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NEWS 2.23.22

February 23, 2022
Siouxland News CBS 14/FOX 44
Woodbury County Attorney PJ Jennings says shooting of Sergeant Bluff man was justifiable homicide

The death of a Sergeant Bluff man has been ruled justifiable homicide by the Woodbury County Attorney’s office.

Deputy Eric Fay fatally shot 35-year-old Michael Meredith in January. Fay fired his weapon after Meredith charged him with a tire iron.

County Attorney PJ Jennings says their investigation found that Fay did not shoot until he felt his life was in danger while responding to a burglary call.

The deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave until a state investigation is completed.

For updates on the story click here: https://siouxlandnews.com/news/local/one-person-killed-in-hwy-20-rollover-wednesday-morning

One person has died in a rollover accident on Hwy 20 Wednesday morning.

The Woodbury County Sheriff's Office says that on Wednesday, at 8:24 a.m, deputies were dispatched to Hwy 20 near the Morningside Avenue exit.

Preliminary investigation indicates that the driver of the SUV lost control and left the roadway entering the southeast ditch before rolling over.

The only occupant of the vehicle was pronounced dead from their injuries.

The prosecutors who decided against more serious charges against South Dakota’s attorney general in a fatal crash are set to testify at a hearing on whether he should face impeachment.

The South Dakota House Select Committee on Investigation reconvenes Thursday to hear testimony on whether Republican Jason Ravnsborg should face impeachment charges for conduct related to the 2020 car crash that killed Joe Boever who was walking along a highway. Ravnsborg has said he didn’t realize he struck the 55-year-old man until returning to the scene the next day. Hyde County Assistant State’s Attorney Emily Sovell, who led the prosecution against Ravnsborg, and the Beadle County State’s Attorney who assisted her are set to testify.

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Iowa climbed past 9,000, even as hospitalizations continue to decrease in the state. The state on Wednesday reported a total of 9,085 deaths from the virus, including 137 since the latest report Feb. 16. Officials do not indicate when the deaths occurred. Since Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered the discontinuation of the state’s COVID-19 dashboard earlier in February, the health department has reported significantly less data on its website. Iowa’s overall death rate, at 283 deaths per 100,000 people, ranks 30th in the nation. Federal data shows 345 people are hospitalized in Iowa with COVID-19, the lowest level in about six months.

Iowa’s Supreme Court has heard arguments about abortion restrictions Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law in 2020. Many of the conservative justices deciding the case have replaced predecessors who affirmed four years ago that the state constitution guarantees women the right to have abortions. Abortion providers filed a lawsuit challenging the law passed by the Republican Legislature and signed by the GOP governor in June 2020 that required a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can get an abortion. A judge struck down the law in June 2021, citing a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court decision that declared abortion a fundamental right under the Iowa Constitution.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has appointed a conservative banker to replace former state Sen. Mike Groene, who resigned after admitting that he took photos of a legislative staffer without her knowledge. Newly appointed state Sen. Mike Jacobson will serve the rest of Groene’s term and seek election to the seat in November. Jacobson was one of five applicants Ricketts interviewed, including three declared candidates for the seat. Ricketts says Jacobson is a conservative who reflect the values of the western Nebraska district. Jacobson is the founder and principal shareholder of NebraskaLand Bank in North Platte, which opened in 1998 and now has $850 million in assets, with branches in Kearney and Rock Springs, Wyoming.

The South Dakota House is passing a proposal to allow employees to avoid their workplace COVID-19 vaccine requirement by citing any objection of their conscience. The bill passed on a 37-30 vote in the Republican-controlled House. It represented a snub to a separate proposal from Gov. Kristi Noem. That bill would allow employees to avoid mandates by citing either a medical exemption, religious grounds for refusal or a test showing antibodies against COVID-19 in the last six months. House Speaker Spencer Gosch has clashed with the governor. He pushed the bill as a way to provide broad exemptions from vaccine mandates.

South Dakota Senate Republicans rejected a proposed resolution on Wednesday that would have commended the state’s LGBTQ and Native American Two Spirit community, offering no explanation and hearing no opposition testimony. Democratic Sen. Reynold Nesiba brought the resolution to state that the “Legislature recognizes the LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit community for its collective efforts to secure true equality for all.” It would have had no force of law.

President Joe Biden has approved requests for a federal disaster declaration for Nebraska and Iowa after a line of destructive thunderstorms and tornadoes swept across the states in mid December. The designation allows segments of the two states to access federal funding for emergency work and the repair or replacement of damaged facilities. The declaration covers 25 counties from south-central to east-central Nebraska and 25 counties across Iowa. At least 45 tornadoes were confirmed in the Dec. 15 storms that crossed the Great Plains and Midwest amid unseasonably warm temperatures, with Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota taking the brunt of the damage.

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