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State Auditor Rob Sand in Siouxland; Jobless Rate Up Slightly in Iowa

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New unemployment claims in Iowa fell to 3,859 in the week ending May 29. That’s two less than the previous week’s 3,861 claims.

However, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics released yesterday,  overall unemployment is once again on the rise. The DOL reports unemployment in Iowa currently stands at 26,737 claims, more than 1400 claims over the previous week’s numbers.

The Des Moines Register reports employers have complained that generous state and federal unemployment benefits have given some laid-off workers more income from federal and state payments than they normally make on the job.  Those payments have made it harder to bring those people back to work.

State Auditor Rob Sand is planning a town hall in Sioux City today.  The town hall is slated to begin at 2 p.m. today at Mid City Park, 801 Court St. Sand will discuss his work in the auditor's office and there will be a question-and-answer session. Attendees are welcome to bring a lawn chair. 

Sand is a Democrat with a very active presence on social media.  He was elected in 2018. He has not decided whether to run for re-election or seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2022. 

And Sand will return to Northwest Iowa next week for an open house at Perry Creek Dairy, northwest of Merrill. At that event, which starts at 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg will issue a dairy proclamation signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Nebraska prison officials are moving forward with planning for two construction projects, as well as an update of the agency's master plan.

The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services recently advertised for bids from consultants to guide construction of a 96-bed expansion at the Lincoln Correctional Center/Diagnostic Evaluation Center campus, according to a news release. The beds will be designated for mental health, older incarcerated individuals or other special-needs populations.

Construction is already underway on a connection between the LCC and DEC that will add nearly 450 beds.

A federal judge has rebuffed South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s efforts to force the National Park Service to grant the state permission to shoot fireworks from Mount Rushmore National Memorial to celebrate Independence Day this year. 

Noem sued the U.S. Department of Interior in an effort to reverse the decision to deny the state’s permit for the pyrotechnic display. The Republican governor successfully pushed last year for a return of the event after a decade-long hiatus. But the National Park Service denied it this year, citing safety concerns and objections from local Native American tribes.

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