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Tim Hynds, Sioux City Journal 

Dave Winslow, owner and brewer at Jackson Street Brewing, far right, pulls a pallet jack as he and group of volunteers move a fermentation tank through the taproom Tuesday at the Sioux City brewery. Winslow took delivery of three seven-barrel fermenting tanks Tuesday night which will increase the three-year-old brewery's efficiency and fermentation capacity.  


Govt-and-politics
top story
Possibility of sports betting draws multiple potential stakeholders

DES MOINES --- If sports betting is to be made legal in Iowa, there is no shortage of agencies and organizations that want their piece of the action.

State legislative leaders heard from those groups Wednesday in meeting at the Iowa Capitol that ran well over 2 hours.

Iowa casinos, the Iowa Lottery, Iowa horse racing, and three professional sports leagues each made their pitch to key legislative committee leaders as state lawmakers consider whether to legalize sports betting in Iowa.

“Today was a great first step in the process: listening to Iowans, listening to stakeholders, hearing the pros and cons from the four different proposals out there,” said Roby Smith, a Republican state senator from Davenport who chairs the Senate’s state government committee.

Committee leaders in the Iowa House will hear the same proposals on Thursday.

Smith said Senate leaders will take the information they were given in Wednesday’s meeting and produce one sports betting bill, which they will introduce and run through the full legislative process, including more meetings like Wednesday’s.

“We did that to be transparent,” Smith said. “We still have a long way to go, but today was a great first step.”

Smith said the new bill could be a mixture of the four proposals, or could lean heavily on one of them. He said Wednesday it was too soon to tell what that next piece of legislation will look like.

Each of the four groups at Wednesday’s meeting made the case for their involvement in sports betting in Iowa --- if it happens.

Iowa Lottery officials said retail stores across the state have expressed their interest in being able to sell sports betting games just like they do lottery tickets. And lottery officials said they bring to the table entrenched experience in gaming and employing regulation and safeguards.

And other entities --- like casinos --- would not be prohibited from also hosting sports betting under the lottery’s proposal, and that states like Delaware have sports betting at both casinos and in the lottery, Iowa Lottery officials said.

“Retailers large and small have expressed they want the option of sports wagering or sports lottery,” said Mary Neubauer, with the Iowa Lottery.

With two decades of experience in gaming and regulation from a state gaming commission, Iowa’s casinos said they make an ideal steward of sports betting.

“We believe this is the ideal, workable solution,” said Wes Ehrecke, president and CEO of the Iowa Gaming Association, which represents 19 state casinos.

The organization that represents horse racing in Iowa made a similar pitch of experience with gaming and regulation.

The Iowa Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association would be the sole operator of sports betting in Iowa, under its proposal.

“We’re a known quantity in Iowa,” said John Moss, the association’s executive director. “We want to bring everybody along.”

The professional baseball, basketball and golf leagues had their own wish list, including an additional fee to protect the leagues’ integrity as gambling expands.

The pro leagues also requested input on which in-game bets --- often called proposition, or “prop” bets --- can be legally offered, although the final decision would still rest with regulators, and a requirement that whomever hosts sports betting purchase data from the leagues to determine the winners and losers of those prop bets.

“We want to ensure both leagues and regulators have the tools to ferret out corruption,” said Chris Rants, who was lobbying on behalf of the pro sports leagues.

The proposal also contained a mechanism that would legalize gambling on daily fantasy sports websites like DraftKings and FanDuel.


Photo by Rachel Guenther, courtesy of Taylor Harmelink 

Kyle Mueller, of Crofton, Nebraska, is shown with his wife, Lakyn, and their three sons, Reed, Rhet and Riggs. Mueller died in a traffic accident Jan. 3, and in one month, more than $113,000 was donated to an online GoFundMe account set up to benefit the family, which has received support from several other sources as well.


Crime-and-courts
top story
Woodbury County Sheriff's pursuit that involved sewage lagoon on cable true-crime show Tuesday

SIOUX CITY -- Fans of real-life crime shows will be able to ride shotgun with a Woodbury County Sheriff's deputy next week as he relives a high-speed chase that ended with a spectacular crash and the driver trying to escape from authorities in a sewage lagoon.

The April 2016 chase that ended near Salix, Iowa, will be featured in an upcoming episode of "BODY CAM" on the Investigation Discovery channel. The episode will air at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

"This is about as real as it gets with this body cam video," Woodbury County Sheriff's Maj. Todd Wieck said.

Wieck said Sheriff Dave Drew agreed to submit video to show producers to give county residents who see the show an opportunity to observe the situations law enforcement officers encounter.

"I think it helps educate the public with what we're doing and what we face out there," Wieck said.

The episode features video footage from Deputy Tyler Milton's body camera and the dash camera of his vehicle during the April 5, 2016, pursuit of Justin Derby on Old Highway 75 north from Sloan to Salix. Footage shows Derby weaving through traffic while reaching speeds of 117 mph before he loses control of the car and rolls over near Salix. After the crash, Derby fled on foot into the City of Salix sewage lagoon. He was arrested after officers talked him out of the lagoon. Two of the four passengers in the vehicle were injured.

