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Dubuque & Tri-State News

Dubuque Man Arrested On Drug Charges 

A Dubuque man faces several drug related charges after law enforcement authorities executed a search warrant at his residence last night. At around ten minutes after ten, members of the Dubuque Police Department Neighborhood Response Team, the Tactical Patrol Division and the Dubuque Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at the residence of 32 year old Joshua Carter in the 21-hundred block of North Main Street. Once inside, authorities located approximately one third of a pound of ice methamphetamine, over 47-hundred dollars in cash, 20 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and ammunition. Carter was arrested and charged with possession of meth with intent to deliver, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia. Two of the charges are felonies and carry sentences of up to thirty years in prison, while the other charge is a simple misdemeanor, which carries a thirty day jail term. Two other people inside the residence were not charged.

Foxconn Bill Approved By Wisconsin State Assembly


Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled state assembly has passed a bill that paves the way for a 3 billion dollars incentives package for a proposed liquid-crystal display plant for Taiwan’s Foxconn. The vote comes just three weeks after President Trump and Governor Scott Walker announced the deal for Foxconn to invest up to 10 billion dollars on the display panel manufacturing facility. It could employ up to 13-thousand people. Republican State Assemblyman Travis Tranel of Cuba City voted for the measure. Opponents of the legislation question the cost to taxpayers and weakening of environmental protections. Trannel says the bill will have zero impact on the environment. Tranel says he understands the financial impact the legislation would have on taxpayers, but in the long term the state’s economy will be better off. Tranel says Foxconn will bring good paying jobs to the state. Foxconn hopes to break ground for the new facility in 2018, which would be located in either Racine or Kenosha county. The assembly passed the measure on a 59-to-30 vote. It must also be passed by the Senate before moving on to the Governor office for his signature.

Graf Garage Fire Causes $100,000 in Damage

A garage that’s shared by both sides of a Dubuque County duplex suffered severe damage after a fire early this morning. Firefighters from Epworth were initially called to the duplex in Graf at about 1:20 AM. When they arrived, they found the garage already fully engulfed in flames, with fire spreading to the living area of the duplex. Firefighters from Centralia, Peosta, and Asbury were also called in. Crews were on scene for about three hours putting out hot spots. The garage is being called a total loss. The adjoining living area also suffered significant fire damage, while the other side of the duplex received light smoke damage. It’s estimated that the damage will cost about $100,000 to repair. The sole occupant of the duplex was able to get out safely. The fire has been initially ruled as accidental.

Eye Doctor: Special Glasses Needed to View Monday’s Eclipse

Dr. Sloan

Monday’s solar eclipse will be visible here in the Tri-States, but eye care professionals say that it is vital that people trying to view the eclipse protect their eyes by wearing special glasses. While our area is not within the path of totality, nearly 90 percent of the sun will be blocked from view early Monday afternoon. This is the first total eclipse to pass over the Midwest in more than twenty years, and Optometrist Dr. Stephanie Sloan from Dubuque’s Vision Health Center says it’s understandable that people will want to see it. Sloan says that viewing the eclipse without eye protection can cause permanent damage. The specialized glasses needed to view the eclipse have been in high demand, which has also prompted some scammers to produce fake sets of the specs. Authentic eclipse glasses will have a special code printed on them. When checking glasses for authenticity, look for the ISO logo, as well as the number code 12312-2. Several area locations received small numbers of eclipse glasses, though they are going fast. As of this morning, Vision Health Center was down to their last fifty pairs. Other places where you might be able to find the glasses include the public libraries in Manchester and Monticello, area Casey’s General Stores, and select Wal-Marts.

Mega Millions Scam Targets Jo Daviess County

The Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Department is putting residents on notice about a scam involving the so-called America Mega Million Lottery Sweepstakes. Potential victims will receive a letter from the lottery telling them that they won a large sum of money. A check is enclosed in the letter, which is supposed to be deducted from the total winnings and used to help pay for the documentation and tax fees. The unsuspecting victim is instructed to call the agent listed on the letter to claim the check and begin the claim process. America Mega Million Lottery Sweepstakes claims that it has offices in a number of countries, including Las Vegas. The sheriff’s office says if you receive one of these letters do not respond and do not attempt to cash or deposit the checks, because you cannot win a prize for a lottery you did not enter.

Facebook Post Leads Police to Suspected Hat, Shoe Thief

A bit of advice: If you happen in possession of stolen merchandise, it’s not a good idea to post pictures of those items on Facebook. That’s what led to the arrest of a Dubuque man this week. 24-year-old Deondre Wilson faces charges of Second Degree Theft, Interference with Official Acts, four probation violations, and escape. In late April, police investigated a burglary in which fifty baseball caps and fifty pairs of shoes were stolen from an apartment in the 500 block of Loras Boulevard. The merchandise was valued at more than $4,700. The following day, the victim told police that Wilson posted a photo to his Facebook page, showing several hats and shoes that looked like the ones that had been stolen. Police set up an interview with Wilson, but he never showed. Investigators then executed a search warrant at a home on Queen Street where some of the hats and shoes were recovered. The escape charge against Wilson stems from him not returning to the correctional facility where he was living at the time of the burglary.

Cedar Rapids Woman Accused of Passing Fake $100s in Dubuque

A Cedar Rapids woman was arrested this week for trying to pass counterfeit one hundred dollar bills at several Dubuque businesses. 19-year-old Kaylan Dixon faces five forgery charges, all felonies. In mid-July, Dubuque Police were told that a woman was going to different businesses in the downtown area and on the West End trying to pass fake one hundred dollar bills. Police used a surveillance image from one of the businesses and shared it with several other law enforcement agencies. Authorities in Linn County were able to identify Dixon. She was arrested on Tuesday and will make an initial court appearance next week.

Shaw Files to Run for 1st Ward Council Seat

Another candidate has emerged for this fall’s Dubuque City Council election. Brett Shaw filed nomination paperwork on Wednesday. He’ll be running to represent the city’s First Ward. That seat is currently held by Kevin Lynch, who’s chosen to step down from after three terms on the council. Shaw is a Portfolio and Program Manager at John Deere who currently serves on the city’s Housing Commission. He’s one of two candidates who have filed to run for Lynch’s seat. Longtime Dubuque resident Lou Oswald filed his paperwork earlier this week. Former newspaper reporter Craig Reber has also said he’ll be running in the First Ward, which includes much of the southern and western portions of the city.

Dubuque Reminds Businesses of Sidewalk Sign Ban

A sandwich board sign advertising Everything Photography sits near the corner of 1st and Main Streets in downtown Dubuque (Courtesy: KCRG).

The city of Dubuque is warning downtown businesses that it will be enforcing a ban on sidewalk signage along Main Street. Several businesses in the Lower Main area recently received a letter from the city reminding them that so-called “sandwich board” signs are against city code. That’s because the signs can block sidewalks and make it more difficult for people with disabilities to move through the area. But Michael Pacheco, who works at Java Joe’s, says they’re also a good way to drum up business. Sean MacDonald, owner of Everything Photography, has also used a sidewalk sign to draw in customers. He tells our coverage partner KCRG-TV he had no idea they were illegal. City Engineer Gus Psihoyos says that as the signs have become more popular, complaint have also risen. But the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce is siding with the businesses. Chamber Vice President Barry Gentry says there is probably a compromise that could be worked out. According to the letter sent to businesses, they can be fined 750 dollars per day that the signs are in the sidewalk.

Federation of Labor Endorses Just Two School Board Candidates

Union leaders in Dubuque have endorsed two candidates for the upcoming school board election, despite the fact that there are three seats up for vote. The Dubuque Federation of Labor announced its endorsements for the Dubuque Community School Board on Wednesday. The federation is backing incumbent Terra Siegert and challenger Anderson Sainci in their bids for four-year terms on the board. Those two are among seven candidates in the running for three seats on the board. But the federation chose not to endorse a third candidate. The school board elections will be held on September 12th.

Jochum Not Surprised Medicaid Managers are Losing Money


An Iowa State Senator says she’s not surprised that the three private insurers managing the state’s Medicaid system have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in their first year of running the program. But Senator Pam Jochum of Dubuque says before former Governor Terry Branstad resigned to become US Ambassador to China, he signed another contract with the companies ensuring they’ll make a profit. Earlier this year, representatives from AmeriHealth Caritas, Amerigroup Iowa, and United Healthcare told lawmakers that they anticipate to lose about $450 million over the first year. Jochum says they knew they were going to suffer a financial lost. Before agreeing to take over the Medicaid program, Jochum says insurance company representatives told her that they didn’t know how expensive it would be to provide all of the needs for people with disabilities. Jochum is hopeful that lawmakers will eventually turn the Medicaid program back over to the state.

