Police and courts report

Meth possession lands Sac woman 10 years 

A Sac City woman was sentenced to 10 years in prison for  possessing nearly 15 grams of methamphetamine during a traffic stop on West Eighth Street in December.

Buena Vista County District Court Judge Don Courtney sentenced Letitia Hightower, 44, to the prison term on Monday. Hightower consented to the sentence in an agreement with the Buena Vista County Attorney’s Office in March.

The Storm Lake Police Department arrested Hightower Dec. 22 for possessing nearly 15 grams of methamphetamine, a small amount of marijuana and “numerous items of paraphernalia,” according to court documents. Unused bags and a digital scale were also recovered.


Trial delayed third time in marina lawsuit 

Trial involving the City of Storm Lake, its former marina operator and one of the operator’s dock repairmen was delayed for a third time because the repairman was recently named a defendant.

Buena Vista County District Court Judge Nancy Whittenburg set a four-day jury trial for the lawsuit surrounding the Storm Lake Marina for April 25, 2023.

The plaintiff, Dale Schumann of Lakeside, sued the city and Buoy’s Bar & Grill in March 2020 because Schumann fell through a courtesy dock Buoy’s was managing on behalf of the city. He suffered a shoulder injury as a result of the incident, which occurred in May 2018.

In February, the city sued Dane Gardner of Lytton and his employer, Midwest Industries of Ida Grove. Midwest Industries is the sister company of Shorestation in Okoboji, which installed the docks in 2005.

On March 29, Gardner’s attorney, James Van Dyke of Carroll, withdrew because Gardner “cannot afford a full defense of this lawsuit.”

Gardner stabilized the docks on Buoy’s’ behalf in 2018; he was the only one who was willing to work on them at the time.

The Storm Lake Times Pilot reported last month the Iowa Department of Natural Resources — which now operates the slips — couldn’t find a dock repairman in part because of Gardner’s experience. The specter of being sued shied them away from working on the marina. 


Woman sees sentencing delayed in drug case

A Marathon woman was sentenced to a deferred judgment and a term in a residential treatment facility for a slew of charges stemming from a pair of drug arrests in February and last December.

Buena Vista County District Court Judge Don Courtney sentenced Teresa Hale, 51, to a three-year probation term on Monday. In March Hale pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of methamphetamine third offense. In exchange the Buena Vista County Attorney’s Office recommended the deferred judgment.

“Ms. Hale had a number of matters pending in Buena Vista County. All of her matters were disposed of pursuant to a plea agreement filed with the court in March” said Assistant County Attorney of the reason why several charges against Hale were dismissed.

Hale was arrested twice for drug possession in December and in February, according to court documents. In her most recent arrest officers found methamphetamine on her when she was booked into Buena Vista County Jail on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear.

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