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March 1, 2012
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Cityview readers smash new Best Of Des Moines record, casting more than 10,000 votes this year

By Jared Curtis and Amber Williams

Eats Shopping Culture &
of the

Best of the rest

Best Elected Official

Peter Cownie

The mayor and governor have been favorites in this category over the past few years, but a new champion has emerged — Rep. Peter Cownie (R-West Des Moines). Cownie, who was born and raised in Des Moines, is currently serving his second term in the Iowa house. Cownie is the President of Junior Achievement of Central Iowa and also serves as a director on the West Des Moines Community Enrichment Foundation and volunteers for a variety of organizations including the Boys & Girls Club and the Variety Club of Central Iowa.
Runners-up: Terry Branstad, Matt McCoy

Best TV Station for News


KCCI once again takes home the title for “Best TV Station for News.” Although KCCI and WHO have battled it out over the years, it seems KCCI is breaking free from its competitors. Whether it’s in the morning, after work or late at night, KCCI has our readers covered.

Runners-up: WHO, WOI

Best TV Station for Sports


KCCI might rule the news, but when our readers want the best sports coverage, they turn to the WHO sports team, led by iconic sports director Keith Murphy. Murphy leads his team like a veteran quarterback, complementing each member’s specialty with a wide variety of hard hitting, in-depth stories and plenty of laughs. And just like a quarterback, Murph knows he is only as good as his top-notch squad including Andy Fales, Chris Hassel and Zach Borg. Adding to the top-notch coverage, “SoundOff” airs every Sunday night, allowing local sports fans their chance to be heard.

Runners-up: KCCI, WOI

When readers are looking for weather information, they choose KCCI, named “Best TV Station For Weather.” Special to Cityview

Best TV Station for Weather


It’s safe to say KCCI weatherman John McLaughlin knows a thing or two about weather. A repeat winner, the KCCI weather team (Kurtis Gertz, Metinka Slater, Wes Callison and Frank Scaglione) has all the weather-related info you need. Whether there is rain, snow or extreme humidity, KCCI will fill you with weather knowledge before you walk out the door.

Runners-up: WHO, WOI

Best Local TV Anchor

Kevin Cooney (KCCI)

KCCI anchor Kevin Cooney was named “Best Local TV Anchor.” Special to Cityview

For the past 11 years, KCCI anchor Kevin Cooney has taken home this award. Maybe we should change it to “Best Local TV Anchor Not Named Kevin Cooney” award. Cooney has been a fan favorite since he became an anchor in 1982 and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Congrats, Mr. Cooney, and keep up the good work.

Runners-up: Erin Kiernan (WHO), John Bachman (WHO) 



Best Looking Male Media Personality

Ryan Kolder

Normally the TV anchors take this competition, as they’re the most visible media personalities to our readers. But this year’s winner, Ryan Kolder, isn’t on one of the big three stations; he’s the host of “On The Spot with Ryan Kolder.” The show is similar to Joan Rivers on the red carpet, but with Iowa roots and less plastic surgery. Through TV, web and social networking, “On the Spot” highlights the amazing events in the community by stepping it up, adding flair and doing it all for Greater Des Moines.

Runners-up: Stunt Rocker, Dan Winters (WHO)

Best Looking Female Media Personality

Elizabeth Klinge (WHO)

For years, the Cityview staff has been a vocal supporter of this blonde beauty. In 2012, readers finally listened and voted Elizabeth Klinge the “Best Looking Female Media Personality,” knocking off repeat winner Stacy Horst (KCCI). Problem is, Klinge recently left WHO and moved to Las Vegas with her husband. Oh well, better late than never.

Runners-up: Stacey Horst (KCCI), Erin Kiernan (WHO)

Best Self-Righteous Media Hog

Steve Deace

Another year and another self-righteous media hog award goes to Steve Deace. Deace runs his site ( with an iron fist, letting people know what they should be worried and fearful about. The site is filled with a plethora of media including articles, videos and podcasts. The motto on his website says it all, “Fear God. Tell the Truth. Make Money.”

Runners-up: Ed Wilson, Bob VanderPlatts

Best Local Sports Commentator

Keith Murphy (WHO)

WHO’s Keith Murphy was named “Best Local Sports Commentator” and he leads the WHO sports team, which was named “Best TV Station for Sports.” Special to Cityview

Murphy keeps his streak alive as the best local sports commentator, reeling in the award for another year. There’s a reason people tune in to WHO for sports coverage, and Murphy is at the top of that list. He easily intertwines humor and sincerity on a nightly basis, and the sports segment feels a little bleak when he’s not in the chair. Plus, he can also grow a sweet moustache.

