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NEWS 3.6.23

University of Iowa

A state board has approved a $4.2 million settlement to end a racism lawsuit by former football players against the University of Iowa. Nearly half of the settlement will be covered out of the state’s general fund.

A group of players accused coaches and staff of discrimination and harassment against Black players.

State Auditor Rob Sand is the only member of the three-person State Appeals Board to vote against the state paying part of the settlement.

He told reporters today he wouldn’t sign on unless Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta was fired.

“If we’re going to hold people accountable, if we’re going to prevent additional individuals from becoming victims of discrimination, if we’re going to protect taxpayers, we have to at a certain point demand more personal responsibility for this kind of thing. ”

In a statement, Barta said the athletic department is committed to creating an inclusive environment for student-athletes and staff members.

State Treasurer Roby Smith and Department of Management Director Kraig Paulsen both voted in favor of the settlement.

Smith said he agrees the university should “reexamine the relationship” with Barta and others named in the lawsuit, but he said denying the settlement could cost the state more if the case went to trial.

Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillenis asking the Public Service Commission to refocus efforts on rail safety. Pillen announced Monday that he’s calling on the agency to “refocus efforts to protect public safety,” citing recent train derailments in the state.

Pillen added that the Public Service Commission has not employed a railroad track safety inspector for 20 years, according to a news release issued to the media.

Nebraska has seen multiple train derailments in recent years, most recently in February when a Union Pacific freight train derailed near Gothenburg. WOWT Television in Omaha reports, 31 train cars carrying coal were involved in the derailment.

Action on the floor of the Nebraska Legislature has slowed to a crawl over the past six days of the session, in large part due to the efforts of one Omaha lawmaker who is working to stall bills she claims “legislate hate.”

State Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh has pledged to take up as much time as she can during floor debate to protest Legislative Bill 574, which would ban gender-altering care to individuals under 19. Since she started her quest on Feb. 23, the Legislature has advanced only three bills on the floor. Check out more on the story from the Omaha World-Herald.

The 185th Air Refueling Wing Iowa Air National Guard received the Meritorious Unit Award for its participation in a mission to help resettle refugees from Afghanistan.

The award, announced by the National Guard Bureau, honored the Sioux City unit's actions in 2021, when the Iowa Air Guard received short notice for support of Operation Allies Refuge and Operation Allies Welcome.

Iowa Guard members were stationed at Fort Dix in New Jersey, where they helped with logistics and sustainment in support of Afghan refugee resettlement.

Wing Commander Col. Sonya Morrison congratulated 185th members at a Saturday ceremony in which more than 100 members were recognized for their contributions. More on the story can be found here from the Sioux City Journal at in a news release at the bottom of this page.

The guidelines are changing for the age at which people should begin getting screened for colon cancer, which is the third most common cancer in Iowa and the state’s second leading cause of cancer death.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and officials tell Radio Iowa says screenings should now start at age 45, not 50. Read more about the story at this link: https://www.radioiowa.com/2023/03/06/new-guidelines-move-back-age-to-start-colon-cancer-screening/

Submitted news releases:

Governor Pillen Urges Support for LB 753

LINCOLN, NE – Today, Governor Jim Pillen urged legislators to support LB 753 to make sure children across the state get the educational choices they need to succeed.

"Our kids are our future, and we need to give them every educational opportunity possible to help them succeed," said Governor Pillen. "LB 753 gives kids in need, including kids in poverty, kids in foster care, and kids of military veterans, more choices when identifying a school which best meets their needs. This bill is part of a package and failure to pass it will jeopardize funding for all Nebraska students."

Governor Pillen Calls Upon PSC to Focus on Rail Safety

LINCOLN, NE – Today, Governor Jim Pillen reacted to media reports that the Nebraska Public Service Commission has failed to employ a railroad track safety inspector for two decades. He is calling on the agency to refocus efforts to protect public safety.

