features

good bad ugly

January 20th, 2011 |

 

 

The good

National reports show that the country’s unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent in December (the lowest in 19 months), and, locally, Iowa has regained approximately 19,600 of the 57,300 jobs lost in the recession from more than two years ago. Data from the Iowa Workforce Development shows a one-third increase in jobs around the state of Iowa. A prediction from Moody’s Analytics shows that Iowa won’t fully replace the remaining 37,700 jobs until the third quarter of 2012. Moody’s doesn’t expect the United States to regain the jobs lost in the recession until the second quarter of 2013.

 

How’s your driving? Your car may soon tell you. A British motoring magazine reports that Ferrari recently filed a patent application that will help monitor the mental state of the driver by recording heart rate, eye blink, brain activity, blood pressure and more. The vehicle will then be able to increase the amount of electronic assistance if it decides the driver has made a wrong decision. Ferrari already has some vehicles with advanced stability and traction control systems that manually turn on and off depending on how much control is needed.

 

The bad

Sometimes we wonder why people want to live in Florida. Case in point — Juan Cuandra, who clearly needs help. The 35-year-old Hollywood, Fla., native was arrested last week after police caught him masturbating outside an apartment window. Upon arrival, officers found Cuadra playing with his bologna pony. First, he told officers the woman inside the apartment was his girlfriend, and then he told them the woman was a co-worker. Finally, Cuadra admitted he didn’t know the woman. According to the arrest report, Cuadra stated he “hadn’t had a girlfriend for a while and was desperate.” He was charged with indecent exposure, voyeurism and loitering/prowling.

 

Cheers! The Daily Beast released a list of the 40 drunkest cites in the nation, and three cities in Iowa made the cut. Cedar Rapids stumbled in at No. 38 with an individual drinking an average of 11 drinks per month, along with a 19.4 percent rating for adult binge drinkers. Davenport registered at No. 33 with individuals consuming 10.77 drinks per month and a 19.1 percent of adults who binge drink. But the big winner (or loser) is Sioux City, which ranks No. 14 with individuals averaging 11.39 drinks per month and a 21.4 percent of adult binge drinkers. At least now we know why Steve King keeps his legislative seat.

 

The ugly

How is Gary Germaine still walking the streets? Last week, Germaine, 46, was arrested in Enfield, Conn., after he sexually harassed customers at a convenience store. Officers were called to The Shop Rite convenience store after witnesses complained of a man exposing himself with a dildo and cucumber to customers. When officers arrived, Germaine attempted to flee, but officials apprehended him. They searched his vehicle and found a rubber dildo, a jock strap and a cucumber that had been wrapped in duct tape. This isn’t Germaine’s first foray into being a pervert; he is a registered sex offender in both Massachusetts and Connecticut and was convicted in 1996, 1998 and 2001 of open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior. This time he was charged with two counts of risk of injury to a minor and one count of second-degree breach of peace. Castration might fix Germaine of his creepy mentality.

 

A place of education turned deadly last week when a student from Omaha Millard South High School opened fire, killing an assistant principal and injuring the principal. The suspect, Robert Butler Jr., was later found dead in his car of an apparent self-inflicted wound. Law enforcement indicates that Butler, 17, had recently transferred to Millard South from another high school in Lincoln. A Facebook message posted by Butler prior to the incident said that Omaha had changed him and he apologized for what he was about to do. In the incident, Assistant Principal Vicki Kaspar, 58, was shot and later passed away at a local hospital. Principal Curtis Case, 45, is listed in serious but stable condition. Butler’s father is a seven-year detective of the Omaha Police Department. The teenager also fired at a custodian, but missed, and the bullet fragments hit a nurse who was treated and released. No students were shot in the incident. CV