Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott

City of Sioux City

New restrictions imposed by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds kicked in Tuesday to try and reduce infection numbers and hospitalizations due to COVID-19.  They include requiring masks in all public and state  

buildings in certain circumstances.  Siouxland Public Media reached out to Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott and he shared his thoughts on enforcement, the local hospital surge and pandemic fatigue as he faces an autoimmune disease putting him at higher risk for complications if he contracts the virus.

New York Times

The New York Times highlighted Sioux City in a story released today on places hard hit by the coronavirus.

Another nine people with COVID-19 have died in Iowa, and there have been an additional 492 confirmed cases.  At 10 a.m. today, the state was reporting 1,048 total COVID-19-related deaths,  according to the state's website. More than 57 thousand Iowans have tested positive for the virus.

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The state of Iowa as of this morning reports another 766 cases of the coronavirus. State health officials also report six additional deaths. The state has had more than 39,000 cases of the COVID-19 and and nearly 800 deaths.  Polk County had 353 of those new cases.

Woodbury County added nine new cases of the coronavirus since yesterday, and now it has a total of 3,472 cases and 46 deaths. There were no new deaths yesterday.

This week on The Exchange:

Siouxland mayors, including Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott, demand more transparency about the source of the recent surge in coronavirus cases in the tri-state area.

Governor Kim Reynolds looks forward to opening up 77 Iowa counties this Friday, after many weeks of lockdown because of COVID-19.

Iowa's Home Rule Constitutional Amendment could affect local rules about shutdowns during the pandemic, but, so far, the governor has the last word.

Iowa public health officials say coronavirus cases have increased by 52, raising the total statewide to 549.

Two more deaths were reported Wednesday. They were both over age 81.

The virus is now present in 60 of Iowa's 99 counties including O’Brien County in northwest Iowa.  The person who tested positive is a woman between the age of 41 to 60 and is self-isolating at home.

State health officials say 63 people are currently hospitalized.

City of Sioux City

The COVID-10 pandemic has forced many local governments and groups to get creative when it comes to conducting official business.  As Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer reports, Sioux City leaders briefly talked about the virus during a social-distancing meeting on Monday.

Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott says he has heard concerns over the city not issuing an order forcing people to stay home during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Scott says it’s not legally possible.  

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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.

City of Sioux City/

The Oath of Office took place this morning for Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott.

Scott won his third consecutive term against Maria Rundquist.  Scott also served as mayor in Sioux City in the 1990s.

New Council Member Julie Schoenherr was also sworn in this morning.  She beat incumbent Rhonda Capron in November’s election.  Capron served on the city council for eight years.   

Two Democratic candidates for president are in Siouxland today.

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Lawmakers from Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota gathered this morning at Western Iowa Tech Community College for the Tri-State Legislative Forum 

Childcare and workforce retention were on the mind of many state and local leaders.  Iowa is often referred to as a childcare “desert.”  Lack of childcare can be a deal-breaker for those who want to take a job in Siouxland. 

Associated Press

'Dark money' ties raise questions for GOP Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa

Documents obtained by The Associated Press reveal an outside group founded by top political aides to Sen. Joni Ernst is working closely with the Iowa Republican to raise money and boost her reelection prospects.

Some legal experts say the degree of overlap between her campaign and the nonprofit Iowa Values could violate the law.

Emails show Ernst fundraiser Claire Holloway Avella asked a donor for $50,000 for the group following an introduction by the senator.  

On The Exchange this week we talk with some of the candidates from this general election.  Mayor Bob Scott will talk about his re-election and Rhonda Capron says goodbye to the Sioux City Council after eight years of service.  SOHO restaurant and bar owner Julie Schoenherr bested Capron.  We will speak with Schoenherr as well.

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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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More voters than expected turned out in Sioux City yesterday for the general election.   

Mayor Bob Scott won another term in office.  He picked up almost 70% of the vote over Maria Rundquist.

