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NEWS 12.8.22: Winter Weather, Field of Dreams Money Returned, COVID-19 Boosters for Young Children, and More

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect through tomorrow morning for Siouxland and beyond. The National Weather Service says conditions could change quickly, with freezing rain and snow expected. They warn the evening community could be impacted, so motorists need to slow down. Today’s forecast did cause the early dismal of schools across the area, including the Sioux City metro area. Meteorologists predict one to four inches could fall with icing in spots with temperatures hovering around freezing.

As of 3:40 p.m. roads in northeast Nebraska are covered in ice, and southeast south Dakota pavement is wet with scattered slippery spots. According to the website, 511ia.org shows roads in Iowa are mostly clear, but that could quickly change.

Two people have died and a third is seriously injured after a pickup truck collided with a train near Harrisburg. The South Dakota State Patrol says Thursday that the crash happened before 5 p.m. Wednesday. The state patrol says preliminary information indicates that the driver of the pickup did not yield at a railroad crossing and collided with a train. Two passengers in the truck — a 45-year-old woman and a 12-year-old girl — died at the scene. The 44-year-old man who was driving the pickup suffered life-threatening injuries and was airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital. Authorities say he may face criminal charges.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has called for a review of the state’s investments to determine if it has stakes in Chinese companies. The Republican governor, who is seen as a potential contender for her party's nomination to run for president in two years, has taken aim at the state’s ties to China and claimed that they pose a national security threat. Last week, she banned TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, from being used on state-owned devices. Noem's office issued a statement saying she wants the South Dakota Investment Council, which oversees a $19 billion portfolio for the state’s pension fund and other trust funds, to review its investments for ties to Chinese companies within seven days.

After a fair amount of haggling, Sioux City officials were able to get the people planning a rally featuring former President Donald Trump to pay a $5,000 bill the day before last month's event, but the city is still waiting on the U.S. Secret Service and event planners to reimburse more than $11,000 in other rally costs. The biggest outstanding bill related to the Nov. 3 rally is the $10,002.38 charge for police officers to staff the event that the Secret Service is supposed to pay. The other lingering bill is a $1,425 charge that the company that planned the rally, Event Strategies, is supposed to pay for having emergency medical services on standby.

A leading Iowa conservative says conservatives across the country are tired of Republican election losses, and this week’s special election in Georgia is another blow to former President Trump, who backed the losing Republican candidate, Hershel Walker.

Bob Vander Plaats the president and CEO of The Family Leader, a politically active group of Christian conservatives made these comments to Radio Iowa.

The Family Leader will host an event this summer for 2024 presidential candidates and Trump, who announced in November that he was running again, might be in the mix. Vander Plaats said Republicans should avoid choosing a nominee whose entire focus is “payback” for what happened in 2020.

Vander Plaats is encouraging Trump to endorse one of the other Republicans running to be America’s next president.

Vander Plaats has personally endorsed presidential candidates prior to the Iowa Caucuses. He backed Mike Huckabee in 2008, Rick Santorum in 2012 and Ted Cruz in 2016, all of whom won on Caucus Night.

The grant money awarded for the production of a “Field of Dreams” TV series in Iowa will be redirected to another tourism-related project.

The TV series was to be a “prequel,” featuring stories about characters in the Field of Dreams movie. In late June, Governor Reynolds announced the project was getting $6 million from Destination Iowa, a state grant program financed with federal pandemic relief money. Universal pulled its financing for the Field of Dreams series days later.

The executive producer of series told the Des Moines Register the project is suspended indefinitely and his team didn’t want to keep the $6 million in limbo when it might be used on another project.

A spokeswoman for the Iowa Economic Development Authority says applications for about $28 million in Destination Iowa grants are still open, but the deadline to apply is December 31st of this year.

The Field of Dreams series was to be filmed in Polk, Boone, Mahaska, and Clinton Counties. Destination Iowa grants are to reimburse expenses, so none of the $6 million in grant money was spent on the never-produced series.

An oil spill in a creek in northeastern Kansas has shut down a major pipeline from Canada through the Plains and to the Texas Gulf Coast. The spill briefly caused oil prices to rise Thursday. Canadian-based TC Energy said it shut down its Keystone system Wednesday night following a drop in pipeline pressure. It said oil spilled into a creek in Washington County, Kansas, about 150 miles northwest of Kansas City. The company did not say in a statement how much oil was released into the creek or what caused the spill. The county's emergency management director said there were no evacuations.

The U-S Food and Drug Administration has authorized the COVID-19 bivalent booster shot for kids as young as six months of age.

The shot is available through Pfizer or Moderna. Unlike the original vaccines, the bivalent booster offers protection against two strains of COVID-19. This includes the omicron variant, which has long been the dominant variant circulating the state.

This comes as Iowa hospitals are reporting seeing unusually high numbers of children who are seriously ill from respiratory viruses. This includes RSV, the flu and COVID.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 16% percent of Iowans ages five and older have received the bivalent booster.