local news

State of South Dakota

South Dakota is seeing another record day for new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations six months after the state of the pandemic.

The department of health reported eight more deaths on Thursday, including one more in Union County.  That ties the death rate reported last Wednesday.

There are 463 new confirmed cases in South Dakota.  That beats yesterday’s record by 18 new cases.

Alley Art Festival

The Alley Art Festival takes place this Saturday in downtown Sioux City.  The event highlights local artists and music.  The event is a collaboration between Downtown Partners and Vangarde Arts.  Brent Stockton of Vangarde Arts gives Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer details on this year’s modified event.

The festival starts at 1 p.m. on Saturday and ends at 11 p.m.  The entrance can be found at 4th Street along Nebraska and Pierce Streets.  Cost - $5.00/free for children 10 and under.


The latest White House Coronavirus Task Force report has found Iowa is still in the red zone when it comes to new COVID-19 cases.

The report was released Sunday. It found last week the state had 173 new cases per 100 thousand residents. This makes it seventh in the nation and is nearly double the national average of 86 cases per 100 thousand people.

It says thirty percent of those new cases are in Polk, Story and Johnson counties.

State of Iowa

Iowa Governor’s announced awards to 65 entities through the Coronavirus Relief Fund Employer Innovation Fund.

Siouxland District Health Department

Two more people have died of COVID-19 in Woodbury County for a total of 63. 

Statewide, another 19 Iowans lost their lives due to the virus, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.

There were 30 more cases in Woodbury County, and more than 500 in the whole state in a 24-hour period that ended at 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, Dakota County reports five new cases. There have been 43 deaths in Dakota County.

youtube/City of Sioux City

The Sioux City council took action surrounding COVID-19 and face coverings.  As Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer reports, they wish more could be done as local health officials track an increase in cases.

The Sioux City Council strongly recommends citizens wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Last week, a group of concerned citizens presented a petition asking the council to take action with a resolution for a mask mandate.

Council members say their hands are tied with the state when it comes to a mandate. 


Dozens gathered for a vigil in downtown Sioux City over the weekend to honor the Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Ginsburg died on Friday at the age of 87.

The Woodbury County Democrats organized the gathering at the Bill of Rights Monument near 6th and Douglas on Saturday night.  

“We are all better because she was on the Supreme Court.”

“It’s our time to fight to defend our Democracy.  And, it’s going to take all of us and it’s not going to be easy.”


The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting more than 600 new cases of COVID-19 and one death due to complications of the disease.

More than 80,600 have tested positive during the pandemic with 1,267 deaths.

Woodbury County is above the 15% threshold when it comes to the 14-day test positivity rate.

That is one of the criteria set by the state to allow a school district to apply for online learning only.  Sioux County is at top with almost 30%.  Other northwest Iowa counties above the 15% threshold are Lyon, Osceola, Plymouth, Sac and Ida.

Community Health Partners - Sioux County, IA

New cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in Siouxland, as local health officials say there is a significant increase in Woodbury County.

Siouxland District Health recorded 87 new infections in the past 24 hours.  A post on social media says the cases are not concentrated in any specific age or demographic.  Officials urge people do their part in preventing the spread of the virus.  Stay home when sick, even if only mildly ill, physical distance, wear masks in public, and wash hands frequently.

Great West Casualty Company

Along Interstate 29 today and yesterday, volunteers flagged down truck drivers at DOT weight stations near Salix, Iowa and Jefferson, South Dakota.  It’s Truck Driver Appreciation Week and men and women behind the wheel hauling freight across the country have experienced a rough six months or more. 

So, Great West Casualty Company and Joe Morten & Son, Inc. teamed up to say "thank you" to the millions of professionals out on the road each day.  They handed out free meals and goodie bags to the drivers.

The White House Coronavirus task force is again recommending Iowa establish a statewide mask mandate.

The White House task force says Iowa should establish a statewide mask mandate, and notes that COVID-19 is being brought into nursing homes through community transmission.

Last week’s White House report said masks should be required in Iowa metro areas and places where schools have coronavirus cases.


Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is allowing bars and night clubs to reopen tomorrow in four of the six counties where they’ve been closed because of high coronavirus rates.

Bars in Polk, Linn, Black Hawk and Dallas counties can reopen at 5:00 pm tomorrow Wednesday. Bars in Story and Johnson counties—the homes of Iowa State University and the University of Iowa—must remain closed for now.

For the past several weeks, the White House Coronavirus Task Force has recommended that Iowa close bars in the majority of Iowa’s 99 counties.

Morningside College

Morningside College is boosting action after Saturday’s win against Northwestern.

In a news release this afternoon, Morningside says the home opener was the first time the school encountered resistance to COVID-19 guidelines.  There was clear disregard for policies in place and a number of people who attended expressed their disappointment.



The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says the death of a Sioux City-area businessman has been ruled undetermined.

The death of 66-year-old David Davenport was being investigated as a homicide after the state medical examiner says he died of blunt-force trauma. 

U.S. Government

Former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, the U.S. Ambassador to China, will step down early next month.  This will end  a three-year tenure marked by a trade war and increasingly bitter relations between the world’s two largest economies. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing says Branstad confirmed his decision in a phone call with President Donald Trump last week. It did not give a reason for his departure.


A Sioux City man faces charges of 1st Degree Murder and Willful Injury after a double stabbing in Sioux City overnight.

First responders found a 37-year-old man and 43-year-old woman with several stab wounds.  Both went to MercyOne where the man died and the woman is being treated for serious injuries. 

The suspect was found about an hour-and-a-half later walking near 21st and Nebraska near the location of the suspected attack.

