Local News
To read full article, click on the headline

(11/21) Van Buren School announcements & Cancellations

This is a message from the Van Buren Community School District.  The Junior High Girls Basketball game has been postponed:   Due to the forecast of inclement weather this evening, the girls Junior High Basketball game scheduled tonight at New Lo

(11/21) Northey comments on RFS announcement

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey issued the following statement on the announcement by EPA that they would delay finalizing the 2014 Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) until 2015.  A copy of EPA’s announcement can be found at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/documents/fr-notice-2014-rf-standards.pdf.
“It is good news that the EPA has withdrawn the

(11/21) Loebsack: EPA’s Non-Announcement on RFS Continues Uncertainty for Etha

Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it would not finalize the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) obligations for 2014. The original rule proposed by the EPA last year would have had a devastating impact on farmers, rural communities and future investments in biofuels. Loebsack has been leading the fight to

(11/21) HUD's poor oversight of Moving to Work dollars, Chicago example

Sen. Chuck Grassley today released a response from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to his letter, with Sen. Mark Kirk, on the department’s oversight of billions of dollars of federal Moving to Work program funds given to local housing authorities in Chicago and elsewhere across the country.  Grassley is concerned that HUD appears to be rushing to extend new Moving to

(11/21) Iowa Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.5 Percent

Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent in October from 4.6 percent in September.  The state’s jobless rate was 4.4 percent one year ago.  The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent in October compared to 5.9 percent in September.   
     “Iowa’s job market continues to steadily pick

(11/21) Police Reports

11/20/14 7:28am Kum & Go reported a semi-truck filled up with 112 gal of gas and did not pay
10:06am HyVee Gas reported $7.02 of gas taken
10:20am Lawrence Thompson cited for seatbelt violation
4:17pm Russell Walker reported a dumpster broken into
5:26pm Yvonne Vorhies reported a theft. Her purse was stolen and contents missing
8:56pm Joseph Winn was arrested on a warrant

(11/21) House Fire In Batavia A Total Loss

The Batavia Fire Department was called out last night to a structure fire. The call came in just after 7:00pm. According to Fire Chief Randy Eakins, Crews fought the blaze for hours and finally put the fire out at 11:30pm.

The home was a total loss.

The home owners identity hasn’t been released.  

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

(11/21) Trial Date Set For Suspect In Drive-By Shooting

A man charged in a drive-by shooting in Mount Pleasant will stand trial in January. Phillip Grandinetti, 28 of Mount Pleasant is charged with Intimidation with a Dangerous Weapon, a Class C felony.

On September 18th, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office responded to a scene of two female individuals who had been shot at on 265th Street. The victims described the subject.


(11/21) Nearly $1 Million in CAT Grants Awarded to SE Iowa Communities

Nearly $1 Million Dollars in CAT grant funds awarded in Southeast Iowa. The Vision Iowa Board awarded $925,000 in Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grants for a trail project in Ottumwa and a performing arts venue in Washington. The grants were approved by the Vision Iowa Board at their meeting in Des Moines.

The Wapello County Trails Council Highway 34 Underpass includes the

(11/21) Group Urges HyVee To Rid Tobacco From Stores

Also making headlines A statewide group of health professionals and tobacco opponents have launched a campaign calling on Hy-Vee to end the sale of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, at any of its stores that have a pharmacy or health clinic on its premises.

Members of the Iowa Tobacco Prevention Alliance said they hoped the Iowa-based retailer, which has 235 stores in Iowa and seven in

(11/21) Branstad Prepares For State Financial Pla

Gov. Terry Branstad will hold a series of budget hearings as he gets prepared for the next state financial plan. Department heads and elected officials are set to present information to Branstad and staff starting today. More than 40 hearings will be held, concluding in mid-December.

Branstad will present his next proposed budget to the Legislature in early 2015. The state’s current

(11/21) Scam Targets Elderly In Washington

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is alerting the public to a scam that is occurring in our area and targeting the elderly. The elderly person would receive a call from someone claiming to be their grandchild or loved one who advised they are either incarcerated or in trouble and needing money immediately.

