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Good, Bad & The Ugly

July 26, 2012
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The good

Mister Car Wash launched its 2012 Paws-a-thon fundraising campaign this month to help local Humane Society and Rescue League organizations raise money through in-store donations and online marketplace. Customers donate by buying a paper paw for $1, $5 or $10 at any location or at The paws with the customer’s name written on it are then displayed on the Mister Car Wash walls during the month of July. Customers also receive an exclusive offer of savings on their next car wash. It’s an odd marriage — a car wash business and an animal rescue program — but every little bit helps.

Home sales remain strong this summer in the Des Moines area and are outpacing 2011. In June, 960 contracts closed, which is up 11 percent from last month according to recently-published statistics by the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors. The median sale price of a home was $161,700, up nearly $3,000 from May. The association’s report shows that 951 contracts were written in June, which is a 3 percent decrease from last month. Homes were on the market for an average of 105 days, a decrease of four days compared to May. There were 4,652 active listings, a decrease of 37 listings. Additional statistics and information about the Des Moines housing market are available at the DMAAR website,

The bad

The Environmental Protection Agency recently conducted an investigation of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) in response to a 2007 petition by the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Sierra Club and the Environmental Integrity Project calling for IDNR’s withdrawal of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. The program had several deficiencies that will need to be corrected, according to the EPA’s findings. Among others, the EPA found that IDNR does not have an adequate program to assess whether unpermitted Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) need NPDES permits and that the IDNR must clarify its authority to issue NPDES permits to confinement CAFOs that discharge. The EPA also found that the IDNR failed to take timely and adequate enforcement actions and assess adequate penalties under the Clean Water Act. The EPA’s report is available at The good news is, this report is the first step in making things right.

Put down the controller and get outside. A teenager in Taiwan was found dead last week after he reportedly played a video game for 40 hours straight. According to police, the 18-year-old, called “Chuang” in the report, is believed to have collapsed from exhaustion during a “Diablo 3” marathon session. A witness found Chuang resting at a table and after waking him up, Chuang stood up, took a few steps, and then fell to the floor. He was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after. This is the second video-game related death in Taiwan this year.

The ugly

Why is this guy still on the streets? New Jersey police arrested registered sex offender Gian Verdelli, 61, last week after he allegedly groped a 28-year-old woman on a train. But this wasn’t his first arrest. Verdelli has been arrested 169 times in all, most of which were reportedly for sexual offenses. According to police, the woman on the train showed police a photo of him that she’d taken on her phone, which led to his arrest… again. Police have dubbed Verdelli the “serial groper,” notorious for finding victims on busy, rush hour trains. This time Verdelli picked up drug charges as well as two counts of criminal sexual misconduct... again.

A 15-year-old boy in Edmond, Okla., was arrested last week after he raped his own grandmother during a visit to her house. According to police, the grandmother stated she takes medications at night that “put her to sleep.” She said when she woke up the next morning, her panties were off and she found them tucked under her bed. The next night she woke up to find her grandson thrusting himself against her. She shouted at the boy, and he ran to the bathroom. The victim called her son to pick up the boy. When the boy’s father arrived and she told him what happened, the boy admitted, “I cut off her panties while she was in bed and had sex with Grandma,” according to reports. A rape kit confirmed the story, and he was charged with first-degree rape. Sick. CV

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