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    Google News / 18.12.2017 06:14
  • McCain treated for viral infection, returns home to Arizona McCain treated for viral infection, returns home to Arizona

    The 81-year-old senator will undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic in the state.

    KCCI / 13 min. ago
  • Wine glasses have gotten a lot bigger in the past 300 yearsWine glasses have gotten a lot bigger in the past 300 years

    The average glass size is currently 15.1 ounces.

    KCCI / 1 h. 25 min. ago
  • Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport Crippled by Power OutageAtlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport Crippled by Power Outage

    Watch Video ATLANTA, Georgia  —  A power outage at the world’s busiest airport left thousands of passengers stranded in dark terminals and in planes sitting on the tarmac, as a ground stop for Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International disrupted air travel across the United States. The outage affected all airport operations. Georgia Power said the cause has not yet been determined, though it may have involved a fire that caused extensive damage in a Georgia Power underground electrical facility. The fire impacted substations serving the airport. By Sunday night, about six hours into the outage, power had been restored to one of seven concourses. The utility said it expected full power to be restored by midnight. Meanwhile, incoming and outgoing flights at the airport were halted through Sunday. Atlanta is the heart of the US air transport system, and the disruption led to hundreds of flight delays and cancellations across the country. Here are the latest developments: – Nearly 1,000 flights to and from Atlanta have been canceled, according to Flightradar24. – Southwest, American and United airlines canceled operations in and out of Atlanta for the rest of Sunday. – More than 900 Delta mainline and regional flights have been canceled and 48 flights were diverted to other airports. – Flights headed to Atlanta are being held on the ground at their departure airport. – Inbound flights to Atlanta are being diverted, US Customs and Border Protection said. The outage cut power in the terminals, leaving passengers stranded in the dark as they stood in line at gates and security checkpoints. Brittny Dettro said she was waiting to board a flight from Atlanta to Milwaukee when the power went out in Terminal B. She shot this image at 1:10 p.m. ET. People used flashlights on their phones to see where they were going, said passenger Heather Kerwin, an Atlanta resident bound for New York. “There were a few emergency lights on, but it was really dark — felt totally apocalyptic,” she said. “I decided to get the hell out of there.” Some passengers told CNN that airport and airline staff offered no updates as hours passed, leaving people scanning their phones and tablets for information. Stores stopped serving food and passengers were evacuated to alleviate crowding. The outage left passengers sitting in planes on the tarmac for hours. Jodi Green’s Delta flight from the Bahamas landed at 1:15 p.m. ET Sunday. As of 7 p.m. she was still on the plane. Green said the pilot told passengers that other flights that had ran out of fuel were evacuated before theirs. Despite the circumstances, she said, order prevailed. “People are calm, laughing, joking,” she said. “I’m amazed I’ve been able to sit here and not lose my mind.” The ground stop led Southwest Airlines to cancel all operations in and out of Atlanta for the rest of the day, spokesman Brian Parrish said. Customers are being offered re-bookings without fare differences, he said. United and American Airlines also suspended operations to and from Atlanta for the rest of Sunday. Delta, which has its headquarters and largest hub in Atlanta, canceled more than 900 Delta mainline and regional flights as a result of the ground stop. Meanwhile, Atlanta Police urged people to stay away from the airport. “We have no injuries, no one is harmed, everyone is safe, everything is orderly,” Sgt. Warren Pickard said. “What we need the public to understand right away is that we need everyone to refrain from coming to the airport.” Correction: A previous version of this story misstated when the FAA grounded flights at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Flights were grounded shortly after the airport lost electricity at 1 p.m. ET.

    WHOTV / 1 h. 42 min. ago more
  • Jerry Richardson will sell Carolina Panthers amid sexual misconduct allegationsJerry Richardson will sell Carolina Panthers amid sexual misconduct allegations

    The team said Friday that former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles was overseeing the investigation by a Los Angeles-based law firm.

    KCCI / 1 h. 43 min. ago
  • Opening of Gubernatorial Campaign Headquarters Doubles as Day of ActionOpening of Gubernatorial Campaign Headquarters Doubles as Day of Action

    DES MOINES, Iowa  --  One of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates held a day of action celebrating the opening of the campaign's headquarters. Nate Boulton spoke at the opening of his campaign's Des Moines office on Sunday. The day of action was also a call for signatures and campaign donations. Boulton had just finished visiting all 99 counties and spoke about how--despite a Republican majority in the state and federal levels--he feels Democrats are once again connecting with voters. He also pushed back at Republican Congressman Steve King, who had tweeted that diversity doesn't make the country stronger. "As we look at the opportunity we have in this state and the history we've had as being  a welcoming community that has been made stronger by those who have come here to make a better life forward, we want to embrace that," said Boulton. "Not diminish that, not challenge that or put up more obstacles. We want to see people come to this state and improve our quality of life and their own quality of life in the process." The Democrats running for governor battle in the primary on June 5th.

    WHOTV / 1 h. 50 min. ago more
  • Adorable video shows airport employee dancing with girls at gate Adorable video shows airport employee dancing with girls at gate

    An employee at a Dallas airport showed two young passengers his dance moves while they were waiting for a flight.

    KCCI / 2 h. 11 min. ago
  • Power restored at 1 concourse in Atlanta airportPower restored at 1 concourse in Atlanta airport

    More than 600 flights to and from Atlanta have been canceled, including 350 departures, according to Flightradar24.

    KCCI / 2 h. 19 min. ago
  • Here's why your pillowcases are dirtier than you thinkHere's why your pillowcases are dirtier than you think

    Yuck! Here's why it's so important to wash your pillowcases!

    KCCI / 2 h. 21 min. ago
  • East Village Hair Salon in the Spirit of GivingEast Village Hair Salon in the Spirit of Giving

    DES MOINES, Iowa  --  In the holiday season of giving, stylists at a local hair salon say by helping others, they also receive gifts in return. "This is just amazing. Earlier I was having a private moment and feeling thankful, thankful that this could happen," says Alicia, Koster, owner of Aviva Salon. On Sunday, the salon offered free haircuts to anyone in need. Several hair stylists from across the metro volunteered their time to help pamper guests. Koster say the most rewarding part of the day was helping boost people's confidence and self-esteem. "We have had guests who have job interviews this week, so this was something to get them excited and make them feel ready. We were really happy to be able to offer this to them."

    WHOTV / 3 h. ago more
  • Lego League Competition Helps Build CharacterLego League Competition Helps Build Character

    JOHNSTON, Iowa  --  More than one 100 students across central Iowa showed off their science, technology, engineering, and math skills on Sunday at Johnston High School. It was part of the First Lego League regional qualifying competition. The program is for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Teams are required to build robotic Lego machines to perform tasks, and then are judged on how well their robot preforms. Organizers say the program is about more than just Legos. "They start with building a robot and planning a robot, but the robot and the building with Legos is really just the hook that gets them into other things," says volunteer Andrew McCormick. "It's their core values their teamwork, their collaboration, their creativity, their problem solving. Really good skills that we want kids to have as they get older." Clarinda Middle School student Taylor Wagoner has been of a part of the team since elementary school. She says it has encouraged her to think about pursuing a career in a STEM field. "I've thought about being an engineer before and I feel like this really inspired that," she says. Wagoner has put in countless hours leading up to Sunday's competition. It's something she says has taught her discipline. "I like to take charge a lot, and this has really helped knowing that I have to be understanding of others." Teams that performed well on Sunday will advance on to the state competition at Iowa State University on January 13th.

    WHOTV / 3 h. 8 min. ago more
  • Still Time to Reserve Holiday Meals Through Hope MinistriesStill Time to Reserve Holiday Meals Through Hope Ministries

    IOWA  --  Monday is the deadline to reserve holiday meals with Hope Ministries. Each year, Hope Ministries distributes more than 2,000 Christmas Day meals to low-income families and elderly people in the metro. Meals can still be reserved until 4:30 p.m. on Monday. To make a reservation, contact Hope Ministries directly or visit their website at hopeiowa.org.

    WHOTV / 3 h. 10 min. ago more
  • Missouri Trooper Sentenced in Drowning Death of Clive Man Now Fired From Highway PatrolMissouri Trooper Sentenced in Drowning Death of Clive Man Now Fired From Highway Patrol

    MISSOURI  --  The Missouri state trooper who was sentenced to 10 days in jail for the death of a Clive man has now been fired from his job. The Kansas City Star reports a spokesperson from the Missouri State Highway Patrol confirmed Anthony Piercy was fired on Friday. Piercy was of a misdemeanor in the drowning of 20-year-old Brandon Ellingson of Clive in may 2014. Ellingson was pulled over by Piercy on the Lake of the Ozarks in May 2014 on suspicion of operating while intoxicated. He drowned when he was thrown overboard from the boat while wearing a life vest that was not secured. Piercy was sentenced in September for negligent operation of a vessel.

    WHOTV / 3 h. 13 min. ago more
  • Iowa independent senator seeks 5th term, rebuffs GOP, TrumpIowa independent senator seeks 5th term, rebuffs GOP, Trump

    If David Johnson wins, he'd be the first state senator unaffiliated with the two major political parties to do so in more than 90 years

    KCCI / 3 h. 23 min. ago
  • Americans consume a lot of media each dayAmericans consume a lot of media each day

    How is possible to spend 12 hours a day in front of a screen or listening to music? Media multi-tasking - many people use more than one device at a time.

    KCCI / 3 h. 24 min. ago
  • Man Fed Up With Porch Thieves Sells Booby-Trapped Box That Sends Crooks RunningMan Fed Up With Porch Thieves Sells Booby-Trapped Box That Sends Crooks Running

    TACOMA, Wash. – When it comes to catching package thieves, some homeowners use surveillance cameras.  But Jaireme Barrow wants to scare them away so they never come back. About a year ago, he invented something he calls "The Blank Box" – and he says business is booming. The package – an empty, booby-trapped box – is left on a porch. But it's rigged with fishing wire and a 12-gauge shotgun blank that goes off. "Now it's ready to go," he said as he put one of his boxes down in front of his Tacoma, Washington home. "So it's fully contained. You can move it around however you want. You don't have to worry about it going off. Leave it on the porch all day and then when someone comes up to pick it up -- pop! pop! -- that's when it goes off." The goal is to make sure thieves get away with nothing more than a scare. "I got tired of all my packages coming up missing," Barrow said. "I'd be at work and I'd get home and they wouldn't be on my front porch and I'd watch my surveillance and see someone running away with them." So he came up the idea of his "Blank Box" to make the thieves run away and not come back. "It's just like any alarm system. It's just a loud noise and it deters theft, but it just happens to be a 12-gauge blank in this case." One year after coming up with the idea, his Blank Box has turned into a big business. "So it's all hands-on, made in America. Every one of these is built with love." Maybe more like tough love. "This is my test area," he said, showing his workshop area. "Everything I test out myself, want to make sure everything is 100 percent safe." He's now selling "The Blank Box" on his website – theblankbox.com, along with T-shirts with the wording, "Don't Touch My Package!" and "Don't Touch My Box!" "Yeah, I sold out the other day. I'm actually out there slaving away," he said, chuckling. He said his Tacoma neighbors are big supporters. "It deters people from coming on their porches, too, cause, you know, they never know what they have on their porch, is it a blank box or a legit package. So my hope is it just makes people think twice about what they are doing." Tacoma police have said this could backfire on you. If you rig a package like this – and it injures a thief – then you could be held liable. Police say your best bet is to file a police report and hand your surveillance video over to investigators. Barrow also uses this same device on his pickup truck. If a thief gets a door open, it fires a 12-gauge blank.

    WHOTV / 4 h. ago more
  • More than $600,000 spent on police gear for pipeline protestMore than $600,000 spent on police gear for pipeline protest

    During the height of protests against the Dakota Access oil pipeline, law enforcement spent more than a half a million on body armor, tactical equipment and crowd control devices.

    KCCI / 4 h. 56 min. ago
  • Metro Shooting Hospitalizes Three PeopleMetro Shooting Hospitalizes Three People

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Investigators are continuing their search for suspects involved in an early-morning shooting on Saturday that sprawled across the metro. West Des Moines authorities say the incident began with a fight outside Vision Bar, but it didn't end there. Police say it continued with gunfire at 35th and Center Streets in Des Moines. This is where police say two victims, James Wiggins and Oscar Rich, were shot while driving a red SUV. The men and a third victim were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Investigators found more shell casings at a third crime scene. Police say they are already taking measures to help curb any future violence in the area. "Our main goal is to get a bigger presence of police officers in these areas of these clubs and let these people understand that these people didn't live here, they're visitors, and if they are going to visit, we don't want any violence going on," said a West Des Moines officer. Police say no arrests have been made due to witnesses and victims refusing to cooperate.

    WHOTV / 5 h. 16 min. ago more
  • Jason Carter Arrested, Facing First Degree Murder ChargeJason Carter Arrested, Facing First Degree Murder Charge

    MARION COUNTY, Iowa  --  Jason Carter, the man accused of the murder of his mother Shirley during a civil lawsuit, has now been arrested. Bill Carter and son Billy Carter sued Jason, another son, in the death of Shirley Carter. On Friday, a jury determined Jason was at fault in the death of his mother. He was ordered to pay $10 million to the estate. The Marion County Sheirff's Office confirms Jason was arrested on Sunday and is charged with first degree murder in Shirley's death. He is being held on a $1 million cash-only bond. Jason is set to appear in court on Monday morning.