Mercy Named Best Regional Hospital


A Dubuque hospital has been named the best hospital in the region by a world renowned publisher of news and information. Mercy Medical Center recently received that distinction from U.S. News & World Report. The 2017-2018 hospital rankings released by U.S. News ranks Mercy fifth overall in Iowa. The hospital is recognized as “high performing” in heart failure, knee replacement, colon cancer surgery and COPD. U.S. News evaluates data on nearly five thousand hospitals throughout the country each year to help patients decide where they want to receive care. To be nationally ranked, a hospital must excel in caring for the sickest, most medically complex patients.

Imagine Dubuque Event Moved Indoors 

Showers and thunderstorms in the forecast for this afternoon and tonight have promoted officials with Imagine Dubuque to move this evening’s “Treat and Greet” event indoors. The event will be held inside the Historic Federal Building on West 6th Street at 5:30 p.m. Over the past year, a draft plan from Imagine Dubuque has received over 12-thousand ideas and suggestions from residents on what they would like Dubuque to look like in the future. Those ideas and suggestions will be the topic of discussion at the event which is open to residents and stakeholders in the city. This is the final community input event for Imagine Dubuque.

Police Don’t Expect Charges in Cupps’ Death


The Dubuque Police Department is confident that no charges will be filed against officers who had a suspect die while in their custody. The Iowa State Medical Examiner’s office released the findings of its investigation into the death of Chad Cupps of Manchester yesterday. Cupps died after being arrested by Dubuque Police for his part in an altercation at Shannon’s Bar in early May. The medical examiner says Cupps died of sudden heart failure, brought on by recent amphetamine use. The case has been turned over to the Dubuque County Attorney, who will determine if any charges will be filed. Police Department spokesman Lt. Scott Baxter does not expect any officers will be charged. Cupps’ death has been ruled a homicide. But that’s largely due to the limited categories the medical examiner can put deaths into. The incident has already been investigated by the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation, which looks into each case when police are involved in a death. Baxter says the department received exceedingly positive feedback from the DCI. Cupps had entered Shannon’s just before closing on May 7. Police say he then assaulted several people. Patrons held him down until police arrived. Cupps was pepper sprayed by officers when he became combative during his arrest.

Absentee Ballots Available for School Elections

Absentee ballots are now available for the school board elections being held in the Dubuque and Western Dubuque districts next month. The Dubuque County Auditor’s Office says voters have three ways they can obtain an absentee ballot:

– They can be picked up in person at the County Elections office on the 4th floor of the Dubuque County Courthouse, or at the Elections Annex on Locust Street,

– Or voters can request the ballot by mail.

Absentee ballots will be available through Monday, September 11, the day before the vote. They must be postmarked by midnight on the 11th to be counted in the final vote tally. There will be seven candidates on the ballot for three available positions on the Dubuque School Board. In the Western Dubuque district, two seats are up for grabs. Mark Tilson of Peosta is unopposed in his bid for re-election. Three candidates are seeking the seat that represents Cascade, Bernard, and the surrounding area.

Rural Dubuque Girl Dies of Bike Crash Injures

Katilyn Ohnesorge (Family photo)

An 8-year-old girl from rural Dubuque has died from injuries she suffered in a bicycle accident last week. Our coverage partners at KCRG-TV have learned that Kaitlyn Ohnesorge passed away on Sunday at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Last Thursday morning, sheriff’s deputies and paramedics were called to Ohnesorge’s home near Sageville. Kaitlyn had been riding her bike on a sloped, grassy area when she lost control and fell. She was initially taken to Mercy Hospital in Dubuque before being transported to Iowa City. Ohnesorge’s funeral has been scheduled for this Friday morning.

Muscatine Man Wins $50,000 on Powerball Ticket Sold in Cascade

A recent trip through Cascade turned out to be a lucky one for a southeast Iowa man. According to the Iowa Lottery, James Harmon of Muscatine won $50,000 on a Powerball ticket he bought at McDermott Oil in Cascade last week. Harmon matched four white balls and the Powerball in last Saturday’s drawing. The Powerball jackpot has been growing for more than two months, and is up to $430 million ahead of tonight’s drawing. Should someone win the jackpot, they’d be claiming one of the ten largest prizes in the game’s history.

Suspect’s Death Ruled Homicide

Cupps (September 2016 arrest photo).

The death of a man who passed away while in the custody of Dubuque Police has been ruled a homicide. But authorities say that doesn’t mean that any crime was committed. 43-year-old Chad Cupps of Manchester passed away following his arrest by Dubuque Police in early May. According to police, Cupps came in to Shannon’s Bar on East 22nd Street near closing time on May 7th. Other patrons say he began assaulting people and drinking directly from liquor bottles. Some of those people restrained Cupps until police arrived. As officers tried to arrest Cupps, he became combative and had to be pepper sprayed. He was handcuffed, but became unresponsive. Cupps was then taken to a hospital by paramedics, where he was pronounced dead. The Iowa State Medical Examiner has determined that Cupps died as a result of heart failure, brought on by recent amphetamine use. His death has been ruled a homicide, but that’s largely because medical examiners have just a few categories that they can put deaths into. Because another person was involved in Cupps’ death, it fits the bill of a homicide. The case has been turned over to the Dubuque County Attorney, who will determine whether any charges will be filed.

Fischer Office Building Break Ins 

Dubuque police are looking for two men who broke into a downtown office building on two separate occasions late last month. The break ins happened on July 29th and the 30th at the Fischer Office Building in the 900 block of Main Street. Police don’t say if anything was stolen, but the culprits caused nearly 900 dollars in damage to windows and walls inside the building. Police have posted images of the suspects on their ID4PD website. We have also posted an image on our website

Suspected Drunk Driver Facing Charges After Dual Crashes


A drunk driver was going so fast that he snapped off both the tires off the driver’s side of his vehicle when he crashed. That’s according to the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies were called to the intersection of US Highway 52 and John Deere Road on a report of a hit-and-run at about 11:25 Monday night. Traffic camera footage showed a black Volkswagen car speeding northbound on Highway 52. The driver ran a red light at the intersection with John Deere Road while trying to turn onto John Deere. In the process, the car went across the median and struck another vehicle that was stopped at the intersection. The Volkswagen continued on, travelling at speeds approaching 100 miles per hour. The car finally came to a stop on John Deere property when the driver failed to compete a turn. The car went into the ditch and hit a curb, which knocked off both driver’s side tires. Police arrested the driver of the Volkswagen, 27-year-old Christopher Wall. He’s charges including Operating While Intoxicated, Leaving the Scene of a Crash, and Reckless Driving. He was also issued traffic citations for having an open container, running a red light, and driving without either insurance or a license.

Local Girl Scout Leaders Reject Boys’ Offer to Share Programs

Girl Scout leaders in the Dubuque area are saying “thanks, but no thanks” to a proposal to allow girls to participate in Boy Scout activities. The Boy Scouts of America recently announced it would consider allowing elementary school girls to participate in its programs. Local troop leaders are currently weighing in on the idea. But Diane Nelson, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois, tells our coverage partner KCRG-TV that Girl Scouts already provide all the opportunities that Boy Scouts would, but in an environment where girls can be more comfortable. Mra Greathouse agrees. She sometimes tags along with her brothers when they go on to Cub Scout activities. But she tells KCRG that being a Boy Scout isn’t for her. Participation in scout activities is pretty equal between the genders nationally. There are a little more than two million Boy Scouts and about 1.8 million Girl Scouts across the country.

Federal Agents Execute Warrants Near Downtown Dyersville

Federal authorities were in Dyersville this morning, executing search warrants near that community’s downtown area. That’s according to a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s office in Cedar Rapids. However, that spokesperson would not comment on the number or nature of the warrants being served. Our coverage partners at KCRG-TV report that the agents were from the Department of Homeland Security. They were assisted by Dyersville Police and deputies from the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department. No arrests were made, and it’s not clear if the US Attorney will be releasing any additional information. While the US Attorney’s office wouldn’t specify the exact location where the warrants were executed, witnesses tell us authorities had a part of the 100 block of 2nd Street Southeast blocked off.

Deputy Assaulted at Out-of-Control Wedding Reception

A sheriff’s deputy was assaulted while responding to a wedding reception that had turned violent in Grant County on Saturday. A few minutes before 10:00 that night, several deputies were sent to the Holiday Gardens Event Center in Potosi. Officers had been told that multiple fights had been breaking out after 23-year-old Wesley Bowers of Dubuque sexually assaulted several women at the event. When deputies arrived, they tried to find Bowers, but shifted their attention to breaking up the fights. One deputy tried to restrain 23-year-old Maxwell Potter of Dubuque. As he was doing so, the officer was assaulted, by 30-year-old Nicholas Potter. He’s now charged with Battery to a Law Enforcement Officer and Resisting or Obstructing an Officer. Maxwell Potter is also charged with Obstructing, as well as Disorderly Conduct. Bowers was eventually located and arrested on Obstructing and Disorderly charges. Two other Dubuque men – 30-year-old Jamie Kramer and 23-year-old Justin Felderman – have also been charged with Obstructing.

