Monday, January 24, 2022

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Good Bad Ugly


The good

For the 11th year, Forey Jacobson will be at the start of the IMT Des Moines Marathon. But this time he’ll be up above the throng of runners. Jacobson, still recovering from a brutal assault last November, will be an honorary starter for the full- and half-marathons on Oct. 21. Then he’ll run the Principal 5K Road Race, his fourth since the assault that put Jacobson in the hospital for seven weeks. “Forey really brought out the best in our running community,” race director Chris Burch said. “His indomitable and forgiving spirit has touched many of us. He’s the perfect person to serve as an inspiration on race morning.” Despite physical injuries and brain damage that has impaired his memory, Jacobson continues to train and hopes to work his way back up to longer distances. This 5K will be his fourth since the attack. “The doctor said I’ll never be the same,” Jacobson said. “Well, I agree with him. I’ll never be the same. I’ll be even better.”

The Salvation Army of Des Moines, Humana Inc., KaBOOM! (a national non-profit organization) and volunteers joined forces on Oct. 13 to build a multi-generational playground in at the Temple Corps Community Center. The customized playground, funded primarily by Humana (a health and wellness company), was created with personal drawings and input from local community members young and old. The goal was to help create a lasting neighborhood legacy that promotes healthy play and well-being. In addition to the traditional kid-friendly equipment, the park also features senior-focused and adult elements, such as fitness stations and walking paths to promote good posture, balance and flexibility. The playground is said to draw family picnics and get-togethers for years to come.


The bad


The Des Moines Police are grieving the death of one of their own — Harley, of the K9 unit. The Labrador retriever died in a hot car when temperatures reached nearly 100 degrees in August. Officer Brian Mathis was recently suspended for three days without pay for the incident. Police spokesperson Sgt. Christopher Scott said Mathis is still dealing with the loss. “This three-day suspension is nothing compared to what it’s like to lose a partner and ultimately a pet of your family,” said Scott. “It is very difficult to think about what an individual is going to have to bear the rest of his life for the life of his dog.” Tragic accidents often happen at the hands of someone responsible. But if a lifetime of guilt is punishment enough for the police, why do some with similar crimes bear that burden behind bars? No charges have been filed for Mathis.

Justin Belzer, 31, of Ottumwa, was eating at Zombie Burger with his fiancé on Oct. 7 when a trip to restroom led to a trip to the emergency room. While Belzer was using the restroom, he accidently shot himself in the leg while adjusting his pants. He said he had a permit to carry. Belzer declined ambulance services, and instead rode to the hospital with his fiancé. Before he left, he threw the .23 glock shell into the bushes outside the restaurant, he told police. He’s lucky it was only his leg that was shot.


The ugly

We’re not sure what the people of District Columbia have done to piss off the barred owls, but in recent weeks there have been at least three reports of people being attacked by them. Laurie Cantillo said she felt a “scraping sensation” on the side of her head while jogging; Peter Grace told the Washington Post he was attacked twice in two days, reporting the bird “swooped down on his head three times with its talons”; and Stuart Kern said an owl came at him “just like a nature program.” Native American lore says owls are messengers. What do you suppose they’re trying to tell us?

When a natural history museum throws a party, some unusual food could end up on the menu — but crickets, worms and snakes? The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia is hosting an adults-only cocktail party on Oct. 27 called “Cuisine From the Collections.” While many of the living plants and animals represented in the museum’s vast collection of research specimens already are food for other species, most aren’t your typical kitchen staples. Other menu items will include seaweed, buffalo and rabbit. Interested in attending? Tickets are $100, and you can have a python tail with a side of worms garnished with cricket legs. Mmm. CV

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