    WHOTV / 5 h. 44 min. ago more
  • Boys' basketball Super 10: North, Johnston crack top three in final week before break - DesMoinesRegister.comBoys' basketball Super 10: North, Johnston crack top three in final week before break - DesMoinesRegister.com

    DesMoinesRegister.comBoys' basketball Super 10: North, Johnston crack top three in final week before breakDesMoinesRegister.comThere have only been three weeks in the boys' high school basketball season, and we've already seen plenty of movement in the Super 10 — and there's more of the same coming. That's to be expected. Rankings will be fluid for a while as teams slip up ...Metro Shooting Hospitalizes Three Peoplewhotv.com3 shooting victims are being 'uncooperative' with policeKCRGall 3 news articles »

    Google News / 5 h. 48 min. ago more
  • Neighbor Wakes Up Des Moines Family During Garage FireNeighbor Wakes Up Des Moines Family During Garage Fire

    DES MOINES, Iowa  --  A Des Moines family is safe after a neighbor noticed flames from inside a garage. Firefighters were called to E. 21st Street around 2:30 on Sunday morning for a detached garage fire. The caller who reported the incident had to wake the family up. Several items inside the garage along with two cars were heavily damaged. Investigators say they had to take drastic actions to help put out the flames. "They had an active fire inside the garage. Had to cut the front door to gain access. We were able to get in and get the fire out. And right now they are just doing some mop up and catching all the hot spots," said Chief Ed Haase of the Des Moines Fire Department. No one was injured and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

    WHOTV / 5 h. 57 min. ago more
  • Neighbor Wakes Up Des Moines Family During Garage Fire - whotv.comNeighbor Wakes Up Des Moines Family During Garage Fire - whotv.com

    whotv.comNeighbor Wakes Up Des Moines Family During Garage Firewhotv.comDES MOINES, Iowa -- A Des Moines family is safe after a neighbor noticed flames from inside a garage. Firefighters were called to E. 21st Street around 2:30 on Sunday morning for a detached garage fire. The caller who reported the incident had to wake ...

    Google News / 5 h. 57 min. ago
  • Peterson: Buy or sell — Iowa State is in the NCAA Tournament conversation - DesMoinesRegister.comPeterson: Buy or sell — Iowa State is in the NCAA Tournament conversation - DesMoinesRegister.com

    DesMoinesRegister.comPeterson: Buy or sell — Iowa State is in the NCAA Tournament conversationDesMoinesRegister.comIowa State is better than I anticipated. There, I said it. Maybe 6-4 heading into the final week before the Big 12 invades Hilton Coliseum on Dec. 29 and Jan. 1, but 8-2 and trending? Heck, throw the still-incomprehensible Milwaukee debacle that ...Lindell Wigginton's second-half burst lifts Iowa State over UNIThe Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and HeadlinesThree Takeaways: Post production growing, Iowa State controls tempo, a second half teamIowa State DailyWigginton, Iowa State storm past UNI 76-65USA TODAYQuad-Cities Onlineall 26 news articles »

    Google News / 7 h. 43 min. ago more
  • Iowa high school basketball scores: Dec. 16, 2017 - DesMoinesRegister.comIowa high school basketball scores: Dec. 16, 2017 - DesMoinesRegister.com

    DesMoinesRegister.comIowa high school basketball scores: Dec. 16, 2017DesMoinesRegister.comIowa City West 81, Bolingbrook, Ill. 65. Iowa Mennonite, Kalona 73, Sigourney 34. Maquoketa Valley, Delhi 52, Midland, Wyoming 33. Nashua-Plainfield 64, Clarksville 51. PCM, Monroe 56, Knoxville 51. Ruthven-Ayrshire 59, Marcus-Meridian-Cleghorn/Remsen ...

    Google News / 22 h. 27 min. ago more
  • Family Law Expert Says Finn Case May Open Door for OthersFamily Law Expert Says Finn Case May Open Door for Others

    DES MOINES, Iowa  --  On Thursday, a West Des Moines mother was found guilty of murdering her 16-year-old adopted daughter. Now, prosecutors hope this trial paves the way for other similar cases. Nicole Finn faces mandatory life in prison for the death of her adopted daughter, Natalie Finn. Natalie died last year from cardiac arrest brought on by starvation. Nicole was also found guilty on kidnapping charges related to the other children she adopted. Prosecutors hope this trial opens the doors for justice in others case, like the Sabrina Ray case; Ray's adoptive parents are charged with the girl's death. Family law expert Rob Sand says it is often difficult for jurors to come to a verdict in child abuse cases based on the amount of evidence involved. "I think, fundamentally, it's hard to predict what any jury is doing. You can have one jury that looks at a body of evidence and has a snap decision in a matter of minutes, another jury might look at that case for days. Part of it depends on the leadership, who might be the jury foreperson,” Sand said. State lawmakers say these cases could bring about important policy changes in the Department of Human Services.

    WHOTV / 1 d. 0 h. 58 min. ago more
  • BLUE Program Encourages Drake Teaching Grads to Stay in Des MoinesBLUE Program Encourages Drake Teaching Grads to Stay in Des Moines

    Nearly 70 Des Moines teachers were the first to graduate with a free Drake masters degree within the Building Leaders in Urban Education program. Blue and gold cords made it easy to spot the teachers who graduated with the culturally responsive leadership and instruction degree.

    Des Moines News / 1 d. 1 h. 26 min. ago
  • Oldest Polar Bear in Captivity in U.S. Turns 37Oldest Polar Bear in Captivity in U.S. Turns 37

    PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania  --  The oldest polar bear in captivity in the U.S. celebrated her 37th birthday this week. The polar bear's name is Coldilocks, and she lives at the Philadelphia Zoo where she's been since 1981. The zoo celebrated her big day with the birthday song and a cake only a polar bear cold love, made of peanut butter, honey, raisins, and fish. Zoo officials say most polar bears only live for 23 years in captivity. They credit Coldilocks' long life to the care she receives from the zoo's veterinary staff and her keepers.

    WHOTV / 1 d. 1 h. 53 min. ago more
  • Helping the Community Through Clothing, Made4Mankind Opens Retail StoreHelping the Community Through Clothing, Made4Mankind Opens Retail Store

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Sometimes a piece of clothing can be much more than cloth or fabric--sometimes it can carry a message.  That’s what one West Des Moines couple wants to do with their brand. Maria Mendoza and Aaron Sarmiento came to America from the Philippines when they were children.  Eventually they would meet and get married, but a vacation back to their birthplace was what changed their lives after meeting a man their uncle took in after Typhoon Haiyan. “We talked to him about how we could help because we felt like, jeez, we have so much to give here in America, we waste a lot of things, and over there they cherished a half bottle of water,” said Mendoza. After giving him some clothes and other supplies, he left the couple with words they wouldn't forget. “He said he wished that everybody knew that all we have was each other, that the only way for us to survive in this world was to help each other out and was to  bring each other up,” said Mendoza. The two wanted to make a difference back in the U.S. and created their brand, Made4Mankind Clothing. The logo itself is geometric, but contains more meaning than meets the eye. “If you look a little bit closer you also see a community of people holding each other’s hand, referencing to help each other out. A lot of people think it’s a crown, but it’s deeper than that,” said Sarmiento. After starting online in 2015, the couple just opened a brick-and-mortar store in Valley Junction.  They say having a presence in the community has allowed them a platform to donate to shelters. “The necessity things like toothpaste, soap, toothbrush. We all know we can get that things anywhere, but that is one of the most basic things that people need. So for this coming year, I want to collect those things, and if you come in with an item like that we would give you a discount,” said Mendoza. They also want to work with kids. Next year, students can bring in their report cards and get discounts for good performance in class. “We feel like the future depends on our children, it’s in their hands, so what better way to start them with a positive message?” said Mendoza. But their brick-and-mortar store isn’t the endgame; these two have bigger plans. “We want to see ourselves in five years, we want to have a building called M4MC Headquarters,” said Sarmiento. The building would act as a type of youth community center. “I think it’s important for them to go there so they don’t have to do something bad in their life. They can go over there and just chill with people, hang out with people, hang out with good people. Learn their cultures, be diverse. That’s what we wanted to do,” said Sarmiento.

    WHOTV / 1 d. 2 h. 35 min. ago more
  • Two Vehicles Catch Fire in Fatal Friday Morning CrashTwo Vehicles Catch Fire in Fatal Friday Morning Crash

    PALO ALTO COUNTY, Iowa  --  An accident in Palo Alto County caused two vehicles to burst into flames on Friday morning. Investigators say a Chevy Cobalt crossed the center line on Highway 18 near Emmetsburg and hit a semi truck head-on. The impact of the crash caused both vehicles to catch fire. Both drivers were taken to the hospital. Community members confirm Hunter Williams, 17, has died as a result of his injuries. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help his family with costs related to his death and ongoing health issues in his family.

    WHOTV / 1 d. 2 h. 44 min. ago more
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  • 3 shooting victims are being 'uncooperative' with police3 shooting victims are being 'uncooperative' with police

    Three people were shot early Saturday near a West Des Moines convenience store and the victims are not being cooperative, police said. The shooting happened around 1:40 p.m. near 22nd Street and University Avenue.

    Des Moines News / 1 d. 3 h. 48 min. ago
  • Iowa 90, Drake 64: What we learned from Iowa's win over Drake - DesMoinesRegister.comIowa 90, Drake 64: What we learned from Iowa's win over Drake - DesMoinesRegister.com

    DesMoinesRegister.comIowa 90, Drake 64: What we learned from Iowa's win over DrakeDesMoinesRegister.comDES MOINES, Ia. — Iowa beat Drake, 90-64, Saturday afternoon in the first game of the Hy-Vee Classic. The Hawkeyes outscored the Bulldogs, 19-8, to close the first half before taking firm control in the final 20 minutes. They improve to 6-6, while the ...Cook, Hawkeyes cruise past Drake 90-64New York Daily NewsSadly, Iowa's 4-team basketball classic has run its courseLandof10.comHawkeyes' Baer down, drop DrakeQuad-Cities Onlinewhotv.com -Hawkeye Nationall 33 news articles »

    Google News / 1 d. 6 h. 9 min. ago more
  • Iowa justice blocks Des Moines Register from reporting court ... - Chicago TribuneIowa justice blocks Des Moines Register from reporting court ... - Chicago Tribune

    Chicago TribuneIowa justice blocks Des Moines Register from reporting court ...Chicago TribuneAn Iowa Supreme Court justice has ordered the Des Moines Register not to publish the contents of court records legally obtained by one of its reporters.Iowa Supreme Court justice blocks Register's use of court recordsDesMoinesRegister.comIowa income tax refunds to be delayed in 2018KCRGDes Moines Register ordered to conceal informationKIMT 3all 27 news articles »

    Google News / 1 d. 6 h. 24 min. ago more
  • Three shot in West Des Moines refusing to cooperate with police - DesMoinesRegister.comThree shot in West Des Moines refusing to cooperate with police - DesMoinesRegister.com

    Three shot in West Des Moines refusing to cooperate with policeDesMoinesRegister.comThree people were shot in West Des Moines early Saturday morning. According to a news release from the West Des Moines Police Department, officers responded to reports of shots fired near 22nd Street and University Avenue. Sgt. Anthony Giampolo said ...and more »

    Google News / 1 d. 8 h. 6 min. ago more
  • Des Moines, Minnesota's minor league city, takes major steps to grow sports scene - Minneapolis Star TribuneDes Moines, Minnesota's minor league city, takes major steps to grow sports scene - Minneapolis Star Tribune

    Minneapolis Star TribuneDes Moines, Minnesota's minor league city, takes major steps to grow sports sceneMinneapolis Star TribuneDES MOINES – Minnesota is the ultimate goal, one last step on a long journey, and it's so close — a straight shot up Interstate 35 — the Iowa Wolves and Iowa Wild players can almost see it. For now, they are grinding away in Des Moines, a place most ...and more »

    Google News / 1 d. 8 h. 32 min. ago more
  • Des Moines Police: No children injured when SUV crashes into schoolDes Moines Police: No children injured when SUV crashes into school

    Police say no children were hurt when a sport utility vehicle crashed into Willard Elementary School in Des Moines. The Des Moines Register says the crash happened shortly before 2 p.m. Friday when the vehicle, which was headed south on East 30th Street, left the road and hit the east side of the school.

    Des Moines News / 1 d. 10 h. 47 min. ago
  • Burglar caught by 95-year-old veteran and his daughterBurglar caught by 95-year-old veteran and his daughter

    A career criminal in Wisconsin learned you don't mess with a Marine Corps veteran and his daughter.

    KCCI / 1 d. 10 h. 51 min. ago
  • Fewer Iowa Schools Receive High Rankings This YearFewer Iowa Schools Receive High Rankings This Year

    The yearly Iowa school rankings provided by the Iowa Department of Education came out this week, but not as many schools received high marks. The Des Moines Register reports declining math and reading scores on state exams last spring are to blame.

    Des Moines News / 1 d. 13 h. 5 min. ago
  • Chemical exposure results in injuries, pink slips at Iowa wind blade maker, lawsuits claim - DesMoinesRegister.comChemical exposure results in injuries, pink slips at Iowa wind blade maker, lawsuits claim - DesMoinesRegister.com

    DesMoinesRegister.comChemical exposure results in injuries, pink slips at Iowa wind blade maker, lawsuits claimDesMoinesRegister.comMary Finn, a West Des Moines industrial hygiene expert hired by Green's attorney, concluded that the woman's symptoms were consistent with the potential side effects of the chemicals at TPI. In federally mandated disclosures, the manufacturers of those ...and more »

    Google News / 1 d. 15 h. 14 min. ago more
  • Des Moines schools to implement controversial new start timesDes Moines schools to implement controversial new start times

    WEBVTT The sounds the same- but thetime you'll hear it- well,that's about to change. Big promises from Des MoinesPublic Schools- to its 33 thousand students and their parents Friday.

