Congratulations to DART and to the Des Moines Area Religious Council. Last weekend, citizens had the opportunity to ride the bus for free with a donation of non-perishable, non-glass food items. The weekend-long drive brought in more than 2,400 canned items, with some patrons stopping the bus, not to ride, but to donate. The food was presented to the Council on Monday and will be distributed to 11 different food pantries throughout the metro. The campaign, entitled “Food Ride,” was a win-win situation for everybody. With the extra food, numerous families won’t go hungry this holiday season.
After a whirlwind season of “Cast Your Kernel,” three debates and nasty political advertisements, Iowa’s next governor will be elected on Tuesday, Nov. 2. The election seems to be a two-man race between current governor Chet Culver and former governor Terry Branstad. The winner will serve a four-year term to begin on Jan. 14, 2011. Last week’s report indicated that voting records have been broken. As of press time, more than 337,000 Iowans had requested absentee ballots as opposed to 242,385 during the 2006 General Election. Iowans can vote in advance in three ways: by mail, at the County Auditor’s office during normal business hours or satellite voting set up by their County Auditor’s office. For more information, visit www.iowavotes.gov.
Vehicles and bicycles don’t mix. Just ask witnesses who saw Manuel Gomez-Iruegas strike his teenage son with a van near East High School last week. According to police reports, the teenager, who hadn’t been home for two days, was riding his bicycle when the 41-year-old father spotted the youth and deliberately hit him. The boy suffered a broken leg in the incident. Iruegas was charged with assault with a weapon causing injury and child endangerment. Ever wonder how Gomez-Iruegas taught his boy to ride without training wheels?
It’s been a tough year for Haitians, and it isn’t getting better. More than 140 people died due to a cholera outbreak in the rural Artibonite region, which is where thousands of earthquake refugees live. Officials believe poor sanitation environments of homeless survivors living in tarp cities and other settlements caused the outbreak. Many of the sick have converged on St. Nicholas Hospital where hundreds of patients lay dehydrated in a parking lot with IVs in their arms, waiting for treatment. Cholera is a waterborne bacterial infection spread through contaminated water, causing severe diarrhea and vomiting. The disease can lead to dehydration and death within hours.
We mentioned that whooping cough invaded Iowa a few weeks ago (“Good, Bad, Ugly,” Oct. 7). The numbers continue to rise, and officials urge more people to receive the vaccination. State officials said that more than 360 cases have been reported, which is close to doubling last year’s case count of 196. Initial symptoms are cold-like with a runny nose, but about six to seven days later a violent cough develops, making it difficult to breath, drink or eat, and can last up to six weeks. More of those affected, 54 percent, are between age 5 and 14, but officials urge adults to the get the vaccination as well.
What a sick creep. Last week in an Ontario courtroom, Col. Russell Williams confessed to murdering two women while commanding Canada’s biggest air force base. The jury charged Williams with two mandatory life sentences in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years for the murders of Jessica Elizabeth Lloyd, 27, and Cpl. Marie-France Comeau, 38. The 47-year-old rapist and serial killer broke into 48 residences of women and girls, sometimes multiple times. Williams videotaped the murders and dressed in the underwear of his female victims. CV