What you may have missed over the break

BY DI STAFF | JANUARY 17, 2011 7:10 AM

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U-Heights tosses out councilor

University Heights voters chose to unseat one of their city councilors in a special election Jan. 11.

Councilor Jim Lane was defeated by Rosanne Hopson in record-breaking voter turnout. Hopson collected 53 percent of the votes; Lane took 47 percent.

Hopson is against a controversial zoning move that allows a multi-story condominium building, which would also contain commercial space, on the current site of St. Andrew Church.

The 495 votes cast is a University Heights record, according to the Johnson County Auditor’s Office.

The 495 votes accounted for 56 percent of registered voters in University Heights. The special-election also saw a record in requested early ballots. Compared with the last special-election, 248 early ballots were counted in the special-election, more than triple the 70 early ballots counted in 2009.

— by Caitlin Fry

UI subcontractor fined

Officials with the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Bureau issued an $8,750 fine to Swanson Glass Inc. for safety violations connected with the September 2010 death of worker Tom Fosdick, according to the Des Moines Register.

Fosdick, a Cedar Rapids resident and UI graduate, was working at the University of Iowa Boyd Law Building when he lost his balance on a fully extended 28-foot ladder and fell 24 feet on to a concrete slab, said AP.

According to AP, the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Bureau decided Swanson Glass, a Clive, Iowa-based glazing contractor, failed to maintain several safety parameters, primarily related to a lack of safety using ladders.

Swanson Glass was subcontracted by Miron Construction for the job.

— by Ryan Cole

Ex-teacher enters Alford plea

A former Regina High School teacher has entered an Alford plea to a sexual-abuse charge.

Robert Dolan, 60, was charged with third-degree sexual abuse and supplying alcohol to a minor following a reported January 2010 incident.

According to online court documents, Dolan entered an Alford plea on Jan. 10 to assault with intent to commit sexual abuse with no injury and supplying alcohol to a minor.

Assault with intent to commit sexual abuse is a Class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Dolan’s sentencing has been set for March 7.

— by Hayley Bruce

Feb. 28 cutoff date for provost applications

Candidates hoping to become the University of Iowa’s new provost must formally apply for the job no later than Feb. 28 to be considered for the position.

Co-heads of the Provost Search Committee Keith Carter — the head of UI ophthalmology and visual sciences — and philosophy Professor Richard Fumerton sent an e-mail to the UI community seeking candidates during the winter break.

Once the committee receives applications, it will begin the screening process to narrow the applicant pool to a few finalists, according to the e-mail. The finalists will then be invited to the UI campus in the spring for interviews.

P. Barry Butler, the former dean of the College of Engineering, is serving as the interim provost; former Provost Wallace Loh left last semester to become president of the University of Maryland.

The panel heads also asked community members to participate in the provost search by encouraging any qualified individuals to nominate themselves as a candidates.

— by Caitlin Fry

Report: Kinnick jets flew too low

Military jets involved in the Nov. 20 Kinnick Stadium flyover flew too low, officials determined in an internal investigation, according to the Associated Press.

First Lt. Katie Rolling said it was still unclear whether the pilots involved would be disciplined.

Air Force regulations require jets remain at least 1,000 feet above ground when flying over populated areas, AP reported. The jets appeared to fly slightly over the top of the Kinnick Stadium press box, which stands 137 feet above ground.

In December, students told The Daily Iowan they were shocked at how close the T-38 trainer jets came to Kinnick Stadium.

“The noise was deafening, and I honestly thought they were going to hit the Jumbotron,” said UI sophomore Logan Williams. “I’ve seen a flyover before, and that one, the planes seemed closer.”

— by Sam Lane

Owner of tailgating spot pleads not guilty

The owner of a popular tailgating venue pleaded not guilty to bootlegging last week.

Tracy Barkalow, 35, 320 S. Linn St., was charged Nov. 18 with two counts of bootlegging.

According to Iowa City police, officers conducted an investigation of the Stadium Club tailgaiting venue, 817 Melrose Ave., for possible alcohol-sale violations.

Barkalow reportedly applied for and was denied a liquor license for the Stadium Club location.

Officers said Barkalow provided plastic cups to plainclothes officers after they paid $10 to gain admissions to the venue where alcohol was being served.

Bootlegging is a serious misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,500.

— by Regina Zilbermints

UIHC works on communication after escape

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are working on better communicating with Iowa’s counties regarding their policies for overseeing inmates being treated at the facility.

The move follows the reported escape of Andrew Koehlhoeffer, a 20-year-old inmate from Jefferson County, while being treated at the UIHC in December.

Davenport police apprehended Koehlhoeffer after he allegedly assaulted a UI student and stole four vehicles. Koehlhoeffer, who was in the Jefferson County Jail on numerous felony charges including first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary.

