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Good Bad Ugly

Good Bad Ugly 04.11.13


The good

The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) is introducing residents to the expanded public transit system in Greater Des Moines and is offering free rides through April 30. The new Route 60 is free and loops at the heart of the transit network, connecting University and Ingersoll avenues between 42nd Street and downtown Des Moines. The route connects many major destinations, including educational institutions, shopping districts, medical facilities, employment centers and DART Central Station. “If you’ve ever thought, ‘Hey, I should try riding the bus,’ this is a great time to try it out,” said Kirstin Baer-Harding, DART Marketing Director. “We hope that by offering free service on some of the busiest transit corridors in the metro, we give people that little extra nudge to try it out. And if they like that, we have routes throughout the metro for them to try, as well.”

Forbes magazine recently cited the redevelopment of Des Moines’ downtown, the skywalk system and its public art-filled Riverwalk in its ranking of “emerging downtown cities.” The April issue also notes that in the past decade, new construction boosted the local population above 8,000 residents, made up mostly of young professionals between 25 and 34.


The bad

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This is why driving is a privilege for which one should have a valid, state-issued license. Des Moines Police Traffic Investigators followed up on more than two dozen tips — several of which came through the anonymous Crime Stoppers hotline — and negotiated numerous investigative obstacles over the fatal hit-and-run of Clayton Payne on March 16. Kristine Gordon, 26, of Des Moines, was charged last week with failure to render aid causing death (a Class D felony), driving while barred (aggravated misdemeanor) and failure to yield to a pedestrian right-of-way. Police said Gordon has been in custody for approximately two weeks for other charges that are not directly tied to the hit-and-run fatality but are as a result of the investigation, including possession of drug paraphernalia and parole violation.

After more than a month of investigations, Des Moines police have made three arrests for the brutal beating and robbery of Mike Wasike. Sadly, the three suspected culprits are teens: Kenneth Barry, 16, Terrance Cheeks, 15, and Leshaun Murray, 15, all of Des Moines. Each has been charged with first-degree robbery for the case with Wasike, as well as another count of first-degree robbery stemming from an incident with another motorist whom they had attempted to rob earlier that same night on Feb. 26. Police said, “Wasike was a completely innocent bystander that was quite simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and unfortunately was brutally victimized.” The incident occurred just after 8 p.m. near the intersection of 50th and Twana Drive. Police had arrived to find Wasike lying in the street with severe head trauma, and he had been robbed of his vehicle. His car has since been recovered, but Wasike is still in the hospital healing from his injuries.


The ugly

Maybe this is why some people choose not to apply for jobs. Several men who were looking for work responded to a Craigslist help-wanted ad for an Ohio cattle farm in late 2011. The guy who posted the ad, Richard Beasley, killed three men who answered it: Ralph Geiger, 56, of Akron, Ohio; David Pauley, 51, of Norfolk, Va.; and Timothy Kern, 47, of Massillon, Ohio. In March, a jury convicted Beasley on 26 counts of aggravated murder, kidnapping and aggravated robbery and unanimously recommended that he be sentenced to death. Ohio courts gave him the death penalty last week. Would-be victim, Scott Davis of South Carolina, was walking through a heavily wooded area toward where he was informed he would be working when he turned around to a gun pointed at his head. He was shot in the arm as he ran and hid in the forest for seven hours. His story led to Beasley’s subsequent arrest.

Three Des Moines police officers were injured in a crash Sunday morning. Unfortunately, there’s no one they can blame but themselves. Officer Brandson Holtan and Senior Officers Cody Grimes and Phil Terrones were on their way to assist other officers around 2 a.m. when the two squad cars collided at an intersection. One suffered a minor head injury, and according to news sources, all three spent time in the hospital before eventually being released. CV

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