decision and request a formal hearing.

Ekstrom Sentenced for Role in Steven Fisher Death


A Fort Dodge woman has been sentenced to four years in prison in connection to a hatchet slaying last year. 23-year-old Holly Ekstrom received the sentence Monday. Judge Kurt Wilke rejected a recommended probation sentence as part of a plea deal because Ekstrom admitted to lying to investigators. Ekstrom recently pleaded guilty to aggravated misdemeanors in connection with the July 2013 death of

No Citations Issued After 8 Year-Old Hit by Car


Fort Dodge Police say an 8 year-old girl was hospitalized after she was hit by a car while riding a bike. The girl, who was not immediately identified, was riding north on South 16th Street when she reportedly did not stop at a stop sign and was struck by a Chevy Silverado headed westbound on Third Avenue South. No citations were issued. The girl was initially transported to UnityPoint-Trinity

Century-Old Audobon Building Destroyed by Fire


Authorities say a century-old building in Audobon was completely destroyed after a fire broke out inside. The 102-year-old building near the main street of Audubon caught fire Friday afternoon. Area firefighters continued to work the scene until Sunday morning. Officials say the blaze was contained Friday night, but firefighters from multiple departments had to wait while the fire burned itself

Two Graettinger Children Killed in House Fire


Officials in Palo Alto County say two children were killed as a result of a Monday morning house fire. In a news release, the Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office says shortly after 6:30am, a fire was reported in the 200 block of South Jackson Avenue in Graettinger. An occupant of the house, 27 year-old Stephanie Gaston, was able to escape, but couldn't get her children to safety. They were

Cedar Falls Boy Dies After Fall


A 3-year-old Cedar Falls boy has died after falling out a second-story window at home. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said Monday that Carter McOmber had died. The boy fell Saturday morning after leaning against a window screen in an upstairs bedroom. Cedar Falls police say Carter fell about 20 feet to the ground. Police Capt. Craig Berte says the fall was an accident and that no

Algona Police Seeking Stabbing Suspect


Police in Algona are searching for a suspect accused of stabbing an Emmetsburg man on Saturday night. Assistant Police Chief Kendall Pals says the stabbing occurred during a special music event being held at After Life, in the 200 block of East State Street. A disturbance reportedly began in the bar and then migrated into the street. The victim, 33 year-old Emmetsburg resident Cody Henry, was

Cedar Falls Boy in Critical Condition After Fall from Window


A 3-year-old Iowa boy remained in critical condition a day after falling out of a second-story window at home. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports Carter James McOmber fell Saturday morning after leaning against a window screen in an upstairs bedroom. Cedar Falls police say Carter fell about 20 feet to the ground and suffered life-threatening injuries in the fall. He was flown to St.

DCI Investigating After Ankeny Officer Fatally Shoots Armed Woman


Authorities say the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is looking into an Ankeny officer's fatal shooting of an armed woman. Ankeny police say officers were sent to a home around 5:15 p.m. Saturday after receiving a report about a suicidal woman. Police say the officers found a woman, identified as 59 year-old Marilyn Boyd, armed with a semi-automatic weapon. Police say Boyd was shot

Multiple Tornadoes Reported During Sunday PM Storms


Several tornadoes were reported and at least two homes were damaged after a line of severe storms passed through central Iowa.the National Weather Service received reports of tornadoes Sunday night in Grundy, Tama and Jasper counties. Three were confirmed, however a total of 11 were reported by spotters. The Grundy County Sheriff's Office says one home about a mile west of Reinbeck suffered

Iowa State Fair Tickets On Sale Today


The Iowa State Fair kicks off in exactly one month, and the ticket office opens today. Discounted tickets on admission, rides and more will be offered. Adult admission tickets are just $8 in advance and children's tickets are $4. Tickets can be purchased online or at Hy-Vee and Fareway stores. The 2014 Iowa State Fair will run for 10 days from Aug. 7-17.

