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Good Bad Ugly

3/13/2013

The good

GOODTwo Iowa fire departments will receive funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, which will be used to increase the effectiveness of fire operations and to support fire fighter safety at the Saylor Township Fire Department in Polk County, which was awarded $133,966, and the Deloit Fire Department in Crawford County, which received $9,975. At least 55 percent of the program’s funding must go to fire departments that use volunteer firefighters so that smaller towns are not competing against larger cities.

The Polk County Board of Supervisors recently entered into an agreement with the City of Des Moines to disburse funds to low-income Des Moines residents who are struggling with finding or maintaining suitable housing. Polk County was chosen by the City of Des Moines through a competitive bidding process and plans to disburse the $242,495 in available funds through its General Assistance program. Under this agreement, funds will be made available to qualified recipients to help pay for rent, utilities, deposits and/or moving expenses. The grant was made possibly through HUD’s Homelessness Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Grant (HEARTH).

The bad

BadThink twice before whipping out your credit card in Des Moines. Police have arrested a local restaurant employee for forgery after using customers’ personal credit card information to pay his own bills. Kham Chanthakone was working at the Pho Saigon Restaurant, 1452 Second Ave., when he allegedly decided to use at least three credit cards from customers. He was charged with four separate counts of unauthorized use of a credit card. No one else associated with the restaurant has been arrested or charged with illegal activity connected to Chanthakone, and there is no evidence to suggest that the owners of Pho Saigon Restaurant were involved in this criminal activity, police say. The Des Moines Police Department urges anyone who may have eaten at the Pho Saigon Restaurant since Jan. 1, and who paid with a credit or debit card, to check financial statements for irregular or unauthorized charges.

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The Polk County Sheriff’s Office released a news statement last week after Reserve Deputy Donna Britt’s county-issued handgun accidently fired inside patrol headquarters. The incident caused a minor injury to Britt’s own left hand. She went to a local hospital, where she was treated and released. A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office said the facts surrounding the incident are being evaluated. We have to wonder what hurts more, her hand or her ego.

CNN reports that more than 2,800 potentially-diseased pig carcasses were dumped in a Shanghai river since last Friday. The pigs have labels attached to their ears indicating they are from the upper waters of the Huangpu River, a source of drinking water for more than 20 million Shanghai residents. Even so, authorities say the tap water in the city is still safe to drink. A bit piggy, yes, but safe. CV

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