A woman who pretended to be pregnant stole her half-sister's newborn boy from a Wisconsin home and left him in a storage crate outside an Iowa gas station is in police custody.

Federal prosecutors in Madison charged Kristen Smith of Denver with kidnapping Friday afternoon, hours after an Iowa police chief miraculously discovered Kayden Powell, who is nearly a week old, alive and well in the plastic storage crate that morning. Police found a prosthetic pregnancy belly in Smith's car along with baby clothes, a car seat and a stroller, but no sign of Kayden. The discovery of the infant shortly after 10 a.m. Friday capped a frantic search that involved scores of police officers in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa.

Local Mom's and Daughter's had the opportunity to pick a dress at the third Annual Recycle the Dress event held Saturday at the Recycling Center and Transfer Station in Muscatine.

Muscatine's solid waste manager, started the event three years ago and it has been a huge success. Used dresses and accessories were donated by community members in January to be given away free during Recycle the Dress. The event was rescheduled after a snow storm last week, but Saturday's cold weather couldn't put a damper on the the girls' spirits. About 70 moms and high school girls waited in line until doors opened at 9 a.m. Leftover dresses are donated to Goodwill and local theater groups a few weeks after the event.

The Muscatine City Council looked over amendments to the proposed 2014-2015 fiscal year budget as well as hearing presentations from the remaining city departments regarding their budget requests Saturday morning. In response to previous discussion from some members of the council that the city needed to have a more focused marketing campaign and communications effort, City Administrator Gregg Mandsager suggested the addition of a part-time communications/marketing director to the budget. While Mandsager said he felt there might be an immediate need for such a position, he also understood the city's budget situation and that the council might be reluctant to shake much needed resources loose for such a program.

The Old Friends will befriend someone new this week, when Rotary International President-Elect Gary Huang visits Muscatine’s Rotary Club. Huang is a member of the Rotary club in Taipei, Taiwan. Muscatine’s connections to China are what drew President-Elect Huang here, particularly the "Old Friends" of China’s president which includes many Rotarians whom he built a special relationship with during his visits to Muscatine in 1986 and 2012. Huang hopes to expand Rotary into China and believes the relationships already formed between Muscatine and President Jinping create a valuable foundation for that goal. Currently, there are only two clubs in China. The Muscatine Rotary is expecting between 125 and 150 people to attend their meeting on the Feb. 17 when Huang will speak.

A review of all Chief Wapello Days activities is underway, with the possibility some events could be eliminated; and the committee planning the celebration has already decided to shorten it by one day, Tim Knutson, secretary for the Chief Wapello Days Committee said the problem is the lack of volunteers to help plan the event, which is held during the third weekend of July. The lack of volunteers has already forced the committee to drop all Thursday activities from the event. Previously the committee held a kick-off celebration at the Louisa County Courthouse.

Two tournament titles in a week’s span. That’s what the Muscatine High School girls bowling team did by claiming its home tournament at Plamor Lanes Saturday after winning North Scott’s Lancer Invitational the week prior. The Muskies, who are undefeated this season, finished with a team total of 3,023. Muscatine senior Mallory Madsen led her team in Round 1 by bowling a two-game total of 447 with games of 226 and 221.

Drivers who park along snow routes during emergencies won't face hefty fines in Davenport anymore because city leaders have changed the policy. They've seen a lot of snow, so much that several snow emergencies have been declared for the quad cities this winter alone. For drivers that's meant no parking on snow routes. Davenport city leaders say they're changing the policy in the downtown area. Mayor Gluba says 44 cars were towed and ticketed downtown last Saturday when a snow emergency was in effect. He calls it insensitive of city workers and that's what sparked this policy change. The new policy is no towing or ticketing before 2 a.m.

Big changes are coming to SouthPark that will have a big impact on the mall, and the surrounding businesses. Moline Mayor Scott Raes says people will see a lot of changes at the mall after a development agreement that calls for tax increment financing and a big facelift. City leaders say the mall will stay open during renovations, which should be complete by November and the holiday shopping season.

A woman who pretended to be pregnant stole her half-sister's newborn boy from a Wisconsin home and left him in a storage crate outside an Iowa gas station is in police custody.

Kristen Smith of Denver was chraged with kidnapping Friday afternoon, hours after an Iowa police chief miraculously discovered Kayden Powell, who is nearly a week old. Friday capped a frantic search that involved scores of police officers in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa.

For nearly a year now the Sherrard Education Association and the Sherrard School Board have been going back and forth, unable to agree on a contract. The SEA met again yesterday and voted with an overwhelming majority in favor of an intent to strike. The next meeting for negotiations is set for tonight. Another one is scheduled for February 16th.

Nearly $7 million worth of checks issued by the state of Iowa have gone uncashed in the last 19 months, and it's not easy to find out if any of that money is yours. Yesterday an online database of 45,197 unclaimed checks for income tax refunds, contract work and a variety of other things. More than 96 percent of the checks come from human services, revenue and transportation departments. The average check in the database is $154.

 

Tony Ramos completed his University Iowa wrestling career with a perfect home record and sophomore Brody Grothus won a wild shootout Sunday as the Hawkeyes handled Michigan 26-6. After Cory Clark opened the meet with a 4-1 decision at 125 pounds, Ramos completed his collegiate career with a 34-0 record at Carver-Hawkeye Arena by defeating the Wolverines' Rossi Bruno 6-1.

 

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