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NEWS 5.8.23

The requirement that applicants for state teachers’ licenses be at least 21 years old is being eliminated. Check out Radio Iowa for more on the story.

Iowa no longer has a mandatory retirement age for reserve police officers and volunteer firefighters. Full and part-time police and firefighters in Iowa must retire at the age of 65.

Radio Iowa reports the governor signed a bill into law that eliminates that age restriction for volunteer firefighters and trained reserve police officers who are volunteers but can make arrests and investigate crimes.

According to the Iowa League of Cities, there are over 1200 active reserve police officers in the state. Data from the Iowa Department of Public Safety indicates 90% of firefighters in Iowa are volunteers. About a thousand quit every year due to several factors, including the retirement age, according to the Iowa Fire Chiefs Association.

A driver died early Monday after a head-on collision on a Sioux City street. It happened around 2 in the morning on Outer Drive North between Floyd Boulevard and Business U.S. Highway 75. 42-year-old Brandon Fierro died. Investigators believe alcohol contributed to the crash. The driver of the other vehicle went to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Sioux City Police Department

A northeast Nebraska high school student who was committed to play football at Midland University died after he collapsed at a track practice last week.

The Sioux City Journal reports Hunter Palmer, an 18-year-old senior at Wisner-Pilger Public Schools, died Friday at a hospital in West Point.

“It is with a very heavy heart that we can confirm that Hunter Palmer, senior at Wisner-Pilger Schools, has died," the school district said in a news release. The district's so-called response team was available for students and staff over the weekend.

The school did not address what led to Palmer's death. Temperatures that day climbed into the 80s, according to National Weather Service records.

Midland head football coach Jeff Jamrog, who helped recruit Palmer to the Fremont university, said on a Twitter he was a "great young man."

The City of South Sioux City announced that long-time former councilmember John Sanders, Sr. died at the age of 84.

Sanders passed away Thursday after a brief illness.

The U.S. Army Veteran also worked as police captain, retiring after 27 years with the South Sioux City Police Department.

The Iowa Supreme Court has reversed a 2017 ruling that allowed lawsuits directly against state officials for monetary damages under the Bill of Rights of the Iowa Constitution. Check out Radio Iowa for more.

The unanimous decision came in a case where a garbage truck driver sued the state after being charged with interference with official acts for not helping a DOT officer conduct a safety inspection of his truck. The charge was later dropped. The Supreme Court ruling says the ruling six years ago in the case of workers’ compensation commissioner Christopher Godfrey is not supported by constitutional text or history.

Submitted news releases:

County Court Judge Douglas Luebe to Resign Early June

Judge of the County Court, 6th Judicial District, Douglas L. Luebe, is resigning on June 2, 2023.

In his resignation announcement to the Chief Justice, Luebe wrote, “The great citizens of Nebraska have demonstrated they are honest, diligent, hardworking, compassionate people, with abundant common sense. I have been humbled and greatly honored to have served them.”

Luebe has served the citizens of Burt, Cedar, Dakota, Dixon, Dodge, Thurston, and Washington Counties (6th Judicial District) from 2003 to his 2023 resignation. After taking the bench, he was retained in his position by area voters, most recently in 2018.

The first step in deciding whether Luebe’s judicial position will need to be filled is for the Judicial Resources Commission to call a meeting to determine whether, based on judicial workload statistics, his retirement creates a judicial vacancy on the County Court for the 6th Judicial District.

East High School Student chosen as Rotary Club Student of the Year

(SIOUX CITY, Iowa)— Sioux City East High senior Lidya Tadesse has been named the Rotary Club of Sioux City Student of the Year.She will be honored during the Rotary Club meeting on Monday, May 15, 12 p.m. at the MidAmerican Energy Community Room.

Tadesse was chosen from all the previous Rotary Club Students of the Month during this past academic year. She will receive a monetary award, and a donation will be made in her name to a local nonprofit organization. Tadesse has a 4.47 GPA, ranking first in her class. She has received the Borlaug Scholar, National African-American Recognition, AP Scholar with Distinction and Distinguished Young Women awards. She is president of National Honor Society and Environmental Club and is a class mentor for Mentors in Violence Prevention. She is a district officer in Iowa Youth Congress and is an executive council member of the Mayor’s Youth Commission. Lidya is the daughter of Metadel Mengistu and Mulugeta Birhanu of Sioux City, and she plans to attend Harvard University in the fall.

Rotary Club Student of the Year Lidya Tadesse
Rotary Club Student of the Year Lidya Tadesse



Sioux City, IA (May 8, 2023) – Oak View Group, the providers of Venue Management, Food Services & Hospitality, and Partnerships to the Tyson Events Center and Orpheum Theatre, has appointed Jen Whipple as the new Director of Partnerships & Premium Seating. She assumed the role in March.

