The Exchange

Public Media Journalism Awards

Siouxland Public Media received first place for News/Public Affairs Program by the PMJA.  The award was announced on June 25, 2020.  "50-Years Later: The Moon Landing and Flight 232" aired on July 20, 2019.  The program was part of award-winning News Director Mary Hartnett's weekly program called "The Exchange".  Each episode explores significant issues impacting the region and celebrates local arts and culture.  Reporter/Special Projects Producer Sheil

On The Exchange this week we talk with Sioux City Communty Schools Superindent Paul Gausman about the district's "Return to Learn" plan approved by the school board this week.  It calls for in-person, virtual and hybrid learning plans, depending on the status and spread of COVID-19.  

The coronavirus is surging in one of the most popular summer vacation spots in Iowa.  In Dickinson County cases have increased exponentially since Memorial Day.  We talk with 21 year old who says she caught the virus while staying with her parents at Lake Okoboji.  

Coming up on the exchange, we have a wrap up of the 2020 legislative session with Republican Siouxland State Senator Jim Carlin and Siouxland Democratic State Represenative Chris Hall. Carlin and other Republicans voted for a budget that is basically status quo in the age of COVID 19.

However, Chris Hall says republicans basically handed over decisions about the 8 billion dollar state budget to the governor and her staff.  

This week on The Exchange, we talk with essayist and activist J. Chester Johnson about his new book Damaged Heritage: The Elaine Race Massacre and a Story of Reconciliation.  Johnson's beloved grandfather took part in the massacre where hundreds of African American share croppers where killed.  His grandfather was also a member of the Klu Klux Klan. 

This week on The Exchange we recap the June 2nd primary election.  The big takeaway is veteran 4th district congressman Steve King was defeated by State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull.  Feenstra raised three times the amount of money King did and ws the only primary candidate to run television ads in Sioux City.  

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 

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.

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.

Guest host Sheila Brummer explored the COVID-19 pandemic with everything from for assistance to ways to enchance our health.  Plus, find out how the Orange City Tulip Festival plans to celebrate in this age of isolation.  The 80th annual event was postponed until May of 2021.  Also, hear some memorable stories and special reports from the award-winning Siouxland Public Media News Department.

Special thanks to this week's guests:

Linda Scheid - Food Bank of Siouxland

Coming up on The Exchange . . .

We hear the latest on COVID-19 in Siouxland, including concerns over the spread of the coronavirus at meatpacking plants.  Tyson Fresh Foods and Seaboard Triumph plants have both had hundreds of workers test positive for COVID-19.  

Sioux City State Senator Jackie Smith asks for an independent task force to oversee testing and mitigation efforts at Tyson foods in Dakota City.

Latinx rights leader Joe Enriguez Henry is calling for a meat boycott in May to encourage Tyson and other meatpackers to do more to protect workers.

This week on The Exchange:

Siouxland mayors, including Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott, demand more transparency about the source of the recent surge in coronavirus cases in the tri-state area.

Governor Kim Reynolds looks forward to opening up 77 Iowa counties this Friday, after many weeks of lockdown because of COVID-19.

Iowa's Home Rule Constitutional Amendment could affect local rules about shutdowns during the pandemic, but, so far, the governor has the last word.

  Coming up on The Exchange . . .

We talk with Sioux City Community Schools Superintendent Paul Gausman about the liklihood of online commencements for graduation seniors at Sioux City's three high schools because of COVID-19, and how the district is trying to prepare students to come back to the classroom in the fall. 

We hear from local business owners who are trying to keep the doors open despite the general shutdown caused by the coronavirus.  Some applied for federal stimulus money and are still waiting to hear about their status. 

This week on The Exchange . . .

We hear from several Siouxlanders about their experiences in the coronavirus pandemic.

We talk with a Siouxland woman who is recovering from COVID-19.

And we speak with a UI medical student from northwest Iowa who is volunteering with new telemedicine clinic for people on low incomes and immigrants.  And a mental health professional talks about how to deal with the stress caused by social distancing and fear of COVID-19.

This week on The Exchange . . .

We check in with Tyler Brock of Siouxland District Health about the spread of the coronavirus in Woodbury County

Also, we talk with Sioux City Community School Superintendent Paul Gausman about the ongoing school closure and efforts to keep students learning until classes resume.

And we talk with Western Iowa Tech Community College President Terry Murrell about how the school has moved all of its courses online until the end of the spring term to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

On The Exchange this week, we talk about the latest developments concerning the coronavirus in Siouxland and Iowa.  Our guests are Dr. Michael Kafka of Unity Point Health-St. Lukes who will talk about efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and how well the hospitals are prepared to treat it.'

Also we talk with.Dr. Amy Rief-Elks.  She is the Program Director of the Siouxland Medical Education Foundation Family Residency Program.  She shared her thoughts about the shortage of both doctors and protective gear during the pandemic. 

