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The good

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of central Iowans, more people will have their bellies full instead of going to bed hungry. Residents donated more than 56,000 lbs. of food for their letter carriers to pick up as part of this year’s “Stamp Out Hunger!” campaign. On May 8, mail carriers collected the food, and volunteers from the Des Moines Public Schools and the U.S. Postal Service delivered the donations to the Food Bank of Iowa. The various donations will be distributed to a number of organizations including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and non-profit agencies in the 42-country Food Bank of Iowa service area.

 

Iowans know University of Iowa students have an alcohol problem, and officials in government and business are doing something about it. Along with help from university officials, the three have created the Partnership on Alcohol Safety to help with dangerous drinking. Officials report that 70 percent of the University’s students binge drink and hope the number of underage drinking citations and public intoxication cases will decrease as a result of efforts from this group. We’ll drink to that.

 

The bad

Some people apparently do not realize that department stores have numerous security cameras to detect shoplifting. Two women, Nola Carol Whiten, 54, and Lawanna Lucille Whiten, 32, face charges of second-degree robbery after they were recently stopped by loss prevention employees at Wal-Mart, 5101 S.E. 14th. According to police, the two women walked around the store for almost an hour, picking out 22 clothing items. After the women paid for three small items, employees stopped them and a scuffle occurred. Lawanna became upset and yelled obscenities, and an employee suffered a cut lip in the incident. While the scuffle escalated, Nola tried to grab the bags and leave the store. Both women were taken into custody and were cautioned about trespassing charges if they returned. The women could face up to 10 years if convicted of second-degree robbery.

 

Watch where you’re driving. According to a new study from www.insurance.com, Iowa ranks No. 4 in the Most Dangerous City for Drivers list. The Web site reviewed designated market areas that requested 500 quotes or more over a six-month period, and Iowa hit the list with 33.2 percent of drivers reporting an accident. Baltimore, Md., ranks No. 1 at 36.5 percent, followed by Johnstown, Pa., and Portland, Maine. Lincoln, Neb., rounds out the Top 10 at 31.8 percent. Maybe hanging up the cell phone and driving doesn’t sound that bad after all.

 

The ugly

Drug users are going to use anything they can to get that feeling. Sadly, many are turning to a new drug, one that cities and states across the country are banning. K2, also known as “Spice,” mimics a marijuana high when smoked and is sold online, in convenience stores and in herbal or spiritual shops. Selling for as much as $35 an ounce, the herbs are marketed as incense. The Drug Enforcement Administration says K2 is a “drug of concern,” and poison centers have reported more than 350 cases in 35 states thus far. Currently, Kansas and Kentucky have banned the drug, and Alabama will starting July 1. Legislatures in Georgia, Missouri and Tennessee have passed bans that will take effect unless their governors veto them.

 

Forget the “Return of the Mack;” it’s return of the mumps in Iowa. Officials at the Iowa Department of Public Health say five recent cases of the mumps have been identified in northwestern Iowa, bringing the total to 13 throughout the state. Officials stated since mumps is continuing to spread, all Iowans, especially those in the northwestern part of the state, should be aware of the symptoms — painful swelling or inflammation in the salivary glands, pain with chewing or swallowing, fever, weakness and fatigue. The department recommends everyone receive two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine unless they know they have had mumps in the past. CV


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