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News 8.12.20: More C-19 Deaths in IA, Drive-In Political Events, Continued Power Outages and More

Associated Press

A dozen more people in the state of Iowa have died of complications of COVID-19, including two more deaths in Plymouth County.  The statewide death toll is now 950.  During a 24-hour period that ended at 10 this morning, there were more than 450 new cases of the novel coronavirus in Iowa.  Siouxland District Health reported five new additional cases in Woodbury County.

Health officials in Dakota County are tracking two more cases of COVID-19. Meanwhile, football practice is on hold in South Sioux City after a player tested positive for the virus. 

Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools plan to have students return to the classroom when school start on August 25th.

The Sioux City Journal reports, students, teachers and staff will be required wear masks or face covering while in the building, except at lunch or during outside activities.

Democratic candidate for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, J.D. Scholten, launched a new way to campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

He is doing parking lot rallies, including one last night in Le Mars and one tonight at North High School at 7 p.m.

The parking lot rallies will also be live-streamed on Facebook as well.  People who attend will be required to stay in their vehicles and listen to Scholten’s campaign speech on the radio over a shortwave frequency.

Scholten faces Republican challenger long-time state senator Randy Feenstra in the November election.  A recent poll gave Feenstra a 20% lead. 

The Iowa Democratic Party's signature annual fundraiser will see a major change next month. For the first time since it began in 1972, the party's Steak Fry event will be held as a drive-in. The Steak Fry will be held at the Airplane Field at Des Moines Water Works Park. Attendees will be able to watch the program on a large screen and listen in through the radio. Steak, chicken, and vegan dinners will be delivered directly to attendees' cars. Social distancing rules will be enforced and face masks will be required when attendees are outside of their vehicles. The event drew more than 12,000 people last year.

More than 300,000 households in Iowa’s three largest cities were still without power two days after a rare wind storm hit the Midwest.  That’s according to news reports out of Des Moines.  That city as well as Cedar Rapids and Davenport still had widespread outages Wednesday morning.  The storm also flattened valuable corn crops impacting up to 10 million areas, according to state ag experts.

Test Iowa sites in Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Marshalltown that closed Monday after sustaining damage due to severe weather across the state, will reopen for testing today from 1 to 6 p.m. Regular hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. will resume tomorrow.

South Dakota officials say they plan to build a security fence budgeted for $400,000 around the official governor’s residence to protect Gov. Kristi Noem. Noem’s office did not give specifics on any threats. But her spokeswoman says her security team recommended the fence. Noem’s administration had proposed the fence last year, but she abandoned the plan. The South Dakota Republican has championed a hands-off approach to managing the coronavirus crisis and also raised her national political profile in the past year. The spokesperson says Noem’s handling of the pandemic had put her at odds with some people.

The Big 12 Conference is moving ahead with plans to play college football and other fall sports. They will join the Atlantic Coast and Southeastern conferences in taking the field amid the coronavirus pandemic. The move came one day after the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced they would not play this fall. In the Big 12, fall sports will begin after Sept. 1 with the football schedule beginning league play Sept. 26. Schools also can play one non-conference opponent.

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