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Eastern Iowa News Now

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Pizza store employees robbed with pellet gun


Posted June 17, 2010 4:00 am by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

CEDAR RAPIDS — Two employees at a local pizza house came into contact with a pellet gun during a

Wednesday night robbery carried out by two men, at least one of whom was armed with a plastic gun.

Police Sgt. Jeremy Paulsen said two black males with bandanas on their faces were believed to have

carried out the caper at Mama Miaʼs, 408 Edgewood Road NW.

Matt Thompson, 26, of Cedar Rapids, a delivery driver, was walking out of the restaurantʼs kitchen

towards the bathroom when he saw the robbers who demanded money from him. Thompson said he

was knocked on the back of his head and that the other employee was shot with a pellet gun.

Thompsonʼs girlfriend was also in the store. Nobody went to the hospital. The amount of money of taken

was unknown, and the police commander on duty was not immediately available for comment.

Thompsonʼs description of the two men was similar to Paulsenʼs and he said both were around 6′ tall.

The scene was calm shortly after the holdup.

That calmness camouflaged the grim situation. These employees werenʼt safe at work. “They took

everything of mine,” said Thompson, while smoking a cigarette outside. His girlfriend was nearby and

the glow of the Mama Miaʼs sign lighted some of the parking lot.

“I thought it was a joke at first, maybe somebody I knew,” said Thompson. It wasnʼt and now he doesnʼt

have his phone, wallet or car keys.

Mama Miaʼs closed early on Wednesday.

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
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Father: Son was dedicated to the Army


Posted June 17, 2010 1:28 am by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

LIME SPRINGS — The father of an Iowa soldier killed in Iraq said his sonʼs body had arrived back in the

U.S. and that a Cresco funeral home would coordinate funeral services.

Spc. Christopher Opat, 29, died Tuesday in Baquah, Iraq, from injuries in a non-combat incident,

according to the U.S. Department of Defense. A military investigation was ongoing and there were no

further details.

The father said his sonʼs body was flown into Dover Air Force Base Wednesday evening. The Conway

Funeral Home in Cresco was coordinating burial services for the family. No further details were given

about services.

Les Opat, 58, of Lime Springs, said he knew something was wrong when two uniformed officials came

to his door earlier this week, “That was the type of thing I never wanted to see,” said Opat.

Opat became the 59th Iowa solider killed in or after serving in the war zone. Two of the specialistʼs

brothers had served in the armed services and another recently joined the Air Force, Opat said.

The father said his son wanted to make a career in the Army, and after attending Iowa Lakes

Community College thatʼs what he did. “He had tried to get a job, and he was having, not a hard time

finding a job, but he decided that he needed something different.”

“He liked the Army and he was dedicated to the Army,” said Opat.

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
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Center Point flower shop flooded


Posted June 15, 2010 10:14 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

CENTER POINT – Floodwater rose over the Apple Creek and swamped one womanʼs flower shop.

“The creek back here started coming up, and it came up real quick, and we ended up with six inches of

water on the floor,” said Judy Parizek, after a flash flood devastated Center Point Floral and Gifts, 600

Franklin St.

Parizek stripped the shopʼs hardwood flooring after the morning rush of water damaged it. Her husband

and one of her employees were helping her clean up near dusk. They set aside a pile of rubbish that

was ready to be hauled away by a private dumpster company. She was intent on getting her business

back up and running by next week.

“Every day Iʼm closed, Iʼm short on money,” she said, as she surveyed the damage to her shop.

Parizek said she had flood insurance and hoped it would cover the destruction that came when the

creek came rushing in. The creek is about 100 feet from the shop.

Across Center Point, the impact of the early Tuesday morning storm was still being felt by residents.

Mayor Mona Barz declared a water restriction until 9 p.m. because of the rain and flooding. The cityʼs

Web page read,“We ask that homeowners reduce the amount of water usage from washing machines,

showers, dishwashers, etc.”

Garnet Mader, 67, of Center Point, said she lived in Center Point all her life and had never seen flash

flooding like the one that happened today.

“Peopleʼs yards are still full of water, like ponds,” said Mader.

