Archive for  September 2018

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LAKEWOOD, N.J. — A motorist spotted an infant boy crawling across a busy street in New Jersey on Saturday and stopped in time to bring the child to safety, according to WPIX.

Corey Cannon, 43, of Eatontown, said he was on his way to work when he saw a child on all fours who had just crossed the yellow double line.

“I thought it was a toy or something until (the baby) moved,” he told Asbury Park Press in a message. “I knew I needed to get some sort of proof and my GPS was open on my phone, so I used my work vehicle to slow down traffic behind me and took the pic as I was exiting the vehicle and halting oncoming cars.”

Cannon got out of his car and secured the child on Joe Parker Road in Lakewood around 6 p.m., then he called 911, police said.

When officers arrived, Cannon told police that while he was tending to the child, a neighbor came by to pick up the boy and return him home.

Officers found that the infant’s parents did not realize he was missing until the neighbor returned the baby to his home. According to the Asbury Park Press, a woman at that residence where the baby lived said “it was an accident.”

The parents believed an older sibling may have left a door open, enabling the baby to crawl outside, police said.

“It’s horrible, and it’s not the parents’ fault because babies do climb out of cribs,” Mary Bauer, a resident of Lakewood, told WPIX.

Authorities are investigating the incident with assistance from the New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency.

Abraham Lincoln standing outside at Gettysburg (iStock/Getty Images)

It could be a $6.5 million hat—but it might also not be.

WBEZ reports that the crown jewel of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum’s collection, Lincoln’s stovepipe hat, one of just three thought to still exist, may not have belonged to the 16th president after all.

Two reports obtained by the station found insufficient evidence to tie it to Lincoln. One was a 2013 report penned by top curators with the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and Chicago History Museum who sought to establish its historical provenance: The Springfield, Ill., museum had maintained that Lincoln gave the hat to an Illinois farmer in 1858, though a century later a descendant said the hat was given in 1861 during a visit to DC.

The report found “the current documentation is insufficient” to support either story and suggested the museum “soften its claims” or even try to return the hat.

It was acquired in 2007 as part of a mammoth $25 million purchase of Lincoln items by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, which runs separately from the museum.

The foundation in 2014 asked the FBI to see if DNA analysis could establish a tie to Lincoln. It relied on DNA from Lincoln’s hair and blood-spattered items from his assassination but found a “limited quantity of remaining DNA data” in the hat; most of what it recovered “was consistent with being contemporary DNA from an individual who had recently handled the item.”

The story gets thornier: Alan Lowe—the museum’s executive director since July 2016, per the Chicago Sun-Times—only recently learned about the reports, a timeline that he called “unacceptable” in a letter to the foundation. The foundation itself is mired in financial troubles tied to its 2007 buy, which currently has it $9.7 million in debt.

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Both democrats and republicans say talking with voters face to face when they canvass neighborhoods is an extremely important piece of the political process.

Candidates and volunteers are hitting the pavement hard as the November election approaches and some candidates are even looking ahead to the 2020 election.

“This is how we get people to vote and this is how we bring our message to everybody,” Governor Kim Reynolds supporter Jonas Cutler said.

Cutler said he was out canvassing with his daughter because even though she is not of voting age he wants her to be involved.

“This is America and we have to have our children grow up and understand how to live in a republic. We are seeing kind of bad actions now and as you saw before, we don’t need to have that kind of conduct. We need to have more dialogue,” Cutler said.

The Cutlers put their words into action when they ran into Democratic Presidential Candidate Congressman John Delaney and Iowa House District 42 Candidate Kristin Sunde while they were out canvassing in West Des Moines on Sunday

“The gentleman was with his daughter and we ran into them and we were both kind of going to the same house and we had a great conversation. It’s just a reminder, so many elected officials act like half the country is entirely wrong about everything they believe, but the American people know that’s not true,” delaney said.

Sunde said conversation is just as important as participation. Canvassers also talk a lot about getting out to the polls to vote.

“I got the chance to meet a woman and her husband was downstairs busy on the computer and her husband was 100 years old and still interested in the political process. And wanted an absentee ballot and we were able to give them a little bit of information about our campaign and get him an absentee ballot so he can still participate like all Iowans should do,” Sunde said.

For more information about absentee ballots or to find your polling place you can head over to the Secretary of State’s website.

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Latino Heritage Festival wraps up the summer festival season this weekend. Its culture was put on display in Western Gateway Park in downtown Des Moines, helping to bring the rich culture to life.

“We come here to share our culture and learn other cultures as well,” says Bea Gallo-Ray, a patron of the event.

The festival prides itself on educational experiences. Cultural education booths line the streets, as well as live demonstrations.

“They are not just dancing. They’re learning about the Mexican culture. They may never go to Mexico. But if they hear the music, they will know where it’s from,” she says.