They ask the elderly recipient to keep the call “quiet” so that


State Representative Curt Hanson of Fairfield is encouraging Iowans to participate in this year’s National Adoption Day on November 22nd.
“We have the ability to change the lives of children all across Iowa with adoption and foster programs,” said Hanson. “I invite the public to attend our local adoption day event at the Wapello County Courthouse on Saturday,

(11/21) Loebsack Statement on President Obamas Immigration Actions

Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement this evening in response to the President’s action on immigration.
“There is universal agreement that our immigration system is broken and is in need of reforming. It isn’t working for families, businesses or rural America. But for nearly two years, House Republicans led by John Boehner have had a chance to

(11/21) Harkin Statement on the Presidents Executive Action on Immigration

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today released the following statement in response to President Obama’s announced executive action on immigration policy.
“Today the President announced Executive Action to take some common sense steps to fix our nation’s broken immigration system. I support the President’s decision and the much-needed improvements it will

(11/21) Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on Immigration

THE PRESIDENT:  My fellow Americans, tonight, I’d like to talk with you about immigration.
For more than 200 years, our tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world has given us a tremendous advantage over other nations.  It’s kept us youthful, dynamic, and entrepreneurial.  It has shaped our character as a people with limitless possibilities

(11/21) FACT SHEET: Immigration Accountability Executive Action

The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions will help secure the border, hold nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants accountable, and ensure that everyone plays by the same rules.  Acting within his legal authority, the President is taking an important step to fix our broken immigration system.
These executive actions crack down on illegal immigration at the

(11/20) OFFICIAL: Authorities Explain AED's

Donated AED’s now in Patrol Vehicles Ready to Save Lives
The Jefferson County Sherriff’s Office and the Fairfield Police Department would like to clarify some information released last week. As law enforcement agencies, we rarely have budgeted money for medical equipment. Our automated external defibrillators (AED’s) were older and several were no longer in working

(11/20) Citizens Give To Education Foundation During American Education Week

This week in Fairfield, area Schools, are celebrating American Education Week. This is a week set aside to recognize the importance of public schools. American Education Week is celebrated annually, the week prior to Thanksgiving, and it is a project endorsed by numerous professional education organizations.

As American Education Week is celebrated, Fairfield Superintendent Dr Laure Noll

(11/20) Vandals Hit Local Dealership

Local Authorities investigate vandalism at Fesler’s. Fesler’s Auto Mall reported damage to one of its new cars early Sunday morning.

According to the report, a window was broken, damage to the paint and items stolen from inside the new vehicle. 

A security camera captured footage of the suspect's vehicle driving into the dealership's parking lot. Police are

(11/20) WASHINGTON: Iowa Man Arrested Near White House

An Iowa man was arrest near the White House Wednesday after Secret Service recovered a shotgun, ammunition and a knife from his vehicle.

R.J. Kapheim of Davenport allegedly initiated a conversation with a uniformed Secret Service officer near the White House, saying that "someone in Iowa'' had directed him to drive to D.C.

As the conversation went on, Kapheim consented to a

(11/20) Iowa Farmers Choose Programs In Latest Farm Bill

Iowa Farmers can sign up for 2 new farm bill programs that were included in the latest Farm Bill. Farmers have until March 31, 2015 to make a selection between the Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage programs.

In addition, farmers need to update their base acres and planting history information with their local F-S-A office and that Deadline is February 27.

More information

(11/20) Pharmacy Board Tables Marijuana Discussion

The Iowa Board of Pharmacy will consider again recommending changing state law to reclassify marijuana so it could be used to treat medical conditions. Lawmakers this year approved legislation that allows the use of oil derived from marijuana to treat chronic epilepsy.

In Iowa, marijuana is classified under state law as both a Schedule I drug, meaning it is has no medical use, and as a

(11/20) Mahaska County Mother Convicted In Toddlers Death

An Oskaloosa mother was found guilty in the death of her 18-month-old child. Alicia Ritenour was convicted of first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in the January death of her 18 month old child Ava. 

