Archive for  April 2018

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In this week’s Murphy’s Law, Keith Murphy reveals the real truth about predicting the NFL Draft.

Murph tries to make sense of why no team drafted Iowa State’s Allen Lazard.

In this week’s What’s Bugging Andy, Andy Fales finds a social media cautionary tale from this year’s NFL Draft.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Two friends thought they were getting a safe ride home after a night on the town and it quickly turned into the opposite.

Reid Chandler and his friend ordered an Uber after a night out in East Village and ended up getting into the wrong car.

“A car pulled up. I didn’t really, because I had been drinking all evening I can’t say for certain if I checked to see if there was an uber sticker. I don’t know if I checked all my boxes the way that I should have, but I got in this car assuming it was my Uber. The driver said something along the lines of ‘Did you guys order an Uber?’ Did not address me by my name, which is something you should look out for,” Chandler said.

They were supposed to go about a half a mile away to his apartment.

“Again I had been drinking all night and I was not really thinking straight and all of a sudden I realized that we’re not in downtown Des Moines anymore turns out we’re in Ankeny. And he turns into a townhouse complex and his garage door opens to what I’m assuming is his home and he pulls in the driveway, pulls in the garage and shuts it and says, ‘We’re here,” Chandler said.

After a shouting match with their supposed driver, they got the garage door to open and ran towards the nearest road and called a lyft to pick them up.

Meanwhile, Lyft Driver Addie Back decided to see if she could pick up some passengers on her way home.

“With it being 2:30 in the morning, I assumed I wasn’t going to get anybody. And then my app went off and the rest is history. I almost started crying when they were telling me their story because I was hurt. I was angry. I was sad. I was in awe and speechless to the fact that it did happen,” Back said.

Addie said when a rideshare driver is fired or quits the services don’t take the stickers away.

“And it’s not difficult to say, have that in your window if you’ve driven before. And then for them to have the old app upp to make it look like you’re driving and just take off,” Back said.

Addie said she’s glad she was in the right place at the right time.

“That’s my end goal when I drive at night is to make sure everybody gets home safe,” Back said.

There are three things you can do to try and prevent this from happening to you:

  • Compare the make, model and color of the vehicle to what’s listed in the app
  • Check the license plate to see if it matches what’s listed in the app
  • Ask the driver who they are there to pickup

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, Michigan  —  President Donald Trump told supporters at a speech on Saturday that if Congress did not meet his funding demands for border security, he may support a government shutdown this fall.

Trump was speaking in Washington Township, Michigan, at the same time that the White House correspondents’ dinner was taking place back in Washington, DC, with some lawmakers and current and former members of his administration in attendance. During his remarks, he alluded to the appropriations deadline at the end of September.

“We have to have borders, and we have to have them fast,” he said. “And we need security. We need the wall. We’re going to have it all. And again, that wall has started. We got 1.6 billion. We come up again on September 28th, and if we don’t get border security, we’ll have no choice. We’ll close down the country because we need border security.”

Despite his campaign pledge to make Mexico pay for his proposed wall on the US-Mexico border, Trump has demanded that Congress fund the project. Last month, he signed a bill that funds the government through September after expressing frustration with a spending package that included $1.6 billion for border security, but not the wall.

In his speech Saturday night, Trump railed against the Democratic Party on a range of issues, including immigration.

“A vote for a Democrat in November is a vote for open borders and crime,” Trump said.

He continued, “The open border policies of the Democratic Party are not just wrong, they’re dangerous, and they’re in fact deadly. They’re deadly.”

JOHNSTON, Iowa  —  For Lindsey Jo Andrews and her husband Jordan, opening up Heartland Soles Running and Walking Store in Johnston nearly two years ago was a dream come true.

“Being a local shop in a state that values farming, shopping local, and mom and pop shops,” said Lindsey.

It’s not just a local business; Heartland Soles is one of the state’s only stores to use a process called gait analysis to analyze customers’ fitting.

“They get to see, ‘okay, this is how I was running, now I’m in this new shoe that is good for me and I can see, yes, it has everything working more efficiently.'”

Lindsey’s love of running stems from her Kansas City-area roots, but her passion to create this one of a kind experience and grow a family in Iowa with her high school sweetheart was paced by one 10,000-meter race at the Drake Relays.

“It’s just powerful. It is just an amazing experience,” Lindsey said.

As a competitor for Columbia College, an NAIA school in Missouri, Lindsey, a six-time All American, says her experience in 2015 was unforgettable.

“The drumline was playing and I actually went in ranked first,” she said.

