Le Mars Kicks Off Hometown Christmas Celebration
(Le Mars) –– As the song implies, “Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” as Le Mars celebrated the first annual Hometown Christmas celebration on Saturday. The celebration started in the morning when several children were able to meet Santa Claus’ favorite reindeer, Rudolph at the Brown’s Central Avenue Event Center, while eating breakfast. The children were each given a set of “antlers” to wear, as they decorated their waffles with marshmallows, chocolate chips, and candy sprinkles. Many people were visiting the Le Mars downtown shops as they observed “Small Business Saturday” and looking for great Christmas gift ideas. Several of the downtown businesses had a peddler’s cart in front of their business, calling even more attention to the start of the holiday season. At the Olson Cultural Event Center, Mike and Cheryl Wells served as emcees and presented the “Hometown Christmas in Le Mars” program featuring The Browns as they sang several Christmas-themed songs, and members of a dance school performed selections from the “Nutcracker Ballet.” The pinnacle of the evening was the countdown to lighting the 26-foot Christmas tree located at the Olson Cultural Event Center. Because of the restrictions limiting the number of people that could gather, the festive program was featured live on Facebook. It isn’t known as to how many people watched the program from their computers, i-pads, or cell phones.
COVID Hospitalizations Drop While Deaths Rise
(Des Moines) — The state website tracking coronavirus data shows while hospital numbers are improving, more Iowans have died of Covid this month than during any previous month of the pandemic. On November 1st, there were 676 Covid patients in Iowa hospitals and that surged to more than 15-hundred by November 17th. There’s been a more than 20 percent decline in hospitalizations over the past two weeks, but the death
rate is accelerating. Nearly 28 percent of all the Covid-related deaths reported in the state during the pandemic have been confirmed by state officials this month. Last night the state website showed 23-hundred-75 Iowans have died of Covid. The state website also shows a record 153 Iowa nursing homes have current coronavirus outbreaks among residents. Active infections have been confirmed among nearly 49-hundred residents and nursing home staff.
Miller-Meeks Wins Second District Congressional Race By Only 6 Votes
(Des Moines) — It’s the closest congressional race in the country — and recounts in all 24 counties of Iowa’s second congressional district are completed. Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks finished ahead of Democrat Rita Hart by SIX votes.
Results from Clinton and Scott Counties are scheduled to be forwarded to the state today (Monday). Then results for all races in the state, including this one, will be certified by the state’s executive council.
Hart’s campaign has not explicitly said it will be going to court to seek another recount, but suggested some “legitimate votes” had not been counted over the past two weeks. Miller-Meeks, who spoke with Radio Iowa this weekend, said the ballots have been counted numerous times and she looks forward to being certified as the winner later today (Monday). Miller-Meeks
said she spent much of her Saturday repeating the Serenity Prayer and she thanked election officials who conducted the recount process. As for preparing for a court challenge ahead, Miller-Meeks said she’s abiding by an old saying in the military that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
On Election Night, Miller-Meeks led Hart by 282 votes – out of
nearly 400-thousand cast in the second district race. The race narrowed as more than 400 eligible absentee ballots, provisional ballots and overseas ballots were added to the district-wide tally, along with a few precinct- level errors discovered by county election officials as well as adjustments due to recounted ballots.
Grinnell College English Professor Publishes Book On Pandemic And Politics
(Grinnell) — While 2020 was punctuated by the deadly pandemic, divisive politics, racial unrest and horrific weather, an Iowa City writer is releasing a book of three-dozen poems about the year which he says maintains a sense of optimism. Ralph Savarese, an English professor at Grinnell College, says his fourth and latest book, “When This Is Over: Pandemic Poems,” is not — by any means — all worry beads and despair.
The book’s cover features a black-cloaked man wearing a full-face gas mask yet in his black-gloved hand is a blooming daisy. While it’s been a year filled with sorrow and misfortune for many, Savarese says we’ve managed to carry on and look to a brighter future.
The author has been wrestling with teaching his courses at Grinnell online, while facing an increased risk from COVID-19 due to his own health issues. In addition, Savarese has been very worried about his mother who lives in a long-term care facility near Boston. She’s survived the challenging year,
though 28 other residents at the home died from the virus and another 65 were infected.
Topics of the poems are as varied as the year, including George Floyd, Tony Fauci, mask mandates and murder hornets. The book is available through North Liberty-based Ice Cube Press.
ISU Logistics Expert Says Christmas Shopping Challenges Are Looming
(Ames, IA) — The Christmas shopping season is underway and an Iowa State University logistics expert says finding the items you are looking for is going to get tougher as we get closer to the holiday. Scott Grawe says the pandemic shutdowns earlier this year caused problems with the shipping containers that are key to the supply chain. He says containers that normally
would be flowing all the time and making their way back to their original points of origin in China and other places overseas are stuck in other parts of the globe. He is an associate professor and chair of supply chain management and says the imbalance will likely hit later in the season as the store shelves are stocked right now, but the next wave of products may be delayed.
Shots Fired In Davenport Mall Sunday
(Davenport, IA) — Witnesses tell Davenport police two groups were arguing in the NorthPark Mall when one person pulled out a gun and opened fire. The people involved quickly left the scene. Officers with several law enforcement agencies responded to the mall and found multiple shell casings.
No injuries have been reported. Authorities shut down part of the shopping mall while they investigated, but that part was eventually reopened. It isn’t known what the argument was about. Investigators are trying to determine who did the shooting so they can be questioned.
Des Moines Police Arrest Driver For Fatal Thanksgiving Hit-And-Run
(Des Moines, IA) — Des Moines police have arrested a 22-year-old man accused of being the driver in a fatal hit-and-run crash on Thanksgiving Day.
Lim Bol Choul is charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death. The identity of the man who died Thursday at MercyOne hasn’t been released. Investigators say an anonymous tip led them to Choul and the vehicle that was involved in the deadly accident.