    Des Moines News / 1 d. 17 h. 57 min. ago
  • National Spending Trends Mean Good Things for Des Moines' Food SceneNational Spending Trends Mean Good Things for Des Moines' Food Scene

    A new report from the National Restaurant Association shows almost 50% of the money Americans spend on food is at restaurants; that's up from just 25% in the 1950s. The association says 90% of people enjoy going out to dinner, and only 66% like going grocery shopping.

    Des Moines News / 1 d. 17 h. 57 min. ago
  • Second arrest made in - horrifying' child abuse caseSecond arrest made in - horrifying' child abuse case

    WEBVTT Des Moines Police say it's hard to stomach what 18 year old Dominick Clausi is accused of doing to his 5 month old baby boy.Police say the abuse happened athere this east side home whereClausi was staying. Familymembers - who didn't want to go on camera - tell KCCI they hadno idea Clausi was hurting theinfant.

    Des Moines News / 1 d. 17 h. 57 min. ago
  • Man convicted of murder in Des Moines shooting deathMan convicted of murder in Des Moines shooting death

    A jury has convicted a Des Moines resident of murder in the shooting death of a man during a planned drug deal in the city's Beaverdale neighborhood. The Des Moines Register reports a jury Friday found 26-year-old Larry Deandre Ratliff Jr. guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of 36-year-old Antonio Quinn.

    Des Moines News / 1 d. 20 h. 25 min. ago
  • Guilty Verdict Handed Down in April Murder of Antonio QuinnGuilty Verdict Handed Down in April Murder of Antonio Quinn

    According to the Des Moines Register, a jury convicted 26-year-old Larry Ratliff Jr. on Friday afternoon. Ratliff shot and killed Antonio Quinn last April in what prosecutors say was a drug deal that turned deadly.

    Des Moines News / 1 d. 20 h. 25 min. ago
  • Prosecutor: Natalie Finn, siblings receive justice after mother found guilty of murderProsecutor: Natalie Finn, siblings receive justice after mother found guilty of murder

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  • Police say automatic weapons stolen from Iowa gun shopPolice say automatic weapons stolen from Iowa gun shop

    Police in the Des Moines suburb of Clive say the overnight robbery of a gun store and shooting range saw thieves steal 18 guns, including seven fully-automatic weapons. Police say the robbery happened around 10 p.m. Thursday at Rangemaster's Training Center.

    Des Moines News / 2 d. 1 h. 34 min. ago
  • Des Moines man guilty of killing man in Beaverdale parking lot - DesMoinesRegister.comDes Moines man guilty of killing man in Beaverdale parking lot - DesMoinesRegister.com

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    Google News / 2 d. 4 h. 24 min. ago more
  • Yale study shows support for emissions limitsYale study shows support for emissions limits

    A poll released this week by Yale Program on Climate Change Communication found that a majority of U.S. registered voters support limits on carbon emissions from coal plants and other sources.

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    BusinessRecord.com / 2 d. 9 h. 47 min. ago
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    BusinessRecord.com / 2 d. 9 h. 48 min. ago
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  • NOTEBOOK: Who's in the December 15 issue?NOTEBOOK: Who's in the December 15 issue?

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    BusinessRecord.com / 2 d. 15 h. 14 min. ago more
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  • Carla Mae KennedyCarla Mae Kennedy

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    Des Moines News / 3 d. 15 h. 19 min. ago
  • SBA leader says tax cuts will grow economySBA leader says tax cuts will grow economy

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    Des Moines News / 3 d. 19 h. 23 min. ago
  • Pleasant Hill Police Department Raises Money to Buy Gifts for Children at Mercy HospitalPleasant Hill Police Department Raises Money to Buy Gifts for Children at Mercy Hospital

    PLEASANT HILL, Iowa — The Pleasant Hill Police Department used No Shave November as an opportunity to raise money to lift the spirits of children staying at Mercy Hospital during the holidays. The Police Department raised $500 which was matched by the Pleasant Hill Police Chief, Al Pizzano.   “This can be a hard time to be away from home, especially for a child fighting for their health,” said Pizzano. “We are happy we can use our resources to add a positive moment for these children to focus on and hope we brighten their day.”   Police Officers had the opportunity to give their razor a break and grow their facial hair throughout the month of November. To partake, they donated $25 each, knowing Chief Pizzano would match and the proceeds would be donated to this effort.   The gifts will be delivered by the Pleasant Hill Police Department on Friday, December 15.

    Cityview / 10 d. 8 h. 52 min. ago more
  • The search for the perfect Christmas treeThe search for the perfect Christmas tree

    This holiday tradition is far from perfect, but those who partake wouldn’t have it any other way The image of cutting down your own Christmas tree is a holiday delight. Getting outside for some old-fashioned family fun while tracking down the ideal evergreen is enough to bring many fine folks to their local tree farm. But buying an authentic pine isn’t always as easy as it sounds, as we found out from a few local tree enthusiasts, and it doesn’t always end up as perfectly as one hopes. But make no mistake, many of those who partake wouldn’t have it any other way. A BEVY OF TEARS AND SNOT Hunting for Christmas trees with four boys who are all younger than 10 is a bonafide parenting adventure. “While I’d like to say that our trips to the tree farm are always loving, warm and full of joy, that couldn’t be further from the truth,” says Steve Nuzum, the family’s father. The annual trek for the perfect tree is a highlight of the family’s holiday season. Steve and Ashley Nuzum enjoy the adventure of taking their four boys Christmas tree hunting. “It’s reminiscent of beating your head against the wall,” says Steve. “They (the four kids) spill hot chocolate all over the car, fight and argue the whole half-hour drive. And everyone has their own idea of what the perfect tree looks like.” Charlie Brown would envy some of the needle-less laughing stocks the Nuzum kids have longed for: Short. Fat. Tall. Skinny. Trees with thick pine needles, and trees with thin ones, Nuzum says his kids have pined for leaning trees and even dead ones, but one tree-hunting trip stands out as extra-excruciating. “We grabbed our drive-thru hot chocolates and made the half-hour road trip,” Steve remembers. “The drive included one kid turning into Hulk because Mom sang ‘Let it Go.’ Another (kid) parroted Dad’s swearing at a driver who was unaware of their surroundings. And another spilt his hot chocolate all over his photo outfit.” The Nuzums eventually arrived, as always, and headed for the blue spruce section — their favorite. “By this point, three of the four had cried on the drive,” Steve says. The bevy of tears and snot were admittedly less than eye-pleasing for the annual family photos, but Nuzum chalks it up as just being part of the experience. As the family perused the trees, the boys didn’t seem to have a preference as to which tree was picked, until… “Until one of the others made a selection,” Nuzum says. “Then they all had a negative critique of that particular tree.” Ultimately, the gang found the right fit, just as they always do. “The perfect tree just appears,” says Nuzum, before begrudgingly adding, “probably the first one we saw.” Every trip is an adventure with its own set of problems and complaints. “We don’t sugarcoat or fabricate some amazing Hallmark family memory,” Nuzum says. “Getting in the car and dealing with it is half the fun.” But the party isn’t over once the tree arrives at home. That’s when the real fun begins. “Everyone decorates it,” says Steve. “But, don’t get me started on that.” A FULL-BLOWN FAMILY TRADITION Sometimes the best-designed plans weren’t actually part of the plan. As a child, Michelle Eggleston always had a fake tree. Siblings Nate and Michelle Eggleston have helped bring home the perfect Christmas tree for more than 20 years. “You pulled it out of the box, and you bent the wire arms back into place, threw some ugly tinsel on it, and you went with it,” she says. But in September of 1995, Eggleston’s husband unexpectedly surprised her with a freshly cut, authentic Christmas tree. The next year, the family doubled down on the spur-of-the-moment decision, and the Egglestons — Mom, Dad and baby Nate — went back to the tree farm to do it again. By year three, the crew had added a baby girl named Rachel, and there was no looking back. This had become a full-blown Eggleston family tradition. Priceless Eggleston family memories have been created at the tree farm, including Nate’s first known curse word. As a 3-year-old, after nearly escaping the falling tree his dad cut down, Nate looked suspiciously at the evergreen, and with his elbows tucked to his sides and palms to the sky, the boy asked the obvious: “What the hell are we going to do with that?” Apparently he hadn’t yet grown an appreciation for the majesty of a freshly cut pine, but he would. Year after year, the Egglestons bundled up and sipped on hot chocolates while mulling their seasonal selection. A wide variety of trees exists each season, and Michelle estimates the prices range from $40 up to $100. The tree picking is technically a group decision but … “My daughter is kind of militant about the tree,” Michelle says. “It feels like every year Rachel drags us around three to four acres of Christmas trees to the farthest point on the farm to find the perfect tree. We give her a bad time because it always feels like we never pick the tree close to the house. Pretty soon it’s like you don’t even know what trees we’ve looked at and what ones we haven’t.” The family eventually wised up and solved this issue. Instead of starting at the front and finding a tree in the back, now they start in back and work their way inward. The tradition continued, even after Michelle and her husband eventually divorced. At the kids’ insistence, Michelle, Rachel and Nate kept up the annual excursion. “They still wanted to do it,” she says. “We still go to that same tree farm. We go every year.” After two decades, the tradition almost ended due to Nate’s active duty in the Army. He was serving in Germany and wouldn’t arrive in Iowa until it was nearly Christmas. “We waited until we knew he would be home,” Michelle says. “And my daughter and my son went out, and we still followed that tradition.” THE SWEET SMELL OF PINE In the initial year of matrimony, most newlyweds must reach consensus as to one crucial question: What kind of Christmas tree family will we be? Will we join the more than 80 million American families owning artificial trees, or will we become one of the 20 million who go for the real thing? A cat had chewed through the electrical cord of the artificial, pre-lit Christmas tree owned by Torrance Chambers, thus he and his new bride, Nikki, decided to brave the frozen weather on the first day after Thanksgiving and go get the real thing. Six years later, the couple is now seasoned at the art of selection. They are thankful that reservations are now possible at most tree farms. Customers pre-tag their preferred tree during the warmer months and then return to cut it down later. “We usually go and cut it down the first day after Thanksgiving,” says Nikki. Nikki and Torrance Chambers have made a family tradition of decorating a real Christmas tree each year and taking family photos. The Chambers advise rookie selectors to look for a “whole tree,” meaning one that isn’t missing needles or that has a bald spot. Michelle also likes to have one that is shaped well. But keeping track of which one is “best so far,” while searching for another? It’s like looking for a Christmas tree within a stack of Christmas trees. “We have spent a lot of time looking,” she says, noting that tree farms can cover large areas. The family initially snapped photos of the trees under consideration for selection, but that became confusing. They’d often lose track of which photo was of which tree, or where the tree in the photo was located. Instead, they now station a family member at a preferred tree until a better option is found — the person is moved to mark a new favorite tree as necessary. After cutting down their tree, the Chambers take it home and decorate that night. The smell is the best part, according to Nikki. Needles are the worst part, the Chambers agree. And if you have cats or dogs, as they do, they’ll be attracted to the pine-flavored water bowl positioned at the base of the stump — real trees, even once cut, need water in order to stay fresher for longer. “We always do pictures next to the Christmas tree,” Nikki says. She adds that it has become a tradition that she plans on keeping. “Yes. Absolutely,” she says. “As long as we can get up and cut them down.”  HISTORY OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE Worldwide, the Christian Christmas tree tradition started in Germany — according to History.com. • During the 16th century, Christians started bringing decorated trees into their homes. • Martin Luther is generally thought to be the brains behind adding lights as ornaments. The 16th-century Protestant reformer, as the story goes, was out walking at night when he was inspired by the winter stars shining behind a forest of evergreens. He erected a tree in his home and wired its branches with lit candles (this is not recommended). • Americans were slow to start the Christmas tree tradition. The first known records date the practice to early German settlers in the 1830s — although it’s believed German community trees existed as early as 1747. • The practice didn’t gain popularity in America until an 1846 issue of Illustrated London News showed the popular Queen Victoria and German Prince Albert sketched with their children around a Christmas tree. GENERAL HISTORY (dates are approximate) 1850: The commercial sale of live Christmas trees began in the United States. 1890: Fake Christmas trees were initiated in Germany in the 19th century. The Germans used dyed-green goose feathers and attached them to wire branches hanging from a central rod. 1930: Addis Brush Company made the first fake Christmas tree consisting of brush bristles with the same machinery used to manufacture toilet brushes. 1958: Artificial Christmas trees made largely from aluminum were manufactured in the United States, first in Chicago. Currently, the majority of Christmas trees consist primarily of PVC plastic that is fire-retardant but not fire-resistant. 1882: Thomas Edison might have masterminded the light bulb, but it was his assistant, Edward Johnson in 1882, who first had the bright idea to put electric lights on Christmas trees. Approximately 80 percent of artificial trees are made in China. PRESIDENTS AND CHRISTMAS TREES 1856: Franklin Pierce, the 14th president, became the first President with a Christmas tree in the White House. Teddy Roosevelt banned the practice during his tenure for environmental reasons. 1923: President Calvin Coolidge began the national tree-lighting ceremony on the White House lawn.  SAFETY Each year, fire departments nationally respond to a national average of 210 structure fires caused by Christmas trees. Carefully decorating Christmas trees can help make your holidays safer. Picking the tree • If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant. • When choosing a real tree, get one with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. Placing the tree • Before placing the tree in its stand, cut 1-2 inches from the trunk’s base. • Make sure the tree is at least 3 feet away from any source of heat. • Do not stand a tree in front of an exit. • Water your tree daily. Lighting the tree • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both. • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED strands to connect. • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree. • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed. Source: City of Des Moines Fire Department After Christmas • Take down the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home, garage or placed outside against the home. • Within the City of Des Moines, Christmas trees can be placed out for collection on your curb and will be picked up on your regular garbage collection day and taken to the City’s composting center. Trees must be free of ornaments and tinsel and must not be in bags. The trees must have a Green $1.20 Compost It! sticker attached. • According to Leslie Irlbeck of the Metro Waste Authority, residents who live in Altoona, Bondurant, Carlisle, Clive, Grimes, Johnston, Mitchellville, Norwalk, Pleasant Hill, Polk City, Urbandale, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights can purchase a green Compost It! sticker and adhere it to the tree for curbside collection. For most, collection occurs on the same day as their garbage day and must be at the curb by 7 a.m. Winter collection runs Jan. 2-12. This is not only a chance for tree collection, but also a last chance to get all yard waste collected from the curb that’s in a Compost It! cart or bag, or in a generic bag with a Compost It! sticker. If a resident lives in a community that does not participate in the Compost It! program, they should call their garbage hauler for disposal instructions. • Trees that are collected from the curb are taken to the Metro Compost Center. At this site, staff grind the trees and process the material with all other yard waste. The material is turned into compost, which is a soil amendment for lawns and gardens, which is an alternative to hazardous chemicals. • Residents should make sure trees are free from plastic bags, stands, decorations and lights before placing it at the curb or they will not be collected, since the goal is to make a natural material. Wreaths are also not accepted for this same reason.  WHAT TO LOOK FOR Which tree to take home is a make-or-break holiday decision. Choose wisely with the help of these tips. NATURAL TREES • Has the tree been cared for on the way to its current destination? Look for broken limbs or other damage. • Do you see any tree insects or other pests? It’s best to avoid bringing them into your home. • Avoid a tree that is dirty or already “decorated” with other debris. • If buying a natural tree, be sure watering it isn’t a problem. And be wary of getting hardwood floors and carpeting wet. • If the Christmas tree dealer doesn’t accept credit cards, it may be a sign the trees are leftovers near the end of their beauty. ARTIFICIAL TREES • Artificial Christmas trees do cost more, but proponents say it is an investment. A quality tree will often last 20 years or more. • A high number of branches and needles will make the tree appear fuller. If you can easily see through the tree to the pole, it may not be dense enough. Note: Some high-quality brands do design trees to have a visible trunk if the center contains an authentic looking tree trunk. • A tree equipped with a sturdy stand will stabilize the tree, thus diminishing the odds it will lean over or fall, and it will support heavier ornaments. • If you have wooden floors, look for a stand equipped with rubber feet to prevent scuffs and scratches. • Trees with hinged branches allow easier setup and storage. Source: www.christmastreeassociation.org/what-to-look-for-in-a-christmas-tree  TIPS FROM THE CHAMBERS • Go early if the lot allows you to make reservations. The selection will be better, and you will benefit from warmer weather. • Don’t pick a tree at the back of the lot. You will have to drag it all the way to the front to purchase it. • Scotch pines are generally less expensive, but they are also pricklier than other varieties. • Don’t use the same decorations every year. Enjoy a variety. • Breathe deep and savor the sweet smell of the outdoors, but be wary if you have pets, as they like drinking the water. • Take pictures with your family around the newly decorated tree. • The search for the perfect tree begins with the farm lending a handsaw and a rug. After the selection is made, cutting the tree down doesn’t take long, according to Torrance. After cutting it down, you drag the tree back to the front where it is shaken and loaded into the vehicle, then you pay for it and take it home.   

