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DES MOINES, Iowa — Senior Des Moines East High School student Alex Liu is a trailblazer.  “I’m a first-generation American and a first-generation college student,” said Liu.

He is also enrolled in AP Computer Science at Central Academy in Des Moines.  “It really makes you think. It’s like learning a new language, except this time it’s through technology and will lead to changes in the future,” he said.

In January, his classmates were encouraged to apply for the Amazon Future Engineer Pathway Scholarship.  On April 2, he found out he became one of the first honorees in the nation with a scholarship of $10,000, renewable for up to four years.  “It’s mind blowing, given the odds.  There’s a lot of people in this country and to think I was one of them, it’s crazy,” Liu said.

Just 100 students who are pursuing a career in computer science were honored, but there’s a good chance no one would have known if it weren’t published recently in the New York Times.  “He’s the perfect kid. Does everything you ask him to do, but he’s not going to tell you much unless you ask,” said Central Academy teacher Scott Schoneberg.

The potential $40,000 scholarship may not even be the most valuable piece.  It comes with a paid internship at Amazon following his freshmen year of college.  “I think working under Amazon will give me a pretty good experience into what the world is like and what I can do,” said Alex.

Alex’s journey began at River Woods Elementary. He then went to Weeks Middle School and this spring he’ll graduate from East High School.  He says Des Moines Public Schools have been a stepping stone to his success.  “They have a lot of good programs that start you off young and continuing on in high school and prepares you for that next big step.”

Alex is used to making a splash.  He is also a four-time state swim meet qualifier.  Alex said, “I also set five school records.” It’s fitting that he’s used to finding his own lane of success.  “I’m making a name for my family. Carving that path to success and securing a bright future for future generations to come.”

Alex will also receive a full academic scholarship to Tufts University in Massachusetts.

DES MOINES, Iowa — After reports of fights, assaults and injured staff, McCombs Middle School is now cracking down on what they say is the cause.

We brought you the story earlier this week of an assault that resulted in injuries to three staffers at McCombs Middle School.

Parents have contacted WHO with their concerns and school staff say they are now taking action.

McCombs detailed possible disciplinary action in an email to parents. In that email sent to all McCombs parents and staff, WHO was criticized for looking into complaints brought to our attention by staff and concerned parents.

Now, McCombs is now taking a harder line on social media harassment. The school now says social media harassment will no longer be tolerated and could face disciplinary action.

But for some parents that isn’t enough.

“I received an email stating there was an assault against an employee,” parent Edith Flores said.

One staffer suffered a bloody nose, and another had broken glasses in that incident Tuesday.

Then Thursday, police were back at the school. According to the police report, a teacher tried to break up a fight between two students and was punched in the stomach. The teacher didn’t think the student meant to punch him, so no charges were filed.

“It just doesn’t seem like this school can get it in control,” Flores said.

That is why some parents want their kids taken out of McCombs.

“I am not happy with it at all, and actually I am may be looking at homeschooling her for the next four years,” parent Angela Lewis said.

Lewis is not alone.

“I don’t like it. I have tried getting him switched, and they do not approve the open enrollment, so he is kind of stuck here,” parent Jayme Gomez said.

Besides cracking down on social media harassment, parents want to know what else the district is doing to cut down on violence.

“It seems like they allow the kids to come right back to school, so there are no consequences for what they are doing,” Lewis said.

According to a 44-page student hand book from the district, guidelines can change at any time without notice. It outlines multiple steps to expel a student.

“Level four are those incidents that become more significant,” Terry Gladfelter, deputy director at Professional Educators of Iowa said.

These are incidents like a threat with a weapon and assault of a staff member resulting in bodily injury.

That’s on a case-by-case basis.

“It’s a matter of following through with integrity that the program is being executed correctly and consistently,” Gladfelter said.

Parents say violence at McCombs needs to stop.

The two students involved in the most recent fight were referred to the juvenile court for disorderly conduct.

We reached out to the Des Moines School Board for comment and have not heard back.

DMPS has yet to agree to an on-camera interview.

NEWTON, Iowa– Iowa’s wind energy industry says President Donald Trump’s claims against wind energy are nothing more than hot air.

Wind energy supports 9,000 jobs in Iowa and that number increases every year.

Now, some of those employees fear President Trump’s false claims, and stance on wind energy could reverse the trend.

“I wanted to get his opinion about what he thought about the future of our town,” Newton resident Patricia Scalabrini said.

Back in 2015, Channel 13 News hosted a town hall meeting in Newton. The city is home to two large wind turbine manufacturing plants, TPI Composites and Trinity Structural Towers.