"The Nebraska Public Service Commission exists to protect public safety, especially in the areas of our state’s railroads, telecommunications, 911, and oil pipelines," said Governor Pillen. "Recently, there have been multiple railroad derailments in Nebraska while key railroad inspector positions have remained unfilled at the PSC for years. I call on the PSC to refocus on its core duties and remain diligent in bettering rail safety."

Sioux City, Iowa -- The National Guard Bureau recently announced that Iowa’s two Air Wings have received the Meritorious Unit Award for participation in Retrograde Operations from Afghanistan.

Award recipients include the 132nd Wing in Des Moines along with the 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City, which also includes the 133rd Test Squadron in Fort Dodge.

VIDEO | 01:56 | Iowa Air Guard awarded Meritorious Unit Award for Operation Allies Welcome

The award specified actions during 2021, when the Iowa Air Guard received extremely short notice orders for support of Operation Allies Refuge and Operation Allies Welcome.

Iowa Guard members were stationed at Fort Dix in New Jersey where they were helping with logistics and sustainment in support of Afghan refugee resettlement efforts.

The announcement about the award was made in Sioux City as 185th ARW members attended a commander’s call event in the unit’s main hangar over their March training weekend.

Wing Commander, Colonel Sonya Morrison took the opportunity to congratulate unit members for their contributions and commitment to the mission of the Iowa National Guard.

“Some people spend their lives looking for a job or a mission or a connection that they may never find, I truly believe we have that at our unit,” said Morrison.

According to the Air Force Personal Center, the Meritorious Unit Award is given to recognize organizations for outstanding heroism in combat as well as outstanding achievement or service in direct support of combat operations.

Additional accolades were presented at the March commander’s call when more than 100 members were recognized for their contributions to the successful completion of a pair of recent inspections.

One recent inspection tested the Sioux City Air Refueling Wing’s nuclear operational readiness, while a more recent inspection evaluated the unit’s overall effectiveness.

“Thank you for owning your areas and constantly working on ways to improve,” Morrison added, when talking to unit members about their performance during the recent inspections.

Before the event was over, the Wing’s selectees for Airmen of the Year were also honored. A number of recent Community College of the Air Force degree recipients were also presented with certificates at the ceremony.

Sioux City, IA (March 6, 2023)George Thorogood and the Destroyers are bringing their “Bad All Over the World - 50 Years of Rock” Tour to the Orpheum Theatre in Sioux City, IA on Wednesday, July 19, 2023.

Tickets starting at $40 go on sale this Friday, March 10 at 10:00 am. Tickets are available at OrpheumLive.com or by visiting the Primebank Box Office in the Tyson Events Center.

Known for hits such as ‘Bad to the Bone’, ‘Who Do You Love?’, and many more, George Thorogood and the Destroyers have been rocking for 50 years!

On the evening of December 1st, 1973, at The University of Delaware’s Lane Hall, a guitarist, a drummer, and their rhythm guitarist set up on the small bandstand. Though the three-piece band had barely rehearsed, guitarist George Thorogood and drummer Jeff Simon had been bashing out covers of songs they loved – including ‘No Particular Place To Go’, ‘Madison Blues’ and ‘One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer’ – in suburban Wilmington basements since they were teens. The Lane Hall audience was wary at first. “Then it was like somebody flipped a switch,” Simon recalls. “Everybody hit the dance floor all at once.”

“We had the place rockin’,” Thorogood says. “From that very first show, Jeff and I knew we were onto something.” Five decades, 15 million albums and more than 8,000 performances later, few bands can still rock the house like George Thorogood & Destroyers. And for Thorogood, Simon, and long-time Destroyers Bill Blough, Jim Suhler and Buddy Leach, their Bad All Over The World – 50 Years of Rock Tour will be a celebration like no other.

But when asked to pick a career highlight, maybe one night over the past half century that changed everything for George Thorogood & The Destroyers, he shakes his head, flashes a huge grin and heads off to soundcheck. “My highlight is when I step on that bandstand,” Thorogood says. “The promoters invited us, the fans came to hear us, and we’re ready to rock. Every night I play for people can be the biggest night of my life.”

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