Metro Briefs

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 23, 2009 7:30 AM

UIHC to continue construction

UI Hospitals and Clinics officials said construction plans will continue for the Children’s Hospital, off-site clinics, and a new critical care tower despite the economy.

Although financing the project is becoming difficult, UIHC spokesman Tom Moore said overseeing the project in phases will be “the best course of action.” UIHC officials will then discuss construction plans with the Board of Regents in April.

“We need to precede with plans for the well-being of the patients,” Moore said.

The construction plans will now operate in two phases. An off-site hub of clinics will be launched in the Coralville’s Iowa River Landing District. The cost is still unknown because UIHC officials are still in negotiation with Coralville officials.

Also included in the first phase is the completion of a large portion of the UI Children’s Hospital.

In the second phase, a critical care tower will be built as well as converting all patient rooms into private rooms.

Moore said he hopes completion of all the projects will finish by the original deadline, April 2013.

— by Jennifer Delgado

CR man faces drug charges

A Cedar Rapids man was arrested after police allegedly found marijuana and methamphetamine in his car, authorities said.

Jacobi Kennedy, 25, was charged with second-offense possession marijuana and possession of meth.

According to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, police stopped Kennedy for an equipment violation. He then consented to a K-9 search of the vehicle, according to police reports.

During a subsequent search, deputies observed a green, leafy substance spread across the center console, police said. Kennedy and both his passengers admitted the marijuana was Kennedy’s and that he’d smoked in the car, deputies said.

Deputies also found a small baggy with white rocks in a cigarette pack in the gas cap lid of the vehicle, authorities said.

The substance tested positive for methamphetamine and both passengers stated it belonged to Miller, police reports show.

Second-offense possession of marijuana is a serious misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. Possession of methamphetamine is a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

— by Regina Zilbermints

Weiger representative files response

A representative of the late UI oboe Professor Mark Weiger filed a response last week to the sexual-harassment lawsuit filed against him, denying Weiger sexually harassed one of his former graduate students.

Melissa Milligan filed a federal suit against Weiger and the UI in November 2008, alleging Weiger subjected her to verbal sexual harassment on a daily basis during the 2006-2007 school year. He committed suicide about a week after the suit became public.

Milligan is now seeking Weiger’s estate, which is represented by UI assistant piano Professor Allen Huckleberry.

In his response, Huckleberry denies that Weiger made sexual remarks and crude jokes in classes in addition to denying Milligan’s claim that he inappropriately touched another female student during class time.

He also denies the alleged incidents slowed Milligan’s progress in completing her doctoral degree and caused her emotional distress.

A trial date in the case has not been set.

The suit is the second of its kind filed against Weiger. A former UI graduate student filed a suit in 6th District Court in 1994, also claiming Weiger sexually harassed her.

The woman dropped the suit after one year.

— by Olivia Moran

2 found dead

Two deceased individuals were found in a Lone Tree home Feb. 21, authorities said.

According to Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek, the sheriff’s office received a call requesting a welfare check.

When deputies arrived just over 20 minutes later, they found the two individuals, police reports show.

Names haven’t been released yet, pending positive identification, and autopsies are scheduled for this morning, Pulkrabek said.

He added he didn’t believe there is a public safety concern.

— by Regina Zilbermints

CR man charged with OWI

A Cedar Rapids man was arrested after allegedly driving drunk.

Ryan Miller, 31, was charged Feb. 21 with third-offense OWI.

According to UI police, officers stopped Miller for speeding. He admitted to drinking, had watery, red eyes, and smelled of alcohol, police said.

Miller failed numerous field sobriety tests and refused both a preliminary breath test and a breath test at the police station, according to police reports.

Third-offense OWI is a Class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $9,375.

— by Regina Zilbermints

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