A Station for Everyone
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Newscast 1.16.24: Trial begins involving former superintendent & Sioux City School Board members; Trump dominates in Iowa caucuses; Blizzard cleanup continues in NW Iowa

Dr. Paul Gausman, Superintendent of Lincoln Public Schools
McPherson & Jacobson, L.L.C.

Dr. Paul Gausman
Dr. Paul Gausman, Superintendent of Lincoln Public Schools

Former Sioux City School District Superintendent Paul Gausman has alleged that Sioux City School Board members held unlawful meetings. A trial related to those charges began in Woodbury County District Court Tuesday.

In early 2023 Gausman filed the civil case against board members Dan Greenwell, Jan George, Taylor Goodvin and Bob Michaelson, asserting they violated the state’s open meetings law twice in 2022.

Gausman said those meetings were set up as closed to the public in order to discuss Gausman’s professional qualifications, but that the board members incorrectly cited the closed meeting reason code.

The school board members deny Gausman’s charges, saying the closed sessions were legal.

Additionally, Gausman asserts the board members also took those steps to avoid letting him know about a later move to file a professional ethics complaint against him with the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.

The school district filed the complaint with that state agency, alleging that Gausman tried to bribe two school board members to choose a board president who Gausman preferred.

In August 2023, the Educational Examiners board found probable cause to proceed with that ethics complaint investigation.

The court case is before Judge Jeffrey Neary, who will determine the outcome in a bench trial instead of a jury trial.

* It was a bountiful evening for former President Donald Trump in Sioux City precincts of the Iowa caucuses on Monday evening, as he got substantial support in the Woodbury County metro, and as the entire state went into the win column for him.

Meeting in more than 1,600 precinct locations, Iowans were carrying out the first state contest in the process by which the national Republican and Democratic parties select their presidential nominees for the November election.

Trump got 51 percent of the votes in Iowa, with 56,260 overall, while Ron DeSantis received 21.2 percent of the vote and Nikki Haley had 19.1 percent.

Trump has been leading all other Republican candidates in Iowa polls for months. In recent polls in Iowa, Haley and DeSantis were variously in second and third place, and worked for votes right up to caucus night. DeSantis made three stops Monday in Iowa, including one in Northwest Iowa in Sergeant Bluff.

Trump won Woodbury County and 98 out of the 99 counties in Iowa.

There are 44 precincts in Woodbury County, and six of them were combined for Republicans at a large Western Iowa Tech Community College venue, and one additional precinct was in another WITCC location.

Trump took 88 votes in Precinct 28, for 42 percent. Second place in the precinct went to DeSantis with 49, followed by Haley with 43, Ryan Binkley at 17, and Vivek Ramiswamy with 14.

In the combined Precincts 22-27, Trump also won handily with 54 percent.

Aaron Boisen, of Sioux City, liked the outcome, saying the former president is a fighter who understands what America needs. Boisen liked the Trump tax cut plan passed in 2017.

There was a notable visitor at the WIT college venue, as one of the Republican candidates, Ryan Binkley was on hand to address people in person.

A wind chill warning was in place Monday for the fourth day in a row, with below-zero temperatures forecast throughout the state, so caucus observers are watching final results to see if weather conditions drove down turnout.

In 2020, nearly 187,000 Iowa Republicans took part in the caucuses, and this year that greatly dropped to just above 110,000.

* Additionally, lots of icy spots remain in the aftermath of a brutal last nine days of Siouxland winter weather, but the Blizzard and Windchill Warnings are no longer in place as cleanup continues.

Beginning on January 8, Sioux City got about 20 inches of snow from several large systems last week, and bitter cold windchill temperatures plunge to 40 below zero degrees for several days into Monday.

Now on Tuesday, the city of Sioux City announced that the Snow Emergency designation has been lifted. Many Siouxland cities have had such emergencies in place, which put in place restrictions on where people can park as crews work to clear streets.

Additionally, many Siouxland schools are back having classes Tuesday, after entire days of school were called off on Friday and Monday, due to first the blizzard and then the very cold temperatures.

The three state universities in Iowa also began new semesters on Tuesday, and the University of Iowa began its first day with online classes, due to weather conditions.