in the news:

Good morning, riders.

Here’s a roundup of recent news coverage of DART:

— Longtime DART driver James Salter was featured in the Des Moines Sunday Register on the last day of the 2010 State Fair. For years, Salter has dressed up as a hobo for his shifts on State Fair routes and entertained fairgoers riding in from the Capitol with his “Harley Worthit” persona.  Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

Chatter to the patrons: “I tell them I want to give money away at certain intersections along the route. I tell them if they have a certain item, I’ll give them money. Then I’ll ask if anyone has any hand lotion. Right away the ladies are looking in their purses. They run up the aisle thinking that’s the item. I have them put a dab on my hand and tell them that’s not the item.”

He’ll give some riders who fall for the lotion joke $1 as a consolation prize when they get off the bus. He also tells them it’s his last dollar.

“Most people laugh and give it back and say “Sir, we had so much fun on your bus, you keep your last dollar.’ I say no and then mumble, ‘Of course my dog won’t eat tonight but it’s been a couple of days and he’s getting used to it.’ ”

Salter is retiring soon but has said he may come back to work the State Fair. Click here to read the entire story, also posted on Juice’s website.

— West Des Moines officials looking to grow small business and attract young talent are citing an August 2009 economic report commissioned by the city that suggests improving public transit as a strategy to achieve both, The Des Moines Register reports here. Here’s an excerpt quoting Chris Voggesser, president of the city’s Chamber and Development Connection:

A more diverse business sector in West Des Moines will need highly qualified young adults, the Angelou report says. In fact, the city’s current businesses need a wide pool of young talent, something Voggesser said is a priority.

“That’s the whole component of the West Des Moines Leadership Academy, just to do that,” Voggesser said. “Finding out what makes them tick. Why are they leaving? What would it take to keep them here?”

The report suggests more emphasis on the performing arts, better public transit and revitalization of older commercial areas will help support small businesses and create a “sense of place” for young professionals.

— A contributor to The Des Moines Register’s “Your Two Cents Worth” calling him- or herself “passed civics in 50010” writes:

“Hats off to DART for their State Fair shuttle service. No matter how hot or late it may be, every employee is pleasant, helpful and very welcoming to the visitors of our city.”