good bad ugly

The Good

Looks like Bettendorf is filled with attractive and intelligent women. Last week, two residents were honored as the best in Iowa. Katherine Connors, 20, was named Miss Iowa USA and Erica Lansman, 17, was named Miss Teen Iowa USA. Connors, who finished as third runner-up and second runner-up the last two years, will compete in the national televised Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas on April 18, in which the winner will compete to be Miss Universe. Lansman, who competed in her first contest, will represent the state at the Miss Teen USA pageant next year. Good luck ladies.


The South Park Neighborhood in Des Moines will have another chance at $25,000 worth of community betterment grants offered annually by the city. Southwestern Hills’ residents say The Neighborhood Street-scape Grant Program money would possibly be used to line Park Avenue from Fleur Drive to Southwest 42nd Street with a canopy of trees. South Park Neighborhood received $1,210 for a makeover of its community garden earlier this year, but most of the money has gone to other areas in the city such as street lighting, neighborhood signs, drinking fountains and benches, and landscape improvements. Applicants will be notified of their award by March 1, 2010, and projects must be finished by Dec. 1, 2010.

The Bad

Luther Smith, an Iowa native and Tuskegee Airman, died last week at the age of 89. Smith, who learned how to fly in Des Moines, flew 133 combat missions with the Alabama-based 332nd Fighter Group of the Army Air Corps. One of the first African-American licensed pilots in the nation, Smith suffered permanent injuries on his final mission when he parachuted from his burning plane and was captured by German soldiers in 1944. He spent the next seven months in hospitals and prison camps before he was repatriated in 1945. Smith was forced to retire from the army as captain in 1947. He then earned an engineering degree from the University of Iowa. He worked as an aerospace engineer for 37 years at General Electric. Smith earned numerous awards and commendations for his military service, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart, eight European and Mediterranean Theaters Campaign Ribbons and the Prisoner of War Medal. In 2007, Smith joined nearly 300 original Tuskegee Airmen at the U.S. Capital to receive the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, the highest civilian honor bestowed by Congress.


A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 50 million Americans have been sickened by the Swine Flu, which has also killed about 10,000. The number is alarming considering officials said the illness had sickened 22 million Americans and killed about 4,000 through mid-October.

The Ugly

We are sick of hearing about Tiger Woods and his parade of alleged mistresses. The Woods saga began after the golfer backed over a fire hydrant at 2 a.m., and multiple reports stated that Woods’ wife, Elin Nordegren, was on the scene with a golf club, possibly upset with him. But none of the swirling rumors has been confirmed. Last week the golfer acknowledged on his Web site that he was taking an “indefinite” leave from the game. This is just another celebrity who can’t keep his pants on. But the PGA should be worried, because without Woods, golf is in trouble.


Gov. Chet Culver’s 10 percent across-the-board budget cut will lead to Iowa foster parents receiving approximately $35 less each month for expenses for the abused or neglected children are in their care. The Council on Human Services will reduce the per-child foster care subsidy by $1.16 a day to meet the across-the-board cut. Culver has ordered $565 million in cuts in general fund spending, including $144 million in DHS cuts. The across-the-board cut for DHS children and family services amounts to $2.3 million less in spending. The lower subsidy is from Jan. 1, 2010, until June 30, 2010. Iowa has approximately 2,300 foster children. CV


what the

This week’s winner:

“Movin’ on up, to the southside. To that deluxe trailer in the sky. Movin’ on up, we finally got a piece of the rock.”

Tom McDonald

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