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News 7.15.20: Honken Execution Update, Deadly Collision, Winnebago Tribal Election and More

Sioux City, IA - 2004

SPM NEWS 7.16.20 - 4:32PM
SPM NEWS 7.16.20 - 5:32PM

A federal judge from Sioux City has denied an Iowa drug kingpin’s requests to delay his execution, which is scheduled for Friday. U.S. District Judge Leonard Strand says he would not intervene to delay Dustin Honken’s execution date due to the coronavirus pandemic. He said the Bureau of Prisons was in the best position to weigh the health risks against the benefits of carrying out the execution. Strand also denied Honken’s motion to declare his execution void due to an alleged procedural error by the government. He affirmed the executive branch’s power to set the date for executions.

Two Sioux City men have died in a head-on crash in central Nebraska last night. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office says a car driven by 32-year-old Robert Islas crossed the center line on a highway north of North Platte.  The car hit a semi and both caught fire.  Islas and his passenger 59-year-old Gilbert Vasquez died at the scene.  The truck driver ended up with minor injuries.

Siouxland District Health reports one more death in Woodbury County due to complications of COVID-19, an older man between the ages of 61 and 80.  There have been 45 people who have died.  There are 22 additional positive cases for a running total of 3,378.

Dakota County health officials report no new cases or deaths for a total of 39 deaths and 1,822 positive cases.

And, the State of Nebraska has a new corona virus website.

It gives information about the state’s response, testing information and economic assistance.

The website is coronavirus.nebraska.gov.

A Special Election is underway in Winnebago, Nebraska.

There are five candidates vying for two open seats after two members were voted off the council after leaders say they violated an ethics and moral conduct policy for refusing to complete mandatory drug and alcohol testing.

Polls close tonight at 8 p.m. at the Whirling Thunder Wellness Center in Winnebago.

The city of Sioux City issued a news release announcing the Chicago travel quarantine is not affecting travel from the Sioux Gateway Airport.  American Airlines will continue to offer three daily flights from Sioux City to Chicago and one flight to Dallas-Fort Worth. 

Chicago added Iowa to their list of 17 states where travelers must quarantine for two weeks upon arrival.  However, the move does not impact people traveling through Chicago. 

Iowa is one of at least four states that have signed agreements with the U.S. Census Bureau to share driver’s license data. The state Department of Transportation says an agreement was signed in March to provide monthly data going back to 2019 and going forward until 2024.

The Trump administration started requesting the data after a citizenship question was forced off of the 2020 census form. Privacy advocates say driver’s license data could be used to identify people who are unauthorized to be in the county.

A D-O-T spokesperson says Iowa is sharing people’s names, addresses and dates of birth but not their sex, race, eye color or citizenship status.

Sheila Brummer returns to her radio roots as a Reporter/Special Projects Producer for Siouxland Public Media KWIT-KOJI.
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