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Good, Bad & The Ugly

June 21, 2012
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The good

Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie recently spoke to colleagues from cities across America about supporting marriage for same-sex couples and how the freedom to marry enhances the strength and health of cities. He spoke to the Criminal and Social Justice Committee at the 80th Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting last week, where he urged all mayors to join Mayors for the Freedom to Marry and pledge to advocate for ending the exclusion from marriage for same-sex couples on both the state and federal levels.
The Des Moines Arts Festival will feature the work of up-and-coming student artists launching their visual arts careers through the Emerging Iowa Artists (EIA) Program presented by Principal Financial Group on June 22-24 in downtown Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. Student artist Abby Butson’s work will be featured as an interactive arts activity with Principal Financial Group. An original painting of Butson’s will be scanned and divided into smaller images, which guests may transfer onto a larger panel using pastels. The final mosaic will be assembled and measure 10-by-13 feet. This work of art created by the hands of the community will be permanently installed on the wall inside the Greater Des Moines Partnership Building skywalk in July. The EIA Program showcases the talents of Iowa residents currently enrolled in or recently graduated from universities, colleges, art schools and places of higher education across the country. These student artists who are beginning their careers are provided the opportunity to sell their artwork at the festival without fees. An on-site awards jury will honor one EIA with $1,000 and the title of Best Student Artist for 2012.

The bad

Members of Occupy Des Moines cleaned up a home at 5116 S.W. 13th St. last week that had been foreclosed by Bank of America. The residence had waist-high grass and weeds overtaking the property. One neighbor reportedly said the lawn had not been mowed in a year since its occupants had moved. Activists collected more than 10 trash bags and left them as a symbol on the local bank’s lawn. “Bank of America kicks families out of their homes, then neglects those homes and hurts neighborhoods,” activist Jessica Mazour said. The action was part of a foreclosure campaign Occupy Des Moines kicked off a month ago at a foreclosure auction.

And women wonder why men never honestly answer questions about relationships. Arizona native Noelle Clough, 22, was arrested last week after she stabbed her husband during an argument. According to police, the couple began arguing about their relationship after Clough quizzed him from a Cosmopolitan magazine quiz. The couple continued to argue until Clough picked up a four-inch pairing knife and stabbed her husband in the back. Clough claimed her husband was trying to choke her at the time, but officers didn’t see any visible injuries. Clough was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The ugly

First a guy on bath salts eats someone’s face off, and now this? People, stay away from bath salts! Florida officials arrested Shane Schuyler, 40, last week after he stripped naked near a children’s playground and made sexual threats. According to police, Schuyler was captured on video surveillance sans clothing near a children’s playground confronting a 3-year-old girl and her mother while laying on a bench near the park’s entrance. The mother stated that she tried to walk past Schuyler, but he stood up and yelled at the child, “Come here pretty girl, I want to stick it in you.” Police located Schuyler and took him into custody. Officers believed Schuyler was high on bath salts at the time, as they found the substance in his wallet. Schuyler was arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious exhibition and lewd and lascivious conduct.

Some people are too cruel. New Jersey native Haniyyah Barnes was arrested last week after she threw her neighbor’s dog into traffic during an argument. According to officials, Barnes and her neighbor had gotten into an argument over a parking spot when the neighbors 2-year-old Shih Tzu began barking. Barnes eventually picked up the dog by the neck and threw the animal into oncoming traffic. The dog was immediately struck by a vehicle and killed. An officer who was on routine patrol saw the incident and arrested Barnes. Barnes was charged with third-degree animal cruelty, criminal mischief and second-degree burglary.CV



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