A look at seven days of crime in Des Moines

In a perfect world, there would be no crime. No homicides, assaults, robberies, domestic disputes, burglaries and so on. But we are all far from perfect, and crime continues to be an everyday occurrence. Each week, in Rapsheet, we publish “Busted,” a column that highlights an alleged criminal in our city. This week we’ve expanded our investigating to publish our third annual “Busted” issue that is chock full of alleged criminals.

By no means was last year easy for the Des Moines Police Department, as it had nearly $2 million cut from its budget and had three officers sustain serious injuries while on duty. Yet the department, with 279 sworn officers, is still a dedicated group of individuals who put their lives on the line for our safety.

Officers responded to 194,665 calls in 2009 and had approximately 41,000 cases reported — a drop of about 10,000 cases from the five-year average. The department credits the drop in reported crime because of “community policing,” a term describing working closely with neighborhood groups that has been effective, along with an increased presence in the downtown entertainment district...Read More>>

A coach and his son; an out-of-state bus; other stuff

Skinny missed his deadline Monday, so the editors logged into his computer at work. Among other things, they found this draft of an “open letter” to departing Iowa State basketball coach Greg McDermott.

Dear Coach McDermott,

Congratulations on your new job at Creighton. I wish you success to a point — the point being when your team plays Drake University or the University of Northern Iowa in the Missouri Valley League. I’m sure many people at Iowa State will miss you.

But that’s not why I write.

I write because of what you seem to have encouraged your son Doug to do. He had signed a letter of intent to go to the University of Northern Iowa and play basketball there. Now, he has reneged on that deal so he can join you at Creighton. That is wrong, Coach.....Read More>>

Seeds for Thankful Dirt’s debut album sewn by couple’s lives, fate

Some married couples finish each other’s sentences. Molly and Darren Matthews finish each other’s songs.

Like Joe and Vicki Price, or Bo Ramsey and Pieta Brown, add the Des Moines couple known as Thankful Dirt to the short list of talented Iowa husband-wife tandems in tune with each other onstage and off.

Don’t believe me? Listen to their splendid, self-titled debut album to be released this week. So intimate are the album’s 12 original songs that soulfully mine the collective organic sounds of folk, country, bluegrass, blues and rock sounds that you feel like you’re listening to the couple discuss the joys and tribulations of their lives over a cup of coffee at their kitchen table. Most importantly, though, you’re able to relate to their stories. ...Read More>>

Cochon555: old skills and sneak previews

Last week, Cochon555 brought its Midwest Regional championship to Des Moines for the second straight year. This Taste Network national tour puts our city in the select company of serious culinary destinations — New York, Napa, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Portland, Seattle, Stillwater and Washington D.C. Cochon is an elite event hosted by several of America’s most famous hotels and resorts. Chefs come from the country’s best restaurants (Boulud and Blue Hill in New York, The French Laundry in Napa). Time magazine and the New York Times cover the tour. In prestige, it’s the culinary equivalence of hosting an NCAA men’s basketball tournament. It might not return to Des Moines though. Ticket sales slipped, and the event hasn’t interested any civic or state group that promotes this city’s image.

Five chefs competed by utilizing five heritage hogs, snout to tail. Guest-voters sampled pork while being treated to excellent wines from five boutique vineyards. Mike LaValle (Embassy Club) said that Chase Family Cellars’ Zinfandels were the best he’s ever seen in Iowa. This year’s competition included local chefs George Formaro and Hal Jasa, defending champion Matt Steigerwald from Mount Vernon, and two chefs from Kansas City — Cody Hogan and Howard Hanna. ...Read More>>

Say somethin'!

Tell us what you think about local politics, music, restaurants, bars, entertainment or anything else going on in Des Moines.

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On the town

Cityview brings you updated nightlife images, trivia and bar specials from the metro area's hottest spots. See More>>

Round Kick Gym

Best of Des Moines 2011

Fall Relish

Coupon Guide