Home News Thursday Afternoon News, February 13th

Thursday Afternoon News, February 13th


Price Resigns As State Democratic Party Chairman

(Des Moines) — Iowa Democratic Party chairman Troy Price says he’s resigning so the party can have a “fresh start.”

Price spoke with Radio Iowa by phone shortly after announcing his pending resignation. The results of the 2020 Iowa Democratic Party Caucuses are still not final. On Sunday, party officials will begin a recanvas of 143 precincts and satellite caucuses at the request of two candidates’ campaigns — to check the accuracy of results. On Saturday, the Iowa Democratic Party’s governing board will meet to elect Price’s replacement.

Last week, Price told reporters he intended to stay on as chair until the Caucus counting had reached its conclusion. Price says staying on became untenable.

During a brief interview with Radio Iowa, Price described the Caucus Night counting operation as “a partnership” between the Iowa Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee. Price also said it was the Iowa Democratic Party that signed the contract with the developer of the smartphone app that failed spectacularly in reporting results.

Price says the party’s staff has been under immense pressure and has endured threats to their personal safety, taunts and anger from people around the globe.

State Representative Mark Smith of Marshalltown, the former House Minority Leader, has announced via Twitter that he is running to replace Price. Smith says he aims “to restore confidence in our party and bring the proven leadership needed to turn Iowa blue in 2020.” Smith announced in September of 2019 that he would not seek re-election in 2020.



Sturgeon Says He Understands Why Price Resigned, Believes National Democratic Party May Pressured Him

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Democratic chairman, Mark Sturgeon says he understands why Price needed to resign, but he feels bad for the former state party chairman.

Sturgeon believes the Democratic National Party placed pressure on Price to resign.



Cold Case Trial

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – A prosecutor told jurors on the opening day of a murder trial that they were going on a journey in time to learn about an Iowa high school girl who was slain more than 40 years ago. Testimony began Wednesday in the trial of Jerry Burns. He’s accused of fatally stabbing 18-year-old Michelle Martinko at a Cedar Rapids mall. A prosecutor says
Martinko’s lungs and aorta were pierced and she lost about a third of her blood. The prosecutor also says DNA shows that Burns’ blood was found at the crime scene. But defense attorney Leon Spies told jurors that evidence will show Burns isn’t guilty of first-degree murder.



19 Year Old Sentenced For Fatal Collision

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – A 19-year-old driver was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison for a fatal collision that occurred while he was fleeing police in Davenport. Scott County District Court records say Angel Ochoa had pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide by reckless driving and two others crimes. Prosecutors dropped another charge in return. The chase began June
13, when a police officer tried to stop Ochoa’s car and a chase ensued.
Investigators say Ochoa’s car reached speeds of up to 90 mph and ran through several red lights before broadsiding a car, killing 48-year-old Lori Ann Letts.



Waterloo Teacher Accused Of Stealing Money

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) – A former Waterloo teacher accused of stealing money from the teachers union has pleaded guilty. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that Anthony Dehl entered the plea Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids. The charge: wire fraud. It carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. His sentencing date has not yet been set. Prosecutors say Dehl took more than $54,000 from the union’s accounts over about five years, when he was the union’s treasurer. Authorities say he spent some of it on gambling. Dehl retired from Waterloo Community Schools last year after more than 30 years in the profession.