Metro briefs

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 01, 2013 5:00 AM

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Dates for UI flood recovery completion pushed back again

The University of Iowa flood-recovery dates have once again been pushed back.

In a report that will be given to the state Board of Regents on Feb. 6-7, expected dates of completion, as well as costs, have changed since the report given on Dec. 5, 2012.

The expected date of Hancher’s replacement has been moved from December 2015 to March 2016.
The UI music building’s replacement is now slated for completion in May 2016 instead March 2016.

The IMU’s ground-floor completion date was pushed from February 2015 to March 2015. In September 2011, the UI pushed the date back to August 2014. In April 2012, it was changed to December 2014. In June 2012, it was pushed to February 2015.

Mayflower’s recovery is now slated for completion in November 2014 instead of June 2014.

The total flood-recovery expense has grown from $257.8 million to $259.9 million.

— by Brianna Jett

Trial reset for woman accused of vehicular homicide

The trial for a woman accused of vehicular homicide and operating a vehicle while intoxicated has been reset for later this year, according to online documents.

Miranda Lalla is accused of felony vehicular homicide resulting in the death of Pamela Gross on June 18, 2012. Lalla is accused of a Class-B felony and an aggravated misdemeanor.

According to a police complaint, Lalla took a portable breath test after the incident, and her blood-alcohol level was allegedly 0.093.

The trial is rescheduled for 9 a.m. May 7, with a pretrial conference set for April 26. Her trial had been previously scheduled for Feb. 12.

Lalla previously requested a change of venue and attorney last year, The Daily Iowan has previously reported. On Oct. 9, she was appointed a public defender from Linn County.

— by Kristen East

UI officials request expansion of Iowa River Landing Clinic

The University of Iowa will request approval from the state Board of Regents to proceed with an expansion project at the Iowa River Landing Clinic. The Iowa River Landing Procedure Suite Development will finish part of the fifth floor, which is 14,000 square feet of space.

The other part, 13,000 square feet, will be completed at a later date.

The River Landing Clinic officially opened on Oct. 5, 2012; hospital officials expect it to reduce congestion in the UI Hospitals and Clinics. Patients were first admitted on Oct. 8, 2012. The project cost $73 million; it is located 105 E. Ninth St. in Coralville.

The finished space will become four separate procedure rooms, intended for multidisciplinary use, as well as facilities for patient waiting, preparation, and recovery. An elevator will be installed and room made for clinical support services, such as equipment storage.

The new space will be used mostly for upper gastroenterology, endoscopic, and urology. Many of the procedures will be endoscopic and aimed at finding and preventing colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States.

The expansion will also relieve some pressure at the UIHC. Currently, screenings of the colonoscopies that help find the colorectal cancer are backlogged.

The project has an estimated cost of $7.4 million — the money will come out of the University Hospitals Building Use Funds.

— by Brianna Jett

UI hoping for approval on projects to improve utilities

University of Iowa officials are seeking state Board of Regents’ approval for projects aimed at improving the university’s utilities.

UI officials will present two projects: Utilities Distribution System-Extend Utilities on Court Street and Utilities Distribution System-Replace Steam and Condensate Lines to UIHC Carver Pavilion.

The Court Street project will install utilities along Court Street between Madison Street and Clinton Street in order to reach the new music facility. The project will also allow for future growth.

The budget for the Court Street project is projected at $6.4 million and will be funded by utility system revenue bonds.

Replacing the steam and condensate lines will affect the Carver Pavilion and the Johnson Speech and Hearing Center. The project will replace the existing steam line; the line has operated longer than expected but is now failing.

The budget for the steam line is $3.6 million and will be funded by utility system renewal and improvement funds.

— by Brianna Jett

UI officials hope for Research Park expansion

University of Iowa officials will ask the state Board of Regents to approve an amendment to the Master Ground Lease Agreement, hoping to add more land to the Research Park.

The agreement between the regents and the UI Research Park Corp. began in 1989. The Research Park leases property to technology companies that have a close research relationships with the university.

The proposed amendment will add 5.4 acres, purchased in Octorber 2012, to Lot 6. By combining them with Lot 6, the lot will acquire more frontage along Highway 965.

With the addition, the Research Park would contain 234.03 acres.

— by Brianna Jett

Regents to be presented with the annual diversity report

The state Board of Regents will be presented with the Annual Diversity Reports about all the regents’ institutions at their meeting Feb. 6.

Included are three separate sections — the Annual Affirmative Action Report, the Annual Report on the Regents Minority and Women Educators Enhancement Program, and the Affirmative Action Cost Report.

From 2011 to 2012, the number of women working for the University of Iowa increased by 0.8 percent, and the number of women in leadership positions (executive, administrative, and managerial staff) fell by 3.6 percent. Minority representation increased by 7.3 percent. 

