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NEWS 10.11.22 Tyson CEO Visits Dakota Dunes, Sioux City Mayor Calls for Governors to Act, SDSU Poll Shows Close Race in South Dakota, Broadband Boost for Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, and More

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Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

The CEO of Tyson is in Dakota Dunes this afternoon following last week’s announcement that the more than 550 positions would be transferred to the company’s headquarters in Arkansas. CEO Donnie King will be meeting with employees only.

During yesterday’s city council meeting, Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott called on tri-state governors to work together to come up with a plan to keep Tyson Foods from closing offices in Dakota Dunes. Scott says the move would have a “terrible impact” on Siouxland.

Other city leaders say the overall fallout could result in thousands of people leaving the area.

Local candidates for state and county races will take part in two nights of forums hosted by Sioux City’s League of Women Voters. The events tonight and tomorrow night starting at seven at Western Iowa Tech’s television studios. Siouxland Public Media News Director Mary Hartnett is a member of tonight’s panel. She will pose questions to candidates for Iowa Senate and Iowa House District Two. The forums will appear live on the League of Women Voter’s Facebook page, KCAU 9 News website, and Western Iowa Tech TV’s YouTube Channel. Listen for highlights tomorrow at noon on Siouxland Public Media’s Public Affairs show, The Exchange. League officials say Republican candidates have announced they will not take part due to scheduling conflicts.

Nebraska U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse faced pointed questions and loud protests during his first visit to the University of Florida as the lone finalist for the school’s presidency. Sasse, a Republican in his second Senate term, has drawn criticism from some at the school in Gainesville, Florida, for his stance on same-sex marriage and other LBGTQ issues. Others question his qualifications to run such a sprawling school with more than 50,000 students. The separate meetings Monday were with students, faculty and staff on campus. During those sessions, the Gainesville Sun reported about 1,000 people yelling, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Ben Sasse has got to go” disrupted at least one of the meetings.As Sasse held a forum with students on campus, an estimated 200 student protesters gathered outside with signs and chanted, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Ben Sasse has got to go,” disrupting the session.

The race over who will live in South Dakota’s Governor's Mansion is tightening less than four weeks before the Nov. 8 election, according to a poll released from South Dakota State University on Tuesday.

Gov. Kristi Noem, who's running for her second term, against Democratic challenger Rep. Jamie Smith is leading the race 45% to 41%, with a margin of error of 4%, according to the SDSU Poll, which is part of the School of American and Global Studies at the university in Brookings. The poll also states 14% of voters have not yet decided.

The 4% lead is "roughly the same difference as in the 2018 election," when Noem faced Democratic challenger Billie Sutton.

Election Day is now four weeks away, and Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate says efforts to recruit more poll workers for elections during the pandemic are appearing to pay off.

Pate tells Radio Iowa the general elections coming up are big, but there are other elections throughout the year where they need workers.

Pate encourages voters to be prepared before election day but knowing where they need to vote. Woodbury County Auditor and Election Commissioner Pat Gill is sending out letters to registered voters in the county informing them of their polling places due .

Chuck Grassley tells Radio Iowa if he’s re-elected and Republicans hold majority control of the U.S. Senate for the next six years, he may become chairman of the committee that oversees the entire federal budget.

Grassley is a long-term member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, but Grassley says he’s not positioned to be a chairman of that panel.

Democrat Mike Franken, a retired Navy admiral, is challenging Grassley’s bid for an eighth term in the U.S. Senate. Franken would seek a seat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee if he’s elected. The National Security Leaders for America has endorsed Franken today. It’s a group of retired military officers and diplomats who say they formed the organization to counter misinformation that threatens to undermine American democracy.

The Federal Government has awarded the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska a grant of more than $35 million to provide internet for the reservation.

Broadband Boost for the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.mp3

A special ceremony took place at Ho-Chunk Village in Winnebago Nebraska this afternoon for the announcement.