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

Three Year-Old's 911 Call Leads to Sexual Assault Arrest


Authorities say a 3-year-old's call to 911 helped lead to the arrest of a man accused of sexually assaulting the child's mother in Storm Lake. Storm Lake Police say the child dialed 911 early Tuesday but did not speak to emergency dispatchers. Police responded to an apartment, where 30-year-old Denis Reyes-Morales is accused of jumping out of a second-story window. Police say

Searchers Recover Body of Missing Teen


Cedar Rapids police say the body of a teenager swept into a storm drain has been found more than a mile away in a lake. Police announced Tuesday afternoon they had found the body of 17-year-old Logan Blake in Cedar Lake. Firefighters who were searching in a boat found the body about 4 p.m. The body is being taken to a local hospital and the state medical examiner will determine the cause of

Three Tornadoes Confirmed in Monday Storms


Officials have confirmed three tornadoes hit Iowa during recent severe weather. The National Weather Service says three tornadoes hit Monday in south central and east central Iowa as severe weather packing heavy rain and hail moved across the state. A tornado in Tama County rated as an EF-2, which means winds ranged between 111 and 135 mph. The other two tornadoes in Adair and Madison counties

Severe Weather Fatality Identified


Authorities have released the name of a man killed following severe weather in eastern Iowa. The Linn County Sheriff's Office says 57-year-old Cedar Rapids resident David Lee Fry was killed Monday afternoon after a building he was in collapsed in Fairfax. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A second person, 62-year-old Cedric Brownfield was in the building with Fry. He received

Marshalltown Man Convicted in July 2013 Murder


A Marshall County jury has convicted a Marshalltown man of second-degree murder in the death of a woman whose body was found in a minivan. The Marshalltown Times-Republican reports jurors took about three hours Tuesday before finding 40-year-old Mathew Irving guilty in the killing of 55-year-old Rebecca Hall in July 2013. Her body was found in the back of a minivan parked on the side of a road

Fort Dodge Teens Enter Not Guilty Pleas in Gun Fight


Two Fort Dodge teens have entered not guilty pleas in connection to an alleged gun shoot out that left one woman injured. 18 year-old Malik Veal and 17 year-old Jerique Bryson both entered written pleas of not guilty to charges on Monday. Both Veal and Bryson are being held on an attempted murder charge while Veal is also charged with escape from custody. The teens are accused of shooting at each

Graesch Pleads Not Guilty in Death of Father


A Webster City man accused of killing his father has entered a not guilty plea. 27 year-old Corbin Graesch entered the written plea Monday and also demanded a speedy trial. Graesch is facing a charge of first-degree murder in the death of his father, 61 year-old Steven Graesch. he is accused of beating his father using his fists and a blunt object during an altercation on June 7. An autopsy ruled

Lake City Man Pleads Not Guilty in Glidden Double Homicide


A Lake City man has pleaded not guilty to charges in connection to a Glidden double homicide. Last week, 53 year-old Thomas Henderson entered his plea to two charges of first-degree murder and demanded a speedy trial, which must take place within 90 days. Henderson is accused of killing 48 year-old Tammie DeVore and her 30 year-old son Karl Devore. They were found dead inside Tammie

Severe Storms Lead to One Death in Eastern Iowa


Authorities say a man has been killed in a building collapse caused by severe weather in eastern Iowa. The Linn County Sheriff's Office says strong winds blew through the small community of Fairfax on Monday and caused extensive damage to a building that trapped a man. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities say the building is owned by Intermec Technologies and the man was an

Cedar Rapids Man Charged in Death of his Wife


A 43-year-old man has been arrested in the slaying of a woman at a Cedar Rapids home. Cedar Rapids police say Shawn Crowley was taken into custody on Monday and is charged with first-degree murder. Crowley is accused of killing 39-year-old Chantele Crowley. Investigators say they believe the two were legally married. Officers sent to the home Monday afternoon found Chantele Crowley dead inside.

