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Newscast: 1.9.2024: Record snow falls in Sioux City; Ryan Grubb of Kingsley, Iowa, coaches in national championship; Iowa Legislature Republican leader sees no necessity to passing gun control laws after Perry shooting

Bret Hayworth
The aftermath of the January 8-9, 2024, snowstorm in Northwest Iowa is shown.

It was bound to happen – Sioux City and parts of Siouxland had avoided a major snow brunt for this winter, but that all changed the last two days, so now the digging out is underway.

The biggest snow event in Sioux City this winter began early Monday and ran well into Tuesday, and 11.3 inches of snow fell in the city. Of that amount, 8.3 inches fell on Monday, making for a new all-time record for any January 8 in Sioux City history.

Elsewhere, 10.5 inches were recorded in Vermillion, South Dakota, and 6 inches in Storm Lake, Iowa, which is in the easterly portion of Siouxland that experienced less of the storm severity.

Snow emergencies, with varying rules on where people could park along streets and which thoroughfares get cleared first, were declared in many Siouxland towns, including Sioux City, South Sioux City and North Sioux City.

Major highways such as Interstate 29 and U.S. Highway 20 were still at least partially covered in snow and ice, as winds picked up Tuesday and blew snow out of ditches. No traffic deaths were reported, although some spinouts and wrecks took place.

It appeared that the lesser day of snow for Tuesday might mean avoiding a repeat of Monday with the entire school day being called off in many districts. But the initial round of two-hour late starts eventually morphed into a full day off from school in the Sioux City School District and other districts.

In other news, the Iowa Legislature began its 2024 legislative session on Monday, and on Tuesday evening, Gov. Kim Reynolds will deliver her Condition of the State address. Siouxland Public Media will air her remarks live beginning at 6 p.m.

Republicans control all three phases of the lawmaking channels, holding the governorship and both chambers of the Legislature, so they can set the agenda for which bills get aired.

In the aftermath of the deadly school shooting last week in Perry, Iowa, Republican leaders on Monday said they will discuss ways to prevent more school shootings.

But they’re not committing to passing new gun control laws, as House Speaker Pat Grassley said expanding gun rights has been a guiding Republican principle. Grassley wants to focus on children’s mental health and school security.

Democrats including Senate Minority Leader Pam Jochum are calling for action, saying Iowans want more gun safety laws.

Additionally, tens of millions of people watched the Division I college football championship Monday night, and some with ties to Kingsley and Storm Lake, Iowa, were particularly watching one of the top coaches in the game.

Ryan Grubb is the offensive coordinator of the University of Washington Huskies, and he had a key role in the high-flying offense that led the team to the championship. Grubb sets plays orchestrated by quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who is seen as a likely NFL first round pick in a few months.

Grubb is a 1994 graduate of Kingsley-Pierson High School, and played football at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake after that. He has had a long career as an assistant coach, which to this point has peaked with the Washington post.

The Huskies lost in the championship to the University of Michigan, 34-13.