Monday Afternoon News, October 6
Plymouth County Officials Concerned For Mud On Roads
(Le Mars) -- Last evening's auto accident serves as a reminder to motorists to use caution on rural roads, now that the fall harvest has started. Large tractors, grain wagons, combine harvesters, and even trucks exiting wet fields are leaving an excess of mud on the roadways, and creating slick conditions in the process. Plymouth County engineer Tom Rohe says it is a concern to the county.
Rohe says the county was notified of last night's accident and took appropriate action.
The County engineer says this season is a bit unusual because of the wet conditions. He says normally during the fall harvest, it is drier, and mud on the roads is not as of a great concern.
Rohe says county road workers will monitor the road conditions, especially the paved roads, during this wet harvest season.
Storm Lake To Close Streets And Sidewalks Due To Rail Crossings
STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - Storm Lake officials are considering closing some railroad crossings around the northwest Iowa community.
A public hearing is scheduled for Monday evening to discuss vacating four streets and four sidewalks that cross tracks in downtown Storm Lake.
Assistant City Manager Justin Yarosevich says the crossings have stop signs where the tracks cross but lack gates and lights to warn of passing trains.
He says there are plenty of other crossings in town.
Branstad Claims He Did Not Know Fired State Official Was Gay
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad and top aides say they weren't aware that a former state official was gay when the governor asked him to resign and cut his pay.
In affidavits filed last week, Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and four aides said Christopher Godfrey wasn't singled out because of sexual orientation.
Godfrey, the state's former workers' compensation commissioner, is suing over what he calls their heavy-handed and illegal attempts to force his resignation. After he declined, the governor cut Godfrey's pay by $40,000, to the lowest allowed for the position. Godfrey's lawsuit alleges discrimination based on sexual orientation, extortion and defamation.
Godfrey's attorney has filed a motion arguing that Branstad's lawyer has a conflict and should be removed. The affidavits are part of an attempt to defeat that motion.
Iowa Bar Says All 72 Judges Should Be Retained
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa State Bar Association says all 72 judges on the November ballot should be retained.
The association Monday released the results of a member survey that found all 72 were well qualified, receiving high marks for their professionalism and demeanor.
More than 1,100 lawyers statewide answered questions about judges. They ranked them from very poor to excellent on questions such as their knowledge of the law and the promptness of their rulings.
A vast majority of respondents said all 70 district judges and two appeals court judges should stay in office.
More than 70 percent of the 40 lawyers who ranked Judge Emily Dean said she should be retained. The Iowa Supreme Court last month suspended her for 30 days showing up drunk to the job in 2012.
Iowa Revokes Lender's License For Online Loans
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials have revoked an online lender's Iowa license over allegations of exorbitant interest rates.
The Iowa Superintendent of Banking said Monday that CashCall Inc. must pay $1.5 million in restitution costs and stop lending money to Iowa residents.
The state's Division of Banking says the settlement offers restitution for more than 3,400 illegal loans by the company.
The California-based CashCall was accused of charging borrowers illegally high interest rates. Officials say that violated state lending laws.
As part of the agreement, CashCall neither admits nor denies wrongdoing. The company has tried to argue that its lending activity is beyond Iowa's jurisdictional reach because it originated through another company that offered loans on an Indian reservation in South Dakota.