Washington County, IA

Jury Finds Washington Woman Guilty of Assault, Other Charges

A jury trial resulted in a guilty verdict for a Washington woman last week. Washington County Attorney John Gish states that 26-year-old Rocio Gutierrez is convicted of first-degree burglary, a class B felony, and second-degree criminal mischief and domestic abuse assault, third or subsequent offense, both class D felonies. On October 28, 2020, Gutierrez and her boyfriend had a verbal argument at their home, afterwards the boyfriend left and met with a female friend. The boyfriend was sitting in the passenger seat of the female friend’s car in a parking lot when Gutierrez parked her SUV behind the female’s car. She then forcibly removed her boyfriend from the car, assaulted him, and went inside the female’s car and assaulted her, causing injury. Gutierrez then got into her SUV and used it to ram the female’s car, causing nearly $6,000 in damage. Evidence from Facebook and Tik Tok was used at trial to illustrate the defendant’s aggressive nature. Gish notes that under Iowa law, burglary includes more than just a theft and can occur when there is an assault inside a car or home. The Washington Police Department and Washington County Sheriff’s Office assisted in this case. Sentencing is scheduled for June 17th.
Picture for Jury Finds Washington Woman Guilty of Assault, Other Charges

Week Left to Mail Absentee Ballot Request for June 7th Primary

The deadline to request a mailed absentee ballot for the June 7th primary election is a week from Monday. This Wednesday will be the first day absentee ballots will be mailed out, and it is the first day residents can vote via absentee at the Washington County Auditor’s Office at the courthouse. The office is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday, May 23rd and Friday, June 3rd, and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, June 4th. County Auditor Dan Widmer points out that voters must indicate their choice of Republican or Democratic ballot when requesting an absentee ballot for the primary. You can find the list of candidates running for the Republican and Democratic nominations and more election information by visiting here.
Picture for Week Left to Mail Absentee Ballot Request for June 7th Primary

Deputies respond to report of knife-wielding man in Riverside Casino parking lot

Washington County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a knife-wielding man in the parking lot of the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort. That’s according to the sheriff’s office online activity log, which indicates the incident happened just after 8:30 Thursday morning. A caller first reported a man possibly conducting drug activity while sitting in a car in the casino parking lot. He was later reported to be outside the car while waving around a knife.

Reid D. Orris

Celebration of life service for 91-year-old Reid D. Orris of Washington will be at 10:30a.m. Thursday, May 19th at the Jones Eden Funeral Home in Washington. Calling hours will begin at 2p.m. Wednesday at the Jones Eden Funeral Home with family receiving friends from 5-7p.m. Interment will take place at Elm Grove Cemetery in Washington. In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established for Hospice of Washington County.

Fallen Local Law Enforcement Remembered this Sunday

Two Washington law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty are remembered during National Peace Officers Memorial Day which falls annually on May 15th. Washington City Marshal Aaron Bailey and Washington County Sheriff William Sweet were shot and killed on June 25, 1930 after arresting a man for stealing a car in Ottumwa. The men had spotted the stolen car and stopped it near the City of Washington. They arrested the driver and took him to the county courthouse. When Sheriff Sweet began to search the suspect, the man struck the officers three times with a .38 caliber revolver. The suspect fled the scene and remained at large for four years, before being shot and killed by the Chicago Police Department in Illinois. The man was suspected of several other murders and crimes. Bailey was 54 years old and Sweet was 59 years old at the time of their death. The City of Washington proclaimed June 25th last year as Marshal Aaron Bailey Day, and installed a plaque at city hall honoring his sacrifice.

Washington County Still Experiencing Drought with April’s Rain Total Below Normal

While a southwestern to northeastern swath of Iowa is not experiencing drought conditions, most of Washington and some other surrounding counties continue to be abnormally dry, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. Looking at the National Weather Service’s Monthly Almanac, Washington’s total precipitation was over two-tenths higher than normal...

Big Red Radio Rides with the Unicorns at WCHC’s Kidzfest

Dragons, unicorns, and more were spotted at Washington’s Central Park Friday during Washington County Hospital and Clinics’ annual Kidzfest. Over 30 local vendor booths had activities and resources for families to forge a “Magical Journey to Health” this summer, with several food vendors, and stage entertainment including the Washington Middle School DeVox singers, Wes the Best Balloon Guy, and local band Aces & Eights. KCII broadcasted live with the Big Red Radio from Kidzfest, the first stop of the annual Summer Town Tour. The next stop will be the Washington Summer Classic June 2-4. For more information on upcoming town celebrations, visit here.

Mount Pleasant Man Involved in Washington, Lee County Burglaries Sentenced

A Mount Pleasant man who was arrested last year for third-degree burglary, a class D felony, in Washington County was recently given probation. Court documents show 19-year-old Dallyn Joe Kern arrested for alleged burglaries that occurred in February of 2021 at Madison Mini Storage in Washington. Among the items that went missing was a chainsaw that was located in Kern’s vehicle during the execution of a search warrant by the Fort Madison Police Department. Kern’s charge was changed this March to possession of stolen property, an aggravated misdemeanor. Through a plea agreement Kern was ordered to serve two years probation with a two-year prison sentence suspended. He must pay a $855 fine with a 15% criminal services surcharge, Category B restitution, and any pecuniary damages filed. His roommate, 29-year-old Desiree Lynn Bishop was convicted of felony burglary for her involvement in the crime, and was given five years probation. Kern and Bishop were also involved in a string of burglaries in North Lee County for which Kern pleaded guilty last year to eight counts and Bishop pleaded guilty to 10, and they were both placed on probation.

