Siouxland Public Media/Mary Hartnett

COVID-19 safety in schools was the focus of a news conference that took place this afternoon in front of the Sioux City Public Museum. The event was organized by several local advocacy groups, including the Siouxland COVID Safety Alliance.

Speakers included a doctor with the Siouxland Community Health Center, concerned teachers, citizens, and the Vice President of the Sioux City Community School Board Monique Scarlett.

“Mask all to save all. Mask up to stand up.”

The lawyer representing Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds in a federal lawsuit over mandatory mask use in schools has asked the judge to allow a temporary order that has allowed schools to implement mask mandates to expire next week. In its documents made public Monday, the state cited testimonials from mothers of school-age children who make unproven assertions that masks can harm children. The state provided testimonials from three women who said their children have medical issues that makes mask wearing difficult for them.

Just hours after a federal judge blocked Iowa’s law banning mask mandates, the Sioux City Community School Board agreed vote on the issue. It will take place tomorrow at 3 p.m., instead of noon.

Board vice-president Monique Scarlett put forth the motion, saying the mask mandate could help stop the spread of the very contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.

School Superintendent Paul Gausman agreed that it was time to bring back face coverings, but some students and staff are likely to be exempt for health reasons.

National Weather Service/Sioux Falls

Parts of Siouxland are under a heat advisory until six tonight. The heat index will climb easily into the triple digits. According to the National Weather Service, there is a chance for severe storms with hail and high wind. Plus, areas south of Yankton to Spencer will have an elevated risk for a brief tornado.

Due to the heat, Hunt Elementary school will have an early dismissal. While a new school is being built, students are attending class in the old Crescent Park building. It is the only non-air conditioned school in the district.

Siouxland News CBS14/FOX 44

Community leaders joined forces to stress the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine, especially among younger populations. Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer has more on the push to get more people to roll up their sleeves.

With an increase of cases of COVID-19, including the more contagious delta variant, Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott urged the public to listen to medical experts.

Siouxland Public Media

Governors from all three Siouxland States spent the day at the Tri-State Governors’ Conference. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem met at the Marriot Riverfront in South Sioux City.

The event hosted by the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce focused on shortage of workers in the region and addressed the impact of COVID-19.

Governor Reynolds was then scheduled to tour the Arena Sports Academy in Sioux City.

A 20-year-old Sioux City man admitted that he shot the shot that killed a woman at a New Year's Eve party. Christopher Morales pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder and three counts of reckless use of a firearm. Morales was originally charged with first-degree murder for the death of 18-year-old Mia Kritis. She was killed and three other people were injured when Morales and others fired into the house where the party was being held. Morales' 18-year-old brother is charged with first-degree murder in the case.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

A man’s body was found in the Missouri River near Onawa, Iowa. The Monona County Sheriff’s office said a fisherman found the body was found near the Ivy Island Wildlife Management Area Sunday afternoon. The sheriff’s office said it appeared that the man had been in the river for some time. Officials are working to identify the man and an autopsy is planned.

Wind energy is a major economic force in northwest Iowa, and the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors is holding the first of three public hearings today on a possible wind energy ordinance.

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%.

Kelsey Kremer/The Des Moines Register via AP

Iowa. Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed into law a tax bill that requires the state to take over funding of mental health care services, removing them from local property taxes.

The measure that became law Wednesday also phases out the state inheritance tax by 2025 and allows income tax cuts approved three years ago to begin in January 2023.

The Neighborhood Network held outreach events at Sioux City’s three pools on Monday night. Families enjoyed free swimming, food, and met with members of the Sioux City Police Department. The event is normally held in January at the Long Lines Rec Center but was postponed and reimagined due to COVID.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported no new deaths due to complications of COVID-19 in the past 24-hours and 110 new cases.

An Omaha aviation company is hoping to open a center at Sioux City's airport and offer professional flight training there. The Sioux City Journal reports that the Oracle Aviation of Omaha plans to partner with Morningside University to establish a fully-accredited aviation program, which will offer a bachelor of science degree in aviation-related fields. The Sioux City Council is expected on Monday to consider a resolution inviting proposals for the lease of land and the construction of a new hangar facility for the program.