Buol, Jones, Oswald Submit Papers on Opening Day of Filing Period

Buol, Jones, Oswald

It’s official: Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol is seeking to become the first person in the city’s history to be elected as mayor four times. Buol was the first candidate to submit nomination papers for the upcoming city election when the filing period opened yesterday. Buol was first elected as mayor in 2005, defeating John Markham by fewer than five hundred votes. He was unopposed in both of his previous re-election attempts, 2009 and 2013. Also filing nomination papers on Monday were council candidates Lou Oswald and Ric Jones. Jones is currently one of the at-large representatives on the council, and is seeking a fourth term in that role. He’s garnered at least sixty percent of the vote in each of his previous campaigns. Oswald is running to replace Kevin Lynch as the council representative of the city’s 1st Ward.

Dubuque Man Pleads to Robbery, Drug, Gun Charges


A Dubuque man will be going to prison for at least two decades after admitting to his role in a bank robbery earlier this year. 31-year-old Gregory Stapleton had been accused of assisting with the March robbery of the Fidelity Bank branch in Maquoketa. Prosecutors said that Stapleton had visited the bank the day before the robbery to “case” the building, then provided the robber with a getaway vehicle the following day. That robber, Dante Rhodes of Dubuque, pled guilty earlier this month to a Bank Robbery charge. As part of a deal with prosecutors, Stapleton also admitted to selling a heroin mixture back in January, and to carrying a gun despite a past drug conviction. The charges he’s pled to carry a mandatory sentence of 20 years in federal prison. A judge could sentence Stapleton to spend the rest of his life behind bars. His sentencing has not yet been set.

Vehicle Catches Fire in Driveway, Causes $100,000 in Damage

Courtesy: Amber Blum

A home in rural Peosta was damaged after a car parked in its driveway caught fire yesterday afternoon. According to the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department, deputies and fire fighters from Epworth and Peosta were sent to a home on Red Maple Drive between Peosta and Dubuque at about 4:10 PM. A van owned by Great Sounds Audio had been parked in the driveway of the home, and the driver went inside. A few minutes later, a neighbor told him that he vehicle was on fire. Firefighters were able to put the fire out when they arrived on scene. It’s estimated that the fire caused about $50,000 in damage to the vehicle. Another $50,000 in damage was done to the home. Much of that was smoke and water damage. The cause of the fire is still not clear.

Minifee Found Guilty of Role in Mobile Home Robbery, Shooting


A third defendant has been convicted on murder and robbery charges in connection with the shooting death of a Key West man. 21-year-old Tacari Minifee was found guilty of First Degree Murder and First Degree Robbery in Scott County court yesterday. Minifee was one of three people accused of breaking into the mobile home of Collin Brown in April of last year with the intent of robbing him. But Brown was fatally shot as he tried to escape the trailer. Prosecutors say it was Minifee who fired the shot that eventually led to Brown’s death. Minifee will face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on September 25th. Minifee joins Imere Hall and Jeremy Dukes in being convicted for their roles in Brown’s death. Three other suspects have taken plea deals and are working with prosecutors. A seventh, Eric Campbell, will go on trial in December.

Cascade Council Member Resigns, Special Election to Be Held

Cascade City Council

The town of Cascade could have four new members on its five-person City Council later this year. That’s due to the resignation of Councilman Pat Kearney. He stepped down midway through his term earlier this month, citing frustration with his performance as a council member. His resignation was accepted at the council’s meeting Monday night. The remaining council members then set September 11th as the date when they will appoint someone to temporarily fill Kearney’s seat. A special election will then be held during November’s municipal election to fill out the remainder of Kearney’s term. But Cascade Mayor Marcus Behnken, who won his post as a write-in candidate, doubts whether that will be enough time to find a short-term replacement. Behnken says the ideal council candidate is someone who will put the needs of the community ahead of their own. He admits that there are pros and cons to the job. Three seats on the Cascade council were already going to be on this Novembers’ ballot. Those positions are currently held by Bill Hosch, Ed Recker, and Greg Staner.

Blum: “Nothing Will Be Good Enough” for Indivisible Group


Congressman Rod Blum is defending his refusal to meet with the group that urged him to hold town hall meetings earlier this year. Last week, members of the group called “Indivisible Iowa” delivered petitions to Blum’s offices in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque. The documents ask Blum to hold regular office hours during the Congressional recess, and to meet with representatives of the group. But Blum says he’s keeping a busy schedule of meetings and appearances during the recess. Indivisible was one of the main groups that called on Blum to hold town hall meetings around his district earlier this year. He agreed, but says members of the group turned the events into a sideshow. Blum doubts that he’d ever be able to fully satisfy Indivisible’s demands. Blum says he tries to avoid political gatherings when he’s back in the district. Indivisible has criticized Blum for limiting his recess meetings to groups that agree with him, rather than listening to the concerns of all of his constituents.

Dubuque Teenager Accused of Setting Fire

Courtesy: WNMU

A Dubuque teenager faces an arson charge after a small fire on Friday night. Dubuque police and firefighters were called to Prairie Farms at about 10:00 PM. An employee there had noticed a small fire, and was able to put it out himself. He told police that he saw a man leaving the area just before he located the fire. The employee gave officers a description of the suspect, which matched that of a reported runaway. Late last night, an officer located 16-year-old Collin Nissen at his home in the 31-hundred block of White Street and took him under arrest. Nissen is now charged with 1st Degree Arson, a felony carrying a maximum penalty of ten years in prison. The fire reportedly caused about four hundred dollars in damage.

Maquoketa Duo Wins State Fair “Best Bagger” Competition

Simmons (left) and DeForest pose with their prize checks (Courtesy: Des Moines Register).

A Jackson County grocery store can boast having not just one of the best baggers in Iowa…but the two best. Employees from the Fareway store in Maquoketa claimed both of the top two spots in the Best Bagger competition at the Iowa State Fair over the weekend. Trevor DeForest top the top prize, while co-worker Kevin Simmons came in second. Baggers were judged on their speed and efficiency in bagging an average assortment of groceries – everything from milk to produce to eggs. Simmons actually finished his bagging faster than DeForest, but judges determined DeForest’s bad had better balance. DeForest wins more than just bragging rights. He gets five hundred dollars in prize money from the Iowa Grocers Association and will move on to compete in a national competition in Las Vegas.

Produce Donations Up at Dubuque Food Pantry

Patrons at the Dubuque Food Pantry have had increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables this summer. That’s because donations of those foods have seen a drastic increase. Pantry Director Theresa Caldwell tells our coverage partner KCRG-TV that many of those donations have come directly from people’s gardens, and have led to about a quarter-ton of fresh produce being picked up each week. Caldwell estimates the donations have come from about fifty people and organizations.

Cascade Council Member to Step Down


The City Council in Cascade will be considering how to best replace one of its members in the middle of his term. An item on the agenda for tonight’s council meeting calls for the council to approve the resignation of member Pat Kearney. Kearney was first elected to the council in 2011. He was not set to be up for re-election this fall, so the council will likely choose to appoint someone to fill out his term. The agenda item also includes the possibility for setting a date by when the council would aim to have Kearney’s successor in place. Tonight’s meeting is scheduled for 6:00 in the Cascade City Hall.

City Election Filing Opens Today

We’ll start learning today which Dubuque residents intend to challenge for seats on the City Council. The candidate filing period for this fall’s city election opens today. There are four races on the council this fall, and at least two of them will be contested. First Ward council representative Kevin Lynch has said he will not be seeking another term. Longtime Dubuque resident Lou Oswald and former newspaper reporter Craig Reber have both announced their intention to run for his seat. Also stepping down from the council is Third Ward representative Joyce Connors. Kate Larson and Damien Waid have said they plan to run for her spot on the council. At-Large councilman Ric Jones has said he’s running for another term on the panel. And Mayor Roy Buol will be seeking an unprecedented fourth term in that role. To this point, no candidates have announced their intention to challenge Jones or Buol.

Miss Dubuque County Named State Fair Queen


A Dubuque County woman has been named the 2017 Iowa State Fair Queen. Jacqueline Ehrlich won the crown on Saturday at the State Fair in Des Moines. Ehrlich was competing in the pageant as Miss Dubuque County, a title she’s held for the past two years. Ehrlich is a graduate of Beckman High School in Dyersville now studying at Iowa State University. In addition to a tiara and sash, she’ll also receive eight thousand dollars in scholarships from the State Fair and the Iowa governor’s office.

McGregor Status Update

Nearly a month after an EF-1 tornado tore through the town of McGregor, residents in the Clayton County community continue to rebuild. In fact many businesses in   downtown McGregor have reopened and bricks and rubble from the most heavily damaged buildings have been cleared away. Duane Boleman, McGregor’s economic development lead says cleanup efforts will continue as long as it takes to get the town back to normal. Boleman adds that the restoration fund will be part of their long-term strategy for the town to come back stronger than ever.

