Wednesday Afternoon News, January 20
Plymouth County Republicans Prepare For Caucus
(Le Mars) -- In eleven days, Iowans will have the opportunity to start the selection process for who will be our next president as we hold the first-in-the-nation caucuses. Don Kass of rural Remsen serves as the chairman of the Plymouth County Republican party. He says the caucus, for both parties, serves as the grassroots organization for the beginning steps in selecting a presidential candidate.
Kass says at the caucus site, the republicans will be picking their precinct captains, as well as their voting delegates to the county convention. He urges everybody to participate and get involved. Kass says the local caucus is also where ideas can become resolutions, and may be part of the party's platform.
Kass says if the resolution is passed at the county convention, it will be forwarded to the district convention, and if passed again, it will be a resolution at the state political party convention. Another aspect of the caucus is to hear people speak on behalf of their chosen candidate. Kass says since there are a great number of candidates, and he anticipates a larger number of people will participate in the caucus process, the county republican party will place a time limit on the speeches.
The Plymouth County Republican party chair says if a person is not registered to vote, they can register at the caucus location. However, Kass suggests the people plan ahead.
CenturyLink Closes Sioux City Call Center
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The last 47 workers at the CenturyLink call center in Sioux City have lost their jobs with the center's closing.
CenturyLink announced in October that it would close the center, which at one time had more than 400 workers. The last day of operation was Friday.
CenturyLink spokeswoman Nancy DeVinay-McNeley says he closure is part of CenturyLink's efforts to remain competitive by reducing costs and achieving operational efficiencies. Work at the Sioux City center will be transferred to a center in Midvale, Utah.
Monroe, Louisiana-based CenturyLink acquired the center as part of its purchase of Qwest Communications in 2011. Qwest opened it in 2005.
19 Year Old Sac County Man To Face Trial For Vehicular Homicide
SAC CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 19-year-old will stand trial in the August 2014 crash deaths of two teenage girls in western Iowa, now that prosecutors have withdrawn a plea offer.
Trevor Feauto was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday on two felony counts of reckless vehicular homicide. He'd pleaded guilty. But the county attorney says he withdrew the offer because relatives of the two girls say the deal doesn't provide adequate justice.
A date hasn't been set for Feauto's trial on four counts: two for reckless vehicular homicide and two for felony vehicular homicide while intoxicated.
Sac County authorities say Feauto was driving drunk on Aug. 23, 2014, when his pickup crashed into a car near the town of Breda (BREE'-duh). Sixteen-year-olds Bailey Jacobsen and Lindsey Quirk were killed. Both were Wall Lake residents.
Bus Driver Charged For Killing ISU Student In Hit-And-Run Incident
AMES, Iowa (AP) - Police have arrested a bus driver in connection with a hit-and-run crash that killed an Iowa State University student.
Ames police investigations commander Jason Tuttle says a CyRide bus struck 18-year-old student Emmalee Jacobs on Dec. 14 near the ISU campus. The investigation was aided by a CyRide supervisor's discovery of a video recorded on the bus believed to have hit Jacobs.
Jacobs was found early that morning at an intersection and died later at a hospital.
Police Wednesday charged 23-year-old bus driver Benjamin D. Clague with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in a death and failure to obey a traffic control device. Online court records didn't indicate whether Clague has a lawyer who can comment on the charges.
He's being held in the Story County Jail.
Fugitive Returned To Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A man facing federal firearms charges in Iowa who was found in Cuba attempting to escape prosecution has been returned to Iowa.
Shawn Michael Wegmann was scheduled to enter a guilty plea in federal court Oct. 21 but didn't show up. More than a week later, Cuban border guards reported he arrived in Havana piloting a 13-foot boat reported stolen from Florida. Wegmann was arrested and became the first fugitive the Cuban government turned over to the U.S. since the recent thaw in relations.
Wegmann was charged with possession of firearms by a felon and possessing stolen guns and now faces a charge of failure to appear.
He appeared in a Davenport courtroom Wednesday. Prosecutors want him held in custody until his trial. A hearing is set for next week.