PM Newscasts: Democratic Debate, Big Ox Update, Ethanol Issues and More

Jul 31, 2019

More debate watch parties take place tonight in Woodbury County.    

DEMOCRATIC DEBATE - DETROIT
Credit CNN News

The first leg of the second round of Democratic presidential debates is over, and now it's on to Night 2.

Center stage features former Vice President Joe Biden who promises to not be as "polite" as he was in the last debate.

Night 1 drew a bold line between moderates and progressives onstage. 

Supporters of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris plan to gather in Sioux City.  There’s also a watch party event at the Eclipse Nightclub and Cabaret according to the Facebook page for the Woodbury County Democratic Party.

Lawsuit replies filed by the owner of a biogas plant in northeast Nebraska blame two other companies for toxic odors.

Wisconsin-based Big Ox Energy filed the replies earlier this month in Dakota County District Court to more than a dozen lawsuits filed against the company.    

The neighbors who filed the lawsuits said odors backed up into their homes, caused health issues and forced them to leave.

Big Ox said in its replies that the blame lies with CHS Inc., a soybean processor that released acidic wastewater into South Sioux City's sewer system, and Olsson, an Omaha-based engineering firm that Big Ox says recommended wastewater from the plant be routed through a sewer main that ran through residential areas.

An ethanol plant in northwest Iowa has suspended production because of the on-going trade issue with China.

Plymouth Energy in Merrill released a statement this week saying they hope to resume operations in the not too distant future.

All existing corn contracts will be honored.

A judge is expected to announce his verdict tomorrow in a double-murder case in Sioux City.

Court records say the verdict will be handed down to 19-year-old Tran Walker.

His non-jury trial ended in May.   

TRAN WALKER
Credit Woodbury County Jail

Walker is accused of killing 17-year-old Paiten Sullivan and 18-year-old Felipe Negron Jr.

Police say Walker was in a car with the other two early last year when he stabbed Sullivan and then Negron when he tried to intervene.

A friend of Walker testified that the defendant said he had wanted to talk to the girl about their breakup and that he needed closure.

Sullivan's stepmother, Stevie Sullivan, testified that Walker and Sullivan broke up because he didn't want her to finish school.

A new South Dakota law is aimed at gaining an understanding of how many Native American women are missing or murdered in the state.

The law, which takes effect Monday, received unanimous support in the South Dakota House and Senate.

The law requires the state Division of Criminal Investigation to collect data on missing and murdered indigenous people, and create procedures and training for investigating cases involving women and children.

A lawyer for the ousted Iowa Department of Human Services director says he'll file a legal claim alleging he was the victim of whistleblower retaliation.   

JERRY FOXHOVEN
Credit State of Iowa

Jerry Foxhoven plans to announce tomorrow he's filing a wrongful termination claim with the State Appeals Board.

It’s the first step toward pursuing a lawsuit against state government.

His lawyer says that Foxhoven objected to a request to continue to have his agency fund most of the salary of the governor's deputy chief of staff.

A spokesman for Governor Reynolds has said that Foxhoven never raised any such concerns and that he was let go because she wanted to move in a new direction

More debate watch parties take place tonight in Woodbury County.

The first leg of the second round of Democratic presidential debates is over, and now it's on to Night 2.

Center stage features former Vice President Joe Biden who promises to not be as "polite" as he was in the last debate.

Night 1 drew a bold line between moderates and progressives onstage. 

Supporters of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris plan to gather in Sioux City.  There’s also a watch party event at the Eclipse Nightclub and Cabaret according to the Facebook page for the Woodbury County Democratic Party.

The ousted Iowa Department of Human Services director will pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Jerry Foxhoven claims he was let go after objecting to a pay arrangement for the governor's deputy chief of staff.

Governor Reynolds wouldn’t elaborate on the situation except to say “she decided to go in a different direction.

The Iowa Lottery has posted record results for fiscal 2019, which ended June 30.   

Lottery officials say sales, prizes to players and retail commissions all set records for the year.

Preliminary figures released today show the lottery generated almost $93 million in proceeds to state causes for the year.

The sales record was more than $390 million, while prizes to players totaled a record of almost $242 million.

Lottery sales commissions to the retail locations that sell its tickets totaled $25.4 million.

The unaudited results show that sales increased 5.4% from the previous year.

Scratch-game sales in Iowa have set records each year since fiscal 2015 and did so again this past year: $250.6 million.

An ethanol plant in northwest Iowa has suspended production in part  because of the on-going trade issue with China.

Plymouth Energy in Merrill released a statement this week saying they hope to resume operations in the not too distant future.

All existing corn contracts will be honored.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw told Radio Iowa there’s also a supply-demand imbalance caused by waivers federal officials grant big oil companies, so refiners don’t have to blends as much ethanol in gasoline.  He also says in 2018 the ethanol industry took a step backwards after 20 years of gains.

And, a group of Iowa soybean farmers are currently in China and Japan trying to improve agricultural exports.

They’re meeting with ag leaders as a trade war between the U.S. and China continues.

The CEO of the Iowa Soybean Association says it’s had a dramatic impact on Iowa soybean growers.

About a half-dozen producers took part in the trip, the final two return to Iowa this weekend.

Lawsuit replies filed by the owner of a biogas plant in northeast Nebraska blame two other companies for toxic odors.

Wisconsin-based Big Ox Energy filed the replies earlier this month in Dakota County District Court to more than a dozen lawsuits filed against the company.    

The neighbors who filed the lawsuits said odors and gases backed up into their homes, caused health issues and forced them to leave.