On this edition of The Exchange, we talk with Tyler Brock of Siouxland District Health about the number of COVID-19 cases in Woodbury County and how to keep ourselves safe during the pandemic.

We also speak with Sioux City Community Schools Superintendent Paul Gausman about the outlook for students, who are currently out of school because of the coronavirus, to get back to class this school year.

Coming up on the Exchange, we talk with  Siouxland health care leaders about how to protect yourself from COVID-19.  Most of the precautions are really just common sense actions. 

Also, today we hear from the owner of Siouxland Magazine Stacie Anderson about next Wednesday's event at the Sioux City Public Museum called "Understanding Homelessness."

We also look ahead to this year’s Faces of Siouxland Multicultural Fair with Karen Mackie of the Siouxland Human Rights Commission.  

Coming up on The Exchange, several referendums were approved in Woodbury County yesterday after elections were held.  One of the biggest was the 50 million dollar bond issue to finance a new law enforcement center in Sioux City. Supervisor Keith Radig says he is relieved the measure passed, but he hopes the old facility will hold up until the new one is finished, which will take around two years.

There is a new conference coming to Siouxland that explains the connection between pornography and human trafficking and we hear about that. 

* Because of security and safety concerns several areas inside of the jail were off-limits for photos during recent tour
Siouxland Public Media

On Wednesday, February 26, Siouxland Public Media hosted a live edition of the  Exchange at the Sioux City Public Library.  The topic was the Woodbury County jail bond referendum, set for Tuesday, March 3.

County residents will decide whether to a 50.3 million dollar bond to pay for a new jail.  County leaders and those who work in the jail say it is too crowded and has numerous plumbing, heating and cooling problems.

It was built to hold 80 inmates and now it has 230 inmates. 

Siouxland Public Media

On March 3, Woodbury County Voters are being asked to approve a 49 million dollar bond to pay for a new jail.  

County officials say the current jail in downtown Sioux City is crowded and has multiple air quality, plumbing, and environmental toxin problems.    

Siouxland Public Media is hosting a live edition of The Exchange about the need for a new jail, the community influences that lead to the incarceration of so many people, and the possible alternatives. 

Join us for The Exchange, Wednesday, February 26 at noon at Sioux City Public Library. 

The Exchange, Wednesday, February 19, and Friday, February 21.

February is Black History month, and we talk with one of the editors of a new book that contains first-person stories and photos of African Americans who were once enslaved.  The interviews were done by writers with the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s.  

Also, a preview of a program at the Sioux City Public Museum this weekend where you can learn everything you need to know about the upcoming 2020 census that takes place April 1st.  

Siouxland Public Media

Young teens face so many challenges these days and on February 11-13, 2020 a special interactive-learning experience took place for 7th graders with many local experts and organizations at Long Lines Recreation Center in Sioux City.  Siouxland Public Media's Sheila Brummer hosted a live version of "The Exchange" with information for teens and parents on topics such as social media, sex trafficking, teen pregnancy, STDs, hygeine, substance abuse, mental health and more.  

A partial list of guests during LIVE show:


The Democratic National Committee is calling for an immediate recanvassing of the Iowa caucus results after almost of week of concerns about the technical problems with a reporting app and other issues. The Exchange looks at how the problems unfolded. 

Coming up this week on The Exchange, 

We talk with several of the Presidential Candidates who cut a swathe through Siouxland in the week before the 2020 First in the nation presidential caucuses. 

One of them was former Vice President Joe Biden.

We also hear from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders

And we talk with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Also, we hear from a CNN reporter who has followed the candidates all over the country.  

This week on The Exchange, Western Iowa Tech Community College is accused of human trafficking in connection with a group of exchange students from South America.  WIT President Terry Murrell strongly refutes those allegations and pledges to help students finish their programs of study.

This week on The Exchange, we hear from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Nebraska Governor Pete Rickets and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem as they deliver their legislative agendas for 2020 sessions.  Each of the Republican governors focused on a need to bolster the economic conditions of their state.

In the run-up to the February 3rd caucuses, we talk with a student from Northwestern College in Orange City, who is holding a mock caucus to educate those who have never taken part in Iowa's presidential nominating process.  

This week on The Exchange, as the new looms, we consider our goals and life choices and sometimes ask ourselves if we have sold out on our values.  We talk with the author of a new book called "The Ethical Sellout," about the many ways compromise can help us make decisions that accord with our values and the practical needs of our lives.

Coming up on The Exchange, we take a look at some of the events that we commemorated in Siouxland during the last year. 

One of the most resonant events was the anniversary of the deadly crash of United Flight 232 in at Sioux Gateway Airport in July of 1989.  The memories of the crash site were still clear all these years later. 

Also we talk with some seniors who recall the moon landing in July of 1969.

And we speak with the recently retired editor of the Catholic Globe newspaper, Joanne Fox and newly-retired Storm Lake Police Chief Mark Prosser.