Loebsack Rep Holds Knoxville Hours

Brianna Dennison, Congressman Dave Loebsack’s District Representative, will be in Knoxville, Iowa on Wednesday, March 21. Dennison will be at the Marion County Courthouse from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM. She will be on hand to work with individuals who are having difficulty with a government agency, have suggestions for Dave, or would just like to share their concerns. Public invited.

Free Course on Rail Car Incidents to be Held in Knoxville

(KNOXVILLE, Iowa) – In 2008, the Federal Railway Administration (FRA) reported there were more than 7,000 rail car accidents and incidents, 20 of which involved hazardous materials requiring the evacuation of over 5,000 people. In the last five years there have been 166 incidents involving hazardous materials, most of which occurred in rural America according to the FRA.

As more and more rail traffic involves the transportation of valuable cargo and hazardous materials, the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium (RDPC) is providing critical training to help rural first responders, government administrators, and emergency managers in the Knoxville, Iowa area respond more effectively to a freight rail car incident.

RDPC will be delivering a free Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-certified course, AWR 147 – Rail Car Incident Response, from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM on March 10, 2018 at Marion County Public Health Department, 2003 N. Lincoln Street, Knoxville, Iowa. The course will educate those on the frontlines of defense in their community on what to do in the event of a rail car incident involving hazardous materials.

The eight-hour, instructor-led course will introduce the rural responder community to basic rail car design and construction features as well as damage assessment strategies to help interpret damage to the rail cars in a hazmat incident. Upon completion of the course, participants will be better prepared to respond to a freight car incident without endangering the health and safety of the responders and the environment.

To register – contact: Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management or
contact Kim Pettyjohn at 641-828-2256 or email kpettyjohn@co.marion.ia.us

-This was a news release provided by the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium.

Newton Resident Arrested, Charged with Theft and Felon in Control of Firearm

Owners of a rural farm residence northwest of Newton reported a burglary with multiple items missing, including a skid-loader and ATV on Tuesday, Dec. 26.

While deputies were investigating the incident, the owner reported seeing their skid-loader and ATV parked at a residence located at 1954 W 32nd Street N in Newton, IA.

Deputies made contact with a resident, identified as 34-year-old Matthew Bakalar of this residence. A subsequent investigation and search warrant at the property allowed deputies to recover suspected additional stolen property. Included in these items was a truck reported stolen to Newton Police Department on Dec. 21, and a handgun reported stolen from Marion County. Additional firearms were also recovered.

Investigation continues in this case. Deputies charged Bakalar with:

  • Theft First Degree (property valued in excess of $10,000) Class C Felony
  • Felon in Control of a Firearm- Class D Felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance- (3rd or subsequent offense) = Class D Felony
  • Theft Fourth Degree – Serious misdemeanor (handgun)

Bakalar was transported to the Jasper County Jail and is currently being held on $41,000 bond.


All criminal charges are merely allegations and the subject should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

Missing Knoxville Man’s Remains Found

A rural Knoxville man was reported missing early Sunday morning on September 23 by his family. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office received a phone call from Ted Richard Roberts’ family saying they hadn’t had any communication with him in two to three weeks.

A missing persons report was sent out later that day as officials began to search his last known address.

Just four days later, on September 27, around 8:00 AM, members of Fire and Rescue and Law Enforcement from Marion and Jasper Counties began an organized search for Ted Richard Roberts north of Attica, Iowa.

Shortly after 9:00 AM, one of the search team members discovered the remains of Mr. Roberts in a field about 550 yards north of his residence. The scene was secured and a Marion County Medical Examiner investigator was called to the scene.

The remains of Mr. Roberts were transported to the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy.

There is no indication of foul play at this time.

Mahaska County Sheriff’s Still Looking for Wanted Suspect

Early in the morning on August 11th, the Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call near Hickory Avenue, close to the intersection of 278th Street. The call was for a single vehicle that had ended up on its roof in a drainage ditch creek.

The 2004 Dodge pickup, driven by 35-year-old Nathan Edward Burk of Bloomfield, was a complete loss.

While investigating this accident, deputies discovered in excess of one-fourth pounds of a substance that was believed to be marijuana. Burk was arrested and charged with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver – Class D Felony. Members of the M.I.N.E. Drug Task Force assisted in the investigated.

Burk was taken to the Mahaska County Jail and booked on the drug charge. Later in the day, Burk posted a $5,000 cash bound and was released.

Deputies also seized three-fourths pounds of methamphetamine, along with various drug paraphernalia. Upon the completion of the investigation, Burk was later charged with Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Deliver – Class B Felony – and Failure to Affix a Drug Tax Stamp – Class D Felony.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Burk in regard to the later charges.

As of this date, Burk has not been located or arrested. He is also wanted on an outstanding arrest warrant, issued in Marion County, for Probation Violation.

Nathan Edward Burk, 35

If you have any information about Nathan Burk, call the Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office at 641-673-4322 during business hours ( 8 AM to 5 PM) or 641-673-8403 for after hours.

** Information was provided by the Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office

Marion County Teacher Pleads Guilty to Sexual Exploitation

In February 2017, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office received information that a Twin Cedars Community High School (Bussey, IA) teacher was having an inappropriate relationship with a student.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation into 61-year-old Alan Wesley Stewart of Oskaloosa. The investigation revealed Stewart, while acting as a long term teacher, had repeated sexual contact with one student during 2015. Stewart held an Industrial Arts and Physical Education teaching position at Twin Cedars, as well as a Cross Country coach.

The relationship with the student consisted of gift exchanges, private conversations in his office, private messages, and time spent at Stewart’s home. The victim stated to police that the nature of the relationship was intimate and, at times, sexual.

Stewart was arrested in February and charged with one count of Sexual Exploitation by a School Employee, a Class D felony. This past week, Steward pleaded guilty to the felony count.

His sentencing is scheduled for September 21, and part of his plea is the requirement of registering as a sex offender.


Information from Marion County Sheriff’s Office.


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