UIHC spokesman Tom Moore said the communication process is still in development.

— by Nina Earnest

Prof files complaint

University of Iowa radiology Professor Malik Juweid filed a complaint against his employer for unspecified reasons, according to an e-mail from his lawyer, Amy Reasner.

According to the Des Moines Register, Juweid accused three superiors of discriminatory behavior as a result of a dispute over faculty pay that continued into reports of name-calling and retaliation.

Juweid accused Laurie Fajardo, the chairwoman of the radiology department, Paul Rothman, the dean of the Carver College of Medicine, and Lois Geist, associate dean of faculty affairs at the medical school, of employment discrimination based on his ethnicity, according to the Register.

He filed two complaints with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

UI spokesman Tom Moore refused to comment on the complaint.

— by Josh Quinnett

AFSCME OKs salary increases

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Iowa Council 61 voted to approve across-the-board salary increases for its members’ 2011-2013 contracts, according to a press release.

Wages and fringe benefits section of the contract were the areas changed.

The vote, which took place from Dec. 16 to Dec. 22, was considered one of the largest union votes in state history by the council.

According to the release, employees will receive a 2 percent across-the-board salary increase in July and July 2012 and will receive 1 percent increases in January 2012 and January 2013.

“Considering the pay freezes, unpaid days, and cuts [state employees] have gone through for several years now, they are well deserving of these reasonable across-the-board salary increases,” said Danny Homan, the president of AFSCME Iowa Council 61.

— by Ariana Witt

School Board OKs consultant contract

The Iowa City School Board voted to approve a contract with an outside consultant firm at a Jan. 12 meeting.

With a vote of 4-1, board members approved a four-year contract with consultant Jim Hyatt of Charney Associates, a Denver-based strategic consulting service for board governance and leadership, said School Board member Tuyet Dorau.

“This is something we feel is going to help us understand future board development,” she said.
Board members will have their first meeting with Hyatt on Jan. 23.

In that same meeting, members voted 5-0 to approve the 75 percent phase for the development design for new elementary school in the Crossings District, Dorau said.

The next stage will be a final approval of the new school’s design, which members hope to do by their first meeting in March.

— by Ariana Witt

Robinson pleads guilty to pot possession

Former Hawkeye running back Adam Robinson pleaded guilty to possessing marijuana Jan. 13, the Associated Press reported.

Robinson, 21, entered the guilty plea in 5th District Court after he was charged with possession of marijuana on Dec. 28 in Des Moines. The arrest came just days before the Hawkeyes beat Missouri in the Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz.

Head football coach Kirk Ferentz originally suspended Robinson from competing in the Insight Bowl for unspecified reasons prior to his arrest.

On Jan. 3, Ferentz dismissed Robinson from the football team.

Robinson was the Hawkeye’s leading rusher the past two seasons, recording 834 yards in 2009 and 941 this past season.

— by Hayley Bruce

Supervisors eye rental code

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors is in the process of rewriting a property-maintenance code that pertains to rental and abandoned properties, Supervisor Pat Harney said. The original code was lacking in specifics, and the discussion about rental farmhouse properties is still underway, he said.

Revisions to the code are in the works because of some issues with problematic rental properties. Harney said mobile-home parks are under close scrutiny and mainly responsible for the effort to draft a new code.

Some measures are disputed, according to the Associated Press, such as whether to exclude “owner-occupied” homes from the code or exclude all outbuildings from the code.

— by Gibson Berglund

Hunninghake case continued

The status conference for a former University of Iowa physician has been continued, according to his attorney, Robert A. Fisher.

Garry Hunninghake, 64, allegedly falsely reported beig robbed and stabbed to Chicago police following an April 24 incident.

Chicago police later said they believed the story had been fabricated and that Hunnighake inflicted the wounds upon himself. He later turned himself into police.

Hunninghake was placed under investigation by UI police in a separate incident April 22; the incident occurred just one day after he was put on paid leave of $360,668 on April 23.

That investigation has since been closed, and Hunnighake has requested the search warrants from that investigation be sealed. That request was granted.

The status conference, originally scheduled to take place Dec. 20, has been rescheduled for Jan. 24 in Cook County Circuit Court.

— by Hayley Bruce

New comm center head

Gary Albrecht will be the new executive director for the Johnson County Joint Emergency Communications Center, said Mike Wright, the head of the center’s governing board.

He began working Jan. 3.

Albrecht attended Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in communications. The decision to hire Albrecht was made Dec. 23, said Wright, who is also an Iowa City city councilor.

The Communications Center, which opened in June 2010, merges communications for all law-enforcement agencies in the county, with the exception of the UI police. Officials said the change would allow agencies to more effectively work together.

— by Emily Hoerner

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