Category: webster county

Attempted Murder Charge for Driver Who Tried to Ram Police Chief’s Vehicle During Chase

WEBSTER COUNTY, Iowa – An Omaha man is in an Iowa jail facing attempted murder charges for allegedly trying to ram a police chief’s vehicle during a chase Tuesday.

According to the Webster County Sheriff’s Office, a report came in around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday about a 2003 Ford F-250 driving erratically and speeding on Highway 175 near Dayton.

Dayton Police Chief Nick Dunbar spotted the vehicle entering the town minutes later and tried to pull the truck over but the driver refused to stop.

The driver, later identified as 37-year-old Anthony Spinharney from Omaha, Nebraska, fled northeast of Dayton and near the intersection of 350th Street and Skillet Creek Ave. drove into a bean field.

Chief Dunbar followed the truck into the bean field where officials say Spinharney turned the truck around and attempted to strike Dunbar’s vehicle head-on. Spinharney circled around again, this time trying to hit the driver’s side of the patrol vehicle, at which time Chief Dunbar fired his gun at the truck. Spinharney swerved away when the truck was hit by gunfire.

The pursuit continued and entered another field near 340th Street and Xavier Ave. where Spinharney got out of the truck and fled. He was eventually taken into custody.

Spinharney is charged with attempted murder of a peace officer, eluding, and interference with official acts. Additional charges are pending in the case. He is being held in the Webster County Jail.

83-Year-Old Woman Needs Help Preserving Webster County’s History

OTHO, Iowa– An effort is underway in Webster County to preserve part of the state’s history.

The nonprofit historical museum in Otho is home to about 10,000 artifacts at risk of being destroyed.

More than a century’s worth of Webster County history is covered up under one roof. The 83-year-old woman who runs the museum said the leaky roof isn’t holding up, and she needs help funding the museum.

“I just think the county is really interesting,” Phillis Stewart said.

The museum sits in the old Otho Elementary School donated to the museum 16 years ago.

“Well we never know where the leak is going to be coming in from the ceiling, so we just covered everything up,” Stewart said.

Last fall, growing mold and water damage forced Stewart to close the museum’s doors.

“I would like to be open right now, but with all the leaks you can’t uncover for people to see it, then cover it up when you go home, then go back and uncover it,” Stewart said.

It is preventing her from showing off one of her favorite items in the collection, a wedding dress from 1917.

“We’ve got the picture of her dress, her veil, her shoes, her socks, her under clothes, everything she wore when she got married,” Stewart said.

The bride was Alice Anderson.

“She was our landlord when I was growing up. She and her husband were our landlord. I was astounded when that came in,” Stewart said.

Stewart said she fears the doors will never reopen to the public. Now, she’s turning to Webster County for help.

“It’s not in the budget, but we are going to see what can be done. The county supports the fairgrounds and other opportunities. This is something that isn’t a part of the county budget,” said Webster County Supervisor Mark Campbell.

Stewart has yet to calculate how much it will cost to repair the museum but hopes something can be done preserve Webster County’s history for generations to come.

Stewart said there will be a community meeting at the VFW in Fort Dodge this Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The county will also be there to ask questions.