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Emerald Ash Borer found within interior Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – While Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was positively identified at the IDOT rest area along I-380 almost two years ago, the insect had not been seen within the interior core of Cedar Rapids. Recently a tree with signs of EAB was found. Pending confirmation from the Department of Agriculture, the City will proceed as though this is a confirmed sighting and remove the tree. City staff will also inspect ash in the surrounding area for signs of EAB. 

The EAB is an exotic beetle whose larvae embeds and destroys the inner bark of ash trees. Cedar Rapids has 10,000 public ash trees in addition to those on private property. Unlike other trees like oak or elm, which remain relatively stable after they die, ash trees lose moisture internally very quickly and begin to fall apart soon after they die creating public nuisance or hazard situations.

The City has been proactive in preparing for EAB since the beetle’s arrival in the U.S. in 2002. In 2016, City Council prioritized preparation efforts by funding a tree inventory that provided detailed information about the species, location and condition of all street trees. The inventory has aided the Parks and Recreation Department’s Forestry division in identifying declining ash trees and removing more than 2,000 of them to reduce the impact of the disease. Remaining ash trees, especially in areas with high concentrations, have been routinely inspected as part of the City’s management plan to determine potential hazards.

As further preparation, the City stopped planting ash trees and increased the diversity of trees planted to a minimum of 25 to 30 different species. The diversification will sustain the canopy even if a large number of ash trees are lost. If all public ash trees were damaged by infestation, the City would still retain more than 80 percent of the tree canopy.

Other than parkway trees, homeowners are responsible for ash trees on their own personal property. They have the option of keeping their parkway ash tree, unless it has health or structural concerns. Contact the City Arborist at 319-286-5747 with concerns about parkway trees.

Homeowners can also treat their ash trees on private property, but it requires continual treatment for the life of the tree, and may not guarantee a tree’s survival. Trees with storm damage or other safety concerns will need to be removed, regardless of treatment.

Signs of an infested tree may include dead branches near the top of a tree, leafy shoots sprouting from the trunk, bark splits exposing larval galleries, extensive woodpecker activity, and D-shaped exit holes.

Answers to frequently asked questions and options for homeowners are provided on the City’s website at cedar-rapids.org/EAB. Additional resources for information about Emerald Ash Borer are:

Cedar Rapids maintains the longest running Tree City USA status in Iowa, demonstrating its ongoing commitment to the urban forest.


Trucking could benefit as freight market keeps improving

The Trucking Conditions Index (TCI) compiled monthly by research firm FTR Transportation Intelligence remained “basically unchanged” in May but also indicates that a strengthening spot market indicates that freight conditions for trucking companies are becoming more positive.

via trucker.com

Related:  Trucking Jobs


Employment, Job Help - Coralville Courier - Trucking Jobs

Koch Trucking
 
WE HAVE THE OPTIONS YOU ARE LOOKING FOR! \$5000 Orientation Completion Bonus (*limited time act now!) Koch Trucking (Pronounced "Cook") offers a variety of driving p

via www.coralvillecourier.com


“Pay What You Want” Book Sale at ICPL July 22 and July 23

Two of the greatest words in the English language have come together for a great event: Book Sale. 

The Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation will host a Book Sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 22, and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 23, in Meeting Room A. The sale features “Pay What You Want” prices on everything from large print books and graphic novels to fiction, cookbooks, nonfiction, graphic novels and children’s books.

All sales are final with proceeds benefitting the Library, courtesy of the Book End Committee of the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation. 

For more information, contact Patty McCarthy, Development Office Director, at 319-356-5249 or via e-mail at patty-mccarthy@icpl.org.


ICPD sponsors youth RAGBRAI ride & overnight camping trip

Seven kids and three adult chaperones will ride the Thursday route of RAGBRAI this year with the support of the Iowa City Police Department.

The Neighborhood Center of Johnson County’s Youth Off-Road Riders Cycling Program (YORR) provides area youth who have an interest in cycling with the coaching and camaraderie needed to help them achieve both competitive and non-competitive cycling goals in a safe and enjoyable manner. Members of this group who cycle regularly, will ride on Thursday, July 27 from Charles City to Cresco, covering 54.6 miles and 2,257 feet of climb.

The Iowa City Police Department is providing the resources for a sag wagon, meals and overnight camping in Cresco at Harvest Farm Campground Resort, 3690 318th Ave., Cresco. That’s located about 12.6 miles from the town of Cresco.

Any rider from the Iowa City area is welcome to stop by the campsite and say hello to these young riders. The group will pack-up and return to Iowa City on Friday.  

This trip is part of the Iowa City Police Department’s ongoing effort to develop relationships between officers, youth and families. It is also part of a larger City initiative to encourage more people, including children and families, to ride bicycles.

For questions or additional information, contact Community Service Officer Henri Harper at 319-356-5275 or henry-harper@iowa-city.org. Special thanks to YORR Youth Program Director Anthony Branch for his help in coordinating this special event.

 

RAGBRAI, the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, is an annual seven-day bike ride across the state. It is the oldest, largest and longest recreational bicycle touring event in the world. 


