Metro Briefs

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 09, 2009 7:30 AM

Regents given power to issue flood recovery bonds

The Iowa Senate passed an appropriations bill Wednesday morning that gives the state Board of Regents the power to issue $100 million in bonds to fund additional flood recovery at the UI.

Both area senators, Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, and Bob Dvorsky, D-Coralville, voted for the bill, which passed 29-20.

Senate Democrats overwhelmingly backed the plan; no Republicans voted for it.

While supporters concede essentially borrowing money under a bonding plan is unpalatable, they assert the additional cash is needed to match the federal money already flowing in.

“I think it’s as good a way that I know of for the funds to be generated to rebuild the campus,” regent Bob Downer told the DI earlier this week. “The only alternative to it, it seems to me, is to essentially shrink the university physically [and] programmatically.”

House members are expected to pass the bill, which is now in the House Appropriations Committee.

— by Shawn Gude

Police arrest three

Iowa City police arrested three men on charges of stealing a vehicle April 7.

Bryant Smith, 20, 2401 Hwy 6 Apt. 3007, Christopher Burnett, 19, 1486 First Ave. Apt. 1, and Jermaine Jones, 30, West Liberty, were all charged with second-degree theft.

According to Iowa City police, officers saw Burnett driving a Dodge Caravan with Jones and Smith as passengers. The vehicle quickly turned into the Hwy 6 address and all three men got out and started quickly walking eastbound.

The van had been reported as stolen, and the right rear window was broken. Glass pieces were all over the floor of the van. Burnett allegedly drove the vehicle from Bartelt Road to Lakeside Drive.

Jones denied he knew the vehicle was stolen but one of the other defendants said Jones had given him the key to the van and told him to drive.

Second-degree theft is a Class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $7,500.

— by Regina Zilbermints

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