The project will help connect more than 600 homes with high-speed internet. Overall, the Federal Governor will provide more than $600 million to help Native American Tribes with broadband connectivity.

A small town near one of the Iowa Great Lakes has to set up new oversight of its drinking water supply.

For the past eight decades, the City of Orleans has been buying its drinking water from the City of Spirit Lake. Orleans City Attorney Don Hemphill says the Department of Natural Resources wants someone to be responsible for the quality of the water that comes out of the town’s taps –and Spirit Lake has notified Orleans it does not want to assume responsibility for the water distribution system in Orleans.

The Orleans City Council has asked an engineering firm to analyze the two alternatives and determine which is cheaper in the long run. Orleans, which is near the southern shore of Big Spirit Lake, has about 520 permanent residents according to the 2020 Census, but its population swells during the summertime when the Iowa Great Lakes region becomes a vacation spot.

About 150 items considered sacred by the Sioux peoples that have been stored at a small Massachusetts museum for more than a century are being returned. Museum and tribal officials announced Monday that the items including weapons, pipes, moccasins and clothing — some of which are thought to be linked to the the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre — are due to be formally handed over during a ceremony Nov. 5. The items have been stored at the Founders Museum in Barre for more than a century. Kevin Killer, president of the Oglala Sioux tribe, said the return of the items is a chance to begin the process of healing.

Submitted News Release:

Biden-Harris Administration Awards More Than $35.2 Million to Expand High-Speed Internet Access on Tribal Lands in Nebraska

With Funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, $600+ Million Awarded to 23 Tribal Entities in Latest Round of “Internet for All” Grants

Winnebago, NE – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced $35,252,376.44 in a grant awarded from the Internet for All initiative to the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. NTIA officials announced the grant at an event at the Ho-Chunk Village, Winnebago Statue Garden alongside tribal leaders.

With funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the grant will expand high-speed internet infrastructure deployment projects through the Internet for All Initiative’s Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. In all, the projects will connect over 600 homes with the high-speed internet connectivity necessary for learning, work, and telehealth.

“We are making an historic investment in Tribal communities to ensure reliable, affordable high-speed Internet for all,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “These grants – made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law - underscore President Biden’s commitment to closing the digital divide in the United States, especially within Tribal lands. Today’s awards will not only build high-speed Internet capacity within Tribal Nations, but also bring digital opportunities for good-paying jobs, education, and healthcare.”

"We are thrilled to be a recipient of a TBCP award, which will result in access to quality internet access throughout the Winnebago Tribe and level the playing field of opportunity for our Tribal Nation and our tribal members. Throughout the pandemic we saw firsthand the importance of internet access and how critical it is for our tribal member to participate in remote education, telehealth, and economic development opportunities,” said Winnebago Tribe Chairwoman Victoria Kitcheyan.

These awards are part of 23 new grants announced today totaling more than $601.6 million to tribal entities. These awards are part of the Biden Administration’s commitment to nation-to-nation engagement and an effort to connect everyone in America, including American Indians and Natives, to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet.

Today’s awards bring the total of the program to $1.35 billion awarded to 94 Tribal entities. The funds will be used to invest in high-speed Internet network deployment and digital skills training to improve access to education, jobs, and healthcare on Tribal lands.

The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is a nearly $3 billion grant program and part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All Initiative. The funds are made available from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 ($980 million) and President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law ($2 billion). Additional grants will be announced on a rolling basis this fall. In total, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $65 billion to provide affordable, reliable, high-speed Internet across the country.

A Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for $1 billion in funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be announced in the coming months. NTIA recently held three Tribal Consultations with Tribal leaders to solicit their input on the NOFO.

Internet for All

President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access in communities across the U.S. NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed Internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed Internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed Internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.

Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Visit getinternet.gov to learn more.

For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet programs as well as quotes from the awardees, please visit InternetforAll.gov.

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