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May 26, 2011 |

The good

 

These dudes care about kittens. The Iowa Animal Care and Control Officer was dispatched to downtown Des Moines last week with a report of four kittens that were trapped in a storm sewer intake. Des Moines Public Works arrived to remove the grate to the intake so the officer could reach the kittens. Employees from Simon Tire Service, across the street from the drain, also came over to lend a hand. All four kittens are about four weeks old. After warming up under a heat lamp at the ARL, they were placed in a foster home (hopefully not with the "Crazy Cat Lady" mentioned in this week's Bad column). Officials believe the kittens were born in the sewer by a stray cat.

 

Three grants, totaling $933,000, have been awarded for renewable fuels education, marketing and outreach. The grants were awarded under the Iowa State Energy Program and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Magellan Pipeline Company, L.P., will receive $500,000 for new equipment used for the unloading, storage and blending of biodiesel in Des Moines. Kum & Go was awarded $400,000 to add at least four ethanol blender pumps at 10 new locations for a total of 40 pumps, which will allow consumers more choices of various ethanol blended gasoline. And the Iowa Biodiesel Board will receive a $33,000 grant to educate local diesel technicians on the benefits of biodiesel through their Biodiesel for Diesel Technicians Program. With these gas prices, any news involving the words "renewable" and "fuel" sounds good to us.

 

The bad

 

Apparently there is a real life Crazy Cat Lady from "The Simpsons," and she lives in Des Moines. Last week officers arrested Elizabeth Marlene Freeborn, 50, after she allegedly caused a drunken scene at her apartment complex. Upon arrival, officers spoke with witnesses who told them Freeborn is often intoxicated and yelling at people in the parking lot. Police were called because Freeborn allegedly pulled her pants down in the parking lot and was yelling. After people told her the police were called, Freeborn went to her apartment and appeared on her patio. She continued yelling and then threw a cat at a 6-year-old child. She was pouring liquid off her balcony as police arrived. Reports say Freeborn had slurred speech and a strong smell of alcohol. She continued yelling at people in the parking lot as police escorted her to the squad car. Freeborn was charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and simple assault.

 

Liz Lemon may have been on to something with her fear of a group of teenagers ("look out, youths") on "30 Rock," as Des Moines residents are now also realizing that the juvenile delinquency problem is no laughing matter. Within the last week, Des Moines police have arrested 10 juveniles, ranging in ages from 12 to 17, in connection with two hideous crimes — a couple being beaten and a home invasion that included a brutal pistol-whipping that ended in robbery. With summer here and more teenagers running wild in the streets, we doubt this is the last we'll here about youth crime in the metro.

 

The ugly

 

Sometimes you just can't hold it, which was the case for 60-year-old substitute teacher Coleman Eaton Jr. The Georgia resident was subbing for a fourth grade class when he apparently had to relieve himself. So instead of leaving the classroom, Eaton told the kids to walk to the back of the classroom and not to turn around. He then proceeded to urinate in a trashcan. Eaton denied it, saying, he poured apple juice in the can, but officers stated that a few students turned around and saw him peeing. Eaton was arrested and charged with two counts of child molestation.

 

Think a zombie apocalypse is laughable? Well, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn't. They recently released an online blog titled: "Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse." Although the CDC admits it really is a joke, they are encouraging people to be prepared for any type of emergency situation. "There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for," the post stated. "Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That's right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you'll be happy you read this." The post instructs readers on how to prepare for "flesh eating zombies," which surprisingly is similar to the preparations recommended for a hurricane or pandemic such as having an emergency kit stocked with water, food, medications, duct tape, battery powered radio, clothes, important documents and first aid supplies. The idea stemmed from the radiation fears in Japan following the recent tsunami and earthquake. CV