    Cityview / 11 d. 14 h. 4 min. ago more
  • Twas the night before: A Christmas classic for the holidaysTwas the night before: A Christmas classic for the holidays

    Publisher’s note: Forty years ago, when Michael Gartner was editor of The Des Moines Register, he walked over to the desk of writer Bob Hullihan and said, “How about writing me a Christmas classic for the holidays?” Hullihan said, “Sure.” And he did. It ran in the Register and years later in the Ames Tribune. Gartner sent the story to me in 2007 and asked that I consider running it in Cityview. I did, and it has been running each year since as part of our holiday tradition. Merry Christmas. — Shane Goodman The waterbug had grown old and weary. And he was alone. He was the only one of his kind left in the house. He knew he would never survive the next spring cleaning. He could not scurry away from the poison sprays anymore. Still, the waterbug had been so clever in his youth, and he had lived so long, that now he was the senior creature in the house. He knew that he had a last duty to perform. So, as Christmas Eve approached, he called a meeting of all the creatures in the house. They met at a dark joint in the woodwork. It was a place that had happy memories of youth for the old waterbug. Once he had gathered with old friends here. Now all the old friends were gone. The waterbug did not recognize any of the young creatures who began to assemble around him. There was a pair of silverfish, shameless and brazen because they had grown up in one of the popular novels on the bookshelf. An insolent young spider came. Her web was deep in a stereo set. She greeted the old waterbug with: “Hey, old daddy… what’s happenin’?” Three ladybugs arrived, carefully made up and proud of their beauty. A cricket who lived in the television set came in and began acting like a game show host. The old waterbug looked at the creatures sadly. He knew he was dealing with a new generation. But he cleared his throat and began: “Now I know you are all new creatures in the house. This will be your first Christmas Eve here. It is my duty to tell you that there must be no stirring on that night. We are under a severe and clear directive. Not a creature in this house may stir on Christmas Eve, especially not the mice. It is a Tradition.” When he said that, the old waterbug stared directly at a wild young mouse who had come late to the meeting. The mouse had been born in the fields of summer and had only come into the house when the nights grew cold. The old waterbug drew himself up in all of his brittle majesty. He sensed that be would have trouble with the mouse. The mouse was wild and resentful and, yes, he was a troublemaker. “Now I know you are all new creatures in the house. This will be your first Christmas Eve here. It is my duty to tell you that there must be no stirring on that night. We are under a severe and clear directive.” — The waterbug “Wait a minute,” said the mouse. “Whose tradition? That’s a human tradition you’re talking about. It has nothing to do with us creatures! We can stir around all we want to, Christmas Eve or not!” “Right on, man,” said the spider. “Stay tuned, stay tuned,” shouted the cricket. The silverfish giggled indecently and the ladybugs batted their long eyelashes. “And why should we cooperate with the humans, anyway?” the mouse shouted, wild now with rebellion. “They’re trying to kill all of us. Why, right now, there’s a trap set for me in the basement. And you, you poor doddering old waterbug, you can scarcely get your breath from all the poison they’ve sprayed at you! Stir? I’ll show you stirring! I’m going to race around this house all Christmas Eve, and I just hope the other creatures will join me.” It was a full-scale revolt. The old waterbug could only draw a painful breath and thunder at the creatures: “Stop! This is quite enough. Creatures have always obeyed the Tradition on Christmas Eve. It’s been handed down from generation to generation. I don’t know why, and I don’t know what it means, but there will be no stirring of creatures in this house on Christmas Eve! Is that understood? I am senior creature here, and you will answer to me!” The old waterbug dismissed the meeting, but he made one more attempt to establish his authority as the creatures left. “And you silverfish,” he shouted. “If we ever have another meeting like this, I want you to come fully dressed. I will not tolerate nudity!” But the silverfish just giggled in their naughty way and wiggled off to get back into their popular novel. The old waterbug watched them go; he had never been more discouraged in his life. He began to think about the wild, young mouse and the fiery way he had spoken out. The old waterbug did not understand the mouse at all, but he rather admired him. He did not want the mouse to come to harm. The old waterbug thought about the trap set in the basement. He thought about the day when the mouse, being young, would foolishly attempt to take the bait. Perhaps, in an act of bravado, he would try to do it that very Christmas Eve. The old waterbug sighed and thought about what he must do. He crawled painfully through the rooms of the house until he came to the Christmas decorations. For hours he gnawed away at a sprig of holly until he had removed a small piece of it. He carried it into the basement and found the trap set for the mouse. Risking his life, the old waterbug carefully pushed the cheese bait off the trap and replaced it with the bit of holly. He didn’t get back to his dark place under the drain until dawn. He was exhausted. The very next night was Christmas Eve. The little wild mouse came bounding out of his hole determined to stir around the house all night. He saw the trap with its bit of holly and stopped short. He knew at once that this was the work of the old waterbug. “Why, the old fool,” thought the mouse, “he knows I don’t eat that stuff.” And then the mouse realized that was the point. The old waterbug had brought a gift of warning and good will. They might never understand one another, but they could wish one another well. The little mouse thought about that idea as he went on through the house to the Christmas tree, where he was to meet the other creatures. He had promised to lead them “in a night of stirring around in this house that they won’t soon forget.” The silverfish, the ladybugs, the spider and the cricket were waiting for him. But they were strangely silent. None of them had ever seen a Christmas tree lighted before. It awed them. The mouse looked at the tree and knew he had never seen anything so beautiful, not even in the fields of summer. He didn’t understand what it was. He thought, “This must be the Tradition the old waterbug is so hyper about.” Dimly, the mouse knew that something was on display here that surpassed all the creatures and all humanity. The mouse made a decision and quickly told the other creatures what to do. He knew the old waterbug would be coming out soon to see what was going on. And, sure enough, the old waterbug came crawling slowly out, but he stopped in confusion when he saw what the creatures were doing. The little mouse stood motionless among the tiny plastic animals around a manger. The spider had spun a brilliant web on the tree, and it shimmered in the lights. The silverfish and the ladybugs hung like glittering ornaments from one limb of the tree, and the cricket quietly sang a simple, peaceful song. ” Wait a minute. Whose tradition? That’s a human tradition you’re talking about. It has nothing to do with us creatures! We can stir around all we want to, Christmas Eve or not!“ — The mouse The old waterbug looked carefully at what the creatures were doing. He wanted to remember this sight for all the rest of his life. Then he turned and crawled back to his place under the drain. He slept deeply and, for the first time in many nights, he did not have a nightmare about the dreaded Orkin man who would surely come for him in the spring. He knew that the Tradition had been passed on. The little mouse watched from the corner of his eye as the old waterbug left. Then he stepped out from among the tiny plastic animals and called to the rest of the creatures. “All right, fellas. Let’s knock it off for the rest of the night, OK?” All the creatures went quietly back to their places. Something had happened to them when they made their display for the old waterbug. They did not understand it, but they felt good about it. Not one of the creatures stirred for the rest of the night.      

    Cityview / 11 d. 14 h. 5 min. ago more
  • 2017 Des Moines’ most likeable people2017 Des Moines’ most likeable people