Nancy Krapfl, an employee of Center Point Floral and


Gifts, 600 Franklin St., stands next to a sign that floated
away from the store during a flash flood on Tuesday,
June 15, 2010. (Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group
News)
Judy Parizek, owner of Center Point Floral and Gifts,
600 Franklin St., and her husband Alva, stand by a pile
of rubbish they gathered, after Apple Creek overflowed
and floodwater came into the shop on Tuesday, June
15, 2010. (Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News)

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


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Owner takes steps to move forward after West Branch


property crumbles
Posted June 12, 2010 10:11 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

WEST BRANCH — The day after a historic downtown West Branch building collapsed, its co-owner is

sorting through the mess and trying to figure out what will become of the winery he and his wife were

building.

“Itʼs a pile of rubble. Thereʼs nothing left,” said John McNutt, who was working to renovate the former

turn-of-the-century post office and, most recently, the site of Virgilʼs Sinclair at 116 Main Street.

McNutt said he had been in contact with his insurance adjuster and his banker, and that he and his wife

intended to keep building a tasting room on the property. Their plan was to renovate the old building and

have it complement a new structure to form the 1907 Winery.

McNutt said construction had begun June 1 on the building, one of several structures in town on the

National Register of Historic Places.

“This is really kind of a blow to our business plan, and the bigger blow is the loss to this historic facility

thatʼs been here (more than 100) years.”

West Branch Mayor Don Kessler said orange fencing and barricades now surround the structure in this

Cedar County town. He said he was hopeful building could resume soon.

The impact of the collapse was literally felt at city hall by the mayor and the new city administrator, Matt

Muckler. They had just had a meeting.

“As we walked out of the city offices we heard the crackling of wood and we saw the structure go down,”

Kessler said.

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
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This entry was posted in Disaster and Accident, government, human interest and tagged Main Street, National
Register of Historic Places, Post Office. Bookmark the permalink.
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Web site gives updates of injured airman


Posted June 12, 2010 10:04 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

The brothers of an Air Force member injured earlier this week in Afghanistan have set up a Web page to

keep people updated on the condition of the airman.

U.S. Air Force Capt. David Wisniewski, a graduate of Woodbury Central High School in Moville, Iowa,

was injured while riding a helicopter in Afghanistan. He is the son of Iowa City Regina Activities Director

Chet Wisniewski. He was transferred to Bethesda Naval Hospital Friday after first receiving care for

head injuries in Germany.

Wisniewski received results of an MRI on Saturday afternoon. His brain stem was intact, and he was

reacting to stimulus, according to an afternoon post on the Web page. That post said the Nevada-based

captain was able to breathe without the support of a ventilator for one minute. “Finally some good news

for the day,” wrote Wisniewski Family.

Those wishing to make a financial contribution in support of the Wisniewski family can do so at any Hills

Bank and Trust location.

Link to the Web site

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


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Two hotel heists in Cedar Rapids


Posted June 12, 2010 12:37 am by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

CEDAR RAPIDS — Two hotels were held up at gunpoint Thursday night. The Budget Inn, 3100 16th

Ave. SW, had some money stolen around 10:20 p.m. by a thief described as a black male, 5ʼ9″ tall, and

in his late teens or early 20s. He also wore yellow gloves and a brown bandana, according to a police

report.

The Super 8 Motel, 720 33rd Ave. SW, had cash taken around 11:45 later in the night. A police report

said a black male between 6ʼ1” and 6ʼ3” tall came into the hotel, showed a gun, and demanded money

from a staff member. The man wore light-colored gloves, and also a do-rag and a mask. It was unknown

if the heists were related.

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
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Minor-league ballpark tour comes through Cedar Rapids


Posted June 11, 2010 8:41 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

CEDAR RAPIDS — A cross-country tour that celebrates minor league baseball set up outside of

Veterans Memorial Stadium on Friday.

“Itʼs the longest running, largest mobile baseball celebration,” said Fredrick Velez, Tour Manager for the

Principal Financial Group Family Fun Fest.

This was the 13th stop on a cross-country whirlwind tour of 43 minor league ballparks. Velez and his staff

have traveled like a big concert act. The financial giant brings its message to ballparks. “Itʼs about the

whole value that minor league gives people in terms of family oriented low prices,” said Velez. “We think

itʼs the perfect marriage.”

