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DES MOINES, Iowa — A man who worked for a non-profit organization that helps at-risk youth, young adults and adults, is charged with enticing a minor under the age of 16 for a sexual purpose. Akil Jabbar was terminated by Creative Visions on December 3, 2018, the same day he was arrested and booked in the Polk County Jail. According to the criminal complaint and affidavit, Jabbar met with the minor in the middle of the night, even though her mother had told Jabbar to have no additional contact with her, with the intent of committing an illegal sex act with her.

Court documents say Jabbar planned to supply the girl with illegal drugs and alcohol. Ankeny Police say messages on social media corroborate the allegations. The CEO of Creative Visions, Ako Abdul-Samad, addressed the arrest today.

“Yesterday morning we found out that our part-time employee Akil Jabbar was arrested,” said Ako. “In doing our due diligence, we learned what the charges were. Due to our policies and the nature of the charges, we could not continue his employment at Creative Visions, until the issues are completely resolved.”

Jabbar has an extensive criminal background, but Ako says he was unaware of that, when he hired Jabbar.

“…We understand that he had some difficulties…,” said Ako. “But, do I know or did I know what his criminal background was, no.”

Ako says Creative Visions does not do criminal background checks when it hires employees.

“We had not to this point,” said Ako.

But Ako says moving forward, in light of this incident, that policy might change.

“Some of our policies may change,” said Ako. “You know, I mean we`re growing, you know, and situations cause you to look at your policies and what needs to be done to go forward to ensure the safety of, you know, your clients.”

 

 

DES MOINES, Iowa — One teen is dead and another is in critical condition after police say they stole a car and crashed it Monday night.

Police say it was a series of bad decision that ended with 16 year-old Emilio Esteban Garcia dead and an unnamed 17 year-old in critical condition.

“Started about 8:11 p.m. with this car being reported stolen on Jefferson avenue. Within about 35 minutes we had a report of gunfire in a neighborhood on the 4100 block of Rosehedge” said Des Moines Police Spokesman Paul Parizek.

Police say the two teenagers had taken the stolen car to Rosehedge and began rummaging through another car.

“It looked like they were moving property out of a car into another one and for some reason they just started shooting bullets into this car” said Parizek.

Police say the two left the area quickly. They had taken off before an officer responding to the gunfire could stop them. That’s when another officer responding to the gunfire came upon a violent wreck nearby at the intersection of 30th and Jefferson. According to police, witnesses to the crash estimated the car moving between 90 and 100 miles per hour before it clipped a U.S. Postal Service van and slammed into a group of trees. The driver of the van, miraculously, was not hurt.

“There was no way for him to estimate that that car was coming at him, who knows if he even saw it at those speeds, he’s very fortunate that he was not injured” said Parizek.

Emilio Garcia was in the passenger seat at the time of the crash, his family released a statement reading:

“They are good kids, just misunderstood, both with families who are very devastated and our family is hoping and praying for the best. Emilio will be truly missed but never forgotten”

Police say the situation is sad all the way around.

“We’re looking right now at the impact of the community. We’ve got people who have their car shot up and had their property stolen both which makes them feel violated in and of themselves, but then we lost a 16 year-old kid. It’s heartbreaking” said Parizek.

Police say the initial car theft and the car the two targeted appear to be random.

DES MOINES, Iowa — President Donald Trump ordered all flags to be lowered to half staff to honor President George H.W. Bush following his death. He died on Friday, November 30, 2018.

According to the Curator Leo Landis at the State Historical Museum of Iowa, the tradition of lowering flags to half staff dates back to the early 1900’s in the United States.

“We had fought both the Civil War and the Spanish American War and in order to honor soldiers who had fought, the tradition was, on Memorial Day, the flags would go to half staff and then at noon on Memorial Day it would rise fully to the full staff height,” Landis said.

According to Governor Kim Reynolds’ office, Gov. Reynolds asked for flags to be lowered to half staff 11 times and President Trump asked for it 12 times, for a total of 23 in 2018 in Iowa.

“The tradition that we have today was codified or done as an executive proclamation by President Eisenhower in 1954 and it was really to have a standard in the US Flag Code saying here are the people that are deserving of having the flag fly at half staff,” Landis said.

The proclamation to order lowering flags has to come from either the president or the governor, but anyone can make a request.

Landis said there isn’t a penalty for not lowering a flag.

“It’s just incredibly bad form when the leader of our nation makes a proclamation asking all US citizens and people living in this country to participate in a period sorrow and recognition. It just seems unfathomable to me to not participate in that,” Landis said.

