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TEEN CITED: Polk County Texting Crash

An Elkhart teen has been issued traffic citations in connection with an accident that injured a Des Moines teacher last week.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says the accident happened October 16th around 8:00 p.m. Seventeen-year-old Maria Claussen was driving eastbound in the 1700 block of NE 142nd Ave. near Alleman and texting when she struck a bicyclist from behind. The biker, 42-year-old John Meyer, was also traveling eastbound.

Claussen has now been cited for use of electronic communication device while driving and improperly overtaking a vehicle.

At last word, Meyer was in fair condition. He is a teacher at Garton Elementary School.

DIESEL SPILL: Fuel Flows Into Des Moines River

Emergency crews have stopped a diesel fuel leak into the Des Moines River.

Polk County Emergency Management Director A.J. Munn says a fisherman called 911 around 6:30 Thursday morning after noticing the fuel in the river.

The hazmat crew from the Des Moines Fire Department responded and was able to determine the origin of the leak and stop it. Officials say an emergency generator on the roof of Hy-Vee hall leaked about 2,500 gallons of diesel fuel, which flowed down from the roof into storm sewers and then into the river.

Polk County Emergency Management is contracting with a company that will assess the spill and work to clean it up.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources was on the scene of the spill.

MEASURE A: What Does It Mean For Voters

When Polk County residents go to the polls, they will see a special measure on the ballot.

Voting ‘yes’ for the Polk County Water & Land Legacy bond measure, also known as measure A, would allow Polk County to borrow $50 million to buy land for preservation near developing areas.

The Measure A Campaign Manager Mark Langgin says there are several reasons they are asking people to vote for the measure.  The number one reason is improving water quality. They also hope to protect the Des Moines River, Raccoon River and their tributaries as well as sources of clean drinking water for Polk County.  

Approximately $18 million would be used for land and habitat protection.  Another $25 million would go to park and water body improvements and the remaining $7 million would be used for trails.

Win Tickets to Pride & Prejudice at Stephens Auditorium!

L.A. Theatre Works, Susan Albert Loewenberg Producing Director, presents Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen.

Starring TV actress Jane Carr (Two and Half Men, The Closer on TV, Mary Poppins — 3 years on Broadway) and television’s Nicholas Hormann (60 TV appearances including Seinfeld, Parks & Recreation, Desperate Housewives, Bones, Frasier, The West Wing).

Published in 1813, this season marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, one of the most acclaimed and still strikingly modern works of world literature. Austen is famous for her exploration of manners and morals, relationships and disappointments, parents and children.

PARKING GARAGE: City May Have To Pay

The federal government is raising concerns the City of Des Moines isn’t holding up it end of a deal to pay for a parking garage.

It stems from the construction of the garage at Seventh and Center Streets.

In exchange for more than $15-million in federal funding to build the garage, Des Moines leaders agreed to use any future revenue to pay for maintenance and transportation projects.

City leaders then turned management of the facility over to the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority, or DART.

A review by the Federal Transit Administration said they “Found that DART did not ensure that program income was applied to transit purposes.”

Des Moines leaders say that is exactly what it was used for.

JINGLE JAM: Road Race And Hot Chocolate Walk

The South Suburban YMCA is hosting the 8th annual Jingle Jam. 

The 5K road race and 1 mile hot chocolate walk will be held December 1st at 8:30 a.m. 

All proceeds will go to support the Annual YPartners Campaign. 

To register, click here.

Registration is $20 for youth 17 years and below, $25 for adults, $60 for a family of four and the hot chocolate walk is $20 per person.  The price of registration increases after November 24th

Free hot chocolate to all participants. 

FILLING STATION: Sherman Hill Church Breaks Ground

Wednesday, a Sherman Hill church broke ground on a new project.

Leaders of “The Kathedral” saved a historic gas station from demolition about three years ago. Since then there’s been a fundraising effort underway to give the old building a new purpose.

So far about $230-thousand has been donated.  That’s about 60-percent of what’s needed for the transformation.

Pastor Linhart is hoping the center is up and running in 30 days.