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Trump challenges UN, boasting of America's go-it-alone might

UNITED NATIONS — President Donald Trump poured scorn on the "ideology of globalism" and heaped praise on his own administration's achievements Tuesday in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly that drew headshakes and even mocking laughter from his audience of fellow world leaders.

"The U.S. will not tell you how to live and work or worship," Trump said as he unapologetically promoted his "America First" agenda. "We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return."

Speaking in triumphal terms, Trump approached his address to the world body as something of an annual report to the world on his country's progress since his inauguration. He showcased strong economic numbers, declared that the U.S. military is "more powerful than it has ever been before" and crowed that in "less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country."

Just sentences into the president's remarks, the audience began to chuckle and some leaders broke into outright laughter, suggesting the one-time reality television star's puffery is as familiar abroad as it is at home. Trump appeared briefly flustered, then smiled and said it was not the reaction he expected "but that's all right."

Later he brushed off the episode, telling reporters, "Oh it was great. Well, that was meant to get some laughter so it was great."

The leaders' spontaneous response to Trump's address only reinforced the American president's isolation among allies and foes alike, as his nationalistic policies have created rifts with erstwhile partners and cast doubt in some circles about the reliability of American commitments around the world.

Barely an hour before he spoke, in fact, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres declared to the assembly that global cooperation is the world's best hope and "multilateralism is under fire precisely when we need it most."

Since taking office, Trump has removed the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, promoted protectionist tariffs and questioned the value of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other alliances in furtherance of what he termed on Tuesday a strategy of "principled realism."

To that end, Trump flaunted his embrace of negotiations with North Korea's Kim Jong Un just a year after he had warned of raining down "total destruction" on a leader he branded "Little Rocket Man." As Trump praised Kim's "courage" on Tuesday, he unloaded harsh rhetoric on nuclear-aspirant Iran as a persistent malign influence across the Middle East.

"We ask all nations to isolate Iran's regime as long as its aggression continues," said Trump. The president has removed the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, citing the country's destabilizing actions throughout the region and support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah, and he accused its leaders on Tuesday of sowing "chaos, death and destruction."

His national security adviser, John Bolton, was to go even further in a speech Tuesday, issuing a dire warning to Iran: "If you cross us, our allies or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay," Bolton said, according to prepared remarks released by the White House.

In addition to his keynote speech, Trump is to chair a meeting of the U.N. Security Council about nuclear proliferation on Wednesday. His four days of choreographed foreign affairs were designed to stand in contrast to a presidency sometimes defined by disorder, but they were quickly overshadowed by domestic political crises.

The fate of his second Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, was in fresh doubt after a second allegation of sexual misconduct, which Kavanaugh denies. Kavanaugh and his first accuser testify to Congress on Thursday.

Drama also swirls around the job security of Trump's deputy attorney general. Rod Rosenstein was reported last week to have floated the idea of secretly recording the president last year and to have raised the idea of using the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. He will meet with Trump at the White House, also on Thursday.

At the U.N., Trump seized his opportunity to assert American independence from the international body. He showcased his decisions to engage with the erstwhile pariah North Korea, remove the U.S. from the international Iran nuclear accord and object to U.N. programs he believes are contrary to American interests.

"We reject the ideology of globalism and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism," Trump said.

He referenced a list of U.N. bodies, from the International Criminal Court to the Human Rights Council, that his administration is working to undermine.

"America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control and domination," Trump declared. His denunciations of globalism drew murmurs from other members of the organization that stands as the very embodiment of the notion.

Shortly before he spoke, in fact, U.N. Secretary-General Guterres had defended international cooperation as the only way to tackle the challenges and threats of increasingly chaotic times.

"Democratic principles are under siege," Guterres said. "The world is more connected, yet societies are becoming more fragmented. Challenges are growing outward, while many people are turning inward."


Local
featured
Wayne Boyd honored
Longtime city attorney receives South Sioux's first Hall of Fame Award

SOUTH SIOUX CITY -- Wayne Boyd wasn't South Sioux City's first city attorney, but for many city staff members and elected officials, he was the only one they ever worked with.

