Metro Briefs

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

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UIHC ranked among best hospitals

U.S News & World Report released its annual report for Best Hospitals, and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics made the list once again.

Nine specialties for UI Hospitals and Clinics were ranked overall, including cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; ear, nose, and throat; gynecology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; ophthalmology; orthopaedics; and urology.

The UIHC was also recognized as high performing for diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, geriatrics, and pulmonology.

The UI Children’s Hospital also had eight specialties ranked.

— by Rebecca Morin

Yazel moves up at Cosmo

Leslie Yazel, a University of Iowa and The Daily Iowan alumna, has become the executive editor of Cosmopolitan.

Yazel was named the executive editor in May; she oversees the features team, fielding story pitches, making assignments, collaborating with the art director, as well as supporting the editor-in-chief.

Cosmopolitan has a staff of 50 in New York and has a monthly circulation of 3 million.

Before moving to Cosmopolitan, Yazel was deputy editor for four years for the Wall Street Journal’s Personal Journal, the life and culture section.

Yazel also served as freelance editor for Redbook and Seventeen, and prior to that, she was arts editor for the Washington Post.

At her time at the DI, Yazel reported a number of news stories, including covering the state Board of Regents.

The Des Moines native, who graduated in 1993, earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from the UI.

— by Rebecca Morin

Council OKs Sycamore project

The Iowa City City Council approved, on a 7-0 vote, proceeding with acquiring rights for a portion of Sycamore Street.

The city will begin with street and sidewalk improvements, as well as updating the storm-water system.

Concerns were raised about the width of road and sidewalk, but all plans are in place to meet current city standards — 5-foot sidewalks and bike lanes included.

The project is set to begin in the spring of 2015 and finish in late July 2015 for the opening of the new Alexander Elementary School in the southern part of town.

Expenditures will be financed through general-obligation funding.

County officials to discuss local-option tax

During a joint session in Tiffin, the City Council will mull revamping its proposal for a local-option sales tax.

The meeting is set for 4 p.m. July 28.

This comes as the Johnson County Board of Supervisors suggested to the City Council that 10 percent of generated revenue should be put toward maintaining and updating the county courthouse.

Councilors decided that either 10 percent should be taken from either property-tax relief or street maintenance, modifying the 50-40-10 plan that they passed last session.

The meeting in Tiffin will be an open discussion with numerous jurisdictions in Johnson County so all of them can put the same proposed model up for election in November.

Councilor Susan Mims’ primary concern was that one jurisdiction might not try to adopt the special tax, blocking access from generated revenue across the entire county.

However, it is still too preliminary to adopt specific ballot language in county jurisdictions, said City Attorney Eleanor Dilkes.

Further discussions will also be placed on affordable housing at the joint meeting, as suggested by Councilor Kingsley Botchway’s request.

— by Paul Osgerby

Council gives go-ahead to new apartment complex

The first building to meet newly implemented guidelines for Iowa City’s Riverfront Crossings District took preliminary steps forward on Tuesday, and city officials say if approved, it could jump-start interest by developers and prospective residents to one of the city’s most highly targeted redevelopment areas.

The City Council unanimously passed a first consideration Tuesday evening for Emrico Properties’ plans to build a four-story, 96-unit apartment building on the site of the former Hartwig Motors car dealership at 629 S. Riverside Drive.

Kevin Hanick, a real-estate developer with Lepic Kroeger Realtors, said the project was hatched with the intent to go against the grain of building student-apartment complexes that have sprung up around many areas around downtown Iowa City.

The U-shaped building would cater instead to young professionals such as medical and law students who seek to live in proximity to central Iowa City, Hanick said.

City Councilor Rick Dobyns said the development would aid Riverfront Crossings, an “at-risk” sector of the city, which is bounded roughly by Riverside Drive to the west, Gilbert Street/Van Buren Street on the east, Highway 6 to the south and Burlington Street to the north.

Councilors Terry Dickens and Susan Mims said the yet-to-be-finalized development could serve as a jump-starter that would motivate more growth as city officials work to lay the groundwork for the roughly 280-acre zone.

The council also voted Tuesday to approve a unanimous first consideration to rezone the building that formerly housed the Haunted Bookshop, 203 N. Linn St. as a historic landmark and adjust its zoning.

Local developer Mike Hodge is seeking the rezoning from CB-2 to CB-5 to renovate the first-floor of the building for an eventual new restaurant venture.

Council moves ahead on Riverfront Crossings

Outdoor service areas, including spaces for restaurants and entertainment uses, may find a new outlet for business in one of Iowa City’s most targeted development areas.

 The Iowa City City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to pass a first consideration for such uses in the city’s Riverfront Crossings District, a nearly 280-acre zone located south of downtown Iowa City and the University of Iowa campus.

 The council must approve two additional considerations and gain a majority vote before the measure can implemented.

 — by Quentin Misiag

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