The latest local news

Witnesses rush to stop man seen beating, stabbing pregnant girlfriend in Kansas City

WQAD News -

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City man faces five felony charges after witnesses told police he beat up and stabbed his pregnant girlfriend.

Those same witnesses took action, grabbing 27-year-old Jonathan Holland and holding him until police came, according to WDAF.

“As I rounded the corner at 14th and Baltimore, I could hear screams from a distance,” said one witness, Marc Saighman. “I could see one block down a man kicking and punching a woman repeatedly and her screaming.”

It happened downtown last Saturday afternoon.

Witnesses said they saw Holland, in broad daylight, assaulting his five-week-pregnant girlfriend.

“By the time I finished calling the police, saying 'please come quickly,' I saw he had a knife in his hand,” Tom Fehr told WDAF.

Police say Holland stabbed the woman in her leg so severely it cut to the bone.

Saighman said he started to run in the direction of the 27-year-old.

“I saw him turn around and wield a very long knife. It looked like a hunting knife,” Saighman said. “She was balled up on the ground, screaming, just screaming over and over again, and he repeatedly kicked her -- I must have seen him kick her three or four times -- and punch her.”

“It was the most monstrous thing I’ve ever seen in person,” Fehr said.

Saighman said Holland picked up a backpack and tried to leave.

“I went to follow him. I wanted to make sure he didn't get away,” Saighman said. “As I rounded the corner to go to the parking garage area, he and I almost ran directly into each other, and at that point I made a decision to go after him.”

He said Holland took a couple swings at him, but he was able to take him to the ground and put him in a chokehold.

He looked up and saw two men coming to help him. Minutes later, police showed up, and took Holland away.

“What's really shocking is that [this] would go on, especially in a busy area of Kansas City, in the middle of the day,” Saighman said.

He said people came and tended to the victim, and the ambulance took her away. Court documents say the victim survived, but it's unclear if she is still pregnant. She told police that Holland has assaulted her in the past.

Holland is facing three counts of domestic assault, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon. He's held on a $100,000 bond, and is due in court on October 17.

 

Video shows beer store owner foiling robbery attempt, taking down armed suspect

WQAD News -

YORK, Pa. – A 32-year-old Pennsylvania man was charged Tuesday after a failed robbery attempt at a beer distributor Monday night.

Gregory Albert Kinard, no fixed address, attempted to hold up the Buy Rite Beer store on the 300 block of South Richland Avenue in York Monday night, police said. But his bid was foiled by the business owner, who swatted a gun out of Kinard's hand and struggled with him until authorities arrived, according to a criminal complaint affidavit filed by West Manchester Township Police.

According to police, Kinard entered the store at 9:32 p.m. He was wearing a black shirt around his face and a hooded sweatshirt, police said. He allegedly displayed a black handgun and demanded that a clerk open the cash register and turn over the money.

The clerk, John Wisner, called out to the business owner, Jeff Hassinger, who was in a back room. When Hassigner came to the counter, Kinard pointed the gun at him and demanded money again, police said.

Hassinger refused, and swatted the gun out of Kinard's hand, according to the criminal complaint. Kinard then allegedly struck Hassinger in the face, and a struggle ensued between the suspect, Hassinger, and Wisner.

Police said the struggle was still going on when they arrived at the scene. Kinard was taken into custody. He initially gave police a false name when asked to identify himself, according to the criminal complaint.

The gun was later found to be a pellet gun.

Hassinger sustained bruising and swelling to his left eye, bruising to his arms, and a cut inside his mouth. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Kinard was charged with three counts of robbery and one count each of aggravated assault, simple assault, and providing false identification to a law enforcement officer.

North Scott combats potential active shooters with A.L.I.C.E drill

WQAD News -

ELDRIDGE, Iowa – An intruder at North Scott High School is just an administrator helping students prepare for the worst.

The high school has been performing an A.L.I.C.E drill the past six years to teach students what to do in the case of an active shooter.  The term A.L.I.C.E stands for Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate or run-hide-fight.

Jennifer Sambdman walks her sophomore honors English class through the steps before, but they’re still startled when they hear the alarm.

“I train my kids on how to lock the door, turn off the lights, get in the corner if they aren’t willing to fight,” Sambdman says.

