Home News Monday Afternoon News, June 4th

Monday Afternoon News, June 4th


Rescue Units Respond To Highway 60 Motorcycle Accident

(Le Mars) — The Le Ambulance and the Le Mars Fire and Rescue Department responded to a motorcycle accident that happened around 2:00 p.m. Monday afternoon. The accident occurred at the junction of Highway 60 and County road C-12, about seven miles northeast of Le Mars. The accident involved a Harley Davidson motorcycle. The  male driver of the motorcycle suffered what appeared to be cuts and abrasions. He was able to walk to the ambulance and was thought not to have suffered any life-threatening injuries. The motorcycle driver was transported to the Floyd Valley Healthcare by the Le Mars Ambulance
Services. Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the accident.



Former Plymouth County Judge Found To Have Made 13 Violations

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) – Investigators have found at least 13 cases in which an Iowa judge improperly used language proposed by winning attorneys as his final court orders without telling attorneys on the other sides.
Retired Judge Edward Jacobson told investigators in a report released Friday that he thought his actions were common practice among district judges. Investigators say that isn’t the case.
The Iowa Code of Judicial Conduct bars what in legal terms is called “ex parte communications” between a judge and one side’s attorney.
Jacobson said in a November divorce case deposition that he’d asked winning attorneys at least 200 times to write up proposed ruling language. That prompted State Court Administrator Todd Nuccio to launch an investigation.
Jacobson told investigators that neither side gained advantage in his rulings, because he asked attorneys for proposed language only after he’d decided cases.



Rock Valley Man Sentenced For Murder and Arson

(Orange City) — Sioux County Attorney Thomas G. Kunstle announced that Santos Rodriguez Jr., age 20, of Rock Valley, Iowa, pled guilty and was sentenced on Monday, June 4, 2018, in Sioux County District Court for the crimes of Murder in the Second Degree and Arson in the First Degree. Sioux
County Attorney Thomas G. Kunstle, in cooperation with the Attorney General’s Office, prosecuted the case on behalf of the State of Iowa.

This case arose on October 29, 2017, after police and fire
departments responded overnight to a fire at then 1416 15th Street in Rock Valley. Authorities arrived to find the home on fire and learned an elderly male was still inside. Police entered the home attempting to save the elderly male, but the fire had engulfed the home. Further investigation revealed
Rodriguez, who had fled to Utah, may have started the fire.     On October 31, an autopsy revealed three knife wounds to the victim’s body. On November 8, a Division of Criminal Investigation (“DCI”) Special Agent traveled to Utah and interviewed Rodriguez who confessed to stabbing
the victim and burning down the home. Authorities immediately secured an arrest warrant holding Rodriguez in custody for transportation back to Iowa.

Rodriguez was sentenced to 50 years on the murder and 25 years on the arson counts, with the sentences running consecutively for a total indeterminate term not to exceed 75 years in prison. Murder in the Second Degree, by law, requires Rodriguez actually serve 35 years behind bars before
he is eligible for parole or work release.



Sioux City Fire Department Wants To Charge For Gas Leak Calls

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Sioux City’s fire department wants to charge companies for firefighters’ responses to ruptures of natural gas lines.
A proposal headed for a City Council vote Monday would bill the company that causes the break $2,000 for the first hour of response and $250 for each additional 15 minutes. There would be more charges for additional personnel, vehicles, ambulance service or supplies.
The fees would not apply to small leaks that do not require a full
response, incidents lasting under 30 minutes or leaks occurring to above- ground piping inside buildings.
Sioux City Fire Rescue estimates it would have received more than $640,000 for its responses to gas line breaks since 2001 if the fee structure were in place.



Political Science Professor Comments On Iowa Primary Election

(Le Mars) — The Iowa primary election is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, June 5th. There are a few noted contested races with five candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, three candidates seeking their Democratic party’s nomination for the Iowa 4th Congressional District.
Speaking of Iowa’s 4th District Congressional race, incumbent Republican candidate Steve King is facing a challenger Cindy Hanson. Other noted races include the Republican nomination for the Secretary of Agriculture position.
There are five people trying for that position following the departure of Bill Northey. Dr. Jeff Taylor is a professor of political science at Dordt College at Sioux Center. He says voter turn-out for primary races are typically low.

The Dordt College Political Science professor says a voter’s decision in the primary race may carry more weight than the general election.

Taylor says political endorsements can sometimes help a candidate, but there are times when endorsements can hurt a candidate’s chances.



State House District 5 Has Two Republicans Seeking Office

(Le Mars) — Aside from the state-wide elections, there are few contested races in Plymouth County. The exception is the race for District 5 State Representative between retired dentist Dr. Tom Jeneary of Le Mars and Joseph Small of Akron. The two republican candidates both hope to be elected to fill Chuck Holz position. Holz has decided not to seek re-election. KLEM
radio has tried on several occasions to visit with Joseph Small, but was unable to reach him for comments.

Dr. Jeneary says one of the reasons why he
is running for the state representative position is to “pay back” the community for when he first arrived after dental school.

After Dr. Chuck Holz had announced he would not seek re-election, Jeneary says he had several people approach him and encouraged him to run for the state legislature position. Jeneary says he has had the opportunity on many occasions to speak with people from District 5 to learn what issues they feel are important.

Jeneary discusses another issue being discussed among the people in the State House District 5 is to attract businesses and employees.

The Republican House Member candidate says many people are also concerned about mental health care for state residents.

Voters can still vote today using an absentee ballot by casting their vote at the Plymouth County Courthouse. Tomorrow, the polls open at 7:00 a.m. and will remain open until 9:00 p.m.



Winnebago Industries To Make Boats

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Recreational vehicle manufacturer Winnebago Industries says it is buying boat maker Chris-Craft to expand beyond motor homes and travel trailers and create a diversified outdoor lifestyle products company.
Winnebago, based in Forest City, Iowa, hasn’t disclosed details of the transaction but said Monday it would finance the deal with cash and debt.
Chris-Craft is a recreational boating brand dating back to 1874. It’s been owned by London-based investment firm Stellican Ltd. since 2001.
Winnebago CEO Michael Happe says he sees a significant intersection between the RV and marine lifestyles and views the boat business as a natural addition to its existing outdoor recreation portfolio, with similar customer demographics and ownership crossover.
Stephen Heese will stay on as Chris-Craft president and Winnebago expects to maintain the boat manufacturer’s Sarasota, Florida headquarters.



Des Moines Police Identify Murder Victim

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have released the name of a 40-year-old man who was shot to death in a neighborhood west of downtown Des Moines.
Police said in a news release Monday that the victim was Jerry Goff, who lived in Des Moines.
Officers were called about 2:15 a.m. Sunday to a residence to check a report of shots being fired. Officer learned when they arrived that Goff had been driven by a private vehicle to a hospital. Police say Goff died there.
No arrests have been reported. Police say the shooting appears tied to a domestic dispute.