Spencer City Council Chambers sign

City Council meeting notes: September 9, 2020

The Spencer City Council discussed the following topics Tuesday at its regular meeting. 

Planning director interviews begin

The city has started the interview process for its open planning director position. City Manager Amanda Mack told the council that interviews will finish Friday. Applicants will be reviewed next week to determine a recommendation to the council. City to purchase two new police cars for $69,885

The City of Spencer will purchase two 2021 Ford Utility Police Interceptors for the Spencer Police Department from Don Pierson Ford for $69,885. 

City council members approved the purchase as part of the consent agenda at Tuesday’s meeting. The vote for the consent agenda was 7-0.

Two Spencer police patrol cars

Stolen vehicle investigation leads to foot chase, arrest

An Alta man tried to run from officers who were investigating a stolen vehicle before he was tased and arrested on multiple charges, including two felonies. The Spencer Police Department stated that police tried to make contact with the driver of the vehicle they were investigating at 12:27 p.m. Sunday in the 300 block of West Sixth Street. That’s when Dalton Goodman, 25, unsuccessfully tried to run on foot from police. Police stated Goodman was tased and taken into custody with minor injuries. Goodman was charged with second-degree theft, a Class D felony; possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, a Class B felony; possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor; interference with official acts, a simple misdemeanor and driving while revoked, a simple misdemeanor.

Two Spencer police patrol cars

Suspicious person complaint leads to Peterson man’s arrest for car burglaries, vehicle thefts

A Peterson man faces charges connected to multiple car burglaries and two vehicle thefts in Spencer. On Monday, the Spencer Police Department stated in a news release that Gary Stallings II was arrested June 11 after officers responded to a suspicious person complaint near 215 12th Avenue West. Officers arrived on scene that afternoon to find several individuals running away on foot from police. Law enforcement apprehended one of the men, Stallings, in the 800 block of 14th Avenue West. During an investigation, officers determined Stallings had been involved in multiple car burglaries and two separate vehicle thefts that occurred during the overnight hours in Spencer.

Two Spencer police patrol cars

Suspicious person call leads to discovery of stolen vehicle, woman’s arrest

Spencer police arrested a woman on Saturday after receiving a call about a suspicious person and learning the woman had driven a stolen vehicle to Spencer. Police Chief Mark Warburton stated in a news release that police arrested 32-year-old Alyson Weathers, who police stated was homeless, after responding to the 100 block of Fourth Street SE for the suspicious person call. Police were told that the person was in a residence and refusing to leave, according to the news release. Officers found Weathers when they arrived. They also found a vehicle that she “had allegedly driven to Spencer,” according to the news release.

Clay County Sheriff's Office Spencer Iowa

Minor injuries reported after pickup rolls, catches fire

Minor injuries were reported in a single-vehicle accident last week in which a pickup rolled and caught fire in the 2400 block of 330th Street northeast of Spencer. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office reported Cody Sharrow, 25, was driving a 2008 Ford F350 east on 330th Street at about 9 p.m. April 24. Sharrow reportedly was accelerating too quickly when the road changed from pavement to gravel. Sharrow then lost control of the truck, which entered the north ditch, according to the sheriff’s office. The truck then rolled and caught on fire.

Spencer City Council Chambers sign

Ordinance revisions allowing ATVs, golf carts on city streets move to council

The Spencer City Council is expected to discuss and could vote on at its next meeting two revised ordinances that, if approved in three filings, would allow ATVs and golf carts to be driven on city streets. The Public Safety Committee forwarded the ordinances to the council – both with recommendations that they be approved. The public safety committee is made up of three city council members, Ward 1 City Councilman Tom Nelson, Ward 5 City Councilman Ron Hanson and Ward 3 City Councilman Tracey Larsen, who serves as committee chair. Under city code, both ATVs and golf carts are allowed now on some city streets but are restricted. “Currently they’re allowed in a very regulated and very specific manner, which has, I would say, been sort of a burden to manage,” City Manager Amanda Mack said.

Two Spencer police patrol cars

Police chief says domestic calls are up, businesses following closure orders

Spencer police have seen an increase in domestic incident calls now that more people are staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chief Mark Warburton told the Spencer City Council on Monday that the number of domestic disturbance reports the police department has received are above normal. “When you’re bringing people together, family spending that much time together, we’re having some of those issues,” Warburton said. Overall, though, the number of calls to police has been lower than normal. “It’s definitely a slower time frame,” Warburton said.

Two Spencer police patrol cars

Driver leads Spencer police on chase with toddler daughter in vehicle

A Graettinger man faces charges of child endangerment, eluding and a slew of other traffic violations after he led Spencer police on a chase Saturday afternoon with his 16-month-old daughter in the vehicle. The driver, 40-year-old Frederick Connie, was eventually taken into custody, but not before trying to evade police. The Spencer Police Department stated in a press release that at about 1:45 p.m. Saturday it had responded to a report of a two-vehicle hit and run accident at Seventh Street and Grand Avenue. Just moments later, responding officers found the suspected vehicle on the south side of town. But at that time, when police tried to stop the vehicle, it tried to elude police.

Spencer City Council Chambers sign

City Council talks COVID-19, West 4th Street project

Not everyone is staying away from playground equipment and basketball courts in Spencer. Like other cities in Iowa, Spencer has closed its playground equipment, which includes basketball courts and the skate park, as a way to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community. During a special city council meeting on Monday, Ward 1 City Councilman Tom Nelson said he had received a message from a citizen who has seen groups of kids playing basketball games and sitting on swings at Deerfield Park. “She’s asking if there’s anything that can be done or should be done to break those up,” Nelson said. Normally kids playing games of basketball and using playground equipment in April would be perfectly fine – and expected – under normal circumstances.

Clay County Sheriff's Office Spencer Iowa

Spencer man damages Clay County Jail door

A Spencer man already being held in the Clay County Jail now faces a new charge after he damaged a cell door on Sunday. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office stated in a news release that Peter Dunphy, 48, intentionally caused $500 damage to the door. Dunphy now faces a charge of fourth-degree criminal mischief, a serious misdemeanor. Dunphy was being held in the jail on charges from the Spencer Police Department, the news release stated. Court records indicate those charges are first-offense domestic abuse assault and interference with official acts.