good bad ugly

The Good

Let the water flow. The City of Ankeny will soon have a second water tower that officials say will meet customer demand, provide fire protection and provide room for future growth. Standing at 1841 S.W. Irvinedale Drive, the 2.5-million-gallon capacity water tower is scheduled to be complete the week of Dec. 14. The $4.1 million tower is five times the size of the old one and will be paid for with water utility revenues. Let’s toast a glass to competent city planning.


With cold winter weather upon us, last week Hope Ministries gave away hundreds of warm clothing at Hope Bethel Mission. Coats, hats, mittens, gloves and scarves were handed out to men, women and children. Hope Ministries will continue to collect winter-wear items through January and will have a second winter-wear giveaway Jan. 23, 2010. Since January, Hope Ministries has served 120,825 meals and 48,047 shelter nights. Since the formation of Hope Ministries in July 2000, the organization has served 1,046,170 meals and 386,813 shelter nights.

The Bad

Grimes area residents who rely on the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority bus service for transportation will have until 2011 to use the service as the Grimes City Council voted unanimously to withdraw from the DART program because of significant increases for services. The program had cost the city $16,000 annually, but through a revised DART budgeting formula, Grimes’ share of the service cost rose to $65,000 annually in the current budget year. Grimes Council members say they are looking into other options to replace DART. Here’s a thought: move to Des Moines.


Tareq and Michaele Salahi have received much attention for crashing President Obama’s first state dinner last month, but a new report compiled by the Secret Service reveals security surrounding the president has been breached at least 91 times since 1980. Crashers include a family who was mistakenly allowed onto White House grounds driving a mini van and a woman who claimed she had a “special relationship” with former President Bill Clinton. We wonder how the most important man in the United States can be unprotected. The people getting through have been tourists and celebrity seekers, but what happens when someone dangerous slips through the cracks?

The Ugly

Ho, ho, hoax. Last week, William C. Caldwell, 45, was arrested in Morrow, Ga., after dressing in an elf costume, waiting in line to talk to Santa and then telling the jolly man he had a gift of dynamite for him. Caldwell was allegedly carrying it with him and told Santa he was going to blow up the mall. Santa called security, and the mall was evacuated. No explosives were found. Caldwell faces several charges including having hoax devices and making terrorist threats.


Wal-Mart offers everything under one roof including assaults as well. Thomas Jenkins, a 72-year-old Wal-Mart greeter, was punched in the face last week as he welcomed customers into the store in North Versailles, Pa. Surveillance video shows Paul Washington, 55, coming round a corner and punching Jenkins in the face, knocking him to the ground. Washington denies the attack, and officials believe it was unprovoked. Washington was arrested and charged with punching Jenkins. Jenkins reportedly went to the hospital and was treated for broken facial bones. So much for “Save money. Live better.” CV


what the

This week’s winner:

“RAGBRAI’s newest accessory for the lonely bicyclist.”
Joel Sampson

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