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Giving Aid to Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria, Sat. In The Park, 05.22.19


The Exchange 05.22.19

You’re listening to the Exchange on SPM, I’m MH.

The House last week passed a $19 billion disaster aid bill that would deliver long-sought relief to farmers, victims of hurricanes and floods, and rebuild southern military bases, as Democrats try to dislodge the legislation from a Senate logjam over aid to hurricane-slammed Puerto Rico.

Today we hear about some efforts by the federal government, the air national Guard and a local solar power vendor to help those devastated in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of a hurricane in 2017.  

The Air National Guard 185th Refueling Wing based in Sioux City recently provided medical care to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. 

Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot serves as a Public Affairs Superintendent, he traveled to Puerto  Rico to document the mission.

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“We started at the end of April, home by the 8th of May.  It involved teams primarily from the medical clinic.  Same branch of service but it was the active-duty reserve components and all branches of service.  It was the eye and dental professionals.  They were providing no-cost care for people in Puerto Rico, but the program is nationwide to areas that are underserved. 

 We had a little over 50 people.  The 185th was the lead group taking part, overseeing the actions of more than 500 people total.  We also spread out to six different locations in Puerto Rico.  It was a much needed-service to provide no-cost cost.  It was amazing to see the attitudes to seeing the people getting the care in rural areas and metro areas as well.”

While in Puerto Rico De Groot interviewed Master Sgt. Adam Wright in Puerto Rico.  Wright works full time as a Fire Fighter EMT in Sioux City and is a 20-year veteran of the Air Force.  Wright also took part in the Innovative Readiness Training Program. 

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“It’s very busy.  It’s one patient after another, clean up, next patient.  It’s from the beginning of the day to the end of the day.  We have patients waiting at the door at the beginning of the day.  People are here it’s a needed resources for them.  I really enjoy the program.  We can dig deeper in our career fields.  It’s a great community outreach program.  We’re getting hugs at the end of the day.  Kids get glasses.  They can see.  It’s close to the heart so it’s pretty good.”

Check out our website for a link to video from the 185th Refueling Wing and their work in Puerto Rico.  The 185th  is also taking part in another mission in Puerto Rico.  Civil engineers with the unit are working to remodel a school for disabled children.

Woodbury County was declared a Federal Disaster Area after flooding in March.  FEMA showed up in the aftermath to assist with homeowners and businesses.  One person in the forefront of that effort shared her story with Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer.

Rossy left Sioux City today (May 22nd) for return to Puerto Rico for some time off before her next assignment.  Luis is now working with FEMA in southeast Iowa.

Even though the two were candid about their work and homeland they politely refused   to comment on the U.S. response in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

However, they do want to remind people the deadline for filing for assistance in Woodbury County and other counties in the Federal Disaster Area has been extended until July 1st.  

Rosey Rey. Disastor Assistance

Musicians from across the region will lend their talents to a benefit concert later this week, the proceeds from which will go to the victims of this spring’s Missouri River flooding.

The Shamrock Theater in the southwest Iowa town of Imogene is hosting “Floodstock 2019” on Friday night. Singer-songwriter George McGargill of Imogene is helping to organize the event. 

Performers at Friday’s concert include McGargill, Hillyard, Omaha recording artist Jocelyn, and Jeff Slater and the Union County Band. Free will donations will be collected. For those who can’t attend, donations can also be left at any Bank Iowa location.

When   When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, counted amongst the devastation was the power grid. As there wasn’t money to pay for an emergency rebuilding of the system, survivors were left helpless and essential services languished offline, including many schools. One school, however, found help from a farmer in Iowa. This is the story of how Dolf Ivener found his way to Puerto Rico. 


You’re listening to The Exchange on SPM, I’m MH.  Theater in Siouxland has seen a rebuirth in the last 10 years with new theater companies, playritghts and original plays have premeired here.  Shot in the Dark Productions will present the world premeire of Los Angeles playwright and director Sean Serino’s “Rue Royale” being performed at Morningside College’s Klinger-Neal Theater on Friday, May 31st.   it’s part of the American Playwright Series.  The event with host talent from across the region, and Serino will direct her play.  Rue Royale is the story of Sophie, a recent college graduate who returns home following the news of her father’s illness.  I talked with Serino and and Shot in the Dark Theater’s Adam Gonshorowski about the play. 

That was Shot in the Dark Theaters’s Adam Gonshorowski and playwright and director Sean Serino who will direct her play “Rue Royale” at Morningside College’s Klinger Neal Theater.  It premiers Thursday May 31st.  

A rundown of the Abe Stage acts at Saturday in the Park

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