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NEWS 6.22.22: Attempted Abduction, Ravnsborg Impeached, Iowa Caucus Fight, COVID Vaccine Shortage, and More

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The Sioux City Police Department is looking for a man they say briefly abducted a teenage girl on Monday night. A news release says the 14-year-old was walking in an alley near 14th and Pierce when the unknown man pulled up behind her and told her to get into his truck. He held her wrist. Out of fear for her safety, she got into the vehicle. The teen then jumped out of the truck to safety near 41st and Hamilton. She is now safe at home with her family. A full description of the suspect can be found on our website kwit.org.

Information from the Sioux City Police Department:

On June 20 at 7:06 pm the Sioux City Police Department responded to a report of a 14-year-old who had been taken by an unknown man.

Responding officers located the teen at a business after she had jumped out of the vehicle and ran to safety.

She reported that we was walking in the alley of 1400 block of Pierce St. when a Hispanic male in a gray pickup truck pulled up behind her and told her to get in his truck. The man took a hold of her wrist to coax into the truck. Out of the fear for her safety, the teen got into the truck. The man then drove the truck away until the teen jumped out in the area of 41stand Hamilton.

The girl is safe at home with her mother.

We are looking for a Hispanic man in his late 30’s or early 40’s, who is about 5 foot 8 inches tall and about 180 pounds. He was described as barrel chested and with a gap in his teeth. His truck is possibly a gray ford extended cab pickup with branches in the back.

Anyone with information on his this person may be is encouraged to call the Sioux City Police Department.

Sioux City police are also investigating a house fire on the city’s westside after a woman's body was found inside on Tuesday. The fire broke out at a home near Ross and West 14th Street. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office is also assisting local authorities, including Sioux City Fire Rescue in the investigation.

A woman has been found guilty of first-degree murder and a man sentenced to prison for the strangulation death of another woman nearly two years ago in her Lake Park home. The Sioux City Journal reports that a judge found 27-year-old Allison Decker guilty Tuesday of the murder count, as well as theft and conspiracy to commit theft in the death of 25-year-old Angel Bastman. Bastman's body was found in her home on Dec. 22, 2020. Decker's codefendant, 25-year-old Justice Berntson, was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in prison for attempted murder in Bastman's death. Investigators say all three were at Bastman's home when Decker and Bastman fought. Prosecutors say Decker strangled Bastman with a belt, and Bernston did nothing to stop it.

The South Dakota Senate convicted Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg of two impeachment charges stemming from a 2020 fatal accident, removing and barring him from future office. Ravnsborg told a 911 dispatcher the night of the crash that he might have struck a deer or other large animal, and has said he didn’t know he struck a man — 55-year-old Joseph Boever — until he returned to the scene the next morning. Lee Schoenbeck, the chamber's top-ranking Republican, said there was no question in his mind that was a lie. Ravnsvorg “ran down an innocent South Dakotan,” he said. Ravnsborg declined to address lawmakers. He has maintained he did nothing wrong.

Iowa Democrats will make their pitch Thursday to the national party to stay first in the nation for the presidential nominating process, according to a report by the Iowa Capital Dispatch.
It’s the first time since 2006 that the Democratic National Committee is looking at a change to the early state lineup, which allowed Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carola to hold their presidential nominating contests before the first Tuesday in March.

The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws committee approved a proposal in April of this year to strip the four states of their early voting status.

The committee announced that all interested states could apply for one of the five waivers allowing them to hold their primary or caucus in February. On Wednesday and Thursday, 17 states and one territory – Puerto Rico – will give their arguments to the committee for why they should earn one of those spots. The committee evaluates each state on three metrics: diversity, competitiveness, and feasibility.

By these three standards, Iowa falls short compared to other Midwestern states hoping to represent the region. Iowa is much less racially diverse than states like Michigan or Illinois, which are also competing for a waiver. Reporting failures during the 2020 Democratic caucuses bring up questions of feasibility. Republicans have made substantial gains in the state’s recent elections.

Kids as young as six months old can now be vaccinated against COVID-19. But Iowa health care providers are warning parents, they may need to be patient when seeking out the shot.

Federal health officials signed off on the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children ages six months to four years old late last week.

Mike Brownlee is with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He says the health care center’s first 200 appointment slots for the new pediatric dose filled immediately.

Because of the impact on the families, the inability to see family members, the daycare issues that have come up, we've seen a spike of interest that may be slightly higher than what we saw with the 5- to 11-year-olds.

Brownlee encourages parents to get their children vaccinated as soon as they are able to get an appointment.

Health officials say the number of new reported positive COVID-19 tests has increased slightly in the past week.

According to state figures, there have been more than 47 hundred positive COVID tests reported in the past seven days.

That’s as hospitalizations remain steady.

Federal health officials report as of today (Wednesday) 186 Iowans are hospitalized with the virus. That’s up just two from last week.

The Centers for Disease Control say two Iowa counties have high community levels. They are Johnson and Winneshiek counties. It’s recommended people there, wear masks in indoor public spaces.

According to the CDC, 62 percent of all Iowans are fully vaccinated against the virus.

A heartwarming tradition launched at Iowa home football games five years ago is getting another feel-good layer. The University of Iowa announced Wednesday that patients at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital will get to pick the songs that accompany the Hawkeye Wave, at which fans attending games at Iowa's Kinnick Stadium wave to patients at the adjacent hospital. The plan was announced two months after the university sought to have Hawkeye fans vote for the next song to accompany the Hawkeye Wave. The fans, in turn, suggested letting the kids pick. Now at every Iowa home game this year, the hospital's Kid Captain — a Children's Hospital patient who is is picked to be honored at each Iowa football game — will help select a new song to accompany the Hawkeye Wave.

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