NEWS 8.27.21: City Council Candidates, Gov. Noem Calls for Attorney General to Resign, and More

Aug 27, 2021


The field is set for the Sioux City Council election on November 2nd. Two incumbents and two challengers will be on the ballot. They are current council members, Dan Moore and Alex Waters. Running for the first time is the President of the local NAACP, Ike Rayford, and Matthew O'Kane, an art teacher for the Sioux City Community School District. The top three will be elected to a four-year term starting in January.

Councilmember Pete Groetken is not seeking another term in office. Since there are less than six candidates, there will be no primary election.

Following the deadly terrorist attacks at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan governor of all three Siouxland states ordered flags to fly at half-staff. It is part of a Federal proclamation. All the governors expressed condolences over the loss of 12 U.S. service members and others injured and killed yesterday.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem says state attorney general Jason Ravsnborg should resign after his sentencing following the death of a man he hit with his car.

Noem says if he does not resign, the Legislature should consider articles of impeachment already brought in the House.

Ravnsborg, who entered a "no contest" plea to two misdemeanor counts in the death of Joseph Boever, says he will not step down. He did not appear in court for the charges of making an illegal lane change and using a phone while driving. Prosecutors dropped a careless driving charge. Noem claims Ravnsborg has not accepted responsibility for the incident in September of last year.

Statement from South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem surrounding sentencing of Jason Ravnsborg.

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, following South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg's plea of "no contest" to charges against him regarding the death of Joseph Boever, Governor Kristi Noem issued the following statement: 

"With today's plea, Jason Ravnsborg's legal proceedings have concluded.  Like many South Dakotans, I am not only disappointed in how this process was handled by prosecutors, but outraged at the result of today's plea hearing and sentencing.  Ravnsborg has not accepted responsibility for the death of Joseph Boever and did not even appear in court today to face the charges or the Boever family."

Speaker of the House Spencer Gosch said in March that the House would wait until after "the judicial system is able to do its job" to proceed with articles of impeachment against Ravnsborg. The South Dakota Sheriff's Association, the South Dakota Police Chiefs Association, and the South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police previously called on him to resign.

"If Ravnsborg does not resign, as I believe he should, the Legislature can and should consider the articles of impeachment already brought in the House," continued Noem. "I have therefore instructed the state Department of Public Safety to provide Speaker Gosch a complete copy of the investigation file in the coming days to assist the House in its important work."

One week after Iowa City issued a mask mandate, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said his office is still researching whether the order violates state law, according to the Iowa Capital Dispatch.

The mayor of Iowa City declared a civil emergency August 19 and issued a citywide mask mandate.

The order requires all individuals in Iowa City to wear a face-covering in all indoor public settings, including stores, restaurants, schools, and outdoor locations where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Immediately after the order, a spokesperson for Gov. Kim Reynolds said the mandate was "against the law" and "not enforceable."

The chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court signed an order today (Friday) requiring all people to wear masks in court-controlled spaces throughout the state. That includes the Iowa Judicial Branch building and county courtrooms.

The order, signed by Chief Justice Susan Christensen, says the supreme court reviewed the CDC’s recommendation to wear masks in public indoor settings where there’s high or substantial coronavirus transmission. The judicial branch’s mask requirement applies to the whole state regardless of any county’s level of virus transmission.

The order replaces the court’s previous rules that said only unvaccinated people were required to wear masks. Christensen was appointed by Gov. Kim Reynold in 2018.

This comes as many other government entities—including local governments and schools—aren’t allowed to require masks under a state law that was enacted in May. The mayor of Iowa City has issued a mask mandate despite that, and a parent from Council Bluffs is challenging the school mask mandate ban in court. 

The Dakota County Health Department announced plans for a 3rd dose COVID-19 Vaccine drive-thru clinic. The dose is recommended for people with compromised immune systems. The Moderna booster dose will be available on Wednesday, September 1st for 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Dakota City Fire Hall. 

Credit Dakota County Health Department


A 12-state law enforcement operation rescued 47 victims of human trafficking and led to the arrest of more than 100 people.  

Most of the arrests were made Thursday night into Friday morning, and included all three Siouxland States.

The effort, called Operation United Front, used undercover officers who arranged to meet potential human trafficking victims or who posed as victims to identify a buyer or trafficker.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A federal appeals court is ruling that the federal government must provide better health care for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. The Argus Leader reports that the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 on Wednesday to uphold a 2020 South Dakota District Court decision. The tribe sued in 2016 in the wake of problems at the Indian Health Service hospital on its reservation. The emergency room had to close and patients were diverted to hospitals 50 miles away. The hospital's operating hours were cut and other services like surgeries were diverted. The tribe argued an 1868 treaty requires the U.S. government to provide physician-led health care. 

Bernie Sanders has long argued that steep federal spending and bigger government can improve the lives of working class Americans and win back the kinds of disaffected, largely white voters who flocked to Donald Trump. The Vermont senator is venturing into Trump country to test that theory this weekend. He's swinging through two reliably red states to promote a $3.5 trillion budget proposal that's packed with progressive initiatives and financed by higher taxes on the rich. Sanders will hold town halls in West Lafayette, Indiana, on Friday and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Sunday, choosing two congressional districts where Trump's vote totals increased between 2016 and 2020.