The tour is set to bring its interactive games and colorful atmosphere to ballparks in 25 different states

throughout the summer.

Velez said the tour had been through Cedar Rapids at least four times in the past seven years. They

entertained a few thousand people prior to the game. “This (the stop) is actually a good one for us all the

time,” he said.

The grounds outside the stadium buzzed with activity prior to the contest against the South Bend Silver

Hawks. On this humid night a giant slide, a bungee run and two Kernels players helped in the

companyʼs production.

This stop on the tour coincided with something monumental for two siblings, Brittany Thompson, 12,

and her brother Ayden Lane, 4, both of Cedar Rapids. Ayden said he had never been to a Kernels

game. He got to come face to face at an autograph table with pitcher Jonathan Bachanov and infielder

Michael Wing before the 6:35 p.m. first pitch. Minutes later the two went through the turnstiles.

“Weʼre looking forward to watching people play baseball,” said Brittany before she shadowed her

younger brother past the ticket taker.

A few minutes later the crowd had dissipated from where Velez and his tour had set up. But, it would

soon be on to another stadium.


About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News
Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
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Additional traffic cameras start ticketing at midnight


Posted June 11, 2010 5:58 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

At midnight tonight people that violate traffic laws at seven locations in Cedar Rapids will be mailed

tickets, because of new video surveillance cameras that dot the cityʼs roadways.

The city, according to its Web page has had a warning period for 14 days prior to the midnight activation.

Motorists who run red lights and speed through the cameras have to either pay up or contest the

violations.

Cameras will be activated tonight at:

1st Avenue and 10th Street East


2nd Avenue and 10th Street SE
2nd Avenue and 3rd Street SW
2nd Avenue and 6th Street SW
1st Avenue and L Street SW
Edgewood Road and 42nd Street

The city already tickets motorists with red-light cameras at six intersections. On average, the cityʼs

general revenue fund pockets about $1,000 everyday from the cameras, thus far about $136,000.

Cedar Rapids Red Light Cameras Find closest to:

A look at citation data for red light cameras in Cedar Rapids. Shows number of citations issued since March 14, 2010.

1st Ave & 10th St NE


Cedar Rapids, IA
A
Location Direction Citations Rejections Total Date
activated

1st Ave & E/B 152 18 170 3/14/2010


10th St NE

1st Ave & W/B 680 108 788 3/14/2010


10th St NE

2nd Ave & N/B 159 15 174 3/14/2010


10th St SE

2nd Ave & N/B 97 2 99 4/1/2010


3rd St SW

2nd Ave & W/B 492 31 523 4/1/2010


3rd St SW

2nd Ave & N/B 38 1 39 3/14/2010


6th St. SW

2nd Ave & W/B 34 11 45 3/14/2010


6th St. SW

1st Ave & L E/B 11 0 11 6/2/2010


St SW

1st Ave & L W/B 16 0 16 6/2/2010


St SW

Edgewood N/B 205 13 218 4/25/2010


Rd & 42nd
St NE

Edgewood S/B 224 8 232 4/25/2010


Rd & 42nd
St NE

I380 N/B 879 0 879 6/12/2010


Northbound
@
Diagonal
Dr SW

Mobile Various 881 51 932 3/19/2010


Speed – all
locations
About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News
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Washing machine brings fire crews to hotel


Posted June 10, 2010 10:41 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

CEDAR RAPIDS – A hot breakfast at the Collins Inn & Suites is an option guests usually have in the

morning, but there was something extra hot for guests tonight; a laundry machine.

Fire Battalion Chief George Bockenstedt said crews responded to an overheated washer at the hotel

around 9:15 p.m. Smoke cleared soon after, and no one was injured.

This was not the quiet night Michael Cortez, 30, of Coralville, expected at the hotel. He said it smelled

like burned wiring.

“This is different, definitely different,” said Cortez as he sat in the lobby while a fireman talked to the

staff.

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
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City bus fender bender


Posted June 10, 2010 8:37 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

CEDAR RAPIDS — No one was injured in an accident involving a city bus around 4:20 p.m. this

afternoon near Rockwell Drive and Collins Road NE. The cityʼs risk manager, who handles claims

against the city, was unavailable for comment late this evening.

