State health officials are reporting more than 12 thousand new COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the past week as the spread of the virus remains high across Iowa.

More than a quarter of the new cases are reported to be in children 17 and under.

And 81 additional Iowans have been confirmed to have died from COVID-19 in the past week. This brings the total death count to 6,482.

The state is reporting 638 Iowans are currently hospitalized with the virus. That’s the high number of hospitalizations reported so far this year.

The Western Iowa Tech Community College Board of Directors is comprised of nine members elected from nine districts within the college's six-county service area. The members must be residents of the district from which elected. Each serves a four-year term.

Mike Meister/WITCC


This week is National Police Week with Peace Officer Memorial Day on May 15th. President Biden directed entities across the country to fly their flags at half-staff. He also called upon Americans to observe the week with appropriate ceremonies and activities during a year of turmoil. Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer takes us to one event uniting several generations of law officers for a common cause.


Sioux City police investigating a murder at a home near Glenn and South Mulberry Street in Morningside. A news release says when officer arrived for a check welfare call this morning, they found a man and woman dead from apparent gunshot wounds. Detectives believe they identified all of the parties involved and are not looking for any suspects in the case. A spokesperson was not able to confirm if the deaths were caused by murder-suicide.

NPR/Getty Images

The Nebraska Department of Health reports the COVID-19 variant from the United Kingdom has been found in Siouxland somewhere in the counties covered by the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department. This includes the counties of Cedar, Dixon, Thurston, and Wayne. The variant is more infectious and could cause more severe illness.

National Weather Service

Siouxland is gearing up for the second Blizzard Warning in three weeks.  The warning starts tonight at 6 and extends until 6 p.m. tomorrow.  The forecast calls for 3 to 8 inches by tomorrow afternoon, with wind gusts as high as 60 miles per hour.

On social media, the National Weather Service says the severity of the storm will depend on how much snow falls. If we see more than an inch on the group with additional blowing snow, conditions will be more significant, especially for portions of Iowa and Minnesota.


During this first week of class for students in the Sioux City Community School District, two staff members tested positive for the novel coronavirus.  That’s according to school officials who say Siouxland District Health did contact tracing and everyone impacted has been directed to self-isolate or self-quarantine.  The district plans to provide the public with positive test updates each Friday and will not disclose specific schools with cases of COVID-19.


The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted higher education with colleges and universities trying to navigate through a new normal of change and uncertainty. 

Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer talked to the leaders of Western Iowa Tech Community College, Morningside and Briar Cliff University.  They explore the fallout from the outbreak, education impact and what is potentially in store for this fall. 

The Tyson beef plant in Dakota City will not open like expected on Tuesday.

A spokesperson sent Siouxland Public Media News a statement this afternoon it says,

"The health and safety of our team members is our top priority, and we take this responsibility extremely seriously. We continue to work through processing the large amount of testing data for our 4,300 team members, and therefore have decided to temporarily delay the reopening of our Dakota City facility.

AP/Brent Isenberger

The Iowa Supreme Court has selected Susan Christensen as its new chief justice.

Christensen is from Harlan and was appointed to the court by Republican Governor Kim Reynolds in 2018.

The state’s highest court had to pick a new leader after former chief justice Mark Cady died unexpectedly in November.

Justice David Wiggins has served as acting chief since then, but Wiggins plans to retire in March.

Siouxland Homebuilders Association

The 63rd annual Siouxland Home Show kicks off next Thursday, February 27, 2020 at the Sioux City Convention Center.  The Executive Officer of the Home Builders Association of Great Siouxland, Terri Schelm talked to Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer about this year’s event, new trends and the outlook for the industry in the region.   

For more information on the Home Show check out siouxlandhba.com or the Facebook page for the Home Builders Association of Greater Siouxland.  

Siouxland Public Media

A burst of last-minute campaigning hitting the state of Iowa this weekend.

On Friday, two top-tier candidates stumped for support in Sioux City.

First, at Western Iowa Tech Community College surrogates held an event for Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren.   

A few dozen people listened to Congresswoman Katie Porter of California who is a native of Fort Dodge, Iowa and Iowa Democratic leader John Norris.

Then, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg spoke to a crowd of about 200 at the Orpheum Theatre.

Iowa Dept. of Education

There are new developments surrounding foreign students who made serious allegations against an exchange program at Western Iowa Tech Community College.  As Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer reports a resolution appears to be far from over.

Both sides of the controversy released letters on Thursday. 

A majority of students who say they were mistreated by Western Iowa Tech and Siouxland-area businesses officially reached out to the Governor, U.S. Senators Grassley and Ernst, and the State Attorney General asking for an independent investigation.

