Metro briefs

BY DI STAFF | MAY 07, 2014 5:00 AM

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UI student faces drug charge

Authorities have accused a University of Iowa student of receiving marijuana brownies through the mail.

Christian Hernandez, 19, was charged April 8 with controlled-substance violation.

According to a Johnson County Sheriff’s Office complaint, members of the Johnson County Drug Task Force received a U.S. Postal Service package that had been intercepted by Burge Hall staff after members reported smelling a strong odor of marijuana.

The task force delivered the package to Hernandez, who claimed ownership of the package.

Hernandez reportedly admitted to authorities that he knew he was receiving marijuana brownies through the mail.

Hernandez said he received a previous package of marijuana brownies and distributed the brownies to friends, the complaint said.

The total weight of marijuana brownies was 865.75 grams.

Controlled-substance violation is a Class-D felony.

— by Rebecca Morin

Man charged with possession, OWI

Authorities have accused a West Liberty man of driving under the influence of marijuana and possessing marijuana in jail.

Jacob Little, 19, was charged May 5 with possession of contraband in a correction facility and OWI.

According to an Iowa City police complaint, Little was driving a green 2012 GMC Terrain when authorities stopped him after learning the registered owner of the vehicle did not have a valid driver’s license.

Upon contact with Little, officers reportedly smelled a strong odor of burnt marijuana and noticed he had red, water eyes, and cotton mouth.

Little told authorities he smoked marijuana four hours prior to driving. A K9 gave a positive alert on the vehicle, and officers allegedly located drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle.

A drug-recognition expert evaluated Little and determined he was impaired due to marijuana. Little was transported to jail, the complaint said.

At the jail, deputies reportedly located a bag of marijuana stuffed inside Little’s buttocks.

Possession of contraband in a correction facility is a Class-D felony. OWI is a serious misdemeanor.

— by Rebecca Morin

Council OKs Shakespeare beverages

The Iowa City City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an agreement allowing wine and beer to be served at the Riverside Theater Shakespeare Festival in City Park.

Alcohol will only be served in the park from June 19 through July 13 during the Shakespeare Festival.

The festival is an annual event featuring various performances.

— by Daniel Seidl

Iowa City officials are moving forward with increasing affordable housing in a growing district.

The Iowa City City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution setting a public hearing to consider an amendment to the Downtown and Riverfront Crossings master plan.

The amendment, which was approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission last month, would allow incentives to developers who include affordable units. These incentives could include fewer height restrictions and a higher allowed density of units.

The public meeting was set for May 20.

— by Daniel Seidl

Hickory Hill’s safe room completed

Construction on a safe room in an Iowa City park has been completed.

The Iowa City City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved improvements to the South Hickory Hill Safe Room Project.

The $259,324 safe room is intended to provide safety for nearby residents and park occupants in case of high wind or tornadoes.

The contract for the project was given to City Construction Group in February 2013.

— By Daniel Seidl

City fees may rise

Iowa City residents may soon pay more for some city services.

The Iowa City City Council on Tuesday unanimously passed second consideration on two ordinances increasing service fees.

The first ordinance would increase solid-waste collection fees by 40 cents per month, effective July 1. The current waste fee is $11.40 per month, and this would be a 3.5 percent increase, which would total $4.80 increase over one year. The new fee would generate an estimated $73,000 per year.

The second ordinance would increase the fee for water use by 5 percent in fiscal 2015 and an additional 5 percent in fiscal 2016. This would generate an estimated $408,392 in fiscal 205 and $428,812 in fiscal 2016.

These fee increases would help account for a decrease in the city’s service funds in these two areas.

— by Daniel Seidl

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