Riverside Hydraulic Line Fire Leads to AirCare Transport Tuesday

One person was injured in a fire caused by a hydraulic line Tuesday morning in rural Riverside. The Washington County Communications Center states at 8:15 a.m. they received a call of a hydraulic line that went up in flames inside a shop at 1106 Redwood Avenue. The fire was extinguished when agencies arrived, and an adult male was transported by AirCare to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for treatment of burns. Minimal damage was incurred to the building. Riverside Fire and QRS, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and Washington County Ambulance Service also responded to the scene.

Reminder: Kidzfest in Downtown Washington Today

The Big Red Radio Summer Town Tour begins Friday at Kidzfest in downtown Washington. “A Magical Journey to Health” is this year’s theme for the free community event hosted by Washington County Hospital and Clinics and will include kids games, face painting, live music, balloon animals, pony rides, health and safety tips, food vendors, and much more. This is the first time WCHC Temporary Special Events Coordinator Emme Keith has participated in the event, which has brought out her inner child, “So it’s a super fun event, the amount of activities and stuff we do for the event I think is just amazing, it’ll be super awesome. All of my little cousins and my little niece, she’s super excited for it, they’re all like ‘This is a great event.’”

Washington County Supervisors Holding ARPA Work Session Tuesday

Kalona Cooperative Technology Company will present on an expansion of rural broadband service during the Washington County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday. The meeting will also include items tabled last week on a revision to the county ambulance service policy manual and a safety committee update, and the board will consider a personnel change request and acknowledgement of an equipment purchase for the secondary roads department. The board will meet at 9 a.m. at the Washington County Courthouse, with a work session scheduled for 10 a.m. regarding American Rescue Plan Act funds. Zoom Meeting ID: 726 335 628. Password: 800802. For telephone audio access dial 312-626-6799.

Updates for West 5th/Lexington Road Construction

A concrete overlay on West 5th Street and Lexington Boulevard is progressing in Washington. The Washington County Engineer’s Office states that mainline paving shall resume Thursday morning, beginning at Pioneer Seed and heading west toward Highway 1. Time permitting once the paving is done, Jones Contracting will then work on driveways on West 5th Street. The updated plan for Friday will be to complete paving on Lexington Boulevard from the jail east to Highway 1. The engineer’s office will continue to release updates if any plans change. Drivers are reminded to continue using caution in the work zone. The scheduled end date for the project is June 17th. For questions regarding the project, call 319-653-7731.

Washington County’s Gardner Competes in National Ag Contest

Washington County resident and current Miss Elite Iowa and Midwest Agriculture Shelly Gardner will be competing in the upcoming National Elite Miss United States Agriculture Contest in Orlando, Florida, this June. Gardner shares her platform with KCII News, “The platform that I have developed is family farm safety. It’s something...

Washington County Supervisors Table Recycling Center Renewal Application Item

Inflationary changes since the budget planning season have disrupted an annual requirement for the Washington County Recycling Center. The Washington County Board of Supervisors tabled a resolution Tuesday to acknowledge a closure account for the recycling center as required by Iowa Code and the Department of Natural Resources. The county has traditionally budgeted $5,000, though the resolution lists $5,250. County Engineer Jacob Thorius said he added the $250 to account for cost inflation, and his number was based on information given by the DNR. County Auditor Dan Widmer says their current permit for the facility expires on May 19th, though they have a one-month extension after that date to submit the renewal paperwork, “What we don’t want to happen is for them to say, ‘Okay, we don’t have your completed renewal application and so therefore we have to close the doors until you get that taken care of.’”

Share Roads Safely As Planting Season Ramps Up

As farmers take full advantage of warm and dry days this week, Washington County Sheriff Jared Schneider gives some tips on how to make sure everyone navigates the roads safely this planting season. Moving farm equipment on public roads can be dangerous, so farm operators should drive defensively and remain...

Mahaska County Men to Register as Sex Offenders, Serve Probation for Washington County Incident

Three Mahaska County men who pleaded guilty to a lesser sex abuse offense in Washington County have been ordered to serve probation. Court documents show 31-year-old Ryan Craig Montgomery, 24-year-old Parker Jay Davis, and 24-year-old Lucas Benjamin Anderson are all convicted of assault with the intent to commit sex abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor. A two-year prison sentence is suspended with the three men all placed on two years probation. Conditions of the probation include that they shall all be placed on electronic monitoring with a curfew between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., have no internet access or usage, and no contact with anyone under the age of 18 unless the supervising officer permits otherwise. They must also successfully complete the Eighth Judicial District Sex Offender Treatment Program, pay a $625 fine with surcharges and a sexual abuse surcharge of $90, Category B restitution, and any victim restitution. In addition, the defendants are committed to the Iowa Department of Corrections under a special sentence for a 10-year period. They shall each register as a Tier II sex offender and pay the registration fee, and a civil penalty of $250. Davis must also reside in the Ottumwa Residential Correctional Facility for 180 days or until maximum benefit is achieved.