Home News Friday Afternoon News, November 17th

Friday Afternoon News, November 17th


Northwest Iowa Refereeing Crew Selected To Officiate State Football Tournament

(Le Mars) — Remsen St. Mary’s Hawks and West Sioux Falcons were not the only football representatives from northwest Iowa that were on the field at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls for the state football tournament. An officiating crew, with three members from Le Mars, also made an appearance as they were chosen to referee a semi-championship game held last week. Steve Wick, Kent Pauling, and Bruce Ludwig along with their crew members Ray Gibler of Orange City and Craig Schniederman of Rock Rapids were blowing their whistles and throwing their penalty flags during the 2A semi finals with Union, La Porte City and Williamsburg. This was not the first time for many of the referee crew to officiate football games inside the dome stadium. Steve Wick, who serves as the crew chief and Referee, wears the white hat, has officiated three semi final games, and two finals. Kent Pauling is the Line Judge for the crew and he has been with Wick through those same games. Bruce Ludwig, the Back Judge, has officiated two semi final games. Craig Schniederman is the new guy to
the refereeing crew, and made his first appearance at a state football tournament game. Schniederman is the Umpire and replaced long time referee Mike Dreckman of Le Mars, who had a long career of decades officiating football.
Dreckman, prior to his retirement, had appeared in the dome a total of four times. Gibler has split his career as a football referee between Idaho and Iowa. Gibler is the Side Judge, and before his employment with Northwestern College, he was a referee in Idaho having officiated championship football games
in the Gem State. Wick has not only officiated championship football games, but the Iowa Hall of Fame Official has been selected many times to officiate both Girls and Boys State Tournament Championship games held at the former Veteran’s
Auditorium and now the Wells Fargo Arena both in Des Moines. Just as it is an honor for the teams to advance and participate in the state tournament, so it is also an honor and a goal of each official to be asked to referee a state tournament game. Congratulations to all the men and women who choose to wear
the striped shirts, and rarely get the respect they deserve.

From left to right: Bruce Ludwig, Kent Pauling,and Steve Wick, all from Le Mars.  Also with the officiating crew are Ray Gibler of Orange City and Craig Schniederman of Rock Rapids.



Cost of Thanksgiving Meal Declines

(Des Moines) — The cost to prepare the traditional Thanksgiving meal for ten people has gone down for a second year.  Each year, for the past 30 years, the American Farm Bureau Federation conducts a nationwide survey that looks at the cost of preparing a meal with the turkey as the main entree, along with the side dishes. Tim Johnson serves as the Senior Research and Policy Analyst for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.  He says this year’s meal is about seventy-five
cents cheaper than last year’s meal.

Johnson says the price of turkey helped lead the decline in the Thanksgiving meal cost.  He says the number of turkeys on farms have rebounded since the bird flu from a few years back.

The Iowa Farm Bureau analyst says turkey wasn’t the only food item to show a drop in prices from last year’s survey.

However, there were a few food items associated with the Thanksgiving meal that increased in cost this year over last year.

Johnson gives a listing of those food items that are a part of the annual price Thanksgiving meal survey.

Farm Bureau says a total of 141 volunteer shoppers checked grocery store prices in 39 states for the annual Thanksgiving survey.  AFBF’s survey menu has not changed since it was first conducted in 1986 to allow for consistent price comparisons.



Iowa Unemployment Rate Drops In October

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level in nearly 17 years.
Iowa Workforce Development reported Friday the unemployment rate for October fell to 3 percent, down from the September rate of 3.2 percent. The unemployment rate is the lowest since January 2001.
The rate drop reflected a decline in the number of unemployed Iowans to about 51,000 in October. The number of working residents rose to 1.635 million.
The national employment rate in October was 4.1 percent.



Investigation Shows Juror Tampering A Hoax

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Investigators believe a letter purporting to be from a juror who was bribed to rule for the University of Iowa in a major medical malpractice case was likely a hoax by someone upset with the verdict.
Johnson County Lt. Doug Gwinn says his 20-month investigation into the letter’s shocking allegation of jury tampering has turned up no evidence that a bribe occurred.
He says he’s been unable to identify the author of the letter but believes it was someone who wanted to help the plaintiffs get a new trial.
A judge received the anonymous letter after a February 2016 trial in which parents sued UI Hospitals and Clinics for brain damage suffered by their child during birth. Jurors ruled that UIHC was negligent but awarded no damages.



Threat On Social Media Causes School To Close

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (AP) – Police have arrested a minor in connection with social media threats that caused an Iowa high school to cancel classes Friday.
The North Liberty Police Department said the person responsible for anonymous Instagram messages that threatened violence against a student and others at Liberty High School was taken into custody Friday morning.
Officials with the Iowa City Community School District told students and staff to stay home from school Friday after learning of what it called a “credible threat” late Thursday.
Investigators say they identified the person responsible with help from students and families who could be identified in the anonymous messages. They said additional information won’t be released since the suspect is a juvenile.
The school, which is in its first year, will reopen Friday afternoon for extracurricular activities.