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Newscast 5.17.2024: Primary election early voting underway in Iowa, South Dakota; More in lawsuit of high school wrestling hazing; Big training exercise to be held in Sioux City

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There will be primary elections on June 4 in both Iowa and South Dakota. Absentee voting for the primary in Iowa started Wednesday.

People can either vote absentee in person at the Woodbury County Auditor’s office in the county courthouse or by requesting a ballot and mailing it in. Those requests that an early ballot be mailed to people must be made by May 20.

Meanwhile, in South Dakota, absentee voting is also already underway.

Elective positions for county, state and federal level posts will be on the primary ballot, with winners from political party contests moving onto the November general election.

*Additionally, the Hinton Community School District, coaches, and administration leaders, have responded to a lawsuit filed by two Hinton High School wrestlers and their families over hazing incidents.

Lawyers representing the school officials earlier this week filed a response adamantly saying they did not cover up knowledge of the incidents, although they did acknowledge the facts that some wrestlers were shocked with a stun gun, according to the Sioux City Journal.

Police in Coralville launched an investigation after a video on social media showed a wrestler being held down and tasered during the state wrestling tournament in Coralville. The incident was recorded and posted on social media.

The lawsuit by parents and students asserts that two Hinton wrestling coaches fostered a team atmosphere in which underclassmen were bullied and harassed.

Attorney Alison Kanne is representing the plaintiffs and said a pattern of abuse started even before serious allegations came to light, and nothing was done by coaches to stop it.

“It's not a game when kids are coming home with bruises, and they're too afraid to change clothes in the locker room. That means that there's a problem. Those teachers and coaches have a responsibility to identify the problem and talk with the parents about it. Talk with the kids about it and talk to the school about it. You can't just ignore it and say, ‘Oh, well, boys will be boys,’ “ Kanne said.

People living in the school district have attended some recent Hinton School Board meetings, with some supporting and others criticizing Hinton Wrestling Head Coach Casey Crawford. He has resigned his wrestling position, but remains a teacher at the school.

*There is a strong possibility of the sight of smoke coming from the Sioux Gateway Airport on Saturday, but people are being advised ahead of time that that is just a training exercise.

The training exercise is held every three years at the airport, when several local, state, and federal partners take part, according to a City of Sioux City release.

The smoke rising from the airport area as well as the additional presence of emergency response vehicles add to the realism of the exercise, and aim to provide a better training experience for responders and agencies.

The full-scale exercise is the most comprehensive test and is intended to evaluate the operational capability of the emergency management system in a stress environment with actual mobilization and deployment to demonstrate coordination and response capability. The FAA requires a full-scale demonstration of the emergency plan every three years.

The city release notes that the training exercise is not open to the public, and people should avoid the area for the duration of the event.

*Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says she’ll use $17.5 million of federal coronavirus relief money to pay for opioid addiction prevention and treatment programs, after the Legislature failed to allocate opioid settlement funds.

Reynolds said she’s disappointed the Legislature didn’t deliver a bill that would’ve distributed $12.5 million from national lawsuits against prescription opioid sellers.

The new funding will include money for an opioid use prevention public health campaign, and a residential addiction treatment center for youth and young adults. The biggest amount—$10 million —is for a state grant program to help pay for physical infrastructure for treatment and recovery providers.

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