Two FD Men Arrested Following Car Chase


Two arrests were made following a car chase in Fort Dodge on Sunday. The Fort Dodge Messenger reports that the chase began around 2nd Street NW and 3rd Avenue NW when the driver, Fort Dodge resident Demontray Dungy, refused to stop at a traffic stop. The chase reportedly continued through the Pleasant Valley area, Mason Drive, and 5th Avenue South before ending in an alley behind the Kum and Go

Several Tornadoes Reported in Round of Severe Storms


Several tornadoes have been reported as heavy rain and hail fell on many parts of Iowa. At least six tornadoes were reported by spotters Sunday afternoon and evening, along with funnel clouds. Reports of deaths or serious injuries have not surfaced. Wind gusts of 60 mph were recorded in Madison County, and wind ripped off the roof of one building and damaged trees and a home on a farmstead near

Man Charged in Sunday Death of Muscatine Man


A 23-year-old man has been arrested and charged in the fatal shooting of a Muscatine man. Muscatine County Attorney Alan Ostergren says Jordan Daufeldt was arrested on Sunday and  is accused of killing 23-year-old Troy Ott. A news release from Ostergren's office says officers were sent to a Muscatine address after a 911 call at 3:50 p.m. Sunday. They found Ott, who had been shot several

Western Iowa Farmers Dealing with Flood Damage to Crops


Western Iowa farmers are dealing with damage to their crops and fences after all the rain that fell in June. The Sioux City Journal reports farmers in northwest Iowa, southeast South Dakota and northeast Nebraska face significant work ahead because of the flooding on the Big Sioux, Rock and other rivers.

Services Held for Fallen Iowa Marine


A 25-year-old Marine from Iowa who was killed in Afghanistan is being remembered as a kind and strong young man. The Ottumwa Courier reports a large crowd attended Lance Corporal Adam Wolff's funeral yesterday afternoon. Adam Wolff was killed in action along with two other Marines June 20th in Helmand province.

FD Man Charged After Missing Toyota Scion Found


Fort Dodge Police say an arrest has been made in connection to a vehicle that went missing prior to an arson fire. Police Chief Tim Carmody says a Toyota Scion that had been missing since Saturday afternoon was located in Wright County. Information about the location or vehicle's condition is not available at this time. In addition, Carmody says a person of interest, 26 year-old Fort Dodge

Frontier Communications Working to Restore Service to Some FD Customers


Frontier Communications says it continues to work towards repairing a damaged cable that has caused problems for Fort Dodge residents in the last week. The Fort Dodge Messenger reports that a handful of customers were still affected Thursday after a damaged cable caused telephone and internet service outages for several customers. A company spokesman said the damage was caused by a recent street

Construction Already Starting on Jefferson Casino


Greene County officials say they've already begun working at the site that will house Iowa's newest casino. Grow Greene County reported on its Facebook page yesterday that work has now started on the site, two weeks after the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved a gaming license. Construction is expected to last about 13 months, which would put the opening date in late summer 2015.

Judge to Decide Fate of Cedar Falls Murder Suspect


A Cedar Falls woman is waiting for a judge to decide whether she's guilty of murder. After closing arguments on Thursday, the case against 36 year-old Kristie Clark-Richardson went to Judge George Stigler, who is presiding over the nonjury trial in Waterloo. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier says the judge is awaiting written comments from defense and prosecution attorneys on how a video of

DNR Officials Warning Lake Swimmers of Swimmer's Itch


Officials are warning people visiting some of Iowa's natural lakes about a condition called swimmer's itch. The state Department of Natural Resources says reports of swimmer's itch have come in from Crystal Lake and Black Hawk Lake. The condition is caused by a parasite that can burrow into human skin before dying. The DNR says the condition can create welts and itching and last for

Swimmer Missing Since Monday Found Dead


Authorities say they have found the body of a swimmer missing in the Des Moines River near Ottumwa. KTVO-TV reports searchers found the body of 25-year-old Michael Chrisman on Thursday morning, about a mile downstream from where he jumped into the water Monday evening. A searcher in an Eldon Fire Department boat spotted the body along the bank of the river. The Wapello County Sheriff's Office

