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NEWS 6.10.22: Murder Investigation, Gun Violence March Preview, Siouxland Schools Receive Grants to Help Ease Teaching Shortage, and More

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March For Our Lives
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A Sioux City woman faces a second-degree murder charge after a deadly shooting last night near downtown.

Investigators 32-year-old Katrina Barnes and the victim argued earlier in the day. The man left and then later started pounding on the front door of a house near 9th and Nebraska. Barnes shot through the door. Paramedics took the man to MercyOne, where he died a short time later.

Barnes also faces drug charges. Another woman, 25-year-old Jordyn Eaton was also arrested and is accused of being an accessory after the fact. The name of the victim is not being released yet as authorities are still notifying family members.

News release from the Sioux City Police Department:

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Tomorrow across the country, state, and even here in Sioux City advocates to prevent gun violence will take to the streets in solidarity.

“Spread awareness and bring education and awareness to the crisis and mass shootings across the country.”

That is one of the organizers of the event, Estella Ruhrer-Johnson, is a co-founder of the local March For Our Lives Chapter, which she started as a junior high student at East Middle in 2018 after the launch of the national organization after a school shooting in Florida.

“We want to create a safer American for all people, political parties, races and religions.”

Ruhrer-Johnson says the public needs to hold lawmakers to a higher standard.

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Britton Hacke
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“They are in office to protect the people they serve and we are not seeing that from our current state government.”

The march starts in front of the Woodbury County Courthouse at 11 a.m. tomorrow. The group will walk to the Sioux City Public Museum to hear speakers, including Ruhrer-Johnson. People are encouraged to wear orange to honor victims of gun violence.

Ruhrer-Johnson plans to attend the University of Iowa in the fall to study political science and social justice along with her March For Our Lives counterpart Dominic Eastman, who also graduated from East High School in May.

News release from Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts:

“Inflation in America has hit a new 40-year high. There is nothing more corrosive to the American family’s pocketbooks. President Biden’s failed policies are forcing families to struggle with high prices.”

“Mr. President, it’s time to put the American people first. Stop the rampant spending, stop the war on American energy, and reverse course on your big-government agenda that is hurting all Americans.”

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts say it’s time President Bident puts the American people first. He issued a statement today in response to inflation hitting a 40-year high in May according to statistics released by the U.S. Labor Department that shows the consumer price index increased to 8.6% from a year ago.

Ricketts says “there is nothing more corrosive to the American family’s pocketbooks and adds failed policy forces people to struggle with high prices. He wants the president to stop what he calls “rampant spending, stop the war on American energy", and reverse course on a big-government agenda.

Republican candidate for Iowa attorney general Brenna Bird says she plans to take the Biden administration to court if elected in November. Incumbent Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat, tells the Iowa Capital Dispatch that’s not what the office is about and he’ll focus on serving everyday Iowans.

If elected, Bird said she plans to challenge the Biden administration on any regulations she believes are outside of the rule of law, including mask and vaccine mandates, environmental restrictions and border policies that allow undocumented people and illegal drugs into the U.S. Bird said she would fight against the revival of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulation.

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds criticized Miller in May when she told a crowd at a GOP event she wanted her “own” attorney general. Reynolds’ remarks were criticized in turn by Democrats, who pointed out the attorney general is an independent office-holder who doesn’t work for the governor.

HoChunk Inc.’s WarHorse Gaming is the first casino operator in Nebraska to receive provisional gaming licenses for planned facilities in Omaha and Lincoln.

These new licenses allow the company to initiate vendor contracts, financing efforts, and employee recruitment.

Both casinos will have phased-in openings starting for Lincoln later this year, and Omaha early next year.

The Des Moines-based company which makes medical marijuana products for the state is changing its name.

MedPharm Iowa is now called “Bud & Mary’s Cannabis.” Company Group President Lucas Nelson tells Radio Iowa they have expanded into Colorado and Michigan, and the change better represents what they do, and honors the names of his grandparents, instead of sounding like a pharmaceutical company.

The company’s Sioux City dispensary started using the new name last week.

Iowa drivers know they need to be watchful for deer at all times of the year, but it’s especially important to be vigilant over the next few weeks.

A spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources tells Radio Iowa it’s fawning season and that means deer will be more plentiful along our roadways. The fawning season is the second-highest time for accidents as yearling fawns are now on their own.

A study by State Farm found Iowa is one of the top states for deer collisions. It shows Iowa drivers have a 1-in-69 chance of hitting a deer, based on insurance claims. Each year, around 7,000 crashes between vehicles and deer are reported to Iowa law enforcement.

Iowans are calling DNR field offices and conservation officers to report finding fawns in odd places like flowerbeds or small patches of cover. They want to remind people it’s just normal deer behavior and more than likely the doe did not abandon their offspring.

The DNR is not taking in fawns to avoid the potential of spreading chronic wasting disease, or other diseases.

Three Siouxland school districts will receive more than $12.5 million to help recruit teaching professionals. The Governor announced the Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Grant Program on Thursday to help with a teaching and staff shortages. The Storm Lake and MOC Floyd Valley Districts will get more than $6 million each with Sioux City Community Schools receiving around $1.2 million. The program creates opportunities for high school and adult paraeducators to earn credentials while working in the classroom.

News release from the State of Iowa:

Gov. Reynolds announces award winners for Teacher and Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Program

DES MOINES -- Today, Governor Kim Reynolds announced the 19 recipient schools of the Teacher and Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Grant Program, which she unveiled during her Condition of the State Address in January.

The Teacher and Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Program grants will serve more than 1,000 paraeducators and students in 134 schools ultimately creating over 500 new paraeducators and 500 new teachers. Of these, 110 recipients are creating the first-ever registered apprenticeship programs in their schools. A total of $45.6 million will be granted towards the program. The full list of award winners can be found here.

The grant program will provide opportunities for current high school students and adults to earn a paraeducator certificate and associates degree and paraeducators to earn their bachelor's degree all while learning and working in the classroom. The program will begin this fall during the 2022-2023 school year. To learn more about the pilot program, visit here.

“The overwhelming response we received for this grant opportunity has been truly remarkable and is evident of the great interest and passion that lies within our students and paraeducators to jumpstart their careers in education,” Gov. Reynolds said. “Through valuable partnerships, this program makes post-secondary educational opportunities available at the fingertips of high school students before graduating high school. And, we’re not done yet--this pilot program is just the beginning of what we hope will expand across the state.”

“Growing our teacher and paraeducator talent pipeline helps ensure Iowa students have access to a world-class education today and into the future,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo. “I commend these school districts and postsecondary partners for their innovative plans to start registered apprenticeships that will inspire and support the next generation of educators in Iowa communities.”

“This unique grant will expand and create more opportunities for Iowans who might not otherwise believe a career in education is possible,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Registered Apprenticeships have long been a crucial tool in developing our workforce. It is incredibly exciting to see this model embraced by educators to create a pipeline for teachers and paraeducators and demonstrates that apprenticeships can be created for almost any occupation in any industry.”

Funding is made available through the American Rescue Plan Act.

News release from the City of Sioux City and Police Department:

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