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News and resources regarding COVID-19

Noon Newscast 2.21.20

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A new survey of bankers in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states, including all three Siouxland states, suggests they're optimistic about the economy over the next few months.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the Rural Mainstreet Survey, and he says the signings of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement and the China trade agreement have boosted economic confidence across the region.

The overall February survey index declined, however, to 51.6 Organizers say scores above 50 suggest a growing economy, while scores below 50 indicate a shrinking economy.

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

Despite a decline in sales, profits rose for John Deere. This morning it reported results for its first fiscal quarter.

The company’s CEO says the first quarter results show "early signs of stabilization in the US farm sector," thanks to lower trade tensions and the hopes for higher ag exports. But the construction sector continues to slow down, so the company is reducing production. 

Profits for John Deere rose four per cent to $1.63 per share, compared with $1.54 last year at this time.

Worldwide sales fell four per cent, to 7.6 billion dollars.

For its two major divisions, sales of farm equipment fell four per cent, while construction and forestry dropped 10 per cent. 

Five Republican attorneys general, including the states of Nebraska and South Dakota are seeking to block an effort by three Democratic-led states to see the Equal Rights Amendment adopted into the U.S. Constitution.

The five GOP-led states rescinded their approvals of the ERA amendment before a congressionally mandated ratification deadline more than 40 years ago.

The Democratic-led state attorneys general argue that the 1982 deadline set by Congress was non-binding.  

Federal experts confirmed that 11 of 13 people evacuated to an Omaha hospital from a cruise ship in Japan have tested positive for COVID-19.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center announced last night that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had verified test results completed Monday by the Nebraska Public Health Lab.

Ten of those people are being cared for at the National Quarantine Unit while three are in the nearby Nebraska Biocontainment Unit.

The medical center said only a few of the patients were showing symptoms of the disease.

All 13 people were passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship who were evacuated to the U.S. on Monday.

A bill that would prohibit Nebraska health care providers from charging patients higher, out-of-network rates for emergency services has won first-round approval from state lawmakers.

Senators voted 43-0 to advance the measure through the first of three required votes.

The bill received support from insurers and advocates for low-income people, but a group representing hospitals raised concerns during a legislative hearing earlier this month.

Tomorrow, a Legislative town Hall takes place at the Sioux City Public Museum at 11:30 a.m.

Lawmakers will share their priorities for 2020.

The event put on by the League of Women Voters starts at 10 a.m.

And, a big-name comedian is returning to Sioux City this spring.

Jerry Seinfeld plans to perform at the Orpheum Theatre on May 7th.  Tickets go on sale next Friday. 

Seinfeld also did a show at the Orpheum back in 2015.

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