Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds

Iowa Department of Public Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has now claimed 60 lives in the state of Iowa after Governor Kim Reynolds announced seven more deaths today.

She provided an update at a news conference this morning.

There were 146 new cases for a total of 2,141.  That includes one more person in Woodbury County for a total of 23 positive cases.

Reynolds also increased restrictions for northeast Iowa after that region of the state reached a level 10 out of 12 for infection.

But, she stopped short of a “stay-at-home” order.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reporting 73 additional cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the state total of confirmed cases to 497.

Fifty-seven counties have confirmed cases including the first case in Clay County.  There were two more confirmed in Sioux County for a total of 15 in Siouxland.

Testing is still quite limited in the state, so the actual number of cases is likely much bigger and more widespread.

One more Iowan has died from the novel coronavirus, the seventh death in the state.

IA DEPT. OF PUBLIC HEALTH

The state of Iowa reports 21 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 for a total of 145. 

This comes the day after Governor Kim Reynolds announced the state's first death linked to the coronavirus outbreak.

The victim is a resident of Dubuque County who was between 61 and 80 years old.

Another news conference is planned for 2:30 this afternoon.

CDC

There are 19 more confirmed cases of COVD-19 in Iowa for a total of 124.  None of the new cases involve anyone in the Siouxland area.  Governor Kim Reynolds is planning a news conference for 2:30 this afternoon that you can hear her on Siouxland Pubic Media,

More COVID-19 cases have been reported in five Nebraska counties, bring the state total to 61. One of the new cases involves a woman in her 30s from Madison County who has underlying medical conditions.  She has not left her home since symptoms started on March 18th.

Associated Press

 

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued an emergency declaration today concerning COVID-19.

She ordered restaurants, bars, fitness centers, theaters and casinos to close for two weeks as part of a public health emergency plan designed to ease the community spread of the illness.

Reynolds also prohibited mass gatherings and events of more than 10 people including parades, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers.

Senior citizen centers and adult day care facilities have been closed.

The closures are intended to last through March 31.

PM Newscast 3.16.20

Mar 16, 2020
CDC

The head of Siouxland District Health tells Siouxland Public Media there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Woodbury County. 

Kevin Grieme says his department is keeping in close contact with state health officials and health providers locally.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts released new guidelines today when it comes to the coronavirus.

They include limiting public events and gathering to 50 people or less. 

National Weather Service

A windy day across Siouxland as the region is under a Wind Advisory until 6 tonight.

The National Weather Service says winds could reach 50 miles per hour.

There is a red flag warning for the rest of the state of Nebraska. 

That means there’s a potential for brush fires because of low humidity and windy conditions.

The medical examiner in Johnson County had identified the body of University of Iowa student David Le. 

Le, is from Sioux City and was 19 when he was last seen on campus in November. 

Associated Press

An election watchdog is filing a complaint alleging than an outside group founded by top political aides to Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst violated campaign finance law in its efforts improve the Republican's chance of reelection next year.  

It comes after The Associated Press reported earlier this month that Ernst's work with the political nonprofit Iowa Values to raise money and build an electoral “firewall" potentially violated campaign finance and tax law. 

pxhere.com

Authorities in northern Iowa say a woman has been shot to death during the robbery of a bank in Kossuth County.

It happened this morning in the town of Lu Verne.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says the suspect in the bank robbery fled the scene and was later taken into custody.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says a deer in Woodbury County tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

The DNR is monitoring the  area where the road-kill animal was found on the south side of Sioux City.  Another test is being done to confirm the findings. 

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Governor Kim Reynolds says she’s disappointed that a federal judge temporarily blocked a new law critics call “ag-gag two-point-oh”.

The law creates a specific trespass crime for people who go undercover to investigate livestock operations and puppy mills. The ACLU of Iowa says the temporary hold on the law is a victory for free speech.

The South Sioux City Fire Department has been awarded a Fire Prevention and Safety Grant from FEMA. 

Siouxland Public Media

The search for a replacement for the Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court Mark Cady will start soon.  Cady died unexpectedly of a heart attack a week ago at the age of 66.

Cady served on the state’s high court for 21 years and was even in charge of the nationwide Conference of Chief Justices.

“Mark Cady touched the lives of so many people, so it was a tragic loss for the state and for the nation.”

Siouxland Public Media

A district court judge has rejected a request by former Gov. Terry Branstad’s lawyers to set aside a jury verdict that concluded Branstad discriminated against a former state official because he’s gay.

The ruling  rejects dozens of arguments, including challenges to legal rulings during trial and jury instructions.

Branstad’s attorneys asked the judge to set aside the July 15 jury verdict of $1.5 million awarded to former Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey.

OCTOBER 21, 2019
KATIE PEIKES/IOWA PUBLIC RADIO

The governors of Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota say they believe President Donald Trump still supports Midwest farmers. 

All three were in Siouxland for the Tri-State Governor Conference held in Dakota Dunes.

Some ethanol industry advocates are frustrated about a proposal the EPA released last week to account for lost demand for renewable fuels because of small refinery waivers. 

A new arson charge has been filed against a volunteer firefighter already facing trial in northwest Iowa.

Buena Vista County court records say 25-year-old Brent Mack is charged with arson and burglary.

His attorney declined to comment today.    

Mack is accused of setting a fire in September of 2017 that gutted three buildings in downtown Newell, where he lives.

SIOUX CITY, IA - OCTOBER 8, 2019
Siouxland Public Media

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds was in Siouxland on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 to tout the completion of a fiber optics network and a community college home building program.   

Reynolds cut the ribbon today on a newly created fiber optics network center in downtown Sioux City.  Data and broadband company FiberComm opened a new office today on Pierce Street.  The $6 million project is a so-called “carrier hotel” with 24/7 access for companies to connect with fiber optic networks.   

