good bad ugly

August 26, 2010

The good

Iowa has taken another step toward equality as Romonda Belcher-Ford, an assistant Polk County attorney, was selected as the first female African-American judge. Belcher-Ford, 42, was chosen to fill the spot left vacant by the retirement of Polk County District Associate Judge Joe Smith. She was one of three finalists nominated by a commission and will take the bench within 30 days of her appointment. William W. Parker, Iowa’s first African American judge, was elected to the municipal court bench in 1963.


Thanks, Des Moines. Iowa high school seniors earned an average ACT composite score of 22.2, surpassing the national average of 21.0 and ranking second nationally. This year’s results are the first time that 1,592 graduates of the Des Moines school district were included. The district’s average composite score was 18.6, 3.6 points below the Iowa average. Minnesota ranks No. 1 among the nation with an average ACT composite score of 22.9. While a perfect score is 36, and Iowa’s score is down from 22.4 last year, testing officials still believe many Iowa high school students need more challenging classes. Iowa recently adopted national standards for what students should master in math and English. These standards will be mandatory in all schools by 2014.


The bad

Talk about shitting on veterans. A California gravesite for an Army hero from the 1860s has been desecrated as it was recently turned into a popular dog park. Private James Sumner was awarded the nation’s highest military honor after leading the chase when a band of Apache Indians kidnapped a settler’s child. President Ulysses S. Grant awarded Sumner the Medal of Honor in 1870, and he died in 1912, being buried in what was known as St. Mary’s Cemetery. The cemetery was the final home to more than 2,500 people and most of the grave markers have been hauled away. Veterans are fighting with the city of Ventura to unearth Sumner and lay him to rest where dogs won’t be able to desecrate the soil. Park commissioners stated they’re committed to a long-delayed effort to commemorate the area where pioneers and military dead are buried in the park.


The third time wasn’t a charm for spectators in Spain. After two attempts, an 1,100-pound bull jumped a fence and injured 40 people last week. The incident took place in the Tafalla arena in the region of Navarra. A 10-year-old boy was hospitalized in critical condition after the bull reportedly fell on him. The bull was killed once it was brought under control, but those who continue to plan these events are the ones who should be hamburger.


The ugly

Incredible. Approximately 380 million eggs have been recalled after being linked to an outbreak of salmonella poisoning. Reports indicate that eggs from Wright County Egg in Galt, Iowa, are being linked to illnesses in Colorado, California and Minnesota. Jack DeCoster, who has had run-ins with regulators over poor or unsafe working conditions and environmental violations, owns Wright County Egg. As of press time, a second egg producer in Iowa, Hillandale Farms, issued a recall on eggs that it sent to 14 states. Common symptoms of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting and stomach cramps.


When did the Iowa State Fair start serving beatings on a stick? After a violent incident during the first weekend of the fair, Des Moines Police announced they would step up patrols during the last days of “Non-Stop Fun.” Even with increased police presence, fights broke out again Sunday night, the last night of the fair. Officers had to spray chemicals and deploy a stun gun to gain control of the unruly crowd. Two officers were injured after being punched while trying to secure arrests, and two juveniles were taken into custody and will likely face charges in juvenile court. CV


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