Arrest Warrant issued in Ricky Lillie murder investigation

On Wednesday, July 19, 2017, an arrest warrant was issued for Curtis Cortez Jones charging him with Murder in the First Degree for the murder of Ricky Lillie on June 27, 2017.

Over the course of the investigation, Jones was identified as entering Lillie’s cab and taking an uninterrupted cab ride to the 500 block of Ernest Street. Jones then shot Lillie in the head, and was observed on surveillance video leaving the location where Lillie was found. 

Jones is currently being held in the Washington County Jail in Washington, Iowa pending the resolution of theft charges issued by the Keota Police Department, and a parole violation from the Eighth Judicial District of Iowa. Jones will be transported to the Johnson County Jail in Iowa City for formal arraignment on the murder charge at a later date.

This investigation remains ongoing by the Iowa City Police Department Investigations Unit. 

The Department was assisted in this investigation by the Johnson County Attorney’s Office, the Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office, the Johnson County Emergency Management Office, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, the University of Iowa Police Department, Iowa City Fire Department, Mount Pleasant Police Department, Burlington Police Department, DesMoines County Sheriff’s Office, Henry County Sheriff’s Office, the Division of Criminal Investigation and the Keota Police Department.

As with any criminal case, a charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Link: Curtis Jones criminal complaint 


Update 7/3 at 11:15 a.m. 

After receiving multiple tips from the public, the Iowa City Police Department has identified the person of interest in the ongoing investigation into the Ricky Lillie homicide as Curtis Cortez Jones, age 41.

Jones was taken into custody in Mount Pleasant on Friday, June 30, 2017 for an arrest warrant from the Keota Police Department for theft in the second degree. In addition, Jones was also served with an arrest warrant for a parole violation. Jones remains in the custody at the Keokuk County Jail. The Iowa City Police investigations unit continues to investigate Jones involvement in this case. 

Additionally, the Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled the manner of death in this case to be a homicide, and cause of death to be gunshot wounds to the head. 

The Iowa City Police Department continues to request information from the public regarding this case. 

Iowa City Area CrimeStoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspect or suspects in these matters. Anyone with information about this crime is urged to contact CrimeStoppers at 358-TIPS (8477) or at www.iccrimestoppers.org. All contacts are held in strict confidence and anonymity is guaranteed. Individuals providing information do not have to reveal their identity to collect a reward.


Update 6/29 at 3 p.m. 

Person of Interest

Person of interest in ongoing homicide investigation 

The Iowa City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in identifying a person of interest in the ongoing investigation into the death of Ricky Lillie. 

Lillie, a cab driver for Yellow Cab, was found dead in his vehicle in the 500 block of Ernest St. before 4 a.m. on Wednesday, June 28, 2017. His death is being investigated as a homicide. 

Photos of the person of interest are included in this release. Anyone with information regarding this person's identity or whereabouts is asked to contact the Iowa City Police Department at 319-356-6800 or Investigator Smithey directly at 319-778-3806, or Iowa City Area CrimeStoppers at 319-358-TIPS. 

person of interest

Person of interest in ongoing homicide investigation 

In consideration of a inquiry pursuant to an open records request, the Iowa City Police Department is also releasing a recording of the single 911 call associated with this incident. Although unusual, the release has been approved because, in this specific case, the release of the recording in no way compromises or negatively impacts the ongoing investigation. The call has been edited to remove names. Download the audio. 

No further information will be released at this time. Additional press releases will follow as information becomes available.

Iowa City Area Crime Stoppers will offer a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of a suspect. Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 358-TIPS (8477) or at www.iccrimestoppers.org. All contacts are held in strict confidence and anonymity is guaranteed. Individuals providing information do not have to reveal their identity to collect a reward.


Update 6/28/17 at 8 p.m. 

The Iowa City Police Department continues to investigate the death of the Yellow Cab driver. 

A 911 call requesting a welfare check on a cab driver near Alexis Park Inn was received at approximately 3:42 a.m., and the Yellow Cab in question was located in the 500 block of Ernest St. The driver of the cab was deceased. This investigation is being treated as a homicide. 

The Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the victim as Ricky Ray Lillie, of Iowa City. 

No further information will be released at this time. Additional press releases will follow as information becomes available.

Anyone with information regarding this incident, or who may have been a witness, is encouraged to contact the Iowa City Police Department at 319-356- 6800. 

Iowa City Area Crime Stoppers will offer a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of a suspect. Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 358-TIPS (8477) or at www.iccrimestoppers.org.  All contacts are held in strict confidence and anonymity is guaranteed. Individuals providing information do not have to reveal their identity to collect a reward.


 

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Road Construction - Muscatine Avenue - Iowa City

Weather permitting, beginning on Thursday, July 20, 2017, lanes of traffic will be shifted on Muscatine Avenue between Wade Street and William Street.  The lane shift is necessary to facilitate pavement repair in the area and it is anticipated normal traffic will resume by the end of the day on Monday, July 24th. 

Motorists are to take note of this construction and to allow extra travel time as delays may occur. As always, caution should be exercised when traveling through all construction areas. 

For updated information on road construction in Iowa City, visit icgov.org/roadconstruction