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NEWS 3.8.23

Women United Award Ceremony
United Way of Siouxland
Women United Award Ceremony

All of Siouxland will be under a Winter Weather Advisory on Thursday with the potential for 2 to 5 inches of snow. Areas to the east will be under a Winter Storm Watch. The National Weather Service tells Radio Iowa the storm moving in could create problems especially as we head into Thursday and Thursday night. Some spots in the region could get moderate to heavy snowfall, plus, the potential for blowing snow. Officials say to keep an eye on the forecast as things can change rapidly.

National Weather Service/Sioux Falls

Iowa House Republicans sent a bill to the governor’s desk today that would ban gender-affirming care for transgender minors.

It would ban treatments major medical organizations recommend for some transgender teens, including puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy and surgery.

Republican supporters of the bill say they believe gender-affirming medical care harms transgender youth. Five Republicans joined all Democrats in voting against the bill.

Iowans came to the state capitol today for the second protest this week against anti-LGBTQ bills making their way through the legislature.

The rally started with the Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus.

“Start at home, change what you can, never again be silent.”

They’re protesting a ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors that could become law in the next few days. GOP lawmakers are also trying to restrict what school bathrooms trans students can use. And they’re working to ban school lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation.

The governor of Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz has signed an executive order protecting the rights of LGBTQ people from Minnesota and other states to seek and receive gender affirming health care. And the Democratic governor slammed the tide sweeping Republican-led states across the country to roll back transgender rights. Walz singled out neighboring South Dakota, where Gov. Kristi Noem signed a ban on gender affirming care for minors last month. Walz’s order parallels legislation awaiting a vote in the state House to make Minnesota a “trans refuge state.” It would protect trans people, families and providers from legal repercussions for traveling to Minnesota for gender affirming care.

Nebraska could join 48 other states in offering public money for private school tuition under a bill advanced by the state Legislature on Wednesday. Rather than appropriating taxpayer dollars directly toward private school vouchers, the bill would allow businesses and individuals to donate a portion of their state tax bill to be used for scholarships covering private school tuition. The bill, introduced by Omaha Sen. Lou Ann Linehan at the request of Republican Gov. Jim Pillen, sets up a priority system for the scholarships, with top priority going to low-income students, then to students who are being bullied in their current school. This bill must survive two more rounds of debate to pass.

Gov. Kim Reynolds has chosen an Ohio education reform advocate to be the next director of the Iowa Department of Education.

Chad Aldis is a native of the Clinton, Iowa, area. For the past nine years he has worked as the vice president of policy for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute of Ohio, a conservative nonprofit that promotes school choice.

Aldis takes over as the department implements Reynolds’ education savings account program. In a statement she said his perspective will “help lead reform within the department” and across Iowa schools.

Aldis’ appointment must be confirmed by the Iowa Senate.

Former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says the proposed pipeline projects that would capture the carbon dioxide emissions from Iowa and other Midwest ethanol plants will help Iowa agriculture and biotechnology level up.

Branstad is the senior policy adviser for Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions, which is proposing one of the pipelines. He called Summit’s project “critically important.”

Branstad made his remarks during the Iowa Biotech Showcase and Conference in Ankeny today.

The ethanol industry supports the proposed carbon pipelines because carbon capture will make them eligible for tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act. A coalition of environmentalists, farmers and landowners oppose the projects because of concerns about their safety and their property rights.

The attorney representing a dozen former Iowa football players who settled their racial discrimination lawsuit with the university’s athletic department says Black Hawkeye players will continue to be at risk of harassment “as long as Kirk Ferentz is in charge.” Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons said in a news release Tuesday that his clients have been vindicated and he is pleased with the state Appeal Board approving the $4.175 million settlement, which uses $2 million in taxpayer funds. Coach Ferentz said Monday he was “greatly disappointed” in how the matter was resolved and “there is no admission of any wrongdoing.”

Submitted news releases:

Paul-Fetterman named Sioux City Community Schools District Teacher of the Year

Sioux City, Iowa –Morningside STEM Elementary School teacher Genni Paul-Fetterman has been named Sioux City Community Schools District Teacher of the Year. Paul-Fetterman was recognized for inspiring students and staff through her positivity and professionalism.

Paul-Fetterman joined the District in 2000, currently serving as a Title I Interventionist at Morningside STEM Elementary School. She is known for her ability to build relationships and serves as a valuable resource for teachers in her building and across the District.