FD Airport Officials Accept Air Choice One Proposal


Fort Dodge airport officials have made their decision based on two proposals that were submitted to offer commercial airline service. In a news release, the Fort Dodge Regional Airport Commission voiced their support for the two year proposal from Air Choice One, which would offer direct service to Lambert-St Louis International Airport. The proposal would offer 18 flights a week for the first

Guido Sex Abuse Trial Pushed Back to August


Prosecutors have filed a motion to continue the trial of a Goldfield woman facing sexual abuse charges. 50 year-old Diana Guido was originally scheduled to stand trial beginning July 15, but that is now scheduled to start on August 12. Guido is facing multiple charges, including second-degree sexual abuse and indecent contact with a child. She is accused of sexually abusing a girl between the

St Edmond Hits Home Run in Softball Fundraiser


The St Edmond community rose to the occasion both on and off the field at Harlan Rogers Park last night. The St Edmond softball program used home games vs Algona to host a tribute night to Alli Huss, a 2013 grad who is currently batting cancer. On the field, varsity head coach Paul Hunt says his team simply stuck to the script in a 12-1 win (Hunt) Off the field, community members helped raise

Two Year-Old Dead After Being Found in Ditch


A 2-year-old girl was found face-down in a ditch filled with water in rural Dallas County and pronounced dead after being rushed to a Des Moines hospital. Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Scott Bright says Deja Ramynke was playing with two other children Wednesday morning in front of a home about five miles north of Earlham when an adult noticed her missing. Authorities were called and an Iowa State Patrol

Last of Eldora Juvenile Facility Escapees is Captured


The Iowa Department of Human Services says the last of eight students who ran from the Eldora State Training School in April has been apprehended. The agency announced Wednesday that the student was taken into custody overnight in Scott County. He will face additional charges and is being held at a detention facility while awaiting a court hearing. The eight students ran from staff and into a

St Edmond Softball Program to Help Out Friend in Need


The St Edmond Softball program will play for more than just wins tonight when it takes the field at Harlan Rogers Park. The St Edmond community will be having a tribute night for 18 year-old Alli Huss, a 2013 grad who is currently battling leukemia. In order to raise funds for the Huss family, the program will have on sale raffle tickets and orange "dunk on cancer" shirts, which the St

Fort Dodge Woman to Change Plea in Murder Case


A change of plea and sentencing hearing has been scheduled for a Fort Dodge woman charged with first-degree murder. 22 year-old Holly Ekstrom is facing the charge in connection to the July 2013 death of 22 year-old Steven Fisher. Fisher’s body was found in a ditch near Otho. Ronald Dilley, who was also suspected in Fisher’s death, is currently serving 50 years in prison after pleading

FDPD Seeking Vehicle In Arson Investigation


Fort Dodge Police are hoping to locate a vehicle in connection with a Saturday afternoon arson fire. Police Chief Tim Carmody says detectives discovered that a Toyota Scion had been removed from the building at 1029 First Avenue North prior to the fire. The vehicle is mostly yellow with a green front, has the word “juice” on the sides and “street team” on the front hood.

Cargill, CJ Bio America Celebrate Grand Opening


Both local and state leaders gathered in Fort Dodge to celebrate the official grand opening of Cargill and CJ Bio America. While both have been in operation since the fall, company officials decided to wait until warm weather to celebrate. Cargill and CJ Bio America currently employ about 320 workers and according to Dennis Plautz, CEO of the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, are creating over

Senate Committee Plans to Look Into Secret Settlements


 The Iowa Senate Government Oversight Committee intends to question a number of current and former top state government administrators about confidential settlement agreements. Committee chairwoman Janet Petersen says she's determined to find out who authorized payments for secrecy to former state workers. More than 320 workers have entered settlement agreements since Governor Terry

Man Goes Missing in Des Moines River Near Ottumwa


Authorities were searching the Des Moines River near Ottumwa for a swimmer missing since Monday night. A search resumed Tuesday morning for Michael Chrisman. Wapello County Sheriff Mark Miller says Chrisman was using a rope to swing over the river about 7 p.m. Monday. Friends saw him enter the water, but he didn't resurface. The river has been running high due to weekend rains.

