The Exchange 022118
Coming up next on The Exchange, we take a tour of the Sioux City’s beloved Warrior Hotel, which is soon to be returned to its former glory.
Also, we talk with author a new book about her grandmother, who 100 years ago paved the way for women to play important roles in organized labor.
Also, the Woodbury County Board of Supervisor’s changes its mind about allowing guns in the courthouse, the history of homesteading in Iowa and more. That’s coming up on The Exchange but first this news.
Welcome to the Exchange on Siouxland Public Media, I’m Mary Hartnett.
The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors last night rescinded its order to allow guns at the courthouse and other county buildings.
The board voted 3-to-2 last night to restore a ban on firearms in the courthouse. There has been a steady stream of people at county meetings and in the media asking for a ban on guns the courthouse. Several county officials, including County Sheriff Dave Drew and County Attorney P.J. Jennings, have said people become impassioned in some heated court cases and could become deadly if they had guns in the courthouse.
Supervisor Jeremy Taylor at one time was in favor of allowing guns in the courthouse. Taylor said it was the right way to respond to a new firearms law that allowed guns in public places. Last night, Taylor said he changed his mind.
“I think the practical implications of bringing guns into the courthouse with varying functions has become unfeasible, I think its impractical, it adds cost even though maybe not as much as has been purported, but is no longer tenable, considering.”
The new gun law, among other things, broadens the state’s so-called stand-your-ground provision, so a law-abiding citizen does not have a duty to retreat in a public place before using deadly force when confronted with danger to life or property. The final 3-2 vote included Jeremy Taylor, Marty Pottebaum and Rocky De Witt voting to return to the ban on guns in the courthouse, while Matthew Ung and Keith Radig voted against the measure.
Taylor said he wanted to make sure that people understand how important security is in the courthouse, and how much effort goes into creating a safe environment.
“ . . . . behind the scenes.”
There have been two important supervisory orders from the Iowa Supreme Court since June on the guns in courthouse issue.
Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady issued the latest supervisory order in December, to update his weapons prohibition order of June 2017.
Cady's more recent order from December says the other elements of the June order remain, but after consultation with chief judges, sheriffs and other county officials, there can be a way for weapons to be taken in floors without court system elements. Board Member Mathew Ung disagreed with banning weapons once more in the courthouse, and saw the issue as one of judicial overreach.
Ung :16 “ . . . justify the means.”
Judge Duane Hoffmeyer, the Chief judge of the Third Judicial District, was at last night’s meeting. Hoffmeyer applauded the board’s action to rescind the order.
In other business, The Woodbury County supervisors announced last night that they had made enough changes to the fiscal year 2018-19 budget plan to ensure the property tax levy will drop for a fourth straight year.
In other news, the Orange City Public Library Board of Trustees heard commentary from a packed room about a petition to separate materials that deal primarily with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning -- or LGBTQ -- themes, as well as to halt any new such acquisitions without public input. Others said they supported the library's integration of such materials, even if they don't personally endorse the content.
The board took no action yesterday, but plans to have its policy committee review the public input and compare its current collection development policy to other libraries to see if changes are warranted.
Roger Caudron gave some interested locals who were willing to brave the 15 degree temperatures in the building under renovation a look at the old, and much admired hotel.
Caudron stood in front of the dilapidated original front staircase of the building, saying the hotel had trouble from the very beginning, because it was finished at the start of the depression because it was finished right after the stock market crash of 1929.
“It struggled for its early existence, because of the Great Depression, and it was built as a hotel, a semi-Grand Hotel.”
Caudron said the lobby and the first three floors were indeed grand, but that ornamentation was necessarily found in other parts of the hotel.
“The hotel rooms where about 25 square feet, and I mean it was a single twin bed, a desk and a bathroom, that was it pretty much, we had apartments on floors nine and ten.”
Despite its YMCA like rooms, some famous folks slept at the Warrior. Theater people, for instance Sidney Blackmer, the devil worshiper next door in Rosemary’s Baby, and the King.
“Ah Elvis has slept here, we don’t know where, we assume it was on the upper floors, but we’re hoping as we go through this, someone who’s old enough will step forward and say “I was a maid at the Warrior and Elvis stayed in room such and such.”
In the 1950s, Caudron says the Warrior turned into a motor in, with a loading area for cars, by tearing down part of the lobby.
“So they tore down the corner of the building, put that little awning over the top of it, so that this was the drop off point. So we’re going to restore the full size of the building, back into, pretty much back into its original condition.”