News

State Investigating Capsules Found in Rockwell City Prison


The discovery of hundreds of capsules containing an unknown substance at Rockwell City prison has prompted a state drug investigation. Authorities said that 300 to 400 capsules were found last week during routine searches by staff at the North Central Correctional Facility in Rockwell City. Prison spokesman Fred Scoletta said the capsules were found inside the prison, but he would not say where.

Des Moines Officers on Leave While Shooting Incident is Investigated


Two Des Moines Police officers are on administrative leave after shooting a man who menaced them with a knife and wouldn't put it down. Officers Cody Willis and Peter Wilson were sent to investigate a report of a domestic dispute around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and met a woman and her 41-year-old nephew. Brian Beeler reportedly had two knives in his waistband and wouldn't obey their orders.

Hampton School Goes Through Active Shooter Training


Shots echoed through the halls of a Hampton elementary school this week as authorities trained staff about how to respond to a school shooter. The Mason City Globe-Gazette reports two rounds of gunshot blanks, one from a rifle and another from a handgun, were fired in Hampton-Dumont's South Side Elementary School yesterday as a part of ALICE training.

State Rep Pleads Not Guilty to Sex Abuse Charge


A Republican State Representative has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of sex abuse. 78 year-old Garner resident Henry Rayhons made the plea Wednesday. No trial date has been set. Rayhons is accused of having sexual contact in May with the resident of a care center who was not able to give consent. The Iowa Department of Public Safety has said the woman was Rayhons' wife, Donna Rayhons,

FD Police Investigating Multiple Cases of Graffiti Vandalism


The Fort Dodge Police Department is investigating after several downtown buildings were vandalized with graffiti. On Wednesday morning, officers starting taking criminal mischief reports for damage done to several buildings in an area from the 700 block of 1st Avenue North and Central Ave to the 2000 block of 1st Avenue North to the 2000 block of 1st Avenue South. In total, 14 buildings were

United Way Community Campaign is Underway


After setting a fundraising record last year, the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way launched its 2014-2015 community campaign earlier this month. CEO Randy Kuhlman says the foundation hopes to raise $435,000 to fund various non-profit organizations and programs. Last year, the United Way raised $431,000, far exceeding the $425,000 goal. The United Way looks to support

Judge Dismisses One Claim in Hedlund Lawsuit


A judge has dismissed one of the claims in a lawsuit by a state investigator who was fired after he reported Iowa Governor Terry Branstad's speeding SUV. The judge says Larry Hedlund's firing wasn't a wrongful discharge in violation of public policy.  Hedlund's claims of wrongful discharge under state law, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress against

Former Oelwein Mayor Pleads Not Guilty to Sex Abuse Charges


The former mayor of a northeast Iowa city pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges alleging he sexually abused two girls. 36 year-old Jason Manus entered the plea to five counts of second-degree sexual abuse. His trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 8. Manus, the former mayor of Oelwein, is accused of assaulting a 14-year-old girl four times and a 9-year-old girl once in the summer of 2010. He

ADM Principal will be Back to Work Monday


A high school principal who was arrested on suspicion of drunkenness at a University of Iowa football game will return to work on Monday. The school district board voted this week to let Adel DeSoto Minburn High School principal Lee Griebel resume his duties next week. Griebel was suspended after his September 6th arrest in Iowa City. 

Webster County Region Prime Area for Bioenergy Growth, Economist Says


A Creighton University economist concluded that an eight-county region including Webster County is one of the most suitable areas in the country for hosting and supporting bioenergy industries. That was the conclusion reached by Dr. Ernie Goss, who was commissioned by the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance in January to analyze the economy of the region. Specifically, how the growth of Iowa's

FD Police Investigating Car Fire as Arson


The Fort Dodge Police Department is investigating a Monday night car fire that was possibly intentionally set. Acting Chief Kevin Doty says officers were dispatched to the 1200 block of 10th Avenue SW on a report of a vehicle fire. Upon arrival, they found a 1996 Buick Lesabre fully engulfed in flames. The vehicle was parked in the 1100 block of 12th Street SW and is owned by Fort Dodge resident

Authorities Investigating Illegal Drugs Found in Rockwell City Prison


Iowa authorities are trying to find out how illegal drugs got into the state prison in Rockwell City. Prison spokesman Fred Scaletta says a  large amount of what is believed to be illegal drugs were discovered during a routine inspection last week. Officials won't comment on the quantity or type of drugs found until the investigation is finished.  Officials from the U.S. Drug

Planned Parenthood Can Continue Using Video Conference System


The Iowa Supreme Court on Tuesday halted a ban on the use of a video-conferencing system that allows doctors to distribute abortion-inducing pills to women in rural areas of the state. The stay means Planned Parenthood of the Heartland can continue using the system until the high court makes a final ruling on whether the Iowa Board of Medicine had the authority to adopt the ban last year. The

Prosecution, Defense Argue over Accused Murderer's Child Pornography in Hearing


An attorney for a man accused of killing a 5-year-old Floyd girl argued on Tuesday that his client's history of collecting child pornography should not be presented in his upcoming trial because it will taint his image to jurors. Defense attorney Aaron Hawbaker said jurors in the trial of Casey Frederiksen will conclude his client is a bad person and likely guilty in the 2005 death of Evelyn

Corbin Graesch Murder Trial Moved to Next January


A Webster City man accused of murdering his father will now stand trial in early 2015. Following a trial scheduling conference, 27 year-old Corbin Graesch's trial will begin on January 27. Graesch is facing a charge of first-degree murder in the death of 61 year-old Steven Graesch. Steven Graesch's body was found in his home on June 9. Investigators say his death was ruled a homicide

Hearing is Today for Suspect in 2005 Death of Floyd Girl


A hearing has been scheduled for the man accused of killing a 5-year-old Floyd girl in 2005. The hearing is set for today in Hamilton County District Court in Webster City, where the trial of 35 year-old Casey Frederiksen has been moved. He's charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Evelyn Miller.  In 2012, Frederiksen was arrested and charged with the July 2005 death.

Waterloo Police Seeking Man and Woman in Homicide Investigation


Police on Monday said they were looking for a man and woman in connection with the disappearance of a Waterloo man whose body may have been found in a wooded area. Authorities believe a body found early Friday in a wooded area near a highway is that of 44-year-old Ronald Dean Randall.  Positive identification of the body has not been made because of its condition, but investigators believe

Sioux City Mother Facing Charges in Infant's Death


A Sioux City woman faces child endangerment and neglect charges in connection to the April death of her infant son. 24 year-old Rebekah Williams-McCarthy was charged Friday in Woodbury County District Court with child endangerment resulting in the death of a child and neglect of a dependent person. She is accused of depriving her two-month son, Leonard Williams, of food and health care. The child

Branstad Issues Disaster Proclomation for Union County


 A county in southern Iowa will get disaster assistance to respond to severe weather, Governor Terry Branstad issued a disaster proclamation for Union County. The county suffered damage after severe storms and rain on Sept. 9. Under the declaration, the county can use state resources to recover from the storm.

Reward Renewed to Find Missing Hampton Man


A $20,000 reward has been renewed for information that helps authorities find a northern Iowa man who has been missing for the past year. Hampton resident Ethan Kazmerzak was last seen at a party in rural Franklin County on Sept. 15, 2013. Police have said his car hasn't been found either. People with information about Kazmerzak's location are asked to call North Iowa Crime Stoppers

Rescue Tool Helps Save Man Trapped in Newton Grain Bin


A donated rescue tool helped firefighters save the life of an Iowa man who became trapped in a grain bin south of Newton last week. The $3,000 five-foot-tall grain bin rescue tube that the Kellogg Township Fire Department owns helped keep Tuesday's accident from becoming fatal. The grain bin rescue device comes in four curved pieces that firefighters placed around the victim to keep more

Marshall County Swimmer Possibly Found in Iowa River


Authorities believe the body found in the Iowa River Saturday belongs to a man who had been missing for a week. volunteers discovered the body in the river north of Marshalltown Saturday night. The Marshall County Sheriff's office says the body is believed to be 52-year-old Kevin Kroener of Marshalltown who disappeared September 6th, but the body hasn't been positively identified yet.

U.S. Marshal Cleared in Iowa Fugitive Shooting


A deputy U.S. Marshal who shot an Iowa fugitive in his arm during an arrest earlier this year has been cleared by an investigation. The Daily Nonpareil reports that Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilbur concluded that the May 29th shooting was accidental.

Investigators: Man Committed Suicide After Firing Shot at County Assessor


A 71-year-old man committed suicide after firing at the county assessor following a meeting at an eastern Iowa county courthouse. The state medical examiner's office says Francis ``Gus'' Glaser died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his neck and head at the Jackson County Courthouse Tuesday. Investigators found evidence that suggested Glaser had been planning to commit suicide.

