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NEWS 3.15.22

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Sioux City Police investigating the death of a man who walking in the middle of Interstate 29 overnight.

The man was hit near the Riverside exit in the northbound lanes of traffic.

The investigation also continues surrounding a shooting that happened yesterday near 19th and Ingleside Avenue. Someone who lived at that location says he shot a woman who broke into his home with a knife. The woman ended up at MercyOne Medical Center with a gunshot wound. A police spokesperson says so far no charges have been filed.

It’s been a deadly start of 2022 for drivers in Nebraska. Fifteen people lost their lives in crashes last month according to the Nebraska Department of Transportation. A majority were not wearing seat belts. The first two months of the year saw 41 fatalities, an increase of 17% from the year before, and 22% more than the average for the past few years.

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Nebraska Department of Transportation

Sioux City property owners will see an increase in the city's share of their tax bill. The Sioux City Journal reports the current level will increase from $14.45 per $100,000 of accessed valuation to $15.41 for fiscal year 2023. Mayor Bob Scott was the only one to vote against the proposal due to concerns about the economy. The overall budget is almost $296 million.

For more information click here: https://siouxcityjournal.com/news/local/sioux-citys-tur-pak-foods-to-close-lay-off-121-workers/article_d91c083b-1168-5839-8faa-4a8c8ed622a0.html#tracking-source=home-top-story

Tur-Pak Foods, a food processing plant located near Sioux Gateway Airport, intends to close, according to Iowa Workforce Development.

The layoff date for about 120 employees is May 9th

Billboards targeting members of the South Dakota legislative panel examining whether Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg should be impeached have been popping up around Sioux Falls. The signs demand the attorney general be impeached and name four members of the House Select Committee on Investigation which has been looking into Ravnsborg’s conduct related to a 2020 crash that killed pedestrian Joe Boever. A fifth lawmaker who voted against a resolution calling for the House to open an investigation into Ravnsborg was also named in the ads. The organization which put up the billboards, Dakota Institute for Legislative Solutions, lists itself as a non-profit organized to carry forward Gov. Kristi Noem’s agenda. Noem's representatives say she had nothing to do with the billboards.

Democrat Deidre DeJear officially filed with the secretary of state’s office to run for governor of Iowa.

DeJear addressed supporters after filing. She says they just made history.

“We’re seeking to run for this office because we want to see change happen in this state. The type of change that impacts y’alls pocketbooks, your communities, your counties, and the better life that we can all have in this state. So, me submitting these papers is less about me, and more about where we’re going.”

If elected, DeJear could become the first Black woman elected governor in the country.

There’s a primary election in June, but DeJear is currently the only major Democrat running for governor. According to her campaign, she submitted 66-hundred signatures. The minimum number required to file to run is 35-hundred.

Funeral plans are set for two of the seven people killed during a violent outbreak of tornadoes that struck central Iowa earlier this month. The Des Moines Register reports that 64-year-old Rodney Clark’s service will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday at a cemetery in Madison County. The Clark’s home in the Winterset area didn’t have a basement. His family said he died while protecting his wife. A funeral for 40-year-old Jesse Theron Fisher of Chariton will be at 4 p.m. Friday at a funeral home in Chariton. Fisher died when a tornado struck Red Haw State Park. A friend says Fisher was staying at the park at the time.

The state of Nebraska reports the employment rate is now above pre-pandemic levels. Governor Ricketts issued a statement saying 12,000 more people were employed from January 2020 to January of 2022. Ricketts says Nebraska “avoided using the heavy hand of government to impose lockdowns, statewide mask mandates, or vaccine passports.” Nebraska’s unemployment rate of 2.2% is the lowest in the country.

News release from the State of Nebraska:

Media Release:

Gov. Ricketts: Nebraska’s Employment Now above Pre-Pandemic Levels

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement following news that Nebraska’s employment grew by more than 12,000 people from January 2020 to January 2022.

“Throughout the pandemic, we slowed the spread of the virus while allowing people to lead a more normal life,” said Gov. Ricketts. “We avoided using the heavy hand of government to impose lockdowns, statewide mask mandates, or vaccine passports. This gave businesses the freedom to stay open and serve their customers. Recent labor numbers prove that this approach has worked. There are now 12,000 more Nebraskans employed in our workforce than there were in January 2020—before the pandemic began. Thanks to the hard work of Nebraskans, we’ve successfully grown our state despite facing the greatest public health emergency of the past century.”

On March 14th, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) issued state unemployment rates for January 2022. This month, the BLS also released revised employment data for all states going back to January 2017. After the revision, Nebraska’s preliminary unemployment rate for January 2022 is the lowest in state history. At 2.2%, it remains the lowest in the nation.

Iowa’s unemployment rate fell to 3.7% in January, the state’s lowest rate since the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered Iowa businesses in March 2020.

The Director of Iowa Workforce Development tells the Iowa Capital Dispatch, Iowa’s economic recovery from the pandemic is “continuing to press forward.” The state’s unemployment rate has decreased slowly over the past year, but remains elevated above pre-pandemic levels.

Workforce concerns have been a driving force in Iowa politics over recent months. Iowa lawmakers are considering changes to the state’s unemployment system, including offering fewer weeks of benefits and lowering the wage threshold for a “suitable” job.

Iowa’s unemployment rate peaked in April 2020, when 10.5% of the state’s workforce was unemployed amid COVID-19 closures. The unemployment rate fell dramatically over the summer, leveling out around 4.5% in the fall of 2020.

Since then, the unemployment rate has decreased slowly, dropping just a fraction of a percentage point each month. January’s 3.7% unemployment rate is the lowest in Iowa since before the pandemic.

But the rate is still significantly elevated from pre-COVID levels, when Iowa had about 2.6% unemployment.

For more information click here: https://iowacapitaldispatch.com/2022/03/14/iowa-unemployment-rate-fell-to-3-7-in-january/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=69a17a08-ff55-49ed-8e51-e12ee2749a26

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Avery Brothers

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