Sioux City Council

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.

Alex Watters/City of Sioux City

The COVID-10 pandemic has forced many local governments and groups to find creative ways to conduct official business.  On Monday, the Sioux City council held a meeting with social distancing.  Council Member Alex Watters chose to attend the meeting by phone.

He is in self isolation and shares his thoughts on the new coronavirus, the state’s response and what issue is keeping him up at night.  Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer reached him by phone the day after the council meeting.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is getting support this afternoon in Siouxland as former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry will visit his campaign office in Sioux City this afternoon.  Listen for coverage during “All Things Considered”.

Iowa’s senior U.S. senator says he expects the U.S., Mexico, Canada trade agreement to get “unanimous support” today in a Senate Finance Committee hearing. Republican Chuck Grassley, who chairs the committee, also expects passage in the full Senate. 

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The Sioux City Council will be asked today to approve a pre-construction agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation for the reconfiguration of Iowa 12/Riverside Boulevard to a three-lane roadway, according to the Sioux City Journal.

The project would reconfigure Iowa 12/Riverside Boulevard from four lanes to three on Iowa 12 from War Eagle Drive to Military Road.  

Iowa is the only state that still bans all people with felony convictions from voting unless they appeal to the governor.

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Democratic presidential candidate and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is back in Iowa less than a week after completing visits to all 99 counties and about a month ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

Klobuchar held a town hall in Sioux City today (Thursday). She read a question from a voter asking how she’d flip back counties that voted for President Barack Obama in 2012 and President Donald Trump in 2016. She says that happens by visiting small rural towns where it’s sometimes “uncomfortable.”

JANUARY 2, 2020
Bob Scott

The start of the new year also brought a change to the Sioux City Council.  Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer reports.

On Thursday, January 2nd, 2020  a few city leaders took the oath of office at City Hall in downtown Sioux City.

Mayor Bob Scott was sworn in for a third consecutive term. 

Also, new to the council, the owner of SoHo Kitchen and Bar, Julie Schoenherr.

Schoenherr beat incumbent Rhonda Capron in November.

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Democratic Presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar told potential Siouxland caucus-goers today that her campaign has surged since the December 19th debate.  The Minnesota US Senator told supporters at the Orpheum Theater today that that financial boost has meant a lot to her campaign.

“After that last debate, we raised over a million dollars in small contributions in 24 hours.  So we’re seeing a total surge that’s allowed us to double our staff in the state of Iowa. “

This afternoon, the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors will vote on building authority for a new jail and law enforcement center.

Yesterday, the Sioux City Council unanimously voted to support the authority.  It would oversee the $49 million dollar project.

The public would still need to approve the new facility.  It is expected to go before voters in Woodbury County in March.

A send-off this morning for the Morningside Mustangs.

The football team left this morning for Louisiana to play in the NAIA football National Championship game.

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The Sioux City Council is expected to vote today to vote on an ordinance that would amend water rates for South Sioux City and Dakota Dunes.

According to the Sioux City Journal, the City of Sioux City entered into agreements for water service with South Sioux City and Dakota Dunes in 2002. The agreement with Dakota Dunes was amended in 2004.

The 2020 rates for South Sioux City will decrease by 7.3 percent, while Dakota Dunes' rates will decrease by 4.8 percent. The minimum monthly charge is set at $1,000 per community. 

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The National Weather Service is predicting near-blizzard conditions in north-central and parts of northwest Iowa tomorrow and tomorrow night.  Forecasters say a storm system will move into the state tomorrow with the potential for rain, freezing rain, and high winds.

Jim Murray,  a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls says Sioux City could see between five and eight inches of snow and parts of western and southern Nebraska up to a foot.

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The weather this Thanksgiving week is shaping up to be a turkey.  The whole Siouxland area will under either a Winter Storm Warning starting tomorrow morning.

“Looks like a pretty decent storm at this point.  We’ll begin to that move into the Sioux City tomorrow afternoon Tuesday.  The snow will pick up through the evening.  The heaviest after 6 pm and continue into early Wednesday morning.”

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The Sioux City Council will be asked today to approve a resolution that a maximum of $1 million in funds be committed to the Badgerow Building and another $1.6 million to two other projects in the city's Historic Fourth Street District.

The council will consider adopting an amendment to the Combined Central Sioux City -- CBD Urban Renewal Area Plan.

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Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott won another term in office in yesterday’s general election.  He picked up almost 70% of the vote over Maria Rundquist.

And incumbent council member Rhonda Capron was defeated by the owner of SOHO Julie Schoenherr.   Capron was seeking her 3rd term in office and says she doesn’t plan to run again.

Six people were on the ballot for four school board seats.

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It is election day across Iowa. Voters are electing local and school board candidates.  Six candidates are competing for four seats on the Sioux City Community School board There are also school board races in the Lawton-Bronson and Sgt. Bluff Luton districts. 