DCI Seek Man who Allegedly Tried to Kill Police Officer


Authorities today are searching in and around a northeast Iowa city for a man suspected of trying to kill an officer. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Oelwein  Police Department asked the public's help in finding the man. The release said he was wanted on one count of attempted murder ``involving a peace officer in Oelwein'' on Thursday afternoon. The man was

North Carolina Fugitive Returned Home After Capture in Iowa


A fugitive captured in Iowa after decades on the run is returning to North Carolina, where he escaped from prison in 1973. North Carolina officers were transporting 69-year-old Ronald Carnes from a county jail in Cedar Rapids to a prison in Raleigh, North Carolina yesterday.

Large Fish Kill was Caused by Manure Spill, Officials Say


A large fish kill in northwest Iowa was caused by a manure spill from a nearby dairy operation, state officials announced yesterday. The state Department of Natural Resources said the August discharge killed more than 860,000 fish along 28 miles of stream in O'Brien County.

Fort Dodge Teen Involved in Gun Fight Avoids Prison Time


A Fort Dodge man involved in a June 11 shooting incident will avoid jail after pleading guilty to lesser charges. 18 year-old Malik Veal was originally charged with attempted murder, accused of shooting at 17 year-old Jerique Bryson in the area of 1100 10th Avenue SW. During the incident, a stray bullet struck a local resident insider her home in the shoulder. Last week, Veal pleaded guilty to

Respiratory Virus Making Rounds Around the Midwest


 Public health officials say they're monitoring a high number of reports of a respiratory virus in several Midwest states including Iowa. Enterovirus EV-D68 begins like a cold with symptoms such as coughing and wheezing, according to the state Department of Public Health. It appears to spread though close contact with infected people. It's also been reported in Illinois, Ohio and

32 and 14 year-olds Arrested in Sioux City Arson investigation


A 32-year-old woman and a 14-year-old have been arrested on arson charges in Sioux City. Daisy Castillo and the teen are suspected of setting five house fires over 2 1/2 weeks in August and September, police said. Castillo also is charged with burglary. No injuries have been reported. Sioux City Fire Marshal Mark Aesoph says more arrests are expected in the case.

Des Moines Tribute Trail Remembers 9/11 Victims


Volunteers have placed 3,213 American flags in the ground at Gray's Lake Park in Des Moines in preparation for Patriot Day on Thursday. The Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department said the flags are the key part of the Tribute Trail at the park. Patriot Day honors the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist strikes in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

First Lady to Campaign for Braley Next Month


First Lady Michelle Obama will campaign in Iowa next month for Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley, his campaign announced on Wednesday. Obama will appear at an event in October, but the Braley campaign said details on the date and location have not been worked out.
 

DOT Awards Grant to Fort Dodge Regional Airport


The Iowa Department of Transportation says it will award almost $96,000 to the Fort Dodge Regional Airport to help pay for a new hangar. The DOT announced Tuesday over $5.3 million will be awarded to communities throughout Iowa through the State Aviation Program for 2015. A grant of $95,854 will go towards Fort Dodge's hangar project, which is estimated to cost $130,000. The

Wesley Man Sentenced for Shooting Incident


A Wesley man has been given 25 years in prison for shooting another Wesley man during a fight.  26 year-old Andrew Zeitler was sentenced on Monday in Kossuth County District Court. Zeitler had been charged with attempted murder and other crimes, but he made a deal with prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of willful injury and two weapons counts in the July 21, 2013, shooting of

Marshall County Authorities Suspend Search for Missing Swimmer


Authorities have suspended their search for a man who didn't return from a swim in the Iowa River in Marshall County. The Marshall County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that evidence suggests that the body of 52 year-old Kevin Kroener is somewhere in the river. His vehicle was found in a remote area by the river near Albion. Kroener's family reported him missing Saturday

Des Moines Pharmacy Owner to Have Separate Trials


A Des Moines pharmacy owner accused of selling nearly 700,000 pills of addictive painkillers will have a separate federal trial on allegations that he misspent company money and failed to pay taxes. U.S. District Judge James Gritzner says Mark Graziano, principal owner of Bauder's Pharmacy, should have two trials. Graziano is scheduled to stand trial on 15 financial charges at the end of

Branstad Calls for Reduction in College Tuition Costs


Governor Terry Branstad called Tuesday for the state's public universities to reduce tuition costs by implementing a number of changes. Branstad said he wants to challenge the universities to offer some bachelor degree programs to Iowa residents for $10,000 in tuition. Annual resident tuition at Iowa State University and the University of Iowa is roughly $8,000.