Each time North Scott does a drill, they fine tune it.  This time they add more communication over the intercoms, so teachers always know what’s happening.

“They are not aware of the scenario or the details,” says Aaron Schwartz North Scott Assistant Principal. “They will be expected to take the information that they are able to obtain and make an appropriate decision.”

Once they wait for the all clear, each class then talks about how the practice went.

“It’s important because it protects and saves a bunch of lives because when it’s happening everyone knows what they are supposed to do, not just the teachers,” says sophomore Elena Kook.

“I signed up to teach kids, but these are my kids I love them. I protect them at all costs no matter what,”-Sambdman

Before the drill even happened, students knew the time frame the drill was supposed to start, but not the exact time.  This is all to help them prepare if a real intruder were present.

Administrators say the drill that took place is not related to the incident at the junior high school last month.  They just want to practice like it’s the real thing.

‘Unhappy’ father rigged car to explode, killing 2-year-old son and friend: officials

WQAD News -

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – A Pennsylvania father used a homemade explosive device to kill himself, his child and one of his friends, authorities announced Thursday.

“It’s a miracle that no other bystanders were seriously wounded or killed," said John Gallagher, chief for the Allentown branch of the U.S. attorney’s office. “What happened here in Allentown on Saturday night was nothing short of a nightmare," he added.

Jacob Schmoyer and his baby son Jonathan were both killed in the explosion in a car on Saturday in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Courtesy: Tina Schmoyer via CNN)

Officials confirmed 26-year-old Jacob Schmoyer was behind Saturday’s explosion that took his life, along with his 2-year-old son, Jonathan, and his 66-year-old friend, David Hallman.

Officials from several law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S attorney’s office and Allentown police spoke at a press conference Thursday.

"All three subjects were inside the vehicle – Schmoyer in the driver's seat, Mr. Hallman in the passenger side of the vehicle and the baby was in a car seat in the back on the driver's side," said Don Robinson, ATF special agent.

Through preliminary lab testing, authorities say it was determined that explosives were placed somewhere near the center console of the vehicle.

“These were not commercial products, commercial explosives, these were homemade explosives, a couple different types," added Robinson.

Officials say they also discovered Schmoyer sent four letters through the mail the day of the explosion, one of which was sent to the Allentown Police Department and three others that were sent to family members. Each one detailing the construction of the explosive device and his plans.

Police say they received the first letter through the mail on Tuesday, and another on Wednesday. Two more were received Wednesday by family.

"He was very unhappy with his life, described himself in some negative terms, admitted to a number of other criminal acts, a number of other petty thefts to burglaries to other criminal acts that he had committed along the way and indicated a desire not to stick around," Robinson said. "Unfortunately, in these letters, [he described] his intent to take Mr. Hallman and his son with him."

“It’s sad, sad day for all families, there’s really no way to describe what runs through somebody’s mind when they’re doing this, but we are confident that we have determined who is involved and who is responsible, and that is Jacob Schmoyer," he added.

Police say they are awaiting final lab work to come in for the explosives and letters, which they are hoping to have in the next few days.

They are asking anyone who finds an item they believe to be related to the incident, not to touch it and report it to police right away.

“Where do I vote app” available in Scott County

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, IA,  – Scott County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections Roxanna Moritz has announced the new app WhereUVote Scott County.

The purpose of the app is to help Scott County voters know where and when they can vote for upcoming elections, such as the November 8, 2016, General Election.

“WhereUVote for Scott County provides a quick and easy way to find a place to vote early or find your polling place on Election Day in Scott County no matter where you are.”-Moritz 

Features of this app include:

  • Find an early voting place near you or your polling place on Election Day to cast your ballot.
  • Gives dates, times, and locations of all early voting locations.
  • Use a navigation app to find your voting place after you choose a site to go vote.
  • Ability to add an early voting place to your calendar.
  • A contact feature with email and phone options for contacting the Auditor’s Office with your questions.

“With so many people of all ages now using mobile devices it just makes sense to provide a mobile friendly alternative to people,” Moritz said. “Four other counties in Iowa provide this app to their citizens. As soon as I saw it I knew we needed this app for Scott County. It’s perfect for people on the go.”- Moritz

Click one of the links below to get the app for your Smartphone.

