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Oskaloosa’s Lighted Christmas Parade This Weekend

OSKALOOSA — Oskaloosa Main Street’s 35th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade will take place on Saturday, December 3rd in downtown Oskaloosa at 7:00 p.m. Main Street Director Amy Brainard encourages visitors to “make a day of it by shopping local, dining local, and supporting local. The lights will go on at 4:45 p.m. and remain on until 11:00 p.m., so there will be plenty of opportunities for selfies and family photos in our illuminated historic district.”

This year’s parade has over 60 illuminated entries registered with 12 entries being first-time participants. Candy and other items may be handed out from each entry but will not be thrown as ordered by the Oskaloosa Police Department.

“We want to ensure all parade-goers and participants remain safe, so we are asking all viewers to stay behind the cones and roped off areas along the route. To keep your vehicles safe, please do not park along the parade route unless in the designated handicap parking areas, which are first-come, first-serve. The parade route will start on High Avenue and turn south down Market Street, turn west onto 1st Avenue, then around the mall’s south parking lot, wrap back around near the Oskaloosa Public Library, turn north onto Market Street, then finishes heading east on 1st Avenue near MidWestOne drive-up bank. Announcers will be located throughout the route”, said Brainard.

Updated parade details will be shared to the Oskaloosa Main Street Facebook page. Many events and activities will be held throughout Mahaska County this holiday season, to learn more about those events, visit www.mahaskachamber.org/calendar. As you prepare to do your holiday shopping, check out the Mahaska Wish Book. This publication was created to provide shoppers with gift ideas to support small and shop smart. The Wish Book can be found in many local shops and dining establishments and can also be found online at www.mahaskachamber.org/wishbook/. To learn more about Oskaloosa Main Street or Mahaska Chamber, please visit www.mahaskachamber.org or call 641-672-2591.

Ukraine on edge for more attacks, West eyes humanitarian aid

KYIV (AP) — Ukraine is preparing for more Russian strikes and has warned of the possibility of a new round of evacuations from the capital. Russia has been attacking energy facilities and other key infrastructure in recent weeks, and authorities are struggling to make repairs as quickly as the damage is inflicted. In the West meanwhile, preparations are being stepped up to boost humanitarian aid to Ukraine so that the population can enjoy some warmth during their coldest months of need and keep the resolve of the nation as high as possible. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that Russian troops “are preparing new strikes and as long as they have missiles, they won’t stop.”

ISU economist says Iowa’s economy in recession, held back by tight labor market

By O. Kay Henderson (Radio Iowa)

Iowa State University economist Peter Orazem says while there have been gains, the number of Iowans who are working continues to lag pre-pandemic levels.

“If you look at Iowans under the age of 45, labor force participation rates actually went up. It’s Iowans over 45 where labor force participation rates went down and they really went down for people over 55,” Orazem says. “…We don’t think that they’re coming back and so that’s going to be holding back the Iowa economy in terms of its ability to make up for for its lost labor.” Iowa had one of the oldest labor forces in the country prior to the pandemic and Orazem says it appears many who opted to retire in the past 18 months are not going to return to the workforce.

“We’re lagging the rest of the U.S. in terms of recovery of employment and that’s holding back, actually, the Iowa economy,” Orazem says.” Ten days ago, the Iowa Workforce Development agency announced the state had added back all the jobs that were lost due to the pandemic. Orazem says the total number of employed Iowans still remains about one percent below pre-pandemic levels — and the labor participation rate is about two percent below what it was in February of 2020.

“We’ve had three straight quarters of negative Gross State Product, which would meet the classic definition of a recession,” Orazem says. Orazem made his comments during a weekend appearance on “Iowa Press” on Iowa PBS.

