Iowa News

Officials investigate fire at Iowa ice cream plant
LE MARS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are investigating the cause of a small electrical fire at a northwest Iowa plant owned by the makers of Blue Bunny ice cream. Wells Enterprises says efforts are underway to figure out the cause of the Monday night fire at one of its facilities in Le Mars. No injuries were reported. The Le Mars Daily Sentinel reports firefighters from several departments responded to the fire and helped extinguish it quickly. Cleanup included ventilating smoke inside the affected plant. Wells planned to resume operations there Tuesday. A message left for a company spokeswoman was not immediately returned.

Iowa woman gets probation in theft case
ELDORA, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa woman has been given probation for stealing from an elderly man under her care. District Court Judge Michael Moon recently ordered to suspend a 10-year prison sentence for 60-year-old Pamala Hammond. She will instead be on probation for two- to five years. A message left for Hammond's attorney was not immediately returned Tuesday. The Des Moines Register reports Hammond pleaded guilty last month to a count of theft in connection to the estate of James Curtis Ruby, of Eldora. The 88-year-old veteran died in 2012. Hammond was accused of transferring more than $630,000 from Ruby's accounts to her own. She was also accused of writing several checks totaling more than $115,000 from Ruby accounts.

Iowa posts record egg production as demand soars
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The egg is on a roll. It has never been more popular as a fast-food restaurant breakfast staple and its appeal has broadened far beyond the day's first meal. High demand has kept egg prices at record levels, even as production soars. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Iowa, the nation's leading egg supplier, produced a record 1.4 billion eggs in October, up 4 percent from a year ago. Egg prices have broken records for the past 10 days, with the Midwest price reaching $2.18 a dozen on Monday. Restaurants have broadened their menu offerings including eggs, with quick-service restaurants adding more egg-white sandwiches and eggs showing up as toppings on pizza and hamburgers. People also use more eggs around the holidays as families cook and bake at home.

Iowa won't identify fan booted for heckling coach
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa is refusing to identify the fan booted out of a Kinnick Stadium suite for yelling at offensive coordinator Greg Davis at halftime of Saturday's game. Iowa spokesman Steve Roe said the individual was a guest in a hospitality booth of Learfield Sports, which handles Hawkeye sports marketing. The fan caused a stir when he yelled at Davis to throw the ball down the field as Davis was getting on an elevator. Roe says the fan also directed comments at Wisconsin's staff. Roe called for security. Athletic officials asked the fan to leave and he did so on his own. Roe says the school isn't identifying the individual because police weren't involved. UI Police spokesman Dave Visin says the incident was over by the time officers responded.

2 plead guilty in connection to Iowa house fires
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Two people have pleaded guilty to charges in connection to a string of house fires in Sioux City. The Sioux City Journal reports a 17-year-old pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree arson as part of a plea deal that will dismiss a third-degree burglary charge. Thirty-two-year-old Daisy Castillo pleaded guilty recently to third-degree burglary as part of a plea deal that dismissed a second-degree arson charge. She was sentenced to five years in prison. The Associated Press does not generally name minors accused of crimes. Authorities have been investigating a string of suspicious house fires in August and September. Eighteen-year-old Javen Mobley has pleaded not guilty to second-degree arson and third-degree burglary. A 14-year-old is charged in juvenile court with first-degree arson.

Iowa teen sentenced in drive-by shooting
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — A Fort Dodge teenager has been given five years in prison for his involvement in a drive-by shooting. Eighteen-year-old Xavier Rhone was sentenced Monday in Webster County District Court on a charge of going armed with intent. Judge Kurt Wilke said he would reconsider the sentence if Rhone undergoes counseling and shows improvement. The Fort Dodge Messenger reports Rhone admitted earlier this year to firing two shots from a .22-caliber revolver in August at the home of a person who had allegedly threatened him. No one was injured in the shooting. Rhode pleaded guilty to the going armed with intent charge as part of a plea deal that dropped several other charges.

Man sought for Iowa thefts arrested in Florida
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — A man charged with writing a series of bad checks to buy jewelry, bicycles and a car from Cedar Falls businesses has been arrested in Florida. Cedar Falls police said Tuesday that Troy Engle was arrested last week in Manatee County, Florida on eleven arrest warrants for theft. Capt. Craig Berte says the 33-year-old opened a checking account with a $50 deposit in late October, then wrote at least $22,000 in checks for merchandise. He says the jewelry and bicycles were pawned for cash, while the vehicle was recovered with Engle in Florida. Berte says he expects more businesses to come forward as victims, and the losses to rise. He says Engle was arrested after police received information that he may be in Florida. Engle's jailed while facing extradition proceedings.

Police say Iowa man had machete during dispute
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa City man faces multiple charges after police say he tried to enter his ex-girlfriend's home with a machete and threatened to take their children. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports 20-year-old Pedro Javier Lagos faces charges including first-degree burglary, interference with official acts and domestic abuse assault with display or use of a weapon. Court records do not list an attorney. Police received a call Saturday night about a domestic fight in progress. They say they found Lagos armed with a machete outside a home. Lagos is accused of trying to enter the home through front and back entrances during a dispute with his ex-girlfriend that involved their children. Police say Lagos tried to kick at officers before he was arrested.

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