Spencer man gets 19-year federal prison sentence for shooting, meth convictions

A Spencer man who sold meth for over a year and shot at a drug buyer’s home last year was sentenced June 28 to 19 years in federal prison for meth distribution and gun charges. The U.S. District Attorney’s Office reported Travis Wayne Mattson, 35, received the sentence in U.S. District Court in Sioux City. Mattson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime on November 26, 2018. Mattson was arrested on May 11, 2018, following a Clay County Sheriff’s Office investigation into a drive-by shooting at Country Villa Trailer Court, 3655 240th Avenue in Clay County. The sheriff’s office determined a home was struck multiple times by someone shooting from a vehicle from the road next to the trailer court.

Fairview Elementary School playground equipment and surface burned by fire caused by fireworks

Fireworks cause $15,000 in damage to Fairview Elementary playground

Nothing good happens after midnight. Those wise words often ring true no matter the location, but they were definitely accurate around 2:30 a.m. Sunday at the Fairview Elementary School playground. Spencer authorities say that’s when fireworks lit by juveniles caused a fire that did $15,000 in damage to the playground surface and its equipment. The Spencer Fire Department responded to the fire at about 2:37 a.m. Sunday. “There were fireworks found on the playground and it set the playground on fire,” Fire Chief John Conyn said Monday.

Clay County Sheriff's Office Spencer Iowa

11 cited for underage drinking at weekend house party

Authorities busted a house party involving underage drinking Sunday about three miles south of Greenville, resulting in 11 individuals being cited. On Tuesday, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office reported it had received a complaint of a party with underage drinking at 4535 US-71. Once authorities arrived, they found numerous people younger than 21 years old and in possession of alcohol. The sheriff’s office cited and released the following 11 individuals for possession of alcohol under the legal age:

Dylan Elliott Rutter, 20, SpencerAbigail Kristine Wanger, 18, AlgonaAlicia Marie Rosales, 18, SpencerBrooke Lynn Lilly, 20, Le MarsEmma Mae Schmidt, 19, SpencerMatthew Jene Nasers, 20, PaullinaZaccary Dean Mann, 18, StuartKoby Wayne Steffens, 18, SloanPayton James Hayden, 18, RossieChanceller Allan Steelman, 18, Spencer16-year-old juvenile female, Merril

Deputies also arrested Victor Vincent Perez-Martinez, of Hull, who had an Sioux County warrant ordering his probation be revoked and mandating he serve 75 days in the Sioux County Jail. The sheriff’s office is still investigating.

Clay County Sheriff's Office Spencer Iowa

Spencer woman arrested on warrant for meth possession

A Spencer woman turned herself in and was arrested Saturday on a warrant for possession of methamphetamine. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office reported Monday that Krissy Smith turned herself in at the Clay County Jail at about 5 p.m. Saturday. The arrest warrant was on a charge for first offense possession of methamphetamine. Smith was reportedly held in the jail to appear before a magistrate judge in court. Court records show Spencer police first filed a criminal complaint against Smith in court on June 18.

Clay County Sheriff's Office Spencer Iowa

Spencer man arrested for assault

A Spencer man was arrested for assault June 12 after he reportedly hit a man in the face near the bypass on the east side of town that evening. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office reported that Tony Putzier Jr., 27, was arrested on a charge of serious assault causing bodily injury following an investigation of the incident. A news release stated the sheriff’s office had received a call earlier in which a victim said he was assaulted after his vehicle was almost struck by another at the Highway 18 and 240th Avenue intersection. The other vehicle, a pickup truck with three people in it, according to the report, followed the victim to 340th Street and 240th Avenue. Both the victim and the others in the exited their vehicles.

Spencer City Council Chambers sign

City will allow state to rule on Spencer bowling alley’s liquor license

State officials will have to decide whether Liberty Lanes’ liquor license gets renewed as they review the case of the owner’s other Spencer business, Southside Grill, which two weeks ago had its license renewal denied by the city council. On Monday, the Spencer City Council voted to take no action on the Class C Liquor License for the bowling alley, noting in its motion that the application was “timely filed.”

“Which basically just means we’re passing the decision on to the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division and not taking a yes or no stance as a council,” Mayor Kevin Robinson said during the meeting. Liberty Lanes is owned by Chris Burg, who also owns Southside Grill. The “gentlemen’s steakhouse” is the focus of investigations into sales of alcohol to underage people and public indecent exposure. The city council denied Southside Grill’s liquor license renewal earlier this month, citing the investigations.

Spencer City Council Chambers sign

City wants to offer more recreation programming; school resource officer agreement approved

A reorganized Spencer Parks and Recreation Department in the future will offer programs and activities to encourage more use of city parks. The city council discussed the focus while approving a job description for the new position of recreation director and updated descriptions for current positions of golf superintendent and school resource officer. City Manager Amanda Mack said the opportunity to make the changes was created by the approaching retirement of Parks and Recreation Director Delray Bredehoeft. The changes were discussed at last week’s committee of the whole meeting. “We really wanted to put an emphasis on recreational programming,” Mack said.

Southside Grill Gentlemen's Steakhouse building with logo of woman with swimsuit top holding fork with steak on top

Warrant claims tapes show underage drinking, indecent exposure at Southside Grill

Spencer law enforcement officials in court documents claim surveillance footage shows Southside Grill employees selling alcohol to people under the legal age, underage drinking and incidents of public indecent exposure. Southside Grill is being investigated by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office in connection to a double-fatality accident near Dickens in April. A warrant applied for by the Spencer Police Department and granted by a judge on May 30 suggests Spencer police have begun their own investigation. This is the first time since the Spencer City Council denied Southside Grill’s liquor license renewal on June 4 that authorities have mentioned allegations of indecent exposure by the establishment’s employees. The sheriff’s office has been in possession of surveillance footage from Southside Grill as it conducts its investigation.

spencer police SUV outside house with trailers

Officials remove 51 cats from Spencer apartment

Officials removed 51 cats from a Spencer apartment last week. The Spencer Police Department and Spencer Zoning officials executed the warrant at 106 West First Street Apartment A on June 5 in reference to the number of animals there and the accumulation of animal waste. Court documents indicate the search warrant was applied for and issued to investigate complaints of “substantial odor” and a number of cats in excess of six, the amount allowable under city code. Officials determined the apartment residents were 51-year-old Richard Peterson and 45-year-old Randy Peterson. During the search, officials found the one-bedroom apartment in “deplorable condition,” according to a press release.

Black Hills energy vehicles, firefighters and contract crews at North School Park gas main break

Gas main struck near North School Park

A contract crew struck a gas main Monday night near West 11th Street and First Avenue West, causing a large leak. Fire chief John Conyn had just finished delivering his monthly report to the Spencer City Council when the Spencer Fire Department was called to the scene. Public Works Director Mark White later told the council that Conyn called him during the meeting to let him know that a 2-inch gas main had been struck. “So that’s a significant amount of volume,” White told the council. “The houses in the area, the electricity’s been pulled from them.