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Good, Bad & The Ugly

June 7, 2012
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The good

Waterway advocates were recently recognized by River Network and Tom’s of Maine as part of the 2012 River Heroes Awards which celebrate those who protect rivers and watersheds. Of the six named internationally, Des Moines’ own Susan Heathcote was among them. Trained as a scientist with a passion for improving Iowa’s water quality, Heathcote has brought public awareness to the natural processes governing water quality. She helped found the first volunteer monitoring program in the state and has provided technical leadership on the Iowa Environmental Council since 1996 on many issues, including water quality, water monitoring, agricultural drainage wells, livestock manure management and Iowa’s hazardous site program. Thanks for your service, Susan.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense agency, recently announced Nyemaster Goode of Des Moines as a finalist for the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the DoD’s highest recognition for exceptional support of Guard and Reserve employees. A review board comprised of military and civilian leaders selected 30 finalists from the 3,236 nominations received earlier this year. The DoD will announce the 15 recipients of the 2012 Freedom Award early this summer following completion of a national selection board comprised of senior DoD officials, business leaders and prior awardees. The 2012 recipients will be honored with the 17th annual Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award in Washington, D.C. in September.

The bad

Barely recovering from Officer Brandon Singleton’s recent termination for allegedly possessing meth and pot in the squad car (and other misconducts), now the department is defending against a May 29 incident where an officer was doing a welfare check on a person reportedly laying in the street and accidently ran over the person he was supposed to be checking on. The department spokesman said the “misfortunate accident” was due to the “unusual” way the person was positioned in the street and the excessive darkness of the night. Perhaps his spotlight needed a battery change. But, if the call was regarding a subject laying on the street with exact coordinates as to where the person’s body was located, why wasn’t the officer taking extra care to not run the person over? Fortunately, the person’s injuries were not life-threatening. Although, the person shouldn’t have been laying in the street, we expect police officers to be professional, cognizant and ready for just about anything. There’s no excuse for these kind of “misfortunes.”

¡Yo quiero! Ohio resident Michael Smith, 23, was arrested last week after he crashed his truck into a Taco Bell restaurant because they allegedly shorted him one taco. According to police, Smith had ordered a few items in the drive-thru and then became angry after he discovered the missing 99-cent taco. Smith then drove his truck through a large window in the front of the building and sped away. Police followed a trail of leaking fluid all the way to Smith’s residence. He was arrested and charged with felony vandalism. And, no, Smith did not kill the Taco Bell Chihuahua. “Gidget” died in 2009 of natural causes.

The ugly

This Texas mom apparently thinks tattoos are more important than her child. Stephanie Irene Santana, 20, was arrested last week after she had left her 10-month-old child alone in the car while she tried to get a tattoo. According to police, Santana, who is currently seven months pregnant, walked into a tattoo parlor around 3 a.m. and told the employees she wanted a tattoo but was short on time because she had a sleeping baby out in the car. The employees told her to go take care of her child and then called police. Upon arrival, officers discovered Santana passed out behind the wheel with the child asleep in the car seat. Officers also found several open beer bottles and Xanax in the car. Santana was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, child endangerment and possession of a controlled substance.

Don’t ruin my shot! Brian Strayhorne, 29, was arrested last week in Myrtle Beach after he reportedly stabbed a man for walking into his photo. The 26-year-old victim and his brother had been walking along Ocean Boulevard when they accidentally walked in front of Strayhorne, who was taking a photo. Strayhorne confronted the two men and an argument ensued, which quickly ended after Strayhorne allegedly stabbed the victim with an unknown object. Officers located Strayhorne a short time later and took him into custody. He was charged with aggravated assault and battery. CV

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