“Genni is always ready to support all classrooms and shows up each day with a positive attitude. She is very flexible and easily adaptable to change. Genni is very dedicated to her position regardless of the medical issues she is facing this year. She is a very positive role model and teachers appreciate the work that she does. She is a great team player,” says Jarod Mozer, principal of Morningside STEM Elementary School.

Paul-Fetterman earned her bachelor’s degree from Morningside University and her master’s degree from Walden University. She will be Sioux City Community Schools’ nomination for the Iowa Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year Award, which will be announced in the fall of 2023.

Teacher of the Year Genni Paul-Fetterman
Teacher of the Year Genni Paul-Fetterman

Women United of Siouxland Awards Grants to Local Non-Profits on International Women’s Day

(Sioux City) – On International Women’s Day, Women United of Siouxland awarded funding grants to seven non-profit organizations serving Siouxland children.

“There really isn’t a more appropriate day for us to make these awards,” said Krissy Lamoreaux, Chairperson of Women United’s Executive Committee. “This year our group is made up of forty-six strong, smart women who are extremely dedicated to Siouxland’s children. Individually each one of these women have made positive things happen in our community through their generosity and leadership. However, by working with each other, the United Way of Siouxland, local non-profit organizations, and by pooling our resources, we are able to increase the impact of our donation dollars and most importantly, the impact on children’s lives.”

Over $92,000 in awards were given including:


Heartland Counseling Services provides quality mental health and substance abuse services to individuals ages 3-103 in Siouxland. Their Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) program helps children and families understand and manage behavioral problems at a young age and sets children on the path to successful mental health and stimulates healthier relationships and interactions. A $1,926 program grant Women United grant will purchase equipment, furniture, therapy appropriate play toys, and cleaning supplies to double the number of 2–8-year-olds and their caregivers that receive through that program.


With the mission of improving the lives of local children, teens, and their families, Catholic Charities is partnering with the Boys and Girls Club of Sioux City to deliver consistent quality mental health care to those who would very likely not have access to these important services. A Women United Brighter Futures grant of $21,269 will help provide the full-time services of a licensed therapist for therapy and psychiatric support to members as part of the Boys and Girls Club’s summer programming.


Child abuse is a public health issue with up to 1 in 4 children experiencing some form of abuse or neglect in their lifetime. The Mercy One Child Advocacy Center offers in-school programming to 500 third grade students annually to help them prevent, interrupt, and speak up about physical, emotional, sexual, and cyber abuse, neglect, bullying, and drug endangerment. A Women United Brighter Futures grant of $4255 will provide a specially trained Speak Up Be Safe instructor and materials for lessons centered around the five safety rules, “It’s MY Body”, “Ask an Adult if I am Safe”, “I have Choices”, “Tell Someone”, and “It’s Never My Fault”.


With the mission of improving the success of native youth by improving educational attainment, reducing poverty by addressing barriers, and promoting empowerment through cultural teaching, the Urban Native Center serves nearly one hundred native youth per year with a goal of reaching 250 youth annually. To assist the Urban Native Center as they provide critical academic support, a Women United Brighter Futures Grant of $16,000 will purchase laptops to be used at the center.


Starting in 2018, the Siouxland Foster Closet is a volunteer-run organization that supports hundreds of foster children each year. A $20,000 Women United Brighter Futures grant will help them purchase clothing and necessities that are free of charge for children in out-of-home placement and the families that care for them, in addition to providing funds to assist with materials and supplies for their new home on Geneva Street.


With the mission of sheltering, educating, and empowering children, individuals and families, the Crittenton Center offers nearly 150 homeless youth ages 7-18 years a healing centered therapeutic classroom experience. A $6200 Women United Brighter Futures grant will supply desks, noise reduction earphones, a projector, sensory rugs, and classroom supplies to help the Crittenton Center offer vital educational services based on each student’s individual learning needs.


With the rally cry “No Kid Sleeps on the Floor in Our Town” the 100% volunteer operated and donation funded Sleep in Heavenly Peace Sioux City Chapter has built and delivered over 350 fully furnished beds since its inception in September 2021. A Women United Brighter Futures grant of $25,000 will provide materials, mattresses, pillows, and bedding for approximately 100 beds.