Storm Lake Man Accused of Assaulting Cousin, Stealing Her Car


A Storm Lake man is being held on $10,000 bond after allegedly assaulting his cousin and stealing her car. Storm Lake police say early Sunday morning, officers were called to the 100 block of Russell Street in reference to an assault and auto theft. 26 year-old Steven Vorasith was accused of attacking his 19 year-old cousin during an argument and striking her several times in the face. A

Kossuth County Man Sentenced for Shooting Man During Fight


A Wesley man has been given 25 years in prison for shooting another Wesley man during a fight.  26 year-old Andrew Zeitler was sentenced on Monday in Kossuth County District Court. Zeitler had been charged with attempted murder and other crimes, but he made a deal with prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of willful injury and two weapons counts in the July 21, 2013, shooting of

ADM Principal on Leave After Public Intoxication Arrest


A high school principal was placed on administrative leave after he was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication at the University of Iowa game. 44 year-old Adel resident Lee David Griebel was arrested Saturday at Kinnick Stadium at the University of Iowa game against Ball State University. Police said he had an unsteady balance and blew a .222 on a preliminary breath test. He was booked at

Regents Expected to Ask for $13M More to Help State Universities


The Iowa Board of Regents said Monday it will ask lawmakers for an additional $13 million to help the state's three public universities transition to a new funding model based on in-state enrollment. A board budget plan shows the money would be split between the University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University. Regents will consider the plan Wednesday. A board spokesman says the new

FDPD Investigating Reported Poaching Incident


The Fort Dodge Police Department is seeking information after someone allegedly hunted geese illegally within city limits. Acting Police Chief Kevin Doty says at 8:12pm Sunday, officers were dispatched to the 10 block of North 1st Street for a report of shots fired. While checking the area, officers found the body of a Canadian Goose that had been shot. The reporting party told officers that a

Belmond Man Killed in Crash with Train


Iowa troopers say a 33-year-old Belmond man has been fatally struck by a train after trying to drive around a railroad crossing. The Iowa State Patrol says Jesse Froehlich was killed Sunday near Eagle Grove. Troopers say two Union Pacific engines were traveling eastbound with no train cars attached when they hit his truck. Troopers say the crossing was lit and the drop-down crossing gates were

Two Killed in Crash Following Custody Dispute


Authorities say a 5-year-old and a 19-year-old were killed when an Iowa man's car collided with a semi shortly after the man took his two children in a custody dispute. The accident happened near Clarion Friday evening,  about half an hour after a Britt woman reported that her husband and another man violated a protection order and took their two kids. The Iowa State Patrol says

Marshall County Authorities Searching for Missing Swimmer


Authorities and volunteers are still looking for a missing Iowa swimmer after a weekend search in Marshall County was unsuccessful. The family of 52-year-old Kevin Kroener reported him missing Saturday afternoon after he didn't return from a swim in the Iowa River. His vehicle was located in a remote area by the river near Albion. Chief Deputy Steve Hoffman says about 30 volunteers and a K-9

Pilcher Retrial Begins Today


The retrial of a man accused of killing a girl 40 years ago will begin today. Robert Pilcher is charged in the 1974 murder of Mary Jayne Jones. Police said Jones was found raped and shot to death at a farmhouse near Ottumwa. Prosecutors say new DNA evidence linked Pilcher to the murder before the first trial. The trial ended in a hung jury in March.

Public Meetings Scheduled Across Iowa to Discuss Proposed Oil Pipeline


Iowa landowners want to see the details of a proposed oil pipeline that would carry crude oil from North Dakota across the state to Illinois.Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners has said the 1,100-mile pipeline would likely cross 17 counties as it crosses from northwest to southeast Iowa. An Energy Transfer Partners spokeswoman says public meetings will take place across Iowa in December.

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

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

Jurors Hear Taped Interview in Corey Trott Trial


Jurors in the first degree murder trial of a man charged with killing a Rockwell City police officer heard a taped interview in which he expressed no regret about shooting the officer. In the first day of testimony Wednesday, jurors heard a two-hour taped interview of 33-year-old Corey Trott. He's charged with the September 2013 death of 37-year-old Jamie Buenting during a standoff at

Slauson Facing Additional Charges


More charges have been filed against an Iowa woman accused of lying about her daughter's cancer diagnosis. Court records show 30-year-old Leatha Slauson was charged recently with domestic abuse and assault charges in connection to a case involving her 5-year-old daughter. She also faces charges of administering harmful substances. The charges are in addition to earlier charges of child

Oelwien Resident Pushing for Special Election for new Mayor


 An Oelwein resident says he's gathering signatures to force a special election to choose the northeast Iowa city's mayor. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports resident John Walker vowed to collect enough signatures to hold a special election. His effort followed the City Council's decision last week to appoint council member Peggy Sherrets as mayor, effective Monday.

