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Good Bad Ugly

11/14/2012

The good

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 9 percent of U.S. seniors 65 and older are living in poverty, and 27 percent are widowed. Every year some Des Moines-area seniors struggle to make ends meet during the holiday season. That’s why the area Home Instead Senior Care office has partnered with retailers and community organizations to make sure isolated seniors receive gifts and companionship through the Be a Santa to a Senior program. During the next few weeks, area residents will have a unique opportunity to help local senior citizens who might otherwise be overlooked this holiday season. The program collects, wraps and delivers gifts to lonely and needy seniors in Polk County from Nov. 16 through Dec. 14. The need is especially great this year, and one person can make an invaluable impact in another’s life. For more information, visit www.beasantatoasenior.com.

Twenty local restaurants are laying down their swords of competition for one week to participate in Hope Ministries First Annual Adopt-a-Meal program for National Homeless and Hunger Awareness Week, Nov. 11 – 17. Each restaurant will provide an entire meal at Hope Ministries Hope Café, 1310 6th Ave., during the week. A big thank you goes to Mezzodi’s, Echo Valley Country Club, Django, In the Bag, Zombie Burger, Gateway Market, South Union Bakery Café, Centro, Chick-Fil-A, Famous Dave’s, Palmer’s Deli, Valentine Food Co., Red Lobster, Buffalo Wild Wings, Tasty Tacos, Quik Trip, Baker’s Square and Wells Fargo through Papa John’s Pizza.

 

The bad

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The skeletal remains of Mark Koster were discovered buried in the basement of his northwest Iowa home, and officials are calling the circumstances of his death suspicious. Police said Koster owned the home but went missing in 2009. According to police and the family, an unknown man had been staying with Koster for about three months leading up to his disappearance. Koster’s family eventually had the courts declare him deceased before his body was found on Nov. 5 while renovations were being done to the Sac County home. His death is still under investigation.

In the wake of the debilitating Hurricane Sandy, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently fired his emergency management director, Steven Kuhr, after he selfishly redirected his crew to remove a tree that had fallen in his own driveway instead of working to restore power to the more than two million customers living in blackout. To make matters worse, Cuomo and his team had recently criticized utility companies for “slow progress restoring power to customers from the Hudson Valley through Long Island,” according to news sources. Although most electricity has been restored, lights began to flicker off again as a new storm moved through the region last week.

 

The ugly

Testimony is underway in Ft. Bragg, N.C., to determine whether U.S. Army General Jeffrey A. Sinclair will be tried on sexual assault charges. Sinclair’s charges include forcible sodomy and adultery, which is considered a crime in the military, as well as having inappropriate relationships with several female subordinates. The allegations involve five women on charges that span throughout his five combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sinclair faces life in prison if convicted.

Two male nurses in San Diego, Calif., are being investigated after security camera footage was uncovered showing them fondling each other and a 98-year-old stroke victim in their care. The video footage, which was taken between March 3 and March 11, 2011, shows Russel Torralba and Alfredo Ruiz engaging in fondling and indecent exposure at the foot of the woman’s bed, who had hired the private nurses through AMS Home Care Solutions at the rate of $1,300 per day. In one clip, one of the men exposes himself and kisses the patient. Both have had their licenses suspended, pending a hearing next week, as the San Diego District Attorney considers pursuing criminal charges. The family of the elderly woman plans to sue the two men and their employer for alleged fraud, elder abuse and negligent supervision in a trial that is set for January. CV

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