Friday Afternoon News, August 7
Marcus Fair Going On Now
MARCUS, Iowa (AP) - The Marcus Community Fair hasn't charged a dime for admission for years, leading locals to refer to it as the "Marcus Free Fair."
The 79th annual fair includes livestock shows, a greased pig contest, a tractor pull, a 5K run and a car show. The Westernaires, a mounted precision drill organization from Colorado, will appear in a Saturday afternoon parade and perform at the fairgrounds.
Nancy Hier says she'll work to provide food for the group's 62 performers on Friday night at her family farm and will ensure their 45 horses are being cared for during their stay. The 85-year-old says she has been involved with the fair since 1980.
Hier says her daughter-in-law was in the Westernaires years ago.
State Board Of Education Approves New Science Standards
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State education officials have approved new science standards and have taken a significant step toward replacing the Iowa Assessments with other tests.
The Iowa State Board of Education unanimously voted on Thursday to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards, which sets learning expectations in classrooms for grades K-12.
Learning will focus less on memorization and put more emphasis on the scientific process, such as analyzing data, developing a model and constructing a logical argument.
The board also voted to start the rule-making process that would allow for the adoption of the Smarter Balanced exams. The tests give students harder or easier questions based on if they answered previous correctly, which better pinpoints their ability.
OSAGE, Iowa (AP) - Friends, family and more than 100 airmen have paid their respects to a 20-year-old Iowa Air National Guard member who drowned while stationed for duty in Guam.
A funeral was held Thursday in Osage for Senior Airman Drew Bellairs. Burial is scheduled for Friday at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.
The 2013 Osage High School graduate was a member of the Guard's 185th Air Refueling Wing. He drowned on July 25 while swimming at Marbo Cave on the eastern shore of Guam. He was temporarily assigned to the 506th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam at the time of his death.
Friends say the mechanic always had a smile. Fellow airman Shawn O'Tool says Bellairs never frowned and says he never saw Bellairs complain.
Sears To Close Mason City Store
MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sears is planning to close its Mason City store and Auto Center in November.
Sears spokesman Howard Riefs says the closure is "part of a series of actions we're taking to reduce ongoing expenses, adjust our asset base and accelerate the transformation of our business model."
The Mason City store and Auto Center employ 26 people. Riefs says eligible employees will receive severance and have the chance to apply for open positions at other Sears or Kmart stores.