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NEWS 10.3.22: Deadly Nebraska Crash, Sandhills Wildfire, Tanzania Survivors in Siouxland, and More

Police in Nebraska say a passenger’s cellphone automatically alerted responders after a car hit a tree in a crash that killed all six of its young occupants. Five men in the car died at the scene of the crash in Lincoln in the wee hours of Sunday. A woman died later at a hospital. The victims ranged in age from 21 to 24. Police are still investigating the cause of the crash. But they say it was reported by an iPhone that detected the impact and called responders automatically when the phone’s owner didn’t respond.

A large wildfire continues to burn in the Nebraska Sandhills. The fire started in the Nebraska National Forest near Halsey on Sunday afternoon. That’s about 260 miles from Sioux City. As of Monday morning, 15,000 acres have burned. Investigators say the fire is “human-caused and is under investigation. The State 4-H Camp lodge and cabins were destroyed by the flames.

Gov. Kim Reynolds says that joining a lawsuit against student loan forgiveness is an example of how she would work at the state level to block federal policies from the Biden administration if she is reelected.

Under the White House proposal, student loan borrowers could have up to 10,000 dollars of college debt cancelled and twice that for Pell Grant recipients from low-income families.

Last week Reynolds announced she will join five other Republican governors who are challenging the loan relief plan in court.

Speaking to supporters at her Harvest Festival fundraiser on Saturday, Reynolds said people without students loans shouldn’t have to pay for those who do.

“Even if they make more than you, you paid for your college, you decided not to go, you worked while you were going. But this governor that's pushing back, we're taking Biden to court. And boy I’d like my own attorney general to help me do it!”

The Democratic candidate for governor, Deidre DeJear referred to Reynolds’ legal challenge as going against the interests of hardworking Iowans.

According to a White House estimate, more than 400,000 people in the state may qualify to have a portion of their student loan debt cancelled.

The Sioux City Council will be asked this afternoon to approve a lease agreement for the Arena Sports Academy's rental of Riverside Recreational Sports Complex for an outdoor little league program. More information from the Sioux City Journal can be found here.

Submitted News Release:

MercyOne, STEMM and Western Iowa Tech welcome the Tanzanian Miracle Kids back to Siouxland

Sioux City, Iowa, September 29, 2022 – Five years ago, Siouxland opened its arms to three children from Tanzania. A school bus carrying 13-year-old Sadhia, 13-year-old Doreen and 12-year-old Wilson crashed, killing 35 people.

The three children survived due to the heroic efforts of Siouxland Tanzania Educational Medical Ministries (STEMM) and were transported to MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center, then known as Mercy Medical Center, for life-saving care. Sadhia, Doreen and Wilson had over 20 broken bones and Doreen was paralyzed when she arrived. But due to the care she received, she is able to walk again.

“We really celebrate belief in miracles, and the story of the Miracle Kids, as well as the willingness for all to answer the call,” said the founder of STEMM, Dr. Steve Meyer. “This is a great example of how we can work across countries and color to collaborate and facilitate miracles and do God’s work.”

Today, their journey in Siouxland continues at Western Iowa Tech Community College. In October 2021 they graduated high school and decided to continue their educational journeys in the city that saved their lives.

“It’s wonderful to see Sadhia, Doreen and Wilson doing so well,” said Lea Greathouse, MercyOne Western Iowa vice president of Mission, marketing and support services. “Five years ago MercyOne was blessed to be part of their survival story, and it is so good to see them thriving today, back in Siouxland.”

We invite you to join us on Monday, October 3 for a reception and news conference at MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center (801 5th Street) to welcome the Tanzanian Miracle Kids back to Siouxland. The news conference will be held at 3 p.m.