The City of Ankeny’s Budget 2013: Virtual Town
Hall won top national honors in the 24th annual
national Savvy Awards Competition sponsored
by the City-County Communications and Marketing
Association (3CMA). The City took home first
place in the social media category and third
place in the citizen participation category.
The Town Hall was launched earlier this year
in order to provide public awareness about significant
budget issues. Using Facebook as the platform,
the project was widely accessible, reaching
6,000 people in the span of three months, and
it allowed elected officials to get feedback
from their constituents. This is a proud and
progressive example of what Iowa’s open records
laws are all about. Bravo, Ankeny.
The Environmental Protection Agency has selected
Des Moines to receive technical assistance for
green infrastructure design under its Greening
America’s Capitals program. The focus of the
project is a proposed streetscape plan for a
one-mile segment of the Sixth Avenue Corridor,
as it serves as a gateway to downtown, holds
an official Main Street Iowa Urban Neighborhood
District status and has direct access to the
Des Moines River. Nice comeback from the flood
devastation the neighborhood suffered a few
While patrolling the Court Avenue District
last week, a Des Moines police officer checked
on a parking lot “known for criminal activity,”
where they caught a “strong whiff” of marijuana.
They saw Shameikwa Allen, 21, and John D. Edwards,
26, both of Des Moines, standing by a car and
an empty plastic baggy on the ground nearby.
When police found a handgun in Allen’s purse,
Edwards reportedly admitted that it was his.
So they arrested them both. While searching
the car, police also found 28 pills in a baggy.
Officers soon discovered that Edwards was wanted
on a warrant for felon in possession. Now he
can add to that, possession of a handgun and
a schedule IV narcotic. Both were arrested.
A recent Harvard University study doesn’t do
much for Iowa’s reputation for quality education.
The study showed Iowa schools are ranked worst
in the nation for their mediocre learning gains
during the past two decades. States posting
the largest gains, including Maryland, Florida
and Delaware, improved at a pace of two to three
times of that in Iowa. Iowa test scores remained
largely stagnant despite an increase in spending.
($5,119 per student in 1997-98 compared to $8,603
in 2009-10, according to the Iowa Department
of Education). That represents a 68 percent
increase in per-student funding. “Iowa was quite
exceptional,” said Paul Peterson, director of
Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance
and co-author of the study. “It’s a state that
has such a history of support for education
that goes way back to the turn of the century.
They were the first to develop high schools.
They had such a good university system. There
was a commitment to education. It’s remarkable
to see that’s no longer evident.” This is proof
that throwing money at a problem is not the
The weirdest stuff always seems to go down
either at Walmart or in Florida. In this case,
it’s both. Pasco County Sheriff’s deputies say
Stephen Balogh Jr., 51, took a 23-year-old female
acquaintance with the mental capacity of a 12-year-old
to the Walmart in Hudson, Fla., last week to
go shopping. He reportedly made her drink Jim
Beam, and while parked in his truck, Balogh
kissed her and demanded oral sex. She tried
to push him away, but “the sexual battery continued.”
Balogh initially denied everything to police
but later said they had consensual sex. He was
arrested and taken to Land O’ Lakes jail on
a charge of sexual battery. Land O’ Lakes Jail?
Shit happens, but it should never happen like
this. Hotel cameras caught Andrew Harris, 18,
and Michael Cline, 19, playing with poo in the
pool. Police in St. Petersburg, Fla., say the
two threw their own crap around in a hotel swimming
pool, at one point even swimming to the bottom
to write a big “X” with one of their own turds.
Police say Harris actually pooped his pants,
reached in, pulled out his own poo goo, and
threw it around the pool — twice. The two were
later found rinsing off in the hotel jacuzzi.
They were charged with commercial burglary,
due to the thousands of dollars their sick misbehavior
will cost the hotel.CV