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First Degree Murder Conviction for Tran Walker

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Tran Walker has been found guilty of the stabbing deaths of his ex-girlfriend and a friend, according to the Sioux City Journal.

District Judge Tod Deck announced his verdict this afternoon in Woodbury County District Court after weighing the evidence for two months. 

Nineteen-year-old Walker of Sioux City was charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the Jan. 28, 2018, stabbing deaths of 17-year-old Paiten Sullivan, and 18-year-old Felipe Negron Jr., 18, both of Sioux City. Walker faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

Ousted Department of Human Services Director, Jerry Foxhoven, is filing a whistleblower claim against the state and Governor Kim Reynolds. Foxhoven says he was asked to resign in June after questioning whether it was legal to pay part of the salary of one of Reynold’s staff from the DHS budget. 

Reynolds says Foxhoven approved payments for her deputy chief of staff, Paige Thorson, in previous years and never raised concerns. Foxhoven says at first Thorson was working on Medicaid issues, but when that ended he thought continuing the payments may be illegal. 

He says he told the governor’s staff he would ask the Attorney General’s office for a legal opinion.

Reynolds has said Foxhoven was asked to resign because she wanted to take DHS in a different direction. She says none of her staff are currently being paid from DHS funds, but she has asked the department to review the process to ensure it is done properly in the future.

The Iowa State Board of Education has adopted new rules that would require lap-shoulder seat belts on all new buses bought by school districts and state-accredited nonpublic schools.

The administrative rules adopted today are still subject to legislative review. 

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