Des Moines Public Schools will be able to hire 40 to 50 additional teachers in 2013-14, even if state lawmakers freeze school aid, according to a press release sent to Cityview last week. Budget projections show the district can expect a surplus of at least $3.4 million in the coming school year. District leaders will offer recommendations on how to spend the money, along with committees comprised of district residents and employees. Nothing is final until the state Legislature sets allowable growth, but this will mark the first time in several years that the Des Moines school district has entered the budgeting process with a significant projected surplus, according to the board president, Dick Murphy.
The West Des Moines Public Arts Commission recently invited Iowa artists to submit their ideas and concepts for a temporary public art exhibit that will be unveiled this summer. Applications must be submitted by Feb. 28. The inaugural event will feature up to 12 sculptures around the city and schools beginning in July and running through the end of September. The commission is offering a $1,000 stipend for artists’ work, as well as the opportunity for them to have their art displayed for the public. The exhibition will focus on The Blue Zones philosophy of healthy living. Learn more at www.bluezones.com. Interested artists can call Todd Seaman at 515-222-3444, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
An everyday traffic stop on Des Moines’ north side led to the arrest of two men for a multitude of charges. A Polk County Deputy Sheriff pulled over a truck for failure to stop at a stop sign. When he spotted a gun inside the vehicle, the driver, Martin Morales (a.k.a. Ricardo Cordova-Cienfuego), 31, of Ames, reportedly took off at a very high rate of speed. The deputy pursued the vehicle until it finally stopped. The driver and his passenger, 28-year-old Gumaro Escareno-Chavez, of Des Moines, were arrested for carrying weapons, possession of drug paraphernalia and open container. On top of those charges, the driver was also charged with eluding, failure to stop at stop sign and driving without a license. Other deputies searched the area between the original stop and the location of the arrest and located a revolver in a nearby ditch.
The International Olympics Committee is pissing off the wrong guys. Its recent announcement that wrestling will no longer be a part of the Summer Games starting in 2020 has raised a ruckus among disgruntled Olympic-lovers and the wrestling community. Grappling gurus and Olympic wrestling champions, Dan Gable and Cael Sanderson, have united behind a campaign to have the decision overturned, and a final decision will be made in May. Greco-Roman style wrestling has been a sport of Olympic proportions since ancient times. Much has been said and written about this, but Andy Fales may have nailed it the best with his What’s Bugging Andy commentary. View it here: http://whotv.com/2013/02/17/bugging-andy-ioc-wrestling-decision/.
The condition of the dog that was discovered on the side of a road near Waterloo last week was heartbreaking. Waterloo Animal Control is looking for any information surrounding an animal cruelty investigation where a dog was found dead in a kennel early Feb. 16. Severely malnourished and covered in its own feces, officials said the dog appeared to have died from either starvation or dehydration and had likely been kept in its kennel for quite a while. A $1,000 reward is being offered to anyone who has information that leads to an arrest and conviction. Call Waterloo Animal Control at 319-291-4440.
A Council Bluffs murder-suicide has left six children without parents. Council Bluffs police believe Terry Francis turned a gun on his girlfriend, Stephony Metzger, last week before turning it on himself. Ron Francis, Terry Francis’ brother, told police he doubted his brother had intended to harm her but was probably planning to shoot himself in front of her. Metzger had three children, as did Francis. Two of Metzger’s kids were reportedly home at the time of the incident. CV