Metro Briefs

BY DI STAFF | DECEMBER 18, 2013 5:00 AM

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Cedar Rapids man charged with unauthorized use of credit card and identity theft

A Cedar Rapids man has been accused of attempting to purchase numerous credit cards with a stolen credit card.

Landon Neveu, 19, was charged Sept. 6 with unauthorized use of a credit card not exceeding $10,000 and identity theft.

According to an Iowa City police complaint, Neveu and two others are seen on surveillance video from Walmart, 2801 Commerce Drive, attempting to purchase numerous $100 American Express Credit cards with a stolen credit card.

The three successfully purchased one card, but they had attempted to purchase more than $1,000 in cards.

Unauthorized use of a credit card not exceeding $10,000 and identity theft are Class-D felonies.

— by Megan Sanchez

Cedar Rapids man charged with robbery

A Cedar Rapids man has been accused of stealing an ice pack from the Coralville Hy-Vee.

Timothy Bechman, 24, was charged Monday with second-degree robbery.

According to a Coralville police complaint, officers responded to Hy-Vee, 1914 Eighth Street, after receiving a report of a fight in progress.

Upon arrival, officers found Bechman in custody with the store’s loss-prevention officers in the parking lot. Loss prevention reportedly witnessed Bechman take an ice pack and exit the store without paying for it.

After being stopped by loss prevention, he allegedly refused to cooperate, assaulted one of the employees, and tried to elude them so he would not be caught.

Second-degree robbery is a Class-C felony.

— by Megan Sanchez

Iowa City man allegedly made up false crime

An Iowa City man has been accused of purposefully setting his garage on fire, then calling police.

Kevin Grifhorst, 33, was charged Nov. 7 with false report to law enforcement authorities and reckless use of fire/explosives.

According to an Iowa City police complaint, Grifhorst set fire to his garage and called 911 stating his garage was on fire and he had been assaulted and cut with a knife by an unknown white male.

An investigation of the fire and assault by the Iowa City police and Iowa City fire officials reportedly revealed he set the fire himself and made up the assault.

While talking with an investigator under Miranda, Grifhorst allegedly admitted setting the fire and making up the story about being assaulted.

He used gasoline as the fire starter. This was deemed reckless by officials. The fire caused damage to the garage, property, and his vehicle, which was parked in the garage.

The fire could have caused damage to nearby residences and structures.

Grifhorst was also charged for false report to law enforcement on Oct. 26 after he told officials someone had broken into his trailer and stolen $48,000 worth of merchandise.

An investigation proved this was false, and Grifhorst reportedly admitted he had made up the incident.

— by Megan Sanchez

Council adopts pedicabs changes

The Iowa City City Council voted in Tuesday’s meeting to adopt a change to the Iowa City Pedicab Code.

The Council voted 7-0 to skip the third consideration of the change.

The prior code defined pedicabs as a vehicle propelled only by human power. The code will revise the definition of pedicabs to include velocabs, which are human-powered vehicles that include a power-assist motor.

— by Gabriella Dunn

Council passes grant for dam redesign

Redesigning the Burlington Street Dam will occur after the Iowa City City Council authorized a state grant for the project.

The City Council voted 7-0 to authorize a new grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources at Tuesday’s meeting.

The grant will aid the Iowa River restoration and Burlington Street dam-modification project.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources awarded the $50,000 grant to improve public safety, riverbank stability, create a fish passage, improve fish habitat, and create education and recreation opportunities.

— by Gabriella Dunn

Downtown District budget approved

The Iowa City City Council, on a 7-0 vote Tuesday, passed the Downtown District’s preliminary budget for fiscal 2015.

The Downtown District submitted the initial draft earlier this month. The downtown Board of Directors will continue to revise the budget during the first quarter of 2014.

According to the operating budget summary preliminary draft, the total income for the Downtown District would be roughly $569,000.

The expenses in the district, which include programs and initiatives, events, and district-wide marketing, will also be roughly $569,000.

The board will vote on the final budget in June 2014.

— by Gabriella Dunn

Council moves on Hy-Vee land purchase

The intersection of North Dodge Street and Prairie Du Chien Road might see a new right-of-way.

The Iowa City City Council voted 7-0 on the first consideration for a land purchase in Tuesday’s meeting.

The area would be 0.75 acres of land at the northeast corner of the intersection. The purchase agreement would be for Hy-Vee, but it would not pay any cash for the land. Instead, Hy-
Vee would donate land to the city for St. Clements Alley right-of-way.

— by Gabriella Dunn

Council moves on school road zoning

In Tuesday’s meeting, the Iowa City City Council voted 7-0 on a second consideration to rezone both Sycamore Street and American Legion Road.

The council will also vote to rezone parts of the Sycamore Street property, which will include an Interim Development Single Family Residential zone.

— by Gabriella Dunn

Council passes tax use for flood mitigation

The Iowa City City Council passed a resolution Tuesday to authorize the use of sales-tax revenue to finish one flood-recovery projects.

The Council voted 7-0 to authorize the funds from the Iowa Department of Revenue flood-project fund. The project was first funded by a state grant.

The project will demolish the North Wastewater Plant, which was heavily damaged in the 2008 flood and construct a park on the site.

The Iowa Flood Mitigation Board awarded the city roughly $8.5 million to pay for the demolition.

Since the city was awarded funding for the demolition project, a separate flood-project fund will be set up by the Revenue Department to capture a portion of the future growth in sales-tax revenue.

— by Gabriella Dunn

Fiberight considered by Council

A recommendation to contract a new company for Solid Waste Management Services drew heated viewpoints at Tuesday’s Iowa City City Council meeting.

The council voted 6-1, with Councilor Jim Throgmorton casting the dissenting vote, to approve the initial recommendation for Fiberight to be the preferred contractor.

Fiberight — a company that turns waste into biofuel — ignited firm resistance from public commentators at the meeting because of environmental concerns about the process.

This approval of the recommendation is not a final commitment to Fiberight. The company plans to hold a public meeting in the future. 

— by Gabriella Dunn

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