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There have been three nights of violence in Des Moines over the police murder of George Floyd of Minneapolis  At a news conference this afternoon, Gov. Reynolds also supported the decision to set a curfew of 9:00 p.m. for Polk County tonight said she wanted to work with advocates for social justice to prevent more tragic deaths.  

Reynolds today said she was working with the NAACP to change the criminal justice system to reduce racism and violence to African Americans. 

Betty Andrews is president of Iowa-Nebraska Branch of the NAACP.

There have been three nights of violence in Des Moines over the police murder of George Floyd of Minneapolis.  Today, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds today said she was working with the NAACP to change the criminal justice system to reduce racism and violence to African Americans.  At a news conference this afternoon, Gov. Reynolds said she wanted to work with advocates for social justice to prevent more tragic deaths.  Betty Andrews is president of Iowa-Nebraska Branch of the NAACP. 

Protests against the death of a Minneapolis man in the hands of police on Monday continue across the country.  Police officials say they were told about the protest this morning.  In this video captured by Siouxland Scanner and posted on FB, about fifty protestors marched carrying signs saying “I can’t Breathe” in honor of George Floyd, and chanting the same phrase.  

The marchers made their way to the police station and continued to ask for justice.  The policeman who was holding Floyd down by kneeling on his neck has been arrested on third degree murder charges. 

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported 290 additional COVID-19 cases today (Friday) bringing the state to 18,792 positive tests overall.

Twenty more deaths were reported, for a total of 520 Iowans confirmed to have died of the coronavirus.

376 Iowans are currently hospitalized with the virus. State health officials say more than 10,500 have recovered from the illness.

Those numbers reflect the 24-hour period ending today at 10 a.m.

Associated Press


Sioux City Police Department and Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office joint statement on the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis Minnesota.

Chris Hall/Facebook

Health officials are confirming another coronavirus outbreak in an Iowa meatpacking plant on the same day that the number of residents who have died from the virus topped 500.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says of the more than 2,500 employees tested at the Tyson pork processing plant in Storm Lake, 555 have tested positive.

Meanwhile, the State Secretary of Agriculture announced a plan to provide assistance for pork producers when it comes to euthanizing their livestock.  Information from Iowa State University shows an excess of 600,000 hogs on Iowa farms.

On Thursday, May 28, 2020, MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center and UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s sent out a daily joint statement saying the medical centers are  providing care for 88 COVID-19 patients. Siouxland Public Media had a chance to talk to the President and CEO of UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Lynn Wold about the COVID-19 Pandemic.

4th District Candidate Forum, The Exchange, 05.27.20

May 28, 2020

Welcome to this special edition of The Exchange.  I’m Mary Hartnett and with Sheila Brummer.  On Wednesday, we held a we held a live Zoom forum with the Republican 4th District Congressional candidates.  The primary election is next Tuesday, June 2nd.  The 4th district is the largest geographically, spanning 39 counties.  Here is that forum.

Candidate List

4th District Congressman Steve King of Kiron

State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull

Former Woodbury County Supervisor Jeremy Taylor,

Okoboji real estate broker Steve Reeder 

May 27, 2020
Credit IA Gov. Kim Reynolds/Facebook

An update from Siouxland Public Media on concerns raised by disability advocates concerning Test Iowa.

The Disabilities Resource Center of Siouxland and Executive Director Don Dew contacted the Governor and Iowa Department of Public Health a week ago to say there was no planning for the Test Iowa program to include people with disabilities.  Testing requires someone to drive through the site.

A week later, Governor Kim Reynolds said Test Iowa isn’t the only option.   

Buena Vista County

The number of COVID-19 cases in Buena Vista County jumped by more than 400 on Tuesday, making it the county with the highest number of cases per capita in the state.

Governor Kim Reynolds says so far no businesses have met the criteria for an outbreak, which is 10 percent of workers testing positive.

Reynolds says the state is not planning to list business outbreaks on its COVID-19 website where long-term care outbreaks are published. Also, business outbreaks will not be announced publicly unless the question is raised by reporters.

At her daily news conference on Tuesday Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced the easing of more restrictions put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

On Thursday bars can reopen at 50% capacity.  Next Monday, casinos, speedways, racetracks bowling alleys, amusement parks and outdoor music venues can open. Also, sports gatherings of more than 10 people will be allowed. 

However, there some restrictions in place and guidance for people at higher risk of the disease.

Governor Reynolds says the number of positive testing has trended down in the state.

Now that the Governor just opened up Test Iowa for anyone who requests a test, there is concern not everyone can actually receive one. 

Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer with more on an issue faced by some in the disability community.

You may know J.J. Stone as the producer of Siouxland Public Media’s Hip Hop Show Moonwalk Radio.

The number of people in the Sioux City metro area who have died due to complications of COVID-19 is 43.  One more death was reported in Woodbury County; a man between the ages of 61 and 80.  There have been 26 deaths in Woodbury County and 17 in Dakota County.

Dakota County Health officials reported six new cases for a total of 1,585.  There were no new deaths reported for the past two days. 

Siouxland District Health Department also confirmed 43 additional cases in Woodbury County for more than 2,400 cases. 

Associated Press

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts plans to ease more restrictions for public gatherings for a majority of the state on June 1st.

The move does not include Dakota County a spot impacted by an outbreak at the Tyson Foods plant in Dakota City.

