The Woodbury County Law Enforcement Center

This week on The Exchange, we review some of Siouxland's most important events.

One was the rejection of a mask mandate by the Sioux City School Board. The other event was the groundbreaking on the new Woodbury County Law Enforcement Center.  

We also look forward to changes coming for cities and higher education as we, hopefully, emerge from the coronavirus pandemic in the next few years. And, we get a up-close look at food insecurity in Siouxland.

Siouxland Public Media/Sheila Brummer

No mask mandate for the Sioux City Community School District after the board did not have a consensus of support to hold a vote. Concerns were raised about disrespect from citizens who attended today's meeting

Prior to the meeting, the local teacher’s union president said there wasn’t time to meet with members to issue a stance on masks. Lesa Banks says there are educators on both sides of the debate. The state teachers' union hopes school leaders will focus on science and decide what to do next. 

Woodbury County

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon for the new Woodbury County Law Enforcement Center. The new facility is located on 28th street just off of Highway 75.

Controversy surrounds some of the funding for the facility. In March of last year, voters approved a bond issue of more than $50 million for the project. The Woodbury County Law Enforcement Authority now puts the total price tag at about $65 million.

The County Board of Supervisors allocated $15.6 million in Federal COVID-19 relief money to cover the higher costs.

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.

Sioux City native and runner Shelby Houlihan, who holds the U.S. record in the 1,500 and 5,000 meters, cannot compete for four years after testing positive for a banned substance. Houlihan announced yesterday that she consumed the substance by mistake by eating tainted pork in a burrito.

The 28-year-old made the revelation just days before the start of the U.S. Olympic track and field trials. 


* Because of security and safety concerns several areas inside of the jail were off-limits for photos during recent tour
Siouxland Public Media

On Wednesday, February 26, Siouxland Public Media hosted a live edition of the  Exchange at the Sioux City Public Library.  The topic was the Woodbury County jail bond referendum, set for Tuesday, March 3.

County residents will decide whether to a 50.3 million dollar bond to pay for a new jail.  County leaders and those who work in the jail say it is too crowded and has numerous plumbing, heating and cooling problems.

It was built to hold 80 inmates and now it has 230 inmates. 

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Woodbury County residents will head to the polls March 3rd for a bond referendum to build a new law enforcement center and jail.

The board of supervisors has joined the city of Sioux City in signing off on that date. Now the city, the county and a joint jail authority they've created will launch a public information campaign.  Chair Matthew Ung says people can bring their questions or concerns about the new jail to any board meeting and the supervisors will do their best to answer them until the vote on March 3, 2020.

Woodbury County voters may soon have to weigh in on whether a new jail is needed.  The Board of Supervisors and other officials will decide soon on the date of a referendum on the $49 million dollar project.

This week on The Exchange, as the new looms, we consider our goals and life choices and sometimes ask ourselves if we have sold out on our values.  We talk with the author of a new book called "The Ethical Sellout," about the many ways compromise can help us make decisions that accord with our values and the practical needs of our lives.

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Woodbury County officials could move ahead today with planning for a possible new county jail. The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors meets today to pass a motion to set a Sept. 17thdeadline for financial advisor firms to submit proposals to consult on the project.  

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Woodbury County officials say they want to move ahead with planning for a possible new county jail. The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors meets today to pass a motion to set a Sept. 17thdeadline for financial advisor firms to submit proposals to consult on the project.  

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It looks like there may be a new law enforcement facility in the near future in Sioux City.  The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors voted last night to advance discussions regarding the construction of a new center. The project would cost an estimated cost of $49.5 million.

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The former head of the Iowa Department of Human Services who was unexpectedly asked to resign by the governor says he had objected to a request from the governor just before being fired.  Governor Kim Reynolds asked Jerry Foxhoven to continue paying the salary of a woman moving from his department to the governor's office.  Foxhoven says he declined to approve paying the salary of Elizabeth Matney.  She left DHS on May 17 to accept a job as Reynolds' adviser on health policy.