Gallo-Ray’s dance studio has performed at the festival since its start in 2001. For Carla Martinez’s family, this is only the second visit to the event. She says it’s a learning experience for everyone.

“We’re Mexican but there are a lot of Peruvian and Puerto Ricans here. There is a lot for us to learn,” Martinez says.

In Iowa, Hispanics make up nearly six percent of the population. According to the State Date Center of Iowa, that number is expected to double within the next 30 years. As the Latino community continues to grow, Martinez stresses the importance of cultural festivals.

“There are a lot of Hispanics and Latinos in Des Moines. For us to be able to come together like this…to learn more about Hispanic culture…is amazing,” she says.

The festival raises money for college scholarships and to help fund school cultural education nights.

PELLA, Iowa — Howard Jaarsma passed away at the age of 88 on Monday in the Pella home he shared with his wife Ethel.

The community celebrated his life on Friday, but it hasn’t stopped there.

Now his children are reflecting on his life and learning more about how he inspired many people during his 57 years owning Jaarsma Bakery with his brother, Ralph.

Howard Jaarsma, known as ‘the maker and baker of good things to eat,’ was a major part in making Jaarsma Bakery into what we know and love today.

“That was his life. That’s right, he spent most of every day in the bakery. He was married to my mom, but he might have been married to the bakery, because he just really lived there all the time,” Howard’s son Mike Jaarsma said.

Howard’s children said he had a passion for creating new things and he traveled far and wide to find inspiration.

“He would sample it, taste it and he would know what the ingredients are. We would come back and make that product and introduce it into our product line. So we were always expanding and introducing something new and keeping the product line fresh that way,” Howard’s daughter Diane Jaarsma Holm said.

Following Howard’s passing, Iowans are sharing stories with the Jaarsma family about how he changed their lives with his smile, baked goods and kind heart.

“A number of years ago this woman lost her husband and she became a widow with four children, a young widow. And she was in the bakery that week and my father was up helping her, it must have been during the time right before he closed the door in the evening. And he said, “Just wait here one minute.” And he went to the back room and he filled a box full of pastries for her and handed it to her and she said that has touched her all these years about how special that was for her,” Howard’s daughter Connie Jaarsma Marty said.

Howard’s family said his love extended beyond the bakery and even impacted the town of Pella in unforgettable ways.

“I think people back in the 70’s, they came to Pella as a tourist and they happened to stop by the bakery. Now they come for the bakery and they happen to enjoy Pella. Something happened during my dad and uncle’s tenure that made that transition happen,” Mike Jaarsma said.

The family is asking that all memorial contributions in Howard Jaarsma’s name be sent to Pella Dollars for Scholars or the Pella Historical Society.

AMES, Iowa — It was a perfect day for football, but despite blue skies a dark cloud hangs over Ames; the death of 22 year-old cyclone Celia Barquin Arozamena, allegedly murdered by 22 year-old Collin Richards.

“It’s really shaken us up quite a bit but I think just seeing the community come together and kind of work through it together and kind of talk about things has really helped” said junior Brianna Masten.

Saturday served as a group healing of sorts, and a way to memorialize Arozamena. The crowd wore yellow, her favorite color, and her native Spanish flag flew high at tailgates around the stadium.

“We feel like we’re responsible for them, we want to welcome them in, and to imagine what her family and parents are going through so far away we just want to show that we care and really in a situation like this that’s all you can do” said Bryan Carpenter, who raised a Spanish flag at his tailgate.

The start of the game felt heavy, the players marched arm in arm to the sidelines instead of running out from the tunnel, her initials on the helmets of both teams, and on shirts in the crowd.

“Wearing her initials on my shirt makes it more personal and to be able to support her any way in our community is very important” said senior Sara Hassemiller.

Prior to kickoff a video tribute played for Arozamena, honoring her role as an athlete, and a cyclone.

As the video came to an end not a word was spoken in Jack Trice; a moment of silence for a woman gone far too soon.


AMES, Iowa — The Ames high little cyclones are proud to be orange and black but Friday night was different.  “The student section chose to wear yellow. Yellow is not everybody’s color,” said sophomore cheer coach and ISU student Kelsie Vertanen.  It may not be the color for everyone but it was the favorite color of former Iowa State student-athlete and European amateur champion Celia Barquin Arozamena who was attacked and killed Monday on an Ames golf course.  “In class today it just made sense to wear yellow tonight to honor Celia,” said Ames student Tye Erickson.

Cheer team members added the color to hair-bows and players  to their wrists.  “I think it’s so special that our Ames community has come together and honored such a special lady,” said Vertanen.  The sea of yellow in the stands was a flash of life for Celia.  “There’s a bigger cause then just football.  It’s not just football it’s more than that,” said Erickson.

Celia’s Spanish-born roots added to the student’s passionate tribute despite her not being an Ames high alum.  “We have a lot of Spaniards that come every two years and stay with us and we saw them as Celia and what would happen if they were ruthlessly murdered,” Erickson said.

