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Metro Briefs

BY DI STAFF | DECEMBER 17, 2013 5:00 AM

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Four Iowa City businesses fail alcohol compliance check

Alcohol compliance checks were conducted by the city on Dec. 13 at several businesses licensed to sell alcohol.

Police worked with underage persons to enter the establishments and try to illegally buy alcohol.

Four Iowa City businesses checked by police sold to the underage buyers. The businesses that failed the compliance checks were:

• Oyama Sushi, 1853 Lower Muscatine Road
• Pancheros Mexican Grill, 965 S Riverside Drive
• Jimmy Jacks Rib Shack 12, 1940 Lower Muscatine Road
• Clarion Hotel Highlander, 2525 N Dodge St.

The employees who sold were each charged with Selling Alcohol to Persons Under Age 21.

Twenty-one businesses refused to sell to the underage buyers. Some of the businesses that passed the compliance checks include:

• Airliner, 22 S. Clinton St.
• Short’s Burger and Shine, 18 S. Clinton St.
• DC’s, 124 S. Dubuque St.
• Players, 347 S. Gilbert St.

Selling (employee) alcohol to persons under age 21 years of age is a simple misdemeanor, punishable with a $500 fine for the first offense.

— by Lauren Coffey

Iowa City man charged with possession of marijuana

An Iowa City man has been accused of possession marijuana, among several other allegations.

Christian Alvarado, 20, was charged Nov. 5 with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance in a structure or vehicle, gathering for use of marijuana, failure to affix tax stamp, and controlled substance violation.

According to an Iowa City Police complaint, officers executed a search warrant at 720 E. Market St. Apt. 3, and reportedly found seven people were in the living room smoking marijuana.

They had fresh marijuana, pipes, burnt marijuana, bongs, and other paraphernalia.

Several codefendants admitted everyone was smoking marijuana, the complaint.

Alvarado had a bag of marijuana and a Xanax tab in his pocket. Officers located a container with approximately four ounces of marijuana behind the couch, and Alvarado and several of the codefendants admitted the four ounces was his, the complaint said.

Possession of a controlled substance and gathering for use of marijuana are serious misdemeanors. Possession of a controlled substance in a structure or vehicle is an aggravated misdemeanor. Failure to affix tax stamp and controlled-substance violation are Class-D felonies.

— by Megan Sanchez

UI adds official to help statewide engagement

The University of Iowa has completed an economic-development team by hiring a former software startup founder and University of Nebraska official.

Dave Conrad joined the UI as economic-development director in the Office of Vice President for Research and Economic Development, according to a university press release. Conrad will lead engagement throughout Iowa with activities such as work-force training to help add additional partnerships between the university and the private sector.

“Part of my job now is making university resources and programs even more accessible to Iowa companies,” Conrad said. “That means making visits and setting up relevant programs companies can easily take advantage of. Through university-industry partnerships, the UI can help create new companies, make existing ones more competitive and improve economic conditions across Iowa.”

Dan Reed, the UI vice president for Research and Economic Development, welcomed the former associate vice chancellor for technology development at Nebraska back to Iowa. Conrad previously founded a software startup called Emerjent Inc. in Ames and was a licensing associate for the Iowa State Research Foundation.

Reed, who joined the UI last fall coming from Microsoft, now adds Conrad to Associate Vice President for Economic Development David Hensley.

— by Brent Griffiths

Law professor receives honorary degree

University of Iowa law Professor and former UI President William “Sandy” Boyd received an honorary degree from the University of Michigan on Dec. 15.

The degree was an honorary doctorate of laws and was given to the University of Michigan alumnus, who received a master’s and doctoral degrees in law from the school.

Boyd taught in the UI College of Law beginning in 1954, and he became the UI’s 15th president from 1969 to 1981.

He oversaw a variety of changes during his time as president, including the number of students increasing from 8,400 to 25,100. He has two buildings to applaud his efforts on campus: the Boyd Law Building and the Boyd Tower at the UI Hospitals and Clinics.

Boyd was also interim president for the UI for one year following the departure of then-UI President Mary Sue Coleman, who became president of the University of Michigan in 2002. Coleman presented Boyd with his honorary degree last weekend.

— by Lauren Coffey

UI research company receives millions for programs

A company partially funded by the University of Iowa has gotten $50 million to help advance its programs by using clinical development.

The company, called Spark Therapeutics LLC, got the capital commitment from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The money will go to helping with gene-therapy clinical research; the company has the goal of solving health problems by identifying specific genetic targets in patients and delivering effective treatments.

Beverly Davidson, a UI professor of medicine, physiology, neurology, and biophysics and head of the Carver Biomedical Research, is a scientific cofounder of and adviser to the firm.

The UI currently has a sponsored research agreement with the firm.

— by Lauren Coffey

UI Museum of Art sees increased attendance

An all-time record was set for the University of Iowa Museum of Art for the 2012-13 academic year: The museum drew 146,470 people, up from 146,466 attendants in the 2011-2012 academic year.

The museum lost its original building in the 2008 flood. Exhibitions are now spread across the city and state, including in the third floor of the IMU, as well as the Figge Art Museum in Davenport.

More than 10,000 viewers visited the museum’s various outreach exhibits, located in Cedar Rapids and Mount Vernon in the last academic year. In addition, more than 14,000 people came to the Old Capitol Museum to view art as well.

The museum plans to expand outreach efforts in the upcoming academic year with partnerships in Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Maquoketa, and Dubuque. This adds to the current partnerships the museum has in Des Moines and Davenport. The museum is also discussing having programs in western Iowa.

“The [museum] has proved to be a powerful tool for reaching out to citizens across the state of Iowa by providing educational opportunities based on research and material created by University of Iowa professors and academics. This is why the Art Museum is so important to the mission of the university and for public higher education,” museum Director Sean O’Harrow said.

— by Lauren Coffey

Classics professor receives national outreach award

University of Iowa classics Professor Robert Ketterer, who is also the interim head of the Classics Department, has been awarded the 2013 Outreach Prize by the American Philological Association.

Ketterer received the award for organizing an interdisciplinary conference in 2011, “Re-Creation: Musical Reception of Classical Antiquity.”

The conference brought many scholars from diverse fields. It focused on genres in cultural and literary studies, as well as music.

Ketterer currently holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Classics and Comparative Literature. His research focuses on Greek and Roman drama and its reception in the classical tradition, with a special interest in early Italian opera.

— by Lauren Coffey

Wind-turbine project announced one of the largest in the world

Siemens Energy confirmed a large wind turbine order placed by MidAmerican Energy is the largest onshore wind-turbine order in the world.

The 1,050-megawatt project will have an energy output of roughly 10 nuclear-power plants, Professor Andrew Kusiak, the head of the University of Iowa Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, previously told The Daily Iowan.

The announcement was made on Monday at Siemen’s Fort Madison, Iowa, blade-manufacturing facility, according to a MidAmerican press release.

MidAmerican ordered 448 wind turbines for five project sites, which will result in a large energy output by the end of 2015.

Gov. Terry Branstad joined other officials at the announcement where he pointed out the plant’s success and Iowa’s continuing investment in wind energy.

“Iowa is a leader in wind generation, and I welcome the opportunity to expand renewable energy in our great state,” Branstad said in a statement. “Together, these companies continue to greatly benefit Iowa’s economy and demonstrate the state’s commitment to renewable energy

— by Brent Griffiths


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