    A social networking contest and charity event For the second year in a row, we asked our readers who they thought were the most “likeable.” More than a popularity contest, the finalists were also asked to pick a charity and attend an event in their honor.  The nominations on our “Des Moines’ Most Likeable People” Facebook page were vast and consisted of police officers, public figures and everyday amiable people. Nearly 70 central Iowans were nominated, and voting consisted of Facebook “likes.” We tallied the likes and reached out to those with the most to ask if they would name a charity and attend our event. Most were game and chose to participate. Here they are, our 14 finalists. Read a little more about them and the charities they’re representing, and then attend our event to vote and see who claims the title of “Des Moines’ Most Likeable.” There will be opportunities to donate to each charity, but the male and female participants who receive the most votes will win the ultimate prize of a $750 check for their chosen charity. Sonya Heitshusen 1. Occupation? Anchor/Reporter at WHO-TV 2. City where you live? Des Moines 3. Hometown? Homestead 4. How do you like to spend your free time? I spend a good portion of my free time working out, preferably outdoors, while training for endurance races. I love to travel and enjoy spending time with my significant other, my family — which includes my two dogs — and friends. 5. Share one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to learn. I have a phobia of bridges over water. This is the result of the floods of 1993. I got stuck in traffic, while in the television station’s live van, on a bridge over the Des Moines River. The water was so high it nearly topped the bridge. 6. Who do you admire most as a person? My mother — she’s the strongest, most courageous person I know. 7. If you could pick any super power, what would you pick, and why? I’d like to be able to fly. I think it would be fun, and I’d save a lot of money on airfare. 8. What do you enjoy most about Iowa winters? I can do without the bitter cold, but I like a good snowstorm. My perfect, winter day in Iowa would include cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, followed by a few hours in a hot tub or in front of a roaring fire. 9. What’s the best Christmas present you ever got? This is a hard one, because I’ve received some great Christmas gifts. When it comes to material things, I distinctly remember getting a 10-speed bike when I was about 12 years old. I was also really excited to receive my first stereo and Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumors” album. Now that I’m older, I really appreciate time with the people I love. I really don’t need more “stuff.” 10. What charity have you chosen and why? My charity of choice is AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport. I chose this charity because I love animals, dogs in particular. I’ve watched this small rescue in DeSoto, Iowa, grow from a one-woman, one-vanoperation, to a nationally recognized rescue. The founder, Amy Heinz, is an angel, committed to saving animals, comforting them and finding them good homes. Last year, the organization found homes for more than 2,000 animals. AHeinz57 recently embarked on a $1.8 million capital campaign to build a bigger, better facility to accommodate more animals and provide them with much needed medical care. Please help me in supporting AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport. Jayme Robbins 1. Occupation? Director of Marketing and Communications for Rx-Precision 2. City where you live? Waukee 3. Hometown? Clear Lake 4. How do you like to spend your free time? Participating in and watching sports. I am constantly on the go, so anything supporting local is a big passion of mine. Whether it’s sports, concerts, or being completely spontaneous, I will try anything once! I am very adventurous and sometimes think my “fear” light will go off at some point, right? 5. Share one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to learn. I was on “Fear Factor Live” and won! 6. Who do you admire most as a person? My mom and my stepdad. They are one. They are the most responsible, non-judgmental, helpful, caring, beautiful people I have ever met. I have been seriously blessed to have them in my life. They teach me daily to be kind, humble and courageous in everything I do. There have been a lot of people who have helped mold me into the person I am today — but thanks to these two — I would like to think I picked up some amazing qualities. 7. If you could pick any super power, what would you pick, and why? To travel to and from places as soon as possible! Snap of my fingers, and I’m there on a beach….with the sun shining bright…and a margarita in hand! 8. What do you enjoy most about Iowa winters? I will have to say I am not a loving person of the full winter season. However, my birthday is in December. I would have to say the very first snowfall that it isn’t freezing cold but where there are huge flakes falling ever so slightly. I always feel there is a calmness to it. No matter what I am doing or if I am upset or distracted at the moment, this will always calm me and make me feel grateful for everything going on in my life. 9. What’s the best Christmas present you ever got? I would have to say when my uncle gave me a salt block (like for deer). My love for salt started back at a young age, but that as a joke was priceless. 10. Which charity have you chosen, and why? Animal Lifeline of Iowa because my coworkers and I rescued a kitten outside work at Des Moines Plastic Surgery in June 2016 that somehow got into some trouble at 5 weeks old, resulting her to have her back leg and tail  amputated. She is completely oblivious to the fact she ever had four legs and a tail and is crazier than ever! I would love to donate to a charity that would be able to help grant money to families that can’t pay for animal care or animals that don’t have homes yet but would still be able to receive the care they need. Without News Channel 8 and Ashworth Animal Hospital’s help, I’m not sure Rezy would have been able to receive the care she needed. Laura Belin 1. Occupation? Sometimes I call myself a “fulltime mom and freelance activist.” I spend a lot of time writing about Iowa politics at my blog, Bleeding Heartland. I am also an active volunteer for several non-profit organizations. 2. City where you live? WindsorHeights 3. Hometown? Windsor Heights (I grew up here, moved away after graduating from high school in 1987, and moved back in 2002 when my husband and I were ready to start a family.) 4. How do you like to spend your free time? Going for walks or bike rides, checking out Iowa wildflowers. 5. Share one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to learn. Although I’ve been supporting parents as a volunteer for a long time now, I knew almost nothing about babies or toddlers before my older son was born. I had never even changed a diaper. 6. Who do you admire most as a person? Anna Politkovskaya was an award-winning Russian journalist who risked her life to cover stories no one else was reporting. She knew her work might get her killed, and it did. 7. If you could pick any super power, what would you pick, and why? Not needing to sleep, because there is never enough time to write all the Iowa politics stories I want to cover. 8. What do you enjoy most aboutIowa winters? Sledding! 9. What’s the best Christmas present you ever got? My family celebrates Chanukah. I can’t choose just one Chanukah present. Some Russian or Soviet items that were gifts from an older brother are special to me. 10. What charity have you chosen and why? I picked two charities. 1000 Friends of Iowa advocates for land use practices and public policies that revitalize our communities while protecting Iowa’s farmland and natural areas, which are both priceless nonrenewable resources. As a board member for 15 years, I’ve been continually inspired by the projects 1000 Friends of Iowa recognizes with its annual Best Development Awards. I’ve been an accredited leader for Attachment Parenting International since 2006, devoting a personally significant amount of time to supporting parents and children of all ages. We have in-person meetings and an active discussion group on Facebook (API of Central Iowa). I’m committed to API’s mission because forming and maintaining a strong bond with a loving caregiver is not just good for babies. It can make older children and even adults more resilient. Conversely, a failure to form a secure attachment during the early months and years can be associated with a lot of self-destructive or violent behavior later in life, rooted in a lack of empathy. Bonnie Lucas 1. Occupation? Radio personality – co-host of Van & Bonnie in the Morning on WHO Radio 2. City where you live? I live on an acreage outside of Monroe on the farm where I grew up. 3. Hometown? Right across the road from where I am now. 4. How do you like to spend your free time? Working on my 5-acre yard and spending time with grandkids. 5. Share one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to learn. I hate public speaking. On the radio, it’s just Van, me and a couple of microphones…I don’t see any of you! 6. Who do you admire most as a person? My husband, Gene. He has Systemic Scleroderma, an autoimmune disease that attacks his skin and internal organs. He has had two different kinds of cancer in one year, and yet, when people ask how he’s doing…he always answers “really good!” 7. If you could pick any super power, what would you pick, and why? The ability to teleport. I love to see the world, but I hate the trip there and back on the plane. 8. What do you enjoy most about Iowa winters? My sauna and the fireplace! 9. What’s the best Christmas present you ever got? That’s a really hard question because I am a very practical person. My husband and I usually think of something we would really like for the house or the yard and buy that and then say it’s our Christmas present. I was very moved by the grandmother’s ring and matching necklace I received from my kids and grandkids. 10. What charity have you chosen and why? I have chosen the Heartland Chapter Scleroderma Foundation. They are a support group for people in Iowa who have Scleroderma. Scleroderma is a very rare disease, so it’s very hard to find someone to talk to about your condition and what others are experiencing. Unfortunately, since there are so many conditions associated with Scleroderma, no two people have the exact same issues. This has made it very hard to even have clinical studies to try to find a cure. Doctors know very little about it, so usually the people with the disease can tell you a lot more than you can get from the doctor…including natural things that can help with the symptoms, foods that can  exacerbate the problems, etc. Since it is so rare, most people have never heard about the disease, so fundraising to find a cure is hard. Micole Van Walbeek 1. Occupation? Realtor at Iowa Realty 2. City where you live? Des Moines  3. Hometown? Des Moines 4. How do you like to spend your free time? I spend most of my free time with my 5-year-old daughter, Ava. We love going out for sushi, hanging out with friends, and traveling to new places. 5. Share one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to learn. I never crave pizza. I hardly ever eat it. It’s just not my favorite food. 6. Who do you admire most as a person? My grandma. She is fearless! She just turned 80 and doesn’t let anything stop her. She’s my favorite cowgirl. She still rides her mules, wears cowgirl boots, and knows how to have a fun time! 7. If you could pick any super power, what would you pick and why? The ability to get my daughter dressed, fed and out the door in the morning without a major meltdown. Getting a 5-year-old off to school can be hard sometimes! This super power also applies for bedtime. 8. What do you enjoy most about Iowa winters? I love how my neighborhood looks after a fresh coat of snow. All the mature trees covered in snow and smoke coming from the chimneys. It’s a magical-looking place to live! 9. What’s the best Christmas present you ever got? My mom always gives socks for Christmas, and, to be honest, it’s the most practical gift ever! I wear them all year long. Thanks, Mom! 10. Which charity have you chosen, and why? My charity is Children’s Hope Chest. Money is raised to help orphan children in Uganda by providing them a care point to go to for water, food, school and support. I currently sponsor two girls in Uganda through the program. In August 2015, I went to Uganda with the program and met one of the girls I sponsored. It was truly amazing to actually see that the money I donate every month goes to bettering the lives of children. The money is used for their school tuition, meals, basic health care and providing them with tools to rise above poverty. There are still more children that need sponsored, and any money raised will go towards helping these children and improving their care points. Maggie White 1. Occupation? Staff Attorney at EMC Insurance Companies 2. City where you live? Des Moines 3. Hometown? I was born in Hartford, Connecticut, but moved to Leawood, Kansas (a suburb of Kansas City), when I was 8. 4. How do you like to spend your free time? Running, trying new Des Moines restaurants, attempting to conquer the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle, and spending time with my boyfriend and our new puppy. 5. Share one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to learn. I was homeschooled until I went to college. 6. Who do you admire most as a person? Arabella Mansfield. She became the first female lawyer in the United States in 1869 (and was from Iowa!). It’s still challenging to be a woman in the legal profession, but we’ve come a long way in the last 150 years and have Arabella to thank for paving the way. 7. If you could pick any super power, what would you pick and why? The “time out” that Zack Morris uses on “Saved by the Bell” when he needs a minute to think about something or wants to comment on a situation. In tense or worrisome moments, I would love to be able to take a minute to gather my thoughts before declaring “time in” and resuming real life. 8. What do you enjoy most about Iowa winters? I love living somewhere where we get to experience all four seasons. This winter I’m especially excited for our puppy to enjoy his first snow! 9. What’s the best Christmas present you ever got? This year my dad is retiring 10 days before Christmas! I’m thrilled that he will get to spend his time doing the things he loves and focusing on his health. 10. Which charity have you chosen, and why? Joppa Outreach, Inc. I first heard about this incredible organization at a Drake alumni luncheon and was blown away by their commitment to alleviating homelessness in Des Moines. Their mission is to help homeless people survive, find housing, and rebuild their lives. One of their current projects is creating a transitional housing village where residents can live for up to 24 months while finding a more permanent place to live. I helped build tiny houses for this village during Drake’s Let’s DU Good Week this year, and it was awesome to see the houses come together in such a short time. Stew Bevis 1. Occupation? I am a salesperson at Walsh Door & Security in Des Moines, where I sell commercial doors, frames, hardware, auto door operators, security, access control and much more. 2. City where you live? I live in West Des Moines in the Fox Valley Development; however, we are in the Norwalk School District. 