A city bus was involved in an accident on Thursday,


June 10, 2010. (Christopher Pratt/ SourceMedia Group
News)

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


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UPDATE: Arson suspected in another Cedar Rapids vehicle


fire
Posted June 9, 2010 2:48 am by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

CEDAR RAPIDS – Arson is suspected in a fire that burned up a pickup in Cedar Rapids late Tuesday.

Firefighters found the fire already extinguished when they arrived just after 11 p.m. to the 400 block of

17th Street NE. A neighbor who saw smoke and fire inside the cab had used a fire extinguisher to put it

out, Fire Department spokesman Greg Buelow said.

Buelow called the damage to the inside of the pickup “minor.”

Investigators concluded that the fire was intentionally set, Buelow said. No arrests have been made.

Information about this or any other suspected arson can be submitted by calling the “Arrest Arson in

Iowa” hotline at 1-800-532-1459 or the Cedar Rapids Fire Department at (319) 286-5200.

Initial post:

CEDAR RAPIDS — One vehicle was burned last night around 11 p.m. near the intersection of D Avenue

and 17th Street NE. The Fire department responded after a passerby called 911, and it and has opened

an arson investigation.

At the scene, Fire Capt. Andy Olesen said there was no reason to believe the fire was relatedto three

arsons early Tuesday morning. The fire came when Amanda Thome, 26, was upstairs at her 17th Street

residence. Her pickup truck ignited and she said it was burning intensely until her neighbor sprayed his

fire extinguisher on it.

by 11:30 p.m. no smoke or fire was visible, but there had been some damage to both the inside and

outside of her pickup.

The Fire Department responds to pickup burning in


Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, June 8, 2010. (Christopher
Pratt/SourceMedia Group News)
About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News
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Relay remembers survivors and those who’ve passed from


cancer
Posted June 6, 2010 12:01 am by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

Updated at 4:36 p.m. — The Kohawk walks at the 2010 American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

Kohawk at 2010 American Cancer Society Relay for Life


of Linn County. (Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group
News)

About 400 accomplished students of life gathered this weekend for an all-nighter on the campus of

Kirkwood Community College. They were cancer survivors.

“Weʼre staying all night,” said Phyllis Pflughaupt, a survivor, and a member of one of the 122 teams

registered for American Cancer Societyʼs Relay for Life of Linn County. The event honors those who

have struggled against the stateʼs second-leading cause of death. The non-profit group has teams pitch

tents for the night, and each is asked to have a member always circling a track; cancer never sleeps.

“A big part of it is just being around others,” said Barbra Kamer, 42, who beat breast cancer once and

now works for the cancer group that sponsored the walk. But she faces a new test as she wages

another fight against the same diagnosis.

Cheryl Valenta, spokeswoman for the cancer group said about 1,200 people participated in the circling

ritual. Last year Relay had 110 teams participate, and it raised more than $284,000.

Team COE-aliton against cancer brought the school mascot and the Walgreens team wore red. All hit

the asphalt pavement at the Kirkwood walking trail. The 14-hour event began at 7 p.m. Friday and lasted

through the night into Saturday morning.

Ellen Becker, 54, a survivor, of Newhall, said she was walking to raise awareness for people who have

fought cancer, and also to raise money for research. Her sister, Sally Koch, 49, also of Newhall, stood

beside her along the way. She wore a T-shirt that read, “I wear pink for my sister.”

The two sisters walked a lap just before 7 p.m. They kept vigilant eyes on luminaries that sparked the
night. Candles were put inside sand-filled bags, and were lighted to remember real people all lost to

cancer. Cancer caused the death of about 6,300 Iowans in 2008, according to a report by the Iowa

Department of Public Health.

After they finished a beginning loop Becker and Koch wandered into a sea of people clustered before a

sound-stage where The Jodie Foster Connection was playing. “Iʼm just glad Iʼm here,” said Becker.

As for Kamer, she plans to keep walking the trail of life. Another Relay is scheduled for next Friday in

Johnson County. “The tears and emotions will really come out next week,” said Kamer, of Coralville.

