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NEWS 1.18.23

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National Weather Service/Sioux Falls
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A "Colorado Low" known for large snowfall is aiming at Siouxland bringing heavy snow and possibly the biggest daily snowfall Sioux City has seen in 5 years. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the entirety of Siouxland until Thursday at 6 a.m.

Officials with the National Weather Service say the Sioux City metro area could see more than a foot of snow.

A snow emergency is in effect for the city of Sioux City. The snow emergency declaration prohibits parking or leaving a vehicle unattended on an emergency snow route street, noted by a blue and white sign with a snowflake. Once the snow is cleared, vehicles should park on the even-numbered side of the street today. They should be moved to the odd side of the street starting tomorrow.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynold’s plan for school choice is on the fast track. The measure has already made it out of the Iowa Senate Committee on Education and House Education Reform Committee. New rules passed by members of the Iowa House allow the measure to bypass review by committees for spending and tax issues.

Reynold’s issued a statement on her Student First Act, it says in part, “This is just the first step in giving educational freedom to Iowa’s students and parents. For too long government has told parents when, how, and where their kids can receive an education. It’s time for the government to get out of the way and allow parents the freedom of choice in education.”

“I look forward to this bill reaching the floor in both chambers. Iowans deserve to see where their elected leaders stand.”

Gov. Kim Reynolds also announced Wednesday the merging of two state departments.

Reynolds said the Iowa Veterans Home and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Both state agencies would be overseen by Commandant Todd Jacobus, who is currently in charge at the Iowa Veterans Home.

The Iowa National Guard’s adjutant general is retiring on March 1st. Major General Benjamin Corell has been in the National Guard for 37 years. Governor Reynolds appointed him to lead the Iowa National Guard in August of 2017 and she will name his replacement.

Reynolds announced Correll’s retirement today during Iowa Veterans Day at the Capitol in Des Moines.
Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen has joined several state lawmakers in unveiling a tax proposal that would remove hundreds of millions of dollars from the state’s tax rolls. The all-Republican contingent laid out measures that would slash income and corporate taxes, stop taxation of Social Security income and restrict taxes on agricultural land. Pillen bills the package as the largest tax cuts in the state’s history. The cuts are being billed as necessary to keep and attract people to the state who would otherwise be put off by Nebraska’s heavy tax burden. Nebraska tax policy think tank OpenSky Policy Institute is questioning the affordability of the cuts.

The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors are a bit closer to finalizing their next budget. KCAU News 9 reports budget items included an authorization to hire more deputies to handle misdemeanor crimes and increasing hiring incentives for five open positions in the county attorney’s office were approved. The meeting included no discussion concerning recent federal charges of voter fraud filed against the wife of supervisor Jeremy Taylor, who did attend the meeting.

The cost of Medicaid expansion in South Dakota continues to inflate as the state Department of Social Services estimates tens of millions of dollars will need to be allocated to staffing.

According to a recent DSS overview document, the department projects administrative costs will raise the price of expanding Medicaid by more than $21 million in 2024.

The Iowa Supreme Court listened to arguments in the case of two people who say their gender-affirming surgeries should be covered by Medicaid. In 2019, the Iowa Legislature passed a bill that allowed Medicaid to opt out of covering gender-affirming surgeries. The High Court will deliberate whether that law is constitutional. A decision will be handed down at a later date.

COVID-19 hospitalizations and reported tests in Iowa are down for the second week in a row.

That’s according to the federal department of health and human services, which is reporting 177 Iowans hospitalized have tested positive for the virus as of today (Wednesday). That’s down from more than 200 last week.

Iowa health officials say more than 23 hundred positive tests were reported in the past seven days. That’s a drop in about 400 tests compared to last week.

State officials also confirmed 30 additional Iowans to have died from COVID. So far, 10,538 Iowans have died from the virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 64 percent of all Iowans have completed their primary COVID vaccine series. While 19 percent have received the most recent bivalent booster.

Former Sioux City television news anchor Dave Nixon, Sr. has passed away. News reports say he died last night at his home in Emmetsburg of natural causes.

Nixon worked at both KCAU and KTIV before launching a career in higher education first as a broadcasting instructor and then college administrator. He was a big supporter of public radio and Siouxland Public Media.

Dave Nixon, Sr. was 83 years old.

AUDIO HIGHLIGHTS: Former news anchor Dave Nixon, Sr. joined Siouxland Public Media's fund drive in October 2022
Dave Nixon, Sr. talked about his family, agriculture, broadcasting, and more.

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Dave Nixon, Sr. broadcasting during Sioux City's Rivercade Parade
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Dave Nixon, Sr. served as a long-time host of the Little Yellow Dog Auction

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