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NEWS 9.8.22: Tri-State Governors Respond to Death of Queen Elizabeth II, South Dakota Native American Voting Rights, Fall College Enrollment Down for Two Iowa Universities, and More

Queen Elizabeth II
Wikimedia Commons

Buckingham Palace says Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, has died at age 96. Elizabeth spent seven decades on the throne as the U.K. rebuilt from war, lost an empire, transformed its economy, and both entered and left the European Union. Upon the queen’s death, her 73-year-old son Charles automatically became king and will be known as King Charles III. Elizabeth was a constant presence, the only monarch most Britons have ever known. She likely met more people than anyone in history, and her image, which adorned stamps, coins and banknotes, was among the most reproduced in the world. But her inner life and opinions remained largely an enigma.

Statement from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II:

“Today, we recognize the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II. She was a remarkable and steadfast woman who fought side by side with the United States through some of the Free World’s most trying times. I’ll always admire her fortitude, love of freedom, and tenacity, that has inspired other women in leadership. Kevin and I join with Iowans in sharing our condolences to the Royal Family.”

From Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts:

Queen Elizabeth II lived an extraordinary life. Throughout her more than 70 years on the throne, she was a friend to our nation and a model of patriotism, service, and Christian charity to the world. Our thoughts are with her loved ones and the people of the United Kingdom today.

From South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem:

An incredible life so well led. Her Majesty saw so many triumphs and tragedies in her 96 years on earth. Royalty who could walk with the common man. May she Rest In Peace.

An investigation is underway after a deadly shooting in Wayne County, Nebraska, last night.

The Nebraska State Patrol said when authorities arrived on the scene north of Wisner around 7:15 p.m., they found a man suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died.

A northwest Iowa man was killed when his farm tractor was hit by a semi last night.

The collision happened on Highway 60, four miles south of Ashton. The Iowa State Patrol says the semi rear-ended a tractor driven by 84-year-old George Klein of Sheldon. The driver of the semi was not hurt.

A second person died after a crash in Woodbury County on Tuesday afternoon. The sheriff’s office says Gerald and Sally Forch of Kingsley were killed after their vehicle was hit while turning onto Highway 20 between Moville and Correctionville.

News release from the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office:

On September 6, 2022, at approximately 4:15 pm Deputies and EMS responded to the area of Highway 20 and Lee Avenue for a traffic accident.

The two occupants of the vehicle struck had to be extracted from the vehicle. The driver suffered life-\ threatening injuries and was pronounced deceased at Mercy One. The passenger was life-flighted to Mercy One and has also since died.

The two victims are Gerald and Sally Forch, Kingsley, Iowa.

A Sioux City man charged with burglary at a hardware store in Storm Lake has been tied to similar crimes throughout Iowa and surrounding states.

Radio Iowa reports that 45-five-year-old Adam Nelson faces several felony charges after being taken into custody by Lyon County Deputies in Rock Rapids on drug-related charges and other warrants in Sioux County. Nelson is accused of stealing $2,800 worth of merchandise from Ace Hardware in Storm Lake in January.

Nebraska officials expect to receive nearly $200 million from the federal government, which they're planning to devote to expanding broadband internet access across the state.

Gov. Pete Ricketts announced multiple pools of federal funding coming to Nebraska at a news conference Wednesday. Ricketts described broadband as a "basic infrastructure" that is crucial to improving the lives of residents and the state as a whole.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Treasury approved $87.7 million for Nebraska to increase broadband internet access to an estimated 21,000 homes and businesses.

The South Dakota secretary of state will implement a voting rights coordinator and train state agencies on how to comply with federal voting rights laws. It's part of a settlement with two Native American tribes that successfully sued the state for violating federal laws on aiding voter registration. A U.S. District Judge in May sided with two tribes, the Rosebud Sioux and the Oglala Sioux, and the Lakota People’s Law Project after they sued the secretary of state for not adhering to the National Voter Registration Act. The secretary of state’s office agreed to pay $625,000 in attorney’s fees to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

Iowa is starting to get in shipments of the latest COVID-19 booster shots, and the experts say we should consult with our doctors on the best timing to get vaccinated.

Federal figures show 63% of all Iowans have received their initial vaccinations against the virus, but only slightly more than half of this group has received their first booster dose.

Two of Iowa’s three public universities saw declining enrollment this fall. The exception is the University of Iowa where the total number of students grew slightly to just over 30,000. That includes undergrads, graduate and professional students.

The first-year class is the third largest on record at the U-of-I.

Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management Brent Gage says more out-of-state students are going to Iowa City in 2022 after the coronavirus pandemic kept many of them away in recent years.

“Now that things are kind of calmed down on that realm we’ve seen a lot more students wanting to come to the University of Iowa, especially to our destination programs.”

That includes the college of business which Gage says has seen record enrollment.

Total student numbers at Iowa State University declined this fall to just under 30,000, although the first-year class is larger than last year. It’s the first time ISU enrollment came in under 30,000 since the fall of 2011.

Enrollment is down 3 percent at the University of Northern Iowa, at just under 9,000 students.

Iowa goes for its seventh win in a row in the Cy-Hawk Game against Iowa State on Saturday. The Hawkeyes host the Cyclones in the Big Ten's featured matchup.