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Good, Bad & The Ugly

March 22, 2012
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The good

The Iowa Supreme Court came to a unanimous decision to overturn Gov. Branstad’s veto of a bipartisan effort to keep dozens of local workforce offices from closing, which is a victory for tens of thousands of Iowans looking for jobs. Senate File 517 included specific funding to keep the workforce offices open because they help unemployed Iowans find work. We’d prefer to see actual jobs, but what the hell?

Iowa’s Department of Public Works was recently named to receive one of two American Public Works Association (APWA) national awards for the City of Ankeny’s snow and ice removal program. APWA’s Excellence in Snow and Ice Control Award will be presented at the 2012 North American Snow Conference, April 29 – May 2, in Milwaukee, Wis. APWA says this award was established “to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works snow and ice operations, and to promote the best practices in snow and ice removal while minimizing environmental impacts.” Ankeny Public Works says they prepare for winter year-round to “provide a safe and unobstructed transportation network throughout the city with minimal delays or disruptions, and 24-hour emergency access without causing unnecessary harm to the environment.” As the fastest growing city in Iowa, with a growing network of roadway miles and high demand for services, achieving that mission is at the forefront of every snow event. With high gas prices, scarce jobs and a country at war, it’s good to see the Snow and Ice Control is at the forefront.

The bad

What a sore loser. Massachusetts resident Timothy Forbes, 34, was arrested last week after he attacked the winning coach of a youth basketball game. According to police, Forbes punched the coach and bit part of his ear off after the game. Forbes originally told police he was a coach, but coaches from both teams said he had no connection to either team and don’t know why he attacked. Forbes was arrested and charged with mayhem, assault and battery.

A California man, Ronald L. Brekke, was convicted of conspiracy and wire fraud last week after helping nearly 1,000 people in the U.S. and Canada falsely claim more than $763 million in tax refunds, $14 million of which were paid by the U.S. government. The ploy earned Brekke more than $400,000 between February 2009 and November 2010. The scam started to fall apart after two of Brekke’s co-conspirators tried to cash refund checks worth more than $350,000 each at a bank in Bellingham, Wash. Donald Mason of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., and John Chung of Kelowna, B.C., were arrested in October 2009 which led to the arrest of Brekke about a year later. Brekke faces up to 20 years in prison.

The ugly

What is it that turns people into monsters? Illinois resident Daniel Happ, 27, was arrested last week after he beat a woman, raped her daughter and killed the family dog. Officials arrived at the residence to find an unconscious woman who had been severely beaten with a hammer. Officers also found the woman’s 8-year-old daughter, who had been sexually assaulted. Investigators state that Happ beat the mother, raped the girl and then used a knife to stab the family’s dog multiple times. Happ was arrested and charged with attempted murder, two counts of aggravated battery, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child under 13, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and one count of aggravated cruelty to animals.

This lady truly had a party in her pants. Police arrested Oklahoma native Stephanie Clinkenbeard, 33, last week after discovering a meth lab in her pants. Officials were looking for Clinkenbeard after she was reported to be the driver of a stolen vehicle. Officers found the car and discovered Clinkenbeard a few blocks away. While cuffing her, officers found drug paraphernalia in her purse and a “shake-and-bake” bottle meth lab in her pants. Officers also found a baggie containing a white powdery substance, several syringes, coffee filters and a glass pipe. Clinkenbeard was arrested and charged with manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and intent to manufacture. CV

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