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Newscast 6.10.2024: South Sioux City Data Park doesn't add needed jobs; Iowa deportation law getting federal hearing; Nazi protests in S.D. halted; Plywood Trail third segment up for bids

South Sioux City, Nebraska
South Sioux City, Nebraska

A Data Center Park in South Sioux City did not pan out as anticipated, so City of South Sioux City officials are paying back $685,000 to a state agency.

The South Sioux City Council members in their Monday meeting will discuss the data park during a public hearing.

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development had approved the plan for the city to buy 108 acres of land to develop a speculative data park. The land would have been leased to any data business that came to the park.

The plan had envisioned a data park in South Sioux City with at least 22 jobs created for people who are currently low-to-moderate income. But those jobs did not pan out, so the city is paying the state back, a city council agenda summarizes.

*A federal court hearing on Monday will help determine whether Iowa’s “illegal re-entry” immigration law can take effect on July 1st, and a decision will likely be made by then.

The law would let state and local officials arrest immigrants who were previously deported or denied entry into the U.S. The U.S. Department of Justice and civil rights groups sued to block it from taking effect.

The Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Des Moines held a prayer vigil Sundy night to pray for the law to be stopped.

Marisol Guerra, a teacher from Honduras, says the law may not affect her, but it affects a lot of people she knows and loves.

“These hardworking, good hearted people that live in their faith and their family, these people that are afraid that they might lose everything they have accomplished here and they might go back to a place that they ran away from that is filled with crime, extortion, lack of opportunities," Guerra said.

Catholic Church leaders in Iowa say it’s troubling that the law would allow some immigrants with legal status to be prosecuted. The state claims in legal documents that the law would NOT affect people with legal status.

*Additionally, a group of people brandishing the Nazi flag attempted to march at the South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre.

On Saturday, the South Dakota highway patrol responded to the unscheduled march, according to a press release from the Department of Public Safety.

The group of protesters did not have a permit to protest, and left without incident. A similar march occurred in Deadwood later the same evening.

Many state officials reacted to the unscheduled protest, with Governor Kristi Noem in a statement saying, “We reject all hatred and Nazis.”

*Tuesday marks the bidding date for construction firms that want to create a third phase segment of the PlyWood Trail that will connect Sioux City to Le Mars.

One week ago, the Sioux City Council approved the plans and the estimated cost for the third phase, for the southmost segment from Sioux City to Hinton. The estimated cost of the third phase is $5.5 million.

Much of the first segment, from Le Mars to Merrill, is done.

The trail costing roughly $23 million will be funded with grants and private contributions. It will be 19 miles in length, going at times near U.S. Highway 75 and the Floyd River.

The last piece constructed will be the center segment, from Merrill to Hinton.

*A new president of Briar Cliff University in Sioux City will be announced Tuesday.

The person was selected during last week’s Briar Cliff Board of Trustees meeting, and will be introduced to college employees on Tuesday morning. The new president will be the 13th in college history, for the college created in 1930 and which now has about 940 students.

Previous President Patrick Schulte was installed in 2023, and left less than a year later to work at another college in Missouri.