2022 Oskaloosa Tour of Homes Set for This Weekend

By Sam Parsons

Plenty of holiday festivities are right around the corner in the city of Oskaloosa, and one of the main events coming this weekend is the 2022 Tour of Homes. This will be the second consecutive year that the Tour of Homes will be hosted by Sieda Community Action, a local organization that offers support to alleviate symptoms of poverty. We spoke with Jennifer Fleener, director of Economic and Family Support Services with Sieda, to hear about the Tour of Homes, and she gave us a sneak peek of what folks could expect this year.

The Tour of Homes is set for this Saturday and Sunday, December 3-4, 2022, and will run from 1-4pm both days. It’ll include a silent auction, with bidding open now. Tickets can be purchased through several different options, including at Mahaska Drug, Brown’s Shoe Fit, Legacy Real Estate Group, and the Mahaska Chamber in person up until the days of the tours, at which point they can be purchased at Jubilee Family Church. Tickets can also be purchased online with more information available at sieda.org.

Our full interview with Fleener can be found below.

Police: 6 people and assailant dead in Walmart shooting

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — Police say a shooter opened fire in a Walmart in Virginia, leaving six people dead. It was the country’s second high-profile mass killing in a handful of days. The assailant is also dead. A shopper said the store in Chesapeake was busy Tuesday night with people stocking up ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Officer Leo Kosinski couldn’t say how the shooter died but said that he didn’t believe police fired shots. It was not clear who the shooter was or what their motive might be. A database that tracks every mass killing in America going back to 2006 shows this year has been especially bad.

Weather looks good for Thanksgiving travel in the state

By Dar Danielson (Radio Iowa)

Looks like we’ll have a brown Thanksgiving. National Weather Service meteorologist, Dylan Dobson, says the rest of our snow should melt away by Thursday.

“So, we’re gonna expect it to warm up here through the week, with the warmest day actually being Wednesday. Highs on Wednesday we’ll be in the low 50s,” he says. Dobson says Thanksgiving Day will cool off some.

“Just a little bit not a whole lot with highs on Thursday being in the mid-40s, and then Friday and also in the mid-40s,” Dobson says. “But then we’ll warm back up through the weekend back into those more seasonal 40s and 50s.”

Most of the state should see good driving conditions. “We might have a few chances for some scattered showers — mainly in eastern and southern Iowa — but other than that it should be fairly quiet for Thanksgiving this year,” he says.

Dobson says the melting of the snow we had helps the temperatures warm up.

Central College Music Ensembles, Christmas Candlelight Concerts Set

PELLA — Central College welcomes the public to ring in the holiday season with concerts and performances, including the 48th annual Christmas Candlelight Concerts.

Central’s musical ensembles and programs will host seven concerts for the public’s enjoyment. Tickets are available at central.universitytickets.com.

The College Community Orchestra will perform its fall concert at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 29, Douwstra Auditorium on Hoekstra Family Stage, under the direction of John Helmich, adjunct instructor of music. Admission is free.

An Evening of Percussion Music will be at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 1, Douwstra Auditorium on Hoekstra Family Stage. The percussion ensemble will be directed by Stan Dahl, senior lecturer of music. Admission is free.

Join the Symphonic Wind Ensemble for an instrumental concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 2, in Douwstra Auditorium on Hoekstra Family Stage, under the direction of Brad Lampe, lecturer of music. Admission is free.

The Flying Pans Steel Band Caribbean Christmas Concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, in Douwstra Auditorium on Hoekstra Family Stage. Dahl will direct the performance. Admission is $5 or free with the donation of a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.

A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers will perform Christmas Candlelight Concerts under the direction of Mark Babcock, a 1991 Central graduate, professor of music and M. Joan Kuyper Farver Endowed Chair in Music. “Peace and Love and Hope Abide” is the theme for this year’s concert. This phrase comes from one of the selections, “This Christmastide” by Donald Fraser.

