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Newscast 3.29.24: Sioux City woman to be sentenced Monday on voter fraud after aiming to help elected official husband; Iowa farm hens laying green & blue eggs; Sioux City trail bridge project needs cooperation to advance


The sentencing of a Sioux City woman convicted on 52 counts of voter fraud will take place on Monday, April 1.

Kim Phoung Taylor faces five years in prison on each count of voter fraud.

A federal jury last fall found her guilty, ruling she had illegally filled out election documents and ballots for members of the Vietnamese community, who had limited ability to read and understand English.

Kim Taylor is the wife of Woodbury County Supervisor Jeremy Taylor, and prosecutors said she pursued unlawful means to help her husband, who ran for two electoral positions as a Republican candidate in 2020.

Jeremy Taylor has been named an unindicted co-conspirator in the case, but has not been charged.

The prosecution called several witnesses who testified that the signatures on such voting materials as absentee ballot requests and absentee ballot return envelopes were not their signatures. A few people testified that they went to vote in 2020, only to be told they had voted, which was a huge surprise to them.

Prosecutor Ron Timmons in his closing remarks said American democracy cannot thrive if there is voter fraud, which undercuts the hallmark of one person, one vote.

In other news, Easter is this weekend and there is an Iowa farm that has a head start on coloring eggs.

Solstice Farm in Waverly has about 200 chickens raised for their eggs, and because the fowl are several different breeds, the eggs are several different colors, including blue and green.

Farm owner Mark Westbrock said that means his hens are taking care of some of the Easter prep that people otherwise carry out with dyes. The dyes to color eggs often sell for $2 or more in stores.

Westbrock said his organic farming practices also help in bringing out the eggs’ richer colors.

Additionally, the Sioux City Council members in a Monday meeting will hold a special public hearing for city residents to weigh in on the proposed amount of property taxes that will be included in next year's budget.

Iowa code requires municipalities, counties and school districts to hold such public hearings before budgets can officially be set with property taxes.

The city council is discussing a 2024-25 fiscal year budget of $64 million dollars of property taxes. The property tax levy rate is proposed for $18.16 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation, which is 2.3 percent lower than the current year. The council is planning to finish adopting the budget on April 15.

Also on Monday, the Sioux City Council will consider signing a Memorandum of Agreement concerning a proposed new bridge that will link recreation trails in Sioux City and Dakota Dunes in South Dakota.

The project calls for a new bridge over the Big Sioux River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has determined that the existing bridge over the river is eligible to be on the National Register of Historic Places.

The memorandum will assert that the city, a golf course and the historic preservation groups in Iowa and South Dakota all agree that the new trail bridge project should proceed.