Archive for  May 24th 2018

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DES MOINES, Iowa — “I saw Nate put his hand on Sharon`s back and then move it down to her butt, ” said Ash Bruxvoort. “Then Sharon and I made eye contact and I remember thinking like, what is that about?”

Bruxvoort says the alleged inappropriate contact happened in November of 2015, at Wooly’s, at an event called “Drag King.” Bruxvoort says she and her friend Sharon Wegner, met at the Continental beforehand, and that’s where they ran into Boulton.

“She (Sharon) introduced me to Nate Boulton there that night,” said Bruxvoort. Bruxvoort says Boulton and his wife decided they would join her and Wegner to attend the event.

“Then we were at Wooly’s, I was getting a drink and everybody else including Nate`s wife, so Nate, Sharon, some other people that we know I think, were all standing in a circle,” recounted Bruxvoort.

That’s when Bruxvoort says she witnessed inappropriate touching by Boulton.

“I was observing Sharon obviously felt uncomfortable with Nate and felt in a position that she felt like she could not say stop touching me, and you would think that her pulling away from him and his wife being there would be enough for him to know that it was time to stop touching her,” said Bruxvoort.

Bruxvoort says Sharon didn’t feel comfortable speaking out at the time.

“He was openly campaigning at the time,” said Bruxvoort. “He was a powerful lawyer in Des Moines. Sharon is also an attorney. He for sure has power and women are just base level at a lower level than men are, and so when you’re a professional trying to move up in your career, you have to work with these men who are going to be powerful men.”

But Bruxvoort says times have changed.

“It`s just easier to not rock the boat and I think we have to remember, this was three years ago,” said Bruxvoort. “Things were really different back then. There wasn’t this huge wave of women coming forward. There weren’t all of these people coming out in support of these women.”

WINTERSET, Iowa  —  It’s the big race of the year.  But instead of tires screeching or hooves galloping, it will be feathers flying at the Topeka Classic.  Pigeon racers from across the Midwest will flock to Kansas for the Super Bowl for birds.

John Shaw is making his return to competition after a two year break.

“I just feed them and water them and tell them to come home,” said Shaw.

Nestled among the trees and farm fields in Winterset, his pigeons rule the roost.  Leading up to race day, he takes his old birds out to stretch their wings.

“OK boys, let’s put on a good show now.  I want you guys to go straight home,”  he instructed.

After a few flaps of freedom, his released birds get their bearings and head for him.  Some days, they beat him home.

Today wasn’t one of them.

“Just three out of 20. Evidently a hawk hit them and they scattered,” said Shaw.

He has plenty of time to wait for the rest of the flock to return to the coop.  Like many of the members of the Des Moines Invitational Racing Pigeon Club, he’s retired.  Finding someone to take under his wing, hasn’t been easy.

“Nobody, nobody. There’s nobody that crazy,” he joked.

“The younger generation just doesn’t have time for it.  They all have their cell phone and they’re always playing on them,”  added Shaw.

A different kind of winged racer is competing for the younger generation’s attention.

“Drone racing is definitely up and coming.  Over the past couple of years, the hobby has really exploded with popularity,” explained Will Dobbins.

Dobbins is the president of 515 FPV, the local drone racing club.

“It is a lot of fun.  It is a huge adrenaline rush.  I liken it to riding a motorcycle absolutely crazy on the curvy windy roads but when you crash it only hurts your wallet,” Dobbins said.

Goggled racers battle it out on the course with their motorized birds that can go from zero to 70 almost immediately.  In this hobby, a typical race only lasts a few minutes and younger flyers have the advantage behind the controls.

“It’s like a video game in that you’re just doing hand-eye coordination on a screen,” said Dobbins.

Shaw’s high flying stakes have been around for centuries and races are measured in hours and hundreds of miles.

“The best part is when you’re sitting out here waiting and you look at your clock- and think- if that bird is flying 50 miles an hour, or 65 miles an hour, and you look and here he comes,” he said.

This seasoned bird racer doesn’t care if he wins.  The best part is having his pigeons fly home.

“There’s something special about them,” said Shaw.