During the trial, prosecutors urged that Ritenour as a mother who lost interest in parenting her child. Ritenour’s defense attorney tried to argue to the jury that

(11/19) Police Reports

11/14 9:41am Roy Wade was granted a 1 night stay and 1 meal by Ministerial Alliance
11/18 10:46am report of a black homemade trailer stolen from the 1200 block of Jefferson
 3:04pm Logan Angstead was issued a citation for speeding
 3:55pm Jennifer Jones arrested for warrant for theft 3rd
3:55pm Jacob Jones was arrested for warrant for theft 5th
4:43pm Donald Coffin of Wayland slid on Pleasant Plain rd, struck at directional sign. No injuries
4:56pm Robert George Sawyer struck a deer new Brookville rod and Gear
6:33 Kari Lee Hall struck a deer near Hwy1 & 155th

(11/19) Nightmare on Third Street Has Record Year

The Ottumwa Police Department had a record attendance at the Nightmare on Third Street Haunted House this year.  A total of 3,155 people went through the haunted house raising $19,160.    

Proceeds from the haunted house project go directly to the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and Great (Gang Resistance Education and Training) Programs conducted by the Ottumwa

(11/19) Jefferson County Prepares For Any Ebola Case

Jefferson County continues to work with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to remain up-to-date on preparations for a possible Ebola case in Iowa. “The likelihood of an Ebola case in our county is extremely low,” said Chris Estle, Administrator “Even so, our preparedness activity regarding this health issue helps

(11/19) Alcohol Sales Leveling Off In Iowa

 Iowans continue to buy liquor, beer and wine but the pace of sales is leveling off, according to new yearly figures released Tuesday by the state Alcoholic Beverages Division.

Wholesale sales of spirits in fiscal 2014 totaled about $263.5 million, a level that was up 3 percent or $7.7 million from the previous year's record.

Overall, state revenue from sales of all

(11/19) Students Injured In SE Iowa Bus Crash

Authorities say eight students have been injured following a school bus crash in southeast Iowa. The Louisa County Sheriff's Office says the school bus exited a county road Tuesday morning and shortly after the driver lost control.

The bus had 10 students on board ages ranging from Elementary to High School.

The bus rolled over.

Eight were transported to a Muscatine hospital

(11/19) Fatal Accident In Washington County

The driver of a vehicle died after a crash on Highway 218 in Washington County yesterday. Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says the crash was reported at 8:48 a.m. The vehicle was in a ditch along the side of the highway north of where it intersects Highway 92.

A one vehicle accident and the name of that individual hasnt been released yet.

Iowa State Patrol is handling the

(11/18) Community 1st Announces New President/CEO

The Community 1st Credit Union board of directors has named Jeff Rose, a 30-year executive in the banking industry, as president/CEO of the 16-branch, Ottumwa-based credit union.
Rose, who most recently was president/CEO of Southeast National Bank in the Quad Cities for almost four years, will begin his new duties immediately. Prior to his position at the Moline, Ill. bank, Rose was

(11/18) Jefferson County Continues Ebola Preparation with State, Federal Partner

Jefferson County continues to work with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to remain up-to-date on preparations for a possible Ebola case in Iowa. “The likelihood of an Ebola case in our county is extremely low,” said Chris Estle, Administrator “Even so, our preparedness activity regarding this health issue helps

(11/18) Fairfield Schools Show Appreciation For American Education Week

All children deserve a quality education. For the past 93 years, the National Education Association (NEA) has celebrated American Education Week the third week in November to honor individuals in education who make a difference and to remind educators what they do matters.

 American Education Week presents all Americans with the wonderful opportunity to celebrate public education and

(11/18) POLICE: Help With Death Investigation

Fairfield authorities are investigating the death of two people discovered Sunday morning at a local motel. According to a release officers were called to the Super 8 Motel at 11:12 after two individuals were found unconscious.

The two occupants were later pronounced deceased and have been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

The two have been identified as

(11/18) Fairfield NW Sector Prepares To Undergo A Make-Over

The City of Fairfield and FEDA are working together to address housing needs and repairs in Fairfield. On the recommendation of the Housing Task Force the City of Fairfield will be applying for a CDBG Sustainability Grant of approximately $200,000.

The grant will provide 5 year forgivable loans of up to approximately $25,000 for up to 8 homeowners to undertake home repairs.


