Iowa Department of Public Health

Siouxland Public Media/Sheila Brummer

No mask mandate for the Sioux City Community School District after the board did not have a consensus of support to hold a vote. Concerns were raised about disrespect from citizens who attended today's meeting

Prior to the meeting, the local teacher’s union president said there wasn’t time to meet with members to issue a stance on masks. Lesa Banks says there are educators on both sides of the debate. The state teachers' union hopes school leaders will focus on science and decide what to do next. 

Governor Pete Ricketts/Facebook

Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts enacted a hospital staffing emergency in the state. Ricketts says the problem does come from a list of issues: staff shortages, COVID-19 cases, and other illness, including RSV.

Starting on Monday, the state will limit some elective surgeries and waive licensing to try and boost the number of heath care workers. Some facilities already paused elective surgeries to preserve hospital capacity.

However, Ricketts says he is still against mandating masks in schools or enforcing vaccine passports.

CDC

Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in Nebraska as the highly contagious delta variant continues to spread, but those reported totals may be undercounting the actual number of cases because the number of tests being performed each day is down significantly compared to last fall.

A public meeting is scheduled this afternoon to address homelessness in Sioux City. The gathering at City Hall scheduled for 1:15 comes after a protest at last week’s City Council Meeting surrounding the removal of a homeless camp near 4th and Wesley Parkway.

The information gathered will be shared with the Inclusive Sioux City Advisory Committee who will then provide recommendations to the City Council on ways to improve current practices.

UnityPoint Health announced today it will require its more than 33,000 team members to be vaccinated against COVID-19.The three-state health system also continues to urge all eligible individuals to get their COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. MercyOne Medical Center announced that all staff would need to be vaccinated in early July.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he will work with his colleagues to restore the 15% ethanol fuel blend for sale year-round. On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed the rule enacted by the EPA that allowed E-15 to be sold between June and September, a move that was encouraged by then-President Trump. 

 The decision to allow E-15 to be sold year-round put that blend on a par with the popular 10-percent ethanol blend, which has been available for sale all year for decades. Grassley says he'll push for a legislative solution to the issue to give some certainty to farmers and producers as he says the court ruling is a "big hit" to ethanol. "

Iowa Department of Public Health

COVID-19 rates and hospitalizations continue to fall throughout a large portion of the state of Iowa.

The Iowa Department of Public Health on Monday added no new deaths due to complications of the illness with around 30 new cases. There have been 6,114 deaths during the pandemic. Almost one-and-a-half million are fully vaccinated.

Hospitalization have fallen to 54 patients, that is the lowest since the end of March 2020.

The 14-day positivity rate is 2% statewide, and the seven-day positivity rate is 1.9%.

The Sioux City Police released a review of a “use of force” incident at Perkins and found the officers involved acted within the department’s policies.

A video circulating on Facebook in late April showed a struggle between officers and a Black man.

A few days later, the police department released body camera footage from all officers on the scene. Investigators say the man was asked to leave the restaurant and refused and resisted arrest. At one point, the man was pushed into a booth with an officer pointing a taser at him.

A jury has found a farm laborer guilty of murder in the abduction and killing of a University of Iowa student who vanished while out for a run in 2018.

The jury on Friday found Cristhian Bahena Rivera guilty of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Mollie Tibbetts, a friendly and bright 20-year-old who was studying to become a child psychologist.

Mason Dockter/Sioux City Journal via AP

An evacuation order remains in place for part of a northwest Iowa town as firefighters work to extinguish a burning train after a weekend derailment. About 47 cars derailed Sunday afternoon near Sibley, including several cars that were carrying hazardous materials. The resulting fire created a thick plume of black smoke but no injuries were reported. Sibley is a town of about 3,000 people roughly 200 miles northwest of Des Moines, and the evacuation order was in effect Monday. The west end of the town had been evacuated.

State of Iowa

  

Governor Kim Reynolds says Iowa will join a group of Republican-led states ending pandemic-related federal programs that give extra cash to unemployed workers.

Reynolds says the state will end the federal boost, including additional $300-a-week unemployment payments.

Reynolds says benefits are keeping people from returning the work and are hindering the state's economy — a charge echoed by Republican governors in several other states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Montana and South Carolina.

The benefits will end June 12. 

Iowa Department of Public Health

The number of COVID-19 cases continues to fall in all three Siouxland States.

The Iowa Department of Public Health showed no new deaths and about 100 new cases statewide. There were no new cases of COVID-19 in Woodbury County. However, the number of cases did drop by one since yesterday.

Siouxland Public Media

Police in Sioux City say two people have been arrested and charged in the killing of a man who was shot after he came to the aid of his girlfriend, who was being attacked.

22-year-old Martez Harrison, of Sioux City, died after being shot around 1 a.m. Saturday outside Uncle Dave’s bar on West Third Street.

Police later arrested 17-year-old Dwight Evans and 20-year-old Lawrence Canady.

Police say the shooting happened after Harrison and Canady argued, and Harrison called his girlfriend to pick him up.

Dakota County Health Department

The Iowa Department of Public Health shows three more deaths due to complications of COVID-19 and more than 500 new cases, including seven more in Woodbury County. Since the start of the pandemic more than 15,000 Woodbury County residents have tested positive for the virus and 224 deaths.

The 14-day test positivity rate in Woodbury County is 4.1%, this is slightly above the state rate of 4%.

Associated Press

Statement from Sioux City Police Department Surrounding the Derek Chauvin Murder Trial:

With the verdict coming in, a few of you have reached out with some questions about possible protests here. As of now, we have no intelligence indicating that any protests or demonstrations are planned locally. As such, we have not altered any schedules or moved any people in anticipation of any protests. We do have plans in place should something come up but again, we are not enacting those plans at this time.

