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NEWS 4.20.21: Local Statements on Chauvin Verdict, C19 Vaccine Update, ArtSplash Moves, and More

Associated Press

Statement from Sioux City Police Department Surrounding the Derek Chauvin Murder Trial:

With the verdict coming in, a few of you have reached out with some questions about possible protests here. As of now, we have no intelligence indicating that any protests or demonstrations are planned locally. As such, we have not altered any schedules or moved any people in anticipation of any protests. We do have plans in place should something come up but again, we are not enacting those plans at this time.

Should protests happen locally, we would expect they will be similar to a majority of last year’s protests which were largely peaceful. We support people’s First Amendments rights and will do what we can to support lawful assemblies.

Statement from the Sioux City Human Rights Commission:

We at the Sioux City Human Rights Commission are very pleased with the verdict of Guilty in the trial of the State of Minnesota vs Derek Chauvin .

We are grateful the jury did their job fairly, thoroughly, and well. Our hope is that this will bring some peace to the family of George Floyd. May this verdict set a precedent so that injustice will no longer be tolerated against people of color or anyone.

The Iowa Department of Public Health showed five more Iowans have died of complications of COVID-19, with almost 550 new cases and 16 more in Woodbury County.

Credit Siouxland District Health

Nearly half of Iowa’s counties have rejected new doses of COVID-19 vaccine because of a lack of demand, state officials say amid a public information campaign meant to drum up interest in immunization. The state reported Tuesday that 43 of Iowa’s 99 counties declined additional shipments of the vaccines. Of the 43, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified 12 as having a high rates of coronavirus transmission. Voter registration information shows that all 12 are heavily Republican. A poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in late March found that 36% of Republicans said they probably or definitely would not get vaccinated, compared with 12% of Democrats.

Siouxland District Health announced plans for the next large-scale vaccination clinic on April 27th at the Siouxland Expo Center geared toward people who need appointments outside of normal business hours.   

There are 800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine available. People can schedule online through Siouxland District Health or by calling (712) 234-3922.

Nebraska administered nearly 135,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines last week as the state continued to ramp up distribution of the shots.

More than 36% of Nebraskans 16 and older have now been fully vaccinated.  

The state reports almost 500 new cases and 168 hospitalizations.

In Iowa, there are 215 hospitalizations, with a half dozen being treated strictly for the illness at Sioux City’s two hospitals.

A police dog found the suspect after a pursuit early yesterday morning. It started in South Sioux City and ended about 12-hours later in a creek bed yesterday afternoon. Woodbury County Sheriff Chad Sheehan says he was found in a creek bed by the canine unit.

Authorities in Des Moines have charged two white men accused of attacking a Black man with hate crimes. The attack happened Saturday Police say the suspects, both of Des Moines, were talking in the street when the victim drove by and yelled at the men to get their children out of the street. Police say the men pried open the victim's door and punched and kicked the victim in the face while yelling racial slurs at him. Court records show one suspect is a member of a white supremacist gang.

Nebraska is inching closer to building a new, $230 million prison after state lawmakers approved design and planning money for the proposed facility to replace the state’s oldest prison. The measure won final approval despite objections from a few lawmakers who said the state should be spending money on housing, education, mental health services and other priorities rather than the proposed 1,512-bed prison. The funding includes $14.9 million to help state officials create plans and select a site for a prison that would house minimum, medium and maximum-security prisoners. It also would cover the cost of an engineering study of the remaining useful life of the 152-year-old Nebraska State Penitentiary, the state’s oldest prison.

South Dakota’s Department of Agriculture and Department of Environment and Natural Resources have been officially combined despite concerns by farmers, environmentalists and lawmakers alike. Gov. Kristi Noem has cited overlap and the need for streamlining the agencies which become one as the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Former Natural Resources Secretary Hunter Roberts leads the combine agencies. Some state lawmakers expressed concern that combining the two major departments would lead to more big government and put environmental concerns on the back burner, the Argus Leader reported. Some also say that agriculture, as the state’s No. 1 industry, deserves its own department.

The owner of the Dakota Access pipeline says shutting down the flow of oil would have dire financial consequences based on recent economic conditions. Texas-based Energy Transfer said in its filing late Monday that a judge should deny a motion by the Standing Rock Tribe in the Dakotas and other pipeline opponents to halt the business while the U.S. Corps of Engineers conducts an extensive environmental review. The company said shuttering the pipeline would collectively result in billions of dollars in losses to various entities, including the state of North Dakota and Three Affiliated Tribes. Meanwhile, North Dakota's attorney general filed a motion Monday to intervene in the lawsuit, saying the Corps can no longer represent the state's interests.

The weekly crop report shows about 4% of this year’s projected corn crop has been planted and a scattering of soybeans.

The USDA’s report says most of last week was favorable for planting.

Farmers did make progress with oats, as two-thirds of the crop is in the ground.

ArtSplash is moving downtown, as the Sioux City City Council voted unanimously to move the Art Center's annual fundraiser.

The event that has been held at Riverside Park for years after originating along the riverfront is scheduled for Labor Day Weekend September 2nd through the 5th.

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