(11/18) Northey comments on Iowa crops and weather report

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa crop progress and condition report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service.  The report is released weekly from April through October.
“Harvest is nearing completion with 92 percent of corn and 98 percent of soybeans harvested.  Unfortunately, the snow and bitter cold weather

(11/18) OFFICIAL: Arrest Is Made In Ottumwa Stabbing

On Sunday, November 16th, 2014, officers responded to a medical call for service at the Bp service station located at 533 N. Jefferson in Ottumwa.  Upon arrival, officers identified a male victim, Kelwin Dawley, age 22 of Ottumwa, as a victim of an assault.  Dawley had injuries to his head and his hand that were consistent with injuries from a knife or other cutting instrument.

(11/18) Nurse practitioner joins The Keokuk Clinic

Nurse practitioner Kathy Tripp has joined The Keokuk Clinic. She is accepting new patient appointments for acute and chronic conditions.
Tripp received a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Iowa Wesleyan College, and her family nurse practitioner degree from Graceland University.
A part of Great River Health Systems, The Keokuk Clinic, 1603 Morgan St., specializes in

(11/17) City of Fairfield Applies For CDBG Sustainability Grant

The City of Fairfield and FEDA are working together to address housing needs and repairs in Fairfield. At the recommendation of the Housing Task Force the City of Fairfield will be applying for a CDBG Sustainability Grant of approximately $200,000.

The grant will provide 5 year forgivable loans of up to approximately $25,000 for up to 8 homeowners to undertake home repairs. The city

(11/17) Police Reports

11/16 1:05am MUM Security advised a vehicle tried to steal a pylon and tried to back into him. Security was following the suspect vehicle and watched beer bottles and a beer box thrown out the window. Anagnostis Papzaolglou and Austin Gridley were arrested for driving under the legal age and theft 5th.
5:08pm Leon Edgar was cited for no drivers license and OWI 1st
11:17am University BP reported

(11/17) North Dakota Pipeline Study and Meeting Schedule Released

Strategic Economics Group, a research firm based in Des Moines has released a study examining the economic and fiscal impacts of the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). DAPL will carry domestically produced, light sweet crude oil from the Bakken oil f

(11/17) POLICE: Two Bodies Found in Fairfield, Identities Released, Help With In

Fairfield authorities are investigating the death of two people discovered Sunday morning at a local motel. According to a release officers were called to the Super 8 Motel at 11:12 after two individuals were found unconscious. The two occupants were later pronounced deceased and have been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

(11/17) Iowa National Guard Deployed To Aid In Ebola Outbreak

An Iowa National Guard unit could be deployed to western Africa as part of the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak. A release from Col. Greg Hapgood says the 294th Area Support Medical Company, based in Washington, could deploy to Africa in the Spring of 2015.

The approximately 80 soldiers in the unit would be sent to try and stop the spread of the virus.

Operation United Assistance, the

(11/17) Open Enrollment Starts Now In Iowa

It’s signup time again for people looking to buy medical insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act. The second enrollment period is open now through Feb. 15.

Last year, many people expressed complication with the website and confusion. This year, counselors are responsible for helping people sign up in hopes to make the process to go much more smoothly.

The health care law was

(11/17) Car vs Semi Accident With One Injured

The snow fall Saturday may have been the cause of an accident in Washington County.

Kenneth Gillispie, 82 of Mt Pleasant was traveling Westbound on Hwy 92 when he lost control on the snow covered road entered the Eastbound land and struck head on a semi truck driven by John Merriweather, 39 of Hanceville, Al.

Gillispie was transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals by air care.


(11/17) Two Weekend Stabbings In Ottumwa

Ottumwa Officers are investigating two weekend stabbings. Early Sunday morning a man walked into BP gas station with stab wounds to his hands and head.

The clerk immediately called authorities.

He was transported to the hospital. While at the hospital getting initial information concerning the incident another man was brought in with two stab wounds to the torso.

The victim was

(11/17) Body Identified In House Fire

Mahaska County Fire Crews responded to a house fire early Friday. The home of Emery Black, 56 of New Sharon was fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived.

A female was outside the home unharmed. According to the report, Black got out and went back in the home and never made it back out.

His body was recovered Friday morning.

