NEWS 1.8.20: Weekly School Update, Hospitalizations Down in NE, Congressional Reaction to Trump

Jan 8, 2021

Credit Sioux City Community Schools

The Sioux City Community School District's weekly coronavirus report shows only one staff member and no students testing positive the first week after winter break.

Two-hundred are out on quarantine. That's down from about 500 at the end of December. 

Class resumed on Monday and students have at least one more week of hybrid learning. 

That’s where they go to school two-days a week.  An update surrounding the learning plan is expected to come Monday night with the next school board meeting.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds ended limits on sports and recreational gatherings today, on a day when the state recorded 59 additional deaths caused by the coronavirus, including one more death in Woodbury County and 50 new cases.  There have been 172 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts says hospitalizations in the state fell below 500 for the first time since October.

In a news conference this morning Ricketts says people still need to remain vigilant.

The governor reported 30% of the state’s hospital beds and ICU are available and 74% of ventilators.

Some new research from Iowa State University studied the spread of the coronavirus with hopes of predicting where it transmits most. 

Des Moines TV-station KCCI reports by studying people who didn’t survive, ISU researchers found more deaths connected to random public encounters versus small more controlled groups.

Iowa Rep. Cindy Axne is supporting a new vote on articles of impeachment for President Donald Trump following Wednesday’s storming of the US Capitol by a mob of the president’s supporters.

On Thursday Axne, a Democrat, issued a statement urging the use of the 25th amendment which would allow for the removal of the president.

Fourth Congressional District Representative Randy Feenstra released a statement surrounding impeachment discussions.

Feenstra a Republican from Hull says “We are at a critical point in time” where both parties “need to come together for the good of the American people.  He strongly opposes any attempt to remove the president from officer before the end of his term.

Full Statement from U.S. Represenative Randy Feenstra:

“We are at a critical point in time in our nation’s history -- a time where both parties need to come together for the good of the American people. Any effort by the House to impeach President Trump will only deepen divisions, and I will strongly oppose any attempt to remove the president from office before the end of his term.

“Moving forward, Congress should be focused on addressing the many serious issues facing our nation and avoid divisive political acts in the waning days of the Administration.  My main priority will always be delivering results for the people of Iowa’s 4th District by giving farmers, small business owners, and families a seat at the table.” 

Iowa 1st District Congresswoman Ashley Hinson says she was disappointed in President Trump’s response to rioting in the U.S. Capitol. But she and other House Republicans from Iowa say he should be allowed to finish his time in office.

A growing number of Democrats including Iowa’s 3rd District Representative Cindy Axne are calling for Trump to be removed before President-Elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.

Hinson says that would cause more political division.

“In 12 days Joe Biden is going to be the President of the United States. Right now my priority is making sure my team is ready to go, we’re in place ready to get to work for Iowa’s 1st District on day 1 of his administration."

Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa’s 2nd District has also said Trump should finish his term.

When Iowa lawmakers start a new legislative session in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic they will not be required to wear masks. That’s according to new protocols for lawmakers as they return to the Statehouse on Monday. 

A six-page memo sent out by Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver and Speaker of the House Pat Grassley does say social distancing should be practiced.  If an individual can’t do so, a face covering is recommended.  But, there is no mandate.

Whitver told a Des Moines television station he wants the legislature to operate as “normal and safe as possible”. 

Members of the public will be able to attend subcommittees through Zoom or send written comments through the state legislative website.