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Newscast 6.4.2024: Primary voting day in Iowa, South Dakota; Traffic speeding fines going up in Sioux City; Ida Grove gets state money for downtown

People in Iowa and South Dakota are casting votes Tuesday in the primary elections that narrow the field of candidates for the November election.

Polls in both states opened at 7 a.m. South Dakota voters can cast ballots at the polls until 7 p.m., and until 8 p.m. in Iowa.

Early absentee voting has been underway for several weeks.

Iowa Voters who still have an absentee ballot at home can return it in person to their county elections office by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

As for who is running in the primary election, there is a notable contest among two Republicans seeking the Iowa 4th congressional district position. The competitors are current Congressman Randy Feenstra, a former state senator from Hull, and Kevin Virgil, a businessman and former U.S. Army Ranger from Sutherland.

Also, there are primaries for Iowa Legislature positions on the ballot.

Two Republicans are aiming to succeed State Representative Ken Carlson, of Onawa, in the District 13 post. The Republicans competing are Noah Wiseler, of Sioux City, and Travis Sitzmann, of Le Mars.

Another Iowa Legislative primary is in House District 7, also in Northwest Iowa, where Republican candidates include Wendy Lou Larson, of Odebolt, and longtime incumbent Mike Sexton, of Rockwell City.

There are many primary election competitions in county level positions in the region.

In Woodbury County there are two primaries for Republican candidates.

For the county auditor position, longtime Democratic incumbent Pat Gill is running again. The two Republcans are Michelle Skaff, who works in the county auditor office, and Keith Radig, who is exiting his eight years on the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors to attempt to become auditor.

There will be three county board positions decided, and one has a primary. The two Republicans running for the rural District 3 position are Brian McNaughton, and incumbent Mark Nelson, who was appointed in January 2023 to fill out the last two years of a four-year term.

*In other news, the fines that people will pay for driving above the speed limits are changing on July 1 in Sioux City. The Sioux City Council members on Monday approved the changes, with the most changes involving increasing previous fine amounts.

People who drive from 11 to 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit will have to pay a fine of $75.

Those who drive 21 to 25 miles per hour over the speed limit will be fined $100, while those who go 26 to 30 miles per hour over the limit will pay $250.

Those driving the fastest speed category, of more than 30 miles per hour over the posted limit will be fined $500. Those fines are doubled if a driver speeds while in a road construction zone.

Also, two traffic cameras have been moved back in two places, in the 3100 block of Myrtle Avenue and along Lincoln Way, due to some recent changes in Iowa law.

*Additionally, an Ida County town is among seven Iowa small towns who will receive state money to address run-down, city-owned structures.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources official Reid Bermel oversees the Derelict Building Grant Program, which supports communities with 5,000 or fewer residents.

“We help them either renovate, deconstruct or abate asbestos, essentially, and eliminate that environmental hazard for the community while trying to keep materials out of the landfill,” he said.

This year’s grant awardees are Ida Grove in Northwest Iowa, plus Coon Rapids, Glidden, Rockford, Greene, New Market and Menlo. Several of the projects will redevelop buildings for retail or housing.

Since 2012, the DNR’s Derelict Building Grant Program has funded nearly 200 projects in over 100 different communities. The program’s funding is capped at $400,000 annually.