JANUARY 21, 2020
Siouxland Public Media

The president of Western Iowa Tech Community College held a news conference on Tuesday January 21, 2020, to respond to allegations made by a group of international students.  

“We were shocked and saddened to hear about the students and heard for the first time about it yesterday.”

Dr. Terry Murrell says 60 students arrived from Chile and Brazil for the school year in the fall of 2019 through a J-1 Visa exchange program.

Siouxland Public Media

On “The Exchange” this week, Siouxland Public Media talks to two Democratic presidential candidates who recently visited Siouxland.  Hear from Sioux City native Chris Godfrey who was recently involved a discrimination lawsuit against former Gov. Terry Branstad.  We also commemorate Veterans Day at with a special ceremony at Western Iowa Tech Community College.  Plus, the latest on agricultural concerns for producers in northwest Iowa with an expert from ISU Extension and Outreach.

November 11th is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War 1 in 1918.  Armistice Day became Veterans Day, and today several ceremonies took place to commemorate the occasion, including Western Iowa Tech Community College.  

“In recognition of Veterans Day, we are holding this event.”

The president of Western Iowa Tech greets students and the community for a short ceremony to honor members of the military.

“We also welcome all of our veterans here today.”

OCTOBER 14, 2019
Siouxland Public Media

There’s a shortage of skilled workers in the state of Iowa, including here in Siouxland.      

On Monday, a local community college showcased some of the programs helping find solutions. 

A group of state lawmakers and members of the board of directors for Western Iowa Tech Community College tour a converted classroom.     

“They basically tore the carpet out, ground all of the floor removed the tables and we built a mini-production facility.

Chris Sewalson is industrial maintenance coordinator for Western Iowa Tech’s Corporate College.

Food For Thought - 4-12 Chef Mike Gasaway

Apr 12, 2019

We talk about the culinary traditions of Easter and Passover on this an informative and entertaining edition of Food For Thought. Chef Gasaway talks about the egg and its significance to the season, as well as how the traditions of others have been co-opted into what we are familiar with today.

Food For Thought - 3-29 Brett McCarthy

Mar 29, 2019

Steve sits in for Adrian today and the discussion is all about pork shoulders, rubs, hard woods, even cedar planks on this smoke-infused edition of FD4T. WITCC's Brett McCarthy is on hand to talk about grilling, smoking, and barbeque. So whether you're cold- smoking a salmon or barbequing a beef brisket, we've got you covered.

Cultural Continuum 10-19-18

Oct 19, 2018
Janus Films

A big Pride event in Orange City this weekend, WITCC hosts a Zombie Walk followed by a blood crawl, which is kind of like a pub crawl, except Halloweenier. There's a CROP Walk too and where in the heck is Sixto Rodriguez? The NMM goes Searching for Sugarman in Vermillion.

Cultural Continuum 9-21-18

Sep 21, 2018

Park(ing) Day returns Downtown, some theater, some chamber music, some Motown and Nature Calls at the Convention Center

Food For Thought - 8-17 Chef Mike Gasaway

Aug 17, 2018

We're talking Demonstration Kitchens, Production Kitchens, Theory Kitchens and how not every student that gets a job in the culinary field is working in a restaurant, today on Food For Thought. Chef Mike Gasaway from the WITCC Culinary Arts Program stops by to talk about the program which is going into it's 5th year at the college.

October 1 is International Coffee Day. Celebrations will begin at 12:00 a.m. and lightning bolt through the rest of the day. To kick things off, Siouxland Public Media's Mark Munger visited the Coffee Spot on the campus of Western Iowa Tech Community College, a fabulous haunt that brews Caturra Coffee, a locally roasted bean. 

F4T: Pumpkin Spice

Nov 27, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

Like changing leaves and decorative gourds, the pumpkin spice latte has become a symbol of fall's commencement. Possibly it has become THE symbol. In the future we will complain that Starbucks has begun serving the libation before Labor Day, which will be a delightful complaint for those of us who enjoy such grumbling, and for those who want seasons to stay within their defined boundaries. Such a wish would make sense when stirred by what we call "pumpkin spice." 

Mara DeKat, coordinator of the Institute for Lifelong Learning at WITCC, makes her radio debut, today. She has taken up the mantle from Fiona Valentine, and she is doing a marvelous job, as evidenced by the ILL's summer 2015 catalog. Among the offerings is Russ Gifford's lecture series "Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Third American Revolution." Russ will begin the series with "The Rise of the New Deal," Wednesday, April 15.