Sheila Brummer

Reporter & Special Projects Producer

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


She grew up on a farm on the borders of Crawford, Shelby and Harrison counties in west-central Iowa.  Receiving a typewriter at the age of five launched a life-time love of journalism.


While attending Morningside College, Sheila worked in television production and as a disc jockey.  The highlight of her collegiate career came as a foreign exchange student at Edge Hill College outside of Liverpool, England. 


After college graduation, Sheila landed a job as a radio news reporter for KSCJ in Sioux City, Iowa.  When budget cuts slashed hours, she turned to television.  She first worked “behind the scenes” as a photographer and editor, then reporter, for KTIV-TV in Sioux City, Iowa.  Her on-air career took her to Wausau, Wisconsin, Des Moines, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska.  While working as a producer in Las Vegas, Nevada, KTIV-TV offered an opportunity to return “home."  Her career came full circle when she took over as main anchor five years ago.


The Upper Midwest Emmy Awards, Iowa Broadcast News Association and Associated Press honored Sheila for her reporting. 


Sheila thrives on giving back to her community.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Girls Inc. of Sioux City and is a member of Junior League, Perry Creek PTA, FBI Citizens Academy and Sioux City Press Club.  She has volunteered for even more charities; including the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Camp High Hopes, Little Giants Foundation, MS Society, Iowa Caregivers Association and Easter Seals of Iowa.


Sheila lives in Sioux City with her husband, Ed, and their five-year-old daughter, Anna.  


Sheila loves talking and telling stories, so public radio is the perfect place for her enthusiasm and talent.  You can hear her afternoons from 3 to 6 p.m. and with news coverage throughout the day on Siouxland Public Media KWIT-KOJI.

Dan Greenwell and Taylor Goodvin

Two members of the Sioux City Community School Board say the district needs to be more transparent when it comes to releasing information about COVID-19 so they can make informed decisions during the pandemic.  A weekly report is expected tomorrow.

One of the two members, Dan Greenwell, talked to SPM’s Sheila Brummer about concerns he shares with board member Taylor Goodvin.

Full statement from the Sioux City Community School District:

The debate continues on K-12 education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iowa’s Governor wants to keep students in class.  A recent survey teachers in the Sioux City Community School district showed only 10% wanted to continue with in-person learning.  Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer explores the issue with a couple of long-time educator, union leader and school administrator.

Lesa Banks

Trying to keep students educated during this age of COVID-19 has been a strain.  A strain for young people, their families, educators and staff in school districts across the region and here in Sioux City. 

Lesa Banks, a long-time art teacher in Sioux City, serves as a liaison for the local teachers’ union and the Iowa State Education Association as an exeutive board member for Siouxland Uniserv. Banks tells Siouxland Public Media teachers would rather have students in school but safety should be the highest priority.  

Iowa PBS

Iowa’s governor says she wants to keep students in class during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I would encourage parents to talk to educators, talk to school board and let’s get kids back in school.”

Governor Kim Reynolds made her statements during a news conference this morning.

Reynolds says scientific evidence shows children up to the age of 10 are less likely to become infected and most positive cases in schools are from staff members who were likely infected from outside the classroom.

Iowa started tracking the COVID-19 deaths of people who were diagnosed with the virus but not tested, a change that could add hundreds more deaths to the state's count.

Iowa now accepts clinical diagnoses from doctors and not just positive virus tests when attributing a death to coronavirus.

The change removed 433 deaths from the system but added 610, providing an initial net gain of 177 deaths and raising the state's toll to more than 2,900. Some of the removed cases could be added back in.

Sioux City Police Department

Stricter mask requirements went into effect in Iowa almost a month ago.  But, are people in Sioux City following the rules?  Siouxland Public Media’s talked to the top law enforcer for city for an update the impact of the disease on the police force.

Sioux City’s Police Chief says so far no citations have been handed out  since the Governor issued a partial mask mandate for public spaces.

“More often than not we are finding when someone calls and lists a concern people are voluntarily complying.  No one is trying to make a statement out there.”

Siouxland District Health Department

Iowa posted another 35 deaths from the coronavirus, continuing the high levels related to the pandemic according to the state coronavirus website.

The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Iowa has risen over the past two weeks from 29 deaths per day on Nov. 22 to 45 deaths per day on Sunday, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The state’s total death count of more than 2,700 is the 28th highest in the country and the 20th highest per capita.