Dubuque Sustainability Conference

Dubuque will be host to the “Growing Sustainable Communities Conference” in October. The event is scheduled for October 3 and 4. Randy Rodgers of the Dubuque-based Sustainable City Network Inc., says that the conference is the largest and longest running sustainability conference in the Midwest. Rodgers says it includes  more than 30 workshops, mobile tours and keynote presentations. More than 500 people are expected to attend the conference. This is the 10th consecutive year that Dubuque will be the site of the conference.

Dubuque Man Cited After Hitting Building     

A Dubuque man was cited after his vehicle smashed into a building that houses the Dream Center and Radius Church Friday morning. According to a police report the incident happened at around 7:15, when 22 year old Derrick Moore was making a left turn from 16th Street onto White Street. While making the turn, Moore lost control of his vehicle, drove onto the sidewalk and struck the building located in the 16-hundred block of White. The vehicle then bounced off the building and struck a vehicle that was parked nearby. After the crash, Moore fled the area, but police used traffic camera footage and a witness report to locate him a short time later. He was cited for failure to maintain control and failure to provide identification after hitting a structure. Moore was then arrested on an unrelated charge and taken to the Dubuque County Jail. The crash caused about four thousand dollars in damage. The incident did not impact the Dream Center’s daily activities.

Jo Daviess County Farm Fatal 

A rural Galena man was killed in a farm accident this week. A few minutes after 2:20 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, deputies from the Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of an injured man in the 13-hundred block of South Blackjack  Road. 82 year old James Kosusnik had been operating an end-loader/backhoe on his property clearing some debris, when he was accidently run over by the end loader. Kosusnik suffered a broken pelvis and massive internal bleeding and was transported to Midwest Medical Center, where he died from his injuries.

Juvenile Points Gun At Two Other Juveniles


Dubuque police are looking for a male juvenile who they say pointed a gun at two other juveniles earlier this week. Police say the incident happened at around 5 p.m. Tuesday evening in the alley between the 12-hundred block of Iowa and Main Streets. Police say the suspect pointed a handgun at two other males who accused him of stealing the bike he was riding. The police department has posted an image of the suspect on their ID4PD website.

Juvenile Suspect


Date, Time Set for Annual “State of the City” Address


The date and time for Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol’s annual “State of the City” address has been set. Buol will deliver his 11th such speech on Monday, September 11th at 7:00 PM. The speech is being hosted by the Dubuque chapter of the League of Women Voters and will be delivered in the City Council chambers at the Historic Federal Building. A release from the city says the theme of this year’s speech will be “Combining Real Results and Transformative Vision.” Buol was first elected as Dubuque’s mayor in 2005. He has announced that he’ll seek an unprecedented fourth term in office this fall. So far, no one else has said they intend to oppose him.

Three Area Students Win Scholarships from Iowa Student Loan

A trio of Dubuque County students will be getting money to further their education from the company that manages student lending in Iowa. Iowa Student Loan has awarded eight thousand dollars in scholarships through a contest on its website. Between mid-March and early June, students or their parents could enter by completing Iowa Student Loan’s online College Funding Forecaster. The tool projects estimated costs and potential loan debt for college-bound students. Kelli Denlinger of Holy Cross, Catherine Klostermann of New Vienna, and Nathan Stelken of Dyersville were among twenty students who each won 250 dollars through the contest. Two other students – from Cedar Falls and Muscatine – won the grand prize of 15-hundred dollar scholarships.

8-year-old Sageville Girl Seriously Injured in Bike Crash

A young girl from rural Dubuque had to be taken to a regional hospital after falling off of her bicycle yesterday morning. Shortly after 11:00 AM, deputies from the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home near Sageville. An 8-year-old girl had been riding her bike on a sloped, grassy area. She lost control of the bike, fell, and was seriously injured. The girl was initially taken to Mercy Hospital, but was then transferred to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. A release from the sheriff’s office says she is in critical condition.

Main Street Challenge Grant Application Deadline Is Friday

Developers of historic rehabilitation projects in downtown Dubuque often find themselves a little short of the necessary funding it takes to complete their projects. For nearly two decades now, Iowa Main Street has helped to fill that funding gap with the Main Street Iowa Challenge Grant program. Dubuque Main Street Executive Director Dan LoBianco says projects must be within the downtown area to be eligible. Dubuque and all other Main Street communities are only allowed to submit one project that would compete for the state grant. The maximum dollar amount to be awarded to the winning project is 75-thousand dollars, while the minimum is 15-thousand. A 100-percent dollar for dollar cash match is required. Over the years, Dubuque’s success rate in securing challenge grants has been very impressive. Developers have until tomorrow to submit a one page summary of their project to DMS. A finalist will be chosen before August 25th, and DMS will work with the project developer to submit their proposal to the state by September 25th.

Proposed Iowa License Plate Designs Unveiled

For the first time in two decades, Iowans will be getting new license plates and will be able to vote on the design. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and the state’s Department of Transportation unveiled the three proposed designs this morning. One of them will replace the current design, which features a combined farm and cityscape in blue and white. The first of the new designs, called “Great Wide Open,” shows an illustration of the state’s rolling hills along the bottom of the plate, with a team stripe across the top. The second, called “Flying Our Colors,” is based on the state flag. It has a navy blue stripe across the top and a red along the bottom, with the eagle emblem seen on the state flag on a white background in the middle. A third design, called “City and County Reboot,” shows the Des Moines skyline and a farm scene at the top in blue, with native green grasses along the bottom of the plate. The first of the new plates will be available beginning next year. To vote for your favorite design, click here.

MegaMillions, Powerball Prizes Both Reach $300 Million

Lottery players in each of the Tri-States will have the chance to win nearly three-quarters of billion dollars this weekend. That’s because the jackpots for both the Powerball and MegaMillions games have climbed above the $300 million mark. The MegaMillions prize for Friday’s drawing is $393 million, while Saturday’s Powerball drawing carries a jackpot of $356 million. Mary Neubauer of the Iowa Lottery says this is the first time both jackpots have been so large at the same time. While most players will be drawn by the chance at one of those big jackpots, Neubauer reminds us that there are several other prizes available. But Neubauer cautions players against buying more tickets than they can afford. After all, the odds of winning either game are about 1 in 260 million. Should both jackpots go unclaimed this weekend, Neubauer admits there’s really no telling how much higher they could go. She says that the more attention each game gets, the more people play, and it’s those increased sales that determine the next jackpot. Powerball and MegaMillions are played in 45 US states, plus Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In case you were wondering, the odds of winning both jackpots are about 1 in 75 quadrillion.

UPDATE: Arrest Made in West Locust Street Shooting

Police respond to the scene of the shooting (Courtesy: KCRG).


Dubuque Police have released some additional details about what led up to a downtown shooting last night. Officers were called to the 300 block of West Locust Street a few minutes after 8:30 PM after gunfire was heard in the area. As officers were on scene, they learned that a man had been taken to a local hospital with two gunshot wounds. Police interviewed the victim, who told them that he had been involved in an ongoing disagreement with the alleged shooter, 32-year-old Jevonne Coleman of Dubuque. The two got into an argument near Coleman’s home on West Locust Street earlier on Wednesday night. The victim says that he punched a friend of Coleman’s before trying to run from the area. As he was running away, he says he was struck in the thigh and backside by bullets fire by Coleman. Security camera footage backed up the man’s account, and police took Coleman into custody at about 11:40 PM. He’s now facing several charges, including Attempted Murder, Going Armed with Intent, and Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm.

Police Investigating Burglary at Cascade Church

Police in Cascade are investigating a break-in at a local church. The burglary was reported at about 8:00 yesterday morning when workers arrived at the Cornerstone Church. Police believe the break-in happened sometime the previous night. The culprits took electronics and tools valued at about $2,000. Police tell our coverage partners at KCRG-TV that there were no signs of forced entry. They also note that there were several more valuable items inside the church that the burglars left behind. Police have not yet made any arrests. Cornerstone Church is a non-denominational Christian worship center located in the former Dave McLaughlin Chevrolet building on Cascade’s eastern edge.

One Injured in Downtown Dubuque Shooting

Police respond to the scene of the shooting (Courtesy: KCRG).

One person was injured in a shooting in downtown Dubuque last night. Police were called to the intersection of 16th and Locust Streets at about 9:00 PM. That’s about a block away from Jackson Park. Officers on the scene told our coverage partner, KCRG-TV, that one person was struck by the gunfire, and suffered a non-life threatening injury. He was taken to a local hospital. Police have not yet made an arrest, but believe they know who the suspect is. They say video of the shooting was captured by security cameras in the area. This is the first time in nearly two months that someone has been injured by gunfire within the Dubuque city limits.

Reber To Run For Dubuque Council 

Reber (Courtesy: Dubuque Telegraph-Herald)

A former newspaper reporter says he’s seeking a seat on the Dubuque city council. Craig Reber announced Wednesday that he’ll be running to represent the city’s 1st Ward on the council. That seat is currently held by Kevin Lynch, who has said he won’t seek another term. Reber has been thinking about a run for the council since early this year, and finally made up his mind this week. Reber says that, if elected, he would conduct town hall meetings for people in the 1st Ward. Reber’s been impressed by the number of positive changes Dubuque has undergone in his nearly three decades in the city. He says he wants to be a part of that continued success. One of those improvements is the newly opened Bee Branch Flood Mitigation System. Reber believes the city should continue to work to make things better for those living in the North End. This is not Reber’s first run at elected office. Last year, he unsuccessfully sought a seat on the Dubuque County Water and Soil Commission. Longtime Dubuque resident Lou Oswald has said that he intends to run for the 1st Ward council seat as well.