Appointed in October 1968 by then-Mayor Ernie Albertson, Boyd has served the city for 50 years. He officially stepped down last year, but remains on retainer and continues to lend his expertise because, as he puts it, many of the city's legal files remain in his head.

With that long history of service, it was fitting that Boyd was honored earlier this month as the first recipient of South Sioux City's Hall of Fame Award, a newly created honor that recognizes deserving community members.

"It was very humbling, and I was proud to receive it. I'm just glad they thought enough of me to do that," Boyd said of the Sept. 10 reception that filled the City Council chambers.

For decades, when South Sioux City staff or elected officials had a legal question, they thought of Boyd, who was born in Red Willow County in southwest Nebraska before moving to Winnebago shortly after World War II when his father, Dalton, bought a funeral home there. They moved to South Sioux City in 1950 when Dalton bought another funeral home here.

Boyd hasn't strayed too far since.

After graduating from high school in 1957, Boyd attended Iowa State University for two years before finishing his degree at Morningside College in Sioux City. He received his law degree from the University of South Dakota in 1964, returning home to practice with Rod Smith, whom he had interned for during law school.

It wasn't too long after that when Albertson approached him about serving as South Sioux City's city attorney. Boyd agreed, not just because he'd get to practice different areas of law, but because he felt an obligation to the city.

"This city's always been good to me and my family and it was something I could be of help to the city and its citizens," he said. "When something's good for you, you've got to give back, and that's what I was trying to do is give back my time."

So for nearly 50 years, Boyd attended council meetings every week in addition to time spent in his office working on the city's legal matters. He would later serve as city attorney for Dakota City and Hubbard and also spent 31 years on the Nebraska Public Power District's board of directors.

He never thought of stepping down from his city attorney duties. It was too interesting.

"I got in there and enjoyed that type of work and decided to stay with it," he said. "It was something different from what I did in my private practice."

Boyd gave back so much of his time that doctors last year told him it was more than enough. No more 15-hour days, Boyd was told. It was time to cut back.

He stepped down as city attorney in South Sioux City and Dakota City, where he'd served for 28 years, and Hubbard, 26 years.

Boyd estimates that he served with 20-25 different South Sioux City council members. He was appointed by six mayors after Albertson: Vern Larson, Bruce Davis, Bill McLarty, Bob Giese, Sandy Ehrich, McLarty again and Rod Koch.

"We've been blessed with excellent elected officials and staff members," Boyd said. "It makes it easier to work when you've got a staff and elected officials that have the best interests of the city at heart."

The same can be said of Boyd, said city administrator Lance Hedquist, who worked with him since 1980.

"I think Wayne Boyd was always looking for ways to accomplish things for the betterment of the community," Hedquist said.

Boyd remains available to help current city attorney Michael Schmiedt. He'll also keep busy in a private practice that focuses on probate, estate planning and real estate. He's cut back on the hours that he takes appointments, but rather than attend city council meetings at night, he now works on cases that he brings to the home he shares with Diane, his wife of 55 years.

He has cut back, but he's not going to retire.

"I'm going to keep at it for a while," he said. "I'm not ready yet."


Crime-and-courts
Rochester faces criminal charges for hazardous waste

SIOUX CITY -- A former Sioux City councilman with a history of environmental violations linked to his former electronics recycling business now faces federal criminal charges.

Aaron Rochester, 44, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Sioux City to single counts of unlawful storage of hazardous waste and unlawful transportation of hazardous waste. His trial was scheduled for Nov. 5.

The charges, contained in a recently unsealed federal indictment, allege that Rochester has illegally stored and transported millions of pounds of crushed cathode ray tubes and leaded glass that may contain mercury, lead and other toxic materials from televisions and computers at his Recycletronics business at 1230 Steuben St. and six other locations from June 2015 through this past July.

If convicted, Rochester could face a prison sentence of up to five years and fines of up to $50,000 for each day of the violations.

Rochester declined to comment, saying his attorney, federal public defender Brad Hansen, had advised him not to speak to the media. Hansen did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

The indictment is the latest of a number of actions taken against Rochester and his business by state and federal authorities.