Former Forest City Officer will get new Burglary, Arson Trial


A judge has set a new trial date of Oct. 29 for a former Forest City police officer charged with burglary and arson. In May the Iowa Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for 37-year-old Thaddeus Ellenbecker. The Appeals Court said officers failed to read Ellenbecker his Miranda rights. Ellenbecker was convicted in 2012 of arson and burglary. He was accused of setting a fire that damaged the

Opening Arguments Begin Today in Trott Trial


A  jury has been seated in the trial of a man charged with killing a Rockwell City police officer. The 14-person jury was seated Tuesday afternoon in the first-degree murder trial of 33-year-old Corey Trott. The group was selected from a pool of more than 100 people. Prosecutors say Trott fatally shot Jamie Buenting in September 2013 during a standoff at Trott's house. Officers were

U of Iowa Reports Two Recent Alleged Sexual Assaults


The University of Iowa says two students reported recently that they were sexually assaulted on campus. The school issued a notification Tuesday in accordance with the Clery Act, which requires that colleges and universities disclose timely warnings of crimes that represent a threat to the safety of students or employees. The notification says one student reported Sunday that an acquaintance

Pilot Uninjured in Emergency Landing Near Marshalltown


Iowa authorities say a pilot is uninjured after his plane flipped over during an emergency landing in a soybean field. The Marshall County Sheriff's Office says 31-year-old Jason Stone was traveling from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to the Marshalltown Municipal Airport on Monday. Authorities say Stone's single-engine plane experienced engine problems and he was forced to land.They say the

Man Suffers Knife Wound in Mason City Altercation


Mason City Police say a man has been injured by a knife following an altercation at a local hotel. several people were detained following the incident Monday night at a Days Inn. A suspect is in custody, but no charges have been filed. Authorities say the cause of the altercation remains under investigation. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports the injured man received a four-inch laceration to

Former County Treasurer Given Probation for Theft Conviction


A former Iowa County treasurer has been given three years of probation for stealing from the county. 54-year-old Williamsburg resident Kimberly Tanke also was given a deferred judgment on Tuesday. Tanke had pleaded guilty to felony theft. A private auditing firm and Iowa County officials say more than $62,000 was taken between 2006 and 2010, when Tanke served as county treasurer. Tanke

Jury Selection Begins in Corey Trott Trial


Jury selection is scheduled to begin today in the trial of a man charged with killing a Rockwell City police officer. The trial begins this week in Wright County for 33 year-old Corey Trott, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jamie Buenting. Buenting was killed during a standoff situation in Rockwell City on September 13 of last year. Prosecutors say Trott shot Buenting with

Rockwell City Teen still not Reported Found


A teen that was reported missing over the weekend still has not been reported found. Rockwell City Police say 16 year-old Cassie Simpkins went missing around 2:30am Saturday and does not have her necessary epilepsy medications. She is believed to be with 20 year-old Chance Kinney, who is wanted in connection to a separate incident. Simpkins is described as 5'4, 115 lbs and dark brown

Investigation into Slauson Claims Extends to Fort Dodge, Hampton


An Atlantic woman who authorities say faked her daughter's illness to raise money is scheduled to appear in court today. 30 year-old Leatha Slauson is facing two felony counts of child endangerment and distribution of drugs. In addition, authorities say the investigation into her background has spread to the communities of Hampton and Fort Dodge, where Slauson lived before moving to Atlantic.

Barlas Jr. Sent to State Mental Health Institute


A Mason City man found not guilty by reason of insanity in the stabbing death of his father is being sent to the state's Cherokee Mental Health Institute. On Friday Judge Gregg Rosenbladt ruled that 43-year-old Thomas Barlas Jr. should be sent to the institute, which provides inpatient treatment and care. Rosenbladt ruled Aug. 6 that Barlas' psychotic episode in his father's home

Man on Escape Status Allegedly Tries to Sexually Assault 15 Year-Old


A man sentenced to five years in prison for pulling a gun on a woman in Iowa City last year and who escaped from work release has been charged with attempting to sexually assault a 15-year-old girl. 25-year-old Anthony Kendricks was reported to police by the girl's grandmother on Aug. 5 after she found him and the girl in a bedroom. He is in the Johnson County Jail charged with assault with

Rockwell City Police Seeking Missing Teen


The Rockwell City Police Department is asking for the public's help in locating a teen reported missing. Police say 16 year-old Cassie Simpkins went missing around 2:30am Saturday and does not have her necessary epilepsy medications. She is believed to be with 20 year-old Chance Kinney, who is wanted in connection to a separate incident. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact

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

Webster City Names New Police Chief




Webster City has named its new police chief. In a press release, the city announced that Sgt Shiloh Mork has been appointed to police chief, and will officially take over on September 2. Mork as been with the department since 2000, and has served as a Sergeant since 2002. Mork began his career with the Charles City Police Department in 1999. In addition, he has also taught at Iowa Central

New Charges Against Mother who Faked Daughter's Cancer




New charges have been filed against an Iowa mother who authorities say faked her daughter having cancer in order to raise money. 30 year-old Atlantic resident Leatha Slauson was initially charged with child endangerment and a drug charge for giving her daughter cannabis oil. On Wednesday, authorities added a second child endangerment charge and unlawful possession of a prescription drug.