Farmers Market Vendor Says She’s Being Removed Due to Time Constraints

Rebecca Nolan operates the Gourmet Style Goods stand at the Dubuque Farmers Market (Courtesy: Around Iowa).

An established vendor says she’s being kicked out of the Dubuque Farmers Market for taking too long to tear down her stand. Rebecca Nolan operates the Gourmet Style Goods stand that can be found between 11th and 12th Streets during the market. She addressed the Dubuque City Council on Monday, says Dubuque Main Street, which operates the market, has told her that she’s being removed after seventeen years as a vendor. According to Nolan, Dubuque Main Street has told her it takes too long to clean up her stand after the market closes. But she says clean-up has taken about an hour for her entire time as a vendor. After receiving the notice from Dubuque Main Street, Nolan reviewed the permits she had to acquire to be a vendor. She expressed frustration at inconsistencies between what Main Street and the city requires. But Dubuque Main Street Executive Director Dan Lobianco tells KDTH that Nolan’s booth is not being removed. The market’s official hours are 7:00 AM to noon, but vendors are allowed some leeway to set up and tear down their booths before and after those times. He says the letter sent to Nolan was more of a reminder to respect those hours. According to Lobianco, Dubuque Main Street will send out several notifications each year. But he says it’s very rare for a vendor to actually be removed from the market. Lobianco indicated that he has reached out to Nolan to meet with her to clear up the miscommunication. He expects that meeting will happen next week.

Car Crash Takes Out Power Pole, Causes Outage

More than two hundred rural electric customers lost power yesterday afternoon when an out-of-control car took out a power pole. The crash happened on US Highway 52, near its intersection with Schueller Heights Road, a few minutes after 1:00. 61-year-old Thomas Ehlers of Dubuque was northbound on Highway 52 when he came up on another car that was waiting to turn onto Schueller Heights. Ehlers wasn’t able to stop in time, so he swerved to the right to avoid a collision. His car went off the road and into an apple orchard, where it hit a power pole head on. The force of the crash was strong enough to snap the pole, bringing several power lines down with it onto Ehlers’ vehicle. About 215 Maquoketa Valley Regional Electric Cooperative customers lost power because of the downed pole and wires. A coop spokesperson says their service was restored within an hour after the crash. Ehlers suffered a minor injury, but refused treatment at the scene. Sheriff’s deputies cited him for Failing to Maintain Control of his vehicle.

Plan to Give Dubuque Mayor, Council Members Raises Moves Forward

Dubuque City Council

It appears likely that Dubuque’s mayor and City Council members will receive a pay increase…but the move will have to wait before becoming official. The council on Monday took up the issue of increasing the pay given to council members and the mayor. A city task force recommended the pay increases earlier this year. If approved, the mayor will receive an additional $800 per year, with council members getting an extra $600 each. The council approved the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the increases on Monday, but failed to garner the supermajority needed to give final passage to the plan. Council members Jake Rios and Luis Del Toro were against the measure on both votes. The issue will come back before the council for a second reading at their meeting on August 21.

Fire Damages Semi, Building Near Peosta

Courtesy: KCRG

A Peosta business suffered more than $1 million in damage after a vehicle fire spread to its building yesterday. Shortly before 1:30 PM, firefighters were called to the 15-thousand block of Key City Lane for a report of a semi on fire. The fire was able to move from the big rig to a nearby building that houses Kordell Truck and Trailer Sales. Fire crews from three area departments responded and stayed on scene for more than four hours. Everyone that was inside the building was able to get out safely, and no injuries have been reported. A release from the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department says the exact cause of the fire is still being investigated.

Man Steals Watches From Dubuque Store

Police in Dubuque are asking the public to help them identify a suspect accused of taking watches worth more than three thousand dollars from a local store. The theft happened at Tony’s Jewelry and Loan on Central Avenue last Thursday afternoon. According to police, a man asked to look at the two watches. While he was examining them, he ran from the store. The suspect then got into a waiting car, which drove off. That vehicle is descried as a silver coupe, possibly a Mitsubishi. The watches are valued at about $3,500. They were recovered at a pawn shop in Cedar Rapids. Police have posted images of the suspect to its ID4PD website.

Teenagers Arrested for Breaking into Vacant House, Smoking Marijuana

Three teenagers were arrested early this morning after being accused of breaking into a vacant home to smoke marijuana. 18-year-olds Alissa Ties, Mallory Tomkins, and Maggie Puccio were taken into custody at a home in the 11-hundred block of White Street shortly after 1:00 AM. According to a police report, the owner of the home drove by and saw lights on inside. She went in and found several people in the home. Two of them ran off, but Ties, Tomkins, and Puccio were still there when police arrived. The home is owned by Tomkins’ mother, who told police her daughter is not allowed to be in the house. Police suspect the three had gotten in through an unlocked back door. The girls admitted to smoking marijuana, but since none was in their possession, they will not face drug charges. All three have been charged with one count each of Trespassing.

Two Face Drug Charges After Bike Ride Argument

An argument during an early morning bike ride led to drug charges against a Dubuque couple. A few minutes after 2:30 Saturday morning, Dubuque police officers were called to the intersection of Diagonal and Broadway Streets where a man and a woman were arguing while riding bicycles. The woman, 27-year-old Teresa O’Brien, had a warrant out for her arrest. While she was being taken into custody, police searched her purse. That’s where they say they found more than three dozen pills, which O’Brien did not have a prescription for. A small baggie was also found, which contained a crystal-like substance that tested positive for methamphetamine. O’Brien’s companion, 21-year-old James Shepherd, was also searched. A small bag of marijuana was found in his coat pocket. Shepherd is now charged with Possession of Marijuana. O’Brien faces three drug charges, including possession of meth and unlawful possession of a prescription.

Walgreens Names Buol a “Community Champion”


Dubuque’s mayor has been honored by a national pharmacy chain for his work to promote health and sustainability. Walgreens has launched the Happy and Healthy Communities Champion Award, and Mayor Roy Buol is among the first recipients. Buol was presented with the award at last night’s City Council meeting. Kimberly Walz of Walgreens says Buol was chosen because of how deeply he shares Walgreens ideas for improving community health. Walz highlighted Buol’s backing of the Sustainable Dubuque program, which she says promotes initiatives that are improving the health of Dubuque’s citizens. Buol says he’s honored to receive the award, but deflected the credit to his colleagues on the City Council and city staffers. Among the other award recipients are the mayors of Columbia, South Carolina, Rochester, Minnesota, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Cafeteria, Library Among Senior Renovations Ready for New Year

Courtesy: KCRG

Several phases of the renovations at Dubuque Senior High School will be completed in time for the beginning of the new school year. The school district’s Assistant Building and Grounds Manager, Charlie Clasen, is pleased with the progress that crews have made since school let out for the summer. He tells our coverage partner KCRG-TV that while things like the new cafeteria and library will be ready for students, work will continue while classes are in session. The entire project has an estimated cost of $30 million dollars. Renovations are expected to be fully completed in time for the beginning of the 2018 school year.

Hafkameyer New Mercy Health Foundation Director


The foundation that supports a Dubuque hospital has a new leader. Sue Hafkemeyer has been hired as the Executive Director of the Mercy Health Foundation. She replaces John Donovan, who retired earlier this summer. Hafkemeyer comes to the foundation from Loras College, where she was the Director of Corporate and Community Relations. She had previously been Loras’ Director of Communications and Marketing and is also a past director of the Dubuque Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. In that role, she served as the lead fundraising representative for the America’s River Project.

Temperly Drops Out Of School Board Race

The field of candidates in the upcoming Dubuque school board election has been trimmed to seven. Alan Temperly withdrew from consideration on Monday. Temperly was the first person to submit nomination paperwork for a seat on the board when the filing period opened last month. Voters will now choose between seven candidates for the three seats on the board that are up for election. Incumbents Terra Siegert and Jim Prochaska are both running for re-election. They’ll be joined on the ballot by Chuck Seymour, Nancy Bradley, Anderson Sainci, David Orr, and Candace Raymond. The election will be held on September 12th. Temperly did not respond to our request for comment.

Trailer Park Owner Accused of Stealing $177,000 in City Water


The former owner of a Dubuque mobile home park is accused of tampering with city water meters, which resulted in more than $175,000 in uncharged water service over a four-year period. 56-year-old Michael Friederick was arrested Sunday evening. He’s been charged with one count each of 1st Degree Theft and Ongoing Criminal Conduct. The alleged theft happened while Friederick was the owner of the Table Mound Trailer Park, which is located on the southern edge of Dubuque. According to a criminal complaint, Friederick would gain entry to a pit that houses the park’s water meters and access valve. On several occasions between April of 2012 and June of last year, investigators believe Friederick entered the pit and openen a bypass valve. By doing so, he created artificially low water readings. Friederick was the only person who had access to the pit. City employees at times placed a seal on the bypass valve. When they later returned to check on the valve, they found the seal had been broken. The city estimates that Friederick’s actions resulted in a loss of more than 21.5 million gallons of water. Based on the city’s billing rate, that water would have generated nearly $177,000 in utility bills which were never paid. If convicted on both counts against him, Friederick could face up to 35 years in prison.

Baldwin, Johnson Hit National Airwaves

Baldwin, Johnson

Both of Wisconsin’s US Senators stepped into the national spotlight this weekend. Democrat Tammy Baldwin delivered her party’s weekly address, while Republican Ron Johnson was a guest on CNN’s Sunday morning political talk show, ‘State of the Union.’ Baldwin highlighted her proposed “Buy American” legislation as a part of Democrats’ pledge to get a “better deal” for American workers, who she says have been left behind by Republican policies. Baldwin’s legislation would require American-made products be used in all public works projects across the country. She says that would ensure that improvements to America’s infrastructure include parts made by Americans. Johnson’s appearance on CNN covered a range of issues, from investigations into the Trump administration to health care to immigration reform. Johnson says repealing the Affordable Care Act may have to take a back seat to other issues. The Senate is currently in recess, and Johnson is back in Wisconsin. But he says Senators are still working while they’re not in Washington. Johnson won re-election to the Senate last fall by winning a rematch with former Senator Russ Feingold. Baldwin is in her first term in the Senate, and will be up for re-election next year.

Students Learn About Peace at Loras Institute

About a dozen high school students were been in Dubuque, getting lessons on peace. The Loras College Peace Institute hosted its yearly retreat over the weekend. One of their activities was a trip to the ropes course at Found Mounds, where institute director Lindsay James says they were able to put some of the things they’d learned into practice. James says the institute strives to help students effectively manage conflicts, both inside and outside of the classroom. The retreat wrapped up on Sunday. Thirteen students took part this year, and James is hoping to grow that number next summer.

UnityPoint Doctor: Sports Physicals Important

Dr. Schafer

A new school year is on the horizon, and for many students, that means that a new sports season is about to start as well. Most schools require student-athletes to get a yearly physical in order to participate. But doctors say these “sports physicals” can help identify potential issues that would go beyond the playing field. Dr. Michelle Schafer of UnityPoint tells our coverage partner, KCRG-TV, that sports physicals are a good way to check a student’s physical progress. Even if a sports physical is a student’s only check-up of the year, Schafer says it can still identify potential problems, such as heart issues or asthma. According to Schafer, a sports physical can include everything from immunizations to vision screenings to a full exam. Dr. Schafer works at UnityPoint’s Family Medicine Clinic on Pennsylvania Avenue and at their clinic in Peosta.

Darlington Teenager Seriously Injured in UTV Crash

Courtesy: Darlington Police Department

A Darlington teenager suffered serious injuries after rolling a UTV on Saturday evening. Officers from the local police department were called to the intersection of Galena and Ravine Streets at about 6:10 PM. A UTV being driven by 19-year-old Brayden McDonald of Darlington had overturned after he attempted a U-turn on Galena Street. McDonald suffered what the police department calls “serious injuries” and was taken to a local hospital. From there, he was airlifted to UW Hospital in Madison. Operating a UTV is not legal on Galena Street. Police say it appears alcohol was a factor in the crash. McDonald’s passenger was not injured.

Dubuque Man Sentenced To Probation

A Dubuque man has been ordered to serve probation after taking a plea deal on drug and sexual assault charges. 44 year old Alfred Lucius was originally charged with third degree sexually abuse and distributing marijuana to a person younger than 18 years old. The plea deal amended the charges to possession of marijuana and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. Online court records say Lucius was sentenced to five years of probation. He was accused of giving marijuana to a teenage girl in April of 2016 and then sexually assaulting her at his apartment. In addition to the probation, Lucius will be under special supervision with the Iowa Department of Corrections for the next ten years and he must register as a sex offender.

Two Charged After Traffic Stop Near Mineral Point

Two people face drug and weapons charges following a traffic stop near Mineral Point Friday night. A release from the Iowa County Sheriff’s Department says deputies conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle on U.S. Highway 151 just before 8:30 p.m. Following a search of the vehicle deputies arrested 22 year old Nytisha Simmons and 18 year old Marreon Jones, both of Milwaukee. Simmons is charged with receiving stolen property-firearm and altering identifying marks-manufacturer property, while Jones faces charges of operating with a controlled substance and possession of marijuana.

Looking for Cyber Experts in Iowa

The growing number and severity of cyberattacks are prompting state officials to try to identify and train the next cyber workforce from among Iowa high schools students. Iowa has entered a cyber training partnership with the SANS Institute. High school juniors and seniors will be competing against students in six other states for 650-thousand-dollars in scholarships. Alan Paller, SANS director of research, says the students will be playing a game called CyberStart, but the importance of the outcome is quite serious. Paller says the game is used by adults in the field who have found it’s sometimes more valuable than an expert instructor because the problems they’re facing are ever-evolving. Paller says the cyber security career field holds great promise for youth because the jobs aren’t going to be outsourced and the cyber attackers aren’t going to go away.

Doorway Of Hope Receives Funding To Support Homeless Women And Children


Opening Doors in Dubuque recently received funding from the James B. & Melita A. McDonough Foundation. The fifteen thousand dollars goes to the Doorway of Hope program which will partially fund rent subsidies for graduates of Opening Doors in the new Francis Apartments. Opening Doors Executive Director Michelle Brown says eight of the 12 apartments have been designated for the graduates. The tenants who’ll occupy the apartments will pay no more than thirty percent of their income on housing. As their income increases, the amount of the subsidy decreases until the tenant is fully self-sufficient. Brown says for the first time in their history they are able to serve men in the apartments through the Doorway of Hope program. The apartments are located on the Steeple Square campus, right next to Maria House.

Blum Is Tabbed As A State Co-Chair For The Reynolds/ Gregg Ticket

Iowa U.S. Representative Rod Blum is joining several other Iowa politicians as a State Chair for Governor Kim Reynolds and Acting Lt. Governor Adam Gregg’s re-election campaign. The Republican from Dubuque joins Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley as well as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey As a State Co-Chair for the Reynolds/ Gregg ticket. A number of Democrats will face off in next year’s primary, with the winner facing Reynolds in November of 2018.

Convict on Loose After Failing to Report to Dubuque Facility


A man convicted of several charges in Dubuque County is loose this morning after failing to report to a correctional facility in downtown Dubuque. 29-year-old Korey McGhee was out on work release and did not return to the Dubuque Residential Facility on Elm Street. He’s been housed there since mid-June. Back in 2009, McGhee was convicted on more than a dozen charges, including robbery, burglary, and forgery. He was sentenced to spend twenty years in prison after pleading guilty to those charges. Authorities describe him as an African-American man standing 5’10” and weighing nearly 360 pounds. McGhee’s most recent prison photo shows him with cornrowed black hair and a short beard. Anyone with information about McGhee’s location is urged to call the Dubuque Police Department.

Four Candidates Running for WD School Board

The father of a Major League Baseball player will be one of the candidates making their pitch for a spot on the Western Dubuque school board. The deadline for candidates to submit nomination paperwork was last night, and three people will be in the running for the open seat representing Cascade, Bernard, and the southern portion of the district. Mike Rea was the first of the candidates to submit paperwork. He is the father of Colin Rea, a pitcher for the San Diego Padres who is the only active Major Leaguer hailing from Dubuque County. Rea owns a Pioneer Hybrid affiliate and farms between Cascade and Bernard. He has had four children graduate from Cascade High School, with one daughter still in school. Rea will compete for Cascade residents Patrick Diller and Colleen Horsfield, who both submitted their paperwork yesterday. Diller is a former president of the Cascade Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization and is one of the organizers of the Cascade Karate Club. Horsfield works in the payroll department at Conlon Construction in Dubuque. Two of her children are graduates of the Western Dubuque district. Current board member Mark Tilson was the only candidate to file for the other seat up for election this year. The area he represents includes the northern one-third of the district.

Loras Surpasses Campaign Goal

Loras College has surpassed a fundraising goal of $100 million. Loras President Jim Collins says when the “Inspiring Lives and Leadership” campaign was first launched in 2013, the goal was set at $75 million. But when that amount was reached in just two years, the goal was extended to $100 million. Sixty million have already been received. Collins says the rest will come from pledges and estate gifts. The money has been used to launch programs, as well as for renovations to classrooms and other campus facilities. So far well over 2,200 alumni and friends of the school have contributed to the campaign. The “Inspiring Lives and Leadership” campaign will officially close at the end of this month. The campaign is being chaired by former Congressman Tom Tauke, a 1972 Loras graduate.

