Police: Long-submerged car pulled from river stolen from SW Wisconsin 14 years ago

MUSCODA, Wis. — A long-submerged car recently fished out of the Mississippi River at Marquette, Iowa, was stolen from Muscoda more than 14 years ago.

Muscoda police today announced that the 1985 Lincoln Town Car was stolen from the 100 block of South Ohio Street “on or about” Sept. 19, 2006, according to a press release.

Last week, authorities pulled the vehicle from the river near the Marquette city boat ramp. Nothing suspicious was found inside, authorities said.

The vehicle was first noticed underwater in 2017 by a local fisherman using side-imaging sonar, but it could not be retrieved until recently, when low river levels and stable conditions allowed the operation.

Authorities reported that the car was last registered in Wisconsin in 2007.

Anyone with information about the vehicle’s theft should call Muscoda police at 608-739-3144.

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Health officials seek to locate dog after ‘biting incident’ in Dubuque

Dubuque health officials seek to locate a dog “involved in a biting incident” on Saturday.

The incident occurred at about 6 p.m. in the 2000 block of Central Avenue, according to a press release. It does not provide any information on who was bitten.

The dog was described as a short, tan, terrier mix. It was wearing a plaid coat and was being walked on a retractable leash by a girl, the release states.

Dubuque Health Department needs to locate the dog to verify its health status and vaccination history.

Anyone with information should call the department at 563-589-4185 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday or Dubuque Law Enforcement Center at 563-589-4415 after those hours or on the weekend.

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Clogged pipe leads to wastewater overflow in Dubuque

A clogged pipe led to a wastewater overflow in Dubuque.

The Dubuque Public Works Department was notified about the clogged sanitary sewer line off McDonald Drive at about 8 a.m. today, according to a press release. It caused untreated wastewater to flow onto a hillside nearby.

Crews were able to remove the blockage by 9 a.m.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources advises people to keep their children and pets away from the area for 48 hours.

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Audit faults Iowa’s move to spend virus aid on $21 million software

IOWA CITY — Iowa’s auditor warned Monday that the governor’s decision to spend $21 million in federal pandemic relief funds on a new executive branch software system would not be allowed and should be abandoned.

State Auditor Rob Sand said that using the federal money to pay for Workday, a cloud-based program for the executive branch’s human resources and finances, is an inappropriate use under the law. He said that if the money isn’t redeployed for a different purpose, Iowa taxpayers could be on the hook to repay the federal government $21 million later on.

Sand, a Democrat, said his conclusion was shared by the Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General, which is responsible for overseeing the appropriate use of federal funds.

He noted that the administration of Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a five-year, $20 million software contract with Workday in 2019, long before the coronavirus pandemic started. In addition, the state anticipates spending around $28 million more on implementation costs.

Earlier this year, Reynolds’ office decided to partly pay for the program with money from the $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid package approved in March by Congress, which has sent billions of dollars to Iowa.

Reynolds’ office has sought to justify its decision to pay for Workday with the money by arguing that it would allow the state to “act quickly to assist essential government employees.” The program could help workers request COVID-19 hardship assistance and time off for family and medical leaves, for instance.

Sand said that his review found that Iowa’s spending would not qualify under federal rules because the expenses were not incurred “due to the public health emergency” as required. He said the purpose of the program — to modernize the state’s human resources and accounting technology — did not change once the coronavirus emerged.

A spokesman for the governor didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.

Democratic lawmakers said they were blindsided last year by the state’s decision to skip a traditional bidding process and contract with Workday, which has already been used by the Iowa Department of Transportation and Iowa State University. Reynolds has said that her former chief of staff, a lobbyist for Workday, “had nothing to do” with the state’s decision, which she says was part of a necessary upgrade of outdated information technology infrastructure.

Also on Monday, Sand said the governor’s decision to spend $448,449 in pandemic relief funds on staff salaries “was questionable” and he encouraged her to halt the practice.

Sand said employees’ salaries may qualify for the funds only if the work they are doing is directly related to the pandemic, tracked separately from their ordinary work and supported by documentation.

An inadequate focus on the pandemic by those employees or poor record-keeping could lead to Iowa taxpayers having to repay the money, he warned.

Given that risk, Sand recommended that Iowa use those funds for other purposes, such as giving aid to small businesses, purchasing personal protective equipment and expanding coronavirus testing and contact tracing.

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UPDATE: 2 Dubuque priests test positive for COVID-19, parish offices closed


Two Dubuque priests have tested positive for COVID-19, and their respective churches’ parish offices are closed.

The Rev. Steven Rosonke, of St. Anthony Parish, is now resting at home, according to an email from the parish. It notes that Rosonke reported “moderate flu-like symptoms.”

A notice on the parish website states that the parish office is closed until Monday, Oct. 26, “due to positive COVID cases.”

Meanwhile, the Rev. Andy Upah, of Church of the Nativity, also reported having contracted the coronavirus.

“My symptoms have been fairly mild, but it is still miserable,” he wrote in a letter printed in the church bulletin. “Initially, it was a headache, sore throat and fatigue, which aren’t terribly unusual. Then, it switched to chills, body soreness, high temperature and loss of taste and smell, and that was when I knew it was not normal.”

