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NEWS 5.12.21: Unemployment Benefits, SD Vaccination Update, SITP Returns, and More

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Governor Kim Reynolds is defending her decision to end additional federal unemployment benefits

Reynolds and business groups say the extra payments to unemployed Iowans are keeping them from taking new jobs at a time when businesses can’t find enough workers.

However, Reynolds says employers need to step up and offer more to attract employees. She made her comment today the Food Bank of Iowa where she also announced the end of the Iowa Food Protection Task Force.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem says the state will no long take part in the federal  unemployment program as well. The extra benefits end in South Dakota on June 26th and Iowa on June 12th.

The South Dakota Department of Health says the state has crossed the 50% threshold for the number of adult residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Health officials say more than 304,000 South Dakotans have received their vaccinations.

The State Secretary of Health says vaccines are safe and are the quickest way out of the pandemic.

State health officials began Phase 2 of South Dakota’s vaccination plan on April 5. It made coronavirus vaccines available to all state residents age 16 and older, in addition to any eligible person that had not been inoculated in the first phase.  

Governor Kim Reynolds has signed a bill into law removing Iowa’s time limit on filing criminal charges against people accused of sexually abusing children.

It takes effect immediately. Before this new law was enacted, survivors of childhood sex abuse had until their thirty-second birthday to try to get charges filed against their abuser. Some survivors don’t come forward about their abuse until much later in life. 

In a statement, Reynolds says the state is standing in support of survivors of sexual violence.

Advocates for sex abuse survivors say the state should also get rid of its time limit on filing civil lawsuits related to child sex abuse. That would help hold accountable organizations that have protected known abusers.

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s trial on charges he’s facing in a fatal 2020 crash could begin as early as August. Ravnsborg’s attorney requested 60 more days, citing the need to review key pieces of evidence, including interviews.

Ravnsborg is facing several misdemeanor charges in the September crash that killed Joseph Boever who was walking along a highway near Highmore when he was struck and killed. 

A sweeping bill that would shield Nebraska businesses and local governments from coronavirus-related lawsuits has won initial approval from state lawmakers, despite some complaints that senators haven’t done enough for workers who were at risk.

Lawmakers advanced the proposal, 39-3, through the first of three required votes.

The measure would bar pandemic-related lawsuits against businesses or governments as long as they were following federal public health guidelines.

At least 29 other states have enacted laws addressing the issue, including 12 that are similar to the Nebraska proposal.

Siouxland’s biggest summer music festival is back after COVID-19 forced the cancellation of last year’s 30th annual celebration.

Co-founder of Saturday in the Park, Dave Bernstein announced details of this year’s event during a news conference Wednesday morning at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, one of the sponsors of the event.

Saturday in the Park will now take place over two days, July 2nd and 3rd and Grand View Park. The headliner Friday night indie-pop trio AJR and Saturday night John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Bernstein and his friend Adam Feiges launched Saturday in the Park back in 1991.

Another summer concert is being planned for Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. Garth Brooks plans to perform on Saturday, August 14th. This will be the first music concert at the stadium since Farm Aid III back in 1987. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 21st. Governor Pete Ricketts sent out a news release that said “Mark your calendars for the concert of a lifetime, Nebraskans!”.

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