Scalabrini’s husband works for TPI and she pressed then presidential candidate Trump.

“It’s the company that moved into the old (Maytag building) and I have a question for you. What is your position on subsidies for wind energy?” Scalibrini asked.

“Well I am OK with it, I know a lot about wind it is a tough business,” responded Trump.

But Scalabrini says she wasn’t fooled.

“I really got a negative feeling after he answered my question because I realized he said it was very expensive and he leaned more towards fossil fuels subsidies.”

Now, four years later, Scalabrini says she isn`t surprised by the Trumps latest anti-wind comments.

“No. Wind`s not good. And you have no idea how expensive it is to make those things. They are all made in China and Germany,” Trump said.

Scalabrini`s left worrying that the lack of support from the President could put her husband out of a job.

“It would be a big negative issue to this town if they were to close.”

TPI says it employs 1,100 people in Newton, the city says that has a huge economic impact.

“They are a key part of our revitalization, all of the jobs that were lost when Maytag left have been replaced one for one and then some, and wind energy has been key to that,” Newton Community Director Erin Chambers said.

 

WAUKEE — Residents in Waukee’s Midwest Country Estates mobile home community are fed up.  “Right now we are living the american nightmare in our community,” said Matt Chapman.

In late March, Haven Park Capital out of Utah took over as new owners and turned the community’s paradise into panic with a letter taped to their doors.  “For families to get a letter stating their rent would be increased by almost seventy percent is a very shocking thing.  Especially when you are trying to raise a family, put food in the table and pay your bills,” said Daniel Potter.

The new company gave them a sixty days notice of the rent hike which is required under Iowa law.  Patricia Potter said, “We have a woman that lives in this park that is 91 years old and lived here over fifty years.  It is taking her down to her last dollar.  She has to eat, she has to take her medicine.”

Thursday a community meeting was held inside Waukee’s Church of Hope to search for answers.  “You can imagine the gamut and range of emotions that were felt by every single resident in this park,” said Chris Crone.

Iowa Legal Aid helped calm some fears with Haven Park’s declaration that residents sign a new lease within thirty days.  “They cannot increase your rent until after that lease term is over. So if you are in the middle of a lease they cannot say June 1st, you have to pay a higher rent,” said a legal representative from Iowa Legal Aid.

Waukee Mayor Bill Peard says the new company is following Iowa laws but their approach is not how Iowans operate.  “Sometimes there is a wrong way to do things and a right way and I`m not terribly impressed with how they went about it,” said Peard.

The letter also claimed the hike was to protect the community saying otherwise the land is more valuable as apartments or retail space.  The Mayor didn’t agree with that either.  “I don’t believe that and the city has not been involved in this purchase and new lease agreements in any way.”  Daniel Potter feels his community is being preyed upon.  He said, “They are trying to line their pockets as quick as possible without any regard to their fellow-man.”

Haven Park Capital operates twenty-five similar communities in nine states including one in Indianola.  The community asked a representative to join the public meeting but they were not present.

 

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Hustling to and from class is the norm for college students.  “We are supposed to be there at 1:15 pm. I might be a little late because my class goes until 12:30 pm,” said Connor McCaffery as he walked into his Business Managerial class at the University of Iowa.  For Connor, busy may just be an understatement.  The day’s class assignment tasked McCaffery and a small group of classmates to balance the budget of a company.  “I’ve always been good with numbers.  I loved math classes growing up,” he said.

A tougher task may have been balancing the finance major’s March schedule as McCaffery juggled books, baseball and basketball for the University of Iowa.  I was playing in the Big Ten tournament Thursday and Friday, then came here to play a double header Sunday and played well.”

The NCAA Tournament makes March one of the most exciting times of the year but “March Madness,” takes on a different meaning for Connor.  That has to be one of the craziest weeks of my life so far,” he said.

On Tuesday March 19th Connor helped the Hawkeyes beat Simpson College on the baseball field. He then helped the basketball team defeat Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament that Friday, coupled with a loss in overtime on Sunday to Tennessee and on Tuesday Connor was back on the baseball field helping Iowa win again against Bradley.  “I tried to be smart about it the best I could and coaches help me with that too,” Connor said.  His father and Iowa basketball head coach Fran McCaffery agreed, saying, “It is actually easy.  I work with coach Heller.  I make sure we don’t over extend him.  All season long he’s been trying to get at-bats so when he’s in there he is ready to jump in there and hit the ball.”

Connor’s performances are not limited to the stadium or arena.  Connor earned a spot on the Big Ten Basketball All-Academic Team.  The academics has always been something that is big for me and I have prided myself in doing well in school.  My mom, she’s always been the one on me.  She would threaten to not let me go to tournaments if I didn’t study or get my homework done,” said Conner.

