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NEWS 11.1.22: Missing Winnebago Tribal Member Found, Sen. Sasse Approved By University Board, Aviation Center Groundbreaking, and More

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City of Sioux City
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A groundbreaking event was held on Nov. 1, 2022 for a new aviation center at Sioux Gateway Airport/Brigadier General Bud Day Field.

Sioux City Police say a missing Native American woman has been located. Thirty-six-year-old Brenda Payer had been reported missing by her family one month ago. Authorities say she was located by family members out of state, is doing well, and was unharmed. In a news release, Payer’s family and the Sioux City Police Department say they appreciate the public’s help in trying to locate her.

Sen. Ben Sasse been chosen by the University of Florida Board of Trustees to be the school’s next president. Despite student opposition and a faculty no-confidence vote, the Republican from Nebraska was recommended for the top post on Tuesday by a unanimous vote of the trustees. Sasse is a historian by training with a doctorate from Yale. At a four-hour meeting on campus Tuesday, the opponent of same-sex marriage said he'll leave partisanship behind and take a “pledge of political celibacy” if approved by the Board of Governors on Nov. 10 to become the school's 13th president. Sasse had previously served as president of Midland University in Fremont before winning a seat in the U.S. Senate. About 1,600 students attend the private Lutheran school.

A groundbreaking took place on Tuesday for a new Aviation Center at the Sioux Gateway Airport. The almost $11 million facility will include hanger space, offices, and training classrooms. The project aims to help with a pilot and mechanic shortage. Morningside University on Tuesday announced the creation of a degree in aviation fields, while Western Iowa Tech Community College plans to offer an Associate of Applied Science in Aviation Maintenance.

The programs will be offered in partnership with Oracle Aviation, based in the Omaha area.

Morningside University plans to launch its School of Aviation next fall.

The former commander of the 185th Refueling Wing, Col. Brian Miller, serves as director of aviation for Morningside and is overseeing the development of facilities, curriculum, and recruitment. (See below for more information).

At least 200,000 Iowans have already cast votes in this year’s General Election.

The latest information on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website indicates county auditors have issued 273,000 absentee ballots and more than 199,000 were returned by mid-morning on Monday. That’s roughly a return rate of roughly 73%.
Radio Iowa reports about 55% of the early votes are from Democrats, 31% are from Republicans and most of the rest are from independents who list “no party” on their voter registration.

Voters can check online at www.voterready.iowa.gov to see if their ballot has been received.

In-person early voting at county auditors’ offices and satellite voting locations continue through November 7th.

Today marks the first day of open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

Last year, more than 72,000 Iowans enrolled in a health care plan through the marketplace, according to federal data.

Officials with the Iowa Insurance Commission say enrollment in marketplace plans has been increasing over the past few years as more options have become available.

Iowans who are interested in signing up for a plan or need help doing so can go to healthcare dot gov.

About 77% of the state’s corn crop had been harvested as of Sunday — along with about 94% of soybeans — after an abnormally wet week for the eastern half of the state, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Parts of northwest Iowa saw no rain.

An average of about two-thirds of an inch of rain fell across Iowa last week, yet farmers had an average of about six days during the week that were suitable for field work, the USDA reported Monday.

The Iowa Capital Dispatch says the state’s corn harvest is nine days ahead of the five-year average, and the soybean harvest is about 10 days ahead.

Drought conditions in the state had continued to worsen and were approaching their worst in nine years before that rainfall, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor’s report late last week.

About 88% of the state was suffering from some degree of drought, and a tiny pocket of extreme drought — the worst dryness condition — expanded significantly in Woodbury County near the Nebraska border.

The number of COVID-19 cases jumped 25% in Nebraska last week, a sign that the virus may be embarking on another winter surge.

Nebraska recorded more than 1,400 new cases.

About 140 Nebraskans were hospitalized with the virus last week, up slightly from the prior week.

Nebraska added four COVID deaths last week, increasing the toll of confirmed or probable deaths in the pandemic to 4,550.

