Metro briefs

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

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Man charged with forgery fraud

Authorities have accused an Iowa City man of stealing from his place of employment.

Zachary MacMillan, 19, was charged Nov. 16 with forgery fraud of an Iowa lottery.

According to online court documents, the store management found many inconsistencies in the book keeping of lottery-ticket sales for the evening of Nov. 16.

Once the store’s surveillance video was viewed, MacMillan, the sole employee that night, was allegedly seen periodically taking lottery tickets from the dispenser and redeeming the winning tickets.

MacMillan reportedly redeemed $225.

MacMillan allegedly admitted to taking the tickets, claiming that he was “just trying to pass the time” because he was “really bored” during his shift.

Forgery fraud of an Iowa lottery is a Class-D felony.

— by Alyssa Guzman

Quiznos to close

The Quiznos in the Old Capitol Town Center will close next week.

Owner Ed Mertens said the store would close for a multitude of reasons, the biggest of which was declining business.

Other reasons Mertens cited for the closure was an expiring lease, the 2014 bankruptcy filing of Quiznos, and his reaching retirement age.

The store’s last day open for business will be Dec. 22.

— by Nick Moffitt

Council sets hearing on Harrison Street parking

The Iowa City City Council voted 7-0 to set a public hearing on a lease-purchase agreement between the city and A&M Development.

The agreement is for the construction of a 600-plus-space parking facility on Harrison Street between Clinton and Dubuque Streets.

The lease will be through a third-party financial institution that will be decided when the parking ramp is completed in 2016.

Bids are under current evaluation from city staff.

Rezoning Herbert Hoover Highway approved

The City Council voted, 6-1, with Councilor Jim Throgmorton voting no, to adopt the rezoning of 4701 Herbert Hoover Highway.

The resolution would rezone 39.6 acres of property from interim development single-family residential to low-density single-family residential zone for 32.34 acres and low-density multi-family for 7.26 acres.

Throgmorton said during the meeting he voted no because the rezoning potentially would not help the Iowa City School District accomplish its diversity goals.

The ordinance comes after a 6-1 approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission at its Oct. 16 meeting. The commission did state that proper sewer and water service to the property as well as a pedestrian access route would need to be added.

Approval would allow development of single-family detached and attached dwellings as well as multi-family dwellings in the rezoned area.

Numerous rezonings passed near Benton Street

The City Council voted 7-0 to adopt an ordinance that would rezone approximately half an acre of property from community commercial zone to Riverfront Crossings west riverfront zone at 708 S. Riverside Drive.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the rezoning 7-0 at its Oct. 16 meeting conditionally regarding dedication of right-of-way along South Riverside Drive for pedestrian improvements.

Approval of the rezoning would put the site in compliance with the Riverfront Crossings Master Plan.

The council also voted 7-0 to pass and adopt the vacating old Benton Street right of way adjacent to 708 S. Riverside Drive.

Approval will allow the property to redevelop in compliance with the Riverfront Crossings Master Plan.

— by Nick Moffitt

UI clinic nationally recognized for second year

For the second consecutive year, the Health Equality Index has recognized UIHC as an Equality Leader for its nondiscrimination policies and progressive LGBTQ Clinic.

The index serves as the national benchmark for LGBTQ healthcare as part of the Human Rights Campaign, a civil rights organization that works towards LGBTQ equality.

The distinction means that UIHC is especially committed to providing excellent, evidence-based care to all patients regardless of background.

Denise Martinez, assistant dean for Cultural Affairs and Diversity, said that the Equality Leaders are chosen based on their patient non-discrimination policies, equal visitation rights for all patients and their families, employment non-discrimination policies and staff LGBTQ patient care training.

The LGBTQ Clinic fulfills all of these stipulations, and transgender patients from across the Midwest are reaping the benefits.

“In our first twenty-six months, we’ve seen somewhere between 125-150 unique LGBTQ patients,” said Katie Imborek, co-director of the LGBTQ Clinic. “I don’t think anyone even knew that many transgender people lived in Iowa.”

While the progress has been promising, Nisly continued to emphasize the importance of education.

“We need to listen to their stories and hear how hard things can be for them,” she said.

— by Mitch McAndrew

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