A Siouxland-er since childhood, Jen began her career in banking and has worked at several local institutions including First Federal /Vantus, Heritage Bank, and, most recently,Primebank. Jen has always had an aptitude for relationship building and connecting to clients.

Outside of the office, Jen is very involved in the Siouxland community, currently serving as an Ambassador for the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce and Committee Member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland. She is a member of PowHer Networking group and Interstate Soccer Club, and a supporter of United Way. She has previously been a member of Siouxland GO and Morningside PTA.

"I am thrilled to be joining the team at the Tyson Events Center and Orpheum Theatre. This role has so many opportunities to connect businesses in Siouxland to exciting ways to reach their customers,” said Jen. “It is amazing to go from attending events at these venues to now working behind the scenes and seeing it all come together”.

“Jen’s communication skills, creativity, and ability to relate to the organizations in Siouxland make her a great fit for this role”, said Nick Palmiotti, General Manager of the Tyson Events Center and Orpheum Theatre. “I am excited to see how she will continue to grow our partnerships and develop new relationships for our venues”.

As Director of Partnerships and Premium Seating, Jen will be responsible for the venue and event sponsorships and suites for both the Tyson Events Center and Orpheum Theatre.

For businesses looking to learn more about sponsorships, Jen can be reached at: Jennifer.Whipple@oakviewgroup.com

About OVG360: 

OVG360, a division of Oak View Group, is a full-service venue management and hospitality company that helps client-partners reimagine the sports, live entertainment, and convention industries for the betterment of the venue, employees, artists, athletes, and surrounding communities. With a portfolio of more than 200 client-partners spanning arenas, stadiums, convention centers, performing arts centers, cultural institutions, and state fairs around the globe, OVG360 provides a set of services, resources andexpertise designed to elevate every aspect of business that matters to venue operators. Service-oriented and driven by social responsibility, OVG360 helps facilities drive value through excellence and innovation in food services, booking and content development, sustainable operations, public health, and public safety and more. 

Siouxland High School Baseball & Softball Media Day & Summer Season Opening Ceremonies on May 13

May 6, 2023 – Sioux City, Iowa - The Sioux City Explorers Professional Baseball Club and Total Baseball Development of Sioux City and the Iowa Great Lakes will be holding and hosting the first ever Siouxland High School Baseball & Softball Media Day & Summer Season Opening Ceremonies on Saturday, May 13, 2023; from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at MercyOne Field at Lewis and Clark Park in Sioux City, Iowa. This event will be prior to the 6:05pm start of the Explorers second game of the 2023 campaign versus the Kansas City Monarchs.

This special high school baseball and softball event for Iowa schools will serve to promote area Iowa high school teams, coaches, and players as the Iowa High School summer season officially opens up on Monday, May 15. Over 45 schools from western Iowa are invited to this event. Also invited are area American Legion baseball teams from Nebraska and South Dakota which begin their summer playing seasons in late May.

All coaches and players attending on May 13 will be the special guests of the Sioux City Explorers for that night’s game as the club will be providing FREE tickets to all event participants. Family and friends may purchase tickets in advance for that night or any games this year by calling the X’s at: 712-277-WINS (9467)


Siouxland High School Baseball & Softball Media Day & Summer Season Opening Ceremonies - May 13

4:00     Media Day: Grassy area and parking area outside the stadium south & east of Right Field

The Media Day and press event will make all coaches and players present available for interviews and photographs. A listing of the attending teams will be made available to the press.

5:35      Opening Ceremony: Game field of MercyOne Field at Lewis and Clark Park

The on-field festivities begin when all coaches and players attending enter the field from the ballpark’s service gate near the Groundskeeper’s area beyond Right Field. Teams, coaches, and players will then line up Opening Ceremony style by marked areas from left field to right field.

5:50 Ceremonial First Pitch with select players throwing out first pitches to Explorers players

6:00     National Anthem: All coaches and players will stay on the field for the National Anthem

Following the National Anthem, coaches and players will exit the field via 1st & 3rd base gates

6:05 Game time: Sioux City Explorers vs. Kansas City Monarchs


Total Baseball Development (TBD) is a baseball school and organization based in Sioux City, Iowa; with locations at the Iowa Great Lakes and on Highway 20 east of Sioux City, and offers individualized personal and group instruction, Out-of-Season leagues, camps, clinics, showcases, round table events, and player placement services for high school, college, and professional baseball players alike. TBD serves as a local resource for baseball in the greater area of western Iowa and the extended Siouxland regions of eastern Nebraska, southeast South Dakota and southwest Minnesota. TBD provides local baseball opportunities here at home, as well as state-wide, nation-wide, and internationally. Bob Protexter founded Total Baseball Development in Sioux City in 2004.