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PM Newscasts 10.8.19: City Primary, Governor's Visit and Wintry Weather

Today is primary election day for city council candidates in Sioux City.

“We’re hoping for a good turnout.  Right, now it’s a little slow.  We’re hoping people will get in and vote this afternoon and evening .  We’re here until 8 o’clock.“ 

That’s Marilyn Tyler the chairperson of precinct 19 on the northside of Sioux City.  She talked to Siouxland Public Media News this morning.

Credit Siouxland Public Media

“Please get out and vote.  A primary is very, very important and people that are running would like your vote.”

During the first two hours of voting at Tyler’s precinct, only 10 people had cast their ballots for city council. 

Election officials say usually turn-out is in the single digits in a city primary election.

However, Woodbury County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections Pat Gill predicted maybe turnout could go as high as 10 to 15% this time around.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds was in Siouxland today touting the completion of a fiber optics network and a community college home building program. 

The Sioux City-based data and broadband FiberComm opened offices today in a vacant downtown building.  Reynolds took part in the ribbon cutting for the $6 million project. Reynolds said the state of the art data center with 24/7 access is vital for economic growth.

“We used to think about you know roads and bridges as part of commerce in the state, and actually connectivity is part of that as well.  It’s a great opportunity to drive economic growth in the state of Iowa.”

FiberComm has created a so-called "carrier hotel where people can connect fiber-optic networks.   Reynolds also visited the site of Western Iowa Tech Community College’s Home Building Program project house on the Westside today.  The program qualifies for the Future Ready Iowa Last Dollar Scholarship. Students in this high demand program may qualify for additional financial assistance.  

Nebraska state officials have received $6.5 million in federal grants to help prevent and treat opioid abuse.

The funding boost announced Tuesday will support the state's efforts to reduce the number of opioid deaths in Nebraska.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services says 183 people died in the state from a drug-involved overdose in 2017.

Officials say the national opioid epidemic isn't as severe in Nebraska as it is in other states, but it's still a concern.

Officials will use the money for a variety of services, including an addiction medicine fellowship, expanded access to medication-assisted treatment, better tracking of public health data and improvements to Nebraska's prescription drug monitoring program.

It also will help train medical providers and spread public awareness.

The Sioux City Council has approved a plan for the city to buy the Badgerow Building.

The cost? $750,000. 

The city plans to buy the building from a bank in Cedar Rapids then resell it to a developer.

Forecasters say a wintry storm system could drop up to 10 inches of snow on northwest Nebraska later this week.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the northern half of the Panhandle.

The service says ice could form on wet pavement late Wednesday night or early Thursday as the system arrives, followed by snow and winds gusting to 35 mph.

Overnight low temperatures could dip below 20 degrees.

The system is expected to move east, leaving less snow across much of northern and northeast Nebraska, with low temperatures well below freezing.

The weather service says the system also could drop some snow on northwestern and northern Iowa on Friday or early Saturday.

Current weather conditions aren’t helping farmers get their crops out of the fields.

The latest report from the U.S.D.A that came out yesterday says the corn harvest is two-weeks behind schedule at three-percent.  For soybeans, it’s 5-percent.  That’s 12 days behind.

Last week, because of moist conditions, only two days were suitable for fieldwork.