DPD Checking Squad Cars After Similar Models Show Gas Leaks

Dubuque Police are keeping an eye on their patrol vehicles after carbon monoxide leaks have been seen in similar models. In the past month, officers in California and Massachusetts have blacked out behind the wheels of their police model Ford Explorers. Investigations after the incidents revealed that the vehicles were leaking carbon monoxide. Dubuque Police also use Explorers for their patrol vehicles, and Fleet Manager Captain Scott Crabill says they’re watching the situation closely. Ford has sent investigators to the departments where the incidents happened. While they haven’t pinpointed the cause of the leaks yet, they say the problem could stem from how the departments modifed their vehicles. Crabill has been in contact with the city mechanic that works on the police vehicles and has alerted him to the potential problem. Dubuque Police recently converted their fleet of patrol vehicles over to the Explorer. One-third of the fleet will be up for replacement this fall, and Crabill says they’d prefer to stay with Ford if the company is able to determine the cause of the gas leaks. Each police squad car has a life cycle of about three years.

T-Shirt Sales to Benefit McGregor Tornado Recovery

It’s now been two weeks since a tornado tore through the Clayton County town of McGregor, and there’s a new way for people to help with the recovery. The McGregor Achievement Club has started selling t-shirts. They feature the phrase “McGregor Strong” along with an illustration of a tornado and the date of the storm. The shirts are selling for twenty dollars each, and the money collected through sales will go towards repairs in the town’s parks, where many trees were knocked over and several benches were damaged. The Achievement Club says the response to the shirts has been so strong that they’ve already placed a second order.

Iowa Stepping Up Copper Mug Enforcement

A Moscow Mule served in a copper cup at a downtown Dubuque bar (Courtesy: KCRG).

The state of Iowa is going to start cracking down on businesses that serve drinks in copper mugs. That includes the “Moscow Mule,” which has become very popular in recent years. For the last 20 years, the state has had a rule on the books saying that acidic drinks – those with a P-H value of six or less – cannot be served in a copper cup. That includes wine, fruit juices, and the Moscow Mule, which is a combination of vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice. It’s feared that the copper could leak into those kinds of drinks. But Jordan Giesemann, the owner of a copper mug supplier, says the increased enforcement of the rule is not necessary. The rule against serving certain drinks in copper cups was instituted by the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division in 1997. It came from a recommendation made by the federal Food and Drug Administration the same year.

Iowa’s Sales Tax Holiday is This Weekend

Parents have a golden opportunity to save money on back-to-school items during Iowa’s annual Sales Tax Holiday this weekend. Tomorrow and Saturday, certain goods can be purchased at area retailers tax-free. Iowa tax-free holiday spokesperson Sarah Hollenbeck says while people can save on hundreds of items this weekend, not everything is exempt. Sales tax rates vary from county-to-county, and in some cases, between individual cities across Iowa. But Hollenbeck says shoppers can expect a typical savings of nearly seven percent with those taxes waived. The tax exempt items are not limited to school-age children. Many items are available for infants and adults as well.

Dubuque Woman Facing Ten Warrants Arrested


A Dubuque woman who had repeatedly skipped out on court dates was forced to go before a judge after she was arrested early yesterday morning. 26-year-old Sasha Ginter was spotted by a Dubuque Police Officer near the intersection of 32nd and Lemon Streets at about 2:00 AM. At the time, Ginter had a total of ten warrants out for her arrest. One of them accused her of 5th Degree Theft. The other nine warrants were for Ginter failing to show up for court appearances related to that original charge. All of the warrants had been issued in mid-July. Ginter did appear in front of a judge following her arrest. She’s since been released on bond.

Stockton Officer Justified in Deadly Shooting

Courtesy: WSLM

Investigators have ruled a Stockton police officer was justified when he shot and killed an unarmed man earlier this year. Jo Daviess County State’s Attorney John Hay has released a statement clearing Officer Sean Patridge of any wrongdoing in the March death of Troy Boyle of Pearl City. Investigators determined that Boyle was holding a pen light during the altercation between the two. Patridge mistook it for a weapon and shot Boyle dead. An investigator from the Illinois State Patrol determined that Patridge’s fear over what he thought was a weapon was reasonable. The report goes on to say that Patridge was justified in taking actions to protect his own life and the lives of those around him.

Bustos to Co-Headline Steak Fry


Speculation that the Congresswoman representing Jo Daviess County has her sights set on higher office will likely increase when she co-headlines a fundraiser in Iowa this fall. Representative Cheri Bustos, a Democrat from East Moline, has been announced as one of three keynote speakers at the Polk County Democrats’ Steak Fry in late September. The event is the revival of the Harkin Steak Fry, an annual fundraiser held by former Iowa Senator Tom Harkin. He used the first installment in 1991 to launch his bid for president, which stalled out the following year. Up-and-coming Democrats – including future Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama – appeared at the event through 2014, when Harkin retired from the Senate. Joining Bustos as co-headliners are fellow Representatives Seth Moulton of Massachusetts and Tim Ryan of Ohio.

Betty Jane Could Expand to All Fareway Stores

A Dubuque-based candy maker could soon see its products on sale in dozens of grocery stores across five states. Betty Jane Candy’s snack line is currently being tested in each of Fareway’s grocery stores. Each location was given a small supply of Betty Jane candy, and depending on how well they sell, the product could find a permanent home in Fareways across the Midwest. Betty Jane President Drew Siegert says their chocolates were already being sold in more than one-third of Fareway’s locations. But expanding to the entire chain would be a significant step for the business. Siegert says the company has made several physical and technological improvements to keep up with demand. While Betty Jane’s has great name recognition here in the Dubuque area, the company has utilized some online marketing to try to drum up sales in some of Fareway’s other markets. Fareway has 117 locations across five states: Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

Dubuque Colleges Mark Final Iowa Private College Week

One of the biggest showcases for private colleges in Iowa is officially coming to an end, but leaders at Dubuque’s schools hope to carry the tradition on in their own way. This week marks the final Iowa Private College Week. The Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities has hosted the event for years, providing smaller schools a week in the summer to draw big numbers of prospective students to their campuses. But the organization will no longer sponsor the week after this year. That disappointing news to Dubuque high schooler Ava Frye, who says she’s gotten a lot of information this week. But the three Dubuque schools that participate in Iowa Private College Week will try to institute their own similar event in the future. The event is too valuable to simply let it go away, says Loras College’s Director of Admissions Kyle Klapatkusaas. School administrators aren’t sure exactly what they’ll plan for next summer. It could be a tri-college event, or each of the institutions could host their own special visit day.

Dubuque Co. Fair Managers Seek to Boost Attendance

Fewer people showed up for the Dubuque County Fair this year, and that has fair managers looking at ways to bring in bigger crowds in the future. Attendance at the fair fell by about 6% from last year. Fair managers know the concerts on the Friday and Saturday night of the fair will do the most to influence attendance. So General Manager Kevin Kotz gave his email address to the crowd at last Saturday’s concert and asked them to send him suggestions for future acts. He tells our coverage partner KCRG that the responses have been coming in nonstop. The suggestions received so far have mostly been familiar classic rock acts or emerging country stars.

Alumnus Chosen as New Divine Word President

Fr. Ascheman

Divine Word College has chosen one of its own to be the school’s new president. 1976 Divine Word graduate Rev. Tom Ascheman will take the reins of his alma mater later this year. A formal inauguration has been scheduled for early October. Ascheman is a native of the Des Moines area who was ordained as a priest in 1982. He has ministered at parishes in Indiana and Mexico and worked as a mission secretary in Rome. He also spent time as a professor at Divine Word before continuing his own studies. They resulted in his earning a PhD from the Catholic University of America. Ascheman succeeds Rev. Timothy Lenchak, who served two terms as Divine Word’s president.

Authorities Investigate Report of Stolen Lawn Mower

Authorities in northwestern Illinois are hoping the public can assist them in solving a recent burglary. On Sunday, a rural Stockton resident called the Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Office to report that their lawnmower had been stolen. The mower is a Hustler zero turn-radius model. That type of mower can have a retail value of as much as $3,000. The lawnmower was taken from inside a garage connected to the home, which sits south of Stockton on Illinois Highway 78. Anyone with information that might help investigators track down the stolen mower is asked to contact the sheriff’s office. Anonymous tips are also being taken on the county’s Crime Stoppers tipline.

Dubuque Teacher to Run for Iowa Legislature as Libertarian


A Dubuque middle school teacher is launching a bid for the Iowa Legislature, though he won’t be running as a Republican or a Democrat. Instead, Lucas Link plans to be on the ballot as a Libertarian. Link works as a social studies teacher at Roosevelt Middle School, and would be running for the House District 57 seat. Among the issues he’s highlighting are an improved state economy. That starts by doing away with the Iowa Research Activities Tax Credit, which he says is hurting small businesses. Link would also advocate for the legalization of marijuana. The 26-year-old Link comes from a family made up mostly of longtime Republicans. But says he’s come to realize that his stances on the issues lie more toward the political center. Link plans to be a hands-on candidate who’ll make himself available to the voters in his district. House District 57 seat is currently represented by first-term Republican Shannon Lundgren.