West Nile Confirmed in Seven Iowa Counties




Officials have confirmed seven human cases of West Nile virus in Iowa. The state Department of Public Health said Thursday that in addition to the human cases, four mosquito pools have tested positive for the virus. The human cases have been confirmed in counties including Buchanan, Clay, Sioux and Woodbury counties. Additional cases are being investigated in Sac and Shelby counties.

U of I Professor Protesting Kinnick's Pink Locker Room


University of Iowa professor Kembrew McLeod has dressed as a robot to heckle Bill Clinton and Michele Bachmann. Now he's targeting his own school over its pink visitors' locker room at Kinnick Stadium. McLeod is organizing what he jokingly calls the ``Million Robot March'' to protest at an annual event Friday honoring former Iowa coach Hayden Fry. McLeod is calling for the

Tyler Murder Case to be Reviewed by Iowa Supreme Court


The Iowa Supreme Court has agreed to review the case of an Oklahoma woman convicted of killing her newborn baby in a Fort Dodge hotel. In June, the Iowa Court of Appeals ruled that Hillary Tyler should receive another trial after she was convicted of 2nd degree murder in February. The ruling was due to a medical examiner's testimony that the court says was based on a confession and not

Crime Stoppers Receives 500th Tip Through TipSoft Program


Local law enforcement officials are celebrating a milestone with the Webster County Crime Stoppers TipSoft program. Iowa State Patrol Lt. Kelly Hindman says on Wednesday, Crime Stoppers received the 500th tip since the TipSoft program was started. Hindman says the very first tip was received in April of 2009 and since then, the 500 tips have produced over 2,600 conversations with tipsters to

Buena Vista Student Charged in Alleged Dorm Burglaries


The Storm Lake Police Department says an 18 year-old student was arrested in connection to several burglary reports on the Buena Vista University campus. Officials say North Carolina native Justin Todd was arrested on Tuesday after investigators executed a search warrant in his Pierce Hall dorm room. Between late Sunday and early Monday, seven rooms on the first floor of Pierce Hall were

Man in Charles City Hotel Accused of Threatening Statements Towards School Child


A man in northern Iowa has been arrested after authorities say he made threatening statements against school children. Acting Floyd County Attorney William Baresel said in a news release Wednesday that Loren Saxon was arrested Sunday. He faces charges of terroristic threats and public intoxication. Police reports say Saxon was heavily intoxicated while at a Best Budget Inn in Charles City. He is

Bond Set at $22,000 for FD Drive-By Suspect


Bond was set in the amount of $22,000 for a Fort Dodge teen charged in an alleged drive-by shooting. 18 year-old Xavier Rhone appeared in Webster County Magistrate Court on Tuesday on multiple charges, including class D felony counts of going armed with intent and intimidation with a dangerous weapon. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for September 3. Rhone is accused of firing shots from a

Firday will be Coleman's Last as Webster County Attorney


Friday will mark the last day on the job for Webster County's Prosecuting Attorney. The Fort Dodge Messenger reports that Webster County Attorney Cori Coleman is resigning her position, with her last day being this Friday. The Webster County Board of Supervisors accepted her resignation during its meeting on Tuesday. Coleman announced in June that she would be leaving to move to Des Moines

Law Enforcement Blitz Planned for Labor Day Holiday


Law enforcement agencies across the state are stepping up their efforts this week and will cover Labor Day weekend. The effort is part of the national "drive sober or get pulled over" campaign, and over 250 Iowa law enforcement agencies are taking part. The heightened enforcement blitz began on Monday and will run through Monday, September 7. According to the Iowa Department of

Mason City Woman Sentenced in Arson Case


A Mason City woman has been sent to prison for starting a fire in an apartment building. 33 year-old Jacque Paulsen was given 10 years in prison at her sentencing on Monday. She'd pleaded guilty to a reduced arson charge after making a deal with prosecutors. Investigators say the fire was set April 21 inside an unoccupied apartment, but there were other occupants in the building. No injuries

DSM Police Chief Retiring After 34 Years


Des Moines Police Chief Judy Bradshaw says she'll retire from her job in October after 34 years with the department. Bradshaw announced Tuesday she would retire in early October. She says will ``seek other opportunities and find different ways to serve the community.'' Bradshaw says she hopes her replacement is hired from within the department. The Des Moines Police Department is the

FD Police Arrest Drive-By Shooting Suspect


Fort Dodge police say they have arrested a suspect in connection to an alleged drive-by shooting that was reported last Monday. Acting Chief Kevin Doty reports that 18 year-old Xavier Rhone was arrested shortly after 9:20pm Monday during a traffic stop in the 200 block of North 29th Street. Fort Dodge police had been seeking Rhone since last last week, after shots were reportedly fired in the

Smaller Trash Containers will be Available to FD Residents


The city of Fort Dodge has moved forward with plans to get smaller trash and recycling containers into the hands of residents who have requested them. During a Monday night workshop, the council directed the city to begin handing out the smaller 45-gallon containers to residents. The city already has 150 containers and the council will vote on purchasing 300 more at its next meeting. City public

Fake 'Twilight' Actor Pleads Not Guilty to Sex Abuse Charges


A California man accused of posing as an actor from the ``Twilight'' movie series has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual abuse.  33-year-old David LaVera entered the plea Monday against several charges including third-degree sexual abuse and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. A trial date has been set for Nov. 5. LaVera is accused of using his smartphone to record a

Waterloo Officer Allegedly Head-Butted by High School Student


Waterloo police say an officer who was head-butted by a high school student and used a stun gun on the boy. The incident occurred Monday at Waterloo East High School after the 16-year-old boy was seen wandering the halls. Police say the police officer and a campus safety officer asked the boy to go to class, leave school or face in-school suspension. Police say the boy head-butted the police

Sullivan Makes Initial Court Appearance


A Fort Dodge man who authorities say escaped from the Webster County Jail last week made his initial appearance in court. 43 year-old Jason Sullivan made his appearance on Class D felony charges of escape and 2nd degree criminal mischief after he was arrested Saturday evening. Sullivan, along with 32 year-old George Johnson, are accused of escaping from the Webster County Jail late Thursday

Sac County Teens Killed in Weekend Crash


Two Sac County teens were killed in a Saturday morning crash near the Sac and Carroll county line. The Iowa State Patrol reported that 16 year-olds Bailey Jacobson and Lindsey Quirk, both from Wall Lake, were killed in a crash at the intersections of 100th Street and Birch Ave and 400th Street and Otter Ave. Their car was struck in the passenger side by a pickup driven by 17 year-old Wall Lake

Arrest Made in Clive Man's Death


The Clive Police Department says a man is in custody in connection to the suspicious death of a 21 year-old Clive man. Authorities say 49 year-old Clive resident Steven Jonas was arrested late Sunday and is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 21 year-old Zachary Paulsen. He pleaded not guilty to charges and is being held in the Polk County Jail on $500,000 bond. Paulsen's

Oelwein Mayor Resigns After Sexual Abuse Arrest


A northeast Iowa mayor, charged with sexually abusing two young girls, has resigned. The Oelwein city attorney says 36 year-old Mayor Jason Manus resigned Friday effective immediately. the City Council is expected to accept the resignation Monday night. Manus is accused of sexually abusing two girls, ages 9 and 14, in 2010. He faces five counts of second-degree sexual abuse. He was arrested on

Boil Order Lifted in Adel


A boil order has been lifted for the city of Adel. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says water bacteria samples taken have tested clean. The boil order was issued on Aug. 20, after the city lost electrical service. The loss of electricity created a pressure loss in the city's distribution system. Without pressure, there's a potential for bacteria to enter the water system.

Two Inmates Escape from Webster County Jail; One At Large


Webster County authorities says two inmates escaped from the Webster County Jail late Thursday night and one remains on the loose. Sheriff Jim Stubbs says 43 year-old James Sullivan and 32 year-old George Johnson escaped at around 10:45pm while they were doing laundry for the jail. While participating in the escape, Johnson sustained injuries and was taking into custody at Trinity Regional

Oelwein Mayor Released from Jail After Posting $65,000 Bond


A northeast Iowa mayor accused of sexually abusing two girls has been released from jail. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports 36-year-old Jason Manus left the Fayette County Jail on Wednesday after a bail bonding company posted a reduced $65,000 bond.  Manus, the mayor of Oelwein, is accused of sexually abusing two girls, ages 9 and 14, in 2010. He faces five counts of second-degree