Hospitalizations reached an all-time high at Sioux City’s two facilities this week.

There were a combined 108 patients at UnityPoint-Health St. Luke’s and MercyOne on December 1st. The number did dip to 88 today.  The Chief Medical Director at MercyOne Siouxland, Dr. Larry Volz, talked to SPM’s Sheila Brummer about the surge, stress levels and what people can do to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Larry Volz, the Chief Medical Officer at MercyOne Siouxland, says his facility has been busy with COVID-19 patients since the later part of the fall. 


This week, hospitalizations in Sioux City reached an all-time high at Sioux City’s two facilities.  There were a combined 108 patients at UnityPoint-Health St. Luke’s and MercyOne on December 1, 2020. The number did dip to 88 today.

The top doctor at MercyOne in Sioux City provided Siouxland Public Media with an update current conditions, social media rumors, staffing, schools, treatments, vaccines and more.

Here's MercyOne Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Volz. 

SCPD/Jeremy McClure

The Sioux City Police Department showcased new body cameras at a news conference today.  They went into service a few weeks ago. Advocates pushed for the devices after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis 

more than six months ago. Sioux City Police Chief Rex Mueller talked to Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer about the importance of the cameras and the work being done to help serve the whole community.

Deaths in all three Siouxland states due to complications of COVID-19 continue to climb.

Nebraska saw 62 during a 24-hour period and 2,000 additional cases.

There were almost 1,300 additional cases in South Dakota as the state moves closer to reaching the 1,000 mark for deaths.  Forty-seven more people have died from the illness, one of the highest single-day death tallies since the pandemic began.

The CDC says last week the Rushmore State had the highest per capita death rate in the nation.  There have been 995 deaths.

Sioux City Police Department

Sioux City police say they are investigating a death inside an apartment used by transients as a homicide. The victim's body was found Tuesday near 26th and Douglas near Grandview Park. Police did not release the gender of the victim, who appeared to have signs of blunt force trauma. The person appeared to have been deceased for a week. A medical examiner has not yet determined the cause of death. The apartment is part of a complex where 33-year-old Solomon Blackbird was shot on November 1st. He later died. Police say the two deaths do not appear to be related.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says November brought the biggest surge of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

Reynolds says the first week of the month saw 28,000 new cases with a positivity rate of 32%.  The second week 30,000 new cases and a positivity rate of about 29%.

Those numbers were cut in half the week of Thanksgiving.  Reynolds says even though no testing was done on Thanksgiving Day, the rest of the week experienced more testing than ever before.

Food Bank of Siouxland

Thanksgiving is holiday with a focus on food; everything from the turkey, all the fixings and pumpkin pie.  But, for some across the country and even here in Siouxland knowing how to even afford that  next meal might be a challenge, especially during the pandemic.

Siouxland Public Media reached out to the Food Bank of Siouxland for perspective.  Here’s Executive Director Jacob Wanderscheid.


The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations at Sioux City’s two major medical facilities reached an all-time high on Monday. 

MercyOne and UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s are caring for a combined 102 patients, with 72 battling COVID-19 only.  The previous high was in late May when patient levels reached the mid 90s. 

Hospitalizations continued to fall in other parts of Iowa.  However, some health care officials are expressing concern that they may rise again if Thanksgiving gatherings caused additional virus spread as expected.

State of Iowa

House Democrats in Congress lost enough seats in this month's elections that they'll have the smallest majority in more than a century according to the Associated Press.

To find out what happened, the party has already begun a “deep dive” examination, looking at the party’s move farther left on national issues and how they would fix the economy greatly impacted by COVID-19.


The state of Iowa recorded 13 more deaths due to complications of COVID-19 in a 24-hour period.  Four of the deaths from Woodbury County; three older adults and one elderly woman over the age of 81.  Since the start of the pandemic 115 Woodbury County residents have died.  Local health officials say to avoid nonessential gatherings when possible. 

Siouxland District health reported 36 additional cases today. There were 109 added yesterday, including one more death, a man between the ages of 41 and 60.

The Sioux City Community School District issued its weekly COVID-19 report on Friday afternoon.  The update shows the highest number of cases this school year, with 34 students and staff members in all testing positive in about a dozen (11) buildings. 

