Iowa early News Headlines: 5/18/18


May 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

(PANORA) – Searchers in Guthrie County will resume their search early this morning for a boater who reportedly fell into the water at Lake Panorama Thursday evening. The call came in at around 6:15-p.m. As of the very latest report, the missing boat occupant has not been located. Dive team members from the SW Iowa Dive Team were on scene until 1-a.m. today, when the search was suspended until daybreak.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A man who was granted a new trial in the stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. Television station KGAN reports that Luerkens was in court Thursday for a hearing on a motion, but unexpectedly changed his plea. Luerkens admitted stabbing 29-year-old Lynnsey Donald to death on April 21, 2015, in front of Donald’s son in the Marion grocery store parking lot. He then injured himself.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Two Iowa women who lost limbs when they were struck while trying to climb through trains that were blocking the road are suing the railroad for allegedly ignoring a safety hazard that’s left a trail of horrific injuries. The lawsuits filed Thursday allege that trains operated by the Canadian National Railway and its subsidiaries routinely block street crossings in Waterloo, sometimes for hours. They say at least five people have lost hands, arms or legs in this way since 1991.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa woman has pleaded guilty to fraud and identity theft for stealing more than $191,000 from her now-dead fiancee and his elderly mother. Robin Ann Bertelli, of Cedar Rapids, was arrested last month on a 35-count indictment and pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday. Prosecutors say the 60-year-old Bertelli stole checks that belonged to her fiancee _ former Navy SEAL Ken Martin Jr. _ and Martin’s mother and wrote them payable to herself.

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — Police in eastern Iowa say a 71-year-old Muscatine man has died after being hit by a semitrailer as he crossed a highway pushing a shopping cart. The Muscatine Journal reports that Patrick Hazelwood died following the crash just before 3 a.m. Thursday on Highway 61. An Iowa State Patrol trooper says Hazelwood was wearing dark clothes at an unlit intersection when he stepped in front of the southbound semi. He died at the scene.