The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on January 15, 2002 · Page 12
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 12

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Tuesday, January 15, 2002
Page 12
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The Des Moines Register DM Paga 4B Tuesday, January 15, 2002 CITY & SUBURBS Polk County juvenile cases fell in 2001 Police credit school resource officers and other programs with the first decrease in cases in three years. By TOM ALEX RtQISlER STAFF WHITER The number of cases in Polk County Juvenile Court dropped 8 percent last year, ending several years of increases. Ed Nahas, juvenile court spokesman, said the return of police resource officers to Des Moines high schools in 1999 combined with other preventive programs in the schools apparently made a difference. "I think the police resource officers are heading off problems that might otherwise end up here," Sisters sue Menards, alleging harassment The Des Moines women say they were falsely accused of shoplifting and harassed. By JEFF ECKHOFF REGISTER STAFF WRITER Two Des Moines sisters are suing Menards, saying they were harassed and improperly detained last month by overaggressive store employees who falsely suspected them of shoplifting. Heidi Mae Garcia and Hazel Marie Garcia say they were subjected to humiliating searches and abuse during a visit to the Clive Menards on Dec. 16. According to the lawsuit, the Garcias paid for their purchases and were outside the store when an employee asked if they had anything that belonged to the store. The two accompanied Steve Kline back inside, where they were searched. When nothing was found, the Garcias left Menards again. Court papers say that's when "a number of Menard Inc. employees . . . appeared in the parking lot and encircled plaintiffs' automobile so that plaintiffs were trapped inside and could not leave." Clive police later arrived, searched the women and released them, then accompanied them back into the store so they could return what had just been purchased. Court papers say Menards employees threatened the women with a videotape that would allegedly show Heidi putting something in her jacket pocket. According to the lawsuit, the only thing found later in Heidi's pocket was a shopping list. Menards officials did not return phone calls requesting comment. Court records show at least nine people have sued the store in the past five years challenging Menards' security practices. A 1997 case ended in an $80,000 verdict against the store. Ted Sporer, attorney for the Garcias and several of the previous litigants, said the sisters were "astounded" and "outraged at the treatment they'd been given." "Most people are stupefied when this happens," he said. She Vcs illoiiirs Sf )islcr w' Call 284-8311 or 800-365-4692 SELECT STAIRWAY LIFT Take the chore out of taking stairs. HTiy give up a great home just because of a few stairs? Taking the stairs is a breeze with the affordable Select Stairway Lift from Access Industries available now at Hammer Medical Supply. Seat Swivels away from stairs for easier, safe access Neatly folds against the wall leaving a wide passageway Blends in with your homes decor CALL FOR FREE IH-H0ME ASSESSMENT HAMMER MEDICAL SUPPLY MAIN LOCATION 18(11 2nd Ave., DM CUVE 1 775 NW 86th St. CHARITON 1 10 N. Grand Ave. NEWTON 1 1 Fira St North OSKALOOSA 1 1 7 High Ave. East Nahas said. Juvenile court cases in Polk County dropped to 1,184 last year, down from 1,293 a year earlier. Lincoln High School Principal Michael Loffredo said school resource officers are having a positive impact. "They are proactive as well as reactive," he said. "They serve as a resource for students who have questions or want to report issues. They also act as counselors for some of the students." He said Des Moines police Officer Brent Curtis, a former Briefly In The From Register staff and news services Swim champ to hold clinics at Simpson The Indianola Swim Club will hold instructional clinics Saturday and Sunday featuring 1999 NCAA 200-meter breaststroke champion Dave Denniston. The clinics will be held at the Cowles Athletic Center Pool on the Simpson College campus. Clinics will cover the competitive strokes, with emphasis on backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke. Start and turn work also will be covered. Participants may attend a single clinic for $10 or complete all phases for $30. Denniston trains with Auburn University in Alabama, where he is doing graduate work. Interested swimmers should contact coach Kurt Lickiss at or at (515) 962-1362. Injured ATV rider faces charges A 21-year-old Adel man was in fair condition Monday at Iowa Methodist Medical Center after suffering injuries in an all-terrain-vehicle accident south of Perry. Jeremy Catron, 21, was injured Sunday on 150th Street near J Avenue and was flown to Iowa Methodist. He was cited for two counts of driving under suspension, failure to maintain control, careless driving and failure to use an all-terrain-vehicle safety flag. E illllllliVr Prowl for owls on evening hike The Dallas County Conservation Department's Owl Prowl will be held Jan. 