There were 32 last week. No classes were put into “emergency response virtual learning”. Last week, West Middle and four individual classes were moved to on-line learning until after the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Erika Hansen/Instagram/@re.arranged

The COVID-19 pandemic forced non-profits to make modifications to host must-needed fundraisers.  Many moved to virtual events and auctions.  As Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer reports one local organization launched an in-person event today with safety a top concern.

For more than 40-years, Big Brother Big Sisters of Siouxland has hosted an annual “Tour of Homes” as its major fundraiser.


If people and businesses in Sioux City don’t follow new health guidelines issued by the state of Iowa this week to stop a big spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, they could face legal action. 

That’s the word today from Sioux City police who say they will enforce the rules, including wearing masks in public buildings.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds today talked about rising numbers of infection in long-term care facilities.  Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has more.

City of Sioux City

New restrictions imposed by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds kicked in Tuesday to try and reduce infection numbers and hospitalizations due to COVID-19.  They include requiring masks in all public and state  

buildings in certain circumstances.  Siouxland Public Media reached out to Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott and he shared his thoughts on enforcement, the local hospital surge and pandemic fatigue as he faces an autoimmune disease putting him at higher risk for complications if he contracts the virus.

The Iowa Department of Public reports 35 more deaths due to complications of COVID-19 in the past 24-hours and more than 3,500 new cases.  Plus, the state set another record for hospitalizations linked to the virus.

At a news conference today, Governor Kim Reynolds says if current trends don’t change more restrictions will be put in place to prevent the spread of the virus and ease the health care surge.

Unity-Point Health-St. Luke’s is once again urging the Siouxland community to step up and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Siouxland Public Media reached out to Sioux City’s two hospitals today after concerns on social media that patients were being transferred to other facilities. One post on Twitter that appears to be from a lung expert in central Iowa said “Patients are coming to Des Moines from Sioux City to Davenport.” 

Sioux City Community Schools

Emotions run high when it comes to education during COVID-19; parents with varying outlooks, teachers' unions worried about safety and school leader trying to balance health and education.  Siouxland Public Media reached out to members of the Sioux City Community School District's Board of Directors for their opinions.

Statement from Sioux City School Board Member Dan Greenwell:

UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's

The number of hospitalizations due to the novel coronavirus continue to rise in Sioux City.  Siouxland District Health reported a total of 91 patients with 65 patients battling COVID-19 alone on November 13, 2020.  The two facilities are four patients away from the level experienced in late May.

Siouxland Public Media reached out to both UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s and MercyOne for comment on increases this week.

MercyOne orginally sent out the same statement released on November 2nd when there were 9% fewer patients. 

New York Times

The New York Times highlighted Sioux City in a story released today on places hard hit by the coronavirus.

Rachael Chapple

Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day, a holiday created at the end of World War I to remember those who fought in “the war to end all wars” on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month.

Siouxland Public Media reached out to a few members of our local community to hear about their service and sacrifice as veterans and military family members.


Iowa coronavirus trends continue to worsen as increasing numbers of hospitalizations further stress hospitals and health care workers as they try to keep up with the surge.

Iowa Department of Public Health data showed almost 4,800 additional cases in the past 24 hours, and 26 more deaths, bringing the state total to 1,898.  There are two more deaths in Woodbury County, for 105 in all.

It was the fifth consecutive day Iowa reported more than 4,000 new cases a day. 

Sioux City, IA - 11.6.20
Siouxland Public Media/Sheila Brummer

The Morningside Marching Mustangs performed for residents of Sunrise Retirement Community on November 6, 2020.

The group paid tribute to veterans with their song selections with temperatures in the 70s.

Shane Macklin, the Director of Bands at Morningside College shared details of their performance with Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer.  He also talked about the challenge of playing during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Majestic Pomp Fanfare

National Anthem

America- Let Freedom Ring

Battle Cry of Freedom


Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says the state has reached a point of serious community spread of COVID-19. 

During a news conference today, she issued a partial mask mandate for social gatherings to slow the spread of the virus.  She also extended the public health emergency for another 30 days with more restrictions. 

“If we want to protect our health care workers, keep our businesses, schools and hospitals open now is the time for every Iowa to carefully decide what you can to stop the virus and stop from spreading it.”