The American Cancer Society's 2010 Linn County Relay


for Life, held at Kirkwood Community College, began
on the evening of Friday, June 4, 2010 and lasted until
the morning of Saturday, June 5, 2010. (Christopher
Pratt/SourceMedia Group News)

Barbra Kamer (pictured) joined around 1,200 people


who came to the 2010 Linn County Relay for Life.The
American Cancer Society event took place around the
Kirkwood Community College walking trail on June 4-5,
2010. (Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News)

Around 1,200 people came to the 2010 Linn County


Relay for Life.The American Cancer Society event took
place around the Kirkwood Community College walking
trail on June 4-5, 2010. (Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia
Group News)

The American Cancer Society's 2010 Linn County Relay


for Life, held at Kirkwood Community College, began
on the evening of Friday, June 4, 2010 and lasted until
the morning of Saturday, June 5, 2010. (Christopher
Pratt/SourceMedia Group News)

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


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This entry was posted in health, human interest and tagged 2010, American Cancer Society, Kirkwood
Community College, Relay for Life. Bookmark the permalink.
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Door to door agents selling security system receive


complaints, says police department
Posted June 4, 2010 5:54 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

Updated at 5:54 p.m.

Stuart Dean, a spokesman for APX Alarm said that his company took all complaints seriously and that

the the Utah-based company would work to remove agents that misrepresented their city approved

licenses as an an endorsement by the Police. “It does us no good to have agents that are

misrepresenting us,” said Dean, whose company has previously been recognized by J.D. Power and

Associates for their customer service.

Dean said that his company managers were doing everything they could to prevent independent agents

who sell their security alarms from misrepresenting their city certification.

Police Sgt. Cristy Hamblin said no formal report against APX was filed with the city by anyone. But, she

said that she had kept note of people who called to complain about aggressive sales practices.

Updated at 4:57 p.m. on Friday, June 4, 2010.

The Police spokeswoman also said a complainant told her that an APX agent said the cityʼs Police Chief

endorsed the system. Hamblin said that was not the case. Stuart Dean, a spokesman for APX was

unavailable for comment this afternoon.

Previous Post

Over the past month about 12 people have filed complaints with the Police Department against a

door-to-door security system company whose agents have been knocking doors across the city, Sgt.

Cristy Hamblin, a Police spokeswoman said.

Hamblin said independent door-to-door agents were selling security systems for APX Alarm, a

Utah-based company. One man bought a product from an APX agent and later wanted out of the

contract agreement, said Hamblin.

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Gas leak at Solon golf course


Posted June 4, 2010 1:20 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

SOLON — Fire and utility crews responded

to a gas line leak at the Lake MacBride Golf

Club in Solon yesterday afternoon. A pipe

was hit during construction of a temporary

clubhouse, said Tracy Hufford, owner and

manager of the club. Six or eight people

were evacuated from a garage nearby but

golfers on the course were not affected,

A MidAmerican Energy Co. truck (far right) responded said Hufford.


to a gas leak at Lake MacBride Golf Club in Solon, on
Thursday, June 3, 2010. (Christopher Pratt /
SourceMedia Group News.) The small natural gas leak, Hufford said,

would only set construction back a few

hours.

Last month an early morning fire ravaged the courseʼs clubhouse.

The Iowa One Call Program is designed to ensure safe excavation of underground gas lines.

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Update: Two killed in Monticello crash


Posted June 3, 2010 11:00 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

Updated at 11:00 p.m.

MONTICELLO – An Amish woman from Missouri and the man who was driving her family to a wedding

were both killed in a one-vehicle rollover accident north of Monticello on Wednesday.

Susan Miller, 46, of Keytesville, Mo., was pronounced dead a few hours after the accident at Jones

Regional Medical Center. The driver, James Dowling, 58, of Moberly, Mo., was pronounced dead at the

scene of the accident, according to a press release from the Jones County Sheriffʼs Office.

Dowling was driving the family of five to Wisconsin when he lost control of his northbound pickup on

Highway 151 about a half a mile north of Rock Road.