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A broad coalition of biofuel and farm advocates today sent a letter to the White House calling on President Trump to fix a proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency. It notes that the EPA’s draft plan undermines the administration’s commitment to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard and accurately account for biofuel demand destroyed by Small Refinery Exemptions 

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association sent out a news release saying the letter says was signed by 60 organizations, including the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. 

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Pet licensing fees could be going up in Sioux City.  The action comes as the possibility of doing away with the pit bull ban still looms for the Sioux City Council.  The City manager’s office says an ordinance to repeal the ban was expected to come before council for final consideration today, but the matter will be deferred 

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City Council will defer the 3rdand final reading of the ordinance repealing Sioux City’s pit bull ban.”. A final vote will be made by the Council after the Animal Control Chapters of the City Code have been reviewed and further revised. The first reading on a revision to these chapters will be heard on Monday, November 4. 

Iowans will go to the polls next week for school and local government elections. It’s the first time these races are happening at the same time.

The pit bull ban in Sioux City is one step closer to ending.     

The city council voted 3 to 2 yesterday to repeal the 11-year-old ban.   

At a public hearing yesterday, former city councilman Jim Rixner, who helped pass the ban, was one of only a couple to speak to keep it.

And if someone is bit, not only will they sue the owner, they will probably find an attorney who said, ‘you had an effective ban on these dogs and you repealed it, therefore you’re liable’.”

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Minnesota and the Dakotas have seen snow and rain in recent weeks that have hampered an already difficult harvest. But much of the Corn Belt has somewhat recovered from heavy rains in the spring and summer, with experts predicting good yields from what did get planted.  

Steve Nicholson, a grains and oilseeds analyst with Rabobank in St. Louis, says that even though many farmers are still struggling, he believes the markets would be a lot more unsettled if a total disaster was looming.

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State revenue forecasters are predicting a significant slowdown in Iowa’s revenue growth compared to the previous fiscal year that ended June 30th.

David Underwood is a member of the revenue estimating panel. He says unfinished trade deals are a big concern for Iowa’s economy.

“I’m disappointed that we at this point still have so much uncertainty hanging over us. Which makes it difficult for me to see the rosy side of it. And I guess looking at the numbers we’ve got before us today, I think we have to continue to be a little bit cautious.” 

Cultural Continuum 9-20-19

Sep 20, 2019

Western Iowa Tech's GLOW Festival is tonight with DAD playing their last show of the year, there's a HAMFEST as well as a Bacon Fest, Akron hosts a Scarecrow Festival, Nature Calls is at the Convention Center, Jim Schaap gives a talk and The Exchange presents a Sioux City Council Candidate Forum at the library.

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Sioux City Council members asked the city attorney yesterday to rework a proposed noise ordinance after local bar owners said it would hurt their businesses.  There was confusion about whether the ordinance would also apply to bars that play music on their own patios and even indoor events that would generate noise.

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Republican Governor Kim Reynolds signed a provision into law last week that would restrict publicly-funded health insurance from covering surgeries for transgender Iowans because that’s how it was before in Iowa.

Republican lawmakers passed the provision in response to an Iowa Supreme Court decision pointing out Medicaid must cover transition-related surgeries under the Iowa Civil Rights Act.

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Next week, members of the Iowa House will debate HB 773, which would prevent counties and cities from raising property taxes above a certain level each year. The Sioux City Council will consider a resolution opposing the bill at next Monday’s meeting.  At a news conference this morning, City manager Bob Padmore that the bill would result in a two-percent increase limit that would have to cover the fire department and police department, which use most of the city’s property tax dollars.  Padmore says the bill is based more innuendo than fact.  

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The Exchange 062718

Coming up on The Exchange, the battle over immigration policy continues, A federal judge has ordered U.S. immigration authorities to reunite separated families on the border within 30 days, as Congress and President Donald trump continue a relative stand off on the issue.   we talk with an immigration attorney about the president’s decision last week to bring families together after much controversy.

Also, how Siouxland area woman helped win women’s suffrage,

The Exchange's Mary Hartnett held a forum with the six Sioux City Council candidates on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017.  It was held at the Sioux City Public Museum, in partnership with the League of Women Voters.  The election takes place next Tuesday, November 7th.  The candidates are incumbents Alex Watters, Dan Moore and Pete Groetken, and the challengers are Jake Jungers, Dennis Quinn, and Doug Waples.  

 

  

League of Women Voters Candidate Forum-10/03/17 

Coming up on The Exchange, we present a question and answer session with the media from last night’s League of Women Voter’s forum with the nine candidates for the Sioux City Council.  The candidates answered questions about a wide range of topics including housing, parking and drawing young people to Sioux City.

We’ll hear more of the League of Women Voters city candidate forum on the Exchange.

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