As the little cyclones honor Thella  with their shirts, just three miles north and inside Iowa State’s Jacobson Athletic Building a makeshift memorial continues to grow in her honor.  Flowers from women’s golf teams at Ohio State, SMU and Texas Tech were placed underneath a poster of Celia displaying her phenomenal ability as a collegiate golfer.  “It means a bunch to us that people actually care about what’s going on in the world and they want to make a change and stand up for what’s right,” said Erickson.

Celia may have never cheered on the little cyclones in person but their students sure made her hard to miss.  Erickson said, “It was really great to see everyone wearing yellow. It was beautiful.”

Iowa state university is encouraging fans to wear yellow Saturday. They want fans in attendance to be in their seats no later than 10:45 am Saturday for a special video tribute to Celia Barquin Arozamena.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa– West Des Moines Community School District is gearing up to distribute WIFI hot spots to 200 Hillside Elementary students.

It’s part of a larger project to improve internet accessibility for all students.

“Microsoft and T-Mobile have partnered to get more internet access here in the Valley Junction area,”  Hillside Elementary Principle Graham Jones said.

During the school year, every student at Hillside Elementary gets a free laptop to take home with them.

But not every student has internet access.

Providing free hot spots the district says could help bridge that gap.

“Allow many of our students to have a personal hot spot to work on research, and many of those projects from home,” Principle Jones said.

Not every student qualifies for a free internet.

“Students that qualify on our free and reduced lunch application will qualify,” Principle Jones said.

Principle Jones says that’s more than half the student body.

The district didn’t know the exact cost for the hot spots, but we found a T-Mobile hot spot costs about $10.00 a month.

Hillside Elementary plans to start sending kids home with hot spots sometime next week.


BAYARD, Iowa — A late night text message Monday shook Robert McCauley to his core.  “I get a text message saying the kid I grew up with is now looking at a random murder.”

Robert McCauley says he was best friends with Collin Richards when the two lived in Bayard.  “I grew up with him and his brother.  Doing regular kid stuff like baseball and just playing around in the yard.”

Now twenty-two years old, Richards is charged with the murder of former Iowa State student-athlete and European amateur golf champion Celia Barquin Arozamena.  McCauley said, “He didn’t seem like the person that would come up with a scheme and say I have the urge to rape and kill a woman and the very same day in broad daylight and act on it?  He changed a lot.”

McCauley says that change may have begun when the two were Coon Rapids-Bayard High School together.  “You never expected he’d do anything.  He never showed signs of being violent, he got into fights with people but just teenage stuff.”

Richards was even a member of the CR-B  wrestling team as of 2012 but then vanished.  “They sent him to Woodward Academy then after that he straight disappeared.  I have no idea where he went.”

An all-boys school in central Iowa, Woodward Academy lists it’s prospective students as 12-18 year-olds who are impulsive, irresponsible, lack self-discipline and have aggressive behavior. McCauley said, “It is a transitional school. They work with you and work to keep your grades up.  It’s basically for struggling kids.”

After Woodward, Richards returned to Bayard and his friend noticed he was even.  Engaging in criminal activity which led to ten arrests in four years.  Actions causing conflict McCauley’s feelings towards a former best friend.  He said, “Part of me says I can’t be surprised because he started spiraling hard here recently.”

A disastrous spiral that police believe blew out a flame of a young woman that was beginning to shine it’s brightest.  “This girl is out playing golf, doing something she loves, something she is good at and old boy comes up and kills her for no reason. I don’t understand why.”

Richards is scheduled for a preliminary hearing next week.  Calls to Woodward Academy to find out if Richards successfully graduated from their institution were not returned.


ANKENY, Iowa– New body camera released from Ankeny Police Department shows the moments after a police officer caused a fender bender.

The crash happened back in July at the intersection of SE Magazine Road and SE Sharon Drive in Ankeny.

Officer Charles Webster and two other cars were involved in the accident.

The Investigating Officer’s Report provided to us by the Department of Transportation details what happened.

Four cars were driving eastbound on Magazine Road.

One driver stopped behind a left turning car, the second driver saw and applied her breaks.

That’s when she felt Officer Webster crash into her.

Officer Webster said he was distracted.

“I was going to a call and looking down at my computer and just didn’t see,” Officer Webster said.

Officer Webster was never cited for causing the crash.

Ankeny Police Department Lieutenant Brian Kroska said it was handled internally with progressive discipline.

Former Des Moines Police Chief William Moulder said that’s common.

“The administrative process can be more punitive than the criminal justice processes, it could be suspension,” Moulder said.

Lieutenant Kroska says Officer Webster was not fired for causing this crash.

Both cars drove away from the scene, one of them had damage to their rear bumper.

Ankeny Police and one other person involved in the crash were unavailable for comment.