“I’m happy we won and by the margin that we won obviously. I think it confirms people are somewhat happy with my performance.  I’m working really hard for the citizens and I’m going to continue that.” 

It was a tight race for the city council and school board.

Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott was reelected with 68 percent of the vote.  But a few of Iowa’s municipal races are undecided.  Some Iowa cities require winners to get a clear majority — or 50 percent plus one — of the vote.

In Iowa’s largest city, Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie is seeking a fifth term and got 43.5 percent of the vote — just seven-tenths of a percent ahead of Jack Hatch, a former state legislator who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2014. They will face-off in a run-off in December.

Siouxland Public Media

Sioux City experienced a few close races on election day. 

Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer was there for the results.

A few dozen people and members of the media watched as results came down at the Woodbury County Courthouse on election night.

There are more than 57,000 registered voters in the county with races in 15 cities and 10 school districts.

Coming up on The Exchange, we hear from the two candidates for mayor and two candidates for the Sioux City Council, who spoke at a forum last Thursday. 

Also, we get an update on what Iowa Governor plans to do or not do about vaping in the state.  Also, we talk with a physician from the Mayo Clinic about the dangers of vaping.

And we speak with the host of the NPR program, The Hidden Brain,  Shankar Vedantam

The program marries science and storytelling.

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Leaders of Iowa farm commodity and biofuels groups are calling on President Trump to force the EPA to follow the deal on ethanol and biodiesel that Trump struck with the industry a dozen days ago.  The leaders held a news conference today in Des Moines. 

Iowa Corn Growers Association CEO Craig Floss warned thousands of farmers who invested in ethanol and biodiesel plants will go out of business if the EPA plan stands. 

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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.”

The Democratic National Committee will recommend scrapping state plans to offer virtual, telephone-based caucuses in 2020 due to security concerns, sources tell The Associated Press.   

The final choice whether to allow virtual caucuses in Iowa and Nevada is up to the party's powerful Rules and Bylaws Committee.

The state parties had planned to allow some voters to cast caucus votes over the telephone in February 2020 instead of showing up at traditional caucus meetings.

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This afternoon at five p.m. is the deadline for local candidates to file to run for local offices in Sioux City and the school district. Veteran Sioux City school board members Mike McTaggart and Jackie Warnstadt won't run for re-election this fall.

Miyuki Nelson, who was appointed by the board to fill an unexpired term last year, will seek her first four-year term. First-term member David Gleiser said last week he's not ready to make a decision on reelection, as he mulls his family and professional life.  

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Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott says today he is running for reelection.  Scott has been mayor of Sioux City for 14 years. He is also the owner of a tax preparation business. So far his only opponent is a former ESL teacher and community college instructor Maria Rundquist, who runs a translation business.  While there are so far only two candidates who have filed to run for mayor, there are three candidates who have filed to run for a city council seat, and that means there will be a primary election.

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It looks like longtime Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott is running for reelection. Scott made the announcement today. Scott has been mayor of Sioux City for 14 years. Former ESL teacher Maria Rundquist, who teaches Northeast Community College and runs a translation business, is the only other mayoral candidate who has filed so far. 

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Bob Scott announced today that he will make another run for mayor of Sioux City.

Scott will have served 15 years as mayor of Sioux City as of 2020.  So far, there is one other mayoral candidate.  Former ESL teacher Maria Rundquist, an instructor for Northeast Community College who runs a translation business, is the only other mayoral candidate besides Scott who has filed nomination papers so far, according to the Sioux City Clerk's Office.

This week on The Exchange we hear from three of the four candidates competing to challenge Republican US Senator Joni Ernst in 2020.  Kimberly Graham, Michael Franken and Eddie Mauro were in Siouxland Tuesday for a lunch event and forum sponsored by Siouxland Progressive Women.  

We also have another interview by the Girls, Inc. members who are part of the Siouxland Media Lab.  This week they talk to Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott.