Metro Briefs

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 22, 2013 5:00 AM

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StopBigBrother continues petition, flies drone at Young Americans for Liberty Rally

StopBigBrother, a local group working to ban red-light cameras and drones from Iowa City, made another push at the Young Americans for Liberty pro-marijuana legalization rally on April 20 in College Green Park.

During the event, the group displayed an actual drone that would be used by Iowa City law-enforcement officials, if they ever were to use them.

The drone has about 20 minutes of battery life and two on-board cameras. It allows the operator to view the images in real-time. The model that was demonstrated cost approximately $300.

The activists have submitted their petition to ban red-light cameras in Iowa City once, but City Clerk Marian Karr determined too many signatures to be invalid. They need 400 more in order to reach the necessary 2,500. The City Council would at that point consider the petition.

The two groups worked together because “traffic surveillance is just another form of big government being where they shouldn’t be,” said Joey Gallagher, the president of Young Americans for Liberty.

— by Jonathan Solis

UI College of Medicine holds first Ride for Youth fundraiser

The Carver College of Medicine held a fundraiser Sunday to benefit the United Action for Youth.

The event featured community members and students ride their bikes through various trails in the Iowa City area.

“There’s not really a bike ride within Iowa City limits,” said Josh Schonfeld, Ride for Youth coordinator. “I thought this would appeal to the cycling community and would be a very good fundraiser for United Action for Youth.”

This is the first year the fundraiser has been held, and one official said this will become an annual event. Roughly 230 bikers participated in the event. The participants raised more than $5,000.

— by Lauren Coffey

Harkin endorses Braley for Senate seat

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, on April 20 endorsed Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, for the Senate seat Harkin will vacate after next year. Braley is currently the only Democratic nominee to announce he is running to replace the five-term senator.

“When I was campaigning for Bruce during his first run for Congress in 2006, I knew he was the real thing: a passionate progressive, a natural-born leader,” Harkin said in a release. “He is someone from humble roots, who in the time he has been in Congress, has fought for working people and the struggling middle class.”

Currently, no Republicans have formally announced they will be running for the open senate seat. Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds previously told The Daily Iowan she is researching and weighing the options of a potential run.

— by Kristen East

UISG inauguration brings new president and vice president

HOUSE party officials Katherine Valde and Jack Cumming were inaugurated as UI Student Government president and vice president April 20.

The inauguration occurred in front of friends, family, and UI President Sally Mason in the Old Capitol Senate Chambers.

“It was a really nice ceremony; it was in the Old Capitol building,” Valde said. “It was a very fitting place. We are going to use this semester and summer to get work done.”

The first order of business for Valde and Cumming is creating a bike check for students to be able to rent bikes. They hope to have the service by next fall.

— by Lauren Coffey

Sam's Steamed Caboose Burger in Old Capitol Mall closed April 18

Sam’s Steamed Caboose Burger announced April 18 it will close its establishment in the Old Capitol Town Center.

It will now move to a second location for the company, at Highway 1 in the Gateway Center.

Mike Tvedte, a manager at the Highway 1 location, said he did not know the reason for the closing the Old Capitol mall location.

— by Lauren Coffey

Man accused after having sex with 13-year-old female

A local man has been accused of having sex with an underage female after communicating through Facebook.

Devon Kent, 21, was charged April 7 with third-degree sexual abuse.

According to a Iowa City police complaint, Kent communicated with the 13-year-old female through Facebook. They met at a Kmart, then walked to Kent’s apartment.

Kent and the female admitted to police officials that they engaged in intercourse. Kent also stated that the female performed oral sex on him, the complaint said.

The complaint said Kent confirmed his and the victim’s Facebook profile names, and most of the information reported by the female was confirmed by Kent’s statement.

Kent also told officials that the female told him she was 18 years old, which the female confirmed. According to the police complaint, the female did not appear to be 18 years old based on her physical appearance.

Third-degree sexual abuse is a Class-C felony.

— by Rebecca Morin

Man accused of hitting victim over the head with a pistol

A local man has been accused of striking a person in the head several times with a pistol during a burglary.

Devon Ware, 24, was charged April 17 with going armed with the intent to use, assault while participating in a felony, first-degree burglary, and first-degree robbery.

According to an Iowa City police complaint, Ware and a codefendant entered the victims’ residence without permission. Ware was reportedly carrying a handgun, and he and his codefendant began demanding money and the location of the victims’ belongings.

According to the complaint, Ware’s codefendant began fighting with the victim. Ware then joined the fight to assist his codefendant. During the fight, Ware allegedly used his pistol to strike the person in the head several times, the complaint said.

The victim received a laceration to his head and a cut to his hand during the fight. The complaint said Ware and his codefendant stole a backpack, shoes, cell phones, and wallets during the incident.

Going armed with the intent to use is a Class-D felony, as is assault while participating in a felony. First-degree burglary and first-degree robbery are a Class-B felonies.

— by Rebecca Morin

Man accused of driving under the influence of drugs

A Davenport man has been accused of driving under the influence of drugs.

Robert Thomas, 51, was charged April 19 with third-offence OWI and driving with a revoked license.

Iowa City police officials were driving behind Thomas. They ran his license plate through the computer, which showed that the driver’s license status was revoked.

Officials initiated a traffic stop, the police complaint said. Upon contact with Thomas, officials observed a strong odor of alcohol, red bloodshot, water eyes, and mumbled speech.

According to the police complaint, Thomas showed signs of impairment and consented to a preliminary breath test resulted in a .022 blood alcohol content. A drug-recognition expert tested Thomas for drugs.

The expert reportedly determined that Thomas was under the influence of drugs and could not safely operate a motor vehicle.

Third-offense OWI is a Class-D felony. Driving with a revoked license is a serious misdemeanor.

— by Rebecca Morin

Man accused of driving under the influence of alcohol

A Cedar Rapids man has been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Joseph Barta, 32, was charged April 20 with third-offense OWI.

Officers were dispatched to a report of a hit-and-run accident involving a white jeep, the Johnson County Sheriff's Office complaint said. Officials located the vehicle and made contact with Barta.

According to the complaint, Barta had red, bloodshot water eyes, slurred speech, poor balance, and strong odor of ingested alcohol. Barta reportedly admitted to drinking at the Riverside casino.

Third-offence OWI is a Class-D felony.

— by Rebecca Morin

Daily Iowan TV wins awards at state conference

Daily Iowan TV won 11 awards at the Iowa Broadcast News Association awards on April 20 in Johnston.

Daily Iowan TV competed with other student news stations from schools across the state, including Loras College in Dubuque and Wartburg College in Waverly.

Full list of awards:

First place, overall excellence in reporting, Jake Abrams
First place, overall anchoring, Jake Abrams and Lauren Moss
First and second place, general reporting, Rebekah Hoeger
First place, Farm and Agribusiness, Rebekah Hoeger
Second place, Best Sportscast, Ian Martin
Second place, Political Coverage, “Daily Iowan TV’s Live Election Show,” Ryan Jones, Allie Wright, Reid Chandler, Dora Grote
Second Place, Public Affairs, Allie Wright
Third place, Public Affairs, Brad Maxwell
Third place, Best newscast
Third place, overall excellence, Rebekah Hoeger, Brad Maxwell, Jake Abrams

— by Allie Wright

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