In addition to the stockpiles of waste and materials at Recycletronics' Steuben Street location, state and federal officials have investigated Recycletronics' unauthorized storage of materials at six other locations, including the Scandanavian Building at 1801-03 Fourth St., 3035 Highway 75 North, and 1313 11th St., all in Sioux City; a storage site at 16998 160th St. near Akron; 2301 G St. in South Sioux City and a second site near G Street at Foundry Road, where broken glass has been stored in piles and may have been burned and buried.

A former city environmental advisory board member, Rochester told the Journal in January that he planned to begin cleanup at the Akron site in March in compliance with a consent agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. An EPA official on Tuesday could not confirm if Rochester has begun cleanup.

In the agreement, Rochester agreed to clean up the sites, secure them and annually ship at least three semi-truck loads of used or broken cathode ray tubes and/or containers of leaded glass to an EPA-approved treatment, storage and disposal facility.

The Iowa Attorney General's Office sued Rochester in January, seeking $75,290 the state said he owed on a 2011 loan granted through a state program to buy equipment for Recycletronics. The lawsuit also alleges that Recycletronics submitted false state disposal reports. Trial is scheduled for June 5.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller claimed that more than 17 million pounds of hazardous waste was stored among the seven sites, and cleanup of the Iowa sites alone could cost an estimated $1.5 million.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources in March 2017 denied renewal of Recyletronics' cathode ray tube recycling permit because of repeated non-compliance with state and federal regulations and ordered Rochester to close the Steuben Street facility and cease operations.


Justin Wan, Sioux City Journal 

Gehlen Catholic's Will Roder runs to the finish line during a cross country invite in Holstein. Roder has won all four races he has been in this season.


Govt-and-politics
top story
Woodbury County discusses allowing ATVs on roads

SIOUX CITY -- The county engineer doesn't support it and the sheriff hasn't weighed in, but the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday discussed whether to allow county residents to drive all-terrain and off-road utility vehicles on county gravel and blacktop roads.

Board Chairman Rocky De Witt brought the topic to the board meeting, saying several county residents have said they want to drive ATV's, plus he sees about a half-dozen of them drive daily by his home in rural Lawton, Iowa.

"I am leaning toward supporting it," De Witt said.

There was no vote on the topic, and De Witt said he wasn't sure when it might return at a board meeting.

Iowa code doesn't allow all-terrain and off-road utility vehicles on primary highways or federal interstates. Individual counties can set their own rules for ATV's on county roads, as Sac County has done, De Witt said.

Woodbury County Engineer Mark Nahra, who oversees the county roads system, said Plymouth County voted down an ATV proposal this year. Nahra also said a person was killed near Moville, when driving an ATV.

"We've already had one fatality through the illegal use of an ATV this year on county roads," he said.

"I see it as a real problem and a safety issue," Nahra added.

De Witt said he has noticed a trend of Woodbury County towns approving the use of golf carts, UTV's and ATV's. Nahra said that is true, but those are being driven on pavement and at lower speeds than how he's seen rural people illegally drive them on gravel roads.

Nahra cited numerous examples of people driving ATV's in a destructive manner, "turning donuts," and ruining gravel road sections by ripping them up.

"As far as I am concerned, it is vandalism, cutting ruts" into roads, he said.

Nahra said at a future meeting he could share several studies that point to the danger of ATV's on roads. De Witt said he could propose the county adopt an ordinance that allows four-wheelers, but not three-wheelers.

De Witt asked Sheriff's Office Maj. Todd Wieck if he had input on the ATV's proposal. Wieck said he was unsure, without being able to speak with Sheriff Dave Drew, who was not at the meeting.

Supervisor Jeremy Taylor said at "first blush" on Tuesday, he likes the concept of allowing all-terrain and off-road utility vehicles on county roads. Taylor added that before making a final decision, he would like to see how the usage is playing out in Sac County.

Supervisor Marty Pottebaum said he was undecided, so more study is needed.

"My concern is the safety," said Pottebaum, a former Sioux City police officer.


De Witt


Rochester