Android

iPhone

911 call: “Oh, my God, I’m stuck in a building. Help me please.”

WQAD News -

BURLINGTON, Iowa – The first call into the Des Moines County Communications dispatch center seemed routine.

But moments later, the next call was anything but...

"How can I help you?" asked dispatcher Kevin Newberry.

On the other side of the line, a frantic voice.

"Oh, my God, I'm stuck in a building... help me please."

"What's your address?"

"I don't even know.  Please help me."

When the downtown Burlington Tama building caught fire on August 4th, 2018, dispatchers Roger Cook and Kevin Newberry were working the overnight shift at the County's Communications Center.

It was Kevin Newberry who received the call from a woman trapped inside a rapidly growing fire scene.

"What's going on?" asks Newberry, trying to keep a conversation going.

"The building's on fire and I can't get out."

24 year old Sara Zeller of Fairfield was on the person on the phone calling for help.

The third floor of the building and the fire was getting hotter.  She spotted an officer below but he didn't see her.

"He turned the wrong way," she tells Newberry.

"Does he see you?" he asks.

"No I don't think so."

"You're kinda there on somebody's worst day of their lives so it's your job to take that panic and turn it into something the responders can use," Newberry told News 8.

The proof of the professionalism is on the recording.

"Listen to me," he tells Zeller.  "I need for you to stay calm for me, okay?"

For the next ten minutes, Newberry used his training to keep Sara calm and help direct rescuers to where she was trapped.

"Okay, they see you okay?"  he asks.   "So as soon as the fire department gets there they're going to get a ladder up to you."

Fire crews arrived at the Tama building just two minutes after that first call.   But the fire was spreading quickly.

"Our initial priority was the rescue of the female from the third floor," said Burlington firefighter Todd Van Scoy, among the first responders at the fire that night.

From where Sara was trapped, she could see the flames of the fire get closer and closer.

And Newberry wanted to make sure she was ready.

"If the smoke fills, I want you to get as low as you can."

His priority was to  stay on the phone with Zeller as long as he could.

"Yes," he told us.   "Any big call we're going to stay on the phone until the phone disconnects, basically."

And he told Zeller just that on the night of the fire.

"I understand. I'm on the phone with you. We'll get through this."

As fire crews tried to stop the fire in the back, rescuers reached Sara and brought her out from the third floor window where she had called for help.

"Okay, the ladder's over here," Zeller told Newberry on the phone.

"I'm getting off the phone.  Thank you, thank you so much."

"Obviously we're not the responders, we're not the heroes, those guys are, the ones that put their lives on the line," Newberry told News 8.

"We do the very best to help you out and we really felt that we helped the community that night."

Zeller was not hurt that night.   Four firefighters were treated for minor injuries.

Both Kevin Newberry and Roger Cook have received commendations for their work that night.

 

Memorial service to be held in honor of Davenport’s late fire marshal

WQAD News -

DAVENPORT, Iowa — The Davenport Fire Department and community members planned to celebrate the life of their former fire marshal, who passed away in 2017.

Chief Mike Hayman died unexpectedly in mid-October, 2017, after suffering “a serious medical issue,” according to a Davenport spokesperson.

On Friday, October 5, the department and community will have a memorial stone dedication service in his honor.

“Davenport fire will commemorate his lasting legacy of loyalty and passion for the fire service and celebrate the contributions he made to the City of Davenport Fire Department, the community and State of Iowa,” said a spokesperson from the city.

The service will be at 10 a.m. at Davenport Central Fire, 331 Scott Street.

Dog floats on couch for nearly a week before being rescued

WQAD News -

PENDER COUNTY, N.C. – When the owner of a small dog had to evacuate her North Carolina home due to flooding caused by Hurricane Florence, she had to leave her beloved pet behind.

The woman ended up in another city but reached out to the Humane Society of Missouri’s Disaster Response Team – one of several groups who helped rescue animals following the flooding – to check on her dog.

The first two times rescuers went to the neighborhood, they couldn’t locate the house because the water was so high. But the third time ended up being the charm.

A video posted to YouTube, showed two rescuers from the group swim up to the house and reach a door that was just a few inches above water.

They kicked in the door and found the dog, named Soshe, floating on a couch.

One rescuer grabbed the dog and they took him to safety.

