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More News 8.24.21: Sioux City Council Election Update, Lake Park Murder Case, and More

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2017 Dan Moore Campaign
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Sioux City Mayor Pro Tempore Dan Moore tells Siouxland Public Media he filled his nomination petition for city council today.

Woodbury County Auditor Pat Gill says if more than six people file for three open seats, there will be a primary on October 5th, otherwise a combined city/school election will take place countywide on November 2nd.

Pete Groetken says he will not seek a third term on the city council. Alex Waters seat is also up for reelection. He told Siouxland Public Media he plans to run for reelection.

A man charged with first-degree murder in the killing of a Lake Park woman in her home last year has pleaded not guilty in the case. The Sioux City Journal reports that 24-year-old Justice Bernston on Monday pleaded not guilty to the murder count, as well as theft and conspiracy counts. His trial has been scheduled to begin Sept. 21. Bernston and a codefendant, 26-year-old Allison Decker, are accused of killing 25-year-old Angel Bastman, whose body was found Dec. 22 at her home. Authorities have not said how she died. Decker also faces first-degree murder, theft and conspiracy charges. Both Bernston and Decker are each being held on $1 million bond.

The South Dakota Supreme Court is weighing whether to unseal a search warrant and affidavits in an investigation into billionaire banker-turned-philanthropist T. Denny Sanford for possible possession of child pornography. The court documents are sealed and refer only to “an implicated individual.” Attorneys did not name Sanford as they made their arguments to the court Tuesday. However, one person briefed on the case by law enforcement told The Associated Press that the hearing involved Sanford and a legal effort by media organizations to unseal court records in the investigation. The person demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation. Sanford has not been charged with any crime.

Nebraska’s veterans affairs agency is facing questions from a state lawmaker after it published job advertisements for nurses touting the fact that the state doesn’t require its employees to get coronavirus vaccinations. The ads on a state jobs website prominently note the lack of vaccination requirements for state employees, right after mentioning a $5,000 hiring bonus. In a separate mail advertisement, the state lists “No mandated COVID-19 vaccination” as one of the “many great benefits” of its nursing jobs. State Sen. Carol Blood, of Bellevue, says she inquired about the ad after constituents with loved ones in Nebraska’s state-run veterans homes brought it to her attention.

A once-prominent anchor at one of Iowa’s biggest local television stations has filed a lawsuit alleging she was let go last year because of her gender and age. Former WHO-TV investigative reporter and anchor Sonya Heitshusen filed the discrimination lawsuit Tuesday against the NBC affiliate's parent company, 

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Credit Associated Press

Nexstar Media Group, Inc. The lawsuit alleges that Heitshusen was “thrown out to pasture” after she turned 53 because she was no longer seen as camera-worthy, after enduring years in which her older male colleagues received better pay and working conditions. Heitshusen says she hopes her lawsuit encourages a “cultural shift” in the TV news industry. Nexstar has called Heitshusen's firing a reduction in force.

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