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. The department is working with Iowa State University's Wildlife Care Clinic to bring live owls to the prowl. The program begins with an indoor presentation at the nature center featuring the clinic's educational birds great horned, barred and screech owls that have lost their ability to survive in the wild. They are used to teach people about nocturnal predators, the life histories of Iowa's owls and the hardships facing owls. The second part of the program is a guided hike along the Kuehn Conservation Area trails near Earlham. Guides will use taped calls and their own voices to coax owls to answer. Registration is required. For more information, call (515) 465-3577 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. ,r-$2,295 (515) 243-2886 or (800) 388-1 187 (515) 225-0838 or (800) 765-7825 (641 ) 774-4600 or (800) 260-1 186 (641) 792-9339 or (800) 365-5537 (641)672-2501 or (800) 395-5537 f - 7 -v Juvenile crime The number of cases filed in Polk County Juvenile Court declined last year. 1998 lOTRCTBBIl 1,100 1999 IteABKBSHSsillj 1,150 2000 BBMaMBOT 1,293 Source: Polk County Juvenile Court THE REGISTER homicide detective, also is available to speak to classes at Lincoln on a variety of topics. "Some of our students go to him to seek advice on how to handle Dallas & Warren Counties '"5 1 l I - ' Old pro: Air Guard officials sought the help of Scrappy and his handler, Norwalk Officer Mike Kienol, after Sept. 11. Scrappy was known for his airport security work during presidential visits. Norwalk's explosives-sniffer becomes a Guard dog, too When Iowa's Air National Guard needs an expert bomb detector, Scrappy gets the call. By TOM SUK REGISTER STAFF WRITER Scrappy, a 6-year-old black Labrador retriever, has enlisted in the Iowa Air National Guard's 132nd Fighter Squadron. The Norwalk Police Department's drug dog works part time for the Air Guard when the military needs Scrappy's talent for sniffing out bombs, ammunition and other explosives. The retriever is one of two dogs in the state certified to detect explosives, said Norwalk Police Chief Ed Kuhl. The second dog belongs to the state fire marshal's p 0$ Q SCHAAL gH?w.u,H!i 288-3631 HEATING AND COOLING situations that they didn't handle correctly before," Loffredo said. "Sometimes a problem can escalate if it's not dealt with early on." Lincoln alsd has started an advocacy program, "in which students meet on non-academic topics," Loffredo said. "Most problems that occur in school are problems like fights that don't start here. They start in the neighborhood or at the mall, and the students bring them to school because there are adults here who can help mediate the problems." Schools also have social workers and dropout prevention programs for students who have difficulty with drugs or dysfunctional families. V, 1 - "' $ JtX office and is stationed in eastern Iowa. Norwalk's proximity to the Des Moines airport, where the Iowa Air Guard is stationed, makes it convenient for Scrappy to be called for military duty, Kuhl said. Scrappy is trained to track people and locate drugs, explosives and cadavers. The only police dog function that Scrappy hasn't been trained for is to subdue suspects with force. "He wouldn't be good at that, anyway," said Lt. Kir k Westvold of the Norwalk police. "He doesn't have the personality for that. He's just a big, lovable mutt, except when he puts his work harness on. Then he's all business." Air Guard officials asked to use Scrappy for searches soon after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Kuhl said. Federal authorities were familiar to 750 I A -I J!. in rebates and discounts & 12 months No Interest, No Payments With qualified credit on Carrier 58MVP and 38TXA .4 "It's good to know that there's a payoff in less juvenile crime and delinquency," Loffredo said. The number of referrals to juvenile court increased after Des Moines poto eliminated their youth bureau in 1991. Parents for decades had brought their children to talk with an officer when there was a problem. By the early 1990s, about half of those delinquent children were not showing up at the police station, Nahas said. The number of delinquency cases making their way to Polk County Juvenile Court climbed from 495 in 1991 to 1,100 in 1998. Reporter Tom Alei can be reached at (515) 284-8088 