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Good Bad Ugly

10/24/2012

The good

Des Moines’ Australian Rules football team captured the USAFL Division 4 National Championship in Mason, Ohio, last week. The Roosters defeated the defending champs by a score of 42-28. Rooster Matt McDowall was named Best on Ground (MVP) of the Grand Final match, and the entire squad was recognized at an awards banquet later in the evening. The Roosters finished the season with a 6-4 mark and a huge upset over the Division 2 National Champions, the Minnesota Freeze. The Roosters were also named Team of the Week by Iowa Pro Sports.

The number of visitors to Greater Des Moines remained strong in 2011, while the dollars spent by those visitors increased from $1.6 billion in 2010 to $1.8 billion, one quarter of the entire state’s expenditures. The number of hospitality jobs also rose by 430 in Polk and Dallas Counties, according to the Economic Impact of Travel Study released by the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Tourism Office. Polk County travel expenditures were at $1.63 billion in 2011, while Dallas County brought in $157 million, bringing the total expenditures for Greater Des Moines to $1.8 billion, a 12.5 percent increase over 2010. Total expenditures in the state of Iowa were $7.2 billion. Keep those visitors coming.

 

The bad

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During the past couple of weeks, several delivery drivers from Pizza Hut, Paul Revere’s, Domino’s, Papa Johns and Burgertime Speedy Taco have reportedly been robbed while delivering food orders to vacant houses. The alleged suspects — Jordan M. Dawson, 21; Derrick M. Kelly, 16; Kewone K. Tigues, 18 (not pictured); and Destinee D. Cleaton, 17 — are being charged with several counts of first-degree robbery. All for a few hundred dollars. Sad.

Unlike those in Des Moines, a Georgia pizza delivery man took the theft of his delivery personally. He recently delivered $35 worth of take-out to a vacant residence in Lithonia. The employee/victim met the first suspect outside the front door and handed him the food. The suspect told the delivery man he was going to get the money and instructed him to wait outside. That’s when the delivery man saw a second suspect standing near the rear door holding a handgun, a third suspect holding a large wooden stick and a fourth suspect standing nearby. They took the pizza and all four fled on foot through the back door, so the delivery man ran after the teens despite the handgun one had displayed as a threat to get him to back off the foot chase. But the delivery driver had one thing the teen suspects didn’t have — a car. He followed them in his vehicle and pursued them on foot again to a nearby middle school. With the help of the school resource officer, one suspect was captured and charged.

 

The ugly

Alex Rodriguez may be the highest paid player in major league baseball, but he’s sitting the bench for doing nothing short of, well… nothing. Despite being stripped of his “superstar” stature, A-Rod still knows how to boost his own ego by using the extra free time to schmooze with women on the sidelines and collect phone numbers. Now the Yankees must decide if they want to continue with his 10-year, $275 million contract that he signed in 2007. Only time will tell if there’s a suitor willing to pick up the remainder of his contract, but for the time being, A-Rod will continue making roughly $30 million a season.

We don’t condone vandalism or thievery, and we cherish the right to free speech, but the campaign signage lining the streets for the upcoming elections has become glaringly ugly. They clutter up the streetscape, commanding we vote for him or her, and become prime targets for vandals and thieves. If you’ve driven south down 63rd Street in Des Moines, one such example has been staring at motorists for weeks — a massive Mitt Romney sign defiled with some sort of green slime. It’s not just in Des Moines, though. People are reporting their signs being stolen and vandalized all over the nation, and more reports are expected following Halloween, the holiday that all but celebrates neighborhood mischief. CV

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