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NEWS 5.23.22

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Sioux City Musketeers
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Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley says Gov. Kim Reynolds’ proposal to divert about $55 million from public schools to private school scholarships will not pass in the Iowa House because of a lack of Republican support. The plan called for taxpayer-funded scholarships for up to 10,000 students to attend the private school of their choice. It passed the Senate in March but too many Republicans in the House oppose the idea. Reynolds has said she won't give up and will work to pass the measure next year. Lawmakers are expected to end the legislative session this week, about five weeks behind the scheduled adjournment.

The budget bill will include funding for home health care incentives in rural areas and crisis pregnancy centers that promote childbirth over abortion.

But the bill will not include funding to expand postpartum care for Medicaid recipients for up to a year. And it will use federal American Rescue Plan funding to transition more Iowans with disabilities to home and community-based services.

The legislature also passed major tax cuts this year that will reduce state revenue in the near future.

An Iowan who served more time than any other as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War has died.

KCCI Television in Des Moines reports Larry Spencer grew up in Earlham. He joined the Navy in 1963.

During a reconnaissance mission in North Vietnam, Spencer was captured. He spent nearly seven years as a prisoner.

Funeral services will be held next Tuesday in West Des Moines. Spencer was 82.

Briar Cliff students worked together to help restore a large western Iowa prairie back to its original ecosystem.

Students recently cut down black locust trees from the Sioux City Prairie. Professor David Hoferer says the trees can lead prairie grass to die and subsequently force out species that nest in the land. He says the project is a part of a growing movement to ‘re-wild’ Iowa.

“It takes all of us working together to want to do something better for the future. And if we all come together and work better for the future, then this little effort here will help to keep the Sioux City prairie thriving.”

The 150-acre land is one of the nation’s largest urban prairies. 80 percent of the Iowa land used to be covered in the prairie. Now, Hoferer says the state’s down to less than one percent.

Four ad agencies, all from outside South Dakota, have been selected to collaborate on promoting the state’s tourism industry. Tourism officials say just one South Dakota agency bid for the work. A spokesperson says the four out-of-state companies were selected because of what the Department of Tourism sees as new and fresh ideas to give South Dakota tourism a broader appeal. The companies have signed three-year contracts with the state and are tasked with working with the department to develop comprehensive marketing strategies.

A celebration is scheduled tonight for the Sioux City Musketeers. The hockey team won the Clark Cup Championship over the weekend. They beat the Madison Capitols on Saturday night in overtime. The Musketeers last brought home a championship 20 years ago. They also won in 1982 and 1986. The celebration will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. this evening at the Tyson Events Center Plaza.

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