More people will sleep with a full belly thanks to a number of area churches. The “We Can” food drive ended last week, surpassing its goal of 50,000 food items. The food drive, which included 40 central Iowa churches, collected 59,085 items that will be donated to Hope Ministries and the Des Moines Area Religious Council. Participating congregations have donated throughout March and April. This year’s numbers blew away last year’s inaugural rally collection of 34,000 food items. It’s encouraging to see people giving regardless of today’s societal problems.
Sarah Brown Wessling knows that “Teacher of the Year” has a nice ring to it. The Johnston High School teacher, who also was named Iowa’s top teacher, was honored last week in Washington D.C. by President Barack Obama. Wessling has 11 years of teaching experience and is currently chairwoman of the English department. Beginning June 1, Wessling will spend a year as a full-time national and international spokeswoman for education. The 35-year-old Winterset and Iowa State University alum is the second Iowa teacher (Ames elementary teacher Jean Humphrey in 1958) selected as the nation’s top teacher since the recognition program began in 1952.
What was a smaller estimate has turned into a large fact as the Coast Guard stated that approximately 210,000 gallons of oil is leaking from the site of the sunken oil rig Deepwater Horizon. The estimate is five times higher than previously thought by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The administration has banned commercial and recreational fishing in a broad expanse of ocean for a minimum of 10 days. Crews have already collected nearly 250,000 gallons of oily water from the scene since the explosion on April 20. Eleven workers are still missing and are presumed dead. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.
Last weekend, a drunk driver caused a multiple-vehicle accident in Johnston. Renee Rabedeaux, 57, of Johnston, was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated after a three-vehicle crash on Northwest Beaver Drive. Rabedeaux turned left into the path of a southbound motorcycle, and the two collided. The motorcycle driver and the passenger were thrown free. The bike continued down the street and hit a second vehicle, and two vehicles burst into flames. The motorcycle driver and passenger were taken to Iowa Methodist, but their injuries didn’t appear life threatening. Neither Rabedeaux nor the driver of the second vehicle were injured. We hope Rabedeaux learned her lesson because even though she was charged with O.W.I., the situation could have been fatal.
As U.S. citizens get fatter and fatter, California is taking the lead on banishing food-related items. County supervisors in California have proposed that toys included in fast-food restaurant meals for kids be banned. Officials in Santa Clara are convinced that luring kids into eating foods with high sugar, sodium and fat by using toys will make them overweight and cause long-term health problems. This proposal, believed to be the first of its kind, would ban toys in any kid’s meal with more than 485 calories, 600 mg of salt, or high amounts of sugar or fat. This would lead to all of McDonald’s Happy Meals to be served without toys. Supporters of the ban argue it will force restaurants to offer nutritious foods to kids. Sounds to us like Big Brother getting too involved again in parenting decisions.
What’s happening in China? The country has been under attack as a series of assaults have taken place at schools over the past few weeks. Just last week, a farmer attacked and injured five kindergarten students, another incident involved a 47-year-old unemployed man wounding 28 students and yet another saw a man stab 18 students and a teacher. In all, there have been five such attacks on schools in just over a month. Officials believe many of the attacks have been blamed on personal grudges or people with psychiatric problems. Schools have stepped up enforcement with security guards armed with police batons and pepper spray. CV