Justin Kester. Photo from the Iowa Department of Corrections

Fort Madison Prison Escapee Used Tied Bedsheets, Crawled Through Narrow Opening

Governor Terry Branstad says state prison officials are conducting a “total review” of security at the medical unit on the Iowa State Penitentiary grounds where Sunday’s prison break happened. 25 year old Justin Kestner had removed the screws from an access cover to a pipe chase in the cell shower and subsequently maneuvered up the chase and through a vent to the roof. Kestner used a rope constructed from torn bed sheets and the drain pipe to make his way to the ground from the roof of the unit to an unfenced area. “I think it was pretty ingenious in what he came up with,” Branstad says. “I guess most prison escapes are, but it’s stupid, absolutely stupid when you’re on a 10 year sentence to escape prison. Continue Reading

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Iowa Democrats Prefer Hillary, But Sanders Gaining in KBUR/Monmouth College Poll

Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton holds a more than 3 to 1 advantage over her closest competitor, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in a KBUR-AM, Burlington, IA, and Monmouth College (IL) Midwest Matters poll of 1,000 likely caucus goers. Clinton has the support of 63% of Democrats in Iowa compared with 20% for Sanders. Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is at 5%, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb is at 3% and former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chaffee is at 1%. Another 8% of respondents are undecided. “The results of the poll fit in pretty well with what the rest of the polls are showing,” said Robin Johnson, host of “Talking Politics” on KBUR and part-time lecturer at Monmouth College, “In that Hillary Clinton has a sizable lead in Iowa. Continue Reading

Fireworks fire off in West Burlington.

Successful 4th of July Fun in West Burlington

4th of July Festivities went on without a hitch over in West Burlington. The day kicked off with a car and craft show, kids jumped on inflatables downtown. All of that before the large parade wound through Huston Street. West Burlington Chief of Police Frank Newberry acted as the Grand Marshall for the Parade. Newberry just returned to the department in March after being hospitalized for several months following a disk rupture that left him paralyzed. Continue Reading

Lee County Farmer Killed After Being Run Over By Own Tractor

A Lee County Man is dead following a Saturday farm accident. Investigators believe that 73 year old Daniel Joseph Mertens of Salem may have been trying to jump start his tractor with a screwdriver when the tractor slipped into gear, knocking Mertens to the ground, and running him over, killing him. A screwdriver was found in tire tracks nearby. A passerby notices that the tractor was spinning, driverless, in the middle of the field at 1087 140th Avenue with a plow attached. The passerby managed to jump in the tractor and cut it’s engine. Continue Reading

Not a Good Week for Iowa DOC: Two Listed as “Escaped” From Waterloo Work Release

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Iowa prison officials say two inmates remain listed as escaped from the work release facility in Waterloo. A prison news release sent Sunday says 23-year-old Darius Caston was placed on escaped status following an unexcused absence. He’s been serving a 20-year sentence since May 28, 2010, after convictions for willful injury and intimidation with a dangerous weapon. Caston was transferred to the facility on May 1. Also missing from the Waterloo facility is 20-year-old Jared Brooks. Continue Reading

Justin Kester. Photo from the Iowa Department of Corrections

CAPTURED: Illinois State Police Capture Escaped Fort Madison State Prison Inmate

An Iowa State Prison Inmate who escaped from the facility in Fort Madison has been captured, according to Department of Corrections Authorities. DOC spokesperson Fred Scaletta says that 25 year old Justin Kestner was captured by Illinois State Police Troopers just south of Geneseo, Illinois just before 10:00 am. A press release from Illinois State Police say that Henry County, Illinois Sheriff’s deputies located a vehicle, that they believe was stolen by Kestner, abandoned at the side of a road. A State Police Trooper discovered Kestner walking on Illinois Route 82, south of Interstate 80. Kestner apparently ran from the Trooper through a corn field before being taken into custody. Continue Reading

Justin Kester. Photo from the Iowa Department of Corrections

Offender Escapes From Iowa State Prison in Fort Madison

An Iowa State Prison Inmate who escaped from the facility in Fort Madison has been captured, according to Department of Corrections Authorities. DOC spokesperson Fred Scaletta says that 25 year old Justin Kestner was captured by Illinois State Police Troopers just south of Geneseo, Illinois just before 10:00 am. A press release from Illinois State Police say that Henry County, Illinois Sheriff’s deputies located a vehicle, that they believe was stolen by Kestner, abandoned at the side of a road. A State Police Trooper discovered Kestner walking on Illinois Route 82, south of Interstate 80. Kestner apparently ran from the Trooper through a corn field before being taken into custody. Continue Reading

One Injured in Henderson County Crash

One man was injured following a single car accident in Henderson County. Illinois State Police say that Christopher M. Cooper of Gladstone was intoxicated when he was driving westbound on Highway 34. Cooper crossed the center line and ran off the south side of the roadway where he drove up an embankment and jumped a drainage ditch. His vehicle spun around, sliding into the drainage ditch. He was transported to Great River Medial Center with non-life threatening injuries and cited for Driving Under the Influence and Operating an Uninsured Motor Vehicle. Continue Reading

This Cellphone Case might end up being the last one you ever carry. Photo from Japan Trend Shop.

Police: Don’t Carry Gun-Shaped Cellphone Case

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Police in Sioux City are urging people not to use a cellphone case that looks like a gun, saying the device could be confused for the real thing. Police Chief Doug Young tells the Sioux City Journal that the case could put people who carry it in danger. The case is designed to hold a smartphone in what would be the barrel of a handgun. It includes a pistol handle and trigger guard. Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew says the phone case looks like a real gun if it’s tucked into a waistband or pocket to hide the phone and show only the handle. Continue Reading