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News and resources regarding COVID-19

News 4.15.20: Murder Investigation, COVID-19 Agricultural Impact and Free Medical Help

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Sioux City Police Department
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A man from South Carolina is behind bars in Sioux City accused of murdering his mother and hurting his sister.

Officers were called to an apartment building near Morningside College last night and found two people with stab wounds.

Thirty-year-old Paul Belk faces charges of first-degree murder and willful injury.

Fifty-five-year-old Lisa Belk was killed.  Her daughter was treated and released from the hospital.

Detectives say the incident started from sort of disturbance, but are still investigating the exact details.

Bond for the suspect was set at $500,000.

Governor Kim Reynolds says four more people have died in Iowa from COVID-19.

There were 96 new cases for a total of almost 2,000.

Forty-six percent of patients have recovered.

Reynolds says seven long care facility have outbreaks with half of all of the state’s 53 deaths coming from those center.  There are no outbreaks in northwest Iowa.  

Governor Reynolds also says there is concern that staying at home increases the chance for domestic and child abuse.

The Nebraska state employees’ union will deliver more than 1,600 petitions to Gov. Pete Ricketts’ office demanding that he give all state workers the option to work from home if their jobs allow it.

The petitions also call for an extra $2 an hour in “hazard pay” for those who have to work in-person during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nebraska Association of Public Employees says many employees are concerned about their safety.

Ricketts has said it isn’t possible for all state employees to work from home because the state still has to provide essential services.

There are 180 new cases in South Dakota for a total of 1,168.

No new deaths.

The mayor of Sioux Falls is going ahead with a city-wide shelter-in-place ordinance, after Gov. Kristi Noem has rejected his request to issue a county-wide order.  

A group of agriculture economists are estimating the coronavirus pandemic will cause billions of dollars in damage to Iowa's crop and livestock industries.

In a report released today, the economists say the ethanol industry will see $2.5 billion in losses due to lower fuel demand and the state's hog industry $2.1 billion in losses.

Damage to corn is estimated at $788 million, soybeans at $213 million and cattle $34 million.  

The economists note the numbers will change as the pandemic evolves.

A University of Iowa clinic that serves low income people and immigrant communities is now offering telehealth services throughout the whole state, including Siouxland.

The U-I Mobile Clinic usually brings providers directly to people in need, by seeing patients in churches and community centers. 

Michael Klemme is a medical student at the University of Iowa and a coordinator of the clinic.

“The importance is for people to have access to health care and a doctor when they need it.”

Organizers of the mobile clinic say many patients have no other way to access healthcare, due to a language barrier, lack of transportation or insurance.

More information on getting an appointment is available at Iowamobileclinic.org.

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