FD Council Approves Contract for Work on Crosstown Connector


The Fort Dodge City Council has approved a construction contract that will help lead to the creating of the crosstown connector. During its business meeting last night, the council approved a contract with Decorah-based Wicks Construction on a 4-2 vote.  Construction crews will be working on First Avenue South between Fourth and Ninth streets, and will link First and Second avenues with a

Proposed Indoor Archery Range Receives FD Council Support


An agreement to provide tax increment financing towards a development project on Fort Dodge's west side was approved. The city council unanimously agreed to enter into a development agreement with Gale McKinney for the construction of an indoor archery range at the Iowa Outdoors Store. The range will be one of the first 35-yard facilities of its kind in the state. City Manager David Fierke

Storm Lake Man Pleads Guilty to Weapons Charges as Convicted Felon


A Storm Lake man has pleaded guilty to illegally possessing firearms that he purchased using Facebook. 21-year-old William Kurtz pleaded guilty Monday in Buena Vista County District Court to being a felon in possession of a firearm and acquiring a pistol without a permit. Court documents show Kurtz used Facebook to buy the guns. Police arrested him Feb. 17 after an undercover officer exchanged a

Trial in 20 Year-Old Mason City Cold Case Starts This Week


Proceedings have begun in the trial of a man accused in the 1994 killing of a 20-month-old boy in Mason City. Lawyers on Monday began questioning 32 potential jurors for the trial of  38-year-old Michael Cisneros in Cerro Gordo County District Court. Cisneros is charged with killing John Snyder Jr., a Mason City toddler who went missing on July 20, 1994. His body was found the next day in a

Cedar Rapids Marine One of Three Killed in Afghanistan


A Cedar Rapids man was confirmed as one of three soldiers that were killed in Afghanistan last week. The Defense Department reports that three Marines based at Camp Lejeune died last week and were identified as 25 year-old Lance Cpl Adam Wolff of Cedar Rapids, 34 year-old Virginia native Staff Sgt David Stewart, and 19 year-old New Hampshire resident Lance Cpl Brandon Garabrant. All three were

Iowa Officials Say Flood Damage Exceeds $10M


Iowa's top emergency management official says up to 150 homes in Iowa have major flood damage and his department continues to monitor river levels as Iowa's ground is water saturated and more rain could cause additional problems.Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Mark Schouten says early estimates indicate damage from recent flooding comes to about

Downtown Fort Dodge Fire Ruled Arson; Reward Offered


Investigators say the fire that completely destroyed a former church building in downtown Fort Dodge was intentionally set. Fort Dodge Fire Chief Kent Hulett said Sunday that the cause of the fire was determined as arson after it was investigated by multiple agencies, including Fort Dodge fire and police, the state fire marshal’s office, and Iowa DCI. No one was reported inside the building

FD Council to Discuss Warden Plaza Redevelopment, Street Reconstruction Contract


The Fort Dodge City Council will be in session this evening. Their work will begin at 5:00pm with workshop discussions followed by the 6:00pm regular business session. Scheduled for one of the workshops is a discussion on a redevelopment proposal of the vacant Warden Plaza. No details of the proposal have been released. The plaza has been vacant for about 10 years. During the council's

DSM Industrial Warehouse Blaze Under Investigation


Authorities are still investigating a fire that destroyed an industrial warehouse just north of Des Moines. The Des Moines Register reports that the Saylor Township Fire Department returned to the scene several times Sunday morning to continue cleaning up the area.Three firefighters who suffered minor injuries on Saturday were released from the hospital. Two were treated for heat stress, while

