Metro Briefs

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 17, 2014 5:00 AM

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DI again a Pacemaker finalist

The Daily Iowan was selected as one of eight finalists for the Newspaper Pacemaker award, the Associated Collegiate Press announced Sept. 16.

This is the second year in a row that the DI has been nominated.  

The Pacemaker is awarded to several college newspapers based on general excellence from the previous year.

Judges select Pacemakers based on the following:

• Coverage and content
• Quality of writing and reporting
• Leadership on the opinion page
• Evidence of in-depth reporting
• Layout and design
• Photography, art, and graphics

The DI was selected along with The Daily Bruin, Rocky Mountain Collegian, Indiana Daily Student, The Daily News, Minnesota Daily, The Daily Orange, and The Daily.

Winners will be announced on Nov. 1 at the National College Media Convention in Philadelphia.
Kristen East served as editor-in-chief of the DI during the 2013-14 school year, and Jordyn Reiland, Dora Grote, and Josh Bolander served as managing editors. Publisher Bill Casey and writing coach Jennifer Wagner helped submit this year’s entries.

— by Jordyn Reiland

Man charged with forgery, theft

Authorities have accused a man with using another person’s credit card without permission.

Michael Roe, 57, was charged Aug. 1 with forgery and second-degree theft.

According to online court documents, Roe used two of the victim’s MasterCard debit/credit cards at 14 different locations.

Roe spent a total of $1,202.98, police said.

Roe provided signatures for purchases at the numerous locations. Roe observed on video by officers and was identified by store employees.

In addition, Roe was also found to be in the possession of shoes purchased with the card.

Forgery is a Class-D felony. A second-degree theft is a Class-D felony.

— by the DI staff

Man charged with domestic abuse

Authorities have accused a local man of choking his wife.

Devin McPherson, 29, was charged Sept. 16 with domestic abuse impeding air/blood causing bodily injury.

According to an Iowa City police complaint, officers responded to a report of domestic assault at a Kountry Lane residence.

Once authorities were on the scene, the woman told officials they were arguing over her coming home late and the door being locked.

McPherson allegedly grabbed the woman by the neck and threw her on the ground and slapped her at least once, the complaint said.

She told authorities she could not breathe and displayed redness on neck and face.

McPherson told authorities he did not intend to choke the victim but to just hold her down.

McPherson and the woman have been married for six years, and they have two kids together.

Domestic abuse impeding air/blood causing bodily injury is Class-D felony.

— by the DI staff

Councilors vote no to restoration-project bid

On Tuesday, the Iowa City City Council voted 7-0 to reject the bid from L. L. Pelling for $203,435.15 for the Normandy Drive Restoration Project. The city engineer’s estimate is around $150,000.

The project would reconstruct Normandy Drive and landscape parts of City Park. The area the project would include is the parts bought out by FEMA and the Community Development Block Grant program.

The current bidding is for phase three of the project. With the failure of the bid, it will be opened up for bidding once again.

Public date for Lucky’s Market set

The City Council voted 7-0 to approve the setting of consultations and public hearings related to tax incentives in the Sycamore and First Avenue Urban Renewal Plan. The city is looking into securing an anchor tenant at Iowa City Marketplace, formerly Sycamore Mall.

The tenant that the city is looking into securing is Lucky’s Market, a Colorado-based grocery store. Its website lists opening date in 2015.

The city is planning on paying for the incentive with the increased tax revenue from the area.

“The reason the city is looking to move forward with this is that everybody is waiting on an anchor tenant,” Jeff Davidson, the city’s economic development director.

The tax incentives will be discussed during the consultations and public hearing set by the resolution.

Riverfront Crossings rezoned

The city voted 7-0 to rezone approximately 25.8 acres of land in the Riverfront Crossings area. The rezoning will allow the area to be a mix of commercial and residential lots.

The rezoning would help with redevelopment according to the Riverfront Crossings Plan. Karen Howard of Neighborhood and Development Services said there is a high amount of redevelopment pressure and no infrastructure will need to be added to the rezoned areas.

The rezoned area is near the Johnson County Courthouse and Iowa City Post Office.

Pedestrian and bike tunnels approved

The council voted 7-0 to amend the Riverside Drive Urban Renewal Plan to add a pedestrian and bicycle tunnel through a railroad embankment to the project. The amendment also adds streetscape improvements on Riverside Drive.

The amendment allows the council to consider an agreement with Emrico LLC that would develop a former car dealership lot. The agreement can only be considered if it is part of the urban-renewal plan.

Council OKs Sabin agreement

The memorandum of agreement written by FEMA and signed by the State Historical Society of Iowa, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department, the University of Iowa, and the Office of the State Archaeologist, was approved 7-0 to be signed by Mayor Matt Hayek regarding the historical preservation of some parts of the Sabin School.

The parts would be used to be part of architecture at a new park in the Riverfront Crossings Area.
The salvage was recommended after a government-required review of the school to see what adverse effects would take place by demolishing the building.

The school, which is on the national historic register, will be demolished pending the finish of a new MidWestOne Bank building nearby.

— by Nick Moffitt

Biden visits Des Moines

Vice President Joe Biden will visit Iowa’s capital city today nearly halfway through his second term, just three days after another potential 2016 presidential contender garnered praise from thousands in the state.

Riding along the “We the People, We the Voters” bus, Biden will attempt to kick up voter-registration efforts with a stop at the Capitol in Des Moines at 10:30 a.m.

The 36-city journey is sponsored by National Catholic Social Justice Lobby.

The self-proclaimed “Nuns on the Bus,” who regularly host voter-registration drives, conduct town-hall hearings that allow potential ballot-casters to voice their concerns and who visit Catholic social-service sites, will join him on the ride.

Visitors and motorists traveling near the State Capitol complex should expect a number of road closures and changes in parking options, a Des Moines city official said.

Grand Avenue from East 12 Street to Pennsylvania Street and Walnut Street from East Seventh Street to East 12th Streest in the East Village neighborhood will be closed from 7 a.m. to noon.

Biden, who last came to Iowa during the 2013 Harkin Steak Fry, trails only Hillary Rodham Clinton in a recent poll conducted by CNN/ORC International. A portion of the poll asked more than 1,000 Iowans whom they would vote for had Iowa held its first-in-the-nation caucuses on Sept. 12.

Rodham Clinton stirred up political praise during her appearance at the 37th and final Harkin Steak Fry on Sunday in rural Indianola, where she was tight-lipped about seeking the presidency.

— by Quentin Misiag

Braley announces college-education plan

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, has unveiled a four-point plan focused on making college education more affordable for students.

The plan, announced Tuesday, focused on a broad range of affordable actions, including strengthening a tax credit that combats tuition and other school fees, increasing student-loan interest-deduction rates, offer grants to students who are at risk to drop out of college because of financial stress, and allow people to refinance their loans in order to take out more money.

Iowa is ranked sixth for students with the most debt after college graduation. This is the first solid reform plan suggested by either Braley or Joni Ernst, his Republican opponent. Ernst has not talked much about education in general and does not have any stance listed on her website, but she has said she wants to cut the Department of Education. She also said she wants to provide Iowans a good education in her latest campaign ad, which débuted Monday.

Braley follows Gov. Terry Branstad’s lead in announcing education reform. Branstad announced earlier last week that he is offering a slew of initiatives to make college cheaper in general, which includes putting a tuiution cap of $10,000 for students majoring in common areas. This would cut the cost of college in half for approximately half the student population at the regent schools.

— by Lauren Coffey

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