local news

May 12, 2021
Siouxland Public Media/Sheila Brummer

A long-time tradition in Siouxland is back after a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. On May 12, 2021 a news conference took place at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino detailing this year’s Saturday in the Park Music Festival on July 2nd and 3rd at Grandview Park.  

News Release from Saturday in the Park:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 7, 2021

John Fogerty and AJR to Headline 2 Day 2021 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux        City’s Saturday in the Park Festival

Getty Images

Governor Kim Reynolds is defending her decision to end additional federal unemployment benefits

Reynolds and business groups say the extra payments to unemployed Iowans are keeping them from taking new jobs at a time when businesses can’t find enough workers.

However, Reynolds says employers need to step up and offer more to attract employees. She made her comment today the Food Bank of Iowa where she also announced the end of the Iowa Food Protection Task Force.

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. 

Mike Meister/WITCC

  

This week is National Police Week with Peace Officer Memorial Day on May 15th. President Biden directed entities across the country to fly their flags at half-staff. He also called upon Americans to observe the week with appropriate ceremonies and activities during a year of turmoil. Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer takes us to one event uniting several generations of law officers for a common cause.

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.

May 5, 2021
Siouxland Public Media

The Sioux City Farmers Market kicked off on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. A downpour of raid didn’t stop a stream of people from checking out produce, plants, food, and other offerings.

Siouxland Public Media's Sheila Brummer has more on this rite of spring.

The Sioux City Farmers Market continues every Wednesday and Saturday through the end of October from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. 

safeplacesiouxland.org

Last week the Sioux City Police Department investigated a suspected case of murder-suicide. Evidence at the scene showed a husband killed his wife before turning the gun on himself. A spokesperson for the police force

Iowa Department of Public Health

The Iowa Department of Public Health added 18 more deaths due to complications of COVID-19, and almost 400 new cases with three in Woodbury County.

The number of deaths and cases may not have occurred during the past 24-hours as the state does add backdated information.

Currently there are almost 190 people hospitalized in the state with the virus with five patients being treated in Sioux City.

The 14-day test positivity rate statewide is 3.8%, in Woodbury County the level is 3.5%.

CDC

The Iowa Department of Public Health added two more deaths due to complications in a 24-hours period and more than 700 new cases with 15 in Woodbury County and a positivity rate of 3.8%, slightly below the statewide average.

Meanwhile, health officials in Winnebago, Nebraska continue to report high numbers of vaccinated tribal members. Currently, 70% have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. That rate does not include a clinic that took place yesterday.

RTNDA

The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) awarded Siouxland Public Media with two Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for Overall Excellence and Writing. Regional winners advance to the national round.  

Among the most prestigious awards in news, the Murrow Awards recognize local and national news stories that uphold the RTDNA Code of Ethics, demonstrate technical expertise and exemplify the importance and impact of journalism as a service to the community.

CDC

The Iowa Senate has passed a bill that would ban state and local governments from issuing ID cards that say whether someone got a COVID-19 vaccine. It now goes to Governor Kim Reynolds for her signature.

The bill also says businesses will be ineligible for state-funded grants and contracts if they require visitors to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19. There’s an exception for health care facilities, and employers will still be allowed to ask their employees if they’ve been vaccinated. 

CDC

State health officials have confirmed two cases of a COVID-19 variant, commonly known as the India variant, in Iowa.

The cases were identified in two adults in Jefferson County in southeast Iowa.

Officials say they are still learning about the characteristics of the strain. But they say there is no evidence it is more easily transmitted or more likely to cause severe illness.

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.

safeplacesiouxland.org

Officials with the Sioux City Police Department say a suspected murder-suicide claimed the lives of a Sioux City couple yesterday.

Investigators say evidence at the scene shows that 60-year-old Nicholas Socknat may be responsible for the death of 51-year-old Kelli Socknat before shooting himself. The two lived together at a home near Morningside Elementary School.

Spokesperson Sgt. Jeremy McClure says there are no reports of disturbances involving the couple. However, given the circumstances detectives consider this a case an of domestic violence.

pxhere.com

Sioux City police investigating a murder at a home near Glenn and South Mulberry Street in Morningside. A news release says when officer arrived for a check welfare call this morning, they found a man and woman dead from apparent gunshot wounds. Detectives believe they identified all of the parties involved and are not looking for any suspects in the case. A spokesperson was not able to confirm if the deaths were caused by murder-suicide.

