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NEWS 2.8.22

Sioux City Police Department

The City of Sioux City saw a 4% rise in overall violent crime last year compared to the year before. This is according to preliminary a report on crime released by the police department.

The data shows 423 violent crimes, including more than 300 aggravated assaults. The number of forcible rape increased from 36 to 62.

Murders fell from six to four. Robberies also decreased from 75 in 2020 to 52 in 2021.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds took action to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Today, she ordered the state agency overseeing wholesale liquor sales to no longer buy products from Russia.

Iowa is one of 17 states that control the sale of alcoholic liquor at the wholesale level.

Reynold’s say this “demonstrates Iowa’s solidarity with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their freedom against Putin’s tyranny.”

Reynolds is also calling for ending Iowa’s “Sister State” relationship with the Stavropol relationship as Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev began a series of political and economic reforms. Gorbachev was born in Stavropol and Branstad led an Iowa delegation to the region in 1987.

Reynolds also is calling on the Iowa Sister States organization to enhance its relationship with the Cherkasy province, which is in central Ukraine.


COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases continue to plummet in Nebraska following last month’s peak, and state health officials are optimistic they will improve yet more into the summer. Nebraska's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gary Anthone said Monday that people can start thinking about “getting back to normal." The improving numbers are a relief for the state’s hospitals that were pushed to the limit when hospitalizations rose as high as 767 on Jan. 28. That number has fallen steadily since then, hitting 279 on Sunday and Anthone says he's optimistic hospitalization numbers will continue to drop.

South Dakota House Republicans have dismissed a proposal to legalize recreational pot for adults, in a major blow to a bill that aimed to honor the will of the voters. The bill that was tossed Monday narrowly passed the Republican-controlled Senate last week. Lawmakers reasoned they should try to stay ahead of a campaign to get recreational marijuana back on the ballot this November. But lawmakers on the House State Affairs committee dismissed the proposal on an eight to three vote. Marijuana legalization advocates vowed to mount a last-ditch effort to resurrect the proposal on the House floor.

A Nebraska lawmaker is promoting construction of a long debated four-lane highway between Yankton and Norfolk, Nebraska, citing the recent availability of federal money. Nebraska state Sen. Mike Flood has proposed a bill that would turn the 57-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 81 into an expressway. Flood says Norfolk was mistakenly overlooked on the state’s 1988 expressway plan linking cities of 15,000 with the interstate. Norfolk’s population is about 25,000. In the latest census, Yankton has surpassed 15,000 residents, a figure that grows to about 20,000 residents when including the popular Lewis and Clark Lake area. Flood says the timing is right with the availability of federal pandemic relief funds and federal money for infrastructure projects

The superintendent of Iowa’s largest school district says he is stepping down at the end of this school year.

Des Moines Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Ahart says he will be resigning his position effective June 30. He’s been superintendent for a decade.

Most recently, he gained attention for his COVID-19 pandemic response. At times he defied the state’s ban on school mask mandates and requirement to offer an in-person learning option.

I guess I can say that the last two years, didn't feel like two years. You know, it felt more like, you know, four or five years.” 

This puts his departure one year earlier than expected.

Last spring, the Des Moines School board voted not to extend his contract past June 2023.

Ahart said Monday he did not feel like he was forced out of his role.

“Des Moines Public Schools is in a really good place right now considering especially the record low funding that we've had over the last decade. And, so I feel it's a good time for me to take a step away to reevaluate where I want to go with my career.” 

The school board will appoint an interim superintendent for the next school year in the weeks ahead. And will conduct a nationwide search for Ahart’s replacement.

A judge has cleared the way for newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises to use a voting system that will ensure two longtime directors are reelected at next month’s annual meeting despite the objections of a hedge fund that is trying to buy the company. The Davenport, Iowa-based publisher said the Delaware judge threw out Alden Global Capital’s latest lawsuit Friday. The publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Buffalo News, Lincoln Journal Star and dozens of other newspapers rejected Alden’s $141 million takeover offer in December because Lee said it “grossly undervalued” the company. The New York-based hedge fund has a reputation for imposing severe cuts and layoffs at the more than 200 newspapers it owns.

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR Governor Kim ReynoldsLt. Governor Adam Gregg

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, February 28, 2022 CONTACT: Alex Murphy, (515) 802-0986, Alex.Murphy@Governor.Iowa.Gov

Governor Reynolds announces efforts to support Ukraine

DES MOINES -- The State of Iowa has announced new measures to further demonstrate its solidarity with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their freedom against Putin’s tyranny.

Today, Governor Reynolds has directed the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) to remove any Russian-produced alcoholic liquor products from its wholesale purchase list. On or before March 1, 2022, all delisted products will be posted on the ABD website.

Iowa is one of 17 states that controls the sale of alcoholic liquor at the wholesale level. Under Iowa law, ABD has the authority to determine the brands of alcoholic liquor products available for sale to retailers. Alcoholic liquor is sold by ABD to off-premises retailers who then sell the products directly to consumers or to on-premises retailers, such as bars and restaurants.

Governor Reynolds has also called for Iowa Sister States to end Iowa’s sister state relationship with Stavrapol Krai, Russia and provide recommendations for enhancing its sister state relationship with Cherkasy Oblast, Ukraine.

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