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DES MOINES, Iowa — The barbers at Platinum Kutz in the Drake neighborhood are already masters of their craft, but on Sunday they’ll be around some of the best in the country as hundreds of barbers come to the city for the Clash of the Clippers, a barbering contest with thousands of dollars up for grabs.

“We bring hair to the stage. The barbers compete for cash prizes, the compete for the trophies, bragging rights” said Robert Presswood, owner of Platinum Kutz.

Presswood is organizing the event. A competition barber himself, he’s proud to bring the event to the city.

“This is something I want to bring back to my hometown to show the barbers and stylists what I do. They see it on social media, but I thought I could bring the same thing that I’m doing outside the state here” said Presswood.

And he won’t be alone. Celebrity barbers will be joining him, including the man who cut the hair of late rappers Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G., as well as the barber to Will Smith and P-Diddy.

“A lot of these barbers that we’re showcasing, that are going to be teaching classes, cut hair all over the world.  They teach classes in Europe, do shows in Russia, so it’s kind of exciting to see these guys come to Iowa” said Presswood.

The competition also doubles as an expo, barbers like Cynthia Delgado are excited to expand their knowledge.

“It’s going to be a great experience especially for me personally learning from the best barbers in the world” said Delgado.

Delgado says when Des Moines’ barbers have the chance to learn more, their clients are the ones who benefit.

“They’re going to get to see the results, the new trends, the new designs, the new beard designs, everything that is new right now in the barbering industry; it’s amazing” said Delgado.

A red carpet meet and greet starts Saturday at 9 p.m. at the downtown Marriott.

The expo runs from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Forte Banquet and Conference Center.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowans looking to help Hurricane Florence relief efforts have a few options.

The first comes on Sunday when FedEx delivery driver Tony Gardner tries to “Fill the Truck” with food.

He’ll be parking his FedEx truck at the Hy-Vee on Fleur Drive from 9 a.m to 5 p.m.

The goal is to fill the 900 square ft. van with as much non-perishable food as it can handle, with shopping lists available on site.

“I think it’s a natural response to want to help, especially being from Iowa I think its human nature to stand up and pick people up when they’re down and there’s a lot of people that are suffering right now and potentially having the worst times of their lives” said Gardner.

All the food will go to victims of the hurricane. For more information you can click this link.

Meanwhile, LifeServe is looking for blood donors.

Representatives say they are trying to over-supply the affected region because they don’t know how long local blood collection centers will be out of commission.

“The big concern is just their community blood centers may not be able to function, you know if their team members are being effected, if donors aren’t able to come in to donate, so they may just not be collecting for multiple days on end in various areas and that effects their community blood supply, so we want to be able to help out if we can” said Marketing Manager Danielle West.

To make an appointment to donate, just head to www.lifeservebloodcenter.org

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Public Health is currently investigating 73 cases of West Nile Virus, that’s the highest it’s been in about 15 years.

IDPH reports 147 cases in 2003.

Specialists say they believe one of the reasons for this spike is the weather.

“We’ve had a long string of warm days. We’ve had quite a bit of heavy rains and so when we have those really heavy rains the water tends to sit around for awhile. When you combine that warm temperatures for the last numerous weeks in a row, that really creates a great environment for mosquitoes to breed and grow to high numbers,” Iowa Department of Public Health Deputy State Epidemiologist Ann Garvey said.

An Iowa State University Entomologist said the virus spreads through an interaction of birds and mosquitos and infected birds can carry the virus for years without being severely affected.

“If another mosquito feeds on that infected bird, then that new mosquito can then become infected itself. And so you can kind of see how this creates a bit of a cycle in which more birds are becoming infected and more mosquitos are becoming infected,” Iowa State Department of Entomology Associate Professor Ryan Smith said.

He said then the infected mosquitoes bite humans during peak hours from dusk until dawn.

“I think when we get into the fall months and school is back in session, we tend to forget about mosquito repellent and sunscreen. So it’s really important right now to be using that repellent.
This is really the heart of West Nile season. We’re going to have quite a few more weeks of the season, unfortunately. We know that mosquitoes will really be hanging around until we see our first hard freezes so we’ve got quite few more weeks.”

It’s important to use mosquito repellent that contains deet when you are outside, but especially from dusk until dawn.

DES MOINES, Iowa– Thursday, for a little over two and half hours, Pope Francis huddled with America’s top bishops over the priest sex abuse crisis.

Several states are now launching investigations.

The pope also accepted the resignation of a West Virginia Bishop who’s now under investigation following allegations of a long history of sexual abuse.

In Des Moines, Bishop Richard Pates has called the abuse “totally unacceptable” and offered “heartfelt apologies” to all the victims.

“Some humans can only be exercised by prayer and fasting I have to undertake it first myself,” Bishop Richard Pates said.

