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Justin Wan, Sioux City Journal 

Steve King speaks Hornick, Iowa, in May 2019.


Tim Hynds, Sioux City Journal 

Smithfield Foods has donated to The Journal's Goodfellows Charity. A group of employees are shown Nov. 6 at the company's facility in Sioux City.


Govt-and-politics
editor's pick top story
Steve King shares photos falsely claiming Soros' son is White House whistleblower

WASHINGTON -- Iowa 4th District Rep. Steve King posted Thursday photos of the son of prominent Democratic Party donor George Soros, falsely claiming he's the White House whistleblower. 

In the morning, King directed a tweet at House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who is leading an impeachment inquiry into charges that President Donald Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate the family of political rival Joe Biden in exchange for military aid. An unidentified whistleblower whose complaint about Trump's July phone call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy prompted the inquiry.

“Adam Schiff said, I do not know the identity of the whistleblower. @RepAdamSchiff here are four strong clues," King said in a tweet along with photos of Alexander Soros  posing with former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.

[What Steve King said in town halls across Northwest Iowa this year.]

A number of journalists and others quickly responded to King's post, pointing out that Soros could not possibly be the whistleblower because he does not work in the federal government or a U.S. intelligence agency.

"I don't have confirmation of who the whistleblower is but I doubt it's Alexander Soros. This member of Congress is putting a target on somebody without doing a basic Google check," tweeted Jonathan Swan, an Axios reporter. 

George Soros, a global billionaire businessman, is a frequent target of Republicans for his large donations to Democratic candidates and left-leaning organizations. 

Alexander Soros later took to Twitter to shoot down King's claim. "Pretty sad that a member of Congress @SteveKingIA promoted the crazy lie and conspiracy theory that I am the whistleblower. The whistleblower has to be a government employee."

Just before 1 p.m., King deleted his tweet and then posted a new one, with three new photos of a man he suggested is the whistleblower.

"Adam Schiff said, “I do not know the identity of the whistleblower.” Me either, but @RepAdamSchiff here’s a better clue," King tweeted. He did not name the man in the photos, but they appeared to resemble a CIA official that some individuals have publicly identified as the whistleblower.

Twitter has allowed the name and supposed photos of the purported whistleblower, while Facebook and Google have said they would remove such references. 

King's tweet came a day after the opening day of public impeachment hearings in the House. A top American diplomat in Ukraine revealed new evidence that Trump was overheard asking about political “investigations” that he later demanded from Ukraine in exchange for military aid.

Top Republicans on the committee have pressed Schiff to require the whistleblower to testify.

Iowa's two Republican senators, Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, have recently said the identity of the whistleblower should be kept confidential, in accordance with federal law designed to prevent retaliation.

Ernst said it is unfortunate the whistleblower "has been outed through other media and so forth," including by Donald Trump Jr., who retweeted a Breitbart News story that named a CIA officer as the person.

Gallery: Remembering Sioux City restaurants that have closed

During Wednesday's hearing, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said to Schiff, “Of the 435 members of Congress, you are the only member who knows who that individual is. And your staff is the only staff of any member of Congress that has had a chance to talk to that individual. We would like that opportunity."

The Associated Press reported the whistleblower contacted Schiff’s staff before filing the complaint with the inspector general’s office. Attorneys for the whistleblower said their client never met with Schiff.

King, a one-time House Judiciary Committee member, could have been among the Republican members questioning witnesses this week, but in January GOP leaders stripped him of all of his committee assignments in the wake of published comments he made to the New York Times that seemed to defend white supremacy and white nationalism. 

The outspoken conservative has defended Trump throughout the impeachment process. On Oct. 16, King tweeted, "Secret meetings in #WitchHunt to come up with an excuse to #Impeach @RealDonaldTrump. These Members demanded to enter to read the Volker Transcript & were blocked by order of Schiff who is manufacturing charges in secret."

Justin Wan, Sioux City Journal 

Iowa 4th District Rep. Steve King talks with Ruth Kocisko of Sioux Center after a town hall in Alton, Iowa on Saturday. King told town hall attendees that his three Republican challengers have every right to vie for his seat in 2020. 

That tweet included a photo of King with five Republican House members, one week before King was among two dozen conservatives who stormed into a closed-door deposition with a Defense Department official. King said he entered the hearing room to bear witness to “the greatest atrocity I’ve seen in the United States Congress in 17 years.”

Democrats denied Republicans were being treated unfairly, noting they had equal time to question witnesses and full access to the meetings.

PHOTOS: Steve King Alton Town Hall

Jesse Brothers, Sioux City Journal 

Woodbury Central High School students cheer during a prep rally for the football team in Moville Thursday. The Wildcats will play in a semi-final game at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls at 1 p.m. Friday, the team's first trip back to the dome since winning a title in 1980.


State-and-regional
Heading to Cedar Falls
39 years later: Woodbury Central football fans relish return to UNI-Dome

MOVILLE, Iowa -- Lots of Facebook posts along the lines of "We're going to the Dome, baby!," broke out one week ago by people living in the Moville and Climbing Hills areas of Woodbury County.

That's what happens when a long 39 years elapses since the last time a high school football program competed in a playoff game in the UNI-Dome on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa.

