Metro Briefs

BY DI STAFF | OCTOBER 16, 2013 5:00 AM

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Iowa City woman charged after allegedly depositing two fraudulent checks

An Iowa City woman has been accused of depositing two fraudulent checks.

Asia Cheeks, 30, was charged March 7 with forgery and second-degree theft.

According to an Iowa City police complaint, Cheeks deposited two checks into her bank account. One was allegedly a counterfeit check for $2,562, and the other reportedly was a stolen and forged check for $1,254. 

Cheeks also allegedly filled out fraudulent affidavits and said someone else deposited the checks. 

She said an unknown person obtained her ATM card, deposited the checks, and used money to make purchases. 

However, officials contend they are positive she endorsed the checks, and they report surveillance footage shows her at ATM machines making the deposits.

Second-degree theft and forgery are Class-D felonies.

— by Megan Sanchez 

UI Law School wants to decrease tuition

The Board of Regents is scheduled to vote in December on the University of Iowa’s College of Law proposal to slash tuition by nearly $8,000 for out-of-state students for the 2014-15 academic year.

This proposal is in a bid to reverse a decline in the number of applicants and class size.

The law school’snonresident tuition costs currently rank the fourth highest of the 11 schools in its peer group.

Tuition for non-Iowans pursuing traditional law degrees would drop from $47,252 to $39,500.

Tuition for Iowans would increase $474, or 1.8 percent.

“As an in-state student, I’m surprised at how high out-of-state tuition has gone,” said Steven Postolka, a third-year UI law student.

The price cut for students seeking an advanced law degrees would be even greater.

Nonresident doctorate and master of law students would see their tuition nearly cut in half to $24,000, while Iowans would pay $20,000.

This would result in a tuition reduction of of $23,252 and $6,274 respectively.

Since 2010, the UI law school has seen a 24 percent decrease in its incoming class size, in comparison with the more than 38 percent national decline in total enrollment.

UI officials estimated that 422 students enrolled in the college this fall, a 20 percent decrease from last year and the first time that the class size has dropped below 500 students in the past four years.

Since the 2008 recession, the legal profession has faced several changes that affect legal education and recruiting students for law schools.

“I’m not surprised that the class size is so small,” Postolka said. “I’m sure [the school] is trying to maintain the high academic standards with the shrinking job market.”

Law-school officials said that they chose to admit fewer students partly because of a national decline in legal jobs and starting salaries. It has also been said that one-third fewer students take the LSAT, which has led to a smaller pool of well-qualified candidates for law schools to consider.

An increase in out-of-state applications from students would the help even out a 40 percent decline in the number of Iowa residents applying to the law school. In all, 173 Iowans applied in 2012, down from the 287 applicants in 2010.

Most non-resident undergraduate students would see tuition jump no more than 2.5 percent, which would equal $460 at the UI, $334 at Iowa State University, and $402 at the University of Northern Iowa.

Graduate nonresident students would see tuition change ranging from 1.8 percent for Iowa students to 3.2 percent for ISU students.

Michael Appel, a graduate of the UI law school, said he believes the tuition drop is a good approach.

“It could attract people who would not normally have gone to Iowa,” he said.

While Appel’s 2010 law class was roughly 200 students, which he said seemed like a “good number,” he noted that he would like to see the program rise in national recognition.

“I just hope that our law school will continue to improve the rankings like it has in the past couple of years,” Appel said.

— by Megan Deppe

UIHC to move forward on projects

The state Board of Regents will consider recommending the approval of several actions for the Chronic Pain Clinic and Breast Imaging Center Relocations project at a meeting on Oct. 24.

The actions include authorizing permission to proceed with project planning, the selection of Bergland & Cram Architects of Mason City as the design professionals, and accepting the regents’ office recommendation that the project meets the necessary criteria for consideration.

This project would relocate two ambulatory clinical services, the Chronice Pain Clinic and Breast Imaging Center, to level four of the Pomerantz Family Pavilion.

The Chronic Pain Clinic, currently located on level five of the Pappajohn Pavilion, would be relocated to free the space for the development of four replacement inpatient operating rooms.

The Breast Imaging Center, located on level three of the Pappajohn Pavilion, would be relocated to accommodate the development of a connecting walkway to the UI Children’s Hospital, as well as to provide the Breast Imaging Center with the space for additional and new imaging technologies.

The Chronic Pain Clinic would be developed in approximately 10,400 gross square feet of shell space. The Breast Imaging Center would be developed in approximately 5,600 square feet of the same space adjacent to the area in which the Chronic Pain Clinic would be developed.

The estimated project cost of $4.3 million would be funded by University Hospitals Building Use Funds.

— by Megan Deppe

State Board of Regents expected to ratify emergency UIHC repairs

The state Board of Regents will discuss on Oct. 24 the ratification of actions related to the emergency steam line repair between the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the Medical Research Facility project.

