Monday Afternoon News, April 20
City Will Continue Flushing Hydrants On Tuesday
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Water Dept. will start flushing the southeast part of town on Tuesday beginning at 8:00 AM. Flushing will continue each day until 3:00 p.m., or when they finish flushing the hydrant at that time. City water crews plan to flush through the week until done. If discolored water is noticed please refrain from using hot water and flush the outside hose bib periodically till the water clears.
Sioux City Police Investigate Hit-And-Run Accident
(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police are investigating a hit-and-run accident in which two juvenile girls were struck as they were crossing West 3rd Street. The accident happened Saturday morning, shortly before 12:00 noon. Both girls, ages 10 and 11 were injured and transported to Mercy Medical Center by ambulance. The vehicle involved left the scene of the accident. With the assistance of witness accounts, police have identified what they believe to be the vehicle involved in that hit-and-run accident. It is a maroon colored 2007 four-door Kia. Police are still investigating the accident.
Nebraska Man Charged With Strangling His Wife
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Nebraska man has been charged with strangling his estranged wife in Sioux City.
Sioux City officers who were sent to an Iowa Street address around 12:40 a.m. Sunday found the woman and her husband. She was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead there.
Police say 27-year-old Rogelio Pablo-Morales is charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of 21-year-old Margarita Morales and is being held in the Woodbury County Jail. Online court records don't list the name of an attorney who could be contacted to comment on Pablo-Morales' behalf.
Relatives of Pablo-Morales live at the address, and they'd called police.
Pablo-Morales was charged earlier this month in Dakota County, Nebraska, with beating his wife at the home they'd shared in Emerson. She reported that he punched and choked her.
Iowa DOT Plans To Spend $700 Million On Road Repairs
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Transportation says it plans to spend a record $700 million on construction on state and interstate highway projects this year.
The department spent $656 million on road projects in 2014. A 10-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax increase, which took effect March 1, will provide about $200 million annually to cities and counties across the state. There are statewide plans to fill potholes, repair aging bridges and install new concrete and asphalt pavement.
Officials say that up to 500 work zones will be set up statewide from now until the end of the road construction season in November.
Branstad Tells Clinton Officials Gas Tax Should Be Used For Salaries
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says it would be a "mistake" for an eastern Iowa city to use additional fuel tax revenue to hire staff instead of spending directly on road and bridge work.
Branstad says Monday the proposal from Clinton city officials "violates" the spirit of the fuel tax increase, approved by lawmakers this session. The move raised Iowa's fuel tax by 10 cents to finance infrastructure work.
The Clinton City Council is considering using more than half of $470,000 in additional money to hire three employees, whose work would include street repairs.
State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Andrea Henry says the agency encourages local governments to use the money for infrastructure needs, but it's a local decision.
Messages left for Clinton officials were not immediately returned Monday.
Bodies Found In Urbandale Involve Former Police Officer
URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) - Urbandale police say a former Des Moines police officer and a woman whose bodies were found at an apartment complex had been strangled in an apparent homicide and suicide.
Sgt. Gary Lang announced Monday an autopsy confirmed the bodies were ex-officer Mersed Dautovic and Mevlida Dzananovic.
An autopsy showed she'd been strangled and he died of self-inflicted strangulation.
Officers checked on the couple Sunday morning and found their bodies in an attached garage.
Des Moines police fired Dautovic after a 2008 incident in which he and another officer beat a man during a traffic stop.
Dautovic was convicted of using excessive force and obstructing justice. He was released after serving a 20-month sentence, but an appeals court ruled the sentence was too lenient.
He was scheduled to be resentenced Monday.
Louisiana Governor Finds Presidential Bid Not Popular At Home
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Gov. Bobby Jindal's focus on states important in the presidential campaign is drawing criticism at home in Louisiana and doing little apparent good for his 2016 prospects.
Lost at least for now in a pack of better-known White House contenders, Jindal is taking heat in Louisiana for a budget shortfall that threatens colleges and health care services with deep cuts. Lawmakers from both parties see his national political ambitions as a distraction.
Despite frequent travel, attention to national issues and strong relationship with religious conservatives, Jindal is making little impact in the Republican race.
Even so, it's early in the contest, and the term-limited governor is expected to announce a presidential bid after the legislative session in mid-June. He's sent aides to Iowa and hired an operative for New Hampshire.