Today is primary election day for city council candidates in Sioux City.

“We’re hoping for a good turnout.  Right, now it’s a little slow.  We’re hoping people will get in and vote this afternoon and evening .  We’re here until 8 o’clock.“ 

That’s Marilyn Tyler the chairperson of precinct 19 on the northside of Sioux City.  She talked to Siouxland Public Media News this morning.

“Please get out and vote.  A primary is very, very important and people that are running would like your vote.”

Two people have been killed in two separate ATV crashes in northwest Iowa over the weekend.

The Woodbury County Sheriff's Office says deputies and medics were sent about 3:20 p.m. Sunday to a residence a few miles west of Lawton on Correctionville Road.

A 10-year-old boy was killed.

A post on Facebook from the Sheriff’s Office says “Our heartfelt prayers and condolences are extended to the family and all involved.”

And, the Iowa State Patrol and the O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a deadly crash south of Sanborn last night.

Iowa DOT

The Missouri River continues to rise and flood mostly rural land in Nebraska and Iowa, but Interstate 29 remains open near Omaha.

The Iowa DOT expects to close parts of the interstate at some point during this week's flooding. The river is expected to crest Friday morning near Omaha.

The highway remained open Thursday morning although several onramps were closed in southwest Iowa.

The lower Missouri River is flooding in Nebraska and Iowa this week because exceptionally heavy rains fell last week in Montana, North and South Dakota and Nebraska.

Woodbury County Jail

Authorities say a Sioux City man looted the checking account of a nursing home resident.  

Woodbury County court records say 52-year-old Ronald Taylor is charged with dependent adult abuse. His attorney didn't immediately return a call Friday from The Associated Press.

Taylor's next court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 13.

Court records say Taylor held a power attorney for the man, who has dementia and can't handle his finances.

The records say Taylor spent nearly $23,000 of the man's money since July 28, 2017, wiping out the man's account.

It’s been found that District Judge Tod Deck had no conflict of interest while presiding over Tran Walker's double-murder trial.   Walker's case will proceed to sentence, scheduled for Sept. 20 in Woodbury County District Court, according to the Sioux City Journal.  Walker was convicted for killing two companions.

democrats.org

The Democratic National Committee will recommend scrapping state plans to offer virtual, telephone-based caucuses in 2020 due to security concerns, sources tell The Associated Press.   

The final choice whether to allow virtual caucuses in Iowa and Nevada is up to the party's powerful Rules and Bylaws Committee.

The state parties had planned to allow some voters to cast caucus votes over the telephone in February 2020 instead of showing up at traditional caucus meetings.

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Iowa union leaders heard from more than a dozen Democratic presidential candidates today (Wednesday). All are seeking support from the labor movement.

In the 2016 election, union workers voted for the Democratic presidential candidate by a smaller margin than in elections in the past three decades.

Here’s Montana Governor Steve Bullock, who presents himself as a candidate who can win over Trump voters.

CNN News

More debate watch parties take place tonight in Woodbury County.    

The first leg of the second round of Democratic presidential debates is over, and now it's on to Night 2.

Center stage features former Vice President Joe Biden who promises to not be as "polite" as he was in the last debate.

Night 1 drew a bold line between moderates and progressives onstage. 

Associated Press

Woodbury County is making strides towards having a new jail.  

Yesterday, Woodbury County supervisors approved an architecture contract with a firm that will put together a design for the $49.5-million-dollar jail. 

The county has cited infrastructure and overcrowding issues as reasons for a new building.

The county is joining several others around the state that have recently worked to update and expand their facilities.

Eight counties have completed new jails or major renovations since 2014.

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A Sioux City plastic surgeon facing action by the Iowa Medical Board says he expects to be vindicated.

The board alleges Dr. Adam Smith failed to provide appropriate care to 17 patients from December 2014 to September of 2017. 

“I have done my best for my whole time in Siouxland here to provide the best care I can for patients.”

A hearing on the allegations is scheduled for October.

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The Iowa Supreme Court will hear an appeal of the judicial nomination law.   The lawsuit challenges a new state law that changed the way some judges are selected in Iowa.

A state court judge last month dismissed the lawsuit filed by a group of lawyers and Democratic lawmakers against Gov. Kim Reynolds, saying they didn't have legal standing to challenge the law.

The new law gave the governor an additional appointment to the 17-member state judicial nominating commission, meaning the governor will appoint the majority of members.

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The Iowa Department of Human Services will pay an additional $386 million to two insurance companies that will provide Medicaid services for the 2020 fiscal year. DHS says the rates include changes made by the Iowa Legislature, which account for about 2 percent of the increase. Last year the agency approved a $344 million increase over the previous year.

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The state of Iowa has agreed to pay an additional 386-million in state and federal dollars to the two private Medicaid providers.  The state’s portion paid to the insurance companies is a smaller percentage increase than last year, but it’s a bigger dollar increase. 

Governor Kim Reynolds says the state has started to stabilize the Medicaid program.

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The U.S. House is expected to take up legislation this week aimed at addressing so-called “forever chemicals” found in household goods and firefighting foams. Some were found at a military base in Sioux City.. Exposure to the substances known as PFAS is linked to certain cancers, immunodeficiencies, and birth complications. Communities are increasingly finding hotspots near industrial sites and military bases,

The House is considering adding PFAS to the federal superfund law. Scott Faber [FAY-burr] with the Environmental Working Group says that step is vital.

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Shelters and temporary housing are being provided to those affected by flash flooding in south-central Nebraska, according to the SC Journal.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney announced Tuesday it is offering dorm space as temporary housing for people affected in Kearney and surrounding communities. The university is also working with nearby hotels to relocate and house hundreds of travelers who were evacuated.

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