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Newscast 12.19.22: Republican Governors ask President Biden to end public health emergency; Standing Bear movie to begin next year in Nebraska

Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a letter with 24 other Republican governors asking President Joe Biden to end the Federal Public Health Emergency in April.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R)
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (R)

The current federal public health emergency is set to expire on January 11. The letter says it assumes it will be extended another 90 days.

Under the public health emergency, states are not allowed to dis-enroll people from Medicaid, regardless if they are no longer eligible.
The letter claims this hurts states by increasing their costs to cover more enrollees.

The American Hospital Association have urged the Biden administration to extend the public health emergency to protect hospitals. That’s as the country is experiencing a severe respiratory virus season this winter.
Gov. Reynolds let Iowa’s public health disaster emergency proclamation expire last February

The Sioux City Council will vote at its meeting today on whether to extend a loan to Lamb Arts. Lamb could get another year to repay a $350,000 loan to buy the old KCAU TV building downtown that the performing arts group is currently renovating.

Lamb Arts Regional Theater
Lamb Arts Regional Theater

The. Council will be asked today to vote on a resolution that would extend the city's loan with Lamb Arts until October 22, 2023. The council previously approved two-year loan repayment extensions in October 2018 and October 2020.

Lamb Arts has raised a substantial portion of its project goal of $21 million and made progress toward securing various tax credits, grants and private contributions. However, additional hurdles created by the COVID-19 pandemic have led Lamb Arts to ask for an additional extension. if Lamb Arts is unable to repay the loan, the property will revert to the city.

Cargill Incorporated today gifted The Morningside University Applied Agriculture and Food Studies department more than $51,500 to help the program in the coming years.

The gift will be used to purchase a tractor and equipment for the school’s outdoor classroom. The check was presented at the Lags Greenhouse on the university’s campus today, with representatives from Cargill and the Morningside University President, Dr. Albert Mosley on hand for the donation.

Dr. Thomas Paulsen is the Head of the Agricultural Program. He says that the agriculture industry has a large deficit of workers right now and partnerships like this can help bolster the workforce.

After a frigid weekend, brutal cold and potential blizzard conditions are expected to bring winter in full force this week during peak holiday travel, especially if you are headed to central Iowa.

The National Weather Service in Des Moines issued a winter storm watch for Thursday and Friday, citing "increasing" confidence that central Iowa will experience high winds, wind-chill adjusted temperatures as low as -40 degrees and blowing snow expected to make travel "difficult to impossible.

About a decade after filmmaker Andrew Troy began work on “I Am A Man: The True Story of Ponca Chief Standing Bear,” the movie will begin production next year thanks to $6 million dollars in grants from the state of Nebraska and the Cherokee Nation Film Office.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Troy, who is directing, writing and producing the picture, began work on the movie secretly in 2013. That was several years after Lincoln author Joe Starita published his book, I Am A Man: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice, upon which the movie will be based. The project was publicly revealed in 2019 and initially anticipated in 2020. It was touted as the first feature filmed in Nebraska not directed by Alexander Payne in decades.

The coronavirus pandemic delayed the filming, however, and allowed the Nebraska Legislature to approve a one-time grant, not to exceed $5 million dollars, for the film’s production and for “I Am A Man” to become one of the first funding recipients from the Cherokee Nation Film Office, which gave $1 million dollars

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