Meanwhile, back at the Hub

BY DI STAFF | JUNE 16, 2014 5:00 AM

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Hamburg catches fire

Hamburg Inn No. 2, 214 N. Linn St., is undergoing renovation after a fire broke out in the early hours of May 18.

Fire officials said the fire — which destroyed a majority of the basement of the Hamburg Inn — was caused by a spontaneous ignition of rags in the basement.

The estimated total cost of damage is in the range of $100,000, which is around $70,000 more than officials initially thought.

The washer, dryer, and other electrical elements have been ruined, and one of the bathroom walls will also have to be replaced.

The restaurant is expected to reopen in three weeks.

Union sues the city

The Union Bar, 121 E. College St., filed a lawsuit against the city of Iowa City and City Manager Tom Markus on June 6.

The Union was granted an entertainment exemption to the 21-ordinance in March, but nearly a month later, the city yanked the exemption in a letter from Iowa City Police Chief Sam Hargadine, who cited the bar’s high rate of PAULAs.

In order to maintain an entertainment exemption — which allows patrons who are 19 and 20 to stay past 10 p.m. on evenings that an establishment has live shows — the venue is required to host at least 150 live performances.

On May 5, after the bar owners appealed the revocation; city officials confirmed their decision.

Police investigate restroom camera

University of Iowa police are investigating an incident in which a small recording device was found in a University Capitol Center restroom, Room 2833, in the Instructional Technology Services space around 2 p.m. June 4.

UI police reviewed the video that was in the device, and individuals identified in the video were contacted, according to a UI email. Officials have responded by locking the back entrance doors all day, as well as investigating additional options.

Officials have also informed maintenance and janitorial staff to be on the lookout for suspicious activity or things that seem out of place.

Efficiency study finishes first phase

Deloitte Consulting, which is conducting the state Board of Regents’ Rising to the Next Transparent, Inclusive Efficiency Review, will move forward on eight of 12 areas reviewed during the first phase.

The first phase of the study reviewed 12 areas in each Iowa public university: academic programs, the purchase of goods and services, information technology, facilities management, auxiliaries, construction, finance, research administration, human resources, marketing and advertisement, strategic space utilization, and student services.

Officials decided not to further study construction, auxiliaries, marketing and advertising, and research administration.

Further analysis will be discussed at a town-hall meeting at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the IMU second-floor ballroom.

The second phase of the study begins today.

Two charged in shooting

Marqueese Lashawn Hampton, 18, and O’Sean Dentale Horton, 19, were charged in a shooting in the area of the Pheasant Ridge Apartments near 2600 Roberts Road.

Both were charged with going armed with intent, a Class D felony, punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a potential fine of $750 to $7,500.

The apartments are located near the intersection of Mormon Trek Boulevard and Melrose Avenue.

Witnesses reported seeing three black males running from the area immediately after the shots were fired, the release said.

Officers began checking the area as additional information surfaced that there were at least two separate shooters; the suspects’ descriptions were broadcast to officers.

According to the release, a few minutes later, officers near Mormon Trek and Westwinds Drive detained two males matching the descriptions of the suspects.

Further investigation into the matter reportedly identified these two males as the people who had allegedly shot weapons, the release said.

No one appeared to have been injured during the shooting, but one building received damage after being struck by a bullet.

The case remains under investigation; additional charges are pending.

New funding model approved

A new performance-based funding model was approved early June.

With the new model, 60 percent of state allocation will be based on the enrollment numbers of Iowa residents, 15 percent for progress and attainment, 10 percent for access, 5 percent for sponsored research, 5 percent weighted for graduate and professional students, and 5 percent based on customized requirements set by the state Board of Regents.

The model will be implemented over three years starting in 2016. However, the Legislature will need to approve the new funding model before it can go into effect.

Courthouse annex headed to voters

A nearly $31-million courthouse annexation bond referendum will appear on the ballot on Nov. 4.
The three-story project to be built next to the Johnson County Courthouse is just one piece in a list of upgrades officials plan over the course of the next several years.

Public input will be held in July, August, and September, she said.

Destructive beetle found in Iowa City

An adult emerald ash borer — a destructive beetle — has been found in Iowa City. A follow-up examination of ash trees growing in the where the beetle was found failed to confirm an infestation.

In early February, a statewide quarantine restricting the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips, and ash tree nursery stock out of Iowa into non-quarantined areas of other states was implemented.

The quarantine remains in place.

— by Rebecca Morin

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