Of the faculty at the UI who were tenured as of fall 2011, or on the tenure track, 32.3 percent were female and 17.2 percent were a minority. Comparably, Iowa State University saw 28.3 percent female and 20.7 percent minorities. The University of Northern Iowa had 40.2 percent female and 15.4 minorities either tenured or on the tenure track.

— by Brianna Jett

Regents to interview UNI presidential candidates next week

The state Board of Regents will interview three candidates on Feb. 7 in a search for the 10th president of the University of Northern Iowa.

The regents’ interviews and deliberations will be closed to the public. The date of the announcement of the next president has yet to be determined, but the regents could announce the chosen candidate on that day.

UNI President Ben Allen told the regents last fall that he would retire no later than July 1. He was appointed president in April 2006.

— by Brianna Jett

Fieldhouse incident could cause delay in liquor license

Criminal charges against one of the owners of the Field House Bar may cause a delay in the issuance of a 12-month liquor license for the establishment.

The criminal charges against Rafer Mateer were deemed not consistent with the statutory requirements of “good moral character” for liquor-license holders. Mateer was charged with willful injury causing serious injury and aiding and abetting, both Class-C felonies.

The charges stemmed from a May 18, 2012, incident in which Mateer and two other individuals allegedly removed a person from the bar’s premises to an alley, where the person was reportedly struck several times, according to an Iowa City police complaint.

The man received several lacerations to his face, consistent with being cut by glass, that have resulted in permanent disfigurement. In addition, the man received fractures to his orbital socket that required numerous surgeries to place prosthetics in order to repair damage.

The complaint said Mateer and the two codefendants, Nicholas William Miller and Phillip Leo Czeschowicz, admitted their involvement in the physical altercation’s time and place. Mateer has pleaded not guilty to the charges; no court date has been set yet.

The Iowa City police and the Field House owners reached an agreement for a six-month license while the issue is resolved.

— by Nick Hassett

Venues change faces second test in City Council

A proposed change to entertainment venue policy will come before the Iowa City City Council again next week.

The proposal, which would allow 19- and 20 year-olds to remain in entertainment venues after midnight, passed its first consideration at the council’s Jan. 22 meeting on a 7-0 vote.

The council will vote on the second consideration of the ordinance Feb. 5. An ordinance requires three readings to pass into law.

— by Nick Hassett

Yotopia to award one customer free frozen yogurt for a year

One lucky Yotopia customer will be treated with free frozen yogurt for a year.

Yotopia, 132 S. Clinton St., is celebrating National Frozen Yogurt Day on Feb. 6 by giving away free yogurt for a year to one customer. Those interested in the contest may enter by visiting the store or going online to Yotopia’s Facebook page. Entries will be accepted through Feb. 9.

Yotopia will also be present at the University of Iowa Dance Marathon’s Big Event this weekend, providing more than 2,000 dancers and families free frozen yogurt. Additionally, a portion of the business’ monthly sales will be donated to the American Heart Association’s Go Red campaign.

The free giveaways are part of the business’ way to thank its “growing community of local yogurt supports.”

“Yotopia was born and raised right here in Iowa City, and this month’s activities continue our commitment to giving back to our community,” Veronica Tessler, the owner of Yotopia, said in a press release. “Supporting local community organizations has always been an important part of who we are as an Iowa City business.”

— by Kristen East

Chicago man charged after accidentally shooting friend in fight

A Chicago man was arrested after he reportedly shot by accident a friend he was aiding in a fight.

Tybell Brewer, 25, was charged Sept. 2, 2012 with unlawful injury, carrying a concealed weapon, assault causing injury, and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Brewer aided his friend Shango Johnson in a fight with Kenny Clayborn. Brewer allegedly pointed a gun at Clayborn before striking him on the head with the butt of the gun, according to a Johnson County Sheriff’s Office police complaint. As a result, Clayborn suffered from a large laceration to the top of his head, the police complaint said. During the struggle, Brewer’s gun discharged and struck Johnson in the arm and leg.

Carrying a concealed weapon is an aggravated misdemeanor; assault with a dangerous weapon is an aggravated misdemeanor; assault causing injury is a serious misdemeanor; and unlawful injury is a felony.

— by Rebecca Morin

Cedar Rapids man charged with OWI after driving into a ditch

A Cedar Rapids man was arrested after driving into a ditch and getting stuck in snow.

Michael Flynn, 32, was accused Wednesday of third-offense OWI.

Johnson County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a vehicle in a ditch on I-380. Flynn drove off the roadway and into a ditch, getting stuck in snow and water, according to a Johnson County Sheriff's Office complaint. He had trouble following simple directions to exit the vehicle and had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and smelled strongly of ingested alcohol, the complaint said. Flynn reportedly admitted to drinking earlier in the night.

Third-offense OWI is a Class-D felony.

— by Rebecca Morin

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