Platteville Woman Killed in Highway 151 Crash


A Platteville woman was killed after her car was struck while she was trying to cross US Highway 151 yesterday afternoon. According to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, the crash happened at about 4:15 PM where Highway 151 is crossed by Airport Road. That’s about four miles north of Dickeyville. 76-year-old Ardith Stark was headed west on Airport Road when she stopped at the intersection. She then tried to cross the highway, but pulled into the path of a vehicle being driven by 40-year-old Justin Donahoe of Plattville. Stark’s car was pushed into the median, where both she and a passenger became trapped inside. They were extricated by emergency responders, then taken to Southwest Health in Platteville. That’s where Stark was pronounced dead about three hours later. Donahoe was also taken to the hospital following the crash. There’s no word on his condition, or that of Stark’s passenger.

Jule Route Changes to Take Effect August 14

Several routes on Dubuque’s city bus service will be changing later this month. And buses will begin running later in the evening as well. Those changes were approved by the Dubuque City Council earlier this year. According to city Transit Manager Candace Eudaley, the route changes are minimal, but will impact buses that go out to the city’s West End. Some of the names of the routes have changed, in an effort to make them more closely describe where the bus goes. In addition to the route adjustments, one other big change will be the extension of many bus routes later in the evening. Many will now run until 9:00 PM. Eudaley says the changes to the routes were dictated by ridership trends, something her office studies frequently. A full breakdown of the route changes can be found on the City of Dubuque’s website.

Murals Popping Up Around Dubuque’s Downtown

Courtesy: KCRG

If you’ve driven through Dubuque’s Lower Main area at all in the past week, you’ve likely noticed some new art going up. A team of spray paint artists from Florida have been painting murals on two sides of the Capri College building in the 300 block of Main Street. Those are just two of more than a dozen murals that are in the works this year. The organizers of the “Voices of the Warehouse District” art show are coordinating the mural project, and Gene Tully says the goal is to make Dubuque more attractive to visitors and residents alike. Funding for the murals comes from a state grant and from local business sponsors.

UPDATE: WD School Board Member Tilson Files for Re-Election

With just a couple days until the deadline, a candidate has stepped forward to run for a spot the Western Dubuque School Board, and a handful of others could follow suit. We told you last week that no one had filed for the two board seats up for election this fall. Those seats are currently held by Mark Tilson of Peosta and Mark Knuth of Cascade. Knuth has said that he won’t be seeking another term. But since our story, Tilson has filed papers to run for re-election. Western Dubuque Superintendent Rick Colpitts says he knows of three other people who may also submit nomination materials before the filing deadline, which is Thursday. School board elections will take place in districts across Iowa on September 12.

“Major League” Stars Added to Team of Dreams Lineup

A trio of movie stars will be making their way to the Field of Dreams Movie Site outside of Dyersville this fall…but not the stars of the movie that was filmed there. Organizers of the annual Team of Dreams celebrity softball game say that the stars of the movie “Major League” will be a part of this year’s event. Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen, and Charlie Sheen are all expected to attend, along with Hall of Fame baseball players including Wade Boggs, Andre Dawson, and Ozzie Smith. The game is scheduled for September 3. Additional festivities include an autograph session and screening of the “Field of Dreams” movie.

DPD to Use Plainclothes Officers for Texting Enforcement

Dubuque Police will be doing something a little different as they try to enforce a new state law. According to our coverage partners at KCRG-TV, the department says it will begin using plainclothes officers in unmarked vehicles to patrol the streets specifically looking for people who are texting while driving. Back on July 1st, Iowa’s law against texting while driving got a little more teeth. Texting behind the wheel is now considered a “primary violation,” which means that officers can pull drivers over solely for texting while driving. But police say drivers tend to put down their phones when they spot an officer. Police hope that having undercover officers in charge of watching for texters will convince people to stop altogether.

Dubuque Police Host National Night Out Activities

The Dubuque Police Department is once again inviting residents to take a night out and help make their community safer. The National Night Out is being observed tonight in communities across the country, including here in Dubuque. Police Lt. Scott Baxter says the event is a crime prevention effort that promotes neighborhood unity, safety, and partnerships between police and citizens. While there is room for improvement, Baxter believes the relationship between Dubuque’s Police and the local minority community is better than in many similarly sized or larger cities. Police are hoping tonight’s activities will help spark conversations between police and members of the community. Whether they attend the National Night Out activities or not, Dubuque residents are asked to turn on their porch lights tonight. Nearly 17,000 communities take part in the National Night Out. Dubuque’s event will be held in Comiskey Park from 6:00 to 8:00.

Grant County Motorcycle Crash Sends Man To The Hospital

A motorcycle crash in Grant County last week sent a Lake Villa, Illinois man to the hospital. The accident happened on City O, about three miles west of U.S. Highway 151 in Harrison Township. 55 year old Robert Engelman was the lead rider with a group of three friends riding their motorcycles west on City O last Thursday morning. As Engelman was going around a curve his cycle ran over some loose gravel on the road. Engelman lost control and his bike left the road, went over a patch of grass down a hill and into a creek. Engelman was thrown from the bike and injured. The nature of his injuries are unknown. He was taken to South West Health Center for treatment. Engelman was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

Fight Over a Woman Results in Three Arrests

A fight over a woman resulted in several arrests Saturday night. At around 11:45 p.m., an officer on patrol noticed two men fighting in an alley near the 22-hundred block of Francis Street. Backup was called to the scene and officers were able to break up the fight. Police say that 21 year old Darien Henkel and 22 year old Daniel Williams both of Dubuque met in the alley to fight each other over Henkel’s continuing contact with Williams’ girlfriend. After the fight was broken up, police arrested Henkel and charged him with public intoxication and disorderly conduct. Williams was taken into custody and charged with OWI after police say he drove his car to the fight scene. Williams was also charged with disorderly conduct. During the fight, officers spotted 27 year old Michael Schaal of Dubuque and attempted to conduct a weapons pat-down on him. Schaal resisted officers and tried to flee on foot. Schaal was eventually captured and charged with interference with official acts. Following court appearances Sunday morning, all three men were released after posting bond.

Gas Prices Tick Up as July Closes

Travelers in the Tri-States have seen an increase in gas prices over the past few weeks, and analysts say that trend is likely to continue through the end of the summer. According to Gail Weinholzer from AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas in Iowa has gone up almost a dime since early July. Weinholzer says this summer has run contrary to usual trends, with prices increasing late in the summer after remaining steady earlier in the season. July is typically the peak of the summer driving season, so suppliers may have boosted prices lately in an effort to make up for the low prices between Memorial Day and the 4th of July. It’s common for people to use the final weeks of the summer to squeeze in one more trip before school starts. Weinholzer says that additional demand will likely boost prices by another five or ten cents before they start to drop after Labor Day. The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gas within the city of Dubuque is $2.22, a couple of cents below the statewide average.

AFSCME Backs Finkenauer


One of Iowa’s most powerful unions says it’ll back a Dubuque Democrat’s bid for a seat in Congress. AFSCME Council 61 has endorsed State Representative Abby Finkenauer in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District. Finkenauer is one of four Democrats who will seek their party’s nomination, and then will try to oust two-term Congressman Rod Blum. AFSCME is the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. Its Iowa chapter represents about 40-thousand people. In a statement released on Friday, the group’s president, Danny Homan, called Finkenauer one of the State Legislature’s fiercest defenders of workers’ rights, saying “we need a fighter with Abby’s background, backbone, and experience taking on anti-worker GOP policies in Washington.” AFSCME’s Iowa Council also announced over the weekend that they’ll support State Senator Nate Boulton in the race for Iowa Governor.

Tornado Recovery Continues in McGregor

Damage in downtown McGregor (Courtesy: KCRG).

A small city in Clayton County still shows the scars of a tornado that hit its picturesque riverfront earlier this month, but downtown businesses have reopened even as repairs continue. An EF-1 tornado whipped through McGregor nearly two weeks ago, causing extensive damage to the community’s downtown area. Electric service has been restored to nearly all buildings in the town, and local leaders estimate that at least 75% of businesses are again operational. The buildings that were the hardest hit housed an antique store and a tattoo studio. Crews had to demolish the tattoo business, but the owner plans to reopen in another downtown building.

Kind: Congress Should Work Through Recess to Ensure Coverage


The Congressman representing southwest Wisconsin is urging Congressional leaders to stay in session next month in order to stabilize the health care marketplaces. Following the US Senate’s failure to pass a new health care bill last week, Congressman Ron Kind says action needs to be taken to provide certainty and ensure Americans will continue to have access to care. Kind and several colleagues in a new Democrat coalition have proposed a collection of reforms they say will stabilize the individual market and make health care affordable for everyone.