KCWI-TV Great Day Meteorologist Jason Parkin has been named the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society’s Celebrity of the Year for the Iowa Chapter. The award is based on a candidate’s success in generating funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society during a 10-week campaign from March 7-May 11, and the top local fundraisers in the country win the national titles. This year’s Iowa candidates raised $250,000. Each year funds raised are used for: lifesaving blood cancer research, financial assistance to cover patient expenses for transportation, medication and testing, free educational materials and events for patients and their families, local programs such as Family Support Groups and First Connection which offer peer-to-peer counseling and comprehensive, personalized assistance through their Information Resource Center.
Downtown Des Moines gets better every year. Now, the landmark gathering spot, Nollen Plaza, is in slated to evolve, too. Des Moines Performing Arts (DMPA) and its project donors and design team revealed the new name, final design plans and construction timeline for the renovation of Nollen Plaza during a press conference earlier this week. With the generosity of donors and the strong support of the community and its leaders, DMPA has brought together the design plan and the fundraising necessary to create a new distinctive community gathering space, dubbed Cowles Commons.
Don’t blame last week’s cover story, “Chasing the Storm” for the subsequent weekend’s tornado frenzy. Sunday, May 19 ended Iowa’s 358-day streak without a tornado. Storms producing 75 mph winds and hail blew through central Iowa. The National Weather Service confirmed tornados touched down in Huxley and Earlham. Other unconfirmed tornado sightings occurred in Adel, Dallas Center, Slater and Grundy Center. Vehicles were forced into the ditch due to winds that were blowing at a faster speed than their vehicles were traveling. A semi even rolled over onto its side near Ankeny. Power lines were down and as many as 14,000 people were without electricity, according to MidAmerican Energy. One Mitchell County farmer’s barn blew over due to high winds, killing a portion of his cattle. No human fatalities or injuries were reported. Wasn’t it just snowing a couple weeks ago?
Last weekend, when a 5-year-old Council Bluffs boy took a spin on a monster truck attraction, his ride made a turn for the worst. Trace Harman was with his family at the annual Celebrate Council Bluffs carnival. He was seated inside the miniature monster truck ride with both his brother and a friend when the truck came loose from the ride and was launched into the air. As it flew forward, Harman’s truck flipped, striking and landing on the truck located in front of it. The young boy was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center for injuries to his forehead. He was released at the end of the weekend. The other children involved in the accident sustained minor injuries.
Police are searching for a man who robbed a Popeyes Chicken, 6230 S.E. 14th St., Saturday night. Witnesses said a tall man wearing a white hoodie and a bandana over his face jumped over the counter and tackled the clerk, reportedly choked her and held a knife to her throat. But the suspect was sloppy enough with the crime to leave police a few clues to follow — his footprints, which scuffed the counter. Police also are reviewing surveillance video of the robbery.
Gov. Terry Branstad is urging the Iowa Senate to look into claims of sexual harassment made by a former staffer for the Senate Republican caucus. Caucus communications director Kirsten Anderson claims she was fired last week after complaining about harassment from lawmakers and staffers. However, Ed Failor Jr., an assistant to Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix, said Anderson was fired for substandard work. Branstad reportedly said the Senate should determine “whether these allegations are true or not.” CV