Wieck said the British production company for "BODY CAM" contacted the sheriff's office last summer or fall.

"They had asked if we had anything interesting," Wieck said.

Wieck thought of a few cases, but couldn't submit them because of legal reasons. Then he remembered this chase and sent producers copies of all the dash and body cam video of the incident.

"I didn't think they were going to use it, and then out of the blue I got a phone call from one of the production managers or other people involved with the show," Wieck said.

In the weeks before Thanksgiving, a production crew came to Sioux City to interview Milton and Maj. Tony Wingert, who arrived at the crash scene after Derby had exited the vehicle.

Wieck said he's watched other episodes of "BODY CAM," and has been impressed with the show. He said the show allows the officers to narrate the video to help viewers understand what's happening.

Derby, of Iowa City, was later sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges of eluding and driving while license barred.

Investigation Discovery is at channel 112 for Cable ONE subscribers in Sioux City. Satellite TV subscribers can find the network at channel 192 on Dish Network and 285 on DirecTV.


Lee-wire
AP
Crisis escalates in Virginia; top 3 Dems under fire

RICHMOND, Va. — The political crisis in Virginia spun out of control Wednesday when the state's attorney general confessed to putting on blackface in the 1980s and a woman went public with detailed allegations of sexual assault against the lieutenant governor.

With Gov. Ralph Northam's career already hanging by a thread over a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook, the day's developments threatened to take down all three of Virginia's top elected officials, all of them Democrats.

The twin scandals began with Attorney General Mark Herring issuing a statement acknowledging he wore brown makeup and a wig in 1980 to look like a rapper during a party when he was a 19-year-old student at the University of Virginia.

Herring — who had previously called on Northam to resign and was planning to run for governor himself in 2021 — apologized for his "callous" behavior and said that the days ahead "will make it clear whether I can or should continue to serve."

The 57-year-old Herring came clean after rumors about the existence of a blackface photo of him began circulating at the Capitol, though he made no mention of a picture Wednesday.

Then, within hours, Vanessa Tyson, the California woman whose sexual assault allegations against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax surfaced earlier this week, put out a detailed statement saying Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex on him in a hotel room in 2004 during the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

The Associated Press typically does not identify those who say they were sexually assaulted, but Tyson issued the statement in her name.

Tyson, a 42-year-old political scientist who is on a fellowship at Stanford University and specializes in the political discourse of sexual assault, said, "I have no political motive. I am a proud Democrat."

"Mr. Fairfax has tried to brand me as a liar to a national audience, in service to his political ambitions, and has threatened litigation," she said. "Given his false assertions, I'm compelled to make clear what happened."

Fairfax — who is in line to become governor if Northam resigns — has repeatedly denied her allegations, saying that the encounter was consensual and that he is the victim of a strategically timed political smear.

"At no time did she express to me any discomfort or concern about our interactions, neither during that encounter, nor during the months following it, when she stayed in touch with me, nor the past 15 years," he said in a statement.

Tyson said she suffered "deep humiliation and shame" and stayed quiet about the allegations as she pursued her career, but by late 2017, as the #MeToo movement took shape and after she saw an article about Fairfax's campaign, she took her story to The Washington Post, which decided months later not to publish a story.

The National Organization for Women immediately called on Fairfax to resign, saying, "Her story is horrifying, compelling and clear as day — and we believe her."

The string of scandals that began when the yearbook picture came to light last Friday could have a domino effect on Virginia state government: If Northam and Fairfax fall, Herring would be next in line to become governor. After Herring comes House Speaker Kirk Cox, a conservative Republican.

At the Capitol, lawmakers were dumbstruck over the day's fast-breaking developments, with Democratic Sen. Barbara Favola saying, "I have to take a breath and think about this. This is moving way too quickly." GOP House Majority Leader Todd Gilbert said it would be "reckless" to comment. "There's just too much flying around," he said.

The chairman of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, Del. Lamont Bagby, said, "We've got a lot to digest."

Cox issued a statement late Wednesday calling the allegations against Fairfax "extremely serious" and said they need a "full airing of facts." Cox also urged Herring to "adhere to the standard he has set for others," a nod to Herring's previous call that Northam resign.

Northam has come under pressure from nearly the entire Democratic establishment to resign after the discovery of a photo on his profile page in the Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook of someone in blackface standing next to a person in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe.

The governor initially admitted he was in the photo without saying which costume he was wearing, then denied it a day later. But he acknowledged he once used shoe polish to blacken his face and look like Michael Jackson at a dance contest in Texas in 1984, when he was in the Army.

Herring came down hard on Northam when the yearbook photo surfaced, condemning it as "indefensible," and "profoundly offensive." He said it was no longer possible for Northam to lead the state.

On Wednesday, though, Herring confessed that he and two friends dressed up to look like rappers, admitting: "It sounds ridiculous even now writing it."

"That conduct clearly shows that, as a young man, I had a callous and inexcusable lack of awareness and insensitivity to the pain my behavior could inflict on others," he said. But he added: "This conduct is in no way reflective of the man I have become in the nearly 40 years since."