Metro Briefs

BY DI STAFF | MAY 15, 2009 7:30 AM

Robber hits MidwestOne branch

An alleged robber made off Thursday with an unknown amount of money after an incident at MidwestOne Bank, 1906 Keokuk Street, Iowa City police reported.

Reports show officers responded to the bank just after 5 p.m. Thursday after learning a man — wearing a long, black wig, fake beard, sunglasses, and a red, white, and blue cap — demanded money from a teller.

The suspect left with an undetermined amount of money heading west on foot, police said.

While the bank was still open at the time of the reported robbery, the alleged robber didn’t injure anyone. Surveillance cameras captured the suspect at the bank’s door and waiting in line inside.

Additional suspect description shows the man is white, between 5-4 and 5-7 with a medium build and wearing jeans and a gray sweatshirt, according to reports.

The incident remains under investigation.

— by Kurtis Hiatt

Kidnapping, sex-assault trial delayed

A North Liberty man accused of kidnapping and sexual assault has his trial reset for the fourth time, now delayed until Aug. 24.

Chase Von Lienen, 22, allegedly used duct tape to tie down and quiet a woman while he raped her, according to police complaints. The alleged incident occurred in May 2008 in North Liberty.

Von Lienen could spend 10 years in prison if convicted of third-degree sexual abuse, a Class C felony. He also faces life imprisonment for first-degree kidnapping.

Von Lienen’s trial was originally scheduled for September 2008. Court records show he is still waiting for DNA test results.

— by Zhi Xiong

Coralville arts center gets grant

The Vision Iowa Board awarded the Coralville Center for Performing Arts a $1.6 million grant on Thursday.

Iowa City Mayor Regenia Bailey — who is the new head of the board — lauded the grants, which also include $100,000 for the Grinnell Family Aquatic Center.

“These projects will stimulate the local economies — first in their construction and then as they attract visitors and enhance the quality of life in their communities,” Bailey said in a statement. “The leverage and economic stimulus is particularly important now for these communities.”

The grant will cover a small portion of the cost to build 518-seat theater, which is estimated cost over $10 million.

— by Shawn Gude

Vito’s hit in alcohol sting

Vito’s Bar, 118 E. College St., was the only Iowa City bar that failed alcohol compliance checks conducted by Iowa City police Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

Iowa City police conducted the checks at 12 bars, using plainclothes officers and underage people to attempt to buy alcohol. Eleven businesses passed the test by refusing to sell to the underage buyers.

Brittany Albert, 21, 600 S. Capitol St. Apt. 106, was charged with selling alcoholic beverages to two minors, which carries a fine of $710.

— by Regina Zilbermints

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