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Newcast 11.21.22: Iowa's First-in-the-Nation Presidential Caucuses still undecided for 2024; New housing for Siouxland

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The Iowa Caucuses

Iowans and other Midwesterners are at risk of "energy emergencies" this winter, given power plant retirements, possibly natural gas and coal shortages, and railroad disruptions, a national utilities group is warning today.

The North American Electric Reliability Corp., a Georgia-based regulatory authority called NERC, say the winter power reserves of Iowa's power grid operator are 5% below last winter's due to nuclear and coal power plant retirements totaling 4.2 gigawatts.

The chairman of the Iowa Republican Party says two well-known Iowans in the Democratic Party need to speak out to keep their party’s Caucuses first-in-the-nation.

Iowa GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann says former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack have national clout, and they need to use it, according to Radio Iowa.

The Republican National Committee has voted to have the Iowa Caucuses kick off the GOP’s presidential nominating process in 2024, but a group of national Democrats will meet next week to consider other state’s vying to go first in their party’s process.

If the Democratic National Committee decides to schedule presidential primaries in another state before Iowa’s Democratic Party Caucuses, Kaufmann vows to do whatever it takes to ensure both parties’ caucuses are held on the same day — and are first.

South Dakota House Republicans have for the first time named a member of the Cheyenne Sioux Tribe to lead their caucus. GOP house members voted on caucus leadership Saturday in Pierre, selecting Rep. Will Mortenson to serve as House Majority Leader and Rep. Taylor Rehfeldt to serve as House Assistant Majority Leader.
Thirty-four year old Mortenson from Pierre is serving his second term.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City announced they would be supporting the refurbishment of Hubbard Park by contributing the softball field's scoreboard.

Alongside Sioux City local and Iowa fastpitch Hall of Famer Pete Sandman, longtime park caretaker Steve Hauge, and umpire Delbert Christensen, Hard Rock is among the community organizers are banding together to breathe life into Hubbard Park, which was first constructed in the 1930s.

The Sioux City Council will be asked today to approve a development agreement with a local businessman for a $24 million multi-family subdivision on the city's east side, according to the Sioux City Journal.

The Sioux City Council

Dan Hiserote, of The Ridge SC, LLC, plans to build a new 212-unit multi-family residential subdivision at the Eagle Ridge Addition, 3800 Glen Ellen Road. Over the last year, city staff has been working with Hiserote.

The development property contains roughly 14 acres and is currently vacant. The Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council both approved the rezoning and final plat in May.

The development costs are estimated at $24 million. According to city documents, the estimated value of the completed project is $22 million. The current assessed value of the vacant property is approximately $20,000.

The Journal reports that, under the terms of the development agreement, Hiserote agrees to apply for and receive all necessary permits, develop the property in accordance with the preliminary site plan so that 212 multi-family residential units can be constructed on the property prior to Dec. 31, 2026, and execute a forgivable promissory note in the amount of $424,000.

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