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NEWS 5.3.21: Economic Turnaround, SCPD Updates, Spencer Dam $, IA Drought, and More

Siouxland Public Media

Police in Sioux City say two people have been arrested and charged in the killing of a man who was shot after he came to the aid of his girlfriend, who was being attacked.

22-year-old Martez Harrison, of Sioux City, died after being shot around 1 a.m. Saturday outside Uncle Dave’s bar on West Third Street.

Police later arrested 17-year-old Dwight Evans and 20-year-old Lawrence Canady.

Police say the shooting happened after Harrison and Canady argued, and Harrison called his girlfriend to pick him up.

Police say when the woman arrived, Canady assaulted her, and Harrison came to her defense. He and Canady fought, and police say Evans shot Harrison while the man was on the ground.

The Sioux City Police Department is reviewing an incident that happened early Thursday at Perkins near downtown Sioux City. The department also released body camera from  the incident. A shorter video circulated on Facebook and showed a struggle between officers and a Black man.

A news release issued yesterday said officers originally arrived to investigation a drunk woman who was trying to fight with other customers. Officers say the man was asked to leave the restaurant, but refused and resisted arrest. At one point the man was pushed into a booth with an officer pointing a taser at him. The man, identified as 29-year-old John Wright was charged with trespassing, interference with official acts, and failure to comply with orders of a peace officer. One officer ended up with a shoulder injury.

The Iowa Department of Public Heath reports seven more Iowans have died from complications of COVID-19. The number of new cases has fallen to 130 across the state with three in Woodbury County. There are 181 people hospitalized with the virus with seven at Sioux City’s two hospitals.  The statewide 14-day test positivity rate is up slightly from 3.9 to 4%. The rate in Woodbury County is 3.6%.

Iowa is turning down nearly three quarters of the vaccine doses available to the state from the federal government because demand for the shots remains weak.

The Iowa Department of Public Health and Safety said the state asked the federal government to withhold 71% of the more than 105,000 vaccine doses that were available for the week of May 10.

Siouxland District Health reports 40% of Woodbury County residents over the age of 16 have received their vaccine.  Meanwhile, vaccination clinics at Sioux City’s three high schools last Wednesday attracted about 140 students in all. There were 1,500 doses available.

A new monthly survey shows the economy in nine Midwest and Plains states, including Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska, roaring back to life in the wake of a devastating global pandemic. The survey's overall index soaring to its highest reading since it began almost three decades ago.

The Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions for April released Monday came in at 73.9 from March’s 68.9.

Any score above 50 on the survey’s indexes suggests growth, while a score below 50 suggests recession.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says the region has regained more than half the 106,000 manufacturing jobs lost to the pandemic in April 2020.

The monthly survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is telling the state’s tourism industry to gear up for a busy summer.

With plenty of people itching to travel after spending last year mostly at home, the Republican governor says there are many signs that tourism — the state’s second-largest industry — will make a big rebound from last year.

Tourism spending dropped by 18% in 2020, but Noem says the state still welcomed many visitors. She made her statements at an event Monday at Mount Rushmore National Monument, where she is suing to hold a fireworks display this summer. The National Parks Service denied the state's application, saying it would pose too great a fire threat and was opposed by Native American tribes.

Federal officials are giving Nebraska more than $50 million to work on a Niobrara River dam that collapsed during the disastrous March 2019 flooding, killing a man who lived just below it.

The money is intended to cover 75% of the cost of the project, with the rest to come from state and local sources. The 93-year-old Spencer Dam was overwhelmed in a surge of ice boulders, with some chunks measured up to 2 feet thick and 20 feet long. The storm also caused other major damage across Nebraska. 

April was a dry month across the state of Iowa with northwest Iowa the driest according to the state climatologist. A large section of the region was in severe drought with three counties the most impacted: Sioux, O’Brien, and Clay. Woodbury County is considered abnormally dry according to the latest update last week. However, recently parts of the state, were facing even higher levels of drought.

Credit U.S. Drought Monitor

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