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Noon Newscast 6.13.19

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Siouxland Public Media
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Attorneys for the state of South Dakota and the American Civil Liberties Union appeared before a federal judge today to argue their positions on a new law that aims to prevent disruptive demonstrations.

The ACLU is suing Gov. Kristi Noem and others saying the new law — which was enacted in anticipation of the Keystone XL pipeline blocks protected speech.

Supporters of the legislation sought to head off protests of the Keystone XL like those mounted against the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota in 2016 and 2017.

North Dakota spent $38 million on policing those protests, which resulted in 761 arrests over a six-month span.

An additional charge has been filed against a man accused of a deadly fight in Sioux City last summer.  Ray Avila already faced charges of involuntary manslaughter and assault causing serious injury after the death of Peter Johnson.

Avila fled Sioux City and was arrested in Mexico in May.  He now faces an extra charge of flight to avoid prosecution according to court documents.

The Mississippi River is dropping below flood stage along many of Iowa's riverfront cities after nearly three months of record highs caused by melting snow and torrential rain.

However, the river remains around 2.5 feet above flood stage at Davenport, where floodwaters surged into downtown after a barrier failed on April 30th.

Levels along the Missouri River have also dropped but are expected to remain high for much of the summer.

And, Iowa’s low unemployment rate is making it hard to find workers to help FEMA after recent flooding. 

The agency wants to fill temporary jobs in Sioux City with a pay rate of $16 to $42 an hour.

Sheila Brummer returns to her radio roots as a Reporter/Special Projects Producer for Siouxland Public Media KWIT-KOJI.