The womanʼs husband, Enos Miller, 46, along with Katie Miller, 10, and Benjamin Miller, 6, were taken to

Jones Regional Medical Center for care. This evening they were no longer listed as patients there.

Emanuel Miller, 18, was flown to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. His condition

wasnʼt available this evening.

None of the six victims were wearing seat belts, according to the sheriffʼs department.

MONTICELLO — Two people were killed in a one-vehicle rollover accident north of Monticello around

8:20 p.m. on Wednesday night.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. A female passenger was taken to the Jones Regional

Medical Center in Anamosa, where she died, according to the Jones County Sheriffʼs Office.

Four other passengers were also taken to the hospital. One was flown to the University of Iowa

Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City to receive care for unknown injuries. Three others were taken to the

Jones County Regional Medical Center. Their conditions have not yet been released.

The driver, a 58-year-old Missouri man was transporting a family of five to a wedding in Wisconsin,

according to the sheriffʼs office. The accident occurred on the northbound side of Highway 151 about

half a mile north of Rock Road. None were wearing seatbelts, according to the sheriffʼs office.

The names and ages of those involved in the accident have not been released and the sheriffʼs office

continues to investigate.
The vehicle involved in a fatal rollover on Highway 151 is lifted from a ditch on Wednesday, June 2, 2010.
(Christopher Pratt/ SourceMedia Group News)

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County, Jones County Sheriff's Office, Monticello, SourceMedia Group, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
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Man arrested by police for inappropriate contact with girls


Posted June 3, 2010 9:25 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

CEDAR RAPIDS — Larry Sexton, 52, was arrested yesterday by the Police Department for indecent

contact with a 10-year-old-girl, and also for showing obscene pictures to a teenage girl. Sexton was

taken into custody after police came to his residence with a warrant, according to a media release from

the department.

He remains in the Linn County Jail on a $13,000 cash only bond.

Larry Sexton, 52, was arrested by the


Cedar Rapids Police Department on
Wednesday, June 2, 2010.

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Oelwein child doing fine after choking incident


Posted June 2, 2010 4:52 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

OELWEIN –The day after a police officer dislodged a marble from a two-year-oldʼs throat the child wants

to be a policeman, says Nicole Pingree, the childʼs mother.

Yesterday, the officer, Jay Tommasin, put his arms around Talyn Yearous and a marble was soon

dislodged. “He positioned his neck and it rolled right out,” said Pingree, of Oelwein.

Pingree said the officer saved her sonʼs life and that Tommasin was her biggest hero. Today Talyn was

riding his Thomas the Tank Engine bicycle and playing with his two siblings.

His mom said that Talyn was doing well. “He is perfectly fine. He bounced right back. It was pretty

traumatic at first.” In an e-mail the Oelwin police chief said this was the fifth lifesaving action by police

officers in the past eight years.

Talyn Yearous, 2, of Oelwin, was choking when an


Oelwin Police Officer cleared his throat of a Marble, on
Tuesday, June 1, 2010. (Image courtesy of Nicol
Pingree)

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Linn County changes weather siren policy


Posted June 1, 2010 7:57 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

Updated at 9:46 p.m. — Every county has a different system for alerting the public of severe weather,

said Mike Golberg, spokesman for the agency. Goldberg said the new policy means sirens will be

sounded for severe weather storms that have winds greater than 70 miles per hour or golf ball size hail,

previously they went off only for tornado-like conditions, said Goldberg.

The Linn County Emergency Management Agency has slightly tweaked its system for alerting people of

severe weather. The system can now be activated in only some parts of the county while not in another.

Another change is that the sirens can also be sounded for severe thunderstorm warnings. The sirens

are used to promote situational awareness. People should tune to their local broadcast media for more

instructions when they hear the alert system.

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
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This entry was posted in Disaster and Accident, weather and tagged emergency, emergency management, Iowa
State University, Linn County, weather. Bookmark the permalink.
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Dysart Man Dies in Motorcycle Crash


Posted May 30, 2010 2:57 am by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

TAMA COUNTY – A Dysart man was killed in a motorcycle accident on Saturday night at the intersection

of Highway 21 and 210th Street in Tama County, according to a report by the Iowa State Patrol.

