SIOUX CITY | Organizers of Awesome Biker Nights have reached an apparent agreement with local businesses to bring the annual charity motorcycle rally back to Historic Fourth Street in June.
The compromise comes after some businesses opposed the event's return because of the high participation costs and the loss of regular weekend customers due to street barriers making access difficult.
As part of the terms, Awesome Biker Nights has agreed to reduce the business participation fee from $1,500 to $1,000 and look into whether it will reduce the number of its own competing beer tents. It will also provide a "non-event attendee entrance" on Court Street, where residents wishing to gain access to various businesses without paying an entry fee can be escorted to the establishment by event volunteers.
To reduce its costs, Awesome Biker Nights is in discussion on whether it can cut the cost of required security at its event by paring down the hours or using donated deputy hours from the Woodbury County Sheriff's Office, according to city documents.
"We're working with all the businesses down there to be sure everybody's happy and satisfied," Awesome Biker Nights chairman Brian Hall said Thursday. "The people that come to Awesome Biker Nights, that's where they want to see it: Historic Fourth Street."
The compromise comes after two meetings attended by the owners of M's on Fourth and SoHo Kitchen & Bar, along with staff from Downtown Partners and the city's Parks and Recreation Department.
"We knew we could come to an agreement, we just had to have a meeting when there's issues and bring it to the table," Hall said.
M's on Fourth and SoHo were among more than a half-dozen businesses that had opposed the event's return to Historic Fourth Street, submitting a letter stating they supported the event's work for charity but didn't want their street and storefronts blocked by the biker rally.
When the Awesome Biker Nights Committee brought the proposal for street closures along Historic Fourth to the City Council earlier this month, it faced opposition from the two businesses. The City Council deferred a vote for three weeks to give the organizers and businesses time to work out the problem. The council will reconsider the closures Monday.
During the meeting, SoHo owner Julie Schoenherr and M's on Fourth co-owner Dan Myers said there is only limited profit available from beer and snack sales inside the event confines because of smaller crowds and high competition from other vendors and Awesome Biker Nights' own beer tents.
Awesome Biker Nights has said the event depends on the fees, which it puts toward the security.
Schoenherr could not be reached for comment on the compromise Thursday.
Hall said he's excited to bring the focus back to the event itself and for the upcoming announcement of the bands who will perform at the event. Awesome Biker Nights' 19th annual rally will run June 14-16.
LE MARS, Iowa | Andrea Korthals stepped up during a pair of solos on Wednesday at the Northwest Iowa District Jazz Festival at Le Mars Community High School in Le Mars.
And she delivered.
Korthals, a senior, helped play her Central Lyon High School jazz band into a second-place finish among Class 1A bands at the festival. It's what she -- and her band -- needed for a berth in the Iowa Jazz Championships set for the first week of April in Des Moines.
"I think Andrea is the only 4-time state qualifier in jazz band with this senior class," said Sherwin Langholdt, a Schleswig, Iowa, native who began teaching at Central Lyon 16 years ago. "Andrea's very talented and she works hard at it."
Northwest Iowa jazz band units from Inwood to Carroll converged on Le Mars on Wednesday for the event, which was postponed from Monday due to a winter storm. The festival promised automatic berths in the Iowa Jazz Championships for each of the top two bands in four enrollment classes. Third-place finishers may still qualify for the Iowa Jazz Championships via a wildcard route.
In Class 4A, Sioux City North I and Sioux City East I captured first and second place. MOC-Floyd Valley and Spencer finished first and second, respectively, in Class 3A. The Class 2A derby was won by perennial power Okoboji, which topped another former state champion, West Lyon.
Central Lyon finished second to Director Seth Snakenberg and his jazz band from Kinglsey-Pierson in Class 1A. The two bands finished first and second, although in the opposite order, last week at the Morningside College Jazz Festival.
"There are many, many good jazz programs throughout Northwest Iowa," Langholdt said. "It's so competitive. We beat Kingsley-Pierson at Morningside, but they came back and finished on top at Le Mars. You never know what you might get on a certain day."
Korthals, for one, tries to make sure she delivers each day for her band. The senior from Rock Rapids, Iowa, credits jazz band for helping her see music as a career possibility.
"Jazz band made me realize this is what I truly love," she said. "If I could play trumpet the rest of my life, I would."
As it is, Korthals plans to study elementary education and music at Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota, next year.
Was she nervous in stepping up to the microphone for her solo work on Wednesday? Not really.
"I try not to think about making it to state (the Iowa Jazz Championships) because that will make me nervous," she said.
Instead, she relies on what she's learned through hundreds of hours of rehearsals for this four-song set.
"I've played trumpet since fourth or fifth grade," she said. "I also play piano, which has helped me with the trumpet. I felt pretty confident about my solos."
Fellow senior Emily Vande Kop, a tenor sax soloist from Rock Rapids, said she thought the performance for Central Lyon went well. The future Mt. Marty College nursing major hoped it would be enough to convince three judges.
Turns out, it was.
"Making it to state was our main goal," Vande Kop said.
The trip to the Iowa Jazz Championships will be the 14th for Central Lyon in Langholdt's tenure. The band has finished as high as third in the state.
Placing in Des Moines would be great, according to these musicians. Then again, for at least one soloist, that might just be the start.
"Jazz band is the school activity I focus on most," said Korthals, who also sings in the school choirs, plays volleyball and softball and more. "It's because of our past success and the fact I've begun to think about maybe pursuing music as a career."
The key to fulfillment, for many, involves finding a career that matches one's passion. Andrea Korthals, an outstanding soloist from Central Lyon, believes she's found it, literally tooting her own horn.
SIOUX CITY -- Students from West Middle School staged a protest during school hours to advocate for stricter gun laws, according to a release from the Sioux City Community Schools.
At 10 a.m. Thursday, an unspecified number of students walked out of the building as a direct to response to the Parkland, Florida, school shooting on Feb. 14 that left 17 people dead.
In a statement, the district expressed its support for the students' actions.
"As a school district, we respect that students have a voice. When a collective group, like our student body, takes interest in national politics to help make a difference in the world, we as a district support them."
The district also expressed its support for positive civil discourse as a learning mechanism in these types of situations.
"Our staff are well-prepared to address student inquiries around matters of national interest and lead students in discussions about how to use their voice in a meaningful way."
Student protests have been popping up across the country in light of the shooting.
A national walkout is slated for March 14 where students have been encouraged to leave their school buildings for 17 minutes, each minute representing a Parkland victim.
In a Thursday press release, South Sioux City School District Todd Stromm gave his blessing for his students and staff to participate in the upcoming event.
"South Sioux City Community Schools supports freedom of expression and each school’s principal is open to working with student councils, the RESPECT committee, possibly parents and other students who wish to collaborate to plan an honorable event in a safe, supervised setting that day," he said.