Handing in homework by day and handing out losses to opponents by night.  That is something I’ll look back on and really something I’ll always cherish.  Being able to come out here and play baseball but also go participate in the Big Ten tournament and NCAA Tournament.

Memories Connor believes would not have happened if he didn’t pursue what he is most passionate about.  “As long as you are locked in to what needs to be done everyday, I think you’ll realize there’s enough time to be able to do what you love but also be successful in it,” said Connor.

This is Connor’s first season playing baseball at iowa after red-shirting a year ago. D1Baseball.com has ranked him the seventh highest major league prospect in the Big Ten Conference.

DES MOINES, Iowa– Police arrested a Des Moines middle school student for assaulting two teachers and a counselor Tuesday.

According to the police report, the student threatened to assault a classmate. A teacher stepped in and was punched in the face and chest causing a bloody nose. Another teacher who tried to intervene was hit on the left side of her neck. Attempting to calm the student a third woman, the school counselor, was punched four times in her chest and face, breaking her glasses. It took two men to restrain the student who was then taken to the Juvenile Detention Center.

This happened in front of Linda Bennett’s student.

“She comes to school scared every day,” Bennett said.

Parents say situations like this are common.

“(My daughter) says there is a bit of violence,” parent Stephanie Beverage said.

And she is not alone.

“I know there is a lot of violence at this school,” said fellow parent Wanda Blair.

According to police records, over that past three months there have been 12 calls for service to McCombs for things like assaults, fights, and other less aggressive acts.

Des Moines Public School officials were not available for an on-camera interview, but Communications Officer Amanda Lewis sent us this statement.

“McCombs staff work with students of varied physical, emotional and social challenges every day. Yesterday, they did a good job in a very difficult situation. Every student is deserving of an education. For students who cannot function in a traditional school, the district makes placements in one of our alternative education programs.”

The conditions of the three faculty members involved are unknown.

DECORAH, Iowa — The Raptor Resource Project says a newborn eaglet in the Decorah North nest has died.

The RRP announced the news Tuesday, just a day after the eaglet hatched. DN10 hatched Monday at 6:32 p.m.

The RRP is not sure what caused DN10’s death, and they said they do not want to speculate.

“We have been trying to keep the camera focused tight on the egg cup looking for all activity, and like you, hoping to see 2 heads pop up, interact with each other, and reach for their food bites. The deep cup, and the extremely high berm that Mr North and DNF constructed prevented us from seeing much. We were watching and waiting, and about 3:51pm CT today, we knew that DN10 was gone as Mr. North removed the nestling from the cup and set the eaglet off to the side of the nest as seen on our live camera feed,” said the RRP in a post on Facebook.

Mr. North and DNF still have one eaglet to take care of. The RRP said the remaining eaglet, DN9, is healthy, active and vocal.

Despite the unfortunate news from the north nest, we are still on hatch watch for the two eggs left in the Decorah nest.

Three eggs were initially laid in that nest. The first egg was laid Feb. 22, the second egg was laid Feb. 26th, and the third egg was laid March 2nd. Unfortunately, one of the eggs broke in March, leaving two left to hatch.

You can watch the Decorah eagles’ nest camera here.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Performing the same job for the same pay seems simple.  “It is a little ridiculous that it still takes this long for equal pay,” said Eli Goll, vice chair of Iowa Women in Architecture.

No matter the profession, for women in the workplace it is an uphill battle.

“Whether it is intentional or unintentional, statistics still show that women in every profession are much more at a disadvantage than men when it comes to promotions and raises,” said Jennifer Zwagerman, associate director of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University.

Zwagerman discussed the gender pay gap to a large group at Peace Tree Brewing in Des Moines.  She said, “We are still over a century away if we proceed at the pace we are doing it now, before we would reach pay equality.  It is even more than that for minority groups.”

Those stats may seem staggering, but Zwagerman says there are ways to navigate the hurdles when trying to earn the money women rightfully deserve, starting with research.  She said, “What is the average salary for this type of position? Not just in your location but more broadly.  What is your reason you are worth more than what you are getting and you need to have evidence and be able to back that up.”

Not knowing your worth can even impact your retirement.  Zwagerman said, “If you start lower and you have retirement funds that take a percentage of your income, well then your retirement funds are disadvantaged.”

It is a disadvantage that Goll hopes the discussion can empower women into overcoming.  “Through education and awareness, we are raising each other up to hold employers and employees accountable,” said Goll.

