KXEL Morning News for Tue. Aug. 11, 2020

KXEL Morning News for Tue. Aug. 11, 2020

A rare wind storm with power similar to an inland hurricane swept across Iowa yesterday, blowing over trees, flipping vehicles, causing widespread property damage and leaving hundreds of thousands of homes without power. The storm known as a derecho lasted several hours as it tore across eastern Nebraska, across the entire state of Iowa and parts of Wisconsin and Illinois. A scientist at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center says the storm had the wind speed of a major hurricane, and likely caused more widespread damage than a normal tornado. Damage is extensive, caused by winds topping 100 mph in multiple locations.

University of Iowa administrators are pushing ahead with plans to resume some in-person classes and on-campus housing, even as student leaders said those steps were too risky during the coronavirus pandemic. The university said it will not test students who will begin moving into the Iowa City campus in the coming days, unlike the mass testing last week at Iowa State University in Ames. The school has also not finalized metrics for determining whether to shut down face-to-face instruction in the event of an outbreak during the semester. But at a news conference, top administrators praised the safety measures they have put in place and said they looked forward to welcoming students back. 

Authorities in eastern Iowa say a road construction worker has died after becoming pinned under a concrete spreader. The Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office says the accident happened yesterday morning along a segment of U.S. Highway 61 where crews are working on a paving project. Arriving first responders extricated the man from the machine and rushed him to a hospital, where he died from his injuries. Officials say the worker was a 61-year-old male from Nichols, Iowa. The investigation into his death continues. 

The family of a fourth worker who died of coronavirus during an outbreak at Tyson Foods’ largest pork processing plant is suing the company over his death.The lawsuit says Isidro Fernandez of Waterloo, Iowa died April 26 from complications of COVID-19, leaving behind a wife and children. The case was filed last week and is similar to one brought in June by the same lawyers on behalf of the estates of three other deceased Waterloo workers. The lawsuits allege Tyson put employees at risk by downplaying concerns and covering up the outbreak in order to keep them on the job. Tyson says the deaths are tragic but that it vigorously disputes claims of wrongdoing.

Authorities have released the identity of the woman who died early Sunday in a bicycle crash in Waterloo. 18-year-old Nicole Kulaszewski of Waterloo was flown to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City where she was later pronounced dead. Kulaszewski was heading home from a friend’s house at about 2 a.m. Sunday and was traveling west  in the eastbound lanes of Broadway Street near  Burton Avenue when her bicycle collided with a eastbound motor vehicle driven by 26-year-old Cameron Stillwell of Waterloo. Stillwell wasn’t injured in the collision. She pulled over and called 911 and told police she didn’t see the cyclist.

A motorcyclist was taken to the hospital following an early Monday morning accident in Waterloo. Police say the man was found unconscious; paramedics with Waterloo Fire Rescue took him to UnityPoint-Allen Hospital with serious injuries. It wasn’t clear when the accident happened. Police said the motorcyclist was on Broadway Street when he apparently wiped out near the Wagner Road intersection. A passerby came across the wreckage just before 1 o’clock early Monday morning and called 911.

When classes resume at Hawkeye Community College later this month, things will look very different, according to Vice President of Student Affairs Dione Somerville. You can hear KXEL’s Tim Harwood’s conversation with VP Somerville by going to the podcast page of KXEL-dot-com.

A Waterloo woman was arrested Sunday, charged with shooting into a car carrying children and others back in April. Witnesses told police that 26-year-old Maylesha Dominique Campbell was upset with Lashun Brown over a Facebook post and had been trying to fight Brown on the day of April 22. Court records state an argument broke out, and Campbell pulled out a handgun and fired into the vehicle parked at Brown’s home. The bullet entered the back driver’s side door where Brown’s children were seated, but no injuries were reported. Police charged Campbell with intimidation with a weapon. She was released pending trial.

Police in Iowa City said they are looking for a suspect following an armed robbery in the downtown area early Sunday morning. Between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., police said a man showing a gun stopped two people in the 300 block of South Linn Street as they were walking home. He demanded money from them before leaving the area. No one was hurt. Iowa City police said the suspect is about 30 years old, described as a thin black man, about six feet three inches tall with short hair and potentially wearing a mask. Anyone with information is asked to call Iowa City police.