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Thursday Afternoon News, October 18

Military Spooktacular

(Sioux City)--  Siouxland is doing its best to support military families, and Saturday's upcoming "Siouxland Military Family Spooktacular" is one way they are doing so.  Lori Risdal, Airman and Family Programs Manager for the 185th Air Refueling Wing, says the "Joining Community Forces Initiative" is working to bring the resources as close to home as possible and include residents of Nebraska and South Dakota.

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The Joining Community Forces Initiative helps families connect with each other, they provide services and activities and are working on organizing other events like summer day camps in the Sioux City area for military youth to attend.  Often these activities are only available by making the long drive to Des Moines, so the goal is to bring it all closer to home.

Saturday's event, The Spooktacular, is from 3-6pm at Camp Goodwill in Sioux City. The event is open to area families who have a service member currently serving in any branch of the Guard, Reserves or Active Duty.  Activities for adults and children include food, crafts, games, hayrack trail rides, tricks and treats and a family costume contest.  Families are asked to bring a bag of individually wrapped candies or snacks to share, otherwise the event is free.  150-200 people are expected to attend.
Risdal says a gathering like this is great for support and camaraderie.

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If you're interested in attending Saturday's Siouxland Military Family Spooktacular or would like to volunteer for this activity or others that are upcoming you can call Lori Risdal by Friday at (712) 233-0817.  Becoming a part of the Joining Community Forces Initiative itself is another way for community members and businesses to become involved.


Dordt College To Hold Inauguration Ceremonies

(Sioux Center) -- Dordt College in Sioux Center will hold an inauguration ceremony for President Erik Hoekstra on Friday.  Hoekstra, a Grand Rapids Michigan native, is the college's fourth president.  He previously served as Dordt's provost.  The inauguration will start at 11:00 a.m. at the B-J Hahn Auditorium on the Sioux Center campus.  The event will feature music, faculty and staff representatives and liturgy.  Hoekstra replaces Carl Zylstra, who stepped down at the end of the 2011-2012 school year.

Landlords Donate Money In Lieu Of Fines

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - At least 27 Iowa landlords made donations to the Iowa Civil Rights Commission in lieu of legal action for illegally discriminating against housing applicants.
The commission solicited and accepted at least $19,850 in "voluntary contributions" from 2006 through February 2011.
Ralph Rosenberg, the commission's director in 2006, says the practice was started to encourage rapid resolution of discrimination complaints. He says the attorney general's office agreed that soliciting donations in lieu of fines was acceptable under Iowa law. The office revisited the issue last year and
concluded it's not appropriate.
State court administrator David Boyd says the practice is frowned upon by the judicial branch because it gives the impression that justice is for sale.

Judge Gives More Time For Defendants To Respond To B-P-I Lawsuit

NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota judge has given two men more time to respond to a $1 billion defamation lawsuit over a meat product that finely textured lean beef.
Judge Steven Jensen granted a 30-day extension for Carl Custer and Gerald Zirnstein to respond to the lawsuit brought by Beef Products Inc.
Custer, a former federal food scientist, and Zirnstein, the USDA microbiologist who named the product "pink slime," must now respond to the suit by Nov. 19.
BPI sued the two men as well as ABC News for $1.2 billion in damages for roughly 200 statements about the product that aired on ABC News.
BPI attorney Dan Webb says the reports led consumers to believe the beef is not meat, but an unhealthy slime unfit for human consumption.


Authorities Retracing Steps To Find Leads For Missing Cousins

EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) - Officers have been retracing their steps as they continue investigating the disappearance of two young cousins in east Iowa.
Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson says investigators are still searching for any details that might have been overlooked since Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins went missing three months
ago in Evanston.
Lyric has turned 11 and Elizabeth has turned 9 since they were reported missing on July 13. Their bikes were found near Meyers Lake in Evansdale.
FBI officials have said they believe the girls were abducted.


Law Professor Testifies On Behalf Of Colleague

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A University of Iowa law professor who testified on behalf of a colleague suing the school says officials are retaliating against him by falsely suggesting he was under
investigation for sexual misconduct.
Professor Mark Osiel testified Tuesday at the trial of Teresa Wagner, a Republican who says she was repeatedly passed over for teaching jobs because of her conservative views.
Osiel testified Wagner helped edit his book manuscripts and that she had great skills.
During the testimony, a state lawyer claimed Osiel recently faced a misconduct investigation after someone complained about sexual grunting noises in his office.
Osiel says the noises were him doing exercises suggested by his doctors and "there is no investigation." He says the claim "shows how low the university will stoop in retaliating against its employees."




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