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Sounding off
Sioux City East graduate helps show choir contest be heard

SIOUX CITY -- Luke Scroggin has been the sound man for everyone from Snoop Dogg to the Chainsmokers. 

The Sioux City native has even had his hands on the audio board whenever Warren Buffett, the "Oracle of Omaha," holds court during Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholders meeting.

However, Scroggin still comes back, every year, as the go-to audio and lighting guy for East High School's "Sing All About It" show choir invitational.

About 27 middle school and high school show choirs from Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota will compete Friday and Saturday during the contest, which is considered one of the top show choir events in the Midwest.

But for Scroggin, "Sing All About It" was where he first discovered a passion for audio engineering.

"I was in show choir during my freshman year and knew it wasn't for me," the 2007 East High School graduate explained. "The very next year, I became one of the crew guys and realized it was more exciting to be in the background than it was on stage."

Scroggin is being modest.

Always comfortable with the technical side of stage production, he quickly learned the ropes as a crew member for all of East's show choir, musical and special events.

When it came to charting his future career, Scroggin enrolled at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences, in Tempe, Arizona.

"I was one of those guys who was able to turn my passion into a career," he said. "I've never forgotten that."

Justin Wan, Sioux City Journal 

East High alumnus Luke Scroggin, left, class of 2007, sets up the stage ahead of the Sing All About It show choir with help from student Jacson Welte at East High School in Sioux City on Thursday.  

After earning his degree, Scroggin worked as a production specialist for Sioux City's Creative Entertainment for a few years before becoming an audio systems technician for the Omaha-based Audio Visions for more than nine years.

Scroggin's current position has allowed him to travel around the country, working for events as diverse as Blake Shelton concerts to Mannheim Steamroller Christmas shows to bull riding competitions.

Through it all, he's acquired the reputation for raising the production value.

"I want everyone and everything to look and sound great," Scroggin said. "It doesn't matter if I'm working in a 19,000-seat stadium show for Cheyenne (Wyoming) Frontier Days or 'Sing All About It,' I'm giving it my all."

Indeed, East's choral activities director Tom Hales is one of Scroggin's biggest fans. 

"We'll have as many as many as 2,000 show choir students coming to compete," he said. "Having these students perform with professional level sound is very gratifying."

"That's in large part due to Luke, our East High parents volunteers, as well as our student crew members," Hales added.

Scroggin is especially excited about the students working behind the scenes at "Sing All About It."

"It will be nice to help somebody discover their dream like I discovered mine at East," he said.

top story
Priest scandal sparks debate of Iowa bill to end statute of limitations on sex crimes against minors

DES MOINES --- Charges of sexual assault and other sexual crimes against minors could be tried at any time under legislation being considered by state lawmakers.

The proposal would eliminate Iowa’s current statute of limitations on those crimes.

Currently, sexual assault charges must be brought within 10 years of the alleged victim turning 18 years old or within three years of an alleged perpetrator being identified by DNA evidence.

The proposal to eliminate that statute of limitations is working its way through the Iowa Capitol in the wake of the latest round of revelations of decades-old sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests against minors, most recently in Northwest Iowa.

The Sioux City diocese on Monday released the names of 28 priests credibly accused of sexually abusing more than 100 children while serving the diocese, which covers 24 counties in Northwest Iowa. Six of the priests are still living, but the most recent case of abuse occurred in 1995. 

“We continue to see case after case unfold of predators who have been allowed to continue preying on our children,” said Janet Petersen, a Democratic state senator from Des Moines. “Our laws not only benefit perpetrators, but they also benefit organizations that have covered up crimes against children, and that is simply wrong.

“I’m hoping that the more public attention that’s drawn to this, maybe we’ll get more support to change our laws, not only to help survivors, but also to prevent perpetrators from continuing to prey on children. We shouldn’t be a sanctuary state for predators.”

Petersen was one of three state senators who approved the proposal Thursday in an Iowa Senate subcommittee meeting. Amy Sinclair, a Republican state senator from Allerton, said she expects the proposal to pass through the Senate’s judiciary committee before a key legislative deadline next week.

The Iowa Senate has passed similar proposals before, but they have not been taken up in the Iowa House. Sinclair said she has not discussed the topic with House leaders.

“I think it’s an important issue to talk about in light of where society’s coming,” Sinclair said.

The lone organization opposing the bill is the American Civil Liberties Union, according to records of lobbying groups registered with the Legislature.

The Iowa Catholic Conference is not registered on the bill.

Petersen said she also thinks lawmakers should pass a similar extension or elimination of the statute of limitations on civil charges related to sex-based offenses against minors.

“Our current law benefits organizations and it gives them an opportunity to cover up crime without any financial implications,” Petersen said. “If we extend the civil statute of limitations, those laws that allow them to cover up and run the clock out would disappear for them.”

Republicans hold the majority and thus set the agenda in the Iowa Senate. Sinclair said she is focused on the criminal statute of limitations and does not plan to run the bill that would also address the civil statute.