Bishop Pates with the Diocese of Des Moines says victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church need more than just prayers.

“To hear all this stuff is a moral disaster that seems to have occurred worldwide and not just in the United States,” Bishop Pates said.

Pates is right, a new report from Germany’s Catholic Church found 3,766 cases of child sex abuse by clergy between 1946 and 2014.

Last month, a different report found 300 priests in the Pennsylvania Catholic Church responsible for sexually abusing 1,000.

Those are allegations, a man whose dedicated to life to the church doesn’t take lightly.

“I try to address it from three different perspectives this is a tragic moral failure, we cannot condone it, and it is what it is,” Bishop Pates said.

Even Des Moines isn’t immune, over the past ten years Pates says there has been one report of sexual abuse of a minor in The Diocese of Des Moines.

In the most recent abuse investigation last month, a priest was suspended after making unwanted advances towards a woman.

Bishop Pates is calling on parishioners to fast to raise awareness about the problem plaguing the church and realizes more needs to be done.

 

ANKENY, Iowa — As Ankeny Centennial sophomore Gabe Arredondo prepared to battle on the gridiron Thursday, his mother, Gunner Mate First Class expeditionary warfare specialist Diem Carpenter a seventeen year Navy veteran, was battling for freedom in Kuwait the last ten months.  “The flag means a lot to me.  She serves our county and I have nothing but respect for what she does to serve our country and sacrificing everything,” said Gabe.  But mom called an audible of her own.  “I actually texted him a couple of days ago and told him I won’t be home until next week,” she said.

Soon after the national anthem, Diem was armed with blockers of her own.  “We gotta hide. He’s gonna see me isn’t he?” said Diem as she ducked behind another family member.  The excitement reached a fever pitch when she sprinted to the goal, her son.  “Oh baby,” exclaimed Diem as she embraced her son Gabe and gave him.  The two sharing tears throughout the mother-son hug.

The emotional surprise and embrace was the ultimate pep talk for her son.  He said, “I was totally surprised.  I didn’t have any clue this was going to happen.  I heard my mom’s name on the loudspeaker and I looked around and thought oh man.  I definitely had a rush of emotion.”

As the American flag waved Thursday night, it was also the first time Gabe’s mother could wave to her son in person during a high school football game.  “I missed all of last year and this is the first one I get to see,” said Diem.

Gabe may not remember his final stat line but he will never forget when mom came home.  “It’s been a long time. I’m just glad I get to see my mom again.”

The last time the two saw each other was in December for four days before Diem left for her sixth deployment.

 

DES MOINES, Iowa — “We don’t want the perception that`s been tagged now to Hoover to become a reality,” said Des Moines Hoover High School Principal Sherry Poole.  Last Friday the reality was gunfire away from school grounds but near Hoover’s homecoming game.  While those shots were fired outside of the football stadiums fence line, reportedly leaving no one injured, the gunfire could have hit much closer to home had it not been for an officer’s gut feeling.  Sergeant Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department said, “Some of those kids involved were actually inside the stadium and officers recognized based on their behavior that something wasn’t right.  They were looking for trouble so they corralled them out of the building.  They left and started to come back and cops were still there, so they moved on.”  That’s when shots were fired in the Northwest Aquatic Center’s parking lot just north of the stadium.  Parizek said, “This didn’t have anything to do with the stadium.  It didn’t have anything to do with the teams involved.   These kids were looking for trouble and they were going to find it if they were at the mall, football game or school.”

The shooting sent students, fans and players running away towards safety and extra counseling this week.  Principal Poole said, “We are going to get through this and we are going to unite as one.”  The unity has not only bonded current Hoover Huskies with new t-shirts that read “Peace, Love, Hoover,” but also alumni who called the school determined to pack the stands at this Friday’s home game against Waterloo West.  “They basically said this isn’t who we are and this won’t divide us.  We are going to make a statement and all show up Friday night to make this a united front,” said Poole.

Some of the noticeable changes Friday at Hoover will stadium lights adjacent to the football stadium being turned on and boom lights in this parking lot north of stadium where gun shots were fired.  It will shed light on a parking lot that was pitch black the night of the shooting.  “I’m actually thankful we have another home game.  We want the perception and reality of Hoover to be that you don’t have to come to Hoover, you get to come to Hoover.”

Police say they will keep the same amount of staffing this Friday as they had a week ago.  No arrests have been made in the shooting and police say some of it has to do with a lack of cooperation of witnesses.

DES MOINES, Iowa–   After a three-year court fight, a federal judge has forced the release of body camera video the Burlington Police Department didn’t want you to see.

“I think the citizens of Burlington and the people of Iowa have a right to know what went on, and to make their own conclusion,” Executive Director of FOIA, Randy Evans said.

Evans is talking about what happened back in 2015.

During a report of a domestic dispute between Autumn and Gabriel Steele.

