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NEWS 6.29.22: Reynolds Abortion Ban Plans, Flood Wins Special Election, Robbery Investigation, Extra 4th Patrols, Musketeers Honored, and More

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Governor Kim Reynolds spoke out about abortion during a stop in north-central Iowa today.

Reynolds is asking Iowa courts to reinstate a six-week abortion ban and lower the legal standard for abortion laws were the, quote, “next practical steps.”

That’s after the U.S. Supreme Court and Iowa Supreme Court recently struck down legal protections for abortion rights.

Reynolds was asked if this means she won’t call a special legislative session to further restrict abortion.

No, no, right now it wouldn’t do any good to call a special session. This is the route that we need to take. We’ve got two laws in place and so we’re going to move forward with that. We’ll wait and see what the ruling is based on that. And then we’ll reassess after that point.”  

Asked what her ultimate goal is for abortion policy, Reynolds says she wants to start with getting the so-called “fetal heartbeat” law into effect. It would ban most abortions after cardiac activity is detected by an ultrasound, as early as six weeks of pregnancy. Abortion is still legal in Iowa up until 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Reynolds made her comments in north-central Iowa before visiting Estherville this afternoon with Lt. Governor Adam Gregg.

Gov. Pete Ricketts held a news conference Wednesday afternoon to commemorate Religious Freedom Week in Nebraska.

Christian, Hindu, and Jewish religious leaders joined Ricketts as he highlighted “the right to religious freedom and the social benefits that come from the free exercise of religion.”

Nebraska state Sen. Mike Flood has won a special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, a fellow Republican who was sentenced to two years of probation earlier in the day for a conviction on charges that he lied to federal agents. Flood beat Democratic state Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks in the state’s Republican-leaning 1st District, which includes Lincoln and dozens of smaller towns in eastern Nebraska. Flood, a former speaker of the Nebraska Legislature, will serve the rest of what would have been Fortenberry’s ninth term. He’ll be a strong favorite to win a new term in November when he faces Pansing Brooks again in the general election.

South Dakota’s interim attorney general has dismissed two of former Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s top appointees who were involved in the aftermath of Ravnsborg’s 2020 fatal car crash. Ravnsborg was removed from office last week after the Senate convicted him on impeachment charges for his conduct surrounding the crash. He struck and killed a pedestrian but initially said he might have hit a deer or other large animal. Gov. Kristi Noem appointed the lead prosecutor in the Senate impeachment trial, Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo, as interim attorney general. Vargo quickly dismissed Ravnsborg’s chief of staff, Tim Bormann, and the Director of the Division of Criminal Investigation, David Natvig.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says she’s “not paying any attention to” congressional hearings about the January sixth insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

A former White House staffer testified yesterday that former President Donald Trump was told his supporters had weapons and still asked them to march to the Capitol. And that he was trying to go to the Capitol himself.

Reynolds was asked if that changes her support for Trump.

“That’s all speculation. I’m not paying any attention to that. We have gas prices that are double what they were. Inflation is at a 41-year high. Parents are trying to get through a day and hope that their paycheck can help them take care of their family and buy the items that they need. We don’t even have formula for moms to feed their babies. We’re flying that in from other countries.”

Reynolds, a Republican, is running for re-election this year and was endorsed by Trump. She’s previously appeared with him onstage at campaign rallies. Her opponent Democrat Deidre DeJear visited Sioux City yesterday where she says Reynolds has failed to in caring for the wellbeing of Iowans.

Federal health officials are reporting the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Iowa has dropped in the past week.

As of today, 162 Iowans are hospitalized with the virus. That’s down from 184 last week.

However, the number of newly-reported positive COVID-19 tests has remained steady, with state officials reporting 47 hundred new cases in the past seven days.

The Centers for Disease Control say four Iowa counties have high community levels. They are Chickasaw, Floyd, Jackson, and Palo Alto counties. It’s recommended people there wear masks in indoor public spaces.

According to the CDC, 62 percent of all Iowans are fully vaccinated against the virus.

Sioux City police want help in finding a man wanted in connection to a robbery in Leeds and firing a gun during another incident on Monday night. The man is accused of pulling out a gun on a women at a gas station around 5 p.m. He demanded she turn over her belongings. The man took off in a light-blue Toyota Camry and ended up near Highway 75 and C80 in Plymouth County. At that location, the owner of the property confronted two people in the Camry, the suspect shot at the property owner. The property owner was also armed and shot back at the suspect. No one was hurt. The Camry was found Monday night unoccupied. A man and woman inside took off in another vehicle. Investigators consider the suspect to be armed and dangerous.

News release from the Sioux City Police Department:

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Iowa law enforcement officers are launching a special traffic enforcement program as we approach the holiday weekend.

Radio Iowa reports this Independence Day is expected to break travel records, so the roads will be very busy. The State Patrol will be out looking for drunk drivers and others breaking traffic laws.

The weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day are often considered the most dangerous of the year on highways in Iowa and nationwide.

One-third of our traffic crashes yearly are caused by drunk and impaired driving and on the 4th of July nationwide that number is even higher.

The Iowa DOT says seven people were killed in motor vehicle crashes statewide over the Fourth of July holiday last year.

Submitted News Release:

2022 SIOUX CITY MARDI GRAS PARADE MARSHAL ANNOUNCED

Sioux City, IA (June 29, 2022) – The Annual Sioux City Mardi Gras Parade will take over the streets of Downtown Sioux City this Friday, July 1st beginning at 6:00 p.m. The Tyson Events Center and City Of Sioux City have announced 2022 USHL Clark Cup Champions, The Sioux City Musketeers as Grand Parade Marshal for this year’s celebration.

“We are excited to welcome the Sioux City Musketeers organization as this year’s Mardi Gras Parade Marshal,” said OVG360’s Tim Savona, General Manager of the Tyson Events Center and Orpheum Theatre. “This is a great opportunity for Sioux City to come together and celebrate The Clark Cup’s return to Sioux City and recognize the team’s accomplishment this season.”

The Muskies brought home a USHL Championship for the first time in 20 years back in May when they defeated Madison 3 games to 1 in the Clark Cup Finals. They gave fans plenty to cheer about this season as they racked up 41 wins, which is the second most wins in a season in Musketeer’s history. It was the perfect way to cap off their 50th Anniversary season.

“The Sioux City Musketeers are honored and thrilled to be the Grand Marshal for this year’s Mardi Gras Parade,” said Travis Morgan, CEO of the Sioux City Musketeers. “When we won the Clark Cup we won it for Siouxland, and we want everyone to feel like they are a part of the team, because they really are!”

Bring your family and friends for FREE fun when the Mardi Gras Parade kicks off at 6:00 p.m. The parade will start at the Tyson Events Center, making a left out of the parking lot onto Pierce Street. Continuing down Pierce Street the route will turn right on 4TH Street and end on Iowa Street. Tens of thousands of beads will be thrown into the crowds that line the streets - get your spot early!

The celebration will just include the Mardi Gras Parade as we kick off the holiday weekend and welcome the Annual Saturday In The Park Festival on Saturday, July 2.

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