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NEWS 4.30.21: Domestic Abuse Death, SCCSD C-19 Update, Art Center Activities, and More

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Officials with the Sioux City Police Department say a suspected murder-suicide claimed the lives of a Sioux City couple yesterday.

Investigators say evidence at the scene shows that 60-year-old Nicholas Socknat may be responsible for the death of 51-year-old Kelli Socknat before shooting himself. The two lived together at a home near Morningside Elementary School.

Spokesperson Sgt. Jeremy McClure says there are no reports of disturbances involving the couple. However, given the circumstances detectives consider this a case an of domestic violence.

McClure add if anyone who is experiencing domestic violence, they can contact the police department or SafePlace, formerly known as the Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.

Incarcerated individuals have donated more than 11-thousand dollars to the families of the two staffers who were killed by two inmates at the prison in Anamosa in March.

The funds represent a significant amount for inmates who make between 27 and 87 cents an hour, according to a 2017 analysis. Sue Hutchins of the advocacy group Living Beyond the Bars says the donations demonstrate the compassion of inmates, some of whom knew the victims personally.

“My understanding is that because the stimulus checks have recently come in for people, a good number of the inmates are donating more than they normally would be able to given their salaries, which…which shows to me that they really do have compassion and they really do care.”

According to the Department of Corrections, inmates at all 9 prisons have donated to memorial funds for the victims.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said she rejected $95 million in federal money for coronavirus testing in schools because she didn’t think there was a need for the funding.

Reynolds, a Republican, announced her decision on a Thursday night Fox News show and criticized President Joe Biden’s administration for offering the money aimed at expanding testing.

The Republican Party of Iowa praised Reynolds’ decision, saying the Biden administration had failed in its efforts to return students to in-person classrooms but Reynolds had succeeded.

Democratic state Auditor Rob Sand criticized the governor for “playing politics with Iowans’ health and tax dollars."

The weekly COVID-19 trend report released by the Sioux City Community School District shows two staff members tested positive. There are 140 students in quarantine. Also, a multi-grade classroom at Riverside Elementary was put in Emergency Response Virtual Learning.

Nebraska state government will collect an extra $90 million in tax revenue in the current fiscal year that ends June 30 but will face a less rosy outlook over the following two years, based on new state estimates.

The Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board on Friday lowered its revenue projections by $5 million over the following two budget years, starting on July 1.

The new predictions will give lawmakers about $38 million more than expected in the current legislative session, after adjusting for requirements of state law. The projections will also trigger an automatic boost to a new state property tax credit program.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem will take her effort to see fireworks shot over Mount Rushmore on Independence Day to federal court in a lawsuit against the National Parks Service.

The governor plans to sue after the park service declined to continue holding a fireworks display at the monument, citing safety concerns and objections from local Native American tribes.

The governor pushed last year to return fireworks to Mount Rushmore after a decade-long hiatus, saying the event is a way to highlight the state’s tourism draw.

The Sioux City Art Center kicks off a week of free activities.  On Monday morning, a coffee appreciation event takes place from 7:30 until 9 a.m. On Tuesday, there’s “Flowers on Parade” with a display of fragrant flowers in the atrium of the Art Center. 

Thursday night, Siouxland Public Media sponsors an evening of music with harpist Mary Watts from 5 until 8.

The week wraps up Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. with a "Wine and Cheese Soiree” including an outdoor performance by local musician and songwriter Mike Langley. 

For more information on any of the events planned check out the Art Center’s website, siouxcityartcenter.org.

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