Nine Killed in South Carolina Church Shooting

Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen says the suspect in a shooting that killed nine people was at a historic black church attending a meeting and stayed for almost an hour before gunfire erupted. Mullen gave the details at a Thursday morning news conference. He didn’t elaborate. At the news conference, he also identified the victims of the Wednesday church night shooting as six females and three males. He says names won’t be released until families are notified. Continue Reading

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Suspect in Custody, Victim Safe As Burlington Police Defuse Hostage Situation

Burlington Police defused a hostage situation last night in the 100 block of South 7th Street, and now a 40 year old man is in custody. Burlington Police Lt. Adam Schaefer says in a news release that officers received a call at around 11:25 pm last night that an adult male was holding a juvenile hostage at knifepoint on the second floor of the residence. Officers arrived and after several minutes of communicating with Jody Michael Hummer, managed to take him into custody after persuading him to throw the knife away. Hummer is charged with False Imprisonment and Possession of a Controlled Substance. The juvenile sustained minor, non-life threatening injuries during the incident. Continue Reading

Bomb Threat Shuts Down Cedar Rapids Airport

A bomb threat shut down the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids for two hours early Wednesday morning. Police were alerted by OnStar at 3 a.m. about a man claiming to have an explosive at the airport. A suspect was taken into custody a short time later near the airport, which was placed on lockdown. Emily Dudley of Cedar Rapids told KCRG-TV she arrived at the airport and nearly missed her flight. “We came in and there were cop cars everywhere. Continue Reading

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Burlington Mayor: “Temporary” Memorials to Crime Victims Should Be Limited

Burlington Mayor Shane McCampbell says that long-standing “temporary” memorials to crime victims–while OK in the short term, are creating problems in the long term for members in the community. McCampbell spoke during a Monday city council meeting, referencing one such temporary memorial in the South Hill Neighborhood. “It’s not fair to the family who has to move all that stuff to cut the grass.” McCampbell said, “And I just don’t want to [see reminders all] through town that a crime was committed there. To be respectful, I think that, yes, if someone wants to do that, we should put a limit on it.” Continue Reading

Derek Westwater. Courtesy: Lee Co. Narcotics Taskforce

Keokuk Man Facing 185 Years in Prison on Meth Charges

A Keokuk man could be facing the rest of his natural life in prison if convicted on meth charges. The Lee County narcotics Task Force says that 30 year old Derek Alexander Westwater was arrested Tuesday in the 300 Block of Main Street after a Keokuk Police Officer was attempting to serve an arrest warrant on Westwater. Once Westwater was in custody, items related to methamphetamine production and distribution were discovered. Westwater is charged with Manufacture of Methamphetamine in Excess of Five Grams within 1000 Feet of a Public Park, two counts of Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance within 1000 Feet of a Public Park, and Reciept of a Precursor Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Westwater has two previous Meth-related convictions against him, one in 2008, the other in 2009. Continue Reading

New Bird Flu Case Discovered, Outbreak Actually Lowering Chicken Prices

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — After a six-day break with no new bird flu cases, the Iowa Department of Agriculture says another egg-laying chicken farm has tested positive. A farm in Wright County with 1 million chickens has experienced increased deaths among the flock and a preliminary test indicates the presence of the bird flu virus. The frequency of new cases has slowed dramatically with no new cases in Minnesota in 11 days. Iowa’s last reported case was June 9. The bird flu has cost Minnesota, the leading turkey producer, 9 million birds. Continue Reading

14 Year Old, 16 Year Old, Arrested After Being Found Driving Stolen Car

Two Juveniles are in custody after a Burlington Police officer spotted them driving a car that was reported stolen on Sunday. At around 3:00 am on Tuesday, an officer discovered 14 year old Alan Thomas and 16 year old Trayvon Ashby driving a stolen 2006 Chevy Malibu. When the officer attempted to pull over the car, the juveniles stopped the car and fled on foot near Central and Valley. After a brief foot chase, both boys were taken into custody. The younger Thomas, who was driving the car, is charged with operating a motor vehicle without consent, having no valid drivers license, and interference with official acts causing injury after a Des Moines County Sheriff’s deputy received a minor injuring during the foot chase. Continue Reading

Criminals Criminalizing Criminals: Man in Des Moines Robbed After Robbing Gas Station

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines man has been arrested after he told police he was robbed by someone after he had robbed a gas station. The Des Moines Register reports a 24-year-old man was arrested Monday night. Police say they responded to a report of a robbery of a gas station and found a man who matched the description of the suspect while on their way to the scene. Police say the suspect told them he had robbed the gas station convenience store so he could go drink at a nearby bar. He told police a black car that was in the gas station’s parking lot during the robbery followed him to the bar. Continue Reading

Five Irish Students Killed in Berkeley, California Balcony Collapse

Police say they received a noise complaint about a loud party about an hour before a balcony collapsed at a Berkeley, California, apartment building, killing five Irish students in the U.S. on work visas. Eight other people were injured in the incident that occurred during a 21st birthday party. Officer Byron White, a spokesman for the Berkeley Police Department, says officers had not yet responded to the complaint before the collapse at 12:41 a.m. PDT

The balcony, estimated to have been 5 feet by 10 feet, separated completely from the building and landed on a lower balcony. Continue Reading