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Holiday dog photos support good cause
Humane Society partnering with Santa for fundraiser

SIOUX CITY — Despite one dog continually looking away from the camera and the other dog barking for most of the session, the Jordan family still considered their Christmas card photo shoot a success.

“We thought it went really good,” said Bill Jordan. “They behave a lot better than our kids did years ago. We’d usually walk away from those yelling at the kids, yelling at each other, yeah, this was a lot better.”

Bill Jordan and his wife, Susan, brought their dogs, Callie and Zoe, out to have their photos taken with Santa Claus by a professional photographer on Sunday.

Ty Rushing, Sioux City Journal 

The Jordan family of Sioux City pose with Santa Claus on Sunday as part of the Siouxland Humane Society's Paws 'N Claus event. 

While the Sioux City couple do love dogs, they had their photo taken with their furry companions to support a good cause: the Siouxland Humane Society’s Paws 'n Claus fundraiser.

“It happens once a year and all the proceeds go the Siouxland Humane Society,” said Missie Fischer, the organization’s director of development. “We don’t receive outside funding so we rely on fundraisers and private donations to operate.”

Paws 'n Claus has been around for a little more than a decade and is one of the biggest fundraisers for the Siouxland Humane Society, which takes in thousands of animals annually.

In addition to photos, the shelter also is selling Christmas gifts for all species. Human clothing items with the shelter’s logo are available as are whimsical animal sweaters, bones covered in confectioners’ sugar and more.

This weekend marked the first weekend of Paws 'n Claus, but there are still three more opportunities for photos: 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

All photos are being shot at 819 Gordon Drive in Suite A next to Cosmo Prof by a professional photographer.

Ty Rushing, Sioux City Journal 

Photographer Elizabeth Barrett prepares to get a shot of the Jordan family of Sioux City on Sunday. The Jordans are among dozens of animal lovers who showed their support for the Siouxland Humane Society by participating in its Paws 'N Claus photo fundraiser.

For $35, participants received three printed copies of their photo and CD containing the images, and purchasers receive all rights to their photos. There also is a $60 package available that provides six prints.

To make an appointment, call 712-252-2614 ext. 7.

So far, dozens of people have come out to support the event and the Jordans are glad to have done their part.

“We just think it’s a very good cause and both of our dogs are rescue dogs and we just want to support the community,” Susan Jordan said.

“We’ve always been big dog lovers,” Bill Jordan added.

Monday’s Briefing

'Thor: Ragnarok' rumbles to $121M debut

NEW YORK — "Thor: Ragnarok" thundered to one of the year's best box-office debuts, opening with an estimated $121 million in North American theaters.

The robust debut for the third "Thor" movie was a welcome shot in the arm for Hollywood and theater owners who have just suffered through a terrible October at the box office.

"Thor: Ragnarok" also bucked the trend of diminishing returns for sequels. The 2011 "Thor" debuted with $65.7 million; 2013's "Thor: The Dark World" opened with $85.7 million.

The big opening cements the unlikely breakthrough of New Zealand director Taika Waititi, who shepherded the $180 million production to Marvel's best reviews since 2008's "Iron Man."

The weekend's other new nationwide release was the holiday-themed comedy sequel "A Bad Mom's Christmas." It grossed $17 million over the weekend.

Mother of 'Tonight Show' host Fallon dies

NEW YORK — The mother of "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon has died, a day after the show canceled one of its tapings.

A spokeswoman for the host said Gloria Fallon died Saturday at a New York City hospital with her son and other family by her side. She was 68 years old.

Fallon told The Associated Press through his spokeswoman that he lost his "biggest fan."

"The Tonight Show" had canceled its episode Friday, following reports of a family matter.

Gloria Fallon had attended the taping of her son's first night hosting "The Tonight Show" in 2014. Jimmy Fallon has also featured his mom in the show's hashtag segment, #MomQuotes.

— Associated Press

Jamie Brown, Sioux City Journal 

Kacey Hulshof of Sioux Center warms up with her teammates Friday.

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Hard Rock seeks naming rights for twilight tubing at Cone Park

SIOUX CITY | The Sioux City Council will decide Monday whether to strike a naming rights deal with the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City for after-dark laser-light tubing events at Cone Park. 

The planned twice-weekly "twilight tubing" events would feature multi-color LED light shows set to music on the park's tubing hill. Parks and Recreation staff envision the event would take place 9 to 11 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and special occasions during the winter. 

Under a resolution on Monday's City Council agenda, the Hard Rock would pay $50,000 for a renewable three-year naming rights deal for the event. That amount would fully cover the city's purchase of lighting and audio equipment for the nighttime tubing events, according to agenda documents. 

Such events have been popular at other tubing facilities, according to city documents. 

Sioux City's all-seasons Cone Park -- named for philanthropist Ruth Cone, whose family in 1981 established a trust to build a new park that has now grown to $2.9 million -- will open, weather permitting, in mid-December.

Located on a spacious field east of the IBP Ice Center parking lot, the all-seasons park will feature a tubing hill, refrigerated ice skating, 1.5-mile trail, fire pit and the day lodge. In the summer, the skating rink will double as a splash pad.

Sister community water rates

In other action Monday, the council will vote whether to raise 2018 water rates for the communities of South Sioux City and Dakota Dunes by 8.5 percent and 4.42 percent, respectively.

Sioux City has had waterworks agreements with Dakota Dunes and South Sioux City for the purchase of water since 2002 and has a formula for adjusting the rates each year.

City documents say the new rates are calculated using a percentage of operational expenses from the previous fiscal year and also include a 15 percent markup.

EMS billing service

The council will also vote to select an outside company to perform billing and collections services when Sioux City takes over EMS services

The city will take over 911 services from Siouxland Paramedics Jan. 1 and plans to continue the ambulance service's model of using an outside vendor for billing. 

Documents say city staff received proposals from six billing vendors and will request the council approve a contract with Lifequest Services, of Wautoma, Wisconsin, the vendor staffs believe is most qualified. The city did not receive any proposals from any local vendors. 

Sioux City Fire Rescue estimates it will bill for approximately 6,500 responses annually, for an estimated amount of $5.5 million.