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Good Bad Ugly

12/19/2012

The good

Good122012Hope Ministries will host its annual Christmas Day of Hope on Tuesday, Dec. 25, a tradition the organization has held since 1915. The day will include a free lunch for community members served at Hope Café, 1310 6th Ave., plus more than 2,000 meals to be delivered to elderly, homebound and low-income families throughout the Greater Des Moines Area. Anyone interested in donating can find a list of needed food items at www.hopeiowa.org or by calling (515) 265-7272. Food donations can be dropped off at Hope Ministries Bethel Mission on Monday, Dec. 24, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Primary Health Care, Inc. and The AIDS Project of Central Iowa (The Project) announced last week that they will join forces to offer a stronger continuum of care and prevention services, with an increased capacity to meet the growing and changing needs of the community and the national HIV/AIDS epidemic. The decision will benefit both organizations, which share a commitment of improving quality of life for vulnerable populations in central Iowa. It also enhances the capability of central Iowa’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic by aligning both agencies more closely to the goals of Iowa’s Comprehensive HIV Plan and the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

 

The bad

HIV

When your friend’s mom is kind enough to let you stay at her house, respect and appreciation are due, not a maniacal assault that causes her a broken nose. Denise Hawthorne, 41, was letting her 19-year-old son’s friend, Nicklaus Phipps, stay at her house for a while when she found the need to protect herself from an attack by Phipps, according to police reports. Hawthorne told police Phipps, 22, may have been high on K2 when she came home from work last week, and he demanded she take him to the store. When she refused, he reportedly got upset, started destroying her room and throwing things at her before attacking her son with a pair of scissors. When Andrew Hawthorne locked himself in his room, Phipps turned his aggression back at his friend’s mother, punching her in the face and forehead and head-butting her multiple times in the face. He also bit her on the arm and face and grabbed her by the neck. Her son ran across the street for help. Phipps was arrested for assault with intent to inflict serious injury and first-degree harassment, and while in the squad car, Phipps reportedly bashed his head against the window and cage.

Des Moines Police Detectives arrested Daveion Smith last week and charged him with attempted murder, intimidation with a weapon, first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary, as well as two counts of assault on a police officer among other charges. The victim, Joseph Lewis, was shot in the face on Nov. 6, as he was seated in his vehicle (Good Bad Ugly, Nov. 22). Fortunately Lewis survived the shooting. The robbery and burglary charges stem from a Dec. 11 incident at an apartment on Southeast 5th Street where Smith and an accomplice allegedly took cash and a TV among other items. While being placed in custody, Smith reportedly bit Senior Officer Brady Carney on the arm and, once at the police station, police say Smith spit on Lt. Mark Wessels.

 

The ugly

Ugly122012A sunny day might sweep the clouds away on Sesame Street, but the jovial neighborhood created by the beloved Jim Henson has been tainted by some dark, back alley secrets. A fourth man has come forward with claims that he had a sexual relationship with Elmo’s puppeteer, Kevin Clash, when the accuser was 16. Clash resigned as Elmo’s voice and puppeteer in November when several men filed lawsuits claiming that they had sex with him while they were underage teens. The fourth accuser’s story echoes and expands on those of the three preceding, that a 30-something Clash befriended him and flew the teen to New York, where the two engaged in sexual activity. Clash denies the allegations, which have cost him his job and an upcoming Warner Bros. film.

There are no words to express the stew of emotions that our nation is experiencing after the mass shooting of 20 innocent children and six educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last week. We learned of the massacre with a horror reminiscent of 9-11, shocked by the unbelievable and appalled by the apparent evil that lives among us. Our hearts are indeed broken, as we keep the victims, their families and Newtown, Conn., in our prayers. CV

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