That, combined with a weekend-long exploration of Des Moines with Jordan after her race, left them with no doubt about where they would live after graduation, despite having no family ties in Iowa.

“We kind of fell in love with the Beaverdale neighborhood, and that is were we live now,” said Lindsey.

The cheers she heard as an athlete that day inside Drake Stadium still refuse to quiet down.

“A lot of times I just run up and go look at the Blue Oval. Just look at it and it gives you that feeling of competition and power,” she said.

Inside Heartland Soles are tickets from the relays dating back to 1979. It is a tradition Lindsey is proud to be part of, and also one she hopes to one day share with her seven-month-old daughter Layla.

Lindsey said, “When she is in high school, I will be getting in the age where I could do the Masters 800. Hopefully she will enjoy it herself, too, and it would be really fun to get to both compete on the Blue Oval.”

Lindsey and Jordan recently opened up another Heartland Soles location in the Iowa City area in March.

MITCHELLVILLE, Iowa  —  High winds combined with warm temperatures caused dangerous fire conditions on Friday, which led to a grass fire in Mitchellville that took firefighters hours to put out.

The fire came dangerously close to some nearby homes as dozens of firefighters from several departments worked to get the upper hand on the flames.

“Any time you get a fire in a field this time of year, when all the ditches are dry, the fields are dry, you get a fire going, then you get a wind like this going on, it could be pretty bad,” said Lt. Rich Blaylock, Public Information Officer with the  Polk County Sheriff’s Office. “It can go from road to road and just keep on going.”

“The wind is a big challenge, dry conditions definitely doesn’t help,” said Mike Twohey, Mitchellville Fire Chief. “With these winds, an ember could fly somewhere.”

Several departments came together shortly before 1:30 on Friday afternoon to get control of the grass fire in the 9600 block of NE 62nd Avenue.

“We had, as you can see, high winds, and fire can travel very fast,” said Chief Twohey. “It went across the road and a couple residents that we had to protect. So everybody did a very good job today. There was several departments from the east side of Polk County here today. They did a great job getting everything knocked down, put out.”

And it’s not just putting out the fire that authorities had to worry about.

“With us having to block the road, you know, our ultimate is keeping the firefighters safe so they’re able to work on the field fire,” said Derrick Spoerry, Mitchellville Police Chief. “So we have to control the intersections, control the roadways. So it’s one we can’t leave open, because if we leave a roadway open and someone’s driving through, paying attention to the fire and strikes someone, that’s on us.”

The highly coordinated effort puts a strain on resources.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time I’m the only officer working, so for me the resources are very limited,” said Chief Spoerry. “Today we had four officers that we had to shut down the whole area due to the smoke blowing across the road and everything else, so it puts a lot of strain on my department, being short-staffed and even Polk County having to divert a deputy out here to help us control traffic.”

Officials do not know what caused the fire.

The “Star Wars” universe is expanding again on the animation front with “Star Wars: Resistance,” a Disney Channel series set during a period prior to events depicted in the 2015 movie “The Force Awakens.”

The program, scheduled to make its debut in the fall, will feature the droid BB-8 and appearances by the established characters Poe Dameron and Captain Phasma, voiced by the actors who played them in the recent movies, Oscar Isaac and Gwendoline Christie, respectively.

The plot will center on a young pilot named Kazuda Xiono who is recruited by the Resistance to spy on the evil entity known as the First Order.

The anime-style series is being overseen by Dave Filoni, who was responsible for the “Star Wars”-branded shows “The Clone Wars” and “Rebels,” with the latter having recently completed a four-season run on Disney XD. According to Disney, production has already begun on the show, which reunites several members of the “Rebels” creative team.

Lucasfilm previously indicated that there were plans for additional animated shows, although planning such spinoffs has become a bit trickier as the company has ramped up production of “Star Wars” stand-alone movies, additional trilogies and TV shows for a planned streaming service since its acquisition by the Walt Disney Co.

Despite that, Filoni told CNN last year that the potential for “Star Wars”-related animation is “almost limitless,” given the scope of the franchise’s galaxy.

SPRING BROOK TOWNSHIP, Pa. – “Who would duct tape a pole anywhere? That is not common sense.”

That is a question some residents of Spring Brook Township, Pennsylvania have been asking for quite some time.

A damaged utility pole on Aston Mountain Road near Moscow is wrapped in duct tape.

“We have people that ride bikes and motorcycle riders. Everyone wants to come through. It is beautiful and quiet, and we don’t need anyone getting hurt. It can come down at any time,” Carol King told WNEP.