“Christmastide ushers in a season of wonder, beauty and peace,” Babcock says. “It’s a time when we treasure family, friends and community. A time when we actively pursue peace, generosity and goodwill for the whole human family. The Central A Cappella Choir Christmas Candlelight Concerts are a time-honored tradition that draws people together. The retelling of the Christmas story in song warms our hearts and raises our sights to receive the best gifts of Christmas – peace, love and hope for all.”

The first performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, located at 4114 Allison Ave. in Des Moines. Christmas Candlelight concerts in Pella will be at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, and Saturday, Dec. 10, in Douwstra Auditorium on Hoekstra Family Stage. Tickets for adults are $15; students up to age 12 and senior citizens are $12; and free to those who present a Central ID. To reserve seats, visit central.universitytickets.com.

A Christmas Candlelight dinner will be Friday, Dec. 9, and Saturday, Dec. 10, in Graham Conference Center in Vermeer Banquet Room. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are required, and the deadline to register is midnight Friday, Dec. 2. Tickets for adults are $17, children ages 5-12 are $8.50 and Central students are $9. Children ages 4 and under are free. To reserve seats, purchase tickets online.

Mahaska Chamber Making Last Call for Young Ambassador Contest Voting

OSKALOOSA — There is still time to vote for the Main Street Young Ambassador Contestants. Twenty-seven local children ages three through kindergarten are seeking monetary votes to become this year’s Young Ambassadors. This is your last call to vote.  Local merchants who are sponsoring the children have banks with the name and picture of the child on the bank. Money placed in the canister of your choice is considered votes. A portion of the proceeds this year will go to Little Creations Preschool, with the balance used to defray costs of the Main Street Oskaloosa Lighted Christmas Parade to be held downtown Saturday, December 3 at 7 pm.

The winners of the Ambassador contest will be announced Monday, November 28, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. At a gala event in the Penn Central Mall open to the public. All participants are invited to ride on the Clow Train.

NASA capsule buzzes moon, last big step before lunar orbit

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s Orion capsule has reached the moon, whipping around the far side and passing within about 80 miles. The close approach occurred Monday as the crew capsule and its three test dummies were on the far side of the moon. Because of a communication blackout, flight controllers in Houston did not know if the critical engine firing went well until the capsule emerged from behind the moon. It’s the first time a capsule has visited the moon since the Apollo program 50 years ago. Orion blasted off last Wednesday from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on a three-week flight.

State Patrol says good driving behavior important during busy holiday period

By Matt Kelley (Radio Iowa)

Many Iowans will be making road trips to see family and friends this Thanksgiving week and they’re being reminded to obey the rules of the road, starting with buckling up.

State Patrol Trooper Ryan Devault, based in Council Bluffs, says there have been 302 people killed on Iowa’s roads since the beginning of the year. Devault says, “An alarming trend in that is that 44-and-a-half percent of those 302 fatalities are unrestrained motorists, or driver or passenger are not wearing their seatbelts.” The number of reckless, impatient and aggressive drivers has been rising, he says, since the pandemic began to wane and more motorists took to the road.

Devault says many accidents involve some sort of bad driver behavior, like weaving in-and-out of traffic, tailgating and brake-checking other drivers. He says one of the most important things drivers need to be is patient. “Anytime but especially over any type of a holiday weekend, we just know that there’s going to be increased travel,” Devault says. “AAA is expecting this to be the third-busiest Thanksgiving in the last 21 years. It’s just a matter of giving yourself extra time to get where you’re going, to make sure you’re increasing that following distance.”

Distracted driving is another factor in many crashes, he says, and motorists need to keep their eyes and minds on the road. “If you see multiple brake lights lighting up half mile or a mile or so ahead of you, that ought to tell you that there must be something, traffic must be slowing,” Devault says. “What we’re seeing is a lot of people are missing those visual clues and then all of a sudden, they pop over a hill and traffic is stopped and we have somebody run into the back to somebody else.”

Last year in Iowa, 11 people were killed on the state’s roads during the long Thanksgiving weekend.

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