Archive for  September 26th 2018

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AMES, Iowa –The murder of Celia Barquin Arozamena is a deep wound that remains fresh one week later.  “On behalf of the city, we are still grieving and extremely devastated,” said Ames Mayor John Haila as he opened Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Still hurting from the past, Tuesday night city council leaders looked forward at what more could be done.  “The most immediate areas of concern have been natural areas and trails that may be prone to encampments,” said chief of police Charles Cychosz.

The city of Ames began with action teams clearing brush Monday for better visibility along trails and wooded areas and will continue for weeks.  They will also increase patrols on the trails near Squaw Creek Park and the golf course where Celia was found.  Chief Cychosz said, “Next week there will be similar work done in the bike trail in this area. The bike trail will be closed for a period of time while brush is removed and sight lines are improve.”

Despite the efforts, residents like Holly Varnum remain frightened.  “It is because of what happened, I feel less safe than before.”  She now carries a whistle because of Celia’s death but also approached the city council with a question many residents have been asking ever since it was reported that the alleged killer, Collin Richards was labeled as homeless.  “How should we deal with the homeless and how should we approach them?,” she asked.

City leaders shed light on a new homeless outreach program partnership between Ames police and the Emergency Residence Project in Ames that could begin in late fall.  “In light of the tragic events it makes a lot of sense to develop a street outreach program so we are getting to people where they are,” said Emergency Residence Project Executive Director Carrie Moser.  Currently there are very few places for the homeless to turn and even fewer resources for organizations like the Emergency Residence project to help them.  The team would include, “Someone from law enforcement, a member from our staff at the shelter and ideally someone from the mental health profession so if someone needs mental health help or they have some addiction we can make that connection right away,” said Moser.

It is a positive connection they hope the community can continue to have with their homeless population.  “The actions of an individual should not lead us to label or stereotype a group of people,” said Chief Cychosz.

ST. LOUIS, mo. — Hundreds of motorcycles flooded the streets of St. Louis last weekend for the annual Ride of the Century.

The groups’ antics, particularly beneath one of the city’s most prized attractions, have many residents and visitors frustrated over what they are calling blatant disrespect, according to KTVI.

Riders from all over the country showed up for the event. KTVI received numerous complaints and there are countless posts on social media claiming riders harassed people near Busch Stadium and Ballpark Village, popped wheelies on the highway, and performed other dangerous maneuvers in traffic.

Several people reported damage to their vehicles caused by careless motorcyclists.

A video of motorcycles doing doughnuts and other stunts on the grounds beneath the Gateway Arch has gotten a lot of negative attention.

Bret Rich, who posted the video, said he was enjoying the evening at the Gateway Arch National park with his family when he heard the hum of motorcycles approaching. Rich said before he knew it, nearly a dozen motorcycles swarmed the park.

Rich estimates there were about one hundred people spread across the grounds of the park which re-opened in July after a $380 million renovation project.

“How incredibly disrespectful that was,” said Rich. “This city’s gone through a lot to have the Arch renovated and to cover Highway 70 to make the Arch more accessible to the city, and a lot of people are very happy about that.”

According to park rangers, three men were detained and cited in this incident. The U.S. Attorney issued federal citations for Felix Torres, 23, of Texas, Dale Kiesgen, 32, of Illinois and Matthew Parisi, 20, of Ohio. The citations are for “operating a vehicle off a roadway.” Their motorcycles were also impounded.

One Reddit viewer snapped this pic of rangers having what appears to be a frank discussion with one of them:

Deputy Superintendent of the Gateway Arch National Park, Frank Mares said, fortunately, the damage to the grass around the Arch was minimal.

Also Saturday night, St. Louis police towed nine motorcycles and issued 15 tickets for excessive noise, no state vehicle license, and obstructed/improperly affixed state vehicle license plates.

You can see even more of the places they were riding in St. Louis in this video: