Seven people were hurt a little after 9:30 Sunday morning in a rollover on Davis Avenue south of 155th Street in Muscatine County. A 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by 46-year-old Mario Becerra of West Liberty went out of control on the gravel and rolled onto its top in a ditch. The driver, another adult and five children, all from West Liberty, were hurt. Two were ejected. All were taken to University Hospitals. There is no word on their conditions. Charges are pending, and the crash is under investigation by the Iowa State Patrol.
A former Muscatine police officer has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a woman in a hotel last February while on duty. Forty-six-year-old Thomas Andrew Tovar, a Muscatine officer at the time, helped stop a vehicle on February 13th. An adult woman in the vehicle was drunk, and the driver was charged with OWI. According to a news release from the Iowa Department of Public Safety, Tovar drove her to her hotel and allegedly assaulted her in her room. After an analysis of physical evidence was completed, Tovar was charged with third-degree sexual assault. Under Iowa law, a person is guilty of third-degree sexual assault if the victim is under the influence of a controlled substance or is incapacitated and cannot give consent. If found guilty, Tovar could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and fined up to $10,000. Tovar is currently being held in the Louisa County Jail.
Trinity Muscatine has a new radiology department. Taylor Williams has more.
Trinity Muscatine is expanding their radiology department with new facilities and an upgraded MRI scanner. The expansion is part Trinity Muscatine’s $18.5 million dollar renovation project which includes a new emergency room. We talked to Don Styman, director of radiology at Trinity Muscatine for more information.
The renovation, which has added over 30,500 feet of construction, is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Iowa is amending a lawsuit filed against Muscatine’s Grain Processing Corp., claiming the company failed to obtain some air permits and failed to report all air pollutants. Attorney General Tom Miller says a trial begins in September on the lawsuit originally filed in December 2011. The original lawsuit claims GPC emitted excessive particulates and sulfur dioxide, failed to maintain and repair emissions equipment and failed to comply with notification and emission reduction requirements. The Iowa DNR is after civil penalties for the alleged violations and an order to stop them. A GPC spokeswoman says the company looks forward to addressing the issues.
Over the past several weeks, the Iowa Department of Public Health and local public health agencies have received 26 reports in 19 counties — including Muscatine, Des Moines and Scott — of illness linked to a relatively uncommon strain of Salmonella. Iowa Department of Public Health Medical Director Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says Salmonella is commonly the result of improper handling or preparation of food. She says this particular strain is often associated with improper cooking of poultry or eggs. She says especially in the summer, when chicken is on the grill and egg-containing items like homemade ice cream are common, it’s important to take extra care to keep food safe.
Wayne Barclay, a Muscatine landlord, will pay $170,000 in damages after sexually harassing and discriminating against several former tenants. The Des Moines Register reports the settlement is the result of a lawsuit filed by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. The commission found dozens of instances in which Barclay had made sexually explicit remarks to female tenants, asked those tenants to engage in sex acts with him or suggested that he would accept sex acts in exchange for rent. The damages will be distributed among six former tenants, and Barclay will be required to hire a property management company to maintain his 17 rental properties. He also will be prohibited from visiting the properties and will not have access to keys.