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Tuesday News, June 5th

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Today is Primary Election Day

(Le Mars) — The Iowa primary election is scheduled for today, 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.  Two people are vying for the Republican nomination for the State House Representative position for District 5.
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.

 

 

Plymouth County Supervisors To Decide On Vacating Roads

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will convene this morning, and on their agenda will be time to discuss the Courthouse renovation project, and approve change order. The county governing board will also hold a public hearing regarding the vacating of two separate county roads, part of 100th street and part of 340th street. Following the hearing, the county
supervisors will act on those proposals. The county supervisors will also hear a resolution about the changing of the speed limit for County road C-60 on the west end of Hinton approaching the school zone.

 

 

City Council Has Short Agenda For Meeting

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars city council will hold a meeting today at 12:00 noon at the city council chambers. However, the council does not have any action items for today’s meeting. Among the consent items is a request to close Highway 75 5th Avenue SW from Highway 3 to 1st Street SW and 1st Street SW
from Business Highway 75 to 6th Avenue SW The closure will take place on Wednesday, June 13th from mid-afternoon until 9:00 p.m. for the Ice Cream Day celebration. The city council will also consider the re-appointment of Linda Mayrose and Steve Collins for a three-year term on the Historic Preservation
Commission, and well as re-appoint Pam Floy for a five year term for the Planning and Zoning commission.

 

 

Motorcycle Accident Happens On Highway 60

(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. That 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 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 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.

 

 

Judicial Investigators Find Judge Used Improper Actions 

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.