The responding officer, Jesse Hill, says he was attacked by the couple’s German Shepherd and slipped in the snow when he fired at the dog.

The bullet hit Autumn Steele and it killed her. The department says it was an accident, and the body camera video shows Hill did not realize what he had done.

Glen Downey is a Metro attorney who specializes in police brutality cases.

“It’s difficult for officers to make decisions but they are also trained and they have to make those decisions that’s a fact, but in my mind the officer made a decision that was unreasonable in my mind,” Downey said.

Hill was eventually cleared of any wrong doing in the shooting.

However, his comments following the shooting showed he is fearing arrest over what happened.  “I pulled my gun and shot it and i hit her,’ ‘oh, my god, no. Oh, f—, tim. S—, tim. I`m f——–going to prison, Tim.’

Burlington Police released this statement, in part saying, “Officer Hill was deeply distressed as any human being would be in those terrible circumstances and his comments on the video must be viewed with that in mind”.

The city settled a civil lawsuit over the death last month, paying the Steele family $2 million.

AMES, Iowa- Fareway Grocery Stores in Boone has opened a first of it’s kind in Iowa- Fareway Meat Market. The store was opened near the West Ames Hy-Vee in a former sports bar.

“Obviously everybody knows us for our meat, we been successful over the years building a brand in a business around that,” said Brian Greiner, a Fareway District Manager. “This is just an opportunity for us to take that concept and a little bit different format and refocus on the meat.”

The store is designed for people heading to the stadium for tailgating, and the growing student population living in new apartments built this year on the west side of Ames.

The store concept was first launched in Omaha in 2016, another Fareway Meat Market opened in Lincoln in 2017. Company officials are glad to have one opened in Iowa, not far from the Fareway Corporate headquarters in Boone.

“Certainly were going to have some grab and go, on-the-go type of lifestyle type items with this, meal kits or something quick to have on the trip to school or work, said Greiner. “It’s a one-stop shop for sure, if you’re planning the tailgate or throw party, this is the place.”

The store is holding a ribbon cutting with the Ames Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, with the first day of business on Wednesday September 12th.

AMES, Iowa- J.D. Scholten has challenged 4th District Congressman Steve King to debate, but so far the Republican incumbent has not agreed to debate.  Scholten held a news conference in Ames to discuss this outreach to King.

So the Democratic Challenger has made a YouTube video giving King an option. Either debate face to face, or engage in a free throw contest on the basketball court.

“As an alternative, we could also do a free-throw contest, the ball’s in your court,” said Scholten, a former professional baseball player, on his YouTube video.

“I’d like to give him some options,” said Scholten of the tongue-in-cheek video.

Over the weekend KTIV-TV in Sioux City asked King about debating his opponent.

“There’s not a clear division on issues here, nobody’s criticizing the way I vote,” said King. “They just call names, I don’t think that’s a good reason to have a debate.”

Scholten in responding to that said he would pledge to not call King names, but admitted he did one-time, when he called him Confederate Steve King, for having a Confederate flag.

He said there were issues he differed with King on.

“I’m opposing this disastrous trade war, and calling for an end to these things that make our district in Iowa bear the brunt,” said Scholten. “I want to make sure every Iowan has access to affordable healthcare, whereas he’s on the record for voting to take away healthcare away from thousands of Iowans, so clear divisions there.”

Scholten said if King does not agree to a debate, he will debate a cardboard cutout of the Congressman.

DES MOINES, Iowa–  The Department of Human services faces yet another child abuse lawsuit.

Back in 2007, DHS placed SavannahRose Willow and two other foster kids with Paul and JoAnn Drake from Ankeny.

“For me JoAnn was more physical with me especially when you tried to run away,” Willow said.

Court documents show JoAnn pulled Willow by the hair, forcefully restrained her and, choked her.

Both Paul and JoAnn locked willow and other adopted kids in the basement, denied food and, encouraged Kaitlin Drake to take part in the abuse.

“There is a private civil action against the drakes, its Paul, Joann, and their adult daughter living in the home, Kaitlin,” Jennifer De Kock attorney at Wandro & Associates said.

The lawsuit claims DHS and its social workers knew or should have known about the abuse and did nothing to stop it.

This isn’t a first time the drakes have been accused of abuse.

According to the lawsuit a teacher at Ankeny Community School District reported signs of abuse to DHS in 2012.

After, the adopted kids were removed from the home and Paul and JoAnn Drake were charged in criminal court with two counts of neglect and two counts of false imprisonment, both received a deferred judgement.

Willow hopes her civil lawsuit sparks change.

“I want people to know what’s happening, I think when people hear about the foster care system or adoption they think all these great things but in reality, it’s not,” Willow said.

DHS and the Drakes were unable to comment on the lawsuit.

SavannahRose Willow is seeking monetary damages of $500,000.