Thursday Afternoon News, November 26
Thanksgiving Day Weather Turns Nasty
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Weather officials say freezing rain moving through parts of Nebraska and Iowa could produce ice accumulations and snow on Thanksgiving Day.
The National Weather Service says a winter storm warning will be in effect at different times Thursday for portions of east central Nebraska, southeast Nebraska and southwest Iowa.
Officials say they expect significant icing and wind to result in power outages and dangerous traveling conditions. The freezing rain may lead to ice accumulations of up to a quarter inch by Thursday evening. The snow is expected to end by early Friday.
Meteorologist Aubry Wilkins says people driving on Thanksgiving Day should avoid slick roads or plan travel around when conditions are more favorable.
Iowa State Economist Says Black Friday Sales Over Hyped
(Des Moines) -- Some stores are getting an early start on Black Friday by opening today on Thanksgiving. Other stores will open their doors early Friday morning and offering deals, but an Iowa State University economist says Black Friday's impact is overblown. The unofficial start to the holiday shopping season was once called key in getting retailers on the way to positive sales for the Christmas season. I-S-U economist Dave Swenson doesn't believe that's the case. "Black Friday has been hyped much beyond its economic significance," according to Swenson. He says the more important thing is how well retailers attract customers overall.
Swenson says Black Friday sales totals don't give a picture of what the holiday retail season will look like once the shopping is over.
Customers now don't have to wait for Black Friday deals, they can go on-line anytime searching for the best deal, and can get special offers and sale price sent directly to their phones. Swenson says the economic signs are all pointing to a holiday season that's about the same this year as it was for retailers last year.
Three Men Charged With Bank Fraud
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A former bank vice president and two accomplices have been sentenced for defrauding a bank in northern Iowa.
Sixty-two-year-old Richard Jones, of Emmetsburg, 68-year-old Michael Manning, of Milford, and 37-year-old Aric Manning, of Phoenix, were sentenced on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Sioux City.
Prosecutors say that from November 2003 to March 2010, Jones used his position at Iowa Trust and Savings Bank to forge customers' signatures on fraudulent loan documents and direct nearly $476,000 to the Mannings and two other people.
Jones was sentenced to 14 months in prison and told to pay more than $207,000 in restitution. Aric Manning was given a year and ordered to pay more than $58,000 in restitution. Michael Manning was sentenced to a day and ordered to pay nearly $27,500 in restitution.
Prison Inmates Help Restore Christmas Street Lights
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - Giant snowflakes have been refreshed and now grace light poles along six bridges in Fort Dodge.
The Messenger reports (http://bit.ly/1XimwUT ) that 80 of the refurbished holiday decorations were installed Tuesday morning.
Inmates at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility joined several local organizations in the effort. They used 6,000 feet of electrical cord and 7,200 LED light bulbs for their work, which included stripping off the old garland.
The workers welded any areas that needed repair, sandblasted the metal framework and then primed and painted before putting on the wiring and lights.
An anonymous donor paid for the supplies.