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%.

The murder of George Floyd prompted protests across the country and highlighted the need for more awareness and education.

Last week, a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts.

Chauvin now faces sentencing that could put him in prison for the rest of his life.

Last summer after Floyd’s death, the Junior League of Sioux City held a discussion on diversity with local leaders.

The conversation continued on Tuesday, April 20th at Camp High Hopes with the President of the Local Chapter of the NAACP Ike Rayford.

Siouxland District Health

The state of Iowa added five more deaths due to complications of COVID-19 and more than 400 new cases, including 18 more in Woodbury County. More than 5,900 Iowans have died due to the illness since the start of the pandemic.

Siouxland District Health is planning to hold vaccination clinics at Sioux City’s three high schools on Wednesday.

A letter to parents from Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman says the clinics will not be open to the public, but offered to students and staff in the district.

The vaccine is optional.

Siouxland District Health

The Iowa Department of Public Health recorded six more deaths statewide due to complications of COVID-19 with almost 500 new cases, with 17 added in Woodbury County in 24-hours.

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the first death related to COVID-19 in Woodbury County. A post on the Siouxland District Health’s Facebook page remembered the 221 residents of the county who have lost their lives in the past year.

CDC

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed an executive order banning COVID-19 vaccine passports in the state.

In a news release, Noem says since the start of the pandemic the state provided up-to-date science, facts, and data and trusted South Dakotans to make the best decision for themselves the their loved ones.

Noem encourages people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, but will not issue a mandate. She wrote, quote, “Under God, the people rule.”

During a news conference today, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds highly encouraged people to get vaccinated.

Siouxland District Health

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported no new deaths due to complications of COVID-19 and about 170 new cases, with two more in Woodbury County. The 14-day test positivity rate in Woodbury County is 6.1%

Siouxland District Health announced plans for the next large-scale vaccination clinic on April 27th at the Siouxland Expo Center. The clinic’s hours from 4:15 until 6:30 p.m. are geared toward people who need appointments outside regular business hours. The appointments are open now and available for anyone 16 years for their first dose.

CDC

A push is underway to reach members of the Sioux City community significantly impacted by COVID-19.  

Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer has more.

Local churches and Sioux City’s NAACP have teamed up with Siouxland Public Health to offer a special COVID-19 vaccination clinic. The event this weekend is geared toward Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

Information from the local health department shows vaccination numbers for the local Black and African-American community to be under 1%.

Associated Press

Health officials in all three Siouxland states have temporary stopped use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, following CDC and FDA recommendations. This move comes after six women experienced severe and rare blood clots, resulting in one death. One case was diagnosed in Nebraska.

Health officials in South Dakota say no adverse cases were reported in nearly 16,000 doses of the J&J vaccine.  More than 78 thousand doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in Iowa.

News release from the state of Nebraska:

Siouxland District Health

The Iowa Department of Public Health shows no new deaths due to complications of COVID-19. There were 146 new cases including four new cases in Woodbury County in a 24-hour period. The 14-day test positivity rate locally is 6.2%. That is down almost one percent in one week.

A person “associated with” the Iowa Senate has tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to an email from the secretary of the senate, that person was last in the Iowa Capitol on Wednesday and tested positive Saturday.

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.

Buena Vista County

A top health official in northwest Iowa retired on Monday after working more than 23-years with Buena Vista County Public Health and Home Care. Pam Bogue worked first as a nurse and then administrator for the county health department. She previously worked in long-term care facility administration. Bogue talked to Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer about the past year of COVID-19, including mitigation efforts and Tyson Foods.

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.

Nebraska Health and Human Services

Nebraska Governor Pete Rickets offered a word of caution during a news conference on Monday. Nebraska is seeing an increase in COVID-19 patients after 18 weeks of falling hospitalizations. Ricketts says there is more of the virus out in the community and reminded Nebraskans to avoid the “three C’s”: closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact.

UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's

We recently passed the first anniversary of COVID-19 in Siouxland, Siouxland District Health confirmed the first positive case of the virus back on March 20th of 2020.

Part of our on-going coverage on the Pandemicincluding local health officials. Siouxland Public Media recently talked to The Chief Nursing Officer at Unity-Point Heath-St. Luke’s Wendy Lindley who shares details on the evolution of care and importance of wearing masks. Here is her conversation with Siouxland Public Media's Sheila Brummer.

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