3. Hometown? Ankeny is my hometown. I’m a graduate in 1993 and lived there from 1985-2003. Go Hawks and Jaguars! 4. How do you like to spend your free time? I love spending time with my family, my beautiful wife, Meredith, and two daughters, Hattie (5) and Emmie (1). I enjoy traveling and hanging with friends as much as I can. I enjoy staying active and going to as many fun places in the Des Moines area whether it’s a new place or a place that we enjoy regularly. I enjoy working out at Prairie Life Fitness, running, biking, lifting weights, playing softball and volleyball. I love watching sports and my favorite teams are the Vikings, Huskers, Twins and Wild! 5. Share one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to learn. I am an Ironman! I finished Ironman Wisconsin in Madison in 2009 with my brother, Jeff. I also did a half Ironman in Lawrence, Kansas, that same year in June and finished with my brother and my sister, Angie. Another thing that most people wouldn’t guess about me is that I was a nerd all through school. I didn’t play any sports after moving to Iowa after the fourth grade. I didn’t date, was very shy, and now I’m a much different person. 6. Who do you admire most as a person? I admire my wife more than anyone else on the planet. She is such an amazing wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, friend and business woman. I can’t say enough about her for this interview, as I could go on and on about my admiration for her. 7. If you could pick any super power, what would you pick, and why? If I could pick a super power, I’d probably say I’d like to fly like Superman. I just think that would be so cool to see the world from the air and get from place to place faster than walking, running or biking. 8. What do you enjoy most about Iowa winters? I really enjoy snow as I lived in Cloquet, Minnesota, when I was a child, which is near Duluth, so the winter doesn’t bother me too much. I enjoy sledding and now with having a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old, it will be fun sledding with them this winter since last year we hardly had any snow. I was kind of disappointed by the lack of snow last year and hope we have more of the white stuff this year. I also love competing in the annual Snowball Softball Tournament every year in January. 9. What’s the best Christmas present you ever got? The best Christmas present at the time I ever got was the video game Super Mario Brothers II for the original Nintendo. I got it when I was 10, I believe, and I just cried as I was so happy. It was such a hot item that year and was sold out everywhere. My family and I remember that moment I opened the gift like it was yesterday and my reaction was priceless. 10. What charity have you chosen and why? I have chosen the Norwalk Student Education Foundation as my charity. The reason I chose this foundation is because my 5-year-old is in kindergarten at Norwalk Schools, and my 1-year-old will be in Norwalk Schools in a few short years as we plan on staying in this school district. I can’t say enough about not only hearing about the Norwalk School District and how great it was, but now that I have children in the district, I see how and why people talk so highly of the Norwalk School District. My wife is currently a new member of the foundation, and recently we attended their annual banquet, which had a live auction and silent auction and all the money raised went toward the schools. I want to make a difference for my children’s education and will be active with the school district, and this is why I chose this charity. Mike Moody 1. Occupation? Police officer for the City of Des Moines 2. City where you live? Des Moines 3. Hometown? Des Moines 4. How do you like to spend your free time? Riding my motorcycle or hanging with my grandson (when I have free time). 5. Share one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to learn? I sing and play guitar in a band. 6. Who do you admire most as a person? That’s easy… my mom. Strongest lady I know. 7. If you could pick any super power, what would you pick, and why? To fly. I think I would just love the freedom of it. 8. What do you enjoy most about Iowa winters? Vacationing in Cozumel and hanging out in my hot tub. 9. What’s the best Christmas present you ever got? My grandson, although he came a little early (Dec. 13), he’s the best present ever. 10. What charity have you chosen and why? I’ve chosen Youth Emergency Services and Shelter because in my line of work, I see the need for this amazing place. Marty Lester 1. Occupation? Executive Director – Mentor Iowa 2. City where you live? Altoona 3. Hometown? Slater 4. How do you like to spend your free time? I enjoy working out, watching sports, collecting memorabilia and hanging out with my family and friends. 5. Share one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to learn. I do magic shows for children second grade and younger for donations to Mentor Iowa. I am known as “The Great Martini.” 6. Who do you admire most as a person? I admire anyone who wants to give back to the community. Whether it is by volunteering, funding or helping with special events, our communities need great members to step up and help others. Specifically, seeing the impact a mentor can bring to the life of a child is amazing. The mentors involved with Mentor Iowa are wonderful and help build the self-confidence of the children they work with. As a result, when their mentees grow up, they will be responsible and caring adults making a positive impact in their communities. 7. If you could pick any super power, what would you pick, and why? I think precognition would be pretty cool. There are a lot of events in our history that have happened that I wish we could undo. With this power, I could prevent bad things happening in the world. 8. What do you enjoy most about Iowa winters? I am a huge fan of high school wrestling. When I think of winter, I know that wrestling season is here. 9. What’s the best Christmas present you ever got? Every homemade gift made by my kids (Dawson and Kinsey) always mean the most to me. The gifts they took the time to make with care and love always bring joy to me. 10. Which charity have you chosen, and why? Mentor Iowa. I have been involved with Mentor Iowa for more than 14 years, and it is an awesome feeling to see our match pairs in action. It is an amazing feeling to see the impact a positive adult mentor can bring to the life of a child. Mentor Iowa has more than 30 children on their waiting list who definitely could use a mentor in their lives. Besides Mentor Iowa receiving funds, I hope by choosing this great program our community members will consider being a mentor for the children on the waiting list. Mark Egly 1. Occupation? Golf professional, teacher of golf, baseball, other sports and life. 2. City where you live? Johnston 3. Hometown? Jackson, Michigan 4. How do you like to spend your free time? With my family, watching my athletes compete and writing instructional and educational materials. 5. Share one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to learn. That an athlete who earned his degree from Michigan State would move to Iowa and become close friends with the Iowa Hawkeyes winningest basketball coach ever, Dr. Tom Davis. The friendship with Dr. Tom went from being my golf partner and my golf student, to Tom becoming my best mentor ever, and a father figure to me, as well as an incredible grandfather figure to my children! 6. Who do you admire most as a person? Both my parents equally, Darrel and Sally Egly! My father came from the very poorest part of our state, Diagonal, Iowa. He lost his father at the age of 2 and fought through life with great help from his mother and her family, the Lesans. My father entered the Navy, then on to Iowa State, where he graduated as an electric engineer with three children already. He worked alongside my mother to raise seven children, each child with their own successes. After ISU, we first moved to Jackson, Michigan, where we lived in the ghetto of Jackson, living on top of Hammond’s Hardware Store. With both their great efforts, they led us all to the great lives we each have today! My mother is still alive, and still a great inspiration to each of us! 7. If you could pick any super power, what would you pick and why? That would be the super power of reading minds. Why? To be able to assist and teach better, better understand what others really have going on in their lives and be able to understand their needs and therefore better assist them. 8. What do you enjoy most about Iowa winters? Time at home relaxing with my family after 15-hour workdays in the summer that wear me down a just a little. 9. What’s the best Christmas present you ever got? An electric train at a very young age. 10. Which charity have you chosen, and why? Iowa PGA Foundation (Swings in Schools and Youth Programs) Why? Because my career path in life has been based on supplying all the youth in our community and state the opportunity to find healthy activities, options and opportunities in their lives, no matter what their home situation or financial status in life is. This foundation and the association shares and supports my beliefs and hopes for our youth! Michael Prichard 1. Occupation? President, Midwest Mattress 2. City where you live? Ankeny 3. Hometown? Sergeant Bluff 4. How do you like to spend your free time? I enjoy smoking BBQ, playing pinball, and I manage a football team in my free time. 5. Share one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to learn. The only fear I have is people chewing loudly, and snakes. 6. Who do you admire most as a person? The person I admire most is my grandfather — Duke Prichard. A hard-working farmer turned entrepreneur with unmatched storytelling ability. 7. If you could pick any super power, what would you pick and why? Wow! That’s a great question. Tough one. What does one gauge his response on? Physical prowess? Keen detection skills? The ability to banter well with super villains? 8. What do you enjoy most about Iowa winters? The thing I enjoy most about Iowa winters is taking my kids sledding, although we haven’t had enough snow in recent years. 9. What’s the best Christmas present you ever got? UGG slippers. 10. Which charity have you chosen, and why? Miracle Travel Works. Miracle Travel Works helps families with seriously ill or injured children travel as they undergo urgent medical treatments. They provide financial assistance for travel expenses for the children and their families. No lines or long forms to fill out. 100 percent of the donations goes to the families of children in need. Visit www.miracletravelworks.org for more details. Jimmy Wright 1. Occupation? Afternoon drive DJ on Star 102.5 and music director for Star 102.5 and Hits 99.9. 2. City where you live? Des Moines 3. Hometown? Des Moines 4. How do you like to spend your free time? Attend sporting events, listen to live music and wineries. 5. Share one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to learn. I’ve been at one radio station for 27 years. 6. Who do you admire most as a person? My parents. They taught me the value of hard work. 7. If you could pick any super power, what would you pick and why? Invisible. To hear what people have to say after you’ve touched their lives. 8. What do you enjoy most about Iowa winters? Staying indoors with the fireplace and a glass of chardonnay. 9. What’s the best Christmas present you ever got? Atari. 10. Which charity have you chosen, and why? John Stoddard Cancer Center. I’ve had close people in my life die of cancer. And the staff does a great job! Robert Wade 1. Occupation? Pediatric dentist. 2. City where you live? West Des Moines. 3. Hometown? I was born and raised in Council Bluffs. 4. How do you like to spend your free time? I like to spend my free time with my wife, either working together on a project or traveling. 5. Share one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to learn. I once wrote an advice column. 6. Who do you admire most as a person? I most admire Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He remained peaceful even in the face of terrible adversity. He relied on God, not violence, to make change happen. 7. If you could pick any super power, what would you pick and why? I would like the power to shrink negative thoughts and feelings and supersize positive ones. 8. What do you enjoy most about Iowa winters? I enjoy Iowa winters because they give me a chance to sit next to a warm fire with my dogs and my family and have a hot cup of coffee. 9. What’s the best Christmas present you ever got? My best Christmas present was my daughter who came to us on Christmas Eve! 10. Which charity have you chosen, and why? My charity is Wildwood Hills Ranch where they give healing and hope for youth at risk. Tim Boesen 1. Occupation? I am the fourth generation to work at my family’s business, Boesen the Florist. I started when I was 8 years old cleaning bathrooms and stripping thorns off of roses, and am now the project manager. 2. City where you live? I was born and raised in wonderful Des Moines 3. Hometown? I’ve always lived in Des Moines, but specifically in Beaverdale. 4. How do you like to spend your free time? What free time? Just kidding! Being a part of a family business, free days are very hard to come by. When they do happen though, I enjoy the company of my wife, Taylor, daughter Scarlett, and dog Charlie. I also enjoy snowboarding in Colorado, wakeboarding in Clear Lake, and sipping a cocktail on the beach in Tamarindo. 5. Share one thing about yourself that most people would be surprised to learn. I broke my ankle jumping out of a golf cart on my one-year anniversary to my wife. I was not golfing. 6. Who do you admire most as a person? I greatly admire my wife Taylor. On top of being a very successful business owner, she is the most amazing mother to our beautiful 8-month-old daughter, Scarlett. 7. If you could pick any super power, what would you pick and why? I would choose super speed like The Flash, because there aren’t enough hours in the day, and I could get so much more accomplished. 8. What do you enjoy most about Iowa winters? Getting out of school as a kid to help out at Boesen the Florist on Valentine’s Day was always a bright spot each winter. I also enjoy escaping Iowa winters and heading to a warmer climate like Florida. 9. What’s the best Christmas present you ever got? The best Christmas present I ever received was that Taylor said yes! I proposed to my wife on Christmas Day 2013, and while some may think that proposing was the best gift I’ve ever given, I’d argue that her acceptance of my proposal was a pretty sweet gift in return. 10. Which charity have you chosen, and why? All the money raised by voting for me will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. When our beautiful daughter Scarlett was 2 weeks old, she was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. Her diagnosis turned an otherwise magical time for me and my wife into a scary time wondering what life would be like for our first child, and how much time we’d have with her. Instead of dwelling on the fact that she has this disease, though, Taylor and I have decided to embrace it by donating our time, energy, and talent to charitable events benefitting research for Cystic Fibrosis. Scarlett is growing and thriving regardless of the obstacles the disease poses, and we won’t stop until a cure is found. 

