The Des Moines Symphony was presented the prestigious Bravo Encore Award at the eighth-annual Bravo Greater Des Moines Awards Gala last week. A record 1,300 people arrived for the celebration. “This is an especially great honor coming during the Symphony’s 75th Anniversary Season,” said Music Director and Conductor Joseph Giunta. “It is a testament to the outstanding work of our professional musicians, our excellent board and staff, the support of Bravo and the loyalty of our many patrons and subscribers over the years that have created this great institution and assured that Des Moines and central Iowa has not just a symphony orchestra that plays at the highest standards, but one that represents all the great aspects of our region.” Well put.
Iowans with low to moderate incomes can have their state and federal taxes completed at no charge thanks to Des Moines Area Community College. People with little money need to save as much as they can, and DMACC accounting students need the practice. So the IRS-certified students are bringing back the popular Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for anyone with an annual income less than $50,000. Those who qualify should bring their W-2 forms, interest statements from banks, copies of last year’s federal and Iowa tax returns and Social Security cards for all family members to any DMACC campus that offers VITA. The taxes will be filed electronically with both the Internal Revenue Service and the Iowa Department of Revenue.
Movies make big heist crimes look crafty and fun, but such is not the case for this crew of “Oceans 11” wannabes. Police departments in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Clive and Johnston and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received phone calls about several checks being forged at different banks around the metro area between Jan. 14 and 18. After realizing that all the checks had been stolen from Crystal Clear Water, it wasn’t hard for police to link the crimes. Several are wanted for forgery and theft charges, including Garry Bragg, Joseph Bonner, Karlos Goldman Jr., Morice Jones, Michael McGuire, Karol Mensink, Antonio Mitchell, Samory Monds, Jordan Pierce, Nephesia Pierce, Edgardo Roman, Donnie Saunders, Sam Tucker and Charles Williams. Warrants have been issued.
For more than 30 minutes, Super Bowl viewers were given two choices: head to the kitchen for another beer and feed their faces with more unnecessary fried foods, or sit and listen to Bill Cowher and Dan Marino fill a void with pointless commentary while the Superdome officials tried to get their shit together after a power outage brought about an unexpected second half-time (sans the Beyonce booty-shaking). A statement from Entergy and the Superdome said that a piece of equipment monitoring electrical load sensed an abnormality and opened a breaker, partially cutting power. Meanwhile, the New Orleans Fire Department was called to investigate a smell of gas near the Superdome’s elevator, which was stalled on the seventh floor with people inside, according to news reports. It resumed operation after the power returned.
Prostitutes and Johns thought wrong when they mistook the quiet community of Ankeny as a safe place to solicit sex illegally. The Ankeny Police Department partnered with 12 different hotels and set up an undercover prostitution sting last week that resulted in six arrests. Those arrested and charged were Antonio Gonzalez Balderamos, Duane Boswell, Kathleen Sherbondy, Kimberley Ann Walker, Thomas W. Watson and William Lee Woodruff. All had pled guilty to a prostitution charge in October 2012, too. Police will continue with the stings throughout the year.
It’s odd to think that in this technological age, we still have train derailments. Fortunately no one was injured in a Union Pacific Railroad accident last week. The train, which was traveling from Emmetsburg to Eagle Pass, Texas, carrying grain, went off the tracks as it passed the railroad crossing at Iowa Highway 175, just southwest of Gowrie. News reports stated 21 cars were derailed and about 650 feet of track will need replaced. Officials couldn’t say when the line would re-open, and the cause is still under investigation. CV