NEWS 6.18.21: Juneteenth, SITP Update, Houlihan Releases Statement, Horse Racing, & More

Jun 18, 2021

Credit Associated Press

Nebraska and South Dakota closed state offices today to honor the new Federal Juneteenth Holiday. 

However, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has not said anything about Juneteenth. The state started recognizing the holiday in 2002, however, state workers do not get a paid day off.

However, Reynolds did sign a pro-police measure into law yesterday. It includes heightened criminal penalties for certain protest activities.

Democratic candidate for Governor, Ras Smith of Waterloo gained prominence by helping broker a police accountability law that passed unanimously after the murder of George Floyd.  

Since then, he has been critical of priorities passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature, including the new “Back the Blue” law.

“The Governor said she was going to push for anti-racial profiling legislation, and I haven’t seen it, and she committed to doing that. We need a governor who has our back, not just brown and Black Iowans, but all Iowans.”

Smith made his comments to Siouxland Public Media last night at an event organized by the Woodbury County Democratic party at Jackson Street Brewing.

Olympian and Sioux City native Shelby Houlihan will not be competing at the U.S. Trials today in Oregon. The runner issued a statement on social media today saying her attorneys tried to seek an emergency injection to run while awaiting an appeal on a 4-year-ban for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Houlihan blamed the positive test on a pork burrito she ate 10 hours before test in December.

Statement from Shelby Houlihan issued on social media Friday, June 18:

This week, my attorneys sought an emergency injunction with the Swiss Federal Tribunal to allow me to run the Olympic Trials while my appeal of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision is pending. Unfortunately, this morning, they did not grant our request for the emergency order. The court found that because the CAS has not released its reasoning for the decision, they can't know whether I am likely to succeed in an appeal. I want to be clear that, contrary to media reports, I never had any intention of competing if this injunction wasn’t granted. If I was going to race, it was going to be in the right way. I respect the sport and my competitors too much. I would never jeopardize the legal standing of the US team and the Olympic dreams of others. This ruling means that my goal of making another Olympic team is over for now. I can’t begin to find the words to express how disheartening this is. It absolutely breaks my heart to have my dreams and career taken away for something I did not do.

I will forge ahead with my appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal once the Court of Arbitration for Sport issues its reasoned decision. I am told that appeals of this kind are difficult to win, but I continue to believe that the truth will prevail.

As I continue to navigate this difficult process and past week, there are just a few things that I would like to say. I cannot express my gratitude to the outpouring of support I have received. It means the world to me that so many of you have reached out with kind words, offerings of help, and have stood by me with support. I will never forget how loved you have all made me feel. To all those who have been actively helping me through this- I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done for me. I have an amazing group of people surrounding me.

The organizers of Saturday in the Park today announcing a few changes to this year’s music festival. Due to current CDC guidance masks will be optional with social distancing where possible. Tickets will not be required. There had been some discussion about potentially requiring tickets for crowd control. However, a news release issued today says “attendance each day could still be limited based on any updated guidance, so attendees are advised to arrive early.” This year’s event spans two days at Grandview park. Music on Friday July 2nd starts at 5 p.m. and includes headliner AJR. John Fogerty plays the finale on Saturday with the first band Ultra Violet Fever taking the stage at 2 p.m.  Grandview Park will be fenced off this year, and bags will still be checked at the entrance gates.

News release from Saturday in the Park:

The Saturday in the Park Festival organizing committee announced today that it is modifying the mask requirement for this year’s festival. Previously the committee had announced that masks would be mandatory at the festival, but now is modifying this policy based on CDC guidance, to make masks optional based on personal health assessment and preference. Social distancing where possible and avoidance of the festival if symptomatic are still recommended.