Techel's Lawyer Seeks new Trial After Murder Conviction


The lawyer for a southeast Iowa man convicted of killing his pregnant wife is seeking a new trial. Seth Techel's attorney filed a motion Tuesday asking that his first-degree murder conviction be set aside and a judge order a new trial. The motion was filed ahead of the sentencing next month of Techel, who was found guilty July 24 of first-degree murder and nonconsensual termination of a human

Fort Dodge Man Charged in Alleged Robbery


A Fort Dodge man is being held on $35,000 bond following an alleged robbery. 20 year-old Kyle Mericle is facing charges of first-degree robbery and first-degree theft. Fort Dodge Police Chief Tim Carmody says last Friday afternoon, officers were sent to the area of 1st Avenue North and North 14th Street and found 23 year-old Steven Hardisty unconscious with various injuries. Mericle allegedly

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

Newton Woman Charged with Child Endangerment after Daughter Gets Pregnant


Authorities say a central Iowa woman faces a child endangerment charge after it was discovered her 12-year-old daughter is pregnant.  Police say the Newton woman was charged Friday after an investigation showed she ignored comments from multiple witnesses that a man was allegedly engaging in sexual behavior with the girl. Police say the girl also tried to tell her mother about the behavior.

Lightning Strike Causes Fuel Spill in Des Moines


Authorities say lightning caused a fuel spill in Des Moines yesterday morning. Firefighters say lightning struck a communications tower in the area, which damaged equipment. An underground fuel tank below the tower began pumping diesel to an emergency generator without shutting off. The spill triggered an alarm that alerted maintenance crews. Firefighters say about 200 gallons of fuel spilled,

DNR Investigating Fish Kill in Lyon County Stream


The state Department of Natural Resources says it's investigating a fish kill in northwest Iowa. Officials say a conservation officer reported seeing dead fish and crawdads in a Lyon County stream on Tuesday. Further investigation Wednesday revealed dead fish of different sizes and species in the stream, although it was unknown how many fish had been affected.  Officials say aerial

Police: Davenport Woman Shot Son with BB Gun to Teach Safety Lesson


Davenport police say an Iowa mother tried to teach her 6-year-old son a safety lesson by shooting him with a BB gun. 25-year-old Courtney Kie-Marie Owens was arrested Tuesday and charged with child endangerment with injury. The charge is a felony that carries a penalty of five years in prison. Police say Owens had just gotten the BB gun when her son kept trying to play with it. They say she tried

McElroy Found Guilty of Murder


A jury has found a Fort Dodge man guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting of a teenager at a party. The jury reached the verdict Tuesday in the trial of 28-year-old Derrick McElroy. McElroy was accused of shooting 19-year-old Brandyn Preston at a bonfire party in May 2011. Preston survived the shooting but was paralyzed from the shoulders down. Police say his death in January 2012 was

Clear Lake Man Facing Charges Stemming from Boating Accident


A 28-year-old man has been charged with boating while being intoxicated in connection with an accident that injured 10 people on Clear Lake. The Cerro Gordo County sheriff's department says William Nicholas, of Clear Lake, also is charged with reckless use of a watercraft and violation of right of way rules. Authorities say Nicholas was operating a boat that slammed into a public dock on Aug.

Fomer Police Officer Convicted of Lascivious Acts with Iowa Girl


A former South Carolina police officer has been convicted of engaging in lascivious acts with an Iowa girl. Pleasant Hill Police said in a news release Tuesday that 31-year-old Allen Haney was accused of communicating with a 13-year-old Des Moines girl via the Internet. Police say the communication was sexual in nature.  Haney was terminated from his job in October. He faces a mandatory

Sex Offender Escapes from Work Release Facility in Davenport


Authorities say they're looking for a registered sex offender who escaped from a work release facility in Davenport. The state Department of Corrections says 29-year-old Randy Paul Doss was placed on escape status Tuesday after he failed to return to the facility from an authorized appointment to update his sex offender registry status. Officials described Doss as a ``lifetime sex

November Trial Set for Waterloo Man Accused of Killing Ex-Girlfriend


A November trial has been scheduled for a Waterloo man accused of killing his former girlfriend. On Tuesday, 36 year-old Shaun Hogan filed a written plea of not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder. He's accused of killing 29-year-old Crystal Marie Gaffney, who was the mother of Hogan's infant daughter. Gaffney's body was found in July in the middle of a road near Walker in Linn

Suspect ID'd in Coalville Home Invasion


The Webster County Sheriff's Office has released the name of the suspect in connection to a June 1 alleged home invasion in Coalville. 37 year-old Jason Jay Bringus suffered three gunshot wounds during the incident, which took place in the 24000 block of Nelson Ave. sheriff Jim Stubbs says Bringus has finally recovered to the point where he could be transferred to the Webster County Jail .

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