Home News Thursday Afternoon News, July 23rd

Thursday Afternoon News, July 23rd


Local Music Instructors Participate In Virtual Choir

(Le Mars) — In today’s world with concerns about the COVID-19 virus, it is nearly impossible to gather people to form a choir and perform musical selections. Unless, that choir consists of a virtual choir. This past Sunday on the television program CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley, a feature report was presented about a virtual choir consisting of more than 17,500 people from 130 different countries all singing in unison a musical selection. Five of those people in that virtual choir were from Le Mars, including Randy and Nancy Ewing. The Ewings teach vocal music at Le Mars Community. Randy is the vocal music instructor for the high school while his wife Nancy teaches vocal music at the middle school. Randy offers an explanation of a virtual choir, and how this particular virtual choir was created.

It was Nancy who first learned of the opportunity to sing as part of a virtual choir through the social media of Facebook, as well as through the Choir Directors Association.

Randy describes the process of obtaining the musical selection, then recording that music, and then downloading the musical selection to the producers who created a music video showcasing the more than 17,000 singers.

Randy says they had to turn their home into a modified production studio with specific requirements.

Nancy says the finished video production along with the song, follows the theme of how the Japanese piece together broken vases and pots. She says the music selection was emotional and moving.

The Ewings recorded their music using their cellphones. He says trying to record the music without hearing other noises and distractions was an unique challenge.

Randy also tells of the challenges of setting up the cell phone to record, while following the composer’s directions.

Here is a small version of the musical selection “Sing Gently” with the 17,500 singers as part of the virtual choir.

You can watch the music video featuring the Ewings and the other 17,500 singers by conducting a google search of Eric Whitacre virtual choir.




Initial Unemployment Claims Fall in Iowa

(Des Moines, IA) — Iowa Workforce Development is reporting a drop in initial unemployment claims in the state. Nine-thousand-505 workers filed claims July 12th to 18th – more than 11-hundred fewer than the 10-thousand-653 the previous week. The U-S Department of Labor decreased the number of claims by 472 for the week of July 5th through 11th. Continuing claims for
unemployment insurance benefits dropped by 17-thousand-474 to 116-thousand-810 last week. Manufacturing and self-employed contractors filed the most claims. Federal unemployment claims rose last week to one-point-four-million, the first increase since the pandemic began in March.




Reward Increased to $10K For Information About Missing Davenport Girl

(Davenport, IA) — The F-B-I and Crime Stoppers are now offering a ten-thousand-dollar reward for information that leads to a missing girl from Davenport. Teams of F-B-I agents are in eastern Iowa helping in the search for ten-year-old Breasia Terrell, who’s been missing nearly two weeks.
Extensive searches in the Quad Cities and Clinton County have turned up little. F-B-I Special Agent in Charge Kristi Johnson says “our number-one goal is to find the person that is responsible for the disappearance of Breasia and bring that person to justice.” She was last seen heading to spend the night with her younger half-brother and his father, 47-year-old
Henry Dinkins. A convicted sex offender, Dinkins is being held in the Scott County Jail on unrelated charges. Police say Dinkins is a person of interest in the missing girl’s case.




Authorities ID Victim of Madison County Homicide

(Winterset, IA) — Authorities in Madison County are identifying a man found dead lying in a rural roadway Tuesday afternoon. Sheriff’s deputies say 39-year-old Jonathan Hoffman from Des Moines died from multiple gunshot wounds. The Iowa D-C-I is assisting with the investigation. Anyone who has information is asked to contact the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.




National Cattle Congress Fair in Waterloo Postponed Due to COVID-19

(Waterloo, IA) — The 110th National Cattle Congress Fair in Waterloo is the latest event to be postponed due to COVID-19. It will be rescheduled for September 15th through 19th, 2021. Organizers said, “The National Cattle Congress believes this is the responsible action to take in an effort to keep everyone safe during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of our patrons, sponsors, volunteers, staff and the community it takes to make a Fair happen remains our priority.” They say the livestock shows, rodeo, exhibits, rides and attractions, and live music will return next year.