“A few weeks ago, the CDC modified their recommendation regarding the usage of masks for folks who have been vaccinated (indicating no longer need to wear). We want to stay in sync with that recommendation and therefore will not make masks mandatory at this year’s festival, although they will be required to ride all of the shuttle busses due to the federal mandate. At this point anybody who wants to receive the vaccine can easily do so in our area, including at many locations which now offer walk in vaccinations with no appointment, and therefore it becomes a matter of personal choice.” “We ask for respect for all at this year’s festival...those wearing masks and those that chose not to, we realize that everyone approaches this important issue from many perspectives and the environment at SITP is one of respect for all, first and foremost,” stated event co-founder and producer David Bernstein. Saturday in the Park also announced today that tickets will NOT be required now for this year’s festival. Initially planners had announced the potential for issuance of a free ticket to be able to control capacity at the event, along with splitting the event into 2 nights to better distribute the attendance. The announcement today will eliminate any need for tickets to enter the event. Attendance each day could still be limited based on any updated guidance, so attendees are advised to arrive early. Grandview Park will be fenced off this year, and bags will still be checked at the entrance gates.“In further analyzing our plans for this year we decided to move away from requiring a free ticket, and will allow entrance to the festival without one just as in past years. This will eliminate a number of complex issues we were concerned about dealing with. We may still limit attendance based on any updated guidance since the park will be fully fenced this year, so we request that attendees arrive early if they want to make sure they can get in. We will still plan on checking all bags at the gates, and do not allow any food, beverages, pets or firearms (including fireworks) to be carried into the park,” stated Bernstein. “We can’t wait for this year and really look forward to hearing CTA with Chicago founder Danny Seraphine perform Saturday in the Park at SITP for the first time ever at 2pm on Saturday. It only took us 30 years to figure that out!” Saturday in the Park draws tens of thousands of people each year and is presented for the sixth consecutive year by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City. It will be held this July 2 and July 3 at Grandview Park and begins at 5pm on Friday and 2pm on Saturday. The Saturday in the Park Festival was founded in 1991 by Dave Bernstein and Adam Feiges. In addition to a line-up of world class artists, the 30th and 31st annual Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City’s Saturday in the Park Festivals will also feature the return of Arts Alley, the KCAU Kids Zone (Saturday only), and some of the best festival food anywhere. The festival wraps up with a fireworks finale (presented by the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce) at the end of Saturday evening following John Fogerty’s performance (presented by Tyson Foods).

For the latest on this year’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City’s Saturday in the Park festival, log on to, follow us on Twitter @SITPFest, like us on Facebook, or call the festival office at (712) 277-2575. Check out the website for information on festival sponsorship packages and volunteer opportunities.

Horse racing at Atokad Park in South Sioux City is scheduled earlier than normal.

The Sioux City Journal reports the track, owned by Ho-Chunk, Inc. will run three races.

A minimum of one race day a year must be done for Atokad to keep its license.

Ho-Chunk took over the track nine-years-ago with the mission to build a future casino. That plan is in the works after voters approved expanded gambling. Ho-Chunk is developing casinos in South Sioux City, Lincoln, and Omaha.

A sharply divided Iowa Supreme Court has stopped a lawsuit challenging the state's management of fertilizer and hog farm pollution in rivers and streams from going to trial. The 4-3 decision Friday dealt a significant defeat to the two environmental groups that sued. They were hoping to get the chance to prove that Iowa should scrap it’s voluntary farm pollution policy and order new mandatory limits on nitrogen and phosphorous pollution. It’s the latest court rejection of an attempt to force the nation’s leading corn and pork producing state to clean up farm pollutants from its major rivers that provide drinking water to hundreds of thousands of Iowans.

ORANGE CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge has ordered a new trial for a 71-year-old Iowa man who was convicted in a May 2020 shooting death in rural Sioux County. District Judge Jeffrey Neary ruled Wednesday that Gregg Winterfeld, of Spirit Lake, should get a new trial because he and his lawyer did not get enough peremptory challenges during jury selection in his first trial. Winterfeld was convicted in the death of Grant Wilson. He was charged with first-degree murder but was convicted of second-degree murder. Both sides were given six peremptory strikes of potential jurors rather than the 10 required in trials involving Class A felonies such as first-degree murder. 

News release from the Sioux City Growth Organization:

(Sioux City, Iowa) Sioux City Growth Organization is excited to announce the winners of their 11th annual Innovation Market of 2021! The placements and allocated prize money are as follows:

First Place: Nicki Werner of Jefferson Beer Supply receives $5,000

Second Place: Jessica Hammond of Brutal Doodles receives $2,500

Third Place: Thomas Ritchie of Yours Truly Gift Box receives $1,000

These place winners were among the top finalists at the Innovation Market event open to the public on May 4, 2021. The 21 ideas that were submitted this year were displayed anonymously, and the 4 ideas that received the most votes were invited to pitch their business ideas to the members of Sioux City Growth Organization at a June 9 event. The prize money awarded to the winners is meant to help them with expenses as they prepare to launch

or grow their business. It is provided by Sioux City Growth Organization, in cooperation with several keysponsors including, the City of Sioux City, Downtown Partners, The Siouxland Initiative, Iowa’s West Coast Initiative, and several local businesses.

“After the impact of COVID-19 on many small businesses, we were extremely excited that we were able to hold Innovation Market this year’”, remarked Kaylee Betterton, Sioux City Growth Organization board member and event organizer. “I think it was more important than ever that we as the Siouxland community show our support for these local entrepreneurs”.

“We have many past winners that are now successful businesses in Siouxland. It is really an honor for us to be a part of their story, and we absolutely could not do it without the support of our event sponsors”, said Emily Vondrak, Sioux City Growth Organization president.

Typically held in February and March, the 2021 Innovation Market was moved to May-June due to COVID-19 restrictions.