He quickly devoured a bowl of food – likely his first in a week – and then they gave him a good bath.

Soshe’s owner asked her cousin to pick the dog up. She thanked the rescuers for their work.

“I want to thank the Humane Society so much for doing all that they’ve done for everybody during the storm and for rescuing all the animals and making sure that Soshe is okay,” she said.

Toddler shreds over $1000 parents had saved to pay debt

WQAD News -

HOLLADAY, Utah – A Utah family is figuring out how to replace more than $1,000 in cash that their 2-year-old son sent through the shredder.

Ben and Jackee Belnap said they had been saving up cash to pay Ben’s parents back for University of Utah football season tickets. They had $1,060 in an envelope ready to go, when that envelope disappeared over the weekend. Ben and Jackee started searching the house.

“I’m digging through the trash and she hollers and says, ‘I found it,’” Ben said. “She’s holding the shredder and she says, ‘I think the money is in here.'”

Jackee said their 2-year-old son, Leo, is familiar with their shredder.

“Leo helps me shred junk mail and just things with our name on it, or important documents we want to get rid of,” she said.

Leo apparently sent the envelope through the shredder sometime when they weren’t looking.

“We just, for like five minutes, we just shuffled through it, not talking. We didn’t know what to do and then I broke the silence and I’m like, ‘Well, this will make a great wedding story one day,’” Jackee said.

It turns out the couple might not be out all that money. There is a government office that deals with mutilated cash.

“I called the guy the next morning and he said, ‘Oh, we might be able to help you here,’ and I was shocked,” Ben said. “He said, ‘Bag it up in little Ziploc bags, mail it to D.C., and in one to two years, you’ll get your money back.’”

Two years might be a long time to wait, but when that money does come back, little Leo will probably still be banned from going anywhere near their shredder.

Dying patient gets to see her beloved dog one more time

WQAD News -

LEAWOOD, Kan. - A Kansas doctor went out of his way to grant the wish of one of his dying patients.

"Mary," was in her 80's. Her lungs were failing, and the one thing she wanted more than anything was to be with her 11-year-old rat terrier Herman.

“She had what we call respiratory failure, and in this situation, it just so serendipitously happened to be something that we could really do," said Dr. Ryan Sears of Kansas City Medicine Partners.

Herman was taken to State Line Animal Hospital, which also serves as a shelter, after Mary was hospitalized.

Sears thought he could make Mary’s request happen, so he went to the animal hospital and brought him to her.

Herman with Mary for one last visit

“The instant that she saw him, she was wanting to pet on him, and you could see the change in her face that she was so happy to see her dog,” Sears said.

Sears and nurses had the challenge of keeping Herman calm, as he was excited to be reunited with his owner.

“He wanted to be right up next to her,” Sears said. “We had to wrap him up in a blanket because he was just so much energy, and we had so many things going on at the time.”

Mary died the next day, and Herman was taken back to the shelter.

“I think the big thing for her was that she wanted Herman to have a good home and get adopted,” Sears said.

On Friday, a family adopted Herman, but they returned him on Wednesday after realizing they couldn’t give him the attention workers at the shelter said he needs.

“He’s got some separation anxiety, which we would expect because his owner’s gone,” said Cindy Pugh, the manager at State Line Animal Hospital. “He’d do better with somebody that was either retired or home a lot.”

Pugh said pets like Herman often wind up in shelters when their senior owners die. Family and friends don’t always step up to care for them.

Herman, the 11 year-old terrier needs a new home.

“We have a disposable society, and when it becomes a problem, a lot of people give up,” Pugh said.

Pugh said Herman may have a bit of anxiety, but he's also a ball of energy.

“He’s very social and loves the people that he meets,” she explained. “He’s just very sweet, affectionate dog.”

Sears and the staff at State Line Animal Hospital are now hoping someone will grant their wish and give Herman the love and life he had from the start.

“I’d love for him to find a forever home and really be with a family that can support him,” Sears said.

“He just needs the chance to live the rest of his years in a loving environment,” Pugh added.

Pugh said Herman appears to be in good health, understands commands and would do well with another dog in the home. He also has been good with cats at the shelter, according to staff.

For more information in adopting Herman, call the State Line Animal Hospital at 913-381-3232 or check his profile out on Petfinder.

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