According to the American Association of University Women, Iowa women make 79 cents to every dollar a man makes.  It puts “The Hawkeye State,” in the lower half of gender pay equality at 31st in the country.  “If we don’t start to address and advocate for it now, it is not going to get better for the future of our industries,” Goll said.

The event was put on by the Polk County Women Attorneys and Iowa Women of Architecture.  Utah ranks 50th in the country, where women earn 71 cents to every dollar a man makes.  California leads all states with women earning 89 cents for every dollar a man makes.

Though the criminal justice system is well-defined as an ordinary person it would be simply impossible to take things forward in case there is a need. Hence, it is quite obvious that we need to hire the services of Fort Bend criminal defense lawyers in almost all cases. In any criminal case, there are two parties to it. The prosecutor and the defense. The objective of the prosecutor is to enforce the laws by seeking a conviction of the offenders from the judges. Their objective is to give the offenders a jail sentence, a fine or a combination of both depending on the type of crime and its gravity and seriousness. On the other hand, the role of the defense is to try and prove innocence or explain the circumstances of the crime and plead not guilty to avoid being found wrong by the court of law. In both the above cases, there is hardly any doubt that the role of Richmond criminal defense lawyers becomes critical and important. Let us try and find out why one should hire these professionals either as a prosecutor or as a defendant.

 It Helps The Defendants To Ensure Certain Common Right

 Even if a person is accused of being involved in a criminal case, he or she is not considered guilty until the courts have proven so. Till such time, the person enjoys a certain right. These include the right to remain silent, the right to being protected against unreasonable seizures and searches, the right to get bail that is reasonable amongst other things. They also can demand a speedy trial and justice and much more. While all these are enshrined in the constitution, the defendants need the services of qualified, experienced and competent criminal lawyers to protect their rights. These lawyers are also capable of defending the accused and prove that he or she has been wrongly charged as per the law of the land. Hence, the role of criminal lawyers for defense is very important, to say the least.

How The Lawyers Could Help The Prosecution

 It would also be pertinent to mention here that the prosecution also has quite a few things to look forward to from these professional criminal lawyers. They will be able to fight the case aggressively and pin down the proof of criminal wrongdoing on the defendant. They will use circumstantial and other evidence to improve the chances of winning a conviction for the prosecutor so that the wronged person can get justice as laid down under the law. Hence there is no doubt that the role of criminal lawyers and attorneys is extremely important, to say the least.

 Where To Look For Them

 In view of the facts mentioned above, there is a need to hire the right professional lawyer who has the right experience and expertise as far as criminal cases are concerned. You must do your research and ensure that you choose the right one. There are many avenues for looking for these professionals and the internet, friends, colleagues, and relatives could help in more ways than one. You could also get in touch with the local bar association and the also could help you with some of the best lawyers depending on the severity and seriousness of such criminal charges.

Contact US:

Lawrence Law Firm

Address:695 Industrial Blvd #100
Sugar Land, TX
Phone: (281) 238-5819

DES MOINES, Iowa –On Tuesday, the Iowa Senate voted to make all automated traffic cameras a thing of the past, but that makes the revenue they generate a thing of the past as well.

But how much do they bring in? And where does the money end up?

Fiscal year 2016 was the last time all of the speed and red-light cameras were turned on for an entire year. In that year the total revenue was a little over $4 million.  The city got to keep about $2.4 million of that, and the approximately $1.6 million left over went to the company who operates the cameras. The city’s portion becomes earmarked for public safety use only.

“If the police department needs a piece of equipment or we need some training, same thing would apply to the fire department or EMS. I think you could probably make an argument that if we needed to improve lighting in a park as a part of a public safety issue, it could be used in that fashion also,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek.

Currently, the money is being put toward a $12 million state-of-the-art communication system for the police department. The system will allow police to more easily communicate with other state emergency agencies. Des Moines Police says that need isn’t going to change, but what might change is who foots the bill.

“People think the police department is making a lot of money off this. What’s happening is the burden on the taxpayers being relieved significantly as expenses go up. We’re not building a pool out in the back parking lot, this is for the benefit of the city,” said Parizek.

Some drivers say they are torn over the cameras and the revenue they provide.

“I want that, but I also want to be able to speed if I want to. I think that they’re there for a good reason although I, like many other people, don’t like them being there,” said Dawn Voelker.

Others like them less so.

“They can go away, they can go away and I’m pretty sure most of the city can agree with it too,” said Ryan Stimple.

Meanwhile, the Iowa House is considering a separate traffic camera bill which would heavily regulate the cameras, but not outlaw them wholesale. In that version of the bill, the money would also be allowed to go to road improvement.