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NEWS 9.28.22: River Search, Abortion Ban Legal Fight, Campaign Controversy, and More

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Search efforts took place on the Missouri Wednesday afternoon as authorities tried to find a person witnesses say went into the water. Authorities received a call around 11:10 this morning saying someone either fell or jumped off the railroad bridge crossing the river from Sioux City to South Sioux City. Emergency responders from the metro area took part in the operation.

A preliminary report by the Federal Aviation Administration surrounding a deadly helicopter crash outside of Yankton, South Dakota, on Tuesday shows the aircraft was on fire before falling to the ground. The name of the pilot who died has not been released yet. There was only one person onboard the gyrocopter.

An attorney representing the State of Iowa says the legal landscape surrounding access to abortion has changed and he’s asking the Iowa Supreme Court to allow a ban on most abortions in Iowa to take effect.

Four years ago, Governor Reynolds approved a bill to ban abortions after the sixth week of a pregnancy, a so-called “fetal heartbeat” law. Abortion rights advocates immediately sued and a district court judge issued an order that has prevented the law from taking effect.

The attorney who’s representing the state on this case, argues the Iowa Supreme Court has the authority and duty to lift the district court’s injunction after recent rulings from the Iowa and U.S. Supreme Courts.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa has argued the six-week abortion ban was unconstitutional at the time it was passed and Republican lawmakers who support abortion restrictions should vote on a new law under the new legal precedents established by the courts.

New abortion restrictions have taken effect in at least 15 other states since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade in June. Iowa’s six-week abortion ban would include exceptions for rape, incest, fetal abnormalities and to save the life of the mother.

A campaign advertisement for Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’s is being called “racist and dangerous” by leaders in the Democratic Party.

The ad called “Still Works” starts with a clip of U.S. Representative Cori Bush calling for police to be defunded. Some believe that the opening scene of the video is designed to trick viewers into thinking Reynold’s opponent Democrat Deidre DeJear wants to cut law enforcement funding.

But, DeJear isn’t for defunding the police according to the Iowa Capital Dispatch. On social media, she praised a Federal plan that boosts money for small to medium-sized police departments in Iowa.

The video goes on to show a car on fire in Chicago and migrants at the southern border of the United States.

However, Reynolds' campaign says the video is not racist and says it shows the failed policies across the country in contrast to the governor’s leadership.

Members of the Legislative Black Caucus say, “it puts everyone down except for White people.”

The campaign advertisement can be found here.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is proposing a permanent tax cut for families, specifically the sales tax on groceries.

The announcement came during a press conference Wednesday in Rapid City where Noem says policies by President Joe Biden are hurting South Dakotans and their pocketbooks. Noem promised the state will provide relief for families through the largest tax cut in state history.

The South Dakota state minimum wage will increase from $9.95 an hour to $10.80 starting on January 1st. The first increase originally passed by the state legislature kicked in on January 1st of 2016 according to a story by Siouxland News CBS14-FOX44.

Ho-Chunk Inc.’s Warhorse Casino in Lincoln opened over the weekend. Operations started in a temporary facility. Other casinos will eventually open in Omaha and South Sioux City.

Federal officials are reporting a drop in the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Iowa.

As of today, 175 Iowans hospitalized have tested positive for the virus. That’s down from more than 200 last week.

State officials say more than 27 hundred positive COVID tests have been reported in the past seven days. A significant decrease from last week’s number.

State officials confirmed 26 additional deaths in the past seven days. More than 10 thousand Iowans have died from the virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 55 percent of all Iowans have received their primary COVID vaccine series and first booster dose.

A new report has found rates of obesity in Iowa continue to increase.

The report from the non-profit Trust for America’s Health found nineteen states had obesity rates above 35 percent in 2021.

Iowa was one of them.

Thirty six percent of all Iowans are considered obese. For Black Iowans, that rate jumps up to 44 percent.

The Woodbury County Conservation Foundation's 18th annual Nature Calls held on Saturday had a record-breaking year.

More than $78,500 was raised to benefit the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center's educational programs. Organizers say that this is the event's largest-grossing event to date. More than 600 people attended the event.

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