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Good Bad Ugly

11/28/2012

The good

Central Iowans donated 216,605 pounds of food (108.3 tons) to benefit the Food Bank of Iowa during the 22nd annual Combat Hunger drive last week. The donations were made from thousands of central Iowans and nearly 200 local businesses and schools. The Food Bank of Iowa will distribute the food and other materials donated to hundreds of agencies in 55 Iowa counties during the holiday season. Donations were collected at 13 area Dahl’s locations, on the streets at the STAR 102.5 Combat Hunger stage at 12th and Locust on Nov. 15 and 16, online and via text. “Even in a bad economy, Iowans came together to donate over 10,000 pounds more than last year,” said Star 102.5 Program Director, Scott Allen.

The search for the next Des Moines Schools superintendent will eventually span “coast to coast” but will begin closer to home this month with a series of community conversations. The school board is forming focus groups to conduct individual interviews with candidates. An open forum scheduled for Nov. 28-29 is said to allow residents to weigh in on the qualities and qualifications they want to see in the District’s next leader. Groups to be surveyed include students, parents, school employees, business leaders and representatives from minority communities, board members said last week. An online questionnaire also will be made available. Ray and Associates, a Cedar Rapids-based firm, was hired last month to conduct the District’s search, and applications for the position are due Feb. 4. The District’s next leader would begin work July 1. Here’s hoping what has been an annual salary of $206,178, a $34,000 annuity and a $6,000 car allowance will bring forth some good candidates.

 

The bad

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Fong’s Pizza was forced to close its doors due to a water main rupture in the alley to the north of the building last week. Within minutes after the rupture, there was six feet of standing water in the basement of the restaurant, which houses the majority of the operational aspect of the business. Dennis Epps, co-owner of Fong’s, said it could be many weeks before folks can stumble in for a light night slice, but he promises Fong’s will reopen eventually.

Across the country, Walmart employs 1.4 million people: moms, dads, sons, daughters, husbands and wives working hard to support their families. Some of those employees have been speaking out with concerns about decent pay, regular hours, affordable healthcare and respect from company administrators, “but instead of working with us to make changes, Walmart has attempted to silence us and has retaliated against us for speaking out. Our jobs have been threatened, our hours cut, our schedules changed. Some of us have even been fired,” one group wrote in a press release last week. Throughout the holiday season, including Black Friday, many “Organization United for Respect at Walmart” workers across the country walked off the job in protest. Several employees and their supporters could be seen protesting from the bridge at the Windsor Heights Walmart on Black Friday, making it difficult for ravenous shoppers to find that illustrious item during the Black Friday stampede.

 

The ugly

An ice cream shop in Vienna, Austria, had a bit more than 32 flavors in its cellar. The owner, Estibaliz Carranza, 34, was dubbed the “ice lady” for the calculated way in which she killed her ex-husband and lover. She was sentenced to life in a secure mental institution last week by a unanimous jury. Carranza confessed to shooting the two men at close range in the back of the head on two separate occasions that were years apart. After killing them, Carranza said she cut up their bodies with a chainsaw, froze them in a deep freeze and concreted their bodies under the cellar of her store, a Vienna newspaper reported. The remains of her two victims were found by chance last year when maintenance work was being done in the building where she had buried them.

A Whitehouse, Texas, man was attacked by a deer having a nicotine fit last week. The deer was in Joseph Rose’s front yard one morning. He approached the deer, as it seemed friendly, but then the deer charged him and his friend and started to attack. The men ran to a nearby truck for safety, but the buck poked Rose in the ribs with his antlers as he was trying to get in the vehicle. Rose jumped out of the truck, leaving his door ajar. The deer then climbed inside the truck and took Rose’s pack of cigarettes and started eating them. When Rose tried to take the smokes back, he said the deer got even more aggressive at him. Police eventually arrived, and it took five men to restrain the buck. They also had to tase the animal in order to subdue it. CV

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