    Cityview / 11 d. 14 h. 6 min. ago more
  • Mandelbaum-Kiernan city race was costliest ever. Poll favors Fred Hubbell. Godfrey case is narrowed.Mandelbaum-Kiernan city race was costliest ever. Poll favors Fred Hubbell. Godfrey case is narrowed.

    The race between Josh Mandelbaum and Mike Kiernan for the Third Ward council seat was the most expensive in the history of Des Moines. Mandelbaum, an environmental lawyer, had raised $188,240 with still nearly a week to go before the Nov. 7 election, which he won with 56 percent of the vote. Kiernan, a stay-at-home dad and former member of the council who got 34 percent of the vote, raised $112,265 — including $17,000 in loans he made to himself, according to records at the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board. And it’s likely that each candidate raised additional money in the week before the election, for the race was predicted to be closer than it actually turned out. Those final money figures won’t be public until Jan. 19. The job pays $26,000 a year. The combined total of more than $300,000 dwarfs the previous high, the at-large race between Skip Moore and Chris Diebel four years ago. In that race, Diebel raised about $75,000 in his unsuccessful bid to unseat Moore, who raised around $35,000. And the $300,000 this year doesn’t include any money raised by Abshir Omar, who got 9.38 percent of the vote but hasn’t filed a financial report. The two largest contributors not related to a candidate were Bill Knapp and Jim Cownie, each of whom gave $7,500 to Kiernan, who also got big checks from other real-estate developers. Jim Conlin and the Iowa Realtors PAC each was in for $5,000, Mike Whalen contributed $3,500 and Jack Hatch $2,500. (But Hatch also gave $1,000 to Mandelbaum, and Conlin’s wife, Roxanne, gave $2,500 to Mandelbaum.) Architect Mike Simonson gave $5,000. Mandelbaum’s family members — his father, mother, brother and aunt — contributed around $20,000. And the Nixon Lauridsen family — Lauridsen; his ex-wife, Nancy; his daughter, Christine Sand; and her husband, Rob Sand — gave a total of $15,000. Rob Sand, who recently resigned as an assistant attorney general to run for state auditor, was a roommate of Mandelbaum in law school at the University of Iowa. Mandelbaum also picked up big checks from traditional Democratic givers: Fred Hubbell, Bob Riley, Michael Gartner and Fred Weitz each gave $5,000, as did three labor political action committees. The race brought out a lot of voters. The turnout for the city as a whole was 14.37 percent of the registered voters, according to Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald, but the turnout in the Third Ward was 24.22 percent, far higher than usual for a city election. The Third Ward is basically the city’s southwest quadrant, which includes the Sherman Hill, South of Grand and downtown neighborhoods. The seat has been held by Christine Hensley for 24 years. Mandelbaum announced he would run against her; she subsequently decided to retire, and Kieran then got into the race. Mandelbaum worked harder than Kiernan — Mandelbaum was constantly out knocking on doors — but it was believed Kiernan had a better absentee-vote program. In the end, though, the absentees were about even — 670 for Kiernan and 630 for Mandelbaum. The victory launches what could be a long political career for Mandelbaum. It wouldn’t be a bad bet that Mandelbaum or his friend Sand or their friend Joseph Jones will end up as Governor or United States Senator at some point, especially if Sand is elected state auditor. Jones, a one-time staffer for Tom Harkin, later the senior vice president for governmental relations at the Greater Des Moines Partnership, and now the executive director of the Harkin Institute at Drake, was elected to the Windsor Heights City Council last month, and it’s doubtful that that was his life’s goal. All three are bright and well-connected. Jones is 40, Mandelbaum 38 and Sand 35. [The Windsor Heights race was hotly contested, with nine candidates seeking three seats. The main issue was sidewalks — build more or let people walk on the lawns or in the streets — and the turnout was 42.19 percent. Jones is a pro-sidewalk guy, and that faction kept control of the five-person council. But the new mayor, Dave Burgess, is in the anti-sidewalk camp, and he controls the agenda.] … Unless you read Starting Line, a Democratic blog, or the Cedar Rapids Gazette, you probably didn’t see a poll ranking the seven Democrats seeking the party’s gubernatorial nomination. If your name is Andy McGuire or John Norris, it’s probably best you didn’t see it. The poll was commissioned by Starting Line and conducted by 20/20 Insight of Atlanta, a legitimate but not very well-regarded polling firm. (Nate Silver, who ranks pollsters, gives it a C-; in contrast, he gives Selzer and Co., which runs the Register’s Iowa Poll, an A+.) It was taken Nov. 8 to Nov. 10, and it queried 762 Democrats who expected to vote in the June 5 primary. It was conducted through automated phone dialing but weighted for demographic purposes. Right or wrong, it shows retired businessman Fred Hubbell with a big lead in name recognition, in “favorability” and in the race itself. And it shows what those who have been following the race have long believed: The seven-person field is evolving into a two-person race — with labor-lawyer Nate Boulton the challenger with the best shot against Hubbell. The results: Hubbell is favored by 22 percent, Boulton by 13, Cathy Glasson by 6, Norris by 5, McGuire by 3, Jon Neiderbach by 2 and Ross Wilburn by 1 percent of the respondents. On name “favorability,” Hubbell was at 50 percent, Boulton at 31, McGuire at 21, Norris at 19, Glasson at 13 and Neiderbach at 9. Wilburn didn’t show up on the list. A full 64 percent of the respondents had never heard of Glasson, 59 percent of Neiderbach, 57 percent of Norris, 48 percent of McGuire and 44 percent of Boulton. Only 24 percent of the respondents had never heard of Hubbell — who has the added advantage of having a major Des Moines street, a downtown building, a school and a large real-estate company all bearing his family name. Financial reports don’t have to be filed until Jan. 19, but it’s widely believed Hubbell is significantly ahead in raising money, too. … Attorney Roxanne Conlin has streamlined the case her client Chris Godfrey has filed against the state and several of its former officials. The suit, about to enter its sixth year, alleges Gov. Terry Branstad and others tried to fire him as head of the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Board and, when that didn’t work, they cut his pay. Godfrey was a Democrat with a fixed term that still had 46 months to run. He also was the only openly gay member of the Branstad administration. The suit alleges extortion, retaliation, defamation and discrimination. Charges remain against all defendants acting in their official capacity, but allegations alleging wrongdoing in their individual capacities have been dropped against now-governor Kim Reynolds, former head of Workforce Development Teresa Wahlert, and former Communications Director Tim Albrecht. The major allegations against the state remain, too. Branstad, former chief of staff Jeff Boeyink and former Legal Counsel to the Governor Brenna Findley still face charges in their individual as well as their official capacities. The case has twice been to the Iowa Supreme Court on narrow issues, and still no trial date has been set. Another conference of parties is scheduled for Dec. 18, and a trial now is likely sometime next year. The case now is in the courtroom of Polk County District Judge Brad McCall. So far, the state has paid about $1 million to George LaMarca’s law firm, which it hired at the request of Branstad because of a perceived conflict involving the Attorney General’s office. But lately, the state seems to have taken over most of the legal work, and LaMarca’s bills have been declining. If Godfrey wins, the state will probably end up paying Conlin’s bills, too. If the case goes to trial, the taxpayers may end up paying out close to $3 million in fees. The case itself is about $150,000 — the amount Godfrey’s salary was cut for the 46 months that were remaining in his term. … Another high-stakes case is also working its way through Polk County District Court. In June, Doug Ommen, the state insurance director, sued the founders of the failed CoOportunity Health and its Seattle-based auditing firm alleging, among other things, that Steve Ringlee, Dave Lyons and Cliff Gold wrongfully took money out of the company. Lyons is a former Iowa insurance commissioner, Gold a former executive at Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and Ringlee an accountant and Internet entrepreneur with a spotty record. CoOportunity was set up as a nonprofit health-insurance company under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, in 2013 by Ringlee, Lyons and Gold, who became the three top officers of the company. It was financed through more than $100 million in loans from the federal government. Ultimately, it insured around 114,000 Iowans and Nebraskans — more than 10 times what the auditors had projected — and it was in trouble almost from Day One. Claims costs far exceeded the projections of the auditors, and the company lost $163 million in its first year. It was liquidated in 2015. Ommen is the liquidator, whose job is to protect whatever assets remain for claimants, creditors and the public. The suit alleges that “even when it became clear the company was going down, the founders received bonuses.” It says Lyons received $546,074 in pay from 2012 through 2014, Ringlee $672,267 over four years and Gold $650,696. The three men “knew, recklessly disregarded, or negligently disregarded the financial condition of the company when they approved and accepted compensation increases and bonus/incentive payments” in the fall of 2014, the suit says. It calls the compensation “inappropriate and excessive.” The suit alleges malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty and negligent misrepresentation against the auditors and breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and fraud against the founders. It asks for unspecified but “consequential” and “exemplary” damages. No trial date has been set. A hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 8 in the courtroom of Jeanie Vaudt. … Marty Tirrell’s bankruptcy case was officially closed on Oct. 31 by the Federal Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa. The court refused to discharge his debts, so he still is on the hook for several hundred thousands of dollars.  Merry Christmas Twelve drummers drumming… …for a parade of politicians: Austin Frerick, a 27-year-old with grit and brains and ideas…and Neal Smith, a 97-year-old with grit and brains and ideas (and a newly renewed driver’s license)… and lawyer Josh Mandelbaum, who’s smart and tireless and now is a City Councilman…and Council winner Connie Boesen, too…and Councilwoman Renee Hardman, who pulled an upset in West Des Moines…. For Rob Sand, who wants to be state auditor…and Abshir Omar, who is impressive. … Eleven pipers piping… …for Emily Pontius and Sharon Malhiero and Anjie Shutts and Roxanne Conlin and Terry Combs and Kimberly Stamatelos and Amanda Jansen and all those other women following in the footsteps of Iowa’s Belle Mansfield, America’s first female lawyer, and Bea Smith, who broke ground in Des Moines…and for Judges Mary Tabor and Stephanie Rose and Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger and, of course, Magistrate Celeste Bremer…and Iowa’s Mona Houck, a First Amendment lawyer who fights for the good guys in New York. … Ten lords a-leaping… …and then stuffing the ball for Niko Medved, the new Drake basketball coach, and his boss, new Athletic Director Brian Hardin…And, of course, for women’s…and if they want to know anything about Drake, they just need to walk over and ask Paul Morrison, still working at age 100…And, of course, for women’s coach Jennie Baranczyk, whose teams deserve bigger crowds (and for her brother-in-law, banker Terry McGuire, too)…for former athletic director Sandy Hatfield Clubb, now back in Arizona…and the new folks owning and running the Bucs…and Todd Frederickson and the people at the Iowa Wild…and Ryan Grant, new to the Iowa Wolves but not to Des Moines…and all those surprising athletes at Grand View, especially the wrestlers and volleyball players…and athletic director Troy Plummer, of course…and to former pitcher Don Wengert and Katie and Robbie, especially. …                Nine ladies dancing… …on the restored Jackson Street Bridge in thanks to Carl Voss, who saved it, and Paula Feltner and Mike C. Gartner and Vicki Facto and Mike Rehm and Troy Hansen…and, especially, to Mell Meredith, who bought in from the beginning, and Musco’s generous Joe Crookham, who turned the beautiful bridge into a piece of art by lighting it (as a gift to the city)…and, of course, to Parks Director Ben Page, who was always there as a guide through the bureaucracy…and Matt McCoy, who helped secure a big state grant…and the county supervisors, who chipped in handsomely…and the city council members who gave the green light to the green bridge…for the amazing Mirza Kudic, who captured the bridge in a spectacular photograph…and, naturally, to the families and companies who gave the money to make it happen. … Eight maids a-milking… …for bloggers Laura Belin and Pay Rynard…reporters Kathy Bolten and Tommy Birch…editor Carol Hunter and publisher David Chivers…publisher Connie Wimer (and Frank Fogarty)…photographers Christopher Gannon and Chris Donahue (who will sell you a Subaru after he takes your picture)…and Dave and Randy Witke, two great editors…for pr guys Josh Lehman and John McCarroll…for a quartet of Jeffs: Hunter and Fleming and Chelesvig and Russell…for two former broadcasters with great voices: federal judge Jim Gritzner and Supervisor Steve Van Oort…and for Celeste Tilton and Shane Goodman and everyone else at CITYVIEW. … Seven swans a-swimming… …for Governor and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds (legally, she is both)…and independent legislator David Johnson, who asked for the Attorney General’s opinion about whether she is governor or lieutenant governor…and Attorney General-for-life Tom Miller, who determined Reynolds is both…and new Supreme Court administrator Todd Nuccio (and welcome to Iowa) and the retiring administrator, David Boyd (and Nancy Boyd, too)…and, while we’re at the court, for Steve Davis, too…for retired Justice Bob Allbee and Jenny Johnson Allbee (Roosevelt High, Class of 1956)…and welcome back to Iowa, Christopher and Melissa Pratt (and little Henry as well). … Six geese a-laying… …no, wait, no goose eggs allowed on the scoreboard. At least not for the home team and season-ticket holders Pat Brown and Joe Hall and fans-of-the-year Rosemary and George Ellwanger…and lawyer Gary Dickey and artist Dwight James and the Fontaninis, Tom and Cheryl…and fisherman Guy Cook and Cyndi…and legislator Marti Anderson and justices David Wiggins and Mark Cady (and Marsha Wiggins and Becky Cady)…and Rose Vasquez and Bob and Rose Mary Pratt…and Sue and Audrey, who need no last names…and Danny and Colleen Homan and Tyler Steinke in his front-row seat, of course. … Five golden rings… …for Christine Hensley, who worked so long and so hard for the city, and Skip Moore, who did the same…and Windsor Heights councilman-elect Joseph Jones, who knows everyone…and Zachary and Mackenzie and Christopher and Maggie, the world’s greatest grandkids…and all those courteous people at Keck Parking at the airport…and, for that matter, Bill Keck, too (Roosevelt High School, Class of 1956)…and Ben Bruns, who should run for office…for the always-cheerful Shelby Cravens and her mom and dad in Utah…to Beth Giudicessi, once again the employee of the year, and runner-up Nick Bernabe…to Hugo Giudicessi, too, and his grandma Cheryl. … Four collie birds… …for Izaah Knox and Wayne Ford at Urban Dreams…and Toby O’Berry at the homeless youth drop-in center downtown…and E.J. Giovannitti, who cares about the mentally ill…and so do Anne Starr and everyone else at Orchard Place…for everyone who volunteers at the Bidwell-Riverside Center on Hartford Ave. (and now would be a good time to send a check or take over those clothes you never wear or have outgrown)…and Tim Shanahan, who provides shelter for moms and kids at Hawthorn Hill…. Three French hens… …for Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen of Storm Lake, whose forthcoming book about Storm Lake will have the catchy title “Storm Lake”…and Nix Lauridsen and Gary Kirke, newly inducted into the Iowa Business Hall of Fame…for Scott Sailor, who is sort of retiring, and his dad, Bill, in Albia…for Gary Palmer at Prairie Meadows and Gary Slater at the State Fair…for Grace Mauro and her husband…for Janet Peterson and her friends in mourning who founded Count the Kicks — and for all those healthy babies saved by those kick-counting moms. … Two turtle doves…. …for labor’s Mark Cooper, a good guy…for Matt and Stephanie Sinovic and their new baby…for Robert Warren, who keeps bringing great entertainment to Hoyt Sherman Place…for former Mayor Pat Dorrian and former Councilman Archie Brooks, who can tell stories about the good old days…for Ben and Pat Allen, who so ably filled in at Iowa State…and to Dan Miller, who is loved by everyone. … And a partridge in a pear tree… …in memory of Paul Morrison, a lovely (and 100-year-old) man…and of Don Avenson and Cal Hultman, good guys and good politicians…and one-time city manager Rich Wilkey, who knew where the levers were…and the murdered Stephen Kim…and Joy Corning and Willie Glanton, pioneers who cared…and Buck Turnbull, one of the greats…and Noah (as in Noah’s Ark) Lacona and Marilyn (“Mrs. Snookie,” as in Snookies Malt Shop) Graves…and the talented Ron Shoop…And Dolores and Darlene Van Oort, mother and daughter-in-law…and Nick Tormey, who led an interesting life…and Verle Burgason of Ames, a gentleman…and Dick Levitt, who changed this city…and Stacey Henderson and Bruce Campbell and Sam Kalanov and Orville Crowley and Dave Noble…and the garrulous Dick Thornton…and AFSCME’s Deb Duncan…and Win Kelley and Ann Karras…for Sophie Vlassis, great teacher and good citizen…and Chuck Corwin, who sincerely cared…and John Tapscott, who saved lives…for scholar Tom Lynner…and Don Nickerson… and Hawkeye fan and nice guy Tim Darrah… and young Dallon Morris, who was buried in his Miracle League uniform…especially for little Ella Vilsack…and, always, for the first Christopher. 

    Cityview / 11 d. 14 h. 7 min. ago more
  • A point and twist on sexual misconduct?A point and twist on sexual misconduct?

    Can Dr. Andy McGuire reconcile Moore bashing, Clinton denial? 2018 Democratic candidate for governor Dr. Andy McGuire is pictured here with former President Bill Clinton in the fall of 2015 at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson Jackson Day Dinner in Des Moines. (Photo By Douglas Burns) Dr. Andy McGuire of Des Moines, an Iowa Democrat running for governor in 2018, is quick to believe the women who have accused Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual harassment and assault in the 1970s. She says the Moore accusers, many who were teenagers at the time of the alleged episodes, are credible — which puts her in the company of leading Democrats, and increasingly, Republicans, nationally. But stories of sexual misconduct are hardly confined to one state or one party. So if McGuire, a former chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party who has been active in Hawkeye State politics throughout the presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton, believes the women behind the allegations leveled on Republican Moore, why not the women who say Bill Clinton harassed and assaulted them — and who further contend that Hillary Clinton covered her husband’s tracks to advance her own ambitions? Are the facts and depth of reporting on Moore and Bill Clinton different, or is partisan hypocrisy at play here with McGuire — and, on the other side, the Alabama Republicans who believe Moore, but wanted Clinton political scalp over sexual misconduct? We put the questions to McGuire in an interview recently after she spoke about her own campaign for governor in a meeting with Carroll County Democrats at the courthouse. Political Mercury: “Do you believe Roy Moore’s accusers, the women who say he victimized them, either through harassment, or even (in an account broadcast) today, assault? Are you inclined to believe them?” Dr. Andy McGuire: “If you read the (Washington Post) story, it’s hard not to.” Political Mercury: “So how do you believe them and not Juanita Broaddrick, who accuses Bill Clinton of the same thing? What’s the difference between their claims and Juanita Broaddrick’s claims?” McGuire: “Was she 14?” Political Mercury: “No, but she claims that she was raped. Should it matter? Her age?” McGuire: “Actually, to tell you the truth, I’ve never read the account of that. But when you read the account of this thing with Moore.” Political Mercury: “So you never read Juanita Broaddrick’s account?” McGuire: “No.” Political Mercury: “And yet, you supported Clinton in two election cycles?” McGuire: “I actually wasn’t around here when Bill Clinton was.” Political Mercury: “No, Hillary Clinton.” McGuire: “Yes, well Hillary Clinton didn’t do any of this.” Political Mercury: “Well, part of what Broaddrick alleges is that Hillary Clinton went up to her after the alleged rape occurred, shook her hand, and gazed into her eyes, and basically threatened her if she said anything about it.” McGuire: “I guess I’ve never read any of that stuff, Doug, to tell you the truth. I only read The Washington Post that put it out (on Roy Moore). The stuff with Roy Moore has such detail, and there’s no gain for anybody. That kind of stuff, with every detail corroborated rings so.” Political Mercury: “The reporting is a lot more in depth (on Moore). I’ve never seen an equally well-reported story with Clinton.” McGuire: “I have to say, I neglected to read all that. I just read this recently and as a mom…” Political Mercury: “So what if a Republican in Alabama just said, ‘Well, you know, I never read the Roy Moore stories. I just know what he stands for, so I’m going to vote for him.’ Isn’t that kind of the same answer you are giving me about Clinton?” McGuire: “This isn’t when I was voting for Clinton.”  Douglas Burns is a fourth-generation Iowa newspaperman. He and his family own and publish newspapers in Carroll, Jefferson and other neighboring communities.

