Tuesday Afternoon News, November 19
FAA Approves Location For New Water Tower
(Le Mars) -- The Federal Aviation Administration has delivered good news to the city of Le Mars. In a letter written to city officials, the FAA confirms the fact the city can proceed on the construction of a new 140 foot tall water tower at the proposed site located on the southwest corner of town. The FAA previously had concerns about the new water tower as it could pose a risk and interfere with air traffic patterns for the Le Mars airport. Because of the FAA ruling, pilots will need to approach Le Mars from the west. Ankeny is another Iowa community have similar provisions due to obstacles. The Le Mars City Council approved the contracts for both a water tower and a water booster station. Construction for both projects could start in the spring.
Supervisors Set December 3rd For Public Hearing On 212th Street
(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth county board of supervisors have established December 3rd at 10:00 a.m. as the time to hold a public hearing on whether to vacate 212th Street. The road lies on the southern edge of Smith Company Manufacturing and NIPCO electrical cooperative. The county is proposing to vacate the road. County engineer Tom Rohe says the road was constructed in 1999 with the hopes of additional development to the west of the existing businesses. However, he says the road, in its present location stands in the way for Smith Company to expand its facilities. The road serves only as an access road, and does not connect with other county roads. Rohe believes if there is to be additional economic development within the area, it would likely be to the south of the businesses.
Sioux City Man Pleads Not Guilty To Murder Of Man Found In South Dakota Ditch
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City man has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the killing of a man whose body was found in South Dakota.
Martin Castellanos entered a written plea Monday in Woodbury County District Court. No trial date has been set.
The 20-year-old Castellanos is accused of fatally shooting 20-year-old Adrian Rojas-Hernandez in October in Sioux City.
Hernandez's partially burned body was found later in a ditch alongside a gravel road across the state border in South Dakota. A manhunt followed and Castellanos was arrested a few days later.
Another man, 22-year-old Ricardo Vital, of Sioux City, has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of accessory after the fact. Investigators say he drove a car used to move Hernandez's body, and helped clean up evidence.
Voters Head To Polls To Decide State Senate Seat
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Voters are heading to the polls for a special election to decide who should represent Iowa Senate District 13.
Polls opened Tuesday in the contest for the district, which is located south of Des Moines. The race pits Republican Rep. Julian Garret against former Democratic lawmaker Mark Davitt.
The Senate seat was vacated when former Sen. Kent Sorenson, a Republican from Milo, resigned after an independent investigator concluded he likely broke ethics rules in receiving money from presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's political action committee and presidential campaign. Sorenson has said his resignation wasn't an admission of wrongdoing.
The outcome of the election will not impact the control of the Senate, where Democrats hold 26 of the 50 seats. The winner will have to run again in 2014.
Former Jail Guard Wants Lower Bond After Second Mistrial
OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - A former Iowa jail guard accused of killing his pregnant wife wants his bond reduced after a judge declared a second mistrial in his case.
Seth Techel's attorney filed a motion Monday to lower his bond from $750,000 to $75,000. Techel also wants to remove restrictions on his travel and who he can contact.
A hearing set for Nov. 25 will involve discussion on the bond and other issues.
Techel is charged with first-degree murder in the May 2012 shooting death of his wife, Lisa Techel. A Henry County jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict Friday in the case, and a judge declared a mistrial for a second time.
Prosecutors say they will bring Seth Techel to trial a third time.
New U Of I Music Building To Have Same Name
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The University of Iowa's new school of music building may have the same name as the one destroyed in the 2008 flood.
University officials on Tuesday proposed naming the replacement facility the Voxman Music Building to honor the late Himie Voxman, who directed the school for decades.
The university named the flood-damaged building after him in 1995. Its replacement will be located in downtown Iowa City and is expected to be finished in 2016.
The Iowa Board of Regents will consider the naming request at its meeting Dec. 4. It's supported by the school's faculty and the dean of the college.
Voxman was known worldwide as an expert on wind instruments and is credited with making Iowa's music school into a prominent program. He died in 2011 at age 99.