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Newscast 11.30.22: The DNC may end Iowa's first-in-the nation Presidential caucus status; COVID-19 cases increasing in Iowa

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A former Morningside University alumni relations director has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison in Virginia on child pornography charges, according to the Sioux City Journal.

Forty-nine year-old Shiran Nathaniel of Sioux City pleaded guilty earlier this year in Stafford County Circuit Court in Stafford, Virginia.

He was sentenced Monday in Virginia to 33 years in prison, and 25 years and 11 months of the sentence were suspended.

National Democrats are poised to upend decades of political precedent this week as they gather in Washington, D.C., to vote on a new presidential nominating calendar — one that is expected to, finally, bump Iowa from its first-in-the-nation status, according to the Des Moines Register and the Associated Press.

Members of the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee are exploring scenarios that could move New Hampshire or Nevada into the leadoff spot and bring a new state such as Michigan or Minnesota into the early voting window.

Though the outcome is far from certain, few expect Iowa, which has kicked off the presidential nominating process since 1972, to hold its coveted position after a disastrous 2020 caucus in which the party was unable to report results for several days amid a tangle of technology and organizational failures.

COVID-19 hospitalizations and reported positive tests in Iowa are up this week.

The Federal Department of Health and Human Services reports as of Wednesday 233 Iowans hospitalized have tested positive for the virus. Up from 172 last week.

That’s as the state health department says more than 34 hundred positive tests were reported in the past seven days.

State officials also added 18 Iowans to Iowa’s COVID death count. 10,294 Iowans have died from the virus so far.

Friday morning, state and local legislators from across Siouxland will descend on the Western Iowa Tech Community College campus for the latest iteration of the SIMPCO "Tri-State Legislative Forum."

The event, which is hosted by the Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council (SIMPCO), is set to start at 9 a.m. in the Robert E. Dunker Student Center and will feature conversations about local housing projects, renewable energy and infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Speakers this year include representatives from the three respective state Departments of Transportation as well as officials from MidAmerican Energy, Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative and the Iowa Utility Association. A member of the staff for the Central City, Nebraska-based Mesner Development will speak on the housing issue.

In the run-up to Christmas 2022, a group on the Dordt University campus has released an official holiday single on a number of music-streaming platforms.

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Wednesday morning, the Dordt University Worship Arts Department announced that its version of the centuries-old Christmas hymn "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," is available to listen to on Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube.

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