Des Moines Man Dies After Falling in Des Moines River


A Des Moines man died Sunday after falling in the Des Moines River Saturday afternoon. Rescue crews got the call at 4:42 p.m. Saturday and arrived at the scene near Principal Park where the Raccoon River meets the Des Moines River. Within 16 minutes, they found 64-year-old Allen Edward Kinnick and pulled him from the water. Police say he lived in a homeless camp near the river. He died Sunday at

Pilot Dies in Small Plane Crash near Fairfield


A pilot has died in the crash of a small plane as it took off or shortly after taking off from an airport in southeast Iowa. Authorities say the pilot was alone in the plane when it crashed a little before noon on Sunday just east of the Fairfield airport. The pilot's name hasn't been released. The single-engine plane is owned by a Fairfield man. The crash is being investigated.

Major Structure Fire in Downtown Fort Dodge


The Fort Dodge Fire Department and crews from several other departments were dispatched to downtown Fort Dodge for a major structure fire. The building, located at the corner of First Avenue North and 11th Street, caught fire at around 2:00pm Saturday afternoon. The building is a former church which had been converted to a residence; it was fully engulfed in flames. At least four other

Onawa Man Killed in Car vs Bicycle Crash


The Iowa State Patrol says an Onawa man was killed following a crash between a car and bicycle Friday morning in Calhoun County. Patrol Lt. Kelly Hindman says the crash occurred at 8:38am on Highway 7 about six miles west of Manson. 30 year-old Lake View resident Eric Meyer was driving westbound when he hit the rear tire of 49 year-old Shawn Gosch’s bike. Gosch’s bike went into 49

River Search Ends and Water Levels Receding, But Officials Say Dangers Remain


Local law enforcement officials say they have suspended their search for two people who were reported missing in the Des Moines River. After searching for about two and a half hours Thursday night, crews were back at the Des Moines River this morning after eyewitnesses said two young people fell into the river. Shortly before 11:00am Friday, Fort Dodge Police Chief Tim Carmody says the search

Search to Resume this Morning for Kids Believed Missing in Des Moines River


Rescue crews are scheduled to renew their search for two kids who may have went missing in the Des Moines River. For over two hours last night, Crews searched about a 5 mile stretch between the Kenyon Road Bridge south to Coalville after eyewitnesses reported seeing two kids go into the water at around 7:00pm. The only description was one was wearing an orange shirt. Due to darkness and unsafe

Arraignment Hearing Set for Webster City Murder Suspect


A Webster City man charged with murder in the death of his father is scheduled to enter a plea later this month. An arraignment hearing is set for June 30 for 27 year-old Corbin Graesch, who is facing a charge of first-degree murder in the death of his father, 61 year-old Steven Graesch. According to criminal complaints, Corbin Graesch allegedly hit his father multiple times with his fists and a

Lake City Man Charged in Glidden Double Homicide


A 53-year-old Lake City man has been arrested and charged with murder in the deaths of a mother and son in western Iowa. Thomas Henderson was arrested on Thursday and remains held in the Carroll County Jail.  Henderson is accused of killing 48-year-old Tammie Lee Devore and her 30-year-old son Karl Allen Devore. Authorities found the bodies after the sheriff's office received a 911 call

Mitchellville Official Under Investigation for Inappropriate Conduct with Childr


A Mitchellville elected official is currently under investigation following allegations of inappropriate conduct with children. The Des Moines Register reports that the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation, as having Mitchellville police investigate would be a conflict of interest. Mitchellville Police Chief Kary Kinmonth said in a statement that a Mitchellville

Search Suspended for Kids Reported Missing in Des Moines River


Rescue crews from several agencies spent over two hours searching for two kids who may have went missing in the Des Moines River. Crews searched about a 5 mile stretch between the Kenyon Road Bridge south to Coalville after eyewitnesses reported seeing two kids go into the water at around 7:00pm. The only description was one was wearing an orange shirt. Due to darkness and unsafe river