On Sept. 26, the regents’ office was informed of an emergency situation related to a section of the UI steam system located between the UIHC and the research facility. According to the university, the buried steam line is causing humidity problems in the basement area of the facility.

The line supplies steam to the UIHC kitchens and cannot be down for long periods of time.

Because of the potential for serious losses, officials implemented emergency procedures to rectify the situation.

The budget for the project is $349,262 and is funded by utilities enterprise renewal and improvement funds. The regents’ ratification of emergency actions taken for the project is required by Iowa Code.

— by Megan Deppe

State Board of Regents to talk early college enrollment

The state Board of Regents Education and Student Affairs Committee will receive a presentation from University of Iowa College of Education interim Dean Nicholas Colangelo on Oct. 23 about early college-entrance opportunities for high-school students.

According to the regents’ agenda packet, high schools are becoming more fluid with colleges and universities, which means that the clear demarcation between high school and college is becoming blurred. To provide students with a rigorous educational experience, Iowa’s high schools need new opportunities that combine the high-school/college transition.

There are currently programs in place for high-school students to receive college experience and credit, such as Advanced Placement and post-secondary options.

There are also options for early entrance to college, which allow students to be college students on a full-time basis before completing their senior year of high school.

Colangelo will discuss early entrance options that are available across the country, as well as provide information about the University of Iowa’s early entrance program, called the National Academy of Arts, Sciences and Engineering.

— by Megan Deppe

State Board of Regents to amend policy concerning sale and usage of school buildings

The state Board of Regents is expected to approve a revision to the Board of Regents Policy Manual to further clarify the disposal of surplus property.

This consideration will be a first and final reading.

The revision deals with how regent institutions deal with the disposal of surplus property. The change is meant to ensure schools are resourceful with property that no longer serves an institutional need and will allow the institutions to repurpose lower-value items instead of scrapping them.

The proposed revision is that items that are declared surplus and not placed within the institution or the regents’ office may be disposed of in several different ways.

The disposal proposals are that the items be used as a trade-in; transferred to another regent institution, state agency, or Iowa government; sold to the highest bidder after three or more bids; auctioned to the highest bidder; sold internally through surplus sales open to the public; dismantled for parts utilization; or disposed of in the best interest of the institution if it diminishes residual value.

— by Megan Deppe

Stephen A. Wynn institute to be officially named

University of Iowa President Sally Mason on Friday will commemorate the naming of the UI Stephen A. Wynn Institute for Vision Research.

The name of the institute, dedicated to curing blinding eye diseases, follows Wynn’s $25 million gift to the UI for eye-related research.

The celebration will begin at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the Rem Sahai Auditorium of the Medical Education & Research Facility.

Other speakers at the event will include Jean Robillard, the UI vice president for Medical Affairs; Lynette Marshall, UI Foundation president and CEO; Stephen Wynn; and Steven Dezil, the Stephen A. Wynn Foundation director.

—  by Cassidy Riley

Man involved in shooting pleads guilty

A man involved in a shooting in November 2012 pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree burglary and willful injury.

The Iowa City police responded to a report from Mercy Hospital, 500 E. Market St., at 9:13 p.m., Nov. 18, 2012.  According to Iowa City police complaint, Peter Thullen allegedly went to an East Bloomington Street residence to collect a drug debt and brought a loaded gun with him for intimidation. 

Thullen told a witness he shot the victim, and the victim received injuries that could have been fatal. According to Johnson County Courthouse documents, Thullen faced charges of attempted murder, going armed with intent, first-degree burglary, and willful injury.

Another defendant in the case, Andrew Meyer, has also been charged with attempted murder, going armed with intent, and first-degree burglary.  He allegedly provided the handgun used to shoot the victim and accompanied Thullen to the residence. 

First-degree burglary is a Class-B felony, and willful injury is a Class-C felony. According to Courthouse documents, Thullen will serve 25 years for first-degree burglary and up to 15 years for willful injury as part of a plea agreement.

His sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 6, 2014.

— by Abigail Meier

IC City Council ratifies new human rights ordinance

Rules created by local and state officials have made parts of a previously broad public-accommodation law obsolete.

By a 7-0 vote, the Iowa City City Council on Tuesday adopted the ordinance to amend Title Two of the city’s long-standing Human Rights Ordinance.

The Human Rights Commission proposed an ordinance that will amend age restrictions that were developed under a public-accommodation clause.

The ordinance establishes public accommodation, which means establishments or facilities must offer services to all of the general public. Rules created based on health, safety, or developmental differences made the Human Rights Ordinance clause useless.

Although the 21-ordinance prevents people under the age of 21 from being in a bar after 10 p.m., the law is not in violation of the current Human Rights Ordinance because of state laws that hold precedence rather than the public-accommodation law, said Stefanie Bowers, the Iowa City human-rights coordinator.

— by Rebecca Morin

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