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Good Bad Ugly

10/3/2012

The good

OMG! Is including that smiley face emoticon to a text message while driving really worth crashing your car? In celebration of the national “No Text on Board Pledge Day,” Gov. Terry Branstad, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau and AT&T have joined to educate the public on the risks of texting behind the wheel. AT&T has deployed its national “It Can Wait” public awareness campaign across Iowa. Branstad issued a proclamation last week declaring Sept. 20 as “No Texting While Driving Day in Iowa.” AT&T plans to spend tens of millions of dollars on the campaign and has made it an ongoing commitment. No text is worth dying — or killing — for.

Thanks to Des Moines philanthropist and attorney Elizabeth Kruidenier, the Des Moines Art Center has been bequeathed 76 extraordinary works of art. Kruidenier was married to David Kruidenier, publisher and philanthropist, who died in 2006. Works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alexander Calder and Andy Warhol are just a few of the treasures given to the Art Center. Many of these works will be on display throughout the Art Center galleries in the near future.

 

The bad

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Texting while driving is a dangerous habit, but definitely not as bad as shooting heroin… while driving. A police officer in Dayton, Ohio, looked up to see a woman, 25-year-old Abby Elsner, in the car next him. Elsner had both arms up, steering with her knees while sticking a needle in her arm according to news sources. When she spotted the cop, Elsner pulled out the needle and tossed it to her passenger, 36-year-old Shawn Abby, who tried to hide it. The end of the story is predictable. It involves pretty lights flashing, handcuffs and bars.

Des Moines has never been known for its shootings, but a recent incident might have us thinking twice. The shooting that allegedly occurred last week along University Avenue was unprovoked, according to Tyrone Cameron, 25. But the alleged victim waited more than a week to report it to police. In the report, Cameron claims he was walking down the street when a vehicle pulled beside him. Two guys then jumped from the moving vehicle and chased him, firing three or four shots at him in the process, he says. Cameron is currently on probation for weapons-related charges, so it’s likely that’s why he chose not to report the incident to the police or his probation officer when it occurred. So why did he report it at all?

 

The ugly

Apparently Thomas Ingram, 53, doesn’t know the rules of the road. A simple taxi ride home from downtown Des Moines allegedly ended in a throw-down between Ingram and his cabbie last week. Ingram had claimed that the driver, Gbaramogho Kpurukoo, was intentionally taking a longer route to pad the bill. He demanded the driver pull over, and although he paid the fee, he also allegedly hit Kpurukoo upside the head. Both ended up outside the vehicle fighting on the ground, according to Des Moines police. A bystander called police, and the cab driver drove off. While talking to Ingram, officers noticed he had signs of intoxication, so they arrested him on charges of assault causing injury. He went to the hospital for his injuries, then to jail for his temper.

If you’re going to be a famous chef, Los Angeles is a great place to be, but, the restaurant of chef David Viens is apparently not the best place to eat. His confession to the 2009 murder of his wife was heard by a jury last week, and now they know why police never found her body: He boiled it in a 55-gallon drum and slow cooked her for several days, according to news sources. The slow-cooking process made it much easier for Viens to dispose of the remains — except for his wife’s skull, which has not yet been found. Viens was seriously injured in an October 2011 suicide attempt. After he found out he was a suspect, he jumped off an 80-foot cliff and survived. He’ll live the rest of his life in a wheelchair, and probably in prison, too. CV

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