Runners-up: Andy Fales (WHO), Andy Garman (KCCI)



Best Local News Commentator

Rekha Basu (Des Moines Register)

Rekha Basu has been fighting for the truth as a columnist at The Des Moines Register since 1991, commenting on a range of local, national and international issues with a focus on human rights, racial justice and gender equality. Keep up the good fight, Rekha. And although we don’t normally mention the runners-up, Kevin Cooney is so popular with our readers he finished second in category that doesn’t even apply to him.

Runners-up: Kevin Cooney (KCCI), Marc Hansen (The Des Moines Register)

Best Meteorologist

Ed Wilson (WHO)

Readers voted WHO’s Ed Wilson as the “Best Meteorologist.” Special to Cityview

Was there any question? How can you not love Ed Wilson and his smiling mug? Wilson started with WHO in 1988 and has been the Chief Meteorologist for the past 17 years. Wilson is not only knowledgeable about the weather, but his calm, humorous ways soothe viewers whether it’s 100 degrees outside or five feet of snow falling. Bottom line, Wilson and his storm team help our readers feel safe. Congrats, Ed!

Runners-up: John McLaughlin (KCCI), Jeriann Ritter (WHO)

Best Local Talk Radio Show

Big Ken and Colleen (STAR 102.5)

For the past few years, our readers have said there isn’t a better way to start the morning than with the Big Ken and Colleen show. Whether it’s breaking news, recaps of what happened over the weekend or Hollywood gossip, the show has it covered. They’re smart, funny and, most importantly, they make it possible to survive the early morning drive to work.

Runners-up: Murph and Andy (1460 KXNO), Simon Conway (Newsradio 1040 WHO)

Best Radio Voice That Turns You On

Clutch (95 KGGO)

In a surprising upset, the sexy and multiple-year winner Colleen Kelly was knocked off her pedestal by… a dude? That’s right, our readers say that the radio voice that turns them on belongs to 95 KGGO’s Clutch. He brings the sexy to the metro Monday through Friday, from 2 to 7 p.m., apparently, Clutch has what it takes to turn our readers on by the sound of his voice.

Runners Up: Jillian Sonksen (KFMG 99.1), Colleen Kelly (Star 102.5)

Best Radio Station

KFMG 99.1

Repeat winner KFMG 99.1 is a low power community radio station, broadcasting to the city of Des Moines and suburbs with tower, transmitter, studios and offices donated by and located in The Hotel Fort Des Moines. KFMG operates as “Your Community Voice,” and its primary goal is to help make central Iowa a better place to live by providing information about arts, entertainment, culture and the music Iowans love. Our readers say they do it well.

Runners-up: WHO 1040, 95 KGGO

Best Radio Personality

Ken & Colleen (Star 102.5)

Although we normally have one personality reign supreme, this year the beloved morning talk duo Big Ken and Colleen, split the award. Big Ken and Colleen know that you’re only as good as your teammates and, luckily, they have some of the best in the business. Making that morning commute a little easier, Big Ken and Colleen help motorists stay awake on their drive to the office.

Runners-up: Clutch (95 KGG0), Ron Sorenson (KMFG 99.1)

Best Library

Des Moines Central Library

Since opening in 2006, the Downtown Public Library has become a popular hangout in our fair city. Offering the largest selection of computers, the Central library is the go-to spot for your media needs. Along with unique learning sessions, the library offers a number of author readings and signings. Go get your read on downtown. Isn’t it amazing what $22 million can do? 1000 Grand Ave., 283-4152.

Runners-up: Franklin Library, Urbandale Library

Best Nonprofit

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa took home two awards for “Best Nonprofit” and “Best Local Website.” Special to Cityview

Animal Rescue League

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) takes home another award in this category. The ARL has grown dramatically since its founding in 1926 and works hard at promoting animal welfare, developing the human animal bond and preventing the overpopulation of pets. 5452 N.E. 22nd St., 262-9503.

Runners-up: Iowa Natural Heritage, National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Best Place to Worship

Lutheran Church of Hope

Although we believe there isn’t a wrong place to praise, our readers really seem to enjoy the Lutheran Church of Hope, a multiple winner in this category. The church offers plenty of worship services including Saturdays at 5 and 6 p.m. and Sundays at 9:15 and 11 a.m., as well as 5 p.m. in the Worship Center. They also host a young adults ministry called “re:vive” on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. 925 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, 222-1520.