Michael Tarrance, 41, was traveling southbound on Highway 21 when he went into a ditch and was

ejected from the vehicle. The Minimal Crash Report said Tarrance wasnʼt wearing a helmet.

About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News


Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
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This entry was posted in Disaster and Accident and tagged deadly crash, motorcycle crash, Tama County.
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Opening day crowd enjoys Bever Pool


Posted May 29, 2010 6:29 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

Bever Pool is open, and itʼs just in time for the steamy days that define summer in Iowa.

“The poolʼs just a good place to cool off and chill out in the summer,” says Julian Good-Jones, 13, as he

uncrumples a picture of Andrew Jackson to pay his way into Bever Pool.

Prior to the pool opening at 1 p.m., a crowd lined up outside the doors of the city park. The temperature

bubbled up near 80 degrees and the line to get in was deep. “Itʼs taking forever,” said Jones, as he

snaked forward to the cool waters of the eight-year-old facility.

“Weʼre ready to rock and roll and have a good time,” said Carolyn Hamilton, Aquatics Program

Supervisor for the city of Cedar Rapids. Last year only 342 people came on opening day. After only two

hours the attendance had surged. At 2 p.m. Hamilton said 396 people had already come in by 2 p.m.

In a town ravaged by a devastating flood this pool has become a place that puts people at ease. For the

Clark family, sliding down waterslides, cannonballing of the diving board and plain-old sunbathing is part

of the complete aquatic experience. Deb Clark said she brought her twin boys, Darren and Caleb, all the

way across town to enjoy the nice day. The mother caught sunrays while the twins splashed around and

dove into the pool. Darren said his favorite part was the one meter diving board. He buckled his knees

for a quick instant just before smacking the water. Then he freestyled to the side of the pool so the next

in line could follow.

The brothers canʼt wait for school to end because then their swim routines are like a religion. “We come

three times a week,” said a dripping Caleb.

The boys couldnʼt agree on exactly how many days of school were left. Darren, older by a minute, said

nine. Caleb said eight. Either way, they know where one can beat the Iowa heat, the pool.

Bever Pool, 2700 Bever Ave. SE is open until August 22. The other outdoor public pools open Saturday,

June 5. Admission is $3.75 per day and season passes are available. Hamilton says the cityʼs pools are

financed with money from patrons and some property taxes.

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This entry was posted in human interest, weather and tagged Cedar Rapids, heat. Bookmark the permalink.
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Model search comes to Cedar Rapds


Posted May 28, 2010 12:25 pm by Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News

Update at 3:26 — Anna Wolle, 13, is the new Fresh Face of Iowa. Anna said she is excited about being

pictured in a magazine like Vogue.

Mary Clarke, the model manager, called Wolleʼs mom on Friday to relay the news. “There are no travel

plans right, luckily Mary believes in taking things slowly,” said Anna Wolle.

“What we focus on with the fresh face contest is someone who can do the fashion editorial end of the

business,” Clarke said.

Wolle is an eighth grade student at Franklin Middle School and plans to attend Washington High School.

Cedar Rapids — The talent scout who discovered Ashton Kutcher at the Westdale Mall way back in

1999 was once again in the city looking for models.

Mary Clarke says thereʼs something charming about models that grow up in the heartland.

“We always find so many beautiful people here,” said Mary Clarke, the Iowa-born owner of Mother

Model Management.

Clarkeʼs contest dates back to 1994. Besides discovering the model and sitcom star Kutcher sheʼs also

helped launch the careers of models like Lindsay Lullman. Lullman was discovered by Clarke at a

shopping mall in Saint Louis.

Around 45 aspiring models came to Klikʼs Photography, 808 3rd Ave. SE, on Thursday and flashed their

grins to Clarke. Thereʼs reason to believe they could be the next fresh face. Clarke says corn-fed

Midwestern faces are recognized and appreciated all over the world.

Clarke said the next Fresh Face will be announced today.

Check back soon …


About Christopher Pratt/SourceMedia Group News
Chris was an intern at SourceMedia Group in 2010.
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This entry was posted in arts, culture and entertainment, human interest and tagged Ashton Kutcher, Cedar
Rapids, contest, Iowa, search, Westdale Mall. Bookmark the permalink.