Monday Afternoon News, June 24
Tractor Ride Accident
BRONSON, Iowa (AP) - A southwest Iowa woman injured her shoulder during a three-day tractor touring event near Sioux City.
73-year-old Judith Callahan, of Glenwood, was a passenger and was injured when the tractor rolled over Monday morning near Bronson. The area is about 10 miles southeast of Sioux City.
The 79-year-old driver, Clarence Callahan, of Tabor, had pulled over to the side of the road to check on a possible mechanical issue.
A wheel dropped off the road, causing the Farmall M tractor to roll.
Judith Callahan was taken to a Sioux City hospital. Clarence Callahan wasn't hurt.
The vehicle was among more than 500 tractors taking part in the three-day WHO Radio Great Iowa Tractor Ride.
Storms Hit Eastern Iowa
SOLON, Iowa (AP) - Weather officials say there are reports of multiple tornadoes in eastern Iowa.
The National Weather Service says a confirmed tornado was located near Solon shortly before 3 p.m. Monday moving northeast at 50 mph.
There are reports of a confirmed tornado six miles southwest of Mechanicsville as well as one near Stanwood. A tornado was later reported southeast of Olin moving northeast at 40 mph.
Information about damage or injuries was not immediately available.
Storms moving across the state Monday have knocked out power for several thousand people.
Officials say severe weather in eastern Iowa has caused significant damage in the city of Muscatine and injured one person.
The National Weather Service says a spotter reported a tornado on the ground around 3:30 p.m. Monday on the north side of the city near Highway 61. A survey team will inspect the region Tuesday to determine if the damage was caused by the reported tornado.
The severe weather hit a body shop attached to a car dealership, as well as a Calvary church and Menard's home improvement store. Reported damage includes overturned semi-trailers and buildings
with roofs blown off. There are no reports of fatalities.
A line of severe storms moving across the state led to reports of multiple tornados Monday.
Fort Madison Prison Under "Restricted Movement"
FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) - Officials have placed the Iowa State Penitentiary and Clinical Care Unit in Fort Madison under restricted movement following the discovery of suspicious items.
The Department of Corrections says officials found a 17-foot rope and a bottle with an unknown substance Monday during a routine search of an upper cell house. They later discovered a 10-foot rope
and another unknown substance.
The restriction means people at the penitentiary will be mostly limited to their cells, including for meals.
The ropes were fashioned with braided sheets, and other items included blankets, gloves and sand paper. Prison spokesman Fred Scaletta says the materials indicate there may have been plans for
an attempt to escape from the penitentiary, but nothing has been reported.
Scaletta says it's unclear when the restriction will be lifted.
Branstad Declares Allamakee County As Disaster Area
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has issued a disaster proclamation for Allamakee County in northeast Iowa due to recent storms and flooding.
Branstad announced the decision Monday. The declaration means that state resources can be used to respond to the storms. These proclamations have been issued in dozens of counties since May.
Branstad also announced that residents of Allamakee and Clayton counties are eligible for a state program that provides grants to low-income families that need aid for things like food, clothing or
Sinkhole In Iowa City Concerns City Officials
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa City officials are monitoring a sinkhole near the sidewalk of a county administration building.
The sinkhole near the Johnson County Administration Building was close to six feet in diameter and more than five feet deep as of Monday afternoon.
The heavy rainfall quickly opened up the sinkhole, and officials suspect it has been building beneath the surface for some time.
Bud Stockman, superintendent with the Iowa City streets division, says either the breakage of an active storm sewer pipe or the cap blowing off a discontinued pipe caused the sinkhole.
City officials are trying to determine whether the city or county owns the pipe to determine repair costs.
New Witnesses Being Sought For Missing Cousins Case
EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have released new witness information in connection with the slaying of two Iowa cousins last year.
The Evansdale Police Department announced Monday that witness information indicates a white SUV was parked on or near Meyer's Lake on July 13, 2012. It's the day Elizabeth Collins and Lyric
Cook disappeared after riding their bikes in the area. Their bodies were found in December.
Police say they want to speak with the person or people in the full-size SUV, which was an older model of possibly a Chevy Suburban, Ford Bronco or something similar. The public is encouraged to contact investigators if they're able to identify the person or people.
Police say the individual is not considered a suspect or person of interest, but may provide important information to the investigation.
Recession Affects Children Nutrition Needs
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new report indicates the recession several years ago continues to impact the well-being of Iowa children.
The Kids Count report released Monday shows 17 percent of Iowa children lived below the poverty line in 2011 despite the recession ending in 2009. Nearly a third of them lived in single-parent
families and a quarter of them had parents without secure employment.
There are also improvements, like fewer cases of child deaths, teen drug use and low birth-weight babies.
Michael Crawford, director of Iowa Kids Count, says the trends are due to factors like more kids being covered by health insurance.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation of Baltimore compiles the report annually with help from the Des Moines-based Child & Family Policy Center.
Dubuque Woman Accused Of Murder For Hire Scheme
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - A Dubuque woman has been accused of using a Craigslist ad to try to hire someone to kill her father.
The Dubuque County Sheriff's Department says 23-year-old Megan Schmidt posted an inquiry Saturday that offered $10,000 for an undisclosed job. Interested callers were then told upfront about
the murder-for-hire job.
Capt. Bob Lynn says several concerned callers contacted authorities about Schmidt's ad. An undercover officer responded to the post Sunday and met with Schmidt. Lynn says Schmidt gave the
officer a photograph of her father and repeated the request to have him killed.
Schmidt was arrested and is at the Dubuque County Jail on $50,000 cash-only bond. She faces felony charges of attempted murder and solicitation to commit murder.
Court records do not list an attorney.