Flags can be at half staff for anywhere from several hours to even 30 days like the recent request following President Bush’s death.

“The federal standard is one standard but we could actually, as a state, keep it up longer at half staff for a longer period of time,” Landis said.

Landis said this special honor is reserved for people who have served the United States in an important way.

“It’s something that’s done to say these are people who have served our country. They ought to be recognized and especially in the case of a president, we want to recognize their service,” Landis said.

MT. AYR, Iowa- Astronaut Peggy Whitson will be honored in her hometown area. A giant boulder will be painted as a tribute to Whitson, who spent more time in space, than any other woman, and who also served as a Commander of the International Space Station.

“Came up with it one evening, and I told my wife, that I had this wild idea, that might be crazy but something we can work on was a Peggy Whitson rock, like the Freedom Rock that Bubba Sorenson paints,” said Ken Robertson, who hatched the idea.

Robertson called Whitson to ask if she would be open to the idea. “She like the idea, all she asked was that it have an American flag.

Whitson grew up on a farm near Beaconsfield, and she graduated from Mt. Ayr High School. Whitson is remembered for excelling academically and as a high school basketball player.

“I’m gonna work hard, and I want to be a guard and she worked very hard and became an all conference guard in one year,” said Mark Larson, who coached Whitson.

“She was in the national honor society, she’s probably maybe a perfect four point in high school, but it would be awfully close,” said James Saville, who also taught Whitson. “She got A’s in every class I had her in, she was interested in both math and science, but she did well in our social studies too because she wanted to know about everything.”

Hopefully the Whitson Rock will be completed and unveiled at a dedication ceremony in the spring. Organizers are hoping Whitson will be able to attend.

Here is a link to the Peggy Whitson Rock Facebook Page

 

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa –Central Iowans woke up to snow and freezing temperatures, but that didn’t stop everyone from enjoying the great outdoors. Some even spent time on the beach.

“So it’s windy and snowy,” Five-year-old Henry Ladwig said.

You wouldn’t expect to find a large crowd on the beach on a snowy Sunday in December. Henry’s brother Liam added, “I think it’s going to be really cold and I’m excited.”

170 people and their cheerleaders gathered at Raccoon River Park for Special Olympics Iowa’s Polar Plunge.

“There’s a lot of excitement around this event and the weather couldn’t be better for a polar plunge,” Karen Whitman with Special Olympics Iowa said.

Members from 20 teams shivered their way to the sandy starting line to take the plunge into the 33 degree water. Teams ranged from high school students from Ankeny Centennial and Southeast Polk to West Des Moines Police Officers with their kids.

“Special Olympics is a great organization, a lot of us has some ties to it personally,” Officer Nate Ladwig said.

Some wore costumes and others had clever names. They were all there to raise money for Special Olympics athletes. Channel 13’s Sonya Heitshusen also joined in.

“It’s really cold, it’s really cold. My feet are frozen,” she said. “It’s for the kids. Sports has done so much for my life, so everybody should have the opportunity to play.”

The plungers raised $40,000 to help more than 14,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities around the state.

“We can suffer for a little bit to show those athletes that have to go through so much we’re here to support them anyway we can,” said Ladwig.

Money raised will help the Special Olympics athletes with year-round training and competition. Each participant had to raise at least $75.

DES MOINES, Iowa–J.D. Scholten is considering his options after hearing from people across the country following his narrow loss to longtime Iowa Congressman Steve King in November’s elections.

Senator Charles Grassley supported the decision when U.S. forces used tear gas on migrants, which included young children. Some of those migrants had charged toward law enforcement.

Ed Fallon, a Democratic former state representative and candidate for governor, has written a book about his march across the country to raise awareness for climate change.

A Des Moines teacher and a group of friends wanted to show their support for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of assaulting her when they were teenagers. So, the group paid for a billboard near Palo Alto University in California, where Ford teaches.

J.D. Scholten takes this week’s Insiders Quick 6.

CLIVE, Iowa — The Indian Hills neighborhood in Clive is worried after a house was vandalized early this morning. Residents say it’s similar to the spree of damage others experienced last week, when over a dozen cars and a couple of houses’ windows were broken thanks to someone throwing rocks.

“I love being in this neighborhood and it’s just such a shame to have something like this happen here because this is just not who we are,” Jackie Seymour, a Clive resident, said.

Seymour is a 15 year resident of the Indian Hills neighborhood and says she’s never felt unsafe, but waking up to a broken window this morning has her concerned.