or IV- ,. ROBERT NANDELlTHE REGISTER with the dog because he had been part of the security team at the airport for presidential visits. Scrappy and his handler, Officer Mike Kienol, are on call as needed if suspicious devices are detected at the Air Guard base, said Senior Master Sgt. David Noble, chief of security for the squadron. The Norwalk canine unit also works shifts on a varied schedule, so it is difficult for outsiders to know when the dog may be on duty. "We are on call 24 hours a day, not only for the Air Guard but for other agencies," Kienol said. "We use him a lot for narcotics." The most common calls are to check out suspicious vehicles during traffic stops or to conduct searches during drug raids. So far, Scrappy has not found bombs, but he has sniffed out guns and ammunition, Kienol said. When detecting drugs, Scrappy will scratch in the area where the narcotics are hidden. If he detects explosives, Scrappy will sit, stare intently and curl his upper lip. "You dont want him pawing at a package that might contain a bomb," Kienol said. Norwalk spent about $5,500 to buy and train Scrappy. Individual and business donors contributed the money. Scrappy continues to earn his keep. The Air Guard pays Norwalk $50 an hour to use Scrappy and his handler. Reporter Tom Suk can be reached at (515)284-8434 or . 'W -- ' ' v I Metro Record From Register staff and news services Opening arguments expected in gang trial Opening arguments in the drug and weapons trial of three alleged members of the Sons of Silence motorcycle gang are expected to begin today in US. District Court in Des Moines. Jury selection took all day Monday in the case against Russell J. Schoenauer of Waukee, Robert Lee Norman of Boone and Pelayo Jose Cuervo, whose address is unknown. Prosecutors say Schoenauer was the national treasurer of the Colorado-based gang, spending his own money on the alleged drug enterprise, teaching members how ; to launder money and providing them a cache of weapons. He is ; charged with operating a criminal j enterprise, conspiracy to distribute ' drugs and weapons charges. j The trial of another defendant, William C. Furlong, address unknown, has been postponed. Science Center plans K'Nextoy exhibit The Science Center of Iowa will be the second venue to host an i exhibition created by toy manu-! f acturer K'Nex Industries. i "K'Nextech" will focus on the i adaptation of simple machines for 5 modern needs and include a play area where children can build ; K'Nex creations and purchase-them through a "weigh and pay station," where the cost is determined by the item's weight. "K'Nextech" starts Wednesday and runs through May 5, and it's included in the center's admission. r- v')i.)i-i,',i.irreEz 2 D.M. residents charged with robbery Police arrested two Des Moines residents early Monday after they allegedly robbed a West Des Moines convenience store. West Des Moines police said James Cowles, 39, of 1510 East 16th St., entered JC's Corner Store, 1400 35th St., about 3 a.m. Monday armed with a shotgun and demanded money. After a clerk handed him three bank bags containing an unknown amount of money, Cowles allegedly ordered the clerk into a cooler. Police said Cowles fled east on Interstate Highway 235 in a car driven by Kristie Pepper, 29, 3130 Third St. Officer Brian Kock arrested the two after stopping them on 1-235. Both were charged with robbery. The clerk was unharmed. Group names caregiver Woman of the Year The Des Moines Metro Women's Network has named Diana Find-ley, founder and director of the Iowa Caregivers Association, as its Woman of the Year. Findley will receive the award at the group's meeting and banquet Thursday at the West Des Moines Marriott Hotel. Findley has spent the last decade advocating for those who give care to people of all ages. The public is invited to the meeting. Reservations, which include dinner, cost $20 and can be made by calling 331-0560, ext. 221. Seminar to address 'Turbulent Times' The Urbandale Chamber of Commerce's 60-Minute Lunch ; Seminar this week is titled "Stra- I tegic Thinking in Turbulent ; Times." The luncheon will be held from s noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday at Comfort Suites, 11167 Hickman Road, and costs $10 for chamber members and $15 for nonmembers. : To make reservations, call 331-6855. Audubon Society plans program on hot spots "Birding Hotspots in Southwest Florida" will be the program at tonight's Des Moines Audubon Society meeting. Dick Stilwell will present a slide program and video of favorite birding areas, including Corkscrew Swamp, Marco Island and Sanibel Island. The program begins at 7:15 p.m. in the lower level of Westminster Presbyterian Church. i i J' t

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