Since 2006 Siouxland’s Women United has awarded nearly one and a quarter million dollars to local non-profit groups aimed at providing research-based, life-improving programs for Siouxland youth. Globally, Women United, part of United Way Worldwide, is a growing force of over 75,000+ women dedicated to creating a world of opportunity for everyone.

Women who are interested in joining Women United of Siouxland are invited to contact the United Way at 712-255-3551 or visit the website at www.unitedwaysiouxland.com/women-united.

DES MOINES, IOWA – Governor Kim Reynolds today announced new grant awards targeted at reducing language barriers within Iowa’s workforce. The new Iowa Language Learners Job Training Program will provide $357,470 in funding to support meaningful language programs at 11 different Iowa employers. In total, the employer grants being awarded today will support 465 program participants by helping their companies increase dual language instruction, expand communication with customers, and boost recruitment and retention efforts with new staff. “Over the last two years, Iowa has put a significant focus on identifying remaining workforce barriers and overcoming them with innovative solutions,” said Gov. Reynolds. “I applaud the leadership of today’s awardees. These state grants are about tackling language barriers so we can help businesses better communicate with employees, serve more of their customers, and expand Iowa’s workforce into new populations.” Today’s grant awardees include

  • ALPLA, Inc., Iowa City
  • A.Y. McDonald Mfg. Co., Dubuque
  • Catalyst Project Management, Iowa City
  • Country Maid, West Bend
  • Heritage Building Maintenance, Des Moines
  • Interstates, Sioux Center
  • Ironwood 53 Design and Build, Rock Valley
  • Neumann Monson, Iowa City
  • New Hope Village, Inc., Carroll
  • Shearer's Foods, Burlington
  • VGM Group, Waterlo

For more information on the grant, visit this link.

The new grant funding will help sponsor language programs in Spanish, English, and Mandarin. Employers were required to provide plans for sustaining each language program, and courses were encouraged to be conducted onsite or include several options for flexible transportation offsite. “Communication is always key to success in the workforce, but its importance is even more critical for growth and overall recruitment today,” said Beth Townsend, Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “Today’s grants are an important recognition of a workforce barrier that Iowa employers can overcome with the right support.”

The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation is a conservative-leaning education-policy think tank that advocates for school choice and public charter schools.

Gov. Reynolds Appoints Chad Aldis to Lead Department of Education, Innovate Iowa Schools

DES MOINES – Governor Reynolds has appointed Chad Aldis, a native Iowan and former student of Camanche, East Central (now Easton Valley), and Clinton Community School Districts, to lead the Iowa Department of Education as director beginning March 15, 2023.

For the last 20 years, Aldis’s career has been focused on education reform. His experience encompasses education policy, advocacy, and research, and spans multiple states. Most recently vice president for Ohio policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Aldis led the organization’s efforts to successfully reform Ohio’s high school graduation requirements, state report cards and charter school laws. He partnered regularly with the governor’s office, legislators, and the department of education to strengthen state policy on literacy, school funding, and private school choice.

“Chad is the type of leader we need at this pivotal time for Iowa’s education system,” Governor Reynolds stated. “His unique perspective will help lead reform within the department and across our schools so that every Iowa student—regardless of what school they attend—receives a quality education that prepares them to be successful in life.

“It’s been 30 years since Iowa led the nation in math scores, ranking first among eighth graders and second for fourth graders in 1992. In 2022, we ranked above the national average, but Iowa students and families deserve better. By innovating our education system and renewing our focus on academic instruction and performance, I’m confident that Iowa schools and students will again lead the way.”

A fourth-generation Iowan, Aldis was born and raised in eastern Iowa, graduated from Clinton High School in 1990, and was named to the Des Moines Register’s First Team Academic All State. He began his college career at the University of Northern Iowa before transferring to the University of Mississippi where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. He also holds a law degree from Florida State University.

"I'm honored to accept this opportunity to serve the students of Iowa," Aldis said. "The governor's unwavering commitment to ensuring all children are provided with a quality education that fits their needs is a vision I share and one that will drive the department's work."

"Like many Iowans, I owe much to the great public education I received. We need to make sure that today's students have the same opportunities to pursue their dreams," Aldis added. "That starts with all students leaving high school with the reading, math, and civics knowledge and skills to prepare them for either college or a career."

Chad and his wife look forward to moving to Des Moines. They have three adult children.

Chad Aldis
State of Iowa
Chad Aldis