“It didn’t break the storm window, but you can see the rock there,” Seymour explained. “So it went completely through the outer screen and outside window.”

“It wasn’t loud enough that it made me get out of bed, and I did not find it until the next day. By then it was too late to find out much about who was responsible.”

Neighbors stopped by, worried about the reoccurring vandalism, but luckily this time police may have a lead.

Seymour’s neighbors caught what looked like kids running away on their security cameras. Police aren’t saying if this incident is related to last weeks vandalism, but Seymour says it’s too coincidental.

“I did ask that they step up patrols in the neighborhood, because two weekends in a row, that’s too many,” Seymour said.

She added the cost to repair the window is one thing, but what worries her the most is someone getting hurt. Frequently her elderly parents sleep on a pull out sofa just feet away from the window, luckily they weren’t last night.

DES MOINES, IA —  The Des Moines Police Department is asking for the public’s help in finding a missing person.

62-year-old Kathy Joanne Allen of Des Moines went missing earlier this afternoon.  She was last seen at 5:45 p.m. at 1420 Mulberry Street wearing dark-colored pants and a dark-colored coat.

Police say she has a medical condition that could cause her to become confused.  Anyone who may know her whereabouts is asked to call 911.

 

DES MOINES, Iowa — Many Drake University students have mixed feelings about the news surrounding the racist letters investigation and some students of color say they still don’t feel safe.

Drake Student Morgan Coleman said this problem of racism on campus goes way beyond the notes regardless of whether they were real or fake.

“After painting painted street black there’s been a lot of conversations and that’s the whole point. We wanted it to be a conversation piece. We wanted students to talk about it in their classrooms and to kind of get to the root of the problem,” Coleman said.

She said there is still a lot of work to be done.

“Racism manifests itself in many different ways. And although I cannot speak personally, and nobody can speak personally, to the motives of either individual who sent either set of notes, I do think that it shows that white supremacy is a huge problem and we have to actively work to combat it,” Coleman said.

Drake Student Alexander Peralta-Cornejo said he is frustrated that Painted Street is already chipping.

“If you’re an outsider and you see that symbolic thing broken and chipped, I mean I would push it aside,” Cornejo said.

He said that’s the reason why he and others must continue fighting so that the problem doesn’t get pushed aside again.

“There’s a lot of students that felt very afraid and are still very afraid regardless of who sent whatever note,” Coleman said.

Cornejo said he is one of those students who feels unsafe and there is one thing that could start the process of regaining some sense of safety.

“A huge assembly at the Knapp Center with everyone in there. Every single student. And President Martin acknowledging to every single student that this university does not stand with racism,” Cornejo said.

Coleman said she still has hope for change and the students who started the movement don’t plan on backing down anytime soon.

The Paint It Black Project also released a statement Friday:

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Drake University says four incidents of racist notes left in dorm rooms appear to be hoaxes, but another unrelated incident is still being investigated as real.

On November 7th, Drake student Keith Walker reportedly received a racist and threatening note in his dorm room.  That case is still being investigated by Drake and Des Moines police.

Shortly after that letter was received, two other Drake students reported being targeted four times by racist notes found in their dorms on November 13th, 15th and 28th.  Drake University announced in a release Friday that all four notes were a hoax perpetrated by one of the alleged victims.

Neither Drake University nor Des Moines Police are releasing the girl’s name but both say charges of misdemeanor harassment are pending.  The student will also face student code of conduct violations which could result in expulsion.

Drake University President Marty Martin released this statement on Friday:

“I am pleased that we have identified the source of the four notes reported out of Herriott Hall, and I am confident in the progress being made with the ongoing investigation. As painful as these recent events have been, they have sparked important discussions and reflection, and have brought us closer together as one Drake community. We all have work to do as we further our commitment to equity and inclusion, but can be proud of our response, our values, and our conviction.”

 

Original Story:

The Des Moines Police Department says a female Drake University student who reported receiving racist notes in her dorm room wasn’t telling the truth about one incident.

Two female Drake students reported finding racist notes slid under the doors of their dorm rooms on November 15th.  On November 28th the same students reported they’d received another similar note.  Des Moines Police say their investigation into that final note revealed one of the victims wasn’t telling the truth.

In a press release on Friday morning, police say the final note “was note received in the manner as it was reported.”  Charges are now pending against one of the alleged victims of the crime.  Police will only describe her as an 18-year old.  Police are continuing to investigate the notes previously received by the students.