Still No Charges Filed in Coalville Home Invasion


Webster County Sheriff Jim Stubbs says charges still have not been filed in connection to an alleged home invasion early this month. Stubbs says the suspect, who suffered gunshot wounds during the incident, remains hospitalized in Des Moines and his condition has remained the same. The incident occurred at a Coalville home on Sunday morning, June 1, the suspect allegedly tried to rob a home

Local Officials Warn to Keep Away from Flood Waters


Local officials are warning area residents to stay away from and out of flood waters. The National Weather Service issued a river flood warning yesterday until further notice for the Des Moines River at Fort Dodge. It is also in effect from the municipal power dam to Lehigh. Late yesterday morning, the stage was measured at 11.5 feet, which would be one foot above flood stage. The weather service

Safety Officials Recover Body of Man Missing in Skunk River


Authorities in Ames say emergency responders have recovered the body of a man reported missing in the Skunk River. Public safety officials say the body was recovered about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, roughly four hours after receiving a report that a man became separated from an inner tube while floating on the river with a group near Carr Park. They didn't release the man's name until relatives

Iowa Mayors Requesting Federal Aid to Combat Emerald Ash Borer


Mayors from 30 Iowa cities have signed a letter written by U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley that asks Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to provide more federal funds to fight the tree-killing emerald ash borer. In the letter sent Wednesday, Braley notes that an Agriculture Department fund made available to other states has been cut by more than 75 percent, leaving little for Iowa's response. Braley

Fort Dodge Seeing Minor Flooding Issues Along Des Moines River


The National Weather Service says a river flood warning is now in effect until further notice for the Des Moines River at Fort Dodge. It is also in effect from the municipal power dam to Lehigh. Late this morning, the stage was measured at 11.5 feet, which would be one foot above flood stage. The weather service says minor flooding is occurring and is forecast to continue. Webster County EMA

Fort Dodge Teens Have Attempted Murder Cases Moved to District Court


Two Fort Dodge teenagers charged in an alleged June 11 gun fight have had their cases moved to Webster County District Court. The preliminary hearings for 18 year-old Malik Veal and 17 year-old Jerique Bryson were waived and arraignments were scheduled for June 30. Both are charged with attempted murder and are accused of shooting at each other in the 1100 block of 10th Ave SW. During the

SSMID Approves $400,000 Towards Crosstown Connector


The Fort Dodge Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District has agreed to financially contribute to the city's crosstown connector project. The Fort Dodge Messenger reports the district voted to contribute $400,000 towards the project this fiscal year. In 2011, the district also voted to contribute over $589,000 toward the project. The crosstown connector will convert the entire

Three Tornadoes Confirmed Thus Far in Monday Storms


 The National Weather Service says three EF1 tornadoes have been confirmed thus far following Monday's severe storms. The service says two of the tornadoes touched down near Clarksville in Butler County around 8:00pm. Both were from the same storm system and traveled about three miles on the ground. The third tornado touched down at around 9:30pm south of Lamont in Buchanan County and

Governor Issues Disaster Proclamations for Pocahontas, Four Other Conties


Governor Terry Branstad has issued disaster proclamations for five Iowa counties following strong storms. Branstad issued the proclamations Tuesday for Cedar, Lyon, Plymouth, Pocahontas and Sioux counties. The action lets state resources be used to prepare for, respond to and recover from storms and flooding on public land or private land that might threaten public health and safety. State

Marshalltown Man Said He Set Fires to be Incarcerated


A Marshalltown man accused of setting two fires in April says he wanted to commit a crime so he could be incarcerated. The Marshalltown Times-Republican reports 48-year-old Van Gentry made the comments Monday during a probation revocation hearing linked to a separate forgery case. Gentry is accused of setting a local church building and trailer home on fire in April. Records say Gentry later went