Runners-up: Plymouth United Church of Christ, First United Church of Des Moines

Best Realtor

Bob Eisenlauer (Eisenlauer Team)

For the past three years, Bob Eisenlauer has battled it out with previous winners Seth Walker and Dave Welch (RE/MAX). Last year was a close victory for Walker and Welch, but Eisenlauer reigns victorious this year. Joining the Eisenlauer team in 2003, Eisenlauer’s goal has been to make buying or selling a house fun and exciting. The Eisenlauer Team specializes in residential real estate in Des Moines, Altoona, Pleasant Hill, Southeast Polk and the surrounding area. So the next time you’re looking for a house, give Bob a call.

Runners-up: Seth Walker/Dave Welch (ReMax), Mark Charter (ReMax) 

Best Automotive Salesperson

Mitch Dunn (Willis Auto Campus)

In just its second year as a category, “Best Automotive Salesperson” brought in quite a few contenders. But at the top of that list was Mitch Dunn from Willis Auto Campus. Dunn is the man with a plan when it comes to Cadillac sales, but apparently our readers already know that.

Runners-up: Ken Scarpino (Willis Auto Campus), Shane Siegle (Toyota of Des Moines)

Best Tweeter

Jeremy Bingaman (@iowaradioguy)

We have a new winner, or should we say, we have a new tweeter? Jeremy Bingaman — @iowaradioguy — is our readers’ new favorite tweeter, and they’re not alone as more than 2,300 people follow @iowaradioguy. Although Bingaman proclaims himself to be a roller derby junkie, a smart ass and a Packers, Cyclones and White Sox fan, there is much more info coming from his tweets than just laughs and sports. Tweet on, @iowaradioguy, tweet on!

Runners-up: John Pemble (@johnpemble), Ron Haugen (@ronhaugen)

Best Facebook Fan Page

Des Moines Derby Dames

There must be a lot going on over at the Des Moines Derby Dames Facebook page, because they beat out last year’s winner, the Animal Rescue League, whose Facebook site is full of kittens and puppies. But the Dames’ site has it going on with info on upcoming bouts, events and how to become a member of the Derby Dames. It also has plenty of pictures of hot, tough chicks. Yeah, we see why our readers voted it the best.

Runners-up: Bridal Elegance, Animal Rescue League

Best Local Website

Animal Rescue League (

The Animal Rescue League takes home the “Best Local Website” award for the second year in a row. And we can see why our readers enjoy it so much. Its site is an informational overload, offering photos of adoptable animals, information on pet care, upcoming classes and programs, as well as volunteering opportunities. Spend some time looking at all the cuddly animals looking for a new home, and see if you have a different favorite.
Runners-up: Des Moines Derby Dames, Bridal Elegance

Best Do-Gooder

Rick Durant

Last year he was a runner-up, this year he is the winner, so congrats, Rick Durant, on being the “Best Do-Gooder.” We had some trouble locating the humble Durant, but after finding him he left us this message: “I don’t believe doing the right things for the right reasons needs to be gratified or publicized. To me its that split-second smile you see on someone’s face when they receive an act of kindness — that is my gratification.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Runners-up: Animal Rescue League, Buck Pratt

Best Community to Live In


In a new category this year, we wanted to see what our readers thought was the best community in the metro, and Beaverdale took home the prize. Centrally located in the heart of Des Moines, Beaverdale thrives as a diverse, well-maintained neighborhood. Well-built, distinctive brick homes, tree-lined streets, wonderful parks and community spirit characterize the Beaverdale charm, and it’s easy to see why Beaverdale was recently named one of America’s prettiest neighborhoods by Forbes magazine.

Runners-up: West Des Moines, Ankeny

Best Condo/Apartment Complex

Brown Camp Lofts

Another new category, Best Condo/Apartment Complex, went to the Brown Camp Lofts, 100 E. Market St. in downtown Des Moines. It makes sense that one of the most popular places to go out and party would also be a pretty cool place to live. Whether you want to hit the nightlife, grab a bite, see the Iowa Cubs, visit the Downtown Farmers’ Market or catch a show at the Civic Center — it’s all righ there — just a few steps from your door.

Runners-up: e300, AP Lofts CV

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