King showed WNEP a picture of the duct-taped pole taken last month. She thought the utility pole would have been replaced by now.

“It looks kind of funny. I mean, duct tape on a telephone pole and the pole is cracked, and we have had some major winds. That is going to come down and kill somebody,” said King.

“I am afraid that pole is going to go down on a car when you’re going by or lose electricity soon. I just think it’s dangerous,” said Ann Aston.

Aston lives on Aston Mountain Road. She doesn’t know how the pole got damaged or who put the tape on the pole but says the tape just isn’t enough.

“I would like something to be done, yes, for everybody’s safety sake, but who would OK something like that?” said Aston.

“Some attention would be nice. We pay the same rates as everyone else,” said King.

Markings on the pole indicate that it belongs to a telecommunications company. An official with Spring Brook Township says he plans to look into who exactly owns the pole.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Congressman Steve King says airport travelers don’t have enough options when it comes to how they get their news, and that CNN has too much control. Congressman King has submitted an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, that he says would allow for greater broadcast choice for the nation’s travelers.

CNN programming airs on the television screens at some 60 airports across the country, including Des Moines International Airport.

“I`m all for all different views, news at airports,” said Mark Berthelsen, a traveler from Oregon. “I always see CNN here, at all airports, and so seeing some Fox News would be good with me. I`m for that.”

“I think you should have both ends of the spectrum,” said Chet McDonough, a traveler from Florida. “You should have the liberal side, the conservative side, and let`s go from there, right? The right side, the left side, and, maybe somebody in the middle.”

The travelers we caught up with at Des Moines International Airport said they’re all for diversity of viewpoint when it comes to the news, but they don’t think the government should get involved.

“I think the market should play to that,” said Berthelsen. “I don`t think it has to be any government mandate to do that, but I`d like to see just diverse news.”

Diane McDonald, a traveler from Ames, says there’s especially no need for regulation, because of all of the different options people already have: in their own hands.

“I think that there is no need for the government to regulate when there is the access for social media,” said McDonald. “People have the option to use their phones and access any station or any outlet for opinions, news, opinions that they can, they want.”

But Congressman King says that CNN has an ‘airport monopoly’ and that travelers are a “captive audience.”

“I’m a captive audience,” admitted McDonald. “I don’t usually use my phone, except to check personal information, but if someone feels strongly about it, they can always…choose not to watch and use their own devices to get a different viewpoint.”

On Congressman King’s Facebook page, opinions on this matter vary, but some question whether the congressman getting involved in this issue is the best use of his time and energy.

One airport that does not have an agreement with CNN is the one in Sioux City: Sioux Gateway Airport. That airport is located in Congressman King’s district: Iowa’s 4th congressional district.



URBANDALE, Iowa — Instead of counting down the days to summer fun summer fun, some Urbandale parents like Nicole Schwegler are feeling frustrated.  “I was hurt, I was angry, I was confused and I was mad,” said the mother of three children within Urbandale Community School District.

A week ago Schwegler says the Urbandale CSD notified her that her fourth grade son Joey, who is autistic, will be forced to switch schools and attend Webster Elementary along with other level three special education students next school year.  He’s been here since Pre-K.  He’s grown up with these kids. This is our home,” she said, referring to Rolling Green Elementary.

The district believes special education teachers currently are not able collaborate well enough to best serve the students.  They responded saying
“Teacher collaboration directly supports better services and learning for students, which is why we determined a better long-term solution would be to more fully utilize the space at Webster elementary in order to welcome additional students with special needs, and their teachers, as it provides the greatest handicap-accessible areas and supports when compared to our other elementary buildings.”

Schwegler responded saying, “Taking them away from their core family is not helping them.  It doesn’t matter what the teacher collaboration is.”

Tiffany Vasquez-Dewein’s daughter Brenna is a classmate of Joey’s but is considered a level two special education student and will not have to move.  She is having trouble understanding why her friend has to leave.  Tiffany said, “She asked me if they were being punished because they learn differently and why she wasn’t being punished.”

Schwegler says throwing off a steady routine for Joey and other special ed students could be disastrous.  “It takes two months of me prepping him for a fifteen minute hair cut.  Kids on the spectrum need time to transition,” said Schwegler.

The move impacts thirteen of the three hundred and thirty-one K-12 special education students within the district.  “They are choosing to affect the thirteen most vulnerable kids in the school.  He is getting set up for failure,” said Schwegler.

A parent and student petition has been set up in hopes of holding the move off until the fall of 2019 to give the special education students more time to ease into the change.  Siblings of the students moving have also been given the chance to transfer into Webster Elementary.