local news

Community advocate and anti-violence movie producer Cindy Waitt has worked behind the scenes to help with the COVID-19 Pandemic through the Kind World Foundation. 

Earlier this month, the Governor of Iowa ended the mask mandate in the state of Iowa. A move Waitt calls psychological abuse. She shares her thoughts with Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer.

Associated Press

South Dakota House lawmakers have begun impeachment proceedings against the state’s attorney general, who is facing misdemeanor charges for striking and killing a man with his car. Republican lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a resolution in the House to impeach Jason Ravnsborg, the state’s top law enforcement officer. He has indicated he will not heed calls to resign. The Republican attorney general faces three misdemeanor charges in the September death of 55-year-old Joseph Boever. It will require a simple majority to advance the impeachment charges to the Senate.

Iowa Department of Public Health

The number of people in Iowa who have died of complications of the novel coronavirus reached 5,400 on Tuesday. The Iowa Department of Public Health added 26 more deaths in the past 24-hours, including one more in Woodbury County, for 211 in all.  

The state added more than 600 new cases with 18 more in Woodbury County.

Sioux City Police Department

The Sioux City Police Department released preliminary crime statistics that show a 26% overall increase in violent crime from the year before. A news release from Police Chief Rex Mueller did show property crimes fell by 15%. He says while the COVID-19 pandemic likely impacted local crime numbers, officials can’t give specifics to why violent crime is up.

Woodbury County Democratic Party

On Monday night the Woodbury County Democratic Party is holding an event to address what they call voter suppression by Republicans in the Iowa Legislature.

“These are potential laws based on Donald Trump’s lie about the last election in 2020,” said Jeremy Dumkrieger, Democratic Party Chair for Woodbury County.

Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate are fast-tracking a bill to shorten the early voting period in Iowa from 29 to 18 days. Plus, county election officials would be banned from sending absentee ballot applications to voters.

City of Sioux City

South Dakota lawmakers are considering impeaching the state's attorney general as he faces misdemeanor charges for striking and killing a man with his car.

Jason Ravnsborg, the state's top law enforcement officer, has said he will not step down before he gets a hearing in front of a judge.

Prosecutors have charged the Republican attorney general with three misdemeanors but no felonies in the September death of 55-year-old Joseph Boever. Republican Rep. Tim Goodwin says Ravnsborg should resign and that lawmakers are considering impeachment if he doesn't.

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.


Iowa lawmakers recently approved increased spending for K-12 schools by 2.4%.  The governor is expected to support the plan.

The funding plan would add $36.5 million to base funding for schools statewide 

Republicans say the move provides reliable funding, but Democrats say it is too little to cover cost increases.

Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer talked to the Superintendent of Sioux City Public Schools Dr. Paul Gausman about the potential impact on Siouxland’s largest school district.

Associated Press

South Dakota’s attorney general has been charged with three misdemeanors including careless driving after he hit and killed a man with his car. Jason Ravnsborg, a native of Cherokee, Iowa was charged today. Ravnsborg initially told authorities he thought he had struck a deer while driving home from a Republican fundraiser on September 12. Ravnsborg has said he didn’t know he struck a man until he returned to the scene and found the body the next day. The man’s relatives have questioned Ravnsborg’s account.

Sioux City Community Schools

Yesterday on Siouxland Public Media you heard from Sioux City School Board Member Dan Greenwell. Greenwell attended a finance committee meeting this week where the school district outlined how it plans to spend COVID-19 CARES Act money. Greenwell expressed concern the district was spending a majority of the millions of dollars awarded toward virtual schooling. Today, we wanted to hear from the superintendent of the school district. Here is Dr. Paul Gausman.

Iowa PBS

The Iowa Department of Health recorded 43 more deaths due to complications of COVID-19, including two more in Woodbury County. The state also added more than 600  new cases. The number of hospitalizations at Sioux City’s two medical facilities has doubled in a day to a dozen patients. However, that number is less than 10% of the record high of 108 set back on December 1st.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has announced the state will not move forward with plans to contract with Microsoft to build a centralized COVID-19 vaccine registration system.

One member of the Sioux City Community School Board says he is concerned about how the school district wants to spend CARES Act Money.

Dan Greenwell says there is too much emphasis put on virtual schooling.

The Sioux City Community School District was awarded more than $20 million in federal emergency relief money due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Monday, the district unveiled a draft budget to the district’s finance committee. Greenwell is part of that group .

National Weather Service/Sioux Falls

A second day of Arctic temperatures across Middle America have prompted rolling power outages Tuesday morning in Nebraska and a call for energy conservation in Iowa. Residents in Nebraska experiences some of the coldest weather they've seen early Tuesday, putting a strain on the power grid that saw the state's power utilities implementing rolling outages. Nebraska’s largest utilities — the Omaha and Nebraska Public Power Districts — said the planned power outages were over by midmorning and they were working to restore power to all customers.

National Weather Service

Siouxland is under a Wind Chill Warning until Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. The National Weather Service says expect dangerously cold wind chills of up to 40-below overnight.

Last night’s weather set records across the region. Sioux City did as well, with a low temperature of -28.

Nebraska also saw a number of low-temperature records broken and expected more to fall Tuesday — as a polar vortex pushed Arctic air into the Plains. Temperatures are expected to be below normal for almost a week.

Iowa Department of Public Health

Siouxland Public Media provided extensive coverage of COVID-19 during 2020, including news stories, call-in shows, and special media projects. The station also lauched newscasts in five different langauges (Amharic, Oromo, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese) to keep more members of the community informed during the pandemic. 

