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Good, Bad & The Ugly

June 14, 2012
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The good

National wedding photographers Jonny and Michelle Hoffner of Paper Antler Photography spent last weekend in Des Moines as part of their year-long fundraising effort to combat human trafficking. “The Fifty Nifty Tour” involves the couple photographing a wedding in all 50 states within 50 weeks and with a $50,000 fund raising goal. The Hoffners have pledged to donate $1,000 from every wedding photo package they sell to She Dances, a non-profit organization that provides holistic restoration for girls who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation. The Fifty Nifty Tour will mobilize a nationwide collaboration and campaign through the raising of funds and awareness to help victims of trafficking. All of the $50,000 raised during the tour will go entirely to sustaining the home maintained by She Dances in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, for an entire year or will allow She Dances to open an additional safe home in another place of need.

Throughout the month of May, in conjunction with National Home Remodeling Month, the Special Projects and Community Service Committee of the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines (HBA) Remodelers Council worked to complete a life-changing home remodeling project for Janet Kauzlarich, long-time employee of Gilcrest/Jewett Lumber Company in Des Moines, who was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). She needed handicap accessible alterations in order to continue to living there. The HBA stepped in, soliciting volunteers and HBA members to donate their time and services, installing three wheelchair accessible doors and a vertical chair lift, which included framing and trim carpentry, drywall installation and finishing, electrical updates, HVAC work, painting and ceramic tile installation — a remodeling project valued at close to $30,000.

The bad

Note to self: Don’t attend a child’s school event wasted. Minnesota resident Billy Jack Melton, 43, was arrested last week after attending a school choir concert with his girlfriend when he got on stage to videotape the performance. School officials discovered he was intoxicated and demanded he leave. Once outside, police say Melton tore off his shirt and challenged the principal to a fight before getting into a vehicle and driving away. But as officers pursued, Melton tried to switch seats with his girlfriend. When officers asked him to get out of the vehicle, Melton took a swing at one cop and slammed another up against a vehicle. Melton allegedly attacked another officer and tried to grab his gun but was taken into custody. Melton was arrested and charged with attempting to disarm an officer, two counts of fourth-degree assault on an officer, fourth-degree assault, driving while intoxicated and refusing to submit to a breath test.

Over the last several weeks, reports about attempted child abductions have been coming from central Iowa communities including Altoona, Pleasant Hill, Adel, Waukee, Redfield and Perry. Officials have been investigating claims about suspicious vehicles around children. A boy in Adel said two people in a minivan asked him if he wanted a ride or candy; in Waukee, two girls said an SUV followed them until they went inside; in Perry three girls, ages 9 to 11, were approached by an “older white male with gray spiked hair and a white mustache (and driving) a tan or light brown four-door car with peeling paint that may have some damage to the front end.” It’s not known whether the incidents are connected, and, so far, no successful kidnapping attempts have been reported. Keep an extra eye on the kids this summer.

The ugly

Mitt Romney’s admitting to strapping his dog on top of a vehicle is one thing. At least it wasn’t his child. Catalina Clouser, 19, was arrested last week in Phoenix, Ariz., after she got stoned, put her baby on top of her vehicle and drove off. When she got home, she discovered her mistake and drove back to the park, where police were waiting. According to officials, witnesses called police to report a baby strapped in a car seat sitting in the road. The 1-month-old baby was unharmed and was taken to a local hospital. Clouser was arrested and charged with aggravated DUI and child abuse.

It must be true love. Florida resident Nikoleta Karoly, 24, was arrested last week after she attacked her boyfriend for refusing to get hitched. According to police, Karoly begged her boyfriend of two months to marry her before her immigration Visa expired. When the victim refused the proposal, Karoly began choking, scratching and slapping him. Upon arrival, Karoly told officials she scratched her boyfriend during sex, but the victim told a different story. Karoly was arrested and charged with domestic violence. CV

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