"It is a lot of history repeating itself," said Kelly Manker, of Moville, a former Woodbury Central coach who was the quarterback on the Wildcats' 1980 title team.

Manker said "few believed" in that team. Some tuned out last week's road playoff game when the Wildcats rallied from a 17-point deficit in the second half.

PREP FOOTBALL: Who Siouxland teams are playing in Iowa state semifinals

"The team never gives up. It is a real tight group," he said.

At last week's game against North Tama, the game-time temperature was 34 degrees. Despite the 3.5 hour drive to the eastern Iowa school, Woodbury County fans packed the visitor stands as the Wildcasts seized a 34-23 upset win to move into the semi-finals of the Class A field.

Fans are even more enthused to make another three-plus hour drive to Cedar Falls Friday to watch their team in the climate-controlled dome. Woodbury Central faces the No. 1 seed West Hanock of Britt at 1 p.m. 

Woodbury Central is one of six Journal circulation teams who reached the semi-final round of football games, played at the 17,000 seat UNI-Dome.

Remsen St. Mary's lost its 8-man game to Audubon on Thursday; Sergeant Bluff-Luton fell to top-ranked Solon late Thursday night.

OABCIG plays its semi-final game at 4 p.m. Saturday, while two division rivals, West Sioux and West Lyon meet in a rematch at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Jesse Brothers, Sioux City Journal 

Woodbury Central High School students cheer Thursday as they send the football team to the semifinals during a pep rally Thursday in Moville. 

All but one of those teams have played in the UNI-Dome more recently than Woodbury Central. The exception is OABCIG, which reached the semi-finals for the first time. No previous permutations of the consolidated school district -- Battle Creek, Battle Creek-Ida Grove, Odebolt-Arthur -- ever played in the UNI-Dome either.

OABCIG Superintendent Matt Alexander said he expects "a strong contingent of fans" when the Falcons and Algona, both 11-0, compete for a championship berth.

Gallery: Remembering Sioux City restaurants that have closed

"Our players and coaches have been overwhelmed with the community support, from well wishes on the street, signs in windows and monetary support from numerous individuals, as well as business and industry," OABCIG high school principal Patrick Miller added.

Kelly Manker said the UNI-Dome is a notable spot to play, especially back in the days when only championship games were played there. He recalled the reaction of the 1980 team's top running back on arriving in the expansive venue.

"Todd Tabke was the one who said, 'You could put a lot of corn in here.' We were a bunch of farm kids, going to the big city," Manker said.

Jesse Brothers, Sioux City Journal 

Woodbury Central offensive coordinator Jeremy Rogers speaks at a pep rally Thursday with his team behind him Thursday in Moville. "I've never been part of a better group," Rogers told the crowd. The Wildcats play a semi-final game at 1 p.m. Friday at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. 

There are lots of blue signs with player names and paws sprouting on Moville yards, and the expectation is the town will greatly empty out Friday. On Thursday, a sendoff rally was held at the end of the school day, and a pep bus -- or possibly two -- will head to Cedar Falls in the morning, when the team also goes over.

Classes were cancelled at Woodbury Central Friday. Athletic Director Mary Schultz said there has been a buzz of anticipation for the game in hallways this week. Schultz said he expects a caravan of cars on U.S. Highway 20 Friday, since fans also went in big numbers to the quarterfinal game in Traer.

PHOTOS: Woodbury Central vs Westwood football

"We had just as big a following as (North Tama) did. Our stands were packed, our sidelines were packed," she said.

"...I really hope that we see a ton of Wildcat fans over there."

WC sophomore Evi Smith is going to be in the UNI-Dome for the first time in her life, to see her junior brother Warren, a defensive line starter who has five quarterback sacks. She'll be wearing a new playoffs hoodie, going among five family members in a vehicle making the journey of 190 miles.

"I am pretty sure there will be more people than the last game," Smith said.

She has seen all the games this year for the 10-1 Wildcats, who are led by Coach Kurt Bremer, and noted a positive outlook among high-schoolers.

"They are all thinking we are going to win. It hasn't happened for a very long time and everyone is excited," Smith said.

Schultz said the team of 47 players had Tuesday practice at a South Sioux City indoor venue with artificial turf, similar to what will be present at the UNI-Dome.

PHOTOS: West Lyon vs Western Christian football

"They want this bad. You can really tell it. There is great senior leadership, but there are leaders at every level," Schultz said. "That says a lot about the coaches and the players."

Woodbury Central junior Jase Manker, a nephew of Kelly Manker, was quarterback as the Wildcats last week scored 28 straight points in the second half comeback, with the go-ahead score a touchdown pass of 33 yards to Ethan Copeland.

Kelly Manker coached WC for several years, and noted Jase Manker was a ball boy who heard a lot of his halftime speeches.

"He knows the game. He is a gunslinger. He has grown up a Wildcat," he said.

Kelly Manker would be ecstatic to have another Manker be a quarterback on a state-title team.

"That would be the greatest thing that could ever happen. It changed my life. I want the same for him and more. It changes your life. It makes you a winner," he said.

PHOTOS: 44 images of Sioux City cookies past and present