The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska took a step toward fulfilling a longstanding goal as construction began to expand the tribe’s Prairie Flower Casino in Carter Lake.

The groundbreaking on the 60,000-square-foot addition on Monday coincided with the 32nd anniversary of the Ponca Restoration Act that restored the federal government’s recognition of the tribe.

For more on the story click this link: https://omaha.com/news/local/ponca-tribe-breaks-ground-on-casino-expansion-in-carter-lake/article_4d83c578-56e2-11ed-8d02-576dd37d3977.html

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Police in Nebraska say an investigation into a crash that killed six people last month shows the driver of the car was drunk. Lincoln police said in a news release Monday that results from a toxicology report show 26-year-old Jonathan Kurth had a blood alcohol content of .211 — more than 2½ times the legal driving limit of .08. Police also say data collected from the car showed it was traveling 100 mph in the moments before it crashed into a tree along a residential street where the speed limit is 25 mph. Police learned of the Oct. 2 crash when the cellphone of one of the passengers automatically alerted dispatchers.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The fourth-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history could soar to the largest ever if no one wins the top prize in Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing. The jackpot climbed to $1.2 billion after no one matched all six numbers Monday night to win the jackpot. That makes 38 consecutive draws without a jackpot winner since the last person won the big prize on Aug. 3. The jackpot grows after every drawing without a winner and now is approaching the record of $1.586 billion won by three Powerball players in 2016. The second- and third-largest prizes were hit by players of the Mega Millions lottery game.

News release from the Sioux City Police Department:

The family of Ms. Payer and the SCPD appreciate the public's help with trying to locate her.

On 11/1/22 at 09:00 AM, the SCPD received word that Brenda Payer was located by family members out of state. Brenda is doing well and was unharmed.

The family of Ms. Payer and the SCPD appreciate the public's help with trying to locate her.

Original release

The Sioux City Police Department is asking for the public's help in locating 36-year-old Brenda Payer of Her family reported that they last had contact with her on Thursday September 29 when she parked her van in the McDonalds parking lot in the 700 block of Hamilton Blvd. Since then, her friends and family have been unable to contact her. We do not suspect foul play but are concerned for her mental health as she may be in crisis.

News release from the City of Sioux City:

Local Officials Join Oracle Aviation and EDA Rep for Long Awaited Groundbreaking

Omaha-based Company Identifies Growth Opportunity in Sioux City Market

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Several local leaders were joined by a representative of the federal government’s Economic Development Administration and three executives from Omaha-based Oracle Aviation on Tuesday afternoon for a groundbreaking for the metro region’s new Aviation Center at the Sioux Gateway Airport / Brigadier General Bud Day Field.

Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott welcomed Dr. Albert Mosley, the President of Morningside University, and Western Iowa Tech Community College President Dr. Terry Murrell, as well as Mike Wells of The Siouxland Initiative, Joe Kruse, the current Chair of the airport’s Board of Directors, and Joel Jarman, the General Manager of L&L Builders, among others, to break ground on the new Aviation Center at Sioux Gateway Airport. Local leaders were joined by Alex Smith of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and executives Bob and Julie Negus, along with Dave Poole, representing Oracle Aviation, for the long-awaited ceremonial groundbreaking at Sioux Gateway Airport.

Mayor Bob Scott said, “This is an exciting day for Sioux City and our tri-state region as several of our leading local institutions and organizations have come together to invest significantly in the future of aviation in our community.” Just prior to breaking ground on the nearly 40,000 square foot facility, which includes hangar space, training classrooms, and office facilities, the mayor added, “We are committed to increasing activity at this airport and to make Sioux Gateway an aviation destination for this industry.”

City officials, collaborating with leaders at The Siouxland Initiative, facilitated an ongoing dialogue with executives from Oracle Aviation as they sought to increase activity and enhance aviation operations locally. After establishing initial interest from Oracle, the parties began to communicate with Morningside University and Western Iowa Tech in exploration of the possibility of adding degree awarding programs. One year later, Morningside announced the creation of a degree in aviation fields, while WITCC plans to offer an Associates of Applied Science in Aviation Maintenance.

