Public Information Board to Further Review Autumn Steele Records

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Public Information Board has voted to further review whether authorities must release records detailing the mistaken killing of a woman by a Burlington police officer. The board voted Thursday to spend another month investigating complaints alleging authorities have repeatedly violated the open records law after the January shooting of Autumn Steele. The board rejected recommendations from its executive director to dismiss complaints filed by Steele’s family and the Hawk Eye newspaper in Burlington. The Division of Criminal Investigation has released a 12-second video of Steele’s shooting by officer Jesse Hill, who was responding to a domestic disturbance and meant to shoot at a growling family dog. But the city, the county attorney and the DCI have declined to release additional video, a 911 call and investigative reports. Continue Reading

Big County 103.1 listener Adam Rhodes submitted this photo of the tornado beginning to develop before hitting Cameron.

Illinois State Police Reporting No Injuries Following Cameron Tornado

The unincorporated village of Cameron in Warren County has, by all accounts, been severely damaged after sustaining a radar-indicated direct hit from an extremely strong tornado that passed through Warren County Thursday evening. The tornado touched down in Cameron around 7:30 p.m. Thursday, causing “significant” damage. The Illinois State Police says it downed numerous power lines and caused several gas leaks. Electricity and gas service to the town have been shut off as a precaution. Illinois State Police closed all roads leading into Cameron last night. Continue Reading

Jon Michael Moylan (left) and Travis Hue Batley (right)

Men Facing a Combined 161 Years in Prison on Meth Charges

Two Keokuk men are facing a combined 161 years in prison after being arrested on meth charges following a Thursday afternoon drug raid in Keokuk. 44 year old Jon Michael Moylan and 46 year old Travis Hue Batley were arrested at their residence at 1712 Orleans Street by Lee County Narcotics Task Force Officials. Moylan is charged with with Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor, Maintaining A Drug House, an aggravated misdemeanor, Possession Of Methamphetamine, his Third Or Subsequent Offense, a class D felony, and Possession With Intent To Deliver Methamphetamine In Excess Of Five Grams Within 1000 Feet Of A Park, his Second Or Subsequent Offense, a class B felony with enhancements. If convicted, Moylan faces up to 97 years and 30 days in a state correctional facility. Batley is charged with Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor, Possession Of Marijuana, a serious misdemeanor, Possession Of Methamphetamine, a serious misdemeanor, Maintaining A Drug House, an aggravated misdemeanor, and Possession With Intent To Deliver Methamphetamine In Excess Of Five Grams While In Possession Of A Firearm and Within 1000 Feet Of A Park. Continue Reading

Shawn Nickerson

Ottumwa Man Found Passed Out in His Car Facing Gun, Meth Related Charges

An Ottumwa man who was found passed out in his car is now facing weapons and drug charges after West Burlington Police Officers found methamphetamine and guns in his vehicle. West Burlington Police Chief Frank Newberry tells KBUR that officers responded, along with EMS, to 727 West Burlington Avenue to a report of a man passed out behind the wheel of a vehicle in a parking lot. EMS managed to wake 31 year old Shawn Kale upon arrival, but a West Burlington Police Officer noticed a large quantity of plastic zip lock baggies in the car–which the officer, a former member of the Southeast Iowa Narcotics Task Force suspected was related to drug trafficking. Kale gave officers permission to search his vehicle. That’s when they found a sizable quantity of Methamphetamine as well as two guns–a .32 caliber revolver and a smaller Derringer type pistol. Continue Reading

Davenport Blues Festival Canceled

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Financial problems have forced a group to cancel an annual music festival in Davenport that began decades ago. The Quad-City Times reports The Mississippi Valley Blues Society announced Wednesday it would cancel a blues festival set for Labor Day weekend. The group’s president, Steve Heston, says in a statement the group will focus on continuing current programs and work to increase funding with the hope of holding a festival next year. The nonprofit society started the festival more than 30 years ago to draw attention to blues-related music and raise money for education programs. The group says it reaches more than 7,500 students annually through a schools program. Heston says his organization will regroup with a goal of returning next year with “some world-class musicians playing the blues.” Continue Reading

Cannabis Oil Program Costs Revealed

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s medical cannabis oil program has cost the state more than $100,000 to create and issue registration cards to about 50 people. The Iowa Department of Transportation last fall asked Massachusetts-based MorphoTrust USA to design and create the cards, which was approved last year by the state Legislature. The oil is derived from the cannabis plant but has little of the THC ingredient known to give a person a “high.” According to documents obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request, MorphoTrust USA billed the Transportation Department $115,000 for its work. It was paid for through the state general fund. Continue Reading

James Hecox, who faces over 80 years in prison.

Search Warrant Nabs Four on Drug Charges

A search warrant turned up a slew of drugs at a home in Keokuk, and now four people are under arrest on a wide range of drug charges. Keokuk Police and Lee County Narcotics Task Force Officials on Tuesday arrested 63 year old James Lloyd Hecox, 59 year old Cheryl Lea Hecox, 26 year old Krystal Lea Hecox, and 25 year old Steven Mitchell Blaise, all of Keokuk, at a home at 924 Palean Street following a search warrant. James Hecox is charged with Possession With Intent To Deliver Methamphetamine In Excess Of Five Grams, a felony with an enhancement, Drug Tax Stamp Violation, a felony, Maintaining a Drug House, an aggravated misdemeanor, four counts of Possession Of A Controlled Substance, a serious misdemeanor, and Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor. If convicted, James Hecox faces up to 86 years and 30 days in a state correctional facility. The others face lesser, misdemeanor drug charges. Continue Reading

DOJ, EPA Settle with Alliant Energy

The US Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency announced a pollution settlement Wednesday with Interstate Power and Light, a subsidiary of Alliant Energy company in Cedar Rapids. Under the agreement, Alliant will pay a penalty of one-point-one million dollars and has agreed to six million dollars in environmental mitigation projects. Alliant spokesman Justin Foss says the company will also install pollution control devices at some coal fired electric plants, while converting others to natural gas. “We have for years now been transitioning how we generate electricity to a much cleaner method. For years we have been making changes at many of our coal-fired power plants, and now we have continued that,” Foss says. Continue Reading

Police Investigating Shooting in Chattanooga, TN

A woman who says she witnessed the shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee says she heard a barrage of gunfire near one of the shooting sites. “It was rapid fire, like pow pow pow pow, so quickly. The next thing I knew there were police cars coming from every direction,” said Marilyn Hutcheson, who works at a Binswanger Glass. Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said at a brief news conference that police were pursuing an active shooter and there was an officer down. Hutcheson says she ran inside, where she remains with other employees and a customer. Continue Reading