The state Department of Education said last week that Iowa’s graduation rate increased to more than 89 percent, the highest in the nation and up nearly 1 percentage point from 2011. Iowa’s four-year graduation rate ranks first nationally. Graduation rates increased in 172 of Iowa’s 318 school districts that had high schools. Eight out of the 10 largest districts saw graduation rates rise. The biggest jump among those districts was in Des Moines, where the rate climbed 3.47 percentage points to 79.15 percent.
The Center on Sustainable Communities, Des Moines Water Works, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Metro Waste Authority and MidAmerican Energy are looking to honor local organizations and leaders for their local sustainability efforts. Environmental Impact Award applications will be accepted through Wednesday, March 13 at 3:30 p.m. To commemorate Earth Month, winners will be announced on April 4. Now in its third year, the Environmental Impact Awards were established to recognize organizations that exemplify environmentally sustainable practices. Awards will be given to businesses (large and small), civic organizations (governmental and non-governmental) and for the built environment (residential and commercial construction). Special honors will be given to an award winner with the best water management practices and an award winner for the best energy efficiency practices. The award applications are available at www.desmoinesmetro.com/events. All interested parties are encouraged to apply. The Environmental Impact Awards luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15 at the Raccoon River Park Nature Lodge in West Des Moines. For more information, call 286-4950.
If you are going to rob someone’s apartment, find a better place to store the loot than the apartment right next door. Des Moines police arrested Alonate Butts, 19, last week on burglary charges for allegedly doing just that. While investigating a different burglary at apartment No. 242 at 208 Dickman Road, a resident of the adjacent apartment, Sarina Behle, 26, approached police about a break-in at her apartment, No. 243. She said her apartment door had been pried open and a flat screen TV, X-box, three game paddles and 20 video games were missing. She described the missing items, which were identical to the property found in the closet in apartment No. 242. Butts was taken into custody earlier on separate charges. Behle’s property was returned to her.
A 24-year-old Iowa man is in Johnson County Jail after allegedly stabbing his own mother last weekend. Philippe Diamitani was arrested after officers were dispatched to a home in Coralville, where they found Diamitani’s mother. She told police her son had attacked her with a knife, causing injuries to her left shoulder and left hand. She was treated at the hospital and later released. Her son remains in custody with a $10,000 cash-only bail.
A Fort Dodge woman is in critical condition after her ex-husband allegedly tried to kill her last week. Fort Dodge police said Larry Crawford, 43, is being held in the Webster County Jail after he attacked his ex-wife, Jolene Crawford, police say. She was found unconscious in her home early Saturday morning. She was flown to Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines with blunt force trauma to the head.
On Tuesday, Feb. 26, a lawsuit was filed in Warren County, Ohio, against the Boy Scouts of America by a victim of child sexual abuse in scouting. The suit alleged that the plaintiff was abused by the scoutmaster of his troop during a trip to the popular Kings Island Amusement Park in 1999. The victim in this case has decided to go public with his name in prosecuting his claims for negligence and fraud against the Boy Scouts. The alleged victim has hired a legal team with experience in such lawsuits, one of which resulted in a $19.5 million verdict against the Boy Scouts in Oregon and forced the first public release of the Boy Scout’s secret internal “Perversion” files on known pedophiles. CV