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PM NEWS 6.11.21: Siouxland Soldier Honored, Winnebago Tribe Pipeline Reaction, and More

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Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency
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Iowa’s Governor ordered all flags in the state to fly at half-staff on Monday to honor a fallen Siouxland soldier.

Army Cpl. Eldert Beek, of Sibley was killed in 1950 when his unit was attacked during the Korean War. His remains were turned over by North Korea in 2018 and later identified. Beek was 20-years old. Family members say he always had a smile and loved his two little nieces.

A burial with full military services will be held in conjuction with the Iowa National Guard on Monday at 11:00 a.m. at the Evergreen Cemetery in George, Iowa. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the service.

News Release from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds:

Army Cpl. Eldert J. Beek, of Sibley, Iowa, was reported killed in action in late 1950 during the Korean War. He is returning home 71 years later. Cpl. Beek was 20-years-old when his unit was attacked on December 1, 1950 by enemy forces near the Chosin reservoir, North Korea. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered. Fifty-five boxes purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War were turned over by North Korea in 2018 following the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. Beek’s remains have since been identified.  

Cpl. Beek will be buried with full military honors by the Iowa National Guard. 

Monday, June 14, 2021

Graveside Services  

11:00 a.m. 

Evergreen Cemetery 

George, IA 

The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the services. 

Flags will be at half-staff on the State Capitol Building and on flag displays in the Capitol Complex. Flags will also be half-staff on all public buildings, grounds and facilities throughout the state. 

Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect. 

News release from the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska: 

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Credit Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

  

The Winnebago Tribe applauds the termination of the Keystone XL Pipeline Project by TC Energy. This has been a long and hard-fought battle for the protection of lands from the devastating impact of the KXL Pipeline and potential environmental disaster. The Tribe has consistently opposed the issuance of the KXL permit and the KXL project for many years and is hopeful this termination spurs the end of other harmful fossil fuel projects.

“This is a victory for not only Indian Country, but for all Turtle Island, additionally; protection of the Missouri river, the Oglala Aquifer and all the Mother Earth relatives for which water is life” said Chairwoman Victoria Kitcheyan. “It is also an important opportunity for TC Energy and all other companies to reexamine their role in protecting the environment.”

The Justice Department plans to scrutinize a wave of new laws pushed by Republican state lawmakers that tighten voting rules. Attorney General Merrick Garland vowed Friday that his agency will take action on any violations of federal law. He also announced plans to double the staffing within the department’s civil rights division and send guidance to states about election-related activity, including mail voting and post-election audits. He also pledged to investigate and prosecute threats made against election workers that violate federal law. Along

with reviewing the new GOP laws, Garland said the department also will examine existing state laws for their potential to discriminate against minority voters.

Nevada’s governor has signed a law making the Western state the first to vote on the 2024 presidential primary contests, bumping Iowa and New Hampshire from their leadoff spots. The new law is a gamble. It’s likely to set off maneuvering from other states, especially Iowa and New Hampshire, to move up their contests. The national political parties would need to agree to changes in the calendar, or state parties could risk losing their delegates at presidential nominating conventions. The Democratic National Committee has not yet signaled whether it would support the shakeup. Republicans say they are opposed.

A top administrator in the Republican-controlled Iowa Senate threatened retribution against a GOP appointee who oversees workplace safety after inspectors said they would make public their concerns about COVID-19 risks at the Capitol. Notes show Charlie Smithson, the secretary of the Senate, criticized Iowa Labor Commissioner Rod Roberts for “not knowing better” and told inspectors at an April 2 meeting that the issue would be raised at his next confirmation hearing. Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Roberts labor commissioner in 2019. If reappointed in 2023, he would need support from 34 of 50 senators to serve another six-year term. Smithson says he “expressed frustration in a stupid way” and that he has no influence over the confirmation process.

The opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics is six weeks away but NBC’s coverage of the upcoming Games shifts into high gear beginning this weekend. NBC will present 13 nights of primetime coverage of U.S. trials in four sports over the next two weeks, beginning Saturday with the diving trials. The network’s coverage will also include swimming, track & field and gymnastics. Trials coverage remains an important part of NBC’s preparations for the games. Swimming and track & field will get the most coverage hours with both trials lasting eight days. Swimming starts Sunday in Omaha, Nebraska, with track scheduled to begin on June 18 in Eugene, Oregon.

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