Fifty-four-year-old Michael Landrum is behind bars this afternoon at the Woodbury County Jail.

Mary Sue Moore

COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 1,200 in the state of Iowa since the start of the pandemic.  More than half were residents of long-term care facilities, including Chris Mennen.  His family tells Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer about their brother and the need to protect people at higher risk for the devastating disease.

“We are so heartbroken.”

Chris Mennen died on August 6th of complications of COPD and COVID-19 at the age of 62. 

Sioux City Journal/Tim Hynds

The last remaining logo for Sue Bee Honey was removed from the headquarters of the Sioux Honey Association this summer.  The image shows a Native American woman and adorned the side of the building along Lewis Boulevard in Sioux City for the past 50 or so years.   

Mark Mammen is the president and CEO of the Sioux Honey Association.  He talks to Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer about the Sue Bee Logo change, the cooperative and about protecting the honey bee.


Iowa Department of Public Health

Iowa Department of Public Health shows another dozen Iowans have died from COVID-19.   Five-hundred more have tested positive for the virus in a 24-hour period.

Facing the nation’s second-most coronavirus cases per capita over the last two weeks, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has defended her coronavirus strategy as a “balanced approach” that has kept the state’s economy humming.

Chris Mennen died on August 6, 2020 of respiratory failure and COVID-19 infection
Mennen Family

COVID-19 has claimed the lives of almost 1,200 in the state of Iowa since the start of the pandemic.  More than half were residents of long-term care facilities including a Siouxland man, Chris Mennen.  

Chris had Down Syndrome and lived in Sanborn at Prairie View Nursing Home; the site of an outbreak.  

Chris died on August 6, 2020 at the age of 62 of repiratory failure and COVID-19 infection.  His sister, Mary Sue Moore, who lives in Milford shares details of his inspiring life. 


One more person has died from complications of COVID-19 in Woodbury County for a total of 58 deaths.  The Iowa Department of public health reports 20 new cases for more than 4,300 in all.  Dakota County is reporting ten more cases.  There have been 43 deaths.

The spread of the coronavirus continued at a rapid pace in Iowa over the Labor Day holiday as state data revealed increases in hospitalizations and rising numbers of patients treated for the virus in intensive care.

Sioux City Community Schools

The Sioux City Community School District reports a dozen positive cases of COVID-19 from students and staff this week.

Five students and seven staff members, according to a weekly update.  

A news release says Siouxland District Health conducted contact tracing and anyone in close contact has been told to self-isolate or quarantine.

School officials will not talk about specific cases or schools impacted.

Siouxland Public Media

On Sunday night it will be an end of an era for long-time Siouxland Public Media announcer Isaac Quinonez, also known as D.J. Tapatio.  He has been the long-time host of the program South of the Border.  For 16-years Isaac has been spending Sunday nights with listeners and sharing their requests with a high-energy and entertaining show.  He moved to Sioux City in the 1990s and studied broadcasting at Briar Cliff.  Isaac plans to return to his home of Guadalajara, Mexico and says leaving is bittersweet because he enjoys making a difference in the community.

Omaha Fashion Week

This past weekend a Sioux City woman hit the runway at Omaha Fashion Week with other models 20-30 years younger.  Before the big show, Erika Hansen shared her modeling journey with her friend, Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer.  The 46-year-old explored the changes in society and fashion that allow her to break barriers.

Sioux City Community Schools

Even though there is a positive case of COVID-19 at an elementary school in Sioux City, summer school will continue.  A spokesperson for the Sioux City Community School District says a positive COVID-19 case was reported at Morningside STEM Elementary. The person who tested positive and others who came in close contact have been told to self-isolate or self-quarantine.  Tomorrow (Friday) is the last day of summer school for certain and in the district.

Sioux City, IA - 2004
Associated Press

The U.S. government has put to death an Iowa chemistry student-turned-meth kingpin convicted of killing two children and three adults.

Dustin Honken, who prosecutors said killed key witnesses to stop them from testifying in his drugs case, received a lethal injection at a Federal Prison in  Indiana this afternoon.

His Federal Capital Murder Trial took place in Sioux City with Ret. Federal Judge, the Honorable Mark Bennett on the bench.

“Dustin Honken was an evil man.”

Buena Vista County

The number of COVID-19 cases in Buena Vista County jumped by more than 400 on Tuesday, making it the county with the highest number of cases per capita in the state.

Governor Kim Reynolds says so far no businesses have met the criteria for an outbreak, which is 10 percent of workers testing positive.

Reynolds says the state is not planning to list business outbreaks on its COVID-19 website where long-term care outbreaks are published. Also, business outbreaks will not be announced publicly unless the question is raised by reporters.

At her daily news conference on Tuesday Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced the easing of more restrictions put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

On Thursday bars can reopen at 50% capacity.  Next Monday, casinos, speedways, racetracks bowling alleys, amusement parks and outdoor music venues can open. Also, sports gatherings of more than 10 people will be allowed. 

However, there some restrictions in place and guidance for people at higher risk of the disease.

Governor Reynolds says the number of positive testing has trended down in the state.

Now that the Governor just opened up Test Iowa for anyone who requests a test, there is concern not everyone can actually receive one. 

Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer with more on an issue faced by some in the disability community.

You may know J.J. Stone as the producer of Siouxland Public Media’s Hip Hop Show Moonwalk Radio.

Erica DeLeon

This week the Sioux City community lost a committed and caring voice for immigrants and the Vietnamese Community. 

Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer takes a look at the life and legacy of a major community leader through the memories of two of her friends.

“I can say I love my work.”

Hong Cuc Thi Nguyen talked about her passion for helping people with a local television station after winning one of many honors for her selfless commitment to the community.