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NEWS 3.16.23

National Weather Service

A winter weather mix of freezing rain and snow hit much of Siouxland today. Sioux City Community Schools dismissed two hours early. The South Sioux City School District, Northeast Community College, and Western Iowa Tech Community College were shut down today.

Iowa lawmakers have passed a bill to restrict access to public school bathrooms and locker roomsbased on sex assigned at birth.

The measure passed the House Thursday afternoon, 56 to 39, and it now heads to Governor Kim Reynolds for her signature.

Under the plan, transgender students wouldn't be allowed to use facilities that align with their gender identity.

Democrats offered amendments to the controversial bill, but those failed.

Vice President Kamala Harris visited Des Moines today (Thursday) where she met with state legislators, community leaders, and abortion rights advocates to discuss reproductive health care.

Harris’ visit came a day after a federal judge in Texas heard arguments in a case that could limit access to the drug mifepristone, which is used for medical abortions.

Harris said the case threatens the country’s public health system as a whole.

We take this very seriously. And we are prepared to do whatever we may and can if the court rules in a way that is contrary to what we believe is in the best interests of the public health of America.”

Walgreens announced this month it would stop distributing mifepristone in 21 states, including Iowa, where abortion remains legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, following legal threats from their attorneys general.

Former Vice President Mike Pence will be in Des Moines Saturday to discuss foreign policy with former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Senator Joni Ernst.

Officials in Estherville are considering whether to join other local governments in sending the Iowa Utilities Board a letter objecting to the development of carbon capture pipelines.

Estherville’s City Council has held a work session to gather information about the Navigator and Summit pipelines that would pass through Emmet County. Estherville Fire Chief Travis Sheridan tells Radio Iowa if there’s a pipeline rupture, his department would likely need a new mobile vehicle that’s equipped with air packs.

A spokesman for developers of the Navigator pipeline says the company will provide equipment and training. The Iowa project manager for Summit Carbon Solutions says carbon pipelines are not new technology, and the companies are preparing for potential leaks.

A Republican South Dakota has introduced a bill aimed at expanding work requirements for federal nutrition aid, according to the Argus Leader. Rep. Dusty Johnson says work requirements have proven to be effective, and people who can work should work.

The America Works Act of 2023, if passed, would require able-bodied adults without dependents ages 18 through 65 to work or participate in a work training or education program for at least 20 hours per week to receive continuous support from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Congressional Democrats remain unified against any cuts to SNAP or the nutrition title and to any further restrictions on beneficiaries.

Nebraska lawmakers are considering a bill that would strike language in existing state law that divides Nebraska’s electoral votes by congressional districts in presidential elections. It would effectively implement a winner-take-all system used by nearly every other state. Twice in the last 15 years, the Democratic nominee for president has picked up a single electoral vote in Nebraska.

Currently, of Nebraska’s five electoral votes, one vote is designated to the winner of each of the state’s three congressional districts, and two votes are awarded to the winner statewide. Maine is the only other state to award electoral votes this way.

A long-time Sioux City attorney and community leader has passed away. Eighty-six-year-old Marvin Berenstein died at his home after a brief illness.

Berenstein became an associate attorney and eventually the senior partner with the Berenstain, Moore, Heffernan, Moeller & Johnson law firm.

Briar Cliff University picked a familiar person as the educational institution’s new president.

Dr. Patrick Jacobson-Schulte will be Briar Cliff’s 12th president after an announcement by the board of trustees this afternoon.

He had been serving as interim after Dr. Rachelle Keck took a similar role at Grandview in Des Moines.

People may be more grouchy than usual this week, as they’re not getting enough sleep due to the time change, but there’s also a greater health risk from springing forward an hour.

A cardiologist with the Iowa Heart Center in Ames, tells Radio Iowa, it’s only 60 minutes, but that can be enough to cause serious trouble with a rise in heart attack, stroke, and even motor vehicle accidents.

A change in our circadian rhythm can cause problems with sleep, high blood pressure, plus, make you feel groggy and make poor decisions.

Experts say it takes about a week to adjust and try to get more rest or even take a power nap.