Highway 75 Accident Involves Five Vehicles, Including Semi Truck
(Hinton) — A major accident took place Friday afternoon shortly after 3:00 p.m. on Highway 75, south of Hinton, involving five vehicles, including a semi truck. Traffic on Highway 75 was at a standstill, and officials diverted the traffic to other county roads for detours. Officials were at the scene for nearly a couple of hours conducting their investigation. The accident happened in the construction zone between Hinton and Sioux City, in
what was believed to be a chain reaction accident. According to the traffic accident report by the Iowa State Patrol, a semi truck driven by 31-year old Jason Bliek was traveling northbound and failed to recognize traffic ahead of him was slowing down. The semi truck crossed over the center line into the southbound lane in an effort to avoid a collision. The semi truck then hit a
Jeep driven by 21 year old Davis Van Egdom of Rock Valley. The semi truck then re-entered the northbound lane and collided with the back end of a Mazda driven by 34 year old Erin Van Waus of Indianola, causing the vehicle to hit the cable barrier and go into the ditch. You may recall that stretch of highway is where Highway 75 is down to two-lanes of facing traffic. The
Hinton Fire and Rescue and Hinton Ambulance, along with the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office, Hinton Police, and the Iowa State Patrol all responded to the scene. The Iowa State Patrol did not mention the extent of injuries associated with the accident.
Three People Arrested Following Pursuit
(Le Mars) — Law enforcement agencies were involved in a high speed pursuit that happened early Friday morning at around 1:30 a.m. Authorities with the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office say they were notified of an active vehicle pursuit traveling south-bound on Highway 75 from Sioux County. The vehicle
entered Plymouth County and continued south-bound on Highway 75. The pursuit continued through the city of LeMars, and the vehicle was eventually stopped on 200th Street near Kestrel Avenue just outside of the city limits, near the
Wells Enterprises corporate offices. The pursuit resulted in the arrest of all three occupants. The driver, Lucas Packard, age 29, of South Dakota was arrested for aggravated eluding. Passengers William Highhawk, age 27, of South Dakota was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled
substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, and Natasha Demarrias, age 22, of South Dakota, was arrested on an active warrant for the Department of Corrections for a parole violation. The incident originated from Canton, South Dakota, crossing over the Big Sioux River into Sioux County, then heading south into Plymouth County. The suspects were taken to the Plymouth
County Jail. Both the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office and the Le Mars Police Department participated in the pursuit and resulting arrests.
Lucas Packard-29 William Highhawk-27
Woodbury County Fatal Accident
(Sioux City) — Woodbury County authorities are investigating a one-vehicle roll-over fatality accident that happened at around 5:30 a.m. Friday near Hornick. The accident occurred at the 2900 block of Grundy Avenue. A passerby located the vehicle in the ditch. Upon arrival of first responders, it was determined the vehicle was occupied by one person, and he was deceased. The identity of the victim will be released at a later date and
Sewer Main No Longer Leaking Into Little Sioux River
QUIMBY, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a city’s untreated wastewater no longer is flowing into the Little Sioux River in northwest Iowa’s Cherokee County.
The Iowa Natural Resources Department had said a sewer main break was reported Monday morning by the town of Quimby. River flooding has kept repair crews from finding the break and fixing it, allowing more than 15,000 gallons (56,780 liters) of untreated wastewater to flow into the river each day.
The department said Thursday that Quimby hired a manure hauler who’s begun moving wastewater from a pump station to the city’s wastewater lagoon.
The city is working with an engineering firm to determine how best to fix or replace the sewer main.
Boat Traffic On Missouri River Is Shut Down Due To Flooding
(Sioux City) — The ongoing high water on the Missouri River has resulted in the U-S Coast Guard and Army corps of Engineers closing the river to all boat traffic effective immediately. The Missouri River is closed to all navigation traffic from St. Louis, Missouri to North of Sioux City at mile marker 750. The agencies say vessel traffic may cause damage to, or over-topping of flood levees. There is also a hazard from drifting objects in the high water. The river will be closed indefinitely until the level
recedes. That is not expected to happen for weeks as releases from Yankton’s Gavins Point Dam will continue at 75,000 cubic feet per second through at least the end of this month.
