Metro briefs

BY DI STAFF | JULY 13, 2015 5:00 AM

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Corps eyes new Reservoir plan

Soon, the Coralville Reservoir will get a new plan of action.

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, is revising the Coralville Reservoir Master Plan, the document that governs the functions of the land surrounding the body of water.

Dee Goldman, the operations project manager for the Corps, said plans such as this are usually designed to last 20 to 30 years and be updated every five years.

The original master plan was created in 1978 and hasn’t been updated since then.

In the almost four decades since the plan was drafted, Goldman said, many things have changed environmentally, which the new plan will have to address.

“We may have a new threatened endangered species that wasn’t there in 1978, or we may have some habitat that is conducive to a threatened species, although on the current plan, it may have a designation of recreational, intensive use,” he said.

Other aspects that have changed include the ways people camp and the kinds of recreational activities they do.

“If you were going camping in 1978, you were probably using a tent; nowadays, people don’t do that, they like RVs, lots of electricity, and hard surfaces,” Goldman said. “In 1978, I don’t think anyone played disc golf; now I’ve got two 18-hole courses out here.”

Skate parks were also popular in previous decades, but have since died off, and while the popularity of remote-control airplanes has dwindled, Goldman said, he predicts a resurgence of a similar activity: civilian drone operation.

The process of beginning to design a new master plan began a few months ago. The kickoff was the open house the Corps held July 8 to inform the public about the plan revision and get comments.
More than 100 people showed up at the event, and Goldman said he was pleased with the reactions and feedback.

From here, the Corps will form focus groups of various local experts and groups, such as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Johnson County Conservation Board, to get their input on the development of the plan.

The plan is a land-based document and will not look at flood-risk management or water-control policies; those will be addressed in other documents.

Goldman said similar document revisions have taken several years, and the master plan is estimated to be drafted in 2016 and completed by the spring of 2017.

Man charged with endangerment, domestic abuse

Authorities have accused an Iowa City man of throwing a 2-year-old child against the wall and choking the infant’s mother.

Tyshaun Harris, 20, was charged July 11 with domestic abuse impeding air and blood flow and two counts of child endangerment.

According to the Iowa City police, a female was lying on a bed with their child when the child accidently dialed Harris’ boss while playing with his phone.

Harris allegedly struck the child, causing the 2-year-old to bounce off a wall.

When the mother yelled at Harris, he reportedly put his hands around her neck, applying downward pressure.

While choking the victim, Harris said, “I wish I could choke you.”

Domestic abuse impeding air/blood flow is a Class-D felony.

Man faces drug charges

Authorities have accused an Iowa City man with possession of 33 buds of marijuana.

William Keffala-Gerhard, 24, was charged July 11 with failure to affix a drug stamp and controlled-substance violation.

According to the Iowa City police, police pulled a vehicle over because the driver had a revoked driver’s license.

When stopped, the occupants were very nervous, and a K-9 officer was called to the scene.

The K-9 smelled drugs inside the vehicle.

When searched, police reportedly found three bags containing 33 buds of marijuana.

One of the occupants of the vehicle allegedly admitted to buying $180 worth of marijuana from Keffala-Gerhard.

Failure to affix a drug stamp and controlled-substance violation are both Class-D felonies.

Man accused in reported attack

Authorities have accused an Iowa City man of choking his roommate and biting his girlfriend’s arm.

Adam Sotzen, 30, was charged July 12 with domestic abuse impeding air and blood flow.

According to the Iowa City police, Sotzen was in a fight with his girlfriend when she tried to leave; Sotzen reportedly would not let her.

She called their roommate for help, and Sotzen allegedly attacked the roommate.

He was reportedly on top of the roommate choking him when the woman tried to pull Sotzen off.

Sotzen then allegedly bit the woman, leaving a mark and blood on her arm.

Domestic abuse impeding air and blood flow is a Class-D felony.

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