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Good Bad Ugly

12/12/2012

The good

The Des Moines Social Club announced a donation of $350,000 from Kum and Go in support of the capital campaign to secure the downtown firehouse as a permanent home for the non-profit arts institution. “Unlike any other initiative today, this project boldly changes the landscape of the arts and entertainment scene for central Iowa. It allows individuals of all demographics to come together and affordably experience endless forms of arts and culture all while celebrating the talents and creativity of local artists and performers,” said Sharon Krause. The Des Moines Social Club hopes to have the firehouse renovation completed next year with full programming by 2014.

The Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau and Des Moines Area Sports Commission honored local individuals and businesses that have helped make the last fiscal year a success through various acts of generosity, volunteerism, visitor services, donations and partnerships at the organization’s Annual Celebration last week. Awards include: Civic Friend of Hospitality to E.J. Giovannetti, Polk County Supervisor; Corporate Friend of Hospitality to Homemakers Furniture; Friend of Hospitality to Stacy Henrichsen, Stoney Creek Inn and Conference Center; Hometown Hero to Grand View University; Media Friend of Hospitality to Connie Wimer, Business Publications Corporation; Partner of the Year to Jasper Winery; Sport Friend of Hospitality to Iowa High School Athletic Association; Volunteer of the Year to Jo Saffell, National Square Dance Convention; as well as Visitor Choice Awards to Prairie Meadows, Iowa State Fair, Chase Suite Hotel and Zombie Burger.

 

The bad

HIV

After hunters discovered the bodies believed to be Evandale cousins Lyric Cook-Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins last week, family and friends are anxious for autopsy results. Now that the loved ones can give up any hope of finding the girls alive, everyone wants answers on how they died and who the possible killer is. Hunters found the bodies in a wooded area of the Seven Bridges Wildlife Area around 20 miles northeast of Evansdale — the place where the cousins vanished on July 13.

An unknown gunman shot 31-year-old Rashad Adair while he was sitting in a vehicle last week in the 1400 block of Washington Avenue. The gunman then fled on foot. Adair was hospitalized and treated for six gunshots to his nose and torso and later underwent surgery. As of press time, Adair was in critical condition. Several similar kinds of shootings have occurred in Des Moines in recent months, so let’s hope police investigations yield the maximum charges for those responsible.

 

The ugly

An Oregon church has been named as a defendant in a $5 million sexual abuse lawsuit along with the Boy Scouts of America after former scoutmaster James “JJ” Jones allegedly sexually abused an 11-year-old boy scout. As the host of Troop 2, prosecutors say the First United Methodist Church did not install proper safeguards or take precautions that could have prevented the alleged abuse. Jones is accused of sexually abusing the boy 50 times over the course of roughly one year in 1984-85. According to the complaint, the sexual abuse took place in the leader’s office at the church, on field trips, at Jones’ home and other locations. Now in his 70s, Jones denies the allegations. He was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, nor was he charged with a crime in connection with the alleged abuse. The lawsuit is based on negligence and fraud on the part of the institution, not the person accused of performing the actual abuse. Whatever happened to Scout’s honor?

An Omaha teen might think twice before taking his dad up on an invite to go hunting again. Ryan Rearick, 18, was shot at close range in the back of his head by a shotgun carried by his father, Christopher Rearick, also of Omaha, while hunting in Page County last weekend. The teen was flown to an Omaha hospital where he is expected to survive. Authorities said the shooting likely would have been fatal if the gun had been loaded for deer instead of pheasant. CV

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