Supreme Court Denies Branstad’s Attorney From Dismissing Lawsuit Trial
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court has denied a request by the attorney for former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad to stop a civil trial in which Branstad is accused of discrimination against a gay former state worker’s compensation commissioner.
Branstad and two former staffers were sued by Christopher Godfrey, who was pressured to quit after Branstad took over as governor in 2010 and received a pay cut. Godfrey claims it was because he’s gay. Branstad denies he knew that Godfrey is gay.
An eight-person jury is hearing the case in Polk County District
Branstad attorney Frank Harty claims the trial judge is allowing
Godfrey to put Branstad’s and the Iowa Republican Party’s “anti-gay” views on trial, violating their free-speech rights.
Supreme Court Justice Thomas Waterman on Friday denied the request to stop the trial.
Second Arrest Made In Central Iowa Involving Sexual Assault Of 82 Year Old Woman
NEVADA, Iowa (AP) – Central Iowa law enforcement officials say a second arrest has been made in a home invasion robbery last year in which an 82-year-old woman who was sexually assaulted.
The Des Moines Register reports that 20-year-old Manuel Eduardo Balderas was arrested Thursday in Des Moines on a warrant charging him with sexual abuse, robbery, theft and willful injury. He was booked into the Story County Jail.
Police continue to search for another suspect, 18-year-old Jacob
Jimenez. Police say Jimenez is the grandson of the elderly victim and that he led Balderas and a 17-year-old to the woman’s home last August. The three broke in, tied the woman up, beat her and sexually assaulted her. Police say the trio took about $1,000 worth of items from the home before going to burglarize the home of another one of Jimenez’s relatives.
The 17-year-old was arrested last month in Texas. The Associated Press generally does not name juveniles charged with a crime.
Conviction Of Estherville Man Stands
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court says the second-degree murder conviction of a northwest Iowa man will stand concluding the jury that convicted him wasn’t overwhelmingly influenced by Facebook rumors of a town
riot if he wasn’t convicted.
The case involved two young men from Estherville, Iowa interested in the same woman.
Lee Christensen, now 22 and serving sentence of up to 50 years, was convicted of shooting Thomas Bortvit, who was 19 when he died in 2015.
Christensen appealed the conviction claiming jurors heard of the
social media postings during deliberation.
The Iowa Court of Appeals last year ordered a new trial. The Supreme Court on Friday reversed that ruling concluding Christensen failed to show the verdict would have been different if jurors hadn’t been aware of the social media posts.
Tuition To Increase For Iowa, And Iowa State
(Des Moines) — The board that governs the state’s public universities has approved a nearly four percent increase in undergraduate tuition for students at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University. There will be NO tuition increase at the University of Northern Iowa. The three-point-nine percent
increase in tuition at Iowa and Iowa State takes effect this fall. The 2019 legislature did not provide as much of a boost in state taxpayer support of the schools as the Board of Regents requested. The tuition hike is nearly one percent higher than the board predicted last November. Regent Milt Dakovich
(DOCK-oh-vich) says it makes sense for the board of wait until state funding decisions are final.
That meant after approving tuition rates in November for the NEXT fall, the board might vote AGAIN in the spring to hike the rate if state funding was below expectations.
The legislature provided a 12 million dollar increase in taxpayer support of the schools for the next academic year. Each institution will get four million dollars. In other action, the board approve contract extensions for the three university presidents. Northern Iowa President Mark Nook’s employment contract was extended to June of 2025. The contracts for University of Iowa president Bruce Harreld (HAIR-uld) and Iowa State president Wendy Wintersteen were extended through June of 2023.