KXEL Midday News for Wed. May 20, 2020

KXEL Midday News for Wed. May 20, 2020

IOWA CITY POLICE ANNOUNCED TUESDAY THAT ANOTHER ARREST HAS BEEN MADE RELATED TO THEIR KEJAUN WINTERS HOMOCIDE INVESTIGATION. MINNESOTA AUTHORITIES FOUND PATRICK BLAND IN THE TWIN CITIES ON MONDAY. BLAND WILL BE RETURNED TO JOHNSON COUNTY WHERE HE IS EXPECTED TO FACE A FIRST DEGREE MURDER COUNT. KEJUAN WINTERS WAS FATALLY SHOT IN AN IOWA CITY APARTMENT ON APRIL 20TH. MURDER CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED AGAINST TWO OTHER SUSPECTS; A THIRD PERSON WAS ARRESTED AFTER ALLEGEDLY LYING TO DETECTIVES ABOUT THE CASE.

FEDERAL LEGISLATORS ARE EXPECTED TO RETURN TO WASHINGTON FOR AT LEAST A COUPLE OF DAYS NEXT WEEK. IOWA 4TH DISTRICT CONGRESSMAN STEVE KING TOLD KXEL LIVE AND LOCAL LISTENERS THAT HE IS RARING TO GO. HE IS MUCH LESS ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT A PROXY VOTING PLAN OFFERED HOUSE LEADERS. THAT PLAN WOULD ALLOW A SMALL NUMBER OF CONGRESSMEN TO VOTE ON BEHALF OF OTHERS WHO AREN’T PRESENT. KING SAYS HE IS NOT CONCERNED ABOUT BEING IN AIRPORTS AND ON PLANES AFTER TRAVELING TO-AND-FROM THE CAPITOL TWICE ALREADY DURING THE PANDEMIC

BLACK HAWK COUNTY GOVERNMENT OFFICES COULD RE-OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AS EARLY AS JUNE FIRST. SUPERVISORS WILL DECIDE WHETHER THAT DATE IS APPROPRIATE NEXT WEEK. YESTERDAY, THE CONSENSUS WAS TO BRING BACK COUNTY EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE BEEN ON LEAVE. SOCIAL DISTANCING MARKERS AND PROTECTIVE BARRIERS HAVE BEEN ADDED TO COUNTY OFFICES. THE COUNTY IS ALSO BUYING FACEMASKS, WHICH WILL BE REQUIRED IN THE COURTHOUSE AND OTHER FACILITIES.

CLARK PERRY BALDWIN HAS BEEN MOVED FROM WATERLOO TO TENNESSEE. THE FORMER TRUCK DRIVER HAS BEEN ACCUSED OF THREE COLD CASE MURDERS IN THAT STATE AND IN WYOMING. THE KILLINGS HAPPENED IN THE EARLY 1990S, AND THE VICTIMS BODIES WERE FOUND NEAR MAJOR INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS. BALDWIN WAS ALLEGEDLY CONNECTED TO THE DEATHS THROUGH DNA EVIDENCE AND A GENEALOGY SERVICE. HE WAS ARRESTED IN WATERLOO EARLIER THIS MONTH. AUTHORITIES IN OTHER PLACES – INCLUDING IOWA – HAVE WEIGHED WHETHER BALDWIN MAY HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN OTHER CRIMES.

FRIDAY IS THE LAST DAY TO SUBMIT AN ABSENTEE BALLOT REQUEST FOR IOWA’S JUNE 2ND PRIMARY. COUNTY AUDITORS NEED TO RECEIVE REQUEST FORMS BY FIVE O’CLOCK ON MAY 22ND. THOSE BALLOTS THEN NEED TO BE POST-MARKED BY JUNE 1ST AND ARRIVE BACK IN AUDITORS’ OFFICES BY JUNE 8TH. ABSENTEE VOTING WILL SPIKE DURING THIS PRIMARY. IN LINN COUNTY, AUDITOR JOEL MILLER SAYS HIS OFFICE HAS RECEIVED OVER 38,000 ABSENTEE BALLOT REQUESTS. THAT’S MORE THAN 15 TIMES THE NUMBER SUBMITTED FOR THE 2018 ELECTION. TEMPORARY EMPLOYEES HAVE BEEN HIRED TO WORK THROUGH THE INCREASED LOAD.

YOU ARE PROBABLY ACCUSTOMED TO SEEING GROCERY EMPLOYEES AND RETAILERS WEARING COVID-19 PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT. DON’T BE SURPRISED TO SEE IT ON CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AS WELL. OUR COVERAGE PARTNERS AT TV-9 TALKED TO CARPENTERS UNION LOCAL 308 LEADER BOB DOUBEK. CONSTRUCTION OFFICIALS SAY THEY HAVE SCHEDULING CONTINGENCIES IF ROAD WORK CREW MEMBERS TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19.

LISBON’S POLICE CHIEF WILL BE TEMPORARILY OFF THE JOB ON SUSPENSION WITHOUT PAY. THE LISBON CITY COUNCIL APPROVED THE FIVE DAY SUSPENSION FOR CHIEF RICK SCOTT THIS WEEK AFTER A CLOSED-SESSION REVIEW. AT ISSUE, TRAINING AND OVERSIGHT OF LISBON’S POLICE K-9 UNIT. ACCORDING TO OUR COVERAGE PARTNERS AT TV-9, THE DEPARTMENT FELL BEHIND ON CERTIFICATION FOR IT’S K-9 PROGRAM. CHIEF SCOTT WILL BE EVALUATED AGAIN BY LISBON CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS LATER THIS SUMMER.

THE IOWA NATIONAL GUARD HAS DELIVERED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT TO ALL 99 COUNTIES IN PREPARATIONS FOR IN-PERSON VOTING DURING THE JUNE 2ND PRIMARY ELECTION. FEDERAL FUNDS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY HELPED PROVIDE THE GLOVES, MASKS, AND HAND SANITIZER. EARLIER TODAY DURING KXEL LIVE AND LOCAL, IOWA SECRETARY OF STATE PAUL PATE TALKED ABOUT THE EXPENSES INVOLVED WITH MAKING ELECTIONS SAFER DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. HEAR MORE FROM PAUL PATE AT KXEL.COM. PATE ALSO SAYS IN-PERSON VOTERS SHOULD DOUBLE-CHECK THEIR VOTING LOCATION, BECAUSE MANY COUNTIES HAVE CONSOLIDATED POLLING PLACES.

ANOTHER VIRUS IS A CONCERN FOR THE IOWA DNR. IT’S NOT HERE YET AND IT DOESN’T AFFECT PEOPLE, BUT THE WILDLIFE AUTHORITIES ARE WATCHING FOR RABBIT HEMORRHAGIC DISEASE WHICH HAS BEEN SPOTTED AS CLOSE AS TEXAS AND COLORADO. THE DNR SAYS IT CAN SPREAD QUICKLY IN SEVERAL WAYS IN BOTH WILD AND DOMESTICATED RABBITS. IN ORDER TO BE AHEAD OF AN OUTBREAK, DNR OFFICIALS ASK THAT PEOPLE REPORT DEAD RABBITS FOUND WITHOUT OBVIOUS SIGNS OF MORTALITY FROM OTHER CAUSES.