Fort Dodge Sexual Assault Suspect Pleads Not Guilty


A man accused of sexually abusing a woman and assaulting a police officer has pleaded not guilty to charges. 36 year-old Fort Dodge resident Jeramy Smith made written pleas of not guilty yesterday to charges of first-degree sexual abuse and assault on a peace officer. Smith is accused of sexually assaulting a woman at the Countryside Inn in Fort Dodge on May 23, when the woman reportedly suffered

Former Buena Vista Juvenile Courts Employee Accused of Sexually Abusing 14 Year-


The Storm Lake Police Department says a former employee of the Buena Vista County juvenile courts office is charged with sexually abusing a 14 year-old girl. On Monday, Estherville police arrested 26 year-old Estherville resident Trent Prather, who was charged with 3rd degree sexual abuse. Investigators say that between September 1 and October 31 of 2008, Prather engaged in a sex act with a 14

Webster County Democrats Could Nominate Challenger to Supervisor Seat


One Webster County Supervisor could see a challenger on this November's general election ballot. The Fort Dodge Messenger reports that when the Webster County Democrats convene on June 30, they may nominate a candidate to challenge Keith Dencklau for the District 1 seat on the Webster County Board of Supervisors. According to the report, party chair Julie Geopfert says one person has

Severe Storms Leave Thousands Without Power


Tens of thousands of Iowa residents were without power early Tuesday after severe storms packing high winds and heavy rain crossed the state. MidAmerican Energy had more than 27,000 customers without power early Tuesday morning due to the severe weather. Alliant Energy reported nearly 12,000 Iowa customers without power, including about 6,000 in the Cedar Rapids area. The Iowa Association of

Fake "Twilight" Actor Pleads Not Guilty to Enticement, Weapons Charges


A San Diego man charged with enticing a minor while posing as an actor from the ``Twilight'' movie series has pleaded not guilty.  33-year-old David LaVera entered a written plea of not guilty Monday. A hearing was scheduled for July 2. LaVera was arrested June 10 and charged with enticing a minor, carrying weapons and failure to have a valid driver's license. A criminal

Daniels Free from Jail as She Awaits Voluntary Manslaughter Trial


A Fort Dodge woman charged in the stabbing death of her brother has been released from jail as she awaits her trial. 24 year-old Vanita Daniels had been previously held on $10,000 bond, but on Friday was ordered to be released with supervision to the department of corrections. Daniels is facing a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the May 9 death of 19 year-old Marcquis Collier. Also,

Gaming Commission to Consider Casino Moratoium


Iowa gambling regulators plan to consider whether it's time to stop building more casinos in Iowa at a meeting next month after narrowly voting to approve one for Jefferson. The five-member Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved Thursday on a 3-2 vote the $40 million casino in Jefferson. It will be the 19th state-licensed casino. Iowa also has three American Indian casinos. Two

"Twilight" Imposter In Court Today on Enticement, Weapons Charges


A California man accused of enticing a Baxter teenager while pretending to be a Hollywood actor will be in court Monday. 33 year-old David LaVera is scheduled to appear in Jasper County court on enticement and weapons charges. LaVera is charged with enticing a 14-year-old into his car at a Baxter park.  A relative was able to track her down, and she was unharmed. A search of the vehicle

Newton Man Killed in Motorcycle Crash Wasn't Wearing Helmet


Des Moines police say an Iowa man killed in a weekend motorcycle crash wasn't wearing a helmet. Police say 29-year-old Newton resident Shawn Sabin was killed Saturday evening when he ran into a sport utility vehicle that turned in front of him to enter a parking lot. The accident happened shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday near a Hy-Vee grocery store. Police Sergeant Jason Halifax says Sabin was

Number of Iowa Doctors Continues to Rise, Report Says


A new report says the number of doctors practicing in Iowa has risen again. The Iowa Board of Medicine report says more than 6,800 physicians worked in the state last year. That's up 2 percent from 2012 and 12 percent from 2006. The Des Moines Register reports that despite the increase, the state still has fewer doctors per capita than the U.S. average and faces a marked shortage in some

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