    Cityview / 11 d. 14 h. 8 min. ago more
  • “Three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”“Three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”

    A fantastic dark comedy with great performances “The more you keep a case in the public eye, the better your chances are at getting it solved.” Whether or not you believe the quote, this does posit a rather interesting idea. What lengths would you go to ensure there’s justice for the victims of crime — especially if the victim was your child? Furthermore, when does civil disobedience cross the line to criminal mischief? While the law would happily provide this distinction, “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” allows its audience members to decide for themselves as it pits a tough-as-nails mother against her small town, on her pursuit of justice — legally obtained or otherwise. “It seems to me the police department is too busy torturin’ black folks to solve actual crime,” says Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand), whose daughter, Angela, was brutally raped, murdered and set on fire. She offers this to a local TV reporter to explain why she plastered three billboards with questions about local police’s failure to catch her daughter’s killer. “Raped While Dying” “Still No Arrests?” “How Come, Chief Willoughby?” Like McDonagh’s last feature films — “In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths” — “Three Billboards” is a dark comedy that focuses on questions of morality, particularly pertaining to the American justice system and the rights of the accused. The town is very much on Hayes’ side when it comes to the fact that what happened to her daughter was deplorable and Hayes deserves to see justice, just as any mother would in this situation. However, the means of her justice (the accusatory billboards) aren’t seen as fair by her fellow townsmen who begin an unofficial “Blue Lives Matter” campaign to support their police chief, William Willoughby (Woody Harrelson). The clash between Willoughby and Hayes is where we get to the crux of the debate between the rights of the accused and the victims. A sharp-witted back and forth between the chief and Hayes out on a swing-set masks the depth of this debate. In Hayes’ opinion, every man should have his DNA immediately put in a police database upon birth and whoever matches the DNA of the person who killed her daughter should be killed. “There’s definitely civil rights laws against that,” Willoughby replied. The limitations of following police procedure become clear when trying to solve some of these difficult cases where the evidence simply comes up short. What also becomes clear is that Willoughby, though profane and crotchety, also is one of the “good cops” with no history of racism or police brutality. As far as the town of Ebbing is concerned, he has made every effort to apprehend Angela Hayes’ rapist and murderer. Willoughby’s ardent supporter is Jason Dixon (Sam Rockwell), a short-tempered cop who’s quick with his baton and rumored to have racist tendencies. While your first impression of the character is to believe all the rumors about him, Rockwell brings his charm and sincerity to what could be a rather unlikable character (his non-verbal mannerisms are simultaneously laugh-out-loud funny while giving an added depth to the character) and raises the question: Should people be defined by their worst action? While there’s no easy answer to this, Dixon’s journey is complex yet hopeful — all is far from forgiven, but the direction he’s going shows promise. The entire movie is littered with great supporting performances from the likes of Peter Dinklage who pines for Hayes; her ex-husband played by John Hawk; and Caleb Jones, the young advertising man with his own qualms with the police. All of these great performances, combined with a stellar screenplay, create a fantastic dark comedy that seems for all intent and purpose like it should simply be dark. You are consistently laughing while also still emotionally involved with the very serious storyline. This is a fantastic movie with great performances that will have you talking well beyond the theater. 

    Cityview / 11 d. 14 h. 9 min. ago more
  • Cowboys and Indians and chickensCowboys and Indians and chickens

    Common poultry made extraordinary at local resaurants Ankeny’s Cowboy Chicken franchise serves southern-style chicken. To some, Cowboy Chicken is a brilliant bird rising from the ashes of an American legend. To others, it’s an intelligent business lesson in restraint. Kenny Rogers, the singer, entered the franchise food league in 1991 with a restaurant called Kenny Rogers’ Roasters. It became American folk lore, growing to 425 restaurants in five years and then declaring bankruptcy and closing all of its American stores within three years. The top TV show of the decade, “Seinfeld,” gave it an episode in which Kramer went from trying to ban it from New York City to becoming obsessed with its wood-fired meat. Many like Kramer have rued its demise. Woodfired rotisserie chickens produce a marvelous flavor. It’s unlike barbecue or wood grilled. Actually it’s in between the two. Cowboy Chicken roasts birds for two hours on a rotisserie that is fired by a 4-foot blaze of oak and/or hickory. Remember when BBQs in Iowa had wood piles in front of the store? Cowboy Chicken restores that. Kenny Rogers’ Roasters, according to many business analysts, lost its way while expanding too fast — both in number of stores and in menu items. They were serving ribs, burgers and all kinds of other things by the time of their collapse. Cowboy Chicken had been around (Dallas) for 10 years before Kenny Rogers’ Roasters existed. As of the end of last year, it had expanded to 22 stores, all but two in Texas. It has been a really big deal in the Lone Star State when a Cowboy Chicken comes to town, or (rarely) closes. Iowa became the third state with a CC franchise recently when a store opened in Ankeny. I visited out of respect for all culinary things from Texas. I returned out of Kramer-like obsession for the chicken. CC only serves chicken — three pieces of dark, white quarters, halves or whole. In southern style, all meals come with two sides. The onion, cilantro and chipotle beans are the best of the latter; “creamed spinach” is more like spinach with Parmesan cheese. Mac and cheese, fried corn, sweet corn, hand cut french fries, green beans, fried okra, twice baked potatoes, and once baked sweet potatoes completed the options when I visited. Salads, brownies, cobblers and cookies completed the menu. Cobblers tasted like over processed, over sweetened fruit. Very Texan. Another chicken pioneer has been operating in Urbandale for about a year now. I visited Spice Pot recently after hearing many accolades. Like CC, they still serve chicken on the bone (and also boneless). Their tandoori, featured economically on their lunch buffet, is full of clay-reflected smoke flavor and a unique blend of spices.  This restaurant, as much as any before them, tries to emulate southern Indian cuisine — Andhra-Hyderabadi, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. To over generalize, southern cooking in India means the same thing as in Italy — less dairy compensated for withmore spices and vegetable oils. Idlis and vadas, both appetizer-sized dishes made with lentil/gram flour, are featured here. Vadas (fried and served with three dips) are sensational. Idlis (steamed and served similarly) less so. For north India fans, there are samosas (Indian egg rolls), paneer (cheese) and pakoras (fritters) too. But SP also has a few cauliflower appetizers that one does not see on most other local menus, including a Manchurian style dish which reflects the hottest new fashion in Indian cuisine. The entrée menu is chicken heavy with fish, shrimp and goat included. Vegetarian dishes are not too different from north Indian Iowa restaurants except that they include more peanuts and cashews. Paneer (cheese) tikka masala is cooked in the tandoor and served with a tomato sauce, making another comparison to Italian cooking. 

    Cityview / 11 d. 14 h. 10 min. ago more
  • Who is the Norwalk Santa?Who is the Norwalk Santa?

    It’s you, and you, and you and you and you… The Santa suit gets slightly hot in July, but Tom Guthrie distributes gifts to people in need all 12 months of the year. The woman had been kicked out of her apartment, was living on the street and was unable to get in the homeless shelter. If she could get to Indianola, she had a place to stay, but the needle on her car’s gas gauge was lodged on “E.” “Everything the woman owned was in the front seat of her car,” remembers Tom Guthrie. “And her two kids were in back.” The beard Guthrie wears is naturally white, and he enjoys helping people like the woman mentioned above. But even though, he helped her get to Indianola, get an apartment, and have furniture, he insists he isn’t the Norwalk Santa — a Facebook page dedicated to helping the needy. A few years ago, Guthrie found out a friend was adopting families and helping them with Christmas presents. He liked the idea and asked how he could get involved. “I thought I’d jump on board and try and spread the network,” he says. He donned a leftover Santa suit he had from serving at a local charity event, and he posted the needs of the families he adopted on social media. He couldn’t believe the response. “I was amazed on how much people wanted to give,” he says. “It was awesome. It was overwhelming. The generosity that is in our community is outstanding.” Guthrie became greedy to give, so he kept it up, even after Santa season was over. “I had a nurse friend who asked if I’d be a Santa to this little boy,” says Guthrie. “I said, ‘Sure.’ ” Jonathon was about 1 year old. He had been born with half of a heart. Guthrie donned the suit and visited. “I didn’t really know what I had in store until I saw that,” he says. “I walked out of there a different person.” Within a year, Jonathon had passed away. But the family’s courage, faith and positive attitude, paired with the boy’s happy heart, left an impression. “I would have paid to have done that,” he says. “I can’t get enough of that.” He started a Norwalk Santa Facebook page last winter. Now he regularly posts anonymous needs of strangers, and people always answer the call. “I have requested something and had two or three of them within 30 minutes,” he says. The extra stuff is stored at local watering holes, Gregg Young Chevrolet and at other donated spaces. “People love to give,” he says. “It makes them feel good.” He estimates Norwalk Santa and his helpers have helped about 100 people in a year. “This is a gift,” he says of the beard, the Santa suit and the ability to help. “I want to use this. God gave me this, and I want to use it. If I can put a big smile on a little face — and I’ve seen tears in parents’ eyes — that’s what I want to do.” Some of his biggest supporters say that asking for help isn’t anything to be ashamed of. After all, what goes around comes around, and everyone needs a hand from time to time. Someone once stuffed a hundred dollar bill in Guthrie’s hand and told him of being a boy with a sick father. “I don’t want anyone to know that I gave this,” said the man to Guthrie. “My favorite holiday season was when my dad was too sick to help work in the fields, but the neighbors from all around came and helped with the harvest, and they came together and helped with Thanksgiving dinner, and they helped with our Christmas. That was the best Christmas I ever had, and now I want to help somebody.” As a school bus driver, Guthrie’s beard draws suspicion from the elementary school kids. The children ask if he’s Santa, but he denies it. “I don’t want to be known as the Norwalk Santa,” he says. “Anybody who gives is the Norwalk Santa.” 

    Cityview / 11 d. 14 h. 11 min. ago more
  • The old man, the combine, and baseballThe old man, the combine, and baseball

    “I’d offer you lunch, but I’ve already eaten it,” the old man says without a hint of a smile. Dry humor fits this landscape of dust and whirling blades and blowing chaff. A foreign country for sure, where everyone operates on a seasonal punch clock. Not my world, even though it’s just a few miles from Des Moines. But I can’t resist a big truck, or, to be more exact, a large combine. The combine turns at the end of the row and waits expectantly for me to climb up. The machine looks like something out of a futuristic movie — foreign, large and slightly menacing. “I was so busy trying not to hit you, that I forgot to drop the load,” the old man shouts down over the engine noise. I didn’t realize that hitting me was an option. Or is this another joke? The old man sits high above the ground in a glass enclosure. He’s 80 years old. He seems friendly enough. And he must have climbed up into the combine by himself. I clutch the only ladder with some misgivings. Don’t the big rock climbers have to tie off before they ascend? He pokes his head out. Waves me up with a grin. Warm, friendly, easy to smile, Bill Gannon welcomes me into his cab. And off we go — air-conditioned, two soft seats, Boeing 747 controls, and the ball game on the radio. How does this machine even work? As far as I can tell, the combine runs over the beans and the beans vanish. It’s as simple as that. Magic. And then the steering wheel begins to steer by itself. “This combine has auto steer. So, you see, it is no hands. GPS. It keeps in touch with the satellite, which keeps in touch with the steering mechanism. And it works.” See. What did I tell you? Magic. “The combine has changed big time over the years. The first combine I owned I pulled with a tractor. It cut 6 foot. That was the width of the platform. You could crowd three rows of beans in there. Today we’re doing approximately 22 rows of beans. It is a 25-foot platform.” We gently sway as we move across the field, down the slope, and over the still-green waterways, all within sight of the valley where the old railroad used to make the run to Kansas City. “There’s some nice views here,” Gannon gestures with his free hands. “A couple of years ago, we got designated a Century Farm. This quarter section was the ground that was in the Gannon family for over 100 years. My grandfather purchased this quarter section in 1887. My dad wound up with it. Then my dad left it to me.” What will happen after you? “I don’t know. I would hope it stays in the family. But when you’re dead, you can’t control it.” Gannon shrugs and laughs quietly. And your life? Has it been what you hoped for? “I liked all the things in my life. When I was doing it, I enjoyed it.” Really? “Many years ago, I ran for governor in the Democratic primary. Running for governor now wouldn’t be much fun, I don’t think. There’s too much acrimony going on. Back when I was in the legislature, we had people disagree, but we were civil to each other. I was in the legislature six years. I was minority foreman four of those years in the Iowa House.” Sure enough, Gannon was in the House of Representatives from 1965 to 1971. He ran for governor in the primaries in 1970 and 1974. He ran for lieutenant governor in the general election in 1972. His focus in those legislative days — equal pay for women and the environment. “I ran on the same issues that are still around today,” he points out. “We didn’t have any money to run. If you don’t have money, you have to do something to draw attention to your campaign. And our campaign was Ride for Reform. I rode that horse, actually two horses, right at 1,300 miles total.” He shakes his head at the thought. After all the excitement of your life, isn’t this a little lonely sitting up in this combine on a cold, fall day in Iowa? “Not at all,” he says, as he turns the big machine around at the end of the row. “I love listening to the ball games.” So we sit quietly. The combine whirls its way across the bean field, the steering wheel steers itself, and the cab sways back and forth like the crow’s nest on an old whaling ship. “Fly ball to center field…” 

    Cityview / 11 d. 14 h. 12 min. ago more
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