News release from Morningside University:

Morningside University School of Aviation launches in partnership with Oracle Aviation; now enrolling for fall 2023

Sioux City, Iowa – Morningside University is pleased to announce the launch of its School of Aviation which includes Professional Flight and Aviation Management programs. The programs will be offered in partnership with Oracle Aviation, a fixed-base operator (FBO) based in Omaha, and the City of Sioux City. Enrollment is now open for students interested in beginning one of the programs in fall 2023.

“Nationally, the need for pilots and aviation management professionals is at a historic high. That is also true here in Siouxland. As a regional resource, this partnership allows us to provide the skilled talent that the aviation and other industries in this area need, and it gives Morningside students another pathway toward a fulfilling, high-wage career. This is a great thing for Siouxland businesses and the economy, and it is an outstanding opportunity for students interested in pursuing a career in aviation,” said Morningside University President Dr. Albert Mosley.

Oracle Aviation characterizes the growing demands of the aviation industry with projections that show the number of passenger flights doubling in the next 20 years, nearly 80 percent of active pilots being forced into retirement in the next 14 years due to pilot age requirements, and Boeing’s estimates that more than 850,000 pilots will need to be trained to keep up with demand.

Col. Brian Miller, former commander of the 185th Refueling Wing, serves as director of aviation for Morningside and is overseeing the development of facilities, curriculum, and recruitment.

“This is a perfect partnership in an outstanding location. The Sioux Gateway Airport (SUX) offers an ideal setting for pilots to learn in a four-season setting, and the connections that SUX has to commercial, private, and government aviation entities offers students a variety of opportunity,” shared Miller.

Miller noted that students who choose to take part in the program will have an opportunity to get a first-class education but will get to be part of the process of building the program.

“There is so much about Morningside that makes it a great setting where students can really be successful and build strong relationships with other businesspeople and professionals as they are getting their education. That is especially true with the School of Aviation since the students will be helping set the standard for what the program will be. It’s a historic opportunity,” said Miller.

Students interested in enrolling in the Professional Flight or Aviation Management program for Fall 2023 will need to apply to the program and are also encouraged to make a campus visit. Students who apply and are accepted to the Professional Flight program can expect additional requirements necessary for obtaining pilot ratings. Opportunities to discuss these requirements in detail are available during the campus visit and admissions process.

News release from Siouxland District Health:

Exercise and get a free blood pressure screening!

Sioux City, IA, October 26, 2022 : Siouxland District Health Department is collaborating with Southern Hills Mall on a winter Move Your Way® walking campaign. The campaign will start Nov. 1st, 2022 and will run through February 28th, 2023. Walking in the mall is free year-round, but during these four months, Siouxland District Health will be offering free blood pressure screenings the first and last Wednesday of the month from 8:00am-10:00am at Southern Hills Mall. A route map of the mall can also be found on the health department’s website-Siouxlanddistricthealth.org under services/local campaigns.

The Move Your Way® Campaign was created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to promote physical activity guidelines for Americans. The campaign aims to help people understand how much physical activity they need to be healthy and how to fit it into their daily lives. Physical activity in can boost mood, sharpen focus, reduce stress, improve sleep, and help children and teens get better grades. Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intense aerobic activity per week while children and teens need at least 60 minutes every day. The Move Your Way® website contains fact sheets, posters, videos and interactive tools that are free and easy to use.

Nearly half of adults in the United states have hypertension (high blood pressure). Having hypertension puts people at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Physical activity has been shown to lower blood pressure by making the heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. As a result, the force on arteries decrease lowering blood pressure. Constantly monitoring one’s blood pressure can also help with early diagnosis, treatment, and management of hypertension.

No matter who you are, where you live, on your own or together, you can find safe, easy ways to exercise and stay healthy. Siouxland District Health Department encourages you to get more active during the winter months and take control of your health!

If you would like more information on this campaign, please contact Anais Adame at (712)490-5952 or aadame@siouxlanddistricthealth.org

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