Amanda the Panda Grief Center will host its annual volunteer appreciation event at its new facility in West Des Moines from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 4 The event invites the non-profit’s dedicated volunteers to be recognized. Mary and Mark Whitfield, Kelly Lester, Darla Jergens, Ryan Gansen and Lisa Bates are volunteers who work at The Wellmark Foundation which engages in community caring through the BluesCare Giving Program. Wellmark employees are rewarded for their volunteer time and efforts through charitable contributions designated to the qualifying nonprofit of their choosing. Amanda the Panda therefore received $15,250 from the above volunteers. The Whitfield’s accumulated hours represented $10,000 of the contribution.
Greenland Homes is giving back to the community again. This spring, it built its second “charity” house, and in 2012 Greenland Homes donated $50,000 from the sale to benefit Children’s Cancer Connection. All proceeds after the sale of house No. 2 will also be donated to the organization. The home is located at 340 Aspen Drive N.W. in Bondurant. Greenland Homes has worked with many other local businesses that have made contributions to the home. Greenland Homes and Coldwell Banker are hosting an Open House at the recently finished home on Wednesday, Aug. 7 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., for lunch, drinks and tours of the home. More information about the Greenland Homes project can be found at www.ChildrensCancerConnection.org/GreenlandHomes.
A “do the zoo” trip resulted in doing jail time for one Madison County man who was arrested July 27 for allegedly hitting his granddaughter at the Blank Park Zoo. Michael Cain, 68, was charged with assault and child endangerment after witnesses watched in horror as Cain reportedly hit his granddaughter in the head, causing her to drop her infant. After witnessing the assault, two men reportedly jumped Cain and held him until zoo security arrived. Apparently some animals need to be caged.
A convicted sex offender pled guilty last week to breaking into jail, according to ABC News and the New York Post. Matthew Matagrano, 36, allegedly repeatedly used phony credentials to gain entry into New York City jails. Posing as a correction officer, Matagrano snuck into the Manhattan Detention Center on a Feb. 27 visit, assaulted an inmate and stole a $2,500 walkie-talkie. He also handed out cigarettes to inmates. No one has speculated as to why the former inmate, who has been convicted of sodomy and sexual abuse, wanted to get back into jail, but he’ll have less trouble with it now. He faces 10 years incarceration at sentencing.
Customers in Ohio may consider “eating fresh” somewhere else after two Subway sandwich “artists” were fired for a series of disturbing photos apparently taken within a local Subway restaurant. One of the photos included a less-than-appetizing illustration of one of the now former employee’s genitals sitting on a loaf of bread. Artistic? We think not. A second photo showed a hand holding a water bottle filled with a frozen substance with the caption: “Today at work I froze my pee.” The photos went viral on Gawker and other social networking sites. Director of operations, Bob Gierhart, told CNN affiliate WBNS that the restaurant closed for a full day after the incident so all its bread could be thrown out and all its surfaces could be sanitized properly. This gives the phrase “going viral” a much more literal meaning.
Nothing can put a damper on summer plans like a bad case of diarrhea, a fact with which too many Iowans are becoming intimately familiar. Cryptosporidium is one of the most frequent causes of waterborne disease among humans in the United States. This parasite is most commonly spread through drinking water and recreational water and can cause watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, dehydration, nausea and vomiting with symptoms lasting a couple of weeks. It lives in the intestine of humans and animals and is passed by contact with the feces of another person who has it. Polk County Health officials warn everyone to wash their hands thoroughly and often, especially before preparing or eating food, after using the bathroom or changing diapers, and scrub fruits and vegetables rather than just rinsing with water. Don’t pass the poo. CV