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Friday News, December 3rd

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Premier Communications To Change Leadership Position

Sioux Center, IA. – The Board of Directors of Premier Communications, the leader in voice, video and data communications services for Northwest Iowa, is pleased to announce that Ryan Boone has been named the Chief Executive Officer of the company beginning Jan. 1, 2022.

Transitioning from CEO, Doug Boone will continue to serve Premier as the Executive Vice President – Strategic Initiatives. Ryan Boone has been a part of Premier’s leadership team for eleven years, the last five as Chief Operating Officer. Beginning in 2022, Ryan, as CEO, will assume the executive leadership responsibilities of Premier, including the development of Premier’s vision for the future and execution of long term business strategies. “Premier has a rich history of providing state-of-the-art communications services with superior customer service,” states Ryan. “As a company, we have been able to maintain those two tenants while experiencing significant growth and it has been a pleasure being a part of the team that contributed to that success under Doug’s leadership. As CEO, I hope to continue our trajectory of growth and I have confidence in the team we have in place to execute on the opportunities presented to us.” As CEO, Doug Boone led Premier to achieve substantial increases in revenue, profitability and number of customers served. As the transition approaches, Doug comments, “It has been an honor to serve as the CEO of Premier Communications. I am grateful to have played such a central role in Premier’s advancement and I am proud of the accomplishments that the company has made together. As we move into the new year, I look forward to serving Premier in a new position and I am confident that Ryan will be an excellent leader in his new role.”

Ryan Boone (left) will assume the duties of CEO for Premier Communications beginning on January 1, 2022.  Doug Boone (right) will transition to Executive Vice President for Strategic Initiatives.

 

 

 

Real Christmas Trees Are In Short Supply This Year

(Le Mars) — If you haven’t yet selected your real Christmas tree, you may want to do so by this weekend.  Robin Miller of rural Hawarden is the owner of T & S Christmas tree farm, located in Plymouth County.  She says the demand for real trees is strong and the supply of trees this year is running short.

Miller says demand for real Christmas trees has picked up in recent years, saying a new generation is wanting to make family memories by selecting a real tree from a Christmas tree farm.

Miller says most people prefer to pick a tree that stands around seven feet tall.  She says it takes between eight and ten years to grow a tree at that height.  Miller explains the types of trees she grows, and the more popular varieties.

Miller says the summer’s drought didn’t affect the trees ready for this year’s holiday.  However, it may show up a few more years in the future.

In addition to selling the trees, Miller also has a gift shop and she says wreath sales have skyrocketed.

Temperatures of this past week have been in the 60’s, but Miller says despite the warm weather, people are still in the Christmas spirit, and sales of trees have not suffered.

The T & S Christmas tree farm is located at 20593 County Road C-12, about 20 miles northwest of Le Mars, and 25 miles north of Sioux City.

 

 

 

Slower Economic Growth Projected For Iowa In 2022

(Omaha, NE)  —  After another year filled with supply chain troubles and global health concerns, the economic outlook for 2022 in Iowa and for the Midwest isn’t rosy, according to Creighton University economist Ernie Goss.  He says the outlook will depend heavily on what happens with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 first detected in South Africa.  Goss is expecting slower growth in the first half of the year.  The monthly survey of supply managers in Iowa and eight other states in the region is showing strong growth, but it’s bogged down by continued transportation troubles and labor shortages.  Only one out of four supply managers expect the delays being experienced now to improve in the next six months.  The Midwest region’s wholesale inflation gauge for November hit 92.9 on a zero-to-100 scale.

 

 

 

November Weather Conditions In Iowa Slightly Warmer, Drier Than Normal

(Des Moines, IA)  —  State climatologist Justin Glisan says November wrapped up slightly warmer than normal, too, as well as drier.  The average temperature was about 39 degrees in Iowa and that’s a little over two degrees above average.  Glisan says the state did have pockets of slightly-above-average precipitation but overall slightly under an inch below-average precipitation. The forecast models for the month of December are showing a trend toward more spring-like temperatures.  The La Nina weather pattern is expected to start influencing our region’s climate soon, but Iowa is in the center of two converging fronts — so it’s a toss-up as to what we might get for snow or rain.  The National Weather Service won’t be making its forecast for the likelihood of a White Christmas until around the 15th of December.

 

 

 

Trial Date Scheduled For Teen Boys Accused Of Killing Spanish Teacher

(Fairfield, IA)  —  A trial date is set for the two Fairfield teens accused in last month’s murder of Fairfield High School Spanish teacher Nohema Graber (noh-HAY’-muh GRAY’-ber).  There’s a pre-trial hearing on March 21st for Willard Miller and Jeremy Goodale and their murder trial is scheduled to begin April 19th.  Attorneys for the two suspects argued for a reduction in their one-million-dollar bonds last week.  The judge has not yet made a decision on the bond review hearing but has stated we should get his decision sometime within the week.

 

 

 

State Audit Finds Promise City Clerk Paid Bills With Town’s Money

(Promise City, IA)  —  An investigation by the State Auditor’s Office finds the former city clerk in Promise City used the small town’s money to pay almost 10-thousand dollars of her own utility bills and to make 17-thousand dollars in improper purchases at Walmart.  The special investigation covered years that Debra Eccleston (EK’-ull-stun) was the city clerk in the town of 88 residents.  The report identifies more than 59-thousand dollars in improper and unsupported spending.  Auditors concluded Eccleston’s approved salary during the period was about 13-thousand dollars, but cancelled checks indicate she was paid about twice that.  Investigators say Eccelston used city money to buy books and food at Walmart. Promise City doesn’t have a library, but the report notes Eccelston ran a coffee shop and bookstore in Centerville.  Auditors reviewed Alliant Energy records and determined Eccelston used Promise City money to pay utility bills for her Centerville business and her own residence.

 

 

 

Authorities ID Pedestrian Struck and Killed in Sioux City

(Sioux City, IA)  —  Authorities in Sioux City are identifying the pedestrian struck and killed Wednesday morning.  Police say 71-year-old David Biddle of Sioux City was crossing at an intersection when he stopped to pick something up in the street.  Officers say that’s when Biddle was hit by a small S-U-V.  The juvenile female driving the vehicle told police she couldn’t see Biddle because the sun was obstructing her vision.  No charges are expected against the driver.

 

 

 

Deer Hunters Hit The Fields, Tree Stands This Weekend

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Saturday marks the opening of the first shotgun deer season in Iowa.  The D-N-R’s Tyler Harms oversees the surveys and management of the deer herd.  Harms says he’s had many questions about a survey that found COVID in deer — and he reassures hunters it is not a problem.  Harms recommends that hunters take some basic precautions like wearing gloves and washing your hands and equipment thoroughly when you are finished processing deer.  He says last year hunters took around 109-thousand deer and the numbers for this year should hit that.  The first shotgun deer hunting season runs through December 8th. The second shotgun season runs from December 11th through the 19th.