NEWS 10.11.21: C19 Trends Down in IA, SD GOP Redistricting Fight, and Club Shooting Investigation

Oct 11, 2021

Credit CDC

Information from the Iowa Department of Public Health shows a continuing downward trend in new cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

There were more than 8,300 new positive test results added in one week, down about 600 from the previous week.

The statewide positivity rate is 9.5%, with people 18 and under making up about a quarter of the new cases. However, that age group makes up only 3% of hospitalizations in the state. The positivity rate in Woodbury County is 16%.

There are 566 hospitalizations, a small decrease since Friday. Three-fourths of patients were not vaccinated.

The Iowa Department of Public Health releases new COVID-19 data each Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the state's dashboard.

Sioux City Police continue to investigate a weekend shooting at a downtown after-hours club.

One victim remained in the hospital on Monday. Three others were treated and released after the incident near 4th and Pierce early Sunday morning.

A department spokesperson says officers are still receiving limited cooperation from the individuals involved. Investigators say a dispute escalated into gunfire between two different groups. It is unclear if any of the victims were also responsible for some of the shooting.

This is the second shooting in downtown Sioux City in just over two weeks. Another happened in the afternoon of September 23rd in the 200 block of Nebraska Street. A 17-year-old faces several chargers including attempted murder for shooting a man in the back and chest. An on-going feud lead up to the shooting.

South Dakota lawmakers redrawing the state’s political boundaries kicked off a three-day tour of public input meetings amid intra-party Republican bickering and competing proposals for new legislative districts. The House and Senate committees, both dominated by Republicans, had previously sought accord in the once-in-a-decade process. But as they presented divergent map proposals at a public-input meeting in Box Elder, the schism was on full display. The Legislature will convene on Nov. 8 to consider new political boundaries, which must also be approved by Gov. Kristi Noem. If they can’t reach a consensus by Dec. 1, redistricting will be determined by the state Supreme Court.

All three Siouxland state recognized Indigenous People Day on Monday. 

Credit Facebook/Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

South Dakota has celebrated Native American Day in lieu of Columbus Day since 1990.

A gathering at the statehouse in Lincoln, featured tribal leaders from Nebraska’s four tribes: Winnebago, Omaha, Ponca, and Santee Sioux.

News release from the State of Iowa:

Gov. Reynolds announces $200 million broadband grant opportunity  

DES MOINES – Today, Governor Kim Reynolds announced that $200 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding is now available for grants offered through the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) to improve broadband access for Iowans. 

Last month, Gov. Reynolds and OCIO announced the awardees of the latest $100 million state-funded Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program. Due to the overwhelming need and interest in the program – OCIO received 178 applications requesting a total of $300 million – the State of Iowa is using $200 million in federal funds to build upon it.   

This new grant program allows communications service providers, including telecommunication companies and local governments, to apply for up to 60 percent of their broadband project costs in eligible areas of the state. Communications service providers are encouraged to apply for a grant to install broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved locations. 

“Broadband has never been more important for our future. I continue to hear from Iowans who still lack access to the broadband speeds necessary to start a business, telework, or connect with a healthcare provider,” Gov. Reynolds said. “With this additional investment, we have invested more than $300 million this year alone on bringing future-ready broadband to rural and unserved areas of our state.” 

Questions about the opportunity may be submitted to the OCIO beginning on October 15, 2021. Applications may be submitted to the OCIO from October 25, 2021 through November 22, 2021.  

Further information about the grant process for this funding opportunity is available on the OCIO website at https://ocio.iowa.gov/empower-rural-iowa-broadband-grant-program-notice-funding-availability-007