9. The trend for stores to open earlier and earlier to take advantage of Black Friday deals -- even to the point of opening in the evening on Thanksgiving Day -- has prompted an online petition drive to give Thanksgiving back to employees and their families. The original petition was reportedly created by a Target employee upset that the retail giant is opening on Thanksgiving and requiring employees to work instead of spending time with their families.
8. The Ames Public Library is closing for business and moving to the Lincoln Center so that a $20 million renovation and expansion project can begin. The library will close at 9 p.m. Thursday. And Friday volunteers will assemble and begin packing an entire collection of books, CDs, periodicals, shelves and furnishings and move to its temporary location at 620 Lincoln Way next to Hobby Lobby adjacent to the East Hy-Vee.
7. A vacancy left on the Urbandale City Council could be filled by the end of December. The Urbandale City Council accepted Councilman John Forbes' resignation, effective Dec. 12, during last week's council meeting. The council determined the best way to fill the vacancy was to appoint a resident to the council. The city will publish a notice of intent to appoint in the Nov. 23 issue of the Des Moines Register. Urbandale residents who are at least 18 years old may apply for the post.
6. The Waukee Public Library will host a featuring the two candidates running in the race for Iowa Senate District 22 - Democrat Desmund Adams and Republican Charles Schneider, both from West Des Moines. Adams and Schneider will face one another in the special election to fill the vacant seat on Dec. 11. Lucas Casey will serve as forum moderator. Casey is the Assistant to the President and Adjunct Lecturer in Political Science at Grand View University.
5. Kathryn Woerner, a social studies teacher at Vernon Middle School in Marion, is the winner of the 2012 Excellence in Education Award. The award is sponsored by the Iowa State Education Association, the Iowa Farm Bureau, WHO Radio, and KDSM Fox 17. Woerner was chosen among a top field of almost 80 teachers – all nominated by co-workers, students, parents, and community members because of the difference they make every day in the lives of Iowa's school children.
4. A month ago, the City of Iowa City announced that it had formed a review committee to consider nine redevelopment proposals for a coveted spot downtown currently occupied by the old Wilson's Sporting Goods building and formerly occupied by the now demolished bus depot at the intersection of College and Gilbert Streets. That list is now down to five.
3. Retired 1st Lt. Melissa Stockwell is a hero by every definition. She lost her left leg while stationed in Iraq, and has persevered through recovery to compete at the Paralympics and in several Paratriathlon World Championships, winning two championships. She's dedicated her life to working to fit other amputees with prosthetics. And she spends her free time traveling to tell her story of courage, community and patriotism. Last week Stockwell spoke in Johnston.
2. Drew and Heather Collins and Dan and Misty Morrissey-Cook, the parents of letter asking for the return of their daughters. The cousins, Lyric, 11, and Elizabeth, 9, have been missing for four months. Authorities are calling it an abduction. They were last seen on July 13 near Meyers Lake in Evansdale. "Taking the girls from us has caused much pain, pain for them, pain for us and our families," they wrote in the letter that has been posted on the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier website.
1. The Ankeny Hawks closed out their final season as a unified team by bringing home an Iowa Class 4A state championship.The Hawks defeated Cedar Rapids Xavier, 23-17, in an exciting and, at times, nail-biting showdown Friday at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. This is the Hawks' first state championship since 1997. Celebrations were in order in Iowa City, too. Iowa City Regina won over the Falcons of St. Albert of Council Bluffs on 35-14 for another Class 1A Championship.