First Responders in Iowa Receiving Checks From Dakota Access Pipeline

The company that built the Dakota Access oil pipeline that runs diagonally across Iowa, from the northwest to the southeast is making donations to emergency responders in every county the pipeline crosses in Iowa and three other states. 

Mike Futch, vice president of Energy Transfer Partners, explains the motive.

“In recognition of our dedication and our commitment to operate our pipelines in a very safe and regulatory-compliant and reliable manner, one of the things that’s very important to a system like that is a very close working relationship with first responders and emergency responders,” said Futch.

The pipeline crosses 18 counties in total in Iowa and also carves a path across Illinois and North and South Dakota. The news conference was held in South Dakota and Futch says they want to be good corporate partners with every county the pipeline touches.

In Iowa, the total donation is $360,000 to units in 18 counties. The total donation in the four states adds up to one-million dollars as the pipeline covers 50 counties in all.

The Dakota Access Pipeline crosses through Jasper, Mahaska, Wapello, Keokuk, Jefferson, Van Buren and Lee counties in Southeast Iowa. Each will receive a check for $20,000.

Jamey Robinson, EMA/911 Administrator in Mahaska County, said his office has identified potential areas for projects. Potential projects include active shooter equipment and simulation, rehabilitation equipment during extreme hot or cold, search and rescue equipment, and lastly, equipment to safely remove debris from infrastructure, such as saw assets.

Chuck Fry, vice president for liquid pipelines at Energy Transfer, says the pipeline passing through Iowa is now fully assembled and carrying petroleum.

“Operationally, it can run at full capacity but it’s not fully subscribed by shippers yet,” Fry says.

The company is also giving the state of North Dakota 15-million dollars for protest-related expenses.

Arrest Made In C-Store Burglaries

Amber Kelsey was taken into custody on Monday, September 18th shortly after 1 PM.

Kelsey, 35, was arrested and charged with Burglary – Third Degree (Class D Felony). Kelsey is currently incarcerated in the Wapello County Jail on a $5,000.00 bond.

Additional charges are pending.



In the early morning hours of July 30th, and then again on August 31st, the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office investigated two separate burglary reports from the C-Store located in Blakesburg.

Throughout the course of the separate investigations, Law Enforcement personnel had reason to believe the same individual had committed both burglaries at the C-Store. During the burglaries the main items stole were a large quantity of cigarettes.

On September 1st, the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search warrant at a residence in Blakesburg. During the search warrant Deputies seized numerous items believed to be of value in the criminal prosecutions of the burglaries. Also seized during the search warrant was a large quantity of cigarettes.

During the investigation the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office has sent several seized/collected items to the Iowa DCI Laboratory.


This criminal charge is an accusation and the Defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Wapello County Sheriff’s Made Two Arrests Over the Weekend

Wapello County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a possible assault in progress on 4th Street in Chillicothe, IA on Saturday, September 9th around 3 PM. When Deputies arrived all parties were gone.

An investigation was conducted. On Sunday, Wapello County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Tony Bakalar, Sr., age 54 of Chillicothe and charged Bakalar Sr. with Domestic Abuse with Intent to Inflict Serious Injury and Harassment in the First Degree — both are Aggravated Misdemeanors.

Bakalar Sr. is currently being had in lieu of bond in the Wapello County Jail.


On September 6th, the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office took a report of a burglary at a farm residence on Point Isabelle Road in Wapello County.

On Saturday, Wapello County Sheriff’s Deputies executed a search warrant at 310 North Street in Ottumwa, IA and numerous items that were reported stolen were recovered.

As a result of the investigation and search warrant Trevor Roberts, age 28 of Ottumwa has been charged with two counts of Burglary Third Degree a Class D Felony. Roberts has bonded from the Wapello County Jail.

The investigation is continuing and additional charges are anticipated.

Arrest Made in House Fire Almost Two Years Later

On December 25, 2015 at approximately 10 PM, the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a house fire at 116 E Main Street in Agency, IA. An investigation was conducted and it was determined that the fire had been
intentionally set and ruled to be an arson.

David Latham was arrested as a result of an investigation by deputies on the evening of August 1, 2017.

Latham, age 47 of Ottumwa, IA. Latham was charged with Arson 2nd – a Class C Felony and Burglary 3rd – a Class D Felony.

Latham is currently in the Wapello County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bond.


At approximately 7:06 a.m., Tuesday June 28 th , 2016 a citizen reported hearing gunshots in the 7000

block of Cliffland Road just east of Ottumwa. The caller also reported a description of the vehicle

departing the area. While responding to the call a Wapello County Sheriff’s Deputy observed a vehicle

matching the description just south of Agency Iowa at which time the suspect vehicle began to elude

the following Deputy. The Deputy followed the vehicle back into Ottumwa from Agency and then back

east out of Ottumwa by way of Cliffland Road. The Deputy continued to follow the vehicle to just south

of the Des Moines River Bridge in Eldon when the vehicle crashed into the ditch. The suspect vehicle

was occupied by four subjects all of which exited the vehicle and continued to elude the Deputy on foot.

Assistance began to arrive by this time and three of the four subjects were taken into custody, with the

fourth still at large. No persons’ were injured at the 7000 block of Cliffland Road where the original call

began. Assisting the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office on this investigation was the Ottumwa Police

Dept., Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Fairfield Police Dept. Iowa State Patrol and the Eldon Fire

Dept. The matter remains under investigation and further charges are anticipated. Taken into custody

at this time and charged is Joshua Pierce, age 27 of Ottumwa charged with Possession, Receipt,

Transportation, or Dominion and Control of Firearms, Driving while Barred and Eluding Law

Enforcement. Carl Penelton, age 29 of Ottumwa is charged with Interference with Official Acts as was

a 17 yr old Juvenile charged with Interference with Official Acts and released to their parent.

release2 release1

This criminal charge is an accusation and the Defendant is presumed innocent until

and unless proven guilty.


Two Killed in Traffic Accident Near Chillicothe

A fatal accident occurred just west of Ottumwa on Highway 163 on Thursday afternoon.

According to the accident report from the Iowa State Patrol, a Toyota Camry driven by 32-year-old Annie Kumcho Ngum of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, attempted to cross Highway 163 from Eddyville Road near Chillicothe to get in the northbound lane. Her vehicle was struck by a southbound semi driven by 59-year-old David Kirk Barnhill of Des Moines and pushed it into the median.

Ngum, along with her passenger, 31-year-old Patience Ndikum Mbuh of Anoka, Minnesota, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Barnhill was not injured in the crash.


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