According to New Sharon Fire Chief, The home was a total loss

(11/18) GJCF Year End Reminders

The Greater Jefferson County Foundation (GJCF) Board of Directors held their semi-annual meeting on Tuesday, November 11, 2014.   The board would like to remind the community of the opportunity for the seniors at Fairfield High School to begin thinking about the opportunity for scholarship applications prior to the upcoming holiday season.  The number of scholarships continues to

(11/14) State Fire Marshal Division Warns of Heating Equipment Fires

State Fire Marshal Warns of Heating Equipment as Leading Cause of Home Fire Deaths

The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s State Fire Marshal Division (SFM) reminds Iowans that heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths during the winter months. Almost half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December,

(11/14) Police Reports

4:47pm A black wallet was turned into authorities with Id, credit and debit cards
5:22pm Ashley Moyer struck a deer
7:18pm Timothy Monahan struck a deer

(11/14) Sen. Rich Taylor's Nov. 13 column

One of the best ways we can welcome veterans to our state is by ensuring they can afford a home that meets their families' needs.
Between 2009 and 2013, Iowa's Military Home Ownership Assistance Program boosted our state's economy by leveraging more than $178 million toward home purchases. Even so, the program wasn't keeping up with

(11/14) Authorities: Buckle Up, Slow Down, Drive Defensively

The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) and the law enforcement officers across our state wish everyone a safe Thanksgiving holiday.  To ensure safety, please take the time to buckle up, slow down and drive defensively in your travels around the state.
Those who choose to not buckle up or drive aggressively have a higher chance

(11/14) Wanted Men Found In Fairfield Now Back In Custody

Thursday afternoon, Jefferson County Sheriff Deputies and Fairfield Police Officers were tipped off that two wanted men were at a home in Fairfield.

Once at the home of Tristan Downing, no one would answer the door.

After some time an individual eventually answered the door and Authorities located two walk a ways from the halfway house in Ottumwa.

Logan Rhinehart and Mark Hopwood

(11/14) Winter Weather Preparedness Tips For Home, Vehicle, & Pets

With the wide spread threat of severe weather this weekend. Emergency Management Coordinator Joe Stever encourages Jefferson County citizens to be prepared. Stever says its essential to have supplies in your home and vehicle if travelling in poor road conditions. You will need to periodically go through your emergency supply kits to make sure the items in it are not outdated. Plan to go through your supply kits at least every six months.

(11/14) POLICE: Citizens Report Stolen Items

With recent criminal activity in Jefferson , Van Buren and Henry County, Authorities encourage citizens to check any out-buildings like garages and sheds for missing items and file a report with local law enforcement. 

According to Lt Harvey, in Jefferson County alone, more than 8 boxes can be filled with stolen items that have been recovered.

In efforts to match the rightful

(11/14) Appeals Court Grants New Murder Trial For Fairfield Man

A court says an Iowa man convicted of murder will get a new trial because a juror showed bias towards the victim's family. The Iowa Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the second-degree murder conviction of Tyler Webster was polluted by the juror's friendly relationship with the victim's family.

Webster, formerly of Fairfield, shot Buddy Frisbie, 32  twice in

(11/14) One Vehicle Lost In Garage Fire

Wednesday night Fairfield Fire and Rescue was responded to a call at 200 E Briggs. Once on the scene, a detached garage was fully engulfed in flames. The Brenton Clark family lost one vehicle and several bikes and misc items stored in the garage.
The fire did not spread to the home. No one was injured.

On a call to Fairfield Fire Chief Scott Vaughn, the cause of the fire is

(11/14) More Charges Added To Inmate After Assault On An Officer

An altercation in the Van Buren County Jail has left one man facing additional charges. Ivan Lee Short Jr., 27 of  What Cheer, was charged with assault on a Peace Officer.

According to the report, Short was involved in an altercation with another inmate in the jail. He was physically assaulting the other inmate, and an officer had to enter the cell to separate Short from the other inmate.

(11/14) Authorities Investigate Suspicious Infant Death

Authorities are calling the death of a Des Moines County infant suspicious. State and local agencies are looking into the death of Carter Joseph Payne, 22 days old.

Payne died at a rural Des Moines County home over the weekend.

The State Medical Examiner's office is conducting an autopsy.

A statement from the Des Moines Sheriff's office says no further details will be made