Nebraska will let bars, zoos, movie theaters and swimming pools reopen and allow small concerts and auctions to resume.

Ricketts says  he’s trying to strike a balance between public health and the need to move back toward normal life as people grow restless.

Democratic Senate Candidate Michael Franken talks with Mary Hartnett on The Exchange  

Democratic Senate Candidate Kimberly Graham talks with Mary Hartnett on The Exchange

Democratic Senate Candidate Eddie Mauro talks with Mary Hartnett on The Exchange

Siouxland Public Media's Mary Hartnett talks with Democratic Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield on The Exchange.

May 20, 2020
Associated Press

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is easing more restrictions in the state of Iowa.  Starting on Friday, movie theatres, museums, zoos and wedding venues will open with social distancing guidelines in place.  Pools can reopen for lesson and laps.

On Thursday, May 28th bars can open at 50% capacity.

However, public museums in Sioux City will stay closed on Friday.  That includes the Sioux City Art Center.  A spokesperson says there will be a gradual reopening of facilities. 

Today we hear from the Democratic Senate candidates in Iowa and the Republican candidates for the sheriff's office in Woodbury County.  Voters are being asked to weigh in on these races on June 2nd.

Chad Sheehan and Todd Wieck are running for sheriff.  Theresa Greenfield, Kimberly Graham, Eddie Mauro and Michael Franken are running for the chance to square off with Republican Senator Joni Ernst in the general election this fall.

It’s been almost 40-years ago since Rick Springfield stormed to the top of the charts with his album “Working Class Dog”. 

He started his career back in his home country of Australia even earlier.  He played guitar for a group entertaining  troops in Vietnam in the late 1960s. 

It’s hard to believe this heartthrob is now 70-years ago.  

Woodbury County Sheriff's Office

When Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew announced plans to retire at the end of the year two Republican candidates said they want the job.  There is currently no Democrat running for the office.  However, the Democratic Party has until August to nominate a candidate for sheriff through a special convention.

The primary race is between retired Sioux City Police Officer Chad Sheehan and Todd Wieck a major with the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office.  The two men will face off in a primary election on Tuesday, June 2nd against Todd Wieck.

Siouxland District Health reported two more deaths in Woodbury County on Tuesday due to COVID-19 complications.  There were 50 new positive cases.  The current number of positive cases Tuesday afternoon was more than 2,300.

Dakota County health officials reported no cases and two more deaths for a total of 16 and more than 1,500 positive cases.  There are now 36 deaths in Woodbury County and Dakota Counties.

Iowa Department of Public Health

The Iowa Department of Public Health is confirming two children in eastern Iowa are sick with a condition related to COVID-19, known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that the syndrome causes fever and inflammation that can require intensive care treatment. 

Orange City Tulip Festival

This week thousands of people from all of the world were expected to visit the Orange City Tulip Festival.  Organizers decided to cancel this year's event and turn their focus to social media for fans.  Mike Hofman of the Orange City Chamber of Commerce and steering committee for the Orange City Tulip Festival shared his thoughts with Siouxland Public Media's Sheila Brummer.

M's on 4th

Starting today more businesses can re-open in the state of Iowa, including Woodbury County.  This includes salons, tattoo parlors and retail outlets. Restaurants can reopen with restrictions.  But, as Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer reports several in Sioux City plan to stay closed.

Even though restaurants can serve diners at 50% capacity on Friday, the owner of M’s on Fourth says his establishment will not open.

“Everybody needs to do what they need to do for their business.  But, I think there’s a few of us who believe public safety is priority.

Food Bank of Siouxland

The COVID-19 crisis forced a record number of people out of their jobs.  And, that number continues to climb.  So many face economic uncertainty.  More people than ever before are looking for one of the basics many might take for granted. That’s food. 

The Executive Director of the Food Bank of Siouxland, Linda Scheid, outlines the increased need and where you can turn for help.  She also talks about a state-wide program to help farmers get their meat and eggs into the hands of the hungry.

Woodbury County Emergency Management

There are four more deaths in the Sioux City metro area from COVID-19 complications for a total of 30 people in both Woodbury and Dakota Counties.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports 18 more Iowans have died for a total of 336 people. 

There were almost 400 new cases in Iowa and 38 cases in Woodbury County and 15 more in Dakota County for a total of more than 3,600 cases for both counties. 

There are more than 14,000 confirmed cases for the whole state of Iowa.  Woodbury County accounts for 15% of the cases statewide.

05.14.20 4:32

The 30th annual Saturday in the Park delayed from its July 4th date in Sioux City because of COVID-19. 

In an online news conference today, SITP organizer Dave Bernstein made the announcement,  He said, tentatively, they were looking at some dates in late August or September, 

"It’s the right decision, it’s the  decision we have to make,  July 4th is six weeks from now.  And just feels way to soon to risk tyring to have the vfest and ulitimatley having the festival pulled out from us and that would be a bummer."

05.14.20 4:04

The 30th annual Saturday in the Park delayed from its July 4th date in Sioux City because of COVID-19. 

In an online news conference today, STIP organizer Dave Bernstein made the announcement. 

“Tentatively, we are looking at some dates in late August or September, I know that this incredibly disappointing for many most notability most of us that work on the festival, and so many of our attendees, fans, sponsors, crews.  I know that this festival has a real sweet spot in the all lot of folks hearts after 29 years.”