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NEWS 11.17.21

Siouxland District Health

State data shows hospitalizations, people in intensive care, and deaths from COVID-19 are all up in Iowa, including locally. The information released Wednesday by the Iowa Department of Public Health says 544 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, including 123 in intensive care. There was a 30% increase in patients in Sioux City battling COVID-19 only, with 25 people hospitalized.

The latest report posted 102 deaths, which the agency says occurred between Sept. 15 and Nov. 11. There were two more deaths added this past week in Woodbury County for 254.

The state is now reporting 7,268 deaths.

Most Iowans say they approve of the job Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is doing as she enters the 2022 election year, a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll found.

More than half of Iowans also approve of how Reynolds is handling a trio of key issues: the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy, and education.

Support is divided by party lines.

A Republican primary challenger to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Wednesday that the governor is bound to corporate interests and has repeatedly sided against conservatives.

State Rep. Steve Haugaard, a Sioux Falls lawyer, told a crowded room of supporters during his formal campaign announcement Wednesday that Noem has been on the wrong side of issues like sports participation by transgender athletes and COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Noem, who has traveled the country meeting with political organizations and other supporters, formally announced her reelection campaign last week. Her campaign says she has raised $10 million since she was elected three years ago and has more than $6.5 million in cash on hand.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s daughter says she will quit the real estate appraiser business following scrutiny over whether her mother used her influence to aid her application for an appraiser license.

Noem’s daughter, Kassidy Peters, slammed a legislative inquiry in a letter that was obtained by the Associated Press.

Lawmakers had requested the document to confirm that a plan to give Peters another chance to win her appraiser certification was “in place” prior to the meeting. But the signed agreement is dated the week after the July 27, 2020 meeting.

U.S. and state officials on Wednesday outlined how the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on Monday will impact Nebraska.

Part of the plan includes $2.2 billion for roads in Nebraska. Iowa is expected to get $3 billion.

Both and South Dakota are expected to get $225 million to replace and repair bridges, Iowa $432 million.

More than 10,000 striking Deere & Co. workers are voting on a new contract offer from the tractor maker, but this third deal is strikingly similar to a contract that 55% of workers rejected two weeks ago.

The latest proposed contract being voted on Wednesday maintains the 10% immediate raises that the last deal offered, and it makes what the United Auto Workers union called modest changes to Deere’s internal incentive pay program for workers.

The disputed contract covers 12 plants in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas where the Moline, Illinois-based company's iconic John Deere green agricultural and construction equipment is made.

Leaders of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have announced a plan to boost inclusion and fight racism. The plan includes providing regular anti-racist teaching seminars, reviewing the university's current hiring processes in the context of race and collaborating with Lincoln police to prevent poor treatment of minorities off campus.

Chancellor Ronnie Green and Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion Marco Barker detailed the plan in a campus-wide email sent Wednesday.

The plan is part of UNL’s Journey for Anti-Racism and Racial Equity, which began following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020.

Story from the Associated Press:

T. Denny Sanford, a nationally-recognized philanthropist and the namesake of the Sanford Health System, has been named as the implicated individual in a criminal investigation involving child pornography.

The Argus Leader reports Sanford's name was revealed in court documents released publicly Wednesday after a victory ruling by the South Dakota Supreme Court for the Argus Leader and ProPublica.

The two media organizations had sought records related to a criminal investigation into Sanford, who has been publicly identified as an “Implicated Individual.”

Although the Argus Leader and ProPublica know the identity of the Implicated Individual, the two organizations had been unable to publish the person’s name because they are parties to a court case that had been under seal.

Sanford has not been formally charged in the case.

Previous reports cited anonymous sources within the South Dakota Attorney General's Office identifying Sanford as the Implicated Individual. In a statement to the Argus Leader on Wednesday, Marty Jackley, a lawyer representing Sanford, noted that Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg had disputed those reports as having come from his office.

The first warrant had been issued in December 2019 related to an email

Heart disease is the top killer of Iowa women and a cardiologist and researcher says the continued stress of the pandemic is making the ailment even more lethal.

The Women’s Heart Alliance is launching a radio PSA campaign this week to educate Iowa women about the risks, the warning signs and the importance of getting “heart checked.”

Radio Iowa reports while men may fall to the “Hollywood heart attack” clutching their chest, the signs of a heart attack in women are different and they’re often more subtle, including jaw pain, nausau, indigestion, fatigue, dizziness, hot sweats, and shortness of breath.

Iowa ranks 19th in the U-S for heart disease deaths.

Federal regulators have proposed suspending a Trump administration rule that would have allowed railroads to haul liquefied natural gas while they take a closer look at the potential safety risks. The rule, which was backed by both the natural gas and freight rail industries, had already been on hold because several environmental groups and 14 states filed lawsuits challenging it. In their lawsuit, environmental groups argued that those new railcars required by the rule were untested and might not withstand high-speed impacts, increasing the threat of an explosive train derailment along rail lines that cross directly through the heart of most cities.

Sheila Brummer returns to her radio roots as a Reporter/Special Projects Producer for Siouxland Public Media KWIT-KOJI.