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Arena will meet community need

Construction of The Arena, an $8 million, 68,000-square-foot, multi-sport venue planned for the former stockyards area of Sioux City, could begin in summer 2018.

The project, planned by three local investors who formed HCC Enterprises LLC, will be built in proximity to the planned agriculture/recreation center at the former site of the John Morrell plant.

"We feel that the two facilities will complement each other very well," Renee Billings, Sioux City economic development specialist, said.

The Arena will include basketball courts, volleyball courts, batting cages, a turfed area for speed and agility training, a weight room, classrooms, locker rooms and seating for events. Those events will include athletic training programs, leagues and tournaments.

We embrace the need for continued local economic expansion and recognize the crucial role quality of life plays in community growth and prosperity. To these ends, we believe The Arena not only will meet a local need, but will represent still another in a growing list of local amenities important to drawing visitors and new residents and retaining the residents we have.

Let it snow, let it snow ...

Snow-making equipment began producing a base of snow for the tubing hill at Cone Park on Monday night in advance of the park's grand opening planned for later this month.

A wonderful, unique addition to our community, Cone Park represents a significant boost to local quality of life and, we are confident, will be a popular draw for both residents and visitors.

Record attendance

Attendance at the just-completed NAIA Volleyball National Championship set a record, The Journal reported on Wednesday.

The five-day tournament at the Tyson Events Center drew 21,261 spectators, surpassing the previous record of 20,687 set last year.

Through the NAIA Volleyball National Championship and the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Championship each March, Sioux City and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics have formed a strong relationship we hope continues to flourish because these events have become annual local highlights of benefit to our community.

Iowa voters 'engaged in process'

Voter registration in Iowa for December before a general election year set a record this month, according to Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate.

Last Friday, Pate said 1,991,419 Iowans are active registered voters; another 136,937 Iowans are registered, but have been inactive voters in recent elections.

The United States Elections Project said 93 percent of Iowa's eligible population is registered to vote - one of the highest percentages in the nation, The Journal's Des Moines bureau reported.

"For the numbers to be this high headed into an election year shows Iowans are engaged in the process," Pate said.

'Kinnick Wave' is recognized

The "Kinnick Wave," which began this season at Iowa Hawkeyes home football games, was honored on Thursday night at the annual College Football Awards program as recipient of the 2017 Disney Sports Spirit Award.

The award is given each year to college football's most inspirational player, coach, team or figure.

At the end of the first quarter of each University of Iowa home football game, the public address announcer urges everyone inside Kinnick Stadium to wave to young patients watching from the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, which overlooks Kinnick.

The Disney Award is deserved national recognition for this simple, but deeply moving new tradition sure to warm the heart of anyone who witnesses it.

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