The parish’s office also are closed, though a notice notes that messages left at 563-582-1839 will be returned as soon as possible.

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Dubuque League of Women Voters to hold pair of online candidate forums

The Dubuque League of Women Voters will host a pair of online candidate forums.

Local legislative candidates will be the focus of the first forum, held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, according to a press release.

Invited participants include Iowa Sen. Pam Jochum, D-Dubuque, and her Republican challenger Jennifer Smith; Iowa Rep. Chuck Isenhart, D-Dubuque, who is running unopposed; Iowa Rep. Lindsay James, D-Dubuque, and Republican challenger Pauline Chilton; and Iowa Rep. Shannon Lundgren, R-Peosta, and Democratic challenger Ryan Quinn.

The second forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, and will feature Dubuque County Supervisor Dave Baker, D-Dubuque, and Republican challenger Harley Pothoff, as well as two candidates running unopposed for county office – auditor candidate Kevin Dragotto and county Sheriff Joe Kennedy.

There will be no in-person audiences for these forums. Questions for the candidates can be mailed to League of Women Voters, P.O. Box 123, Dubuque, IA 52004 or submitted online at lwv.org/local-leagues/lwv-dubuque.

Both forums will be broadcast live and rebroadcast several times on Dubuque City Channel 8 or digital 117.2, as well as online at cityofdubuque.org.

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Dubuque official to receive community health award

Dubuque’s public health specialist will receive an award from Iowa Primary Care Association.

Mary Rose Corrigan has been awarded the 2020 Carl Kulczyk Memorial Award, according to a press release.

The association provides technical assistance and training to Iowa’s community health centers. The award was established in recognition of Kulczyk’s contributions to the community health field prior to his death in 2008, the release states.

Corrigan was nominated for the award by Crescent Community Health Center, of which she served as board president for nearly 15 years.

Corrigan will be presented the award at the virtual Iowa Community Health Conference on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

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Sheriff: Medical episode cause of jailed Iowa woman’s death

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — An unidentified medical episode led to the death of a woman in an eastern Iowa jail on the same day she was arrested, the Linn County sheriff said.

Jacqueline Marie Bridges, 59, of Cedar Rapids, was found dead in her Linn County Jail cell on Saturday afternoon after her family had posted bond to have her released, officials said. She had been arrested earlier in the day on suspicion of theft, money laundering and financial exploitation of a dependent adult, Sheriff Brian Gardner said today in a news release.

“The initial investigation shows that Bridges apparently suffered from some type of medical episode, which led to her death,” Gardner said in the release.

The exact cause of Bridges’ death will be determined at a later time by the state medical examiner, he said.

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34 additional COVID-19 cases in 24 hours in Dubuque County

Thirty-four additional cases of COVID-19 in Dubuque County were confirmed from 11 a.m. Sunday to 11 a.m. today, increasing the county’s total to 4,665.

Those 34 new cases came from 141 new tests recorded in the county in that time span, bringing that total to 34,385. That means the county had a positivity rate of 24.1% during that 24-hour span. The county’s overall positivity rate remains at 13.5%.

Delaware County had six new cases for a total of 676. Jones County added five new cases during that time span for a total of 405. Jackson County reported four additional cases to send the county’s total to 527. Clayton County had one additional case and now has 351.

There were no additional deaths reported in the five-county area, so the death tolls remained at 52 for Dubuque County, eight in Delaware County and three each in Clayton, Jackson and Jones counties.

State health officials report that outbreaks continue at five area long-term-care facilities.

In Dubuque County, MercyOne Dyersville continued to report 33 cases, with 20 recovered. Luther Manor Communities in Dubuque remained at seven cases and Sunnycrest Manor in Dubuque remained at 19 cases with 16 recovered.

In Delaware County, Good Neighbor Home in Manchester remained at 73 cases with 48 recovered and Edgewood Convalescent Home remained at four cases, with one person recovered.

Statewide, Iowa reported 523 additional cases for a total of 107,580.

The related death toll rose by eight in Iowa to 1,536.

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Brohm to miss Purdue opener vs Iowa after 2nd positive test

Purdue coach Jeff Brohm is expected to miss Saturday’s season opener against Iowa after a second test confirmed he has COVID-19.

The Boilermakers have been undergoing daily rapid testing since Sept. 30 and it was Brohm’s test Sunday morning that initially came back positive. A second test conducted immediately afterward also came back positive Sunday night.

Big Ten protocol requires players who test positive to sit out 21 days but staff members are required to isolate 10 days. Athletic director Mike Bobinski said there is no chance Brohm will be on the sideline, as Alabama coach Nick Saban was last week, even if he tests negative.

Bobinski said the school is looking into whether it would be permissible for Brohm to do any virtual coaching this weekend against the visiting Hawkeyes. Offensive coordinator Brian Brohm will replace his brother on the sideline and will continue to call plays.

Jeff Brohm said he also will continue to watch practices, take notes and confer with players and his assistant coaches through Zoom calls this week.

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