National Weather Service

More winter weather will move through parts of Siouxland tonight through tomorrow. The National Weather Service Office says this fast-moving system could bring a couple of inches of snow to the area with strong winds up to 45 miles per hour.

A Winter Weather Advisory will be in effect overnight through noon tomorrow for a large part of Siouxland, including Woodbury County, Dakota, and Union Counties.

The Sioux City Human Rights Commission has partnered with local agencies and groups to host a 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Breaking Challenge. The goal is for the community to spend a few minutes each day to 

develop a deeper understanding how inequity and racism effect our daily lives. The Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission Karen Mackey shared insight with Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer on how we could learn to expand our viewpoints.

Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine into the arms of those who need it has been a nationwide challenge. Governors of surrounding states, including Iowa, admit there is a shortage. The first community vaccination clinics planned for Woodbury County this month quickly filled up. 

Even though supplies are limited, the Winnebago Tribe in northeast Nebraska found a way to provide broader protection, as Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer explains.

“We are a very small tight-knit community.”

Today the Sioux City Police Department said “goodbye” to an important person in its management team. Lisa Claeys started as an officer 37-years ago and was the first woman to receive the rank of Captain in 2009. She talked to Siouxland Public Media about her future, the evolution of law enforcement, and her role as a trailblazer.

Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools

The Iowa Senate passed the education package prioritized by Governor Kim Reynolds that puts public funding toward independent charter and private schools.

Republicans supporting the bill say it gives students in poor-performing schools new options to go somewhere else. Speaker Pat Grassley says he expects the House to take more time to consider the proposal. There are no schools in the Sioux City Community School District that apply.

Facebook/IA Gov. Kim Reynolds

Schools will have to offer in-person classes full-time under a bill signed this morning by Governor Kim Reynolds.

She signed the measure at the state capitol with parents who have pushed for in-person learning.

The law gives school districts until February 15th to transition to all in-person classes.

Arnolds Park, IA
Bob Protexter

With winter in full force, baseball season seems so far away. But, fans can get a taste of the summer sport this weekend in the Iowa Great Lakes, in addition to the University of Okoboji Winter Games.

Bob Protexter of Total Baseball Development is hosting three different events including a baseball round table and wiffle ball tournament.

Sioux City Community Schools

The Iowa Legislature is deciding the future of an education agenda brought forward by Governor Kim Reynolds this year. One proposal allows school choice. This includes charter schools and tuition scholarships for students in under-performing schools.  The other requires school districts to provide an option for 100% in-person learning.

Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer reached out to the Superintendent of the Sioux City Community School District, Dr. Paul Gausman, for his thoughts on both issues.


Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says the state will get a boost in COVID-19 vaccine starting next week, however demand still far exceeds the current supply.

Iowa currently receives enough doses to vaccinate about 19 thousand Iowans per week. 

Gov. Kim Reynolds said starting next week that number should increase by 16%.

But the number is still far below the amount needed to vaccinate Iowans in the next phase. This includes those ages 65 and older as well as first responders, child care workers, and school staff, a total of more than 600,000 people. 

Associated Press

Some spots in Iowa and Nebraska are digging out from more than a foot of snow.

The National Weather Service reports 5.7 inches fell at the Sioux Gateway Airport. Current reports show Norfolk, Nebraska with the highest total in Siouxland with more than 7 inches. But, some area only received very little snow.  

National Weather Service/Sioux Falls

A major winter storm is expected to blanket a large section of the middle of the U.S with snow and travel troubles as more than a foot of snow falls in some areas, including western Iowa and southeast Nebraska.

The National Weather Service out of Sioux Falls says most of the heavy snow will stay south of Sioux City. 

Sioux City is forecasted to get up to 5 inches with up to 12 inches in Monona County.

Some schools did dismiss early today, including South Sioux City where there is a snow emergency in effect until 6 tomorrow night.

Iowa Department of Public Health

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports the deaths of 33 more Iowans from COVID-19, including four more deaths in Woodbury County, for 181 in all. There were more than 1,300 positive test results statewide, and 18 in Woodbury County.

The 14-day test positivity rate for Woodbury County has fallen to 10.5%. That rate still indicates wide community spread.

Facebook/Taylor Family

On this Inauguration Day, with hope for a fresh start of unity, Siouxland Public Media reached out to a young Siouxlander who knows more about politics than most adults.

You might remember Maggie Taylor from Sioux City. The 11-year-old was featured in a special report during the Iowa Caucuses.

Maggie and her father, Nick, watched today's events in Washington, D.C. on television, and shared insight with Siouxland Public Media's Sheila Brummer.  


Iowa public health officials posted an additional 62 deaths Wednesday as the state death total reached almost 4,400. That number includes two more deaths in Woodbury County.

Iowa had the 17th highest per capita death count in the nation and the second highest 7-day average positivity at 33% behind Idaho.

That’s according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

NEWS 1.19.21: SOMALI

Jan 19, 2021
Siouxland Public Media

Macallimiinta Nebraska iyo shaqaalaha kaashka cuna waxay ka walwalayaan inay waqti dheer ku qaadanayso shaqaalaha muhiimka ah inay helaan tallaalka COVID-19 hadda kooxda xigta ee dadka la tallaalayo waxaa ku jira qof kasta oo 65 iyo wixii ka weyn ah. Hogaamiye urur waxbarasho ayaa sheegay in macalimiinta ay ka niyad jabeen maqalka in aysan toogan doonin ilaa iyo Maarso ugu horayn.