good bad ugly

December 16, 2010



The good

Known to many as “Sister Stella,” 68-year-old Stella Neil was killed last week in a car accident on Interstate 80 near Walnut. “Sister Stella” founded Anawim Housing, a nonprofit organization that provides permanent rental homes for low-incoming families. During her 22 years, she helped the poorest of the poor and had recently stepped down this past spring. Central Iowans will miss such a hard-working woman looking to help in any way possible.


Four men who were killed last August by a drunk driver will be honored in Council Bluffs. Ground was broken last week for the Fallen Four Memorial Building in the western Iowa town. Officials report that Andrew Schlichtemeier, 22, of Murray, Neb., swerved into oncoming traffic on Interstate Highway 29 killing all four motorcyclists. He has pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide. Construction on the memorial building is scheduled to be complete next summer.


The bad

When cops impound your truck, it’s not a smart move to break into the impound lot and get something you left behind. Kyle Corr, 19, was arrested after attempting to break into a police station to steal marijuana out of his impounded vehicle. Mississippi police originally found numerous stolen items in Corr’s Ford truck, so it was impounded as part of a burglary investigation. Officials became suspicious when Corr continually tried to get his truck out of impound, so they set up video surveillance. Sure enough, Corr broke into the garage through a side door, went right to his vehicle and started removing hidden bags of marijuana from a side panel. Officers, who had been waiting, took Corr into custody at the scene, and he was charged with burglary, tampering with evidence and possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell or deliver.


Although the smoking ban has kept the air cleaner in the places we frequent, just one whiff of second-hand smoke can still cause damage. Last week, a surgeon general report stated that tobacco smoke immediately poisons the body with more than 7,000 harmful chemicals, causing cell damage in almost every organ. More than 440,000 Americans die each year from tobacco-influenced illnesses, while an estimated 46 million adults regularly smoke. The government hoped to drop the smoking rate to 12 percent by the end of this year, a goal it won’t reach and has been pushed back to 2020. So even though the establishment you frequent might be smoke-free, the clouds of smoke you walk through outside to get in the establishment are still doing plenty of damage. Maybe investing in a gas mask might not be a bad idea after all.


The ugly

There is nothing like spending the holidays in jail with your mom. That’s exactly what happened to Hayley Powell, 18, and her mom, Robin Powell, 45, after a hit and run. After fleeing the scene, Hayley and Robin switched seats so Hayley, who was under the influence of prescription medication, would not be charged with a DUI. When officers caught up with the pair, Robin was in the driver’s seat. When tested, both women were revealed to be under the influence of prescription medication, with Robin also having cocaine in her system and driving on a revoked license. Hayley and Robin were both charged with DUI and aiding and abetting DUI. Hayley was also charged with hit and run, while Robin was charged with driving on a revoked driver’s license. These two must love causing trouble because Robin has been arrested eight times in the last year while Hayley has been arrested 11.


Military officials and analysts report that Taliban small-arm attacks are nearly twice what they were a year ago against U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan. Currently, more than 18,000 attacks have taken place from enemy fighters who are armed with missiles, automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades. In 2009, there were about 18,600 attacks. To date, there are approximately 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. And how exactly do we “win” this war? CV


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