NET

Nebraska lawmakers advanced a new, $9.7 billion state budget that includes more money for property tax credits and college scholarships while setting aside $115 million for a possible state prison to ease overcrowding.

The package would cover state expenses for the next two fiscal years, starting on July 1.

It came as some lawmakers warned about a possible economic downturn that hit state revenues, which are currently higher than expected despite the coronavirus pandemic.

City of Sioux City

The Sioux Gateway Airport will receive $1,000,000 from the U.S. Department of Commerce to help build a local flight school. The $7,000,000 project includes hanger and office space and is expected to create 43 new skilled jobs. The aviation center will partner with area schools and colleges to provide education and training opportunities, including a fully accredited flight school. Construction is expected to start this year.

CDC

Iowa Government Kim Reynolds provided an update on vaccinations in the state today. During a news conference that aired earlier today on Siouxland Public Media, Reynolds says so far 44% of Iowans 18 and older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The rate is almost double for those 65 years and older. Iowa ranks 9th in the country for vaccinations according to national numbers.

Reynolds says the state plans to concentrate on getting minority groups and college students vaccinated.

pxhere.com

An internal report has found that state police officers in Iowa drew their weapons and used force against suspects significantly more often in 2020 than prior years, due to a major increase in resistance.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety's annual report on force incidents found that suspects fled in vehicles and on foot from officers far more often in 2020.

Associated Press/Liz Martin

Iowa state prisons officials say a nurse and a corrections officer have been killed in an attack by an inmate at the Anamosa State Penitentiary. The Iowa Department of Corrections says the attack happened Tuesday morning, when an inmate attacked several staff members and inmates in the prison’s infirmary. The department said that it was still collecting and confirming details of the assault but it can confirm “an inmate attacked multiple staff members and inmates.” As a result of their injuries, a correctional nurse and correctional officer died.

Iowa Department of Public Health

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports six more COVID-19 related deaths and nearly 600 new cases with almost 10% coming from Woodbury County. There are still no outbreaks at long-term care facilities in the state.

An on-line vaccine dashboard shows more than 447,000 people in Iowa are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Iowa Department of Public Health

Two Siouxland-area health departments have now disclosed cases of the UK variant of the novel coronavirus.

The director of Siouxland District Health confirmed one case of the variant was reported to health officials in Woodbury County at the beginning of March. No other cases have been recorded.

Meanwhile, the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department coverage area recently saw its first case. The health department covers the counties of  Cedar, Dixon, Wayne, and Thurston.

Today is the one-year anniversary of the first positive cases of COVID-19 in the state of Iowa. Then were there three positive cases, since the start of Pandemic with more than 367,000 positive test results. There have been 5,559 deaths statewide and 214 in Woodbury County.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports one more death due to complications of COVID-19 and almost 140 positive cases, including eight in Woodbury County.

Ho-Chunk Capital

A big economic development from Ho-Chunk Capital today. The company finalized purchase of several businesses on historic Fourth Street in Sioux City from the Aalfs family. This includes the Aalfs main office building, Buffalo Alice, Antiques on Historic Fourth, M’s on 4th and SoHo.

Ho-Chunk plans to preserve and renovate several buildings and create new opportunities for commercial and residential tenants.

coronavirus.iowa.gov

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports 27 more Iowan has died from COVID-19 with more than 450 new positive test results with 18 more cases in Woodbury County. The death toll in Iowa is just under 5,500.

Statewide there are almost 210 hospitalized, including 15 at Sioux City’s two medical facilities. That number has stayed steady in the middle teens for several days.

A memorial is planned for tonight in Sioux City for victims and survivors of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“It’s so important how this pandemic has impacted so many, especially in our community.”

That’s Cassie Thompson, a local advocate, and member of the on-line group Siouxland Wears Masks. The group helped organize the event, along with Iowa Educators for a Safe Return to School. 

Yesterday, volunteers hung 211 white ribbons in downtown Sioux City. One for each person in Woodbury County who have died of complications of COVID-19.

Siouxland District Health

Siouxland District Health reported two more deaths in Woodbury County for a death toll of 210 due to complications of COVID-19. The positivity rate is up slightly to 6%. Hospitalizations are up almost 15% with 14 patients at Sioux City’s two medical facilities. Statewide there are 241 patients, with 60 in intensive care. That’s a small decrease from the day before.

There have been 18 new cases added in Woodbury County.  Statewide, there are more than 550 new cases and 15 deaths in a 24-hour period that ended this morning at 10 a.m.

A new monthly survey shows continued economic improvement in nine Midwest and Plains states, but business leaders indicated the coronavirus pandemic is still hurting business. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey. He estimated a rosier economic outlook in the coming months, citing an increase in the survey's confidence index. The overall index for the region in January suggests improved growth, coming in at a strong 67.3 from December's 64.1. Any score above 50 on the survey's indexes suggests growth, while a score below 50 suggests recession. 

All Iowans 65 and older are included in Iowa’s next wave of  COVID-19 vaccinations, which begin Feb. 1.  Governor Kim Reynolds said at her news conference today that this second tier will eventually immunize more than 530,000 Iowans. Initially, state health officials limited vaccinations to people to 75 and older.  

The second phase rollout will offer vaccines to high priority groups like frontline essential workers, first responders and teachers. But Reynolds said the state could not open up vaccines to all Iowans yet.  

National Weather Service

A blizzard warning continues through six o’clock tonight for a majority of the Siouxland area.

Snow is still falling in some spots with brutal winds.

Travel is not advised in southwest Iowa according to the Iowa 511 website.

The National Weather Service out of Sioux Falls says "If you must travel today, be prepared for poor visibility and slick roads. Check the road and weather conditions before you go".

From the Woodbury County Engineering Department:

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