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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:

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.