November 23, 2014

Westfield woman dies in western Iowa accident

Ambulance-Back-DoorA woman from the northwest Iowa town of Westfield was killed last night in a collision on Highway 12 near the Plymouth-Woodbury County line. Barbara Dewey was waiting at a red light for a temporary traffic control light located south of a construction zone.

Apparently, a Ford Ranger pickup truck being driven by Debra Jordan, of Sioux City, rear-ended the Dewey vehicle. Both vehicles were in the ditch when Sioux City Police officers arrived on the scene. Both drivers were transported to Mercy Medical Center where Dewey died from injuries she sustained from the accident. Jordan is being held at Mercy for further observation.

(Reporting by Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)


Patrol reminds you to take your time and get acclimated to winter conditions

Patrol-logoThe Iowa State Patrol is reminding motorists to slow down, drive defensively, and to be aware of the changing road conditions as we transition into winter.

Trooper Vince Kurtz says the first snow always create headaches. “When you’ve got so many people who don’t remember what it’s like to drive on snow and ice, there are always going to be crashes in that first snow. Law enforcement and emergency services always dread that first snow, because people have forgotten how to drive,” Kurtz says.

He suggests you equip your vehicle with a winter survivor’s kit, and have the vehicle checked by a mechanic before dangerous winter conditions strike. Kurtz says there are several things that need to be checked to prep your car for winter.

He says they can check the tire tread, tire inflation, antifreeze, wiper blades, the battery condition. Kurtz says it’s good to get those things done ahead of time, so you aren’t left out in the cold. And you can check the state road reports before heading out on any trip.

(Reporting by Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)


Motorcycle strikes man at Fort Dodge track

An unusual weekend mishap landed a central Iowa man in the hospital. A Fort Dodge man was seriously injured Sunday afternoon when he was struck by an airborne motorcycle at an off road park. Thirty-year-old Mitchell J. Frank went on to the track at Gypsum City OHV Park in Fort Dodge to get a younger rider who had ridden out on to the track and into the path of other vehicles.

While on the track a motorcycle being operated by a juvenile came over a jump and landed on Frank with the peg of the cycle hitting him in the head. Frank was air-lifted to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines where he is being treated for a head injury. His condition is not known.

(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)


Wisconsin man stabs himself at Villisca axe murder house


House in Villisca where an entire family was murdered in 1912.

The southwest Iowa house that’s served as an attraction for ghost hunters since a mass murder there in 1912 was the site of a stabbing early this morning.

Authorities says a Wisconsin man, who was visiting the Villisca Axe Murder house as part of a recreational paranormal investigation, stabbed himself around 12:45 A.M.

Robert Steven Laursen, Junior, of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, was transported to the hospital in Clarinda before being flown to a trauma center in Omaha. A report on his condition is currently not available.

Officials say since there was no indication of foul play, it’s unlikely charges will be filed. Six children and two adults were murdered in the house just over a century ago in a crime that was never solved.

(Reporting by Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic)


Dunlap man injured by own gun while coyote hunting

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says a Dunlap man was injured late Wednesday afternoon while coyote hunting in Monona County, but is likely to survive.

The DNR says 88-year-old Clark Melby was getting out of his vehicle in a harvested corn field west of Dunlap when he fell and the high-powered rifle he was carrying discharged into his upper torso.

The accident happened shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday, and the DNR says the bullet passed through him and did not hit any vital organs. Melby was alone at the time of the incident, but was able to contact a neighbor who then alerted emergency personnel. He was airlifted to University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.



Dunlap man dies in Crawford County accident

Ambulance-Back-DoorA western Iowa man died and two people were hurt in a crash last night in Crawford County near Dunlap. According to the Iowa State Patrol accident report, 80-year-old James Harold Macumber of Manilla was driving a 2009 Buick Lucerne east on Highway 37. Traveling west in a 2012 Ford F 350 pickup was 41-year-old Bryan Brummer of Soldier.

A head-on collision occurred about 6:30 P.M. in the eastbound lane with the Macumber vehicle coming to rest in the south ditch and the pickup rolled onto its roof coming to rest in the middle of the highway. Macumber died as a result of the accident. His passenger, 76-year-old Rosalie Macumber, and Brummer, were transported by helicopter to the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

(Reporting by Michael Earl, KDSN, Denison)


ROTC cadets at UNI trained to help with disasters

UNI-rotcMore than two dozen University of Northern Iowa ROTC cadets are now certified as American Red Cross disaster volunteers. They were trained on the Cedar Falls campus by the agency’s disaster team members.

UNI Professor Michele Devlin was among the trainers and says the student-soldiers already know how to handle combat situations, so it makes sense they should also know what to do if they’re called to help with a fire or natural disaster.

“These are really high-speed cadets and young adults, some of them are veterans who are back now and working towards commissioning as officers,” Devlin says. “They’re really a terrific group of young people who want to give back to their communities.” Devlin says there’s often a need for volunteers to assist with fires, floods or tornadoes and it does not call for federal involvement, so that’s where the cadets can fill the gap.

Devlin says, “The Red Cross is often there doing sheltering and feeding and mass care and damage assessment, so these ROTC cadets are a perfect fit in this civil, military emergency response.” She says similar training is planned for ROTC cadets at the University of Dubuque. Some of UNI’s global studies students have also expressed an interest.